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October 9, 2009

Obama's Peace Prize

President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” especially his efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

The surprise move was praised by National Association of Evangelical President Leith Anderson and megachurch pastor Joel Hunter.

Leith Anderson

“I first heard the call for a world free of nuclear weapons from President Ronald Reagan when he addressed the National Association of Evangelicals over twenty-five years ago. The Nobel prize for President Obama acknowledges and perpetuates the Reagan vision.”

Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland—A Church Distributed

“The ambition to free future generations from the fear of indiscriminate destruction is a truly nonpartisan ambition that resonates with our deepest moral convictions. President Obama is to be congratulated for setting a course so that the generation that had school drills to hide under our desks in case of nuclear attack should be the source of a permanent recess from fear for our grandchildren.”

Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, founding director of the Two Futures Project

“There is much to be done and the road to a world free of nuclear weapons is daunting and long. But this Nobel Prize highlights the importance of setting that goal to guide our steps in the short term as we seek to shape a more secure world. To prevent nuclear terrorism, we must make progress toward the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. A new generation needs to deal once and for all with the legacy of the Cold War.” The Two Futures Project, a confessional Christian movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons, is sponsoring a track on preventing nuclear terrorism at today’s NAE-sponsored Evangelical Leaders Forum.

If people do criticize the prize, they might risk being aligned with terrorists by the Democratic National Committee.

"The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas this morning - in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace prize," DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told Politico. "Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize - an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride - unless of course you are the Republican Party."

What do you think? Does Obama deserve the prize?

Update: Cathy Ruse writes on Family Research Council's blog "President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize for…funding abortions overseas?"

"Mother Teresa called abortion the greatest destroyer of peace. But according to the Nobel committee, forcing taxpayers to fund it gets you a peace prize."

Comments

The problem isn't that he was awarded the prize, but that he didn't actually MAKE any peace in order to win the award. Awards should represent tangible accomplishments, not ideals or rhetoric. While individuals like Greg Mortenson have spent a lifetime making peace through tireless effort, Obama was nominated two weeks after he entered office, which means that the bulk of his accomplishments for winning the award were promises, not actual achievements.

The President has already acknowledged that he does not see himself in the same category as former winners.
But that he will accept on behalf of the American people and the rest of the citizens of the world who value peace and doing everything to attain such a goal.

On that I cannot fault him.

Now words are more important than actions? It is too early in his administration to see if he actually does something to desire this.

Jesus tells us in Luke 6:46-47
"Why do you call me, ”Lord, Lord” and do not do what I say? I will show what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice."

It's the putting them into practice that is the real measure.

> The Republican Party has thrown in its lot
> with the terrorists - the Taliban and Hamas
> this morning - in criticizing the President
> for receiving the Nobel Peace prize

Not this again! When we criticized President Bush we were supporting terrorists. When we criticize President Obama we're supporting terrorists. In other words, if we express any opinion whatsoever we're supporting terrorists. And we're probably racist and hate our mothers, too. Ugh!

Obama might be a nice guy with good intentions. But so was Bush, and that shouldn't be enough to win a Nobel Prize. There are clearly more deserving recipients. The Iranian protesters are an obvious example. Surely they deserve an award. And there are literally thousands, perhaps even millions, of others who fight day-in and day-out for the rights of the oppressed, speaking truth to power, risking their lives and expecting nothing in return. No prize for them?

So far, Obama's "peace" credentials are awfully flimsy. He hardly opposed the Iraq War until the polls told him it was safe to do so. He noticeably dodged the subject when addressing the Democratic convention in 2004. His efforts towards a "nuclear-free world" apparently don't include asking Israel to disarm. And he recently snubbed the Dalai Lama to appease the Chinese.

With "peace" like this, who needs war?

I find it horribly ironic that a woman who worked under the Taliban to educate women in Afghanistan did not win, but an American President who has INCREASED troop levels to Afghanistan did win. Isn't this a "peace" prize? I'll admit that President Obama has set a course with his words, but he has failed thus far to convince me of what he means by "peace" because of his actions. Our foreign policy is not, in practice, all that different than it was a year and a half ago, it's just that the rhetoric has changed coming from our President.
I do think Republicans need to choose their words wisely in this situation though. It is the committee that chose him, not President Obama, that should have to answer for this. I'd love it if their apparent prediction of the future came true, but I must say I'm skeptical.

Some say they cannot fault Obama because he is accepting this award on behalf of the American people. Does that mean I can say I am a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize? He is the one who will reap the esteem associated with that award, not any of us. I would have had some respect for him if he had simply expressed his appreciation for their consideration but declined the award, at least until some of his "ideals" have produced tangible fruit. When will we all realize that there will ALWAYS be conflict on this sin-plagued earth until Jesus returns to reign? He is the only One Who will bring about peace. While I am commanded to respect the authority of those over me, I do not believe Scripture requires me to revel in their undeserved rewards. I believe rewards should be given based on results, not rhetoric. And, whether we like it or not, wars and rumors of war will continue . . . with or without Obama at the U. S. helm. Thankfully, God is in control. He allowed this award to be given, just as He allowed Saul to reap the benefits of kingship . . . for a time.

I do believe that this award is based on potential and not so much on results. However, I am excited that a world organization is giving President Obama this award. To me it says, "We're excited about your policies and what we've heard. We respect the United States for its decision... let's see what you've got."

I think it's a clarion call for action, not only for the president, but for the american people as well.

Just my 2 cents.

Some of President Obama's accomplishments:

- Escalated the war in Afghanistan
- Continued the war in Iraq by hiring large numbers of mercenaries to replace U.S. soldiers
- Escalated American support for the brutal war in Columbia
- Refused a nuclear arms reduction agreement with Russia because he thought Russia wanted to reduce nuclear arms too much
- While continuing to provide billions in subsidies for Israel's atrocities, claimed to be working for Middle East peace - an effort which ended today with Israel's announcement that it would not agree to peace with the Palestinians
- Increased the bloated U.S. military budget, devoting over half of discretionary spending to current and future wars
- Increased the size of the U.S. armed forces (Nobel said in his will that one criterion for the Peace Prize was abolition or reduction of standing armies)

I disagree that he hasn't really done anything. He has done enough to earn a War Prize. But wasn't this supposed to be a Peace Prize? You have to remember that the Prize is awarded by a committee of politicians, and peace advocates have no vote.

I concur with Bill Samuel's comment, set forth immediately above. I don't know if there could be any better illustration of what a farce the Nobel Peace Prize has become than by awarding it to this warmonger.

I for one, am very proud that our country's President has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

I guess it is too much to ask for all US citizens to share the happiness of this occasion.

I think Pelosi should have won. That would be a lot more fun.

I think that many people would interpret that question wrong. The Nobel Committee awarded him for his "Potential". To me that means they know good and well he doesn't deserve it. The question should be, "Do you think that they should give the prize for 'potential'? " That would be a more interesting poll, IMO.

To which my answer would be no.

I think the Nobel Prize is an honor for the President, he was very gracious about accepting it.

Some, eager to destroy him, want to take this opportunity to mock him, just as they did for loosing the Chicago Olympic bid. Others, wanting to deify him, defend him, say it's a great day for America and he's already done enough to earn it.
I'd like to take a middle way and posit Obama was awarded this prize as a deposit for things to come, to help him achieve that. In that, his receiving the award preserves the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize, even if he didn't "earn it"... yet. I say it's still too early to tell if he's earned it yet.

This is obviously a farce, a joke, a scandal, what have you. Obama so very obviously doesn't deserve an award like this. Christians who are unsure can keep their mouths shut. Shame on the ones who endorsed this ridiculous granting of the Nobel. What about the protesters in Iran, who are actually risking their lives to be free? Sheesh!

Obama WON the Nobel peace prize. What do you think? The debate on this site is needs some liberal love. Check it out: http://budurl.com/obamanobel

Chinese Human Rights Activist Hu Jia – imprisoned for campaigning for human rights in the PRC, not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China’s communist system. — not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama. (Not to mention the symbolic value of awarding a Chinese dissident on the 20th Anniversary of the Tianenmen Square Massacre.)

Greg Mortenson, founder of the Central Asia Institute has built nearly 80 schools, especially for girls, in remote areas of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past 15 years – not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, a philosophy professor in Jordan who risks his life by advocating interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims, also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Afghan human rights activist Sima Samar. She currently leads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and serves as the U.N. special envoy to Darfur and is apparently also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

I'm really encouraged by the fairly balanced set of responses here and the toning down of the disturbing language the radical left and right followers used over the past few years. The conversation is getting more civil and reflected 'Christian' values and attitude.

The comments on this blog really speak to a fundamental issue confronting Christianity in America today: the Christian Right, in aligning itself with the Republican Party, has really placed great emphasis upon understanding that America has a special God-ordained destiny among the nations. This belief has led to the sanctification of nationalistic thought in America, and as such Christianity, through the Republican Party, has become an adjunct to nationalism. The Christian Right, in aligning itself with the Republican Party, has elevated this tradition into a divinely-ordained belief whereby America is viewed as a God-ordained nation with a special purpose. It is a blending of the Christian faith with national goals and the destiny that blurs the distinction between the church and the nation and shifts faith toward a religion of nationalism. The criticizing of Obama on this blog for receiving the Nobel Peace prize is a good illustration of how his multilateral approach of including all peoples and nations in a common destiny- which is actually a biblical world view-is a threat to this belief. I have already heard rumors that Obama is the Anti-Christ............

@ Will Papke

And that is what has always befuddled me...

Where is it written in the bible or anywhere that America plays any part in God's plans? I know the Christian right likes to think that God consults them in all His decision, but I'm simply at a loss at how they have arrived at this conclusion.

I know in all the apocalyptic books - America is featured prominently. Given, these books are written by Americans, but for people who claim to believe in "sola scriptura". One would think they would apply to all aspects of life.

It is clear in the Bible that we all play a part in God's plans. America, as a Christian nation, should play a significant role in realizing God's call for us to go to all the nations. That would certainly be a fulfillment of our place in His plans. God does not consult; He listens. We should be consulting Him and listening. After all:

"I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -- Jeremiah 29:11

We should concern ourselves with doing God's will and worry less about who wins the peace prize.

Thom
http://thom-signsofastruggle.blogspot.com/

I think the Nobel Prize is an honor for the President and our country. Hopefully, this means we can end the war.

Isn't it time you realize that America is not a christian nation?

If by god you are referring to the god of the dollar bill and greed, then yes we play those parts very well.

Jeremiah 29:11 God was speaking to the Jews. What does this have to do with America? And therein lies the problem ...

I've read Revelations. I know how the story ends. America plays no part.

Heeeyyyyy. I want a Nobel Peace Prize, too.

What does it matter if your not a peace with God? What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul.

What has happened with the rise of the Christian Right in America, is the formation of a political/religious movement that has increasingly sanctified American patriotism by making it an article of the Christian faith. The form of Christianity espoused by the Christian Right is a pseudo-Christian faith under the guise of traditional Christianity, rather than a true representation of a biblical-based faith. Although it seeks spiritual significance by casting itself in traditional Christian terminology, the Christian Right is no christianity and resembles more the faith of a religion of American nationalism, than that of true biblical Christianity. America is not a Christian nation and never has been. Justin is spot on: the scripture in Jeremiah is speaking of Israel, not America.

To be fair to your Prezz... he did not actually glow or dance at the announcement. He know that this awards invites un warranted scrutiny of his works.

He achieved nothing, yet. But he's sure trying. From this side of the fence (Asia) we see him as a force who can move people and make things happen. He's God's instrument, nevertheless.

My opinion, the Prezz did not deserve it, i would have voted for the Greg fellow.

The Noble committee on the other hand deserves full condemnation for trivialising Peace.

I voted for Obama, but I don't think he deserves a peace prize. I doubt the families of innocent civilians being killed by bombs from our predator drones in Afghanistan think he deserves the prize.
Obama was nominated for the prize about a week after his inaugeration...so perhaps he gets the prize simply for not being Presdent Bush. This is a mistake because despite the rhetoric the policies of President Bush related to Afghanistan, Iraq, detainees, and the so-called "war on terror" continue.

he got the noble, because he was not george bush?

how about he got the noble based exactly upon what the noble comittee said...

it is there if you want to read it. just google it.

I concur entirely with this person's response. In addition, seriously consider where "peace-loving Obama," and his team of un-vetted czar's, is really taking us. Why does it look, smell, and feel so much like ancient Egypt?

Posted by: Bris at October 10, 2009

Chinese Human Rights Activist Hu Jia – imprisoned for campaigning for human rights in the PRC, not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Wei Jingsheng, who spent 17 years in Chinese prisons for urging reforms of China’s communist system. — not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama. (Not to mention the symbolic value of awarding a Chinese dissident on the 20th Anniversary of the Tianenmen Square Massacre.)

Greg Mortenson, founder of the Central Asia Institute has built nearly 80 schools, especially for girls, in remote areas of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan over the past 15 years – not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, a philosophy professor in Jordan who risks his life by advocating interfaith dialogue between Jews and Muslims, also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

Afghan human rights activist Sima Samar. She currently leads the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and serves as the U.N. special envoy to Darfur and is apparently also not as worthy as Barack Hussein Obama.

I find it revealing that so many so called christians can only perceive things through the Reagan-GOP lens.

There are Christians and others in the world who find value when the Chief Command of the world's most powerful military, seeks aggressively to NOT use military might carelessly, but from day one has sought to TALK with world leaders regarding the myriad territorial and international disputes.

For these efforts he has received the ridicule and unwithering criticism from many who would call Jesus Christ their savior.

Shame, shame

@Amy Gay

Ancient Egypt??????? Eh Amy, I wasn't around during the era of ancient Egypt. Was this during one of your past lives?

@ hombuilding

It's as Will said, it's a pseudo-christianity that's concerned with their own personal well being

Yes, Justin, Obama got the prize for not being Bush. I read the Nobel statement. The following excerpt gives leadership qualities that are the polar opposite of what Bush displayed: Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. Maybe Obama deserves the prize for his rhetoric that is different from Bush, but I'd like to see him end the "war on terror", leave Iraq/Afghanistan, reduce "defense" spending by 50%, and stop the abuses of executive power.

John

I think you and others are missing the emphasis of the decision of the Nobel comittee. To say that President Obama received the prize simply because he's not Mr. Bush is an over-simplification of the process.

Yes, it is an oversimplification and the committee has many reasons it may choose to nominate someone for the prize. However, if we didn't have the Bush administration for the past 8 years, the rhetoric of Obama would not seem so extraordinary. And I don't think Obama has done enough to deserve the prize. It's not so unusual though if you consider Teddy Roosevelt (responsible for genocide in the Phillippine), Wilson (responsible for getting us into WW1 and undermining civil liberties), and Henry Kissenger (involved in the secret bombing of Cambodia and attrocities in Chile), all recieve the Peace Prize as well....

Matthew Ch 10.......the call isn't to bring peace...it's to bring TRUTH TO THE NATIONS.

OK so Bush was an idiot and anyone with a modicum of abilitiy would look better.

The president did say that he's not deserving to be in the same category of past winners

Oh my, this is all so confusing. When I first heard the news, I thought he was given the Peas Prize for the White House garden. I was adamentally against the Peas Prize award because it's obvious that the First Family does NOT tend the garden themselves, that they have a staff to do the weeding and all, after all the homey and cute photos of them pretending to work in the garden. Okay, then it's for PEACE, not PEAS. Well then, I approve because Mr. Obama has done SOOOOO much in working towards peace. (Pass me the garden shovel...it's getting deep and we can get some free fertilizer from this.)

It pains me to say this, but has anyone considered that Obama might have been given the Peace Prize because he's Black? Evidence for this is in the Spanish newspaper El Pais in a political cartoon which depicts Obama as a black dove, reducing him to, well, the color of his skin. Combine this with widespread thinking that Obama's presidency symbolizes interracial equality in the world's leading country and you have a peace prize just for being a Black president of the United States, without needing any actual accomplishments.

I certainly celebrate that Obama's election was a watershed for Western culture and that he is a living example of the potential for interracial harmony in the US. Yet to award him the peace prize for that alone would be a terrible cheapening of the prize, and a terrible insult to the president.

Hello
According to me Obama really deserve this nobel prize for peace because he is really a great person and I adore him.He is doing good efforts for country.Thank you very much for sharing this with us.