It is often said that we “live in a secular society”. What does that precisely mean? It means different things for different individuals. I would like to quote from various things on secularism and debate whether those things should be the case.
Some maintain that its tenet is that there is a separation of Church and state. We have no Church of England. In that way, I don’t find it inconsistent with what the Bible teaches. That doesn’t mean our legal system shouldn’t be formulated in the light of Christian principles. Even Theonomist Dr. Greg Bahnsen maintained this distinction, but it hardly seems like he has much agreement with the democratic socialist of our time.
This is merely one but mainly uncontroversial ways to understand this notion. I wish to now state what I find to be most often the actual case. The idea that religious principles are not to govern our political laws. This I find to be the true intentions of those that promote this idea. That somewhere we have some neutral place to derive the principles to govern a society.
The obvious reason that this isn’t possible is the fact that neutrality in any matter of ethics, epistemology, etc is impossible. We all will try to direct society from our own ethical standards. Politicians are no different and our laws sadly reflect this mixed agenda.
Secondly, it leads to irreconcilable differences. Someone will have the final word and others will not stand for it. The best example of this is the abortion debate. The notions that infants in the womb have no moral worth fits well with the materialist/feminist views enshrined by pro-choice philosophy, but a Christian, Catholic, Muslim, and Jews all reject this position. How can a nation stand without knowing what a person is and who possesses rights? How can a nation stand if half it’s populace supports genocide and the other half views it as a right? Last time this question was more debated was the civil war.