Robert Knight

As liberal politicians pose at churches, salt their speeches with Scripture, and insist that their aggressive drive for more government is pious obedience to the Almighty, they are getting powerful cover from the mainstream media.

The biggest help they are getting, apart from credulous acceptance of their sudden spiritual enthusiasm, is the media’s demonizing of conservative Christians. Religion’s okay only if it mirrors liberal opinion.

The New York Times has been in the forefront of the conservative Christian-bashing, running voluminous pieces that accuse churches of avoiding taxes and warning darkly that the Christian Right is on the verge of turning the United States into a Talibanesque theocracy.

Maintaining this false image takes a lot of repetition and misrepresentation. A perfect example is an article in The New York Times Sunday Magazine (Feb. 18) in which Concerned Women for America’s position on spiritual outreach is so grossly distorted as to constitute a lie.

I had the privilege of directing CWA’s Culture & Family Institute for nearly six years. At no time did I see any CWA representative say or do anything to support the vicious mischaracterization in this Times article. Here’s the passage, from “Narrowing the Religion Gap” by Gary Rosen, who is identified as managing editor of Commentary magazine:

“On the right, the culprits are familiar, having become stock characters in our politics. In his unsuccessful run for the Republican nomination in 2000, [Arizona senator and Presidential candidate John] McCain called them “the agents of intolerance,” singling out Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. For a taste of their views, you can visit the Web site of Concerned Women for America (C.W.A.), which bills itself as the “nation’s largest public-policy women’s organization.” Its mission is “to protect and promote biblical values among all citizens,” the Bible being “the inerrant Word of God and the final authority on faith and practice.” As for dissenters from C.W.A.’s stand on issues like the “sanctity of human life,” a handy link to Bible passages explains “why you are a sinner and deserve punishment in Hell.”

Rosen’s reference comes from CWA’s Gospel page, which begins by reminding us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Nowhere does CWA state or imply that people will be sent to hell because of their views on public policy.

The reference that Rosen pulls out of context continues this way:


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.