Thursday, September 6, 2012

President Obama: The Secularist

Secularism is the principle of separation between government and religious institutions.  Secularism may assert the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, and the right to freedom from governmental imposition of religion upon the people within a state that is neutral on matters of belief.
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional institutions and supports, at most, minimal and gradual change in society. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative.
Definitions of Secularism and Conservatism, from Wikipedia and other sources
September 5, 2012 -  Democrats and President Obama are proponents of a secular society – a society in which people can do what they want to do without interference by religious elements or by traditional societal values.  
In such a society,  government, not religion,  speaks for and guides  the people,  religious values are circumvented or ignored,   abortion  and free contraceptives are available to all women,  same  sex marriage is welcomed,   traditional relationships go by the wayside, and government remains neutral on matters of belief.   In a secular society,  one is free to do what one wants to do – free of government and religious restraints and free of past principles fostered by such institutions as the Constitution. 
Almost anything goes.  Almost anything is tolerated. Indeed, universal tolerance is promoted.  Everybody is equal, but some like the government ruling party officials,  are more equal than others. It is free-wheeling and free-thinking and always pointed "forward."
At yesterday’s Democratic platform,   secularism versus conservatism had a defining moment.   Democrats  had omitted the words “Jerusalem” and “God” from its party platform.   Two diehard Democratic constituencies -  Jews and Blacks – objected.  The Jews felt Israel had been thrown under the bus;  some Blacks thought  that their belief in God and church and traditional marriage has been trampled upon.
President Obama intervened and said the two words should be placed back into the platform.   This  required an amendment, which delegates had to approve.  A voice vote from the podium ensued, and the chair asked for three voice votes for a 2/3 approval from the floor.   The decibel level of the “yeas” and “nays” was roughly equal  so peremptorily  the chair ruled that a 2/3 majority had been achieved.
President Clinton followed with a well-received speech saying President Obama deserved 4 more years to dig out of the horrendous hole he had been placed. To hear Clinton speak is to remind oneself of the difference circumstances facing Clinton and Obama during their presidencies.  Clinton inherited a prosperous economy and low unemployment.  The Cold War had ended, and the Internet economy was starting to bloom.  Obama was confronted with a failing economy and rising unemployment.  Both Presidents started with Democratic majorities.  Clinton’s health reform bill failed; Obama’s succeeded without a single Republican vote.  
Both  Presidents lost those majorities in mid-term elections.    Clinton reacted by swinging to the center, passing welfare reform, saying the era of Big Government was over, and balancing the budget.  Obama reacted by swinging to the left,  issuing waivers for some welfare recipients,  increasing federal spending from 20% to 25% of GDP,  acting as if the era of Big Government had finally arrived  and adding  over $5 trillion to the national deficit.
Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton.   Obama  is a secularist.  He is no traditionalist or conservative. He believes Big Government and central planners should call the tune for society, traditional values are up for grabs, and religion has no place in the affairs of state.   He is an idealist and an ideologue, positioned well to the left.   He only compromises when it is in his political best interests,  such as placing “Jerusalem “ and “God” back in the political platform to appease key constituencies.  Bill Clinton, on the other hand, is a pragmatic centrist  who believes in compromise, honoring traditional values  and “triangulation” to achieve his goals.
Tweet:  President Obama believes in a secular society,  dominated by government with only a peripheral roll for religion and traditional values.

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