In the first part of this article, I lit your torches. Your responses flooded in stating that I am: one-sided, not supportive enough of the president, too supportive of the president, holding back, and trying to stir a hornet’s nest.
"Obama is trying to appeal to ALL religions, which is the fundamental belief of Christianity..."
“…you add a disclaimer to your comments by stating you hope you are not swayed by your religious beliefs. Personally, I would go one step further and let the readers know you are open-minded to all religions and not just Christianity. (I personally know) you have many friends of many different religions such as Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish. “
“Are you saying Obama should not celebrate Christmas in the White House because…of the separation of church and state? Should the Christmas tradition at the White House be changed after each election year to accommodate the religion of the president? Should it remain to accommodate the people? Or should there be an addition to accommodate Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Ramadan?”
"Is Obama seriously trying to be open minded and entertain more than one religion or is he just bouncing from religion to religion to try to look good in the public eye?”
“(The article was) too formal, too bland, too proper. (You are usually) engaging, reckless and memorable.”
·“I don't recognize Obama's authority to dictate what positions are wrong. Certainly there are some who espouse positions of racism that are self-evidently wrong, but I'm certain Obama would also call various benign conservative viewpoints wrong as well. It's fair for Americans to disagree over political points. Our positions reflect our diverse backgrounds. I'm a Republican, but I recognize that we need Democrats. I have my own priorities, but in striving for them, I am likely to overlook someone else's needs. So I celebrate the idea that everyone should have a voice.”
“As a Christian I can argue--presupposing biblical accuracy--that a non-Christian is wrong in his beliefs, but I also believe certainty is a myth. Otherwise, we wouldn't call it faith. As a result, I cannot personally condemn a Muslim or Buddhist. In a world that doesn't hold one faith above another, such condemnation rightly would be seen as arrogance.”
“…as I read it (I thought) that the author is about to come out with either a slam at all religion, or a slam at Obama for not being Christian enough. Of course that does not happen, but the language and the placement of points seem to anticipate it. That could just be my own suspicious nature about the world, especially organized religions.”
“You are selling snake-oil disguised as fruitcake!”
“Much has been made of Mr. Obama's faith (or lack thereof) but I genuinely feel it is a "straw man" argument. Raised Muslim...non practicing Christian (which is really no religion at all)...it takes away from the way he views religion as a leader. Our president is a product of a political machine (as were many of his predecessors) and looks at his public persona is a type of tool to promote his political aims.”
“The President may not have been born to a non-secular parent, but has "come to Christ" in his own way. Just because his outlook on life is decidedly logical, rather than emotional, his faith is based on an intellectual pursuit rather than blind faith. This doesn't mean that the President is less or more Christian than anyone else.”
My sincere thanks to ALL of you who wrote in or posted feedback on the article. The wide variety of your comments…IS the point of this 2 part series.
Obama is the President in a country filled with the following religious preferences: Protestantism 51.3%, Roman Catholicism 23.9%, Mormonism 1.7%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 0.7%, Orthodox Christians 0.6%, Atheists/Agnostics 16.1%, Judaism 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Islam 0.6%, Hinduism 0.4%, and “other” 1.5%.
The Obama family attends the Church of Christ which is the name of several church denominations, some of which are closely related to one another and some of which are not. It is classified as a Christian church.
So what IS a Christian? That becomes difficult to define. Even for Christians. Dr. Ray Pritchard; author, speaker, and president of Keep Believing Ministries wrote an article for Christianity.com in which he says “a Christian should: Believe something, follow something, and live something. Becoming a Christian doesn’t happen by accident. It requires conversion of the heart.”
Can a practicing Christian in the White House display his faith and still be a diverse representation of the country?
In the East Room of the White House, Christmas decorations include a crèche in the East Room (despite reports that White House social secretary Desiree Rogers suggested that the Obamas were planning a "non-religious Christmas"). The crèche has been a centerpiece of the East Room Christmas décor since 1967. The 47 Baroque figures in the crèche are made of carved wood and terra cotta, were created in Naples, Italy in the late 18th century.
In the White House, there ought to be plenty there to remind the world that this is in fact a pluralistic society. "E pluribus unum" it says somewhere, stating in essence that our differences make us a strong "one," but I think the strength of that "one" comes only if we respect the differences which make us many.
So, I wish all of you who make up this melting pot of America, Season’s greetings, Happy Holidays, Blessed Bodhi Day, Happy Hanukkah, Prayers to the Virgin of Guadalupe, Santa Lucia Day, Ashura, Las Posadas, Al Hijra, Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day, and a celebration of Kwanzaa.