CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

More Secular-Left Double Standards

Jun 13, 2009

I know it seems like ages ago, but try to think back to the days when George W. Bush was in the White House. You knew he was there because almost on a daily basis the mainstream media was warning about the dangers of having a professing Christian lead the nation.

We were regularly warned that America was about to be turned into a theocracy. We are told how dangerous it was to have a man who talked about his faith in public and actually dared to mention the J word: Jesus. Of course for the secular left the J word is the nearest thing they have to blasphemy.

Any time Bush was caught praying in public, mentioning his Christian faith, or invoking the name of Jesus, the secularists on the left told us America was in the grip of a reckless religious fundamentalist. They did their best to paint Bush as someone who did not differ in the least from the Ayatollah’s in Iran or the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In their eyes all religious “extremists” were dangerous, and America was headed toward Armageddon with such a religious nut case in office. Any day now, we were warned, this religious fruitcake would usher in a global holy war.

And equally appalling, Bush was obviously blurring the lines between church and state time and time again. He clearly was violating the First Amendment, and we needed to get him out of there as fast as possible, to restore America to its proper secular position.

Well, a funny thing happened on the way to the White House. We now of course have a lefty Democrat in power, and guess what? It turns out that ol’ Obama has invoked the J word and mentioned his faith even more than Bush ever did. Seriously!

And what is even more bizarre, there has not been a peep out of the MSM about all this, and the secular left has been dead silent on all this. So what is going on here? Is not Obama destroying the wall of separation between church and state? Isn’t he also on the verge of turning the US into a repressive theocracy?

Well, it seems not. You see, the secular left really does not hate all public expressions of faith. In fact they really do not mind most of it. It is just the dedicated Christian who takes his faith seriously and has a high view of Scripture that they can’t stomach. They do not mind nominal believers, apathetic believers, leftist believers or theologically liberal believers.

And that is why we don’t hear a word of complaint about Obama. He in fact has a faith which is fully compatible with that of the secular left. He is fully in favour of special rights for homosexuals. He fully supports a woman’s right to choose to kill her own baby.

He is quite happy to play up America’s enemies and downplay the uniqueness and greatness of America. He is happy to grovel to Islamic leaders, while denigrating his own Christian faith. Now that is the kind of “believer” which the secular left can support. This guy fits their agenda to a T. So by all means, give us more of that old time Obama religion. After all, it is identical to the agenda of the secular left.

Paul Kengor picks up this story of the left’s double standards regarding faith in the White House: “There’s an important article in the Politico titled, ‘Obama invokes Jesus more than Bush.’ President Barack Obama, says the article, has mentioned Jesus Christ ‘in a number of high-profile public speeches,’ more so than did President George W. Bush, and in much less ‘innocuous contexts’.”

He goes on to compare Bush with Clinton. It seems the same pattern emerges: Clinton tended to parade his faith and use the J word even more than Bush did. He continues, “I could go on and on with examples. Vice President Al Gore sounded like a Baptist preacher on the 2000 campaign trail, and Hillary Clinton obliterated any propriety with her breathtaking statements in dozens of New York City churches during her 2000 Senate campaign.”

He notes the glaring double standards of the left and the MSM here: “I’ve devoted chapters and books to liberal Democrats’ extremely expressive public expressions of faith. A core element of that story is how the press embraces these expressions but then, on a dime, turns and blasts conservative Republicans for much milder statements.

“Thus, I fully expect President Obama to talk about God in much stronger terms and far more often than did President Bush. Liberals will not politically crucify him as they did Bush. When the double standard is pointed out – strictly by conservatives – liberals will cover their ears, wink, and move on. At best, when confronted, they will conjure up the usual excuses as to why the reaction is different.”

He concludes, “So, be prepared to be greatly frustrated. The press has made it abundantly clear: there are different sets of rules for conservative Christian politicians and liberal Christian politicians.”

That’s it. The secular left, along with their allies in the MSM, are quite happy to warn about impending theocracies when a conservative Christian dares to share his faith in the public and political arenas. But when a religious lefty does the same thing, then the threat of immediate destruction is withdrawn, and the warning sirens are silenced.

But should we expect otherwise?

townhall.com/columnists/DrPaulKengor/2009/06/13/talking_jesus_obama_vs_bush

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8 Responses to More Secular-Left Double Standards

  • Thanks Bill,
    I have grown used to blatant double standards from the left. They are so ‘righteous’ in their own eyes that consistency, rationality, truth, honour, and the rest don’t mean a puff of air to them. They are so hell-bent (I use that expression advisedly) on their programme and purpose that arguments wash off them like the proverbial water from a duck’s back. One only has to listen to the rantings of Joy Behar on “The View”, or twisted convolutions of any of the left-wing hacks on Hannity’s America (he has to have “balance”) to see how devoid of reason these maniacs are. The “controversy” this past week over the sick jokes of David Letterman regarding Sarah Palin’s 14-year-old daughter revealed the left in all their sickening double standards. Reasoning with them is like trying to convince a blind man that the sun exists. We see here the ultimate logical fallacy: pig-headedness.

    Mind you, I don’t believe for a moment that Obama is a Christian in any sense of the word. He is either an atheist (he uses standard atheist arguments when pressed about Christianity), or he is a closet Muslim – which would explain why he plays pally with Muslim regimes, and throws Israel under the bus.

    BTW, a very insightful article commenting on Obama’s first five months in office is here:
    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTAyNzFjMmMwOWJjYmFmMTA2ODdjODZmZmQ0MWE1Mzg=

    Hanson comments in particular on Obama’s scant regard for truth and integrity.

    Murray Adamthwaite

  • Christianity in practice is socialisation (not to be confused with socialism). Christianity is about prudential judgments on many matters as well as absolute on others.
    Christianity is not neo-con nor is it liberal. However, the term ‘liberal’ means different things to different folks in different countries.
    There is a place for the permeation of Christianity into our laws and culture through multi party politics; not by some set implied single political party that is sometimes implied.
    We need uniformity across the political divide on matters of life issues and morals but prudential liberty within a principled framework on matters economical eg how much to privatise and how much to keep in public hands eg public utilities like water and electricity; and how to deal with monopolies and oligarchical business arrangements and so forth.
    Legitimate scope for charitable Christian respect and healthy variance between business people and Labor union people and supporters within the citizenry of our neighbourhoods.
    Michael Webb

  • Michael, you say:

    “Christianity in practice is socialisation (not to be confused with socialism). ”

    but you have already invoked a large slice of reductionism there, as Christianity is far more than mere socialisation, even though it does perform that function.

    The laws and customs of a culture represent one aspect of its religious/philosophical underpinnings. Rushdoony (and others) said that a people will always be religious, and their chosen religion will be expressed in their legal and social structures.

    So the religious basis comes first, and then the society is built on the foundation – so you can’t “permeate” a religion via multi-party politics, and you can’t achieve uniformity in the abstract sense, because people will adhere to the major religion while others will not.

    You can have a commonly accepted worldview which embraces llife issues and morals. It derives from what the Reformers call the common grace of God – that God sends His rain on the just and the unjust, that the laws of physics work equally whether a person believes as a Chrsitian or not. That is, the world runs in a certain way (as God made it, marred though it may be by the Fall) and those who work within that framework may hold common moral views, even while they differ in specifics of say theological views.

    But there will always be rebels against this common grace, who reject even the notion that God made the world, that there is such a thing as objective truth, that consistent order is the dominant principle of physics, and so on.

    And if such rebels come to dominate the culture, as the liberal humanists appear to do now, it will be a symptom that the majority of the people in that culture have abandoned the fundamentals of the religion which originally built it up.

    This is the perilous state of Western civilisation in the 21st century. Absent a major international revival, Western civilisation is on a rapid downward spiral to barbarism.

    John Angelico

  • Modern, consumerist society believes and acts the way it does simply because it is driven by an ever more demanding standard of satisfaction for its insatiable appetites and the need to experience ever stronger stimulation. It is even incapable of articulating what it does believe but instead unthinkingly conforms and marches in step to whatever is the consensus of consumer opinion, or as the communists call it, collective thought (and increasingly the demands of vociferous minority pressure groups), yet all the while being deluded into the conceit that it is free – absolutely free. The reality is that we are under bondage to our own compulsive natures and the standards around us. Without any fixed point of reference, like a ship without compass or captain, society will drift in a sea of relativity and will change its attitudes and values according to the political climate. The passengers and crew do not mind where the ship is going, just so long as everything is running smoothly and everyone has the feel-good factor. The only moral compass is a constantly changing political correctness – the average consensus at any particular moment. What might be shocking and completely unacceptable behaviour can almost overnight become respectable, and what was previously considered to be decent and responsible behaviour can become criminalised. Morality is completely turned on its head. Without any fixed, absolute point of reference, human nature has a way of accommodating and becoming comfortable over a period of time with a state of hell. It can gradually sleep walk into becoming hardened, desensitised to cruelty, barbarism and evil, until what was considered abnormal or deviant becomes the acceptable norm, as happened in Nazi Germany, Russia, China, Cambodia and now – even Britain. No doubt Germans today still cannot believe that they as a nation descended to such barbarism, just over fifty years ago.
    David Skinner, UK

  • “but you have already invoked a large slice of reductionism there, as Christianity is far more than mere socialisation, even though it does perform that function.”

    Not my intention. Sorry for not qualifing my remarks better John. Yes of course, laws , customs, religious practice, our beliefs, prayer life and so on. I am not a reductionist.

    Yes, the religious beliefs have to be the foundation for how we worship, pray, live with family, neighbours; our dealings with everyone. Without the foundations the rest whittles away and crumbles as we are witnessing in our nation and worldwide.

    “So the religious basis comes first, and then the society is built on the foundation – so you can’t “permeate” a religion via multi-party politics, and you can’t achieve uniformity in the abstract sense, because people will adhere to the major religion while others will not. ”

    We as Christians should work towards permeating the ten commandments and the Gospel into our society and legislation. Our Faith is not only private but is public. Christ is to Reign not just in hearts but in our customs- private and public, our laws, our instiutions, our businesses. We are called to be Christians every day of the week, not just Sunday; and not to do as the pagans do in the marketplace. Obviously those not of the Faith can share the law of Christ written on their hearts that comes from what all can know from the natural law at the very least.
    Obviously we try and build upon that with those who are seeking Christ through introducing them to the Gospel so that Divine Revelation from the Scriptures can be known and loved by all we meet.

    John, everything else you said I agree with too. That is what I think and experience in this world too in my life and it is so sad to see this downward spiral.
    Michael Webb

  • Michael Webb

    Christianity in practice is socialisation (not to be confused with socialism).

    Incorrect. Christianity commends a man for taking money out of his own pocket to help someone less fortunate. Socialism is a man taking money from someone else’s wallet ostensibly to help the less fortunate. Christianity condemns the latter as theft, and it’s no less theft if the majority in Parliament support it.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Dear Jonathan,

    Socialisation is different to socialism. Do you actually know what is meant by socialisation? I actually am opposed to socialism which is different and different more so than by mere degrees.

    It refers to the ownership of public utilities such as water, gas and electricity by the people through government. Also, the ownership of at least one bank by the Government so as to ensure competition with the private banks in areas such as low cost savings accounts for low income earners and pensioners. A role the Commonwelth Bank had before it was privatised. Curious how the Commonwealth Bank has the same name and it is privatised and obviously operates for private wealth and shareholders( which is far enough as that is what private organisations are about).

    There was political agreement, from both sides of politics on govt control of public utilities, a govt bank, airports and more.

    I am not talking about total govt ownership of everything for that is socialism which is wrong and also cannot work.

    Christians virtually all agreed on the above until liberal economics hit much of the Western world including Australia especially from the 1980s. And of course these public assets wre going to be sold off from earlier agreements such as Lima in the 1970s and earlier in the 1960s when academia received fund from large corporations to improve the ‘respectability’ of selling so much of our national jewels off to them via economic papers in the universities as far back as the 1960s.

    Michael Webb

  • Jonathan
    Christianity commends a man for taking money out of his own pocket to help someone less fortunate. True enough Jonathan however, if we followed that in an absolute sense then we would being stopping disaster relief by governments; stop pensions and leave the poor and those in need to only seek funds from neighbours( if they could get enough private funds to live). We are not living in a village in the early centuries, we are living in a world of nation states; and as such wew can at least agree on modest and prudent use of public funds. This will ensure that we do not raid peoples’ wallets unjustly and by the same token that we all pay our way for those in need justly too noth privately and as taxpayers and citizens. It is a ‘both/and’ equation here not an ‘or’. Both private charity along biblical lines with biblical standardds also for what we as taxpayers and citizens must do collectively. In other words a ‘both/and’ type process.
    Michael Webb

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