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Does Religion or Race Make the Difference for Abe?

Relating an anecdote about President Lincoln's allowance of a Fourth of July fundraiser on the White House lawn for the first black Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., Lane Core asks:

The ACLU, People for the "American" Way, and (Protestants and Other) Americans United for Separation of Church and State would be apoplectic if George W. Bush did anything like that, wouldn't they?

Y'know, I can't say for sure. If those groups were consistent, one would believe so, but the treatment of Christianity according to the strictest interpretations of "separation of church and state" coexists with treatment of other religions more as protected ethnicities. I think a similar petition granted to black Christians might cause enough internal conflict among the People for the Civil Liberties Union's Way that George W. could coast right through with the proper spinning.

Maybe it's just the type of subtext for which it was pounded into me in college to look, but this seems, if I proved correct about the response, it would reveal a bit of the racism inherent in modern liberalism; it's as if the religion of "brown-skinned people" cannot be sincere or mature enough to be dangerous in the way that anti-religionists fear.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 01:08 AM EST