A. Barton Hinkle on the Left's Selective Love of Religion in Politics


White House

Based on recent events, writes A. Barton Hinkle, the emerging progressive consensus seems to hold that religious beliefs should be forbidden in the public square, except in those cases where they should be mandatory. It has been a couple of weeks since Pope Francis released his encyclical about the environment, and liberals are just now recovering from their collective swoon. The organs of the left lavished it with praise, calling it everything from "authoritative" and "compelling" (The New York Times) to "powerful" and "revolutionary" (Salon). Humanity has sinned against the planet, they agree, and must take urgent, collective action to repair the damage. But liberals took a decidedly less deferential tone when the craft-store chain Hobby Lobby sought a religious exemption from Obamacare's contraception mandate.