Tags: There | Religious | Neutrality

There Is No Religious Neutrality

Monday, 11 April 2005 12:00 AM

Nice work.

And he has an inspired, compassionate, freedom loving, left-wing solution: Silence them or else.

And as insane as it sounds, Krugman's ‘or else' refers to his belief that the U.S. will soon resemble the Middle East, complete with no women's rights, zero science, and political-assassination-a-plenty if we continue to tolerate right wing, read that ‘conservative,' ‘traditional,' ‘mainstream' Christianity.

Look at what happened in the Netherlands, he says, where "[their] culture of tolerance led the nation to ignore the growing influence of Islamic extremists until they turned murderous."

America is next; for the United States is a place "where dangerous extremists belong to the majority religion and the majority ethnic group, and wield great political influence."

These Christians, these extremists – and he uses the word extremist ten times, including his reference to Christian legislative efforts as "cutting edge extremism" – are putting our nation at risk.

And it must be so. In close proximity to every reference to Christian extremism are such additional ‘nice' words and phrases as: kill, murder, assassination, climate of fear, and armed body guards; and sweeping charges of Christians being guilty of: meddling, circumventing the courts, intimidating in the name of God, undermining the rule of law, zero self restraint, and finally, get this: "pressure."

Krugman is so disturbed about Christians applying political "pressure" that he mentioned this grievous sin three times.

Then come his examples:

He started off with ‘abuses of power' by a trio of Christian extremists – the Bush Brothers and Congressman Tom Delay – three men who dared to stand up for the right to life of Terri Schiavo against the Almighty courts and their culture of death.

How fighting the court system – the least democratic element in our government, and the most liable to commit abuse against the democratic pulse of the people and the rule of law – is an act against democracy (1) and the rule of law, and in this case, in defense of the Unalienable Right to Life, is a puzzle that Krugman fails to explain.

If he was looking to be fair and balanced he might have looked back to the case of the ‘founder' of the Democrat Party, Thomas Jefferson, who, as President, declared the Sedition Act unconstitutional without consulting the Supreme Court or Congress, and set free those previously imprisoned, because he believed every branch has the right to interpret the Constitution as it sees fit, and that any law that overthrows an Unalienable Right is NOT a law. (2)

Mr. Krugman might also have noted that Jefferson wasn't afraid to claim such a right on religious grounds either. Said Jefferson:

I discharged every person under punishment or prosecution under the Sedition law, because I considered and now consider that law to be a nullity as absolute and as palpable as if Congress had ordered us to fall down and worship a golden image; and that it was as my duty to arrest it's execution in every stage, as it would have been to have rescued from the fiery furnace those who should have been cast into it for refusing to worship their image. ... On this I am not afraid to appeal to the nation at large, to posterity, and still less to that Being who sees Himself our motives, who will judge from His own knowledge of them, and not on the testimony of a Porcupine or Fenno. (3)

Krugman's next examples of ‘extremism' get even more bizarre.

Where Christian extremists "are found in large numbers," he complains, they have "pressured" state legislators into passing "conscience" and "refusal" laws, which permit doctors and pharmacists to refuse to perform abortions or to sell "morning after" pills when such actions are contrary to their deepest held convictions.

Just as threatening, Christian extremists have made it so that "31 percent of teachers . . . feel pressured [there's that word again] to present creationism-related material in the classroom."

This is pretty serious stuff. ‘Pressure.'

Isn't such pressure a manly, vigilant, free exercise of religion and speech in America? Krugman thinks not. Obsessed with compelling everyone to think and act alike – in a manner antagonistic to the Christian faith – he sees any resistance to the liberal status quo as a clear and present danger.

"What we need – and we aren't seeing", says Krugman, "is a firm stand by moderates against religious extremism."

You know, Mr. Krugman, there's a more honest way of wording this last sentence of yours. Try this one on for size: "What we need is a firm stand by left-wing extremists against political and religious moderation."

After all, liberals generally favor an ‘anything goes', nearly anarchist approach to morals, and a utopian, extremely centrist, if not Marxist approach to government – which sounds pretty extreme to me; while conservatism generally favors traditional moral and political values over moral and political excesses – a stand that encourages a healthy combination of limited government, free enterprise, and social democracy, standing upon the foundation of a "frequent recurrence to" fixed, fundamental, Higher principles (4). If the latter mix isn't the more moderate approach, what is?


1. The Founders gave us a republic, not a democracy, which incorporated such things as checks and balances, Higher Law, mixed modes of representation, etc., as checks against pure popular whim.

2. Cappon, Lester J., editor. The Adams–Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson & Abigail & John Adams, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, 1959, renewed 1987, pgs. 278-279, Jefferson to Abigail Adams, Sept. 11, 1804.

3. Ibid. pgs. 274-276, Jefferson to Abigail Adams, July 22, 1804.

Mason, George. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, June 12, 1776.


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Nice work. And he has an inspired, compassionate, freedom loving, left-wing solution: Silence them or else. And as insane as it sounds, Krugman's 'or else' refers to his belief that the U.S. will soon resemble the Middle East, complete with no women's rights, zero...
Monday, 11 April 2005 12:00 AM
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