And unsurprisingly found at the Worldnutdaily, which seems to specialize in this sort of counter-factual whining. This time it’s Greg Laurie with a column entitled The ugly results of banning God from the culture. The first and most obvious question: what culture could he possibly be talking about? It surely can’t be the United States of America. Banning God? In no developed nation is god belief and god talk so large a portion of the public discourse, not by a long shot.
There are tens of thousands of churches in this country, probably hundreds of thousands. There are thousands of Christian magazines and newspapers, hundreds of Christian radio and television stations, millions of Christian webpages. It is virtually impossible to be elected to public office without professing a belief in God; in a legislature of 535 people, exactly one admits to being an atheist – and he’s the first one that we know of in our entire history. Where in the world has god been banned from this culture?
Laurie offers this quote, for some bizarre reason:
Years ago, G. K. Chesterton made this observation about our culture: “You are free in our time to say that God does not exist; you are free to say that He exists and is evil. … You may talk of God as a metaphor or mystification … and it is not merely that nobody punishes, but nobody protests. But if you speak of God as a fact, … as a reason for changing one’s conduct, then the modern world will stop you somehow if it can.”
Really? Chesterton was one of the most prolific authors of the 20th century, writing more than 80 books and 4000 essays, many of them speaking of “God as a fact.” I don’t recall anyone ever even attempting to stop him. He was never thrown in jail or even threatened with it. Bertrand Russell, author of Why I Am Not a Christian, was thrown in jail; Chesterton never was. How exactly has the “modern world” stopped anyone from speaking about God?
The rest of Laurie’s column is a tired rehash of the same old “God will punish America just like he did Israel if we don’t fall into line” jeremiad we’ve all heard a thousand times. One really has to wonder what color the sky is in the bizarro universe these people seem to inhabit.