The latest favorite soundbite from the Republican three ring circus seems to be to state that Obama is fighting a “war on religion”. What a catchy phrase, but what on earth does it mean?
Dictionary.com defines war as “A state of armed conflict between different nations or states or different groups within a nation or state”. Well that’s definitely not it. I assume they refer to the alternative meaning, which is “active hostility or contention; conflict; contest: a war of words”. Let’s go with that.
So wherein lies the conflict? Since the term was coined long before Obama’s faux pas on contraceptive devices and Catholic health care programs, I assume that’s not what it referred to. So what else is it that Obama has done that would constitute “active hostility”?
As Tom Ehrich points out in the Washington Post, it’s not confiscation of Church property, banning of religious literature or denying the freedom of religion. Those acts would clearly be very aggressive acts of war against religion. So what is it then?
Is it Obamacare? As misguided some of you may think it is, caring for the sick and the poor seems very Jesus-like to me.
Is it the overturning of “don’t ask, don’t tell”? A morally charged issue, for sure, but hardly a direct attack on any church or religion!
It seems that the aggression against “religion” committed by Obama according to the GOP circus lies in his unwillingness to move toward implementing a theocratic government. At least if you listen to Rick Santorum, that seems to be the way to fix the US. Santorum is interesting, since he seems to something as exotic as an outright proponent of a classical theocracy. He’s not afraid to say things like “the Bible should guide US policies” and that the separation of the Church and state makes him “throw up”. As scary as Santorum may sound, his theocratic rhetoric is just laughable once you peel off a very thin layer of political gloss. A society as culturally diverse as the US requires a separation of Church and state, unless you want to engage in ethnic cleansing of forced conversion of people.
Think about it! Just ask yourself one very simple question: If the Church and the state are to be tied at the hip, I ask you “which Church”? We do not have and we have never had a state Church in the US, so which Church is it Santorum wants to tie the state to? I can only assume that it is the Catholic Church he is referring to. I wonder if the hoards of so-called “evangelicals” supporting Santorum have thought of that? Last time I talked to one of them, they were not too enamored with the Catholic Church. Also, what would we do to the tens of millions whose faith is not Christian? Deport them? Force them to convert? Dispose of them? It just doesn’t work and it is nothing but empty rhetoric to rally the conservative fringe of the GOP. Anyone who spends three seconds thinking about the consequences will realize that it’s a completely unrealistic and implausible idea!
Talk like this probably just strengthens Obama’s position in the long run. This kind of talk alienates more people than it attracts.
No, Obama will be fine for now. The guy I really feel sorry for is Mitt Romney. Here’s a seemingly intelligent and pragmatic person who is forced to be dragged along into this nonsense just to keep at least some support from the conservative fringe. I’d bet you good money he hates himself for having to sink to this level.
Or, could it be that the “war on religion” is just another empty soundbite from a party out of ideas and with what is perhaps the weakest field ever in a primary?