April 12, 2009
Obama's 'Christian Nation'By Monte Kuligowski
President Obama is taking a fair amount of heat from conservatives for his recent comments in Turkey in which, speaking for Americans, he said that, "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."
Back in June of 2006, Obama said,
Obama made a similar statement in an email response to CBN's David Brody in 2007:
We see that Obama believes we are no longer a Christian nation but an assortment of several mini nations. Obama believes America is a nation of citizens curiously "bound by ideals and a set of values," having no extrinsic anchor and objective source.
In full context of Obama's statements made in Turkey on April 7, the President did at least acknowledge the following:
By referring to America as a "predominantly Christian nation" Obama is speaking in terms of population, not of the religion's influence on national morality, policy and law. America is populated primarily by Christians. In that sense Obama is correct.
Sad to say, Obama is also correct in stating that we are no longer a Christian nation. I argue that we are a country divided and that two principal nations currently coexist within the same country. Those two dueling nations have irreconcilable differences on the big questions of life and fundamentally consist of left versus right.
I understand that the word "nation" is used interchangeably with the word "country," but at its core nation means a group a people united by a common faith, morality, set of customs and traditions and language. In the fundamental meaning of nation, we once were a nation which operated from a system of Judeo-Christian morality -- that is, a common faith provided the basis for right and wrong.
That historical fact, Obama refuses to acknowledge. Obama's words, "Whatever we once were," seem to imply that what we once were is not important or perhaps that one cannot objectively determine what we once were. Either way, Obama's lack of basic understanding of American liberty is highlighted.
Additionally, Obama is inaccurate to say that currently we are a Muslim nation, a Hindu nation, a Buddhist nation, etc. Approximately 76 percent of adult Americans identify themselves as Christians. Historically, countries don't do well consisting as a collection of mini nations; unless, of course, a strongman rises up to provide forced order and peace.
America's shores once assimilated different cultures and religions into its existing "one nation under God." Today the "great melting pot" means that traditionalists get thrown into the boiling kettle of liberal diversity.
America today is a much more diverse place, of course, than it was yesterday. The problem, however, is not census numbers and diversity but that Christian morality has been systematically undermined in lower education, academia, media and government (most notably, by the U.S. Supreme Court) for several decades. The problem was never the traditional Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus -- they, for the most part, are happy to live in a country founded on faith in the Judeo-Christian God in which they may live freely, enjoying the practice of their particular religions.
Indeed, the basic morality of right and wrong of traditional religions is strikingly similar. The vast gulf in morality is between the far left and traditional Americans.
When the U.S. Supreme Court in 1892 observed that "this is a Christian nation" it wasn't that people of other religions and nonbelievers were nonexistent in America at the time. The observation could be made because people of all beliefs largely respected the Judeo-Christian system and accepted it as society's basis for right and wrong and moral order. Indeed, back then, even an atheist would have acknowledged society's religious moral framework as the basis for social order.
Unfortunately, the country currently is irreconcilably divided and the division is not among traditional religions; but between leftwing non-traditionalists and traditionalists (predominately Christians, of course). Those, like Obama, who believe they can fundamentally transform America into a better place via their "smart policy," as Hillary would say, are the real problem and threat to American liberty. Every dictator, come to think of it, always believes he is smarter than his average countryman.
When a unifying faith dissipates, people often turn to believe in someone. And when a unifying faith in an external authority disappears, government necessarily becomes the highest authority. From there, well, you know what happens from there.
You will notice that Obama, throughout the economic catastrophe, as he calls it, has not led the country in a single prayer to God, asking for His kind assistance. In former times, even a Deist was not ashamed to petition God for help in time of need. Indeed, a certain Deist suggested to the Christian men gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 that prayers be offered at the Constitutional Convention -- and, surprise, he even quoted the Bible to support his request.
Obama doesn't need to appeal to some Christian God, after all, "We are a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values." We wouldn't expect those of the Religious Left to literally believe that Almighty God is actually there, now would we?
Monte Kuligowski is an attorney who writes on topics of faith, culture, policy and law. His blog site is www.DuelingNations.com.