Government Is Not the Enemy, Christians Need to Stop Divisive Perspective

By Center for American Progress Action Fund from Washington, DC (Barack Obama at Las Vegas Presidential Forum) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Center for American Progress Action Fund from Washington, DC (Barack Obama at Las Vegas Presidential Forum) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
In a conversation with author Marilynne Robinson, President Obama made some strong statements about the Christian population and government.

In a freewheeling interview with Marilynne Robinson, U.S. President Barack Obama said that those who take their religion seriously end up having an us-versus-them attitude. This mentality, he added, was what prompted several from Europe to leave behind their roots, cross the Atlantic and arrive in the States. It did not stop there, as the sense of dissatisfaction with an established order prompted many to push on further west from the East Coast, and when that had been done, there was the Transcontinental Railroad, the moon landing and the internet, never being content with the status quo.

Government Is Not the Enemy Says Obama[/tweetthis]

The unhappiness is also spurred by the mentality that government is an enemy and a country would be better off without government entirely. He also mentioned his own frustrations with American politics, specifically how some see the Government as an oppressor. President Obama believes that those who hold this view should to go to a country where is no government and see if the roads are being repaired, if the Postal System works, if there is electricity, if there are schools for kids et al and form their own conclusions as to whether the Government is really against them or not. The feats the country has accomplished are forgotten in those with the us-versus-them attitude.

“How do you reconcile the idea of faith being really important to you and you caring a lot about taking faith seriously with the fact that, at least in our democracy and our civic discourse, it seems as if folks who take religion the most seriously sometimes are also those who are suspicious of those not like them?” – President Barack Obama

Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist and a former Governor of Arkansas who is now in the running for the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election as a nominee for the Republican party, had earlier declared that Obama prevented others from practicing their faith while masquerading as a Christian himself – the President is a Protestant.

The us-against-them mentality runs deep in our veins, but he pointed out that that it was the Government which abolished slavery and enacted civil rights reforms, two other instances where the aforementioned mindset was proven wrong.

He revealed that although there were several people who wanted to speak with him, Marilynne Robinson was the first in line because he personally liked her books – especially Gilead, which is about a pastor who has difficulty reconciling his faith with the problems that his family goes through. He loved the fact that Marilynne Robinson, to whom he personally awarded her the National Humanities Medal in 2012, adopted a Christian viewpoint when writing, including in her work the Protestant traditions that shaped the development of the country.


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