Last week's All In Perspective column for the Hill Country News and Jarrell Star Ledger.
“[L]egislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” (emphasis added)
In his now famous “wall of separation” letter to the Danbury Baptists, Thomas Jefferson soundly affirmed the Constitutional protection of religious freedom from government interference. Unfortunately, some pols have mangled the intent of the First Amendment so as to insist that there should never be a whiff of religion anytime, anywhere in the public sphere. In fact, the political Left seems bent on limiting religious freedom to only those citizens who keep 'faith' safely out of view.
These attitudes were on stark display during a press conference last week with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Reporters were questioning the former Speaker about the 43 Catholic institutions that have filed suit against the Obama administration over requirements that all health plans cover sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortifacients. When asked if she supported her own church's teaching on these matters, Pelosi curtly responded, “I do my religion on Sunday in church...”
Pelosi's brief statement speaks volumes. Although I am not a Catholic, it seems to me that by definition a Catholic is someone who adheres to the teachings of the Catholic church as a way of life. Apparently for Nancy Pelosi Catholicism is just a really fun and interesting activity to 'do' on Sundays. Once the Sunday-only religious duties are performed, Nancy can put God and His antiquated ideas right back on the shelf and return to her political agenda. In her mind, there is no discrepancy between her supposed faith, and policies like advocating the abortion of babies who are inconvenient. So how exactly is Nancy Pelosi a Catholic?
Of course, listing 'Catholic' or another Christian denomination looks really, really good on one's campaign literature.
By contrast, for serious believers, faith and religion carry far more weight than say, 'doing' lunch. We might do Disney World, but once the activity is done, it's done. Faith on the other hand requires adherence to an eternal truth, one that permeates every aspect of life and becomes an entire 'worldview.' True believers strive, however imperfectly, to apply faith to every situation.
The political Left certainly has no monopoly on lousy Christians; phonies of every stripe populate both sides of the aisle. Politically speaking, the real problem here is not so much insincere faith, but the religious intolerance leaders like Nancy Pelosi and President Obama display towards those whose faith constitutes an actual worldview. When citizens are told they may not pray in the name of Jesus at our National Cemeteries and Catholics are forced to fund abortions and other morally objectionable practices, there is clearly an attempt afoot to curtail the religious freedoms of Christian groups.
The truth is that people like Nancy Pelosi do practice their religion on a daily basis, only it isn't the Catholic religion. They adhere to a set of 'beliefs' on abortion and other issues with a religious fervor, and they seek to impose them on all Americans.
For Pelosi and the Left, it's okay if you 'do' religion, just make sure you are 'doing' it their way.
Nothing else will be tolerated.