President Obama once accused the Christian right of intolerance and narrow-mindedness and alleged the Christian right had “hijacked the moral high ground,” according to a story published in 1995 and recently revisted.
The article, written by Hank De Zutter, appeared in a 1995 edition of Chicago Reader. At the time, the future president was running for the Illinois senate.
“What Makes Obama Run,” was the headline, noting that Obama was “entering politics to get back to his true passion — community organization.”
Obama’s comments about Christians came during a rhetorical question he raised over what would happen if a politican “were to see his job as that of an organizer.”
“What if a politician were to see his job as that of an organizer,” he wondered to the Chicago Reader, “as part teacher and part advocate, one who does not sell voters short but who educates them about the real choices before them? As an elected public official, for instance, I could bring church and community leaders together easier than I could as a community organizer or lawyer. We would come together to form concrete economic development strategies, take advantage of existing laws and structures, and create bridges and bonds within all sectors of the community. We must form grass-root structures that would hold me and other elected officials more accountable for their actions.”
Then, the future president unloaded on Christians.
“The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have,” he told the Chicago Reader. “But it’s always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia. And they also have hijacked the higher moral ground with this language of family values and moral responsibility.”
During his 2008 presidential run, Obama came under fire for blasting Americans who cling to their guns and religion. He labeled them “bitter Americans.”