Ever since President Obama was elected, religious right activists have declared that he is "anti-Christian," constantly finding fault with his beliefs and accusing him of engaging in an attack on religious liberty. One of the latest examples includes a litany of misrepresentations by Jack and Roxella Van Impe, who on their broadcast declared that the president has a record of 56 "anti-Christian actions" and that he is on a mission "to ban the term God as he travels around the world."
Others, like Christian conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, have spent time writing books about the president's supposed "war on religious freedom in America." Catholic bishops say that the president is "attacking religious liberty" because of contraceptive and reproductive health service mandates. Angry over health care, women's reproductive choice and marriage equality, religious right activists gathered this month in Washington for a "Value Voters Summit" where speech after speech was about how their religious liberties were "under attack." Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney suggested at a campaign rally that the president wanted to remove references to God from the coinage and the pledge of allegiance.
A national survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life this summer revealed that 17% of registered voters say that Obama is Muslim.
With the flurry of conservative Christian accusations against the president, President Obama released a video this week in which he discussed why faith is important to him and how his faith has guided him in his life as a husband, as a father and as president. The video ad is part of the People of Faith for Obama campaign.
Transcript (video embedded below):
From the time of our nation's founding, people of faith have shaped America. Throughout our history, faith has been a powerful force for good in our communities and our families.
So faith isn't just a footnote in our nation's story. It reinforces the very essence of America.
As someone who values the role of people of all faiths in American life, I'm always touched by the amazing stories of love, service and compassion that take place in this country every single day. They reinforce the power of my Christian faith which has guided me through my presidency and in my life as a husband, as a father, and as president.
This job is full of tough decisions, and at the end of every day, each president needs to act based on what their values are and what they believe.
I know faith is often used as a wedge in our politics and with a new election year, come new attacks. In a democracy like ours, there will always be disagreements on important issues and honest debate is healthy and constructive. But the American people should know this: In a changing world, my commitment to protecting religious liberty is and always will be unwavering. As America's religious diversity grows, we have the chance to reaffirm the pluralism that has defined us as a nation, a pluralism expansive enough to protect the rights of all to speak their minds and to follow their conscience.
E pluribus unum — out of many, one. It was never suggested that the goal of this nation is uniformity of belief, but that for all of our differences, we are committed to looking out for one another and for the welfare of future generations. We're greater together than we are on our own.
These shared moral obligations have guided me as president.
When we took action to rescue the auto industry, we stood with workers, families and communities that would have suffered had we allowed our auto companies to go bankrupt because a good job isn't just about a paycheck. It's about the dignity that work brings.
On health care reform, we stood with the mother who no longer has to worry about whether her child will be able to get care because of a pre-existing condition.
On issues like education, poverty and immigration, I'm standing on the side of human dignity and a belief in the inherent worth of all human beings.
I'm asking for your support because we have more work to do, to build an economy where families are valued and secure, and to expand opportunity, extend compassion, and pursue the common good.
Thank you for your prayers and for your support. God bless you and God bless the United States of America.