Gerry used to be an adherent of the Baha’i faith. He later renounced that religion and now claims to have “no religion.” Like most people in our culture today, Gerry takes a dim view of organized religion in general. He claims to be open-minded and strictly rational in forming his opinions. However, when we recently debated the nature of homosexual behaviour, I could tell that he didn’t know too much about the topic. I challenged him to do some easy internet research; he adamantly refused to do so. That’s how open-minded he is!
Gerry is now a vegan. He refuses to eat or drink any products derived from animals, birds or fish. “How about the rights of vegetable life?” I’m tempted to ask him. Veganism is a type of religion, whether Gerry realizes it or not.
Gerry’s “religion,” at its root level, has largely become the norm in developed nations, especially for people under 40 years old. It is a strange mixture of environmentalism, egalitarianism, feminism, socialism, pluralism, moral relativism, agnosticism and hedonism. Within this broad spectrum, it allows for a wide variety of opinions and lifestyles (few people are vegans, for instance); nevertheless, it forms the ideological basis of today’s culture. I’m not sure what to call this modern “religion.” For the sake of argument, I’ll call it liberalism. Its high priests include cultural icons such as Oprah Winfrey, Madonna and Lady Gaga.
One of liberalism’s most notable characteristics is that it champions pseudo-values. For instance, it emphasizes “tolerance.” However, whether or not tolerance is a positive value, depends upon what is being tolerated. I don’t believe that tolerance is a positive value in and of itself.
Another characteristic of modern liberalism is that it is full of contradictions and hypocrisies. While pretending to be completely anti-dogmatic, liberalism adheres to fixed dogmas such as “everyone has the right to believe what one chooses.” It then hypocritically attacks those on the religious right for holding “extremist” viewpoints.
Probably its worst and most dangerous characteristic is that its adherents are usually, to a significant degree, unconscious of being its adherents. For example, I don’t personally know one woman who claims to be a feminist, yet nearly every woman I know believes in the basic teachings of feminism. Even the vast majority of those in our culture who call themselves “conservative” actually agree with basic liberal principals such as the separation of Church and state (secularism), lenient divorce laws, and sexual permissiveness.
Again, one of the most salient characteristics of liberalism is its extreme hypocrisy. On the one hand, the apostles of liberalism tell the masses, “Liberty of thought is the highest good, let no religion or state dictate to you.” On the other hand, they bombard the masses with thinly disguised propaganda through the media and education systems that indoctrinates the majority.
If you think you have “no religion” or that you are not indoctrinated with the prevailing ideology, think again! Compare what you believe to traditional Catholicism. If you disagree with most of what the Church teaches, ask yourself what is it that you believe and where did those beliefs come from. If people like Lady Gaga, Madonna or Oprah Winfrey would applaud most of what you believe then you essentially share their “religion.”