Secularism is an ethical philosophy with three fundamental principles which deem theology unfeasible.
• The improvement of this life by material means.
• Science is the available Providence of man.
• It is good to seek the good of present life.
Holyoake and Bradlaugh originated and spread secularism in England throughout the XIX century. Holyoke defended the abolition of all oaths required by law, the secularization of education in public schools and the eradication of the Church. Bradlaugh advocated:
“One element of danger in Europe is the approach of the Roman Catholic Church meddling in political life. … Beware when the great church, whose power nobody can deny, the capacity of whose leading men is marked, tries to use the democracy as its weapon. There is danger to freedom of thought, to freedom of speech, to freedom of action. The great struggle in this country … as I have long taught and now repeat – between Free Thought and Rome.”
Secularism extends free thought to ethics. Holyoake was an agnostic who based secularism on the study of nature independently of religion, while Bradlaugh claimed secularism should begin with religion denial. Secularism has a great concern for culture, social progress and quality of life, especially for the working class, and seeks the greatest good of the present life, because the existences of God and a future life are speculative. Catholic motives are worthless to secularism.
The Church teaches the present life is not an end in itself, the knowledge of the material world leads to the knowledge of the spiritual world, and we should consider the existence and nature of God, Divine Revelation, and the preparation for the future life. God is the creator and ruler of individuals and societies; then States must respect religion, because it is a personal and a social duty.
A secular education in public schools is wrong, because children do not learn the necessary means of salvation including the respect for their teachers and peers. It is calamitous the persistent academic violence we watch on American National News. The secularization of public schools in a Christian nation is inadmissible because citizens have the right to perform their religious duties dictated by conscience. The Bill of Rights of the US Constitution, ratified on December 15, 1791, states in Amendment I:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The Roman Catholic Church cannot consider the value of the present life as an end, but a transition to a future life we must prepare obeying natural and divine laws. Catholicism rejects Secularism, because it denies the noblest human aspirations.
Pope Benedict XVI warned in January 2012:
“It is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States comes to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms: the freedom of religion.”
The fate of the Church in the third millennium depends on our response to secularization. The pope understands secularization has gained political ground in Russia and Europe, and has come to the United States of America. Secularism has belittle the Bible, “Merry Christmas”, public prayer, the Ten Commandments, and “Thou shalt participate in the sexual revolution.”
Secularism affirms this world, rejects the next world, and removes Christianity from culture. Without God, people become little gods creating moral codes maximizing temporal gratification.
Catholics must call “EVIL Secularism” and reject its influence. God, “deliver us from evil,” as we say in the Lord’s Prayer!