The White House has announced plans to expand its Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. In an address to the National Prayer Breakfast, President Barack Obama said the office would reach out to nonprofit organizations and "help them determine how to make a bigger impact...and learn their obligations under the law." From a number of things said in the speech and that have transpired in relation to the economic bailout, those who cherish both religious liberty and sound theology should be deeply concerned.
Under the Bush Administration, those not wanting to pollute the purity of their doctrine by accepting government funds were pretty much free to say "No thank you". However, under the Obama regime, will reluctant religious organizations be permitted to back out amicably? Don't be so sure.
In regards to the bailout of the nation's floundering financial institutions, it has been insinuated that Wells Fargo did not want the government's handout but had its arm twisted by Lurch Jr, Hank Paulson into accepting the funds. For in the glorious opening days of socialism, no organization or individual cannot be seen as better or sounder than any other without at least some kind of penalty being inflicted.
If an administration at one time as dedicated as that of George W. Bush to liberty and free market principles can begin to nationalize the economy on the turn of a dime, then how much quicker will an administration already dedicated to socialistic principles such as experts being able to order your life better than you jump at the opportunity to manage the minutest aspect of our lives.?
For example, if financial institutions can be forced to accept bailout money whether they want to or not, what is to prevent this White House office from exerting pressure on small churches and organizations not having the resources to resist such coercion? And once these religious organizations have buckled under to the demands as in the case of financial institutions accepting assistance, what is to prevent snobs in the Obama administration from dictating what policy preferences and doctrines these institutions will then be permitted to enunciate?
Those not accustomed to exercising spiritual discernment wonder with befuddlement about what’s the big deal with granting the government a more direct role in influencing doctrinal content. After all, activists from both sides of the spectrum hope to influence the values embodied by the state.
That is correct, but that is the church or other institutions existing apart from the government playing their role in the political process rather than the state imposing its values on the other associations of private individuals. For when this is done in areas other than those delineated constitutionally in a free republic, one begins to step onto dangerous ground since the state is the only one of these that can use force and confiscate property in the process to ensure that its purposes prevail.
For example, at the national prayer breakfast, President Obama remarked, "And today,...it strikes me that this is one of the rare occasions that still brings the world together in a moment of peace and goodwill.” It is this spirit of peace and goodwill, one might argue, that President Obama hopes to promote and expand through the Office of Faith and Neighborhood partnerships.
However, the President’s remarks are rife with contradictions as well as other assumptions in the background regarding his worldview that will spell the ruination of religious liberty if his ideas are allowed to come to fruition. For example, Obama insists in his remarks, “There is no God who condones the taking of innocent human life.”
On the surface that is correct. However, that seemingly simple utterance requires the discerning to dig much deeper.
By making this statement and claiming to be a religious man, Obama has proven himself to either be a liar or deceived. For example, recounting her testimony before the Illinois state legislature, Jill Stanek recalled how uncaring Obama seemed regarding a baby surviving an abortion but who was tossed aside like the contents of a used bedpan. So either Obama must confess is complicity in the murder of the innocent, admit he really doesn’t give a flip about the laws of God, or that the God he serves really does condone the taking of innocent human life.
As a master deceiver, one must parse and analyze every word flowing from Obama’s lips at the decibel level of Loud Howard from the Dilbert animated series. For while trying to placate somulent Americam Christians, he also extends verbal overtures to the nation’s terrorist enemies.
One will note Obama declared, “There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being.” Ladies and gentleman, you believe that as an American going about your daily business that you have done nothing against homicidal Muslims like those blowing up the World Trade Center. However, in the eyes of terrorists, as an infidel, you are far from innocent and thus a perfectly legitimate deliberate target.
Even fellow Americans of a radical inclination such as Ward Churchill (a likely Obama voter) likened those working at the World Trade Center unto Adolf Eichman. Obama’s mentor Bill Ayers primary regret was not having planted more bombs as a member of the Weather Underground.
In the coming months and years ahead, don’t expect President Obama to call upon the Islamofascists of the world to moderate their beliefs and to embrace those aspects of contemporary Western civilization superior to a medieval Levantine mindset. Rather the obligation to alter your beliefs will be imposed upon you, dear Biblicist.
In his first interview after assuming control of the federal government, Barack Obama did not grant an audience with a prominent American broadcaster such as Barbara Walters, Larry King, or Sean Hannity. Instead, he went crawling to an Arab propaganda outfit probably infiltrated by Al Qaeda sleeper agents.
Yet in a move reminiscent of those duped into advocating the unilateral disarmament position of the nuclear freeze movement, of Americans, Obama expects, “I don’t expect divisions to disappear overnight...But I do believe that if we can talk to one another openly and honestly, then perhaps old rifts will start to mend and new partnerships will begin to emerge. In a world that grows smaller by the day, perhaps we can begin to crowd out the destructive forces of zealotry and make room for the healing power of understanding.”
To Obama, destructive zealotry does not mean car bombs, forcing women to wear bags over their heads, or even holding “God Hates Fags” signs outside the funerals of Americans having fallen in battle. In the viewpoint of tolerance and open-mindedness of the new President, what constitutes acceptable religious activity is actually quite narrow.
For example, from the quote, Obama enunciates that he expects old rifts to mend and new partnerships to emerge. In other words, you are entitled to believe whatever you want so long as you don't believe that it is the only proper way to believe or dare share this perspective with anyone else.
For example, according to Obama, in response to criticism leveled against him by James Dobson of Focus on the Family, it is no longer appropriate for believers to take seriously Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality. Likewise, in an American ecclesiastical backdrop where the Obama Administration is pulling the strings either overtly or from behind the scenes, will Christians any longer be permitted to believe that Christ is the only means of salvation or to speak out on those areas where competing belief systems fall short of Christianity?
This is a valid concern because, in the mind of President Obama, the collectivist social democracies of the world are seen as superior to America's more individualistic republic. Yet in these regimes, the freedom to express one's conscience is shaky at best.
For example, in Scandinavia, Pastor Akkie Green ran afoul of the thought police for daring to exposit those passages of Scripture critical of homosexuality. In England, a American talk radio personality Michael Savage was barred entrance for being critical of Islam even though Islamic militants are essentially granted permission to colonize the land of the Magna Carta, parliamentary democracy, and some of the world's most imaginative literature.
Things are little better with our neighbor to the north. For example, a ministry in Canada lost its equivalent of our tax exempt status for daring to point out where Jehovah's Witnesses and other theologically aberrant groups differ from establishmentarian Christianity. Mark Steyan and McClean's magazine faced the possibility of being dragged before a Human Rights Tribunal (basically a Stalinesque kangaroo court) for "vilifying” Islam by pointing out what terrorists have themselves publicly stated.
There is just so much those holding different religious beliefs can do together before mutual affirmations veer across the line into outright apostasy. For example, one can have a Muslim doctor or Jewish accountant and even be friends with these individuals. However, one is dangerously close to making the state itself God when profound theological differences are set aside in favor of so-called “new partnerships” called for by leaders out to deceive all of mankind irrespective of belief or creed.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. Frederick holds a BS in Political Science/History, a MA in Apologetics/Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary, and a PhD. in Christian Apologetics from Newburgh Theological Seminary.