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.