Re­li­gious big­otry? Check out the N.Y. Times

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

As the 2012 pres­i­den­tial race gears up, left­ist Christo­phobes are show­ing some signs of hys­te­ria, or po­lit­i­cal op­por­tunism; it’s some­times dif­fi­cult to tell.

The New York Times’ ex­ec­u­tive editor, Bill Keller, in a piece in The New York Times Mag­a­zine, ar­gues that pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates should be asked tough ques­tions about their faith. Keller wants to know whether a can­di­date will place “fealty to the Bi­ble, the Book of Mor­mon . . . or some other au­thor­ity higher than the Con­sti­tu­tion and laws of this coun­try” and “whether a pres­i­dent re­spects se­ri­ous science and ver­i­fi­able his­tory.” He wants to make sure “re­li­gious doc­trine” does not be­come “an ex­cuse to ex­clude my fel­low cit­i­zens from the rights and pro­tec­tions our coun­try prom­ises.” His col­league, New York Times colum­nist Paul Krug­man, fol­lowed up with a hit piece on “Repub­li­cans Against Science.”

Keller is in­sa­tiably cu­ri­ous about whether Rick Perry sub­scribes to be­liefs of cer­tain pas­tors who en­dorse him and about Michele Bach­mann’s “men­tors who preach the lit­eral ‘in­errancy’ of the Bi­ble, who warn Chris­tians to be sus­pi­cious of ideas that come from non-Chris­tians, who be- lieve ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is an ‘abom­i­na­tion,’ who por­tray the pre-Civil War South as a pretty nice place for slaves and who ad­vo­cate ‘Do­min­ion­ism,’ the view that Chris­tians and only Chris­tians should pre­side over earthly in­sti­tu­tions.”

It doesn’t bother me if the me­dia vet pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates on their re­li­gious be­liefs and as­so­ci­a­tions, pro­vided equal scru­tiny is ap­plied to all of them, in­clud­ing closet sec­u­lar­ists. One’s world­view in­vari­ably in­forms his po­lit­i­cal views, and in­for­ma­tion about those world­views can’t hurt.

But Keller’s con­cern isn’t with the re­li­gious be­liefs of all can­di­dates, only Chris­tians, and not all Chris­tians, just those who take the Bi­ble se­ri­ously. He doesn’t seem to have any prob­lem with the re­li­gious be­liefs of non-Chris­tians or about char­la­tans who op­por­tunis­ti­cally pass them­selves off as Chris­tians. Wouldn’t an ob­jec­tive re­porter have as much in­ter­est in some­one fraud­u­lently pro­claim­ing a cer­tain faith as he does in one who sin­cerely pro­fesses a faith he finds re­pug­nant?

Did Pres­i­dent Obama, for ex­am­ple, sub­scribe to the nox­ious po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious be­liefs of his pas­tor Jeremiah Wright? If not, why did he at­tend church there for 20 years and have his chil­dren bap­tized in that church? If so, shouldn’t Keller’s left­ist ilk have fol­lowed up on why Obama agrees with Wright? Is it merely ac­ci­den­tal that Keller’s can­di­date-faith anx­i­ety is cen­tered on con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian can­di­dates Bach­mann and Perry?

Kel­le­rian left­ists shud­der at the prospect of “ir­ra­tional” and “re­al­ity-chal­lenged” con­ser­va­tive Chris­tians who ques­tion left­ist dogma on global warm­ing and evo­lu­tion and who, they lu­di­crously be­lieve, would turn Amer­ica into a Chris­tian theoc­racy. They want them nowhere near the seats of gov­ern­men­tal power.

But what’s ir­ra­tional is their fear that Chris­tians are en­e­mies of re­li­gious lib­erty and ad­vo­cates of theoc­racy. Never mind the strong Chris­tian in­flu­ence on Amer­ica’s found­ing. Never mind that most of Amer­ica’s pres­i­dents have been pro­fess­ing Chris­tians. Lib­erty has no greater ally than be­liev­ing Chris­tians of all stripes.

If re­al­ity is their con­cern, why don’t these left­ists, in­stead of fo­cus­ing on fan­tas­tic fears that a cer­tain type of Chris­tian pres­i­dent might shut down re­li­gious lib­erty, turn their at­ten­tion to a pres­i­dent who shut­ting down the econ­omy? That’s re­al­ity. Why don’t they in­quire into the re­al­ism of Barack Obama and his team of eco­nomic ad­vis­ers, what’s left of them, stub­bornly cling­ing to an eco­nomic agenda that is man­i­festly de­stroy­ing our econ­omy and bankrupt­ing our na­tion? Why don’t they ques­tion the sta­bil­ity and ra­tio­nal­ity of a pres­i­dent who won’t take re­spon­si­bil­ity for his poli­cies, con­tin­ues to scape­goat his pre­de­ces­sor and is pre­par­ing yet an­other speech, even as we speak, to pro­mote the very same reck­less spend­ing poli­cies that have driven this na­tion into a fi­nan­cial ditch?

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Iron­i­cally, it is left­ists who are far like­lier to use the power of gov­ern­ment to se­lec­tively sup­press po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious lib­er­ties.

I doubt that Keller is much in­ter­ested in the an­swers to the ques­tions he de­mands be raised of Perry and Bach­mann. He thinks he al­ready knows the an­swers but wants to in­cite fear in us about them. He seems more in­ter­ested in smear­ing cer­tain can­di­dates with the slan­der­ous in­nu­endo of his ques­tions, such as the pre­pos­ter­ous ones de­signed to sug­gest that cer­tain can­di­dates are theocrats who be­lieve South­ern slav­ery was a good thing.

The re­al­ity is that through­out our his­tory, the halls of Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment have teemed with Bi­ble-be­liev­ing Chris­tians, and they’ve never pushed for theoc­racy. Iron­i­cally, it is left­ists who are far like­lier to use the power of gov­ern­ment to se­lec­tively sup­press po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious lib­er­ties. They are the ones be­hind the Fair­ness Doc­trine, net­work neu­tral­ity rules, cam­pus speech codes and pre­vent­ing cer­tain ideas from be­ing pre­sented, along­side all oth­ers, in pub­lic class­rooms.

Once again, our left­ist friends are pro­ject­ing. They are the ones show­ing their re­li­gious big­otry and pros­e­ly­tiz­ing us to adopt their sec­u­lar­ist world­view.

David Lim­baugh is the au­thor of “Crimes Against Lib­erty”.

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