Any candidate who dares to speak about religion so openly today is labeled as a religious fanatic and, more often than not, is branded as “anti-science” and “anti-intellectual.” Those on our side of the political spectrum should know better than to join with the left in these gladiator-style executions of our candidates and legislators when they express their heartfelt religious or political beliefs that veer to the right of the accepted politically correct talking points. We should recognize the motive behind the left’s tactics: erasing all vestiges of religion from public life and the American political dialogue. Instead, we hear conservative political pundits and multitudes of commenters in the conservative blogosphere warning Rubio — and any other knuckle draggers who might be tempted to get too religious in our new intolerant tolerant America — to remain properly areligious so as not to offend the skittish atheist pundit and media classes.
In what now seems like ancient history, President Ronald Reagan recognized and renounced those who would scrub religion from public life and remove its tenets as a moral authority for good governance. In his “Evil Empire speech” in 1983, speaking before the National Association of Evangelicals, Reagan made statements that would today have him branded a radical and placed squarely in the camp of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock:
But we must never forget that no government schemes are going to perfect man. We know that living in this world means dealing with what philosophers would call the phenomenology of evil or, as theologians would put it, the doctrine of sin. There is sin and evil in the world, and we’re enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might.
Prior to that statement he explained the reasons he was pushing Congress for a constitutional amendment to allow school prayer. Ronald Reagan. School prayer! He expounded on the role of religion in America:
Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. When our Founding Fathers passed the First Amendment, they sought to protect churches from government interference. They never intended to construct a wall of hostility between government and the concept of religious belief itself. The evidence of this permeates our history and our government. The Declaration of Independence mentions the Supreme Being no less than four times. “In God We Trust” is engraved on our coinage. The Supreme Court opens its proceedings with a religious invocation. And the members of Congress open their sessions with a prayer. I just happen to believe the schoolchildren of the United States are entitled to the same privileges as Supreme Court Justices and Congressmen.
He contrasted the Founders’ vision for the United States with the godless Communist philosophy of the Soviet Union:
…I pointed out that, as good Marxist-Leninists, the Soviet leaders have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is that which will further their cause, which is world revolution. I think I should point out I was only quoting Lenin, their guiding spirit, who said in 1920 that they repudiate all morality that proceeds from supernatural ideas — that’s their name for religion — or ideas that are outside class conceptions. Morality is entirely subordinate to the interests of class war. And everything is moral that is necessary for the annihilation of the old, exploiting social order and for uniting the proletariat.