Friday, August 22, 2008


Just when you thought the rush to faith-based politics was about to become a stampede, someone has the courage to stand up and say NO.

My local paper, The Oklahoman, printed an op-ed by the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker today.


"At the risk of heresy, let it be said that setting up the two presidential candidates for religious interrogation by an evangelical minister — no matter how beloved — is supremely wrong.

It is also un-American."

"The winner, of course, was Warren, who has managed to position himself as political arbiter in a nation founded on the separation of church and state.

The loser was America."

"This is about higher principles that are compromised every time we pretend we're not applying a religious test when we're really applying a religious test."

"The past few decades of public confession and Oprah-style therapy have prepared us perfectly for a televangelist probing politicians about their moral failings. The Warren Q&A wasn't an inquisition exactly, but viewers would be justified in squirming."

"For the moment, let's set aside our curiosity about what Jesus might do in a given circumstance and wonder what our founding fathers would have done at Saddleback Church. What would have happened to Thomas Jefferson if he had responded as he wrote in 1781:

"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

Would the crowd at Saddleback have applauded and nodded through that one? Doubtful.

By today's new standard of pulpits in the public square, Jefferson — the great advocate for religious freedom in America — would have lost."

Hopefully this syndicated column will be showing up in other papers across the country.

While this and the new Pew survey are causes for optimism, I remain cautious due to the fact that we still have people like Sally Kern to contend with, among other things.

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