The title of today’s Wallbuilders Live radio broadcast, brought to you courtesy of Religious Right “historian” David Barton, was “Why is Obama Trying to Remove God From the United States?”
Barton, whose Christian-nation version of U.S. history is promoted by right-wingers including Glenn Beck and Rep. Michele Bachmann, has attacked Obama’s Christian faith before. Today, Barton and co-host Rick Green were joined by Rep. Randy Forbes to complain about the president’s insufficient godliness.
Forbes has complained about a speech President Obama gave in Indonesia in November, in which Obama said,
“But I believe that the history of both America and Indonesia should give us hope. It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum – out of many one…our nations show that hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag.”
Forbes and his colleagues in the congressional prayer caucus saw that sentiment as threatening rather than inspiring. The caucus sent a letter to President Obama in December complaining that he had repeatedly referred to Americans having “inalienable rights” without mentioning God as their source; that he had told Indonesians that the American motto was E Pluribus Unum rather than the official “In God We Trust,” and that he had referred to our country as being united under one flag without mentioning that the Pledge of Allegiance includes the phrase “under God.”
Forbes once gave a speech on the House floor attacking President Obama for supposedly saying in Turkey that the U.S. was not a Judeo-Christian nation. (In fact, Obama had said that one of America’s strengths is that “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”)
Barton sees conspiracy afoot, saying that this is no dumb mistake but a “deliberate intent” to leave God out of traditional acknowledgments in order to try to get Americans to forget that devotion to God is a defining characteristic of the U.S.
“The President is trying to communicate a worldview that is devoid of God because that’s his worldview. That’s where he is.”
Barton even suggested darkly that Obama is violating his oath to uphold the Constitution when he cites the Declaration of Independence without mentioning the Creator.
Barton and Green lavished praise on Rep. Forbes and celebrated the fact that the new Congress will have more people like him. Said Barton, “that’s the cool thing about this last election. We sent a bunch of people to Congress who think like we do.”
Forbes predicted that the size of his prayer caucus could double. And he said that “one of the first items” that will come up in the Judiciary Committee would be a resolution affirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto. Then, he said, they will encourage state legislatures to pass similar resolutions so that “we can look these liberal judges in the eye, we can look some of these editorial board writers in the eye and say ‘wait a minute, America hasn’t changed. We still have this as our national motto.’”