You wrote: “However, to the extent that religious leaders and people of faith are affecting public policy regarding such areas as education (especially science education), civil rights, medicine and social justice I think it is important for the voices of reason to be heard and check any and all religious groups capacity to skew society toward their own personal brand of mythology”.
Sir, with politics, I believe in a “no holds barred” approach. At best, a few national politicians - “public servants for LIFE” - give a hoot about anything other than re-election and continuance of a lavish lifestyle on my taxes.
So I trust none of them and have as much regard for them as I do for a skunk - although being an actual skunk comes naturally to the actual skunk!
They are the worst hypocrites - most recently NATIONALLY apparent in the behavior of Arlan Specter (R, I, D; PA) who has spent 30 years extolling himself.
The Founders could not have dreamed of a Senator lasting 30 years!
Politicians consider their own future success and to a far lesser extent the views - and success - of their constituents.
But I have no opposition to their spouting religious balderdash and/or promoting religious balderdash to suit the biases of their constituents.
However, if I am most lacking in compassion - aka, “political correctness” - for other human types, it is ten-fold for the hypocrites on the national stage.
Most of whom never served in the defense of our country, especially not in dangerous components of the military, yet delight in bad-mouthing the United States, its Constitution, and its long-time traditions.
What’s with treating such people in a civil manner?