The president without a country
Posted: June 06, 2009
1:00 am Eastern
"We're no longer a Christian nation." – President Barack Obama, June 2007
"America has been arrogant." – President Barack Obama
"After 9/11, America didn't always live up to her ideals."
– President Barack Obama
"You might say that America is a Muslim nation."
– President Barack Obama, Egypt 2009
Thinking about these and other statements made by the man who wears the title of president … I keep wondering what country he believes he's president of.
In one of my very favorite stories, Edward Everett Hale's "The Man without a Country," a young Army lieutenant named Philip Nolan stands condemned for treason during the Revolutionary War, having come under the influence of Aaron Burr. When the judge asks him if he wishes to say anything before sentence is passed, young Nolan defiantly exclaims, "Damn the United States! I wish I might never hear of the United States again!"
The stunned silence in the courtroom is palpable, pulsing. After a long pause, the judge soberly says to the angry lieutenant: "You have just pronounced your own sentence. You will never hear of the United States again. I sentence you to spend the rest of your life at sea, on one or another of this country's naval vessels – under strict orders that no one will ever speak to you again about the country you have just cursed."
And so it was. Philip Nolan was taken away and spent the next 40 years at sea, never hearing anything but an occasional slip of the tongue about America. The last few pages of the story, recounting Nolan's dying hours in his small stateroom – now turned into a shrine to the country he foreswore – never fail to bring me to tears. And I find my own love for this dream, this miracle called America, refreshed and renewed. I know how blessed and unique we are.
But reading and hearing the audacious, shocking statements of the man who was recently elected our president – a young black man living the impossible dream of millions of young Americans, past and present, black and white – I want to ask him, "Just what country do you think you're president of?"You surely can't be referring to the United States of America, can you? America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception! Seventy percent of her citizens identify themselves as Christian....
There is more, and you can read it here. The debate continues.
H/T Doug Huchteman