“For the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.” – Luke 16:8
Secular media like to give the idea that the influence of Christianity is over. Modern and postmodern ideas have replaced the outdated beliefs that once ruled. A secular, science-based, “woke” world has triumphed.
Many Christians swallow this conclusion. They are led to believe religion has little influence on daily life. However, secular authors and activists know better. They perceive that all society is even now infused with Christian ideas. Even the smallest aspects of life reflect Christian culture. The left desires to erase these small reminders of the Faith.
Challenging Christian Hegemony
This effort to eliminate is on full display on a website titled Challenging Christian Hegemony (CCH), a product of a group that calls itself the “Christian Hegemony Project.”
CCH’s use of the term hegemony creates images of power and oppression in the modern mind. Substituting leadership for hegemony would be far more accurate. Like many modernists, the CCH’s author(s) gleefully distort the virtues and accomplishments of Christian culture. They hope that Christians who know little or nothing about the history of Christianity might accept the distortions as accurate. Non-Christians also will resent the great role that Christianity still plays in modern society.
A Fabric of Half-Truths
Indeed, many of CCH’s conclusions have a veneer of accuracy. However, the fascinating thing is that its author(s) know more about the history of Christianity than many Christians.
Thus, this list of seventeen facts supported by quotes gleaned from pages of the CCH website can help Christians appreciate their faith. Of course, the author(s) people see these facts as something to be resisted.
#1. Christianity is the basis of Western culture. “Christianity has, for more than seventeen centuries … has been a major determinant of Western culture….”
#2. Christian values inform all aspects of life. “Nothing is unaffected by Christian hegemony (whether we are Christian or not)….”
#3. Christianity infuses even secular culture despite all efforts to the contrary. “Christian dominance has become … invisible … the phrase “secular Christian dominance” might be most appropriate….”
#4 Catholicism is the basis of all forms of American Christianity. “One [example] of institutionalized power … is the dominant Western form of Christianity that came to power when the Romans made Christianity the official religion….”
#5. Schools are Christian institutions. “Christian institutions have also played a deep, founding, and shaping role in U.S. school systems.”
#6. Prayer in public schools and the knowledge of the Ten commandments are important to Christian education. ”[P]ermitting prayer in schools and … posting of the Ten Commandments … lay the groundwork for more oppressive laws….”
#7. Christianity teaches that there is no compromise between good and evil. “A major Christian belief … is that everything not associated with good and Godliness is connected to the devil (Satan)….”
#8. The word Crusade still resonates with the notion of noble goals. “The word “crusade” … resonates with images of good white Christian knights fighting against evil.”
#9. The Blessed Mother still prevails as the model for all Christian womanhood. “Mary … exhibits as much transcendence as a woman can achieve as a passive and virginal (therefore perfect) receptacle for God.”
#10. The hierarchical model of Creation in which humanity rules over nature is still in place today. “[W]e must free ourselves from the restraints [Christianity] has imposed … so that we can establish … mutuality, cooperation, sustainability, and interdependence with all life.”
#11. Most modern holidays have Christian inspirations, even the “secular” ones. “Most of our national holidays are seen as secular, even though their underpinnings are deeply Christian.”
#12. The “capitalist” or free market system is a product of Christianity. “[C]apitalism [came from a] Christian culture whose prime focus was individual salvation….”
#13. Christian morality still informs the present economic system that is opposed to socialism. “Our challenge is to reject … Christian morals by … building an economic system … based on mutual support, cooperation and a commitment to meet people’s basic needs.”
Many classic secular organizations share the CHH’s view on the threat of Christian hegemony. The CHH lists as “Allies Addressing Christian Hegemony” organizations like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.
Unfortunately, so many ill-catechized Catholics do not know how powerful Christian ideas are. They should take comfort in knowing that the Church’s influence is found in every aspect of life.
Just imagine how effective Catholics would be if all believers loved the Church as much as Challenging Christian Hegemony fears it.