Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obama on Religion, Church and State

I just stumbled on the complete text of President Barack Obama's 2004 Chicago Sun Times interview with Cathleen Falsani, and it is a fascinating read.

Here are some excerpts:

I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma. And 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.
I'm a big believer in tolerance. I think that religion at it's best comes with a big dose of doubt. I'm suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.
Alongside my own deep personal faith, I am a follower, as well, of our civic religion. I am a big believer in the separation of church and state. I am a big believer in our constitutional structure. I mean, I'm a law professor at the University of Chicago teaching constitutional law. I am a great admirer of our founding charter, and its resolve to prevent theocracies from forming, and its resolve to prevent disruptive strains of fundamentalism from taking root ion this country.
As I said before, in my own public policy, I'm very suspicious of religious certainty expressing itself in politics.
There's a lot more interesting stuff in this interview, and it ought to be required reading for those knuckledragging Radical Christianist morons on the right who are still, to this day, spouting off on wingnut radio that Obama is a Muslim, he's the Antichrist, etc etc etc.

Not that they would actually understand it, even if by some quirk of nature they were actually able to read it...