"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports .
… Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
- George Washington
According to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press 10 percent of Americans still believe Obama is a Muslim. Seven percent of Democrats believe it. And nearly 20 percent of evangelicals do.
That is how people across the country responded to the question, "Do you happen to know what Barack Obama's religion is? Is he Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic or something else?"
What I find fascinating is that the same study showed only 55 percent of Democrats knew or believed Obama was a Christian, even after nearly two years on the political trail for president spouting his views and beliefs on everything under the sun.
Moreover, 35 percent of all of those polled have no clue as to what religion the president adheres. That's one-third of the nation he leads. One in three people don't have any idea of his religious convictions. Should the percentage be that high? Religion might be a private choice, but should it be a secret one too, even for a leader?
While those stats say something about Obama's neutrality and respect for representing our nation's religious melting pot, they also say something about the politically correct climate across our land, in which people are afraid to stand up for their convictions so as not to be branded as intolerant or bigots. We have become a nation that fears opinion. Even Holy Week, once celebrated in the corridors of the Capitol, is now a clandestine commemoration full of holy hesitations.
I believe there are two extremes we must avoid in America regarding our religious convictions. On the one hand, we must avoid being fearful or so ambiguous about our beliefs that few, if any, know where we stand. On the other hand, we must avoid being so contentious about our beliefs that we stampede others. Even if we vehemently disagree with others, we must respect one another's views and rights to believe as we choose. That is one thing that has made our nation unique from its inception.
One thing is certain. About this, we can have no doubt. America's founders built this nation upon religious freedom. They valued denominational pluralism. They were unified in their diversity. They all believed in a Creator. And they were almost all vocal about their Christian beliefs. And we should be as well, especially during this week.