A big part of the shift is that the condition of belief have changed. Therefore. whatever we believe is detestable or contestable. Nature is what has changed…Secularism
Taylor’s Book, Secular Age, Plays Out in the British Court
Foster parent ban: ‘this is a secular state’, say High Court judges
There is no place in British law for Christian beliefs, despite this country’s long history of religious observance and the traditions of the established Church, two High Court judges said. Here is part of their judgement Press, 2007.
“Anti-gay” Christian couple banned from being foster parents
Eunice and Owen Johns, who are Pentecostal Christians, were told that they could not be foster carers because of their view that homosexuality was wrong. The High Court sided with Derby City Council against the couple when two judges said that there was no place in British law for Christian beliefs.
Should we call it atheist delusion?
The judges underlined that, in the case of fostering arrangements at least, homosexuals’ rights “should take precedence” over the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs and moral values. In a ruling with potentially wide-ranging implications, the judges said Britain was a “largely secular,” multicultural country in which the laws of the realm “do not include Christianity.”
Campaigners for homosexual rights welcomed the judgment for placing “21st-century decency above 19th-century prejudice.” Christian campaigners claimed that it undermined the position of the Church of England. The ruling in the case of Owen and Eunice Johns, from Derby, is the latest in a series of judgments in which Christians have been defeated in the courts for breaching equality laws by manifesting their beliefs on homosexuality.
Reflection on Taylor’s Book
This book is an excellent explanation of how and where people fail in the belief of the existence of God and His involvement in Christians’ lives. It gives direction and a new meaning to faith, even in the face of doubt from the works of modernity and science. It is an encouragement to all the leaders in the faith that no matter what science may find, God is always there. It is an eyeopener to look for God in the appropriate places.
James K. A. Smith not only summarizes what Taylor has to say in his book, but focuses and reveals the main goals of his work. As such, there is no limit for the readers of the book and anyone who can get his/her hand on the book if they are interested in the idea of “secularism.” Yet, Smith targets teachers, leaders, pastors, and anyone who has feelings and emotions related to the subject:
That our secular age is messier than many would lead us to believe; that transcendence and immanence bleed into one another; that faith is pretty much unthinkable, but abandonment to the abyss is even more so.
What Smith wants is to relieve the tension between religion and secularism that is due to the era in which we live. The focal point of his book is especially for Christians so that they can learn the necessity of faith and understanding religion.
It is not an exaggeration to state that the essence of Taylor’s elucidation of Western progress since the beginning of Christianity is the manner by which human culture has taken care of the pressures required in the “maximal request,” which is characterized along these lines: “How to define our highest spiritual or moral aspirations for human beings, while showing a path to the transformation involved which doesn’t crush, mutilate or deny what is essentially human.” The discussion provided by Taylor is best fleshed out in his elucidation of the worries. However, Smith clearly summarizes the ideas under Christendom:
Under Christendom …, there was a unique tension between self-transcendence’ and the worldly concerns of human flourishing and creaturely existence. We might re-describe this as a tension between what “eternity” required and what the mundane vagaries of domestic life demanded.
At another point, Smith analyzes Christendom thus:
In Christendom, this tension is not resolved, but inhabited. First, the social body makes room for a certain division of labor. By making room for entirely “religious” vocations such as monks and nuns, the church creates a sort of vicarious class who ascetically devote themselves to transcendence/eternity for the wider social body who have to deal with the nitty-gritty of creaturely life.
Smith explains that inviting people to Christianity is the basic goal:
An alternative story that offers a more robust, complex understanding of the Christian faith.
This statement by Smith touched me; I, too, believe that the barricades between people and religion are many, but still people and believers across the community come when they are in need to call and talk to the Lord. When ever there are tragedies… they always say “PRAY”, regardless of their belief. Why?
Charles Taylor, A Secular Age (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2007).
. Anders Berg-Sørensen, Contesting Secularism: Comparative Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2016).
. James K. A. Smith, How (not) to be Secular Reading Charles Taylor (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2014), x.
. Ibid., 31.
. Ibid., 32.
. Ibid., 77.