Dems definition of separation of church and state is all state and no church
By Tony Snow
Rev. Jim Wallis, editor of the left-wing magazine Sojourners, wants to help Democrats get their groove on with Christians. Michael Lerner, who edits the left-wing Jewish magazine Tikkun, hopes to do the same with Democrats and Jews. Both know their party has big problems with devoutly religious Americans, which is why they’re hosting a “progressive interfaith conference” this weekend at the University of California-Berkeley.
Just one problem: Wallis, Lerner, et al., well aware of the historic tensions between church and state, have decided to resolve the problem by tossing faith overboard — as if that somehow will convert disaffected Southern Bible thumpers and disillusioned Rust Belt Catholics.
The interfaith confab begins not with a prayer, but an “opening visualization.” The gathering’s 24-page prospectus lists G-d but four times — three in political contexts; once in the question: “I don’t believe in G-d and I don’t have a spiritual practice, but I know the country needs a Spiritual Left. Can I play a useful role in the movement?”
Jesus fares even worse, appearing but once in the literature — as “the ultimate Christian progressive.” During the four-day gathering, Islam gets but one seminar; Buddhism, three; and environmentalism (from a spiritual perspective), four. In other words, Gaia beats out Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Muhammad and Sri Krishna.
Meanwhile, such bedrock notions as changeless truth and humble submission before the Almighty don’t arise at all. The “progressive activists” treat religion as an ascetic hobby — like bowling without the beer — and lump all beliefs together under the gooey heading, “faith communities.” Forget about theology. These folks favor “spirituality.” They want their politics, not their faith, to make them feel holy, and set out to compensate for the perceived inadequacy of scripture by devoting an afternoon to “theory development.”
This is the kind of conference Hugh Hefner would love. The most popular topics, with at least six sessions apiece, are pacifism and sex. One discussion panel will tackle, among other questions: “How can we help religious institutions become sexually healthy? . . . How can faith communities address ALL families including GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered) families? . . . Are there forms of sexuality between consenting adults that are not acceptable from the standpoint of a progressive religious or spiritual community? Must sex, for instance, be covenantal and not merely recreational — and what exactly should be the dimensions of such a covenant?”
Attendees also will get plenty of chances to jeer at the enemy, who isn’t Satan, but Jerry Falwell . . . Others ridicule as warmongers and bigots those who examine the actual texts of the Bible and the U.S. Constitution.
From start to finish, “progressive” theory devours divinity. A rabbi will advocate dignitarianism and excoriate “rank-rankism.” Another group wants to debate the proposition that “to institutionalize through law the goals of social change movements of the past has had a passivizing effect.” And who would dare miss Carol Flinders’ lecture on “Spiritual Hungers meet Feminist Thirsts and a Movement is Reborn: Feminism catches fire when it reconnects with its spiritual roots”?! Or the debate about a Social Responsibility Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
Only a ruthless and cruel comic would concoct something as hollow as this. It is as if swingers had gathered to redefine themselves as saints and reclassify their impulses not as mortal corruption, but the stuff of immortal “progressivism.”
The organizers don’t believe in a G-d who is greater than they are. They figure such faith is for suckers and hicks, whom they hope to woo from the pews by means of alluring promises of life without stress, woe or college-tuition payments. The Creator (or, as they call Him, the Left G-d) plays a pivotal role by serving as the frontman for everything from government-paid sabbaticals for everybody to a “new militancy” in the labor movement.
The Lerner-Wallis brigades, evidently believing the term “Red State” refers to Leninist strongholds, want Christians, Jews and Muslims to capitulate — ignore their holy books, surrender their devotion to an almighty G-d, dispense with charities and ministries of small deeds, and join “progressive” forces obsessed with military surrender and condom distribution.
Personal responsibility? Forget about it. Sin and Salvation? You must be kidding. This is a conference for a world devoid of conscience but drenched in condescension — the kind of thing doomed to failure because its votaries will never understand that apostasy is not “progressive” and that Uncle Sam and G-d are not one and the same.