Sch­lafly: One na­tion un­der co­er­cive sec­u­lar­ism

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Brett M. Decker

Phyl­lis Sch­lafly is pres­i­dent of Ea­gle Forum, a grass­roots or­ga­ni­za­tion she founded in 1972 to cham­pion the tra­di­tional fam­ily, con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ples and na­tional sovereignty. Her lat­est, co-writ­ten with Ge­orge Neu­mayr, is “No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Reli­gious Free­dom” (Reg­n­ery, 2012). You can find out more about Mrs. Sch­lafly’s causes at: ea­gle­fo­ Decker: In your new book, “No Higher Power,” you and coau­thor Ge­orge Neu­mayr write, “The poli­cies of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion rep­re­sent the great­est gov­ern­ment-di­rected as­sault on reli­gious free­dom in Amer­i­can his­tory.” How so? Sch­lafly: The United States has never be­fore suf­fered an at­tack on reli­gious free­dom such as we are wit­ness­ing to­day. The great men who wrote our Con­sti­tu­tion and signed our Dec­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence, ac­knowl­edg­ing that our Cre­ator (not gov­ern­ment) is the source of our un­alien­able rights, never failed to ac­knowl­edge the bless­ings of Almighty God on our land, ask­ing for His in­ter­ven­tion in times of dan­ger and thank­ing Him for our suc­cesses. For more than two cen­turies, the First Amend­ment has been con­sid­ered by all, and in­ter­preted by our courts, broadly to wel­come pub­lic prayer, crosses in­stalled in pub­lic places es­pe­cially to honor our vet­er­ans. Our na­tional motto “In God We Trust” is in­scribed on our money and sung in our Na­tional An­them. We reg­u­larly pledge al­le­giance to “one na­tion un­der God” and ob­serve a Na­tional Day of Prayer.

Barack Obama wants to re­de­fine the First Amend­ment to guar­an­tee a much lesser right. He wants to change “the free ex­er­cise” of re­li­gion to the di­min­ished stature of “free­dom of wor­ship,” which means only what you do inside your church af­ter the doors are closed. Decker: The march of U.S. his­tory has been head­ing in a sec­u­lar­ist di­rec­tion that is openly an­tag­o­nis­tic to reli­gious faith and con­ser­va­tive morals for decades. Does an in­creas­ingly deca­dent Amer­ica still have the char­ac­ter to turn this around, and, if so, how? Sch­lafly: Yes, be­cause Amer­ica is still a ma­jor­ity Chris­tian na­tion. How­ever, the Chris­tians will have to gird them­selves for the bat­tle, speak up, elect can­di­dates who re­spect the First Amend­ment and are will­ing to do bat­tle with the forces of sec­u­lar­ism and lawyers who are try­ing to get su­prem­a­cist judges to trans­form Amer­ica into a sec­u­lar na­tion. This is why Ge­orge Neu­mayr and I wrote “No Higher Power” — to set forth the long list of Obama’s words and ac­tions de­signed to ban­ish re­li­gion from all pub­lic life in Amer­ica.

Chris­tians need to take warn­ing from Europe, which has aban­doned its Chris­tian roots and turned its beau­ti­ful Chris­tian cathe­drals into mere tourist at­trac­tions. Nations that ac­cept the no­tion that there is “no higher power” than gov­ern­ment, as Europe has done, are on the road to to­tal­i­tar­ian gov­ern­ment and loss of free­dom. Decker: You were in­stru­men­tal in stop­ping the Equal Rights Amend­ment to the Con­sti­tu­tion in the 1970s. In re­cent years, I have heard about a grow­ing “con­ser­va­tive fem­i­nism” that is less hos­tile to tra­di­tional re­li­gion and fam­ily life. What is con­ser­va­tive fem­i­nism, do you think this new it­er­a­tion is le­git­i­mate, and how is it dif­fer­ent from the rad­i­cal fem­i­nist move­ments of the past? Sch­lafly: Fem­i­nism can­not be rec­on­ciled with con­ser­vatism. Con­ser­va­tives be­lieve in in­di­vid­ual achieve­ment, lim­ited gov­ern­ment, equal­ity of op­por­tu­nity but not re­sults, and the fam­ily as the sta­ble ba­sic unit of so­ci­ety. For 50 years, fem­i­nism has con­sis­tently taught that Amer­i­can women are vic­tims of the pa­tri­archy and sec­ond-class cit­i­zens, and that the so-called pa­tri­archy must be over­thrown. Fem­i­nists al­ways look to gov­ern­ment to solve their prob­lems. The whole idea of teach­ing women that they are vic­tims is self-de­struc­tive.

Fem­i­nism to­day is the same as the rad­i­cal fem­i­nist move­ment of the 1960s and 1970s, and is epit­o­mized by the fa­mous line of Betty Friedan (founder of the ma­jor fem­i­nist or­ga­ni­za­tion) that housewives live in “a com­fort­able con­cen­tra­tion camp.” Fem­i­nism still teaches that the role of a home­maker is de­mean­ing to women and that women should plan their lives in the la­bor force with no space for mar­riage, hus­band or chil­dren. Con­ser­va­tives, on the other hand, be­lieve that Amer­i­can women are the most for­tu­nate class of peo­ple who ever lived on earth. Those two dog­mas are ir­rec­on­cil­able, and it ex­plains why most fem­i­nists are Obama sup­port­ers. Decker: What do you think is the most im­mi­nent threat fac­ing Amer­ica to­day, and how should this prob­lem be ad­dressed? Sch­lafly: The most im­mi­nent threat fac­ing Amer­ica to­day is the break­down of mar­riage and the tra­di­tional fam­ily com­bined with our 41 per­cent il­le­git­i­macy rate. This means that tax­pay­ers are bur­dened with the cost of sup­port­ing mil­lions of chil­dren who have not been legally con­nected with their own fathers to sup­port them.

This sit­u­a­tion has re­sulted in 47 per­cent of Amer­i­cans de­pend­ing in whole or in part on the tax­pay­ers for cash and ben­e­fits dis­trib­uted through 80 dif­fer­ent pro­grams (food, hous­ing, cash, ben­e­fits and now even cell­phones). As Ron­ald Rea­gan said, if you sub­si­dize some­thing, you’ll get more of it. And we do get more if it, year af­ter year. The Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice just re­ported that these hand­outs in cash and gov­ern­ment-paid ben­e­fits have reached $1 tril­lion.

There is no way to re­turn to lim­ited gov­ern­ment, re­verse our move­ment to­ward Euro­pean So­cial­ism, bal­ance our fed­eral bud­get, or stop bor­row­ing from China un­less we have sta­ble fam­i­lies who have good jobs to sup­port them­selves. Brett M. Decker is ed­i­to­rial page ed­i­tor of The Wash­ing­ton Times and coau­thor of “Bow­ing to Bei­jing” (Reg­n­ery, 2011).

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