Religiocons Questioning Obama’s Faith On National Prayer Day
President Obama, unlike President Bush 43, but like most previous chief executives, is not attending a breakfast for National Prayer Day, and not taking part in a formal early morning service. He is, however, signing a proclamation that sets aside the first Thursday of May as National Prayer Day, which has been a tradition since 1952. This has certain conservatives and evangelicals up in arms to the point where they are knocking his commitment to his faith.
Predictably, National Day of Prayer chair Shirley Dobson (wife of Focus on Family’s James), says her group is “disappointed by lack of participation by the Obama administration.
“At this time in our country’s history, we would hope our president would recognize more fully the importance of prayer,” said Mrs. Dobson, who occupied a prominent seat in the front row for the ceremonies during the Bush administration.
But Mrs. Dobson’s comments are mild in comparison to the reaction from Concerned Women for America’s president, Wendy Wright.
“For those of us who have our doubts about Obama’s faith, no, we did not expect him to have the service,” said…Wright. “But as president, he should put his own lack of faith aside and live up to the office.”
Just where is the screed that the office of the presidency of the United States requires faith? Where is that stated in the Constitution? Where is it written that faith is even a requirement for public office in this country? I find Ms. Wright’s comments as outrageous as she thinks Obama’s lack of participation is, especially as she uses this as a club to suggest the president is without faith, which is both beside the point and untrue.
Wright also used the occasion to attack Obama for his recent comments in Turkey that America does not consider itself a Christian nation.
“It’s almost like Obama is trying to remake America into his own image,” Wright complained. “This is not a rejection of Shirley Dobson; it’s a rejection of the concept that America is a spiritual nation and its foundation is Judeo-Christian.”
Of course, what Obama actually said was, “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Jewish nation, or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”
Obama is not attending the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast that is held in conjunction with National Prayer Day, but it’s important to note that, if he went, he would not be allowed to speak. Spokesman Joe Cella says the president is welcome to attend,but a 2004 directive from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says pro-choice politicians should not be publicly honored. And the president did attend February’s National Prayer Breakfast which has been an annual event since 1953. Furthermore, let’s not forget that an online petition put out by the conservative Cardinal Newman Society is protesting Obama’s planned May 17 appearance at Notre Dame. So while Obama speaks about bringing people together, and the plurality of religious practices that make a great nation, it’s some of those who oppose him who use religion to divide.Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2009 Liberaland