During his interview with President Obama on Super Bowl Sunday, Bill O’Reilly pretended to his network’s claim of “fair and balanced” by saying President Obama has his “heart in the right place.” Joseph Farah of World Net Daily carefully ignored Obama’s obliteration of Fox News but begged to differ on Tuesday, and claimed that it is “entirely possible that God is hardening the heart of Obama.”
I don’t know about God hardening Obama’s heart (and if so, which god?) but I wonder if it is possible that some deity is making Joseph Farah stupid. My recommendation – and these are merely precautionary steps mind you – is several layers of aluminum foil, or failing that, tons of concrete and earth, which is known to protect against radiation. Who knows? It might work against magic rays from heaven as well.
What Farah demands from Obama is that the president set aside the United States Constitution and embrace the Bible (some imaginary version none of us have ever seen but which is apparently used by religious zealots like Farah) in its place. Obama’s actions, he says, must “square with His Holy Word.” His Holy Word as interpreted by Joseph Farah, of course:
In Egypt, God hardened the heart of Pharaoh to serve His purposes. God sought to deliver His people from bondage in Egypt. Is it entirely possible God is hardening the heart of Obama today to deliver His people from bondage once again?
The Hebrew people were not excited about leaving bondage in Egypt. As bad as conditions were, the unknown frightened them. Even after the Red Sea was parted, saving them from annihilation by the Egyptian army, many sought to return to Egypt from the safety of the wilderness.
In a similar way, I believe Obama’s role is to force Americans to make a decision about their future:
Will we continue down the road toward bondage or reverse course and seek liberty in the ways of God?
Will we accept government’s handouts and control over our lives or depend on God and the work of our own minds and hands?
Will we follow God or will we make government our god the way the children of Israel made one of a golden calf?
I will believe Barack Obama’s heart is in the right place when he vows that he is a follower of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and will take no actions and make no pronouncements that he cannot square with His Holy Word. I will believe Barack Obama’s heart is in the right place when he repents of all the evil he has wrought since assuming office five years ago. I will believe Barack Obama’s heart is in the right place when he turns from his wicked ways, scrupulously follows the law of the land and listens not only for the voice of God but for the voice of the people he is sworn to serve.
Somehow Farah comes to the conclusion that this mystery Bible of his is identical with the “law of the land” but of course, he fails to explain how this can be possible, since the law of the land never mentions his imaginary Bible, or his god.
Today’s faux Christians, and that includes not only Joseph Farah but people like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, and Bryan Fischer and Tony Perkins, and the Duck Dynasty and pretty much any other loudmouth conservative you care to mention, misapprehend not only their own supposed religion but the law of the land to which they are so fond of appealing.
I suppose there is no law preventing them from making egregiously false statements, or worse, actually believing them, but there is a law – the law of the land, as it happens – that prevents them from giving those beliefs the weight of law. It is called the First Amendment, and it protects us from people like Joseph Farah and his false doctrines, a heresy that would have seen him put to death in ancient Israel and even in the Christian Europe of the Middle Ages.
Sadly, Moses is not here to slap Farah upside the head with a stone tablet, and the Inquisition isn’t what it used to be. It is left to the “voice of the people” to tell Farah that we reject his pretension of being our spokesman. The group that is patently ignoring our wishes is the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and if there is a harder collection of hearts outside Vladimir Putin’s own chest, I don’t know of it.
I asked earlier if it was possible some god was making Farah stupid, but in the end – and unlike Farah – I am not going to blame god for their misdeeds or for his. Heathens like me believe people are defined not by their beliefs but by their actions, and as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. So I’ll turn this around a bit before I go, and just say that when Farah starts acting like a Christian, I’ll believe he is one, and I’ll believe he is an American when his actions show that he has not only read but understands the U.S. Constitution.
I won’t hold my breath for either. After all, the aluminum foil hat crowd – otherwise known as the Republican Party – need their heroes too.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.