The Emptiness in Our Culture

Joe Cunningham, III

Joe Cunningham, III

Secularism is a fascinating study. You watch devout secularists worship at the altar of man and, after they are victorious in their pursuits, they still claim to feel empty. They need more.

This happened after the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage. Several news outlets interviewed gay rights activists who were happy about the ruling, but didn’t quite know how to handle being “mainstream” now. They had nothing left to fight for. They are no longer counter-culture.

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, a young man who was by all accounts a normal guy picked up a deadly weapon and killed several Marines. His purpose, given all the information that’s coming out, is pretty clear: He was doing it in the name of militant Islam. He wanted something more than his amateur UFC competitions and earthly life.

Both of these examples have something in common – this devotion to secularism leaves one unfulfilled. The gay rights activist struggles to find something else to fight for. The militant Islamist finds himself craving something more fulfilling than what is here on Earth and turns to a religion. Because we have such a nationalized hostility toward Christianity, those looking for something else turn to other religions.

Hence the flight from the U.S. to the Middle East by Westerners. In the cultural void, they find something worth achieving. Something that is beyond here. They see a movement, filled with motivated warriors, who fight for something that is beyond here and beyond themselves. They see a chance to completely remake themselves into something better – and they take it.

That the culture is outward hostile to Christianity is not the whole problem, however. Christianity is simply not fighting back. Membership at church is dwindling across the board. As Christians, we have to do better about fighting back. There are many ways to do it, but it doesn’t start with overseas mission trips. It starts here, at home.

This is not so much a religious call to arms as it is a social and cultural one, but our morals as a nation have largely been dictated by Christian morality. Every time one of those morals is eradicated, the culture loses its way, going further and further into some cataclysmic void. We lose brothers, fathers, sisters, mothers, and more to other cultures that promise something we apparently no longer can. It’s entirely preventable, but it starts with our churches, and it starts in our backyard.

Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at RedState.com, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @joec_esquire.

4 thoughts on “The Emptiness in Our Culture

  1. Joe Cunningham, I probably don’t have to tell you this, since I don’t see any way that you could honestly believe what you’ve written here, but the picture you paint here is woefully inaccurate.

    First of all, if you’re referring to a philosophy that “worships at the altar of man” (love the holier-than-thou tone, by the way), secularism is not it. You’re thinking of humanism. Secularism is merely the idea that government should not show favoritism to any religion(s) or metaphysical belief systems over any other religion(s) or metaphysical belief systems and should remain separated from them in general. Humanism is a philosophy that sees humans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, age, beliefs, etc., as being of the utmost importance and worth.

    Humanism does not leave people wanting. I am a humanist myself and know quite a few in the state of Louisiana. Believe me when I say that none of us feel any kind of void in our lives. This is entirely made up on your part, and it is demonstrated by the fact that the measly two examples you cited have nothing to do with secularism or humanism.

    I’m not sure what you were thinking using a devout Muslim and same-sex couples being allowed to marry as examples of how secularism/humanism leaves people lacking, but you couldn’t have picked more irrelevant examples. The Muslim was never a secularist or humanist, and the same-sex couples’ shock at finally winning rights they should have had all along doesn’t suggest any kind of emptiness in their lives.

    Finally, you appear to be treating the religious beliefs of people as some sort of battleground where you feel Christians should be attempting to win or have a right to win. Why is people being Christian more important to you than people holding the beliefs they are naturally inclined to hold? Do you have that little of respect for belief systems that are not identical to yours?

    • Oh, I almost forgot. There is no “nationalized hostility towards Christianity”. That’s a very dangerous and delusional victim-complex talking right there. There is no more privileged religious group in the United States than Christians.

  2. Bible Morality:
    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

    The Biblical God approved of keeping people against their will and to use as property never to be set free.

  3. Christians don’t have a monopoly on leading fulfilled lives. Fulfillment comes from within–believers have the crutch of the delusion of a supernatural being that will help them when they are unable to come to terms with life’s difficulties. Stretching a superficial argument about the moral high ground being the Provence of Chritians to a half-dozen paragraphs doesnt add depth to the argument, only words.

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