By RJ Neuhaus of First Things, it was written before the election, but it’s still worth reading. He argues that while he doesn’t doubt the sincerity of Obama’s piety, he does question whether Obama understands how his positions on several issues will contribute to the stifling of religion.
We have in this last half century drifted far from the constituting vision of this novus ordo seclorum. The free exercise of religion is the irreplaceable cornerstone of that order. In his famed Memorial and Remonstrance, James Madison wrote: “It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.” The last line bears repeating: This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. That is the truth that the Religion Clause is intended to protect from the overweening ambitions of the modern state.