(Chris Field is on vacation. His daily First Look will return when he does.)
I received an interesting email the other day in response to a First Look column from last week titled “Despite ‘X-Mas’ Season, Religion Still Important” and thought you might find it interesting. The column which focused on the apparently strong religiosity of the American people as polled by Gallup ended with the question: “So why, then, does our country seem determined to remove God from everything, including Christmas?”
The email provided the answer I was looking for: open hostility to religion, especially Christianity.
Here’s the email, exactly as I received it:
- I read with interest your article about the removal of religion from holidays. “So why, then, does our country seem determined to remove God from everything, including Christmas?” And decided to take pity on you and fill you in on something most other people learned long ago.
1. God has no place in a neutral forum like government. The government should be about providing services and protecting the population, not imposing some flimsy fairy tale like religion.
2. While most people say religion is important, their idea of religion is far different from that of rightwing fundamentalists.
3. Religious extremism displayed by conservatives is not embraced by the majority of the population, and it’s influence declines with each generation.
I for one am happy to belong to a generation that places more importance on individual religious expression than in aligning myself with right wing hate groups, and those, like yourself, who try to cloak hateful fundamentalism as “freedom”.
I guess we’re just smarter than you.
Happy Winter Solstice!
Need more evidence of hostility? Try this statement from former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich urging Democrats to make evangelicals a 2004 election issue as quoted by Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief of World magazine:
- “Democrats should hold evangelicals accountable for what they’re trying to do in our nation’s schools — promoting the teaching of creationism, demanding school prayer, pushing ‘abstinence until marriage’ programs and opposing sex education. This is all about imposing their religious views on our children.”
Everybody knows about the fights over Nativity scenes, Ten Commandments displays, et al, but I thought you might appreciate some actual quotes.