Paul  Weyrich

I have noticed that the more liberals think they are going to get back power the worse our radical friends reveal themselves. The reverse is also true. For instance, when President Richard M. Nixon was about to take the Presidential oath of office following the close election of 1968, Senators who had pounded on him mercilessly during the campaign suddenly had a different view and began referring to Nixon as a "peace maker." One particular Senator, J. William Fulbright (D-AK), suddenly believed Nixon was open-minded and had great potential to bring the divided nation together.

It is beginning to look as though the Democrats may win this fall. Their rhetoric has become more strident and less co-operative with their Republican colleagues. Last week Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), on the Senate Floor, and had this to say about people of faith: "There is a group of people of deep faith. I respect that faith. I've been in enough inner city black churches, working class Catholic parishes, rural Methodist houses of worship and small Jewish synagogues to understand that faith is a gift. The trouble with this group, which I call the theocrats, is they want their faith to dictate what the government does. That, in a word, is un-American. That is exactly what the Founding Fathers put down their plows and took up muskets to fight."

This statement is breathtaking in its bigotry. It is part of a campaign to portray the Religious Right as a group of fanatics who want to do away with the Constitution. In one way Senator Schumer has done Evangelical Christians a great favor. He has linked them with Catholics and Orthodox Jews. If the culture wars are to be won it will take unity among all strong believers to make it happen.

To call a group of people of strong faith theocrats because they want to exercise their rights as citizens and participate in government is astounding but not surprising. Senator Schumer would like to silence his critics. He was one of the most outspoken proponents of the McCain-Feingold campaign reform legislation. That legislation included prohibitions on 501(c)4 and 527s that would not permit those types of organizations to advertise on electronic media or in the print media against a Senator's or Congressman's voting record. The courts upheld the constitutionality of the law. Therefore, it is not out of character for Senator Schumer, the Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), to make these remarks. Yet he owes an apology to all of the religious groups he mentioned.

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
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