Recent Obama speeches in Egypt and China have hailed "freedom of worship" as an important universal right. At first glance, this seems to be a simple reiteration of the best in American social thought. I applaud the sentiments that champion freedom, but I am appalled at the subtle and subversive change in language from "freedom of religion" to "freedom of worship."
Our founders understood that freedom of religion/conscience is the first and most fundamental freedom of all. The U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights were - and remain - unprecedented and unequalled in world history as charters of personal liberty. The federal (and by implication local and state) government does not exist to bestow rights, but to protect God-given (or Natural) liberties. America remains the only nation in the world with a complete "free market" in matters of faith and conscience.
"Worship" as defined by the current Administration is a narrowly-focused set of activities that are easily marginalized and privatized away from the public square. This new language conforms to Islamic thought where other monotheistic religions are "protected" - coded language for permitted as second-class (dhimmi) citizens. Obama-speak "worship" will permit gatherings for religious ceremonies, but allow the government to declare other public activities verboten if they are not is the interest of the "general welfare." One example of this is the arrest of peaceable Christian evangelists at an Arab cultural festival - in Michigan!
The Left for years has called upon the "people" to "speak truth to power" and "subvert the dominant paradigm." Well, now they are revealing their true colors in their intolerance of any dissent. As Tea Party activists expose their failed policies, the propaganda machines crank up their lies about the extremists and racists in the movement, conveniently ignoring the millions of hard-working citizens of every color and creed who oppose current policies. Collectivism destroys incentive and does not work. More government and more deficit spending will only destroy the prosperity of two centuries.
There are other language games being played by the magicians in power. They promised hope and change. They promised a post-partisan and post-racial era of good feelings. They promised reduced deficits. They promised exit strategies from "untenable" wars. Obama promised a "sharp pencil" look at every expenditure. The results? Utter failure on every count and the planned rapid destruction of what remains of free enterprise. Instead of a NASA promoting math and science in U.S. schools, the new Director sees his primary task as boosting the "self-esteem" of Islamic nations concerning their historical contributions to math and science. We have a State Department marginalizing the one democracy in the Middle East (Israel) while initiating new "outreaches" to the 57 nations living under the iron hand of Islam (none but Turkey are close to democratic).
I call upon all people of conscience to join me is an open process of decoding public rhetoric. Our enemies are not those who debate policies. There is room for rigorous public dialogue on the best ways to solve our problems. Our enemy is more nefarious. Our opponents are linguistic subversives who redefine terms that require a special class of interpreters! "Pro-Life" has become "against women." "Marriage" is now up for grabs. "The gender assigned at birth" is the new phrase for what any normal person would call "boy" or "girl." "Progressive" used to mean freedom with a social conscience - now it means control of the instruments of business.
Why does every politician need a spin doctor to interpret what she or he has just said? Our founders spoke unambiguously and laid the foundation for the greatest nation in history. Current leaders within the Beltway need to learn plain speech again and understand that ideas have consequences. People are not groups to be manipulated, but individuals made in God's image to be unleashed to their full potential.
There is still a window of time to change course - not back to Bush, but forward to our founder's best ideals. There is no time for nostalgia - we need renewal and responsible choices. Join me in not just reacting to the latest outrageous policies, but in actions that demonstrate our finest principles.