The liberal media just can't seem to understand why some would question the phrase "separation of church and state." In separate articles Tuesday, both the Huffington Post and ThinkProgress.org attacked Colorado GOP Senate hopeful Ken Buck for statements he made last year that question the constitutionality of the phrase.
But while critiquing Buck both outlets reveal the full context of his statements, and in doing so shoot themselves in the metaphorical foot.
First, Buck's words:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/6v21H8Bs14I&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3 expand=1]
Those comments just won't do for ThinkProgress.org. On its website Tuesday the liberal blog said that "legal scholars and the courts agree" that Buck's thinking is "dangerous."
Yet in the same paragraph it admits that Buck's statement is, well, correct:
"[W]hile the Constitution doesn’t contain the exact words “separation of church and state,” legal scholars and the courts agree it does prohibit the establishment or endorsement of religion..." [Emphasis added]
Oddly enough, Buck would agree, as he says in the video:
I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state. It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that’s sanctioned by the government, it doesn’t mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion. [Emphasis added]
ThinkProgress: "Separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution; government shouldn't establish or endorse a single religion.
Buck: "Separation of church and state" is not in the Constitution; government shouldn't establish or endorse a single religion.
ThinkProgress: Buck is dangerous for the way he thinks.
But ThinkProgress isn't the only outlet going after Buck. The Huffington Post also took a shot at the candidate today by setting him up as just another Tea Partier who opposes fundamental American principles.
"Colorado Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Ken Buck last year said he 'strongly' disagrees with one of the bedrock principles of American society: the separation of church and state," HuffPo begins its story.
It even uses its front page headline to portray Buck as a crazy:
In what seems to be an attempt at a "gotcha" moment, HuffPo attaches an update to its story (in the form of a Buck quote) that is supposed to show just how scary Buck's thoughts are:
Yes, we have separation of church and state. We don't want a state-sponsored religion, but no it doesn't mean that churches and government should never interact, and that wall that people are trying to form between the two and punish religion is something that I think has gone in the wrong direction, and I think what President Bush did with faith-based programs that worked with the government is exactly the right idea. [Emphasis added]
Again to recap:
Buck: Right now in this country there is separation of church and state, but it's gotten out of hand and it doesn't mean that religion and government should never interact.
HuffPo: Ha! Get a load of this crazy guy!
I could be wrong, but the "gotcha" seems to belong to Buck.