S. E. Cupp worries that “the media” blasted the likes of Sarah Palin, Michael Steele, and George W. Bush over their religious beliefs while giving Democrats a pass.
For example, Bill Clinton wrote that children “can express their beliefs in homework, through artwork, and during class presentations, as long as it’s relevant to the assignment. They can form religious clubs in high school.” Joe Lieberman invoked Abraham in a speech about Israel.
But Cupp is making a “moral equivalency” argument like those over which the right likes to beat up the left. Mentioning Abraham in a speech or grading a paper with a religious theme is hardly the same thing as what the likes of Bush and Palin have in mind.
Recall that Bush launched a war partly and explicitly based on his religious faith. Recall that Bush gave us robust faith-based welfare (which Obama has been happy to expand). Recall that Palin wants to completely ban abortion, from the moment of conception, perhaps with some exceptions for the life of the mother.
The religious right is not about speeches and homework. The religious right is about bans on abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, and in some cases even popular forms of birth control. The religious right is about building a welfare state based on religious dogma and religious institutions. The religious right often endorses censorship and legal discrimination against homosexuals.
Cupp does have a point in that the left increasingly plays the “me too” party on matters of imposing religious faith by force of law. But that hardly justifies the politics of the religious right.