Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Does Obama approve Dan Savage's anti-Bible rhetoric?

I think Obama's part in the following clip much more interesting than this video narrator's take on it:

I think Obama here commits a gaffe that the news outlets will never bring him to account on.  He makes it seem that he is lumping the Sermon on the Mount in with religious injunctions he doesn't think we whould live by.  Whether Obama has a clear idea of what he's conveying iis unclear.  But contrary to what the video narrator perceives, I don't think that Obama would renounce the Sermon on the Mount the way he might renounce the Torah.  Like Dan Savage, Obama deems the Torah unfit because it does not prohibit slavery.  Even though the liberal coalition of soft science theorists think it is a scientific proven truism that liberals naturally tend toward nuance and subtlety and complexity, the relationship of both the Torah and Christian revelation to slavery, and to social policy in general, deserves more nuanced treatment than either Obama or Dan Savage are willing to give them.  However, it is interesting that Obama is implying that our Defense Department is against the Sermon on the Mount; which calls into question Obama's use of drones and the body count of collateral damage that he has rationalized.  Mr. Obama, do you think that the Sermon on the Mount is as out of touch with the times as the laws of Moses?

The very fact that he seems to consider the Sermon on the Mount a "radical" injunction that is meant for the individual, rather than for the State, calls into question whether the injunction to "remember the poor" is meant strictly for the individual.  If so, then it is theologically sketchy to demand that the State's power of redistribution be brought in  in order to fulfill a private spiritual directive.  Obama's use of drones to take out people on his secret "kill list," his not turning the other cheek with Osama bin Laden, his not bothering to address the American public on the "collateral damage" (i.e. large numbers of dead civilians) of his policies suggest that he could take or leave the Sermon on the Mount when it comes to foreign policy.  

Notice as well how close Obama comes to Dan Savage's talking points, without actually calling them "bull****" as does Dan Savage (who is publicly endorsed by Obama).  Is Obama the kind of Christian that believes that Jesus wasn't really God or resurrected but that Jesus revealed a bunch of good vibes from God?  A lot of that kind of liberal Christianity is pervasive in the so-called "mainstream" churches.  Obama obviously believes that all Christians must pick and choose from the Bible, so what are his guidelines for what he picks and chooses?  What in particular should be reflected in our politics and social policy?  Only what fits liberation theology and "social gospel"?  Seems like that would be relevant to understanding what it means for him to be a Christian.  Christianity is part of the Obama image that was sold to the American public, so why shouldn't we know what we were getting?  I don't think we ever really learned what we were getting.

Many people have conjectured that Obama is an atheist or a Muslim.  Obama, it seems, as a young child had an education steeped in Muslim religion.  His mother doesn't seem all that religious though, and probably regarded this as a way of inoculating him against Western points of view.  When you look at the belief systems of the people that he grew up with, has voluntarily associated with, and the sum total of his policies and rhetoric, the pattern points to what I think is his actual religion.

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