Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – A leading Christian historian told WND he believes President Obama is engaged in a pattern of “willfully, deliberately” repudiating America’s Christian heritage.
“The first time or two I thought, ‘Well, he’s flustered, he wasn’t thinking.’ But seven times? There’s no way. Especially when he was called on it,” Barton said. “Congressmen sent him a letter challenging him on it. There’s no way it’s matter of ignorance or slip or excuse at that point. I believe it’s by design and by intent.
“I gave him the benefit of the doubt a few times, I waited,” Barton continued, “but there’s no way in a court of law that would not be seen as willful, deliberate intent.”
Barton, head of Wallbuilders, an organization dedicated to presenting America’s moral, religious and constitutional foundations, said unlike previous presidents – notably Founders like Washington and Adams – who publicly proclaimed God’s hand in America, Obama has been going out of his way to not acknowledge the Almighty.
“You remember when he spoke at Georgetown, he had them cover the Christian symbols [behind him on the stage]?” Barton asked. “There’s a pattern. When he misstates the national motto, it’s not just the Declaration omission of ‘their Creator.’ When he became president, one of the first things that happened on the White House website was they took off the faith-based office. That kind of reaction is circumstantial, but in a court of law it would convict him.”
The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
But when Obama omits “by their Creator,” Barton explained, it reflects a fundamental shift in political thought, away from the Founders’ vision of a government protecting God-given rights toward a nation creating government-given rights.
The difference, Barton told WND, is critical:
“Congress says, ‘Hey, we gave you a right to health care.’ No, no, no. If you gave a right, you can take away a right,” Barton said. “That specific clause out of the Declaration, how the Founders did it, if you do not have that philosophy you will never have a limited government. Because limited government is not based on the size of the government or even the amount it spends, it’s based on the jurisdiction it gets into. And if you let government start being the determiner of rights, then it can restrict or violate rights, do anything it wants, as we’ve seen all over Europe.”
U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes of Virginia, one of 42 bipartisan members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, had expressed a similar sentiment:
“These omissions and inaccuracies are a part of a larger pattern we are seeing with the president where he is inaccurately reflecting America and undercutting important parts of our nation’s history,” said Forbes. “Trust in God is embedded in the fabric of society and history in the United States.
“If we allow these threads to be pulled, we will begin to unravel the very freedoms that birthed America,” he said.
When WND’s correspondent at the White House, Les Kinsolving, last year raised the question about Obama’s omission of “their Creator” in his speeches, then-Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I haven’t seen the comments, Lester, but I can assure you the president believes in the Declaration of Independence.”
One of the incidents is on tape, with Obama’s omission appearing shortly past the 22-minute mark:
Other speeches, with references to “their Creator” missing, followed.