Why Not Separation of Liberalism and State?
By: David Bozeman
The idea that liberalism is a religion unto itself is by no means original. Still, how frustrating that America has been conditioned to regard traditional religious influences as the gravest threats to our liberty. We have become so jumpy that even the most benign sentiments (Merry Christmas!), in the private marketplace, no less, are uttered in measured tones or watered down altogether (holiday trees, anyone?), lest a creeping theocracy swallow our Bill of Rights. But the truth is, liberals eschew religion in politics not out of any concern for liberty. Quite simply, they can’t stand the competition.
Why is my freedom any less compromised if I must follow the edicts of Kathleen Sebelius as opposed to, say, Pat Robertson? The insurance companies MUST provide contraception. Must? Liberals boast of their openness to abortion and unconstrained sexuality, but that is just a fig-leaf to cover their own statist leanings. Conservatives, according to the gospel of conventional wisdom, are too concerned with what goes on in our bedrooms. Still, liberals have the rest of your house pretty well covered. The left currently regulates, or would like to regulate: your light bulbs, the water flow in your toilet, your car’s gas mileage, your health insurance coverage, your child’s education, your retirement options, your fat intake, your salt intake, your child’s school lunch, your right to own everything from guns to plastic grocery bags, etc., etc.
Of course liberalism is a religion. All of the qualities attributed to traditional faith equally apply to liberalism. It has its own prophets (Barack Obama), clergy (the mainstream media, many public school teachers), churches (public schools, public employee union halls), revivals (Occupy Wall Street, storming the Wisconsin State House), tithing (taxes, particularly on ‘the rich’) and behavior- altering predictions for the end of the world (Al Gore’s award-winning ‘documentary’ An Inconvenient Truth). While Christians tend to frown upon rampant sexuality and blasphemy, deadly sins and sinners against liberalism include: big profits, Wal-Mart, SUVs, the Boy Scouts, big oil, big pharmaceuticals, big insurance, McDonald’s, right-to-work states, unrestricted speech on college campuses, talk radio not hindered by a fairness doctrine and feisty Alaska moms who run for public office. Ann Coulter said it best: “You haven’t seen religious indignation until you’ve seen a liberal react to a lit cigarette in the no-smoking section.”
Traditional-minded Americans invest their faith in such time-honored institutions as marriage, family, social mores, the free market and the swift arm of justice as checks on the foibles and limitations of human nature. Liberals tend to exalt their own flowery visions of social justice as our binding social contracts, above even the Constitution. President Obama has frequently harped on its limitations, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one-time counsel for the ACLU, recently advised Egyptians not to use it as a model in forming their new government.
It is not that traditionalists are less compassionate or idealistic, they simply realize that human imperfection makes utopia on earth impossible and that justice for everyone is best served by ensuring equality of opportunity as opposed to equality of outcome. Election 2012 will hinge on the agenda of President Obama and two competing worldviews. Whatever the advantages of one vision over another, make no mistake, President Obama and his acolytes possess the same religious fervor as any fire-and-brimstone preacher on Sunday morning community access television. They are no less willing to use the power of the state to ensure that their ideals prevail. If the religious right ridiculously blames social decay on Hollywood and The Playboy Philosophy, you haven’t seen caricature till you see the Democrat strategy for 2012: Republicans portrayed as rich, white misogynists out seeking to ban contraception. Finding bogeymen is one negative attribute of religion that liberals will master as they continue on their holy crusade to “transform” the greatest bastion of liberty the world has ever known.