Religion is an idea — a meta-idea. It is a framework for understanding the world. In that sense one cannot separate one’s understanding of what is real from the real world. If murder is wrong “religiously,” then one may support political action outlawing murder. How can this not be the case? Alternatively, if there is no God and there is no Judgement Day, then let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
Ideas have consequences. To suggest that they do not, or more specifically, that they should not, is an act of power. So when some insists that “religion and politics” must remain separate what they are really saying is “those ideas” should have zero consequence in the real world. That’s what people really aim for when they preach “the separation of religion and politics.” Christians (or Muslims) who believe this have been disarmed (intellectually and politically) by practicing atheists (even those who are nominally Christian). Ideas without consequences are irrelevant, meaningless.
Adhering to ideas that are not classically religious, such as atheism, is no less a meta-idea — and understanding of the world. Atheism begins, as does Theism, with some presupposition from which one concludes that a Creator does not exist in the same way that Theism may begin with suppositions that conclude a Creator does in fact exist.
Ideologically they are equal — presuppositions — the understanding of first things.
It is impossible to approach the world in the way Emmanuel Kant suggested — by doubting everything and reasoning up from there. Those who try this suppose that one’s rationality is enough to come to some “true” conclusions of the state of existence — but that has been widely disproven and, thus, the Enlightenment is dead. We really are captives of our own presuppositions.
Logic and rationality, however, are far from dead. We now understand that they are simply constrained by the logical tools we use. Those tools consist of language or languages. Thus a speaker of English will have a slightly different view of reality than a Francophone, not only because of the values inherent in the language (such as gender for nouns), but the universe of ideas (books) to which he is exposed. This is magnified when one considers the difference between, say, English and Chinese (pictograms) or Chinese and a language with no written component, or languages whose vocabulary is is limited. For example, even in English those with a greater mastery of the language can perform mental feats vastly more sophisticated than a child just learning to read. It’s not that the adult is more intelligent, it is that the former has with a greater mastery of this fundamental tool of rationality (language) and thus can perform greater intellectual feats. Carry this over into the languages of numbers (Arithmetic, Mathematics, Geometry, Calculus) and it is not difficult to understand that language circumscribes our intellectual universe.
Thus, man is intellectual finite and bounded forever by words, language.
It is then, for me, quite poetic that the Savior of Mankind presents himself as the “Word” of God, saving us Physically, Spiritually, and Intellectually.
Christianity is a worldview more powerful than Islam or Atheism, we just have not tapped its riches. Christianity’s weakness is not some inherent intellectual shallowness, it is the failure of practitioners of this faith to plumb its depths. But we will. Islam is but totalitarianism in another disguise and secularism/atheism is both totalitarian and soulless — cultural and historical dead ends. I fear the union of those two strongholds —because the hedonistic West is incapable or resisting Islam unless inspired by something greater.
I have something greater — it begins with that Word of God.