Listing abortion, God, creationism, and every other thing secularists hate about religious ideas, the author saves his worst grievance for last with this remark, the one that makes us all gasp with horror at the audacity of Palin's views:
The most noxious belief that Palin shares with Muslim fundamentalists is her conviction that faith is not a private affair of individuals but rather a moral imperative that believers should import into statecraft wherever they have the opportunity to do so.
There it is - a private faith is the highest virtue and must not be touched at all costs. Making faith public is worse that even stopping science and abortions. Quite an assertion.
I recommend you read this article, not because it is helpful, but because it is an example of how unreasonable secular 'reason' has become. Not only does this author equivocate between Palin's views and fundamentalist Islam, but he also blows it out of proportion. What is even worse is that this author believes what he is saying.
Teaching creationism alongside evolution (and other views) in the public school classroom is not the same as banning it (which is what his Islamic examples did). And there are people who are non-religious who also think abortion should be radically limited from it's abuses today.
But as for private vs. public faith, the author of this story has certainly made his faith public. He's pushes it on the reader. It's amazing how easy it is to play the hypocrite. Every single politician that has ever taken office has used his faith in something (be it God, the human spirit, or whatever) to push through laws and regulate the people. The Founding Fathers did the same (even the Declaration of Independence makes the audacious claim that the "Creator" endowed humans with rights).
For an intelligent discussion on religion in the public square, I recommend this dialog between two preeminent philospohers, Robert Audi and Nicholas Wolterstorff: Religion in the Public Square.
Palin thinks everyone needs to have a heart right with God. This is different than the comparison that the author makes that Khamenei, only replacing "God" with "Islam." At least in American you have the freedom to say which God you believe in. When Palin says such things, it is speaking the language of her audience but is also a call to weed out corruption. For Khamenei, he's speaking from a context outside of freedom of conscience and refers to a specific religion. What is more, if God does exist, I would think he would want us to use our resources wisely and make us less dependent on those who don't. Is the author against that virtue as well? On this accounts (as well as his several other points), the parallel just cannot be made. Some people may not like Palin's remarks, but to equate them with fundamentalist Islam (which is just shy of using the word 'terrorist') shows he's out of touch and stretching concepts to fit his prejudice.
Makes me also wonder what the author thinks of Obama's "faith."
Would this author enjoy being called a fundamentalist Christian because he shares the idea that caring for the poor is important? Or would he like it if he agreed with Christains that humans should be treated fairly and with dignity? We can all find things we have in common and wedge in assumptions that do not fit. Just because serial killers breath oxygen doesn't mean everyone who breathes oxygen is a serial killer.
A thoughtful reader will get this. And articles like this are written to stir up the religiously uneducated and fearful. One encouraging thing to me is that while much of the secular media says evangelicals are out of touch, well, the statement can be volleyed as a return of favor. Wow, how's that for two movements with something in common!
It should be required reading every year for those in journalism to read the Society of Professional Jouralists' Code of Ethics, including "Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context."