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The politics of faith

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted April 25, 2005

This country was, in no small part founded from the pulpit. Many colonial ministers urged support for the American Revolution and some actually fought in that conflict. A sermon by David Jones of Philadelphia in 1775 exhorted, "We have considered the alarming call, which we have to take up arms; let us unite as men possessed of a true sense of liberty....If ever there was one time that called for more religion than another, this is the very time."

Had Mr. Jones uttered these words today he would no doubt have been condemned as both a religious fanatic and a chicken hawk. He also would have been threatened with the loss of his church's tax exempt status, provided of course, that his words were in support of President Bush.

Just decades ago, when various religious faiths combined to eliminate the evil of segregation they were applauded. But today, when similar groups unite to call on the Senate to end the equally odious tyranny of the judiciary, heads must roll. That this new moral majority would even think of using their right of peaceable assembly to encourage their representatives do their job is repugnant in certain circles.

In liberal land, the thinking goes like this: If a majority of Americans seek a change in direction they must be denied by the courts for their own good. But when a tiny sliver of the minority seeks change it must be granted them by a handful of judges for the nation's good. This phenomenon used to be referred to as the ‘tyranny of the minority', but is now simply known as the New York Times editorial policy.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist spoke by satellite this past weekend on a telecast sponsored by the Family Research Council called "Justice Sunday," to protest Democrat filibusters of President Bush's judicial nominees. Many of the FRC's members are regular church-goers and therefore, in Times-speak, intolerant by default.

In taking Frist to the woodshed, the Times, in unintended hilarity actually opined, "It is one thing when private groups foment this kind of intolerance. It is another thing entirely when it's done by the highest-ranking member of the United States Senate, who swore on the Bible to uphold a Constitution that forbids the imposition of religious views on Americans." In the coming secular nation one supposes the volume of choice for oath-taking might be The Da Vinci Code.

The Washington Post took offense at a statement made by an organizer of FRC, that some of the president's nominee's are being blocked because they are "people of faith." At the mere mention of the "f" word, the Post swooned, "But it will be a distressing new low in the debased debate over judges if the Senate leader appears at an event predicated on slander, unless he makes clear that he does not condone such slander."

It's hard to find any instance of liberals suffering similar bouts of the vapors when numerous Democrats appear at events sponsored by the folks at the NAACP whose chairman said of the president, "(He) selected nominees from the Taliban wing of American politics, appeased the wretched appetites of the extreme right wing and chosen Cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection."

Or when Democratic leaders like Al Gore, Harry Reid, Edward Kennedy, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Patrick Leahy, Charles Schumer and Robert Byrd speak in front of the banner of MoveOn.org, a far-left PAC that promoted Bush-as-Hitler TV ads last year. So dependent are Democrats on the George Soros-backed cash cow that the AP recently ran a story called, "MoveOn to Democratic Party: 'We Own It'."

But let a Republican speak at Bob Jones University and it's Katie bar the devotional door. Yet photo-ops of Democrats brown-nosing black ministers are a staple of any major campaign. The media has no problem when these ministers lobby for liberal candidates directly from the pulpit yet they chastise the Catholic Church for advising its members not to vote for pro-abortion candidates in general.

So even as liberals like Kerry and Kennedy are lauded when they profess their faith while frequently acting to legislate in violation of its tenets, conservatives who profess and act on the tenets of their faith are singled out for a trip to the political pillory.

The idea being, that it's permissible to talk about faith but actually letting it guide your life and deeds is now taboo. Mr. Kerry himself sums this up nicely: "I think that everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith, affected by your faith, but without transferring it in any official way to other people."

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut . You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com .


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