GOP candidates at a debate (Getty Images)

In his Washington Post column, Eugene Robinson evaluates the GOP's claims that President Barack Obama is hostile to faith in America, in part because of a recent ruling requiring some churches to provide health insurance that pays for contraceptives. While the president later altered the rule, the GOP is using the issue to pander to evangelical voters.

Just how has this “hostility to faith in America” manifested itself? Obama issued a rule requiring some church-owned or church-run institutions to provide health insurance that pays for contraceptives, which are outlawed by Catholic doctrine — and used by most Catholic women. Obama subsequently altered the rule to placate Catholic bishops, who responded by declaring themselves implacable.

In his speech at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Obama cited New Testament scripture in arguing for economic and social justice. Conservatives blasted him for, um, quoting the Bible.

This is a war? This is a march to the guillotine?

Romney and Gingrich know better; they’re just cynically pandering to religious conservatives. Santorum, at least, is sincere in his pre-Enlightenment beliefs. But rejection of the intellectual framework that produced not just the French Revolution but the American Revolution as well does not strike me as an appropriate philosophy for a U.S. presidential candidate to espouse, much less a winning platform to run on.


The Founders wisely decided to institutionalize separation of church and state. The references to God, the Creator and Divine Providence in the Declaration of Independence mask the fact that the Founders disagreed on the nature and existence of a Supreme Being. They understood the difference between faith and religiosity.

Read Eugene Robinson's entire column at the Washington Post.