Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, gave a speech yesterday at Brigham Young University. Why would Chief Baptist speak to a group of Mormons?
Because, he explained, there’s a danger that affects all of them: Secularism!
The secular worldview relativizes morality, and our society has progressively compromised the moral system upon which it depends. A living body that has a compromised immune system will soon fail. A society that subverts its own moral immunities sows the seeds of its own destruction.
In other words, the secular worldview actually undermines the very values that the prophets of the secular age claim to cherish and preserve — human dignity, human rights, and human flourishing.
Human dignity can survive only if we commonly believe and commonly affirm that every single human being, at every stage of development, is a person made in God’s image and bearing the dignity that is the mark of God’s personal possession. The only adequate conception of human dignity rests upon the biblical teaching that such dignity is not a human achievement, but a gift. Human beings do not achieve the status of dignity by their abilities or performance or development. Human dignity and the worth of the human individual is predicated only upon the fact that every human being is made in the image of God, and therefore is to be respected, protected, and cherished as a member of the human community.
In Mohler’s mind, if God doesn’t create us in His image, we’re all a bunch of evil savages who have no ability to control ourselves. He even says in the speech, “There is no secular ground that can support and defend human rights.”
… which must explain why atheists are subject to persecution and death in many Islamic countries and why even LGBT Americans have to fight for their civil rights over the objections of religious leaders in Arizona and beyond.
We know better than to take Mohler seriously. His arguments have been proven wrong time and time again. In fact, the only tool he has left is the ability to stoke fear in others. And that’s what he did to the crowd at BYU, telling them that if they stick to their religious convictions, “we may go to jail sooner even than we thought.”
It’s pure rhetoric. There’s no secular bogeyman to worry about, and no one’s going after Christians who discriminate within their own religious walls. (If they want to open a public business, though, they have no right telling gay people to get the hell out any more than religious pharmacists have the right to deny people contraception.) The trends may be going in a direction away from religion, but no sensible person is calling for discrimination against Christians.
At worst, they’re being asked to play by the rules. That’s what Mohler’s so scared about. He been in a position of power for too long and he’s not sure what to do now that people aren’t taking him as seriously anymore. So his last resort seems to be to create an enemy when there really isn’t one.
(Thanks to Craig for the link)