Religion as a ‘Safe Harbor’

I recently spent a few days at an Alliance Defense Fund conference. Largely evangelical, there was a lot of God talk. What struck me during one of their morning worship services — which sounded a little like a Rick Perry prayer rally — was: These people are really trying to make sure their daily life reflects who they say they are.

Pia, I found that Meet the Press segment alarming, too. But I was not convinced Gregory, even with a laugh, was mocking her or believers more generally. He seemed as if he were delivering what he believes to be fact: That religion is a nice inspirational motivator, a safe harbor during hard times. And then I wondered: Does he believe that because religious people give that impression? That we live our lives as if our faith is nothing but a little positive mental attitude?

And Bachmann’s response was wonderful. She is not backing down on who she is and what she believes. And she presents herself as an integrated whole, not compartmentalized.

I think Michele Bachmann had a little reverse JFK-Houston Baptist University moment in Iowa on Meet the Press there. At a time when religious freedom is being challenged — see Obamacare and contraception — Gregory’s “safe harbor” question was alarming on more than a media-bias level. It was a challenge to be who we say we are, always. A political call is not an excuse to put religion aside or exploit it but to be a true witness. In that segment yesterday, it was hard not to have the sense that she was trying to do just that last one.

More thoughts on Bachmann’s “JFK Moment” here.



  • Kathryn Lopez

    yes, absolutely wrong Houston venue. apologies. and thanks for the correction. The incoming archbishop of Philly gave an excellent anniversary speech about the JFK speech which is worth reading.

  • James Maney

    John F. Kennedy’s speech was not delivered at Houston Baptist University, which was not even chartered until eight weeks after the speech and did not open until 1963. It was delivered before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association {many of them certainly Baptists} at the ballroom of the Rice Hotel, then Houston’s foremost hotel.

  • John

    You appear to me to have learned many of life’s lessons well.

    God be with you, brother.

  • Davide

    @ Kathryn I understand where you and Pia are coming from it is troubling. But if I can I would like to give my perspective on this. I moved to America when I was fourteen from Italy. In Italy there is a strong Catholic presence everywhere. Absolutely everywhere from jails, courtrooms, prisons, schools, libraries, museums, hospitals you can find a crucifix in all these places and even pictures of the Madonna and Christ. Even though it is becoming more common to hear a Italian Catholic say: “I was baptized Catholic”. Weekly attendance of Mass is almost as bad as in America. I get to America and immediately I noticed the anti-Catholic atmosphere. It frightened me. What was worst most of it was coming from the Protestants. I think America has always had anti-Catholic sentiments from its founding. I have learned to ignore it. It no longer bothers me. I chalk it up to ignorance and hate. It is estimated that since the times of Christ over 200 million Christians (mostly Catholic) have been martyred. Christians by far is the most persecuted minority in the history of civilization (not the Jews, blacks or gays). Christ was killed for His faith so we must come to the realization we too will be persecuted and perhaps be put to death. We also must recognize that in America anti-religious sentiments are growing stronger especially among the elitist liberals who in general anti-Christ. But this is our lot. But Our Blessed Savior tell us “be not afraid”. Someday like in ancient Rome; perhaps American Christians (especially Catholics) will be labeled “enemies of the State” and even in America we might have to face martyrdom. I say rejoice in our persecution and be joyful for we belong to Christ and our reward is in heaven, all eternity will be with our first Love-Jesus Christ. Thx

  • MichaelL

    I love Michele Bachmann. She gave Gregory a headache. One of the funny things about the whole “submissive” controversy is that her husband didn’t tell her to stay home and take care of the kids. He told her to get a law degree. Shouldn’t feministas be applauding that? But because God was involved, they take an issue with it. Go figure. :)



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