Well, it is actually a real religion. The religion of nothing is any expression of Naturalism – Atheism, Postmodernism, Secular Humanism, Marxism, and the like. It is a very deceptive religion because nothing is really not nothing – it is something.
If you are confused, at this point, don’t feel alone. Not only is this belief confusing to Christians who are confronted with it, but even its adherents don’t usually understand its full implications. So, here is the explanation.
Naturalism is the belief that there is no such thing as a supernatural reality. All that exists is the material universe. Based on that belief, there is no God and everything in all of reality can ultimately be explained by experimental science. Of course everyone admits there is much about reality that is still not known. But adherents believe that given enough time, science will catch up and everything will be explained.
Based on this belief, they assert that any kind of religious expression is silly superstition. Now, most of these folks would say that if people want to follow their superstitious beliefs that is their own business. But if they do, it should be confined to the private arena. That kind of expression should not be allowed in the public square. So, there should be no prayer before public meetings, no religious expressions in public buildings, no crosses at public cemeteries, no religious expression in any school activity, and so on.
Here is the problem. In spite of their assertions to the contrary, Naturalism is a religion. There is no possible experimental science to back up its basic foundational presuppositions. In order to show that Naturalism is true, they would have to demonstrate four things using experimental science (which is what they demand of any other kind of religious expression).
1. They would have to prove that it is possible for the material that makes up the natural universe (matter and energy) to have either emerged out of absolute nothing or that it is eternal without a beginning. There is no experimental science to demonstrate that either of these are even possible.
2. They would have to prove that life can emerge out of inert chemicals. In spite of many years of trying, there is no experimental science which has ever demonstrated that this is a possibility.
3. They would have to prove that the variety of life forms on earth could possibly have evolved from lower life forms. In spite of the elaborate contortions of the Theory of Evolution, this has never been proven possible. Many biological processes have been speculated about to try and back-up the theory, but scientists are no closer now to actually demonstrating it to be possible than they were when Darwin first proposed it. They try to equate micro-evolution with macro-evolution by saying natural selection can be extended beyond what can be demonstrated by experimental science. Unfortunately for them, this is based on their ardent faith in Naturalism, not on science.
4. They would have to prove that consciousness can emerge from non-consciousness. There is a massive breach between plants and certain lower life forms which have no consciousness at all, and creatures which are conscious. There is a massive gap between lower animal forms which have no self-consciousness and human beings which do. Again, there is no science to show that it is even possible for naturalistic evolution to bridge these gaps.
Naturalists assert these beliefs because for them, since they believe there is no supernatural reality, a natural explanation is all that is possible. Their reasoning has no scientific basis whatsoever. They believe it by faith. In other words, Naturalism, in all its forms, is a religious point of view, not a scientific one. They try to equate Naturalism with science, but it is simply not true.
So, now back to the religion of nothing. Based on what has been expressed above, what is the religious symbol of Naturalism? Well, that would be nothing. So when Naturalists insist that nothing be put in the public square which would represent some other religious point of view, they are, in fact, insisting that their religious symbol be there. We do need to make a distinction here. If nothing is in a particular place just because nothing is there, that is not any kind of expression at all. A religious expression requires intent by someone. But when a Naturalist insists that there be nothing in place of something else, that is an expression of intent and is thus a religious expression.
Frankly, I believe that the religion of nothing is a false religion. But beyond that, I believe that in no way should the religion of nothing take precedence over my faith in Jesus Christ in the public square. In spite of those who hate the Christian faith, the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of every citizen to express their faith – not only in private, but also in the public square. It cannot be any other way. There will be some religious expression no matter what, whether it is Christianity or the religion of nothing. Why should the Christian faith be consigned to second class status behind the religion of nothing? It is very important for Christians to understand these distinctions and, based on their stewardship responsibilities before God, express their faith in every part of the public square.