Secular Worldview and the Welfare State

To our country’s and society’s detriment, secular worldview has eroded and supplanted our foundational Christian worldview. The secular “religion” rejects the reality of the eternal and loving Creator, and instead attributes the life, wonder, beauty, and obvious order of the Universe to a random cosmic accident.

In Christian worldview, there can be no perfection in this fallen world. Rather for Christians, we struggle, although continually fall short, to be faithful to God until “all things are made new” when the Lord comes again. For secular humanists, or progressives, the goal is earthly perfection of humanity – social justice. However, this vision of humanly conceived utopia is constantly evolving and progressing as human understanding and science evolves and progresses. Further, because the human understanding of perfect society is an evolving goal, the understanding of right and wrong must evolve and progress to conform to and justify their utopian vision.

This necessity for relative and evolving morality requires rejection of the Christian worldview understanding of right and wrong as absolute, and motivates the secular redefining of tolerance. Tolerance as a traditional American virtue, a virtue derived from Christian worldview, respects the individual’s right to believe what they will, but respecting that right does not mean that all beliefs are good and true. Politically correct tolerance, promoted by the media, in public education, and by progressives in both major political parties, would have us believe that all beliefs are equally good and true, which ultimately means that no beliefs are objectively good and true.

In secular worldview, the concept of the greatest good for the greatest number directs the progression toward more perfect humanity. Unlike the Christian understanding of the uniqueness and sovereignty of the individual person, progressive worldview places no value in the individual but rather acts on behalf of society as a whole. Of course few of the greatest number have say in what is the greatest good. Those decisions are made by the morally and intellectual “superior persons” running the state.

The forceful redistribution of wealth to impose equality is fundamental in the secular vision of social justice. Although allegedly arising from a concern for their fellow human beings, progressives do not make a personal decision to give to the poor but rather a decision for others to do so. This wealth redistribution occurs entirely at an impersonal level – property is taken from one faceless and nameless group, purely on the basis of their economic status, and given to another faceless and nameless group on the basis of their economic status.

The secular worldview principle of the greatest good for the greatest number comfortably allows the impersonal nature of this transaction. The primacy of this principle at all times justifies the ends over the means. For progressives, the ends, or even the intended ends, of a particular action or policy determine the morality of that action or policy, not the means. If achieving the worthy ends requires abridgment of or abuse of individual rights for the good of the many, then progressive morality accommodates the means.

Unlike the secular humanists, for Christians, good work, even when done corporately, occurs at the personal level – each person freely deciding to give of themselves to another. In Christian worldview righteousness is only manifested in the “how and the why” (means) of the effort and not by the outcome of the effort (ends). The means expresses our faithfulness, not the ends. Mother Teresa succinctly summarized this Christian understanding in her teaching to her novices, “God does not require that we be successful only that we be faithful.” No one received higher praise from our Lord than the Widow who, in her love for God and neighbor (means), gave her last mite out of her poverty. Yet that mite, resulted in negligible good in terms of outcome (ends).

The advanced secular states of the USSR and Communist China had no moral problem with confiscating the private property and taking the lives of millions of persons to implement social justice for the masses. From the Christian perspective, taking the life of one innocent person for the greater good of thousands or millions would be utterly unacceptable and stands in stark contrast to the incomprehensible Love of the Son of God who freely gave up His life “for the life of the world.”

Wealth redistribution to establish equality constituted the central policy of communist Russian, Eastern Europe, and China. But were these societies just, fair, or compassionate? On the contrary, they were notorious for their tyranny, dehumanization, despair, and poverty.

Christian worldview engendered our country’s foundational declaration of man’s fundamental God given rights of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness. The Declaration and subsequent protection of those rights in our Constitution ultimately lead to the traditional American economic principles, freedoms, and values that spawned not a perfect, but the most prosperous, most just, and most free society the world has known.

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One Response to Secular Worldview and the Welfare State

  1. Kevin Hodge says:

    If you want to get a glimpse of the true compassion of Christian conservatism read the book “Who Really Cares” by Arthur Brooks. It devastatingly shows the difference between secular liberals and religious conservatives.

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