So, what's the big deal about religion in '08?
By Frank Salvato
We have come to a point in the 2008 presidential election cycle where both political parties' candidates are fielding questions about religion. While religion is a personal issue for an overwhelming majority of Americans, religion in government has been frowned upon ever since the ACLU took an active roll in purging it from the "public square." So, it would seem at odds with the dogma of the Secular Progressive Left that religion should be an election issue at all. Yet each candidate has had to answer questions about their faith, with Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney being literally scrutinized on the issue.
If we are to believe there actually exists a "separation of church and state," a notion that exists nowhere in the Charters of Freedom (The Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and The Bill of Rights, our Founding Documents) then the issue of religion should be out of bounds when Americans publicly debate the strengths and weaknesses of candidates for elected office. If we are to believe this incorrect interpretation of the Constitution, then religion should be a private matter, exclusive to the individual.
Why then is the issue of the candidates' religions receiving so much attention from the secular mainstream news media? What does it matter if Mitt Romney is a Mormon or that Mike Huckabee is Evangelical?
The logical answer to these questions is that the Secular Progressive Left – and especially the agenda-driven, "in-the-pocket," secular mainstream media – is trying to scare the American people into believing that if a man of faith is elected to office he will defer to the tenets of his religion over his constitutionally mandated duty to administer and follow the laws of the land. They are trying to frighten the American people into adhering to the politically correct secular ideology of purging all religion from the "public square."
The fact of the matter is this. In survey after survey it is proven that the overwhelming majority of American people adhere to the tenets of a chosen religion. A 2001 American Religious Identification Survey indicated that approximately 80% of the American people adhere to the tenets of Christianity. And the CIA World Factbook breaks the US religious demographic down as being 78% Christian, while 12% of the population embrace other religions. 10%, it reports, practice no religion.
When you take these facts into consideration, it would be an unlikely event that our electorate would choose someone for the highest office in the land that didn't adhere to a specific religion's ideology.
So, again, we have to ask, why is the issue of the candidate's religion receiving so much attention from the secular mainstream news media?
Again, we have to lean on the obvious notion that the Secular Progressive Left – and especially their toady mainstream media – is trying to scare the American electorate into rejecting candidates that they deem "too mired in faith." It would appear that they would prefer the American people choose someone who maintains the status quo; a candidate who gives disingenuous lip-service to faith while glad-handing for votes.
Another facet to their motives might be found in the idea that the Secular Progressive Left (valued at approximately 10% of the legitimate US population) is religiously bigoted. This idea is bolstered when one explores the Secular Progressive ideology.
Secularism holds dear the idea that government and the "public square" should exist separately from religion or religious belief and, in the extreme, that religion has no place in public life. Progressivism, identified with Left-wing politics, places great importance on upholding a secular society dedicated to social equality through collective rights, multicultural in nature. In actuality, the Secular Progressive Left identifies man – humans – as the ultimate authority. It is because of this that the Secular Progressive Left deems the idea there may exist an entity, a higher power, capable of imposing a "final judgment" for earthly actions, unsophisticated and "simple."
Frankly, it gives me great comfort knowing that the person entrusted with the ability to bring about nuclear Armageddon believes there is a higher power to answer to at the end of times. The humility that this understanding instills could very well serve to be the final barrier keeping one from literally bringing a "judgment day." Of course, this doesn't apply to genocidal maniacs like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who believe that bringing about the end of times wins them a personal audience with an imam in a well and 72 rejuvenating virgins in the afterlife. It is precisely for this reason that freedom of religion not be misinterpreted as freedom from religion.
No matter how the Secular Progressive Left tries to remove religion and faith from our lives, the fact remains they are in the minority on this issue. With approximately 90% of Americans believing in one religion or another we have the capability to embrace our Judeo-Christian heritage, relegating the Secular Progressive Left's attempt at bringing about a Godless nation to the ash heap of time along with the failed ideologies of Socialism and Communism.
Americans need to appreciate this reality. Just as there are numerous mentions of God and The Creator in the Charters of Freedom, our nation is one that overwhelmingly embraces its faith. And just as the Secular Progressive Left hangs its hat on a single letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802, declarative in its capacity, to the Danbury Baptist Association explaining there would be no establishment of a national religion, they do so with a voice ensconced in the minority.
"For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew – or a Quaker – or a Unitarian – or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim – but tomorrow it may be you – until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril." – John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1960
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director and Director of Terrorism Research for Basics Project a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education initiative. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, Basics Project, partnered in producing the first ever national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is the host of the NMJ Radio show broadcast global on NetTalkWorld global talk radio and broadcast live on BlogTalk Radio. He is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, syndicated on over 25 stations nationally and on The Captain's America Radio Show catering to the US Armed Forces around the world, as well as an occasional guests on radio programs across the country. His opinion-editorials are syndicated nationally and he is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.