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Robert Reich: God worse than terrorism


Ex-Clinton labor secretary has problem with those who believe in higher authority

July 7, 2004/WND

Robert Reich, the former U.S. labor secretary under President Bill Clinton, believes people who follow God pose a more significant threat to the modern world than terrorists do.

"Terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face," writes Reich in a column titled "Bush's God" published in the American Prospect .

Reich begins his column criticizing the Bush administration as he pushes for a liberal understanding of America's separation of church and state.

He uses the term "religious zealots" and says their problem is that "they confuse politics with private morality."

Reich concludes his column by taking aim at those who believe in God:

    The great conflict of the 21st century will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason, and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face.

"This makes me sick," says WorldNetDaily reader Sandra Binder. " Never has anyone who has gone this high in our government made such sinister comments."

Reich's remarks did not go unnoticed by Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor for National Review who responded in his own column titled "Robert Reich's Religion Problem."

"This goes well beyond the common denunciation of 'fundamentalism' where that term is meant to describe an ideology that seeks the imposition of religious views on non-believers," writes Ponnuru. "It is a denunciation as a graver threat than terrorists of people who believe that the world to come is more important than this world, or that all human beings owe their allegiance to God."

But Ponnuru doesn't think most people will jump on Reich's bandwagon.

"Many millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other religious believers will reject Reich's witless rhetorical oppositions," he says.

"One can believe in the political 'primacy of the individual,' the obligation of all people to answer to God, and the wrongness of any governmental attempt to make them answer to Him, all at the same time. But if our choice is between the primacy of individuals and the primacy of God if, that is, we are to choose between individual human beings and God then the vast majority of traditional religious believers would have to choose God. I certainly would."

Reich is currently promoting his latest book, "Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America."

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