Robert Knight

If there is no absolute truth or Creator of absolute truth, those rights can be violated at a ruler’s whim. Constitutional limits and responsibilities can be ignored, including Article II’s requirement that the president “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Why, a president unbound by scruples or the Constitution could do such things as refuse to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and then issue executive orders that directly violate it.

Many Founders made clear where they thought real authority lay: Roger Sherman wrote: “…the old and new testaments are a revelation from God and a complete rule to direct us….”

President John Adams also rejected moral relativism: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were … the general principles of Christianity. … as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God….”

Constitution signer James McHenry wrote that “the “Holy Scriptures…can alone secure to society, order and peace….”

According to Obama, however, the Founders deplored “the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or ‘ism”….”

This is in line with one of Obama’s guiding lights, Saul Alinsky, whose 1972 book Rules for Radicals describes the proper outlook for a community organizer:

“To the questioner, nothing is sacred. He detests dogma, defies any finite definition of morality…. He stirs unrest. As with all life, this is a paradox, for his irreverence is rooted in a deep reverence for the enigma of life, and an incessant search for its meaning.”

Reverence for an enigma? Translation: It’s fine to search for truth, as long as you don’t find it. Here’s another snippet from Alinsky’s book:

“He knows that life is a quest for uncertainty; that the only certain fact of life is uncertainty; and he can live with it. He knows that all values are relative, in a world of political relativity.”

In such a world, a leader might be sorely tempted to equate might with right and allow ends to justify the means, especially without a critical press to keep him honest. He might even deliberately violate religious conscience just to see how far people will let him go.

The Audacity of Hope cites the Founders’ reliance upon God, but assigns caveats. For instance: “The Founders may have trusted in God, but true to the Enlightenment spirit, they also trusted in the minds and senses that God had given them. They were suspicious of abstraction…which is why at every turn in our early history, theory yielded to fact and necessity.”

Obama’s words tell us little about the true fathers of our country but a great deal about Barack Obama. He has projected his own Marxist-inspired cynicism onto some of the noblest and most brilliant thinkers in the history of the world – and acted accordingly.

He claims their mantle even while kicking the stuffing out of the Constitution and exponentially expanding government power and the national debt.

William Penn said, “Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants,” and Patrick Henry warned that “It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.”

It happens when the people are kept busy worshiping an audacious enigma.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.