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Tuesday, December 21, 2010     GET REAL

Is Obama ashamed of America's ties with God?

By Dr. Grace Vuoto

As President Obama lit the National Christmas tree this year, he said the story of the birth of Jesus is “dear to Michelle and me as Christians.” Mr. Obama addressed his Christian faith on the heels of a controversy of his own making. He has been deliberately downplaying the nation’s Christian roots for most of his tenure in office and is now bearing the brunt of a backlash.


On Dec. 6 the bipartisan Congressional Prayer Caucus sent the president a letter, chastising him for a speech he delivered Nov. 10 at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta in which he stated incorrectly that America’s national motto is “E pluribus unum” rather than “In God We Trust.” The letter asked the president to correct his statement and to more accurately reflect the nation’s religious heritage abroad.

In addition, the 42 members of Congress who signed the letter asked the president to stop omitting the words “endowed by our Creator” when referencing the inalienable rights of each American, as stated in the Declaration of Independence. On seven occasions in public speeches, Mr. Obama has omitted the words “our Creator” in addressing the origins of our equal rights as citizens, reported World Net Daily on Dec. 8. He has done so even after being made aware of the omission. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has told the press not to make a big deal of it. Yet, forgetting God is a big deal.

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This is not just an oversight or an abbreviation by the president: It is part of a pattern of being embarrassed by America’s Christian roots and deliberately attempting to eradicate public references to God. This is being done in official correspondence also, as occurred in the Universal Periodic Review submitted by the State Department to the United Nations in August.

It is little wonder then that an Aug. 19 Pew Research poll found that one in five Americans still erroneously believes the president is a Muslim. Even ABC host Barbara Walters was compelled to ask the president to address the persistent Muslim rumors in a Nov. 27 interview. And 59 percent of American Protestant pastors view Mr. Obama as something other than a Christian, according to a Life Way Research poll, published in December. It is unprecedented for a sitting president to have his faith so frequently questioned and scrutinized.

Mr. Obama has added fuel to this fire. For the first nine months of his presidency, he and his family attended church only once, leading to an outburst of reporting on this. He had campaigned as a Christian, had used much Christian rhetoric and had often referred to his faith as underpinning his character and political convictions. But shortly after he was elected the Christian candidate morphed into the slick and secular politico.

Mr. Obama left his previous church of 20 years, Trinity United in Chicago, during the presidential campaign as he disavowed the anti-American rants of its pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Subsequently, he claimed that his attendance in a church in the nation’s capital would present a security risk and would cause disruption. His explanation for not attending mass frequently since assuming office remains unconvincing, even to the many black Christians who have been his stalwart supporters. His actions are “shaking his good standing with spiritual leaders within the black community,” wrote Eric Hogue in a Sept. 23, 2009 article in, a black Christian news site. The writer pointed out that, at the very least, the president’s daughters need regular church attendance and this is a basic fatherly duty — let alone the president’s responsibility to embody Christian leadership to the nation at large.

Since he was elected, Mr. Obama has attended church a handful of times. This fall, he and the family went to Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. This paltry record reveals that Mr. Obama is not the devoted Christian he claimed to be on the campaign trail. He is not anchored in a Christian community. While he is the president of a historically Christian nation, he really prefers to lead as a rootless secularist. He belongs in a suburban coffee shop sipping a latte and reading The New York Times rather than leading this “city upon a hill.”

It has been noted too, that by contrast to his lukewarm Christian pronouncements, Mr. Obama glows when he discusses the Muslim faith. Then, he is poet Obama, waxing graceful and eloquent. In February 2007, he stated to The New York Times that the Muslim call to prayer is “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.” As president, he has also supported the building of the Ground Zero mosque, amid much public anger and controversy.

In the very same speech that Mr. Obama fumbled the national motto, he nonetheless referred to Islam in the most sympathetic manner. For example, he said that "al Qaeda and its affiliates... have no claim to be leaders of any religion" and "certainly not a great world religion like Islam." Hence, for our president, America’s Christian God is to be buried in the catacombs of public discourse. Yet, the religion of Allah can be glorified and called "great" at the drop of a hat. When did he last refer to Christianity as “a great world religion?”

Mr. Obama also has an affinity for the beauty of mosques that he apparently does not have for Christian churches. In the speech in Indonesia, poet-laureate Obama used stirring language regarding a mosque, the Istiqlal, built by a Christian architect: "Earlier today, I visited the Istiqlal mosque — a place of worship that was still under construction when I lived in Jakarta. I admired its soaring minaret, imposing dome, and welcoming space." When has he spoken so sweetly about the allure of a Christian church, regarded universally as among the most glorious monuments on earth?

Mr. Obama has been keen to repair the relationship among Christians and Muslims, at home and abroad. But he ought to make more of an effort to repair the damage to Christianity by secularists here in America. In short, Mr. Obama appears to be proud of Muslims and ashamed of Christians.

This is not as our Founding Fathers intended future presidents to behave. They had God on their lips — and enshrined in our core documents — because they were men of deep faith. They repeatedly warned that the nation must remain wedded to organized religion, even as they championed the separation of church and state. They opposed an establishment religion, while they regarded religion itself as the wellspring of liberty and civic virtue. They made a distinction between an official religion, which they rejected, and a nation’s common religion, which they valued highly.

George Washington, in his Farewell Address of 1796, beseeched the nation to remain wedded to organized religion. “And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion,” he said. “Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”

John Adams expressed a similar point: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In other words, our Founding Fathers were not ashamed of the Christian God, but embraced Him as the fountain of every individual and social grace. Why is our current president so far removed from all the principles that have made this nation both formidable and good?

The next time Mr. Obama lights the National Christmas tree, let him speak of Jesus not because the polls indicate it might be politically expedient for him to do so. Let him speak of God, in his public pronouncements, as our Founding Fathers did — with gratitude for the great and good God who has blessed America in abundance as in turn, America has historically exalted Him at every opportunity.

Dr. Grace Vuoto is the Executive Director of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal.


What does God have to do with a Christmas tree anyway? A Christmas tree is a Pagan ritual from Babylon. It is obvious Obama is not a Christian, but Santa, Christmas trees, Easter bunnies and baskets aren't either.

david D      12:57 a.m. / Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010

The United States may be a nation which is predominantly Christian, but it is not a Christian Nation! On Veterans Day, I walk over to the Japanese-American Memorial to the Japanese-American Veterans from World War II. Many of them were Buddhists. Buddha is not a God, the Son of God, etc. They were soldiers of the, 442nd, the most decorated unit in World War II, and were true Americans, regardless of your opinion that faith in G*d is a prerequisite They put their lives on the line in support of the United States of America, no other country. I salute the Memorial every time that I pass it. I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, and no other country. If you ever do go there, please make amends to all of the Buddhists, Taoists, Native Americans, as well as the Deists, Agnostics, and Atheists that died to protect our freedom of religion.

LarryLinn      7:10 p.m. / Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010

Eric, you are only part-way correct. CURRENTLY, this country's majority exemplify the behavior and culture of a non-christian nation. But if you were to bother to read up on your history, you would see that this country's roots and origins are well steeped in Christianity. Sure you can continue to argue and say that many of the founding fathers were freemasons, deists, and theists. What you don't know is that MOST of them were Christians. It should come as no surprise to anyone that as this nation has moved further and further away from a Christian identity, things have gotten worse and worse. Of course non-believing people will come up with any sort of nonsense and rationalizations to explain that link's called denial.

Jon      12:54 p.m. / Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010

Dr Vuoto - I was with you until this sentence, hopefully inadvertent: "They [the Founders] repeatedly warned that the nation must remain wedded to organized religion, even as they championed the separation of church and state." Ugh. Using that tired phony separation-of-church-and-state phrase the misguided lawyers on the Supreme Court used in the 50s - from Jefferson's letter to the Danbury baptists. It's been so discredited, it's hardly worth repeating that many of the states in 1781 had official religions; that the Establishment Clause only applied to the Federal government then; and even after it was made applicable to the states, wasn't a basis for that supposed strict separation. You yourself said it's about not having an official federal religion - like they did in England. In short, it's a made-up lie, and none of the Founders envisioned the ridiculous limitations the amoral lawyers are imposing on an unwilling nation.

1689      11:53 p.m. / Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010

Gee, Obama forgets to tout Christianity and they get offended, as if it is his job to preach. Sorry, but this is not a Christian nation, but one that represents all people of various faiths. In other words, one government made of many types of people, E Pluribus Unum.

Eric      10:42 p.m. / Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010

May we the people of the U.S. stop looking to the government for salvation and recognize our need for personal forgiveness from Jesus of our own wrongdoing so we can see clearly to help others as needed.

joe      6:51 p.m. / Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010

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