As we noted yesterday, CNN's Erick Erickson used President Obama's call for a moment of silence as an excuse to question Obama's faith:
I feel the need to make a political point here about why this President is getting bashed for his "moment of silence" when other Presidents, from Carter to Reagan to Bush to Clinton to Bush, did not.
He recently made people mad by quoting the Declaration of Independence and leaving out the bit about the Creator. During his inaugural address he mentioned atheists and subsequently proclaimed us not a Christian nation.
In yesterday's "moment of silence" he wanted prayer or reflection. Here's the problem — when conservatives push for school prayer and advocate for a "National Day of Prayer," they include "or reflection" to get around namby-pamby atheist objectors.
But the left uses it too. The left uses it to accommodate atheists.
President Obama's statement stands out because it is just another verbal telling that he's ideologically of the left. He already has problems with a public perception of him and his faith. That things like this keep coming up suggests the general public is right in their skepticism of the sincerity of his faith.
Note that Erickson explicitly spelled out his bad-faith approach to politics, justifying hypocritical conservative criticism of Barack Obama on the flimsy grounds that Barack Obama is "of the left." Seriously, that's all he's saying here. He may try to dress it up as something else, but that whole passage boils down to "Sure, Barack Obama merely did what Republican presidents before him did, but there's a reason why conservatives criticize him for it: He's of the left."
But that just demonstrates yet again that Erickson is a hack; it isn't what's truly offensive about the post. That would be Erickson's suggestion that the president should not "accommodate atheists," even in such a small way as saying "prayer or reflection." Erickson doesn't bother to explain what's wrong with "accommodating" atheists, or whether he plans to lead an effort to repeal the First Amendment. He just treats it as a given that atheists should not be accommodated -- and that the president should insist that people pray.
How long do you think CNN would retain Erickson's services if he made similar disparaging comments about "accommodating" Catholics or Jews? Maybe about five minutes?
Then again, CNN tends to overlook things it shouldn't when it comes to Erickson. In March of 2009, Erickson wrote: "At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?" A year later, CNN hired him. Two weeks after that, Erickson said he'd pull a gun on government employees if they tried to arrest him for not filling out the census.