Friday, November 07, 2008

Confusing Obama With God

(Warning: this post contains a violent photograph.)

There is a small British-style pub in a town about two hours South of where we live in Northern Idaho. I happened to be in the area so I decided to go into the pub and do some writing before returning home.

My impression that the pub seemed British was confirmed when I bumped into Peter Hitchens from The Mail on Sunday. Going up to him, I asked what he happened to be doing in America, and in a small town in North-West Idaho of all places.

Mr. Hitchens, author of The Abolition of Britain, a staunch defender of monarchy and one of the most insightful columnists in all of Britain, explained that he was covering the election from a small-town point of view. I was thankful that he decided to choose Moscow Idaho as his “small town”, because it gave me the privilege of picking his brain.

As we began talking about the differences between American and British politics and culture, Mr. Hitchens made the point that Americans are not electing a president; they are electing a king. Moreover, he said, sometimes it even sounds like some people think they are electing God, which is bound to lead to disappointment.

Electing God? There is more than a little truth to Hitchens’ observation. The misidentification of Barack Obama with the Almighty has been a recurring confusion throughout the junior senator’s campaign. Routinely Obama is treated as a Messiah figure who will lead America out of darkness into a utopia of prosperity and happiness.

This theme has been behind the emergence of a growing corpus of Obama iconography. When the
Manifest Hopegallery put on an exhibition of Obama art, the Weekly Standard reported about one work which “invoked the sacred, picturing Obama's great head--illuminated by sunbursts--emerging from the clouds over a bare-breasted maiden who is robed in an American flag and emerging from a volcano. Note that in the lower-right-hand corner an assemblage of people are literally kneeling before Obama.”

The Messianic adoration has not been limited to visual art. Obama supporters have also been composing anthems to him (one of which even parodies the Christian worship chorusSanctuary). (Click here for a number of videos of Obama hymns).

Obama has himself implicitly encouraged this perception by describing his mission in Messianic terms. In his acceptance speech in Chicago on November 5, Obama told the story of American history, from its inception to its growth into civic maturity, a process which climaxes in his own utopian announcement: “Our union can be perfected.”

Frequently, Obama takes Biblical phrases and categories and re-applies them to his own mission and promises.

God-Like Responsibility

In order to attain this eschatological climax, Obama must attribute to the state a God-like responsibility. Thus, instead of viewing the government as a mechanism for merely maintaining law and order, the state becomes a parent who is responsible to look out for its children. As Obama himself puts it,

“[government] should...protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.... Our government should work for us...

That’s the promise of America...the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.”
(From Obama’s acceptance speech at the democratic national convention, Thursday, August 28th, 2008.)

Redefinition of Sin

According to the Genesis account, the devil deceived Eve by saying she could be like God knowing good from evil. Barack Obama takes the devil’s lie one step further: he apparently thinks he can be God, defining good and evil. In
an interview in 2004, he defined sin as “Being out of alignment with my values.” What are the values Obama has chosen to adopt for himself? While Obama likes to think he has adopted the values of Christianity (as he puts it, “Jesus is the only way for me”), he also maintains that if someone else chooses to adopt an alternative worldview, that becomes true for them: “All people of faith – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Animists, everyone – knows the same God.... I believe that there are many paths to the same place.”

Given the redefinition of sin as “being out of alignment with my values”, and given the fact that all worldviews (and presumably the value systems which proceed from those worldviews) all hit the target in the end anyway, it follows logically that right and wrong become completely relative concepts, devoid of any objective meaning.

This subjective approach to ethics is reflected in Obama’s views on abortion. Not only does he support abortion, but he supports partial-birth abortion, a procedure so brutal that it is illegal in Britain.

In this brutal procedure, the entire baby is delivered except for the head. The back of the baby's head is then punctured with scissors, causing excruciating pain to the child. A catheter is then inserted and the baby's brains are sucked out with a vacuum.

On 4 occasions, Obama has voted against bills that would protect infants who are born alive after a botched abortion attempt. In justification of his decision, he said:

whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a - child, a nine-month-old - child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it - it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. For that purpose, I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.”

The “previable” foetuses in question were those born entire and alive!
List of Previous Posts About Obama


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