A Low Blow Against Religious Liberty

Among the less agreeable specters raised by the Watergate incidents are the recurring charges of bribery and attempted bribery leveled at past and present high government officials, including both those now incarcerated and many still at large.

There can be little doubt that many of those connected with Watergate acted unwisely, even improperly. However, when respected institutions such as the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Northern Virginia Sun continually harp upon charges of “bribery,” calling it a crime, it is evident that our time-honored principle of separation between church and state is insidiously threatened. It is true that there are many old federal, state, and local laws against bribery. However, it ought to be evident that the emotional prejudice against bribery is clearly rooted in sectarian (Jewish and Christian) religious attitudes. In consequence, any attempt to enforce an anti-bribe mentality on everyone by the coercive power of public law constitutes an establishment of religion and is clearly unconstitutional.

That the highly charged rhetoric against bribery, found in the pages of the Washington Post, for example, is of sectarian Jewish origin can be readily seen from a reading of the Old Testament Scriptures (cf. 1 Sam. 8:3 and 12:3; Amos 5:12; Job 15:35; Ps. 26:10; Isa. 33:15). It is superfluous to raise an additional issue by pointing out that a number of Post staffers are themselves of Jewish origin, for—as is well-known—the post-Jewish Christians took over the outmoded Jewish view on bribery. Several reputed Christians are known to collaborate with the Post and might be responsible for its unfortunate descent into sectarian religious pressuretactics. ...

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