Robert Reich, the former U.S. labor secretary under President Bill Clinton, believes people who follow God pose a more significant threat to the modern world than terrorists do: “The great conflict of the 21st century,” Reich wrote in The American Prospect, “will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason, logic and those who believe that truth revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face.”
Reich accuses those who believe Scripture is a revelation from God of rejecting science, reason, and logic. This is nonsense. First, his comment about science is unhistorical. To take just one example, Johannes Kepler “was a man who contemplated in mathematics the glory of God. His life, his work, his mathematics were always about God. Everything he did was about God. Kepler found in the hidden mathematical harmonies of the universe in as deep a way as he found God in the revelations of Scripture. . . . Scientific work for Kepler was always grist for his theological mill, a chance to praise God.”
Second, the Bible tells us to love God with all our mind (Matt. 22:37). God calls us to “reason together” (Isa. 1:18). Peter tells Christians always to be ready to make a defense to every one who asks us why we believe what we believe (1 Pet. 3:15). Paul was “reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles” (Acts 17:17). He was well aware of the philosophical arguments “of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers” (17:18).
Third, unaided reason has had some disastrous results. It was reason that became a god in revolutionary France, and the guillotine was its logical expression. Keith Feiling writes: “Human reason set up a cross on Calvary, human reason set up the cup of hemlock, human reason was canonized in Notre Dame.”
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Fourth, Reich’s practical atheism made the twentieth-century the bloodiest on record. Statistics show that godless Communism resulted in the death of 100 million people. The Communists, as followers of Darwin, were consistent in their materialist faith. There are no rules except those which the State determines to be rules. Like Reich, the Karl Marx believed in “the primacy of the individual.” Like Reich, Communism’s followers do not believe in a “a higher authority” greater than the State.
As always happens when individuals are made into gods, they begin competing against one another for top-god. In order to quell the move toward moral anarchy, which Reich’s position inevitably leads, some new god must be raised up–the deification of the State.