How secular is the West?
Posted on March 23rd, 2018

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.

 

Britain

  • 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’,

US

  • “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 me God.'”
  • 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 God in 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

Australia

  • 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, and Tasmania, 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:”

Ireland

  • Irish constitution preamble has an invocation to God & Jesus

Canada

  • 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.

Germany

  • 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

Norway

  • “Verdigrunnlaget forblir vår kristne og humanistiske arv.” – “Our values remain from our Christian and humanist heritage…”

Brazil

  • “We, the representatives of the Brazilian People, … promulgate, under the protection of God, this CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC OF BRAZIL.”

Switzerland

  • “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 ‘homosexualty & 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 accommodative 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.

 

 

Shenali D Waduge

5 Responses to “How secular is the West?”

  1. Nihal Perera Says:

    Western nations use secularism and HR’s as their benchmarks to manipulate and control the developing countries like Sri Lanka.

    A good example is Canada, where I live. Canada boasts to the world as one of the most multi-cultural, secular and HR’s champion of the world. Yet, its treatment of the Indigenous Native Canadians for over a century is appalling, and one of the most inhumane in the Canadian history.

    Even today, the living conditions of some of the Native Canadian communities are worse off than those in the third-world countries. Some of these communities don’t even have pure water to drink, due to pollution caused by some of the mining and tar-sand companies. The suicide rate among young men and women of these deprived communities are the highest in the country.

    Yet, they (Canadian leaders/politicians) have the audacity to go around and preach to other countries like Sri Lanka to respect HR’s, while they have been violating most basic human rights, like providing drinking water to their own people, and neglecting the rights of the Indigenous people. This is true in many Western nations like Australia, US, where the Indigenous communities exist.

    This is the reason why I call these Western nations are the biggest hypocrites in the world, when it comes to HR’s, secularism, and multi-culturalism.

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    For all these in the name of man-made god. Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution destroyed the creator god myth.
    Then his book The Tree of Life explained how all started from 1 cell and multiplied and multiplied to be different creatures and evolved and evolved over millions of years to be what we are today. That’s why we all look different from creature to creature. No god’s work.
    But money and power keeping the god going in spite all the scientific discoveries disproving the mythical god
    concept all the time. There is another built infactor has saved the god’s ‘life’. It’s the built in fear factor saying god
    will punish baddies. For a start, how can he keep track of the guys? 7 billion+ 2-legged creatures, then billions of
    other creatures. Not even best computers in the world can keep track! Doesn’t make sense at all.

    There are so many holes in the theory. Why did he create people looking differently from region to region?
    How did he manage to miss all the other big planets and choose the ‘grain of sand’? Earth’s size in the vast vast
    vast vast universe is a grain of sand, where the distances are measured in light years, no scientist know the edges are. These religions of conveniences were influenced by indian traders who used trade with the middle east more
    than 2018 years ago. They were mainly Hindus and Buddhists hence the god concept which came from Hinduism.
    Then a few hundred years later came the fastest breeding religion aka religion of utter peace with god’s message
    service (email?) since you can’t invent same thing twice. Both religions believe in rebirth, heaven, hell etc. Familiar?Of course it was preached over 2,500 years ago by the Lord Buddha. Now both use powerful organisations and money to
    propagate the mythical god concept successfully. Meanwhile the only true religion in the world, Buddhism, is
    being destroyed by these religions of conveniences followers. By doing do so these guys accrue a lot of sins and
    won’t be two legged creatures in their next lives.

  3. DAYA HEWAPATHIRANE Says:

    We should not, under any circumstances permit this Fake Secularism, to destroy the Sinhala Buddhist identity of Sri Lanka. Secularism is a hoax. It is fiercely anti-Buddhist and meant and promoted in order to appease the non Buddhists or in other words to give special privileges to non-Buddhists. It implies disempowerment and discrimination against Buddhists. The fake ‘Secularism’ will have the effect of weakening nationalism and help to strengthened minority extremism, separatism and underhand religious conversions of Buddhists. It has already helped the growth of extremist Wahhabism and Evangelism in Sri Lanka. There are moves by certain spurious secularists to falsify the Sinhala Buddhist history of the country, and thereby to rob Sinhala Buddhists of their national identity. It is a fact that from ancient times, Buddhist Sri Lanka has been overly accommodative of all religions and all ethnic communities. Buddhism has always been the basis of the national culture of the island and Buddhism being embracing and not dogmatic, offers justice to all. In this respect Buddhism implies secularism and there is no need to change that. In the past and in the future, Sri Lanka will continue to be one nation with one law and no discrimination against any community. Daya Hewapathirane

  4. Nanda Says:

    Those who have been arrested and named ‘masterminds” of Digana violence were merely against Unpresidented Islamic Invasion (UII) of Sri Lanka by Arabic agressors and their agents. It is hard to fight against UII with this Fake Secularism (FS) flag holding governement heads.
    However, if, at least holding this flag, enable us to identify them easily. But there could be other groups who come with a face of ‘Nationalism’ but in fact what they are actually or inadvertently doing is promoting FS. Such gruops are far more dangerous as they are able to gather a large number of foolish supporters.
    UII accelerated after LTTE war ended. It has already ruined North-West and East.

  5. Nimal Says:

    Religions have no place in politics or running a country and all progressive countries are secular or near secular. Most people settled in these secular countries wants to bring misery to the people back home who are suffering under the corrupt rules of the politicians who are hiding behind the religion and doing all the bad things, putting the country into debt and eventually settling into a secular country which is unfair.

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