Kathryn Lopez

I happen to be a Christian who opposes gay marriage, but I have never tried to make a case for, say, a federal marriage amendment based on the Bible. Nor, to my knowledge, has a leading proponent of traditional marriage (who is also a Christian) Maggie Gallagher, of the National Organization for Marriage. Her arguments focus on natural law, family and the future.

For years now, once the weather turns cold and the days short, we've had a debate about Christmas. Is there a "war" on that holiday? Attacks on nativity scenes and silly prohibitions on religious symbols have long drawn the most attention. But there's something more serious afoot. It's hostility not necessarily to religion itself -- for many on the left are regular churchgoers, and some oppose abortion and gay marriage on religious grounds. But the conventional wisdom as dictated by Newsweek suggests that there is something downright unacceptable about allowing voters to submit to a higher power who, if truly listened to, probably isn't going to change with the times. At some level, true faith demands obedience to a rock-steady core of beliefs and rules, despite what the efforts of some religious temporizers who pretend they can legitimately rewrite doctrine on Sunday morning talk shows would have you believe.

We're ending 2008 with a major news magazine demonizing mainstream voters whose faith leads them to a political conclusion deemed outrageous by big media. In California, where voters followed their religious consciences, and delivered a blow to gay marriage, a similarly outraged attorney general has decided to ignore his obligation to his constituents. Meanwhile, right-leaning columnists and politicians are busy turning on their religious allies for one reason or another. This is not a good place to be. Dare I say it? God help us if preying on the prayers is in. And although it is born from nothing but political pragmatism and obfuscation, Obama's choice of inaugural pastor does what Newsweek and its legions didn't do: welcomes everyone, even those on their knees who have the right to be on the right.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.