James Dobson's recent radio broadcast lambasting Obama was disconcerting but the issue which struck me, as a Christian, was how religious discourse in a democracy was being conceived by these two men.
Obama spoke of a universal language which we are all able to speak to communicate the commitments we have. Dobson mocked the idea that we have to adjust anything to speak with each other. While I think both are wrong, Dobson's position is more worrying.
I'm not sure what universal language Obama has in mind? A secular one? I don't think this is a universal language because we have so many religious folks in the world and because with such varying beliefs I'm not sure there is *a* language that communicates with all.
But we do have a responsibility to communicate, to persuade. It's not an article in the constitution but it is the heart beat of democracy. And that means mutually modifying our language so that we can be understood and understand each other.
Paul did this in one of my favorite Bible passages; Acts 17, where he uses Stoic and Epicurean categories to communicate God. He did this to be understood. But the language he used wasn't so foreign, it was the moral and religious language of the Hellenized world.
Some folks feed off of confrontation and not being understood. But living in the US in the same period of time, we are not so foreign to each other. But we have to be willing to find out how to modify our discourse so as to understand each other.