Privatization of Religion and Hatred of Neighbor
As the report states, the Obama’s have attended an ecclesial community only three times in the past year, but his “Christianity” remains an important part of his personal life. Rev. Jim Wallis, the president’s spiritual adviser assures us that “incessant media attention” is a distraction for the president because it exposes “what is traditionally a private practice” to public scrutiny.
Obama's privatized Christianity mirrors most Americans who consider religion a merely private thing, not proper dinner conversation, and certainly not an appropriate thing to influence one’s public life.
True Christianity, however, incurs responsibility and duty in the public realm because Christ not only commanded us to love God, but also to love our neighbor. There is no way to privately love one's neighbor. Love of neighbor is by nature a public act, and a Christianity without this public act is a mere shadow of what Our Blessed Lord established.
However, Obama's private faith does not include this public act. For this reason Obama can read his daily meditation every morning, and then continue his day by promoting the daily wanton destruction of thousands of innocent unborn babies. There is an obvious disconnect between what he claims to believe, and the ethical obligations of the same belief system. The privatization of religion is a convenient method of denying the very public obligations one has on account of his religion. Obama's private religion is a religion without obligation, and a religion without love of neighbor.
Indifferentism and Tyranny
Our president tells us:
My Faith and Neighborhood Initiatives director, Joshua DuBois, he has a devotional that he sends to me on my BlackBerry every day. That's how I start my morning. You know, he's got a passage, Scripture, in some cases quotes from other faiths to reflect on.
The degree of Obama’s syncretism is unclear. Perhaps he’s just saying this to sound politically correct. However, in saying this he gives the impression that all religions are equal as far as his private practice is concerned. This is not a Christian doctrine, wherein our Blessed Lord states rather emphatically that He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, and that those who attempt heaven by some other means are robbers and thieves.
We are told that the Obamas are struggling to find a church home in Washington, D.C., and that aides and family friends have spent months visiting various local churches, but apparently to no avail. While church shopping is something common to most evangelical Protestants, it helps to highlight the president’s indifferentism. The choice of religious practice is based solely on personal preference, not doctrine.
While it is true that President George W. Bush did not officially join any ecclesial community in Washington, D.C., he did not, on the other hand, shop around for a religious belief. The Obamas, however, give the impression that they believe nothing specific and ask nothing specific from any given ecclesial community. This further highlights the indifferentism and privatization of religion in the mind of our president.
Religious people, no matter their faith, will find this president and his administration out of touch with them. This president uses a different religious language and sees the world through a near agnostic Weltanschauung. On the surface Obama’s religious philosophy seems libertarian, but once religious people attempt to practice their religion publicly, especially in the realm of public policy, then Obama’s libertarian veneer will shatter revealing a tyrannical anti-religious core.
It will be especially difficult for Christians living in this post-Christian world. The visage religious liberals like Obama have of the “old ways”, the moral dictates of the Protestantism of preceding generations, and the “pietism” of traditionalism, is one of private disdain and often open ridicule. These religious practices are absolutist by nature, insisting on degrees of perfection and an absolute Truth. As such, traditionalism challenges the relativism of syncretism.
However, there is no tolerance for absolutism among liberals, and this will translate in practice to no tolerance for traditionalists. The days are quickly approaching when we could return to the very public tyranny of a private agnosticism, the likes of which haven't been seen since the mid-twentieth century.