“Say it loud, I am black and proud, Come on Say it loud I am black and proud , I am black and proud.” -James Brown.
Honestly, I was convinced that those lyrics once luminously preformed by the “God Father of Soul “ James Brown , that articulated a since of self-respect within the African American community during the middle of the 20th century , was going to have to be the rally cry of the 44th President of the United States of America, Mr. Barack Obama However , rather than having to preserve his blackness, he has been on consist defense of his religious conviction and practice. This is a issue that has caused my mind to dwell in a sea of disarray. I can only content that Americans have become apprehensive, when it concerns the religious values of their president due to misguided perceptions of the past and recent traumatic current events that has agitated our nation at its core.
Recently I was scanning several blogs and messages boards across the and discovered that many internet using Americans have a very misguided perception when it comes the past religious ideology of our country and it’s leaders. Americans are conceived that the American political environment and reality has been and should continue to be, divinely ordained. Scholar Robert Bellah agrued that Americans have embraced a customary civil religion with certain fundamental beliefs, values, holidays, and rituals, parallel to, or independent of, their chosen religion.  Bellah also stated that some have argued that Christianity is the national faith however few have realized that there actually exists alongside and the churches an elaborate and well-institutionalized civil religion in America.  Civil Religion is a reality that many people ascribed to in American society. This commitment to God and country is a mindset of many Americans . More than two weeks ago on my personal twitter page I decided to send ten of my followers this question , “Where the American Fathers and establisher of our country Christian”? Seven out of the ten said yes , and that we should get back to those Christian ways of the past. As an ordained preacher I think that is great that people feel that our country should develop a better moral mindset. However as someone who has received a little education, I understand that this is not the way of the past. The reality that I have become aware of through several lectures and research projects is that the religious environment of the people who helped shaped this nation was very diverse in it’s nature. It is unfair for people to claim that our founding fathers where only Christian, when some where Deist and Atheist. Moreover, please do not forget how the people who shaped this nation pushed the Natives of this land to the margins and abused another group people into forced labor. My question is what is actually Christian about of any of those previous statements that I have made describing this history of our nation? So many of us Americans are convinced that every important leader in our past was a born again Christian. We have to move from this misguided reality that depicts every leader of the past as a great practicing Christian. The apprehensive nature of our nation when it concerns the religious values of their president due to misguided perception of the past and past leaders.
Not only does the misguided perception past have our country sitting on edge are the current events have many questioning if the President is Christian. In this post 9/11 society, if a individual shows themselves to be pro Conservative American then he is pro Christian and if that same individual shows he is anti Liberal American then that person is either radically Muslim or non Christian. Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright who was the pastor of President Obama preached a sermon that dammed America for it’s constantly unethical treatment of people of color in 2008. After this many questioned the Christian reality of President Obama and Dr. Wright. “Post-Wright, Obama labored to create a public religious persona of conventionality, as his handlers struck back against birtherism and Manchurian candidate smears.”[ 3] Also recently, apparently President Obama, omitted the words "endowed by their Creator" when quoting the Declaration of Independence. This is somehow evidence according to the “conservative right” the President Obama is either a godless liberal or an anti-American one, or both.[4 ]Now rumors about President Obama being Muslim are dominating blogs and news websites. The Muslim rumors are not about some kind of honest confusion, but rather, an attempt by his opponents to capitalize on the post-9/11 suspicion of Muslims that has recently manifested itself in the controversy over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.”[ 5] A Time Magazine new poll showed that nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, believe Obama is Muslim. That was up from 11 percent who said so in March 2009. The survey also showed that just 34 percent said Obama is Christian, down from 48 percent who said so last year.[6 ]
It should not matter if Obama is Christian or not . I will tell you what should matter, and that is can he fix the unemployment rate that is at 10% or the economy that needs heavy CPR. Christian or not , Mr. President just fix the real problems. Remember Mr. President that Abraham Lincoln was accused of being a Catholic, and Franklin Roosevelt of being Jewish. Therefore ,your accusers are placing you in the same basket with two of America’s greatest presidents. Get the job Mr. President done time is running out.
2. Bellah, Robert Neelly; University of Chicago Press (August 15, 1992). The Broken Covenant: American Civil Religion in Time of Trial. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press
3.http://www.alarabiya.net/views/2010/09/14/119237.html*Published in the London-based AL-HAYAT on Sept. 13, 2010.