Amazing. Delaware senatorial candidate, Chris Coons, couldn’t name the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment in a recent debate – so, naturally, his opponent, Christine O’Donnell, was labeled ignorant.
Not surprising. In fact, I believe that most journalistic stylebooks define “ignorant” as “a conservative Christian who refuses to sit down and be quiet.” Same with “crazy,” “unhinged,” and “dangerous.” In fact, I’ve heard that it’s a pre-programmed macro on every Word Processor at the New York Times.
The most recent avalanche of O’Donnell bashing started when Coons cited separation of church and state to justify big fat federal government interfering in the business of local school boards. Since James Madison couldn’t be there to backhand him, O’Donnell rose to the challenge, demanded a specific constitutional reference, and was promptly punished with derisive snickers from the audience and a renewed frenzy of gleeful name-calling from the mainstream media.
Jeffrey Lord at the American Spectator commented:
In a sentiment that speaks volumes about the combination of ignorance and arrogance all too frequently coming out of Ivy League schoolings and American liberal elites, Coons said this in response to O’Donnell’s discussion of the “overreaching arm of the federal government getting into the business of the local communities.” The conservative O’Donnell said: “…our so called leaders in Washington no longer view the indispensable principles of our founding as truly that, indispensable.”
To which Coons stunningly replied: “Ms. O’Donnell, one of those indispensable principles is the separation of church and state.”
O’Donnell immediately replied: “Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?”
The transcript than indicates “laughter.”
Of course, this makes Coons the golden boy, despite his definitely creepy response to O’Donnell’s question: that case law nullifies much of the First Amendment, making previously “inalienable” rights contingent on age, location, and wantedness, and chucking the notion of “free exercise” of religion – in short airily reducing the crown jewel of our liberty into a permission slip to muzzle Christians and incinerate the tiny, helpless, and unwanted.
Seems like someone might have had a problem with that, but I suppose I’m just being naïve. In all the zeal to discredit O’Donnell, Coons probably could have cut the constitution into pieces, tossed in some renegade case law, threw them in the air like confetti, and then taped it all back together so that it read like the Communist Manifesto – and the headlines still would have screamed, “Christine O’Donnell Never Heard of the Constitution.”
Jess Bravin wrote in the Wall Street Journal blog:
Mr. Coons, who attended Yale Law School, criticized his opponent for a “fundamental misunderstanding of what our Constitution is, how it is amended, and how it evolves.” He made no bones about his own constitutional philosophy, firmly siding with the liberal jurisprudence that produced Griswold, Roe and other decisions that limited state power over individual rights.
I just wonder what we should do with that fancy glass case in the National Archives that holds the Bill of Rights, not to mention the millions of reprints in textbooks and educational materials. It seems kind of silly to keep all that around now. People might get confused, like O’Donnell, and actually think it means what it says.
But the leftists who control the flow of information aren’t concerned about that. They are too busy ridiculing and slandering O’Donnell and others who insist on pointing out things that secularists would prefer to ignore. Case in point, this snottiness from Charles Johnson:
This is what happens when a person is raised by religious fanatics to believe nonsense, and this disturbing ignorance is by no means unique in the modern GOP; in fact, it’s nearly universal.
From there it progressed to hysterical warnings about sinister plots and motives:
As ThinkProgress’ Ian Millhiser notes, while Republicans love to wrap their actions in the Constitution, much of their agenda “is nothing less than a direct assault on America’s founding document.”
Indeed, it’s common to find Christian involvement in politics framed as a fascist plot to force a religious police state upon traditionally secular America. Here is a classic example from the homepage of Religious Tolerance.
These belief systems find a voice in Christian Reconstructionism — a political movement to convert the United States — and eventually the entire earth — into a theocracy in which dissenters, adulterers, sexually active homosexuals, some sexually active bisexuals, witches, sorcerers, etc. would be exterminated.
This is ironic, considering that America was founded and nurtured by freedom-loving Christians like O’Donnell who would never advocate a theocracy or state religion, because Christian doctrine mandates an inward heart-change – something that can’t be coerced or faked.
Nevertheless, many leftists believe that if Christians can’t be silenced, they must be discredited. If not because of the Christian propensity to fight for unpopular causes – like O’Donnell’s courageous stand for sexual purity – but because of a radical divergence of world views. Many are socialists, frustrated by the Christian Right’s view that liberty and self reliance are gifts from God. The late D. James Kennedy once said:
“When you get rid of inalienable rights that come from God, you get alienable rights that come from a totalitarian state. If they don’t come from God, they come from the state and they are very alienable.”
Since our decidedly Christian beginnings, Americans have achieved progressively greater liberty; observing from afar as one overseas atheist regime after another visited murder, misery, and tyranny on untold millions – beginning with the guillotines of Paris and slouching onward to Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot.
It kind of makes you wonder why some call Christians the scary ones.