Yeah, consider the headline your early April Fool’s. We know that the “wall between church and state” is only to be deployed if it is an evvvvvviiiiiillllll Republican talking about God in the context of policy, the same way that it is perfectly ok to turn to pulpit over to campaigning Democrats in election years. You’ll never hear threats and menacing statements about revoking anyone’s 501(c)(3) status then.
That said, Christians should be pleased. This is the third time President Downgrade has dragged his junior partners out from the closet they reside in when he isn’t claiming that they would support his various policy initiatives. And it is a curious strategy. I can’t think of anyone else who could campaign showing so much disdain for a religious group bitterly clinging to their Bibles and guns, and then just earlier this week, stand by while his HHS secretary issues a ruling that will clearly violate the religious principles of Catholic organizations and entities, and yet he comes to a Prayer Breakfast, makes a campaign speech which selectively quotes Jesus in support of what he wants to do, and he isn’t rebuked, corrected, or laughed out of the room. And what he said called for all three.
He presented his threadbare class warfare point of view about difficult times requiring a greater sacrifice by some, and then rolled into :
““And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually thinks that’s going to make economic sense.”
“But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that, ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,”
Now this statement requires me to repeat what astute people have been saying since Warren Buffett opened his mouth and started pontificating about how he SHOULD pay more, and how it is government’s job to make sure that this patriotic duty is fulfilled by all wealthy people (despite the fact that he owes a ginormous sum that he already ISN’T paying): No one is stopping you from paying more if you think that you should. The US Treasury is happy to take any and all contributions above and beyond the tax bill than anyone is willing to make. This is true of Warren Buffett, President Downgrade, or anyone else who keeps talking about how they believe that they should pay more, but aren’t getting their checkbooks out. But more importantly, he misses the point of a lot of what Jesus says in order to leapfrog his way to this convenient conclusion. Like the fact that the commands Jesus gave regarding caring for people, especially the less fortunate, were made to individuals, not Rome. Jesus also wanted those individuals to do this voluntarily. That point cannot be stressed enough. Still, I don’t imagine that we’ve fallen so far intellectually as a nation that he could quote Marx directly and have it as well received as only quoting the part of Jesus that is actually favorable to you in a speech, so this is what he was reduced to.
He wasn’t done, however.
“We can’t leave our values at the door,” Obama said. “If we leave our values at the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries and allowed us to become somewhat more perfect a union.”
I’m sure the Catholics in the audience who were told earlier this week that starting in August, they were going to have to leave their values at the door were very comforted by this statement.
The President then went on to talk about his prayers and devotionals, and meeting with faith leaders in private, leaving me wondering if this was a case of him not listening to what they say, or if they were grossly incompetent in imparting the full meaning of the gospel message.
There is a silver lining to this, however. The more he drags God out of the closet where they currently store him, the harder it becomes to ignore him or put him back like some political prop. God’s funny like that, and the President wouldn’t be the first person to think he had God where he wanted him, only to find the reality of the situation to be very different. And the more he does it, the harder if becomes for his side to criticize others for doing it. And while that raises the likelihood for some serious rhetorical exchanges between people, it also means that we will be talking more about Jesus, and God, which is an opportunity to set straight a record that the Left has been skewing since 1949.
That is an opportunity that I relish.
Comparisons have already started. The folks at the People’s Cube have focused their considerable talents on this.
h/t Matthew Morris