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Obama a man of faith? Friday, 3 July 2009

Posted by R Garfield in Drifting, Political, The Left Side, Views On News.
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President Obama draws fire from evangelicals because he does not support ultra-right-wing agendas.  However, recent news articles have identified Obama as more overtly displaying his faith than most presidents in recent memory, including George W. Bush.

“This administration has used faith more overtly than any other in its first hundred days,” says Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “That includes Bush.”

The news stories go on to say that his overt faith-based initiatives could cost him the support of the Democratic base.

Drawing Fire

Of course, the news reports drew immediate fire themselves. Most of it was based on ‘if you do not believe as a I believe, you don’t believe at all.’ People on the right whose faith is central to their public lives are quick to state that Obama’s faith is a sham, designed to ‘deceive the very elect’ and lead the USA into godlessness and the abandonment of Christian principles.

Full disclosure: there are a number of areas where I disagree with the President concerning statements he has made concerning Christianity. But I consider most members of the far right to be hypocrites who ‘deceive’ and garner followers among evangelicals by paying lip service only Christian principles. Can anyone say ‘Sanford?’

Someone close to me has said she prefers the far-right-sided liars. I don’t. I prefer to know when someone disagrees with me from the get-go, rather finding out about their ‘indiscretions’ in news reports.

Principles vs. Beliefs

If i were enumerating Christian principles, I would include those of honor and integrity. I would also include communicating with others, rather than preaching down to them. St. Francis is credited with saying, “preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Matthew 5:16 (KJV) says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

I think Obama’s definition of Christianity is different than mine. But I don’t believe for a minute he is shamming his faith. His is holding true to the vision of his faith despite its unpopularity with both the right and the left.

Does the fact that the President’s faith differs from yours really mean he is faithless? He is being true to his princples, and his beliefs. That’s far more than I credit many of his followers with doing.

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