A secular view of Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

By Jacques Berlinerblau President Obama spoke on Thursday morning at the 59th annual National Prayer Breakfast. The gathering is one … Continued

By Jacques Berlinerblau

President Obama spoke on Thursday morning at the 59th annual National Prayer Breakfast. The gathering is one of those peculiar Washington pageants that elicits diametrically opposed reactions from those who bother to take note of its existence.

Those hostile to the NPB view it as a raging Christ-fest. Those in support of it view it as good, clean, absolutely necessary, public worship of our God.

I, as you may have surmised, could do without the NPB. But part of being what I might call a “new secularist” consists of dealing with reality as it is, not reality as it might have been fifty years ago.

Well, when the president of the United States of America (a Democrat) delivers a twenty-two minute address about his personal faith, drops half a dozen Scripture bombs along the way, and declaims “I came to know Jesus Christ for myself and embrace Him as my lord and savior”–all I can say is that the sixties are over, man!

The golden age of secularism has passed. The secular movement–if there ever was a viable one in this country– must look at events such the NPB as an invitation to think secularism afresh (something I am trying to do in my current research).

In any case, here’s what I took away from the president’s speech:

Obama’s Performance? Not for the professors, but. . . . : Many academics, I suspect, secretly believe that Obama is one of us. As far as we’re concerned he’d rather be cogitating down at a good Div or Law School instead of working this day job that he’s got going now.

So whenever Obama speaks on weighty matters like religion we professors expect nothing less than Reinhold Niebuhr meets Max Weber meets Ralph Ellison. And we are invariably disappointed. That’s because a commander in chief who ruminates like an Oxford Don is not long for the White House.

Still, while yesterday’s address was a platitude-fest as well (i.e., “My Christian faith then has been a sustaining force for me over these last few years,”; “my faith journey has had its twists and turns. It hasn’t always been a straight line”), the overall speech was quite effective for the non-advanced degree crowd.

Obama spoke slowly. He avoided grand rhetorical gestures. He was humble and quite frankly, he looked exhausted–all of which lent his address an air of authenticity, even gravitas.

Using Faith and Values Talk to his Advantage: In last week’s State of the Union the president refracted nearly all of his issues through the prism of education.

At the National Prayer Breakfast he employed a similar tactic. Obama managed to skillfully package partisan political points in the guise of god talk.

Notice how Obama addresses the problem of incivility–in particular the rather uncivil charge that he is not a Christian–by seeking refuge in God:


When Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time, we are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we’re being true to our conscience and true to our God. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.

When Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time, we are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we’re being true to our conscience and true to our God. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.

Now observe how the president delivers a stealthy but firm elbow to the tea party and others who seem at war with the very notion of government:


There’s only so much a church can do to help all the families in need . . . . And that’s why I continue to believe that in a caring and in a just society, government must have a role to play; that our values, our love and our charity must find expression not just in our families, not just in our places of work and our places of worship, but also in our government and in our politics.

There’s only so much a church can do to help all the families in need . . . . And that’s why I continue to believe that in a caring and in a just society, government must have a role to play; that our values, our love and our charity must find expression not just in our families, not just in our places of work and our places of worship, but also in our government and in our politics.

The Office or the Kremlin?: Mid-speech the president gave a shout out to “The director of our Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership’s office, Joshua DuBois — young minister himself — he starts my morning off with meditations from Scripture.”

I wish Mr. DuBois would start off my morning with explanations of what exactly that Office is doing–a never-ending source of confusion, and even awe, among reporters, policy analysts and professors in Washington, DC.

I have complained about this for years. I have nothing more to add. So, heck, let the president’s words speak for themselves:


Now, sometimes faith groups can do the work of caring for the least of these on their own; sometimes they need a partner, whether it’s in business or government. And that’s why my administration has taken a fresh look at the way we organize with faith groups, the way we work with faith groups through our Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Now, sometimes faith groups can do the work of caring for the least of these on their own; sometimes they need a partner, whether it’s in business or government. And that’s why my administration has taken a fresh look at the way we organize with faith groups, the way we work with faith groups through our Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Christ-Fest? While the president thankfully steers clear of “Christian nation” rhetoric there was simply too much of Obama the Christian yesterday.

Come to think of it, the National Prayer Breakfast often has this effect on politicians. Senator Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, sprinkled so many references to the gospels at the 48th National Prayer Breakfast in 2000 that he made George W. Bush look like a desk officer for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Obama may earnestly believe that Republican Senator Tom Coburn is his “brother in Christ.” But such a sentiment sounds odd coming from a president who once reminded his Turkish hosts that ours is not “a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation,” but “a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

Such a nation, one would hope, would be led by a person who understands that this type of rhetoric can be deeply troubling to those who don’t believe in Christ. Just as it may offend those Christians who believe that Christ’s teachings tend to become distorted when they are mouthed by the worldly powers that be.

By Jacques Berlinerblau | 
February 4, 2011; 12:09 AM ET


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  • honorswar26

    Barack Hussain Obama is first and foremost a politician. He will say and do anything to try to get political advantage for his agenda. He trys to oversell to the American evangelical community the idea that he is just as much of a Christian as they are, while at the same time telling that churches aren’t as important or capable in the community as government is. You can’t have it both ways.

  • carbar4647

    Does anyone REALLY believe obama? He is playing to the crowd…like he usually does. Can we skip a year and get right to 2012 so we can get rid of this mistake?

  • dartery

    To the above commentator, Duh! He or she thinks people are stupid and that they are going to just lie down and let stupid comments like his prevail. I really do not care if the President is a man of faith or not. That is a deeply personal matter. What he chooses to share with the American people should not be judged in the crucible of hypocrisy. He/she speaks as though they have a personal relationship with President Obama. How quickly we forget that George Bush pandered to the same evangelicals for political gain. Idiot!

  • ronavis

    Congratulations! That was quite possibly the most patronizing column I’ve ever read. It’s truly a pity that your opinion is not quite as important as you obviously think it is.

  • WmarkW

    Barack Obama is an empty vessel into which voters pour their idealizations, pro AND con.He’s easily the most chimeral President of my lifetime, except Jimmy Carter, who also substituted professions of faith for having a track record.I care little (as an atheist) if a President claims religion is a source of personal strength and inspiration, as long he doesn’t let it dictate scientific positions like medical care.But in Obama’s position the perception of what his belief is 1000x more important than what they actually are. So if he feels a political need to believe in a Ground of our Being, he’ll find it real easy. I don’t believe his personal pronouncements any more than an actor in character.

  • geo2

    He’s beginning to loose me with this speech, as he’s giving in to all these religious zealots and right-wingers. Enough with this religious righteousness…it has no place in government or in politics. Period. I’m constantly being bombarded with these religious fanatics in all type of media. Enough already. We should be progressing as a society, not going back to the dark ages with all this talk of god.

  • lufrank1

    Posted by: honorswar26 No? Obama must Certainly be a better Christian than the TV evangelical snake oil doctors. Certainly his beliefs and actions are more Christ like than those of Palin/Beck/Hannity/Rove/Limbaugh/Pat Robertson, McConnell, and Jerry Falwell.Thank God McCain and Palin AREN’T in the Whitehouse!

  • thebobbob

    Bush sold himself to the Evangelicals in a cynical ploy to win their votes. He promised to fight homosexuality, stop abortions, put prayer in the schools, and Christianize the military. With their enthusiastic support he still couldn’t get half the voters in the country to vote for him and had to rely on lawyers and his father’s Supreme Court cronies to install him in the WH.Obama has kept his religious beliefs personal. He doesn’t “spread the good word” for political gain. I, as a strict Pastafarian, am opposed to church government interaction of any kind. I believe it’s dangerous and leads to indigestion.

  • FrostBites

    Don’t worry Jacques, most Christians didn’t think that it was necessary for Obama to be at the NPB anyway. There is nothing Christian about that man and he shouldn’t keep acting like he is.

  • Rongoklunk

    Obama’s too smart to believe in the supernatural, and smart enough to know that America is not ready for a non-believing president. He’s a politician for chrisake.

  • Chagasman

    Why is there even such a thing as a National Prayer Breakfast? Isn’t it just another way for the politicians to broadcast their phony faiths? Look at me!! I’m praying! How pious I am! Vote for me because I can quote scripture, even if I am a crook. And then they leave and go right back to looting the treasury and funneling taxpayer dollars to their rich defense contractor friends and their Wall Street buddies. What a load of hypocrites.

  • thebink

    Don’t worry little libbies, we “religious zealots and right wingers” aren’t buying Obama’s transformation for a minute.

  • rannrann

    I am a person who really feels that a person’s faith or lack of is a prvate matter and I really appreciate folks not sharing their faith or lack of unless I explictly ask about it.People who “quote the so-called scriptures” are a tiring lot indeed, all who quote think they “know” or “understand” something about the “word of a god” but really, in reality, all they are “quoting” or “understanding” are another man’s written word who “claims” the scriptures come straight from the “horses”(“god”) mouth. Really quoting scripture is quoting other men, so, all you scripture quoters get over yurselves and quit boring the world at large.And, the use of the word or label “Christian” is just annoying. Who cares? Really.The NPB is something most Americans would pass on unless there actually is a breakfast and it is free….I might even attend if that were the case, but no food no NBA.

  • daniel3715

    Whatever it takes, politicians, like religious hucksters of every denomination, will tell you exactly what you want to hear.What I don’t want to hear are politicians sounding like sleazy televangelists, this is a SECULAR country, keep your religion out of my face and out of my government.

  • eezmamata

    Christians are used to being lied to, they’re used to swallowing large crocks of sht … I mean look at the fairy tales they claim to believe. This president or any other must spend time pandering to the idiots or they’ll start realizing they’re idiots. And idiots don’t bother going to work, paying taxes, and hating their political opponents in a way that helps support the political games the politicians need played.Before Obama started playing this game I had him marked as a simple zero in my book. Now he’s less than zero. Considering how similar his presidency is to Bush in most other matters …. really, Bush had the conservatives fooled and Obama has the liberals fooled.Conservatives and liberals, fools.

  • LuthienKennedy

    It is ironic that secularism in the name of freedom (especially when used as a sign of the superior intellects of those who pontificate its–and their own–greatness) is always charged with such a naive desire for the oppression of faith in others.

  • eezmamata

    Nobody is trying to oppress your faith, the correct word to use is ridicule.If you don’t want to be ridiculed for your beliefs then you should have such ridiculous beliefs.

  • Freestinker

    FrostBites wrote: “Don’t worry Jacques, most Christians didn’t think that it was necessary for Obama to be at the NPB anyway. There is nothing Christian about that man and he shouldn’t keep acting like he is.”=========FrostBites,Exactly what would it take for Obama to convince you that he is a Christian?Just wondering exactly what your standard is?

  • CHAOTICIAN101

    Franking the NPB is an insulting pandering bit of political nonsense; and it is interesting that Barry is disbelieved by the faithful and ridiculed by the unbelievers! So, on its face such pandering is a lose-lose for any politician! For Barry, it fundamentally alienates his base and reaps no benefit from his opponents; I suppose there is a chance he is just being honest and truthful; isn’t that a kick in the teeth? In any case, I’m done voting for the best of a bad choice; I turned against my party of 30 years with George and it gets worse and worse on a daily basis; and the Dems slide further and further towards the Right everyday; and every “modern” politician is a worthless scumbag without morals, intelligence, or experience! I am for aiding and abetting the ignorant “masses” to destroy the world as quickly as possible so the Earth can get back on track for a few million years of healing; we can hope that evolution will create an intelligent species next time around!

  • hammershipdown

    On Faith. Faith is belief, and in this world there are “ideas” and there are “beliefs.” – one you can change and alter as you gain perspective, the other, you cannot change without gut-wrenching cause. On perspective… education is knowledge and knowledge is perspective, the more perspectgive you gain, the better your knowledge, which leads to a stronger your education… a better understanding. On God… Since recorded history there has been no proof of a higher power, only the manipulation of “ideas” by man, based in the belief structures man has created.Take my words to heart, think about them – the one thing that is God-like in our universe is Earth. Once the human race starts to treat our planet with the moral ethics they spout for their imaginary “God” – we may have change to do something beautiful and wonderful. But in the meantime, ask yourself this? Nation by nation, how much do you spend on military? Borders and walls? howe much aid is granted to other nations for military purposes? Now compare that to the amount granted to education and healthcare? Now ask yourself… What does your “ruling party” really want? Smart & healthy people? or do they jsut want to control people?

  • fishinfool

    Organized religion is one of the worlds big problems. Spirituality is a personal thing, best kept to oneself.

  • emag

    All evangelicals should be deported to Israel or Iran. Dumbasses.

  • greenstheman

    Nobody is trying to oppress your faith, the correct word to use is ridicule.WOW, perhaps you should take your own advice.

  • jckdoors

    It’s time to end this farce, and get religion out of the government. Imagine the Jesus-freak uproar should a President decline to participate. It’s simply away to reinforce that god is an American and on our side. How silly. There is no god, and government should be secularist.

  • eezmamata

    Talking snakes, all animals in a wooden ship, virgin births, ghosts, angels, devils, genetic bottlenecks after admin and eve (all of us are products of incest?) … another genetic bottleneck after noah … burning talking bushes, stoning everybody … how can you possibly believe all this stuff and not see it as a fairy tale?You sure can identify a fairy tale when it’s not your religious beliefs, other people’s religions maybe ? The only thing more ridiculous than this crap is people believing it.

  • bizecology

    The National Prayer Breakfast is a farce run by one of the most insidious organizations known – “The Fellowship” or “The Famliy” or “The C Street Organization.” I don’t care what the President believes in, I just wish he wouldn’t legitimize this sectarian crap with his presence. The office of faith based [whatever] is unconstitutional and should be abolished. Read Article VI of the Constitution.

  • Freestinker

    GreensTheMan wrote to EezMamaTa: “WOW, perhaps you should take your own advice.”=========GreensTheMan,What beliefs of EezMamaTa do you find ridiculous?

  • letemhaveit

    Please recognize that believing in a god is a childish superstition. Do understand, those of you that are superstitious, that you have created god for whatever ridiculous reason you have. Just understand your time in this world and be dragged kicking and screaming from it. I am disappointed that the President is a believer. It does make me think less of him as I do anyone that is superstitious. There is no god. Get over it. Live with it.

  • LuthienKennedy

    GreensTheMan wrote to EezMamaTa: “WOW, perhaps you should take your own advice.”=========GreensTheMan,What beliefs of EezMamaTa do you find ridiculous?=========I find ridiculous the apparent belief that he is better off having faith in himself and humanity than in any god, because it allows him the freedom to ridicule others without guilt (and without knowledge–as the original statement that was called into question was based on a foolish assumption, but that’s beside the point), and in acting so, he is somehow promoting the goodness of his own beliefs, when really all he is doing is showing that he’s as human as any Muslim, Christian or Jew… or Atheist for that matter. The thing is humanity will be humanity with or without gods. We need no help there. We act in humankindness, all of us, and we all will continue to do so, no matter what. At least with people of faith there is some hope that they will feel guilty for being rude and foolish (for instance for ridiculing people for beliefs that they believe they hold without any real knowledge of those people). But with people like EezMamaTa, they don’t care at all, and they never will, because they are faithless and hopeless–nothing regulates them, and nothing can. I suppose this is a better way though, this sort of oppressive secularism? Again, it is ironic that secularism in the name of freedom (especially when used as a sign of the superior intellects of those who pontificate its–and their own–greatness) is always charged with such a naive desire for the oppression of faith in others.

  • anarcho-liberal-tarian

    As an agnostic who no longer supports the President because he’s a moderate wuss, this annual capitulation to the right cannot stand, man, to use the words of the Dude. Sure he has an ethos, but pandering to the wack jobs who believe in faith over science, logic and reason only further alienates the secularists among us who think that democracy is a losing battle. Government is the answer, states and communities and churches cannot control corporate pollution, carbon dioxide and global warming, and reckless bankers. We can’t pray things will fix themselves.I wish he had spent those hours writing some stricter banking regulations than writing a speech of platitudes in a n attempt to appear moderate.

  • cholly85241

    @carbar4647 – Now you go apologize to your mother for being the biggest mistake she ever made.

  • areyousaying

    Oh for Christ sake, teabagger theocons whine and cry Obama doesn’t talk about his faith and then cry and whine louder when he does. “You can’t have it both ways.”The US is NOT a “Christian” nation. The Constitution still trumps the Bible.Why should a president have to talk about his faith at all? Religion is not a test to be President according to Romney and Huntsman supporters. Why do the same insist it applies to Obama and lie that he is a Muslim. Don’t they honor their own Ninth Commandment or have they figured out how to “get around this law”, too, like their Lord Cheney taught them?

  • vageorge

    I honestly do not trust anything obama claims. He has lied so much in the past when it was to his advantage. He will claim anything to win an election. The man doesn’t have a clue about morals,ethics, or honesty.

  • areyousaying

    Don’t worry Jacques, most Christians didn’t think that it was necessary for Obama to be at the NPB anyway. There is nothing Christian about that man and he shouldn’t keep acting like he is.Posted by: FrostBites————————————-Like some nerdy little Barney Fife hick, this Obama hater thinks she was deputized by her small and shallow god to determine, judge and condemn who is Christian and who is not. May we see your little Christocon badge, please? I hear Lipton is giving them out as promotions for their new found patrons.

  • eezmamata

    I don’t have to have knowledge of the people who believe ridiculous things to know those things are ridiculous.I have great hope in humanity, soon, if we’re wise enough, we will cast off these primitive gods invented by our barbaric ancestors and deal with reality up front – no fairy tales, no ridiculous praying and praising and talking snakes, no need for the false consolation your religious delusions provide you.You were trained to be religious, to have faith in your gods but you never outgrew it.How do you feel about the primitive beliefs of our even more primitive ancestors … the ancient greeks, the romans … Mithra, Ra, animism … these truly primitive people had no understanding of nature, their explanations for the workings of the universe were not so much ridiculous as they were ignorant.But you know better.And one other thing, secularism is a political philosophy, not religious. Freedom from religion … now there’s something I do believe in. Freedom from the oppression of ignorance and stupidity and freedom from juvenile adults who still believe in santa claus.Aggressive secularism, as you mistakenly use the term, would be if I showed up in your church, paid for by your money, and stood on the podium and told you all what idiots you are. Nobody is doing that. Yet all of you believers make no effort to repay our patience with you. You and your kind spew a neverending religious noise upon us all.

  • areyousaying

    “There is nothing Christian about that man…”Do tell us your criteria, deputy. It is belief in:-torture?If you’re going to decide who is and who is not Christian, tell us if we should all believe in the list above to meet the teabagger criteria of your cherry-picked scriptures.Poor old Jesus. If I were Him, I would change my last name because of you and your hateful, intolerant, and yes, racist ilk.

  • MidwaySailor76

    Now, if only the politicians who took part in this little religious show actually did as Jesus commanded…well, I guess I can dream.

  • samsara15

    Religion and politics should be kept separate. Failure to keep them separate could eventually make the US look and feel like Islamic nations. No clearer example of what happens when they are not kept separate should be needed than those nations; Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Taliban. The NPB is an affront to the beliefs of many people, which is reason enough to put an end to it.

  • ravitchn

    Obama’s dad Was a Muslim. His mother was an atheist. His religion: Whatever is useful to his career.But he was not born in Hawaii, which has no proper birth certificate for him. Hawaii has only a form given to American women with babies born abroad in order to give them a spurious citizenship.Obama haS HOODWINKED US all about everything: his birth, his religion, his political beliefs, and his qualifications.

  • areyousaying

    Obama’s dad Was a Muslim. His mother was an atheist. His religion: Whatever is useful to his career.But he was not born in Hawaii, which has no proper birth certificate for him. Hawaii has only a form given to American women with babies born abroad in order to give them a spurious citizenship.Obama haS HOODWINKED US all about everything: his birth, his religion, his political beliefs, and his qualifications.Posted by: ravitchn

  • letitbe

    Correction:….//Give me the holyi Insight and Pattern Recognition//To enjoy LIFEand make a good living//….

  • eezmamata

    Actually Obama’s father was the atheist. He was a muslim as a child and renounced it.You don’t even have your smears right. What else do you have wrong?Now remember, the hole on the bottom of your body is where the crap comes out, not the hole at the bottom of your face.

  • woodmack

    Mr. Berlinerblau does not do justice to the subject of President Obama’s confession of faith at the national Prayer Breakfast. As an adamant secularist Democrat, I can understand, up to a point, Obama’s need to periodically assert his religious affiliation; sick, cynical, sinful and hateful CINOs (that’s “Christians In Name Only) have been merchandising an “Islamification” of him for two years now. These people despise the sixties, not because some hippies smoked pot, dropped acid, wore tie-dyed T-shirts and played rock LPs. CINOs have encouraged a loathing of the sixties because the era brought civil rights to the national table and straightened the nation’s moral backbone in a significant number of other ways.Secularists and decent people of faith–not politicized pentacostals and their ilk–in concert with non-believers, ought to join forces to prevent the further corruption of our Republic by religiously racialist civic sociopaths in the Republican Party (and elsewhere). I’ll wager that, despite what “the polls” suggest, there are more of us than them. Yet their sinister influence in and out of government and the media–beginning with, as examples, Aimee Semple McPalin and three other members of her apocalyptic horsemen: Glen Beck, John Hagee and Pat Robertson–need to be subjected to a withering scrutiny. Our values are not being framed properly. Why not a new HUAC, charged with investigating the disgusting and amoral influence of the religious right in politics, government, media and, most frightening of all, the military? Let it start with an examination of the participants in the National Prayer Breakfast. To paraphrase Walt Kelly: “I have seen the Taliban, and it is us.”

  • tennjim

    LETEMHAVEIT |I am so glad that you cleared up the eternal question man has been asking since the dawn of time. Is there a God? Wow, now that you’ve told us to “get over it” .. now everyone, everywhere can base their belief system on what you “KNOW” to be true, that there is no God. You arrogant, pompous, know it all, oh, let me add, idiot. “The fool hath said in his heart…. no God”

  • fmwgrove

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. And, why pray: god has never answered the prayers of amputees; and, in ambiguous situations, there isn’t a second law of probability for Christians, e.g., if there was there would be no casinos.

  • ravitchn

    The history of Obama’ religious discussions reveals a hypocrite, a Pharisee, and a plain fraud.

  • alamodefender

    the gnashing of teeth by some of the atheists in this column are proof enough for me.there is hell.God lives.

  • rdavid1020

    Please tell me that no one actually believes that Obama is what he is pretending to be. I don’t actually care what faith he is or what he claims his faith is. All he’s done in two years is to confirm that whenever he speaks you need a dictionary of socialist hidden words and a dictionary of dishonest claims. He fits into both with such ease that it’s fearsome. Christian? Maybe (although probably not) Muslim, nah, he’d already have a fatwah issues against him. Atheist? Seems to fit better than all the rest.Mr. Obama, just stop lying and hurting this country.

  • Pamsm

    No, Whistling, this is decidedly NOT a Christian nation, and never was. It is a nation where a majority of the citizens are, at least nominally, Christians, but the government is secular (please look that word up, it is not the same as “anti-Christian”) and allows any and all religions within its borders. It is our greatest strength. If you like government-sponsorsed religion, please move to Iran or Afghanistan, or some other intolerant country – and take your supercilious attitude with you, Sonny.

  • gillyala

    What I’d like to know is when is Obama going to invite the non-believers in his constituency over for a breakfast?I hope all his God-blather was just an attempt to convince the pinheads who think he is a Muslim, that he isn’t a Muslim. Where he and his advisors go wrong, is that the number of pinheads who think he is a Muslim, plus those who support the NDP and the Religious Right, is quite inconsequential in terms of votes. They won’t vote for him anyway.On the other hand, the number of secularists/atheists/agnostics, humanists who DID vote for him because of his secular position (compared to Dubya), and supposed defense of the First Amendment, has been let down, BIG TIME. He has kept in place Bush’s sop to the Religious Right, the Faith Based Initiatives, which so far has cost taxpayers billions and has created multiple lawsuits against these religious groups by un-Constitutionally hiring only those of the “right” faith, while gladly pocketing taxpayer dollars.Time to rethink your election strategy, Mr. President, by starting to pay attention to the non-believers of this country.

  • Farnaz2Mansouri2

    Couldn’t these “Brothers in Christ” build themselves a nice community, say, in Antarctica, taking with them their Brothers in Christian Congress, the Court, etc., and leave the rest of us alone?By the rest of us, I mean those who like the idea of an America governed according to the Constitution.Barring that, suggest Christian Siblings head off for my country, Iran, or to Saudi Arabia, whose constitutions (such as they are) are best suited for theocrats.Getting these people out of government will, I’m beginning to see, take nothing less than a concerted nationwide effort.Get them out. Every single one of them. OUT.

  • rgrowley

    Jacques Berlinerblau, this article, para. 9 shows the erudite in this article. It’s rude behavior to believe that advanced degreed folks have more understanding than non-advanced degreed folks.The author here purveys a belief of superior communication skills commonly held by the collegiate, but hers and their skills show their lacking ability to communicate. The author is the sender of her message so the burdon is upon her to communicate in a way that her audience understands. The audience can be the best listeners in the entire world with paraphrasing, reflecting, using “I” language and what have they, but when an erudite can’t modify their message for clear delivery; that is referred to as poor communicate skills.It seems the audience writing here has missed the mark of Jacques Berlinerblau’s message. I say the author Jacques Berlinerblau missed the target of her audience.I will agree most points in her message but only because I understand her highbrow commentary. Obama is a one-term President. In addition, America may be founded by some Christians, but they did not form our Government to be religious.I will agree with Obama in declaring his version of religion is only his and his spoouse’s business.

  • alamodefender

    oh, the torture,the hell on earth the atheists endure,needing so desperately for all of mankind to follow “their” religion.for if not,that shadow of doubt remains,does it not?like a heart,beating,beating,beating.

  • libertymeanslife

    Remember one thing: GOD is in control. If ever anyone of you were on your death bed, almost all would seek God. I know. The old saying that their are no atheist in a fox hole is so true. Just remember that we all at some time in our sinful lives will need comfort from the Almighty. Some of these comments are pitiful.

  • bpai_99

    Who cares? Judge elected officials by their policies and results, not motivations.

  • circleite

    Milt I would appreciate it if you could forward this to the writer of the article you sent me Milt i am an adult who is an atheist who does not believe there is a god however I believe that the myth of a god is a necessary teaching tool and encouragement for good behavior in immature children and also, unfortunately, in immature adults,of which we have many.Sent to me by: Milton Shapiro Lt Col USAF Ret

  • morryb

    People of faith have one thing in common – they believe whole-heartedly in their holy texts for everything. This surrender of the mind is brought about by the indoctrination of very young children day after day, Sunday after Sunday, in the “truth” of these holy texts. Small wonder there is little interest to use their own minds to look for evidence and to try and make informed decisions based on evidence not dogma. It really is a shame that the most advanced country in the world is held hostage by the religious right. This is not very different to what went on when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan and what we see in Iran today. Religion has always opposed progress. Religion’s companions are ignorance, irrationality and bigotry. The fact that uninformed ignorant people of faith can have such a threat to the teaching of science in this country is frightening but not unexpected.There should be a required general knowledge quiz given to all our candidates for public office and they should be made to make statement on where they stand on the science of evolution and on the dogma of intelligent design. I want to know whether these wannabe leaders have any smarts. Blind reliance on holy ‘texts’ may have been OK prior to the Renaissance, but it’s not appropriate for the 21st Century.

  • RichardHode

    I believe that ideas about gods, saviors, everlasting life etc. is so much hooey, and that they were invented by a bunch of apes cursed with a bloated sense of self-importance and breathtaking hubris. But this (dis)belief in no way detracts from my study of the music of J.S. Bach, an intensely religious man. The music speaks to deep body feelings and can stand completely on its own, even without the religious imagery. If you can play like that then just go ahead, believe anything you want.

  • Emilt

    As was the case with me once, Obama is not fully Christian just because he “embraced” Jesus Christ as his Savior. He might be able to say that one day when he repents and stops supporting live birth abortions, the slaughter of the innocents at its most grievous. For those who believe in a one time justification, it’s time you came to realize that you have to live your faith, and that Jesus always said when He pardoned someone, “Go and sin no more.”Repent and be saved, all you politicians and persons who have no respect for life from conception until natural death.

  • areyousaying

    What part of Jesus telling his followers not to judge others don’t these Huckabee Obama haters get in regard to constantly bashing his faith?They have a Lord Cheney mentality when it comes to cherry-picking their Scriptures and the Constitution, constantly scheming to ignore or “get around the law” as they please.

  • areyousaying

    As was the case with me once, Emilt is not fully Christian just because he “embraced” Jesus Christ as his Savior. He might be able to say that one day when he repents and stops supporting enabling and hiding pedophile priests, the violation of the innocents at its most grievous. For those who believe in a one time justification, it’s time you came to realize that you have to live your faith, and that Jesus always said when He pardoned someone, “Go and sin no more.”Repent and be saved, all you politicians and persons who have no respect for life after birth until natural death.

  • improvidus

    “Dear Readers: We now require commenters to register at washingtonpost.com and sign in before posting. Your MyPost User ID, which you’ll be asked to choose if you haven’t done so already, will be displayed with your comment. We hope this will encourage more topical, spam-free, and respectful discussions.”I don’t think it is working.improvidus

  • wiki-truth

    i M P R O V I D U S:ONFAiTH-WAPO tried to do that based (Devious) Demand, not popular demand. butONFAITH-WAPO (Newsweek at the time) realized that that was the way that the GAY-GANG’s that troll these blog-sites (beside Social Networking sights) had complained against obviously None-Queerians or abused the “REPORT OFFENSIVE COOMENTS” button and therefore conspired to TAKE OVER [this] STRAIGHT BLOG!Note: Even though i[WE] never will ‘FACEBOOK’, NOR ‘TWITT’,s etc.. that WAPO has, from me understanding a great sister or brother [SECULAR; not Religion] ‘Social Networking sight called, “Note. It is against me religion (HO-CO-FE-FA) to use any of them. Soo, Better Nay Fix what is NOt broken. PS: After all, there a plenty of “GAY” sights, as well as Porno sights that any of them can visit and mingle Electronically.Hope we [i] answered ye Yo’s suggestion.

  • vageorge

    obama has a great talent deceiving others similar to satan. He should as he resembles a disciple of satan in his actions. Don’t let him fool you. Remember that satan acknowledges Jesus and is in church every time the doors open. You will know by the fruits they bear.

  • BOZOISPREZ

    oscumbo lies…more campaign rhetoric and lies. only the mentally weak are buying into ANYTHING barry says. if his mouth is open, he’s lying..

  • davivman

    It is not for secularism that that the author wishes to silence the president regarding his Christian faith. The separation of church and state does not require the destruction church. The author would silence the president’s religious remarks simply because he disagrees with them.

  • Rongoklunk

    I like to think that the Golden Age of Secularism is yet to come. But first we have to stop indoctrinating our children into supernatural beliefs – and stop filling their heads with fairy tales of a great skygod and life after death – which doesn’t do them any favors. It dumbs them down, makes them superstitious, causes them to question scientific truths like evolution – in favor of a supernatural belief like Godidit, and justifies murdering infidels, by flying planes into buildings for heavenly rewards. The hucksters get rich spreading god’s word. But one day educated people will drop this absurd superstition. It’ll happen a lot quicker when we realize that teaching our children to believe in gods has an enormous downside to it; it’s not true, it feeds the hucksters, and can be very dangerous indeed.It’s shameful that 9/11 actually made the world more religious, when such barbarismReligion does that to people. It has them believe in totally irrational propositions. From that base – they can be made to believe anything.