Christians have agendas that they think will "save the world". Scientific materialists also have agendas that will "save the planet". Both think that their way of understanding humanity, the world and what is "right" is the most important and valuable, otherwise, "the world will go to hell in a handbasket". These are radicals that tend to think they must convert everyone in sight to their way of thinking.
While Christians have traditionally understood their truth as supernaturally revealed, the scientists know that thier truth is based on the facts of 'realtiy". Both suggest that the transcendent or the immanant is where truth is "real", bringing us to the culture wars of today in America.
America was founded because of the disrespect of the British government in demanding a tax on those who were revolting against the Church of England. These had sought a country where they could worship God freely without 'state regulations' that they found repugnant because of the King's divorce and dissassociation from Catholicism.
Others had sought out the country for the adventure of developing a distant land and making it their own. Their was a more material goal.
The Founders had a "whale" of a problem in forming a "more perfect union" without alerting the overly scrupulous in inhibiting the way they wanted to worship God, while allowing free enterprise to become a reality in the "new world". Very different goals and purposes formed our union.
Today, Americans fight over which was "right". Which truth in history formed the Founders thoughts in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Both did.
We are a nation that is formed by man's desire to flourish in developing the land and material goods that this country provided. The Dutch made use of New York and called it "New Amsterdam". There is absolutely nothing wrong with economic prosperity, it is our country's heritage. And the free market has benefitted our society with prosperity beyond measure.
The Christian "ideal" is a "morally grounded" govenment, which they found in the Constitution that defended their right of free expression or worship. Today, though, it has gotten into areas that have not been defined by science, so much as the right to liberty. Liberty threatens the religiously conscientious, as they fear dishonoring God, or offending the Holy Spirit. These tend to want to defend "God's honor" by legislating their conscience. This was never the Founder's intent, I believe.
The First Ammendment was formed to protect religious institutions from interference of government. America did not want to form another 'state church". The provision in our Constitution of the Separation of Church and State was to formalize this conviction. But, where the early believers in America found solace in this freedom which was their ultimate value, today's church has gotten wind of the 'free enterprise' adventure to form corporations. The mixture of these values (religious freedom and the free enterprise) must still be affirmed under liberty of conscience.
Our country must defend the rights of a liberal democracy and uphold the standards of a Representative Republic, so that both the educated, uneducated, the religious and irreligious can be unified in a diverse climate, which the Founders "saw" and formed under the "rule of law".
Arvo Pärt at St. Vladimir’s Seminary
3 hours ago