Column: The Contemporary Pantheon

By Nathanael Check

I do not believe there is anything quite as ironic as the so-called secular society. The reason I say this is because a secular society is fundamentally similar to a religious society.  

Indeed, both must adhere to a law that prescribes beliefs and actions and prescribes others. In both societies, this law comes from something or someone higher than those bound by it.  

For the religious society, the origin of the law is the divine, but because secular society has rejected the divine, (insofar as it concerns all that is external to the jurisdiction of personal belief), it has had to replace the origin of this law.  

Presently, a contemporary pantheon hands down the law of secular society. The gods of this pantheon are familiar to modern man—even if he does not know it is them that he is experiencing!  

The pantheon is vast, but the worst are intellectualism, hedonism, mammonism, individualism and convenience. The gods are freely elected by the ill whims of modern man, though he is subservient to them as in the religious society.  

Man worships these gods, too, and seeks to imitate them in his daily life, just like in the religious society.  

Unlike the religious society, however, modern man is not merely subservient to the pantheon, he is enslaved. Further, he is not struck with wonder for things outside himself that are reflections of the divine: things such as thunderstorms. 

Rather, he is anesthetized by his pursuit of the pantheon—the reflection of himself. In spite of the nature of these objects of modern worship, they are nonetheless objects of worship. In seeking to eliminate the need for a common religion, secular society has subscribed to a common religion.  

This new religion cannot boast originality. Where modern man detests the truth, he perverts it. Where modern man has found he cannot live without the truth contained within a religion, particularly Christianity, he has—rather sloppily—attempted to divorce those truths from their origin and claim them as his own. 

It seems to me that the supreme irony of secular society is that it does not exist.  

It is yet another religious society, unwarily keen on destroying its own kind. Perhaps someday it will recognize itself, then attempt to start anew; create a “true” secular society. Or rather, it may always be ignorant of its own nature, confining the concepts of worship and religion to the extra-natural.  

Regardless, the so-called secular society is not so opposed to the religious society as its insistence upon the separation of church and state make it seem. Rather, the secular society is a religious society that is too afraid to worship anything but itself.