Phyllis Schlafly continued her book tour yesterday by speaking with Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, and accused Obama of “trying to wipe God out of our public life” and “wipe Christianity out of our public life.” She also suggested that Obama refuses to discuss his Christian faith, which is not true, and that his campaign is promoting a cult, “When he arrives his followers all stand around and chant ‘You’re the one we’ve been waiting for!’” Obama used the line “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” in a speech, citing a poem by an anti-Apartheid activist. It was not a campaign chant as Schlafly insists, but the falsehoods didn’t end there:
Schlafly: This is so ominous, this is so un-American, you know we’ve had several years Sandy and I’m sure you’ve reported on them where the ACLU and the atheists have been litigating to get rid of crosses, standing to honor our veterans and the Ten Commandments, pictures and monuments, and he just fits right into that, that’s why when he arrives his followers all stand around and chant ‘You’re the one we’ve been waiting for!’ He fits right into that. There are just so many ways that he’s just trying to wipe God out of our public life.
Rios: I’d like to give another illustration, because when I was on radio in Chicago we played this clip over and over again, I don’t have the clip this morning but he has said repeatedly, this always stunned me too Phyllis when he’s made speeches on allegedly to religious freedom or illusions to that topic, he has said repeatedly ‘we are a nation of’ and he gives a whole list, ‘Buddhists and Muslims and non-believers,’ and he always puts Muslims and non-believers right at the top of the list. He emphasizes always non-believers and Christians are just one of a series that he lists. The inference of course is that we are not a Christian nation, we are nation of Buddhists and Muslims and non-believers. That’s what he has said repeatedly and that was a huge red flag to me a very long time ago.
Schlafly: That’s right and over in the Middle East he repeated, ‘we are not a Christian nation.’ While he is trying to wipe Christianity out of our public life, he is giving a pass to the Muslims. He never says anything criticizing that. He says they are a peaceful nation, well I don’t know when I see those pictures of the World Trade towers I don’t think they’re very peaceful.
Of course, Obama was not the first president to say we are not a Christian nation. In fact, the Treaty of Tripoli, which was crafted under George Washington and ratified by John Adams after it was approved unanimously by the Senate, reads: “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,” [Muslims]. And Obama is also not the first President to condemn the argument, made by Schlafly, that radical terrorist groups like Al Qaeda are representative of all of Islam.
As for Rios’ claim that Obama downplays America’s Christian community and “always puts Muslims and non-believers right at the top of the list” in his speeches, that is simply not the case. She is referring to a 2007 speech where Obama said: “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.” Muslim is the third religion mentioned, and nonbelievers are mentioned last. Plus, there is nothing wrong with what Obama said. Indeed, America is not just made up of Christians, but is a nation that includes Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, among various other people of faith. That is simply a statement of fact.