Saturday, June 06, 2009

President Obama as the prophet of this generation

In a blog post on the USA Today, Obama's faith fits our times, Stephen Mansfield writes a glowing review of what an enlightened religious man President Obama is, not because of his firm beliefs but because of his lack thereof. Mansfield describes Obama's faith in the ideal America in 2009 way:

Perhaps most important of all, he believes in a "living word of God," one that ever reveals and expands, that comes from unexpected sources. "When I read the Bible," he has written, "I do so with the belief that it is not a static text but the Living Word and that I must be continually open to new revelations whether they come from a lesbian friend or a doctor opposed to abortion."

These "new revelations" might come from a non-Christian religion as well, for Obama does not believe his Christianity is the final word. "I am rooted in the Christian tradition," he has said. But "I believe there are many paths to the same place and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people."

So he is "rooted in the Christian tradition", but is keeping his options open.

I would say the writer is right on the mark. Not because President Obama is some sort of prophet or New Age holy man, but because our President embodies the spirit of this age: vague spirituality, ala carte theology, salvation without strings attached, we want to know Jesus but only our terms instead of His. His faith seems eminently practical and ultimately devoid of meaning, a hodge podge of beliefs that meet his needs rather than reveal God's truth. He exhibits just enough religiousity to pacify those who are looking for that in a President while not being so religious as to risk offending anyone. This is not to single out the President or beat him up (I have a whole other blog devoted to that!) because he really is merely the most visible embodiment of the reality of faith in a world where tolerance is the great commandment.

When you stand for everything, you end up not standing for anything.

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