Society & Politics

Secularization Is Best Thing That Ever Happened to Religion

Douglas Todd

For many Christians the statement Douglas Todd puts forward is challenging: “secularization is best thing that ever happened to religion.” Central to Todd’s statement is his resolution around the swirling definitions of what secularization is and how that definition affects people of faith. While the classical definition of “secular” is more along the lines of “a doing away with all things sacred,” there is a growing body of thinkers who view secularization as merely the removal of state-sanctioned religion. And so, at the heart of Todd’s statement is the idea that a religion will best flourish in an environment where it is not allied to the ruling political body.

As members of Western societies in which a particular faith once ruled supreme, secularization is a challenging proposition. On one hand, we want to hold onto the idea that there are things that are sacred and that there is more to life than the apparent material world. However, we must also acknowledge the changing shape of our Western societies which, despite their historical roots, are no longer predominantly Christian. As such, a statement like Todd’s challenges us to recognize the nature of the society in which we find ourselves, and to work towards appropriate political and societal structures. For Todd, these are structures which allow a level playing field on which religious beliefs can be laid out, and ones in which truth can rise to the fore. As such, believing in the veracity of their faith, Christians should not have anything to fear from the type of secularization Todd describes.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

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