Religion - photo by Nathan Rupert

Invention by Republican: Obama’s War On Religion

Invention by Republican 5

Religion - photo by Nathan Rupert

Invention by Republican is a regular series on The Left Call, highlighting factually inaccurate and hyperbolic narratives by Republicans, conservatives and right-wing ideologues.

Consider this what-if scenario for a moment. What if Obama was going out of his way to discriminate against Muslims? Do you think Christians would charge Obama with waging a war on religion?

Republicans, right-wingers and people of faith who say Obama is waging a war on religion are using the phrase “war on religion” in place of what they really mean, “war on Christianity”. I doubt they would have shown the same level of concern if the recent focus on government and religion had only involved Muslim organizations instead of Christian organizations.

Any unbiased review of the recent birth control debacle (fabricated almost entirely by the Right) or any other actions by this administration during its first three years would conclude there is no war against religion. In a Mother Jones column, ‘What War on Religion?‘, Stephanie Mencimer finds that the Obama administration has been more than generous to religious organizations, particularly with stimulus dollars, including “more than $650 million” that has gone to Catholic organizations alone.

From Mother Jones – What War on Religion?:

Far from waging war on religious organizations, Obama has largely left in place the federal faith-based infrastructure created by President George W. Bush. He has also increased the amount of federal dollars flowing to religious groups—much to the chagrin of civil liberties and civil rights groups. They believe the administration is turning a blind eye to ongoing and egregious constitutional violations over church-state separation by religious groups receiving millions in taxpayer dollars.

It is amazing to see Christians jumping to the conclusion that they are being religiously persecuted when the Obama administration has done as much or more for religious organizations as compared to the Bush administration. That is saying a lot considering the erosion church-state separation during those 8 long years.

if Obama thought that keeping evangelical and Catholic religious  organizations flush with federal money would earn him their political  support, he’s now discovering that’s just not the case.

Conclusion? There is no war on religion. Instead, this flare up is an example of the inflexible nature of religious dogma. It leaves no room for reasoned or tempered responses. If a person of faith believes the laws of a secular nation are not compatible with that faith, they skip ‘reasoned response’ and arrive instantly at ‘raving hysterics’.

The people of faith who charge Obama with waging a war on religion do so because they aren’t getting their way, fully, and without compromise. If their demands are not met with 100% compliance, they conclude Obama is waging a war on religion. It is these people of faith who offer no room for compromise, and that is the crux of the problem.

dks

photo by Nathan Rupert via Flickr


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David K. Sutton

Chief Writer and Editor of The Left Call - I'm a full-time IT engineer, part-time political blogger. I founded The Left Call in 2011 because I believe in social justice, economic equality, and the idea of forming a more perfect union. In addition to written content, I also host the LEFT CALL RADIO Podcast.

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  • stan chaz

    War on religion? Don’t make me laugh. The Republicans and Tea-publicans need a big distraction from the sorry set of presidential candidates that they have fielded. And the churches need a big distraction fro m all those costly court settlements – a way to rally their dispirited troops, in a a fake “war on religion”. One of the legitimate functions of government is to promote equality and fairness for all, by having everyone play by the same rules. Absolutely NO ONE is coming into our Churches and trying to tell parishioners what to believe…or forcing them to use contraception. BUT If the Bishops (and other denominations) want to start businesses that employ millions of people of varying faiths -or no “faith” at all- THEN they must play by the rules that other workers live by. ..ESPECIALLY if the churches use our tax dollars in the process.  Just because a religious group in America claims to believe something, we cannot excuse them from obeying the law in the PUBLIC arena, based on that belief. They can legally attempt to change the law, not to deny it outright. And if they want to plunge overtly into politics from the pulpit, then they should give up their tax-exempt status. Are they churches, or are they super-pacs. They need to decide., or have the IRS decide for them. Did I miss something, or when it comes to the “sanctity of life”, is every single righteous Catholic still a card carrying conscientious objector, still refusing to take up arms,  still totally against the death penalty, and still against contraception and birth-control in all its forms? Oh well, hypocrisy is often at the heart of politics, and politics masquerading as religion even more so. This country is an invigorating mixture of all the diversity that life has to offer, drawing its strength FROM that diversity. But TRUE religious freedom gives everyone the right to make personal decisions, including whether to use birth control, based on our own beliefs and according to what is best for our health and our families. It fiercely protects the rights of all of us to practice our faith. It does not, however, give anyone, including the bishops, the right to impose their beliefs on others and discriminate in the name of religious liberty. People of faith should not let themselves be used as pawns in a fake war “against religion”’. The ONLY war going on here is a war against women and families who want to control their own futures. THAT’S what I call liberty! It’s a war …a war between the lies about religious liberty, and the truth. Don’t believe the hype! Think for yourself! Postcript: An interesting point to consider is this: Mitt Romney tried to score some points by telling us that his dad was born in Mexico. HOWEVER, the REASON for that was that his Mormon Grand-dad LEFT the US in the 1880’s because laws against polygamy were passed in the US (and being a Mormon, his Grand-dad wanted to keep his multiple wives). SO… if we follow the “logic” of the people crying crocodile tears about a non-existent war on religion”, then the US should have allowed polygamy (and who knows what else) just because a particular religion claimed it as their belief. GIVE ME A BREAK!

  • Pingback: Senator McConnell, The 1st Amendment Protects Us From Religion

  • stan chaz

    I’VE HAD ENOUGH!
    In this Holy War on Religion, of Religion, and by Religion – I SURRENDER! 
    ‘Cause I’m a lover, not a fighter.  
    Instead…I’m gonna start my OWN religion, and get in on the good stuff: tax exemptions, and lots of taxpayer money to do what I want, all in the name of religious liberty. AWESOME! 
    Hey NEWT -wanna join? We’re gonna have open marriages and multiple wives and all SORTS of neat stuff that you’re just gonna love! But don’t you worry Newt: we’ll have no – I repeat – NO nasty stoning of adulterers in OUR religion. None of that stuff. I Promise! As for SANTORUM, he just LOVES to tell other people how they should live. He’ll make us a REAL fine preacher-man. In fact, if he joins we’ll make him Saint Santorum….AND fix his Google search results! As for Mr. Obama, it’s obvious that we’ll need to (severely) demonize him, even further than now!  Last but not least: MITT and RON. Hmmm… Hey, I know. Just for you two guys and the rest of the 1%: we’ll insist on NO TAXES AT ALL for our members…AND human sacrifice of illegal aliens. Tear out their hearts! Televise it live! WHAT A COUNTRY!  :-)
    By the way, 
    the fact that Mitt Romney’s DAD was born in Mexico is quite relevant here. The reason is that Mitt’s Mormon GRAND-dad LEFT the United States and went to Mexico in the 1880‘s because  laws against polygamy were passed in the U.S.; And being a Mormon back then, Mitt’s grand-dad just wanted to keep his multiple wives. Hey, who wouldn’t? Therefore, IF we follow the “logic” of the people crying crocodile tears about a non-existent “war on religion”, THEN the U.S. should have allowed polygamy back then (and religious racial discrimination, and who knows what else) – just because a particular religion claimed it as their cherished belief. GIVE ME A BREAK! Or better yet… give me a TAX-break…for my new religion!
    Seriously: The bottom line is that absolutely NO ONE is coming into our Churches or places of worship and telling believers what to believe…..or forcing them to use contraception. BUT If the Bishops (and other denominations) want to continue running businesses outside of their places of worship…businesses that employ millions of people of varying faiths -or no “faith” at all- THEN they must play by the same rules and rights that other workers live by and enjoy (especially if their businesses use our tax dollars, and skip paying taxes, in the process). If the Jehovah’s Witnesses church hires me, can they alter my health insurance to exclude blood transfusions? Even worse- what if they operated a hospital by their “rules”? 
    This is not a “war on religion”. Never was. However, it IS a war BY some religions… on women and men who simply want to plan their families, to control their futures, to keep their jobs, and to have health insurance that allows them to do that. The churches (or the IRS) need to decide whether these churches are  going to be political organizations proclaiming partisan politics from the pulpit…or….tax-exempt places of WORSHIP.  Not both. 
    p. s. I come from a religious background. I know that their are many good people out there in various faiths (AND outside of those faiths)…many good people searching for answers, searching for community, searching for a way….in this all-too-harsh world. There’s only one thing I can say to you: think for yourself, be yourself, trust yourself. Don’t just accept something because it comes from a “voice of authority”. For ultimately YOU are responsible for your life, and how you try to live it. That’s why you have a conscience: to choose, not just to follow….

  • http://leftcall.com David K. Sutton

    Love that last part. Think for yourself indeed. The excuse that people like Santorum use for their bigotry is that it’s in the Bible. It’s like they are saying “sorry, my hands are tied”. Nope, that doesn’t work anymore in a civil society.

    I posted a great must watch video earlier tonight. It’s a scene from ‘The West Wing’. As of this comment it’s posted in the “must watch videos” section in the sidebar on the right as well as permanently archived in the TV menu link above (Left Call TV).

    Or you can watch it here:

  • http://nomadicpolitics.blogspot.com/ Nomad

    So.. hold up…

    “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. …
    As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” 

     ”I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am doing the Lord’s work…I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” 

    These are the words of a rather famous man named Adolf Hitler. Does this mean then that when our grandfathers fought the Nazis in Europe they were in fact fighting a war against religion? After all, Hitler (and Mussolini) had the support and encouragement of the Catholic church- at least, in the lead up to the war. 
    http://t.co/VGzTbnC1

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