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August 28, 2008

Obama's Code Language

Democratic nominee borrows from New Testament.

I doubt any commentators will accuse Sen. Barack Obama of using religious code language in his acceptance speech. Yet two famous New Testament passages made an appearance. As is typical of civil religion today, God was replaced by the "American promise."

"Instead, it is that American spirit – that American promise – that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend," Obama said, borrowing from 2 Corinthians 4:18.

Obama then concluded his remarks this way: "Let us keep that promise – that American promise – and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess."

This statement comes from Hebrews 10:23. But the context of this passage explains something far more beautiful than the American promise. "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water" (Heb. 10:19-22).

Editor's Update: There's some confusion in the comments below, so some explanation may be helpful. Collin Hansen wrote this, but was having trouble posting it. So Ted Olsen posted it to the blog. The first comment (which begins, "Your observation is a shrewd one") is from John Hubers. The second is from Bethany Pledge Erickson, and so forth. (Oh, I didn't realize you'd gotten married, Bethany! A belated congratulations to you.)

Comments

Your observation is a shrewd one, as this is something that has long plagued the American political system - civil religion. It, however, is neither a Democratic nor Republican thing. It's an American thing. And the Republicans have as much if not more to answer for. What is more important here is the prayer that Obama wrote and stuck in the prayer wall in Jerusalem which he wrote in secret and expected to keep secret. It would have been secret if an Israeli hadn't taken it out. Here's what it said:

"Lord,

Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins and help me guard against pride and despair.

Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just.

And make me an instrument of your will."

That shows Obama's true faith. Unfortunately evangelicals will join the chorus of those who believe that God belongs to the Republicans, even though McCain's faith is suspect.

You're right - Obama appropriated our religious language for his own purposes.

So does George W. Bush.

Was anyone in the evangelical community talking about Bush's "code language" at the time? Or were we just excited to have a Christian President?

Is such "code language" always equivalent to taking the name of the Lord in vain? Or is it judged by what cause God is being used to promote?

For the record, I will probably vote for Obama. I like him more because he belongs to the Christian tradition, but even if he did not, I would vote for him anyway. I will vote, of course, based on my convictions, which are grounded in my Christian faith. But the point is that it is my faith that matters in my decision, not Obama's faith and not McCain's.

Is partial birth abortion in the Christian tradition?

While I can appreciate the idea of reducing abortions, It is impossible for me to support a person, like Obama, who will allow an aborted child who is alive to be killed and who considers an unwanted pregnancy a "punishment." Life is a core issue in God's design and we are obligated to honor that. Of course, we are to address the needs of the poor, the widows,the orphans, and strangers in the land. But, life is much more central to God's design than those matters.

To Ted's earlier comment about Barack's "Prayer Wall" prayer, I have understood more recently that, in fact, the Obama campaign authorized the release of the prayer.

See this URL for more information about what I am mentioning:

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1005882.html

The relevant part is below:

"Ma'ariv [My note: this is the Israeli paper that published the prayer] issued a response Sunday, saying that "Obama's note was published in Ma'ariv and other international publications following Obama's authorization to make the content of the note public. Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem. Moreover, since Obama is not Jewish, there is no violation of privacy as there would be for a Jewish person who places a note in the Western Wall."

The point is that Obama approved its release, so this was never a prayer intended for God, but rather, the Christian and Jewish publics. It is nothing more than sheer manipulation of people of Faith.

Let's have the point of view of a french christian : ^pIt is so sad to see christians that prefer people who kill already born persons (NRA and pro death penalty) than those who want to help the poor.^pThough homosexuality is identified in the Scripture as a sin (a sin, not a social crime) we have to love everyone, including the homosexuals.^pAnd, because it is THE argument of too much people, i think abortion should not be the point. Except some indirect verses, just try to find a condamnation of abortion in the Bible. And even if you find it, that opinion alone does not qualify the candidate to rule USA and partly the rest of the world.^pHave a nice campaign (and a serious).

when I gave my heart to the Lord in my early thirties I thought for sure the pews would be filled compassionate Democrats. It was filled with a lot of hypocritical Republicans listening but never hearing. The republicans are against abortion but do nothing and expect a tax cut while their fellow man goes hungry. I pray for them but I am ashamed for them as Christens. They are an embarrassment.

I expected more scriptural references. I was frankly surprised and I noted the variation in intent in each allusion.

wrong audience?

Oh yeah, And when did "God bless America" replace "Have a nice day"?

These past four years, too many times, I've been embarrassed to admit that I'm a Christian when I've seen the likes of what has gone on in Washington and some of our "Christian" leaders. I'm dismayed by self-righteous Republicans who look at Democrats as heathens, when I know many who are devout Christians. I've been profoundly moved by the message and values demonstrated by Barack Obama, and I pray he will be our next President.

Obama's conflation of New Testament hope with the American promise stands in a long tradition going back to the Revolutionary War. This is, in part, because the United States is a country based on a civic belief in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and a virtual millenialist hope, early on, that this will be a place where "alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears." Obama's speech evokes this vision powerfully. The explicit connection of this millenial vision with Christianity is part of a "parallel" theology of America as a specially-God-destined nation, evoked powerfully by Reagan and Bush, and still in favor among some evangelicals. Jon Meacham's "American Gospel" (Random House) is an interesting, thorough, and dispassionate study of these themes.

It seems to me that Senator McCain's campaign is summed up in his choice for running mate. Governor Palin is reported as 'religious', is anti-abortion and pro family. She has a 90% approval rating.
Senator McCain does not flaunt his religion as a tool to get votes.
Senator Obama has a reputation for being religious. The problem is ... which religion ? Obama is pro homo-sexuality. God says He finds homosexuality abominable. Obama is pro choice, which means he is pro abortion. God says he finds sacrificing children abominable.
Obama's note in the Wall was transparent and cynically aimed at the undiscerning. True Christians will vote for a candidate based on what the candidate stands for and whether that candidate's policies are based on what God says in His Word. It is not a matter of personal opinion. If God was to speak on this campaign, he would say NOTHING different to what He has already spoken to us, in the Bible.

Obama's actions belie his speech. He is narcissistic to the core. The way this "humble" man dealt with his famous "Wailing Wall" prayer is indicative of a person who will say or do anything, anywhere, at any time, if it advances his cause.

When he was running for office, Ronald Reagan was bluntly asked by a reporter for his view on abortion. His response, "I've studied the subject and in my opinion it is murder." Whether you agreed with him or not, that's the kind of character I want to see in the White House come January 2009.

It is amazing that most of the posts on this blog indicate a belief that scripture and faith belong only to them and that only their beliefs are valid. Those of you who might fall into this category might want to check out some of the history of our early church and how it was presented to divers communities. There is a danger in becoming indoctrinated and learning the right-wing political faith requirement of the moment. Christianity is inclusive, not your exclusive domain.

It is amazing that most of the posts on this blog indicate a belief that scripture and faith belong only to them and that only their beliefs are valid. Those of you who might fall into this category might want to check out some of the history of our early church and how it was presented to divers communities. There is a danger in becoming indoctrinated and learning the right-wing political faith requirement of the moment. Christianity is inclusive, not your exclusive domain.

Like all presidential candidates Barack Obama has to communicate his message to garner the broadest appeal possible or he will never be president. Also, as commander in chief it is appropriate that he is focused on delivering "the American promise" and not a christological defense. It is also understandable and appropriate that he uses commonly used phrases even if they come from the Bible. One should also not that he was not saying Scripture taught us to hold to the American promise but that Scripture says we should hold firmly to the hope we confess i.e. his point is to hold firmly and nothing more. However, it is good that the Church understand what Scripture really teaches and be more focused on promoting the Kingdom of God rather than the empires of this world (USA).

So someone thinks that Christianity is exclusive. Yep ... it is, but anyone is invited into this exclusivity, because Jesus Christ is the door to it. The Word of God is exactly that, or it is meaningless. The Word says "There is one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus. Noone else has any right to any such claim.If belief in that statement is not valid, Christians, above all, are to be pitied ... according to the Word of God.
The early church presented the canon of scripture to divers communities and what was presented by the early church is precisely what Christianity is about today. God does not change. If a politician honors the Word of God, then that politician is the choice of Christians. God has given His Word and Christians are COMMANDED to obey it. My opinion does not matter nor does anyone elses. Senator Obama espouses policies that are diametrically opposed to the Word of God. Let he who has an ear ... hear.

Ray- You are right that we are commanded to obey the Word of God, but does the Word of God say for whom we are to vote? I don't think so. In the time of Jesus there was controversy regarding how God's law related to the ruling powers and Jesus espoused a minority position when he said, "Give unto Ceaser what is Ceaser's and unto God what is God's." I have a hard time believing that Jesus would take such a complex topic as politics in a pluralistic society and boil it down to policies that oppose the Word of God as you seem to do. Also, do you think that the policies of any other party or politician are never in tension with your interpretation of the Word of God?

If Barack Obama claims that he believes in God and in the Bible, which he seems to want everyone to believe, but supports partial-birth abortion he is no less than a liar and a murderer. See Exodus 20:13,Ps. 139:13-16 and Jeremiah 1:4-5, as well as the accounts of the birth of John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus in Matthew and Luke. I plead with you to look at what Obama really believes and stands for. Are you willing to support a man whose voting record so clearly contradicts the Bible and what our constitution defends and protects; the right to life?

He who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
When will we (Christians) know the word of God? Gods people were destroyed for their lack of knowledge, so is the church today (a point interestingly made by Obama) a lack of knowledge of Gods will. Which candidate, based upon his record, is most clearly opposed to Gods directly revealed will in scripture of the fundamental principle of the sanctity of human life? Both candidates have their flaws clearly, however one candidate has voted for policies that are an absolute abomination even by most liberal standards! Obama voted against saving babies (failed abortions)that were born alive! Infanticide! Obama openly courted the Christian fundamental base recently at Saddleback church and said that he believes marriage is "between a man and woman", but failed to say that he wrote a letter of congratulations to the head of the Lesbian Gay Transsexual community for their victory in California courts to have the "right" to wed, which is clearly against Gods design for marriage. Misleading?
Is a vote for McCain a vote for Jesus? No. But a vote for Obama is a vote against the Lord has clearly revealed as His will. Feeding the poor and sheltering the homeless is but two of many charitable things that all Christians should do. It is important because God values LIFE as we were made in His image, not punishments for mistakes. But let us value all of life, womb to tomb. A "Christian" that doesnt seek to follow Christ is no Christian at all.
Preach the word! Stand for righteousness, and pursue holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
And may the Lords kingdom come......

sounds about right to me.obama is a pretty new on the politics scale, AND I DONT KNOW WHAT HES DONE THAT IS SO WONDERFUL PEOPLE ARE GOING AROUND ALMOST WORSHIPPING THIS GUY I personally dont like his politics and unsure where he stands on many levels ,it seems he is just concerned with his image,the presidency of the united states requires much more, than that ,and I dont believe
he is as good as he acts ,to much change change to what we have already had many changes and the old way was best time to get back to god family caring supporting the united states of america, and the war we are in, i dont believe we should be calling our soldiers home ,we are doing good there ,many soldiers say we are ,i take their word more than a bunch of liberal commentators,we need to get on the right track before this country goes downhill and no it isnt yet.BUT SURELY COULD WITHOUT EXPERIENCE, AND THE RIGHT LEADERSHIP

THIS MAN HAS ALREADY HAD AND DID MANY WRONGS FAR AS I SEE ,
I DONT SEE HOW THEY CAN BE AGAINST AND FOR AMERICA AT THE SAME TIME, AS FAR AS ABORTION IT IS TOTALLY WRONG, HIS CHURCH, SUPPORTERS ,AND HIS OWN WORDS TO ME CONVEY THAT I WOULD NOT VOTE OR TRUST OUR GREAT AND FREE COUNTRY TO HIM

How can a man that supports abortion be a christian?
the bible says{ By their fruits you shall know them}

also homosexualalty, and lesbiaism same sex marriage not a way to go at all!

I am considering not voting in this election.

"Put not your faith in princes."

I am a foreigner and a stranger. I am a citizen of another kingdom.(1 Peter)

It remains interesting to me how there is always this talk about courting the Evangelicals (including myself). I wonder whether a mass movement by Evangelicals to not vote in the election would be a better testimony to the kingdom to which we belong.

God is not a Republican, or a Democrat. I for one believe that there has been way too much assumption that being Republican and Christian are synonymous for too long. I also believe that there has been way too much commentary on Obama's faith, assuming he isn't a true christian, or maybe Islamic, etc. even though he has stated repeatedly that he is a Christian.

I for one will be voting for Obama, because FINALLY I see a candidate who has a heart for the poor, who will stand up to the big corporations, who will stand up to those who are far more into power and control, and couch it in evangelical language, to make it ok. I am tired of it.

But I will never judge Mc Cain's faith, because that is between he and God. Nor will I judge Obama's faith, because that too is between he and his God. I will say that I believe the policies of Barack Obama, are very much in line with my convictions, based on my faith, and understanding of the scriptures. Not entirely, nor are Mc Cains' entirely. Nor are any of ours. We are all going to be accountable one day. Until then, we need to vote, and live according to our faith. And Until then, we need to pray for our leaders, whether they agree with us or not.

Mark ... no the Bible does not tell Christians who specifically, to vote for. That is simplistic. The Bible lays down precepts and by those precepts we are to live. I do not believe that God leaves anything to chance, so that in every matter, we are without excuse.
Certainly no politician is the perfect choice, but then, neither you nor I are deserving of the grace of God either. Whichever Politician has a record of upholding the precepts of the Word of God as far as he is responsible, must be the choice for Christians. Not a politician who has a record of and espouses policies that contradict the Word of God. You know ... come to think about it, the Bible DOES tell us who to vote for.

GALATIANS: 6:7 Read and understand this.

NO true Christian can possibly vote for Obama. Do your homework. We are reaping what we have sowed and our children and grandchildren will have to pay for it.

GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED

Thanks for reading and have a Blessed Day.

Barack's prayer is all about Barack.

Contrary to the original commentators (John) comment, Barack gave permission for his personel to release this prayer to the most widely distributed newspaper in Israel. He is a politically calculating puppet. Don't be fooled be his vapid promises. The only change he wants to bring to us is more governmental control and manipulation of our lives.

EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD DO THEIR HOMEWORK ON OBAMA. HE WAS INVOLVED WITH MAJOR CROOKS IN CHICAGO AND HE USE PEOPLE TO GET WHERE HE IS. HE STAYED IN A CHURCH THAT TEACHES HATE! OBAMA HAD TO HAVE KNOWN THESE TEACHINGS IF HE WAS IN THIS CHURCH FOR 20 YEARS. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT HE REALLY BELIEVES? ABORTION IS BEING USED AS A BIRTH CONTROL, THIS IS REALLY MESSING UP THE MIND OF WOMEN WHO SUFFER FROM THE CHOICE THEY HAVE. OBAMA WILL KILL OLD PEOPLE AND CHILDREN THAT HAVE DISABILITIES. THIS IS HIS CHANGE! TO GIVE TO THE POOR WHILE THEY COLLECT WELFARE AND FREE HEALTH INSURANCE AND ??. EVERY ONE THAT IS ABLE SHOULD WORK! OBAMA IS NOT A TRUE CHRISTIAN! HE IS A FAKE! HE WILL GIVE THE ILLEGALS STATUS INSTEAD OF MAKING THEM COME TO THIS COUNTRY THE RIGHT WAY. WITH OBAMA'S PLAN, MCCAIN'S V/P BABY WOULD BE PUT TO DEATH.

I am a registered Democrat,I grew up that way. I tend to vote for Republicans though. I vote for who I think is the best candidate to lead our country, as all should do. Not Democrat or Republican. I base my votes on the background of the candidate as well as moral issues. Both are God centered.
I think America needs to grow up and wise up and stop arguing over Democrats or Republicans!

Why I support Obama in this election:

At my local place of worship, before each election we were always tacitly encouraged to vote republican. However, recently I have become uneasy and began to question this call for the following reasons.

1. My pastor always defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, even when it does not work. These were words you will certainly hear each time a message was preached on faith for years . However, he stopped for political correctness when it was obvious President Bush was determined to stay the "course" even when wisdom counselled otherwise.

2.As was in prior elections, evangelicals were encouraged to vote for GOP candidates in 2000 and 2004, but I never heard a call for a prayer of repentance when the GOP led congress was riddled with one slander after another. It was as if well, now that they have won the elections the "agenda" has been fulfilled.It did not matter if they lived as "lights of the world or not". They failed to realize that they were not just accountable to the electorate but to the word of God on which evangelicals had been lured to cast their votes.

3. The scripture is not all anti-abortion and anti-gay.It is also anti-hate, anti-racism,anti-hypocrisy,anti-false accusation (aka Obama is a Muslim),anti-poverty,anti-lies,anti-pretence (aka Iraq war)etc.The latter vices which seem to be rife in the GOP. I was shocked to learn that Cheney who gave a speech on morality in my small town just before the 2004 election had a daughter who was the President of "Lesbians for GOP"!

4.The scripture tells us that to whom more is given, more is expected. And I wonder why the GOP supports lesser tax for the wealthy with all the millions they make in profit.We are told that with their profit they will create more jobs.Yes they are creating more jobs but where? Abroad.How patriotic!

5. When I listen to the criticisms coming from fellow republicans there is so much vexation and venom in their choice of words and I wonder, why? The scripture reminds us that "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks". Why so much venom in their hearts? Are we no longer to correct "in love"?. Are we only Christians at election times?

5.The greatest commandments in the scriptures are all directly related to the Love of God. (1) To love God with all our heart,mind and soul. (2) To love our neighbour as ourselves.Why, because our neighbour is created in the likeness of God, so by loving the image of God, we are loving God. The scripture reminds us that we can not say we love God when we do not love man whom we see. Yet, some of us do not like Obama because of his african-american heritage, even though he spent only, yes, only one month of his childhood with his Kenyan father and it was here in the US, not in Kenya. We conveniently forget that his mother was white and that he spent practically all his childhood and adolescence years with the white half of his family.We refuse to see the white half of him and we pretend that he has a different value system.Fortunately, for Obama, his half-sister,white grandmother and uncle are all living witnesses to his childhood. Otherwise, we certainly would have been inundated with lies from his political opponents.

7.I salute Senator McCain and his choice of VP for willing to serve this nation.But by choosing a female VP, is he not guilty of the same thing Senator Obama was falsely accused of? Sexism,Pandering and Appeasement.


Finally, I sense there will be fiery responses to these comments. Fair, but also critically examine your motives when you do and ask your self this question, what is life like on the other side of the aisle?

When I first heard of Senator Obama a few years ago I looked up his Web site and read there what he said and believed but am unable to find a copy of the statements he made there since his site was "Presidentialcandidateised".

Nellie,

This might surprise you. If you think someone with Racial Predujice issues in church is unworthy of presidency, what do you do with your currency? Presidents Jefferson, Washington etc actually "HELD, OWNED, AND RAPED THEIR SLAVES" What makes them worthy???? Should they be honored in the name of Jesus? The fact that ONE MAN preaches from a BIASED view is not nearly new.
Black Americans have lived PEACEFULLY among racist white leaders with our faith in God to carry us through. In Whome do you trust?

Christians in America. The talk is Christian, the compassion for their fellow man is not. Christians in America feel compelled to do a single act...vote...but fail utterly to show compassion to those who have abortions because they have no hope. They fail to show compassion to the blacks and hispanics who are socially deprived and whose little hope rests in poverty programs. Prejudice remains rampant within the Christian church and there are some congragations and "Christian" universities that still believe integration (dating and intermarriage) is an abomination.

When the pious white Christians get to the gates of heaven, will the Lord say I don't know you because of the "hating of your brother" because he was black or brown? Or will the pious white Christians find themselves in an uneasiness in heaven when they realize they constitute a minority and that there will be more blacks from Africa and yellow men from China and brown men from Central America who really carried the torch for Christ in their lives? May God open your eyes so you can be more compassionate towards your brothers and see the political scene with different eyes.

I was accused by a Moslem woman to the effect that the "Christians" are tolerant of all gods, creeds, ideas, and practices, etc.

Reading the above I can easily say that this woman is right in her accusation.

However, God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is not tolerant. His Word is Truth and Eternal. He says There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. This name is the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth (Acts 4:10). Jesus said...I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6.

This is the ONLY CODE FOR AMERICA. REJECT GOD AND THE BIBLE AND WE ARE NO BETTER THAN THE WORST.

TO ME OBAMA HAS REJECTED THE TRUTH OF GOD AS EXPRESSED IN THE BIBLE. He is the worse of the two. I reject him and so should America, USA.

May God have Mercy on us if he wins!

Myrna Cuevas,

I am curious to know how Obama "rejected the truth of God as expressed in the bible". And may I assume that your preferred candidate, McCain has accepted the truth. Will you be kind to explain?

Lois,

If you are embarrassed to admit your faith in Christ, it cannot be because of what someone else does or says. Look in the mirror first.You may want to re-evaluate your definition of "Christian".
It may be helpful if you consider what Jesus expects of
His followers and not how the apostate world views Christianity.

Warmest regards,
Thomas

Mike from Raleigh,

George Washington raped his slaves?
Thomas Jefferson raped his slaves?
What have you been reading? American history by Elijah Mohammed?
I would be willing to bet that you think that Alan Keyes and Clarence Thomas are Uncle Toms. How about Malcolm X?
I wouldn't be surprised that the "white trash" who killed brother Martin Luther King Jr. narrowly beat the hate-mongers of the Nation of Islam from removing him from the public forum for his peaceful means of protest. Why don't you provide resources for your reverse-racism remarks about the Fathers of our republic. Nobody claims they were perfect or Holy. They were mere men.

Regards,

Thomas

Folks,

It is not for us to pull weeds and tares out from among the good wheat. You will damage the wheat.
Let the weeds grow among the wheat and when the harvest comes, the
owner of the garden will harvest both and divide them. The wheat will be gathered and stored in the barn. The weeds and tares will be thrown into the fire. Get the picture?
Sometimes we have poor discernment judging the crops.
If you believe in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and
Bill of Rights you may want to vote for someone who does not embrace Marxism.
Do any of you know who Francis Davis Marshall is and his preferred ideology? He is best known by his protege as "Frank" a friend of the family and main father figure. Whose mentor was he: John McCain or Barack OBama?


Tom,

I agree that the weeds and wheat be allowed to grow until the day of harvest. I also agree that we should allow the grace of the Lord to flow through us so that we might be fruitful lest we are cut off,as the axe has been set on every tree ready to cut off those trees not fruitful. I do not agree that the scripture should be interpreted for political gains.

Shalom.

Emily, the problem with today's most vocal "evangelical" christians-the ones we see in the media portraying what it is to be a true christian is the problem of authoritarianism. The christians who get there information from fox news and guidance on how to vote from the "evangelical" leaders/celebrities (like James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and Tony Perkins, et al) are acting like typical authoritarian followers. For further information on this see John Dean's book, "Conservatives Without a Conscience" which discusses Bob Altermeyer's book, "he Authoritarians". Authoritarian followers need to have someone tell them what to think, something that must fit within a certain comfortable orthodoxy. If anyone goes against this orthodoxy or even questions it, they go into attack mode, like some of the people commenting on this blog.

I think it is just amazing the extent to which so many Christians seem to feel that God and Christianity are the province of the Republican Party. Haven't we escaped from that trap yet? Barack Obama has injected religion, specifically Christianity, into this campaign without apology or "code". Anyone who implies otherwise is concealing an agenda--if you really listen to Obama speak and look at life, his genuine faith is obvious. I find it exciting that a Democrat is so unabashed and unashamed in his Christian outlook. While I don't get the same feeling of religious commitment from John McCain, all believers should be grateful that a belief in God is espoused openly by both candidates during this election campaign.

Craig,

How a man votes on contraversial issues shows what they are about.
When someone votes and then denies ever voting in such a manner it not only shows where their heart is but also that they are a liar.
In the State senate, Obama voted against a measure that would guarantee medical treatment to a baby who happens to survive an abortion.
The legislation was proposed because it indeed happens. Physicians
do not always euthanize the suffering baby, but rather let them die through shock and blood loss and discard them as though they were not human.
Obama opposed the legislation and denied ever doing so once he decided to run for President. A right to life organization and an independent fact-finding agency has confirmed that Barack did indeed vote against the legislation. In the U.S. senate he opted to vote "present" rather than yay or nay on similar legislation.
He dances around the issue when asked what his stand is on abortion.
Who does life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness include?
When Alan Keyes debated Barack, Barack danced around the questions posed and looked over to his other liberal supporters as though Mr. Keyes was a wacko. It would seem that yet another prominent black male sees a self-respecting God-loving man of his own race as an "uncle Tom". Haven't we had our fill of racism and reverse racism?

Regards,
Thomas

Fonzarelli,

By all means read your Bible, but study History before you group
Marxism among the list in your little diatribe.
Are you familiar with the bloody history of Marxist/Communism?
Don't you realize that by definition, theism is contrary to Marxism?
Do you think Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot eradicated clergy and laity in their countries because they opened their poached egg by the wrong side?
Go ahead and be spiritual and demonstrate love, but don't be disingenous,

Regards,
Thomas

Fonze,

Remember that if you lived in a country ruled buy even a marginally marxist regime, you would not be afforded the right to speak as you did in your last post. Criticizing the "boss", comrade is a no-no.
Especially when you do so in the presence of a member.
My 20 year old son is in Asia right now making sure that you continue to enjoy these freedoms.

Regards,

Thomas

Harry Blamires, Brit theologian and critic, in The Christian Mind. London: SPCK. 1963 (pp. 13-14):
“If Christians cannot communicate as thinking beings, they are reduced to encountering one another only at the shallow level of gossip and small talk. Hence the perhaps peculiarly modern problem—the loneliness of the thinking Christian. Anyone who wishes to experience this loneliness should try the following experiment. Take some topic of current political importance. Try to establish in your own mind what is the right policy to recommend in relation to it; and do so in total detachment from any political alignment or prejudice; form your conclusions by thinking christianly. Then discuss the matter with fellow-members of your congregation. The full loneliness of the thinking Christian will descend upon you. It is not that people disagree with you. (Some do and some don’t.)…But they will not think christianly. They will think pragmatically, politically, but not christianly. In almost all cases you will find that views are wholly determined by political allegiance. Though he does not face it, the loyalty of the average church member to the Conservative (Republican?) Party or to the Labour (Democratic?) Party is in practical political matters prior to his loyalty to the church.

“It is important that this point about the loneliness of the thinking Christian should not be misunderstood. It is not lonely to disagree with other people...But it is desperately lonely to occupy a field of discourse which no one else will enter, even if you are surrounded by people who have reached exactly the same conclusions as you yourself.”

Interesting enough that that is someones opinion, but it sounds a bit like like psycho-babble to me. Maybe it's just me.
I do know that a Christian or Jew (OT and NT examples) can live, thrive and glorify God in almost any environment. John McCain is actually a pretty good modern example of this...Hanoi Hilton.
The North Vietnamese captors had to have respected him, despite the fact that to a Marxist, faith in God is risible.
And what exactly is thinking "Christianly" in Harry's the Brit's opinion? Jesus was never concerned about being "politically correct'. If Harry is reading someother gospel that portrays our Lord as "politically correct" he may wish to share it with us.

Regards,
Thomas

Our Founding Fathers stressed the seperation between church and state for a reason: voting soley on so-called Christian beliefs is devistating to a country. The past 8 years under Bush has proven this.