Paul Ryan: “Obama is Declaring War on Religion.”

While Mitt Romney criticizes President Barack Obama for failing to bring people of different perspectives together in a more functional relationship (and claiming he’s the man to do it right), Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, is warning folks that if Obama is re-elected, “Judeo-Christian values” could be in jeopardy.

In a phone call with the group known as the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ryan claimed that Obama’s plans for America “restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values — those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values…”

His sentiments mirrored a recent Romney ad, claiming that “President Obama used his health care plan to declare war on religion.”

Ironically, such inflammatory claims are an assault on the very notion of unity the GOP claims they can bring back to the executive branch. Further, to imply that Obama, himself a devout Christian, is waging war on religion as a whole in the U.S., and more specifically on Jews and Christians is simply baseless and divisive.

I recognize that the less noble tasks of going on the offensive and pandering to party bases has become an important job of vice presidential candidates, but these tactics, rather than pointing in a refreshing, new direction, simply reveal that we’re in for more of the same, regardless of who is in office.

Still wondering why Americans are cynical about politics?

Yes, negative ads are effective, and fear is a potent elixir in short-term situations when one must mobilize their base to action. But the collateral damage renders the spoils greatly compromised, offering a pyrrhic victory at best to the ones who somehow endure the attacks.

And now the situation is made worse by PACs who are allowed to spend unlimited sums of money promotin claims that often are found to be baseless, but only after their effects have been felt. Thank you, Supreme Court, for your sage decision to let such groups commandeer our political process, while also giving corporations the rights we humans enjoy. Nicely done.

I will be the first to admit that much of the “Chicken Little” sensationalism I hear about Mitt Romney seems greatly overblown. Aside from my differences with him on a number of economic and social issues, it seems to me that, rather than being the ideological firebrand some with to make him out to be, his greatest flaw is being boring.

Yes, such a judgment points to the cult of personality in which our political system is ensnared, but when so much of the time, energy and money on either side tends to focus on personality and character of the candidates, it’s hard not to consider how like-able the guy is.

Do I think Mitt Romney plans to fulfill the Mormon White Horse Prophecy if elected president? No. Do I believe that Paul Ryan will suddenly have more sway in the executive branch than the vast majority of his predecessors? No. But what I do see is a political machine bent on winning at all costs, and though this particular claim of Ryan’s is the most recent, the blade cuts both ways. Both major parties are equally guilty.

There is a battle underway, and it has been brewing for some decades now. But it’s not an attack on our faith; it’s an offensive against the very principles of government put into place by the authors of the constitution. We can blame the ads, the PACs and pundit media talking heads for denigrating the process, but it’s the greater “win at any cost” ethos that drives our political machinery, and which continues to be tolerated by our citizenry, that poses the greatest threat.

Like the Crusades and other religious wars like it, our politics become complicit weapons of violence when the value of the spoils is held above the people they are meant to serve. And it’s a battle whose end does not seem to be anywhere in sight.

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.

  • Patricia

    Bent on winning at all costs – The most profound statement in this post.

    Ryan is a very conservative Catholic and is really just sharing the same message as the conservative POPES….I bet his wife uses some kind of hormonal birth control…

    The UCC church is the church of justice….that is why Obama is so good at working together with people…because of his faith…

  • DCFem

    And you sound like a pundit media talking head by saying “both major parties are equally guilty”. The media bloviators make the same false equivalencies all day every day. But it’s funny how we don’t see one side threatening voters with hell fire if they don’t vote for them. We don’t see one side saying that their religious liberty is threatened because a woman wants to use contraceptives. We don’t see one side claiming distinctions between rapes. We don’t see one side throwing up every road block they can think of to STOP people from voting.

    Maybe all political parties do spend too much money on attack ads (and Citizens United is one of the worst Supreme Court decisions of all time). Both political parties are certainly capable of doing just about anything to win. But don’t say they are equal in lying, fear mongering and trying to subvert democracy by denying people the right to vote because the GOP has far outpaced the Democrats with those tactics.

  • DCFem

    And you sound like a pundit media talking head by saying “both major parties are equally guilty”. The media bloviators make the same false equivalencies all day every day. But it’s funny how we don’t see one side threatening voters with hell fire if they don’t vote for them. We don’t see one side saying that their religious liberty is threatened because a woman wants to use contraceptives. We don’t see one side claiming distinctions between rapes. We don’t see one side throwing up every road block they can think of to STOP people from voting.

    Maybe all political parties do spend too much money on attack ads (and Citizens United is one of the worst Supreme Court decisions of all time). Both political parties are certainly capable of doing just about anything to win. But don’t say they are equal in lying, fear mongering and trying to subvert democracy by denying people the right to vote because the GOP has far outpaced the Democrats with those tactics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rickmcopy Rick Middleton

    Until the Democrats claim that Romney is declaring war on religion, I can’t see how “both parties are equally guilty.” Conservative gutter politics have been around for years, practiced by Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, the Nixon campaign and many others. There are some liberal firebrands like Bill Maher and Michael Moore but, signficantly, they aren’t HIRED BY THE CANDIDATES.

    • Charles

      Being a progressive website catering to like minded people, its no surprise, Christian, that you are getting flak for saying both parties are guilty of using fear, misrepresentation, etc. Grow up, people, the Democratic machine uses the same manipulations, you just find them more agreeable as they are members of your camp and champion your ideology. Obama is a graduate of the Chicago political machine, his hands are as dirty in this regard as any major politician.

  • A

    Judeo-Christian values. Right. Except for the fact that Romney is a Mormon and Mormonism is largely considered a cult, not a Christian denomination. But let’s not get bogged down in the details, they make things so much less fun.


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