The Anti-Religious Obama Presidency

There are a lot of principled reasons to oppose the Obama presidency, not the least of which is “the worst fiscal record of any president in modern times.” I wonder how any person of faith could vote for Obama in light of his administration’s unprecedented and brazen assaults on religious freedom: first, the revision of the “ministerial exemption” in employment disputes, which was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 9-0 ruling; second, the mandate that religious universities, hospitals, and charities pay for health insurance that covers sterilization, contraceptives, and abortifacients. Christians of conservative and liberal persuasions are rightly outraged. (Read this letter to the President by religious leaders in the Protestant and Jewish faith communities who are “deeply troubled” by the actions of the Obama administration.)

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2 thoughts on “The Anti-Religious Obama Presidency

  1. Christopher – I’m not going to vote for him for the reasons you laid out. That said, I do wish a similarly-strong case had been made for opposing the Bush administration’s irresponsible wars, use of torture, disastrous fiscal policy (in some ways worse than Obama’s, I’d argue), etc.

    I guess my gripe is that the evangelical outrage machine still seems to be very one-dimensional when both parties are deserving of it. (And I would add that if you’re resolved to vote for one candidate or the other, I don’t think the case against Obama is nearly as clear cut as it is if you’re committed to a more idealistic approach in which you’re perfectly content to abstain. If you have to choose between Obama or Romney… man, I might still vote Obama. Of course, I’m choosing to abstain entirely, so it ends up being a moot point.)

    • Jake:

      This afternoon I had a spirited conversation with a Christian friend who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and remains supportive of his presidency, even though he disagrees with the recent assaults on religious liberty. He made an allowance for the President, as if the dirty hands belong to his underlings. Just as I held George W. Bush – more than John Ashcroft or Donald Rumsfeld – ultimately responsible for the preemptive war in Iraq and its mismanagement (e.g., enhanced interrogation techniques, Abu Ghraib prison scandal), I hold Barack Obama – more than Eric Holder or Kathleen Sebelius – ultimately responsible for his administration’s attacks on religious liberty. The buck stops at the president, as Harry Truman famously said. We vote for the President – not the Health & Human Services Secretary or Attorney General.

      I regarded an unjust war in Iraq and torture as a “deal breaker” in my support for Bush. So too, I regard an unconstitutional and, dare I say, un-Christian assault on religious liberty as a deal breaker. Obama’s actions against religion are not “fairly minor,” as my friend suggested. They are egregious.

      While I am not committed to voting for Mitt Romney in the general election and may abstain altogether, I think it’s highly ironic that the “cult follower” (Romney) would probably be a greater defender of religious liberty, given the persecution of the Mormon Church in the United States, than “the born-again Christian” (Obama).

      To exonerate myself from the perception that I suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome, let me go on the record for saying that I support the administration for . . .

      * Ending the war in Iraq started by the Bush administration.
      * Ending the harsh interrogation methods sanctioned by the Bush administration.
      * Ordering the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
      * Continuing the Bush administration’s disruption and dismantling of Al-Qaeda.
      * Using drones in the war against terrorism.
      * Supporting the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.
      * Requiring health insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
      * Preventing children from being refused health insurance coverage.
      * Beginning a reform of the military to reflect present day threats and technology.
      * Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel.
      * Improving benefits for veterans.
      * Rejecting the Keystone XL project.
      * Increasing federal spending and tax incentives for renewable and clean energy.
      * Appointing Dr. Francis Collins as Director to the National Institutes of Health.

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