Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Dec/10

11

More God please!

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Obama Doesn’t Mention God Enough, Says Prayer Caucus:

President Obama doesn’t mention God frequently enough in his speeches, a group of religious House Republicans said in an open letter to the president, chastising him for skipping over mention of the “Creator,” especially in a recent overseas address.

Forty-two members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus complained in a letter sent to the White House Monday that in a speech delivered last month in Indonesia, the president substituted the U.S.’s religious-themed national motto for a more secular alternative.

The letter suggests the speech was not an isolated incident but part of a series of remarks that “establishes a pattern” of the president intentionally excluding talk of God from his public remarks.

The prayer caucus members who signed the letter, however, neglected to mention that in the Indonesia speech, Obama mentioned God four times.

12 comments

  • hanmeng · December 11, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    You can’t expect an atheist Muslim to mention God.

  • Susan · December 12, 2010 at 12:35 am

  • Craig · December 12, 2010 at 4:49 am

    They’re half right. I think Obama is deliberately leaving that off. I doubt it’s for the right reason, though.

  • Susan · December 12, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    The biggest problem with this is that the vast majority of voters are more concerned with fiscal and foreign policy issues rather with the number of times the president mentions God in his public utterances.

    When the boat is sinking, the passengers worry about caulking the leak, not about the name of the boat.

  • Author comment by Andrew Stuttaford · December 13, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Good Lord, Obama is preachy enough already…

  • Polichinello · December 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Bachmann is an embarassingly transparent ass, it’s wonder anyone listens to her. She should be boring her fellow parshioners in a church hall instead of lecturing the rest of us in Congress.

  • Mark Tully · December 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I’m not an atheist, but I find things like this frustrating. All of these people are concerned that Mr. Obama isn’t mentioning God enough, but hardly anyone seems to concern themselves if their politicians actually have faith.

    I’m sure that if people began complaining about a lack of faith instead of a lack of patronization, other readers of this blog would be equally unhappy. But at least there would be something at stake in the whole issue.

  • Susan · December 17, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    Mark, I’m not altogether sure what you mean–no doubt a failing on my part–but if you’re disturbed that more politicians don’t manifest genuine faith, I’d submit that there’s no way to know whether they do or don’t. I’ve assumed since I was a teenager that most politicians, whatever their private agnosticism or atheism may be, understand that it’s necessary to pay lip service to religion in order to get elected and stay in office, particularly in parts of the south, the midwest, and southwest. We have only one open atheist in Congress, a representative from California whose name escapes me at the moment.

    So truly…there’s no way of knowing who has faith and who doesn’t, is there? Your point appears to be moot.

  • Clark · December 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Susan, I think in general politicians tend to be good at hiding their motivations. And in this era where few of us encounter politicians all we have are carefully crafted PR. That said I think in some cases one can discern faith or faithlessness. But I’ll grant you that often we can’t.

    What I more worry about are those who see faith as the only important factor. I’m convinced Bush had faith. I’m not at all convinced his faith helped him be a better President in most cases.

  • Polichinello · December 18, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    His faith in the magic of democracy certainly didn’t help.

  • Susan · December 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Clark, there are certainly plenty of people–a worrisome number–who regard faith, by which I mean some version of fundamentalist Protestantism–as a, if not the, prime qualification for the presidency. Most are Palin supporters. As one of them said, “Sarah loves the Lord, and that’s enough for me!” I don’t happen to consider “loving the Lord” (or shooting caribou, for that matter)as a factor in determining a suitable candidate for the presidency. I’d prefer a deep knowledge of economics and foreign policy, just to name a few qualifications. Plus someone who isn’t a professional yokel. But that’s just me.

    And Palin herself is a good example of how difficult it may be to discern a politician’s true faith and motivations. She probably is as “prayerful” as she claims to be. But suppose she isn’t? Perhaps she’s like a televangelist–someone who’s beaten a path to fame and fortune by beating the Bible? Possibly she’s exactly that shrewd and cynical. I suspect that at least part of her yokel act is invented because it thrills her constituency with her authenticity. So her religiosity, or at least the public manifestations of it, could be equally an affect.

  • Mark Tully · December 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Susan,

    You’re right, it is hard to tell. I do think, however, that actions can sometimes point to a person’s faith. As the recent post about fire engines in Israel demonstrates, you can sometimes tell.

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