Monday, October 23, 2006

Next Prez???

Time Magazine published a well written article about Senator Barak's Spiritual Journey. I'm not sure what I think about this dude, yet, but I'm ready for someone that takes faith and how faith works in leadership. This country is ready for a leader that is willing to make decisions that please God, first, and voters, second.

At first glance, looking at it from my Republican point of view, I respond a little cynically. Liberals like to make themselves look a whole lot more conservative with elections on the horizon, and then revert back to true liberal ways once the voters have come and gone.

Liberal or conservative, this country needs a leader that doesn't change his stripes to spots once the votes are all counted. We need a leader that doesn't just talk about God. This country needs a leader that actually leads like he answers to God.


For one thing, I was drawn to the power of the African American religious tradition to spur social change. Out of necessity, the black church had to minister to the whole person. Out of necessity, the black church rarely had the luxury of separating individual salvation from collective salvation. It had to serve as the center of the community's political, economic, and social as well as spiritual life; it understood in an intimate way the biblical call to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and challenge powers and principalities. In the history of these struggles, I was able to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death; rather, it was an active, palpable agent in the world.
Barack Obama


dogfreid said...

Every politician's a socio-christian.

Who doesn't believe in the social gospel's call to feed the hungry and clothe the naked?

The problem with being a socio-christian isn't its mission (helping the needy, sick, etc), but the place it occupies in the grand scheme of essential gospel truths.

For example, Mr. Obama claims to understand the biblical call to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, which is great, but, where does he stand on abortion, a greater holocaust than Hitler's Germany? Does he apply the biblical call to respect life as sacred and God-given?

What about the rest of "biblical callings"?

We'll see I guess.

Jeff T. said...

Wouldn't it be interesting to see how the "Religious Right" would respond to a presidential race in which the Democratic candidate was a stronger Christian than Republican candidate?

Although, something tells me the supposed religious beliefs of a politician don't exactly equate to advancing the cause of Christ (see Bush, George W.).

I'm still looking for a politican who actually acts out Godly principles instead of just name-dropping JC...

Anonymous said...

I think Obama precisely points out a large problem within the Church. Afraid to offend, many have chosen to leave Christianity outside the sphere of public discourse only leaving room for those with the most obnoxious voice. Christianity becomes about the "should nots" instead of promoting the most wonderful gift we could ever give someone: the cross.

Which is something Obama failed to mention.

Obama also suggested we as Christians sacrifice our convictions in order to communicate better in our pluralistic democracy.

Chris Goeppner said...

my question is this: when was the last american president that was a senator? jfk. there have only been 2 senators who have become prez. this tells me something: the american voters dont trust senators. senators are know for being the least principled of all american political postitions. its more likely that a governor be elected pres because of the consistent nature of the role.
obama is a democratic party prop that will have a long career as a senator but most likely never beyond this.

Carole Turner said...

I am a Republican, I was arrested many times as a pro-life activist in the 80's and 90's and I LOVE George W Bush and George Bush senior but I have to say, I like Obamah so far. Everything I have ever seen or read about him, so far, impresses me. I read that he was pro-life but he was not for overturning Roe vs Wade, which I do have a problem with but he is for building the family, getting to the cause of unwanted pregnancy and as you said, he displays a strong faith in God that really is the only way to stop abortion-changing hearts. I agree with most his positions that I know of so far.

The issue here in the south will be his color. We had a governors race 3 years ago in which a brilliant Bobby Jindal, who's parents are from India, ran against Kathleen Blanco, a white women. I actually heard people say they would not vote for him because of his color! So, we all know what we got stuck with in Kathleen Blanco.

Unfortunatley, that is how many still think.

I want my son to be the first bi-racial president but Obamah may be the first.

Anonymous said...

Yes, his comments sound good, as far as they go, and no, I haven't read any more about him. But let me tug on my memory for a moment:

As a very young child when Ike was elected, I heard that he was a Christian, a man of faith.

Then JFK was elected, a Roman Catholic (gasp!), and we were all going to be under orders of the Pope. Okay...dumb.

LBJ--I don't remember hearing anything about "faith" in the same sentence as his name.

Nixon--a Quaker and presumed to be a man of solid faith. Did he lead like one? Not in my lexicon or memory, no. I heard recently that he had utterly surrendered his heart to the Lord before his death, but that was some years after he left office.

Ford--no clear memory associated with his faith or lack thereof, which is not a judgment, one way or the other.

Carter--the man who lusted in his heart but would never lie to us; a supposedly solid southern-style Christian;

Ronald Reagan--a man who spoke a good deal, and well, about God and his guidance and goodness; my memory is of a man possessing a simpler and sincere faith;

GHW Bush--good ol' Republican-style Episcopalian, if I remember correctly; a decent human being who probably believes in Jesus Christ; did he lead as if he did?

Bill Clinton--remember when he and Al G. appeared at a southern evangelical meeting of some sort, gave testimony to their faith and ended with a manly hug? Talk's cheap, all right. And then there was his "humble" admission of having sinned, when he stood before some evangelicals after he had finally been forced to stop lying about Monica....

And GWB. I believe in his heart, in his desire to follow God, to live for him. Not so sure about his listening skills, because--typical of politicians--he possesses a hefty amount of arrogant stubbornness. But he has given personal testimony, many times, of God's transforming power in his own life. We may judge him on his accomplishments and failures, but I believe his heart belongs to God.

Now, why would I believe Obama, or any other politican who is or may be planning a run for higher office, has any deeper faith or willingness to follow the Holy Spirit, rather than be guided by polls or advisors?

My conclusion is that, even those Presidents--as well as members of Congress--who do believe in God and consider themselves Christians don't always let their faith get in their way. That makes them more like us than we want in positions of leadership.