Obama ’08

This is why I am now supporting Obama. While every other knucklehead in the race rattles off more of the same status quo crap, one man can deliver something that sounds logical, not like rehearsed, poll-tested spitback. As someone who considers himself spiritual, but attaches no organized religion to his beliefs, I like reading this, especially when an increasing alternative is Mike Huckabee, who is the only candidate who actually makes another 4 years of Bush seem appetizing.

“For one, they need to understand the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy, but the robustness of our religious practice. Folks tend to forget that during our founding, it wasn’t the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of the First Amendment. It was the persecuted minorities, it was Baptists like John Leland who didn’t want the established churches to impose their views on folks who were getting happy out in the fields and teaching the scripture to slaves. It was the forbearers of the evangelicals who were the most adamant about not mingling government with religious, because they did not want state-sponsored religion hindering their ability to practice their faith as they understood it.

Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let’s read our bibles. Folks haven’t been reading their bibles.

This brings me to my second point. Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”

3 Replies to “Obama ’08”

  1. The shortsighted and biased dualism in American politics is preventing the American people from seeing the political reality objectively. People are often very biased and just blame the bad people on the other side of the fence for all the evil in the world.

    Politics would be easy if it was all about we, the good guys against them the bad guys. But it isn’t like that in the world.

    The area where you can see that dualism in American politics perhaps most clearly is the way Christianity is represented in politics. By some clever scheme an extreme right wing minority has managed to make Christian values in politics almost as their monopoly in the USA.

    It is sad to see tahat a big portions of American Christians seem stupid enough that they have bought that propaganda. They think that they are supporting Christian values and politics – when, in fact, many values of the extreme right wing “christians” are often much closer to 1930’s fascism in Europe than to the Biblical Christianity. Many American left wing liberals who often have no idea about the contents of the Bible anymore seem also stupid enough to buy that propaganda too.

    Although many even conservative Christian leaders oppose the values of the extreme right wingers – the Christian mass media controlled by money greedy super evangelists seems usually to be strongly behind the extreme right wing view of Christianity. The result is a strongly twisted view of Christian values in the USA – on both sides of the liberal vs. conservative battlefield.

    It may have started during the cold war, when – again – there were supposedly only two sides in the apocalyptical battle between good and bad: the so-called Christian and free west with the USA as its leader, and the bad boys behind the suppressive Communist iron curtain. During those times it may have made a little sense as the west was surely a more democratic place than the gulag world in the east. But now that battle is practically over, and the extreme right wingers have had to find new enemies in order for them to keep their influence in politics. Sometimes the bad boys are nowadays the Arabs, but often the enemy can be found much closer, in liberal circles in the west.

    However, does anybody in the USA remember that also, for example, Martin Luther King was a devout Christian? In other parts of the world there is a strong heritage of Christian values that do not represent only extreme right wing ideals (according to some studies, a typical Christian in the USA, does not differ from his fellowmen in many other ways except that he appears to be a bit more racist than the others).

    At least I would have nothing against seeing a Christian leader like Martin Luther King becoming the US president. I do support that kind of Christian values, but I do not support extreme right wingers.

  2. For a person who spent 20 years in a “Christian” church Obama is surprisingly ignorant about the tenants of his religion. Just to take the simplest and most basic example, the new Testament (that’s the basic document of Christianity) rejects many of the Old Testament laws specifically, such as dietary restrictions, and many others in general. There is still slavery in the world today, but the U.S. is the only country that fought a civil war to end the practice. No thanks to the Democratic party which was the institution most responsible for the continuation of slavery in this country. And that legacy continues today. Left wing “progressives” have destroyed the black family in America with a welfare system that encourages fatherless families and excuses inner-city crime that leads to empty cities with no hope for jobs. Barack Obama is an empty suit who is being propped up by white progressives who want to further disenfranchise minorities. The only thing they care about is power. As long as you vote for them they will pay lip service to you. But ask yourself, what has the Democratic party actually done for blacks and other minorities in America? While they tell you they are fighting for you, they are actually holding you down. A barack Obama presidency will actually turn out to be a disaster for Black Americans.

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