Organizations who oppose religion in public life (including the military) generally dismiss as ‘ludicrous’ the assertions that their goal is to scrub all vestiges of religious expression from government institutions, like the military.
American Atheists recently undermined that defense when they decried President Obama’s use of “God bless you” in his address to school children yesterday. The logic was particularly disturbing because it is the same as some activists who oppose religious associations in the military– Read more
President Barack Obama hosted an iftar at the White House Tuesday night, celebrating the end of Ramadan. Among the guests were Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Navy Chaplain (Lt. Cmdr.) Abuhena Saifulislam, the second Islamic Chaplain in the US Navy, and Elsheba Khan, whose 20-year-old son, Army Spc. Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, was killed in Iraq on 6 August 2007.
Chaplain Saif, a Bangladeshi immigrant, was one of two Chaplains Read more
President Barack Obama delivered the annual American Ramadan message this past week.
Ramadan is the month in which Muslims believe the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, beginning with a simple word – iqra. It is therefore a time when Muslims reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith, and the responsibility that human beings have to one another, and to God.
President Obama recently noted the importance of prayer in his life, saying that he “prays all the time now.” He made the statement in an interview for Nightline.
President Obama says he starts his day with a devotional that the director of his Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships initiative, Pentecostal pastor Joshua DuBois, sends to his BlackBerry each day.
The Commander in Chief also said “I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate and I need guidance all the time.” Like his military subordinates, Obama enjoys the liberties of free exercise guaranteed by the Constitution, as well as the freedom to let his exercise be known.
To date, there have been no significant complaints that Obama’s statements about religion or prayer have unduly influenced or discriminated against his subordinates. (By contrast, some military officers were the subjects of complaints a few years ago for merely mentioning the biographical fact that they were Christians.)
A near firestorm was raised on Monday when Time‘s Amy Sullivan reported (and a variety of sources repeated) that the Obama family had decided that Camp David’s Evergreen Chapel would be its “home church.” The White House staff contradicted the Time article, saying that the Obamas are still looking for a “church home.” The Time contributor is “standing by” her story, saying that the fact that the Obamas are intending to attend the Chapel while at Camp David justifies her report.
More interesting, however, was the intense scrutiny given to the Chaplain currently associated with Camp David. Read more
President Obama recently spoke at the 2009 National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast (though, interestingly, much ado was made of his failure to observe the traditional National Day of Prayer in May). The event was conducted by Esperanza, billed as “the largest Hispanic faith-based Evangelical network in the United States.”
Of particular note, Obama said Read more