Darrow Miller and Friends

Religious Liberty Fading in a Polarized America

  1. A House Divided Cannot Stand
  2. Religious Liberty Fading in a Polarized America
  3. Divided States of America
  4. Divided States of America, part 2
  5. Truth in Love: The Virtues to Heal Division

In an increasingly polarized America, religious liberty is eroding.

Surely most observers of American society would agree that we are becoming more religious liberty in America is fadingpolarized. We are a nation divided. In fact, we are actually two very different nations sharing one geography, two nations enlivened by two very different moral and metaphysical visions. At this moment in our history two religious faiths are vying for the heart and soul of the United States. One is “anti-theist” atheism, the other is the faith of the founding fathers, theism, specifically Judeo-Christian theism. These two religious impulses lead inevitably to two very different kinds of societies.

One might call the Humanist Manifestos the atheist bible. The first of the three manifestos published in 1933, states the religious nature of Secular-Humanism:

The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs … In order that religious humanism may be better understood we, the undersigned, desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate. [emphasis added]

What is religious humanism?

Note that they identify themselves as religious humanists. From there, the manifesto goes on to declare that Secular Humanists are atheistic in theology. Note the first three affirmations:

–          FIRST: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

–          SECOND: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process.

–          THIRD: Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected. [emphasis added]

The eighth and ninth affirmations demonstrate the religious nature of atheists’ convictions:

–          EIGHTH: Religious Humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man’s life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now. This is the explanation of the humanist’s social passion.

–          NINTH: In the place of the old attitudes involved in worship and prayer the humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and in a cooperative effort to promote social well-being. [emphasis added]

The battle waged in the classroom

This modern faith is to be propagated through public school classrooms. Self-confessed atheist John Dumphy, writing in the January/February 1983 edition of The Humanist magazine, said:religious liberty is attacked in the public school classroom

I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preacher, for they will be ministers of another servant, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subjects they teach regardless of the educational level – preschool daycare or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new – the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery and the new faith of humanism resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never realized Christian idea of ‘love thy neighbor’ will finally be achieved. [emphasis added]

Dumphy recognizes the religious nature of the struggle and sees the classroom as the place of proselytizing the new faith.

This divide of religious convictions leads to fundamental changes in principles and ultimately in governmental policies and in programs. On the level of principle we can see this worked out in the area of religious liberty and so-called “sexual liberty.” Rooted in creation is the concept of moral and religious freedom and the corresponding principle of human responsibility. Running through Judeo-Christian culture, the concept of religious freedom was enshrined in our founding documents as the First Amendment to the constitution. Derived from the secular humanist “moral” convictions is a newly minted concept of sexual liberty.

Sexual liberty wins, religious liberty loses

What happens when the founders’ concept of religious liberty and the modern “right” of “sexuality liberty” conflict? Georgetown law professor, Chai Feldblum, who waChai Feldblum is an opponent of religious libertys appointed by President Obama to lead the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (and picked by Biden to serve in his pending administration as well) made clear which principle would guide her in developing policies and programs:

Sexual liberty should win in most cases. There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner.

Another example that goes to the root of these two nations is the question of who is to parent children. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins raises the fundamental question as to who has the right to parent children.

How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents? It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? What about bringing up children to believe manifest falsehoods? Isn’t it always a form of child abuse to label children as possessors of beliefs that they are too young to have thought out?

That Dawkins could imagine that parents regard children as “property,” rather than as human beings, is revealing. Yet this is to be expected when one begins from an atheistic and materialistic perspective. Everything is reduced to an object — children are property, women are sexualized, babies are “products of conception.”

The erosion of the family

In contrast, Judeo-Christian theism establishes the premise that the family is the fundamental institution and parents are responsible to raise and educate their children. A state founded on an atheistic moral philosophy recognizes no such right. Men and women may still have the right to procreate, but not the right to parent.

The different premises of atheist faith and Judeo-Christian faith will inescapably lead to two very different nations. We see a picture of this fundamental divide in the words of comedian and political activist Janeane Garofalo:

[W]hen I see the American flag, I go, ‘Oh my God, you’re insulting me.’ That you can have a gay parade on Christopher Street in New York, with naked men and women on a float cheering, ‘We’re here, we’re queer!’ — that’s what makes my heart swell. Not the flag, but a gay naked man or woman burning the flag. I get choked up with pride.

religious liberty in America is fadingMoral relativism – ideological pluralism – has as its fundamental virtue, tolerance. This leads to two realities. First, it engenders moral anarchy in a society and will ultimately bring government tyranny to impose social order. When tolerance is the ultimate virtue, the only vice is belief in moral and metaphysical absolutes. This leads to the second reality, intolerance of those who believe in the possibility of truth. A kind of intellectual absolutism that denies the fundamental principles of reason, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech is the result. Moral relativism is the product of fundamentalist atheism and will lead in the near term to social anarchy and in the longer term to a repressive tyranny.

Judeo-Christian Theism, on the other hand, believes in moral and metaphysical absolutes. Rooted in this assumption is the understanding that men and women are created in the image of God and from this assumption comes one of the most profound political assertions of all times.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …

Freedom of speech, conscience, and religion are all the product of Judeo-Christian faith. Social historian Rodney Stark has put it very clearly in his book The Victory of Reason: “The modern world arose only in Christian societies. Not in Islam. Not in Asia. Not in a ‘secular’ society – there have been none.”

–          Darrow Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Olusegun Owopetu

    November 22, 2020 - 5:24 am

    Greetings. The heart of a prophet to his nation – so have I seen this writing. The message is beyond the the prophet’s immediate nation. I remembered some years ago that the Western world governments and US were insisting that the governments in our Continent must allow gay as part of our societal values and heritage and that if not, economic punishment would follow. This is just to remind the author of this writing… the issues on hand transcends your boarders. What are the possible consequences if informed Christians do something. Sometimes it is not the wisdom or the political abilities of the Church’s adversaries that gives me worries but the discordant voices even among the brethren… Sir, as you continue over there, let’s be praying for one another. Brother Miller, I am leaving these words with you for you to think about. What would it take to disciple a Nation – Nigeria, and when you say a Nation is discipled what are expected to see? As I sign off, I remembered the word of Joab to his brother on the warfront “2 Samuel 10:12 Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.”