From Pine View Farm

The Phony War on Christmas, Up Perryscope Dept. 0

The Rick Perry hate machine tried to drum up religious strife this week with a perfectly vile ad. (See a delicious, if somewhat extremely tasteless, response to it here), provoking prodigious punditry. Two columns caught my eye.

At the Chicago Trib, Steve Chapman, who’s normally sane, falls into the trap and tries to gin up justification for saying that President Obama is conducting a war on religion. Here’s a bit:

But look far enough in this pile of chaff and you find some wheat. On two major issues cited by Perry, Obama has broken with precedent to curtail religious freedom in a way that should alarm staunch secularists (like myself) as well as the devout.

The first instance arose after passage of his health care overhaul, when the Department of Health and Human Services ordered that all insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization for women, with no copayment. The mandate means many Americans would have to be complicit in something their faith forbids.

The reasoning is absurd; it’s a canon-lawyerly smokescreen for advocating that those who oppose contraception should be empowered to impose their beliefs on those who do not. The stated purpose of insurance is to “insure” (after paying for executives’ country club memberships, of course), not to proselytize nor to penalize customers for indulging in legal, victim-less, a generally-accepted behavior.

Mike Littwin, at the Denver Post, gets to heart of the meaning of the Perry ad. Here’s a snippet:

Perry is not really talking about religion. He’s talking about conservative Christian concerns. If this were a hundred years ago, he’d throw in dancing and pool halls. He’s not even talking about gay marriage — an issue in question — but about gays doing a job. That’s old-fashioned prejudice.


If you really want to talk presidential politics and religion, you have to start with Mitt Romney and Mormonism. It was a prominent Perry endorser, Robert Jeffress, who said Mormonism was a “cult.” Perry said he disagreed about the cult thing but that he wouldn’t disown the pastor’s endorsement.

And so here’s the irony: The politician who makes a fake cry about so-called religious intolerance is the one actually encouraging it.

Matt. 6:5


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