Obama’s ambassador to Holy See says there’s no problem with radical secularism in the USA!

Miguel Diaz, the US ambassador to the Holy See, gave an interview to Vatican Radio after Pope Benedict’s address about the state of the world in which he claimed that faith groups in the US did not have a problem with intolerant  secularism.

In response to Pope Benedict’s  warning against the marginalisation of religion in Western society in the name of a false pluralism Ambassador Diaz said:

‘“One of the great treasures of American society has been religious tolerance, its at the heart of what it is to be American. We do not have this kind of radical secularism that dismisses the positive contribution of religious figures to society and religious ideas from our society, and in fact, you know we probably come very close to what the Holy Father has characterized as a positive form of a secular society.”

Protect the Pope comment: This is like hearing the Chinese Premier saying there’s no problem with human rights in China! If there’s no problem with radical secularism in the USA why did President Obama insist that religious imagery was covered up when he gave an address from a Catholic University? If there’s no radical secularism in the USA why did President Obama and Secretary for State Clinton start talking about ‘freedom of worship’ instead of ‘freedom of religion’? If there is no problem with radical secularism why did President Obama omit the word, ‘Creator ‘ when he recited the Declaration of Independence? And these are just a couple of examples that spring readily to mind!

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=8864

http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=453124

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDzi7txYHFA&feature=player_embedded

36 comments to Obama’s ambassador to Holy See says there’s no problem with radical secularism in the USA!

  • louella

    It’s great that the Pope is stepping up…..his address on the state of the world was ace! The whole world needs his wisdom and Divinely inspired office now. He puts secular leaders in the shade…because he really does have humanity’s welfare (spiritual and material) at heart.

    God Bless, protect and guide our Pontiff!

  • Serge

    “why did President Obama insist that religious imagery was covered up when he gave an address from a Catholic University? ”

    Did he really requested that?

    Which university?

    Did that university comply?

    • Karla

      It happened at Notre Dame and Georgetown University.

      http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/04/16/georgetown-university-hid-religious-symbols-white-house-request/

      http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/04/obama-notre-dame-georgetown.html

      Both of these Universities should of never invited him to speak in the first place. He is pro abortion!

      • Tim H

        It is the US ambassador’s job to present the USA in a positive light to the host country. The catholic Nuncios do exactly the same in reverse.

      • Serge

        I remember now that there was a strong debate about the ND University receiving Obama.

        I don’t have all the context details in mind. I know I felt strongly against that. Did he promote at that time, in his speeches there, concepts that were contrary to catholic faith? If so, then it was an error to invite him.

        Also, I understand that a head of state has his decorum for presenting himself. I wouldn’t have complied, as those universities did, to hide the HIS. The cameras could have limited easily to show below it. Early christians suffered martyrdom for not complying with Emperors policies, but keep Jesus Christ King above all. Not that they would not collaborate with political and worldly “heads” of politics for whatever was good to collaborate with, they even prayed for those who persecuted them. But One is above all, and One only. The One Obama has difficulty to recognize. He can easily talk about the creatures, but can’t name their Creator. Very strange behavior. Definitely a lack of coherence with his proclaimed faith and religion. Probably influenced by J.F. Kennedy first speeches about the separation of the state and religion. Which Bishop Chaput in his book “Render unto Ceasar” demonstrate as a statement that lead the american catholics out of the political debate, gradually. Opposite to the obligation of catholics which are to infuse the Light of God in the world, peacefully, with convincing love, or charity shall I say.

    • Tim H

      Serge,

      The background was the same standard background (dark wood and drapes, American flags) that the President uses for many of his televised speeches regardless of where he is. It gives him a better “stage presence” and less distraction for the TV cameras. I am sure that the Pope sometimes spesks in front of a specially designed backdrop. It is common to all leaders who want to project their own majesty.

      It really is paraniod to think that the President was specifically targetting Christian Symbols. Even if he really objected to them he is smart enough to want to avoid deliberate offense. And if the Universities thought that there was a sinister motive, they alwaays could have refused.

      • Karla

        The ‘IHS’ symbol was hidden, it means Jesus in Greek. How does that conflict with the standard backdrop. As you can see on the photo when it was covered up, that wood still appears over the backdrop. Why was it so unnecessary for that to be hidden when it did not even conflict with the standard backdrop presentation.

        Before: http://ztruth.typepad.com/.a/6a00e00986be4d883301157025bb85970b-pi

        After: http://ztruth.typepad.com/.a/6a00e00986be4d883301157025b75f970b-pi

      • louella

        Secularists always have an excuse as they little by little whittle away at Christianity! And if we point it out…..they say we are paranoid. Like a husband trying to kill his wife….she gets suspiscious….but of course he always tells her she is paranoid!!

        Let’s face it …..secularism is an anti-Christ….and they are trying to get rid of Christianity!!

      • SpeSalvi23

        Well… all I can to that is: “Just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they’re not after you!!”

        I love that line!! Spoken by a man who probably had hands on experience with a few mental disorders: Kurt Cobain.

        I honestly believe that the Messiah imposter was actually bothered by the image of the real Messiah behind him – so it had to go.
        An ego that size allows no competition.

        Shame on ND and GT that they went along with it. I assume those of us who are familiar with the situation have had a chance to come to their own conclusion.

        As the Holy Father has said: many Catholics in Church positions, lay or ordained (including clergy at every level), are practically pseudo, professional catholics who are of the opinion that they’re employed at some corporation; as where their connection to the essence of the faith is nearly invisible beneath all the bureaucracy, self promotion and dissent.
        Luckily it seems to be an aging breed.

        • Tim H

          I don’t think Obama can win. If he had kept the “IHS” sign, there would have been photos in the papers of him appearing under it with accusations that he was allowing himeself to be labelled as Jesus.

          • Karla

            Really? I do not think so. People are not stupid, they can see it is a sign at a university, I am sure many people have spoken there and not been seen as trying to label themselves as Jesus.

      • Serge

        That sounds right to me, Tim. He was putting a stage for some kind of speech that could be viewable to the Nation, and wanted to show the White House representation “mark of commerce”.

        In the view of other comments and a few videos I’ve seen, like the one showing him apparently deliberately omitting the word “Creator”, president Obama looks a bit uncomfortable with the concept of Creator, and tries to avoid allusion to it.

  • Karla

    Overall I do not think secularism is is bad in America as in Europe, but there are definite hints with the Obamas.

    A number of times, Obama has left out any acknowledgment to a Creator in his speeches.

    You know some people say Obama is a Muslim?

    I do not think that is true. I think he wants to Keep Muslims on side for trade purposes and he wants them to believe America is an ally, anti terrorism.

    I think he is a Univeralist, I think that he believes there are many ways to Heaven. So you be a Sikh, you can be a Muslim, you can be a Christian, you can be a Hindu, and you will all go to the same place at the end.

    Relativism is completely false and fits with the whole secular tolerance mess.

    Or he could be agnostic.

    But I do not see how he can be a Christian, because to be a Christian you have to believe Jesus is the only way, as Jesus himself said, I am the way the truth and the light, no one gets to the Father except through me.

    Obama is pro abortion. A Christian can not be pro abortion.

  • Fr Ó Buaidhe

    Jesuit University of Georgetown, April, 2009.

  • sam

    Obama in his campaign was actually at a church, he recognises how important faith is in America as a lot of people believe.

    • Karla

      Of course he did, because he knew he would not get in to office without appearing at Church.

      I do not know whether Obama really considers himself a Christian, but what I do know is his track record and voting policies and beliefs towards abortion are not those of a true Christian.

    • John

      LOL, I’d hardly call Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s building a church. Obama uses faith as an instrument for his political agenda. He believes in Liberation Theology, not Christianity – something which Pope Benedict is aware of as a danger to genuine Christianity. Here’s an interesting discussion on the matter:

    • Tim H

      If he was so anti-christian, why would he give important speeches at Catholic Universities.

  • Tim H

    Obama strikes me as a thoughtful Christian, but a Christian who truely believes in democracy and is prepared to follow that belief in democracy through to its logical conclusion which means embracing secular values. As he said in Washington shortly before his election.

    “Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all. Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice.”

    It is not accurate to say that he is not a Christian, but he seems to me to put being a democrat and an American first.

    • Karla

      Obama’s excuse for not banning abortion is poor. A Christian believes that all life should be protected from natural birth to natural death. But if he does not want to use his Christian faith as a reason, in fear of creating offense to others, then why does he not use science. Science can prove that life starts at conception. Obama is not simply in the middle on abortion, he has endorsed organizations like Planned Parenthood. This organization has been filmed covering up statutory rape of underage girls. Obama believes in infanticide, so if an abortion takes place, and the baby is still alive, Obama believes that that baby should just be left to die.

      Obama also said of his daughters, that if they made a mistake, he did not want them ‘punished with a baby.’ Obama’s own words.

      Why don’t we just see what Obama has to say about religion?

      “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”

      Source: Cathleen Falsani, “Barack Obama: The 2004 ‘God Factor’ Interview Transcript,” http://falsani.blogspot.com/2008/04/barack-obama-2004-god-factor-interview.html (accessed June 24, 2008). Falsani says of Obama: “It’s perhaps an unlikely theological position for someone who places his faith squarely at the feet of Jesus to take, saying essentially that all people of faith-Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, everyone-a know the same God.”

      “What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die.”

      Source: Falsani, Barack Obama: The 2004 ‘God Factor’ Interview Transcript.

      What is sin?

      “Being out of alignment with my values.”

      Falsani, Barack Obama: The 2004 ‘God Factor’ Interview Transcript.

      Salvation:

      “I’m not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I’ve got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others.

      Source: Falsani, Barack Obama: The 2004 ‘God Factor’ Interview Transcript.

      “I think Gandhi is a great example of a profoundly spiritual man who acted and risked everything on behalf of those values but never slipped into intolerance or dogma. He seemed to always maintain an air of doubt about him.

      Source: Falsani, Barack Obama: The 2004 ‘God Factor’ Interview Transcript.

    • Serge

      Mr Obama is putting his values upside down. A christian values come first. But they can’t be imposed. Unless they are not christian specific, such as is abortion. This is universal right to life that is contradicted by laws facilitating abortion. So Mr Obama is not living according to christian beliefs, and he is not living according to universal laws of life.

      • Tim H

        Putting the abortion issue to one side. I think you are right that Obama is not a Christain according to your terms. I expect he qualifies as much as the majority of americans who call themselves Christian.

        • Karla

          I would not say Obama is as much as Christian as the majority. When studies/polls come out, what do people think sin is etc. for the majority they conform to the Biblical worldview.

  • Serge

    Here’s a patent contradiction to Miguel Diaz statement: Feds Tell College: You’re Not Catholic!!!

    http://blog.cardinalnewmansociety.org/2011/01/11/feds-tell-college-youre-not-catholic/

    Excerpt:

    Earlier today, January 11, 2011, the federal government continued its assault on the religious liberty of Catholic institutions when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that Manhattan College could not prevent faculty from unionizing on the basis that it is a religious institution. Despite acknowledging that the College is recognized as Catholic by the New York Archdiocese, the NLRB reviewed College statements and course content, finding “that the purpose of the College is secular and not the ‘propagation of a religious faith’.”

    The US State is dictating now what is secular and what is not, and it now negates the Catholicity of the Manhattan College, funded by Catholics. And ambassador Miguel Diaz dares to say US secularism is respectful of religious freedom? In my opinion this is mere hypocrisy.

    • Pedro

      I’ve heard of all sorts of things being called anti-Catholic on this blog before. Trying to form a union is a new one.

      • Serge

        You’re off track, Pedro. What is denunciated here is the State saying a Catholic institution who founded and still administers, is not Catholic! What is it going to be next time? The State will tell me I am not Catholic, and I am rather this and that?

  • SpeSalvi23

    Don’t get me going on Obama!! I’m surprised: even all of my die heart democrat Bostonian, Kennedy worshipping relation is NOT happy with the way he’s running things.
    Not only economically, but generally.

    • Tim H

      Well, better Obama than the previous president who said “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.”

      I think this quote underlines the fact that in the USA religion is still unfairly priviged in the political sphere. With Obama we are talking about possible slights against Christianity committed in pursuit of an uncluttered background or about the Presidents attempts to accomodate religious motivations in a multi-belief society, but with Bush we had a president who was proposing a religious test for citizenship of a secular republic! To my mind the two things are at opposite ends of the scale of intolerance.

  • Robin Leslie

    This is an interesting dilemma for both Church, State and people in their diversely faceted interactions with one another.
    The menace that the ideology of contemporary secularism poses (the absolutism of the secular over all other beliefs and practices underpinned by
    a mistaken belief in the universality of reason and rationality)to
    the religious tradition of Christianity, in its Catholic form is that it claims to have ended history and the higher religions. This ideology is based on a Clean Slate Myth that interprets all particular realities and the ‘universal reality of reason’ in its own presentist terms (viz. technique, progress, rationality and
    control) Such presentism at the heart of this recent secularism
    is of course a massive arrogance glaringly discredited by events.
    American Catholicism is suffused by secular liberalism, though there have been some merits to this, such as openness and a respect for protection against institutional abuses of power by the hierarchy, and this led to a moral laxity in the priesthood and laity that conflated the freedoms of Vatican 2 with the alleged ‘freedoms’ of secular democracy. Self-discipline and self-restraint were widely abandoned in the pursuit of a vacuous experimentalism. Liturgical innovation was only one front on which the boundaries of the Catholic community were weakened, medical ethics and interpersonal relationships were certainly another, with the result that the secular powers of State and Corporations
    extended their grip over the American psyche during the last 30 years of consumerism. The Catholic Church has been forced into a
    rearguard action (often very mistakenly labelled mere ‘reaction’)
    against the corruption of social and political life resulting from an aggrandizing secularism.
    This brings us to the political threshold of the relationship between Church (particularly the Catholic Church) and State, part of the Separation of powers in the US Constitution. This relationship is now hotly contested by both the more rabid secularists who want to finally privatise religions and reduce them to ‘lifestyle choices’)and more traditional Catholics who want an assured participation in the public domain ending the phoney war of Church-State separation days.
    Finally it is to an American sociologist, Jose Casanova (an appropriate name) that we must turn for an insight into the current intolerance of secularists towards Catholicism and to the versions of religion the supposedly abhor, Casanova called this
    phenomenon ‘the intolerant priesthood of left wing secularists.
    I partly agree with Casanova, though as i too am definitively on the Left of contemporary ideological conflict, I disagree that
    the intolerant secular priesthood are wholly, or even mainly, on the Left, the political Right in the United States in valuing people solely as productive functionnaries with skills and capital
    instead of human beings with needs emphasising mutual dependence and co-operation instead of competition and autonomy, is part of that Madhatters Tea Party driving out true religion and the love
    people owe to each other day in day out.

  • Tim H

    Interesting.

    I think I agree with you Robin on the issue of the political left and right. I think it is a mistake to label secualrism as some kind of left-wing socialist plot agisnt right-wing liberty as represented by the Tea-party wing nuts. I think to do so in the context of the USA, plays into the hands of the big corporations who by dishonesty and via the Republican party have managed to pervert religion into a means of getting poor people to vote against their economic self interest (and the interests of tehir own communities) by appealing to “family values” as abstract moral ideals whilst at the same time pursuing economic policies that undermine the family (and there are few things that damage the family and marriage and children as does poverty). So you get a poor citizen voting for a Republican because he is “in favour of marriage” whilst that same republican is pursuing economic policies that are causing poverty which is actually leading to marriage break-up whilst granting tax-breaks for the rich.

    • Karla

      Nor fair to call everyone in the Tea Part a ‘nut.’

      If Democrats are for the poor, why are people still poor. *silence.*

      A lot of people side with the Republicans on economic issues, not just ‘family values.’

      Republicans have different opinions than Democrats on how to the help the poor, read this:

      http://www.interstateq.com/archives/2592/

  • SpeSalvi23

    It’s not possible to put the Catholic Church into any political corner.
    Its teachings on social and economical justice have a tendency to infuriate right wingers, as where its firm stand on moral values drives the left-wing Zeitgeist crew insane with anger and in-comprehension (purposeful in many ways).

    It’s also not possible to separate the Church from its original mission -> saving souls and showing mankind the way to heaven by following the example of Christ.
    Social justice is fine and needed, but fighting for social justice is NOT the main purpose of the Church!

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