In my book The End of Secularism, I have a chapter which is a case study demonstrating that the high-minded adherence to secularism is easily discarded by leftists whenever they find religion convenient to their agenda. Were I to rewrite the book today, I would include the ad being run against Rand Paul by his opponent in the Kentucky senate race.
Here’s the text of the ad:
“Why was Rand Paul a member of a secret society that called the Holy Bible ‘a hoax’ – that was banned for mocking Christianity and Christ?” asks a voice in Conway’s ad. “Why did Rand Paul once tie a woman up? Tell her to bow down before a false idol and say his God was ‘Aqua Buddha?’ “
Now, first off, I have to say that the claim against Rand Paul has to do with a stunt from his college years at Baylor. Having read the original story about Rand’s classmate’s claim, it was clear that he and a friend engaged in a fairly typical fraternity-style prank. I am familiar with the “secret society” he belonged to at Baylor. It is a humorous part of campus-life. A little edgy, but viewed as a real part of the Baylor tradition.
More important, though, the text of the ad shows that liberals are more than ready to use religion as a political issue when it suits their purposes. If the shoe were on the other foot and a conservative were running an ad of this nature, many gray eminences of church-state separation would come forth from the Ivy Leagues, Washington, D.C., and New York City to explain to us how scurrilous and unprincipled it is.
I have yet to hear from Barry Lynn or any of the other great separators of church and state about the Conway ad being run against Rand Paul. And we won’t hear from them. Because this story doesn’t fit their template of conservatives using religion to engage in holy war.