Unlike any election season that I can remember, this one has been filled with discussion about the place of religion in politics and how they line up. There are many reasons that this topic is being brought up:
- A candidate who used to be a pastor.
- The “values voters” that seemed to play a big part in the last Presidential election.
- Liberals inability to understand people of faith.
It’s the last one that seems to be permeating the discussion, as of late.
This is the one area that liberals feel that they can have open season in the derision game– the one intolerance in what they claim is tolerance:
At a New York or Los Angeles cocktail party, few would dare make a pejorative comment about Barack Obama’s race or Hillary Clinton’s sex. Yet it would be easy to get away with deriding Mike Huckabee’s religious faith.
Liberals believe deeply in tolerance and over the last century have led the battles against prejudices of all kinds, but we have a blind spot about Christian evangelicals. They constitute one of the few minorities that, on the American coasts or university campuses, it remains fashionable to mock.
But there is hope, Mr. Kristof, author of this article states. It turns out that some evangelicals aren’t as illiberal as they were lead to believe. He goes on to list that evangelicals are actually making an impact in poverty and disease around the world. On that, liberals can agree with evangelicals– maybe even support them.
And this, is valid criticism. I’ve been in and seen too many churches that were too involved with ministering to the flock to reach out to the poor and needy of their area. I have been a part of congregations that fail to understand the power of the Gospel applied to those that need hope. Indeed, Christ ministered mostly to the poor and sick– and they followed Him.
The problem, Mr. Kristof, is that liberals believe in using the power of the government to accomplish their good deeds whereas the church believes that it’s their mission of love from God using free gifts. No one is forcing me to donate to Mr. Warren’s church, causing me to fly to Africa, or coming into my wallet to fund a mission to some poor people elsewhere.
Yes, there’s a big difference between reaching out a hand for Christ and taking money away from people to send it to your pet project. Hence the problem that liberals have with Faith Based programs to help people combat drugs, alcohol and poverty. We can’t possibly help people get physically provided for as well as spiritually– but I digress.
You see, liberals hold contempt for all things conservative or that have to deal with faith. And they prove this by consistently failing to understand America’s founding principles.
Take this article by Ira Chernus— it clearly misunderstands what this country is all about. Take for instance, this paragraph:
For starters, it’s a direct threat to democracy. The essence of our system is that we, the people, get to choose our values. We don’t discover them inscribed in the cosmos. So everything must be open to question, to debate, and therefore to change. In a democracy, there should be no fixed truth except that everyone has the right to offer a new view — and to change his or her mind. It’s a process whose outcome should never be predictable, a process without end. A claim to absolute truth — any absolute truth — stops that process.
First, we do not live in a democracy, but a republic. Why the distinction? Because the Founders knew that democracy breeds anarchy, and they disagreed with the central point of this paragraph– that there is no absolute truth.
Look at the Declaration of Independence:
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. [emphasis mine]
To the point, the first quote says that the founders believed that they were under the laws of nature and nature’s God. These laws were not up to debate– they were absolute.
Then there’s the second paragraph. Here is what they believed was absolute truth as stated by the founders themselves. What are the absolute truths?
- All men were created equal
- That their Creator had given them the right to life
- That their Creator had given them the right to liberty
- That their Creator had given them the right to the pursuit of Happiness.
There is absolute truth. Now, her whole statement contradicts itself– that there is no absolute truth except that there is one– that everyone has a voice. That’s not American. In fact, it is entirely American to understand that the founders of this country believed that its very existence derived from God.
Why is this important? Because religion will always be a part of politics in America because it’s part of America’s identity. Those that seek to remake America in another image will be the ones complaining that it should be out of the realm of discussion– but it is very much who we are.