On the idolatry of partisan politics.

Barak Obama, saviour of America.

Do you long for a better future? How about a life of peace? If you but merely cast your vote for Barak he will single handly, no less, restore the moral standing of America so that it is the last and BEST hope for all those who are “called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.”* Why? Because he believes in change!

“All day, under a punishing Colorado sun, tens of thousands of supporters trudged across an overpass to Invesco Field, pilgrims in a line snaking for kilometres, a march that began eight hours before Obama spoke.”* They all gathered around the statium to hear their saviour speak.

Below is a clip of his speech:

“America, you are the light of the world. A city on a hill that cannot be hidden! You have heard it said, ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,’ but I say, love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, and bring our troops home from Iraq! You have heard it said, care for the widow and the orphan, but I say, care for the widow and orphan and give everyone access to affordable health care! Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you! Because America, I have been annointed to preach good news to the poor. I have been sent here to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour for America!”**

America, get your palm branches ready because here comes your saviour (let’s not kill this one).

If Jesus is Lord, is it idolatrous for followers of Jesus put their hope for change in a man?

If Jesus is Lord, is it idolatrous for the Church to put her hope for change in the Empire?

There is but one Lord, and his name is not Barak.

America has but one Savior, and his name is not Barak.

*Quotes taken from Toronto Star article, ‘Obama’s new dream for America,’ http://www.thestar.com/News/USElection/article/487523.

**Not actual Obama speech

***This writing is satirical.

Grace and peace.

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5 comments
  1. stacy said:

    I understand what you’ve articulated and I appreciate your point, but I don’t think that Obama supporters are willing to, or have already, given up their faith to “follow” Obama. I have yet to meet a supporter who has stopped loving Jesus and believes Obama will save them. I think this idea that Obama is some sort of prophet is just one propelled by the media, dare I saw the GOP? I see it as nothing more than effort to paint him as someone “above” ordinary citizens in such a way to encourage voter hesitance.
    I can say for myself, that I’m excited and energized by the idea of a politician who is not just that, but also a former constitutional law professor, a human rights attorney, and of course, a follower of Christ himself. I’m excited by the fact that he is a political who hasn’t forgotten Christ’s call to all of us to uplift the poor, to look after the homeless, to love our brothers and sisters and to do everything we do, with great humility.

    If anything, his success is testament to the way in which God’s unfailing love and grace can transform anyone and everyone’s life.

  2. JT said:

    Fair enough. I didn’t mean to suggest that people are ditching their faith to follow Barak, so I’m sorry if that’s what was portrayed. I know many people that love Jesus and support Obama and I don’t think that those are two mutually exclusive things. I do wonder though if it’s problematic to trust in a single political figure to bring about change. History (and Scripture for that matter) tell us that God’s style of change doesn’t come through an Empire.

    So I guess I was just trying to get insight into a question that I’m still struggling with, and that is, if we proclaim Jesus as Lord (that being a political statement amongst other things) then is it idolatrous for people to throw all their eggs into the Obama basket?

    There are some things about Obama that I’m not sure about (although I’m sure the same thing can be said about any world leader) such as:

    – Americanism – I believe that this truly is idolatrous. The American way is much different from the way of Jesus as I see it.
    – The way in which Obama himself (in his speeches and interviews etc) seems to portray *himself* as America’s last great hope.

    You know much more about Obama and his efforts than I would and I really respect you and your faith so any insight you can provide would be helpful I’m sure! Hope McGill is treating you well. Christina and I are going to be taking a road trip up there to visit some students, one of whom is you!

  3. JT said:

    ps – Don’t get me wrong though. *If* I were an American (which I’m not) and *if* I voted (which I likely wouldn’t) then I would certainly vote for Obama as opposed to McCain!

  4. stacy said:

    I’m trying to recall recent interviews that I’ve seen with Barack to remember his body language, speech, tone etc. and what from what my memory tells me, he’s very keen on stressing the policy differences between his democratic agenda and John McCain. Perhaps though, in the process of distinguishing himself from McCain, he’s too overzealous and comes across as self-righteous. And of course, his supporters, especially those who are part of his campaign, advertise him as the leader who “can change America”; it’s all part of their narrative. Politics is all about the PR and the narrative you create.

    I personally am not comfortable with placing all of my hopes and aspirations in Obama’s presidency. I almost feel as though politics and religion are two separate realms in my mind; I perceive politics as the lower of the two, the worldly parallel in which no matter how great a candidate, nothing can or will change for the better because of man’s works. Ultimately, God has control over the political realm. I can support one candidate over another because I feel like they represent the more progressive of the two proposed blueprints, but I know that nothing can be achieved by that candidate if it was not God’s will first.

    It is much too dangerous to allow politics and faith to be at par with one another (in our minds, hearts and lives) and worse yet, it is disastrous to fully integrate religion into politics because man is driven by power and such a intense longing for power will not prevent one from manipulating religion to serve political interests.

    I am so glad you wrote about this topic though because it all the more invigorates my love for Christ.

  5. stacy said:

    PS — I would love for you and Christina to visit me. I recently found the sweetest little bookstore–very much resembling Shakespeare & Company–that I cannot wait to show you both! But if you’re not overly passionate about literature, there are plenty of other places to visit around town. 🙂

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