The ‘secularism’ argument (3)
By Mohammed Adamu
Aforetime, ‘Christian Democratic’ parties have emerged in many European countries, notably Germany, Italy and especially those of Eastern Europe; and these are seldom ever perceived as politically ‘Christian’ let alone be accused of using politics to purvey ‘religion’. Nor has this incidence of coupling religion with politics’ ever provided the basis for assailing the claims of these nations to being ‘secular’.
In fact in many other Western ‘democracies’ notably Northern Ireland, conflict between Christian sects are said to be the entire basis for political alignment; while in yet many others especially where ‘Christian socialism’ thrives, the central argument of the socialist sectarian ideology, has been that: ‘since Christianity and socialism share certain basic values, Christians should give political expression to their religious beliefs by supporting a certain type of socialism and not another’.
And nowadays in most western nations, many ‘ideas’ and ‘movements’ (some even stronger and more forceful than political parties) have emerged purely from religious platforms and whose primary political objective is to improve waning morals in the society. So that today even where there are no overtly Christian parties, like in the US, ‘politics and religion’ on the one hand, and ‘religion and state’ on the other, inevitably continue to intertwine.
A good example is the peculiarly American concept of the ‘Moral Majority’ -a Christian political pressure group inside of ‘secular America’ established in 1979 and headed by church leaders to campaign for the election of morally conservative politicians, and the overall objective being to alter public policy, especially on social and family issues which either the legislature or the Supreme Court are believed to have adopted standards not in consonance with the views of the ‘Christian Majority’.
Meaning therefore that among the many democratic ‘ways’ that modern democracy has gratuitously afforded any democratic ‘Majority’ as of right, includes the pleasure to canvas even moral views solely based on the tenets of that majority’s religion.
Thus in retrospect, one would say that a much saner, religiously un-bigoted nation than, say Nigeria, would have had no difficulty appreciating Buhari’s patriotic call to moral arm when, to a predominantly northern Muslim audience, he made an advocacy for the election of ‘God-fearing’, politicians.
But no! Not here in Nigeria! In our political lexicon, Buhari, for daring to breath ‘morality’ into ‘politics’, has treasonably travestied ‘our democracy’, ‘abused our secularism’ and grossly defiled the ‘hallow’ of our ‘democratic principles’. And not only he, even his running mate Pastor Bakare, once the darling of all, has now suddenly become an ‘apostate’ of Christianity and a ‘despicable renegade’ of the democratic process, all for the politically ‘reprehensible offence of sharing an electoral platform with a ‘religious bigot’ -Buhari!
And by the way how secular is even the United States of America? By popular acclaim, the US is today the ‘freest’ Free Market economy in the world. And one can say she is thus preeminently the number one capitalist nation of a fast globalizing, spineless, Darwinist world that believes, contrary to all spiritual dogmas, in the survival of the fittest.
Her insatiable love of the mundane, her systemic abiding passion for the ‘hedonistic’ and her concern for the ‘profane’, ‘presumably’ –as we will see- in disregard of the ‘sacred’, altogether may have combined to create for America an alternate-God of sort; some kind of ‘Gog-Magog’ in the image of ‘Capitalism’ as a veritable object of deification.
And it is on account of this ideology which many say America is already irritrievably sold to, that she is today cited as the quintessential ‘Secularist State’ of a burgeoning soul-less Capitalist world that, in retrospect, Reagan ought to have directed his out boast at when he railed, back in his days as President of the United States, about “Communism’s attempt to make man stand alone without God”.
But then ironically, America, today, is also, planet earth’s only self-acclaimed, self-professed ‘God’s Own Country’; -a spiritual sobriquet that, for the purpose of this discourse, presupposes one of three transcendental scenarios namely: either that America alone belongs to God or that only in America does God- reside; or maybe simply that although His throne is in the Heavens above, nonetheless the Divine Origin of God is the United States of America.
Thus it would seem overtly gratuitous again to describe America as ‘non-secular’, -a country from which, God Himself, in all His omnipotent splendor, is deemed either divinely to have descended, or purportedly a nation he ‘exclusively owns’ or yet one in which, presumably, He receives His mails.
And to merit this heavenly anointing as to world’s only ‘God’s Own Country’, America must indeed be (in the sight of God) more canonically Vatican than The Vatican itself! Meaning therefore that even by the yardstick of her self-arrogated spiritual baptismal as ‘God’s Own Country’, it suffices to say that America has lost all claims to ‘secular’ inclination, since we have agreed, ab initio, that to be ‘secular’ is also to be ‘concerned with the profane’ in disregard of ‘the sacred’.
And evidently as we have seen, America has nothing but tremendous regard at least for the ‘sacred’ anointing Power of God in being provident to her beyond measure, and in bestowing on her the preeminent overlord-ship of the rest of the un-anointed world!