Barton, Barack, and the Palin Whisperer: or, Why the Most Biblically-Hostile President Will Take Us Back to Pre-Civil War Days (When We Were Still a Christian Nation)

Paul Harvey

Don't know if it's because this is a Leap Year, or because that solar storm (disappointingly weak as it was) set off some folk's internal fear alarms, but there seems to be an unusual concentration of rhetorical craziness surrounding religion and presidential politics.

You all are familiar with most of it, but most recently Sarah Palin has decided that Barack Obama will take us back to pre-Civil War days, while David Barton has declared that Obama is America's all-time most "biblically-hostile President." And he's got the footnotes from Chuck Norris and the American Family Association that prove it. So there.

Chill pills are obviously in order. Here are two: my take at Religion Dispatches on Barton's rant, in which I try a bit to historicize the roots of this drearily familiar balderdash, and Anthea Butler's explanation of Palin's "word salad," at her RD blog. An excerpt from the conclusion to my piece:

Thus, for the anti-Obama agonistes, the President’s overtly Christian testifying, praying with Billy Graham, championing of C. S. Lewis, and quoting of the Old Testament in major public speeches simply shield the fact that the enemy always comes clothed in righteousness—and that the Great Deceiver is among us.

David Barton summarizes it most succinctly: “Many of these actions are literally unprecedented—this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.” Roll over, Thomas Jefferson.
And from Anthea's piece:
By dog whistling “race” through a convoluted reinterpretation of the president, Palin is tuning up her white-mother-of-the-nation racist rally-cry back in full-throated roar. Palin may confound the media, but her loyalists completely understand her scrambled message.
Keeping on the word salad theme -- Let us hope the Ides of March blow in fairer winds, like a lamb, and April's showers portend not the cruelest month. And stuff.