Bellicose Barrage of Christian-bashing

by Patrick J. Buchanan – June 15, 1995

“Are you now or have you ever been a Christian?” The way things are going, congressional committees are likely to be asking that question in a few years.

For the grandchildren of the men and women who came here to make America “God’s country” now hear their Christian faith equated with bigotry, and themselves declared unfit for participation in political life by virtue of their religious beliefs.

What’s the Christian-bashing all about? Simple A struggle for the soul of America is under way, a struggle to determine whose views, values, beliefs and standards will serve as the basis of law. Who will determine what is right and wrong in And the intensifying assault on the “Christian Right” should be taken as a sign these folks are gaining ground and ù inning hearts.

With populist conservatives moving from strength to strength inside the GOP, in Virginia, Texas, Minnesota, the Left’s strategy for survival emerges: Smear the party as a hostage to religious fanatics and rely on Big Media a and auxiliaries to hammer the message home.

When populist and religious conservatives nominated one of their own as chairman of the Texas GOP, Gov. Ann Richards, in deep trouble in her home state, openly called them “hate-mongers.” In a recent fund-raising appeal the American Jewish Congress describes the rise of the Christian Right in scare terms once used to alert us to the presence of communists: “In my neighborhood and yours the Christian Coalition is hard at work building a machine to ‘Christianize’ America . . . if we permit them to set the political agenda … you and I could be in for somenasty surprises.’

To protect us from secret Christians running for school board, AJC “has developed and distributed nationwide a questionnaire for school board candidates which will uncover the ‘stealth’ candidates of the religious right o r other extremist groups.”

A friend who received the letter writes: “If a Christian group were to send out an equivalent letter designed to arouse and rally Christians to combat the sinister program of Jewish political activists, it would be loudly denounced as shameful ‘hate literature’ Apologies would be demanded and heads would roll.” Yes, there is a double standard; and, yes, the Christian-bashing appears orchestrated. For the AJC mailing comes at the same time as release by B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League of a 193-page booklet, “The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance & Pluralism in America.” Declares ADL’s Abraham Foxman, the religious right brings to the debate over moral and social issues a rhetoric of fear, suspicion and even hatred that strains the democratic process.”

The ADL, writes The Washington Times’ Larry Witham, “charges members of the ‘religious right’ with anti-Semitism, Christian ‘triumphalism,’ Nazi sympathies and denials of the Holocaust.” Nearly a third of the ADL booklet is devoted to Pat Robertson and Christian Coalition whose director Ralph Reed describes it as, “filled with errors, half-truths, and outright lies designed to stereotype: Christians and other people of faith.” While the attacks have stunned Christian conservatives, it is not a bad thing to have one’s enemies flushed out into the open, to see who they are, and to appreciate the level of rhetorical violence to which they are willing to resort.

Indeed, the Christian-bashers have made a major blunder. By laying down their artillery barrage five months before the off-year elections, they have exposed their position, revealed their tactics, and given Republicans the time needed to demonstrate the truth: That Christian conservatives are not liars and haters; rather, they are the victims of lies and the targets of hatred.

If one would sit with these folks and ask what they want for America, one would find that the answer is that they simply want America to become again the good country she once was.

They want the right to life of unborn children protected They want the popular culture to reflect the values of patriotism, loyalty. bravery and decency it used to reflect not so long ago. They want magazines, movies and TV shows de-polluted of raw sex, violence and filthy language, just as they want rivers and beaches detoxified of raw sewage. They want the schools for which they pay taxes to teach the values in which they believe. They want kids to have the same right to pray they had. And, yes, they do want chastity taught as morally right, and traditional marriage taught as the God-ordained and natural norm. Is that so wicked and sinister an agenda?

And because they are growing in strength, and because they threaten the hegemony of the militant secularists, they are feared and loathed. But we were warned this would happen, were we not, when the Lord said: And the world will hate you.

Onward Christian Soldiers! Or is that phrase now also suspect?

© Washington Times