When Barack Obama told Rev. Rick Warren last year that knowing when life begins is “above my pay grade,” he was splitting hairs at a molecular level, and in so doing he told us more about himself than he may have realized. This president is more adept than any in recent memory at appearing pious while believing in nothing — except, of course, in the god of big government and the hedonism of radical autonomy.
As I write this, the president is in South Bend, Indiana, receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame University at the graduation ceremony of that venerable Catholic institution. The church officials responsible for the university have managed to convince themselves that this most enthusiastic of pro-abortion presidents is somehow deserving of an honorary doctorate — in law, no less — from an institution that professes to be a leading proponent of the sanctity of innocent human life.
Apparently, being a community organizer who “helped the poor” on the streets of Chicago twenty years ago somehow negates the vicious pro-death policies he has embraced since. As an Illinois state senator, he voted to condemn newborns to die in closets after botched abortions. As a United States senator, he voted to allow full-term babies to be aborted up to the moment of birth simply because they were inconvenient. And now, as president of the United States, he advocates the destruction of human life for the purpose of embryonic stem cell research, he has ordered the export of abortion beyond our shores, and he has promised to sign a tyrannical policy known as the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would sweep away every federal, state and local restriction on abortion — including parental notification, the federal ban on partial birth abortion, and the conscience clause, which permits medical personnel to opt out of involvement in abortion procedures.
The Vatican has been silent on the president’s appearance at Notre Dame. I am not a Catholic, but it appears to me that this appeasement of the culture of death by the highest levels of the Catholic Church has effectively neutered the church as an ally in the fight for the sanctity of innocent human life. Obama, perhaps better than any politician in history, understands how to emasculate the institutions that oppose him. It’s as if, having waved his magic wand, he has blinded those who should be his greatest opposition and convinced them to aid him in furthering his agenda.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, in Afghanistan, American soldiers are helplessly watching as their privately owned Bibles are being confiscated and burned — not by the Afghan government, which would be outrageous enough, but rather by the U.S. military! That’s right. Because of a story on the Muslim-controlled Arab television network, Al-Jazeera, and because of the protests of a few atheists, the Bibles are being seized by Barack Obama’s Pentagon and burned!
These Bibles were printed in Pashto and Dari, the languages of Afghans. They were sent to American Christian soldiers and chaplains by private donors. They were meant for distribution to American troops who were attending Christian church services on bases in Afghanistan. American military officials admit that these Bibles could be useful to U.S. soldiers in learning the languages of their hosts. Also, under Army regulations, these Bibles could legally be given as gifts to Afghan citizens during the soldiers’ off-duty hours. No matter; we must appease a few disgruntled Muslims and even fewer disgruntled atheists.
According to former Navy Chaplain Gordon J. Klingenschmitt, who has recently publicized this story, U.S. Central Command’s General Order Number One defines “proselytizing” as “forcing religious conversions using military weapons.” However, writes Klingenschmitt, the Order “fully permits soldiers of any religion to engage in non-threatening evangelism,” defined as “voluntary conversations about their faith.”
So, what are American Christian believers to conclude about their president? Is he truly a reasonable leader willing to listen to all points of view and to “disagree without being disagreeable”? Or is he a defender of Muslims, atheists and a culture of death at the expense of Christians and of the Christian faith he claims to embrace? His actions, combined with his irrelevant religiosity, seem to indicate the latter.
© Copyright 2009 by Doug Patton
Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and policy advisor to conservative candidates, elected officials and public policy organizations. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including Human Events Online and GOPUSA.com, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.