Kathleen Parker: President's National Prayer Breakfast speech lovely but ironic

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  • 5DM3 User Prescott, AZ
    Feb. 18, 2014 9:03 p.m.

    Kathleen, thank you for such a well writing article. I would have simply done my best Scott Walker impression and shouted out "You Lie!". When I read that Obama made statements about the importance of "upholding religious freedom" I thought "Who does this guy think he's fooling?" Unfortunately has fooled way too many people. To claim that Obama supports religious freedom is the clearest case of The Emperor Has No Clothes I've seen in a long time.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    oh by: Your info about Sweden must be from be from a trailer set up as the seat of government, but not enough room to refute here. hitler went to church too, but most scholars wouldn't put him in the religious camp as you have done. Atheism, on the other hand, is quite clear about its objectives and although the Spanish conquistadors waved the flag of Christ, I would not define them as such in my view of Christianity. Atheism can't hide behind an evil leader, however. If you call yourself an atheist, you also must admit that the only rights you have in that state are what is granted by the government and it's evil leaders, which usually means death to any detractors. Death in Siberia is hardly something for humans to aspire to! Religious liberty is the reason why America became the economic envy and powerhouse of the world, despite detractors who pretend to believe otherwise!

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Feb. 12, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    re: bandersen,

    You're starting to play a little loose with the facts. Sweden's per capita GDP is 7th in the World (the US is 10th) and standard of living is in the top ten. In terms of total national wealth, Sweden is number 3, behind Norway and the US. In other words, by every measure I can think of, Sweden is doing fine.

    To the point about the Soviets, I did not brush it off. I called it terrible, as is any mass murder situation. While the numbers are great, is the extermination worse in kind than the extermination of 93% of the Incas by the Spanish? Here again, however, you're playing loose with the facts. A recent, extensive study of East European archives found that the number is actually 8-9 million. Besides, Stalin was trained in a seminary, so religion didn't prevent his actions. If we're going to play with numbers, however, I bet you can find no more than about 10-15 examples of atheists killing people, while it wouldn't be hard to find hundreds of religious regimes oppressing their people and religiously fueled wars.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    I'll bet all the liberal commentators on this forum would do a 180 degree turn if we had a right-wing radical president (you know, one as far to the right as Obama is to the left), who decided that not only was owning a gun a constitutional right, but that it was a civil right to have one paid for by someone else. (An "Obamacare" program for guns.)

    Imagine if anyone who objected to the policy on moral grounds would be marginalized. Businesses would be forced by the government to provide "gun insurance" to subsidize the purchase of firearms for their employees. All objections that employees might have against guns would be ignored and mocked as "unreasonable" and bigoted.

    Would all the liberal arguments here still be valid under such a scenario?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    OHBU: Sweden would be the sixth poorest state in the United States if it were apart of our Union. As a whole country, I would hardly view that as an economic miracle. The people who love to talk about the enlightened european countries all speak from a podium in the United States. Few actually are willing to put their words into action by moving there. If I actually thought there was a place with more liberty and freedom, I'd be on the first boat out of here. Again, as stated before, anyplace that views itself as a follower of Christ is not representative of Him, no matter what is stated, that burns people at the stake, or won't allow other "Christian" religions to flourish, something that anyone with a little common sense can see in the countries you mention. This discussion began about Athiesm and what happens when athiests are in charge. 50 million people in Russia alone, and into the hundreds of millions when God isn't around, is not something to cavalierly brush off as you have done. Religious freedom, and God-given rights, have a record far superior to athiesm. Period. End of story.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Feb. 12, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    I'm entirely with the article's author on this. When news of his speaking at the prayer breakfast came, I almost cracked up. We know through revelation and historical pattern that the lukewarm peace that saints enjoy today will not last, and not only us, but all Christians are marginalized and bullied increasingly further by law and common people both; A doctor attempting to manage Syria's lung cancer wouldn't turn a blind eye to America's increasingly frequent smoking addiction.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    The only thing I'm surprised by Kathleens article is that she apparantly has heard Obama say something that he does not believe or is contrary to his administrations actions. Welcome Kathleen once again to the world of liberal media protection of their beloved dear leader. Allowing him to get away with this kind of stuff for years now. Us conservatives saw it coming and have been talking about it since before Obamas election. It is right out of the methods and techniques of "Rules for Radicals". Obamas real Bible. Say what the audience wants to hear and then do what you want. Then let the low information voter do the rest. It's been working well so far for Obama. I'm still hopeful though that the famous phrase, You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time..........will in the end play out and the American voter will correct this 8 year mistake.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:37 p.m.

    One mans mortal enemy is another mans freedom fighter., thank you president for standing against the theocracy that some wish to
    Impose on INDIVIDUAL religious liberties through the power of the purse.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    bandersen: "And by what standard would Egypt be a religiously free state?" This is exactly my point--religious liberty has, more often than not, been threatened by other religions, not atheists. Reread my comment, "people in Egypt are using religion to kill and oppress Christians." Meanwhile, those countries that are largely irreligious (e.g. Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, etc.) often have a high degree of freedom and are doing just fine financially--many have a higher standard of living than us (look at Germany - the country holding up the economy of Europe, where 62% of the population profess no religion).

    You point to Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. That's two examples that are certainly terrible. But you seem to think they have a monopoly on oppression. How about the near extermination of native people in the Americas by European Christians? The murder and enslavement of untold peoples in the Roman Empire (first in the name of their pagan religion, later Christianity). Abusive Islamic theocracies. The Crusades. Religiously based genocide in Rwanda, Sudan, and of American Indians. The list goes on. Religion is far from a guarantee of freedom. Likewise, lack of religion rarely portends anarchy.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    It is always amazing to me the inflammatory, over the top rhetoric that the right uses in order to make partisan political attacks.

    In reality, there is little difference in the way the historical GOP and Democrats have governed.

    It really is embarrassing. What ever happened to the GOP of Ronald Reagan? While he was a conservative, he did not, nor did the party, stoop to such levels.

    You know. Those who are Birthers. Those who know that Obama hates our country and wants it to fail. Those who paint Obama as a Marxist or Socialist, as if he is different from Bush.

    There is nothing wrong with being a conservative. Heck, I used to be one. Until I became too embarrassed by their antics to call myself one.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    @Lagomorph "How is being required to pay money into a pooled insurance account, some small portion of which will subsidize contraceptives, any different than a Quaker being required to pay federal taxes, some portion of which will be used for weapons and war?"

    I'll side with the Quaker on that one. Not that I'm not a pacifist, but that the Quaker should be allowed freedom of conscience.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    OHBU: And by what standard would Egypt be a religiously free state? Perhaps we aren't reading from the same history books. You are absolutely right about states where there are more irreligious people than religious. One look at their economies and it is quite easy to see why they are in shambles, including the fact that some cultures are disappearing because of the simple fact that they have forgotten one of God's oldest commandments to multiply and replenish the earth.

    I am not cherry picking from history, unless the death of at least 50 million people at the hands of a Russian athiest state under Stalin and Lennin doesn't mean anything. That wasn't Stalin and Lennin either that caused their deaths; It was a system that allowed it. We have many Stalin and Lennins in our country who are only stopped from doing the same tragedies here by Constitutional government and protection of God given rights. One doesn't even have to be a student of history to see the obvious connection between the two.

  • Europe Topeno, Finland
    Feb. 11, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    Just THINK!
    As a business owner YOU earned the money - not the government.
    As a business owner YOU paid for the insurance - not the government.
    The government acts like they already own the money, that you are working to get ... And that's BYE BYE to the American freedom and liberties.
    But that's OK to this government...because, as long you talk about GUNS, HEALTH, RELIGION etc.. You will not talk about IRS, ATT, AP, and Benghazi.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    Religious liberty is the freedom to practice your religion and the prohibition of anyone imposing their religion on you. The cases with Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters is related to the latter--they are attempting to use their businesses to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. No one is making them get an abortion or use contraceptives.

    re: bandersen,

    Just because someone said it, doesn't make it true. Once again, you're cherry-picking from history, as their are at least as many, if not more, examples of governments using religion as an excuse to oppress their peoples and slaughter others. There are several countries in Europe right now that have more irreligious people than religious. Guess what? Nobody is being slaughtered, and freedom is at a high. Meanwhile, people in Egypt are using religion to kill and oppress Christians. I find it ironic that you are claiming everything good in this world to your religion, while telling atheists to be more humble.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    Someone once said that if God didn't exist, anything is permissible! If He doesn't exist what distinguishes Mother Teresa from Hitler? Athiests should be more humble about the freedom they enjoy because of those who believe in God. Religious people make it possible for athiests to live, breathe, and exist. If the athiests were in power, religious people would die by the millions, as history has already shown. It doesn't take a genius to figure out without religious influence, nations fall and people are smothered in one form or another. Where religious liberty is allowed, with the attendant values that follow, ecomomies flourish. Athiests, stop looking in the mirror. It's not about you.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Question for the "Religion only should exist behind closed doors" crowd, i.e. the liberals: Can a Seventh Day Adventist who has their own business close their doors on Saturday for religious reasons? A Jew? Or are they forced to stay open 7 days a week? Isn't that mixing religion with business, and therefore a no-no?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    Maybe there was no hint of irony in the president's speech because the speech is not ironic. It's an honest, straightforward protest against the death dealing and oppression of people because of their religious beliefs. Providing healthcare options for one's employees is hardly in the same category as "religious persecution," regardless of the hyperbole from the Obama haters.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:24 a.m.

    By going against all his own lovely talking and words since he first came on the political scene, this President has shown himself to be completely untrustworthy

    And now--and for the rest of his time as President--completely irrelevant.

    That photograph is a super illustration of the contempt he has for things he pays lip service to, but actually despises.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    I'm willing to accept the notion that corporations are legal "persons," though they have no corporal existence. They have some advantages over us humans-- they cannot be imprisoned and can be essentially immortal.

    With respect to the Hobby Lobby case, can a corporation be said to have a religion? If so, how is it determined? Is it the religion of the CEO? The Board of Directors? The stockholders? Say a priest, a rabbi, an imam, and an LDS bishop own equal shares of a corporation. Does it have a religion? Will they serve wine and bacon-wrapped shrimp at the annual stockholders meeting, or orange juice and felafels? Will they ever walk into a bar together?

    With respect to the ACA contraceptive mandate, where is the religious conflict? The company is not required to buy, provide, or use contraceptives (nor are its employees). How is being required to pay money into a pooled insurance account, some small portion of which will subsidize contraceptives, any different than a Quaker being required to pay federal taxes, some portion of which will be used for weapons and war?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    My own religion teaches me not to have an abortion, nor to pay for an abortion. Yet, under Obamacare, I am forced to subsidize health care plans providing access to abortion-inducing drugs.

    It is laughable that Obama can stand there with a straight face and talk about religious liberty. But it is no longer a surprise when his actions don't match his words.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    I expected better from Kathleen....

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    Maybe true religious 'freedom' should look like freeing religion from the undue influence it has on politics.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 11, 2014 5:39 a.m.

    "and one is reluctant to criticize.
    But pry my jaw from the floorboards."

    Which "One" is reluctant to criticize? Obviously not you.

    If ONE does not criticize any and everything Obama does, they are labeled either
    a Liberal or a Rino.

  • Europe Topeno, Finland
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:28 a.m.

    In countries where a national healthcare is a standard ... Contraceptives are NOT a health/sickness issue, but a personal decision of a personal chosen activity and therefore NOT part of medicines covered by insurance! Sex is not a sickness! This is just another example of how poorly Obamacare was researched and "planned".
    I am absolutely for national healthcare and health as a RIGHT - but absolutely against Obamacare! Anyone who has seen the benefits of good heathcare programs knows that Obamacare is not going to work! WHY? Because it is built on old system which was the most expensive (per capita) in the world and left 50 million people under or uninsured.