Hallelujah! Today, Barack Obama is doing just that — by standing up to the religious right.
When James Dobson, speaking for many evangelists, argues we should govern based on the tenets of the Bible, Obama fires back and says he is dead wrong.
We are not a Christian nation, Obama points out. Therefore, the Bible isn’t common ground for all Americans and can’t be the template for how we govern.
Besides, notes Obama, there’s a problem. When you look for guidance from the Bible, where do you turn? Do you go to the Old Testament and Leviticus, where it’s forbidden to eat shellfish, work on the Sabbath or sleep with a person of the same sex? Or do you go to the New Testament and the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus praises the peacemakers, for they shall be called the Sons of God?
In other words, as Obama asked in a 2006 speech, do you turn to the Bible of James Dobson or Al Sharpton?
The answer, of course, is: In making the laws that govern our nation, we shouldn’t turn to the Bible at all. We must base our laws on the only sacred text that all Americans worship: the U.S. Constitution.
Good for Barack Obama. It’s about time some Democrat had the guts to challenge religious conservatives. It’s about time some Democrat put church and state in their proper places.
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