I find no relevancy in this question to President Obama's ability to lead this country. Unfortunately, not everyone believes in the separation of Church and State or even religious pluralism. Judging by the Constitution, it appears that the authors at least understood the importance of these concept insofar as to limit its influence upon secular politics. Despite their best intentions, the political stage in the United States does not embody "freedom of religion." Why not? Perhaps it is because the body of citizens aren't chosen for their neutrality and solid grasp on reason; they're not chosen at all.
I find it terribly interesting that this headline follows a proclamation by Interview with a Vampire author Anne Rice. "Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out." I had caught an interview on National Public Radio a couple weeks ago, and it gave me quite a bit to think about. At the time of writing the The Vampire Chronicles, she was an abashed Atheist, later to become a reborn Christian and devout Catholic. I encourage you to read or listen to the NPR article, which goes into depth as to why she made this statement on her Facebook page:
"For those who care, and I understand if you don't: Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being 'Christian' or to being part of Christianity. It's simply impossible for me to 'belong' to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."This statement didn't earn her many fans on the Christian side of the isle, and I can't say I disagree with her. The same could be said for many organized religious groups. Personally, I find it hard to stay involved with any religious group. As some of you may know, I'm a Nichiren Buddhist, only loosely involved with the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) - USA community. Loosely because although I enjoy meeting with like-minded individuals, I place higher priority on other things: family, friends, work. I enjoy personal pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment, but the truth is that I'm not passionate about it; certainly not enough to evangelize about it (this will probably be one of the few times you'll hear me mention it). There are many good things I can say about SGI, but I'll save that for another time - only if you really want to hear about it.
With President Obama, I think we'll be just fine. Others agree. Let's hope the rational citizenship pays no further heed to such headlines and judges our President on the merit of his Administration rather than breed of his Religion. Really, don't make me give up!