- The Washington Times - Monday, September 15, 2003

Bill Clinton went to Church on Sunday, but not to atone for his sins. Instead, the former president took to the pulpit to absolve California Gov. Gray Davis of his transgressions against good governance. Preaching between gospel hymns before a packed congregation at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Central Los Angeles, Mr. Clinton invoked what is presumably his favorite line from scripture: “Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone.” The worshippers responded to the 40-minute homily with standing ovations punctuated by shouts of amen and hallelujah. We are praying for a reprieve from political sermons from troubled Democratic politicians.

There was plenty of paranoia during Mr. Clinton’s pilgrimage to California to save the governor. Suggesting that his own impeachment and the effort to recall Mr. Davis reveal an ongoing Republican plot to overturn elections, Mr. Clinton said, “This is about getting power, and it’s their first value.” Backing up the air of conspiracy, Mr. Davis repeatedly referred to “the forces behind” the recall. In such dire straits, perhaps petitioning God might help. The politician with a 22 percent approval rating has been wearing religion on his sleeve recently, sitting in the front row at Mass in the Los Angeles Cathedral, going on TV to talk about his faith, quoting the New Testament at political rallies and pulling out prayer cards on the stump. During these publicized professions of faith, Mr. Davis carefully neglects to mention that a Catholic bishop in his state has told the governor that he should not receive communion because of his pro-abortion views.

Mr. Davis’ exploitation of religion is typical of some Democratic politicians’ hypocrisy about religion in politics. If a priest or preacher dare weigh in with a traditional view on legislation regarding social issues, liberals are quick to call the churches’ tax-exempt status into question. When the Vatican recently issued a document condemning homosexual marriage, presidential candidate John Kerry immediately cited the separation of church and state, claiming the pope’s document was “an inappropriate crossing of the line in this country.” Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle fumed about a violation of the church-and-state divide when his bishop threatened to excommunicate Catholic politicians who voted for partial-birth abortion. In light of the Clinton-Davis homilies on Sunday, we wish Democrats would practice what they preach. And, so long as they are in church, a little contrition wouldn’t hurt either.

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