On June 28, 2006 then Senator Barack Obama said, "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers." He misspoke slightly. His prepared text actually read, "Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation." Nevertheless, even as delivered the statement is indisputably true, but it elicited howls from religio-political panderers everywhere.
Typically, panderers shorten the quote to "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation." Clearly this is a distortion of the president's meaning, but it better suits the false narrative that animates Obama's opponents. It's red meat for the Religious Right and far right conservatives. Chain e-mails with the pseudo-quote still reverberate around the internet. Panderbear expects they will rev up again once the general election begins in earnest.
Just imagine the perfect storm of criticism President Obama would face if he were to express the exact same sentiment written into the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796 during George Washington's second term and ratified in 1797 shortly after President John Adams took office.
How is it that the very people who claim reverence for the U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers are so ignorant of what their holy relics had to say? Conservative Republicans and the Tea Party have made cartoons of the U.S. Constitution, revolutionary America, and the Founding Fathers and now worship their false idols.