Thomas Jefferson once wrote a letter in which he used the phrase a “wall of separation between Church & State.” Recently, it seems the word “wall” has been replaced with the word “war” unless, of course, it’s campaign season – at which time politicians trip all over each other to tear the Jeffersonian wall down and make confetti out of his letter. Too bad Jefferson didn’t write a letter calling for a wall between Church and politicians.
Case in point…While watching the news the other day, I saw a clip of president Obama talking at something called “The National Prayer Breakfast.” He accepted the invitation this year. In the clip, he was saying that when people question his faith, it just makes it stronger. Intrigued, I looked up the transcript. And as much as I am tempted to make the president’s faith stronger, I’m just going to question his words and motives. For like Jefferson said in his letter, “religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship.” But men, specially political leaders, can and should owe account to the truth.
In his comments at the prayer breakfast, Mr Obama says that he was raised in a non religious household by his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who was deeply skeptical of religion and thus he had no “formal religious upbringing.” Given her religious experience at the “little red church on the hill,” it would not be surprising if she had viewed organized religion as the “opiate of the masses.”
But, the fact is that young Obama had more formal “religious education” than most Americans. It is widely known that as a boy in Indonesia, Obama attended Besuki, a Muslim school for nearly two years. He also attended “ Santo Fransiskus Asisi, a Roman Catholic school run at the time by a stern Dutch priest” for an even longer period. Most Americans are subjected to an educational system where secular humanism is the official religion so he’s way ahead of the curve in that respect even if his mom was a devout agnostic.. As a matter of fact, in one of his two books on his favorite subject, himself, Obama claims that “In our household, the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf.”
So I guess for the political expediency involved in convincing the 18% of Americans that believe he’s a Muslim or the 45% who don’t know that he is a Christian, Obama felt obligated to almost blame his late mom for him being a lost religious soul who wandered in the wilderness until he heard the loving and healing words of Reverend Wright at Chicago’s Trinity Church.
I would have liked for someone as liberal as Barack Obama to have praised his mother as open minded enough to not have imposed her own religious views on her son and allowing him to attend two different religious schools. That’s so liberal.
But, it’s campaign season-time to break the Jeffersonian wall and the fifth commandment.