Dear Louis, Dear Kirk,
An interesting and stimulating exchange which raises very important questions.
We in the West are at an interesting point in history. The culture we inherited in the UK was largely influenced by the Christian history of this country, and its laws and morality (which were once closer together than they are now) reflected that. The culture we live in now has large sections which are driven by a secular - and secularising - agenda. The way for this was in part paved by Protestant Christianity.
The large area allowed for private judgement, the neglect of the claims of antiquity and the contesting of the claims of authority are not, in origin, secular phenomena; but they have helped light the way to a secular liberalism which depends upon private judgement and substitutes the authority of a revealed Truth with that of an elected government: vox dei replaced by vox populi. Antiquity is, literally, the past, and as a 'young country' what matters is the here and now. It starts by questioning parts of the Faith and ends by questioning all faith in everything. Since we are here once only, all morality should relate to oneself and the getting of happiness here and now.
But mankind is a worshipping animal, and deprived of God, it will revert to the worship of Mammon.
How do we, as believers in a revealed Truth live in that society? Perhaps the way our first Christian ancestors did in Pagan Rome. When one reads St. Irenaeus on heresies and St. Jerome on the morality of his society, we are not, after all, in territory unfamiliar to Christians.
Of course we may feel that it would be good if some of the symbols of our faith remain in society; but emptied of their significance they can become totems rather than icons. I am almost persuaded that I'd rather have 'winterval' than Christ's mass parodied in the way it is in so much of our society; almost, but not!
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)