08/09/04 — Reich’s folly: Ex-Cabinet secretary warns against religion

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Reich’s folly: Ex-Cabinet secretary warns against religion

Robert Reich, who was labor secretary for President Clinton, appears to have lost his mind. Let’s hope his fellow travelers in liberal politics are not equally insane.

While sensible Americans are concerned about religious conflict between Islam and the West, Reich tells us that what’s really coming is holy war between evangelical Protestants and liberals.

He doesn’t say whose side Jews and Catholics will be on. Presumably, if they can temper their religious convictions, he considers them harmless. But people with strong religious beliefs, he implies, are as greata danger to our society as terrorism.

The problem is that these Protestants politicize their beliefs, Reich says. As examples, he cites their opposition to same-sex marriages and abortions. Reich called these people the ground troops of President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

In a column in the liberal magazine “The American Prospect,” Reich also wrote:

“The great conflict of the 21st century may be between the West and terrorism. But terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The underlying battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernist fanatics; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe blind allegiance to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is no more than preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe that truth is revealed solely through scripture and religious dogma, and those who rely primarily on science, reason, and logic. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism is not the only danger we face.”

Reich not only has broken his bond with common sense, he is disconnected from mainstream America. He apparently hangs out exclusively with fellow habitués of his “modern civilization,” but millions upon millions of Americans outside his circle realize that we do owe allegiance to a higher authority, that we do live on earth to prepare for eternity, and that Scripture reveals truth.

Moreover, it is just those beliefs — from old Hebrew teachings and the new covenant of Christ — that have guided the path of Western civilization for many centuries and advanced it to its present state.

It is from those beliefs, and from the great men who have upheld them through the years, that we inherited the sense of justice and collective morality that have made Western nations, and especially the United States, the fairest in history.

It is to these convictions that we are indebted for the concept of family that is the foundation of our society.

It is these beliefs that are the forebears of our laws protecting the weak from the mighty, laws that constitute the great distinction between our country and others.

We even owe these beliefs for much of our great art and music.

Liberals like Robert Reich claim exclusive ownership of love and compassion. Yet Reich is quick to ridicule those who build their lives upon the Sermon on the Mount, which raises mercy, kindness, meekness, peace and righteousness to the very highest esteem.

No, these people are no danger to America.

But if Robert Reich represents the thinking of contemporary liberals of this “modern civilization,” now that is scary.

Published in Editorials on August 9, 2004 12:47 PM