Apparently President Obama Isn’t the Right (White) Kind Of Christian For The GOP

Whether or not any American believes it, there is one aspect of political service that transcends political affiliation, gender, race, or religion. Allegiance to, and support of the nation’s Constitution is a requirement that every public servant swears to before serving as president, congressional representative, police officer, or school teacher, and it should serve as an equalizing force to ensure that all government employees are loyal to the tenets of America’s founding document. Since President Obama took office in 2009, there has been a growing Constitutional originalist movement among conservatives of all stripes as a means to oppose laws that do not fall under the purview of Republican corporatism and morality. However, Republicans have made a mockery of the Constitution as of late and the  Republican presidential hopefuls have all promised to disregard the Constitution in their pursuit of religious purity and Dominionism.

There are many examples of Republican presidential aspirants’ disdain for the Constitution that have as their basis religious dogmata. However, the entire concept of bringing a candidates religion into question as a qualification to serve is in itself unconstitutional and yet the candidates who have taken the oath of office in the past have impugned President Obama’s faith as one reason to deny him a second term. In Article 6 of the Constitution it says that, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office,” and yet the Republicans have questioned President Obama’s faith continuously. The President says, like Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul, he is a Christian but it is apparent he is not the right kind of Christian; a white Christian. But racial bigotry aside, there is no reason the President, or Republican candidates, have to attest to their Christianity or lack thereof to serve according to the Constitution, but since the Republicans reject Article 6, they have made President Obama’s religious qualifications a major campaign issue.

It is no coincidence that Republicans never questioned George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan’s allegiance to the Christian faith despite their policies and agendas that were decidedly anti-Christian; because they were white Christians. Franklin Graham, the money-grubbing evangelist, said he knew Santorum and Gingrich were Christians because they said they were, but he questioned the President’s Christianity even though Obama told Graham he was a Christian. Graham said he could not read the President’s heart, but he could discern Santorum and Gingrich’s dedication to Christianity; because they are white. Disregarding Article 6 is not the worst of the Republicans’ disregard for the Constitution, it is their incessant and dangerous contempt for the Establishment and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment that is more than troubling.

Yesterday, and in December 2010, Santorum said he does not believe in the separation of church and state regardless of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. In fact, in 2010 he stated categorically that “the idea of strict or absolute separation of church and state is not and never was the American model.” According to Thomas Jefferson, the establishment clause’s sole purpose was “building a wall of separation between Church and State.” Santorum also said the separation of church and state was first introduced in 1947, but that is another lie. A Supreme Court case in 1878, Reynolds v. United States, addressed the issue over a Mormon’s religious duty to engage in bigamy. Maybe Willard Romney could enlighten Santorum on that court case, but the point is the separation of church and state was enacted and explicitly mentioned in 1802 by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson regardless Santorum’s claim to the contrary. Like Santorum, two of the presidential hopefuls have sworn to disregard the separation clause if they win the presidency.

Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney all signed the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) pledge that specifically requires them to; pursue a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, nominate U.S. Supreme Court and federal judges who are committed to reject gay marriage, defend the Defense of Marriage Act vigorously, and establish a presidential commission to investigate and document reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened for exercising rights to organize, speak, donate or vote for marriage and to propose new protections. Signing the NOM pledge is a promise to impose bible edicts on the courts, legislation, and people in direct violation of the Constitution, and establishing a presidential commission to protect proponents of traditional marriage will be, in effect, an Inquisition against same-sex-marriage supporters. It is, indeed, traditional marriage supporters who have harassed and threatened proponents of same-sex marriage around the country and at this author’s home on several occasions.

The point is not same-sex marriage any more than it is contraception coverage or the President’s faith; it is the source of these issues as applicable to the Constitution. Imposing a ban on same-sex marriage, contraception, and questioning the President’s faith are religious issues that have no place in politics or governing. The Constitution is quite clear on the subject and yet the Republicans are determined to administer religious ideology in governing and it is unconstitutional. The basis for these hot-button issues is the Christian bible that is not the Constitution despite what Santorum says, and the framers knew some ambitious theocrat would emerge and attempt to inject religion into the laws of the land which is why they included the establishment and separation clause in the 1st Amendment according to Thomas Jefferson.

Men like Santorum and NOM claim the Constitution’s framers did not give permission for same-sex marriage, and they certainly could not have portended  health insurance with contraception coverage. They did, however, make room for rights not explicitly listed in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The 9th Amendment says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The purpose of the 9th Amendment was to prohibit the government from violating any rights not specifically covered in the Constitution such as the right to marry the person one loves or have access to contraception that are expressly forbidden in the Christian bible.

Each of the frontrunners has campaigned on enforcing the Christian bible’s edict on homosexuality, and Santorum promises to preach about the dangers of contraception. He also believes the states have the right to ban contraception that is governing according to Catholicism. Their Dark Ages mentality notwithstanding, the frightening issue is their rejection of the 1st Amendment and by extension, the entire Constitution that does not conform to the Christian religion Their incessant attacks on President Obama’s faith, contraception, and same-sex marriage are diversions from their failures to offer job creation and economic strategies to improve the economy and with good reason. Their economic policies are Bush’s trickle down scam and besides rewarding the wealthy and punishing lower and middle class wage earners, will explode the nation’s deficit without creating one job.

Americans are not always the smartest people, but they know when they are being scammed after 8 years of Bush and two years of tea party Republicans in the 112th Congress. However, the threat of theocratic legislation under Santorum, Romney, or Gingrich is a real and present danger if any of these men win the White House.  Although Romney and Gingrich have signaled their willingness to punish gays by denying them the right to marry, it is Santorum who will impose Inquisition-era edicts on the population. All of the Republicans have taken an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and they have already disregard the “no religious test” clause by questioning President Obama’s faith. It is obvious that if Santorum wanted to vomit over the separation clause in the first amendment, imagine  how he will react when he learns the 14th Amendment guarantees equal rights to all Americans. This country requires a President who preserves and protects the Constitution, not a Republican who promises to replace it with the Christian bible.

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21 Replies to “Apparently President Obama Isn’t the Right (White) Kind Of Christian For The GOP”

  1. By now, I suppose you’ve heard Santorum heartily approves of destroying Korans, regardless of the implications for our national reputation, our diplomatic effectiveness, or our citizens’ safety. I am tempted to think he took exception to the mandate therein to respect the dead and not give corpses to one’s children as toys.

  2. This pretty much exposes the tea party for what it is, Republican shills. In the conservative movement is doing little more than using the people’s religion to put itself into government and not be removed. Once installed in the government the conservative religious theocracy cannot allow voting or elections to occur. This is what we have in store for us.

    If you are a conservative and just want to see conservative fiscal matters in a government, you are screwed.

  3. That is my view, also: if these people get the upper hand again, they will not allow another real election- ever.

  4. It’s a good thing he isn’t a White Reich Wing Christian.

    They follow the 7 sins listed in Proverb.

    In the Book of Proverbs (Mishlai), King Solomon stated that the Lord specifically regards “six things the Lord hateth, and the seventh His soul detesteth.” namely:[4]

    A proud look.
    A lying tongue.
    Hands that shed innocent blood.
    A heart that devises wicked plots.
    Feet that are swift to run into mischief.
    A deceitful witness that uttereth lies.
    Him that soweth discord among brethren.

    Add on Greed and Gluttony and your a Republican.
    Makes you wonder if that voice in their head is the devil.

    If you were to believe on those type of things even though I don’t.

    But it is pretty damn scary.

  5. What must the Jewish citizens of the U.S. (and the world) think of this push for Presidential candidates to deliver iron-clad guarantees of their Christianity? To say nothing of Muslims. The fact that a Muslim, or a Bahai, or a Hindu, etc., can be a legitimate candidate doesn’t seem to occur to anyone, which speaks volumes about the prejudice in this country. All of these idiots who think that religion belongs in the public sphere apparantly don’t realize that other religions exist. If they were to succeed in forcing their ideology down the throats of the American public, someone from a different religion is likely to be next, pushing a different ideology down the conservatives’ throats. But of course, to figure this out, you’d have to have a brain, wouldn’t you?

  6. Overall, I agree heartily with the point of the article. However, The fact that Reagan and Bush were Republican and conservative is a huge factor as to why they weren’t questioned about their faith. The President being a Democrat and a liberal ( even a moderate one ), is also a huge factor as to WHY he is questioned about his faith.

    Think about it, if Herman Cain was the Prez ( shudder )these idiots wouldn’t be questioning him. It’s not that race isn’t a factor. Hell, we all know that most white dominionists are racists. It’s that the President isn’t the RIGHT kind of black man.

  7. What really gets me is that Jesus was an Aramaic Jew, it is very possible that his skin was darker in color than President Obama, and not that much lighter.

    They fuss about President Obama (who is IMO one of the best we’ve had in several decades), and the One they claim to follow wouldn’t have “qualified” in their eyes either.

  8. You know whats depressing? Americans had to vote into power the tea party only to see afterwards what so many people knew they would be like. Same for Bush jr. Can you guys stop doing that? Just vote progressives please.

  9. I’m not so sure about that. I’ve lived among the bigots all of my life (well, part of my childhood was spent in purely white areas, as we passed as white and didn’t hear that much bigotry expressed and rarely saw examples of it except on TV and in the news), and I think in many areas Cain had problems because he wasn’t white. In fact, I think his race was the main reason why he didn’t get very far (his actions also contributed).

    This country is far more racist than people realize. You have to be trained to recognize it, or had experienced it enough to become sensitized to it before you can see what is going on (both training and experience helps me to see it).

  10. The principles of American Liberty, as they are enshrined in the US Constitution, (based as they are on the principles found in the Constitutions of Free Masonic Lodges such as Separation of Church and State, checks and balances, one man one vote, separation of powers, etc.) have long been antithetical to the basic principles of the Christian religion and all authoritarian regimes. This is why the Catholic Church and many right-wing religions have all condemned Freemasonry and discouraged membership in the Lodges. The principles of human liberty, democracy and equality are also condemned by many of the too few honest Christians who write on the subject.

    Adherence to both Christianity and Democracy are only possible because humans have become so adept as thinking compartmentally so as to avoid cognitive dissonance.

  11. Already there man, so I see what your saying. I am 1st generation Syrian/Lebanese. My families skin tone and appearance scream ” look here I’m a middle easterner!” I was raised in the Eastern Orthodox Church and we had many Ethiopians in attendance as well. The Icons that we had in the church showed a very dark skinned Jesus ( alluding to your point below). So, yes experience and sensitivity help one recognize subtle forms of racism.

    Unfortunately however, it’s a double edged sword and the sensitivity you are referring to can easily turn into paranoia and blowing things out of proportion as well. So I constantly walk a tight rope to not dismiss racism when it is actually happening, and not biting my WASP friends heads off because of some perceived sleight.

  12. Even Thomas Jefferson was not immune to this compartmentalization as his motto: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” makes clear. Of course, when he spoke of “God” I don’t think he had religions in mind. For Jefferson, religions were human (and thus flawed)expressions of devotion to God.

  13. (Laugh!) So true. I do have to do the same… recognize when it’s ignorance and when it’s true bigotry. (Sometimes it is difficult.)

    Ignorance can be cured with a little education (as a person I used to know said, we’re at war – with ignorance!), while bigotry… sometimes it helps to call people on it, but other times it’s useless and even dangerous. I’ve found that responding gently works wonders with the ignorant. However, I must admit that sometimes, as I say, “The ole wounds are a hurtin” and it is very difficult to respond without anger, and sometimes even hard to respond in a civil way.

  14. I must strenuously disagree with you. The Christianity I follow and adhere to is absolutely compatible with democracy and freedom. I’m not the only one that believes the way I do… there are a lot of us (several are on this blog and I’m getting a bit tired of being lumped in with the very people who have persecuted us).

    The problem is a literal reading of the scriptures… not trying to really understand what was written, what the message REALLY was, and why it was written. It takes real scholarship to start to dig into that, and some work just to determine which are valid/valuable sources and which are not.

  15. Newt Gingrich is worried that President Obama will “start a war against the Catholic Church”. The Reformation and Enlightenment were considered (rightly) by the Catholic Church “war on Catholicism” which is why it fought against both movements so vigorously. Nothing has changed. The principles of human freedom will always stand against the tyrannies of authoritarian religion.

  16. The problem is not just a literal reading of scripture. There is nothing in the Bible to support the ideas of Democracy, equality, separation of powers, checks and balances, or one man one vote. The only legitimate government is one “ordained by God”, but preferably a theocracy.
    Feel free to “search the scriptures” all you want. I challenge you to find anything supportive of the principles of human liberty (other than “release from slavery”) and cite the verses.

  17. Just to be clear on my background. I’m a PK, and also an ordained minister myself (although now inactive). I have a degree in Religious Studies from the University of California at Sacramento, served with the Chaplains in the US Air Force during the Vietnam war, and have studied many religions (including Judaism and Christianity) all my life. I’m not an atheist but, after years of study, have found all religions to be of human origin (although I still acknowledge and respect “the quest to understand”).

  18. You’re saying that the Bible is the final authority, which is the error of the fundamentalists. There are forms of Christianity that are very old and do not put the emphasis on the Bible that you’re demanding (such as my own).

    The problem with Biblical authority becomes even more true when you get past the literal reading of the English version. Let me tell you a little fact about translating from one language to another – it’s not nearly as easy as replacing one word with another (a mistaken thought that many Americans, who are as a rule monolingual, make because they don’t know more than one language). Often there are words in one language that do not translate to another, and in one language there may be secondary or tertiary meanings that are lost in the translation. This is compounded when the languages have been translated more than once – and the problem is raised by powers of ten when you’re taking from an ancient culture to a modern one that is completely different. So much is lost in translation – and while Hebrew and Greek are taught in school, it’s rare to find people who know Aramaic – which is known to be the vernacular that Jesus spoke (we also are pretty certain He was multilingual, which is and was far more common than monolingualism). Oh… and the OT version of Hebrew didn’t contain vowels – and the words certainly contained them. It’s lucky that they have gotten even somewhat close to the original meaning – and there are passages that the translation is literally the best guess of the scholars.

    Plus you have to take the worldview into account. The worldview of Jesus’ time was very theocratic and autocratic, with unapproachable kings and the whole panoply of strictly hierarchical structures. At the same time, the Jews were an occupied people… the Romans had control and the Jewish leadership was almost satrapic in nature. This directly affected the message and you have to read what Jesus is said to have spoken in that context.

    If you look at that context, you will learn several different things. First, Jesus advocated non-violent resistance to the Roman Occupation. Second, his message was one of hope and yes, even freedom for the ordinary citizens who were suffering under confiscatory levels of taxation and abuse from the elites (including the Romans). Third, the writers of the NT almost certainly added to what He said and parts of the Bible were written in such a way as to avoid pissing off the Romans. Maybe his message doesn’t seem that radical in today’s society, but in his time… it was a dire threat to the status quo and thus he was crucified – by the Romans.

    Another issue is that you have to look at the THEMES in the Bible. Yes, some seem rather anti-democracy in nature on the surface. But there are deep themes running throughout the collection of books that run counter to the political and economic structures of the day… like the prophets (and Jesus) calling the rich and powerful to account for their mistreatment of the poor. Oh, and I might suggest that you look at the Year of Jubilee concept which is very much in the Bible. That is a leveler right there – tearing down the stratification that could develop in a few short decades.

    This is only a thumbnail sketch of the problems inherent in true Biblical scholarship – and I do not consider myself a Biblical scholar at all – at most I would consider myself a dilettante. (For one thing, I’ve only studied Spanish for a couple of semesters… I know next to nothing about ancient Hebrew or ancient Greek, much less Aramaic. I am pretty much monolingual and regret it deeply.) The sources I draw on ARE true scholars.

    So, your argument for Biblical authority and “read from the Bible” don’t stand up.

    (Oh, and I didn’t even get into the politics, history, and cultural clashes behind the selection of the books that are in the Bible today. That’s another story in itself.)

  19. And just imagine how we atheists feel. It’s sort of like the little boy listening to the villagers argue over whether the naked king is wearing an Armani suit or Calvin Klein.

  20. Sorry, I make no argument for Biblical Authority (that’s the job of believers and Church authorities). That argument holds no weight with me, partly because of the “translation problem” that you mentioned (I first learned about this in college. That and having read Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason” were the first two real shocks to my religious faith).

    Outside the all too brief experiment with Democracy in Athens (which only applied to free male Athenians – about 20% of the population – the other 80% were women and slaves) and the also short-lived experiment of the “Roman Republic” before it became an Empire, the ideas of Democracy don’t really appear until late into the 16th Century and didn’t really come to fruition until the latter half of the 18th Century. So I’m not surprised they don’t appear in the Bible.

    The idea of the Jubilee was for economic relief, not equal rights nor participation of the people in their own governance.

    My statement that Christianity is antithetical to Democratic ideas comes from several Popes, religious thinkers and Monarchs. Argue with them.

  21. Now I must ask you… why are you arguing with me? Why are you insisting that my faith cannot be what it is?

    I say that my faith is fully compatible with democracy. You tell me it isn’t. Isn’t that telling me what I should believe or think? Isn’t that calling me a LIAR?

    You sound exactly like the “Good Christians” in the churches my wife and I fled a few years ago who insisted “You can’t accept evolution as fact and be a Christian”. I’ve even been threatened with death for saying that a Christian CAN accept evolution, and internet stalked for months because of it – by “Good Christians”. I am tired of people setting their own arbitrary rules on how others are to believe. You are doing the same thing as they did.

    I get so sick and tired of people who try to tell me what I’m supposed to believe or how I’m supposed to be. It’s no different than the newagers telling me how my ancestors lived and believed – and they were full of shit. Archaeologists and anthropologists (which is what I do when I can find employment) have clearly demonstrated that my ancestors ate meat and in pretty large quantities, yet those same damned newagers kept telling the public that they were really vegetarians. They told people we worshiped the earth and so on and used “Crystal Power”. Well, my own elders were taught by their elders and so on throughout time. Our medicine people were taught by their parents and family – and so on throughout time. They say of the same newagers that they’re full of shit and don’t know a thing about what they’re talking about. Who am I supposed to believe – someone who did like you’re doing, or my own people?

    Don’t you get it? YOU’RE SETTING THE “RULES” FOR *MY FAITH*!

    There ARE Christians who did not come from the Bible and whose stories tell that their sources of their faith predate the NT.

    There are Christians who have come to a different understanding of the Bible than you have professed.

    I suggest you give it a break. I’ve been getting quite tired of the anti-Christian attitudes on blogs like this that lump people like myself in with the dominionists, who are the real enemy. I don’t try to force my beliefs on others, and I expect the same respect shown to me. If you don’t believe, that’s your choice. What and how you believe is your choice. Same for me. Also, don’t tell me my beliefs cannot be backed up by science and thus are not valid… the common retreat of people who have attacked Christianity (not realizing that their own beliefs cannot be backed up either).

    By the way… I have just as strong claims to scholarship and authority as you do, so don’t think your claims of being a minister or having a degree have any weight with me. I can raise and call you on that score, but such a discussion is not germane to this blog.

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