Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness
can only be secured by a state strictly separated from religion

31 December 2008

Happy New Year!


Yet another holiday is upon us: Happy New Year!

I'm very pleased with the work that CSG has done in its first year, particularly our contribution to the fight against Colorado's Amendment 48. Of all the opposition, we alone focused on the fundamental philosophic issue -- that neither an embryo nor a fetus is a person with the right to life.

If you haven't been reading Politics without God regularly, then you might find our archives worth perusing:

Happy New Year!


29 December 2008

Overturning Stem Cell Nonsense


Good news from The Denver Daily News:

U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Michael Castle, R-Delaware, chief architects of legislation expanding stem cell research, led a bipartisan group of lawmakers yesterday in sending a letter to President-elect Barack Obama, urging him to immediately remove existing federal barriers to embryonic stem cell research by executive order upon taking office.

DeGette and Castle recently introduced new stem cell legislation overturning President Bush's executive order, updating previous legislation to ensure that it is current with the field of stem cell research and bringing the National Institutes of Health to the forefront.

"I am excited that we are on the brink of expanding stem cell research under a responsible, pro-science administration," said DeGette, vice chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. "After two vetoes of strong bipartisan legislation that would have overturned President Bush's restrictions, millions of patients and their families can now finally have hope again. I look forward to working with the Obama administration to develop a robust research agenda in America."

The letter from DeGette and Castle states a need for strong federal leadership by NIH in carrying out a responsible stem cell research program due to the fact that there is no overarching set of federal guidelines to serve as a standard. The letter goes on to reference diseases that stem cell research may affect.

"Medical and scientific research, including embryonic stem cell research, holds great promise for alleviating the suffering of the 100 million American patients who are living with devastating diseases - from Parkinson's disease to spinal cord injuries to diabetes - for which there are no good treatments or cures."

Opposition remains steadfast

The stem cell debate is a very controversial one due to the involvement of human embryos. The use of embryonic stem cells for research ties into the abortion issue and raises the debate on exactly when a human life is defined.

"Part of responsible science is making sure we're respecting every life involved," said Kristi Burton, who championed the "personhood" ballot initiative that would have defined life as beginning when a human egg is fertilized. That issue failed this November. "There are effective ways to pursue stem cell research without using embryos. I support finding cures to diseases without destroying life. Why not choose the way to protect life and find cures?"

DeGette and Castle want to immediately revoke the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. They want NIH to establish guidelines based on scientific needs and an outline determining eligibility for federal funding of stem cell lines that are already in existence. Some organizations are adamantly opposed to the use of federal funding.

"If his (Obama) record is an indicator, we expect the directive to be rolled back, though we do not support that," said Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family. "We believe that is it fiscally irresponsible and ethically wrong to use the federal money for treating human embryos, which has not been proven to be effective."
For a good analysis of the morality of embryonic stem-cell research, see the op-ed The Anti-Life Opposition to Embryonic Stem Cell Research by David Holcberg and Alex Epstein.


24 December 2008

Merry Christmas!


Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope that you have a delightful December 25th! And I hope that you've been nice rather than naughty -- unlike those bailout-seeking politicians.


22 December 2008

Paul Hsieh LTE on GOP in Christian Science Monitor

By Paul Hsieh

The December 17, 2008 Christian Science Monitor featured an article on the internal debate within the Republican Party entitled, "Young Republicans seek a new kind of party".

I sent them the following LTE in response, which they published in the December 22, 2008 issue:

GOP's 'social conservatism' alienates young Republicans

In regard to the Dec. 17 article, "Young Republicans seek a new kind of party": I voted Republican in 1996, 2000, and 2004, but not in 2008, because I was finally fed up with the ever-increasing influence of the religious right on the Republican Party – especially on issues such as abortion, stem-cell research, and gay marriage.

If the GOP returned to affirming individual rights, limited government, and fiscal responsibility, then I would be glad to support it again.

But as long as they support the toxic "social conservative" agenda of the religious right, then they will continue to alienate many young and independent voters and lose elections. And deservedly so.

Paul Hsieh
Sedalia, Colo.


19 December 2008

Evangelicals Leverage Downturn

By Ari

(Reposted:) An article in the New York Times verifies what many of us suspected: economic downturns are good for certain churches. The paper notes that "evangelical churches around the country... have enjoyed steady growth over the last decade. But since September, pastors nationwide say they have seen... a burst of new interest..."

There seem to be two main reasons for this. As one pastor told the paper, "When people are shaken to the core, it can open doors." The article also discusses an economist who sees the increased attendance as more related to economic concerns: churches provide a safety net, and people without jobs aren't busy on Sundays.

The article mentions "Good Sense," a church-based financial management program. A downloadable document reveals some of the details. It praises "avoiding consumer debt and saving for the unexpected" -- good advice -- but it also advocates greater political control of the economy, demonstrating yet again that evangelicals hardly advocate economic liberty as a rule. The document states:

On a macro level, increased regulation of certain sectors of our financial markets, about which some have warned of excesses for some time, will become reality and will hopefully prevent repeats of the abuses that have led to the situation we are in now. Capitalism must have moral restraints and while those can’t be legislated, regulations can at least make it harder to do wrong and easier to punish those who do.

Most significantly, we are reminded that earthly treasures can succumb to rust, moths, thieves and to economic upheavals and that it is our treasures in heaven that are safe for eternity.
This also shows the tension within the Christian movements for financial planning. I've heard claims that God wants us to be rich, that the Bible counsels hard work and the prudent accumulation of wealth. Yet the stronger Biblical strain is egalitarianism and the call to renounce wealth. One televangelist told the Times we're living in a "time of fear and greed." Yet this fails to distinguish the "greed" of political manipulations and wealth transfers from the self-interest of free markets and individual rights.

Thus, the evangelical movement offers two conflicting messages: be responsible in how you accumulate wealth, but realize that wealth doesn't matter relative to an eternity in heaven.

I did find this line from the Times humorous: "At the Life Christian Church in West Orange, N.J., prayer requests have doubled -- almost all of them aimed at getting or keeping jobs." Yes, all we need is a divine stimulus package.


17 December 2008

A Profile in Influence: The Family Research Council

By Gina Liggett

The next in my profiles of religious right organizations is the Family Research Council, founded by James Dobson of Focus and the Family and headed by Tony Perkins.

The Family Research Council (FRC) doesn't even pretend to be an "educational" organization. Its intent has always been to change the culture to comply with their religious perspective through passing legislation at the federal and state levels:

Since its inception in 1983, Family Research Council has been shaping public policy, as it relates to our nation's families and our religious freedoms, in Washington D.C. and in state capitals across the country. We have successfully crafted and promoted policy initiatives..
There is so much going on with this organization, that I almost don't know where to begin. But let's start with their "25 Pro-Family Policy Goals."

Before the 2008 election, he FRC encouraged pastors to pass around their 25-point proposal for a new America. This booklet contains so many proposals to regulate our most private lives, that it's beyond the scope of this post to describe it in detail. Needless to say, it is worth reading to get the impact of how broadly the Family Research Council is targeting their efforts. Below is a sampling of some of the FRC's goals in summary form:
  • Prohibit embryonic stem-cell research.
  • Prohibit women from voluntarily donating their eggs for research or to infertile couples.
  • Ensure that pro-abortion judges (whom they call "activist") are not appointed.
  • Further restrict access to abortion.
  • Support "faith-based" programs in prisons.
  • Require the teaching of "creationism" in the schools as a companion to the teaching of the facts of evolution.
  • Censor the publication of adult pornography to "protect children."
  • Require the teaching of "abstinence before marriage."
  • Pass and uphold state and federal constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
  • Promote the maintaining of a marriage through the manipulation of divorce laws.
  • Prohibit gays from joining the military.
What is striking about the Family Research Council's approach in selling their plan is the scare tactics and disinformation they use to justify their proposals. For example, in their recommendations that restrict access to abortion, they claim that women are not being given proper informed consent before their procedure:
The failure to provide information concerning the risks of abortion for women's reproductive and overall health represents a major gap in the promotion of true health care.
This is just a laughable and flagrant falsehood, as there are already very strict regulations and ethical requirements concerning informed consent about any surgical-type procedure. And Planned Parenthood, enemy number one at the FRC, educates its clients about all their options concerning pregnancy, including those preferred by the religious right.

Another example is the FRC's distorting claims about embryonic stem-cell research:
The claims made for embryonic stem cells are wildly oversold and exaggerated, and cruelly give patients and their loved ones false hope. Meanwhile, the real facts about their potential are ignored or distorted. In 27 years of embryonic stem cell research, not a single patient has been treated.
This is a ludicrous statement. There is absolutely no false promises being made whatsoever. The science explicitly brands itself as being in the "early stages" of basic biological research in the field.

And as a science-based, fact-based education will teach you (as opposed to one based on mythical stories like creationism), it is a long, arduous road from basic biological research to actual application of treating disease. Moreover, President Bush implemented one of the religious right's favorite policies by restricting federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research back in the early 2000s, slowing the whole process down.

Besides the FRC's basic 25-point framework, this organization has begun to change its strategy. Not deterred by the underwhelming support for religious candidates and initiatives this November, the FRC has already begun to broaden their base of support beyond the Republican Party. The FRC's plan is stated in a new book, "Personal Faith Public Policy," by Harry R. Jackson, Jr. and Tony Perkins:
While some argue that evangelicals lose influence when they fail to vote as a bloc for a particular political party, the ability to seed both parties and operate as a political 'free agent' could prove to have a much greater impact on actual public policy.
In their book, they advocate expanding FRC's influence beyond the traditional so-called "pro-family" activities to: "immigration policy, poverty and social justice, racial reconciliation, and global warming."

The Family Research Council is soliciting a $250,000 matching donation. They have the money -- they have the determination -- they have the networking -- and they have a broadening political strategy to foster a new America in their religious image. Let's keep our eyes and ears out for this group, and counter their influence with pro-reason and pro-reality values.


15 December 2008

Abortion Rights are Pro-Life


Leonard Peikoff's classic essay Abortion Rights are Pro-Life is a must-read for anyone interested in the philosophic basis of abortion rights. The op-ed begins:

Thirty years after Roe V. Wade, no one defends the right to abortion in fundamental, moral terms, which is why the pro-abortion rights forces are on the defensive.

Abortion-rights advocates should not cede the terms "pro-life" and "right to life" to the anti-abortionists. It is a woman's right to her life that gives her the right to terminate her pregnancy.

Nor should abortion-rights advocates keep hiding behind the phrase "a woman's right to choose." Does she have the right to choose murder? That's what abortion would be, if the fetus were a person.
So what's the proper defense of abortion? Read the whole op-ed to learn. For a more detailed defense of Dr. Peikoff's approach to abortion rights, see Ari Armstrong's and my issue paper Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person, particularly the section on "Personhood and the Right to Abortion."


12 December 2008

Secular Right


Via this Volokh Conspiracy post, I recent found a new group blog for conservative non-believers: Secular Right. They describe their views as follows:

We believe that conservative principles and policies need not be grounded in a specific set of supernatural claims. Rather, conservatism serves the ends of “Human Flourishing,” what the Greeks termed Eudaimonia. Secular conservatism takes the empirical world for what it is, and accepts that the making of it the best that it can be is only possible through our faculties of reason.
While I'm sure that I'll find much to disagree with, that sounds better than the usual political fare!


10 December 2008

Dobson Insists on Faith-Based Politics

By Ari

(Reposted:) James Dobson of Focus on the Family makes two main argument in a recent posting that was brought to my attention by 5280 magazine. First, the religious right didn't really lose in the last election, and second, the religious right should continue to make explicitly religious arguments to advance their faith-based politics.

As I've pointed out, the religious right got trounced in Colorado. Voters rejected McCain and his evangelical running mate, picked a United States Senator who penned a particularly eloquent defense of the separation of church and state, ousted a House member known for her faith-based views, rejected an anti-abortion candidate for state senate, and defeated the "personhood" initiative (which Dobson endorsed) by 73 to 27 percent. The religious right hardly could have taken a worse beating.

To "refute" this obvious fact, Dobson points out that voters in "California, Florida and Arizona voted to define marriage in their constitutions as the union of one man and one woman..." But that hardly proves Dobson's point. Defining marriage as heterosexual is hardly the same thing as endorsing the religious right's vicious anti-homosexual agenda. It is common to want to restrict "marriage" to heterosexual couples and still confer full legal rights to homosexual couples. In this case, many voters side with the religious right by coincidence.

Dobson simply ignores all of the other electoral outcomes.

But here is the more substantive point: Dobson calls on Christians to attempt to enforce their distinctly religious views through politics. Dobson rejects Barack Obama's stance that political policies must be based on "some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.” Dobson calls on Christians to reject the "invitation for believers to show up, but then only to be allowed to make arguments that are not based in their deepest beliefs."

And what are Dobson's priorities? "We will continue to stand up for the sanctity of human life, the sacredness of marriage and the right to have a say in the principles that will continue to guide this nation founded on biblical principles."

Banning abortion is his first priority; discriminating against homosexuals is his second. (No serious person protests Dobson's right of free speech; that's hardly the issue.) And Dobson frankly admits that both these causes are particularly religious in nature. With an agenda like that, it's no wonder that most Americans (particularly in the Interior West) have rejected the faith-based politics of Dobson and the Republican Party.


08 December 2008

Focus Offers Obama Nightmare

By Ari

(Reposted:) Westword pointed to a document from Focus on the Family titled, "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America." I figured I'd take a peek.

The document purports to describe events that could happen. "Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate," the letter predicts. How might this happen?

Obama could select three Supreme Court justices who are "far-Left, American Civil Liberties Union-oriented judges." (Apparently the ACLU is still a scare word in some circles.) What is the harm in that? Does Focus on the Family worry about eroded economic liberties? Eroded personal liberties? After all, the purported concern of the letter is freedom.

The answer is no:

The most far-reaching transformation of American society came from the Supreme Court's stunning affirmation, in early 2010, that homosexual "marriage" was a "constitutional" right that had to be respected by all 50 states because laws barring same-sex "marriage" violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The first thing to notice is that such a ruling would in no way restrict "our freedoms" in any way, unless by "freedom" Focus on the Family means the freedom for the majority to impose controls on the minority. Such a ruling would expand the freedoms of some. My freedom is in no way restricted if my gay friends get married. This hardly raises a blip on the Scarometer.

I am not much concerned whether gay couples go the route of "marriage" or "domestic partnership." But what is interesting is that this is the top concern of Focus on the Family, even though such a ruling would have no practical significance for the day-to-day lives of most Americans.

The Court might also further violate rights of contract and free association in the name of anti-discrimination. Obviously I'm against that. However, conservatives have hardly taken a consistent position on the matter.

Government-school training on the virtues of homosexuality? I doubt it. If it were a problem, the solution is to separate school and state. But, generally, evangelicals have been more interested in capturing tax-funded schools for their own purposes, not restoring liberty in education. Those who want school prayer and the tax-funded teaching of creationism can hardly whine when their opponents want to capture the same system for their own purposes.

"There are no more Roman Catholic or evangelical Protestant adoption agencies in the United States." It's unclear to me why religious organizations should have the "freedom" to place children according to religious doctrine. Those organizations don't own the children.

Outlawing "offensive" speech from the Bible? Well, if the justices are ACLU types, we hardly need to worry about that. The irony of the evangelical movement whining about censorship is palpable. The evangelical movement poses the much more dangerous threat to free speech.

Controls on doctors? Again with the hypocrisy. Hello! Focus on the Family wants to throw doctors in prison -- or worse -- for performing abortions. I share the concern about controls on association and contract. But the religious right hardly offers a better alternative than the left.

Focus on the Family's concern with fertility treatments is especially laughable. Remember that Focus praised Amendment 48, which would outlaw most fertility treatments because they involve the destruction of fertilized eggs.

Focus on the Family then tries to argue that outlawing abortion and censoring pornography is somehow consistent with freedom. Notice that, in the same document, the same organization laments censorship of religious speech even as it advocates censorship on religious grounds.

For demographic reasons -- evangelicals tend to be more rural and suburban -- the religious right sides with gun ownership. Well, that's great. But in the general context of faith-based politics, such a right is practically meaningless, as the greatest threat to our liberty is the government.

Focus on the Family worries about Obama's foreign policy and health policy. But of course George W. Bush, the evangelical president, was a complete disaster on both fronts. (Bush did allow Health Savings Accounts, but at the cost of a massive expansion of health entitlements.)

The letter's closing paragraph states, "I still believe God is sovereign over all history, and though I don't know why he has allowed these events, it is still his purpose that will ultimately be accomplished." In other words, all of this concern expressed by Focus on the Family about freedom is merely a front. The organization doesn't fundamentally care about freedom; it cares about seeing God's alleged will imposed on earth.


05 December 2008

Is the U.S. a Christian Nation?


Sociologist Dr. William Martin -- the author of the excellent history of the rise of the religious right, With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America -- recently debated the question Is the US a Christian Nation? on Opposing Views.

Dr. Martin's careful approach to the debate is exemplified in his first comment -- What Do You Mean By That? -- in which he clarifies the question and his position.


03 December 2008

The World Of The Framers: A Christian Nation?


What were the religious views of the major Founding Fathers? University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone answers that question in this excellent podcast. The description reads:

The World Of The Framers: A Christian Nation?

It has become commonplace in American political discourse for Christian evangelicals to assert that the United States was founded as a "Christian nation" and that in recent decades secularists have gained control and distorted our nation's founding traditions and values. In this lecture, Professor Geoffrey Stone examines the beliefs of the Framers on this question. What did they think about Christianity, about the role of Christianity in the American nation, and about the relationship between religion generally and self-governance? The answers to these questions are important not only to constitutional interpretation, but even more fundamentally to an understanding of who we are -- and who we are supposed to be -- as a nation. Geoffrey Stone is Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded April 21, 2008 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series.


01 December 2008

Christian Law = Hell on Earth


The American legal system is built on a foundation of respect for individual rights, particularly the rights of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

Unfortunately, that foundation is only very imperfectly understood and even more poorly implemented. Throughout the history of America, the principle of rights has been corrupted to varying degrees by statist ideals -- worst of all by slavery but also by collectivist claims for the sacrifice of individuals to "the common good," environmentalist demands to sacrifice human life and values to pristine nature, and much more.

Today's list of violations of individual rights is as long as the Federal Register and then some. Yet despite those corruptions, some core respect for individual rights -- for the fact that each individual ought to be free to use his own resources as he sees fit, based on his own independent judgment, without forcible interference from others -- remains in our legal system.

Unfortunately, many Christians seek to inject Christian principles into the American legal system. Christians on the right seek to outlaw abortion and prevent gays from marrying. Christians on the left seek to tax the rich to care for the poor. Neither of those schemes is consistent with the principles of individual rights. Consequently, I -- and the Coalition for Secular Government -- oppose them. However, those schemes are child's play compared to the attempt to wholly remake the American legal system according to Biblical law. For a sample of what that view would entail, read this blog post from Dani, a self-described "right-wing Christian fanatic":

This is how it should be according to the Bible if this were truly a Christian Nation:

YOU SHALL NOT MURDER: Judges will execute those convicted of murder (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:12-14; 20:13; Lev. 24:17, 21; Num. 35:16-21, 31; Deut. 19:11-13; 1Ki. 18:22, 39-40; 1 Tim. 1:8-10) including those euthanizing, starving, or aborting (Ex. 21:22-23) human beings from the moment of fertilization to natural death. Judges will flog those guilty of assault and impose restitution for lost income and medical expenses (Ex. 21:18-19), and for permanent injury also require an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, life for life (Lev. 24:19-20). Judges will carry out all corporal and capital punishments swiftly and painfully, within twenty-four hours of conviction; and limit floggings to forty blows (Deut. 25:1-3; Lev. 24:19-20; 19:16-21; 1 Pet. 2:20). Judges will not convict for the use of force in defense of property and the innocent, in escalation to match the perceived threat up to lethal force; nor for purely accidental homicide (Deut. 19:4); will execute those guilty of negligent homicide (Ex. 21:28-30; Deut. 22:8); and flog those who could have avoided otherwise accidental homicide, and anyone committing revenge killing (Num. 35:26-27) of those guilty of capital crimes.

YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY: Judges will execute those convicted of bestiality (Ex. 22:19; Lev. 20:15-16); those convicted of incest including with in-laws (Lev. 11-12, 14-15, 17, 19-21); of homosexual acts (Lev. 18:22, 29; 20:13); of child molestation; of kidnapping or rape (Ex. 21:15-16; Deut. 22:25-27; 24:7); and of adultery with a married woman (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22; Ex. 20:14). Judges will flog those convicted of fornication; of public use of vulgar sexual and excretory language; of sexually suggestive dress or behavior; of intoxication; and of possession of pornography. Judges will flog more severely those convicted of transvestism; of public nudity; and of distributing pornography. And judges will flog more severely still those convicted of prostitution; of producing pornography for any use; and of sexual acts in public places.

YOU SHALL NOT STEAL: Judges will flog and require restitution for convicted thieves, negligent recipients of stolen goods, and those who violate contracts (Deut. 25:1‑3). Judges will impose double restitution for recovered goods, the return of the goods plus one-hundred percent value (Ex. 22:4, 7-9; 20:15); quadruple for destroyed or sold goods; quintuple for intellectual, irreplaceable and sentimental goods (Ex. 22:1); seven times for insignificant goods (Prov. 6:30-31); and twenty percent for voluntarily surrendered goods (Lev. 6:1-7). The judge shall impose corporal punishment and life for life penalties for collateral damage from any crime, including bodily injury resulting from the destruction of property which warrants greater than even restitution. A person or his resources causing unforeseeable or unavoidable property damage including by natural disaster without negligence shall pay no restitution, or with negligence shall pay even restitution. Persons taking shared risk shall pay mutual restitution (Ex. 21:32-36; Lev. 24:18). Avoidable accident without negligence, including the malfunction of a maintained resource requires even restitution but with negligence, including by a neglected resource demands double restitution. Gross negligence requires quadruple restitution and intentional destruction demands quintuple restitution. Excepting those executed, judges will sentence those who cannot pay restitution, to indentured servitude for up to seven years with the victim receiving all service or earnings.

YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS: Judges will punish those convicted of perjury, false confession, credible threat, conspiracy, abbeting, attempt, fully as though they had personally committed the crime (Deut. 19:16-21; 2 Sam. 1:15-16; Ex. 20:16). Judges will flog and impose restitution on those convicted of slander. Judges will flog those in contempt of court, and execute those guilty of treason and violators of court orders which protect victims (Deut. 17:12-13). A man is not innocent until proven guilty. He is guilty the moment he commits a crime, but presumed innocent (Deut. 22:22-27) in court until convicted. Convicting the innocent and acquitting the guilty are equally unjust (Pro. 17:15). A judge at his discretion, suspends the rights of liberty including the use of weapons, for the credibly accused, and mandatorily confines one facing a likely sentence of maiming or capital punishment, until the rendering of a verdict. Reasonable evidence from two or three witnesses, whether from eyewitnesses, physical, or strong circumstantial evidence, shall suffice for conviction; individual rights shall not supersede the judge's God-given right to impose punishment on the guilty. Judges shall not grant nor have special immunity from prosecution; shall not give more lenient punishment to minors; shall not give special recognition to lawyers or experts in the law; may observe and advise other judges during trial; shall not allow witnesses to swear or give an oath (James 5:12, Mat. 5:34-37; 2 Cor. 1:17); and shall question witnesses directly. Judges shall not accept no-contest pleas or bargains; shall punish criminals for all collateral damage; shall permit witnesses and victims to participate in punishment (Deut. 13:9; 17:7); and shall show no mercy to the guilty (Num. 35:31; Deut. 19:13, 21; Pro. 6:30-31).

America's Criminal Code shall be enforced by the King as authorized in The Constitution of America.
Dani is right about one thing: that's what it would mean for America to be a "Christian nation." And that's why all freedom-loving people -- whether Christian or not -- must fight to strengthen the respect for individual rights in the American legal system. If American law is remade in the image of scripture, the result would be the worst kind of tyrannical hell on earth.


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