Focus on the Family continues with its attack on Barack Obama’s faith and understanding of Christianity, with FOF’s Gary Schneeberger discussing it on Janet Folger’s Faith 2 Action radio program while FOF Vice President Tom Minnery continues his three-part video criticism, claiming that Obama’s interpretation of the Bible is such a “sacrilege” that he “could cry”:
Trobee: Tom, [Obama] says he Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly when it comes to politics and yet, in the next clip, we’ll see what he really thinks about that.
Obama: Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let’s read our bibles. Folks haven’t been reading their bibles.
Minnery: I could cry. I could cry. That’s a gross misunderstanding of Scripture. To compare the dietary laws that pertained to the Israelites with the New Testament, Kingdom of God theme of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount is a grotesque mischaracterization of what we believe as a Christian people today. He is mixing the Levitical law which applied to the Israelites as they were coming out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt at a time when God chose them to be his holy people; he was purifying them, everything he said then applied to them. Jesus opened to everyone the benefit of Heaven. It’s a new era, the New Testament era, and to willingly mix all this up is, to me, a sacrilege.
Trobee: And it doesn’t stop there. Let’s watch this next one …
Minnery: I hate to even think what’s on this next one.
Obama: Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.
Minnery: Well, hello Senator. Isn’t it evident that taking of innocent human life is killing, is murder, whether someone believes in faith or whether someone does not believe in faith? Is this not evident to all? He hides behind what he believes is some false notion of religion and yet those notions of religion underlie much of our Western civilization’s law. For example, thou shalt not murder – that’s a religious concept. It comes in the Old Testament, it was affirmed in the New Testament, and it’s a law. Because it’s religious, should it be erased from law? Of course not. There are good reasons why this religious principle works well in secular, civil law for everybody regardless of whether they buy into the religious origin of that law. Thou shalt not steal is another religious precept that makes a pretty good law for everybody. He’s mixing things up here and I hope he’s mistaken, I hope he’s not willful, but I don’t know.