Barack Obama on the Christian Nation myth.

This is why I’m voting for Obama and not McCain:

Blatantly stolen from DOF who found it first.

39 thoughts on “Barack Obama on the Christian Nation myth.

  1. Holy crap!!  Talking like that is going to get him assassinated.  There’s nothing like telling everyone they have to get along to bring out the fanatic in the religious right.

    If he keeps up with this kind of crazy talk, I might have to vote for him, and that’s saying a lot.

  2. Fuck, that is courageous! When did he say that???

    Can I get to the US and become a citizen fast enough to vote for him?

    Sheesh, he even mentioned non-believers, when he could have easily passed that over, and all us Atheists would have “understood”. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Or maybe not. No need to sully that beautiful speech.

    If he keeps half of that sincerity into office and pulls off a quarter of the promise he is showing here, then he would be one of the better presidents the US could ever get.

  4. I am Catholic, and I agree with 99.9% of what Obama said. I may vote for him.

  5. At the risk of being scorned for my ignorance, can anyone tell me what was so amazing about that speech? I can tell it was something special from everyone elses comments but to me it sounds like some eloquent common sence, although I supose that is unusual, can anyone enlighten me please? downer

  6. At the risk of being scorned for my ignorance, can anyone tell me what was so amazing about that speech? I can tell it was something special from everyone elses comments but to me it sounds like some eloquent common sence, although I supose that is unusual, can anyone enlighten me please?

    Because that kind of common sense isn’t all that common in the US, I am afraid, though I probably should let the “natives” comment on that.

    As it stands, few major politicos in the US even acknowledge non-believers at all, save to demonise them (see Bush senior). And for someone who is already being attacked as being a crypto-Muslim to state such a tolerant and free-thinking attitude to religion or non-religion – it is pretty stunning to me. Depending on where you stand, it is daring courage or unnecessary risk.

  7. Just did a little backtracking on the blog chain, and then to Obama’s website. It’s one of the videos on the “faith” section of his page, and it was delivered in 2006 at a religious conference. The above seems only an outtake part.

    Yeah, he probably wouldn’t give QUITE the same speech today. Then again, he keeps it on his own campaign page, so he’s not too abashed of it either. Roll on!

  8. Given what some of the Faithful do with science, I wonder when that is going to turn up heavily edited “Don’t vote for him- he wants America to be an atheist country”

  9. At the risk of being scorned for my ignorance, can anyone tell me what was so amazing about that speech? I can tell it was something special from everyone elses comments but to me it sounds like some eloquent common sence, although I supose that is unusual, can anyone enlighten me please?

    I wish I lived someplace where “eloquent common sense” was unremarkable.  All you have to do is watch McCain’s talk on the same topic a few posts back, and realize that probably half of America is salivating over the chance to vote for him.

  10. Gelta, what DOF and Ingolfson said. That kind of common sense has been in very short supply for the past eight years. Hell, for longer than that even, but it’s been particularly bad the last eight years.

    Religiosity has never enjoyed a greater acceptance than it does in modern day America and the Evangelists and Fundamentalists have been working for decades to spread the myths that America was founded as a Christian Nation and other such nonsense. They’ve largely succeeded in convincing a large portion of our citizens that those myths are true and as a result you get politicians like McCain repeating those myths to pander for votes.

  11. He is still half black.

    You’re right as usual, Moloch. It WOULD be better if he COULD be all black (though then he’d be playing rugby if you know what I mean).

    But then the US is still grappling with the fact that a future president may NOT be retroreflective at night. So, small steps.

  12. What is amazing about the speech is only slightly its common sense.  The truly amazing thing is that it took place in a church and was not pandering.  It was the speech of a thinker and a leader rather than of someone trying to convince an electorate that he is exactly like them, has never thought or believed something that every one of them does not already think and believe, and that they will never have to compromise a principle or meet someone they do not like half-way.  From what i know of British politics (though my knowledge is probably as distorted by my news sources as most European people’s view’s of American politics is distorted by their media), reminding people that they must compromise and that their most deeply held beliefs might be in error is not a great way to get elected there any more than it is in the US and my adopted country of Mexico.

  13. Billdave:
      Unfortunately, what people need to hear and what they want to hear are two very different things.  It IS going to hurt his chances for election because the faithful don’t want to hear that this nation isn’t theirs alone, but he wasn’t condescending or antagonistic and that counts for a lot.  I’m interested to see how the Republicans re-edit that to make him sound like the bad guy, but this isn’t a new clip.  You’d think they’d have already done it.  I’m sure they’ll get around to it in the general election.

  14. This is the video that loses the election for Obama, because the Shitheads who want to run the country will show it to the Shitheads who think their nasty shithead way of thinking is some how ‘moral’ and ‘Christian’.

    (Apologies- I’ve had the best part of a bottle of Prosecco, so all the usual social filters that block the tructh are turned off)

  15. it was delivered in 2006 at a religious conference.

    from ingolfson. Wow, he really does have bigger huevos than Hillary! Like Moloch, I may actually vote for him.

  16. i don’t quite understand this speech. he’s relating the radicalsm in books of the old testiment, or the torah (jewish bible. not christian bible.)to christian foundation. the descriptions in deuteronomy and leviticus have nothing to do with the religious belief system of christianity. although published in the christian bible (in the old testiment) to show history leading to christianity and to contrast how the religion was before jesus’ teachings. these things are taught against in christianity. he really doesn’t make a valid connection or point to me. not that i’m against obama, i just didn’t get the speech.

  17. tom bears:
      It’s not all that hard to understand.  The people who are trying to make the US into a “Christian” nation are the fundies, the one’s who use New Testament values, but want to enforce through Old Testament methods.  The problem with the Bible has always been that a lot of people use the things they like and don’t use the things they don’t like, and when people question what they do, they respond “It’s in the Bible, so we have to do it.”  And they honestly look at you like you’re some kind of idiot if you call them on it.

    Obama’s basically saying that we’re one nation of a lot of faiths, and he even includes Atheists as equals (or at least includes them, which is more than anyone else does).  He’s talking to religious folks, Christians.  That takes guts, especially given the sporadic applause he was getting.  I wonder if he’ll give a similar speech during the General election.

  18. I wonder if he’ll give a similar speech during the General election.

    As I said – don’t bet on it. But he keeps it on his campaign website, which is courageous enough.

  19. Re: Christian heritage of The United States.

    Please refer to “The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of The United States” written by Benjamin F. Morris (1892)

    Excerpts:

    Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.
    John Jay-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York (1777)

    “Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.” (Daniel Webster)

    Don’t listen to me, pick up some historical documents and learn for yourselves. You may not believe in God, but you cannot deny history or its documents regarding our christian heritage.

  20. No one denies that The Christian religion (or better said, Christian religions, since there is no single monumental Christian faith)have had an important role in the development of the US.  The point is, that there was just as spirited a debate about what that role was, which if any christianity would serve, how and when to seperate church and state from the beginning of the republic.  Seperationists can quote the founding fathers who thought that Christianity was dangerous hogwash, Fundies can quote the few devout and conservative Founders, but the poiint is that there has always been dissention; in the early days Christians dissented about the fundamentally secular/enlightenment nature of the constitution an other early structure of the country, in the mid-twentieth century secularists dissented from the religious decision to mention God in the Pledge of allegiance and on currency (though their objections didn’t stop the inclusion of the slogans any more than Christians managed to work god into the constitution).

  21. When the US Constitution was written, there was ample opportunity to make it an explicitly Christian document, but they didn’t.  It is a secular document.  None of that Divine Right crap, authority flowed from the people, which truly was a revolutionary idea.

    That, and our national motto from 1782 to 1956 wasn’t “In God We Trust”, it was “E Pluribus Unum”.

  22. In any case, there is ample proof in their writings that even though the founders were either very spiritual or even Christians, they understood the dangers of basing a government on the dogma of faith and took great pains to keep such language OUT of the Constitution.

    Whether the founders and their friends were or were not Christian has absolutely nothing to do with it.  If they thought we needed God in our lives to be a morally justified people then they did a piss poor job in their creation of our government.

  23. Stuart, I’ve read The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of The United States already (and you can too thanks to Google Books). It’s pretty bad as far as being historically accurate and outright laughable at some of the false quotes it attempts to attribute to various Founding Fathers.

    In short, it’s a very old propaganda piece that is hardly the stunning rebuke so many on the Christian Right seem to think it is.

    Funny thing about Christians, they seem to rely largely on very old books for their Truths.

  24. You undereducated folks need to read one book: “Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States”. This is chock full of quotes and support that our nation, its laws, its form of government was founded by and on Christian principles. Read this book before you swallow all the anti-Christian crap that the school teachers and school history book writers, etc. have been trying to sell to us for the past 50 years. It will give you a huge understanding of our Country.  Just read it.

  25. Scott… dude…. asked and answered.

    How come people like you have this certainty that if we read that book, we’d say: “Gee, you’re right.  I never thought of it like that.  I will now take years of education, letters by the framers themselves, direct explanations from the framers about what they were trying to accomplish, and a mountain of other evidence and throw it out completely because of a collection of quotes that not at all suspiciously seem to appear only in one small book by someone with an obvious agenda.  I don’t know how I could have been so wrong.”

    Yeah.. bite me.

  26. The book can be downloaded here.

    The author appears to have repeated every last bit of patriotic+religious glurge at his disposal, along with a lot of flowery language about how the pagan mind cannot possibly comprehend or come up with anything worthwhile.  It is pretty much one long sermon from 1864.  Here’s a sample:

    “History, as it records the events of ages, and the progress of nations to higher conditions of freedom and prosperity through revolutions, declares that “religion has been the companion of liberty in all her conflicts and in all her battles.”  The American Revolution adds another grand illustration of this great historic truth.  That splendid victory for liberty and constitutional governments was not won by numbers, nor military genius, nor by armies and navies, nor by any combination of human means, but only through liberty intensivied and made heroic through religion.  This was the breath of its life, and carried it sublimely on till victory crowned our arms and our banners waved over a free republic.  It was the inspirations of religion that girded our heroes for war, that guided our statesmen in civil councils, and gave to all the scenes of that grand conflict a Christian beauty, power, and glory…”

    And it goes on like that, and on, and on, and on, attributing devout Christian faith to our glorious blah-blah-blah…

    First of all I would like to know when and where the author interviewed “History” to gather these declarations.  Anytime someone intones; “History says this, and that, and this other thing…” I know they carried their conclusions into battle with them.

    No one could doubt that Adams was a Christian, that is not at issue.  Read the Constitution;  it is conspicuously bereft of such language.  They knew what they were doing; it was the subject of acrimonious debates at the time.

  27. …but only through liberty intensivied and made heroic through religion.

    You’re kidding, right?  Is he saying that by conforming to religious dogma, I can become even MORE free?

    Hey, why don’t I put a straight-jacket on???  That way, I’ll be able to move around so much better.

  28. What cracks me up is that Scott didn’t bother to read the comment I left just before his that says I’ve read the stupid book.

    Methinks he needs to work a little more on his comprehension skills.

  29. C’mon, Les.  Reading what others write and considering differing opinions is only for poor folks who don’t already know everything there is to know.  How could you be so arrogant as to expect those things from a such an enlightened scholar?

  30. Please read the following:

    I direct my deepest concern toward the mentality that has arisen against this backdrop—what might be described as a slide toward fundamentalism. This is not limited to the religious fundamentalism that has been the subject of so much debate, but includes ethnocentrism, chauvinism, racism and a dogmatic adherence to various ideologies, including those of the market. Such fundamentalisms flourish in conditions of chaos and disorder. What is common to all of them is that abstract principles and ideas take precedence over living human beings who in turn are forced into a subservient role. While I will not attempt a detailed analysis here, I believe that Albert Einstein(1879-1955)
    expressed the essence of the issue when he stated, “principles are made for men and not men for principles.” [5]To sustain and put into practice with any consistency the world view evoked by Einstein is not an easy task. People are quick to turn to pre-established rules that provide a ready-made answer to their questions or doubts. To borrow Simone Weil’s (1909-43) metaphor, people and society are ceaselessly dragged down by the forces of gravity (la pesanteur), a seemingly inherent force in human beings that leads us to debase ourselves. The essential nature of this force is that it causes us to lose sight of the sense of self that should form the core of our humanity.

    This is from “2008 Peace Proposal,” by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, full text at: http://daisakuikeda.org/peaceb/proposals/pp2008.pdf
    What fundamentalism, Christian, Muslim, or any other form, does is REMOVE humans from the dialogue. That is also the fundamental purpose of military training for those who must kill other humans: remove the humanity from the enemy, make them “Gooks”, “Japs”, “Infidels”, whatever. If you study the New Testament, you will find that is the opposite of what Jesus tried to teach: love one another (put humans first). “All we are saying, is Give Peace a Chance.”  wink

  31. But Jesus also taught put God above all things, abandon your family so you could love him more.

    Maybe there were TWO messiahs wandering around Israel in 30AD, and the legends have confused them into one.

  32. Misquotes by misanthropes.  LOL  LOL
    Please refer to the original Book of Q in “The Lost Gospel, the Book of Q, and Christian Origins,” by Burton L. Mack.

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