Available for purchase at www.Ignatius.com:
by Benjamin Wiker
Many Christians feel that they are being opposed at every turn by a well-orchestrated political and cultural campaign to de-Christianize every aspect of Western culture. They are right, and it goes even further back than the Obama Administration. Benjamin Wiker argues that it is liberals who seek to establish an official state religion: one of unbelief. He reveals that it was never the intention of the Founders to drive religion out of the public square with the First Amendment, but secular liberals have deliberately misinterpreted the establishment clause to serve their own ends: the de-Christianization of Western civilization.
The liberal strategy is two-pronged: drive religion out of the public square, and then, in religion's place, erect the Church of the State to fill the human need for a higher power to look up to. But what was done can be undone. Outlining a simple, step-by-step strategy for disestablishing the state church of secularism, Wiker shows the full historical sweep of the war to those on the Christian side of the cultural battle--and as a consequence of this far more complete vantage, how to win it.
Praise for Worshipping the State:
"Wiker's book is the most forthright and unblinking analysis yet of the ubiquitous assault on religion in American society. Every believer in religious liberty should read it."
- James Hitchcock, author, History of the Catholic Church
From a June 17, 2013, Catholic World Report interview with Wiker about his book:
CWR: Isn’t the title of your book hyperbolic and simply meant to stir up interest? Can it really be argued that anyone, at least in the United States, really worships the state? Whatever do you mean by that?
Wiker: Well, it’s certainly meant to stir up interest! Do people in the US, especially from the Left, physically get down and bow before, say, the steps of the Supreme Court? No! But do they treat the state as a kind of substitute for God? Yes, very much so. Is there precedent in the history of liberalism for an actual worshipping of the state? Again, yes.
We first have to stand back and look at our current situation within a larger historical framework. Over the last two hundred years, self-consciously secular states have, quite literally, transferred worship from God to humanity itself, or more precisely, to the greatest concentration of human power, the state.
The French Revolution’s Religion of Reason was actually a worship of man himself, and the secular revolutionary state made up its own religion, so that the revolution itself and the revolutionary state became the object of actual religious devotion.
This same kind of movement—rejecting Christianity, only to idolize the secular state—occurred with various other political movements in the 19th and early 20th centuries: nationalism, communism, Fascism, and Nazism are the most obvious examples. For good reason, scholars have called these “political religions.”
Socialism was one more political religion, which quite literally understood itself as transferring the worship from God to humanity itself, or more exactly, to the socialist state that promised to give citizens in this life what Christianity had promised only in the next—a this-worldly utopia. Socialism was, therefore, essentially religious in its original conception, and it became the historical foundation of liberal progressivism in the United States.
So, yes, we are talking about actual worship of the state! But we can also see, even aside from this historical background, that the liberal state has taken upon itself the role of God, even while it busily evicts Christianity from the public square.
Let me offer one important example, President Obama’s HHS mandate, compelling all institutions, including Catholic institutions, to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization. That’s the liberal state saying, “Thou shalt participate in the liberal sexual revolution.” That’s the state defining good and evil.
The same thing is occurring with the Left’s use of the courts to impose the acceptance of gay marriage, or the state, with abortion and euthanasia, taking upon itself the authority to define what marriage is, what life is, and when death should be dealt.