One thing we’ve been talking about on the radio show this week is that with the emergence of Mitt Romney as the assumed nominee of the Republican Party for president, the same media that had an aversion to any discussion of faith and politics in 2008 when Obama was the target, are gearing up for a full-on colonoscopy of Mitt Romney’s faith. Get ready for an explosion of religious bigotry in this presidential election.
And that previously taboo topic of faith and politics got kicked up on CNN again over the weekend with host Don Lemon and guest, Muslim comedian Dean Obeidallah. After playing a clip where Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan suggested that religion and politics must mix, Lemon turned to Obeidallah:
LEMON: Dean, do you think most Americans feel that way? I mean, this is – this is more than the separation of church and state here that we're talking about.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, political comedian: I think – I don't think most people have a problem with faith or a candidate that's got moral and convictions. That's actually a good thing. I think the difference is when it doesn't – when it no longer maybe influences your decisions, but actually your decisions, your policy decisions, are based on Scripture. Like Rick Santorum's saying the Bible and our laws must comport.
To me, that went beyond any kind of accepted view of politics and religion. There was no longer separation of church and state. He was saying the same things honestly that the Taliban would say, that religious scripture and the laws of that state must agree. So, I think that went too far. But, of course, people – if morals and ethics are what religion's about, and (Unintelligible) to be a better person, that's a great candidate. It's a great elected official for us to have.
Now, obviously Santorum is the great boogeyman to liberal commentators. He is the personification of everything they fear: a white, Catholic social conservative who lets his faith influence his character and decision making. The left is far more comfortable with folks who wear their religion as a cloak than they are with people like Santorum who make it their worldview and lifestyle. So it was no surprise to hear Obeidallah go after Santorum.
What was surprising was the depths of the ignorance of his statement. First of all, though Obeidallah did not offer any direct quote of Santorum to be able to fact check, it’s safe to assume that he is meaning the candidates suggestion that the laws of the United States should be consistent with God’s Law. If that’s a problem for Obeidallah, someone should inform him he’s up against American icons far beyond Rick Santorum.
Obeidallah’s beef would need to be leveled against the host of founders at the Constitutional Convention and Continental Congress who believed the same reality. They understood that if our laws did not comport with the Law of Nature’s God (Natural Law), they would be futile, oppressive, and unproductive. As Matt Hardo pointed out, he would also need to take it up with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who wrote in his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” that the only thing that makes a man-made law “just” is if it is in line with the Moral Law of God.
To say that Santorum’s comments are reflective of the Taliban is just the height of ignorance. Lemon should be ashamed he let that comment go by unchecked. It is the tried and true smear of the left to suggest that conservative Christians are wanting to establish a theocracy, when nothing could be further from the truth. There is a profound difference between wanting the laws of man to comport with the Natural Law of the Creator, and wanting the laws of man tailored to match the strict doctrinal code of a particular religious sect. Night and day.
Further, though I am certain you would never see such a discussion take place on CNN with even a hint of honesty, the Taliban’s view of the “law of God” is not even remotely consistent with the God of the Bible. They don’t even reference the same deity in their appeals, for crying out loud.
But of course, none of that was established in yet another mindless exchange on CNN.