JISHOU, HUNAN — Now Biblical literalism has spilled over into reading the Constitution literally. A religious group called the Faith and Freedom Institute is complaining because President Barack Obama has used the words “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion.”
They sent him a letter. I predict it ends up in the trash. See for yourself:
Dear President Obama:
It is with great concern that we have watched your rhetorical shift in terminology, choosing to use the phrase “freedom of worship” rather than “freedom of religion.” We’ve noted your use of that phrase (“freedom of worship”) at the Ft. Hood memorial service in November of 2009, as well as your utilization of the same during speeches in Japan and China.
While some may deem the words “worship” and “religion” to be synonymous, and thus interchangeable, they are most definitely not! The First Amendment of the United States Constitution uses the word “religion” and states unequivocally that Congress cannot prohibit the “free exercise” of said “religion.” Your use of the word “worship” implies that we have freedom ONLY within the confines of structures set aside for religious expression (i.e. churches, synagogues, etc.). This is not only a gross departure from the original intent of the First Amendment, but is also the first step toward eliminating faith expression in the public marketplace (i.e. display of religious symbols on public land, printing of religious materials for the purpose of evangelizing, public discussion of faith, etc.).
Mr. President, we call on you to retract all past use of this incorrect and misleading phrase, “freedom of worship,” and cease all future use of the same. We also call on you to acknowledge America’s Christian heritage as is clearly evidenced in our Founding Documents and the overwhelming abundance of statements from our Founding Fathers.
The Faith and Freedom Institute
Dr. Gary G. Dull, President,
Dave Kistler, Vice-President
Dan Kistler, Historian
The aptly named Dr. Dull and the Kistlers apparently picked up this fearful backsliding into the abyss of apostasy from the charming folks at the Family Research Council, yet another right-wing religious organization. [Using “family” in a group’s title generally indicates right-winginess, it seems.]
But as it turns out, Obama and the White House has used the expression “freedom of religion” far more than “freedom of worship.” And, none other than the born-again President George W. Bush has used the expression “freedom of worship.” No one complained when he said it.
Could it be because the FFI believes Obama to be a usurper, a foreigner, a Muslim? Just maybe. From the same webpage, the FFI’s manifesto to impeach Obama leads with:
A. The act of not providing a clear copy of his official and complete birth certificate indicating that he is a natural born citizen of the United States of America as is called for in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution where it reads, “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States…shall be eligible to the office of the President.”
Will people ever get it through their thick heads that he was born in Hawai’i? And the last I checked, to worship generally means to have a religion, unless one worships Lady Gaga, who while good has not yet ascended to godhead.