Former Faith Adviser for Obama Says He Is Glad ‘American Civil Religion Is Dying’


Shaun Casey, the religious affairs adviser to presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, said at a discussion on Tuesday about  “God and Politics” that the demise of religious society in the United States is a good thing.

“I, frankly, am glad American civil religion is dying,” said Casey, who is an associate professor of Christian Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
Casey made the remarks at an event focusing on religion and the 2012 presidential election at the liberal Center for American Progress where he was a panelist along with Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Hispanic Evangelical Coalition.
Casey was responding to Salguero’s claim that civil religion is employed by politicians as an “iconic use of faith.”
“There is also a negative underside to that history with respect to slavery, manifest destiny, to war, you know, to empires, so I, frankly, am glad American civil religion is dying,” Casey said. “But it does raise the practical question, what does bind us together in some way as a country?
“We need some substitute for that and I don’t think we’ve found it yet,” Casey said.
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Penny Starr