Morality, not religion, is what matters

In the wake of his weekend rally, Glenn Beck kept up the drumbeat of criticism about President Obama’s religion, calling … Continued

In the wake of his weekend rally, Glenn Beck kept up the drumbeat of criticism about President Obama’s religion, calling it a “perversion” and saying that America “isn’t recognizing his version of Christianity,” which Beck characterized as “liberation theology.”

Despite critique of Obama’s Christianity, a recent poll showed that nearly 20% of Americans believe falsely that the president is Muslim.

Why is there so much attention on Obama’s religion? Does it matter what religion the president is?

“God alone is Lord of the conscience.” This idea, from the Westminster Confession of Faith in 1649, has influenced everything from the separation of church and state in our constitution to the twelve step programs of our modern times. Asking any person to prove their faith is not only a morally reprehensible practice – there is no way for someone to prove what is in his heart of hearts – but also one that goes against this idea that has contributed to some of the basic rights of religion that we, as Americans, hold dear.

I am blessed to claim President Barack Obama as my brother in the Christian Reformed faith. Because of this, when I hear that some are questioning and even claiming that President Obama is lying about his faith, I feel this on a very personal level. It feels as if my own faith is under attack.

In the end, however, the president’s specific denominational identity is irrelevant to how he leads the country and the world. Far more important than the trappings of religion are the moral underpinnings that are upheld across all religions: “Loving thy neighbor,” a phrase taken from Christian scripture, is an ideal which transcends denominations. The Golden Rule, or “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” are iterations of this same ideal. And as a leader in the modern world, it’s an ideal which the president must absolutely hold close to his heart, regardless of what denomination or church he attends.

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  • joe_allen_doty

    Historically speaking, the “religion of Christianity” is a perverted version of “The Way,” which is found in the Book of Acts and the Epistles. There is no such thing as “Christian Scripture.” And… that’s because the followers of Jesus did NOT call themselves “Christian” in the 1st Century AD. They called themselves “Believers.”It was Greek-speaking pagans in Antioch, Syria who coined the epithet “Christian” to make fun of those who preached about the “Anointed (one)” which is “Christos” in Greek. The Byzantine Emperor Constantine started the RELIGION of “Christianity” in Nicea in 325 AD and he presided over the 1st of the Seven Church Councils. The “Nicene Creed” ought to have been called the “Constantine Creed” since it was his idea for his church’s leaders to create a creed. Constantine somehow got the stupid idea that the Christ gave him permission to go to war using the sign of the Cross. Jesus didn’t approve of starting wars. And he preferred that war be prevented if at all possible.

  • SomeoneTellMetheStory

    This is, quite frankly, a horrendously bad article. It is logically bad. It misunderstands history. It misunderstands the Bible (by the way, the NT Epistles do not, in fact, ever refer to Christianity as “The Way”- only Acts does).I’ve written a response to it with some critique Andrew

  • joe_allen_doty

    “The Way” and “Way” still referring to the same thing appears quite a few times in the Book of Acts. But, the words “Christians” and “Christian” only appear one time each in Acts.

  • Rongoklunk

    One day – I like to think – America will ditch religion as the ancient superstition that it is. Religion was invented by our forbears who were superstitious to a fault, and lacked any real knowledge of anything except hunting, gathering and procreating.

  • stanlippmann

    Obama’s is a hybrid confused mind. He has animist elements (he carries the Hindu monkey god Hanamanu in his pocket as a charm), he is for Muslim rights and gay rights (meaning he is not a good Muslim), he allows Mary Robinson to practice Santeria on the third floor of the Whitehouse (blood sacrifice), He says in Cairo that Christians are sons of Abraham (an absurdity) and he praises the Imam of the Ground Zero Mosque (who blasphemously thinks he’s a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew all at the same time). He never goes to Church, and when he does he covers over Christian relics with black cardboard. He’s killing about 10 civilians a day with cruise missiles and wants to expand the wars in Somalia and Yemen. There is a revival of faith in the Tea Parties, and what does Obama say to us? We aren’t even real to him. He has lost contact with God, he is not a Christian, and as such is unfit for office. Janet, you should seek employment in secular pursuits, as you seem as adrift with God as does Obama.