from Amphibious Force Pacific Fleet – The Amphibian – 26 April, 1952
If I believe that i am going to live only 70 years, then the state, which already has lasted over 150 years, and will probably last quite a while yet, is much more important than I am. Before you know it, some individual or groups of individuals, in places of influence, begin seriously to believe this and start using pressure to force this idea on others. Then you have exactly what happened in Germany under Nazism, where the state became everything and the individual nothing.
But, if I am going to live forever, then the state, even if it lasts a thousand years, is less important than myself as an immortal child of God. then my freedom of conscious, my freedom of worship, my freedom to exercise religion is a thousand times more important than the extension of authority by the state. And so i will stand up and insist on my fundamental freedom as a citizen. That happens to be what makes democracy work. That is what makes liberty more than just a beautiful word. When once we have our compasses working right, life begins to make some sense and to become tremendously worth while for the citizens of this great nation.
We are living in an age when different beliefs about the world lead to different moralities. the morality of a man who looks at the world as just something that happened is certainly bound to be different from the actions of the man who thinks of the world as God’s creation.
Remember that religion involves a series of statements about things which must be either true or false. if they are true you get one set of conclusions; if they are false you arrive at a different answer.
If the propositions of the religion of secularism to the effect that the universe is more or less the result of an accident is correct, then there follow certain results which contradict the morality of a religion which says that the world is a creation of God, to whom men, as creatures, ar therefore responsible and accountable. doesn’t it make a difference whether I am the landlord ofmy own mind and body, or just a tenant–responsible to someone else? If somebody else created me for his own purposes, then I shall have a alot of duities which I would not have, if I just belong to myself. There are a good many things which would nto be worth bothering with at all if i am going to life only 70 years, but which I had better consider every seriously if i am going to life forever.