Jason Jimenez, writing in the Christian Post, asks a question both pointed and quite easy to answer, “Why does the media give a pass to Biden’s faith?” The question might be more broadly applied, as Jimenez does, to the better part of the cultural and political left. In an era where consistent Christian beliefs are frequently tarred by the left, and a particular season where a wide variety of orthodox Christians are being painted together with the pejorative label ‘Christian nationalism’, why is Biden’s professed Catholicism, not only personally but in his politics, so gushingly held forth?
The answer, again, is rather obvious, and Jimenez knows it: Biden is advancing the leftist agenda. While some on the cultural left object to Christian faith per se, the more usual objections are to the Christian worldview and its whole outlook on human flourishing–particularly, in recent times, to the Christian teaching that mankind is made up of men and women, who are neither changeable nor interchangeable. Opposing this worldview calls for championing secularism and labeling Christians as dangerous, nationalists, bigots, and so forth.
But when you find political champions who claim Christian allegiance but promote your secular pluralistic worldview, that’s a different story. Now you have an avenue for claiming that Christian faith is consistent with the sexual revolution and its anthropology–which is what the religious left consistently provides. Not everyone in the cultural left will like it; as Religion News Service recently observed, “Secular groups praise Biden’s agenda but express concerns about religious rhetoric“. But you’re advancing the secular policies. At the end of the day, as Rachel Laser of Americans United is quoted in the article, “actions are so much more important than words”. As long as its just ‘religious rhetoric’, not actually an applied Christian worldview, its fairly tolerable to the hard secularists, and useful to the religious left in general.
In the end, the common ground between leftist disdain for the Catholic identity of Justice Barrett and promotion of the Catholic identity of President Biden is the advance of secular ideology. Reaction to Christian identity is conditioned on whether the professed Christianity is challenging or bolstering the secular worldview.
Is there a hypocrisy and inconsistency at work? Of course. But is there anything surprising or hard to understand? Not at all.