Stony Brook University in New York has decided that it will no longer use Jewish and Christian holy days as days off for the university. This primarily impacts Jewish students who will not be allowed off on Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Passover and Holy Week. Christian students will be affected on Good Friday.
Actually, though, the real issue at hand does not relate to which holy days are and are not allowed to be used as days off for the school. Rather, it is which religion gets to set the agenda. While the ones advocating for the new policy believe that religion has now been completely taken out of the equation making it fair for everyone, that is actually not the case. It is just that now a secular religion has become the one able to impose its will.
The reason this new situation seems right and reasonable to many people is that they have been blinded by the worldview position of the secularists. They think that not favoring any religion is a “non-religious” position. But the secular position which has now taken over is a religious posture. It is based on a Naturalistic worldview which asserts that there is no such thing as a supernatural existence. As with every worldview position, however, this one is also a faith perspective.
So the new default is the religion of the secularists. It is now only their interpretation of religious days which which determines days off. And since the point of view of those currently in leadership doesn’t recognize any kind of holy days, there are no days off. The end result is that rather than equalizing the situation, all of the other faith positions are now being discriminated against in favor of the secular religion.
Understanding the faith nature of the secular religion requires that a person grasp the concept of worldview. Without that, we are unable to comprehend the religious nature of the secular viewpoint. More and more, this secular faith is dominating the fabric of our culture. In practical terms it is visible in the culture war battles that are being fought over abortion, homosexual marriage, religious expression in the public square, the nature of freedom in society, the nature of the law, and proper expressions of sexual morality in entertainment and even in the daily life of individuals. Secular religion’s point of view in each of these areas is diametrically opposed to the Christian view.
What is happening at Stony Brook University is but one small window into what is happening in every part of society. At this stage, Christians have only one true defense against this kind of societal domination by the secularists. That defense is to become faithful in every part of our own faith lives – living it out faithfully and sharing it frequently. If we are not willing to do this, the Stony Brook syndrome will spread all the more.