Wiker: Secularism Causing Fiscal Problems

Catholic apologist Benjamin Wiker does his best Bill O’Reilly impersonation in an article in the National Catholic Register, in which he claims that the cause of the “fiscal cliff” and the debt problem in the United States and Europe is — wait for it — secularism.

That we seem to be merrily rolling along toward a fiscal cliff is evident. Why is not as clear — at least not the deep why. Some of the depth of the problem can be plumbed out if we look at the relationship between secularism and our current morbid financial mess.

To live in a secular world means that the only heaven, if there is to be one, will be on earth. And since there are no souls in a secular, materialist world, then the only goods we can get are bodily goods. Thus, we run on from the self-preservation of having sufficient food, clothing and shelter to seek superfluous pleasures, titillations, entertainments and luxuries…

That’s why the modern state has gained so much power. Subtract God and the Church, as secularism by definition does, and the state becomes the greatest source of collective human power on earth. And so to that power we run, and ask of it, or take from it, all we long for, all we can get.

He actually appears to be serious. More’s the pity.

21 comments on this post.
  1. Modusoperandi:

    “Waaa, the Church doesn’t have the power it used to have! Waaa!”

  2. raven:

    Historically, the poorest parts of Europe were the southern Catholic areas.

    That is still true today.

    The countries that are causing the Euro problems are Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece. Four out of five of them are mostly Catholic countries.

  3. anubisprime:

    For the most part it seems to be a version of…

    The theists see the truck lights trundling down the road coming their way and gaining speed…they are completely frozen in hysterical disbelief….the only thing they can think of is to write bitter and vitriolic screed that screams about ‘ the truck lights trundling down the road coming their way and gaining speed’

    They have no other recourse available to deflect the truck of secular cargo or now not even ignore those truck lights.

    They are watching and mewling in as if it was all in slow motion…it is not!

  4. Tabby Lavalamp:

    Ah, the good old days when the Catholic Church had all the power. That was indeed a Golden Age for humanity, so I can understand why this fellow is nostalgic for its return.

  5. matty1:

    So he doesn’t understand secularism, finance, psychology, history or even his own religion (hint God is not supposed to be a source of collective human power). This guy is like a black hole of ignorance.

  6. Marcus Ranum:

    Why didn’t god just make more gold? Oh, yeah, he knew it’d lead to inflation.

  7. Bronze Dog:

    Funny. This is anecdotal, but I’m a secularist, and I spend relatively little on entertainment. I mostly stick with cheap indie games like Minecraft and Terraria. That’s hardly the perpetual secular Bacchanalia of fundie propaganda. Most of my spending has been about the basics and tuition. The thing I’ve been missing is a job, but I’ve got an exclusive offer in the works. Even after I get that job, I’m really not sure what I’d want to spend my leftover income on. I’ve got Decemberween and graduation gift money I don’t know what to do with right now.

    Besides, shouldn’t luxuries and entertainment be a part of the economy? If everyone lived frugally, only interested in the bare necessities, those industries would go out of business and have to lay off their workers, who’d then have less money to spend, meaning less revenue for other companies, and so on.

  8. timgueguen:

    I wonder if the term “prosperity gospel” means anything to him.

  9. Akira MacKenzie:

    To live in a secular world means that the only heaven, if there is to be one, will be on earth. And since there are no souls in a secular, materialist world, then the only goods we can get are bodily goods. Thus, we run on from the self-preservation of having sufficient food, clothing and shelter to seek superfluous pleasures, titillations, entertainments and luxuries…

    Typical conservative/libertarian/capitalist-pig “work or starve” boiler plate: No society can afford to provide the necessities of living to everyone, so they should bother trying! Besides if why worry about helping the poor when they’ll just go to heaven after they die? That is, of course, if they are accept our religion.

    Score another one for the Marxists who have been pointing out the power of religionist lies since… Well, Marx.

  10. glodson:

    I have a religious solution for the debt problem: tax the churches.

  11. cry4turtles:

    What causes misery…secularism! Whay causes poverty…secularism! What causes cancer…secularism! What causes secularism………..religion!!!!

  12. Sastra:

    And since there are no souls in a secular, materialist world, then the only goods we can get are bodily goods.

    What a lovely little bait ‘n switch based on the deepity-word “soul.” Apparently “soul” here is being equated with mind — or, perhaps, with emotion or some combination thereof.

    What — in a secular, material world there is no love? No friendship? No beauty or insight or learning or compassion? No contemplation and appreciation of the world? No long walks and conversations with children or gazing up at the stars? This Catholic apologist can’t imagine any kind of “good” which a non-religious person can enjoy which is not directly and specifically consumer-driven?

    His imagination cannot possibly be that bankrupt. Instead, he’s simply appropriating every single thing which is not a “bodily good” to religion, blithely and cluelessly confusing the two different meanings of “materialistic” like a child might. Of course, he IS an apologist.

    I hate this sneaky little argument. But it’s enormously popular — and sells well to people who want to think religion is the same thing as philosophy and necessary to make someone deep instead of shallow.

  13. llewelly:

    What exactly qualifies as a secular titillating bodily good?

    (a) War in Afghanistan?

    (b) A naval carrier group?

    (c) A bailout of gigantic crooked banks?

    (d) Massive subsidies to fossil fuel companies?

  14. Area Man:

    That we seem to be merrily rolling along toward a fiscal cliff is evident. Why is not as clear — at least not the deep why.

    It’s actually very easy to explain. The party with the theocratic tendencies caused it.

  15. Freodin:

    Well, he’s right, isn’t he?

    If we stopped spending money that we don’t have on all this secular stuff like weapons, and private jets and rolex watches and socialized medicine and feeding the poor… we would not have debts!

    And could give all the surplus that we produce to the Church!

    Praise God!

  16. dan4:

    “Substract God and the church, as secularism by definition does,…”

    As if non-Christian religions are “secular.”

  17. Akira MacKenzie:

    A shorter Wiker: “Starve them all! God will know is own!”

  18. Crudely Wrott:

    Catholic apologist Benjamin Wiker is, for numerous reasons familiar to readers of this blog, a consummate ass.

    I know, that’s a trite and not very illuminating thing to say but, friends and neighbors, I just had to. Call it a judgmental predisposition of a lack of eloquence if you will, but I just had to say it.

    I feel marginally better now, but the poorer, for having gone to the trouble of pointing out the fact, he is still every bit as much a consummate ass.

  19. Akira MacKenzie:

    llewelly @ 13

    What exactly qualifies as a secular titillating bodily good?

    When he uses the word “titillations,” I think Wiker is talking about sex.

    As we saw with the the recent Sandra Fluke affair and the knock-down, drag-out over contraceptive coverage, it is a conservative article of faith that the insidious welfare state would ultimately go so far in providing bread and circuses, that all manner of carnality and perversion would receive federal support and/or protection to allow the liberal “perverts” to fully enjoy their carnal lusts.

    Remember, in the Christian (especially the Catholic) mind, heterosexual intercourse is a necessary evil that should ideally be used solely for the creation of more Christians. Anything else is just hedonism, and the put-upon, God-fearing taxpayers should not be forced to pay for Ms. Fluke’s “slut pills,” abortions, and NEA-funded pornography.

  20. democommie:

    “I’ve got Decemberween and graduation gift money I don’t know what to do with right now.”

    Send me an e-mail ([email protected]) and I’ll give you a snail mail address where you can send that money. I promise that it will be used only for good (times) and that no churches will be tithed in its spending!

  21. kermit.:

    That we seem to be merrily rolling along toward a fiscal cliff is evident. Why is not as clear — at least not the deep why. [...] To live in a secular world means that the only heaven, if there is to be one, will be on earth. [...] Thus, we run on from the self-preservation of having sufficient food, clothing and shelter to seek superfluous pleasures, titillations, entertainments and luxuries…

    So, we are having money troubles because the evil nones are concerned only with …material goods.

    How does this so-called focus on stuff hurt the production and sale of stuff?

    He starts off asking why our economy is suffering, and goes on to “explain” why God is forgotten.

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