How Secular Is the West? The U.S., Britain, Australia… Secular Nation States, “So Help Me God”??
Of late there have been quite a number of know-it-all ‘academics’ ‘political analysts’ dollar earning civil society coming forward promoting the displacement of Buddhism enshrined in Article 9 to be replaced with a ‘secular’ constitution in Sri Lanka. They love to quote extensively how West is secular.
If readers were wiser they would look for themselves & discover that a majority of Western nations are not in the least secular though they publicly profess to be so. What also needs to be reiterated that some of these professing to be secular countries have a history of less than 300 years having stolen lands from the indigenous & created a country on Christian ideology. Are those professing ‘secular’ tag for Sri Lanka ignorant of ground realities or are they simply carrying out an agenda on behalf of nations who wish to completely abolish the historical, cultural ethno-religious identity of non-Christian countries.
- The British monarch is not only the Head of State but also the head of the Anglican church,
- Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and ‘Defender of the Faith’
- The National Anthem of Britain starts with ‘God save the Queen’
- The Head of State CANNOT marry a Roman Catholic
- The place of Church of England has been secured since 1707 Treaty of the Union – Church of England was founded in 1534, quite a long time before Scotland, England and Ireland came to share the same monarch in 1603
- Celebration of 5th November/Guy Fawkes night
- Senior Anglican bishops sit in the upper chamber of the Parliament by right
- Legal traditions also enable the right of Church of England bishops to attend the House of Lords.
- The Royal Coat of Arms used by the monarch contains Latin phrases meaning “God and my right” and “Shamed be he who thinks ill of it”.
- When taking oaths, the monarch places hand on Bible and pledges solemn oath to God
- In a 1649 case, an English court declared that ‘the law of England is the law of God’ and ‘the law of God is the law of England.’
- Former British PM David Cameron said ‘we are still a Christian country’,
- “In God We Trust” is the official motto of the United States of America
- “In God We Trust” first appeared on the two-cent piece in 1864 and has appeared on paper currency since 1957. President Dwight Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declared “In God We Trust” must appear on American currency.
- The Declaration of Independence refers to God
- Preamble to US Constitution – “In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity”
- United States Code contained 68 mentions of “God.” 46 of these references were in shipping and environmental codes
- United States coins shall have the inscription ‘In God We Trust.’
- “An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath, ‘I, …So help me God.’”
- “Each person enlisting in an armed force shall take the following oath:
- “…So help me God.’”
- “Each person enlisting in the National Guard shall sign an enlistment contract and subscribe to the following oath:
- ‘…So help me God.”
- Boy Scouts oath of allegiance to God and country…”
- “Each justice or judge of the United States shall take the following oath or affirm before performing the duties of his office: ‘I, _______, do solemnly swear (or affirm),…So help meGod.’”
- “I will support the Constitution of the United States, and that I will conduct myself, as an attorney and counselor of this Court, uprightly and according to law. So help me God.’”
- The applicant shall be admitted either (A) upon oral motion by a members of the bar of this court or of the Supreme Court of the United States, before a judge of this court who will administer the following oath: ‘I, ______, do solemnly swear (or affirm)…so help me God.’”
- “The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to Godin prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”
- “The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: ‘I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’, should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.” [First effective without phrase “under God” as of June 22, 1942.
- If US is Secular why is only Christmas a Federal holiday?
Where the Constitutions of countries mention God
- Christian ideology penetrates both the legal and governmental customs
- The Constitution of Australia Bill was passed by the Imperial (British) Parliament on 5 July 1900. Sir John Downer, declared: ‘The Commonwealth of Australia will be, from its first stage, a Christian Commonwealth’.
- Sir Henry Parkes, known as ‘the Father of Australia’s Federation’, believed that Christianity comprised an ‘essential part’ of Australia’s common law. Sir Henry stated: ‘We are pre- eminently a Christian people—as our laws, our whole system of jurisprudence, our Constitution… are based upon and interwoven with our Christian belief.’
- Religion is still taught in Australia’s public schools, and the Bible is still present in every court of the land. Furthermore, prayers are conducted prior to opening proceedings at both state and federal Parliaments.
- Speaker concludes the opening proceedings with this prayer: Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to vouchsafe Thy blessing upon this Parliament. Direct and prosper our deliberations to the advancement of Thy glory, and the true welfare of the people of Australia.
- “Whereas the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, andTasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown … Be it therefore enacted … as follows:”
- Irish constitution preamble has an invocation to God & Jesus
- preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms also mentions God “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law”
- Royal Anthem of Canada remains ‘God Save the Queen’
- Christian holidays are generally state holidays.
- The Preamble to the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany begins with the words: “Aware of its responsibility before God and humankind…”
- On a legal level, the German constitution and state-level constitutions all include references to man’s responsibilities before God
- “Conscious of their responsibility before God and man, (…) the German people, in the exercise of their constituent power, have adopted this Basic Law.”
- Church Tax is collected by the State – 8% of adult income tax
- A person’s religion is recorded on his birth certificate. Upon entering school, the child’s church affiliation is declared so he can attend the appropriate religion class — Lutheran or Catholic.
- In both the German Basic Law and the regional constitutions, God is called upon in the swearing-in of the respective governments. The official oath of the members of government ends with the affirmation “So help me God!”.
- German political party is referred to as Christian Democrats
- “Verdigrunnlaget forblir vår kristne og humanistiske arv.” – “Our values remain from our Christian and humanist heritage…”
- “We, the representatives of the Brazilian People, … promulgate, under the protection of God, this CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL.”
- “In the name of Almighty God! The Swiss People and the Cantons (…) adopt the following Constitution”
These are the countries insisting Sri Lanka remove the place of Buddhism from its constitution. Some of these countries have hardly 300 years of history, most of these countries were created after stealing lands from the indigenous and we have a history of over 2600 years!
Co-existing with the notion of secular state is the notion of neutrality. Is neutrality possible? No person is not without bias of some form or the other. No one can be 100% neutral.
Those peddling for the secular tag are in fact using the secular slogan to promote concepts that non-secular states would find taboo…for example special status for homosexuality, gay marriage etc…while no one is stopped from being homosexual, non-secular states does not advocate open display of homosexuality but it is nothing homosexuals need to complain about since they enjoy homosexual lives privately.
No one can plug terms & concepts and expect people to comply with them. No new theories can be dropped from the sky and enforced legally forcing citizens that have been carrying centuries old customs and cultures to forget or erase. What is unfair & uncouth is that elements promoting secular changes are adopting multipronged programs to destroy cultures and value systems of countries and using the podium of media to run well-funded campaigns to claim that a country does not have any meaningful values to protect & foster and therefore the proposed secular programs should be adopted.
Therefore when groups land promoting new faiths, trying to ruin lives of children as young as 3 claiming to educate them on ‘homosexuality & lesbian’ rights, parents in Sri Lanka should not only worry but gather to refuse to allow their children to be subject to these brainwashing experiments.
Then at another end you find countries that have been more than accommodating are now up in arms against multiculturalism claiming that every rights & freedoms are being misused and abused and immigrants are not assimilating to society while they are creating ghetto areas where whites are now shunned from and have to retreat to more peaceful areas. This has given rise to fundamental Christian groups and in large measure contributed to Brexit.
We must be intelligent enough to realize that these experiments have done countries no good and a nation needs to remain linked to its ancient past, history, heritage culture, values etc. Anyone wanting to adopt foreign cultures may as well go and live in countries where those cultures are part of that countries heritage, they have no right to force them upon citizens who wish to remain tied to their roots.