Potiphar12's Blog
An Octogenarian in the modern world

THE SECULAR STATE

I am working steadily at my commentary on Piers Plowman, a poem from the 14th Century. It was written in a religious age, and Will Langland thought the society around him was in rather a mess. He attributed this to sin, and his character Reason had this to say about pestilence and a recent storm.

“He proved that these pestilences were cause purely by sin, and the soutwest wind on Saturday at evening occurred obiously because of pride and for no cause else.”

Our society today is in a mess, but we don’t live in a religious age and few people would buy this explanation. But consider what religion provided. It offered a firm view of right and wrong behaviour and gave people a niggling feeling that if they transgressed too much – by ommission or commission – then something awful might happen to them. We don’t live in a religious age, but we don’t seem to have those derivatives either. Have we lost something? A smart evil-doer can evade the secular state with some success. If he believed in God would he take the same risks?

  

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“He proved that

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