Saturday, December 3, 2011

Did President Obama Redeem Himself?

With his explicitly Christian Christmas message. I note this after his more secular, godless recent Thanksgiving message that ticked some folks off.

President Obama, as I see it, operates in the political theological tradition of the religious left, Christian-Left ala Cornel West (though as an elected politician, Obama is far more conservative in his policy decisions than they want him to be). They are arguably the heirs to Martin Luther King's political theology. (I won't go there with Bonhoeffer; at least not yet.) In addition to being generously ecumenical, the Christian-Left types, like Obama, seem to flirt with unitarian and universalistic theologies making them like the Jonathan Mayhews of the Founding era.

Is Obama a Christian? Was Jonathan Mayhew a Christian? Are Mormon's Christian? These are all related questions.


Tom Van Dyke said...

After skipping God on Thanksgiving, it's nice he could work Christ in on Christmas.


As for the "unitarian" vibe about his remarks, that sits fine with American tradition.

"Now once again, we celebrate Christmas in a time of testing, with American troops far from home. This season finds our country with losses to mourn and great tasks to complete. In all those tasks, it is worth recalling the words from a beautiful Christmas hymn. In the third verse of "O Holy Night," we sing, "His law is love, and His gospel is peace. Chains ye shall break, for the slave is our brother. And in His name all oppression shall cease."

---George W. Bush, 2001

Same zone.

Brad Hart said...

Yeah, Obama is "Christian" in the same way that I am a "Christian."

Or the same way Reagan was a "Christian."

Or Eisenhower.

jimmiraybob said...

Obama cannot redeem himself in the eyes of those that are dead certain that he's the antithesis of all that they want to believe in. It's a losing battle. He will never be Christian enough. He will never be a True American. He will always be whatever demonic Kenyan creation that their fevered minds can conjure.

He could, with a sword handed to him by Jesus himself, smite Satan in downtown Jerusalem and the true "Christians" would still hate him - in an Agape kind of way.

I posted in comments earlier his official Thanksgiving proclamation, which was rather God heavy, but I'm sure that those who have their minds made up will conveniently ignore that is order to keep beating him over the head.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Actually, JRB, the discomfiture isn't particularly about BHO's own personal religious beliefs, but more that Obama is/was playing to the anti-theistic wing of the Dem party, one that wishes to erase God from the public square.

For instance, another recent occasion was when BHO chided Congress for re-authorizing "In God We Trust," that they had better things to do.

But why did he select that in particular? First of all, it only took 20 minutes start to finish, and Congress does all sorts of symbolic fluff every day.

Sorry, I don't think these two incidents are coincidence or oversight atall: BHO knows exactly what he's doing.

jimmiraybob said...

Some people cannot see into the heart of people like David Barton to know whether they're being deceitful but can focus like a laser beam on the hearts of those they dislike in order to discern their "true" intent.

The argument you make is the same argument that can be made against every politician that ever uttered a God-laced statement in public one day and omitted God references the next.

200 years from now when the Christian Nationists are selectively picking through Obama's words, they will no doubt enlist him to their side as proof of their claims.

Michael Heath said...

Brad Hart writes: Yeah, Obama is "Christian" in the same way that I am a "Christian."

Or the same way Reagan was a "Christian."

Or Eisenhower.

Barack Obama advocates for a Christianity more in line with Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, e.g., a physically resurrected Christ where he's also accepted Jesus into his life . However Mr. Obama didn't have a one-off conversion event in spite of writing about a walk to the altar.

Brian Tubbs said...

Like Brad said, Obama is "Christian" in the sense that he has associated himself voluntarily with Christianity. I consider him a Christian in the social sense. As to whether he has done what the apostles said was necessary for salvation (see Acts, see Romans), that's not something I can say definitively. I have my doubts, but that's between him and God. For a good and fair treatment on that subject, though, I recommend "The Faith of Barack Obama" by Stephen Mansfield.

Regarding his Christmas message, I would like to point out that the President left the door open to numerous interpretations of his phrases. He refers to Christ as a "manifestation of God's love," which means he is affirming Jesus' divine origin and nature, but not necessarily Jesus' Deity. And he avoids all reference to Jesus' role in the redemption of sins. And, of course, makes no reference to the resurrection (which would be more appropriate for Easter, granted).

I say all that to say that I'm not sure it's fair to say his Christmas message was "explicitly Christian." I would say it was "moderately Christian" or "friendly to Christianity." Of course, in a society that now is afraid to say "Merry Christmas," preferring instead the empty and meaningless "Happy Holidays," that is saying something. And, for that, I give the President of the United States due credit.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Mr. Tubbs, I agree BHO's Xmas message lacked Jesus' divine dimension.

He is, however, on record about the Resurrection, last Easter.

“I wanted to host this breakfast for a simple reason--because as busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there’s something about the resurrection--something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective,” Obama told a group of Christian clergymen and government officials in a brief speech in the East Room.

Not that I give a damn about a man's doctrinal beliefs one way or the other. Ben Franklin would get my vote, esp with our current choices for 2012, heh heh. But FYI.