Of all these columns with their issues valid and invalid, an opinion piece by regular contributor Dana Milbank meant to warn readers about the evils of a Perry presidency was laced with anti-Christian rhetoric that should be a cause of deep concern for any Christian American who may aspire to public office. Now to call Milbank’s column anti-Christian may seem a bit extreme, but consider the reasoning Milbank gives for why Perry should not be elected.
First, let us note the usual deception found in liberal polemics regarding what is a mainstream position and what is an extremist position. Like most political partisans, liberal commentators will conclude that ideas similar to their own are more mainstream and ideas that are different from their own are more extremist. Milbank is not above this deception. In his column, Milbank writes that Perry’s opposition to same-sex marriage and the theory of evolution are “religious in a way not seen before in modern-day mainstream presidential candidates.” I guess Milbank has concluded that the previous president, a man who in 2004 received more popular votes than any presidential candidate before him, was extremist. Maybe Milbank has forgotten that statements by presidents from Kennedy to the present in support of same-sex marriage and evolution are few in number.
Let us take Milbank’s words a little further: he apparently considers opposition to same-sex marriage and evolution to be extreme enough to disqualify someone from being an elected leader. Never mind that 31 states, including states that always go Democrat in Presidential elections, have voted down same-sex marriage via referendum. Never mind that a 2006 Ipsos MORI poll conducted for the BBC found that less than half of British citizens believed in evolution, meaning that even in secularist minded Britain belief in evolution does not hold a majority. Yet according to Milbank, those positions are extreme enough to warrant concern.
So is a Christian statement of belief. Milbank goes on to quote passages from a 2008 book written by Perry as evidence that he is a threat to our society’s well being. So what did Milbank see as proof that Perry was extremist? They are below:
“Either faith in Christ can cleanse all people of their sin, or none, but not some…The truth of Christ’s death, resurrection, and power over sin is absolute,” wrote Perry.
“Perry has no use for those who ‘want to recognize Jesus as a good teacher, but nothing more.’ Of those non-Christians, Perry asks, ‘why call him good if he has lied about his claims of deity and misled two millennia of followers?’” observed Milbank.
For writing these things Milbank called Perry a “theocrat”, someone who is “remixing the religious right’s greatest hits.” Milbank sees as proof that Perry should not be president Perry’s belief that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. Milbank has decided (in a country where the very first constitutional amendment mandates freedom of religion and whose constitution prohibits religious tests for federal office) that Perry should be stopped from holding office because he believes something that millions if not billions of people including most of the people who founded the system Milbank benefits from also professed in past and present.
More than anything, Milbank’s column actually vindicates Perry’s opinion about liberals in America: they want to marginalize Christian belief and change our society for the worst because of what they have concluded is extremist.