“No Airtime:” Silencing President Obama’s Questioners

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A remarkable letter has been issued by over 70 Christian leaders, mostly from the Protestant Religious Left but including several Catholics, like Duquesne’s Nicholas Cafardi and Georgetown’s Thomas Reese. It states:

[W]e are deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama’s faith…. [T]he personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate…. Therefore, we urge public officials, faith leaders, and the media to offer no further support or airtime to those who misrepresent and call into question the president’s Christian faith.

No airtime? Not even to debate what is indeed arguably the most unconventional faith profile of any president in history, one understandably creating confusion among the public? Imagine that.

But why stop with President Obama? What about the questioning of other presidents?

Liberals constantly questioned Ronald Reagan’s faith, even as he repeatedly stated he was a Christian. He endured questions during two nationally televised presidential debates. It was embarrassing.

Reagan was far from alone. Some 200 years after his presidency, Thomas Jefferson’s faith is ever-maligned. Even the beliefs of Lincoln and Washington are debated.

What about our most recent president? I can’t tell you how many times I addressed serious inquiries about whether George W. Bush was seeking to impose a theocracy. It took every bit of charity to respond with patience. I never thought to sniff: That question should not be permitted airtime!

Don’t these liberal Christians realize how bad this looks? Their position isn’t exactly … well, liberal. It certainly lacks diversity and tolerance.

If they don’t like free discussion about the president’s faith, they should do what Americans have always done in their free society: Go to the public square—i.e., the media—hash it out, make your case, and persuade. Debate.

Wait a second … wouldn’t that be banned?

Dr. Paul Kengor

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Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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