“We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers”
Some have been taking issue with largely unnoticed comments made last year by Sen. Barack Obama declaring the U.S. is “no longer a Christian nation” but is also a nation of others, including Muslims and nonbelievers.
The comments have been recently recirculating on Internet blogs.
“Whatever we once were, we’re no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers,” Obama said during a June 2007 speech available on YouTube.
At the speech, Obama also seemingly blasted the “Christian Right” for hijacking religion and using it to divide the nation:
“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us,” he said.Asked last year to clarify his remarks, Obama repeated them to the Christian Broadcast Network:
“I think that the right might worry a bit more about the dangers of sectarianism. Whatever we once were, we’re no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers,” Obama wrote in an e-mail to CBN News senior national correspondent David Brody.
“We should acknowledge this and realize that when we’re formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we’ve got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community,” wrote Obama.
Obama did clarify his statement about the “Christian Right.”
“My intention was to contrast the heated partisan rhetoric of a distinct minority of Christian leaders with the vast majority of Evangelical Christians – conservatives included – who believe that http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=4415 in our politics.
“When you have pastors and television pundits who appear to explicitly coordinate with one political party; when you’re implying that your fellow Americans are traitors, terrorist sympathizers or akin to the devil himself; then I think you’re attempting to hijack the faith of those who follow you for your own personal or political ends,” wrote Obama.