Secularism is one of the primary rivals for Christian conservatives.
Christian conservatives are fighting for the right to further their faith while they are in an official setting and the political scene in the United States is seeing more examples of people who are readily promoting their religion.
However, the conservatives are facing a strong reaction from secularists.
David Lane, the founder of the American Renewal Project, created the organization so that conservative pastors can become more politically active. According to him, historic Christianity takes a pessimistic point of view about human nature, while Secularism depends upon the positive aspects of human nature. He uses this argument to say that Secularism, like Christianity, is a distinct religion, a notion that has been ridiculed by people who are not religious.
Regardless of the reaction, the argument that secularism is a religion is now a key focal point for conservatives who are against the separation of the state and the church. According to the argument, by banning references to Christianity, and curbing Nativity scenes and Bible readings in an official setting, the state is favoring one faith over another. The bans of such activities is intended to show that the state does not support any one religion unfairly over the other.
Although the argument may have attracted ridicule, the late Justice Potter Stewart, a conservative who served on the Supreme Court from 1958 to 1981, was one of the first people to have called secularism a religion. Stewart was the lone dissenter against the Supreme Court's decision to ban Bible readings in schools in 1963.
Secularism is generally seen as a method of thinking that espouses the belief that religion and state should be kept away from one another. Many leading intellectuals including the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence of Princeton University, Robert George believes that some forms of secularism hold comprehensive views that mimic the role of religion in people's lives. The president of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Russell Moore, observes that some forms of secularism have a moral code that, when broken, will invite penalty by law. He argues that secularism is not unlike religion due to how it demands conformity and seeks out non-believers.
— Tom Gjelten (@tgjelten) December 15, 2015
Other intellectuals, such as Phil Zuckerman, believe that secularism cannot be termed as a religion. Zuckerman teaches at Pitzer College in Claremont, California and argues that a religion is made of supernatural belief systems. To explore the concept of secularism in detail, he has started an academic program at Pitzer called Secular Studies, which is the first of its kind in the United States.