The Obama Administration announced Friday that it will begin recognizing baptism status as part of overall individual citizens’ profiles, along with birth date, race, social security number, and marital status. The communication from the Social Security Administration conveyed hopes of normalizing the custom of baptism from the popular notion that it is an exclusively religious practice. Over time, the Administration hopes to redefine baptism as a standardized element of identification that will be embraced by every American, from Baptists to atheists.
OK, that’s not true. But it is the pattern of the left’s gradual displacement of all things holy.
People in pursuit of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God tend to transform ancient scripture into tradition. And those who reject such high-minded touchstones usually end up appreciating the results. So they find a way to move into the covenant-controlled neighborhood and eventually get away with parking their motorhome on the front lawn. The routine goes like this: adopt, adapt, assert.
The most contemporary example is marriage. This lifelong commitment is a religious sacrament described extensively in the Bible. At the wedding, people (especially men) vow to deny their own sexual nature, forsaking all others. Non-religious folks also find marriage agreeable and have adopted it as a cultural practice for themselves. Over time, they have adapted it more to their liking, including short-term commitments and same-sex relationships. In recent years, they have asserted this redefined institution for everyone’s acceptance using the force of law.
Many more examples are found in the annals of Western History. Charity, education, health care, and even the separation between church and state lay as casualties along the path of secular accommodation.
Religious folks have long followed scriptural instructions for feeding, clothing, and defending the poor. A recent study from Barna Group revealed that, “Among the most generous segments were evangelicals (24% of whom tithed); conservatives (12%); people who had prayed, read the Bible and attended a church service during the past week (12%); charismatic or Pentecostal Christians (11%); and registered Republicans (10%).”