Tags: thomas | kidd | obama | secularism

Historian Kidd: Obama Pushes US to Secularism

Saturday, 25 Dec 2010 08:07 PM

By Henry J. Reske and Kathleen Walter

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President Barack Obama has made misstatements that propel speculation he is pushing the United States toward a secular state instead of one founded on religious principles, history professor and author Thomas Kidd tells Newsmax.TV. The impression rises partly from gaffes such as misquoting the Declaration of Independence, Kidd said in the exclusive interview.

Obama recently dropped the word “creator” from the line, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” said Kidd, a history professor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

A month ago, Obama told an audience in Indonesia that the U.S. motto is E. Pluribus Unum (out of many, one), Kidd said, when it is, in fact, “In God We Trust.”

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“This has fueled a concern that many people have that President Obama is at least quietly trying to construe America as a secular nation instead of a nation based on important religious principles like the idea that all men are created equal,” Kidd said. “That principle is, I think, the most important idea that comes out of the American Revolution, and it is an explicitly religious principle, even though it’s a very general religious principle, and I don’t think it’s something that we should give up intentionally or unintentionally.”

He expressed concern that the Obama administration is trying to be too politically correct, at the expense of the nation’s identity.

“There is a potential there for real alienation of many faithful Christians, and I think Jews, too, who may believe that his administration is trying to turn our country away from its traditional commitment to a Judeo-Christian faith,” said Kidd, who is co-director of the Program on Historical Studies of Religion at Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion.

Obama must be careful not to contribute to the mood or give the impression that he is part of a secular activist movement trying to remove religion from the public square, said Kidd, author of “God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution.”

That movement is particularly active at Christmas time, Kidd said.

“Today, there is a strong atheist or at least secularist presence within the left, and I think there is definitely an agenda by some of these far left groups who want to take religion completely out of American life, and that definitely was not the vision of the Founders,” he said.

The Christmas holiday has become highly commercialized and distant from the true meaning of God’s giving his son for human salvation, Kidd said.

“I think again the Founders had a much quieter, less commercial, version of Christmas that in these times can be very appealing,” he said.

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