Many have asked why President Obama made unpleasant remarks against Christians at the recent prayer breakfast. In light of the tragic event of 147 innocent Christian students slaughtered in Kenya by radical Islamic terrorists during Holy Week, it would seem an inappropriate choice for the President to chastise Christians. But that’s exactly what he did, making not-so-veiled references to the Indiana and Arkansas RIFRA laws and not mentioning the horrible takeover of the Islamic religion by radical terrorists. However, when you look at who was in attendance at this event and one of the keynote speakers, you begin to understand the motivation behinds the president’s continued attack on the Christian faith.
Let’s break it down.
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The President began his speech with several jokes. One was whether the people in attendance actually got enough to eat, and the other was concerning his two daughters, Sasha and Maliah visiting colleges and asking for prayers on becoming an empty nest home. Then President Obama moved on to reflect the apostle Paul and Peter and discussed how we should love one another and strive to be better–and that’s when he launched into his criticism of Christians. Seeming to force himself from saying more, he said he was “about to veer off; I’m pulling it back” followed by laughter and clapping of support. His speech was brief, and then he turned over the podium to another guest, Reverend Dr. Amy Butler, who gave the prayer. Dr. Butler is the first female pastor of the ultra-progressive, 85-year old Riverside Church in New York City.
To understand the speech by President Obama–and the approval of his audience–is to know what Progressive Christianity is and what members who attend Riverside Church believe. Many in attendance at the President’s Easter prayer breakfast were clergy of various progressive churches. If you’re unfamiliar with this branch of religion, here are the 8 points of Progressive Christianity:
- Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life;
- Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey;
- Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:
Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
Believers and agnostics,
Women and men,
Those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
Those of all classes and abilities;
- Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;
- Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;
- Strive for peace and justice among all people;
- Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;
- Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.
Teachings and sermons on Global Warming are part of the curriculum taught in Progressive Christian churches. Social justice activism as well as the acceptance of all other types of religions or the acceptance of agnostic and atheist beliefs are also part of the core foundations of Progressive Christianity. Progressive Christianity does not dwell on whether Heaven exists nor does it advocate taking the Bible as literal teachings of the word of God. A quote from the Progressive Christianity website states:
“What defines a progressive Christian can really mean anything other than a fundamentalist / conservative-evangelical Christian, and it has been a label that has been evolving since the turn of the 19th century.”
And progressive churches such as Riverside Church (Rev. Dr. Butler’s congregation) participates in progressive/union activities such as the March for Justice Rally which contain many of the same communist/socialist organizations who marched last year in Ferguson, MO and New York City. These churches are supported by shadow groups such as the SEIU, CAIR, LaRaza groups and George Soros-backed agencies. When you look at the list of organizations represented by these churches you will begin to see that this denomination that Barack Obama abides by are basically aligned with his upbringing of communist and socialism ideology.
This would explain why Al Sharpton was also in attendance at this prayer breakfast because his group, National Action Network, is also one of the partners of the March for Justice progressive churches like Riverside is promoting. All of this combined gives us a much clearer picture of why Obama’s remarks were so well received at the prayer breakfast.