Religious Right's Claim that Obama is Undercutting Religious Freedom Becomes Even More Pathetic

Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who today is testifying at Rep. Darrell Issa’s male and conservative dominated hearing on whether the “Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience,” earlier appeared on James Dobson’s program Family Talk to claim that “aggressive secularity” is “becoming the established ‘religion’ in our country today.”

After discussing the contraception mandate, Lori went on to claim that gay rights measures are attempts to “force us out of foster care and adoption.” To be clear, no group has been ‘forced out’ of such services, some church-affiliated organizations did not receive taxpayer dollars for such services because they insisted on using taxpayer money while discriminating against gay and lesbian taxpayers. Lori went on to lament that public schools are denigrating Christianity while affirming homosexuality:

Lori: When in a state they’re proposing a same-sex marriage law, they always say to religious people ‘you don’t have to solemnize these marriages so we’re protecting your freedom,’ but they want to force us out of foster care and adoption, they want to force us to provide benefits for same-sex couples. The other thing we should not miss is that when we send our kids off to public schools and a lot of places its being drilled into them that the sexual mores taught by the churches are bad, repressive, that same-sex marriage is OK, that homosexuality is all right. Of course if you look at a Western Civ. course the role of Christianity is always portrayed in a negative light, as an impediment to progress. As I say, there is an established religion, it’s really an un-religion, an aggressive secularity, that’s a system of belief and that’s becoming the established ‘religion’ in our country today.

Dobson also angrily claimed that the Obama administration is trying to use the term “freedom to worship” to replace the freedom of religion:

Dobson: You know that brings tears to my eyes, literally, just the importance of this issue. We’re dealing with things here that can’t be compromised, it’s the freedom of everybody to express their beliefs and not only in private. What bothered me is the Obama administration this last year and Hillary Clinton and others began talking about the ‘freedom to worship.’ No! It’s the freedom of religion!

As we have pointed out over and over again, both Presidents Obama and Bush have used the phrase “freedom to worship,” and President Obama has far more frequently employed the phrase “freedom of religion.”

But if Dobson wants to claim that the mere use of the phrase “freedom to worship” is a sign that Obama seeks to weaken the freedom of religion, then Dobson must not only believe that Bush too wanted to undermine the freedom of religion, but that he himself opposes the freedom of religion. Why? Because Dobson earlier this year claimed “freedom to worship” was a central freedom in the U.S.:

Remember, according to Dobson’s own absurd rule the use of such a phrase is an attack on the freedom of religion, so maybe Dobson should reconsider saying that anyone who speaks about the freedom of worship must therefore want to curtail the freedom of religion.

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