Missouri Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver today defended the president’s Christianity and said it makes no sense to accuse him of waging a “war on religion.” His remarks — presumably inadvertently — led him to also denounce Democrats’ repeated refrain that Republicans are waging a “war on women.” The Daily Caller reports:
“If you believe that the president is a Christian, why would you still come to the belief that he’s trying to destroy religion in this country?” Cleaver asked. “I think we’ve got to stop that. That is not doing this country any good at all. And the truth of the matter is we know better. We know better, those of us who are in the public eye.”
Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, then put it to Cleaver to apply the same principle to the Democratic Party’s attacks on Republicans that they are waging a “war on women.”
“Yes, that is wrong,” Cleaver said. “And I’ve never said it, not one time.”
Cleaver has been among a number of voices in Congress to repeatedly call for increased civility — but a number of the members of the caucus he chairs have conspicuously failed to uphold any kind of reasonable standard of politeness. (Think Maxine Waters’ remark, “The Tea Party can go straight to hell” or Andre Carson’s inflammatory comment, “This Tea Party movement would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree.”)
While I agree with Cleaver that we cannot do other than accept the president’s word that he is a Christian (what Christian among us exemplifies the faith perfectly?) and I also agree with him that the phrase “war on [insert whatever you like here]” has become far too widespread, I do wish to point out again that the president, by the HHS contraception mandate, has shown a disturbing lack of regard for religious liberty.
The president greeted the nation this weekend with a refreshing address about Easter in which he wished a reflective and relaxing weekend for all of us. Here’s hoping he’ll also take this day to reflect — and that, through the course of that reflection, he might recognize that he betrayed religious interests when he insisted on a mandate that does not incorporate conscience exemptions. It’s not too late for him to humble himself on this and reverse course.