The TVC is generally bummed about their week, and one of the major downers for them was California Representative Peter Stark declaring his unbelief in God on the floor of the house.
I’ve commented on this sort of attitude before. What did they want him to do? Lie? What about all those Christians and others who have declared their faith?
I’m fully in favor of people declaring just what they believe about anything that is central to their life. I think a major problem is that much religious rhetoric from politicians is simply put there to attract particular groups of religious voters. It’s hypocritical. But if a candidate is a person of faith, he or she should express that faith. It’s part of who the candidate is and the voters should be able to decide. If I were ever to run for office, an event which will occur right after hell becomes an ice-skating rink, the cameras would have to follow me to church on Sunday morning if they care that much. Why? Because that’s where I am on Sunday mornings and you’re not going to stop me.
When a Muslim was elected to congress I believed and continue to believe that he should express his faith as a candidate and as a congressman. Since Congressman Stark does not believe in God, it is appropriate for him to express that. I don’t know if he attends a Unitarian-Universalist Church, but if he does, that is where he should be at the appropriate time. That’s who he is.
But consider this quote, taken from the same article:
Christian Seniors Association Executive Director James Lafferty notes: It is sad but not surprising that the current Congress has produced this historic first one of its members has denied God. The liberals in Congress want to throttle any school child who bows his or her head in prayer but they want to establish a right for liberals to bash Christians and berate God around the clock.
Lafferty continued, Congressman Starks statement is a very sad benchmark for America. It could be the moment which defines the decline of our country or it could be the spark which marks an important day. That would be the day that religious Americans stood-up to the liberal bullies who are so determined to use the power of government to silence prayer and every other religious expression of free speech.
This stuff makes me crazy! The man says he’s an atheist and it becomes an attack on free speech? Just how did they get there? Talk about unbalanced reporting–this stuff has capsized. The religious right needs to get it through their heads that prayer in schools is already legal. Your child can pray. Your child can form prayer groups with other children. If you modeled prayer at home and taught your children how to pray, there would be nothing in their way. The problem the religious right has with prayer in schools is that the government doesn’t sponsor it. Apparently parents can’t get their kids to pray enough so they need teachers to enforce state sponsored prayers.
And yes, it definitely is alright for liberals or anyone else to “bash Christians and berate God around the clock.” God will remain undamaged by being berated, and Christians who once faced lions in the arena for their faith should be able to take a little verbal bashing. Any time either the left or the right wants to silence people they don’t like it’s an attack on free speech and needs to be fought.
And that’s one of the big problems with this article. If the TVC wanted to support traditional American values they could take the following approach and appear much more sincere. They could announce that they welcome the honesty and openness of Representative Peter Stark, and they are glad we live in a country where not only can an atheist express his views publicly, something that would be illegal in Saudi Arabia, for example, but he can be elected to congress. That’s a wonderful example of freedom of speech. We intend to support that just as we support the right of those Christians who oppose homosexuality to express their views, or those who believe abortion is murder to express theirs. Hallelujah and pass the free speech!”
But instead they choose not to follow the path of free speech, something they ask for themselves, but instead they simply try to change who it is the target of silencing.