Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama And The Establishment Clause

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." ~ U.S. Constitution Amendment I

President-elect Barack Hussein Obama, has stated his belief that the United States Constitution is "fundamentally flawed". Obviously, now that he has been elected President of the United States he is the unique position of being capable of using his power to correct whatever perceived flaws he sees in America's founding document.

I realize that without the backing of the legislature, he can do nothing more than make firm suggestions, but nevertheless, he is in a much better position to get something done than before the election.

Since Obama didn't elaborate on what parts of the Constitution he considers flawed, I decided to do a little research into what Obama believes, or appears to believe, that might provide us with some insight into what in the Constitution he might change, when and if given the opportunity.

I started with the first amendment. Subsequently, I will research further.

The first prevailing concern of the founding fathers was religious freedom. At the time the Constitution was penned, King George III of England was the head of the Church of England, and as head, had strongly urged all citizens of England, including those upstarts across the big pond, to worship exclusively within the Church of England. Those who refused were often persecuted in various degrees. The pilgrims made the perilous journey across the Atlantic in 1620 to escape religious persecution.

For this reason, the Framers of the Constitution considered it of utmost importance that the citizens of the new Republic be allowed to worship God, or not worship God as they choose. For this reason, the first amendment's first words are, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

The idea was not to keep religion out of Government, but rather, to keep Government from establishing a National Church, such as the Governmental led Church of England.

As Thomas Jefferson wrote to Samuel Miller in 1808, "I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises."

I wanted to find out what newly elected President Obama might do to this first statement of the first amendment, the freedom of religion, so I googled "Obama's Christian faith" to see if there was any "Christianity" in Obama's stated faith.

Throughout Obama's campaign, I did not notice any reference to his own personal faith, except for the oft played "gaffe" when he accidentally said, "my Muslim faith" instead of "my Christian faith", in that now famous interview with George Stephanopolis. I will concede that he was responding to charges that he might be a Muslim, and not a Freudian slip, as I had inferred in previous posts. Beyond that, as far as I knew, Obama rarely did more than confirm that he is a Christian, without elaboration.

I found articles by Christianity Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, The Chicago Sun-Times, and other, not so well known publications. All conclude that Obama is at least a professing Christian, if not so much a practicing Christian by my fundamentalist standards. I will concede also, for the record, that Obama is at least, as much a Christian as many of the self-professing Christians in America today.

I found that Obama is actually very vocal about his faith, but speaks of it in very antiseptic, almost secular terms, as if he fears he might be labeled a fundamentalist.

As if that would be unthinkable.

As if that would be a bad thing.

It is an unconvincing argument in light of what I consider his decidedly non-Christian world view. But I will not declare him to be heretic. That kind of judgment belongs to God alone. I cannot nor will not judge his heart. All I can judge him on is his actions and statements.

My conclusion, from reading the different articles, is that Obama will not significantly alter the first statement of the First amendment. He apparently believes, as I do, that Christians should not be compelled to leave their faith at the door when entering a government building, and he doesn't advocate restricting the practice of religion as each of us see fit.

In short, Obama does not appear to have an agenda of denying us any part of our freedom of religion.

However, I did find an interesting article on Obama's church and the peculiar brand of theology it embraces, Black Liberation Theology. In it, the author concludes that Obama's Christianity stems from Black Liberation Theology teaching, and is indeed, predicated on his understanding of that doctrine.

"Trinity United Church of Christ" , The author writes, "Obama's home church for 20 years, subscribes to and promotes the doctrine of 'Liberation Theology.' Exactly what is Liberation Theology?

Simply put, Liberation Theology is an attempt to interpret Scripture through the plight of the poor. It is largely a humanistic doctrine. It started in South America in the turbulent 1950s when Marxism was making great gains among the poor because of its emphasis on the redistribution of wealth, allowing poor peasants to share in the wealth of the colonial elite and thus upgrade their economic status in life. As a theology, it has very strong Roman Catholic roots.

Liberation Theology was bolstered in 1968 at the Second Latin American Bishops Conference which met in Medellin, Colombia. The idea was to study the Bible and to fight for social justice in Christian (Catholic) communities. Since the only governmental model for the redistribution of the wealth in a South American country was a Marxist model, the redistribution of wealth to raise the economic standards of the poor in South America took on a definite Marxist flavor. Since those who had money were very reluctant to part with it in any wealth redistribution model, the use of a populist (read poor) revolt was encouraged by those who worked most closely with the poor. As a result, the Liberation Theology model was mired in Marxist dogma and revolutionary causes.

The brand of Liberation Theology promoted by Trinity United Church of Christ is a blend of typical Marxist Liberation Theology combined with a highly charged racial component. This is called 'Black Liberation Theology.'

Obama initially defended his relationship with Rev. Wright, but then later had to distance himself from him after much media pressure. Yet he's never distanced himself from the Marxist Liberation Theology upon which Trinity United Church of Christ is built.

Let's face it, anyone who subscribes to the basic idea of Liberation Theology is a Marxist - at least in principle. There can be no doubt about it, since the doctrine is the epitome of Marxist theory. The real question here is this. Does Barack Obama subscribe to the Marxist Black Liberation Theology upon which 'Trinity United Church of Christ' is built?"

And now, we have come full circle. And with this article, my charge that Obama is a Marxist seems to be justified, as it is not out of line with Black Liberation Theology, as if any brand of Christianity can be compatible with Atheistic Marxism.

It certainly would explain a lot about Obama's political ideology.

But that isn't the point. I just thought it was interesting, and certainly explains how Obama's apparent adherence to Marxists teachings and his Christian faith are interconnected.

While Obama may monkey with the Constitution, and even the First amendment, I am fairly confident he will keep his hands off the establishment clause for now.

And I'm glad of that. Perverting the establishment clause would be the first big step to complete totalitarianism.


Mark said...

Unaccustomed as I am to commenting on my own posts, I nevertheless found one more article (it just doesn't seem to fit into the overall point of the post)that features a revealing insight into Obama's peculiar brand of Christianity. One that is in direct justaposition to the fundamental Biblical precept of God's perfect Judgment:

Here is what it says verbatim:

OBAMA: This is something that I'm sure I'd have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There's the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven't embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they're going to hell.

FALSANI: You don't believe that?

OBAMA: I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can't imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity. That's just not part of my religious makeup.

Somehow, It seems Obama missed the Sunday School lesson that teaches God doesn't send anyone to Hell. They send themselves by their refusal to aknowledge God as the only way to heaven.

Father Gregori said...

"God doesn't send anyone to Hell. They send themselves by their refusal to acknowledge God as the only way to heaven." How true.

But the federal government has already messed with the First Amendment, limiting what preachers, ministers, priests, etc., can say. This was done through the establishment of the 501 c3 tax exemption which made an end run around the Constitution. Now they are trying to gain even more control over what can or cannot be preached in churches through the "Hate Crimes" legislation, primarily "hate speech", if pushed to its nth degree, it would make it a Federal Hate Crime to preach against homosexuality or whatever other immoral act the government chooses to protect.

But isn't it interesting that a pastor, priest, minister, etc., is not allowed to promote a particular candidate or party, but ALL of the Democrat candidates seem to have no problem with campaigning in a church.

I believe that if Obama had his way, he would either get rid of, or at least strongly limit the Second Amendment. Oh sure, late in the campaign, he claimed that he supports the Second Amendment, but early on, he stated just the opposite and wanted to ban hand guns and raise the tax on guns and ammo by 500%

Ms.Green said...

God doesn't send "little kids" below the age of accountability to hell either. To paraphrase something I heard Obama say on a video not long ago. "Somebody hasn't been reading their Bible".

I wrote on Black Liberation Theology last month that sort of compliments what you've said here.

Hope you don't mind the plug.

Joe said...

mark: Right on...especially your last paragraph of your comment on you post.

My question to those who ask about "those who have never heard" is "Why on earth haven't they heard? Jesus told you to tell them. Why haven't YOU told them? We certainly have the technology to tell them. We have the human resources to tell them. So, if Jesus says, "tell them," for His sake, let's tell them!"

Gayle said...

I hope you are right, Mark, and Obama does keep his hands off the establishment clause. I would like to think that he will leave the Constitution alone, but I'm not going to be betting any money on it! If he believes our Constitution to be "fundamentally flawed" then won't he feel it his duty to fix it?

It's true that the intention of the first Amendment was not to keep religion out of Government but to keep Government from establishing a National Church, and I don't see how it came to be twisted to mean that religion must be kept out of government!

Mark said...

Give me time, Father. I'm just getting started on how Obama means to change the Constitution.

Mark said...

Arthur, Father Gregori is not only ordained. but a full Bishop. I don't know why that would matter to you, since you are obviously an atheist. I will not allow you to cast aspersions on my commenters.

In fact, since you so rarely say anything that isn't completely stupid, I might just ban you completely from commenting.

Watchman Steph said...

Mark can you let me know where you came across that last interview? I know I heard Obama say somewhere during this campaign cycle that Jesus wasn't the only way but I haven't been able to track it down. To top it off I was in an argument through email with some guy blasting me for attacking a fellow Christian last week and I knew Obama can't be because we're to test the spirits and if the spirit doesn't believe Jesus is the way then at the least it's the spirit of antichrist. I'd love to have the article to back myself up.

Mark said...

Steph, I found it, here:

Watchman Steph said...

Thanks Mark you are very helpful! I knew he had said it! Sad to be right though.

Marshall Art said...

Good post, Mark. It remains to be seen just how closely Barry's presidential actions match his campaign words, just like with any other before him. I think he's put himself in some very tricky positions, such as with his tax plans, so let's pull up a chair and enjoy.

As you know, I've been involved in a few discussions about what constitutes a "real" Christian, and it makes for a blustery event. Barry O falls into that very questionable category IMHO, and I don't mind saying so. As to how it impacts his perception of the Constitution, we'll have to see where he goes with homosex rights. If "rights" are granted to this sadly misled group, the clashing between their rights and the rights of the faithful to preach their religion will be a mighty noise and tough to reconcile.

Mark said...

Art, Gays already have rights. They have the same rights that everyone else have. The ones guaranteed them by the Constitution. They need no others.

What they want is special rights created for them only.

Gay marriage? Who cares? If they want to marry, let them marry and keep their mouths shut about it. Whatever floats their boat. I'm all about freedon here.

The only thing I ask is they do it quietly and without drawing any attention to themselves. Let them marry in the closet and let them live their disgusting perverse little lives in the closet, too.

Michael Follon said...

Part of the heading of this blog is an extract from the 'Declaration of Arbroath' there is however another, probably more significant, which precedes it in that document -

'...But after all, if this prince shall leave these principles he hath so nobly pursued, and consent that we or our kingdom be subjected to the king or people of England, we will immediately endeavour to expel him as our enemy and as the subverter both of his own and our rights and we will make another king, who will defend our liberties...'.

Could I suggest that any future research you do into the Constitution of the United States starts with the opening words of that document - 'We The People'. The phrase 'We The People' was first penned by James Wilson, one of the Pennsylvania delegates in 1787, and then suggested to Thomas Jefferson. Both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison understood exactly what those words meant.

The term "Atheistic Marxism" is not a term I have heard before apart from the use of it by Adolf Hitler in a 1929 article in the newspaper of the Nazi Party (NSDAP - National Socialist German Workers Party). I have heard of the term "scientific atheism" which was used by Lenin to describe Marxism-Leninism in an industrialized society.

The 'Sanitization' of Scottish History -