The Bishops' suggestion

No man can disregard God — and play a man's part in God's world. Unfortunately, however, there are many men—and their number is daily increasing—who in practice live their lives without recognizing that this is God's world. For the most part they do not deny God. On formal occasions they may even mention His name. Not all of them would subscribe to the statement that all moral values derive from merely human conventions. But they fail to bring an awareness of their responsibility to God into their thought and action as individuals and members of society.
This, in essence, is what we mean by secularism. It is a view of life that limits itself not to the material in exclusion of the spiritual, but to the human here and now in exclusion of man's relation to God here and hereafter. Secularism, or the practical exclusion of God from human thinking and living, is at the root of the world's travail today. It was the fertile soil in which such social monstrosities as Fascism, Nazism, and Communism could germinate and grow. It is doing more than anything else to blight our heritage of Christian culture, which integrates the various aspects of human life and renders to God the things that are God's. Through the centuries, Christian culture has struggled with man's inborn inclination to evil. The ideals of Christianity have never been fully realized—just as the ideals of our Declaration of Independence and of our Constitution have never been fully realized in American political life. But for that reason these ideals can neither be ignored nor discarded. Without doubt, Christians have often failed to meet their responsibilities and by their transgressions have permitted ugly growths to mar the institutions of their culture. But wherever, despite their lapses, they have held steadfastly to their Christian ideals, the way to effective reform and progress has been kept open. The remedy for the shortcomings and sins of Christian peoples is surely not to substitute secularism for godliness, human vagaries for divine truth, man-made expedients for a God-given standard of right and wrong. This is God's world and if we are to play a man's part in it, we must first get down on our knees and with humble hearts acknowledge God's place in His world.

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