Forum: ‘Separation of church and state’ cult

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I know I am supposed to love my neighbor, but the Rev. Barry Lynn sure makes it hard. And so does everyone like him who continuously lies about some impending theocratic-right-wing-Christian takeover of the government. Not a single, legitimate Christian group wants to establish a theocracy in this country — not one. Yet the Reverend and his cohorts continue to cry wolf and the media all too readily provides them a platform.

Mr. Lynn is a founding member of the Cult of the “Separation of Church and State.” The Cult’s objective is secular purity. To its members, any perceived encroachment of religion (actually Christianity) into public life is dangerous and must be exorcised, lest someone somewhere might take offense. This Cult couches its arguments with terms like “inclusiveness” and “tolerance” yet what animates them is plain hostility to all things Christian. Their bromide that religion is corrupted when intermingled in the public arena is just an empty euphemism. What the Cult really wants is for Christians to shut up.

The Cult wrongly believes that the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections are abrogated by that same Amendment’s proscription of an official federal religion. Though the actual relevant part of the First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” neither Congress nor any actual establishment is needed to raise their ire. That’s why, inter alia, stories of elementary school students disciplined for praying at lunch or having the temerity to bring a Bible to school are all over the news. The Cult’s government holy land, the most sacred parcel being the public schoolhouse, must not be sullied by Christians exercising their “putative” religious freedoms.

The Cult’s objective is not to do what is good but what is “constitutional.” They are lawyer-philosopher-kings, not beholden to what is right or wrong, but to what is legal. Their arguments are strained technicalities and whitewashed platitudes. They ignore this nation’s history and jettison our Founders’ intent and actions. Their claimed messiah, Thomas Jefferson, penned their creed “separation of church and state.” Yet this same Thomas Jefferson, while president, instituted a curriculum for the D.C. public schools that mandated biblical reading and instruction. They of course exaggerate the former and ignore the latter.

President Bush’s faith based initiative has been sheer terror for the Cult. The initiative was nothing more than an attempt to put money in the hands of organizations that have a lot more success in turning people’s lives around than the sterile bureaucratic programs of the welfare state.

But success cannot assuage the Cult’s rigid dogma of secular purity. For them, man lives by bread alone, the bread of stale government programs that keep people standing in line for handouts. While government dependency is bad for society, the Cult could care less as long as it is “constitutional.”

Being “constitutional” also trumps public safety. The Cult has made it their business to shut down some very successful prison rehabilitation programs. Why? Because the programs are run by Prison Fellowship, a Christian organization. The Prison Fellowship programs are completely voluntary and prisoners who go through them have much lower recidivism rates than prisoners who do not. But crime reduction does not matter to the Cult; even prisons must be pristine swaths of secularism. Consequently, the state’s compelling need to protect its citizens is usurped by the Cult’s transformation of the Constitution into a suicide pact.

During a recent discussion on National Public Radio (the Cult’s official station), Mr. Lynn warned that Christians are trying to “convert [their] theological beliefs into legislative fiats.” That sounds ominous doesn’t it? Hardly. The Reverend’s “warning” is nothing more than his disappointment that Christians actually participate in the democratic processes of this nation.

Furthermore, the Reverend is not warning about the legislative fiat of mandatory church attendance, tithing, forced belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior, or something that is really of a theological nature. He is talking about abortion, the Cult’s most sacred sacrament. Abortion, as everyone knows, was forced upon every community in this country by judicial fiat. But the Reverend does not seem too worried about that type of fiat.

Many in the Cult believe Christians and Christianity are as big a threat to our Republic as Islamic terrorists. Why? Well, they never really give any specifics, just some multicultural inanity that all religions are the same. And they always bring up the “ubiquitous” abortion clinic bombers. Naturally same-sex “marriage” has been added to the Cult’s quiver of grievances without them ever grasping how preposterous their comparison; while most Christians wish to maintain the sanctity of traditional marriage, Islamic terrorists want all homosexuals killed.

Mr. Lynn unsurprisingly sees no problem with his Cult being entangled with the government. After all, its charter members, the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, both receive government monies. Of course, they are anti-religious, so that makes it “constitutional.”

DAVID P. MCGINLEY

McLean, Va.

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