To the title of Worst Lawyer in America Not Named Larry Klayman (or Orly Taitz), Mat Staver, dean of the Liberty University law school, can now add a Bryan Fischer Award for this breathtaking bit of unintentional irony. He actually says that Islam is not a religion but a political ideology:
“Islam is a political ideology. Certainly it takes characteristics of religion, but by and large, at its core, both in the United States and around the world, it is a political ideology,” Staver asserts. “Consequently, to use the same kind of laws for an advancement of a political ideology that you would for religious liberty could eventually cause some concerning issues that we want to address.”
In other words, it would mean advancing a political ideology under the guise of religion.
Wouldn’t you love to hear him try to explain why Islam is a political ideology under the guise of religion while right-wing Christianity is not? Not only does the Christian right push a clear political ideology on the basis of religion, it’s often the exact same ideology as those reactionary Muslims he criticizes.
Evangelical Christian historian John Fea has had enough of this.
There are a lot of good and thoughtful teachers and scholars who work at Liberty University. It is time for these cooler heads to prevail and do something about the Dean of the Law School, Mat Staver…
Now Staver is arguing that Islam is not protected under the First Amendment because it is not a religion, but a “political ideology.” How can Liberty claim to have a respectable law school when its dean continues to promote this kind of stuff? These remarks are not only detrimental to the reputation of Liberty Law School, but they should be embarrassing to any American Christian who cares about religious liberty and the First Amendment.
Of course it should. But it isn’t, certainly not at Liberty, which never had any credible claim to be anything other than a factory to produce ignorant wingnuts.