The idea of the divine right of monarchs is as alien to the American people as bull fighting, police caning and high tea. The last four years have witnessed President Barack Obama’s radical extension of his imperious control over the American people in direct violation of the Constitution, to an extent that would make any seventeenth-century monarch proud. The following interview with Phyllis Schlafly promises to explain the Obama administration’s Fatwa on Christianity and religious liberty in great detail.
The following has been excerpted from an interview with leading nationally syndicated columnist and radio commentator Phyllis Schlafly on her new book NO HIGHER POWER: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.
WALLS OF SEPARATION: Is there a difference between religious liberty and religious worship?
The president is trying to limit what the First Amendment means. He says he is in favor of freedom of worship. What that means is that you can go into a church and say a prayer. This is far different from religious liberty, especially for Christians, which means speaking about religion in public. The American people have always been very public with their religious beliefs—we express them in the Pledge of Allegiance—one nation under God. We have it in the Star-Spangled Banner and it is in our national motto—In God we trust.
Obama is trying to confine religious practice to within the four walls of our churches. He has done his best to limit the scope and range of religious practice so that it will become something you can only do in a church. Should a second-grader be prevented from singing Christmas carols or songs like God Bless America?
Look at his approach to our military. When families visited their wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. they were not allowed to bring a Bible with them. This was so outrageous that Representative Steve King of Iowa protested on the floor of the House and got the regulation overturned. The idea that an American executive would even consider this is appalling. At military funerals the chaplains have been instructed they cannot mention the name of Jesus.
JUDICIAL BIAS: How important are his judges to our religious liberty?
The bias against Christianity runs deep in the Obama administration. His appointments of judges are harmful to our religious freedom. Take the case of federal judge David Hamilton, whom Obama promoted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He developed his philosophy while with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). His bias against religion is legendary. He banned the Indiana State House from using the name of Jesus Christ in invocations. But to invoke “Allah” was all right with him. Obama says that it is because Islam is a peaceful religion. Weren’t Muslims the ones who crashed into the Twin Towers in 2001? That doesn’t sound very peaceful to me.
A FIREMAN’S PRAYER: What do you mean by your term coercive secularism?
I think that Obama is trying to turn us into a secular society where no one can talk about religion in public. I don’t know what is in his heart or what his personal relationship with God may be, so I can only judge him by his actions and his words. When he recites the Declaration of Independence, he often omits the word Creator. This is not a glitch on his teleprompter, because he does it repeatedly. When he issued his Thanksgiving Proclamation, it was never clear whom he was thanking. But it is clear it’s not God he was thanking! Many former presidents, even those I have not liked, always acknowledged God as the highest power.
The case that burns me the most involves a small firehouse in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The firemen had a cross, dating back to 1921, that was on a World War I monument on a city property parking lot. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national atheist group, filed suit to have it removed. They also objected to a beautiful short prayer that the firemen had on their website. Let me read you this powerful poem:
The Firefighter’s Prayer
When I am called to duty, God, whatever flame may rage, Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child, before it is too late,
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling, and to give the best in me, To guard my every neighbor, and protect his property.
And if according to my fate, I am to lose my life,
Please bless with your protecting hand my children
And my wife.
OBAMA’S HIGHER POWER: How will Obama’s health care bill affect religious institutions?
Most religions maintain other institutions—schools, colleges, hospitals and charitable organizations. They provide outreaches of all kinds to many people, not just members of their own faith. As for the controversial mandate in ObamaCare, it requires all employers to provide health insurance for all their employees that includes coverage for contraceptives, abortifacients, sterilizations and other procedures, which are contrary to the beliefs of many religions. Why should religious institutions have to pay for things that violate their teachings? Obama’s Higher Power is not God but the Federal Government.
If employers do not obey the mandate they will be hit with tremendous penalties of $2,000 per employee, per year. You can just imagine how devastating this will be to religious medical institutions. Consider how many employees the network of Catholic hospitals has and you can see how this could drive them out of existence. In its wake this will leave many people without access to any health care services.
The attack on religious education is another example of Obama’s unwavering determination to make this a secular country. Catholic schools hire many people who are not Catholic. Take Georgetown, a Catholic university in Washington, D.C. Obama made them cover up the monogram IHS—symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama was to speak.
It is not just the Catholic schools. Look at the Supreme Court case called Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The fact that government lawyers were telling a religious school whom they could hire was so outrageous that the Court voted 9-0 for the school. Do you know how hard it is to a get a unanimous vote before the Supreme Court?
THE NAKED PUBLIC SQUARE: Does this make the Government the final arbiter of what’s acceptable for religious bodies?
That is why I wrote this book. There are a lot of books that discuss Obama’s socialist background but none has treated in depth his abuse of religious freedom. Obama is trying to rid the nation of all forms of religious expression in the public square.
This has been going on for many years in the courts because of litigation by the ACLU and atheist organizations, which have been trying to eliminate all mention of God, like from our motto In God we trust. They have been after the Pledge of Allegiance for many years. They have been successful in removing the 10 Commandments from monuments and posters in public schools. In California two huge crosses that honor our military dead have been in litigation for 10 years.
I am convinced his goal is to eliminate public religious displays from American life. Virtually all our presidents from George Washington on proclaimed that we thank God for His many blessings. Not Obama! He cancelled the White House observance of the National Day of Prayer that has been supported by presidents of both parties.
A CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION: Has President Obama violated his constitutional duty with regard to the Defense of Marriage Act?
DOMA was passed in 1990 with an overwhelming majority and signed into law by Bill Clinton. It is clear that Obama is determined to change this traditional definition of marriage. He has ordered his Justice Department not to defend the Act in the courts while the Democrats try to repeal it.
This is a violation of his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws of the land. If DOMA is knocked out, we will lose the benefit of the constitutional amendments or laws in 44 states that support traditional marriage only between a man and a woman.
With the military he has a captive audience. They have been required to allow same-sex marriages to be performed on military bases. This is a violation of DOMA. Obama’s philosophy is so in tune with the anti-marriage milieu which the ACLU and atheist organizations had created, that his crowds chanted He’s the one we’ve been waiting for.
THE POWER OF WORDS: How does the Obama administration define the term social justice?
The left is very clever at changing the meaning of words. Just look what they did to the word liberal, which used to be a good word. Now it is synonymous with big government and no politician wants to be called a liberal.
Social justice also used to have a good meaning but that has been changed by Obama’s good friend from Chicago, Bill Ayers, who has been very prominent in education since he stopped bombing buildings like the Pentagon. Ayers teaches the philosophy of Chicago radical atheist Saul Alinsky at the University of Illinois-Chicago.
It was Alinsky’s 1971 book, Rules for Radicals, that served for many years as the “bible” for community organizers, especially our President. Incidentally, did you know that Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer, the world’s first radical?
A BRAVE NEW WORLD: Where is all this leading?
You have to look at socialized Europe to see what our future may be. Europe has practically abolished all public forms and displays of religion. You can go into one of the large European cathedrals and still see some people praying and a few attending religious service, but for the most part churches are just attractions for tourists.
Ayers and others have so corrupted social justice that many of our school children now learn that their country is unjust, racist and discriminatory. And didn’t Obama tell Joe the Plumber that he should share his wealth with the poor, who are victims of an unjust society?
This is not what America is about. We should be teaching how exceptional and good our country has been. We have provided more freedom, opportunity and prosperity to the world than any other country in history. Bill Bennett gave me a great test of a nation’s goodness. When you open the gates, do the people come in or do they go out?
We must maintain our country or suffer the fate of the Europeans who have surrendered their liberty and religion and adopted socialism and dependency.
Excerpts from NO HIGHER POWER:
Religion: Obama is a secularist ideologue first and a Christian second, if at all. (Pg. 5)
*** His toxic admixture of socialism and secularism—an ideology that he learned from his family, radical professors, his chosen pastor and Saul Alinsky, among others— explains his habitual violations of the American people’s God-given freedoms and portends the even grimmer violation yet to come. (Pg. 6)
*** The administration takes the view that contraception and abortifacients are morally good, and that the state is perfectly justified in mandating such moral goods. (Pg. 13)
Character: On one level,Obama appears like a harmless, if glib and empty pol, who careens from focus group to pollster as he stumbles toward a second term. On another level, buried deep within his curious and amorphous personality, he is a man of perverse tenacity, a convinced socialist and secularist who was trained long ago to run the ball into the end zone for radicalism. (Pg. 18)
Hope and Change: Saul Alinsky’s worldview was that the United States is an oppressive and racist society where most people (the ‘Have-Nots’) are the victims of economic injustice with a future of despair. He wanted a radical change of America’s social and economic structure, and he planned to achieve that through creating public discontent and moral confusion. (Pg. 63)
Islam: Obama’s absurd Islamophilia has worsened America’s relationship with Israel. Obama is forever condemning Israel for this or that act of “brutality” even as he calls Islam a religion of peace. (Pg. 104)
*** Obama seems to see himself as the cosmopolitan dilettante who stands above all religions and judges their ‘rationality’ by their usefulness to the socialist utopia to come. Islam is a flawless religion by his lights, while Christianity, unless it assumes the platform of the Democratic Party and sees Jesus Christ as a forerunner to Saul Alinsky, is dangerously bigoted and an impediment to ‘progress’. (Pg. 106)
Liberal Elite: In May 2012, Newsweek ran a cover photo of Barack Obama, crowned with a halo. ‘The First Gay President,’ beamed the headline below the photo. The smugness and delusion of the liberal elite had reached new heights with their magazine cover. A boast the Founding Fathers would have considered a baffling insult was welcomed by the White House as proof of Obama’s rectitude. (Pg. 109)
*** Obama’s supposed respect for the integrity of religious ‘sacraments’ isn’t worth taking seriously. Under the nanny state, nothing remains private for long. (Pg. 116)
Social Justice: Left-wing educators have redefined the term to mean teaching for social justice by overthrowing the current money and power structure. Education Week identifies this new meaning of ‘social justice’ as coming from the writings of the late British educator Paulo Freire. His best-known book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1970), is considered a classic text of radical education theory and is regularly assigned in education schools. (Pg. 132)
*** Social justice is the secular substitute for Christian morality and ethics and will be used in a second Obama term to further the advance of the state against free markets and the free exercise of religion. (Pg. 138)
Government Rights: The Ninth Circuit court said that since the government has put limits on parents’ rights by requiring school attendance, therefore, the school can tell the students whatever it wants about sex, guns, the military, gay marriage, and the origins of life. (Pg. 145) *** The evolving Constitution takes sex education away from parents and puts it within the state’s authority as ‘parens patriae’ or ‘the country as parent.’ (Pg. 146)
Judges: Obama has said that his judicial appointments must possess ‘empathy,’ but the religious receive no such ‘empathy’ under his judicial supremacists. His judges only reserve empathy for the opponents of Judeo-Christian religious expression. (Pg. 152)
Supreme Court: In a 2001 interview that surfaced during the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said the Supreme Court under Justice Earl Warren had failed to break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. (Pg. 156)
*** Obama measures progress not by adherence to the Constitution but by infidelity to it. (Pg. 156)
ObamaCare: Health Care Czar Donald Berwick, who has ‘life-and-death power’ over Medicare and Medicaid recipients, is ‘arguably the most shocking of all Obama’s appointments.’ (Pg. 162)
*** Berwick admits that redistributing health care means rationing health care, which is why he has been called a ‘one-man death panel.’ He admitted the decision is not whether or not we will ration care—the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. (Pg. 163)