It is absurd that we would be drawn so often back to the “War on Christianity” meme that seems to form the heart and core of every Republican campaign in 2012. Even the battles surrounding issues like marriage equality and women’s reproductive rights are framed in terms of “religious freedoms under attack” as though somebody is being told they can’t practice their religion if other people have an equal amount of liberty. And rather than focusing on the absurdity of claiming persecution on the basis of equal rights, the media legitimizes the Republican narrative as something deserving discussion.
Newt Gingrich likes to harp on the subject of “religious freedom” as much as the next Republican. Of course, as we have shown here repeatedly, the phrase “religious freedom” is a stand-in for something else: the privileging of Christian belief over all other forms of belief – or disbelief. Religious freedom should mean equal freedoms for all with regards to belief and that is what the First Amendment establishes by prohibiting government establishment of religion, originally applied to the federal government in the First Amendment and later applied to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment in the wake of the Civil War.
But this isn’t what the GOP wants. The conservative Christian-driven GOP wants the establishment of Christianity as a state-sponsored religion in contravention of the First Amendment and all rhetoric directed at the topic is toward this end and this end alone. Newt Gingrich is no different. CBN claimed Monday evening to have received a document from the Gingrich campaign that shows how seriously their candidate takes this mythical war on Christianity. According to The Brody File, they “obtained an exclusive document that lays out in detail Newt Gingrich’s plan on day one of his administration to create, through Executive Order, a Presidential Commission on Religious Freedom in the United States.”