Monday, October 13, 2008

Obama Strikes Out

I'm no genius, but here's why I question Senator Barack Obama's fitness to be president.

First: He goes to a church for 20 years, but claims he didn't know his pastor was a bigot. How, exactly, does one manage that? His excuse seemed to be that he was absent on the days his pastor was preaching crap. But, come on - what are the chances? Every time?? The odds against that being very likely have got to be astronomical!

Also, he had referred to the pastor as his mentor (which is defined as "a wise and trusted counselor or teacher"). How does one not know their mentor is a bigot? It would be kind of like not knowing your dad was in the Klan.

If he doesn't know his pastor and mentor of 20 years is a bigot, then how can I trust his instincts when facing some of the duplicitous heads of state he'd be dealing with as president?

Secondly: He asked, in a speech, that if America were to become a nation comprised solely of Christians, whose version of Christianity would we live by - James Dobson's or Al Sharpton's (and Heaven help us, if those are the only options)?

He then went on to quote some Old Testament legal codes, to try to illustrate the hypothetical delimma (e.g., "which passages of scripture should guide our public policy - should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay but eating shellfish is an abomination?"). Then he referred to the Sermon On The Mount, saying that it's "a passage so radical that it's doubtful our own Defense Department would survive it's application". He then said, "So before we get carried away, let's read our Bibles, now. Folks haven't been reading their Bible."

Unfortunately, it's obvious that Senator Obama hasn't been reading his Bible either. Although (like the aforementioned Dobson and Sharpton), he's obviously not above grabbing a handful of verses, pulling them out of context, and using them as political stones to throw at those who disagree with him.

The problem is that Christians are no longer bound by the Old Testament laws. Jesus' atoning death on the cross broke the need for those holiness requirements. All who find new life in Him are freed from the demands of the OT laws - so no true Christian should be involved in trying to re-establish that from which Jesus died to free us. And the fact that Senator Obama (as a professing Christian) wouldn't know such a basic Christian doctrine kind of bothers me. And if he does know - but treats the holy scriptures of his own religion so cavalierly for cheap political gain - then I think that bothers me even more.

Another problem is that Senator Obama fails to acknowledge the huge differences between the kind of slavery that existed among the Israelites, and the slavery that most people today think of when they hear the word. Either he's ignorant of those differences - or he knows, but is counting on the American public being ignorant of them. Either one is inexcusable for someone wanting to be President of U.S.

And as for the Sermon On The Mount: It is radical. So radical, in fact, that none of us (including Senator Obama) survives its true application (which is probably why Jesus asserts that a new birth is in order).

I do not think Senator Obama is a closet Muslim (and I think professed Christians need to stop spreading such silly propaganda - and should rebuke those who persist in spreading it). But if he is so ignorant of the basic tenets of his own religion - or is so willing to use his religion's holy scriptures as political fodder - then it's kind of hard for me to trust him to make right and wise decisions about some of the complex domestic and foreign policy issues that face our country.

The third strike against Senator Obama was his statements that Senator McCain and his supporters would try to scare voters by pointing out that he [Obama] "has a funny name...and he doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills". In other words, he basically called Senator McCain and his supporters racists. That kind of crap has gotten really, really old. And I think the charge tells us more about Senator Obama, than it does about Senator McCain.

It's kind of ironic, too, since Senator McCain also had the race card used against him (but by whites) in the 2000 South Carolina primary, when Repubican opponents tried to stir up trouble by pointing out that he has a daughter that ain't quite as white as he is (I guess implying that he had defiled his race by mingling with a non-white). Turns out Senator McCain has an adopted daughter from Bangladesh - but some of his opponents in SC implied she was really the product of an illicit affair with a black woman. ooooohhhh...

It seems like Senator McCain just can't get a break - apparently, he's either too white, or not white enough.

There are people in this country that oppose Senator Obama simply because he's black. There are people in this country that support Senator Obama because he's black. Both kinds of people are idiots - his race should have nothing to with it. His words and actions should be the only reasons you support or oppose him, or any other candidate. (And not things taken out of context, or grossly exaggerated, like the nonsense going around about him not saluting or respecting the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, or flag.)

Politics in this country have always been dirty (those who think it's a fairly recent developement are woefully ignorant of our nation's - and human - history). It's a sad, but true, fact. But there are some things that everyone should agree are wrong, no matter what your political leanings. Unfortunately, people only seem to get upset when it's the "other side" doing it - which is why things aren't likely to get better any time soon. We get the government we deserve. Whether you vote or not, the government generally reflects it's people. But it's not likely to change any time soon, because changing the character of government requires a change in the character of the voters - and most people won't even consider the possibility of changing their character, because that would require admitting they were wrong about something (which most people are loath to do).

I registered Independent (you had to pick something), so I wouldn't feel obligated or pressured to support any candidate based on their Party affiliation. So, just because I can't support Senator Obama, don't assume that means I support Senator McCain. Obama striking out doesn't mean McCain is doing any better.


The Dane said...

Few thoughts in answer to you criticisms of Obama. And let it be known that I am no particular fan of the candidate.

To your point #1 - it may well be that Obama did know about his pastor's bigotry (though I'm not sure how relevant that would be if he had admitted he knew, for to admit that your pastor is a sinner seems reasonable enough to me), but it may also be entirely possible that he didn't. I have never heard my own pastor speak of the American presence in the Middle East as being a challenge against evil (an idea that sickens me), but I have had it reported to me that he has on several occasions, when praying for American troops abroad. Now my only explanation is that I was either absent on those days or just really sleepy. I only present this as counter-argument; not to say that such was the case for Obama, but only to say that I don't find it implausible (especially with how often government officials are out of town).

To your point #2 - In a way it is too bad that any candidate feels the need to march out their Bible credentials in order to win voters to their side. And I do think less of them for it. But really, I think worse of the American church for making candidates think such things are necessary.

Also, it doesn't really bother me if Obama or McCain or any seeking to lead a nation doesn't realize the differences between Israel's form of slavery and 19th century America's. That one should know the ins and outs of Ancient Near East cultural minutiae bears so little on one's ability to govern that I think we can give him a pass here.

To your point #3 - It may have seemed that Obama's predictions were out of line at the time he made them, but over the following weeks and months, McCain's campaign used every one of those tactics. (

Ricky said...

Wow, thanks for taking the time to read (and comment on) my post. I feel honored - having been a reader of your Nowheresville, USA blog for some time.

As to your first point: I wouldn't expect anyone's pastor to be sinless. But Rev. Wright's bigotry seemed more willful - and it had apparently been going on for some time. Senator Obama could have been out of town when the offensive sermons were delivered. I just find it hard to believe he was gone every time (I think he was there for twenty years). Also, Senator Obama claimed him as a mentor.

I don't have a problem with pastors pointing out America's sins. Rev. Wright just seemed to go beyond that (although I do believe some of his statements were taken out of context by idiots eager to smear Sen. Obama). I also have a big problem with more politically conservative pastors, like Hagee and others, who seem to equate Christianity with patriotism, or America with the Kingdom of God. If Sen. McCain had been a member of a church pastored by some conservative bigot, I'd be equally concerned.

As to your second point: I completely agree with you that it's a shame that candidates feel they have to prove themselves to some Christians in order to get their votes. I also whole-heartedly agree that the blame lies squarely on the guilty Christians who make such demands.

I also agree that a candidate shouldn't be expected to know the "ins and outs of Ancient Near East cultural minutiae". (I do, however, wish all Christians would at least be generally aware that there is a difference - especially since people often use those Old Testament passages to suggest things about the Bible that aren't true.) And I agree that ignorance of such facts have no real bearing on one's ability to govern effectively.

My main point was that he seems to take verses and references out of context to use as political stones to throw (which, I pointed out, others do also). I'm bothered by anyone using the sacred scriptures of their own religion so cavalierly. If one is so careless with their religion, why should I trust them to be any more careful with their politics? Sen. McCain may be just as bad - I just haven't heard him discuss whether he even has any religious beliefs.

As to you your third point: The ads by each candidate suggesting the other is "risky" are standard political fare. That's not what bothered me (although they do get very annoying). It was the way he seemed to play the race card.

In the YouTube video you linked, I didn't see anything to change my mind.

The cop was obviously someone speaking to "warm up" the crowd - and it's beyond disgusting that he uses Sen. Obama's middle name like it's a cuss word - but I seriously doubt he is working for Sen. McCain. And I would hope Sen. McCain (or any candidate) would repudiate such stupidity. (Often, such warm-ups are happening before the candidate even arrives.)

The ad with the $100 bill is dated before the Obama speech, and I'd be shocked if it's a real ad that was sanctioned by the Senator. Neither of the candidates has much control over what kind of ads their "supporters" put out (remember the Bush=Hitler ad from the last election?). I've been very disappointed by both candidates slowness to condemn some of the crap put out by people claiming to be on their side.

Although I think some of Sen. Obama's past and present associations are questionable at best, I think his evasive and ever changing denials and explanations are worse. (But I also think Gov. Palin's "palling around with terrorists" line is inexcusable. He obviously had more contact with Ayers than he seems willing to admit - but that doesn't mean he approved of Ayers' past, and I don't believe for a minute that they were pals.)

I find myself constantly having to defend Senators Obama & McCain (in e-mails and conversation) against some of the stupid lies that people people are circulating and believing. It's insane how disconnected from reality some people have gotten. (To quote a line from Zoolander: "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!")

I've become thoroughly disgusted by all four candidates. I'm not sure I think any of them has the character to be President. I don't expect sinless perfection, but sheesh!

Here's some examples of the nonsense:

Thanks again for taking the time read and comment (I don't think we disagree as much as it may appear.) And keep up the excellent work at Nowheresville.