43
   

Obama..... not religious?

 
 
okie
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 10:50 pm
@Butrflynet,
Interesting, butrfly, good points of argument. Some thoughts on this. First of all, there are religious people that have political beliefs, and their religion influences their politics, as is logical and reasonable, and proper. But I believe Obama's church was primarily a political organization using religion to further its political causes, not the other way around. I realize that is just an opinion, but I think it is an important distinction to consider. If you look at the founder of Christianity, Jesus, he was not political, he said to render to Caeser what was Caesars, but his teachings focused upon peoples personal faith and service to God, not at all upon the conduct of government. Yet, Wright and his church makes sweeping claims about what government should do, and Obama frequently makes reference to having government prove our brotherly love, blah blah blah, and of course he implies what somebody elses money should be doing, not his own. When I read what he has written and what he says, it appears to me that he wishes to use religion to further his political agenda, and I suspicion that he is not entirely a Christian in terms of what he believes, but he has chosen to espouse it for political purposes. Mainly, I think he realized a long time ago he could not be elected if he did not declare Christianity as his religion, so therefore he did. I don't know that, but that is what I suspect. With Obama, we are left guessing on so many things because he is such a contradiction.

Beyond that observation, I do not think that religious organizations should seek to exert control over politicians. Politics should be conducted by individuals that are free to express their opinions that may or not be shaped by their religious organizations that they are tied to, but those policies should be furthered by the individuals in politics, as individuals, not by the religious organizations that they may or may not be part of. This has always been the case, face it, of thousands of examples, marriage is an example in terms of a government policy shaped by our religious traditions and beliefs. It always has been and it always will be.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 11:08 pm
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

dlowan said:
Quote:
A concern I DO have is that he professes religion now because in a country like the USA, you're likely not getting into power unless you at least appear christian.


I think this is becoming less and less of an issue. At this point, in the general public, I think professing christianity is becoming more of a liability than anything else.

There are people who hold political and governmental positions and offices of all faiths or no faith at all, and as the demographics of the US continue to change, I can easily picture a nonchristian being elected president- and in the not too distant future.



Blimey. I have the opposite impression...that at least an overt demonstration of christianity is a necessary thing for anyone wanting the presidency.

I am interested to know what makes you think the opposite.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:29 am
I'm not sure how anyone got "Obama is not religious" from that video.

That's a speech on why religion should be kept separate from public policy; it is not an indictment of faith.
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:39 am
@DrewDad,
(Thanks, I've been wondering what was actually in the video. That makes sense.)
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:43 am
@aidan,
Quote:
I understand that Edgar - I just think it'd be interesting to read how nonbelievers would approach Obama on the matter of his faith...




Probably, Aiden, the same way I approach Jesus on the “question of faith.”

I think Jesus was a great thinker...and I have no trouble having him as a personal hero...or of incorporating many of his teachings into my personal philosophy. (I only wish more Christians would!!!)

But I actually view him as a bit of a hypocrite.

I don't see him as a “man of faith” at all.

I don't think for one second he truly thought the god of Abraham was the loving “father” figure he talked about. I think he did most of the "praying" to that god as lip service to "what had to be."

Most of his teachings were diametrically opposed to the supposed teachings of the god of Abraham...the vengeful, murderous, barbaric god of Abraham.

Jesus never stressed most of the dictates of the god of Abraham...most of the items the god of Abraham stressed. (The god of Abraham stressed vengence and fear and most of the god's message was about him! Jesus stressed forgiveness and non-judgement and about love and understanding.)

I don't think Obama is a “man of faith” in the way you think of him being a man of faith...no matter that there is a certain facade he feels it is appropriate (for whatever reasons) to exhibit.

AND I CONSIDER THIS SPEECH TO BE ONE OF THE BRAVEST SPEECHES ANY POLITICIAN HAS EVER MADE IN AMERICA!
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 09:04 am
@sozobe,
He starts out saying that the U.S. is not "Christian Nation", or not just a Christian nation. That there are Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and non-believers in the U.S.

And even were all these folks expelled, who's Christianity would we apply?

He mentions some books of the Bible, and how they say eating shellfish is forbidden, or stoning children is expected, and he makes a joke about how the defense department would not survive if we applied the Sermon on the Mount.

He talks about how a secular government requires laws based on values accessible to everyone (he uses outlawing abortion as an example, demonstrating that you can't just say "because the bible says so", but rather have to show that it is for the common good.)

He ends by relating the story of Abraham and how God asked that he sacrifice his son, and how Abraham followed God's wishes only to be stopped by an angel at the last moment, and how nowadays if we saw this we'd call the police and children's services. His conclusion is that hearing God's will in your head is not enough.


(Someone please correct any errors.)
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 09:14 am
@DrewDad,
Ah, I see.

Thanks again!
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 11:06 am
@dlowan,
dlawan aid:
Quote:
Blimey. I have the opposite impression...that at least an overt demonstration of christianity is a necessary thing for anyone wanting the presidency.

I am interested to know what makes you think the opposite.


living in the United States for most of my life and interacting on a day to day basis with all sorts of people from all walks of life who don't fit the stereotype of the rabid, rightwing christian fundamentalists that the rest of the world is constantly fed via the media.

think about it- Richard Nixon - Christian? Probably in name only - like on the form we fill out - he'd have put some denomination of protestant obviously - but did it inform his lifestyle - no. Did people still vote for him for president - yes.

Joe Leiberman is Jewish - but was a very popular pick for vice presidential candidate a few years ago.

If anything the people who are active christians have been the exception rather than the rule in my mind. Did Kennedy attend mass? Was he a practicing Catholic?
That was a little bit before my conscious time, but I don't remember ever reading that that was an important part of who he was or why he was elected.

I think Obama's religion (just as I believe his race) had very little to do with him being elected.
At least it did with me - and I'm a Christian-and my friends- most of whom are not but (all of whom voted for him and attended the inauguration and are still celebrating as we speak). They voted for the man- not his religion. Believe me they'd have voted for him if he'd been nonreligious too.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 11:08 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
I don't think Obama is a “man of faith” in the way you think of him being a man of faith...no matter that there is a certain facade he feels it is appropriate (for whatever reasons) to exhibit.


And I don't think you know what sort of man of faith I think he is. Actually, I'm very familiar with his sort of man of faith. It corresponds very closely to the sort of woman of faith that I am. I recognized it immediately.

Just because he (or I) don't fit your label of how you identify christians - doesn't mean that either one of us isn't.
Maybe your view is a little narrow. There are all sorts of Christians-not only the types you read about in the paper.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 11:10 am
@aidan,
Quote:
There are ALL SORTS of Christians.


Truer words were never written.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:13 pm
@aidan,
aidan wrote:

dlawan aid:
Quote:
Blimey. I have the opposite impression...that at least an overt demonstration of christianity is a necessary thing for anyone wanting the presidency.

I am interested to know what makes you think the opposite.


living in the United States for most of my life and interacting on a day to day basis with all sorts of people from all walks of life who don't fit the stereotype of the rabid, rightwing christian fundamentalists that the rest of the world is constantly fed via the media.


I know. Not sure what this has to do with what it takes to be president, which seems to be faith or fervent hypocrisy.

think about it- Richard Nixon - Christian? Probably in name only - like on the form we fill out - he'd have put some denomination of protestant obviously - but did it inform his lifestyle - no. Did people still vote for him for president - yes.

Actually, he was well known to be a Quaker. You're right, it didn't seem to inform his ethics very much, but that's not new, is it?

Joe Leiberman is Jewish - but was a very popular pick for vice presidential candidate a few years ago.

Cool...an example.

If anything the people who are active christians have been the exception rather than the rule in my mind. Did Kennedy attend mass? Was he a practicing Catholic?


Yes, he did, and yes he was. Whether he believed in his heart is another thing. Actually, it was a drama for him in terms of his electoral chances since Protestant America was fearful that he would somehow try to advance or sell Catholicism. Therefore, his religion was seen as a liability, as it was not the right sort of christianity.


That was a little bit before my conscious time, but I don't remember ever reading that that was an important part of who he was or why he was elected.

It was an important part of why he was of doubtful electability...as I said, wrong sort of christian.

I think Obama's religion (just as I believe his race) had very little to do with him being elected.

And yet, his alleged Muslim faith was used as a mendacious attack meme throughout the campaign...and now it seems there is an hysterical campaign re his not being christian enough.


At least it did with me - and I'm a Christian-and my friends- most of whom are not but (all of whom voted for him and attended the inauguration and are still celebrating as we speak). They voted for the man- not his religion. Believe me they'd have voted for him if he'd been nonreligious too.



Cool. But we are talking about your country as a whole.

What do other Americans think about the need for a presidential candidate to at least PROFESS christianity? Not legally or constitutionally, but in practice?
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:35 pm
@dlowan,
I think a person describing him/herself as an agnostic or as an atheist...would have ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE WHATEVER of being elected in this country.

My guess is there have been agnostics and athesits elected...but they have never acknowledged themselves to be such...and in fact, have acted as though they weren't.

Our politicians actually lie from time to time.
George
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:37 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
. . . Our politicians actually lie from time to time.

So young, and yet so cynical.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:40 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan said:
Quote:
I know. Not sure what this has to do with what it takes to be president, which seems to be faith or fervent hypocrisy.

It's meant to give a more accurate picture of the electorate than is generally offered by the media.
That more accurate picture would then help someone from outside the US understand why there might be other more important aspects of a candidate to the US electorate than adherence to a specific religion.

I think the fact that Obama was elected and that Hillary was a strong contender are indications that the age of the white, christian, male candidate being the only option are over.

As per President Kennedy dlowan said:
Quote:
Therefore, his religion was seen as a liability, as it was not the right sort of christianity.

Yet he was elected anyway - and that was almost fifty years ago.

Quote:
And yet, his alleged Muslim faith was used as a mendacious attack meme throughout the campaign...and now it seems there is an hysterical campaign re his not being christian enough.

by a minority of voting Americans - obviously. I think if you'd been in the US on September 11, 2001 - you might have a better understanding of the impetus behind a lot of the anti-muslim hysteria that occurred. I'm not condoning it, I'm just explaining where a lot of it originated.

I have a lot of faith in Americans. But I will admit that I've always lived on the east coast near urban centers and I've always worked in educational settings with fairly educated people.
I have never lived in a 'red' state. I've always lived in 'blue' states - by design actually. So maybe my view is skewed- but I truly don't think so. I think the american people spoke on November 4, 2008.
And I don't think the people who voted for Obama were that interested in his religion.

*Quaker - that's right - yikes - how'd he explain Vietnam to his fellow 'Friends' ?(maybe that's why I can't take the lip service to religion that seriously - and I thnk most Americans are intelligent enough to see through it as well).
But I certainly could be wrong.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 02:50 pm
@aidan,
Well, I continue to disagree....I guess it will take the successful election of an atheist, or at least an agnostic, to determine, eh?

0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 07:18 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
As long as he is not trying to enforce this silliness by law such as Bush #2 did or push this silliness onto the public in some other manner I could care less in any regard.


Bill didn't need to learn here on A2K that "I could care less" is grammatical. His internal grammar told him so.


chai2
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 08:05 pm
veddy interesting.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 10:54 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
I think a person describing him/herself as an agnostic or as an atheist...would have ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE WHATEVER of being elected in this country.

My guess is there have been agnostics and athesits elected...but they have never acknowledged themselves to be such...and in fact, have acted as though they weren't.

Our politicians actually lie from time to time.


I'm sorry I haven't read all 4 pages of thread, but. On a pure guess, I think it is very likely that Obama isn't a chrisitan. Frank is right, there would be NO CHANCE of an atheist getting in to power.
Obama's ******* well clever, ambitious, smart, he's no doubt been planning this since his degree and recognised how important it was for him to have a christian background.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 11:36 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
You got it right, Pentacle Queen.

If a person truly thinks he/she has a contribution to make as a politician...the first thing he/she has got to do is TO GET ELECTED.

Politicians will do or say anything in order to get elected.

The fact that an agnostic or athesit would hide that information from the public is not only understandable and ******* well clever (as PQ so aptly put it)...but really very small potatoes in the grand scheme of political lies!
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 12:38 pm
I haven't read all 4 pages either, but I agree that obama doesn't seem to be a religious person.

which is fine.

As said though, he's smart and he knows the words that have to come out of his mouth sometimes in order to get things done.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 12/04/2021 at 01:51:26