Salvation is a secular concept

Our culture is poorer for having segregated some useful ideas into a religious ghetto, isolated from society’s mainstream. One such concept is salvation. For most Westerners, the word “salvation” conjures up images of sweating American preachers in tent revivals. But “salvation” is simply the noun form of the verb “to save.” It is related to words that mean health and well-being.

Sick people need salvation. Drowning people need salvation. Beseiged people need salvation. The dominant society may be strongly opposed to the idea of that we ever need to be saved from anything but physical danger. But that doesn’t mean they should refuse to discuss it. The concept that the world is subnormal and needs to be fixed, along with its inhabitants, is a reasonable theory. But since it means that we can’t save ourselves, that makes it a dangerous theory, along with any theory that says the universe didn’t create itself.

So we must not consider these viewpoints in polite conversation. We must keep our bonfires burning at night, to ward away such thoughts. We must warn our children. We must be afraid.

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