Obama’s Constitution-friendly Religion

Jeffrey T. Kuhner of the Edmund Burke Institute, who last year accused President Obama of having “black nationalist sympathies” (whatever those are) wrote a column for the Washington Times on February 23, which he entitled Obama’s pseudo-religion, arguing that the “President’s secular moves” are “out of step with Judeo-Christian culture.” His claim is that “Mr. Obama is a radical leftist. Like all such extremists, he has nothing but contempt for traditional Christianity and the family.”

If Obama’s “secular moves” are “out of step with Judeo-Christian culture” they are very much in step with the U.S. Constitution, for which Kuhner and his friends show only contempt.

It is fitting that Kuhner should so despise the Obama “revolution” given the feelings English conservative Edmund Burke, “the great prophet of Anglo-American conservatism,” had for the French Revolution and the ideal of “we the people” (as expressed in his Thoughts on the Revolution in France, 1790). It is equally no surprise that radical liberal Thomas Paine wrote a point-by-point rebuttal of Burke’s attack called, appropriately enough, The Rights of Man (1791-2).

It is significant, before we go on, to remember and to understand that Thomas Paine had to flee England when he wrote The Rights of Man and that for having done so, for having literally defended the rights of man in print, he was found guilty of seditious libel! Paine, the Englishman who was so instrumental in winning the American War for Independence (The Liberty Tree, 1775, Common Sense, 1776), was never able to return to England.

And this is the true focus of Mr. Kuhner’s attack: the rights of man, the “we the people” that conservative Burke himself so despised. Mr. Kuhner’s focus is on one sort of rights only: the rights of a religious group to supersede the rights of all others. Like his hero Burke, he shows only disdain for the rights of man, the very rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Because this is a simple and inescapable fact: the United States is governed not by the Ten Commandments, not by the Bible or by king anointed by God or by a Pope, but by the secular document known as the U.S. Constitution which states that power derives not from God, but from the people.

Hypocritically, it is Kuhner who on a previous occasion claimed Obama has a “deep contempt for Christianity and democracy” as though the two are mutually compatible or even synonymous. As Gerd Lüdemann has persuasively argued (Intolerance and the Gospel, 2007), New Testament Christology contradicts the values of a pluralistic modern liberal democracy the Constitution celebrates.

There is a great deal wrong with what Mr. Kuhner writes. Again there is the ubiquitous conservative meme – the argument that secularism, which is the absence of religion from government, can itself be a religion (it cannot). There is also the chimera of “Judeo-Christian” culture. The term “Judeo-Christian” is an ideological construct, a construct created, unsurprisingly, not by Jews but by Christians. There is no such thing as “Judeo-Christian.” It is evidence only of Christianity’s desire to ride Judaism’s coattails to legitimacy as a religion. With Judaism’s antecedents, Christianity is a mock religion, and a grotesque distortion of Pagan religion at that.

One need not look too far to see that Christianity roundly denounces Jewish belief. It insists on a division of godhead not permitted in Jewish thought, by grating a “trinity” onto God, an indivisible one somehow becoming three; it insists that Jesus is now the path to salvation, not the Jewish law; it doesn’t even use the Hebrew Bible but a monstrosity called the “Old” Testament which is to be contrasted with what supersedes it (and isn’t even translated let alone interpreted properly), the “New” Testament which revolves around the idea that God once had a covenant with the Jews but now has a new covenant with Gentiles, whom demonstrably, even Jesus despised and was disinclined to preach to.

Christianity is by definition a renunciation of Judaism; don’t preach to us about “Judeo-Christian” while Christian theology is preaching that Jews must become Christians and will become Christians at the end-times or like all of us Pagans, atheists and secularists, die in the greatest genocidal orgy the world has ever known, to be hosted, appropriately enough, by people calling themselves Christians.

The idea that only a Christian can care about family is laughable but typical. It’s not as if any culture in the thousands of years of human history preceding Christianity any human couple ever cared about their family.

Makes you wonder how humanity survived long enough for Jesus to make his belated appearance! We didn’t know right from wrong for cripes sake! We had no ideas of morality or ethics, and we didn’t care for families. Of course, none of this explains why these other cultures created huge empires while Israel was, well…not to put too fine a point on it, conquered by them – repeatedly.

I think the God thing is overrated. After all, it wasn’t God who make Israel a nation again, it was the United Nations – a sort of world-wide “we the people.”

Kuhn presents us with his evidence against Obama of course:

During the 2008 campaign, he decried Americans who “cling to guns or religion.”

This is what Obama said to a crowd in San Francisco back on April 6, 2008:

 “You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Obama’s point, with which he prefaced those remarks, was this: “the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives.”

Mr. Kuhner claims that  “devout Christians – as well as Orthodox Jews and Muslims – must subsidize with their taxpayer dollars a practice they find morally abhorrent.”

The same is true for us secularists – we are also forced to subsidize with our taxpayer dollars practices we find morally abhorrent, like DOMA, DADT, abstinence-only education, the war on women’s reproductive rights (hell, on women period), and the un-constitutional Faith Based Initiatives and the concomitant proselytization on the public dime.

Kuhner claims that President Obama’s position on contraceptives is “a direct assault upon the Catholic Church, conscience rights and religious freedom” but he says nothing of the Catholic Church’s direct assault upon our constitutional rights to be free of Catholic theology in our lives. Kuhner is sounding positively shrill by the time he reaches his crescendo, the claim that “The president acts as if he is hell-bent on eradicating Christianity from the public square.”

The real problem for Americans is that people like Mr. Kuhner are hell-bent on eradicating the very secular U.S. Constitution from the public square. The Constitution guarantees people have the right to their religion but that we all have a right to be free from the religions of others, a point with which history has shown Christians to have always had a problem.

As bad from a Pagan perspective, Kuhn takes the position that environmentalism is “a form of neo-paganism”:

Mr. Santorum’s larger point is that Mr. Obama and his liberal allies have embraced radical environmentalism – a form of neo-paganism. The green movement – exemplified by the hoax of man-made global warming – has degenerated into a pseudo-religion. Environmentalists worship Gaia, Mother Earth, turning it into a secular goddess. Hence, they believe industrial civilization must be subordinated to a green socialist agenda. This is why Mr. Obama has dramatically strengthened the Environmental Protection Agency, favors cap-and-trade legislation, prevents most oil drilling along the Gulf Coast and in Alaska, and nixed the Keystone XL pipeline project. Mr. Santorum rightly argues that Mr. Obama’s green “theology” trumps the economic interests of Americans; the president is behaving like a quasi-religious zealot. True.

False. President Obama, as any environmentalist will attest, is far from a radical environmentalist. Nor is man-made (anthropogenic) global warming a hoax, as 9 out of 10 climate scientists will attest. Certainly there are radical environmentalists and certainly some people do worship Gaia, or Mother Earth. But last I checked, the Constitution gave them this right. It even gives Kuhn the right to be an ignorant bigoted hypocrite and a liar.

Mr. Kuhner is even free to indulge in excremental fantasies like the following:

Yet Mr. Santorum should have done more than just attack Mr. Obama’s extreme environmentalism. Instead, when confronted by liberal hostility, the Republican social conservative retreated. The record is clear and obvious: The president is more a radical secular progressive than a real Christian. He has more in common with Vladimir Lenin than Jesus Christ.

As if there is something wrong with not being a Christian even if it were true. The Constitution says it doesn’t matter what your religion is; it requires no test for religion (Article VI, paragraph 3) let alone the finer points of doctrine within a religion. But as I said, Mr. Kuhner is opposed to the U.S. Constitution and everything it stands for. He can’t help but express contempt for its ideals and therefore for President Obama.

Mr. Kuhner offers no evidence that Vladimir Lenin was a radical environmentalist (!) or that President Obama’s policies or beliefs in any way coincide with those of Lenin, so this comment is on shaky ground to say the least. But it’s good for a laugh. Because really, only President Obama is bothering to quote Jesus; this is not something conservatives do. Conservatives are reaching back to the Old Testament, to fire and brimstone at the expense of love and compassion. Mr. Kuhner might want to pick up the New Testament sometime and read beatitudes, because these are the sort of sublime words that even an infidel like Thomas Jefferson could appreciate, Thomas Jefferson, who like Thomas Paine, cared so much for “we the people”, the very idea of which stands opposed to the will of any god, even (or especially) Mr. Kuhner’s.

19 Replies to “Obama’s Constitution-friendly Religion”

  1. Well, if one must worship anything, better Mother Earth. After all, no one has proven “Gahd” is necessary to anything, but let’s just see how long this dumb fux lives without earth, water, and air.

  2. I find it extremely laughable the conservatives are equating trying to take care of the earth we live on with not being a Christian. That is almost so insane as to beg for psychiatric help. And then to go on to say that people worship the environment is just as insane. If you are a person who cares what’s in the water that your kids drink it’s obvious you are not a Christian.

    Some Christians find it very easy to equate other people’s actions as being non-Christian. If you are not a Christian they judge you from lofty heights same that you will meet your maker one day and he, like I will judge you. and it is true that many think that Christianity equals the Constitution when there is absolutely no such connection.

    We must remember that the people who lead this charge are using this as a power-play to get into power and do not believe for a second that Christianity equals the Constitution. We must also remember that the underlings who judge those who do not bow down and care about the environment think that they are doing the work of God when in point of fact all they are doing is furthering the conservative movement. A movement that has nothing to do with God or the Constitution

  3. …”Kuhner claims that “devout Christians – as well as Orthodox Jews and Muslims – must subsidize with their taxpayer dollars a practice they find morally abhorrent.”

    So, “this” their plan; this is going to be the entirety, the sum total of any and all of the “Presidential Debates”. “This” is the only subject they will agree to debate, the only subject they will repeat and regress back to no matter what the subject chosen by the moderator. The GOP candidate will pound his shoe like Nikita, refuse to answer the question as Romney in last weeks debate and, force us to listen to mindless garbage as a way to dominate, wear down the electorate, in order to make a complete sham of our system of electing government leaders.

    If anyone in their right mind thinks whomever is the GOP nominee is going to actually “debate” on the issues of the economy, environment, jobs, education, etc. you’re a naive fool; the only thing the GOP has to offer is a hostage taking “Hail Mary Pass” of biblical “T-Bow” proportion; save the world for Jesus or we’ll pull the trigger!

  4. Excellent Hraf! First I’ve seen excremental fantasies used to describe batsh*t crazy. Brilliant terminology to describe all things GOP, Christofacists (yep, I said it again), teabags…covers them all. Oh, the rest of the article is brilliant as well. I just got overwhelmed with joy at “excremental fantasies.”

  5. Faith, Singh, could you be no longer in your first youth? I thought I alone could remember Nikita’s shoe.

  6. Great breakdown. Why doesn’t the mainstream media cover this properly? Thank our constitution that we have politicususa. Just another thing the right would take away if they get into power.

  7. The interesting thing about Nikita is that when he said “We will bury you!” he was uttering an old Russian proverb that means “We will still be here after you are gone”, in other words, we will be around to bury you when you die, not, as many in the West believed, “We will destroy you.”

  8. I am Christian and liberal. Frankly, I don’t see how anyone who claims Christianity can be conservative: they applaud war, the death penalty, screwing the poor, starving children, refuse to help the unemployed, shun education unless it’s from ‘their’ church, and now, are attacking the reproductive rights of women, and trying to roll back voting rights to about 1860. And that’s conservative? Really?
    How did this country lose her way so badly?

  9. As Mr. Gorbachev predicted: “We will do the worst thing possible to you. We will take away your great enemy.”
    Not the exact quote, but you get the point.
    Sure enough, Americans turned on each other and their government. We gotta have that hate thing going to feel good.

  10. how sad that anyone would not want to keep our safe from the ‘rape’ of our earth for monetary gain. i am encouraged to see that more and more people are realizing what our constituion says and very specificaly was created to keep religious fanactics from interfering with our government and to keep us safe from religious persecution and in fact churches were taxed at the beginning so lets go back to taxing all churches

  11. the mainstream media is owned by 6 people and at least one of them(fox news) is totally involved in brainwashing and has actually stated so in writing so thank you for the internet and the ability to comment and learn from each other its up to us to keep the internet free from censorship

  12. whenver people are kept uneducated and unhealthy and poor it is generally on purpose by those in power that realize that the only way to keep their position of power is to keep the status quo of the downtrodden comman man

  13. Thanks…I wanted remember the expression this morning. He added, “We will bury you. Your children will become communist”, which was red-meat to the Birch-er’s who ran with it all they way through the Nixon era.

    Actually, Khrushchev had new shoes for his trip to the UN; they were too tight for him and had already removed them under the table that day…and the rest is history.

    I wonder what will happen with little Ricky’s sweater vest once the weather warms up…

  14. Well done, as usual. Thanks for the reference to Intolerance and the Gospel, of which I hadn’t heard before.

  15. Yes, Thomas Paine was barred from England for writing “The Rights of Man”…AND he was unable to return to the United States after writing “The Age of Reason” while being imprisoned in the Bastille. Only after his death was his body allowed to be buried in the US.

  16. Thank you. I have learned you can’t go wrong with Gerd Lüdemann who has, naturally enough, raised the ire of conservative Christians

  17. It’s been coming for a long time. I’ve got a journal article in my computer somewhere, written in the very early 1900s where the writer took the fundamentalists to task for insisting on biblical literalism and obedience. He said that if Christianity didn’t accept science and evolution and didn’t stop insisting on things being a certain way, that the religion was moribund as far as the general public. I agree with him whole-heartedly. (It was written by a theologian and Biblical scholar of the day, and the journal is one of the respected peer-reviewed journals on religion.)

    Then the Great Depression happened, and the 1% were doing fine and had what they wanted (gap between the rich and the rest was very great)… and Roosevelt was elected and started all of the programs that redistributed their ill-gotten gains back to the people they’d robbed. The programs protected the very people they despised, and they responded by developing structures to try to eliminate those programs (the structures were more or less religious in nature).

    Then the civil rights era happened, and the more fundamentalist-leaning churches found themselves in conflict with a society that told them they could no longer be bigoted based on race. They responded by starting the Religious Right… Frank Shaeffer says a lot about that (and he’s an authority because he was involved in all of it).

    From that point, it grew into what we face today.

    What I see is that American Christianity is evolving into two different species of Christians – the “Good Christians” who want to dictate to everyone else and rule the world, while ignoring their own source (Jesus), and then the Real Christians who support things like separation of church and state, freedom of conscience, and who practice plurality and try to follow Christ’s teachings (I count myself as being part of the latter group). Of course, there has always been a strain of “Good Christians” throughout the history of our faith, as well as the strain of True Christians who try to follow the teachings of Jesus. The two have always been in conflict, with the “Good Christians” usually gaining the upper hand because they will use any means necessary to attain their goals. Just as species eventually split… that’s what I’m seeing now. Usually when species split, it’s like the pendulum starts swinging widely from one to the other, and then the two start sticking to those most like them and they start becoming two distinct groups. I think that’s where we’re nearly at now.

    I hope I’m making sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.