Pope Erick Speaks

When I wrote my earlier post on the president’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, I hadn’t read Erick Erickson’s pronouncement at RedState, which abundantly proved my point:

Despite the interpretations and defenses of the President on what he meant, he gave away the game with a bit of the speech not given nearly as much play in the media. From the transcript:

“I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.”

Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Christ himself is truth. When we possess Christ, we possess truth. The President is a moral relativist. It was clear in his whole speech. He cannot condemn and attack ISIS as he should because in his mind what is truth? Truth is a nebulous concept with our post-modern President. With truth a nebulous concept, right and wrong are too….

So I wish the President would stop professing himself to be a Christian if he is not going to proclaim Christ as truth and the only way to salvation. The “all paths” nonsense and moral equivalence might fit in with the present age, but the present age does not really fit with Christ.

All righty now. But if Pope Erick is going to excommunicate the president for a non-exclusive attitude towards salvation, Obama’s got a lot of company, as Pew reported in 2008:

Americans of every religious stripe are considerably more tolerant of the beliefs of others than most of us might have assumed, according to a new poll released Monday. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life last year surveyed 35,000 Americans, and found that 70% of respondents agreed with the statement “Many religions can lead to eternal life.” Even more remarkable was the fact that 57% of Evangelical Christians were willing to accept that theirs might not be the only path to salvation, since most Christians historically have embraced the words of Jesus, in the Gospel of John, that “no one comes to the Father except through me.” Even as mainline churches had become more tolerant, the exclusivity of Christianity’s path to heaven has long been one of the Evangelicals’ fundamental tenets. The new poll suggests a major shift, at least in the pews.

I also hate to break it to ol’ Erick, but there’s pretty ample scriptural support for the idea that Jesus Christ was a bit of a “moral relativist” himself–you know, the beam and the mote , “Judge Not That Ye Be Not Judged,” “the Sabbath is for man,” the woman by the well, the good Samaritan, the Two Great Commandments, etc. etc. I don’t think Erickson’s disposition has been improved by his recent matriculation at a conservative Calvinist seminary. But then again, I’m not denying the authenticity of his faith, he’s denying the authenticity of mine–and Barack Obama’s.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.