I looked it up. This is what Obama said:
June 28, 2006 (as delivered): “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”
And yes, Obama did cancel the National Day of Prayer service at the White House.He certainly has set himself up to be hated by a lot of evangelical Christians. But I want to say, though I am a Christian myself, I shudder to think of what would happen if the U.S. Government endorsed Christianity as the official State or National religion. Our forefathers came to this country in part to escape religious persecution and to worship as they pleased. The Founding Fathers strongly believed in the separation of Church and State, since they were familiar with the abuses of the Church of England.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says:
As Christians, we should not force our beliefs on anyone, nor should we demean or belittle anyone who believes differently than we do. (I speak of the realm of "faith." But of course people cross the line when they let their "beliefs" motivate them to murder and kill - no religion should have that kind of power or authority). As I read the Bible, I do not think that Christ tried to force His beliefs on anyone. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," (Matthew 11:15) he said, even though He was the Son of the Almighty God! Can you imagine the respect Christ has for our individual agency and freedom of belief?So do I believe in prayer in schools? Well, that depends. No public school can constitutionally interfere with my child's right to "peaceably" practice their religion at school, whether this means saying a quiet prayer to himself before a test, or talking with another child at recess about God. However, no one has the constitutional right to stand up an offer a public prayer at a school-sponsored event. To do so is to start down the road of State-sponsored religion. I am a very religious person, but our public schools are not the place for the public practicing of religious rites. We are to honor the principles on which our Great Nation is founded (though we might call them "Christian" principles), and respect each other's freedoms; and live together in peace and prosperity. In my private conversations and in my own Church's worship services, I will speak and preach of Christ, and try to persuade others to believe in Him. But in public, government-related venues, I honor and respect the freedom of everyone to believe (or not to believe) as they see fit.
Joseph Smith said it best: