At another blog, I posted the letter to the Financial Times where a college professor from India decried monotheism and declared the benevolent goodness of polytheism and its modern ally, secularism. The letter struck me as provocative and worth mentioning in its own right.
But now I think I see a connection.
Polytheism, of course, was the norm in the Roman Empire. The empire managed its many gods by uniting everyone in a common worship of the emperor. Worship as many gods as you like as long as you also worship the apotheosis of the state.
Secularism is, indeed, like polytheism in this sense. Have whatever religious sensibility you like as long as you recognize that your ultimate allegiance is to the secular state which is representative of the real world. Don’t ever let your religion get between you and the state. Keep it private. Keep it in hobby status.
Score one for the man from India.
When it comes to this issue, I unapologetically encourage you to read The End of Secularism. The more Christians (especially those of a pietistic bent who like to privatize their faith) who read it and understand it, the better equipped we will be to confront the creeping return of the rainbow assortment of gods frolicking beneath the banner of a state happy to tolerate them because they don’t count for much in the end.