The faithless community?

Joseph Finlay
President Obama's effort at religious all-inclusiveness at the Inauguration has not escaped the notice of many African-American Christians.  What follows is further evidence that many Christians are less than thrilled with the exaltation of multiculturalism at the expense of the Christian ethos that made America great and distinct.

By mentioning, for the first time in an inaugural address, the 16.1 percent of Americans who check "no"' when asked about religion, Obama turned it into the most controversial line in his speech -- praised by The New York Times editorial board and cited by some Christians as evidence that he is a heretic, and in his well-spoken way, a serious threat.

With that one line, the president "seems to be trying to redefine American culture, which is distinctively Christian," said' Bishop E.W. Jackson of the Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake, Va. "The overwhelming majority of Americans identify as Christians, and what disturbs me is that he seems to be trying to redefine who we are.'"

Earlier this week, Jackson was a guest on the popular conservative Christian radio show 'Janet Parshall's America,' where a succession of callers, many of whom identified themselves as African-American, said they shared the concern, and were perplexed and put off by the president's shout-out to nonbelievers.

Bishop Jackson's fear that the President "is trying to redefine who we are" is accurate in its historical context as well as his proposed legislative thrust.  Part of America's greatness rests in its religious liberty and freedom to be, yes, an unbeliever.  However, President Obama would do well to remember the observation of Alexis de Tocqueville: "The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other."
President Obama's effort at religious all-inclusiveness at the Inauguration has not escaped the notice of many African-American Christians.  What follows is further evidence that many Christians are less than thrilled with the exaltation of multiculturalism at the expense of the Christian ethos that made America great and distinct.

By mentioning, for the first time in an inaugural address, the 16.1 percent of Americans who check "no"' when asked about religion, Obama turned it into the most controversial line in his speech -- praised by The New York Times editorial board and cited by some Christians as evidence that he is a heretic, and in his well-spoken way, a serious threat.

With that one line, the president "seems to be trying to redefine American culture, which is distinctively Christian," said' Bishop E.W. Jackson of the Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake, Va. "The overwhelming majority of Americans identify as Christians, and what disturbs me is that he seems to be trying to redefine who we are.'"

Earlier this week, Jackson was a guest on the popular conservative Christian radio show 'Janet Parshall's America,' where a succession of callers, many of whom identified themselves as African-American, said they shared the concern, and were perplexed and put off by the president's shout-out to nonbelievers.

Bishop Jackson's fear that the President "is trying to redefine who we are" is accurate in its historical context as well as his proposed legislative thrust.  Part of America's greatness rests in its religious liberty and freedom to be, yes, an unbeliever.  However, President Obama would do well to remember the observation of Alexis de Tocqueville: "The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other."