In an earlier post, , I stated that my primary motivation for discussing politics is because I desire the church to be a place of fair-minded, balanced, civil dialogue regarding issues of our day like politics, economics, and scientific progress. I would like to take this time to, for the record, articulate some of the dire predictions people of faith have made or claimed concerning an Obama presidency which I believe will prove to be false and therefore prove that political thinking amongst a certain segment of our population is hysterical and irrational. Not only are such false beliefs and predictions irrational but they betray a judgment or demonization of those one disagrees with which is not only partisan but contrary to gospel driven humility and love.
The most extreme views hold that maybe Obama is a secret Muslim or that because of the views of Jeremiah Wright that Obama will undermine our commitment to Israel. I have heard people say that a vote for Obama is a vote against Israel. I have heard people say that if Obama is elected Israel will be attached and that America will not come to her aid. These fear laden predictions seem ludicrous to outsiders but such views are actually present in some circles. At the root of this is a belief that Obama is not patriotic or even that he is anti-American. Certainly there is a belief that Obama does not have a heartfelt religious love of Israel. What is so insidious about these belief is that they are contrary to everything President Obama has stated publicly. Therefore, to hold such beliefs one must hold an irrational conspiratorial worldview and process of analysis of the world and its actors. Such a worldview and such a thinking process is dangerous, uncivil, judgmental, unchristian, and sinful.
Why do I say unchristian and sinful? This is a serious charge which I am making. I boldly characterize this belief as unchristian and sinful because at least the Christian heart and mind should be able to be objective. When feelings cloud one’s vision to negatively view another than these feelings must by definition be negative. The results of such a heart are morally repugnant. Such false and subjectively clouded views of others is the stuff of bigotry and tribalism. Could anything be more contrary to monotheism and the universal declarations of the gospel? Therefore I define such hostile and negative feelings toward another which are based solely on fantasy is the heart of sin. The source of this ill-conceived vision of Obama is bitter and hateful judgments upon whole segments of the human population.
Early signs show how misinformed and erroneous these anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli fears are. President-elect Obama will inevitably surround himself with the best minds in the world and these minds will be almost exclusively Israel loving. Can anyone question the Rahm Emmanuel’s loyalty to Israel and her security? Here is a short article from Jeffrey Goldberg, Rahm Emmanuel and Isreal. Goldberg is a long time friend who says the following about Emmanuel:
he is deeply and emotionally committed to Israel and its safety. We’ve talked about the issue a dozen times; it’s something he thinks about constantly
A second irrational view that finds its source in a fundamentalist and spiritually unhealthy heart is the view that Obama is socialist or a redistributionist. A simple look at the economic advisors that Obama has surrounded himself with, like the Rahm Emmanuel appointment makes this view equally ridiculous. Obama’s economic advisors is a who’s who of the new economy: Warren Buffet, Larry Summers, Tim Guithner, Robert Rubin, Paul Volcker,
From this mornings msnbc Article, Obama Meets with Industry Titans,
In addition to Summers and Volcker, the economic advisory board includes: former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin; former Labor Secretary Robert Reich; Laura Tyson, a former chair of the National Economic Council; Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Xerox Chairman Anne Mulcahy and Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons. Famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett was participating by telephone.
To characterize Obama as socialist, then I guess Buffet et al are socialists as well. What then shall a misguided evangelical do? What is required is a humble submission to the facts? It has been said that republicans need to do a soul searching of a political kind but I suggest instead what is most needed is a deep soul searching of a spiritual and moral kind.