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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Americans still claim to be Christians

In an email I received from a friend with an article written by the singer and actor Pat Boone, bold accusations criticized President Obama for making a variety of statements that were seemingly critical of the United States. In his editorial Mr. Boone quoted Mr. Obama as saying, "We're no longer a Christian nation." June 2009; "America has been arrogant." "After 9/11, America didn't always live up to her ideals." "You might say that America is a Muslim nation." Egypt 2009.

Snopes.com verified this editorial posted by Pat Boone. The only part that was called into question was the statement about America being a Muslim nation. Snopes.com detailed that the statement was likely a rewording of a statement made by the President in a radio interview prior to leaving on his trip to Egypt. Snopes.com recorded the President as saying, “And one of the points I want to make is, that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, [living in the United States] we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.” The President stated further, “And so there’s got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.”

I never cease to be amazed at the arrogance that Mr. Obama tends to show at each of these statements and the sharing of his beliefs that so many interpret as anti-American. Surely he must realize that he angers a majority of the people in America when he says such things about the country. It is difficult to believe that he could be so naïve as to perhaps not be aware of the sentiments of most people. Likewise, it is difficult to believe that his many advisors and counselors to the President would be so naïve as to advise him to keep making such statements, if they in fact, are.

Poll after poll shows that most Americans (83% in an ABC Poll) at least believe they are Christian and this country was founded on the principles of Christianity. One can argue about the definition of Christianity and the diverse forms it takes in this country; but regardless if the belief stems from Biblical Christianity or some form of interpretation of Christianity through various religious filters, it is a long way from being similar to the Muslim religion. It is interesting that the President keeps beating this drum.

Perhaps it could be that his motivation is rooted in a long-held belief that has provided him with an abiding faith in his heart of hearts that creates within him the fervor to be an evangelist for his perspective. It might be much like a Billy Graham or the Pope evangelizing their perspective on Christianity in a country like Iran or Saudi Arabia. As they evangelize in such a way they would begin to persuade citizens of those Muslim countries to turn toward Christianity as a response to their Christian message. Now, for a Papal visit or a Billy Graham crusade preached for three or four days might be tolerated in those countries. It would be another thing altogether if the Christian message were to be presented by the Ayatollahs of Iran and the Ruling Family of Saudi Arabia. The citizens of those countries would begin to wonder what the Leader’s motivation was.

That is where we are in America. When we hear our President talk about the American Exceptionalism being diminished or absent, or that Christianity is no longer what Americans claim, or that Americans have become so arrogant on the world stage that we are hated by much of the world’s citizens, Americans begin to wonder about the President’s position.

This is more pronounced when the President’s actions begin to follow his stated convictions. When the President presents himself with a waist-deep bow to foreign Heads-of-State on foreign soil, or fires off apologies around the world that America has become so arrogant that friends and foe alike should take a second look at their relationship with his country; Americans begin to question why he has taken such a stand.

The President has used the first eighteen months of his Presidency in making speeches and establishing policy that seemingly goes against the grain of many, if not most, Americans. He has taken a position much further to the left of center than the majority of Americans are willing to go. As a consequence his approval ratings have fallen, there is a rise of negative sentiments against his leadership, a movement in the form of “Tea Parties” has taken root, and entrenched, liberal Democrats have fallen in several primaries and elections throughout the country. It would appear that to date there are many American citizens who have listened to The President’s evangelical liberalism and have responded, not here; not now. The next couple of years will determine if the President has been converted.

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