Liberals hate Christianity when it serves as an implicit White identity, particularly a rural White identity that is “clung to.” Christianity gets a pass in its WASPish and “high church” variety, that is, when it is essentially vague liberalism with smells and bells. And Liberals unabashedly love Christianity when it serves as an implicit African-American identity.

This was on display in the reaction to Barack Obama’s recent eulogy for the victims of the Charleston shooting and his stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

One section of his speech stood out to me. Sayeth Obama:

It was an act [the Charleston shooting] that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…


… an act that he [Dylann Roof] imagined would incite fear and recrimination, violence and suspicion, an act that he presumed would deepen divisions that trace back to our nation’s original sin.

Oh, but God works in mysterious ways.


God has different ideas.


He didn’t know he was being used by God.


Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer would not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group, the light of love that shown as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle.

The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness. He couldn’t imagine that.


The alleged killer could not imagine how the city of Charleston under the good and wise leadership of Mayor Riley, how the state of South Carolina, how the United States of America would respond not merely with revulsion at his evil acts, but with (inaudible) generosity. And more importantly, with a thoughtful introspection and self-examination that we so rarely see in public life. Blinded by hatred, he failed to comprehend what Reverend Pinckney so well understood—the power of God’s grace.

Few commentators seem to have taken seriously the fact that the President claimed that Dylann Roof “was being used by God.” According to Obama, God wanted Americans to be touched by the story of a mass murder of African-Americans and engage in a “thoughtful introspection and self-examination.” In other words, God made Dylann Roof murder Christians so that Americans would denounce racism and remove the Confederate battle flag from state grounds.

In 2005, President Bush allegedly told a group of Palestinian Christians that God told him to “end the tyranny in Iraq.” For years, his statement was ridiculed.[1] Just imagine if he had instead claimed that God was behind a mass murder of Black people. . .

And last week, some of South Carolina’s universally contemptible and stupid State Representatives chimed in about the “divine intervention” that led them to bring the Flag down. Democrat Grady Brown said, “I have as much heritage as anyone in the world,” which means that he owns a lot of Civil War memorabilia. But then, someone made him change his mind about the flag: “I’m voting to take the flag down because I think it is, in God's eyes, the right thing to do.”

However you might feel about Gray’s and Obama’s comments, this line of thinking is, structurally, undeniably Christian. It is with Christ that God enters the world, that history becomes a redemption story. And no Christian can believe that God is absent from the world, that he is not, in some way, animating the unfolding of events.

Carl Schmitt famously observed that “all significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts.” Which means that liberalism only pretends to be secular.

  1. It’s worth remembering that Bush also said that God told him to create an independent state for the Palestinian people, a deed that, unlike invading Iraq, was left undone. This suggests that Bush, at least in his heart, was not quite the Christian-Zionist fanatic many make him out to be.