Sunday, January 27, 2008

Barack Obama, More Concerns: Faith and Social Issues

Barack Obama comes across as being a moral and decent, even a spiritual, candidate (see my previous post). He uses his beliefs to motivate people, as talks about issues in terms of morality and rights, then how we should vote and empowering him to take action through the state. He uses terms like "hope" and "change" regularly with the understanding that he brings these things in the best possible form, among the lesser choices. Even though he no doubt brings hope to some, I have some sharps concerns concerning him, with his past and his affiliations. I believe that character is important and I am not aware of how this information is being openly discussed, so here are some points I want to address:

1. The Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act
2. His church
3. His pastor and spiritual advisor

1. An article by Jill Stenek on the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act showed how "Obama had been the sole senator speaking against Born Alive on the Senate floor in 2001 and 2002 and had single-handedly killed it in a committee he chaired in 2003". "In fact, Obama's position against Born Alive was what persuaded Keyes to run against him in the first place. It was also why Keyes famously alleged during their campaign that Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama, a comment that apparently haunts Obama since he continues to write and speak about it."

He voted against this very basic bill with protects infants born alive. Now that this bill passes in 2005, infants are legally protected as living human beings and will be treated as such receiving medical care vs. being shelved to die, which has been happening apparently. Here is a list of 10 things he said about why he didn't support this bill at various time. This is very indicting of his character in my book. I want to protect human life and human rights of infants, and I see this candidate is as bad as you can get.

2. His church is Trinity United Church of Christ (UCC). The UCC is perhaps the most liberal of all the Christian denominations. They seem to take liberal stances on social issues which in fact contradict what the Bible has to say. How is this church liberal?
  • Proudly shares how it was the first church to ordain a openly gay minister in 1972.
  • Supports same sex marriage: "In July 2005, the 1.2-million-member UCC became the largest Christian denomination to support marriage equality, when the UCC's General Synod, meeting in Atlanta, endorsed a resolution calling for full equal marriage rights for same-gender couples. "
  • Their ONA movement encourages gay, lesbians, bi-sexuals as members, leaders, employees, etc.
  • Stands for partial birth abortion recently and stands for abortion right for 35 years.
  • I haven't done much more research because their Web site doesn't have things in black and white, there are lengthy articles or very little stated at all, leaves me to see them as a fluid movement, not wanting to be bound to the Bible as a fixed document, that can be clearly interpreted.

My view of scripture would not allow me to partner with this church in issues of reaching the lost, reforming the church, and greater culture. Does Barack believe all these things? I don't know, he seems to say or imply "no" personally, in some cases, but I doubt his genuineness beased on other things he has done or said. He maybe trying to play both sides, clearly. For example, Barack said he doesn't support gay marriage (but does support civil unions). Perhaps his local church isn't as liberal as others? So what about his local church?

Trinity's UCC is a different church that emphasizes the black people and African continent. It's rooted in it's Black liberation theology. Check out the About Us link to see it for yourself. The main pastor, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., was on Hannity and Colmes was questioned if his church is part of a black separatist movement. Wow, this is a revealing interview. Check out how he responds to the questioning. He was definitely angry and defensive. This pastor definitely has some "issues". Not saying he's a racist neccessarily, not sure, you be the judge, perhaps related to his liberation theology and political beliefs.

BTW: I agree with Hannity that we should be united in Christ and not having a singular race perspective. If you replace all the words "black or African" with "white" in the church Web site, you would have a serious, and rightly, an outcry of racism that is inherently not Christian.

Wikipedia talks about Black theology "As with all liberation theologies, black theology focuses on those who are perceived as oppressed and/or poor. Through its intentionally particular lens, black theology seeks to contribute to the liberation of black peoples.". So the question for Barack Obama should be, how does your church theology and teachings affect your understanding of leading various Americans? Black, White, Hispanic, etc., will you favor policies and legislation specially for the black Americans? How would this affect your relations with the African continent and African people? Perhaps there would be some positive impact with his concern for Africa, however, there are those in Africa that do hate America (Muslim Jihadists for example). Also the issue related to black sepratism should be asked, considering how Christianity is not so much focused on race, as his church is. Jesus wasn't such a political figure, as the Pope John Paul II said, however there may be nothing wrong with liberation theology if it's not taken too far.

3. His pastor - more on Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

The Washington Post reported that Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Obama's spiritual advisor, was involved with Trumpter Magazines award to the controversial, Farrakhan: "Last year, it gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to a man it said "truly epitomized greatness.". The article goes on to say "For most Americans, though, Farrakhan epitomizes racism, particularly in the form of anti-Semitism. ", and "Over the years, he has compiled an awesome record of offensive statements, even denigrating the Holocaust by falsely attributing it to Jewish cooperation with Hitler -- "They helped him get the Third Reich on the road." His history is a rancid stew of lies.".

This article goes on about with the Rev. praise for Farrakhan: ""depth of analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation." He praised "his integrity and honesty." He called him "an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose."" This shows how this particular man has a large lack of discernment at best and at worse is really poor example of Christian leader, when it comes to racial reconciliation.

To Obama's credit he distanced himself from his pastor in regards to Farrakham, according to this post. So this issue is one that shows Obama can act independantly of his pastor but it still shows how Obama's relationship complicates Obama's candadacy for the president.


Resilient Hawk said...

So that no one is wondering about antiSemite Louis Farrakhan, a man who has publically and influentially hated more than any living man, see his Wikiedia page.

Apparently, for Obama, the issue of his pastor's own latent racism is not crucial to being under spritual submission to him.

That said, looking at Hillary Clinton's complete disdain of faith, it is understandable that Democrats looking for a Christian candidate might think this is the best they can do. What have the Republicans offered them? A deeply fallen Catholic in Rudy? Huckabee, who the Christian community only vaguely embraces? Ron Paul, who seems to also hate religion's specifics? Mitt Romney, a Mormon (which are not considered by any therologian on the same page as evangelicals)? McCain, who, like Rudy, has not demonstrated he believes in any deity?

No wonder people of faith - Christians in particular - look to Obama.

@bdul muHib said...

For a seriously opposite look at Obama's faith and his church, see the latest Sojourners post.

David said...

In response to resilient hawk, thanks for your comments. If you know of any Christian attracted to Obama, please inform them of these issues, because I doubt they are hearing about it from anyone else. I'm in the loop because I was in IL during Obama's race for Senate, I almost track the political dialog via conservative radio, and do my own research.

BTW: I think you are wrong on Huckabee... he may not have universal support of the evangelical church, he gets almost half of the evangelical vote... that's significant, and with Thompson out, he probably will get more. I think Huckabee is the best vote for an evangelical, unless you want someone with more clout for economics and national security. Based on his faith and stance on social issues, coupled with his conservative policies, executive experience, and other intangibles. He has the ability to reach out to those less fortunate, while still remaining conservative, and his courage to focus on improving things. His communications skills and attractive personality are helpful, when dealing with these issues. The question is how can would implement all these things he wants to do with a congress that may be opposed to him or would try to get him to do non traditional conservative things.