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Jewish World Review Sept. 29, 2003 / 3 Tishrei, 5764

David Limbaugh

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Warring with Christianity | I was on "Hannity and Colmes" Monday night promoting my new book, "Persecution" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR. ). Alan Colmes took me to task for its subtitle: "How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity." "Are you saying liberals can't be Christians?" he asked.

I want to expand on my comments. I am not saying that liberals can't be Christians, nor is the purpose of my book to demonize liberals.

In the book I document in painstaking detail with abundant evidence how secularists and strict separationists work at cross purposes with Christianity and Christian religious liberty. And it is undeniable that secularists and strict separationists are, by and large, political liberals.

Does that mean that liberals cannot be Christians? Of course not. I have many liberal friends who are Christians. But it does mean that political liberalism, in my view, is at war with Christianity in the sense I describe in my book. Why Christians would want to participate in that war is beyond me, but it is not my place to challenge the authenticity of anyone's profession of Christianity, irrespective of their political ideology.

But before leaving this particular point, I should call your attention to a column I read last week in the Religion Section of the Los Angeles Times by John H. Bunzel, a former member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and presently at the Hoover Institution.

My friend Alan Colmes might want to check out this article, because Mr. Bunzel said, "Millions of Americans do not believe in God. They do not invest moral authority in a transcendent source such as the Bible, or deal in absolutes of right and wrong, or divide the world into simplistic categories of good and evil. Such people, and I include myself among them, have tended to find themselves more comfortable in the Democratic Party than in the Republican Party, where a marked strain of Christian fundamentalism runs strong."

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Indeed, most liberals I know support the extreme separationist principle. They seem to believe that there should be no mixture whatsoever of church and government, and even that Christians ought not to be so public with their faith. They are constantly berating conservative Christian politicians for openly professing their faith.

Generally speaking, political liberals also often support values that I believe are incompatible with the Judeo-Christian ethic. Their intense commitment to the separationist idea has the effect of suppressing Christian religious freedom.

The secularists or separationists (and you liberals know whether the shoe fits here), maintain that they advocate strict separation between church and state first because the Framers designed our system that way, and second because it promotes our liberties. They are demonstrably wrong on both counts.

The Framers did not craft a constitutional system separating church and state. They prohibited Congress from establishing a national church, such as the Church of England. They clearly did not forbid the government from all involvement with religion and particularly the Christian religion. On the very next day after the first Congress passed the First Amendment they set aside a national day of prayer and Thanksgiving.

Is it not safe for us to infer from those juxtaposed actions that they did not subscribe to the strict separationist principle? There are scores of other examples detailed in my book.

The predominantly liberal separationists are equally wrong in asserting that the separationist principle -- to the extent they would strictly apply it -- promotes religious liberty. For in case after case, their expansive and dishonest reading of the Establishment Clause to enforce a strict separation has the effect of suppressing religious liberties.

When school administrators tell little 5-year-old Kayla that she can't join hands with her classmates to thank Jesus over their snacks, they are not protecting us from religious tyranny by preventing the establishment of a state church; they are suppressing religious liberties. When they tell a high school gospel choir that it cannot sing at a church memorial event to honor the victims of 9-11, they are not safeguarding our religious liberties but smothering them.

If our self-professed separationists are truly motivated by the separationist principle, why don't they object when the government endorses values that are hostile to Christianity? Could it be their true motivation is a bias against Christian values?

So you liberals out there who say you champion religious freedom, please get a copy of my book and find out just how wrong you are. And those of you who are Christians, we'll graciously welcome you anytime to the "right" political side.

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David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of, most recently, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR. ) Comment by clicking here.