The Religion of Secularism

Circumcision Cut Off

Jurgen Habermas has famously argued for a secular public square, where all religions and irreligions can participate inclusively. The idea is that each religion will check its religious convictions, beliefs, and practices in at the door, and will enter into discussion and debate using reason and argument that is equally valid to all people–that is, they will deploy secular reasoning. Only secular reasoning has validity in the public square.  Religious convictions are private matters–and must be kept private.  They have no currency or place in public issues. 

Habermas at this point is naive.
  Either that, or he thinks religious believers are dumb, therefore easily duped.  He is wrong on two grounds: secularism is a religious belief system in its own right.  By calling for a secular public square, Habermas is advocating the hegemony of secularism over all other belief systems.  A secular public square is not neutral. Secondly, religious pre-commitments and convictions can never be checked in at the door.  The secularist holds to his religious pre-commitments as he advocates his secular arguments–if he is to be consistent and credible.  The same for every other participant. 

Habermas’s secular public square is always attacking and undermining the principles and beliefs of other religions.  Here is just one example:

CIRCUMCISIONS of young boys on religious grounds should be considered as grievous bodily harm, a German court has said, in a landmark ruling that clears up a grey area for doctors. 
The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents”.  “The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child would not be unacceptably compromised, if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised,” the court said.

The case was brought against a doctor in Cologne, who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents’ wishes.  The doctor was later charged with grievous bodily harm but acquitted by a lower court which judged he had acted within the law as the parents had given their consent. . . .

Thousands of young boys are circumcised every year in Germany, especially in the country’s large Jewish and Muslim communities.

For Jewish people, circumcision is believed to be a command of Yahweh and a central requirement of faith.  A secularist government court has declared it illegal.  The government has effectively proscribed the Jewish faith.  So much for the secular, neutral public square.  Only fools and horses would be misled by its specious, deceitful claims to neutrality. 

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