Faith-Based Citizenship

posted at 2:50 pm on July 4, 2010 by J.E. Dyer

President Obama could hardly have struck more wrong notes in his immigration speech yesterday if he had attacked a piano with a buzzsaw.  For me, the most egregious dissonance emerged with the sentence: “Being an American is not a matter of blood or birth, it’s a matter of faith.”

Ed generously suggests the following:

We know what Obama meant in this passage — a similarity to those who have expressed the notion that they were Americans before ever setting foot in the US, thanks to their love of liberty.

But I am decreasingly sure that Obama means these commonly-understood things when he uses such weird formulations.  Obama has real trouble expressing American ideas in the terms the average American would actually use.  Most Americans are, I think, comfortable with both the concept of Americanness and the significance of faith.  What Obama did in his speech was blend the two in a hortatory speech – not, in other words, an academic seminar-type venue – in a way no American I’ve ever known or seen would have.

There is still, for one thing, a very strong sense among Americans that, when discussing the big issues of human life, “faith” is something you have in God, or at least in a higher power or some immanent reservoir of goodness.  Even those who don’t have such faith nevertheless use the word “faith” to signify it.

Of course we also use “faith” to talk about ordinary, non-transcendent reliance, on things like gravity, or the banks we keep our money in, or the capacities of the people we love to overcome their problems.  But clearly, in the context of his immigration speech, Obama was referring to an ideal; a large abstraction.  In that context, when Americans speak of faith, we are speaking of the religious, transcendent, or metaphysical.

In pairing “faith” and Americanness, Obama made a vague, impressionistic association that tells us much about him; and one of the chief things is that he simply doesn’t think like an American.  Naturally, there are American nationals who posit the kind of association he implies here, but when they do so they are not expressing the quintessentially American idea.  They are speaking theoretically and proposing analyses for further consideration.

This is common in academia, where the link Obama suggests – of Americanness with the concept of “faith” – is implied through an analytical progression:  Americans are religious; they believe strongly in their religions; they believe strongly in their national identity; therefore, their national identification is essentially a sort of religious belief.  It has been a long time since an academic could wander through this syllogistic sequence without implying that it represents irrationality on the part of Americans – and once that premise is sneaked in, the syllogist is off the hook for making his own case rationally.  The whole discussion becomes a sticky goo of impressions and vague associations, so that you can wind up saying “Being American is a matter of faith,” and your auditors can all go off and interpret that however they want.

But Americans don’t think being American is a matter of faith.  We distinguish between faith and national identity for a very good reason:  because we’ve been indoctrinated to do so from birth.  And neither faith nor Americanness is such a vague concept for us that we accept a careless melding of the two in our minds.  Faith is faith, and Americanness is Americanness, and defining them involves two separate propositions.

Americanness, as Ed says, is largely about honoring the rule of law.  And that means that being American has a very specific, rationally- and materially-defined meaning.  We might think of a foreigner as being “an American at heart” because of his political and cultural orientation, but we wouldn’t call him an “American.”  Because he’s not one.  This kind of literalism irritates people of a certain personality type (many of whom are on the left, politically), but it’s the same mindset that makes us passionate about having the law observed to the letter, which in turn is directly connected to keeping our civil liberties safe.

Being American is not an aspirational state of mind that transcends temporal political boundaries.  That particular concept is most familiar to international socialists.  It is emphatically not a concept used by average Americans to describe their national identity or character.  America is a geographic entity, the 50 United States; the concept of America is firmly bounded in American minds by the parameters of the nation-state; we don’t aspire to somehow induce Americanness to ooze across borders – and we certainly have no intrinsic national aspiration to do away with borders entirely.  We are classic nation-state nationalists in that sense.  Our exceptionalism comes not from any redefinition of nationhood, but from what we propose to do as a nation:  most specifically, the liberties we propose to guarantee.

We may advise others to adopt consensual forms of government and cultural liberality, because we have a universalist perspective on their desirability.  But it’s an academic’s or demagogue’s tendentious conclusion – not a reflection of what Americans ourselves intend – to say that in doing so we want to turn them into “Americans.”

The straightforward literalism of the average American’s take on this is much better reflective of what Americanness means.  We prize liberty, and we’ll tell you about it, but if you embrace it that doesn’t make you “American” in any meaningful way.  It makes you a liberty-loving person of your own nationality.  If you want to literally be American – great!  We love you, man.  Fill out these forms, learn the language, take a test, take an oath.

Finally, there is something a bit creepy about saying “being American is a matter of faith” – something that evokes the national-religious aspects of Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, Soviet Stalinism, and Maoism.  It is extremely informative about Obama, and presumably his speechwriting staff, that their ears didn’t catch this off-kilter resonance.  I think Obama thought these words would resonate with traditional Americans.  In the end, that merely reinforces the perception that he knows such Americans only through the rarefied prism of academic interpretations by third parties.

Cross-posted at The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I don’t care where this man was born, he doesn’t think like an American, he doesn’t understand what it means to be an American…he isn’t American at heart.

ladyingray on July 4, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Here’s to changing (amending) the 14th Amendment…

Khun Joe on July 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM

The faith he refers to is . . . Islam!

honsy on July 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM

CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET A GREEN CARD

lm10001 on July 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Not a lot of folks know that Rome actually existed for 450 years as a Republic before surrendering to dictatorship. It seems doubtful that we will make it that long right now. If we fall, what will become of the world?

lm10001 on July 4, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Being American is something you are. Not something you have faith you believe to be true. What does that mean? I have “faith” in the constitution? I have faith that all men are created equal and hopefully somebody won’t come along and prove me wrong?

No. Those are the FACTS.
All men are created equal. All men have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A limited government that exists only to ensure men’s liberties and no more.

That is in the heart and soul of every American and even those that aren’t actual citizens. What every REAL American knows, and Obama doesn’t, is that the rest of the world hasn’t figured this out yet.

Obama, here, is obviously projecting. Curious, what does he have “faith” in? He believes America will achieve something it hasn’t that he desires… I wonder what that could be…

Skywise on July 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM

Obama has real trouble expressing American ideas in the terms the average American would actually use.

This is because Obama’s mentor is William Ayers, a man who has never hidden his hatred for America and all that it stands for.

The thing that bothers me is when Obama says being American depends on faith.

The only faith William Ayers has ever demonstrated in the past has been in how much damage one of his homemade bombs could have done on a major office building.

pilamaye on July 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM

God Bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her through the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam. God bless America, My home sweet home.

We are certainly going thru the night. God bless America and help us survive the darkness.

surfhut on July 4, 2010 at 12:53 PM

He meant faith in govmint, and not necessarily ours since dear leader is a citizen of the world. No birth certificates, no passports required.

Kissmygrits on July 4, 2010 at 12:56 PM

the smarterest president in the history of the universe did not know how basic car insurance worked, what do you expect?

jukin on July 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

If it brings Obama power and adulation, it is GOOD.

Whatever strategic misdirection is needed [budget hawk, tough wartime leader, post-partisan moderate], he will mouth or pantomime.

Obama is his own Declaration.

Of Indifference.

profitsbeard on July 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

What drives Øbama:

Dorothy Rabinowitz: The Alien in the White House – WSJ.com

Jun 9, 2010 … He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe. …

American Thinker: The Leftist ‘Purification’ Movement
June 25, 2010. By Andrew Thomas.

petefrt on July 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM

the smarterest president in the history of the universe did not know how basic car insurance worked, what do you expect?

jukin on July 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Yes, but he knows how to predict the stock market based on “profits and earnings ratios

petefrt on July 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Obama is the first POTUS who doesn’t understand what it means to be an American.

He’s never been one of us.

SlaveDog on July 4, 2010 at 1:16 PM

This is a GREAT post

bobnox on July 4, 2010 at 1:20 PM

PBHO is an American in name only, his vision of the United States is that of a member of a greater world government run by people such as himself.

Bishop on July 4, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Bingo Mr. Dyer !
Mr. Obama “simply doesn’t think like an American.”
Our President, in a nutshell.

teacherman on July 4, 2010 at 1:26 PM

“Being an American is not a matter of blood or birth, it’s a matter of faith.”

I believe there are countless Americans in military graves across this planet that would disagree…

Seven Percent Solution on July 4, 2010 at 1:26 PM

The President’s speech denigrates the extreme sacrifices of Americans by cheapening them down to his rhetoric and politicization.

An Obama amnesty plea for the 4th of July? Apropos since the President has cheapened Americanism his entire political life.

Speakup on July 4, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Faith is really another word for doubt. If you know, you know. You don’t need faith. The President needs new speech writers or should proofread the crap that they write for him.

DAT60A3 on July 4, 2010 at 1:35 PM

This is a GREAT post

bobnox on July 4, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Dittos. More like this, please. Clear, clean and trenchant thinking is alive and thriving in J.E.Dyer.

petefrt on July 4, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Barack Obama (protege of Jeremiah Wright) believes not in equality of opportunity, but in equality of outcome, which is the death of freedom for half of us, and the death of responsibility for the other half of us. It’s the Marxist ideal. Obama might even think there’s something quintessentially American about it, and if he does, he’s very wrong.

RBMN on July 4, 2010 at 1:37 PM

…and we certainly have no intrinsic national aspiration to do away with borders entirely….

Yeah, but Obama does. That is what he is indirectly implementing – no borders.

…evokes the national-religious aspects of Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, Soviet Stalinism, and Maoism. It is extremely informative about Obama, and presumably his speechwriting staff, that their ears didn’t catch this off-kilter resonance. I think Obama thought these words would resonate with traditional Americans.

Bingo! He reveals himself in these statements – then wonders why people call him a Marxist. He is our first non-American POTUS.

DINORight on July 4, 2010 at 1:46 PM

We prize liberty, and we’ll tell you about it, but if you embrace it that doesn’t make you “American” in any meaningful way. It makes you a liberty-loving person of your own nationality. If you want to literally be American – great! We love you, man. Fill out these forms, learn the language, take a test, take an oath.

Beautiful. And give your own country the ability to correct itself by standing up to your government if it is corrupt or support your government if it is battling outside forces like drug cartels for control.

journeyintothewhirlwind on July 4, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Finally, there is something a bit creepy about saying “being American is a matter of faith” – something that evokes the national-religious aspects of Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, Soviet Stalinism, and Maoism.

Those historical doctrines don’t have a monopoly in a national faith that transcends ethnic identity. Obama was addressing immigration, which requires a leap-of-faith by the immigrant that America is a land of opportunity. Perhaps we agree that it is less-so today than a century ago, in part because of Obama and policies he favors.

However, Obama (or any other politician) would be remiss to not talk about a faith (or belief, ethic, spirit, character, etc.) of being American that exists beyond the letter of the law. Especially for immigrants it implies a country of opportunity, a meritocracy, where effort and smarts are rewarded rather than social class. A place where individual liberty allows you to prosper and live in peace whether you believe what your neighbors or political leaders do.

dedalus on July 4, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Very perceptive post.

I suspect I’m not alone in trying to understand President Obama’s (to say the least) unusual take on our country. This is a convincing partial answer.

ElectricPhase on July 4, 2010 at 2:07 PM

What Obama did in his speech was blend to pervert the two in a hortatory speech – not, in other words, an academic seminar-type venue – in a way no American I’ve ever known or seen would have.

just a clarification JE….

ted c on July 4, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Sometimes I think this President is a bit desperate
…and I see sentences/phrases such as these as
the sweat on the sock-puppet’s brow

Lockstein13 on July 4, 2010 at 2:13 PM

Yeah, the pilgrims came because they crave the rule of law and the Boston Tea Partiers’s chief demand was the enforcement of the Stamp Act.

year_of_the_dingo on July 4, 2010 at 2:13 PM

If someone never cared about American values and exceptionalism, how can they be expected to do anything but make sh*t up when put in Obama’s position. Really. He didn’t run to be president of America. He ran to transform America into some (hush-hushed) other thing.
-
The media forgot to insist on knowing what ‘change’ he would bring about, and now they are upset when they don’t get all a flutter and tingly when he speaks (TOTUS or NoTOTUS). Obama is just an agenda trying to be implemented before the clock runs out.
-
He knows not, or cares not about America… The land of the free and the home of the brave.

RalphyBoy on July 4, 2010 at 2:18 PM

I don’t care where this man was born, he doesn’t think like an American, he doesn’t understand what it means to be an American…he isn’t American at heart.

ladyingray on July 4, 2010 at 12:39 PM

It’s because Obama sees himself as a citizen of Obamaland. He is an Obaman, who happens to live in America. His narcissism allows him to believe he goes beyond a national identity and right smack into the Obama Identity.

He’s so wrapped up into himself, he cannot understand a nationalistic feeling. It’s a foreign concept to him. Anything that involves respect, love or understanding outside of Obama is a foreign concept.

ButterflyDragon on July 4, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Ed generously suggests the following:
“We know what Obama meant in this passage”

Not a day goes by where Ed or AP declares Obama didn’t mean to say what he said, so that’s par for the course around here. (e.g. “Obama didn’t really mean ‘like it or not America’s still a superpower’”). Then they tack on the global “we know” in a weird attempt to validate their feelings. Their eager Obama ever-apologetic wont is frankly embarrassing.

there is something a bit creepy about saying “being American is a matter of faith” – something that evokes the national-religious aspects of Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, Soviet Stalinism, and Maoism. It is extremely informative about Obama, and presumably his speechwriting staff, that their ears didn’t catch this off-kilter resonance.

Be thankful for some of the worst speechwriters in political history. Although it certainly displays Obama’s actual repeat offender status as it relates to the abuse of the good faith term “faith”. He rode into Chitown, in part, on Jeremiah Wright’s bus which Obama then hijacked, tossed Wright under and Obama is still trying to drive it to somewhere.

To Obama faith is a clouded all-emcompassing, meaningless term. It has joined many other words that used to have tangible meaning but have become, at least in his own mind, the “New Is-isms”. As Clinton said, the meaning just depends.

whatcat on July 4, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Obama means what he says, he always has. Time to stop giving him the benefit of a doubt that he has never deserved.

He means for being an American to be the same as being in any other failed yet “fair” socialistic countries controlled by an oligarchy. Faith in his warped sense of “fair” socialistic values is the only kind of American he wants us to be.

ray on July 4, 2010 at 2:32 PM

True Americans can recognize imposters. Exhibit “A”.

ted c on July 4, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I think Obama thought these words would resonate with traditional Americans.

The only line I disagree with. Does Obama pledge allegiance to our flag? Only when he is emabrassed to pin it on his lapel. How about to the republic for which it stands? No, again he is a one world citizen apologizing as he goes about the world. One Nation under God, not so much, the government has been his god and the fruits of others he needs to ration. Indivisible, now has he ever done anything short of dividing us among every metric imaginable, no has not. So to the left and the liberals his words resonate but those of us grounded in faith and in our constitution he does not resonate nor even try to.

fourdeucer on July 4, 2010 at 2:44 PM

My 4th of July wish:

May all patriots enjoy the rebuilding of this nation soon, while this fool sits on a city street corner babbling his pure drivel, and taking periodic swigs from a bottle concealed in a paper bag.

Hening on July 4, 2010 at 2:55 PM

I don’t care where this man was born, he doesn’t think like an American, he doesn’t understand what it means to be an American…he isn’t American at heart.

ladyingray on July 4, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I never cease to be amazed at how often the first comment at HotAir nails it.

ladyingray +111

Jaibones on July 4, 2010 at 3:00 PM

The only faith William Ayers has ever demonstrated in the past has been in how much damage one of his homemade bombs could have done on a major office building.

pilamaye on July 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM

I wish people would quit letting that vicious little beast off the hook. You don’t put nails in anti-building weapons.

fronclynne on July 4, 2010 at 3:02 PM

ray on July 4, 2010 at 2:32 PM

We know how he uses words without regard to their integrity, or his own either for that matter. He was conflating faith and Americanism for some manipulative reason, but I haven’t found his speech online yet to check out the context.

petefrt on July 4, 2010 at 3:06 PM

“Being an American is not a matter of 1.) blood or 2.) birth, it’s 3.) a matter of faith.”

So, three strikes, Obooba’s out. Right?

Akzed on July 4, 2010 at 3:09 PM

CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET A GREEN CARD

lm10001 on July 4, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Can’t we all just get a bong!
obambi.

VegasRick on July 4, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Obama has real trouble expressing American ideas because he’s not an “American”.

See how easy it is to understand The One?

GarandFan on July 4, 2010 at 3:23 PM

The saddest part of this whole charade is in his heart, Obama does not have a clue what beng an American really is. We have elected a leader who is completely foreign to the values that have made us the greatest nation on earth. He is determined to force his will on the most free nation in history. The demonrats following lockstep with him indicate we have those among us who put their own best interests ahead of the best interests of the American people. They must be dealt with in November.

volsense on July 4, 2010 at 3:24 PM

On this lovely holiday, cant we all just get a thong? LOL.

Happy Independence Day America from the land of Fort Mchenry.

johnnyU on July 4, 2010 at 3:24 PM

One thing is blatantly clear . . . this dolt was born with his head permanently attached to the inside of his rectum.

rplat on July 4, 2010 at 3:52 PM

it reinforces my perception of him as not-American. He does not typically speak as an American would, naturally and without effort or thought, and, in speaking, he reveals his total lack of understanding of the American experience. I’m not a “birther” but the man clearly was not raised in the American cultrue. And that culture, while frequently denigrated on the Left, is quite unique and distinct and one that we all recognize, regardless of political stripe.

Willie on July 4, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Regardless of anything Obama says I am an American by blood and by law. I do not share his lack of respect for our laws. My instinctive reaction to his stupid formulation was that he intends to somehow prove that I do not share his faith and so he will try to deprive me of my citizenship and the right to vote. The mature grown-up in my head tells me that is just cute, funny and paranoid but part of me can’t let go of it and expects to run into night stick carrying Obamabots outside the polls sending me home.

snaggletoothie on July 4, 2010 at 4:34 PM

“Being an American is not a matter of blood or birth, it’s a matter of faith.”

But wait, yesterday he said the “quintessential American” trait was the capacity to change. (Hey, kids, betcha didn’t know that.)

ShamWow Obama needs a new writer.

petefrt on July 4, 2010 at 4:40 PM

And before that: America is “One of the Largest Muslim Countries in the World”

petefrt on July 4, 2010 at 4:54 PM

“Being an American is not a matter of blood or birth, it’s a matter of faith.”

Call it what you want but it is an extention of his intentions to justify amnesty for illegals here now and in the future. He is well aware that if he can pull that off, he will have the votes to replace those he nolonger can count on, or has lost, in the next election. It is all about winning, and promoting his socilist goals and has nothing to do with America or being an American.

Speaking from experience as a teacher dealing with students and parents, I can say that for many being an american is not what they came here for. They came for the jobs. Viva Mexico is where their loyalty lies and where their money goes. The money sent home makes up the second largest source of national income behind Mexican oil. It does not take much understand why the president of Mexico is so insistent that we open our boarders and stop enforcing immigration laws.

Call me a birther if you want, but I will add that he possibly associates himself with those illegals and that a successful resolve of their pardicument might in same way benifit him in his.

I bring into question his citizenship based on the facts as they are now presented to us. I have no doubt that he has a Certification of Live birth and when the registar of the state says he does, it is not a lie. The problem as often pointed out is that any parent could obtain that document in Hawaii for their child who was not born in the United States or to lawful American Citizens. The only difference between a foriegn born child’s certification and a child born in the United States in Hawaii is the long form which would only be used for a child born in the state. It looks identical to the short form with the exception that it contains information of place of birth, usually a hospital, the doctor who delivered or certified the birth and information of the parents that exceeds that provided on the short form. This is the only document that proves a birth in Hawaii, despite the assertion to the contray that the short form is all he needed to show. Unproven rumor is that the long form does not exist, but his refusal to release a long form proving he is a natural born citizen does not disprove that rummor, rather it makes it more probable it does not exist. If all that we would see is the hospital he was born in and the name of the doctor that delievered him, in what way would that harm him?

The absents of a provided long form is not the only issue that clouds the assersion that he is a natural born citizen.
There is the fact of his father passing dual citizenship onto him, making him a British citizen as was the law of the time of all citizens of the former British colony. If that is so, he is not a British citizen since at the age of 18, if he did not apply to remain a British Citizen, he reverted to a citizen of Kenya.

The early testimony of his grandmother and step sister, that he was born in a province of Kenya, a rumor, if you discount the recorded conversation with his grandmother and that a birth certificate was seen that strongly suggested it was Obama’s is an additional problem. It is a known fact that his mother was in Kenya at least up until a few days before his birth. The testimony of his birth by his relatives states that his mother attempted to return to the United States but was denied boarding on the flight to Hawaii due to her advance state of pregnancy. The fact state that his record of birth in Hawaii was not completed until four days after his birth. Again the lack of a long form showing a hospital and the certification of birth by the doctor that delivered him does not help the argument that he is a natural born citizen.

My impression is that his mother, who was a radical who pursued interacial relationships, may have been infactualted with the idea of an African born child. Something changed or she changed her mind and tried to return to Hawaii where he would be born as an American citizen. It was her intention but did not work out the way she intended.

Further adding to the question is the sealing of any records of Obama in Kenya by his cousin who is the priminister of Kenya. A post he recieved in return for stopping the mass killing of people after he lost the presiential election. What records would there be to seal aside from those created when Obama went to Kenya and campaigned for him?

Some currious facts follow the time around his birth. It does appear that his father left the family upon the return to Hawaii and strangely enough moved into the bachalors dorms at the university.

An address was given as the place of residence of at least his mother that was picked up by the local news papers that reported all registered births. The address was bogus and occupied long before and after by another party. It is possible she might have arranged to live in the bungalow behind that address, but it is not supported by any local residence memory.

Two weeks after his mother returned to Hawaii she moved to the west coast and began attending college. Eventually she returned to Hawaii, remarried or married a man from Indoneisa. The new family moved to Indoeisa where Obama was enrolled in school. Only Indoesian citizens were allowed to attend school so apprently arrangments occured that permited him to be recognized as a citizen of Indonesia. Further complicating that premise that he is or was a citizen of Indoesia is his alleged possession of an Indoneisan passport and apprent use to enter Pakistan when Americans were not allowed to enter the country.

If that never occured and he did not use it to gain tution help as a forigen college studnet the question of Indonesian citizenship should be able to be overcomed in a question of his being a natural born citizen. How ever his sealing of those records creates further unanswered questions that are not in favor of his being a natural born citizen or qualifed to be president.

What is not clear is why he was sent to live with his grandparents in Hawaii after his sister was born in Indonesia, It is known is that his grandfather was a socialist and he arranged for Obama to be mentored by the top communist leader; Moscow appointed member of the Communist Party USA, Frank Davis. Draw what conclusions you want from that and his life that has followed.

There are far to many unanswered questions of his being an natural born citizen. He has spent over a million dollars to insure that records remain sealed and unread. What is he hiding? Given that he is a natural born citizen, qualified to serve as a president, there is something there he fears and that would be extremely damageging, at least in his mind considering that he is a narcissist that has achieved great power that he can not afford to lose.

Franklyn on July 4, 2010 at 4:57 PM

one of the chief things is that he simply doesn’t think like an American.

The reason being is that his childhood was spent outside America. His extremely important formative years were spent in foreign lands with parents and their friends and associates who were stridently anti-American.
So, why would we expect him to think like an American when his history is anything but?

Amendment X on July 4, 2010 at 5:00 PM

This new and radical definition of what qualifies someone to be an American citizen ought to concern us. At first I was outraged that President Obama would consider an illegal alien equal to or even more American than my children who were born here. Then I thought it a bit ironic that even Obama might not qualify because of his new definition. Then I realized the ramifications for us all since he is the one doing the defining. Obama and the Democrats could deem anyone who does not support their radical agenda “faithless” and therefore un-American. I hope that is just being a little paranoid but I do not trust their agenda one bit.

Blue Collar Todd on July 4, 2010 at 5:12 PM

I don’t care where this man was born, he doesn’t think like an American, he doesn’t understand what it means to be an American…he isn’t American at heart.

ladyingray on July 4, 2010 at 12:39 PM

BINGO! But what’s more disturbing than that is “we” put him in office.

ncborn on July 4, 2010 at 5:16 PM

This new and radical definition of what qualifies someone to be an American citizen ought to concern us. …Then I realized the ramifications for us all since he is the one doing the defining.

Blue Collar Todd on July 4, 2010 at 5:12 PM

It’s been gnawing at me too, BCT, and I’m not sure why it bothers me so. Maybe I’m looking for meaning that’s just not there. But I know Øbama uses words as tools to manipulate people, and like the good community organizer, he’s driving toward something here.

I think you’re onto it. I think he’s moralizing the immigration issue, putting patriotism in the service of amnesty and attacking us on moral grounds as unAmerican cads… and this was his opening shot. Just as ‘paying taxes is patriotic’, people who support amnesty for illegal aliens are the Americans in the highest and truest sense. And the rest of us are Fascists, or something like that.

petefrt on July 4, 2010 at 5:37 PM

It truly is stunning just how little he understands the nation he was elected to govern. He doesn’t understand the principals our nation was founded on. He doesn’t understand the people he pretends to speak for. He’s this strange foundling who managed to convince a majority of our countrymen that he can turn lead in to gold. Shame on those who were fooled by him.

MJBrutus on July 4, 2010 at 6:03 PM

“… If you want to literally be American – great! We love you, man. Fill out these forms, learn the language, take a test, take an oath.” …. Learn how to throw a baseball like a man and start hating soccer, which is the sport American socialists keep trying to foist on us. Soccer pre-conditions people to accept socialism. There is lots and lots of running around, but rarely accomplishing anything and the refs (bureaucrats) can determine the outcome no matter what the players do by exercising bureaucratic fiat. Get Americans to love soccer and they will more easily accept socialism.

JimP on July 4, 2010 at 6:08 PM

“Being an American is not a matter of blood or birth, it’s a matter of faith.”

Faith without works is dead. I’ve always believed you can’t pray the food from the grocery; you have to get up and go get it for yourself. If you steal the food, you are breaking the law. No matter how hungry you are, if the grocery doors are locked and you break in, you have broken the law.

How hard can it be to secure our borders?

TN Mom on July 4, 2010 at 6:16 PM

I was looking for A Jefferson Quote, and came across this it’s really interesting. It’s the founders position on immigration and assimilation.

To “Possess the National
Consciousness of an American”

(Louis Brandeis, July 4, 1915)

Dr Evil on July 4, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Being an American is not a matter of blood or birth, it’s a matter of faith.”

;P:

Those kind of comments are what you hear in college classes from some long haired male creepy professor or a mousey gray haired female prof. They think it sounds so grand and special. Then everyone is supposed to go get high and reflect on the meaning and kiss themselves with adoration because they are so smart and special.

Well we now have one of those maggots as our President.

jarhead0311 on July 4, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Franklyn on July 4, 2010 at 4:57 PM

For all intents and purposes, the man was naturalized by the vote of the Americana people Nov. 2, 2008. It’s too late to reverse that vote.

AshleyTKing on July 4, 2010 at 8:16 PM

There is only one way, someone who thinks like this, can be elected President of the United States. OUr “free press” has failed us and continue to do so. I’ll never forget, watching the debate with Hilary Clinton, when he was questioned about the Capital Gains Tax and he said he would raise it. Charles Gibson told him that, each time the Capital Gains Tax is lowered, it brings in more revenue. Obama said, “It’s not about money, it’s about being fair.” If the press didn’t know, right at that moment, this guy thinks like a socialist and doesn’t understand this country, they never would.

After that debate, Charles Gibson and Georgie Boy, were hammered for being too easy on Hilary and too tough on Obama. That was the last time Obama was challenged and that includes all of the press conferences he’s had since then.

With propaganda arms like this, it’s difficult to comprehend why our framers wanted a first amendment to protect the press when the press is so willing to give it up.

bflat879 on July 4, 2010 at 8:24 PM

It is extremely informative about Obama, and presumably his speechwriting staff, that their ears didn’t catch this off-kilter resonance.

Actually, I think that his speechwriting staff knew exactly what they were doing when they wrote it that way. It harkens back to Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, in which societal norms must be attacked and diminished in importance to demoralize conservative Americans.

One of the major strategies used by Progressives to accomplish this is by rewriting history and redefining important words used by normal Americans to confuse the meaning of the words and diminish the importance of the concepts they project.

Obama has been venturing a lot lately, verbally, into the realms of “faith”, even to the point of eliciting help from certain religious organizations under the auspices of helping the downtrodden as an altruistic Biblical Christian goal. Very sly of him, to neutralize Christianity by recruiting certain major religious leaders into Big Government involvement and undermining the conservative base which is perceived to be too religious to ignore their Christian “leaders” dictates and pronouncements.

KendraWilder on July 4, 2010 at 9:58 PM

That Obama quote clangs so off-key it hurts to hear it. Who here believes that Obama actually understands faith? Just for laughs, substitute another country in that silly quote. “Being a Kenyan is not a matter of blood or birth, it’s a matter of faith.”

Being an “American” can indeed be a matter of the heart. But I’m not an American because I *believe* I am. I’m an American because my head and my heart mandate that I adhere to the principles of the Declaration and the mechanics of the Constitution. [And because I was born here. That helps.]

Blind obeisance is not faith, it’s herd behavior. And it’s consistent with the contempt he and his party have for the masses they have the power to control. I don’t say “lead” because they’re not leading. They’re going where they want, doing what they want, and nuts to anyone who doesn’t like it. After all, he won.

Zumkopf on July 4, 2010 at 10:30 PM

There’s something “creepy” about it indeed! I was sickened by Obama’s trivialization of our nation in such a cheesy, slick way. I feel sorry for any American who values this country so little that they would toss citizenship off as being a matter of “faith.”

I think Obama’s words are outrageous. Being an American is not a matter of “faith.” It is a matter of LAW. Either you ARE or you ARE NOT an American BY LAW.

You may love America; you may believe in the ideals of America; you may go to sleep every single night praying that you may one day be an American, living on American soil.

But you are NOT an AMERICAN until you are one BY LAW, either by birth, or by naturalization.

It’s got nothing to do with “FAITH” at all. That’s outrageous!

mountainaires on July 5, 2010 at 6:16 AM

I think he’s moralizing the immigration issue, putting patriotism in the service of amnesty and attacking us on moral grounds as unAmerican cads… and this was his opening shot. Just as ‘paying taxes is patriotic’, people who support amnesty for illegal aliens are the Americans in the highest and truest sense. And the rest of us are Fascists, or something like that.

petefrt on July 4, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Well said here. Time will tell how this plays out. 2010 may be the last stand to stop this.

Blue Collar Todd on July 5, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Obama flunks on Faith-Based Citizenship???…I thought he flunked on anything he attempts!

CEA_Agent on July 5, 2010 at 10:27 AM

For some irony, Hillary Rodham Clinton said :

KRAKOW, Poland — Intolerant governments across the globe are “slowly crushing” activist and advocacy groups that play an essential role in the development of democracy, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday.
She cited a broad range of countries where “the walls are closing in” on civic organizations such as unions, religious groups, rights advocates and other nongovernmental organizations that press for social change and shine a light on governments’ shortcomings.

And for a double dose of irony, President Obama’s office:

[T]he United States is particularly concerned about “the spread of restrictions on civil society, the growing use of law to curb rather than enhance freedom and widespread corruption that is undermining the faith of citizens in their governments.”

J_Crater on July 6, 2010 at 3:35 AM