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I’ll admit that I’m a little behind in my “current events.” Last night, I finally got the opportunity to read the speech given by Senator Barack Obama in late June at the Call to Renewal “Penetecost 2006” event. Since it has been heavily endorsed and promoted by the National Council of Churches, I had great suspicions before I even began to read. My suspicions were confirmed less than three paragraphs later. While Obama claims to be a political “progressive,” his politics (like other “progressives”) fall almost exclusively on the left side of the fence. In his speech, he attempts to make inroads into the “religious” community by talking the “talk,” but steering far away from actually walking the “walk.”
Toward the end of his speech he declares that, “Given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were we are 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 unbelievers.” Interesting. Obama would have us believe that the majority doesn’t matter after all. Even though his elevated view of the “democracy” relies on this very understanding. Wasn’t it a majority of votes that enabled Obama to beat out Alan Keyes for the congressional seat he currently holds? But, when the “majority” is pushing what he would believe to be wrong views, only then does the “minority” hold any kind of power. But this twisted brand of situational logic was nowhere to be found on election night, when he accepted Keyes concession.
And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s. Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount, a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let’s read our Bibles. Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles.
He’s just asking questions here. He never plans to answer them. In the art of political speech-writing these are known as “rhetorical.” If you ask enough of these questions, people will begin to think that you are actually answering them with what you say next, even though you actually do nothing of the sort. In reality, Obama goes to make one of the stupidest (I tried, but I couldn’t find a nicer word) statements ever uttered. “I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.” Whoa! Hold on a minute. Moral principles (or any for that matter) must be held in common by all to be valid? Criminals of the world rejoice. Barack Obama has just defined pluralism to incredible new heights. Theft, murder, abortion, vandalism, lying, cheating, tax evasion—you name it—are all now acceptable according to enlightened Senator Obama, because there is a certain part of the population that doesn’t adhere to your “reality.” Would the senator be so pluralistic if someone was robbing his house, or vandalizing his car? I am reminded of the high theoretical moral fiber of Sean Connery’s character, Professor Paul Armstrong in Just Cause. When his “ivory tower” beliefs get put to the test, Paul’s theory can’t muster enough support to suppress his rage and need to protect his family when a social predator that he formerly defended is threatening them. Obama finds himself in the same dilemma. He says, “At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It’s the art of the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime, but to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.”
For all of his pious and Christian-sounding rhetoric, Obama wants the same thing that every other liberal wants: Christianity that resides between your ears for one hour of one day each week. Religion without judgment; Christianity without the hard sayings of Christ. If you have any doubt about this, listen to this remark, close to the end of his speech:
Finally, any reconciliation between faith and democratic pluralism requires some sense of proportion. This goes for both sides…The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.
Well, there you have it, straight from the senator’s mouth. Democratic pluralism “requires” that you understand that political correctness and expediency are higher and more important (therefore more authoritative) than any religious “conviction” you may have. Government decides, i.e. the elites like Obama, what is right and wrong and what you should ultimately “do” (Please remember that you’re free to “believe” whatever you want…this is America after all). The tyranny of the minority is not coming from religious-minded socially-active American citizens, it is coming from secular-minded ideologues, like Obama, residing in their fantasy reality in Washington. Maybe the next time he decides to leave his cocoon, Obama could actually listen to what his constituents are saying, instead of telling them what they “should” be saying. Oh, and remember to read your Bible, Senator. Some of us out here actually believe it.