U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post have recently run articles on President Bush’s “values campaign.” It is said that Bush believes the nation is on the verge of a “religious revival” and that he wants to infuse Christian values into public policy issues affecting bioethics, sex education, charitable giving and education. This has led Americans United for Separation of Church and State director Barry Lynn to charge the Bush administration with “assaults on the First Amendment [that] are unprecedented in presidential history.”
Catholic League president William Donohue reacted as follows:
“Americans United for Separation of Church and State is guilty of religious profiling. It says everyone is allowed to engage in the debate over values except Christians. Its news release of July 31 relies on several media reports regarding the Bush ‘values campaign,’ and then concludes that ‘Bush is in the process of slowly implementing a broadly based agenda to promote conservative Christian religious principles through government policies.’ It was this conclusion that led Barry Lynn to charge the administration with unprecedented assaults on the First Amendment.
“The attempt to filter out Christian-informed perspectives on an array of public policy issues that are value laden constitutes religious profiling. It also makes a travesty of the First Amendment principle of separation of church and state and tears at the heart of First Amendment guarantees on free speech. The goal of this anti-Christian values campaign is to marginalize the Christian voice, thus relegating those with a Christian-informed conscience to a second-class status.
“The Catholic Church has an important seat at the table on issues such as stem cell research, cloning, abstinence-only education, faith-based initiatives and school vouchers, and it will not be silenced by those who practice the politics of intimidation.”