January 20, 2009
Inauguration 2009: 'So Help Us God'By Monte Kuligowski
The fact that Pastor Rick Warren's invitation from Barack Obama to offer prayer at the 2009 Inauguration generated controversy and newsworthy protest speaks loudly about where we are as a people. The news of that invitation would not have generated as much as a yawn in a once-sane America. And, the fact that the president-elect would appease the ensuing roar of the Gay Left by inviting Gene Robinson, the only openly homosexual Episcopalian bishop to share the podium at the pending inauguration/gay pride festivities speaks volumes about Barack Obama.
Interestingly, the invitation extended to Robinson (who single-handedly fractured a Christian denomination) was not controversial -- at least the major news media found nothing controversial to cover regarding the prospect of a homosexual bishop praying for the presidency and the country at the request of the incoming president.
In a land where wrong is becoming right, Warren's great sin was to support California's Proposition 8 -- the voting initiative that ended same-sex marriage.
It should not come as a great surprise that a Bible-believing, Christian pastor would actually oppose so-called gay marriage and even consider homosexual practice to be sinful. It also should not come as a great surprise that a man elected to the presidency in America would ask a traditional Christian pastor to pray at the inauguration. Both are sort of the American norm, if you will.
Obama's invitation to Warren induced a twofold response from the establishment media. On one hand, as noted by Colleen Raezler, "ABC, CBS and NBC all devoted air time to the ‘controversial' Warren during the Dec. 18 nightly news broadcasts, none of which featured any supporters of Warren." On the other, the major media hailed the Warren invitation as evidence that Obama is the great healer and uniter. One New York Times writer opined that, "The choice of Mr. Warren, pastor of a megachurch in Orange County, Calif., is an olive branch to conservative Christian evangelicals."
As a man who is all things to all people, Obama apparently has his own grove of olive trees.
Mr. Obama believes he can be all things to all people because, to a post-modern person there often is no conflict of right and wrong because no objective, external truth exists to separate right from wrong. The incidents of pre-Inauguration 2009 illustrate what many already suspect: Barack Obama will be America's first post-Christian president.
The president-elect is the first man to ascend to the presidency, having been raised in a home (or homes) without the inculcation of traditional biblical values. Obama's mother remarried when he was a grade-schooler, and moved with young Barack to Indonesia where he was exposed to Islam and Catholicism in school. His mother was agnostic, but spiritual in her beliefs and his American grandparents with whom he would later reside, tilted to the religious far left.
"With the media carefully pretending not to notice," writes Andrew Walden, "Barack Obama's choice to hold a memorial service December 23 for his late grandmother Madelyn ‘Toot' Dunham at Honolulu's First Unitarian Church underlines one part of the story of Barack Obama's leftist religious upbringing."
In a 2006 speech Obama provided some detail:
In a 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani, Obama said that: "My mother was deeply spiritual . . . and [would] give me books about the world's religions, and talk to me about them."
Mr. Obama stated that he was rooted in the Christian tradition, but added, "I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people." When asked whether heaven is the place to which the many paths lead, Obama said, "[W]hether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing."
Nevertheless, Obama later claimed that he "reaffirmed" his "Christian faith" at Rev. Jeremiah Wright's black liberation/social justice church, at the conclusion of the sermon titled, "The Audacity of Hope." Reading the transcript of the sermon, over and over, one is hard-pressed to find anything that remotely resembles a Christian faith to reaffirm.
Unfortunately, it is more likely that Obama affirmed Wright's bitter, racist, America-hating brand of religion for socio/political reasons. He became well-connected in far-left Chicago politics, thanks, in part, to Rev. Wright's forum.
Obama says he is a Christian and in the sense that he is a religious leftist, he is a fine Christian gentleman without a moral compass.
After the invitation to Pastor Warren was extended, Bishop Robinson told the New York Times that, "I'm all for Rick Warren being at the table . . . but we're not talking about a discussion, we're talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he's praying to is not the God that I know."
Well said, Bishop Robinson. The God of traditional America is not the God he knows -- and, based on the evidence, is likely not the God Obama knows. Barack Obama and Bishop Gene Robinson appear to share the same moral-relativism-based Christian faith of the far left.
Addressing the question of his forthcoming inaugural prayer, Robinson recently said: "I want this to be a prayer to the god of our many understandings and a prayer that all people of faith can join me in." That would be a prayer of universalism and not a prayer to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- that is, the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
There once was a time in America when a minister could beseech the blessings of the Almighty for the country, at say, an inauguration, and no controversy existed as to whom the prayers were directed.
Therein lies the heart of the culture war. Whose God shall we trust in to bless and protect the country? Does it matter? If God is simply an anthropological phenomenon, then the prayers for his blessing are mere exercises in vain ceremony. But if God is real and really watches over, blesses and protects those who trust in Him, then nothing is more important than securing the favor of heaven. Should we trust the God of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the Supreme Judge of the World, in whom the patriots relied upon to watch over the cause of liberty as they pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor? Or should we pray to the god of the Gay Nation?
If the latter, then we like Thomas Jefferson, should fear for our country that the wrath and justice of God cannot sleep forever.
Monte Kuligowski is an attorney who writes on topics of faith, culture, policy and law. His blog site is duelingnations.com.