A Judeo-Christian Nation?

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Outspoken Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann was supposed to appear at a “Take Back America” rally at the high school auditorium in Watertown, Minn., last night, but the loud Tea Party icon was a no-show.

Instead, the somewhat subdued, less-than-capacity crowd heard from fellow Rep. John Kline, who spoke of “the importance of Judeo-Christian principles at the core of our great country.”

The conservative Republican lamented those who he infer have let down their guard in the face of radical Islam, and “faceless bureaucrats who are trying to erase God from the public square.” Kline passionately told a story of the ultimately unsuccessful Beltway effort to gloss over the words “In God We Trust” at the virtual House of Representatives in the new Capitol Visitors Center.

Those are interesting views, considering that our collective mourning of the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks this weekend have been clouded by fervently religious and reactionary tones. Is a secular U.S. government an inherent threat to Christianity, as Kline infers?

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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