The Audacity of Hope

I was very struck, when I read Barack Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope by the total inaccuracy at criticisms levelled by the American and global left that he has been a disappointment as a President because he sold out on his ideals. Actually, if you read his pre-Presidency book, he outlined all of the positions he has taken in office for our viewing pleasure. In the extract below, he has a lot to say about the separation of Church and State and why respecting that doesn’t mean one must keep religion out of politics.

“Jefferson and Leland’s formula for religious freedom worked. Not only has America avoid the sorts of religious strife that continue to plague the globe, but religious institutions have continued to thrive – a phenomenon that some observers attribute directly to the absence of a state-sponsored church, and hence a prmium on religious experimentation and volunteerism. Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation; we are a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of unbelievers.

But let’s even assume that we only had Christians within our borders. Whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests that slavery is all right and eating shellfish is an abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggest stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage so radical it’s unlikely our Defense Department would survive its application? [click to continue…]

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