Late last week, President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. This was the same meeting where last year Dr. Benjamin Carson, the noted pediatric neurosurgeon, created a bit of a stir with his remarks. This year, Mr. Obama gave a lovely speech with many beautiful words (available here). Mr. Obama touched on a number of subjects. He spoke of his religious background and how faith influences much of his domestic agenda, and of his quest to improve human rights around the world, with a specific emphasis on expanding religious freedom. (Yes, he really said that.) But why hasn’t a reporter from any media outlet ever asked him, “Why don’t you speak out against Islamist terrorists who massacre Christians throughout the Middle East and North Africa?” Kathleen Parker, writing in the Washington Post, observed about Mr. Obama’s remarks, “Without a hint of irony, the president lamented eroding protections of religious liberty around the world. Just not, apparently, in America.” Mr. Obama, however, failed to mention any of the legal challenges to religious liberty between his administration and the Roman Catholic Church and other religious groups. He also did not mention the challenge by private businesses against the contraceptive mandates in Obamacare. Apparently, some in the audience were surprised at the President’s remarks. When asked about the general reaction of the audience, Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, was quoted as saying that the audience appeared “stunned.” Steve Green, president of the Hobby Lobby stores that have challenged the Obamacare contraceptive mandate, also attended. One person sitting at Mr. Green’s table described the experience as “surrealistic.” It appears that no one from the Little Sisters of the Poor attended the breakfast. (I presume that they were much too busy tending to the impoverished elderly to listen to Mr. Obama’s insipid banalities.) The Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor cases clearly demonstrate to me that Mr. Obama seeks to challenge, rather than protect, religious liberty in the United States. Oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby case will be heard by the Supreme Court in March, with a decision expected by June. The Little Sisters of the Poor have been granted a temporary reprieve from compliance with the Obamacare contraception mandate by the Supreme Court.
Some have suggested that Mr. Obama is a facile liar. In thinking about Mr. Obama’s remarks at the prayer breakfast, I was reminded of the recent observation by George Will in the Washington Post:
Barack Obama, the first president shaped by the celebratory culture in which every child who plays soccer gets a trophy and the first whose campaign speeches were his qualification for the office, perhaps should not be blamed for thinking that saying things is tantamount to accomplishing things, and that good intentions are good deeds. So, his presidency is useful after all, because it illustrates the perils of government run by believers in magic words.
(Emphasis in the original.) You can read Mr. Will’s complete article here. Mr. Will does not mention many of Mr. Obama’s magic words, but as a service to my readers, here are a few: “The health care law will not increase the deficit by one dime.”; “If you like the health care plan you have you can keep it. No matter what.”; “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.”; “Obamacare will cost less than your monthly cell phone bill.”; “I didn’t set a red line in Syria”; “I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage.”; “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.”; “We don’t have a domestic spying program.”; “Benghazi violence was caused by an internet video & demonstrations.”; “The IRS never targeted specific groups.”; “I’ve done more for Israel’s security than any President ever.”; “The fence between the United States and Mexico is practically complete.”; “Obamacare fee is not a new tax.”; “We have run out of places in the US to drill for oil.”; Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”; “There are 57 [U.S.] states.”; “Canada has a president.”; Mr. Obama also declared it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to invalidate a law passed by Congress; and I could continue ad nauseum, but I think you might remember some of Mr. Obama’s statements. (Incidentally, were you aware of the massive, four-decade study published in 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences, titled “Persistent cannabis users show neuropsychological decline from childhood to midlife,” which followed more than 1,000 subjects from birth until age 38? What was the researchers’ core finding? Repeated marijuana use by teenagers lowers their IQ – permanently.)
Mr. Obama in his remarks noted without apparent sarcasm, “History shows that nations that uphold the rights of their people — including the freedom of religion — are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful.” Is it any wonder that a majority of Americans no longer find Mr. Obama to be admirable, sincere, honest, or trustworthy? Please continue to pray for Mr. Obama.