Nuggets of Wisdom

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Young Turks Mock Palin’s Religious Beliefs

Liberals attacking Palin for her religious beliefs? Why am I not surprised?

On Friday, left-wing radio host Cenk Uygur mocked former governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin for expressing her religious beliefs during an interview with right-wing pundit Glenn Beck.

Cenk: (sarcastically) Because they (the Founding Fathers) were really concerned about making this country about God and religion. Except they made the only country in the world not to be dictated by religion at that time. Only one in the world!

Co-host: Right. The only thing that they clearly did was separate God from the running of the country. That was job one, that they got done.

Hmm, did Palin really imply that America should become a theocracy, a nation whose law is dictated by religion? Let’s recap what she really said:

Palin: I’m never going to tell anybody else how to live. I’m never going to preach to anybody else and tell them “you must do that!” But I sure would to see more Americans give it (faith in God) a try, and seek that guidance that our Founding Fathers sought and were able to craft documents then that allowed America to become the strongest, healthiest, most prosperous nation on this earth.

Sounds to me that she didn’t want to force her beliefs on anybody, or force anyone to become a Christian, but that she would like to see more Americans place their faith in God. Now, I could understand why a nonbeliever like Cenk would be insulted by that suggestion. I would be insulted if an atheist candidate claimed that I should abandon my faith in God. Then again, Palin made her suggestion in a private conversation, not a public address.

And Palin was right: While not all the Founding Fathers were Christians (most were deists), they did believe in God and the role He played in their lives and county; and they did seek his guidance when crafting documents like The Declaration of Independence (which mentions God twice). While they didn't establish a country dictated by religion in the sense of a theocracy, they did establish a county based upon the idea that God gave man individual rights which cannot be taken away without due process of law.

Cenk’s co-host then erroneously claimed that the Founding Fathers separated God from the country. This is a gross interpretation of Separation of Church and State, which originally intended to keep an official church or religion from being established in America.

Yes, the Founding Fathers did believe in separating the church from the state, but they did not believe in separating God from the country. As George Washington stated in his Farewell Address:

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens....Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

In other words, Washington would have agreed with Palin when she said more Americans should place their faith in God.

As for the rest of the complaints against Palin, they’re nothing more than pointless nitpicks. Palin wasn’t’ literally suggesting that people are afraid of God (though there are people who deny his existence). And when she mentioned “loud mockers,” she probably meant douchebags like Bill Maher or Matt Damon, both whom have criticized Palin about her religious beliefs.