Republican presidential flirt* and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich bravely decried the rising tide of "radical secularism" during his commencement address at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University this weekend. Gingrich then went on to claim:
"Basic fairness demands that religious beliefs deserve a chance to be heard…. It is wrong to single out those who believe in God for discrimination. Yet, today, it is impossible to miss the discrimination against religious believers."
Discrmination against religious believers in the United States? Give me a break! "Discrimination" in country in which a Newsweek poll on March 31st found that 91 percent of Americans say they believe in the Big Guy in the Sky and 82 percent say that they are Christians? The good news is that only 26 percent think that an atheist can't be a moral person.
In the West Christians stopped being discriminated against about the time that Theodosius made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire in 392 AD. Of course Christians enjoyed discriminating against one another and what followed was centuries of bloodletting as practitioners of different varieties of Christianity busily slaughtered heretics. It was the advent of the odd notion of separating the state from religion that eventually ended religious wars within and between Western countries. It is the principle of separation of church and state that has protected civil peace for more than two centuries in the U.S. and it is one of the pillars of the secularism denounced by Gingrich.
*Flirt because you can't be a "hopeful" until you declare that you're actually running.