Barack Obama took it upon himself to preach his version of Christianity at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. An excerpt:
Now, this is the 93rd time Americans have gathered by the White House to light the National Christmas Tree. And as always, this tree is not alone -– all across America, in living rooms, and offices, churches, and town squares, families and neighbors are gathering to decorate trees of their own and get into the holiday spirit. It’s a chance to come together and to focus on what really matters –- the simple gifts of family and friends. The wonder and hope in a child’s eye. And, of course, the spirit of giving and compassion that can help all of us find new meaning in the world around us.
That’s the message of the child whose birth families like mine celebrate on Christmas–a prince born in a stable who taught us that we should love our neighbors as ourselves; and that we are our brothers’ keeper and our sisters’ keepers; that we should feed the hungry, visit the sick, welcome the stranger. These are the lessons of Jesus Christ. But they’re also the bedrock values of all faiths –- values to be cherished and embraced not only during the holidays, but to be practiced in our daily lives.
So according to Obama, Jesus is just a teacher and not even a unique one. Obama’s effort to convince us that all faiths hold these values requires him to also deny that ISIS is Islamic, never deal with the violence of Mohammad, and deny that Christians are being wiped out by a virulent strain of Islam.
Herod was honest enough to feel threatened by the “prince born in a stable.” He tried to kill him because he didn’t want him to be king. Obama tries to neutralize him by portraying him as simply the teacher of the same values as all other religions.
The Presidents “faith” reminds me of what the atheist H. L Mencken wrote about “Modernism”–essentially the same as Barack Obama’s Liberalism. In writing of conservative and orthodox Christian, J. Gresham Machen’s conflict with modernists, he said:
It is my belief, as a friendly neutral in all such high and ghostly matters, that the body of doctrine known as Modernism is completely incompatible, not only with anything rationally describable as Christianity, but also with anything deserving to pass as religion in general. Religion, if it is to retain any genuine significance, can never be reduced to a series of sweet attitudes, possible to anyone not actually in jail for felony. It is, on the contrary, a corpus of powerful and profound convictions, many of them not open to logical analysis. Its inherent improbabilities are not sources of weakness to it, but of strength. It is potent in a man in proportion as he is willing to reject all overt evidences, and accept its fundamental postulates, however unprovable they may be by secular means, as massive and incontrovertible facts.
These postulates, at least in the Western world, have been challenged in recent years on many grounds, and in consequence there has been a considerable decline in religious belief. There was a time, two or three centuries ago, when the overwhelming majority of educated men were believers, but that is apparently true no longer. Indeed, it is my impression that at least two-thirds of them are now frank skeptics. But it is one thing to reject religion altogether, and quite another thing to try to save it by pumping out of it all its essential substance, leaving it in the equivocal position of a sort of pseudo-science, comparable to graphology, “education,” or osteopathy.
I would dispute Mencken’s claim that one has to “reject all overt evidences,” but I think he pretty well described what happens when you reject the claims of Christ and instead present him as a teacher of United Nations cliches.