Written By Thomas Perez. October 3, 2011 at 9:31pm. Copyright 2011.
Definition: bigotry, discrimination or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion or factions of a political movement.
The Case For Sectarianism
The definition above is not a pleasant one, yet it is extremely accurate. Would you describe yourself as such? Or would you describe yourself as non-discriminative? Before we answer such questions, consider your beliefs and the ideologies they contain first. For example, within the world of Hinduism, we have Krishna. Within the world of Islam, we have Muhammad. Within the world of Judaism, we have Jehovah, and within the world of Christianity, Jesus is seen as the only way to God-Jehovah, because according to conceptual mainstream Christianity; He is God-Jehovah. This is sectarianism. This sectarian school of thought applies to almost all other religious ideologies as well. Depending upon one’s conceptual views, one must either accept sectarianism as authoritative or accept the new culture of Unitarian tolerance, or Deism if one is to believe in higher authority.
However, with the current trend of World Religious Ecumenism and the growing New Age Movement, sectarianism could be a dying breed. Many individuals find it fashionable, when speaking of the higher power, to utter the word ‘God’ instead of the name of an individual. Most would rather use expressions like “Thank God,” “Be blessed,” and “God bless you.” Not that’s there is anything wrong with such expressions of emotion, gratitude, or proclamations, but when it is constantly in favor of rejecting a personal belief, or name, due to the norm “political correctness” or popularity of society, then it can also, at the same time, become offensive to an individuals conscience when said individual favors a specific Saviour. You may ask, “Why would a person be offended? Isn’t God a general concept anyway? Let me put it this way, suppose if I said “Thank you Jesus,” or “May the Lord Jesus bless you,” or “Jesus loves you,” what would you think? Perhaps certain thoughts would flood your mind, thoughts of; “He’s weird,” “Jesus?” “Oh brother; not one of those.” “What a narrow-minded bigot.” Or “Yeah ok, dude whatever.” This growing concept in popular society is ever increasing. The connection between God and Jesus is no longer the norm within certain circles. One needs to only turn on the television, radio, log on Facebook, MySpace, or curl up with a novel and discover what is becoming the New Theism/Deism, it is what I call, the ‘God Trend.’
One such indication of this today is the fact that most people when declaring, a simple “Merry Christmas,” would rather declare “Happy Holidays” instead, least they offend the other by declaring the word most (though not all) people now consider in the secular world as “taboo.” The word I speak of in this case is the word “Christ,” since it is associated with the person called Jesus. I think, though not intentionally; it began by ‘X’-ing the word “Christ” out of Christmas in favor of “Merry X-Mass.” Though this viewpoint can become argumentative, due to its Roman heritage; since not all believe that the very letter ‘X’ means a crossing out of Christ in a manner of disrespect. In past times, it might have been meant to signify the sign of the ‘x’ cross, in favor of glorifying Christ. But this view, in all honesty, demands further study. Please visit…
Also please see…The-Two-Babylons-chapter-3-section-1, for further information concerning this matter located at this site.
However, the subtle implications are, nevertheless, present. Most Christians now are pressured not to utter the word Christ when bestowing good tidings of joy – instead, like the rest of popular society, they choose to follow suit and declare “Happy Holidays.” Many would claim in defense that Christmas is a pagan holiday anyway, and therefore one shouldn’t be concerned with trivial matters. While that may be the case, we must also recognize the need to uphold valued traditions. Would you tamper with a Dickens classic? Moreover, would Dickens tolerate a removal of certain paragraphs cited? Such as:
“Mortal, are you not moved? We spirits of Christmas do not dwell in men hearts once a year but the whole 365. So it is true of the Child born in Bethlehem, He does not dwell in men hearts only once a year, but in all the days. You have chosen not to seek Him in your heart.”
“How did Tiny Tim behave in Church today? Splendid! My little Tim told me, “It did him good to be seen by others in Church, so that it can be remembered upon Christmas day; who made lame beggar’s walk and blind men see.”
But a removal of sorts has taken place. The Apostle Paul cited such as much, when he declared to Timothy “That in the last days some shall depart from the faith giving heed to doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience sealed with a hot iron” (I Tim 4:1-2).
Another similar passage cites:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, un-thankful, unholy. Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more that lovers of God. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away” “Ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Tim 3:1-5, 7)
Any eschatological futurist would agree with the assessment above, while others, among them the ‘Preterist’ and the ‘Unitarianist,’ would disagree. Regardless of the way either schools of thought view this development, the current ‘God Trend’ is a fact. From the Media to the White House; this removal of sectarianism is becoming a reality. This collective thought has declared Jesus outdated, merely a sectarian thought, a concept; on occasions to be uttered during various Christmas holiday carols, a personal belief that should not be infringed upon another; after all that’s not what this country is all about.
President Obama, during his inaugural speech declared that “We are no longer a Christian nation.” If we are no longer a Christian nation, then what are we? Who do you follow? Do you follow Mohammed, Confucius, Zoroaster, Lao-Tze, Buddha, Ramakrishna, Krishna, or Jesus? Perhaps you follow yourself, so to speak, seeking the ‘God Trend’ that is in you like so many Unitarians today. Perhaps you are a realist, believing only what you can see. Can you read the writing on the wall? Perhaps, President Obama’s assessment of the current trend is correct. But while we ponder the words of our 44th President, let us consider one of our most precious liberties; freedom of religion.
One of the many principles that this country was founded upon was the principle of religious freedom, and that freedom is based upon a governing system of ethics and the traditional moral concepts from the Judeo-Christian religion. However, the very thought of our country being established upon Judeo-Christian principles is now considered an affront in some circles, in favor of non-recognition. Moreover, the Decalogue upon which we base our very laws upon is now offensive to some.
The following is taken from http://www.christiananswers.net/q-wall/wal-g009.html
The Ten Commandments delivered by God to man well over 3,000 years ago, have become the focus of controversy across America. It seems strange that the legal code which has served as the basis of civil law in the Western World for over 2,000 years should now be the center of legal battle. Previous generations never questioned the use of, display of, and reliance on the Ten Commandments; rather they heartily endorsed their use. For example:
“The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code…laws essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws.”
John Quincy Adams
“If ‘Thou shalt not covet,’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
In an even broader affirmation, several Founders of America declared that not just the Ten Commandments, but also Biblical principles in general were inseparable from law and society. For example:
“Law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God… Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine.…Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
“All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
Numerous others echoed similarly strong sentiments and significantly, so important have been the Ten Commandments to civil society that today an individual is more likely to find a copy of them hanging in a government building than in a church building.
The display of the Ten Commandments in public was first questioned in Stone v. Graham when the Supreme Court ruled that students could not be permitted – even voluntarily – to see a display of the Ten Commandments. Since that proverbial “crack in the dike,” activist legal groups, in a systematic series of cases, have successfully challenged and caused the removal of the Ten Commandments in public locations across the nation. Yet, although many of these cases have been lost, many have also been won.
Many are familiar with the plight of Judge Roy Moore in Alabama, who, despite a legal order, refused to remove the Ten Commandments from his courtroom. That widely publicized case reached a successful termination. The State Supreme Court, in a remarkable and admirable display of judicial restraint, refused to rule on anything other than those specific and narrow issues which had reached the Court. The Court then dismissed those issues as having no merit and vacated all proceedings against Judge Moore. The results is that Judge Moore is once again free to display the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and to permit ministers to pray over the jury pools. A similar suit against Judge John Devine of Texas was also dismissed.
Not only have cases been won on the legal front, but efforts to protect displays of the Ten Commandments have progressed on other fronts as well. For example, in the U.S. Congress, Rep. Cliff Sterns (FL) introduced H. Con. Res. 35, a very simple and succinct bill declaring:
“The Ten Commandments shall be prominently posted for display in the chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States.”
The Indiana legislature has passed a similar resolution declaring:
Whereas, the Ten Commandments are in declaration of fundamental principles that are the cornerstone of a fair and just society:
Therefore, Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, the Senate concurring:
Section 1. It is the sense of the General Assembly that the public display of the Ten Commandments, including display in government offices and courthouses, should be permitted.”
Also in Indiana, George Hall of the Christian Family Association of Indiana and Ohio successfully encouraged individual counties to pass a resolution to post the Ten Commandments in each county’s government office buildings. (For more information on this work, to help support their efforts, or to find out how you can do the same in your area, contact George Hall, P.O. Box 261, Auburn, IN 46706, 219-927-1364.)
End of citation
As you can see, there are many good things occurring across the nation, both at the federal and the State levels. Be encouraged. However, echoing the sentiments of one side would hardly be considered fair. According to ‘Opposing Views,’ atheists praised the removal of the Ten Commandments in public settings. One such removal took place in Haskell County, Oklahoma.
According to Opposing Views
American United for Separation of Church and State today praised a federal appeals court for striking down a government display of the Ten Commandments in Haskell County, Oklahoma.
Reversing a lower court, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declared unconstitutional the eight-foot-tall religious display, which was erected at the local courthouse in 2004 after a campaign by a local minister and his supporters.
“This decision should send a clear message to politicians and religious leaders: Thou shalt not mix church and state,” observed the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Our courthouses should focus on the Constitution and civil law, not religious law.”
Americans United, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Green v. Haskell County Board of Commissioners case, noted that the monument displays the Protestant version of the Commandments and that it contains the text of the Mayflower Compact on the other side.
The appeals court traced the history of the monument, noting that commissioners frequently invoked religious language in defending it. One commissioner said, “I’m a Christian, and I believe in this. I think it’s a benefit to the community.”
The appellate panel, composed of three George W. Bush appointees, ruled that most people would perceive the display of the monument and the battle to keep it up as religious efforts.
“We conclude, in the unique factual setting of a small community like Haskell County, that the reasonable observer would find that these facts tended to strongly reflect a government endorsement of religion,” wrote the court. “In particular, we find support for this conclusion in the public statements of the Haskell County commissioners.”
Lynn said the court made the right call.
“The display of religious documents like the Ten Commandments properly belongs to religious leaders, not government officials,” he said. “I hope county officials have learned an important lesson about launching ill-considered religious crusades.”
Lynn noted that Oklahoma legislators recently passed a law calling for a display of the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the state capitol. In light of this ruling, he said, lawmakers might want to reconsider the wisdom of that action.
Moreover, a similar situation transpired on an earlier occasion in 1962; the removal of public school prayer. Equally there are still debates concerning this. Since the Supreme Court banned nondenominational prayer recitation in public schools in 1962 with the Engel v. Vitale decision, people who feel that students should be able to pray in public school classes have waged battles in courts to change the law. Those who are opposed are equally committed to keeping prayer out of schools.
According to ‘googlebits.com,’ a site devoted to independent articles and advice; “the Supreme Court Never Outlawed Prayer in School. The Supreme Court’s decisions from 1962 to this day have never banned students from praying, reading the Old Testament, reading the New Testament, reading the Koran, or any reading information relating to any religion during students’ free time. The decisions have not banned classes that study religions, compare religions, or discuss religions in an objective, informative manner.” According to the Supreme Courts’ decisions, religious upbringing is the responsibility of parents and family, not the schools and the government. However, there is no citation or proof of this alleged tolerance in public schools. The only schools that are practicing the art of recitation are the private religious school systems. Moreover, the opposite of tolerance has transpired on many occasions.
Thus far from the two opposing views, we have learned that two systems of belief can often clash. In this case, the moral (Church/religion) and that of the ethical code (State). Yet, we know throughout history there has always been precepts, counsels, laws, moral laws and ethical codes that identifies a particular culture and society. According to Essential World History, “Historians have identified a number of basic characteristics that define a civilization, these include: urban, religious, political , military, social, economic, artistic, intellectual focus, and structure”.
When these structures are tampered with or are in danger of becoming extinct, the existing governmental party, or monarchy attempts to maintain its order, culture and identity. This self preservation and its ability to maintain ORDER is what historians and modern scholars call conservatism. But I must impose a basic fundamental question; how does a government maintain its identity, when the government itself chooses to undermine the very principles in which the country/culture was founded upon? This is a decay from within, similar to the decay that took place within the Roman Empire. However, such a statement warrant’s a culprit to point the finger at. The problem may lie within what is called a republican state. For we are a people governed by a republic and a singular ideology: ‘Democracy.’
Definition of Democracy:
The last known form of government. Democracy is a political form of government in which governing power is derived from the people, by consensus (consensus democracy), by direct referendum (direct democracy), or by means of elected representatives of the people (representative democracy).
However, can society be truly free and governed at the same time from the state level without breaking the boundaries between Religion and State? Something’s got to crack and give.
Today we live in a society that has the freedom to choose life or abort it. In some states, we now have the freedom to choose or marry a person of the same sex. We have the freedom to do anything we want, as long as it is within the guidelines of state law. While this is happening, our society has begun to chip away at the very core and heart of our heritage, a sort of CULTURAL REVOLUTION. A cultural revolution in reference to a tolerance toward Theism/Deism, or the ‘God Trend,’ while at the same time a lack of a cultural religious identity, due to our own thoughts and perceived notations, become more and more eroded away by what we can see and observe. Is this cultural revolutional division a path to Ecumenism? Is this the path to a One World Religion? Perhaps. Do all roads do lead to Rome?
It is highly probable that (and this author believes it will happen eventually) all religious diversities will come under a theistic world religion, or again, as I call it ‘The God Trend.’ Whether this ‘God Trend’ is seen as the Great Spirit, the Light, Divine Energy, or an Entity, this is the road or path that seems to be forming. It is becoming more fashionable to view God as wanting to reconcile ALL men regardless of what they believe in. Christian Universalists, although not all, often fall into this group when they compromise exclusiveness (as in Jesus) in favor of inclusiveness (as in all form of doctrines & beliefs). My first thought would be to admonish my fellow Universalist believers and brothers in Christ to be careful when reading such schools of thought that indicate this type of rhetoric. It is a spirit of cunning deception in the name of Unity and Unitarianism. Question an individuals core belief system, it may be the only way to find out what’s lurks behind the veil; truth or deception. But with that said, am I not binding a person’s personal conscience with that of a perception – a perception of warning – as if to say; “If you don’t believe A, B, & C…you will suffer the consequences.
It is my opinion that individual names, concepts, and the path in which they lie upon (individuality) would be a thing of the past, in favor of this Unitarian concept of the ‘God Trend.’ While God is not a respecter of persons in reference to religious view points, God, in my opinion, certainly has a view point concerning His plan of soteriology, and that is Himself manifested in Christ Jesus as the only means of ultimate reconciliation. This is confirmed in the Epistles of John. Moreover, when we read the recorded epistles of John we are given a prerequisite to salvation. But then again, I’ve just declared a concept of exclusiveness.
In the 1st Epistle of John, we are told in chapter 4:1-3 “every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ (Messiah) is come in the flesh is not of God, and this is that spirit of Antichrist” vs. 3. John not only suggests to the reader that the person of Jesus is the promised Messiah, but that in so doing; has declared a warning of anathema to those that believe not in the deity of Christ. By doing so the Apostle John was keeping his allegiance with the faith that was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). It seemed imperative to John to uphold the divinity of Jesus and to maintain his own confession of faith as declared by the Apostle Peter some years earlier when he declared Jesus to be the Christ. John continued this doctrinal teaching until the time of his death (90-100 AD). The constituent works of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Peter, Jude, and Paul as testified in their books all proclaim Jesus as divine Deity incarnate in bodily physical form as well – (Rom 10:9, Col 1:19, 2:9, I Tim 3:16). Moreover, Jesus is seen as the only way to God, due to the fact that He is God (Isa 7:14, 9:6, Matt 1:23, John 1:1-14, 14:6, Acts 4:12, I Tim 2:15). However, this again is a concept based upon sectarianism.
Yet, when viewed upon and compared to other belief systems, it would appear to be the highest virtue of truth. Many faiths contain a belief in dying and rising gods, however, when one examines the dates of such recorded similarities they would find that all of them are post Apostolic. For further information on this please see my study; ‘Is Christianity Borrowed From Pagan Myths?’
The ever growing popularity of the ‘God Trend’ does not see this or recognize this doctrine as God’s universal plan for salvation, but one of Sectarianism, that in their view, will be done away with; in favor of societies new ethical moral code of conduct and belief leading to the “spirit in the sky,” ever upward. Perhaps another tower of Babel leading upward into all righteousness and thus establishing a new ideology? There is a saying, “theology matters.” As we can see in this case; it certainly does. Yet, we must ponder to ask ourselves the question, “Does the case for sectarianism pertaining to the Apostolic writings of John warrants bigoted accusations?” Does it warrant the overthrow of such unity at the expense of the truth? For without sectarianism / bigotry, there can be no ideology, theology or nationalism. Thus one can lose their identity due to such eradication’s, through the ever growing popular ‘God Trend’ – first conceptualized in the 18th century (1700’s) under Deism.
Within the ‘God Trend’ theology/ideology, one can not truly identify this country as a Christian nation or even as an atheistic nation anymore. One can only maintain that our country contains many religions, and that includes atheism. Moreover, on the other side of this two sided coin of cultural revolution, our society has become indulgent and immoral, while professing a form of godliness. The liberty bell of freedom is ringing its tarnished bell, as world politics adapts political corrective narratives in the name of democracy, thus becoming more democratic without the spiritual ramifications of such freedoms exercised. Perhaps their liberty bell of freedom would have a crack in it too, as their society becomes tarnished and free to choose anything they want on their own as a free people. Nevertheless, many countries maintain their nationalistic identity, apart from the West through what is called, ‘nationalism.’
Nationalism is the attempt to preserve a culture and society based upon an action called conservatism. It is the attempt to maintain a countries heritage, religion, and ethical laws. Two such attempts have been successful in maintaining cultural identity, that of Russia and Japan.
The action to preserve conservatism through nationalism in Russia and Japan was spear headed by three individuals by the names of; Nilolai Danielevsky (1822-85), Constantine Pobedonostsev (1827-1907), and Yamagata Arimoto (1838-1922) respectively.
In his book, ‘Russian Political Thought,’ Danielevsky believed that the Slavic people had the “potential to develop all the main fields of cultural civilization which included: religious, cultural, political, social and economic potentialities to the fullest” (86). He further believed that a revival away from Western influence, with a political and theoretical aspect, can be justified in his cause for Russian conservatism. This view was widely shared among the people of Russia, even those who opposed the existing Czarist regime.
Moreover, according to ‘World History In Documents,’ Danielevsky saw the West as a parasite, “eating its way into the Slav body and soul”. Furthermore, “Russia is not a part of Europe. Russia is the only independent Slavic country” Observed Stern (86). Another leading Russian nationalist was statesman and jurist, Constantine Pobedonostsev.
Pobedonostsev held the that “democracy was the most burdensome system of government.” He was cited in the English edition of Moscow Collection (Reflections of a Russian Statesman, 1898), as saying that “it was the duty of the state to act and ordain its government by a single will” (340).
Pobedonostsev’s beliefs in this single will of government by the state and ecclesiastical authorities were in contrast to the democratic system of his Western counterparts. Government by the people and for the people he maintained was subject to various interpretations by its people. Such interpretations were, as he saw it, in the form of liberals, democrats and socialists, each having a form of unrestricted freedom, which can lead to greed, corruption and moral decay. Pobedonostsev’s solution to all liberalistic, democratic and socialist tendencies was to stamp it out immediately, before it had a chance to grow and infect the moral foundation of state authority.
In regards to Yamagata Arimoto, (a field marshal and ex-samurai – eventual creator and leader of the imperial army) held the belief that local government created by men who lack self-respect and self-restraint cannot be free in its true sense. He maintained that a constitution of democracy, without having the state as the final authority in all matters, will ultimately fail in its effort, due to diverse opinions and positional political beliefs.
This is the case for Nationalism, Conservatism, Cultural Individuality, and Sectarianism.
For further examination on the various topics concerning social-political anthropology, I have provided a list…
The following is taken from wikipedia.org
Anarchy Aristocracy Communist state Confederation Corporatism Corporatocracy Consociationalism Demarchy Democracy
Ethnic democracy Ethnocracy Exilarchy Fascism Federation Feudalism Futarchy Gerontocracy Kleptocracy Kratocracy Kritocracy/Kritarchy Logocracy Magocracy Meritocracy
Minarchism/Night Watchman Monarchy
Noocracy Ochlocracy/Mobocracy Oligarchy Panarchism Parliamentary Plutocracy Presidential Puppet state Republic
Dependent head of state
Socialist state Sociocracy Supranational union Technocracy
Earlier we asked the question, “Is Ecumenism the pathway to what is being popularized among many circles as the ‘God Trend’ leading to a One World Religion/One World Government? To answer such a question one needs to understand, at least to a certain degree, the study of Anthropology.
To Be Continued in Part 2
The Paradigm Shifting of the Social Science’s.