Monday, June 25, 2007

Obama's hijacking comment

Posted by Teresa at 9:35 AM

Sen. Obama, I don't know if it was a hijacking
or more like people lining up with politicians that
share their views. But I guess it could have
been a hijacking.


Phil on 8:21 PM, June 28, 2007 said...

I know it is almost cliche anymore, but I just don't trust Fox News. First thing's first, Barack Obama is completely right. Religion has been used as a wedge by forces that are essentially power hungry. The Christian Coalition, in its attempt to make the United States more moral and thus safer, has forgotten that not just the laws, but human freedom is also a gift from God. How fortunate we human beings are to not only have a God who shows us how we should behave, but also loves us enough to care about us when we don't measure up to His standards. If we leave out one side of the equation we end up with a stern father who would never have sent His Son to die for our mistakes. Whereas, if we leave out the other side of the equation we are left with a hollow love that really cares about nobody but ourselves. Religion is too different and big an issue to be seriously used as a plank in a political platform. Rather religion is the frame for our own political platform, whether we be a professional politician or, more importantly, a denizen of the United States of America. Politicians should take a page from St. Francis, when he said, "Go and preach the Good News, and if necessary use words." Obama talks about this in his speech, not by saying that the Christian Coalition is wrong in their ideologies, but rather that Christianity is more than just the hot-button issues.

Mr. Obama shares common ground on this viewpoint with a Republican running for office of president by the name of Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has stated, "To me, life doesn’t begin at conception and end at birth. Every child deserves a quality education, first-rate health care, decent housing in a safe neighborhood, and clean air and drinking water. Every child deserves the opportunity to discover and use his God-given gifts and talents." I believe this was all Obama was telling his audience at that Christian convention.

I believe Fox News has it within their power to find the truth behind the news blurbs. They seem so unwilling to honestly explore what was being said and in doing so the appear to only be working to generate heat rather than light about issues. I have known many a good person who believes that the anger engendered by political discussions will lead to actual results. However, Politics is all about trying to make a society work together more smoothly (and yes, sometimes that does mean healthy desention). Even one of the most conservative philosophers of all time underscores this with his statement in the Nicomachean Ethics book Eight, chapter One by saying:

[I]t seems that friendship or love is the bond which holds the states together, and that legislators set more store by it than by justice; for concord is apparently akin to friendship, and it is concord that they especially seek to promote, and faction, as being hostility to the state, they especially try to expel.

If people are friends, there is no need for justice between them; but people may be just, and yet need friendship. Indeed it seems that justice, in its supreme form, assumes the character of friendship.

This is truly the view we expect from our politicians. We want them to foster friendship and intelligent discussion amongst all their constituents (and by constituents, I mean even the people they hate). We desire them to be forcefully opposed to possitions and not to people. In this way, I think it would be best to look at one of the best texts written on statescraft...the old Testament prophets. Micah closes his book by saying:

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of your possession? he does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in showing clemency. He will again have compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. You will show faithfullness to Jacob and unswerving loyalty to Abraham, as you have sworn to our ancestors from the days of old.

When we look at the wrath of God in the Old Testament, we do not see any pleasure coming from God. We see cities being destroyed because they didn't put God and goodness at the center of their lives. Rather they hurt the defenseless by not assisting the poor, the widowed, the orphaned. They were too concerned with getting stuff and junk and being powerful and prideful. They didn't care about anyone but themselves. We do not see any of the old Testament prophets being happy about their task except one: Jonah. And we all know what a major disappointment he had when the Lord failed to rain down fire and brimstone on Ninevah.

In the end, I believe Fox News would be better off not trying to make up the minds of Christians, but rather letting them decide what they believe is right, and by right, I mean what God would want. We are all entitled to disagree with Mr. Obama, but we are not given liberty by our creator to judge him as evil or damned. That right belongs to God, not the Christian Coalition, Fox News, or even the American voter.

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