Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Our Tone Deaf Administration ?!
Read his article in The American Interest here. If you cannot wait, read the snippet I have provided:
...every presidency creates an institutional culture, which trickles down all the way to city halls in the provinces. This administration has shown itself remarkably tone-deaf regarding religion. This was sharply illuminated at the launching of Obamacare, when the administration was actually surprised to discover that Catholics (strange to say!) actually care about contraception and abortion. Eric Holder’s Department of Justice has repeatedly demonstrated that it cares less about religious freedom as against its version of civil rights. Perhaps one reason for the widespread failure to perceive this attitude toward the First Amendment is that Barack Obama is seen through the lens of race–“the first black president”. I think a better vision comes through the lens of class–“the first New Class president”–put differently, the first president, at least since Woodrow Wilson, whose view of the world has been shaped by the culture of elite academia. This is evident across the spectrum of policy issues, but notably so on issues involving gender and religion.
One commentator has suggested he thinks Berger may have overstated yet he does see the tie here between the deafness of the Obama administration to the impact of faith upon the culture of America. He also suggested that perhaps the population has responded opposite of the administration in its growing desire to have faith communities speak on political issues facing Americans. You can read him here.
According to a recent Pew survey, almost 50 percent of Americans think churches and houses of worship should express their views on political and social issues, an increase of 6 percent since 2010. Three-quarters of the public think religion’s influence in our national life is declining—and most of those people think it’s a bad thing. If anything, the Obama Administration seems to be contributing to a pro-religion backlash.
What I think is that we have never had a political institution so overtly insensitive to or opposed to churches than the Obama administration. Some may blame the President and others may see this simply as a consequence of his failure to lead with an appreciation for the faith that is interwoven into nearly every aspect of American public and private life. Whatever the dispute here, the administration should certainly be held responsible for its failure to accurately estimate and appreciate that faith is here to stay. No President in my own memory has shown such blindness to this fact although I am not sure that privately some might have equaled Obama in their disdain for the religious point of view. What remains to be seen is the legacy of his tone deafness on matters of faith. Maybe he does not realize this tone deafness because the one thing that this President (like many others before him) is constantly in tuned to is himself.