Monday, April 5, 2010

A Blog of a different color


As The Christian celebration of Easter came and went the United States paid particular attention to one mans family as they entered a church on Sunday for the Easter service. The Obama family attended a South Washington DC church in hopes of finding a good Easter service. With the usual flash photography as he entered the predominately “black” church, he and his family scurried to their pew upon their late arrival. This however is not the church that they attend. In fact, there is not a church that they “officially” attend.

While, for most of us, it is nice that he attends a church on major holidays, there is still the question of “what does this man believe?” In his own recent statement he clarifies that he has not yet found a church and plans to end the search for the time, as there are more pressing issues. Surprisingly, the public has said much toward this claim. Why is it so important for the Christians of this country to have a leader that believes in the God that they believe in? Do they feel that this will lend moral insight on laws and events? Probably. Although this might be against what most non-Christians want to believe, it undoubtedly shapes the way in which the president views the issues at hand. For example, laws against abortion are a predominately rightwing idea. They are also, for the majority, a Christian thought. As most know, the majority of right-wingers are also Christians.


To be honest, I don’t feel like Obama believes much of anything. Since before his election to office he has been plagued with questions of his spiritual beliefs. He has also been ridiculed for past religious acquaintances. He has had to serve the public for more than a year now. He has occasionally gone to church, but when asked about it he pushes it aside and says that there are more important things like heath care. Christians believe that there is nothing more important than ones religion, specifically their religion. To suggest that the healthcare plan is not God led should have raised some eyebrows. He has been serving the public eye long enough and now he feels confident to pursue courses of action without the guidance of God as envisioned by the eye of the masses.


What does this mean for the nation? Does the nation seem to care less about God led decisions and more about how it affects them and their families? Not really, this has always been the way of people. Just because people are looking out for ‘number one’ does not mean they are abandoning faith. People, now more than ever are accepting a separation of church and state, even on the personal level. It is the same as being in a religious studies class. The teachings are very secular and the discussions are far from God led. Religious thinkers must have a ‘momentary suspension of beliefs’ in order to function within the discussion. I personally have found this to be a very difficult task. If it is so difficult for me then it should be equally as difficult for the rest of humanity. Does Obama believe in a God? Who knows? He is however still led by a nation that, for the majority, believes in a higher power. Because of this, Obama is still held to the moral standards and responsibilities of a God led nation.


Justin M said...

There is no denying the religious majority of the United States still has a need to affirm that their ‘leader’ is of the Christian faith. Despite these “standards” I agree with President Obama’s outlook on this issue. The President has stated that he is looking for a place of worship and will continue to work on this in his personal time. However, given the tremendously complicated political issues that he is currently tackling, this facet of his private life is not of primary concern at the moment. Although there is a large number of the public that may feel troubled by not knowing President Obama’s exact religious beliefs, they should be satisfied that he is placing the State before the Church in his national duty. This would likely be a larger issue if his priorities were the other way around.

Rob K said...

I agree fully with Justin's comments above. I think it is an idealistic notion to think that any political leader should pursue his or her job and responsibilities without any religious or faith-based influences, as has sometimes been asserted in this blog before. I do, however, believe that it is necessary on certain occasions for these political leaders to take a step back from their faith, whatever it may be, when making decisions or keeping our country on track. Coming from a mixed religious background, I appreciate the fact that President Obama has done this, but also that he has continued his search for the Church that best suits him and his family. Religion is an extremely powerful force in the lives of countless people, but it must be exercised in the proper time and place.

Shannon H. said...

I think that while it's certainly true that a majority of Americans have said in polls that they want their president to be Christian, the actual act of attending church has not seemed to matter as much as the simple act of expressing a Christian belief system to the American electorate. Rightly or wrongly, the voters appear to place the possession of “Christian” values above the actual practice of Christianity. I would also disagree with the overly-broad statement, “Christians believe that there is nothing more important than ones religion, specifically their religion.” I feel that this is generalizing, and not even in a correct way. I like to stay optimistic and think that (American) Christians ‘believe that there is nothing more important than (the President’s)’ ability to lead the country.