Thursday, February 07, 2013

Obama at the Prayer Breakfast

by Edd Doerr

On Feb 7 President Obama spoke at the annual prayer breakfast. Church-state separationists generally take a dim view of this affair, but since its start some 60 years ago presidents seem to be stuck with it. For Obama to decline to participate would create headaches he does not need.

For the most part his remarks were standard boilerplate, but at least  he did include this: "All Americans -- whether religious or secular -- have a deep and abiding faith in this nation".

And, having referred to our diversity, he concluded: "All Americans -- men and women of different faiths and, yes, those of no faith that they can name -- are, nevertheless, joined together in common purpose, believing in something that is bigger than ourselves, and the ideals that lie at the heart of our nation's founding -- that as a people we are bound together."

Need I add that our nation's founders -- men like Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and Paine -- were Enlightenment deists, or, as Leo Pfeffer put it in his 1958 book Creeds in Competition, "secular humanists".

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