2013 Favs: President Obama, Religious Liberty and Lying in Plain Sight

2013 Favs: President Obama, Religious Liberty and Lying in Plain Sight December 29, 2013

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I’m close to a breaking point vis a vis our President and his deliberate disingenuous obfuscations about the first amendment in general and religious freedom, in particular. I need to take a deep breath.

So, this will be brief.

President Obama’s statement on the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday contained this paragraph:

On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital.  How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions.  Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.  

Read that carefully. Read it three times. What is says is consistent with the drive to push religious freedom into the churches and our homes; behind closed doors, in other words, and limit it to that. It is entirely consistent with the actions this administration has taken up to now to limit the First Amendment guarantee of the Constitutional right to free exercise of religion to the institutional church, and for them only behind church doors.

He says nothing about the right to religious freedom of individual citizens or small businesses or religious groups that range from the Knights of Columbus to campus social organizations. This is in keeping with his consistent use of the phrase “freedom of worship” when he speaks of the First Amendment.

I think he’s being coy. I don’t think “Freedom of Worship” is just a pretty phrase which he uses as a synonym for religious freedom. I think he means it literally. The First Amendment, according to President Obama, seems to mean the freedom to worship in a church. Period. I think the reason why is because President Obama intends to use the power of his office to limit religious freedom for individuals and groups.

His administration has already argued that religious exemptions should only apply to ministerial staff — which is a much higher bar than just saying they only apply to the institutional church — in more than one court case.  It seems that religion, according to Obama, is a private activity that should be conducted behind closed doors.

Oddly enough, that isn’t what made me so angry. It’s the deliberate, disingenuous obfuscation. To put a different word on it, I think he’s lying, in plain sight.

I published a list of attacks on religious liberty from the USCCB here.

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21 responses to “2013 Favs: President Obama, Religious Liberty and Lying in Plain Sight”

  1. He is a liar. We used to make fun of Bill Clinton as Slick Willy, but Obama is not slick at all. He’s a bald faced liar. Look at how he said he was going to stop the phone snooping before he was elected, and he actually expanded it. He said he was against gay marriage, and look what’s happened with his help and cheering on. Look at how he claimed to have the most transparent administration, and he’s got the IRS on Conservatives. Look at how he talked about peace and he expanded the Afghan war and expanded the use of drone killing around the world. There’s a whole bunch of lies, but here’s the biggest: He told Cardinal Dolan to his face before the HSS mandate came out that he would respect the Church’s conscience in health care. IT WAS A BALD FACED LIE. And just the other day he told the Irish that Catholic schools were part of the division problems. Does that sound like a man who believes in religion as a force for good? No. He is an opportunist and will lie to achieve his goals. DON’T TRUST THIS MAN EVER AGAIN!

  2. OMG, I did not know he said “The government is the only thing we all belong to”. I looked it up and yes he did. That is his religion. In the absence of religious faith, something will fill the void. Government is Obama’s religion.

  3. “The government is the only thing we all belong to”

    We have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. We all belong to the same government. We don’t all belong to the same church. We are all Americans. We are not all Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, etc. It makes perfect sense to me.

  4. “We have a government of the people, by the people and for the people”

    Could have fooled me. Right now, it looks like we have a government of the corporations, by the atheists, for the rich. The people? Oh, as long as they stay behind closed doors they’ll be fine, but if they poke their dirty religion out into the open we’ll chop their heads off.

  5. We have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. We all belong to the same government.

    Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. We don’t belong to the government. The government belongs to us.

  6. He said belong to, not worship. If I belong to my college alumni association, that doesn’t mean I worship it.

  7. By the atheists? How many Justices or members of Congress are atheist? None. Or at least, none will say so.

  8. I don’t think that being a liar necessarily disqualifies one from being President. Let’s face it, one cannot survive in that position without at least lying to someone. I don’t think that Obama lied to Cardinal Dolan because the mandate provision requiring contraception coverage never applied to the Church itself. Yes, it did apply to Catholic institutions and that did have to be addressed in these proposed amendments. That being done, the Catholic Church should have no gripes about the mandate.

  9. Well then, would you say you belong to the Church, or does the Church belong to you as well?

  10. Ted,

    Don’t mistake that phrase for meaning that we do everything your way because you are the people. I feel very much a part of this government.

  11. Belonging to something does not mean that you worship it. The point is that the American people on a whole do not belong to any one church. The only thing we have in common is that we are all citizens or inhabitants of the same country, which is governed by a democracy.

  12. Of course you do, Bill, you’re an East Coast liberal. All of the benefits of both capitalism and the sexual revolution flow to your geographic area, all of the destruction happens West of the Appalachian Trail.

  13. Actually, the government belongs to us. We do not belong to the government. BIG, BIG difference.

  14. You can leave the Church easily by your own will. With a country, it isn’t so easy…many can’t afford to leave even if they wanted to. “The government” should be a servant, but it is becoming a ruler.

  15. Sure, he’s saying that you can’t discriminate against gay people in federal benefits, housing, employment, and public accommodation. And if your religious beliefs tell you to do so, tough break.

  16. Our President might as well be one, and the Supreme Court. Official Enforced Atheism is the order of the day and the current interpretation of the First Amendment is “Freedom From Religion” not “Free exercise thereof”.