COLORADO SPRINGS, March 1, 2015 — After criticizing Rudi Giuliani over his comments about President Obama and his love of country—or not—the press turned its attention to the real target, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker. “Is Obama a Christian?” The Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Robert Costa asked him on February 21.
As of this Friday, the Post and other liberal news outlets are still spinning his answer: “I’ve never asked him, so I don’t know,” Walker said. “I’ve never asked him that.”
For the left-leaning press, hoping to draw a gaffe, this was a non-answer. One is reminded of nothing so much as the Pharisees trying to trip up Jesus. “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” “Are you the Son of God?”
Jesus didn’t fall for their traps and often left them speechless.
Today’s liberal press is hardly speechless.
Yet Walker did give the best answer possible. He cannot see into Obama’s heart so he cannot know. Any other answer he gave would have been pure speculation.
Obama has said that he is a Christian, so we must take him at his word. Whether he is or not is ultimately a matter between him and God.
Despite the fact that the reporters were trying to trap Walker, the question is not unimportant and Americans are not sure of he answer.
The most recent Gallup poll to ask the question (2012) found that only 34 percent of Americans considered Obama a Christian, while 11 percent thought he was Muslim and the largest number—44 percent—didn’t know.
A Washington Post poll released earlier this week said that while 45 percent of Democrats believe that Obama is a Christian, 26 percent said they didn’t know and 10 percent think he is a Muslim. This is a favorable audience: only 9 percent of Republicans and 16 percent of Independents in the same poll identified him as Christian.
Why the confusion?
Obama says he’s Christian and attended the Rev. Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, although he denies actually absorbing the content of Wright’s sermons. He was also infamous during the 2008 campaign for calling his opponents “bitter clingers” for clinging to their guns and religion.
President Obama has declared that the United States is no longer a Christian nation.
And he seems unable to blame terrorism on radical Islamists. The recent White House conference on terrorism was opened with an Islamic prayer in Arabic.
No Christian prayer was given. He has a marked deference for all things Islam.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. — Matt.5:16 KJV
Given these public statements and actions, the rational mind might question, if not his profession of faith, then his commitment to it.
But again, why does this matter?
It matters to Americans because 73 percent identify themselves as Christians and a majority of Americans report that religion plays a very important role in their lives, a proportion unique among developed countries. Americans want to know that their elected leaders are Christians in thought, word and deed. It is the ambiguity of the words and deeds that lead to speculation about the thoughts.
Yet Christians are called not to judge and Scott Walker did not judge.
The United States is a Christian nation not because the majority of its citizens profess Christianity, but because it was founded on Christian principles. The basic principle about government is this: Government does not exist to “do good” but rather to restrain evil.
Goodness comes from God alone. People “do good” when they try to follow God’s law; governmentally-imposed restraint is necessary when they do not.
Thus the principle of limited government which restrains little and relies on self-restraint for all else.
For the modern left, however, God is dead and Karl Marx rules. Religion is merely an opiate and government is required to define and enforce good behavior, not just restrain bad behavior. What is good behavior? Without the grounding of immutable God-given law, it’s whatever the majority says it is.
That’s why the Founders gave us a republic and not a democracy. The Constitution protects us not only from the federal government but also from ourselves.
That’s also why it is important to Americans to know the hearts of our leaders.
That neither Scott Walker nor the American people generally are certain of Obama’s heart is a national tragedy. Nobody is uncertain about George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.