Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Is Religious Tolerance Anti-Christian?

Are supporters of religious tolerance -- those who defend the right of people of all faiths to practice their religion -- anti-Christian?

Richard Thompson, the president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, thinks they are.

The website of the Thomas More Law Center says it "is dedicated to the defense and promotion of the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life."

Thompson is the lead attorney representing the Dover school board in a lawsuit brought by parents who oppose a statement they ordered read to ninth-grade biology students that casts doubt on the theory of evolution and promotes intelligent design.

Let's leave aside for a moment the question of why an attorney from an out-of-state legal advocacy group such as the Thomas More Center is representing a taxpayer funded school district in court.

Thompson took on the case, he says, because Christians support intelligent design, “and because Christians support it, the ACLU wants it out of the classroom,” according to Joseph Moldonado of the York Daily Record.

Thomas More, says Thompson "is like the anti-ACLU.”

Vic Walczak, the ACLU attorney for parents who are suing the district counters that the ACLU defends the constitutional freedoms for people of all religions, including Christians. He cites a number of cases from the past year that make that case.

The truth is, the religious right preaches -- and practices -- religious intolerance. A victory for Christian fundamentalists in the battle to inject creationism and intelligent design would, in effect, make that peculiar brand of belief a state sponsored religion and limit the religious freedom of Catholics, Jews, Bhuddists, Muslims, skeptics, and mainstream Protestants.

Born again Evangelical Christians make up only about 25 percent of the population in this country. They should not be allowed to ride rough shod over the rights and freedoms of the majority.

Practicing religious tolerance is not anti-Christian, it's as American as motherhood and apple pie.


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