Thursday, August 20, 2009

Obama hopes religious leaders will preach politics from the pulpit

Recently, several of our readers have taken issue with MFC and others for perceived violations of separation of church and state. However, the LA Times reports that President Obama will address more than 1,000 religious leaders to “extend his message to legions of faithful in the pews.” (See article below.)

Clearly, the President is mixing politics and religion by trying to persuade religious leaders to support his political initiatives. In fact, organizers hope the call to provide "fodder for sermons."

Many readers of this blog have strongly objected to any attempt to force moral values on a secular state. Here are just a few examples:

Jesus was a liberal: “You can’t lead a country” with “religion.”

Herb: “Its time for politics to put religion where it belongs in the places of worship and in the private sector. If it does not, then our nation will decay. It is detremental (Herb’s spelling) to the growth of our nation and as a morally structured society. To force one mans Morals onto another is in fact immoral in itself.”

Ex-right-wing: "I believe my religion has nothing to do with politics. I believe that what is good for the over all population has nothing to do with religion."

Jesse: “…clergy being allowed to preach politics from the pulpit would certainly create an environment similar to pre-America church-state hostilities - one of the many reasons the Founding Fathers fled their own government's hostility and created these United States of America.”

Is President Obama mixing politics and religion? Is he trying to force his religious values on a secular state? Is he wrong to do so? What do you think of a religious leader that tells his congregation to support the Presidents health care plan?

Well folks, what say you? (I would especially like to hear what my friend, Pastor Greg Boyd has to say about this.)


LA Times
Obama to preach his healthcare message to religious leaders

The president will address more than 1,000 leaders of different faiths in two conference calls, hoping they will pass on his ideas about the overhaul to their parishioners.

Obama is scheduled to address more than 1,000 religious figures in two conference calls, allowing him to extend his message to legions of faithful in the pews.First up is a "High Holy Day" call this morning with rabbis from Judaism's Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements. Organizers hope the call will provide fodder for synagogue sermons when the Jewish holidays arrive next month.

Read more…


Andrea said...

Pastors have freedom of speech and, as such, should be able to preach whatever they wish to preach. It is not a matter of separation of church and state. It is a freedom that is granted to everyone, regardless their career or influential position.

If you want to take away their freedom of speech because they wield much influence, we should mute government officials.

Jesus was a liberal said...

I stand by my statement you can't lead a country with religion. You can be religious, you can have religion, but to be in a religious state has shown by thousands of years worth of history that it does not work.

The problem is that you want YOUR version of religion to be law. That is the same as any country in the middle east. We see its not working there.

Minnesota Family Council said...

"Jesus..." thank you for responding. It seems the others are dodging the question. However, it seems that Obama is forcing his view of religion on the entire nation.

Isn't Obama violating separation of church and state by lobbying religious leaders to endorse his political legislation?

Jesus was a liberal said...

Bush making law such as no stem cell research is cross of line for church and state.

Obama saying to people use your freedom of speach in the way it is suppose to be used, and promote all thinking. he was not saying you, over there, one person, go tell everyone what you think and that they must do exactly what you one person think.

To tell all preachers, which include the ones you disagree with, the ones that you say invoke God's name with no good, and are wrong, as well as what you personally think, preachers of Abrahamic religions
Bahá'í Faith
Rastafari movement
Mandaeans and Sabians
Unitarian Universalism
Indian religions
Persian religions
African diasporic religions
Indigenous traditional religions
Cargo cults
Historical polytheism
Ancient Near Eastern
New Age, Esotericism, Mysticism
Left-Hand Path
New religious movements

And any others I have missed.

To make law based on religon and to force thought on religion is cross of church and state, all else if freedom of speech.

Minnesota Family Council said...

"jesus," it's ok to say Obama was wrong. Putting you faith in politicians is not the answer as they will always let you down.

I am certain you are troubled by Obama's mixing of politics and religion.

"Elaine," legislation motivated by faith regarding stem cells is wrong, but health care is right? This is another double standard.

Elaine said...

Having the CHOICE of health care is right. there is no religious backing to it at all, there is no reasoning on religon to have or have not health care.

People die in this country without health care. Living breathing souls walking about the earth.

Stem cell research laws were based on opinion of religon.

Very very very different.

Health care has nothing to do with religion.

ex-right-wing said...

I still believe my Religion hs nothing to do with Politics. That hasn't changed.

The only thing I have against what Obama is doing with the thought of reaching out to all religion is that he is trying to hard to be nice to everyone.

He is reaching out though to all Faith, that would include those without any Faith. (believe it or not there are organized non Faith groups too)

The last time I looked a Church was not a private club. Anyone can walk into one and anyone can say what they want in one. If you are starting to not allow non believers into your church then I have a huge issue since churches get tax breaks and are exempt, if its a private club I better be getting my invitation soon in the mail since I PAY FOR YOUR FREEDOM TO HAVE YOUR CHURCH ME PERSONALLY.

Herb said...

Speaking about one faith and or speaking to people of faith about their faith is not about speration of church and state.

Making laws that reflect only your own morality is what the seperation of church and state is about.

About forcing one's views onto someone elses.

and you can resort to name calling and making fun of spelling all you want.

I still stand my ground.

I don't love every word, every action that comes out of our president. And its allowed.

When we did the same against Bush we were call un patriotic, and satan worshipers.

So get real already.

Obama is not pushing his faith on anyone.

Bush did though. And look at how much trouble our country got into because of the faith pushing agenda he had.

We got into trouble because church and state was not seperate.

Its now time to do for our own people, give them health care. For millions die without it.

if not then Thats as worse as the natzis in my opinion. Who by the way viewed themselves as christains.

Andrea said...

It is not crossing the line for faith to impact our government, as faith is really the people and what they value. And our government is of and for the people.

Herb "Making laws that reflect only your own morality is what the seperation of church and state is about." NO, that is not what separation of church and state is about. Separation of church and state is the government is not allowed to dictate religion to us and force a state faith. Not the other way around.

Sharon said...

IF a minister starts talking about his opinion on healthcare, who to vote for, etc. I am out of there. I hear this stuff all week long from TV. radio, newspapers and people. That is not what I would be going to church for.
Others have told me their church does not talk about who to vote for but passes out info regarding the voting records regarding abortion. Where are the voting records about taking care of the sick? Where are the voting records about education? Etc.
I go to church to hear about God, to be uplifted and given hope. I want my church to work on helping the illiterate, the poverty stricken, the ill, etc. We need to go back to the way it was when I was child. If that would happen I would actually go back to church !