Secular Fanatics

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The Muslim world is threatened by religious fanaticism. The Western world is threatened by secular fanaticism.

Both seek to dominate society and to use state power to do so. Both seek to eliminate the Other — for Islamic fanatics, that means non-Muslim religions and secularism; for secular fanatics, it means Christianity and virtually any public invoking of God. The Islamists impose Sharia law; the American Civil Liberties Union and the left generally impose secular law. The Taliban wiped out public vestiges of Buddhism in Afghanistan; the ACLU and its allies seek to wipe out public vestiges of Christianity in America — as it did, for example, in Los Angeles County, when it successfully pressured the County Board of Supervisors to remove the tiny cross from the county seal. A city and county founded by Catholics — hence the name “The Angels” — was forced to stop commemorating its founders because they were religious.

This fanaticism has been on display most recently in the state of Rhode Island. This past Christmas, the governor, Lincoln Chafee, renamed the state Christmas tree a “holiday tree.” Though Christmas is a national holiday, for the secular fanatic, anything Christian — or, as we shall see, anything that relates to religion or God — must be banned from public life.

The latest expression of the secular equivalent of Islamism is the lawsuit brought against a Rhode Island high school, Cranston High School West, for allowing a banner, written by a seventh grader in 1963, to remain hanging on one of the school walls. An atheist student, along with the ACLU, brought the lawsuit and a judge ruled that it is unconstitutional for it to hang in a public school.

To appreciate how fanatical the student, the ACLU and the ruling are, you have to know the words on the banner. So here they are:

Our Heavenly Father

Grant us each day the desire to do our best, to grow mentally and morally as well as physically, to be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers, to be honest with ourselves as well as with others.

Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship. Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.


The idea that this prayer violates the Constitution of the United States is as much a mockery of the Constitution as it is of common sense. Only a fanatic can welcome the removal of such a non-denominational, sweet, moral exhortation from a high school wall. America is indeed as endangered by the ACLU as the Muslim world is by Islamists.

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  • tarleton

    The so called ”secular fanatics is but the religious impulse in secular form ….a hundred years ago , these secular fanatics trying to build heaven upon earth would have been religious fanatics

    The human mind is ”hardwired ” to believe in a god , regardless if god ever existed …it’s the natural desire for a father figuer , big brother , bodyguard or insurance policy in a painful and dangerous world and it’s not going to go away …the best we can do is try to channel it for positive use …kinda like building a dam and hydro electric plant to tame and channel a wild river

    or to paraphrase Eric Hoeffer ”beware the true believer in religious or secular form ”

    • JEM

      Because God exists we are “hardwired”, but not “hardwired” to receive the truth. The religions of secularism (communism, fascism, etc.) are as dangerous if not more so than what is typically thought of as religious. Islam may be an exception as it was founded on warfare. The conflict between good and evil will continue until God intervenes, which may not be so very far into the future.

      • tarleton

        It's only your OPINION that god exists …anyone with a basic knowledge of 16th C Europe knows how fanatical xians behaved …and yet , they were so sure that god exists and they were his spokesmen …sheesh

        • ferengi

          <<It's only your OPINION that god exists …<<

          No, itsa conclusion based on logic and evidence.

          • tarleton


      • Questions

        To call "communism" and "fascism" secular relions is dishonest. Communism wages war, most of all, against private property. And fascism/Nazism fuses ancient tribalism with modernity to create an aggressive racial nationalism. Religion is a sidebar issue for both. Secularism, or at least doubt, makes science possible. And it's a handmaiden of classical liberalism, not totalitarianism.

        • tarleton

          Communism does indeed wage war against private property and Naziism was the ”fusion of ancient tribalism with modernity ‘ ….
          that was merely the modus operandus as the motivating force/impulse was clearly of a religious nature
          It’s easy to imagine an hysterical Hitler as a austrian christian caught up in the turmoil of the Reformation , or Lenin as a 18th C russian ”holyman /mystic ” in a search for God , or even Mau as a chinese peasant ”burning with the zeal of the converted ” during the Taiping Rebelllion in 19th C China ….a crank like Himmler would have been a French catholic organising the St Bartholomues Day Massacre in Paris in 1571 and it’s not difficult to see the serene and iconic face of the Felix Djerjinsky as ”grand Inquisitor” during medieval times !….religious fanatics in secular form

          • Questions

            You've simply proven my point. Communism and Fascism, far from being anti-religious, had a religious-like fervor to whip their crowds into a frenzy of hate against the forces of liberalism — a mutual enemy. Hitler, in fact, never renounced his membership in the Catholic Chruch.

          • tarleton

            I never claimed that they were anti-religious !….They are clearly the religious impulse shoehorned into secular form

            The utopian fanatics of thw 20th C who were trying to build heaven upon earth were of a similar nature to the religious fanatics of an earlier age who were obsessed with heaven above earth …their religious beliefs had been undermined and discredited by science , but that religious impulse remained in a potent secular form …you can see a similar religious fervour in the quasi religious enviromentalist movement

  • Guest

    Mr Prager: You're a nice guy and I used to listen to your radio show once in a while. But, to say that "the Muslim world is threatened by religious fanaticism" is the most obtuse statement I've ever heard! The Mohammed cult IS fanaticism. It's no religion. It's "pillars" are murder, rape, pillage, hatred and war. If you're not a "fanatic", you're not a mohammedan. The only reason all the mohammedans aren't killling infidels every day simply that nearly all the infidels they would otherwise be killing have ALREADY BEEN KILLED!
    When a writer equates Mohammedism with religion, he's either stupid or he's being PC to a fault. I don't believe you're stupid.

    • Questions

      Islam meets all the requirements of a genuine religion. That it is a despicable religion is a separate issue. But it is a religion all the same. I have found that those who deny as much typically seek to paint Christianity and Judaism as sweetness and light. Sorry, mate. Every religion has some evil skeletons. And many are out in the open.

      • cjk

        'Sorry mate'? You're ignorant of Christianity. There are no commands to evil at all period, end of argument. There are numerous commands to kill, rape, terrorize and murder in Mohammedanism.
        With the people who are informed and educated at a site like this one , you betray a rank ignorance when you try to equate Mohammedanism with any other religion and especially so with Christianity.

  • Mo_

    Powerful article, but this idea was mentioned twice:

    "The Muslim world is threatened by religious fanaticism. "

    And the conclusion:

    "But the Islamist thinks he is improving Muslim life, too, of course."

    Islam, at its core, IS fanatical. It's teachings ARE fanatical. Anyone who's read them knows this. Therefore, Islam IS "the Muslim world". This was very confusing.

  • loseyateefa

    perhaps a better understanding of the first sentence would be:
    The Muslims are afraid of secular fanaticism and the Western world is threatened by religious fanaticism.
    I am a Christ follower. the Bible clearly establishes man's free will to acknowledge the true God or reject. ONly Islam, because it is from satan, tries to dominate mankind into worship of him. it is his only objective and Islam was tailored to achieve that sole purpose. Islam mirrors what the afterlife hell will be like.

  • mrbean

    All mystics have desired great hordes of slaves. They refer to them as their followers. All organized religions are at best what results from a deliberate evasion of reality based on a hope of an afterlife, and a blatantly dishonest attempt to explain our position as a momentary species in an infinitely old Cosmos. Western civilization was the child and product of reason — via ancient Greece. In all other civilizations, reason has always been the menial servant — the handmaiden — of mysticism. You may observe the results. It is only Western culture that has ever been dominated — imperfectly, incompletely, precariously and at rare intervals — but still, dominated by reason. It is only the excess intellectual baggage of mysticism that drags western civilization down.

  • Reason_For_Life

    "The Taliban wiped out public vestiges of Buddhism in Afghanistan; the ACLU and its allies seek to wipe out public vestiges of Christianity in America "

    Dennis, for an intelligent man this is a remarkably stupid statement.

    What I, and most other secular people want, isn't to abolish "public vestiges" of Christianity, but public financing of religious belief. Comparing the destruction of the Buddhist temples (which were private property) to refusing to pay for publicly financed religious displays is disingenuous at best.

    No one in the US is destroying churches, temples, synagogues or any other privately owned religious edifices, displays or relics.

    As for public schools, there should be no indoctrination of any kind be it religious, environmentalist or anything else. That's why I support abolishing public education entirely so that individuals can send their children to a school consistent with their beliefs. Christians can have prayers on the walls, daily prayers and Bible readings if they so desire. People like me can have their children educated in a purely secular manner.

    This would change education from a political war to a competition in ideas with all sides benefiting from the exchange instead of fighting in a caged death match for control of the entire educational system.

    • puc

      Amazing how some people quickly use the word stupid to disparage the views of those with whom they disagree. Consider Reason For Life that even intelligent atheists can see the value of preserving and treasuring public monuments, architecture etc all often with religious elements. They are part of our heritage. Would you, like the ignorant Taliban bulldoze all that you disapprove of?

      • Reason_For_Life

        I wouldn't bulldoze a thing, I would auction it off. Like I said, I just don't want to pay for someone else's religious structures. So long as the displays are on private property, even those exposed to public view, I have absolutely no problem.

        There was a case where a religious display was in a public park and when the local community was challenged they did the right thing, they sold a small portion of the park to a private party thereby allowing the display to remain. That is the right way to deal with these kinds of things.

        As for my "stupid" remark: I've listened to Dennis Prager on and off for nearly 20 years and greatly respect his usually intelligent commentary. Comparing the removal of publicly financed displays to the wanton destruction of private religious structures is just plain beneath a man of Prager's intelligence.

  • Eric

    The sign says "Imagine No Religion." We don't have to imagine it, it already exists.
    And that reality is scary as hell.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The Muslim world is threatened by religious fanaticism.

    Wrong! That's another false PC multicultural myth and misconception about Islam that is incorrect. Islam is not a faith as it requires each adherent to submit totally, completely, and unconditionally to the will of Allah, where the freedom of conscience is forbidden and where blasphemy and apostasy are capital offenses. Indeed, the word Islam in Arabic means “submission” and the word Muslim in Arabic means “one who submits.”

    Please point to another faith that similarly forbids the freedom of conscience and that likewise punishes blasphemy and apostasy under the pain of death. Let me help you out, there aren't any, which irrefutably proves that Islam is not a faith-based religion.

    Therefore, if Islam is not a faith-based religion, then it isn't protected under the first amendment of the US constitution and should be outlawed and banned ASAP because it is completely incompatible with all other civilizations, cultures, and societies, since it always without exception tries to subvert them per the dictates of Islam.

    In reality, Islam is a supremacist theo-political totalitarian ideology that masquerades as being a faith-based religion in order to dupe the gullible societies it intends to eventually subjugate into a very draconian form of Islamic totalitarianism via the imposition of Sharia for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest to make Islam supreme.

    As a matter of fact, if you look inside every Islamic country today, you will see totalitarianism and you will also see that all Christians and other non-Muslim unbelievers that are living in their totalitarian Islamic states as less than second-class dhimmi citizens are violently oppressed and systematically persecuted when not outright slaughtered altogether.

    Indeed, Islam is far closer to a totalitarian ideology like Communism than it is to being a religion, as just like Communism, Islam seeks world domination, and the end result of Islam, exactly like Communism, is totalitarianism and lots and lots of misery.

    The Muslim world is threatened by religious fanaticism.

    The Muslim world is already subjugated into draconian Islamic totalitarianism, and the un-Islamic remainder of the world is threatened by Islam just like it was threatened by Communism, as the fundamental mission and main goal of Islam is to subjugate the entire world into a very draconian form of Islamic totalitarianism via the imposition of Sharia.

    Indeed, mass Muslim immigration to the West is really covert non-violent jihad for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest to make Islam supreme. However, because per the dictates of PC multiculturalism, jihad, which is both violent and non-violent, is always conflated as being terrorism, which as its name implies is always only violent, the covert non-violent varieties of jihad, such as mass Muslim immigration to the West for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest, aren't contested or opposed.

    During the Cold War with the Soviets, did the West open up its doors for mass Communist immigration? Of course, not because that would have been suicidal. Well, that is exactly what the West is doing today with respect to mass Muslim immigration. Even though in country after country and anywhere and everywhere mass Muslim immigration is occurring in the world today, just like clockwork the vast overwhelming majority of Muslim immigrants flat out refuse to assimilate and integrate, and instead form segregated Muslim enclaves that over time inevitably morph into Muslim no-go zones ruled by Sharia as fifth columns and in direct contravention to the laws of the states in which they reside.

    As a matter of fact, the government of France just a few years ago counted 758 Muslim no-go zones in France alone. Indeed, Europe today is populated with over a thousand Muslim no-go zones already, and each one of them acts like tiny little sovereign Islamic statelets inside the states in which they reside. As Muslims never ever migrate to the West or anywhere else for that matter to assimilate and integrate, but instead to eventually subjugate and dominate via the eventual imposition of Sharia for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest to make Islam supreme, and this very conspicuous phenomena just like clockwork takes place anywhere and everywhere mass Muslim immigration outside the Islamic world is occurring today. Nevertheless, this very conspicuous phenomena is also universally ignored thanks to the dictates of PC multiculturalism.

    By the way, the above is also the sole reason for the jihad of conquest currently being waged perpetually against the Jewish unbelievers in Israel by the Islamic world, as the so-called Arab narrative is bogus taqiyya used to dupe gullible useful idiots.

  • No Dhimmi tool

    Sorry, but equating secularism with Islamism is a bogus equation from the get-go – why not compare Catholicism with Nazism, while we're at it? All I see here is Dennis Prager trying to justify his own religious fanaticism.

    I find this obsession with a "heavenly Father" to be offensive, as well as sexist, leading to a huge amount of misogyny on this planet. There's no need for such an invocation in our public schools, period.

    Now, go back to battling Islam – secularism is your best ally in that battle.

    • pagegl

      Radical secularism is aiding and abetting Islam. Witness the irrational support for Islam by the far left.

      • Questions

        But not by the secular Right. Look around. There are plenty among the latter.

    • puc

      No Dhimmi too- You are confused. You need to be less doctrinaire and do some homework. Your first assignment is to consider the meaning of equation, a word you used. Then reread the article. Denis clearly referred to secular fanaticism not secularism. What is at issue here is too serious for you to be sloppy or unkind.


  • tagalog

    With the utmost respect for the thoughts of Dennis Prager, the Islamic world THRIVES on religious fanaticism, and has done so for the past 1500 years.

    It is by no means clear that if Muslims give in wholeheartedly to fanaticism, that they will be destroyed or even harmed. They may conquer Europe, something they failed to do the last two times they tried it.

  • tanstaafl

    Islam is the single greatest retrograde force in human history.

    I am no fan of the ACLU, but it is hard to equate it's efforts with the 270 million infidels that Islam has killed over the last 1400 years.

  • logic

    ACLU believes in 'No God' therefore its religion should be banned from displaying in the public, i.e. no show of 'Ten Commandments', no show of prayers, no show of the Cross, etc.

    Everything starts from small, if ACLU is allowed to advance itself, it will become another Islam like fanatic of wickedness.

  • tagalog

    The rise of Islam, and its desired violent confrontation with what they believe is the "godless West" will force the West into a self-confrontation with Christianity.

    A functional and vital West will resist Islam in the name of religious freedom, primarily freedom of the Christian and Jewish religions. In that eventuality, the ACLU and its fellow travelers will wither away as an influence on the West. Those who favor the loss of Western civilization rather than compromise for the sake of survival will bemoan that as the equivalent of living under shar'ia. Those who do not will fight like Charles Martel and Jan Sobieski.

    A West intent on self-destruction will not do so and will yield to monolithic Islam, the dhimma, the Dar al-Islam, in the name of tolerance and democracy.

    Time will tell.

  • Ghostwriter

    I may be a secular person,but I don't really have a problem with religion. I wouldn't have had a problem with a Christian or another religious type club on my high school campus. Just so long it doesn't force it's religious beliefs on others,I have no problem with it.

  • Ann

    Everyone serves one god or the other G-D—no matter who or what they are—Atheist or Muslims—you serve a god —the name may be money,earth,water,satan ect…

  • JakeTobias

    I never took "Imagine" literally. Until recently.

    Lennon's assassin, Mark Chapman, said he shot Lennon because, he talked like a socialist, but lived like a capitalist. At the time, the media only insinuated it was because Chapman was a born again Christian.

    As far as the prayer's go, the left would say those values are taught at school in the first place. The ones about honesty, and integrity, etc. The second one qualifies as indoctrination. If you do not believe in God, why would you say your values come from Him? Not all atheists are socialist, or nihilists. But most are. Some claim not to be moral relativists, but this is often not true.

    I am forced to conclude none the less, that the left have lost their ever loving minds. And apparently, never had them to begin with.

    What bothers me, is that the ACLU is fighting to introduce Muslim prayers into school.

  • Larry Linn

    Social commentator and former alter-boy George Carlin sums it up, “Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more.”

  • joe

    Secularists are paranoid lunatics.

    America's preeminent secular organization, Americans United for Separation of Church and State,
    once sent me a fund raising letter warning me of all the things that the "religious right" was doing to me in my local community. Of course the "religious right" isn't doing anything to me at all.

    The letter they sent was paragraph after paragraph of nothing but raging paranoia.

    In order to feel safe, secularists feel the need to criminalize harmless, peaceful religion.

    Secularists need mental help.

  • buy steroids uk

    having no religions would be a very bad thing for the world.

  • Neti pot

    not so bad…

  • mrbean

    Speak not so go english?