Ken Connor

But, while we've been busy living our lives, the sands have been shifting under our feet. It's quite possible that the world our grandchildren live in will be one in which the public profession of religious faith will be culturally taboo, if not outright illegal. Churches will not be able to deny the rites of marriage to same-sex couples and parents will not be allowed to raise their children according to the moral dictates of their faith. Religious employers will not be permitted to allow their beliefs to influence the way they run their businesses. There won't be any positive portrayals of religion on television or in the movies. Public prayer will be a relic of a bygone era.

If the "Nones" are successful in obfuscating the once-universal recognition that mankind is created in the image of God and that there is such a thing as transcendent truth, then America will be defenseless against the corrosive and fatalistic influences of moral relativism and social Darwinism. The land of the free and home of the brave will be degraded and transformed into a place where the weak and vulnerable are exploited and power trumps principle. Utilitarianism will triumph and our brave new secular world will look like Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany.??

Make no mistake, all this will come to pass if people of faith do not come together and send the message that we will not surrender our rights and America's future without a fight.? Reno lays out the ways in which faithful Americans must engage the "Nones" if we are to turn the tide of religious antagonism currently holding sway. He says we must fight for religious liberty in the courts, in the classroom, and in the court of public opinion. We must make the point that religious belief is "the most secure guarantee of freedom." And finally, we must unite with other believers in defense of our "divine cause."

Happily, Reno's speech ends – as it should – on a hopeful note:

"Right now the Nones seem to have the upper hand in America. But what seems powerful is not always so. If I had to bet on Harvard or the Catholic Church, Yale or the Mennonites in Goshen, Indiana, the New York Times or yeshivas in Brooklyn, I wouldn't hesitate. Over the long haul, religious faith has proven itself the most powerful and enduring force in human history."


Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.