Part II - Progressivism - From a Philosophy to a Religion

© 2020 Jim Spence - There are many definitions of religion. Here is a general definition that is useful, "Religion is the belief in a god or in a group of gods. It is an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods. An informal religion is an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group."
Progressivism has a god. It's god is government/bureaucracy simply because the faithful look to government and bureaucracy for everything. There is an almost congenital response from progressives that the solution to every problem is to enact a new law or new regulation supported and enforced by bureaucrats working at government agencies. Progressives literally pray that more laws and regulations will be enacted.
The remainder of this column is not an argument in favor of any other religion. It is an argument that Progressivism has IN FACT, become a religion.
Progressivism is an organized system of beliefs that is an alternative to those that tend to rely on basic values such as those contained in the Ten Commandments. It is interesting that the First Commandment, “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me,” actually seems to warn against the idolatry of putting all faith in efficacy of laws, regulations, and bureaucrats. Bureaucrats are most certainly STRANGE gods indeed.
With Progressivism, the followers find convenient ways to abandon or at least “get around” some of the most basic values embodied in the Ten Commandments. The most favored basic value enshrined in the Ten Commandments that Progressivism attempts to nullify, is the Tenth Commandment, which says, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Progressives despise the idea that Judaeo-Christian scripture forbids the wanting to or taking of someone else’s property. Along with the Seventh Commandment, the Tenth Commandment condemns theft, as well as the feelings of envy, greed, and jealousy in reaction to what other people have. Envy and jealousy is welcomed with open arms in the Church of Progressivism.
Progressives often suggest that our law enforcement officials look the other way on late-term abortions that literally kill viable human beings. These arguments not only violate the Fifth Commandment, they violate our laws already on the books against murder. Opposing murder is hardly an extremist view.
Progressivism is also just fine with the perversion of scientific principles. Originally, in the early 1970's, the environmentalist wing of the progressive faith decided it was time to worry about global cooling. There was in fact some real scientific basis for this idea based on previous Ice Ages, which destroyed civilizations. However, when the temperature data fluctuations suggested warming trends were in place during the late 1970’s and into the 1980’s, the activists did an about face and began to argue that global warming was the problem. A plethora of wild predictions were floated in the Church of Progressivism by the end of the 1980’s regarding the death of the planet. They were based on unproven "theories." As the temperature readings failed to match the theory predictions, and global temperature Armageddon never quite occurred, the theory of global warming was re-branded as the theory of "climate change" so that any routine weather event could be blamed on fossil fuel consumption. To help the increasingly discredited theory, temperature data was actually manipulated. However, the bogus predictions continued. As time passed, more predictions of catastrophe failed miserably.
What was the Church of Progressivism's reaction to anyone who pointed to the fact that real outcomes did not support the Church's dire predictions? Those who reminded those promoting church dogma of their bogus predictions, were branded as climate heretics. Sound familiar? Galileo began to roll over in his grave as the earth continued to circle the sun. He was excommunicated too. Dare to challenge church dogma and you became an object of scorn and labelled a heretic.
Sorry friends, science is innately skeptical and failed predictions precede further debate about the theory, not bitter accusations of heresy.
Despite the fact that the Church of Progressivism was behaving like other religious cults that were also predicting the end of the world for different reasons, it became useful to the Democratic Party as a recruiting and fund-raising mechanism. As the church challenged the legitimacy of traditional faiths, particularly those with a reverence for the Ten Commandments, it drew cultural battle lines.
In Part III - Progressivism - From a Philosophy to a Religion, we will examine the powerful infrastructure that has enabled the Church of Progressivism to thrive. We will also look at the fundamental weaknesses that threaten to expose it for what it is, another crackpot religion with dubious choirs, deacons, and preachers.