The following article was originally published by A Conservative Teacher on Friday, August 19, 2011.
Obama’s Belief in ‘Bad Luck’ Part of What Religion Exactly?
“We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again,” Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. “But over the last six months we’ve had a run of bad luck.”
If bad luck is the reason that our nation has struggled lately, I wondered to myself just what exactly our President and Commander-in-Chief was doing to combat this reason spate of bad luck.
Never in my knowledge has any other President had to battle ‘bad luck’ before- a google search of past Presidents’ speeches did not turn up any results of past Presidents, whether they were Republican like George W Bush or Ronald Reagan or Democrats like Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter, ever blaming ‘bad luck’ for the problems that the United States faced. Perhaps it was because these past Presidents were religious people, who did not believe in paganism and ‘luck’ so much as the divine will of God and his plan.
To combat a run of ‘bad luck’, past Presidents like George W Bush turned to prayer and Bill Clinton took to reading Scripture, but it appears from President Obama’s speeches and comments that he has decided not to talk to God or read God’s word to turn around the run of bad luck, but rather bemoan the run of ‘bad luck’ and sing ‘woe to me’.
Although in our nation we do have a separation of church and state, that does not mean that there is a separation in our nation between those who believe in a higher power and those who serve in our political institutions. For most of our nation’s history, our leaders on both side of the political spectrum have been religious and have prayed and read the word of God and saw in the actions of the world God.
President Bush often said that “these are trying times” when our nation faced tough circumstances like terrorist attacks, hurricanes, the total collapse of our banking system, a recession in 2001, or the difficult times of fighting two major wars against dedicated and evil groups. He did not say that our nation suffered through ‘bad luck’- he recognized that God’s plan and the free will of men sometimes tried our faith and offered a trial to our nation and its people, whether to fight harder for what is good and right or to not.
Bill Clinton, for all of his faults and failures, was well versed in the Bible and believed that he was doing his best to advance the values that he saw in it- love, hope, forgiveness, etc- and that when he faced trials, that those trials were presented to him by God or by those who freely choose to deny God, and that our nation would overcome those trials by sticking to our values and believing in God.
And yet, President Obama, who resigned from Trinity United Church of Christ after he judged that his affiliation with Jeremiah Wright would reflect badly on him politically, does not quote Scripture or talk about his time in prayer. So how exactly should Obama cope with this run of bad luck- an unaffiliated Christian who does not go to Church or regularly read the Bible or study theology of any sort of any religion?
At some point questions need to be asked about President Obama and his views on God and religion, and I don’t just mean the sort of ‘is he a Muslim’ kind of questions that will lead us nowhere. He does not appear to be a Muslim, and his connection to Christianity is either very very private and unmentioned or thin at best, and since he isn’t Buddhist or Jewish, one has to begin to wonder just what exactly does Obama see as the divine plan for our nation. I would suggest that Obama is atheist, but his reference to supernatural ‘luck’ does not fit with that theory either.
What are President Obama’s religious beliefs and what role does ‘luck’ play in his view of the universe?
UPDATE: Get out of my head Charles Krauthammer! For the record, I posted my post before he came out with his editorial today, but it is amazing that both of us arrived at the same thought days after the event and then posted about it. In his article called Bad luck? Bad faith? he goes a slightly different direction, but struggles like me with Obama’s comment about ‘luck’.