Mon, 11 May 2009 13:52:20 +0000 – By Deneen BorelliFellow, Project 21, The National Center for Public Policy Research
Judging by his actions, it seems President Obama's true spiritual devotion lies more with politics than religion. Religious institutions apparently only present a prominent forum for him to enhance his reputation.
Under the tutelage of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama must have learned how even a professed servant of the Lord can put politics over Christianity. Wright's sermons were not limited to God, love and mercy. Instead, "black liberation theology," a concoction that mixes faith with radical hatred, political rhetoric and victimization, was spewed from the pulpit masquerading as religion.
When Wright became an issue during the presidential campaign, Obama quickly distanced himself from the controversial minister. Obama claimed he didn't know the extent of Wright's radicalism despite being a member of the church for 20 years.
In an instant, Obama's religious bedrock was split, crushed and swept away.
Wright's church, with its huge congregation, presented Obama with a weekly opportunity to meet, greet and campaign.
The Obamas still have yet to find a new congregation.
More recently, Obama's speech at Georgetown University raised controversy about the president and religion. Prior to Obama's arrival, the Catholic university honored a White House request to cover up prominently displayed Christian symbols. A Georgetown official told CNSNews that "The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they've done for other policy speeches..."
This week, Obama is supposed to give the commencement address at Notre Dame -- another Catholic institution. The invitation is controversial because Obama is an ardent supporter of abortion and embryonic stem cell research -- positions that are in direct conflict with Catholic theology. Outrage over the invite generated an online petition that gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures opposing Obama's invitation, an award recipient declining an honor scheduled to be made at the same ceremony and the potential loss of future charitable donations to the school.
Just last week, Obama's decision to skip National Day of Prayer activities caused yet another stir. Obama issued an official proclamation, but he skipped all public observances of the annual prayer and breakfast celebrations -- the first president in 18 years to do so.
By avoiding a religious theme at the White House, perhaps Obama is demonstrating a literal separation of church and state.
Since his election, Obama has only attended church services on his Inauguration Day and Easter Sunday. The former was part of the official Inauguration ceremony and the latter was a major religious holiday that some believe was done more to save face than observe faith.
These observations illustrate Obama's apparent devotion to the piety of political opportunity. Religious institutions and occasions seem to offer only a colorful stage for media attention.
Given Obama's track record it's not surprising that possibly his most direct religious statement as president has been his declaration that "we are not a nation of Christians."