When President George W. Bush merely mentioned that he prayed, secular liberals went ballistic. “He should not be praying,” said MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell upon learning that Bush had prayed before sending U.S. troops into Iraq. Bush had merely done what all of his predecessors (Republican or Democrat) had done: prayed before sending American boys into battle.
And yet, Bush’s mere act of consulting a higher power had secular liberals screaming “blasphemy.” Ralph Nader dubbed Bush a “messianic militarist.” Said Nader: “We are dealing here with a basically unstable president…. We are dealing with a messianic militarist…. Talk about separation of church and state: It is not at all separated in Bush’s brain, and this is extremely disturbing.”
Anytime Bush invoked his Lord, liberals invoked church-state separation, insisting that the president banish his faith from his political actions, and that his faith be barred from the public square.
In truth, it isn’t that liberals want faith out of politics and policy. No, they merely want the faith of conservative Republicans out of politics and policy. I could give literally thousands of examples of liberals enthusiastically embracing faith in the public square when cited by one of their presidents, from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Harry Truman to Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton to Barack Obama.
A case in point is Obama’s recent advocacy of so-called “gay marriage.” In progressing to that viewpoint, Obama cited his faith. In explaining his thinking, Obama told ABC News that he is a “practicing Christian” who abides by “the Golden Rule … treat others the way you would want to be treated. And … that’s what motivates me as president.”
Yes, that’s right: President Obama invoked Jesus in support of gay marriage.
So, where are the howls and cries from liberals about “separation of church and state?” Not at all—instead they applauded him loudly and proudly.
Gee, I thought they didn’t want the president bringing his faith into the public square. What’s going on here? I’m confused.
For Catholic Exchange dot com and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.