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Kingdom of Priests

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Isn’t it funny how according to the stereotype, it’s us on the Right side of the political spectrum who are supposed to be the Bible-thumping pourers of fire and brimstone down upon the heads of our political opposites — yet somehow whenever you hear a politician or political activist accusing critics of violating the Ten Commandments, the accuser is almost invariably someone on the Left? Thus President Obama denounced doubters of his plans for health-care reform by invoking the ninth commandment, “There are some folks out there who are, frankly, bearing false witness.”
In my book on the Ten Commandments, Shattered Tablets, I talked about this peculiar phenomenon:

Extreme religious language, the hysterically belligerent calling down of God’s wrath on opponents, has become the exclusive domain of the American Left. Calling the fellow who opposes the candidate or bill you support a “blasphemer” or “idolater” is something conservatives in reality — as distinct from the daydreams of those who dislike them — could never get away with.

I give examples ranging from Pastor Rich Lang here in Seattle calling President Bush the “Antichrist,” to Rev. Jim Wallis charging Bush with sin “border[ing] on idoltary of blasphemy” to President Clinton reaching for, yes, the same commandment to which Obama resorted:

It’s wrong to demonize and cartoonize one another, and to ignore evidence, and to make false charges and to bear false witness. Sometimes I think our friends on the other side [i.e., Republicans] have become the people of the Nine Commandments.

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