Monday, February 25, 2008

My Mama and Barack Obama

I've been as fascinated with this current U.S. presidential election as just about anyone else. And this is surprising to me. Though I spent a few years living and working on policy in D.C., I don't regard myself as a political hound in any way. And yet, I've been glued to CNN and other news outlets catching the most information I can about this election and the candidates. To put it bluntly, in my opinion, this is the most important presidential election of my lifetime. I feel it. And it's important for a whole slate of reasons that are different than the typical reasons that get touted as important or critical. Those typical reasons are still at play, and they are still important.

But what is palpable for the first time in my generation (or at least in my memory of presidential elections) are the possibilities and promises that are altogether new.

The dynamic that most fascinates me involves the sea change and signal effects of the country potentially electing its first woman or African-American president. I flat-out disagree with Shelby Steele who says that the Obama candidacy is exclusively about race. Obama has not run a campaign about "race." The only time "race" has been injected in this campaign was the wicked and failed attempt of the Clinton camp to pigeon-hole Obama as a "black candidate." I love that her campaign essentially imploded with that blunder in S.C. For its part, CNN has repeatedly tried to divide the electorate into ethnic enclaves and ask who "owns" which group. The discussions about "race" have all been abominable, and the Democratic primary campaign itself has defied all the conventional wisdom. Men and women are as likely to vote for either Obama or Clinton, they're open-minded to the extent that Obama is winning majorities in demographics the pundits say he should lose. White men vote for Obama. And guess what? Hispanics are not a monolith either. And many of the Congressional Black Caucus elites have publicly and confidently been in favor of the Clinton campaign all along.

This presidential election is not about "race" in the sense that anyone is running publicly on some racial platform or identifying themselves exclusively with the causes of this or that racial group. And yet, this campaign, particularly if Obama is elected, will do more to (a) advance the cause of equality and opportunity (at least in its signal effects) than anything I can think of; and (b) do more to upset all of our racial categories and stratagems than anything else.

Advancing Equality. If Obama is elected, what my mama told me for years over the kitchen table in an effort to motivate my school performance and expand my sense of the possible, "You can even be president of the U.S. if you want to be," will have been realized vicariously in Obama's successful bid.

And can I be honest? This is probably the only thing my mama ever told me that neither she or I believed. I got her point; strive and achieve and let no one hold you back. But perhaps the insertion of that four-letter word--"even"--betrayed an exaggeration she and I both recognized but never admitted out loud. I never daydreamed about the oval office the way I daydreamed about hitting that last second fade-away jumper to win the NBA finals... or even the way I daydreamed about being a college professor. The presidency was more than daydreaming; it was mythic. And now, in my lifetime, there stands a man who happens to be 'black' by social definition making not only a credible run but a compelling run for the presidency. Perhaps you didn't know that black parents for decades have tried to motivate their children with the promise that they can be president of the U.S. if they set their minds to it. And perhaps you didn't know that black children and parents for decades have entirely doubted the possibility of that ever really happening. So, perhaps you haven't recognized the depths of the signal effects of a possible President Barack Obama. I do. And though I think she probably mis-spoke, I know what Michelle Obama means when she said, "For the first time I am proud of my country." Certainly there are lots of other ways that I (and I would assume she) am proud of my country, but for a lot of Americans there is nothing quite like this candidacy to stir genuine and deep pride.

Upsetting the Phalanx of "Race". Not only am I proud of my country, and proud in this moment, but I am proud of how Obama has conducted himself and how the country has responded. Here's what I think is happening in part: very fundamental assumptions about identity and allegiance are being realigned. Personally, if this is an accurate assessment, the re-alignment of racial attitudes and interaction would be an important enough issue to cast a vote for Obama.

The old, conventional wisdom demanded that a candidate declare his racial loyalty from the outset. Willie Horton could be trotted out to coalesce white voters based on anti-black fear. An African-American candidate had to prove that he was "down" in all the ways black hegemony required. Not surprisingly, the day Obama announced his candidacy, he was criticized by the likes of Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, Al Sharpton and a host of others participating in Smiley's "State of Black America" conference. Why? Obama had broken racial political ranks from the onset. He had not bowed the knee to baals of black public and political opinion. So, his "blackness" was summarily called into question.

And nothing could have been more beneficial to Barack Obama's campaign and to the soul of the American electorate than that he should from the outset be racially ambiguous. After all, his mother is white and his father African. Even in his genesis he calls into question the "one drop rule" and its social artifacts. And he invites an honest ownership of all Americans--white, brown, yellow and black. Just looking at him places an explosive charge at the base of the racial phalanx in America. Steele has called Obama "A Bound Man." IMHO, Obama may be the only free man in America. And his candidacy is setting millions of others free.

And he's had the nerve of channeling not only MLK, but also John Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, and of comparing his strategy to build a large majority with Ronald Reagan [depending on your political orientation, you can hold your breath or your nose here at this comparison]. He has frankly dismissed all the conventions except one, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...." Leaving aside his policies for a moment (and it will be important to pick them back up for scrutiny), Barack Obama has conducted himself as though he believes that equality as human beings is real and that being judged by the character's content is a better litmus test than being judged by racial categories and allegiances.

What's happening as whites, Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans pull the lever for Barack Obama? Many things. Some people just want to vote against President Bush or whomever is the likely Republican candidate. But honestly, those folks will do that just as easily with Hillary Clinton. Some will be voting for a policy position; but again, they would be making the same vote whichever Democratic nominee is on the ballot.

What I think we're seeing in large measure with Barack Obama is the American way of deposing dictators and fighting revolutions. Only the dictator is the small-minded racial and political genie that has for so long lived bottled up in the American mind. Well, the genie may be out of the bottle and I know what three wishes I'll make: (1) the redefinition of personal identity which puts "race" or ethnicity in its proper perspective and place; (2) the advancement of opportunity at the highest level for all; and (3) the advancement of the gospel which finally and eternally remakes man and promotes him to the highest glories in Christ.

These are reflections, not necessarily an endorsement. As I said earlier, voters need to scrutinize the man's proposed policy directions. But these are excited reflections; we live in an exciting time. Obama excites people and he excites a sense of the possible with people. Now, having been excited, let's not leave it to Obama to fulfill our hopes. Let's live out of our better selves, which for Christians is to live in Christ. But not even sinners are as bad as they could be. And something about the Obama campaign reminds them of what is good and hopeful in people who are made in the image of God.

20 comments:

Bruce Sabin said...

I certainly agree with your observations. Like you, I have followed this race with interest.

You mention growing up not believing you could ever be president. Certainly, I understand why that would have been so a few decades ago. But, it's interesting that it is conservatives who have spent the last couple decades claiming racism, while never completely eradicated, is not a significant stumbling block for achievement any more. And it has been Democrats who consistently insist that racism, sexism, and ever other -ism is still so institutinalized that the government, our largest institution, must legislate against it.

As you noted, it was the black leadership who criticized Obama for not being black enough, and it was the Democratic heroes--the Clintons--who tried to make the race about race.

Similarly, you can read Shanto Iyengar's research showing Democrats are more racist than Republicans.

One thing I hope will come from this presidential race is a deathblow to the ongoing focus on race in American liberal politics.

FellowElder said...

Hey Bruce,
Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

Well, I think it's probably safe to say that Democrats don't have a monopoly on racism or racist tendencies. There's no way to comfortably fit prejudice inside one label or another. It's probably safe to say that it exists in a lot of quarters, and like all other sins, is irrational. We'd be hard-pressed to prove that this or that political party is more or less racist than another. And, for me at least, it's the Obama candidacy that's calling the question about individual achievements and limits imposed by racial attitudes. I wrote in the post that I thought the best thing to happen with the Obama presidency is precisely the way it upsets the neat little race apple cart. Well, the worst thing could be a failed candidacy or a failed presidency and the way that could reinforce assumptions about race.

May you live in interesting times :-).

Thabiti

lawngospel said...

Bro Thabiti-

I know you intentionally kept out of particular policy issues so as not to blur the overall point of your post, but I would like you to comment on relationship you see between Obama, who you say is Upsetting the Phalanx of "Race" and Advancing Equality and his outspoken and unapologetic stance in favor of abortion -- which by many, many accounts is one of the most racists "institutions" alive in America today (spearheaded by avowed eugenicist Margaret Sanger herself). It seems that this position alone is enough to remove any misconceptions that he really (or at least consistently) believes "that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...."

'W.Hank Balch

FellowElder said...

Hi Hank,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yeah, the post tries to temporarily set aside really important policy issues. Abortion would be one of those issues. I regard abortion as a plague, demonic in origin, and needing swift and complete reversal as the law of the land.

Having said that, it is the law of the land. And an individual president can't overturn it, though he can be instrumental in appointing judges and making advancements on that front.

But just a couple months ago, a good number of conservative and Republican types were on the Giuliani bandwagon. Giuliani is pro-choice, and yet there wasn't a consensus that he should be automatically ruled out of consideration.

If a racist origin or racist effect is the litmus test for a policy, we'd have to examine everything from abortion to public education (where financing in most systems doom poor and ethnic minority communities to resource and quality inequalities).

None of this is to wink at Obama's position on abortion, just to say that (a) it's not the only issue where "race" or racism matters; (b) at least some who would oppose Obama's record on abortion were at least willing to consider Giuliani who isn't fundamentally better; and (c) to say again that I think there are some really exciting things happening in the discourse, and it's prompted by Obama and no one else really.

Just some thoughts.
T-

lawngospel said...

Bro Thabiti-

Thanks for the quick response.

I'm right there with you on the Giuliani stuff. That's why, like him or not, I was so encouraged to see folks like James Dobson head that proverbial train off at the pass. Dobson rightly understood that, besides having a biblical worldview, the most pressing issue of our time is our response to the 50 million children murdered under our watch since 1973.

The litmus test: I think you make a good point, and one that, if politicians are genuinely intent on righting the wrong of racism, needs to be addressed before we applaud any of their policies -- much less their candidacy. We all have our own 'litmus tests', even for those who we are evaluating as racially progressive -- and if that test ignores policy (especially policy as rooted and perpetuated by racism as abortion) -- it would seem that we are betraying our own allegiances, would it not?

a) Abortion is not the only a racially charged issue - but it is undeniably the most repulsive, and imminent attack on the image Dei in the minority community. Few (if any) things are more racist today than a white abortionist murdering black child, after black child in inner city Chicago, day after day, week after week - with the law of the land at his back.

b)Those who supported Giuliani (most likely because they thought he was the most 'electable' - which is kind of ironic now, seeing as he was one of the first ones to quit the race) need to check their principles and philosophy of political engagement. When your vote can be bought more with 'elect-ability' than an idea of sustained, philosophical absolutes - such as "Thou shall not kill" - then that person has an impoverished view of the very role of government in human society.

c)As I alluded to above, Obama's campaign is not addressing the glaring racial inconsistencies of him being a black man, calling for social change - while ignoring one of the most egregious offenses against race ever to take place on American soil (or the world for that matter), in the form of abortion. Any black man that can joyfully receive an endorsement from Planned Parenthood, whose founder Margaret Sanger once said, "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," in speaking of her newly contrived foundation -- such a man, it would seem to me, has no place basking in the glow of racial reconciliation.

Am I missing something here?

'BH

Anonymous said...

T, though I don't know you personally I would challenge this view of Obama. I know you've posted these thoughts as reflection, but this seems like endorsement-like. I think someone could read this post and get the idea that the issues aren't as important as they should be. You mention that one president couldn't abolish abortion, but my question is which way do we want to head? Obama's position on this issue is completely ant-life, anti-God, anti-Christ. I'm not saying we really have to have a Christian president or that other moral issues are not important. I would just challenge you as a brother in Christ to paint the full picture of a man who can sit unflinchingly listening to an abortion testimony, a man who celebrates the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. We want to advance God's kingdom on the earth and taking steps toward protecting the gift of human life is part of that, and commending a man who is obviously and publically against this could lead people astray (which I know is not your heart). Thank you for laboring for Christ, and I hope this does not come across as offensive. Thanks for reading, Jon.

Betsy said...

Thabiti,
This is Curt Allen from Covlife. in '06 at T4G we were getting it in a lot but I know you will be busy this year. However, maybe we can catch a meal. I'd love to fill you in on what the Lord is doing on my end.

I appreciate your thoughts on this issue. I, too, have been more than interested in this years presidential race. Being black I am also looking at how a potential black president will make a statement about the state of racial affairs in America. Just one generation away from the Civil Rights Era we embark on perhaps the greatest detour in American history.

I also go to to barbershops in the city primarily to stay connected and bcuz they can't shape you up in the suburbs as well as they can in the hood hahahaha! One thing I run into when we talk politics is the fallacy that all blacks should by default be Democrats. When I ask dudes to name 5 things Democrats have done in Bill Clinton's tenure to promote the "Black Cause" I get at best two. S I want to ask you:

Why do you think black people have a democratic default button when it comes to politics?

What are things that the Democrats have done to advance the state of equal opportunity in the last 30 years? Kind f broad I know but I am going to get a shape up Friday and I got dudes ready to light me on fire for even considering voting Republican.

Lastly, I collect Chessboards. Bring me a genuine Cayman Islands Board and pieces to T4G. I'll pay you when we get there. Look forward to seeing you/hearing man.

In Christ Alone,
Curt Allen

FellowElder said...

BH,

What might you be missing? Well, I don't know if you're "missing" these things as much as you're disagreeing with them--which is perfectly fine. But I'll offer a couple more thoughts triggered by your last comment.

1. You just might be a single-issue voter, I don't know. It may be that abortion is so egregious in your view (and that's a legitimate view; it is egregious) that you aren't willing to maintain that other issues are as serious. In which case, "setting aside policy issues" in order to contemplate some other factors and possibilities wouldn't make sense. I understand that. But as serious as I think abortion is, I don't think it's the only issue we need to consider in our political action.

2. It would seem that you're attempting to describe Obama in racial terms, or assign him responsibilities in racial terms, that he is not using to define himself. I think part of his appeal is that he is running--at least rhetorically--on a higher plane than that. So, when you assume that because Obama is 'black' (an assumption that might just as well be countered by saying he is every bit as white as he is black) he should address racism or the particular form of racism called abortion, you're falling into a certain kind of identity politics. You are "missing" the opportunity we may have to abandon that view of the world in at least this election. After all, when's the last time you heard someone say that a white candidate should oppose abortion because white babies are being aborted? At that level, the abortion as racism argument is a little bit strange to me. It would seem to me that to be consistent on this charge we should publicly condemn every pro-choice white politician as racist. Otherwise, we lapse into a double standard that penalizes a pro-choice African-American candidate for being both black and pro-choice.

So we agree that Obama is seriously wrong on abortion. But I don't I'd agree with you that he has a unique responsibility for opposing abortion because he is black. I think his campaign offers the potential for escaping this kind of identity politics.

3. Let me give Obama the benefit of the doubt for a moment when he says he wants to change how politics is done in Washington, reaching across the aisle to Republicans (I know... they all say this... but Obama's appeal to independents and at least a handful of Republicans suggest at least some plausibility), if that is so, why do we suppose that there might not be for the first time the possibility for honest and open discussion of this policy rather than the demagoguing that masquerades as political discourse?In other words, if Obama remains true to form, he may just be the first candidate who though pro-choice could actually make space for real discussion. Maybe that's a pipe dream. But we don't have a snowball's chance for serious civil discourse with any other candidate.

Okay, those are some thoughts. The post really isn't about abortion but a reflection on some things that excite me about the election thus far. I'm gonna answer a couple other folks kind enough to leave comments, then I'm going to call it quits on abortion and other policy discussions.

Grace and peace,
T-

FellowElder said...

Hey Jon,
Thanks for the challenge brother. As I said in the post, I do think that a candidate's total position should be taken into account. On that we completely agree. And yet, I think the real danger in most of our political discourse isn't that we're too complex or that we're taking into account more than we ought; it's just the opposite. We tend to have our view of a candidate overshadowed by one or two issues.

I don't wish to minimize the importance of abortion. But on the other hand, I really wouldn't want anyone to diminish the importance of pervasive, unbiblical racial attitudes and actions that daily are stresses for ethnic minorities in the country. 50 million aborted lives since 1973 is an unspeakable horror, "anti-" in all the ways you describe. But I'm not sure I know how to quantify and then compare those 50 million acts of murder to the near-universal misanthropy of racial hatred, racialist thinking, and the attendant problems that come from them (including abortion according to some). So, if the fruit of abortion springs from the root of racist thinking and practice, and there is opportunity to strike a blow at the root, I don't think it's illegitimate to consider doing so. Nor do I think that necessarily calls into question a brother's Christian commitment. Is advancing the cause of equality and a free society in one way any less an advancement of the kingdom than protecting unborn life? They are certainly different in intensity and urgency, but I don't thinnk one is less an advancement than the other.

By the way, this is not an endorsement of Obama. But if it were, would that not be well within a Christian brother's right to do, however misguided we might think it is?
T-

FellowElder said...

Curt, brother, thanks for shouting at a brutha.

Why do you think black people have a democratic default button when it comes to politics?

Man, I'm hard-pressed to name two things that the Clinton or Democratic administrations have done for "the black cause." I'd be interested to hear what folks are saying at the shop on that point.

Black allegiance to the Democratic party is, what, 50 years old. An over-simplified but essentially honest answer is that Republicans played the race card to consolidate the white vote 40-50 years ago and haven't worked for the black vote since. Small gains in the last election, especially in states like Ohio. Those were pivotal. You'd think the Rep's would see a little light and look to expand their constituency. But it doesn't look like that's gonna happen any time in the near future.

In my experience (this is anecdotal, not empirical), African Americans with Republican sympathies end up there because they're socially conservative and the Republicans have a wing for that orientation. They migrate there; they're not invited there. The distinction is crucial. If the Republican party were more inviting, offering any incentive to seriously consider its platform, you might see larger numbers of African Americans moving that way. And that would be to the advantage of the African American electorate. But again, I don't think we'll see that movement with an invitation. As my mama would put it, "I don't go anywhere I ain't invited." And man she's talking about weddings of close relatives, you know she ain't crossing party lines without an invitation!

Hey bro, I'll be looking out for that chess board and some lunch!

Grace and peace,
Thabiti

lawngospel said...

Thanks again T for graciously and cogently answering my questions. If you do end up blogging about Obama stance on abortion, I look forward to hearing some more of your thoughts in relation to the race issue. Hopefully we'll run into you at T4G!

God bless brother,
Hank

Stephen Ley said...

Pastor, thanks for that excellent analysis. I'm a lifelong Republican, but I don't know how I'll be voting in November. I do think this election is going to shake up a lot of the traditional alignments and voting patterns. It's a unique year when you have folks like Dobson saying they won't be voting for the Republican and thoughtful evangelicals willing to at least take a serious look at a Democratic candidate. That I believe is going to be a good thing for the church regardless of how it all turns out.

Curtis said...

Pastor T
What's good. I look forward to seeing you at the New Life Fellowship conference In June. Anyway let me say this. Abortion is not a political issue neither is same sex marriage. Both of these issues alike are moral issues. We must stop looking to the government to legislate morality and begin to look at the Word of God. We talk as if Obama should not be considered for votes because of his stance on abortion. Let me ask you this, what do you expect his stance to be when his views on faith and a relationship with God are not biblical, besides Bush has been in office for eight years and has done nothing to subvert the abortion epidemic in this country. Why? because the government has made it clear that they do not legislate morality. In these debates I find it increasingly strange that white evangelicals who consistently deny racism accusations are so willing to pick up this issue when attempting to persuade a black man from voting for another black man. (not saying Pastor T is voting for Obama). In any event he will get my vote in the fall, why? because he is a black man.

I read one man post on another blog that black evangelicals are prone to putting race before more important issues. This may be true in some instances, yet white America has never been in a position where they were not represented and therefore cannot understand or rightly speak to this issue.

Scott said...

Thabiti,

I loved your post. As the others have said, I agree that abortion is an important issue and I am a lifelong republican and have voted pro-life my entire life. The being said, I have decided that I can't vote on a single issue any more and I really think and hope that Obama as president could change politics as we know it in this country. I am so so SICK of the rancor and hate and, the US versus THEM mentality that has invaded not just politics, but our culture and society at large. I think these cultural battles more than anything have become a hindrance to the advancement of the gospel and the church in our country. Just read and realize how much liberals and lefties DESPISE Dosbson and the religious right. Many of you probably don't realize it because you don't read DailyKOs.com or Huffingtonpost.com and get all your news from Fox news, World Mag and Rush Limbaugh. I guess I am hoping that maybe if Barack sincerely tries to overcome these divides and will listen to all sides and try to bringi about some semblance of unity then maybe we can have a conversation with that pro-choice hipppy neighbor and maybe when alot of those conversations start to happen we will see the gospel begin to transform our culture through love. I would encoaurage all of you to 1) read Barack OBama's books. 2) Join the social network at his site, barackobama.com. There is an Evangelicals for Obama group you can join. And then, lets talk.

I know all I have said is a tall order and ultimately my hope is not in Obama but in Jesus, but I honestly wonder if God in His providence may change the very nature of our discourse and therefore open up many many hearts to the gospel.

I would encourage everyone to read his stuff and listen with an open mind.

Scott

Mike Hess said...

Thabiti,

I have enjoyed reading your blog for sometime now and I had the privilege of meeting you at the last T4G meeting. I'm also thankful for your commitment to the gospel and the local church.

However, I simply cannot get past what you said about a president not having a direct impact on the issue of abortion. Presidents appoint Supreme Court judges and are also instrumental on passing legislation on things like embryonic stem cell research and bans on partial birth abortion. All of these things, including live birth abortion are supported by Obama. Frankly, I fail to have any excitement over any candidate who supports these policies....despite their superficial and emotion driven speeches that are laced with socialistic policy that will inevitably burden the American taxpayer.

If abortion is NOT a political issue (which it is not) then we as evangelicals simply cannot afford to acquiesce to politicians that "inspire" us yet offend us with their inherently unbiblical policies.

Once one looks beyond the surface of his superficiality, you find that Obama is nothing more than a candidate that stands against what every evangelical voter should be standing for.

Thanks for the post.

Mike Hess

Scott said...

Mike Hess. I have 3 points.

1) Regarding Barack Obama, to accuse him of being superficial is to take a tactic straight out of the Hillary playbook. Nice. Read his books. Go to his website.

2) You said "If abortion is NOT a political issue (which it is not) then we as evangelicals simply cannot afford to acquiesce to politicians that "inspire" us yet offend us with their inherently unbiblical policies." I agree totally, thats why I am rejecting the legacy and policies of fear, war, hate and division of George W. (he's on our team) Bush.

3) As you said, abortion is not a political issue. So stop putting your hope to end it in politicians or judges because even if they DID do something, they will have not moved the hearts of women regarding their desire to abort their babies ONE IOTA. Changing hearts would be the work of the Holy Spirit through the gospel. THis is weird I know but I actually believe ending the rancor and polarization of this culture could create an environment for the gospel to flourish and thereby reduce the number of abortions. I think we'll be better served if we get off the prohibition bandwagon and start loving people.

Mike Hess said...

Scott,

1. I've done both - books and website. I also live in his state and have checked out his voting record. Not much to speak of there. The substance speaks for itself.

2. My response was NOT an endorsement of Bush. However, there are three things major accomplishments of the Bush presidency that I believe should be dear to evangelical hearts - Samuel Alito, John Roberts and a ban on partial birth abortion.

3. Creating an environment that is conducive for the gospel is not helped when people refuse to address issues like abortion. Abandoning Christianity in the voting booth does nothing but contribute to the troubling Obama Enlightenment bandwagon and is incredibly unloving to unborn children.

In all sincerity Scott I would caution your zeal for Obama. The policies of Obama are in direct opposition for what we stand for as evangelical believers. While his speeches are a good lesson in public speaking, his policies are deplorable to those of us who believe EVERY human (both born and unborn) are created in the image of God.

Have a great night Scott!

Mike

Anonymous said...

It has been interesting to read all the comments generated by T's well written piece. Thanks to Scott for sharing the link. It is easy to agree with many of the comments here especially regarding abortion because the bible is clear on the value of life. However, I feel the need to make a comment on supporting Barack Obam. The first is, I think it will be near impossible to find a candidate I can agree with on every single issue, and certainly not in this campaign. The next point is that finding that I do not agree on all issues with every candidate, I have a choice to either refuse to be involved and risk empowering an opposing side, or make a decision based on who is more likely to value grassroots participation that will enable me to voice the differences we share, and if he is a listening person (critically important), perhaps eventually make a change in the right direction. I do not agree with Obama on every issue, but what he will represent for this country in the global community if elected President is important enough to me to support him and if he succeeds, then we can appeal to his listening side to make necessary changes. I believe that God can work through anyone in His time.
Thanks for the opportunity to share a thought.

Charley said...

When I look at Obama, I don't see a black man running for president (and that's not a comment on the deepness of his skin color). I see a man running who is very eloquent, very congenial...and very, very socialist in all his leanings and policy positions. His positions make it impossible for me to support him in any way, shape, or form...just as I cannot support Hillary in any way, shape, or form. Positions matter. Do not construe this to be supportive of McCain, either, for I have other significant issues with him that could rule him out as well.

Someone in the comments referred to single-issue voting. Usually when that is brought up, it is in a derogatory manner. I would commend this article by John Piper on the subject. In it, Piper defends single-issue voting, not on the merits of voting for someone based on a single issue, but how a single, important issue (like abortion) is more than sufficient to disqualify someone for your vote. That's an important distinction.

Christos Kurios!

Charley
Get Serious Blog
HomeDiscipling Dad Blog

Alex Chediak said...

Thabiti,

Challenging post. I've not read the Steele book, but I see some of where you are coming from. Obama has taken some heat for his "lack of blackness" and Clinton shamelessly (and unsuccessfully) tried to make the Primary about race.

But I wonder if you noticed the Farrakhan comment at the debate last night (in response to Tim Russert's question). Would have been nice to see Obama distance himself further from Farrakhan. But can he, politically? And there's the rub.

Looking forward to more from you on Obama (including, hopefully, his policy positions). He is certainly a fascinating character.

Respectfully in Christ,
Alex