Religious zealotry tends to cloud rational thought and defy standards of science and logic, not only as it is expressed in repressive regimes around the world but as a political force here at home. The sense of self-righteousness that conflates religious belief with politics defines positions and creates a bond among political allies. And it partners with wild notions of Socialism and fears that the country will suddenly turn “European.”

Bill O’Reilly says President Obama lacks religion and wants to remove it from the public forum. That’s nothing new coming from O’Reilly. After all, he started a campaign to save Christmas from Grinch-inspired Liberals. But using religion as the lynchpin of a partisan agenda often seems more political than devotional. Opposition to gay marriage, abortion, same-sex relationships and various other narrow mindsets are hardly the focus of biblical writings. Neither do free markets, corporate dominance and disdain for the poor and ethnically suspect inform core Christian doctrine. Yet many prominent Christian politicians embrace just such arrogant, exclusionary ‘values.’