The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The President and America's Religious Identity

Although it hasn't received very much coverage by the mainstream media, our president has been habitually misquoting the Declaration of Independence. On several occasions he has quoted the document by saying, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable [sic] rights..." The document actually reads, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..." Why has the president repeatedly omitted any reference to "the Creator"?
Signing of the Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull

It's all a bit troubling, especially since his misquoting of the Declaration was repeated at several different venues. That could hardly be accidental. And it's particularly troubling given that, during a trip to Indonesia, he stated that our national motto was "E Pluribus Unum" or "Our of Many, One." In truth, however, our national motto is "In God We Trust" and has been for decades. As president, he should know this.

Perhaps he suffers from a form of theophobia, and prefers to avoid any mention of God, particularly when his audience is likely to include some ACLU members.

In the below video the president is addressing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and includes one of his misquotes of the Declaration.

Thomas Kidd, writing an opinion piece in USA Today, addresses this issue further: Watch Your Religious Language, Mr. President.

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