What’s God Got to Do With It? Can the attorney general be trusted to protect the rights of those whose spiritual life rests outside of the Judeo-Christian tradition when he has excluded them from the ranks of civilized people? Not to split angels on the head of a pin here–or to restrict Ashcroft’s hearty expressions of his Pentecostal faith as manifested in his daily prayer meetings at Justice–but it is alarming when he defines his job in religious terms: “The guarding of freedom that God grants is the noble charge of the Department of Justice.”
What hooey! The Justice Department is a creation of men to enforce laws written by ordinary mortals–some of them drunk as well as godless–and, most important, to follow the precepts of the U.S. Constitution, itself the product largely of those founders who were suspicious of efforts to bring any official notion of God into the day-to-day governance of a free people. They had enough of that with the religious pretenses of English kings, and they made no bones about their deep concerns regarding the mixing of church and state.