'Militant secularists are after our kids' says US law professor

'Militant secularists are after our kids' says US law professor October 29, 2017

Conservative Catholic thinker and Princeton University law professor Robert George claimed in Washington on October 24 that, as societies throughout the world become increasingly secularised, some militant secularists will be not content with simply allowing people of faith to worship in their own homes and temples.
According to this report, George, who had previously served as the chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, asserted that as societies throughout the world become increasingly secularised, some “militant, evangelising, missionising” secularists will not be content with simply allowing people of faith to worship in their own homes and temples, and he warned:

They want your kids.

George was speaking at a panel discussion on “faith and the challenges of secularism” at Baylor University. Co-panelists were British Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and the President of  Zaytuna Muslim College Shaykh Hamza Yusuf.
One threat posed by secularists to people of faith, George said, related to way children are perceived, especially in regard to infant circumcision, which he wholeheartedly supports.

The [secular] intactivists looked at the baby and saw what political philosopher Michael Sandel calls an unencumbered self – a future chooser, a blank slate, tabula rasa, who needs certain care and preparation to become what he eventually will be, to make choices for himself.
From their point of view, let the child grow up and when the boy is 18, he can decide whether to be circumcised or not. I would imagine that there wouldn’t be a lot of circumcision at 18.

He added:

How do religious people look at the baby? A very different way. The Jewish family looks at that baby and doesn’t see a tabula rasa or an unencumbered self, it sees a Jewish baby, a Jewish infant. The baby is seen a member of this community as it was already encumbered by a family and tradition and community. As a member of that community, this child must be and needs to be circumcised in keeping with the ancient convent of the Jewish people who goes through Abraham.

These two fundamentally different worldviews “will have a lot of trouble living side by side,” he warned.

I think that the traditions of faith and [their] people have essentially three options. One is to capitulate. One is to separate ourselves in the hope that we will be left to our own families and to our own traditions. The third, engagement. That is, active engagement. I think it has to be the third.
It’s clear that militant, evangelising, missionising secularism has no intention of leaving Jews, Muslims and Christians alone to retreat to the monasteries, to get through the dark ages, raise our own families, pass our own traditions. They want your kids.

Surprisingly, Yusuf, above, who is also an adviser to the Center for Islamic Studies at Berkeley’s Graduate Theological Union, had the courage to point out that religion is often the victim of the “stupidity” of adherents.

I think there are a lot of challenges that secularism brings but I think the greatest challenges that religion faces is the stupidity of some religious people.

Yusuf said that the bad behaviour of those who claim to be worshippers give secularists more fuel to their arguments, whether they be Islamic extremists who commit terrorist attacks or a conservative Christian who films himself burning Korans.

One of the problems with religion is that when people study religion they tend to study the history of religion and they don’t study the religion themselves. A lot of people know about the Crusades but they don’t know about St Thomas Aquinas …
When they think of Islam now, they think of ISIS. Religion is the victim of a lot of really poorly practiced religion. I think the secularists, this is what they latch onto when they attack religion.

Lord Sacks, above, playing the “persecution” card, warned that religious belief and church membership among people in the UK has hit such lows that it shows that the UK is now:

In the pre-Christian ages. It is not going forward bravely to the future. It is marching heedlessly to the past. This is troubling.

Sacks pointed out a recent example of how extreme secularist thinking can hinder the religious freedom rights of civilians.
Earlier this month, it was reported that a student union at Oxford University barred a Christian group from setting up a stall at a campus event on the grounds that the group’s religious beliefs were “an excuse for homophobia and neo-colonialism”.  The decision to ban the Christian group was later reversed. Said Sacks:

This is so outrageous. It was only three years ago when I gave testimony to the House of Commons on religious liberty and I said the degree to which Christianity is being banned from public spaces ought to remind us that America began when people set sail in 1620 on the Mayflower so that they could find somewhere else the religious freedom they were being denied in England and elsewhere.
I said, ‘If you carry on the way you are going, we will need to book our passage on the next Mayflower.’

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  • Broga

    Some good news from Lord Sachs about Christianity which is:
    ” In the pre-Christian ages. It is not going forward bravely to the future. It is marching heedlessly to the past. This is troubling.”
    Most encouraging.

  • tonye

    Correction: I think George will find that the RCC clergy want their kids.

  • Laura Roberts

    Call me pedantic, but “Conservative Catholic” and “thinker” really don’t belong in the same sentence.

  • Laura Roberts

    Lord Sachs doesn’t appear to know much about language or history, does he? If the UK used to be Christian but is now secular, it is “post-Christian”, not “pre-Christian”. But given the considerable buggering taking place in both Catholic and C. of E. parishes over the last few centuries, I suppose he can be forgiven confusing his forward and backward perceptions.

  • Stuart H.

    It would be closer to the truth to say that in the post-Christian ages, it is reactionaries like Sacks who are not going forward bravely to the future, but marching heedlessly to the past.
    For me, this is only troubling as long as they get in the way of everyone else trying to lead a decent, woo-woo-free life.
    Anti-Semitism, islamophobia, burning churches? Name one part of the world with truly secular values where they’re prevalent, because they’re all caused by religionists who can’t accept that other religions have a right to exist.

  • Club Secretary

    @ Laura Roberts says:
    Sun 29 Oct 2017 at 3:37 pm
    Call me pedantic, but “Conservative Catholic” and “thinker” really don’t belong in the same sentence.
    I think the writer of the original article must have been using auto correct, he of course meant to type “tosser”.

  • Cali Ron

    “It’s clear that militant, evangelising, missionising secularism has no intention of leaving Jews, Muslims and Christians alone…” I find it telling that he used religious terminology to describe our offenses. So militant evangilising and missionising is good when done in support of my beliefs, but wicked when done for any other beliefs. Clearly, christians have mastered the art of hypocrisy, now maybe they can start working on un-mastering the art of pedophilia.
    Laura Roberts: Spot on. Ironic that Lord Sachs (and he must have a big pair in that sach to make such specious claims) thinks that going back to the religious ways of the past is somehow moving forward and vic-a-versa. Is Lord McFly Sachs writing the latest sequel to Back to the Future, ‘Back to the Future IV’, because he seems to believe that in order to go forward you must move back.

  • L.Long

    “… they don’t study the religion…” The problem is that when you study the religion you realize how immensely stoopid it really is!!! When you “…study the history of religion…” you realize how immensely evil it is!!! And how immensely evil people use it to further evil agenda!

  • Broga

    L.Long : The bible, read carefully and objectively, is a sure route to atheism.

  • AgentCormac

    Is it just me, or does Robert George have more than a passing resemblance to this other rabid catholic idiot?

  • Brian Jordan

    Pot, kettle, black.

  • RussellW

    There’s another interpretation of the Mayflower voyage.
    The religiots who left England to go to America weren’t escaping persecution, they wanted to create their own little oppressive theocracy. They succeeded.
    Rabbi, book your passage on the “Mayflower”, there’s plenty of room in Siberia.

  • Broga

    AgentCormac : Well spotted. Something must be done. One is bad but two? – the planet cannot bear this level of stupidity.

  • 1859

    ‘…they want your kids.’ Right! As an atheist I DO want their kids! I want to free them from believing in religious fairy-tale bullshit. I want to free them from pedophile priests. I want to free them from becoming suicide bombers in the name of their god. I want to free them from the hatred they will show towards LGBT people. I want to free them from thinking sex is something dirty and disgusting. I want to free them from intolerance in all its forms.
    But notice the insidious suggestion behind the phrase ‘…they want your kids’. It suggests that secularists want to ‘entrap’, ‘coerce’, intellectually ‘kidnap’ maybe even ‘brainwash’ their children – everything organised religion has been doing for the past thousand years and more!
    At the weekend I watched a documentary called ‘Among the Believers’ (about the Red Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan)- totally shocking. I won’t describe the entire film, except to say if anyone wants hard-core evidence of the sadistic and totally corrosive manipulation of children’s minds and its tragic consequences, they should watch this film. Then they might understand who are the real thieves of children and why secularists do not ‘want’ their children but to rescue them.

  • Michael Glass

    Why the emphasis on circumcision? I believe that we need several important legal changes to protect the public from rogue and incompetent circumcisers.
    Here are some reforms that anyone, even those who think circumcision is a good idea, should be able to live with:
    * No unqualified person should circumcise anyone. Those who perform circumcisions without proper qualifications should be prosecuted for assault and reckless endangerment.
    * Records should be kept of all circumcisers. If the operation results in any adverse outcomes, the circumciser should pay for any remedial treatment that might be necessary.
    * Incompetent circumcisers should pay damages and then be banned from circumcising anyone else.
    * Dangerous traditional practices such as oral suction of the circumcision wound (metzitzah b’peh), should be firmly discouraged by public education and a ban should be considered.
    * No one should be circumcised unless there is a written medical report by an independent physician that the person to be circumcised is strong enough to withstand the surgery and is free of any conditions (e.g., bleeding disorders) that make the procedure more dangerous.
    * No child should be circumcised without the written permission of both the mother and the father.
    * No older child or adult should be circumcised without their informed consent in writing.
    * Any forced circumcision of an older child or adult should be treated as a sexual assault and the perpetrator should be branded as a sexual offender.
    These proposed changes won’t stop most religious or medical circumcisions but they will raise safety standards by strict oversight of the practice.

  • Dionigi

    The prechristian ages were not secular they were filled with the same kind of superstitious claptrap that christianity brought . The people who left on the Mayflower were not fleeing from persecution they were fleeing from people who did not believe as they did and wished to start up in an area where they could run things with there own rules and not have different ideas competing with them. Rather like all cults.

  • barriejohn

    The so-called Pilgrims were Separatists (much like the Exclusive Brethren and JWs) who found it impossible to co-exist (let alone compromise!) with those who interpreted the Bible differently to themselves. They wanted to preserve their own identity, which they felt would be impossible if they remained in the Netherlands. Much of what we were taught at school was bollocks. We were confidently assured in Primary School, for instance, that Christopher Columbus set sail to prove to the people of the time that if you sailed west you wouldn’t fall off the edge of the World! Anyway, despite the use of weasel words like “tradition” and “community”, it’s good of the folk above to lay their cards on the table. “They want your kids”: their children belong to them, and will practise the faith of their parents whether they like it or not, including suffering circumcision and other such barbaric rites. Heaven forbid that they should be given the right to think for themselves, or they might not go along with all this! It’s frightening that educated people can still think this way in the 21st Century.

  • fester60613

    I find this “professor’s” theory less than realistic. In my experience, “kids” – meaning college and high school students of my acquaintance – are turned off by the naked hypocrisy they see emanating from representatives of established religion. Among these are money-grabbing evangelicals, hate-mongering Baptists (especially that hateful “God hates fags” church and the many anti-human stances of the Southern Baptist Convention), and the Vatican’s continuing coddling of rapist priests.
    Believe me: Kids are leaving religion because they ***clearly*** see that religion’s actions have little to do with religion’s words.
    Organized religion is now its own worst enemy.

  • 1859

    Here’s a link to the trailer for ‘Among the Believers’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSklZY_VCIM
    (I don’t know how to make these link addresses ‘live’?)

  • 1859

    Oh it seems to have gone ‘live’ all by itself! The wonders of the internet! There appear to be longer excerpts of the film on YT.

  • barriejohn

    @1859: They are truly frightening. I notice that despite the protection of Allah, and the fact that they are promoting his “cause”, they still need an armed guard when walking the streets!
    @fester60613: It seemed to me that they were talking about young children, not college students.

  • H3r3tic

    Should anyone wish to torrent and view the full documentary “Among the Believers” itcan be found here: – https://thepiratebay.unblocked.lol/torrent/18678090/Among_The_Believers_WEBRip_x264_AC3_

  • andym

    I wonder how much of this was intended for widespread public consumption when delivered. They come across as a bunch of sad and bitter losers, aware that their power to brainwash from birth is being eroded, and only capable of accusing their opponents, falsely , of using the same tactics they’ve used for millennia.
    Let’s hope the post-Christian era comes about a little less violently then the one that ushered it in;

  • Stonyground

    ” secularists will not be content with simply allowing people of faith to worship in their own homes and temples,”
    Actually, that is precisely what secularists will be content with. All secularists are asking is that you mind your own business and leave us, and our children, in peace to mind ours. Why is this so difficult for these people to understand?

  • Vanity Unfair

    To Michael Glass:
    My prescription is simpler.
    No circumcision unless a qualified medical doctor gives a written diagnosis that the foreskin poses a current medical health risk to the child and that surgery in a properly managed hospital by a properly qualified surgeon is the only certain cure.
    I’d also like to see tribal and religious cicatrices controlled.

  • Vanity Unfair

    I tried to edit to add:
    Adults can look after themselves.
    but was refused entry.