The UCC [the denomination Obama was affiliated with] has a Web page called “Understanding the Issues” that provides church resources on dozens of contentious public-policy issues, from major national and international issues such as “Immigration,” “Israel/Palestine,” “Pentagon Spending” (the church declares that the “federal budget is a moral document”), and “LGBT Justice” to more small-scale issues such as the “UCC Coffee Project.” In many cases, the policy positions are quite clear. The church calls on Israel to end the “occupation” of Palestinian territories, for example. In others, the church connects members to far-left social-justice resources.
Contrast this with the Web pages of major Evangelical denominations, such as the Southern Baptist Convention or the Presbyterian Church in America, which focus on man’s relationship to God while providing minimal to nonexistent commentary on public policy. Public policy for these denominations is largely a matter of individual conscience, applying the principles of faith, rather than an instrument for enacting formal church policy. To be sure, Baptist and Presbyterian denominational leaders advance pro-life policies (so does the Catholic Church), but the full breadth of public-policy positions embraced by the UCC makes it a virtual “ChurchPAC.” Yet it’s the religious Right, not the religious Left, that is consistently accused of improperly mixing faith and politics.
There is remarkable conformity, in fact, between President Obama’s words and policies and his church’s official positions on public policy — a level of conformity that would cause alarms to ring across the progressive spectrum if there were similar Evangelical church statements to which a conservative president adhered. With the exceptions of his apparent (temporary) lie regarding his opposition to same-sex marriage (which his church has supported since at least 2005) and the church’s opposition to some of his military policies, the president has advanced UCC positions again and again….
And because the focus isn’t on God but on man, the practitioner is oblivious to the fact that he’s embodying a union of church and state that would repulse him if practiced by the orthodox.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Obama Enacting His Religion As President
David French has an article for National Review on Barack Obama's religious views. There's a lot of significant information there, but here are some good portions that have implications beyond Obama: