Obama Recognizes the Shifting U. S. Religious Identity.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog wondering what new language of religion will be used in the next campaign.  Perhaps I could have learned a little by watching last night’s State of the Union–but I didn’t.

Someone with the same interest I have in social change and its reflection in civic language wrote about the two inaugaral speeches by President Obama.  He saw differences in Obama’s references to religion in his two inagural speeches.

In Obama’s first campaign, he was critical of other Democrats who did not wear their religious creds on their sleaves.  He did so.  In his inaugural speech, he made traditional references to our shared Judeo Christian heritiage.

During the four years that followed, there were changes.  One was Obama’s falling out with his Pastor, Jeremy White.

Another was a change in the religious political landscape.  Polls showed a rapid increase in the percentage of people who no longer identify with a religion.  The current number used is about twenty percent.

In Obama’s second inagural speech, he said we are a people who share values of community, prosperity, mutual care for each other, stewardship of the land, peace making and human rights. It was a spot in his speech where shared Judeo Christian heritage could have been inserted.

These values fit our Judeao Christian history, but he never said this.  Instead, he left values that represent the broadest specturms of spirituality, including none at all.

We may have seen the future a couple of years ago.

http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2014/01/24/the-obama-doctrine-american-civil-spirituality/30562

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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24 Responses to Obama Recognizes the Shifting U. S. Religious Identity.

  1. Dan says:

    Jon,
    I’d have to disagree. Obama never shared a Judeo Christian heritage. He was raised a Muslim and is Anti-Christian. His reign as president fits in well with end times believers.

    HERE ARE THE PARALLELS

    By the time Caesar Augustus died in 14 C.E., he had established the imperial foundation that had replaced the Republic with the Roman Empire. He created a method for the progressive consolidation of power and office, which was going to be repeatedly followed by succeeding emperors. His title of supremacy – Augustus, and his hereditary title of Caesar would become the permanent titles of the leaders of the Roman Empire for centuries to come.

    The Republic of America has become an Empire under Obama just as the Roman republic became an empire under Caesar…(Class warfare, military extension, debt). Please study history. Even our White House is of Roman design. I sincerely hope that younger generations enjoy paying homage to Obama. He grants them medical care. He grants them legal status and food stamps. Just as Caesar made the Senate null and void, so to does Obama make Congress, with a strike of his pen. Executive privilege.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Dan 4:57 “The Republic of America has become an Empire under Obama just as the Roman republic became an empire under Caesar..”

      Did the Romans during that period have elections like we do? We’ve had two Bush Presidents, maybe a third. Maybe that’s imperial.

    • Avatar of realist realist says:

      Dan, I see you travel from the land of conspiracy theories. I despair of trying to change your mind about those theories. They are remarkably resistant to actual facts. Please realize that you are among a very select group of people who are easily influenced to believe even the most outrageous garbage without even a shred of evidence. This state of belief is really quite remarkable because it requires you to dismiss reality, the viewpoint of a huge majority of our country’s leaders as well as the opinions of most of your own conservative political leaders. Good job! You have climbed the mountain and seen the truth that is invisible to almost everybody else.

      • Wolfy32 says:

        Yes, the bible when focused on eschatology leads us to many things…. This is a sampling of what the eschatologists refer to in terms of a “Godless Nation”.

        Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

        3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

        4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

        9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

        15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

        22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

        26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

        29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

        “‘the sun will be darkened,
        and the moon will not give its light;
        the stars will fall from the sky,
        and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]

        30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

        For Christ’s second coming to happen, the whole earth must buy into Christianity is a fraud..

        What’s interesting about this, if Jesus was a real person… I have the feeling he was pretty smart… Maybe he realized that Christianity would fade away eventually. That people would eventually see through it. So, to keep believers around, he said, hey, those that truly believe when the whole world stops believing will be rewarded…

        Sounds similar to other cults No? David Koresh, Branch Dividian, and others. The whole world will be against us, but we must believe to the end even when the world seeks to kill us?

        When you put it in modern day terms, is it truly a warning or prophecy? Or is it simply because the leader knows there will be an end and he wants to keep it going anyways? We’ve heard this story before… The question is whether the one 2000 years ago has the authority of “Angels, and heavenly beings” or simply wanted to instill loyalty in his followers?

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Wolfy32 3:56 “I have a feeling he was pretty smart.. Maybe he realized Christianity would fade away eventually..So to keep believer around..those that truly believe to the end even wen the world stopes will be rewarded.”

          You’re right. Jesus, or whomever attributed words to Jesus because no one who wrote about him ever saw him, must have seen others play the same game, you’re in or you’re out. People come on here point out, “Jesus said there would be doubters”. There were doubters about David Koresh–he stompped on them. The Bible trys to scare people in the same cultish way. Kind of evil, really.

      • H.P.Drifter says:

        Right on Realist!

  2. entech says:

    I often find this expression Judeo/Christian quite amusing.
    Anything in the Hebrew Bible that is not convenient is said to be overruled by the Christian Bible, the new superseding the old. Except where something is required to prop up a case.

    So when you think about it Judeo/Christian doesn’t exist, hasn’t being a valid description since Paul the apostate dropped most of it and paved the way for Christianity to develop as a completely new and independent religion, one that is intrinsically anti-Jewish.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 5:49 “I often find this expression Judeo/Christian quite amusing. Anthing in the Hebrew Bible that is not convenient is said to be overruled by the Christian Bible..”

      That is one amazing thing I have learned on this discussion page, how all the bizarre practices during era of the Jewish rule vanished by the “covenant”, but all the prophesies and any practices not considered bizarre were unaffected by the “convenant”.

      I remember as a young person small “Bibles” were passed out which were only the New Testament. Apparently, that is now politically incorrect. Politically correct is to include the OT as part of “The Bible” but ignore the parts you don’t like. Of course, you have to be an expert in which parts to ignore and which parts to use faithfully. Everyone considers him/herself to be an expert in this.

  3. H.P.Drifter says:

    Sounds like a marketing remake, repackaging the same old religious dogma and labeling it as “New and Approved” This time to get votes in the next election trying to appeal to everybody just does not work. If people wake and want to change they will, if not they will remain the same. Hopefully they will change, frankly in my opinion until a couple of generations die off (hopefully because of old age, not bad health care) then we can see a chance for change in thinking, that will get us on track to sustainable government that learns how to pay as they go. If they can not control the public by religious affiliation, they do it by debt instead. This you can learn to control, we live somewhat of a minimalist life style. The only thing we buy new is appliances and clothes. Everything else we buy used or make it our selves. All the wood working here at our place I did by myself, with some help from a neighbor. Keep your overhead down, bury the rest and when you need money it will be there.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      H. P. D. 2:30 “Sounds like a marketing remake, repackaging the same old religious dogma and labeling it as ‘New and Approved.’”

      I agree it is repackaged, but it seems also like something actually new. If a President, or many Presidential candidates, no longer talk about a presumed religious views of a majority, some things do change. The constant justification of laws and practices made because “we are a Christian Nation” might well evaporate. Perhaps all the subsidies in the form of tax breaks given chruches may change and taxes to indiviuals and their homes might go down a bit.

      • Avatar of realist realist says:

        Obama is a very smart politician. I never bought into the idea that he was very religious even at the beginning of his campaign. I believe what we are seeing now is his more natural inclinations concerning religious belief. I agree that his stepping away from the Christian rhetoric is a good thing. I believe that before we had the burgeoning of the “religious right” that has been so vocal in recent years, we had Republican politicians like Eisenhower, Reagan and Ford who didn’t talk much about their personal beliefs. In fact, Reagan spent most of his weekends at this ranch far from any church. I believe it would be nice to go back to those days when religion was something presidents did on their own time.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          realist 2:59 “we had Republican politicans like Eisenhower, Reagan and Ford who didn’t talk much about their personal beliefs. In fact, Reagan spent most of his weekends at his ranch far from any church.”

          That Reagan is/was embraced by right wing religious circles has always amazed me. As you said, he never was much involved in church life. Before being President and after, when they were in the City, they spent many Sunday mornings at a regular brunch put on at the home of two gay Hollywood men. One of his inner circle staff members as Governor was well known to be gay. All his life, however, he would say he didn’t approve of the “gay lifestyle”. I suppose he winked at his close friends who were gay and they winked back.

          • Avatar of realist realist says:

            Amazing, isn’t it? Actually what Reagan did and what Obama is doing is really similar. Both excelled in political skill. Each is/was well liked by most.

      • H.P.Drifter says:

        Jon

        Being optimistic at your age, must of had a good night sleep, a really new package, I don’t think so. Talking in broader terms maybe. When they send Home Land Security and NSA (national snooping agencies)packing and start spending money on specific problems instead of lumping them altogether with all there made up problems, then I will believe its equal opportunity religion here in the US not just rhetoric. Religious people are not the problem, the extremists are, no matter what religious flag they fly.

        H.D.P

    • Wolfy32 says:

      I have learned being in the generation I am (graduating in the mid 1990s).
      I have learned to earn what I want and if I there’s something I want I save for it. Makes it meaningful and special for me. I have my car paid off, and everything but house and student loans.. Unfortunately, student loans are evil. I screwed up with those and don’t have a choice, but, I’m focusing on trying to make them more manageable too.

      So much of the younger currently age 20-30 generation says, I am awesome and deserve to be treated awesome. I deserve a $30-$50 / hour job, not this $10 / hour job. I deserved something better too. I worked at dead end jobs for a long time. Longer than I should have probably. Yet, just because we deserve something more, (in our eyes) doesn’t mean we’ve earned it.

      I think it’s o.k. to feel you deserve something. I don’t think it’s o.k. to expect things to be handed over or jobs and paths to just open up without having earned some of it . Those lower paying jobs teach one how to handle the tough issues of higher paying jobs…

      This expectation / demanding generation that seems to not ever heard the word no in their lives, has some tough lessons to learn… I’m hoping the future generations learn that “NO” is an o.k. answer, until one has earned a “yes”.

  4. H.P.Drifter says:

    Wolfy

    I was thinking about what Wanna B said about getting a key board for the child. I think is a good idea, Six is about the right time to start them on the piano, a key board with head phones so he won’t drive everybody in the house crazy might be the ticket for this young fellow. You can rent them or buy them, they are not that expensive, if you want a good one buy it used. Rent one, try it out see what happens

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Hint: Get a keyboard with 110 plug in capability, or get an after market power transformer if one doesn’t come with it. Although they use batteries, if used much, they eat batteries faster than a Norwegian eats butter. (The only source of color in their food.) (A joke). You may also consider a sustain pedal if the keyboard has that capability. It makes a real musical instrument out of it with “warmth” .

    • Wolfy32 says:

      Yeah, definately something to consider. I’ve heard that music helps with a number of mental illnesses, parkinsons, and others.

      He really loves crafty types of things. I can’t follow instructions. I never interpret them correctly, constantly have to have help.. This kid can sit down with a complex lego vehicle to build. He’ll ask where the “structions” are. And in a half hour to an hour he’ll have the vehicle built. Redoing it and fixing it as he goes if he realizes he made a mistake. He has no problems tearing it apart to fix something. It’ll be exactly like the picture on the cover when he’s done.

      If not preoccupied though his brain is all over the place and has troubles calming himself. So, I could see a keyboard being similar in that he can absorb himself. He definately is more of the engineering capabilities though. Loving 3-dimensional blocks. He’s my girlfriend’s son, so not mine, but, his dad is a 40something loser, that can barely hold a job, and complains how his life sucks. So, this kid has few positive male rolemodels. I’m thinking of introducing him to building plastic models (cars / airplanes, etc). I tried doing them as a kid and ended up getting mad at them. always had problems with tedious stuff. But this kid can focus his mind 150% if given something to put together. Heh.

      • StanB says:

        Math, engineering and music are close cousins. The nomenclature of music is whole, half and sixteenth notes. Without an understanding of math music us difficult. My daughter received a degree from the Minnesota Institute of Technology at the University of minnesota in four years. She plays/played piano, base guitar and all verities of saxaphone from bass to alto sax and she was only 5’3″ tall and 130 pounds.

        • Jinx says:

          SOunds like my daughter. She is a chemical engineer and can pick up any instrument and play it proficiently. She plays oboe, clarinet, saxaphone, flute and I don’t know what else. You are right on about the math-music axis!

      • Jinx says:

        Wolfy, I read your post about the child’s behavior when he reads as well as he can’t turn his brain off. He may have ADHA or he may not, or me may have it along side another concern. He sounds a bit like my friends son at that age. Her oldest son had teachers insisting he had ADHd and he certainly presented as a typical kid with hte disorder. On my advice she scheduled him an appointment with U of MN Pediatric Neurology and he went through a full evaluation. They found he did not have ADHD but did have an anxiety disorder due to some unique hard wiring in his brain. Rilatin would have been a disaster. The U people were able to build an education and behavioral approach for the school and parents that successfully worked with this child. Wolfy, this boy sounds like bright kid with unique abilities so hpefully the school wants to really find out what is going on with him and not just medicate him. Good luck and don’t give up!

      • H.P.Drifter says:

        Don’t consider the boy ill, he is not really, he just has issues to deal with, you just need to help him, help him himself that’s all, the only people that gets crazy are the parents if you don’t watch out. I find this behavior quite common this days. I have one friend who had one of these kids, he now works for Google and sends a check home every month, not because he has to, he just wants to. Don’t sell kids like this short, growing pains seem to be more complex these days. With kids keep them busy at something they like, things will sort themselves out. Worked for me.

        • Avatar of realist realist says:

          Wolfy, my son was evaluated at the age of six because of issues his teacher was concerned with. Along with other things, he couldn’t write very well; messy handwriting. Turns out he still can’t but he has an advanced degree. A wise teacher told me once that you never should worry too much until the age of 10 or so because kids all develop at a different rate.

          • Wolfy32 says:

            Yup, I agree, we just want to give him an edge with reading and being able to focus in school. If he’s constantly distracted, I don’t think a low dose, none addictive med is going to hurt.

            Hopefully allow him to focus and gain a new edge. And then we can focus on getting him some help reading too. Hopefully to a point he enjoys reading not hates it.

            Either way, we aren’t forgetting he’s still a kid and needs time to just play and have fun. We’re not forcing him to read like the teacher wants. He’s supposed to read an additional 15 minutes a day outside school. By the time we’re off work, have supper done, and homework done, it’s almost his bed time, so, we read to him, and allow him to play games or whatever he wants to do.

            It’s not about fixing him, he’s pretty smart, doesn’t need to be fixed. Our goal is more, here’s some ways we can help give you an edge. So school isn’t such a struggle. I don’t know if it’s right, but, it’s an approach. He had a full day of testing and he’s very inattentive, mild adhd with severe inattentiveness, a language processing issue, (supposedly the language part of his brain didn’t fully develop according to the testing), and mild dyslexia. We’re hoping to help reduce the inattentiveness and that in turn could give him the edge he needs to cope and /or improve the other issues.

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