After his election as president, Barack Obama announced that he would be sworn in using his full name, Barack “Hussein” Obama. The reason, he explained, was to use this “unique opportunity to reboot America’s image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular.”
It seems rather strange that only a few weeks earlier, using Obama’s middle name was akin to a hate crime. But if that seems strange, consider some of his first acts in office.
On Monday Jan. 26, 2009, his first post-inauguration television interview was with the Al-Arabiya Network, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in which he assured the Muslim world that “the Americans are not your enemy,” and “We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name.” In other words, Obama, speaking for “the Americans,” was saying that we cannot blame all Muslims for what some have done in the name of Islam. But the Islamic religion is based on the Quran, which teaches that Muslims should “slay the idolaters (non-Muslims) wherever ye find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush.” Nobody should hold all Muslims accountable for what some might do, but then again, Islam is not a friendly religion – preaching hatred and violence against anyone not a member of that faith.
Another of Obama’s initial acts in office was his first telephone conversation with a foreign leader, which happened to be radical Fatah leader and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Someone astutely observed that the only difference between President Abbas and those who want to wipe Israel off the map now is that Abbas is willing to wait on a slow death “by a thousand cuts.” Now the Obama administration is working on a letter to Iran aimed at lifting the freeze on U.S.-Iranian relations.
At the same time Obama seeks to placate relations with the Muslim world, his website states, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation and a nation of nonbelievers.”
I recognize that many cultures have influenced America. But those who settled this country and shaped its laws and governments were overwhelmingly Christians, from Christian countries, who believed in Christian values. Obama is like many other secularists who believe that religious freedom is a gift from man. Our forefathers knew that Almighty God was the author of religious freedom and sought to preserve that gift of God by the First Amendment. Perhaps James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution and the original drafter of the First Amendment, said it best in his Memorial and Remonstrance when he stated:
Whilst we assert for ourselves the freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the Religion we believe to be of divine origin [Christianity], we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offense against God, not against man. To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered.
The United States Supreme Court, in the 1892 case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, recognized this as a Christian nation and as late as 1931 and 1946 the United States Supreme Court observed that religious liberty is a gift of God.
As President Harry S. Truman, our 33rd president, said in his Inaugural Address Jan. 20, 1949:
The American people stand firm in the faith which has inspired this Nation from the beginning. … We believe that all men have the right to freedom of thought and expression. We believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God. From this faith we will not be moved.
To state that this is a Muslim nation, a Hindu nation, or a nation of nonbelievers is to deny that God is the grantor of religious freedom. It is also a denigration of the Christian faith to just another religion.
The many conflicts around the globe between the Muslim faith and the Christian faith (Sudan, Lebanon, Crete), between the Muslim faith and the Jewish faith (Gaza, Palestine), between the Muslim faith and the Buddhist faith (Thailand, Afghanistan), between the Muslim faith and the Hindu faith (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and others should send a clear signal to anyone (even the president of the United States) that the Muslim faith recognizes no other god but Allah and will tolerate no other faith but their own.
I thank God that we are not a Muslim nation, but a Christian nation that acknowledges the God Who gives religious freedom to all people according to the dictates of their conscience. That is why Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and non-believers can practice what they choose in America. In a Muslim state, that is not the case.
Frankly, I’m not very interested in “rebooting America’s image.” Our power, prosperity and precious freedom exist because we are and have been a Christian nation that is open to people of all faiths. And as President Truman said, we will not be moved from our faith.
We believe in doing what is right, and taking a strong stand for freedom and against tyranny. If President Barack Hussein Obama believes that, “whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation,” he refutes history, logic and the United States Supreme Court. If he wants to soothe the feelings of al-Qaida by saying that we are “a Muslim nation” he is more naïve and dangerous than I once thought.