What?? NON-Christian Americans???June 23, 2008 — Deacon Duncan
Good old WND is in a tizzy over remarks by Sen. Barack Obama implying that non-Christians—including (*gasp*) Muslims and nonbelievers—are part of America too.
JERUSALEM – Some have been taking issue with largely unnoticed comments made last year by Sen. Barack Obama declaring the U.S. is “no longer a Christian nation” but is also a nation of others, including Muslims and nonbelievers.
The comments have been recently recirculating on Internet blogs.
Don’t you just love that dateline? “And now the latest from JERUSALEM, the land where Jesus once walked…” Is that supposed to lend some kind of special anointing to the story, or what?
Despite whatever special magic you get by reporting from Jerusalem, it’s apparent that the reporter isn’t too good at reading comprehension.
At the speech, Obama also seemingly blasted the “Christian Right” for hijacking religion and using it to divide the nation:
“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us,” he said.
Notice: Obama’s remarks concern a relative handful of men, the leaders of the Christian Right, but the reporter tries to make it sound like Obama is attacking all conservative Christians.
Not to belabor the obvious, but the way you become a leader of the Christian Right is by becoming a leader who mingles religion and politics, i.e. by making religion a political issue and politics a religious issue—in short, by making “sectarian” equal “partisan.” And that’s what has actually happened: a relatively small number of religious leaders have politicized their faith and exploited it to create partisan divisions in the church and in society. So Obama is making a very clear, targeted reference to the specific (and unchristian) actions of a small group of men.
Obama’s remarks actually echo the Biblical injunctions of the Apostle Paul. “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:-14). “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought” (I Cor. 1:10).
Now granted, the Christian faith has always had its divisions and internal struggles, but still, is it really so bad for Obama to aspire to the same kind of unity and cooperation as Paul once endorsed? Christians certainly should not think so, but there’s just one problem. Obama is one of “them,” you see. Whenever one of “them” calls on Christians to follow Biblical injunctions, it’s got to be some kind of trick.
“This won’t play well in the Bible Belt,” commented the [Gateway Pundit] blog in a recent posting.
Still, WND deserves some credit for reporting at least some of the truth about what Obama actually said.
“Whatever we once were, we’re no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers,” Obama wrote in an e-mail to CBN News senior national correspondent David Brody.
“We should acknowledge this and realize that when we’re formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we’ve got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community,” wrote Obama.
That is pure genius. In pointing out this irreducible foundation of free and civilized society, Sen. Obama has highlighted the active ingredient that once made America great, and might—potentially—make us a decent nation once again.