Stephen Kokx
February 7, 2012
So much for that wall of separation
By Stephen Kokx

It's not something that's required to be public knowledge, but knowing that the president is a God-fearing man is important to the vast majority of Americans.

Rarely, however, does Barack Obama remind us about his relationship with the deity. It should come as no surprise, though. Liberal Democrats rarely talk about how faith influences their worldview.

There have been times when the president has invoked a higher power. But being the secularist he is, it's been done largely for political purposes.

To be sure, President Obama has treated religious groups with respect. In the past, he's hosted a Seder meal at the White House, reached out to the Muslim community on multiple occasions, and just the other day presented nine Catholic teachers a "Champions of Catholic Education" award.

Unfortunately, handing out those awards was nothing more than a stunt aimed at courting Catholics back into his corner after the uproar caused by his administration's decision to force private insurance companies to cover abortifacients.

To many, including Fr. Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the "conscience clause" included in the president's plan — something that is actually frowned upon by Nancy Pelosi, a self described Catholic — essentially slams the door on religious liberty.

Granted, it's not new that elected officials have to appease their supporters by promoting certain laws. But the manner in which the Obama administration is going about implementing its policies not only undermines the moral continuity of the United States but it cuts at the heart of the first commandment of progressivism: thou shall respect the separation of church and state

The Breach

During the 2008 presidential election, then Senator Obama told an audience in San Francisco that small town Americans tend to cling to their guns and religion.

Seemingly, liberal community organizers from big cities like Chicago are not immune from clinging to their religion either.

At the National Prayer Breakfast on February 2nd, President Obama remarked, "for me as a Christian, [the rich paying more in taxes] coincides with Jesus' teaching that 'for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.'"

Adding that, "when I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street...I do it because...I believe in God's command to 'love thy neighbor as thyself.'"

In referencing the role his personal faith has in animating his public policy desires, the president has ostensibly smashed through the wall separating church and state.

The Hypocrisy

Several years ago, Barack Obama, regarding his own political philosophy, said, "I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons...but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I can't simply point to the teachings of my church or invoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principles that are accessible to people of all faith, including those with no faith at all."

If we are to take the president at his word during the National Prayer Breakfast it would appear that theocrats are not exclusive to the Republican Party. His reliance on the Almighty as a justification for progressive taxation is ample evidence of a public official relying on private faith for policy guidance.

It's fair to ask, then, if he believes it was Jesus' message of compassion that motivated him to force insurance companies to provide universal birth control or if it was God's fault for not being clear enough on the teaching that life actually begins at conception.

The State of our Union

Advocates of a "neutral" state argue that religion has no place in a pluralistic society. The media, unfortunately, aids them in their efforts.

As Ross Douthat of the New York Times points out, the prejudices found amongst journalists regarding pro-life religious groups was on full display during the recent controversy surrounding Susan G. Komen's decision to defund Planned Parenthood.

In his article, Douthat reminds his readers that 58% of Americans actually believe abortion should be "illegal in all circumstances" and that "millions of Americans do oppose Planned Parenthood" and the "300,000-plus abortions it performs every year."

Everyday folks are beginning to see through the progressive myth that you can somehow be 'for life' while simultaneously promoting abortion rights.

Maybe that's why after it cut ties with Planned Parenthood, Komen's donations increased 100%. And maybe that's why voters are coming to realize that the progressive claim about the separation of Church and state is nothing more than a myth that's regurgitated by leftists only when it's politically advantageous.

© Stephen Kokx


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


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