Religion may not be based on truth but at least it kept people together. Now look at us. An empty, vapid, consumerist society obsessed with Facebook and the X Factor. The family's gone, our national identity has gone. We believe in nothing, we worship the false god rationality; we stumble around in our mindless hedonistic lives like characters in a Douglas Coupland novel, desperately searching for something to fill the void.
This sort of bullshit would have been laughed out of town in the liberal-left circles of the 1960s: now it's taken for wisdom, even radicalism.
Max's post is a welcome riposte to articles like this one by James Hanvey in a recent issue of The Tablet. Leaving to one side the article's annoying confusion of 'secular' and 'secularist' (the latter means a belief in the separation of church and state, so it's a nonsense to talk about a 'secularist' Christmas), the piece is full of the usual unexamined cliches about secularists who want a society free of religion, and about the intolerant 'high priests of secular modernity'. As I read Hanvey's piece, I began to wonder at what point in the recent past 'secularism' replaced sin and evil as the primary enemy of religious folk? As I've written many times on this blog, there was a brighter time, back in the 60s and 70s, post Vatican 2, when thoughtful Christians saw secular humanists as allies in the fight against the common enemies of poverty and injustice. These days, more and more people of faith seemed to be infected by a dangerously anti-modern pessimism, and more concerned with saving 'religion' from those nasty secularists than with looking for the good in contemporary society.