Last modified on 22 November 2017, at 14:43

Desecularization and politics

Scholars of religious demographics frequently use the term the "global resurgence of religion" to describe the process of global desecularization which began in the late portion of the 20th century.[1]

Desecularization is the process by which religion reasserts its societal influence though religious values, institutions, sectors of society and symbols in reaction to previous and/or co-occurring secularization processes.[2]

Scholars of religious demographics frequently use the term the "global resurgence of religion" to describe the process of global desecularization which began in the late portion of the 20th century.[3]

On December 23, 2012, Professor Eric Kaufmann, who teaches at Birbeck College, University of London, wrote:

I argue that 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious.

On the other hand, the secular West and East Asia has very low fertility and a rapidly aging population... In the coming decades, the developed world's demand for workers to pay its pensions and work in its service sector will soar alongside the booming supply of young people in the third world. Ergo, we can expect significant immigration to the secular West which will import religious revival on the back of ethnic change. In addition, those with religious beliefs tend to have higher birth rates than the secular population, with fundamentalists having far larger families. The epicentre of these trends will be in immigration gateway cities like New York (a third white), Amsterdam (half Dutch), Los Angeles (28% white), and London, 45% white British. [4]

Religious are expected to see a net gain in political power in the 21st century

According the agnostic, British professor Eric Kaufmann by the end of the 21st century, "three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the 'Redeemer Nation' to evangelize the world."[5]

See also: Religious conservatism and politics

The Brookings Institution, one of America's oldest think tanks, indicates:

There was a belief for centuries that modernization meant westernization and secularization. As Rabbi Sacks described, the 17th through 20th centuries were witness to the secularization of knowledge, power, culture, and morality. However, this secularization is not sustainable. According to Rabbi Sacks, the 21st century will be more religious than the 20th, even if not one religious believer persuades any skeptic, because “the more intensely you believe religiously, the more children you have.”[6]

A Christian Post in an article entitled Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: Secularism Can't Solve Today's Religious Violence; Answers Rooted in 'Sibling Rivalry' of Jews, Christians, Muslims:

But those 17th century ideas will not work in the 21st century, Sacks continued, because, "the 17th century was the beginning of an age of secularization which has lasted four centuries until now; the 21st century is exactly the opposite, it's the beginning of an age of desecularization. Religion is seizing power; they're not yielding power. ... We are going to have to do the theological work that was not done four centuries ago."[7]

American culture war, demographics and expected tipping point after 2020

See also: Growth of global desecularization and Culture war and American atheism

Eric Kaufman wrote in his 2010 book Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? concerning America:

High evangelical fertility rates more than compensated for losses to liberal Protestant sects during the twentieth century. In recent decades, white secularism has surged, but Latino and Asian religious immigration has taken up the slack, keeping secularism at bay. Across denominations, the fertility advantage of religious fundamentalists of all colours is significant and growing. After 2020, their demographic weight will begin to tip the balance in the culture wars towards the conservative side, ramping up pressure on hot-button issues such as abortion. By the end of the century, three quarters of America may be pro-life. Their activism will leap over the borders of the 'Redeemer Nation' to evangelize the world. Already, the rise of the World Congress of Families has launched a global religious right, its arms stretching across the bloody lines of the War on Terror to embrace the entire Abrahamic family.[8]

Secular left's inability to stop the rise of anti-homosexuality laws around the world

See also: Decline of the secular left

The régime under militant atheist Fidel Castro "denounced homosexuality and established Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, which patrolled neighborhoods and invaded private space."[9]

The conservative journalist Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth wrote: "Anyone who has researched the subject of homosexuality knows that many of the most staunch advocates of homosexuality are those who hold a decidedly secular outlook." (See also: Atheism and homosexuality).[10]

In February 2014, Newsweek reported a rise of anti-homosexuality laws around the world.[11]

Secular leftism and anti-homosexuality

See also: Atheism and anti-homosexuality

Although not many contemporary secular leftists are aware, historically there have been notable cases of communist countries that have had a history of anti-homosexuality (see: Atheism and anti-homosexuality).

See also: Atheism and historical illiteracy and Atheism and historical revisionism

Soviet Union

For example, in the atheistic communist state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR),[12] "a person could end up in prison for being openly gay."[13] This policy was enforced after 1934, and went hand in hand with the Soviet Union's official doctrine of militant atheism.[14]

China

Although Chinese literature cites homosexual practice since ancient times as one that was fairly tolerated,[15] after the Chinese Communist Party, which officially espouses atheism, came to power in 1949, homosexuality was deemed a sexual crime and then classified as an abnormal (buzhengchang) mental illness.[16][17] Under the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, homosexuals experienced punishment that ranged from "labor under surveillance to imprisonment for years".[15] Moreover, atheistic communist officials "when queried by foreign visitors, until recently simply denied that homosexuality existed in China".[18]

Cuba

The régime under militant atheist Fidel Castro "denounced homosexuality and established Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, which patrolled neighborhoods and invaded private space."[9]

Secular left unable to shut down the Quiverfull movement

The Quiverfull movement is an evangelical Christian movement which eschews all forms of birth control - including natural family planning. The left has been unable to shut down the Quiverfull movement.

Presently, several thousand Christians worldwide belong to this movement.[19]

Berger's The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics

Peter L. Berger is an Austrian-born American sociologist best known for his work in the fields of the sociology of knowledge/religion, the study of modernization, and various theoretical contributions to sociology.

The Publisher's Weekly review of his 1999 book The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics declares:

In the 1950s and 1960s, Berger, Harvey Cox and others were fearless proponents of "secularization theory." This theory held that as technology improved and modernity advanced upon culture, religion would begin to decline and we would live, according to Cox, in a "secular city." Cox reversed himself in Religion in the Secular City (1984), declaring that the future of religion lay in grassroots movements such as fundamentalism, Pentecostalism and liberation theology. Now, Berger gathers a number of essays contending that, far from being in decline in the modern world, religion is actually experiencing a resurgence. In his opening essay, Berger asserts that "the assumption we live in a secularized world is false.... The world today is as furiously religious as it ever was." He points out that religious movements have not adapted to secular culture in order to survive but have successfully developed their own identities and retained a focus on the supernatural in their beliefs and practices. Berger then examines the origins, and ponders the future, of this global religious resurgence. ...He also provides a brief overview of the impact of religion on economic development, war and peace, human rights and social justice. Other essayists contribute "Roman Catholicism in the Age of John Paul II" (George Weigel), "The Evangelical Protestant Upsurge and Its Political Implications" (David Martin), "Judaism and Politics in the Modern World" (Jonathan Sacks), "Europe: The Exception That Proves the Rule?" (Grace Davie), "The Quest for Meaning: Religion in the People's Republic of China" (Tu Weiming) and "Political Islam in National Politics and International Relations" (Abdullahi A. An-Na'im). Berger's collection is replete with compelling writing about the relationship of religion and politics.[20]

See also

Notes

  1. The return of religion
  2. Religion and the State in Russia and China: Suppression, Survival and Revival by Christopher Marsh, 2011, page 11 (Christopher Marsh cites the definitions of desecularization given by Peter L. Berger and Vyacheslav Karpov)
  3. The return of religion
  4. 97% of the world's population growth is taking place in the developing world, where 95% of people are religious, Tuesday, April 30, 2013
  5. Why are 2012 and 2020 key years for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
  6. Rabbi Sacks: Three things western civilization got wrong about religion by Liz Sablich, November 16, 2015, Brookings Institute website
  7. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: Secularism Can't Solve Today's Religious Violence; Answers Rooted in 'Sibling Rivalry' of Jews, Christians, Muslims
  8. Why are 2012 and 2020 key years for Christian creationists and pro-lifers?
  9. 9.0 9.1 Pickett, Brent L. (9 February 2009). The A to Z of Homosexuality. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810870727. Retrieved on 28 April 2014. “Fidel Castro's regime denounced homosexuality and established Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, which patrolled neighborhoods and invaded private space.” 
  10. Atheism and homosexuality
  11. From Uganda to Russia, Homophobia Spreading Worldwide By Max Strasser 2/27/14 at 6:13 AM
  12. Demchenko, Elena (2009). Religion and Identity of Soviet Jewish Immigrants in the United States. ProQuest. ISBN 9781109121865. Retrieved on 28 April 2014. “The USSR declared itself the first atheist state in the world that discouraged any religion and persecuted those who tried to contradict the Marxist ideology.” 
  13. Shiraev, Eric (2014-03-04). A History of Psychology. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781452276595. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “In the Soviet Union before 1990, a person could end up in prison for being openly gay.” 
  14. Turgeon, Lynn (1989). State & Discrimination: The Other Side of the Cold War (in English). M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 9780765621733. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “Homosexual acts between consenting males only became illegal in early 1934. To this day, some of these acts are punishable by five years' imprisonment. A highly publicized case occurred in 1974, when the celebrated Georgian movie director, Sergei Paradzhanov, was sentenced to six years' imprisonment for practicing homosexuality and incitement to suicide. Historical, there has been extensive discrimination in the USSR on both religious and political grounds. Religious persecution and the pursuit of atheistic educational policies by the state were especially great before World War II and, particularly, after a resolution of April 8, 1929, "On Religious Cults."” 
  15. 15.0 15.1 (2 June 2003) The Mental Health Professions and Homosexuality: International Perspectives. CRC Press. ISBN 9780789020598. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “Homosexuality was widespread, recognized and fairly tolerated, although not entirely accepted, in ancient China.” 
  16. (27 August 2011) Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520950511. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “Chinese literature citing homosexuality dates back to ancient times. After the Chinese Communist Party took over the country in 1949, homosexuality was deemed a sexual crime until 1997 and then classified as a mental disorder until 2001.” 
  17. (6 December 2012) The Price of Freedom Denied: Religious Persecution and Conflict in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139492416. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “Atheism had long been the official doctrine of the Chinese Communist Party, but this new form of militant atheism made every effort to eradicate religion completely.” 
  18. Crompton, Louis (2006). Homosexuality and Civilization. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674030060. Retrieved on 25 April 2014. “In Chinese history and literature, until the end of the Imperial age and the triumph of Marxism, men who loved men were depicted as good or bad, sympathetic or self-seeking, honest or dishonest, talented or undistinguished, but not set apart as a race to be humiliated, denounced, or extirpated. Under Communist rule, however, there has been a radical change. Chinese Communist officials, when queried by foreign visitors, until recently simply denied that homosexuality existed in China, the theory being that under a socialist economy social ills such as prostitution and homosexuality would vanish.” 
  19. Kathryn Joyce (9 November 2006). "Arrows for the War". The Nation
  20. The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, Amazon