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Obama: On Faith and Politics. And Alan Keyes.

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Sen. Barack Obama this morning talks about religion and says Democrats need to better acknowledge the power of faith.

Here's his speech.

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama

Call to Renewal Keynote Address

Washington, DC

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Good morning. I appreciate the opportunity to speak here at the Call to Renewal’s Building a Covenant for a New America conference, and I’d like to congratulate you all on the thoughtful presentations you’ve given so far about poverty and justice in America. I think all of us would affirm that caring for the poor finds root in all of our religious traditions – certainly that’s true for my own.

But today I’d like to talk about the connection between religion and politics and perhaps offer some thoughts about how we can sort through some of the often bitter arguments over this issue over the last several years.

I do so because, as you all know, we can affirm the importance of poverty in the Bible and discuss the religious call to environmental stewardship all we want, but it won’t have an impact if we don’t tackle head-on the mutual suspicion that sometimes exists between religious America and secular America.

For me, this need was illustrated during my 2004 face for the U.S. Senate. My opponent, Alan Keyes, was well-versed in the Jerry Falwell-Pat Robertson style of rhetoric that often labels progressives as both immoral and godless.

Indeed, towards the end of the campaign, Mr. Keyes said that, “Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama. Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has behaved in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved.��?

Now, I was urged by some of my liberal supporters not to take this statement seriously. To them, Mr. Keyes was an extremist, his arguments not worth entertaining.

What they didn’t understand, however, was that I had to take him seriously. For he claimed to speak for my religion – he claimed knowledge of certain truths.

Mr. Obama says he’s a Christian, he would say, and yet he supports a lifestyle that the Bible calls an abomination.

Mr. Obama says he’s a Christian, but supports the destruction of innocent and sacred life.

What would my supporters have me say? That a literalist reading of the Bible was folly? That Mr. Keyes, a Roman Catholic, should ignore the teachings of the Pope?

Unwilling to go there, I answered with the typically liberal response in some debates – namely, that we live in a pluralistic society, that I can’t impose my religious views on another, that I was running to be the U.S. Senator of Illinois and not the Minister of Illinois.

But Mr. Keyes implicit accusation that I was not a true Christian nagged at me, and I was also aware that my answer didn’t adequately address the role my faith has in guiding my own values and beliefs.

My dilemma was by no means unique. In a way, it reflected the broader debate we’ve been having in this country for the last thirty years over the role of religion in politics.

For some time now, there has been plenty of talk among pundits and pollsters that the political divide in this country has fallen sharply along religious lines. Indeed, the single biggest “gap��? in party affiliation among white Americans today is not between men and women, or those who reside in so-called Red States and those who reside in Blue, but between those who attend church regularly and those who don’t.

Conservative leaders, from Falwell and Robertson to Karl Rove and Ralph Reed, have been all too happy to exploit this gap, consistently reminding evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect their values and dislike their Church, while suggesting to the rest of the country that religious Americans care only about issues like abortion and gay marriage; school prayer and intelligent design.

Democrats, for the most part, have taken the bait. At best, we may try to avoid the conversation about religious values altogether, fearful of offending anyone and claiming that – regardless of our personal beliefs – constitutional principles tie our hands. At worst, some liberals dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, insisting on a caricature of religious Americans that paints them as fanatical, or thinking that the very word “Christian��? describes one’s political opponents, not people of faith.

Such strategies of avoidance may work for progressives when the opponent is Alan Keyes. But over the long haul, I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people, and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy.

We first need to understand that Americans are a religious people. 90 percent of us believe in God, 70 percent affiliate themselves with an organized religion, 38 percent call themselves committed Christians, and substantially more people believe in angels than do those who believe in evolution.

This religious tendency is not simply the result of successful marketing by skilled preachers or the draw of popular mega-churches. In fact, it speaks to a hunger that’s deeper than that – a hunger that goes beyond any particular issue or cause.

Each day, it seems, thousands of Americans are going about their daily round – dropping off the kids at school, driving to the office, flying to a business meeting, shopping at the mall, trying to stay on their diets – and coming to the realization that something is missing. They are deciding that their work, their possessions, their diversions, their sheer busyness, is not enough.

They want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives. They’re looking to relieve a chronic loneliness, a feeling supported by a recent study that shows Americans have fewer close friends and confidants than ever before. And so they need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them – that they are not just destined to travel down a long highway towards nothingness.

I speak from experience here. I was not raised in a particularly religious household. My father, who returned to Kenya when I was just two, was Muslim but as an adult became an atheist. My mother, whose parents were non-practicing Baptists and Methodists, grew up with a healthy skepticism of organized religion herself. As a consequence, I did too.

It wasn’t until after college, when I went to Chicago to work as a community organizer for a group of Christian churches, that I confronted my own spiritual dilemma.

The Christians who I worked with recognized themselves in me; they saw that I knew their Book and shared their values and sang their songs. But they sensed a part of me that remained removed, detached, an observer in their midst. In time, I too came to realize that something was missing – that without a vessel for my beliefs, without a commitment to a particular community of faith, at some level I would always remain apart and alone.

If not for the particular attributes of the historically black church, I may have accepted this fate. But as the months passed in Chicago, I found myself drawn to the church.

For one thing, I believed and still believe in the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change, a power made real by some of the leaders here today. Because of its past, the black church understands in an intimate way the Biblical call to feed the hungry and cloth the naked and challenge powers and principalities. And in its historical struggles for freedom and the rights of man, I was able to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death; it is an active, palpable agent in the world. It is a source of hope.

And perhaps it was out of this intimate knowledge of hardship, the grounding of faith in struggle, that the church offered me a second insight: that faith doesn’t mean that you don’t have doubts. You need to come to church precisely because you are of this world, not apart from it; you need to embrace Christ precisely because you have sins to wash away – because you are human and need an ally in your difficult journey.

It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and affirm my Christian faith. It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.

The path I traveled has been shared by millions upon millions of Americans – evangelicals, Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims alike; some since birth, others at a turning point in their lives. It is not something they set apart from the rest of their beliefs and values. In fact, it is often what drives them.

This is why, if we truly hope to speak to people where they’re at – to communicate our hopes and values in a way that’s relevant to their own – we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse.

Because when we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced, rather than in the positive sense of what it tells us about our obligations towards one another; when we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome – others will fill the vacuum, those with the most insular views of faith, or those who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends.

In other words, if we don’t reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwell’s and Pat Robertson’s will continue to hold sway.

More fundamentally, the discomfort of some progressives with any hint of religion has often prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms. Some of the problem here is rhetorical – if we scrub language of all religious content, we forfeit the imagery and terminology through which millions of Americans understand both their personal morality and social justice. Imagine Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address without reference to “the judgments of the Lord,��? or King’s I Have a Dream speech without reference to “all of God’s children.��? Their summoning of a higher truth helped inspire what had seemed impossible and move the nation to embrace a common destiny.

Our failure as progressives to tap into the moral underpinnings of the nation is not just rhetorical. Our fear of getting “preachy��? may also lead us to discount the role that values and culture play in some of our most urgent social problems.

After all, the problems of poverty and racism, the uninsured and the unemployed, are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten point plan. They are rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness – in the imperfections of man.

Solving these problems will require changes in government policy; it will also require changes in hearts and minds. I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturer’s lobby – but I also believe that when a gang-banger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels somebody disrespected him, we have a problem of morality; there’s a hole in that young man’s heart – a hole that government programs alone cannot fix.

I believe in vigorous enforcement of our non-discrimination laws; but I also believe that a transformation of conscience and a genuine commitment to diversity on the part of the nation’s CEOs can bring quicker results than a battalion of lawyers.

I think we should put more of our tax dollars into educating poor girls and boys, and give them the information about contraception that can prevent unwanted pregnancies, lower abortion rates, and help assure that that every child is loved and cherished. But my bible tells me that if we train a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not turn from it. I think faith and guidance can help fortify a young woman’s sense of self, a young man’s sense of responsibility, and a sense of reverence all young people for the act of sexual intimacy.

I am not suggesting that every progressive suddenly latch on to religious terminology. Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith – the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps – off rhythm – to the gospel choir.

But what I am suggesting is this – secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King – indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history – were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. To say that men and women should not inject their “personal morality��? into public policy debates is a practical absurdity; our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Moreover, if we progressives shed some of these biases, we might recognize the overlapping values that both religious and secular people share when it comes to the moral and material direction of our country. We might recognize that the call to sacrifice on behalf of the next generation, the need to think in terms of “thou��? and not just “I,��? resonates in religious congregations across the country. And we might realize that we have the ability to reach out to the evangelical community and engage millions of religious Americans in the larger project of America’s renewal.

Some of this is already beginning to happen. Pastors like Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes are wielding their enormous influences to confront AIDS, Third World debt relief, and the genocide in Darfur. Religious thinkers and activists like my friend Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo are lifting up the Biblical injunction to help the poor as a means of mobilizing Christians against budget cuts to social programs and growing inequality. National denominations have shown themselves as a force on Capitol Hill, on issues such as immigration and the federal budget. And across the country, individual churches like my own are sponsoring day care programs, building senior centers, helping ex-offenders reclaim their lives, and rebuilding our gulf coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

To build on these still-tentative partnerships between the religious and secular worlds will take work – a lot more work than we’ve done so far. The tensions and suspicions on each side of the religious divide will have to be squarely addressed, and each side will need to accept some ground rules for collaboration.

While I’ve already laid out some of the work that progressives need to do on this, I that the conservative leaders of the Religious Right will need to acknowledge a few things as well.

For one, they need to understand the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy, but the robustness of our religious practice. That during our founding, it was not the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of this separation; it was the persecuted religious minorities, Baptists like John Leland, who were most concerned that any state-sponsored religion might hinder their ability to practice their faith.

Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

And even if we did have only Christians within our borders, who’s Christianity would we teach in the schools? James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Levitacus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage so radical that it’s doubtful that our Defense Department would survive its application?

This brings me to my second point. Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

This may be difficult for those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of the possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It insists on the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime; to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.

We all know the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham is ordered by God to offer up his only son, and without argument, he takes Isaac to the mountaintop, binds him to an altar, and raises his knife, prepared to act as God has commanded.

Of course, in the end God sends down an angel to intercede at the very last minute, and Abraham passes God’s test of devotion.

But it’s fair to say that if any of us saw a twenty-first century Abraham raising the knife on the roof of his apartment building, we would, at the very least, call the police and expect the Department of Children and Family Services to take Isaac away from Abraham. We would do so because we do not hear what Abraham hears, do not see what Abraham sees, true as those experiences may be. So the best we can do is act in accordance with those things that are possible for all of us to know, be it common laws or basic reason.

Finally, any reconciliation between faith and democratic pluralism requires some sense of proportion.

This goes for both sides.

Even those who claim the Bible’s inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, a sense that some passages – the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ’s divinity – are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.

The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.

But a sense of proportion should also guide those who police the boundaries between church and state. Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation – context matters. It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase “under God;��? I certainly didn’t. Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats. And one can envision certain faith-based programs – targeting ex-offenders or substance abusers – that offer a uniquely powerful way of solving problems.

So we all have some work to do here. But I am hopeful that we can bridge the gaps that exist and overcome the prejudices each of us bring to this debate. And I have faith that millions of believing Americans want that to happen. No matter how religious they may or may not be, people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool to attack and belittle and divide – they’re tired of hearing folks deliver more screed than sermon. Because in the end, that’s not how they think about faith in their own lives.

.

So let me end with another interaction I had during my campaign. A few days after I won the Democratic nomination in my U.S. Senate race, I received an email from a doctor at the University of Chicago Medical School that said the following:

“Congratulations on your overwhelming and inspiring primary win. I was happy to vote for you, and I will tell you that I am seriously considering voting for you in the general election. I write to express my concerns that may, in the end, prevent me from supporting you.��?

The doctor described himself as a Christian who understood his commitments to be “totalizing.��? His faith led him to a strong opposition to abortion and gay marriage, although he said that his faith also led him to question the idolatry of the free market and quick resort to militarism that seemed to characterize much of President Bush’s foreign policy.

But the reason the doctor was considering not voting for me was not simply my position on abortion. Rather, he had read an entry that my campaign had posted on my website, which suggested that I would fight “right wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.��? He went on to write:

“I sense that you have a strong sense of justice…and I also sense that you are a fair minded person with a high regard for reason…Whatever your convictions, if you truly believe that those who oppose abortion are all ideologues driven by perverse desires to inflict suffering on women, then you, in my judgment, are not fair-minded….You know that we enter times that are fraught with possibilities for good and for harm, times when we are struggling to make sense of a common polity in the context of plurality, when we are unsure of what grounds we have for making any claims that involve others…I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.��?

I checked my web-site and found the offending words. My staff had written them to summarize my pro-choice position during the Democratic primary, at a time when some of my opponents were questioning my commitment to protect Roe v. Wade.

Re-reading the doctor’s letter, though, I felt a pang of shame. It is people like him who are looking for a deeper, fuller conversation about religion in this country. They may not change their positions, but they are willing to listen and learn from those who are willing to speak in reasonable terms – those who know of the central and awesome place that God holds in the lives of so many, and who refuse to treat faith as simply another political issue with which to score points.

I wrote back to the doctor and thanked him for his advice. The next day, I circulated the email to my staff and changed the language on my website to state in clear but simple terms my pro-choice position. And that night, before I went to bed, I said a prayer of my own – a prayer that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me.

It is a prayer I still say for America today – a hope that we can live with one another in a way that reconciles the beliefs of each with the good of all. It’s a prayer worth praying, and a conversation worth having in this country in the months and years to come. Thank you.

89 Comments

Barak Obama, man of strong faith! He believes in abortion and gay marriage! Strong man of faith!

I almost broke down into tears after reading this eloquent and inspiring speech about religion and politics. I would consider myself a progressive and have done some of the same things Senator Obama admonishes in this speech. I am also a spiritual person but always believed in separating the two with a hard-line. I'm ashamed of my past statements and wholeheartedly agree with his statements. Someone who speaks of such unity and can unite people of all faiths should definitely consider running for President sooner than later. He has the tools, rhetoric and beliefs to make this country the America I have always hoped for.

I watched the debates between Alan Keyes and Barak Obama very closely and the one thing that stuck out to me was that Alan Keyes was speaking biblically and Obama was conforming to the world. I had a serious problem with that but since I am not one to judge I totally embrace this speech and appreciate him acknowledging that his past stance was not for Christ. He also pointed out that many people search everyday for something more out of life and dont realize that its that inner desire that God places in each and every one of us to get to know Him. This was a great read and I will definately try to get it out to as many people as possible.

...substantially more people believe in angels than do those who believe in evolution.

Evolution is not something to believe in, it's something to accept. Too often nowadays, based on religious or political affiliations, we are too willing to regard facts as objects dependent on our own 'belief.' I hope the Senator from Illinois chooses to regard this country's commitment to science as highly as he regards its spiritual conviction.

I appreciated the essay in general; but Senator Obama gives too little attention to the efforts of secularists. In fact, we have separation of church and state largely because of the efforts of secularists such as Jefferson, and deists such as Adams, who were able to strike up an alliance with Christians such as Leland. Further, the evidence is that Lincoln was himself a secularist who mouthed religious statements for the masses, of the electorate, and of the Northern populace whose support he needed to keep the nation united.

More important than such history, however, is the approach to current issues. He states "I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all." I argue that it is far more fruitful to identify the principle that accessible to reasonable people of many opinions of faith, and then find where that principle leads, which may be to the support of all abortion, some abortion, or almost no abortion. In short, good public policy, as good philosophy and ethics, does not start with the conclusion and then find the general principles that can be used to support the conclusion -- it starts with principles from which one can derive a conclusion.

Personally, I support choice with the exception of some limitations in the third trimester, as supported by Roe v Wade -- and I base this on the general principle that awareness of self could not predate a fully-functioning brain, which could not exist before brain birth at about 22 weeks gestational. But I note that the mother clearly has a functioning self consciousness throughout, so has rights to choice that trump most possible fetal rights. Although this generally concords with Roe v Wade, following that principle might lead to imposing some restrictions a few weeks earlier than the start of the third trimester.

Now, I recognize that Senator Obama supports choice. In fact, , he notes only that need not rail against 'rightwing ideologues who seek to take away a woman's right to choose,' and simply upholds that right in the face of opposition of opponents of choice no matter what, or how religiously sincere, their objections to abortion. Still, his earlier comments about 'violating some principle,' rather than seeing where principles in fact do lead, make it clear why some can doubt his commitment to choice.

Carl Meuller is a man of faith! He rejects the teachings of Jesus in favor of the old law, to which not even most Jews pay attention (according Leviticus, we're not allowed to eat cheeseburgers).

Stephen: Science is a method to see what works. From a social SCIENCE perspective, religion WORKS. got it?
btw: Evolution is a theory that cannot explain the self-organizing nature of chaos.

I suscribe to none of Man's religious patriarchy, but Barak is an inspiration.

Hard-line Democrats of our party may not like what he has to say, but he speaks what a lot of us--me included, as a religious progressive/moderate myself--wish the Democrats would speak about. Perhaps it is too early to speak about 2008 politics, but I think the country could rally behind a message like this.

Truth hurts, and it's time for Democrats to reclaim the national debate. It's our time.

Are we willing?

Great. Can't either party reject fairy tales and stand for reality? Guess not.

Great. Can't either party reject fairy tales and stand for reality? Guess not.

I was almost in tears reading Mr. Obama's speech. I can't tell you how fervently I pray that he really meant what he wrote and that this wasn't just politicking for the vote of the "Christian Left." I don't agree with all of his political views - specifically abortion - but if his faith really guides his work as it seems to, he has my sincere respect and admiration.

Barack Obama is doing everything possible to bring christians into his "fold" disguised as a wolf in sheeps clothing. True Christians understand and believe that abortion and contraception are inherent evils against sacred human life.

Posted by: Brian | June 28, 2006 03:38 PM
btw: Evolution is a theory that cannot explain the self-organizing nature of chaos.

Actually, you are wrong and misinformed. Ordered systems come out of chaos all the time and there are multiple examples in nature. Check out crystals as just one example. Evolution is a scientific fact. You dont have to "believe", just try and do your homework, and at least understand it.

Why is Barak Obama called an African-American senator? Only his father was from Kenya, his mother is white. Are you apply that old percentage rule, that must be the reason for your giving him such a huge pass. I assume you will be helping him to move into the White House if you can't get Hilllary in with all her baggage. President Abraham Lincoln must be turning in his grave......Illinois is more liberal than California with the help of the Chicago newspapers & local television. Thank goodnes for cable tv and the internet!!!!!!! Bias reporting is over!

You people are fools following a liar, he is the mouthpiece that protect abortion in America, and he thinks Christians will vote for him? LOL , you sheep of the city of Chi"moron"go ,keep following this clown. I never have seen a bunch of moronic sheep like you, dumb.Dumb, Very Dumb.

Hey Carl,

You seem pretty comfortable deciding who's Christian and who isn't. Are you an Angel? Or are you just a judgemental ass that missed the point of the New Testament?

I am a Christian and believe in the sanctity of human life. For me that means that we follow the greatest commandment which is to love your neighbor and to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Jesus called for us to care for the poor. Yes, that means the unborn and families, but it also means the millions who go without proper health care in this country, the richest in the world. It means the 13 million children who live below the poverty line in this country, the richest in the world. It means the families working two or three jobs and still having to choose between paying the electrical bill and buying groceries because the minimum wage is ridiculously low. It means leaving the shrill shouting and accusations about each other's personal piety behind to move forward to bring the compassion and good news of Jesus to ALL people in ALL nations, in ALL neighborhoods, of ALL backgrounds. I think Barack Obama is one of the few people I feel like I could trust to keep these kinds of discussions on the table and to unite America under a Judeo-Christian ethic that most of America believes in but has not seen modeled in our government's policies. Our country, and we as individuals, will be judged on whether, as Jesus said, "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was naked and you clothed me."

hey Nate, this guy is a liar. He is a left winger, way the left. I am as mush a judgemental ass as you are a nieve sheep following this guy off a cliff.

Carl,

You are the very sort of intractable person Senator Obama is discussing in his essay.

You dismiss him outright, without giving thought to his ideas, experiences and proposals.

You're no better than any given partisan hack -- from right or left -- who simply calls opponents a 'liar' or worse simply out of knee-jerk reaction and for the sake of being negative.

Had George W. Bush spoken these words would you be calling him a 'liar and a right-winger, way the right' [sic]?

Here's hoping those scales fall off your eyes, Carl.

...

PS: 08AMA

...

The great thing about Barack's speech, including this one, is that you don't get that sick feeling that this is, in fact, "a speech," in the sense that most politicians give one. That is, what you see/hear is what you get. What he says is what he actually believes, not what this morning's polls tell him the majority want. AND, coupled with that, he has the ability and the conscience to review and revise what he thinks based on reasonable feedback from people of good will, whether they are of his persuasions or not. When is the last time we had a politician like that ? Everett Dirksen? Barack is popular not because he is good looking, and African-American (culturally, he had very little background there, until he went to college, and then afterwards. Read his autobiography) He is respected and popular because he tries to speak the truth, and to listen to others who try to speak the truth. The man has integrity, that now-so-rare commodity that most people don't even know what it means. He is a "whole" person, in that he understands (as this speech demonstrates)that who we are in private and in community, especially religious and political communities, must be the same person. My own spirit longs for such people to lead America in the 21rst century, instead of voters having to choose between the bifurcated neuroses of either brilliant-but-ethically vacuous or else personally-disciplined-but-dumb-as-a-doorknob.
Barack offers us a fresh perspective on "doing politics." We should take him up on the offer.

Although I differ with some of his analysis, the remarks of Sen. Obama are thoughtful and he at least gives the impression of a serious person searching for a new paradigm. If he wants to pursue this topic as a serious exchange of ideas rather than merely tactical advice on politics to his own party, then he could initiate a welcome and useful public dialogue. But her are some of the obstacles he faces.
In very broad terms, liberals (aka progressives as some of them like to be called), more so than conservatives (aka classical liberals as some of them liked to be called) tend to have a more difficult time separating government from society. Tom Payne was most articulate on why the social and governmental structures should be different things in a free country.
Liberals sixty years ago thought they saw a short cut to the promised land by using the power of the state as their preferred engine for social reform. For a time, that love affair with governmental power worked to the benefit of America because much was accomplished in the area of civil rights that needed to be done and should have been done decades earlier in American history. The downside is that by resorting too often to the courts and massive spending programs after many years resulted in an addiction that was fed by money and the politics of victimhood. In fact, many liberals now think their devotion to the judiciary has boomeranged because many conservative judges have replaced liberal judges. Both camps have forgotten that the role of judges is supposed to be to adjudicate cases in a fair and impartial manner and not to advance agendas more properly considered by the legislative branch.
Sen. Obama is in a very tough spot. Secular humanism might be considered a religion of its own and those who advocate its tenets almost go so far as to propose it as a state-endorsed belief system that trumps those religions that believe in the Supreme Being. It is likely that secular humanists and their fellow travelers in old line Protestant churches do dominate the relatively smaller elements of the Democratic Party that concern themselves with religion. It is a small base on which to build a discussion but Sen. Obama deserves credit for trying.
Conservatives believe that the principles of separating the affairs of the church from the affairs of government do not similarly demand that a citizen must refrain from participation in the political process for reasons of religious motivation. What conservatives fear is not a government that is neutral toward an array of denominations and their beliefs as set forth in the First Amendment. What they fear rather is a government so dominated by secular humanism that the power of the state becomes openly hostile to the participation of relgiously-motivated people in public policy debates. Conservatives believe in a higher law inspired by the Supreme Being that both superscedes and transcends the Constitution itself. President Kennedy said in his Inaugural Address in 1961 that "our rights come not from the generosity of man but from the hand of God." Few Democrats would agree with that statement today.
In 1963, President Kennedy nominated former Chicago attorney Arthur J. Goldberg to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. While Goldberg agreed that there should be no Bible reading in Pennsylvania public schools, he seemed to have an insight that one day the neutrality toward denominations specified in the First Amendment could possibly lead in the direction of official hostility to religious activites in the public square. Here is what Goldberg wrote concurring with Justice Harlan in Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963):
"It is said, and I agree, that the attitude of government toward religion must be one of neutrality. But untutored devotion to the concept of neutrality can lead to invocation or approval of results which partake not simply of that noninterference and noninvolvement with the religious which the Constitution commands, but of a brooding and pervasive devotion to the secular, and a passive, even active, hostility to the religious. Such results are not only not compelled by the Constitution, but, it seems to me, are prohibited by it."

l day wrote: "True Christians [hate the stuff I want them to hate, like condoms]"

Arguably, true Christians read the goshdarn Gospels, and listen to what Jesus said, and try to implement it in their lives, rather than fixating, mysteriously, on homosexuality, which Jesus didn't ever mention.

For people like Carl Mueller, adherence to a religion is like having a favorite baseball team, a distinctive hairstyle, or belonging to a street gang. It provides an opportunity to draw lines, know who's "OK" and who's "bad." The actual content of the religion means nothing to him-- Jesus said love your enemy, and Carl delights in casting "far left" people [read: anyone who disagrees with him on one or two issues] into the imaginary lake of flame that rages in his head.

OBAMA 08' what has he done as a Senator? nothing , no laws passed no attempt to solve real problems ,but you sheep defend this clown. When he has to run in the rest of the country where the media isn't hand fed by him like they are here, he will lose badly. He stands for nothing and you are a OBAMA cool-aid drinker. George Bush is a goof who was a lesser goof in 04' and won by defeault that Kerry was a complete moron (except in Chimorongo). What OBAMA wants is a free pass on abortion and gay marriage. He is never getting that, he is a coward that stands for nothing. You people are sheep and if he had a real opponent he would have lost to Jack Ryan if the GOP in this state wasn't run by morons. Like I said your noting but sheep following this clown over a cliff. Commandment #1, thou shalt not kill (Obama just happens to be an abortion supporter) wow real christians will flock to him. He supports gay marriage , I can see the lines forming all over the country for Obama support now in the south and west(excluding California). This guy is a fraud who has accomplished NOTHING as a senator so far, name on significant thing he has done as a Senator?Nothing! Wow I want him as my president , he is elected only because he had a madman as his opponent ,next time he wont be so lucky.


After reading this speech, I'm trotting in from LEFT (as in progressive, feminist, pro-choice, don't go to church, anti-war) FIELD to shake hands with the guy. I believe this man has the faith, courage, humility, understanding and compassion that our country so needs a leader. He clearly stands above most other politicians, in his insight. I will vote for him first chance I get.

NW burbs, you had better look at Obama's voting record in the Illinois Senate before you pronounce him God and the people's choice for Emperor.
I'll give the man credit, he is exceptionally smart and clever. There were a great many profound truths in the text of his speech, But...he is still a secularist at heart. Many Dems think that every conservative is a Rep.. I can assure that is not true. Likewise, I don't think that the Dem. party is made up of nothing but card carrying loonies. I have a very serious problem with politicians trying to build their base by using religion. It disgusted me with the Reps. and I don't like it here, either. I will leave you with one very profound thought that will escape some of you. Ultimately, God is in control and despite our various machinations on this earth, his plan will be completed.

I think it's great that Senator Obama has the courage to address this of religion and politics. There seems to be such hostility over this issue that many politicians don't go near it. He does miss the point that evangelical Christians, like myself, do not vote a party line - we vote a faith line. If a Democratic candidate believed in protecting the innocent life of the unborn children, that God ordained marriage as a union between one man and one woman, that prayer in public is OK, and the other candidate did not believe this way, I would vote for the Democrat. It's as simple as that.

Dear Carl Mueller. You said Commandment #, thou shalt not kill. I assume you are refering to the Ten Commandments. However, the first commandment is "thou shalt have no other gods before me." the sixth commandment is "thou shalt not kill." Your ramblings carry more weight if you are accurate. However, I doubt you have actually read the bible, so how were you to know anyway.

I like that Obama is articulate and compassionate.

If you think abortion is murder, no discussion is possible.

On the other hand, it's both christian and secular to care about people. So let's work on that.

I say this with a open mind it is possible that Obama is the next anti-christ. He is from the party that declares war on religion (Dumacrats). They dont want a cross on public land, but the'll make sure every 8th grade girl gets her condoms. Just how college professors throw out theories ,this guy could be the next anti-christ. The anti-christ is supposed to be a great speaker(obama is) , this bozo has accomplished nothing in the senate and look how the sheep follow him. Name one thing important he has done as our senator and I will drink my obama cool aide with you. You simpleton's I mean Obamaton's.

Religion for carl felix mueller jr. provides an opportunity for him to show off. His 'beliefs' are intractable, because those are the ones that can garner the most attention.

IOW, he is precisely the sort of person that Jesus warned us about. He's also the one about whom Obama essentially says, "You don't recognize the importance of church-state separation? Not my problem."

One thing liberals dont understand , faith isn't a 1/2 in or out thing, you can't be a Christian who believes in Abortion , but follows everything else. Thats the equivalent of saying I think murder is OK, but we need to follow the other 9 commandments. Obama is in the democratic party's no man's and now. The Democrats have had a war on christianity since the 70's co-sponsored by the ACLU. Where doe's this man stand on the Cross in the vetrans cemetary in San Diego? We dont know. Where does Obama stand on how the catholic church handled the preist sex scandal? We dont know. Does Obama think Islam is spinning out of control all over the world in radicalism? We dont know. What has this guy done since being elected to the Senate? We dont know. Before I follow this CLOWN off a cliff like a sheep, I want this slick package of marketing known as Barack Obama to do ANYTHING in the senate to show he didn't waste his or our time sending him there. What has this goof done to desreve re-election beside hand feed the Chicago media. The worst thing liberals do is try to force their morals on the rest of us. I stick with my version of Christianity, not the 1/2 ass version he preaches.

Well so much for Barak Obama...we will certainly have presidents who are female, Jewish, even GAY, before we will have one who will dare say that virgins don't give birth and folks don't rise from the dead. As one of the 10% who prefers reality to fairy tales, this is awfully disappointing.

A percentage of American Catholics practise birth control because most of them have been so poorly catechized as to not recognize Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae as example of inerrant teaching of the Magisterium. All Catholics should read this very important encyclical.

Also, just because the "majority" say or act a certain way doesn't mean that what they say or do is licit. The Catholic Church is not a democracy. We Catholics believe that the authentic teachings of the Church can never be in error. And the Church has said, and will continue to say, that artificial birth control is "morally unacceptable" (CCC #2399)

Artificial contraception is not allowed for Catholics. That is the faith whether one likes or not or believes it or not. Don't take my word for it, ask you Priest.

God Bless,

Jeff

The idea of an extremly liberal person like Osama, um I mean Obama discussing religion is like Teddy Kennedy giving a driving off a bridge class, or Bill Clinton ethics class. Liberal Democrats hate christianity, and any form of it, even though our money says in god we trust and god is mentioned numerous times by the forefathers. They are the protectors of abortion, liberals (SEE OBAMA), The sixth commandment, unlike Adam who was on the mt. with Moses knows the precise order they were given to him by god. I love it and knowbody has answered my question, before we canonize St. Obama what has he done since he has been in the senate? Good speaker , good looking guy, slick package of marketing, no results. ( I was kidding about the anti-christ remark, but he could be...) Daffy Duck could have beaten Keyes by 3-1!Gotto love that bunch of losers we call the Illinois GOP!Alan Keyes.

The urge to dominate, the urge to influence

by Jim Boushay and Rickey Sain

Many individuals and institutions—in Illinois and throughout the nation—are privileged to work with Sen. Obama and his office. He stays in touch with them and they with him and his senatorial office. Keep doing that. He seems to want to follow in the long line of distinguished Illinois legislators (Paul Simon, Adlai Stevenson, Paul Douglas, Everett Dirksen, Abraham Lincoln, others). And citizens seem okay with that kind of distinguished yet practical leadership. Help his office to stay informed.

Of late he has been quite sensitive to the legitimate concerns of the evangelicals, in Illinois and the rest of the U.S. That word “evangelicals��? does not here refer to the dogmatic fundamentalism of the radical right. The latest example is the 'Call to Renewal' Keynote Address.

Along with other card-carrying Democrats Obama continues insisting in letters and speeches that religion and things spiritual must necessarily be incorporated into the thinking and actions of the Democratic Party. Everywhere one goes religion seems to have a persistent and understandable claim on everyone's attention. The percentage of religion topics in the print and broadcast media has increased at least two-fold in the last ten years, and for many reasons.

One reason for the increase? Because there is nothing better to do with our time? No. Because it's clear that religion informs politics and politics informs religion? There's a certain electricity in that exchange, as there might be in any authentic exchange of perspectives. That fact of interdependent life is not in danger of going away anytime soon.

Nowadays few deny that real reality of interconnection. Religion and politics each seem to need each other. What is the difference in a culture of bedeviling pluralism between the robust desire to influence people and the robust need to oppress people? Or, what is the difference between studied moderation of purpose and exactitude of dogma? No easy answers there.

Differences make a difference because, well, they are different. While both politics and religion are uniquely distinctive spheres of knowledge and action that must be honored as separate, one of the jobs of integrated thinking—and the action that flows from integrated thinking—is to draw the connections between politics and religion. In a manner of speaking, both those spheres of knowledge are about the art of influence in everydayness. Politics influences immanent and existential things. Religion (or the spiritual) influences the transcendent, especially those imaginative things that enlarge the capacity to somehow see the good and purposeful beyond the pressing present, including oppressions of self and others.

Ultimately both politics and religion are about affirmations of the human spirit—and about getting good things done through the affirmation. You know—saying yes when cynics and cynicism seem to demand a knee-jerk no.

In one sense, politics stresses the secular social, and religion stresses the moral social. Each has in common the social, meaning each has in common how citizens treat other citizens and neighbors, how we engage genuinely, how we learn from each other as citizens of awareness. What both good politics and good religion seem to have in common is ethics—meaning, those principles, ideas, and practices that ultimately, if necessary, one is really willing to die for. Generally one hopes of course that things won't have to go to that extreme. Both politics and religion must remain flexible, open, vibrant. Each needs to remain culturally sensitive to the realistic urgencies of the other.

Both good politics and good religion ask for studied compromise (politics) and studied reconciliation (religion) in ways that can benefit all. That's a form of moderation that is always hard to accomplish, always, in these times of urgent identity politics that often separates out in the name, ironically, of democratic unity. Why does separating out happen? Among many reasons: Because all we are human, flawed, full of self-interest, and preoccupied with getting what we think we need to survive in an intensely competitive culture. But there's help and hope here. All is not lost—hardly.

Studied compromise and studied reconciliation means each of us doing those things of mitigation and amelioration in the name of realism and—in important practical terms—in the name of a common, higher good. And that higher good is to achieve a little more harmony than has seemed possible in tumultuous times. One day at a time, one person at a time, one legislator at a time, one religionist at a time.

Both the practice of good politics and the practice of good religion bring about improved harmonies of purpose and improved practices of the robust virtues of persistence, patience, toleration, kindness, and even forgiveness of each other's peccadilloes of personality as well as our own manifest weaknesses of character. More of that forgiveness, please, for all. All have played unique roles in creating the mess of our political and religious enmeshments.

No question that there are even more compelling ideas here worth studied engagement...but for now that "more" must be left for another time or to someone else. The nature of the beast is that supper awaits. It's past 8 and we two need to have dinner. In the breaking of the bread! A big warm smile both political and religious.

Jim and Rickey
8 p.m., June 30, 2006

Steven, when did you prove Darwins Theory of Evolution? You must be one smart dude. I am sure your Noble prize will be coming soon!

...so, Jim & Rickey: does this mean you're going to vote for Obama?

When people are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, it just doesn't cut it to say "Let 'em eat diversity." Sen. Obama sounds like one Democratic leader who has finally come to realize that. Meanwhile, if other liberals are concerned about separation of politics and religion, they have apparently forgotten that the liberals themselves were in the forefront of mixing religion with politics during the civil; rights and anti-war movements of the 1960's and early '70's.(Or is church-state separation only a problem when religion is mixed with CONSERVATIVE politics?)

Jim and Rickey you have WAYYY to much time on your hands. Get jobs. Or girlfriends if your not dating each other. Liberal politician co-mingling church/state.....hmmmmmmmmmm

Lotta angry people out there. "Fairy tales"???

All I know is that Obama sounds like a Democrat who is finally willing to speak honestly about how he feels about religion. I don't usually vote for progressives, but he might get my vote.

I can't understand how a person who claims a belief in Christianity can justify the taking of an innocent unborn life.

It is a position which does not stand up to Christian scrutinity. It is a position that denies the least among us the most fundamental right which is the right to life. It is the epitome of injustice; to presume that a human person in its most defenseless condition has fewer rights than the persons responsible for bringing the child into existence.

It is an illogical position as well because it denies the scientific fact that a fertilized human ovum, a human embryo, or a human fetus is anything but human.

Mr. Obama needs to conform to his professed religion instead of conforming his religion to his political views.

Keyes' criticism is justified.

I would like to speak to both what Barack Obama did with his speech and what I have read in the postings.
I am a 61 year old conservative democrat. Yes there really is such a being. As such I hold the cry "democrats have been out to destroy Christianity since the 60's" as pure rhetoric meant to inflame others. It's simply not true. When it reaches a state that an opposing opinion must mean that the person holding it is a demon, or possibly the "anti-Christ" then I say -enough-!
Have so many people forgotten that what Jesus stood for was love! Pure and simple LOVE! The God of the Old Testament was vengeful, destructive and angry most of the time. The Son of God from the New Testament taught - taught not preached - LOVE. Some examples "Love one another as you would yourself be loved" (no gender mentioned) "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" (forgiveness) "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" (again forgiveness) The parable of the prodigal son (again forgiveness) The sermon on the mount and the feeding of the masses (Love and sharing) Where in any of this, and these are just a few examples, do you see anger, vengeance or hostility towards anyone, even non-believers? Have we so strayed away from what Jesus actually taught (Love) that we now would seek to destroy those that do not dogmatically hold our same beliefs? If so then I would say to you that if Jesus came back today the first thing he would do would be something he did in the past. Cleanse the temple. All the side taking and rhetoric seem to say that we have not been able to realize what "turn the other cheek" really means. (tolerance)
Finally a politician of any side (read Barack Obama) has seemingly spoke from the heart and let the chips fall where they may on what he has to say. This is so unusual as to truly deserve note. And to truly be looked at as something to be, at least, considered. I don't claim to be a "good Christian" in the mainstream sense of the word. What I am is a caring human being who tries to look out for and help others while at the same time learning who I really am and, hopefully, who God/Jesus/Allah/Buddha/and so on really is. Will I finally know? I have no idea but I will not stop trying. Anyone who heard or read this speech that automatically said "this is the chosen one" or "this is the anti-Christ" needs to take a step back and look at themselves in the mirror. One should not automatically follow but look, learn and to all possible extent know before making those decisions. Gut "instinct" reactions have taken this world and individuals to the brink of extinction before. Let's finally learn to reason, to think, to love, to forgive and to comprimise. "Can't we all just get along" was not just a statement from a man cruelly treated. It was a cry from the heart. I for one intend to do something I have not done nearly enough of in the past. Pay attention to a young man who just may be real. If he is not, it is such a shame. But so far he seems to mean what he says. It matters not what he has done in congress. Many there have done too much..... Let's wait, watch and then attempt to decide from a position of knowledge and learning. Not from one of prejudice. (which again is something Jesus taught against) Thanks.

"One thing liberals dont understand , faith isn't a 1/2 in or out thing, you can't be a Christian who believes in Abortion , but follows everything else."

1) There is difference in believing in abortion and believing in abortion.
To outright ban abortion regardless of what, is just as unwise as suggesting abortion for every single case of accidental pregnancey. There are cases where the best (what is best can also be debated) option is for the person to carry the child through, and in other cases it is best if the pregnancy is terminated, sadly.
Believing that one should have a choice isn't black and white. Some people who are pro-choice are for certain requirements to be fufilled before they may get the choice, others belive in giving people the choice without prerequisits, as well as people with opinions that are inbetween of those.

2) How many people do actually follow all the bible scriptures to 100%? There are many things written in many of the old religious scriptures of most religons, that are not civilized nor just in today's societies. Religion, as I see it, should be about faith in something that is supposed to make the world a better place, not worse, though there are plenty of doomsday cults.

3) How is it less worth to have faith in a more modern version of a branch, than in a branch of christianity? The branch began as a deviation from the main Christian religion, after all. Are you saying that people should only believe in the first version of any religion? Christianity builds on Judaism, does that mean Christians are wrong and should adhere to the first testament only, and not only go halfway about it by doing things the first book condemns, while as the second one approves of? Sadly, there are many instances of cases where a lot of holy books have contradictory writing in them, which is why they're so open to very different interprentations.
People in this world focus too much on hate, rather than trying to make this an as good world as possible. (In my opinion) religion should give one peace and strength, and a better world - not be exploited for dirt-tossing and hate-mongering. There are too many people who give religion a bad name, a lot of the very important discoveries and advances in science were achieved by religious people in the past. Today religious beliefs are in too many circles seen as contradictory to independent intelligence. Rather than making this world as good as possible, too many "religious" people (who indeed only use their religion the same way they'd use a sports team or a fanclub) go "you have to do this EXACTLY MY way [note, not the religious texts' way] or you're a big big poopyhead and I'll make you suffer!"

Please people, show that religion does now mean that you have to surrender intelligence. Faith is not contradictory to science, nor intelligence.

The debate about politics and religion is already well exemplifed by Barack. Honestly even Darwin alludes to one fact that life evolved from simple life forms. the only thing darwin never spelled out clearly is the origin of the life forms no matter how simple they were. in essence religion fills an important part in human life and when well tapped it becomes the hinge upon which development sprouts and rotates. barack should be thanked for demystfying the myth and even strong atheists will find a basis for an interesting read.
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LYNN SWEET REPLY.....
did you know....Sen. Obama will travel to Kenya later in August......He will visit his father's home.

Really Barak makes more sense than most of the politicians, and indeed even religious leaders, we hear and read about these days. Let's find the message in his speech.

Strong opinions from both sides leave me to ponder. Political and religious unity defines peace making in the broadest sense! We should all be very mindfull and cautious as to follow anyone with that kind of influence on any political/religious platform... Barak's indecisive mannerisms on hard issues leads one to think he is playing it safe on many fronts. What is his true ambitions for politics? What changes would he truly make if given all the power of government, or government's? The Antichrist issue is a touchy subject for many christians today. All the chaos in politics, religion, ecological and climate disturbances have many believing these are the end times! It also has many extremists quickly accusing anyone who has a vision for unity and peace in the world, for being an antichrist. Barak Obama is a state senator from IL., and very well may be a presidential candidate in the near future, but to call him an antichrist because of his charismatic nature and influential prowess on American politics is a hastefull accusation. Yes, as christians we must be mindfull and watch for events that may lead to the developement of a great world leader to come on the scene and deceive all with his new found truths of religion and world politics that will lead to a utopian existence, but at the same time, we cannot accuse everyone who comes on the scene with an intent on finding solutions to social and economical problems. We all want peace in politics and religion, does that make us all antichrists??? The bible speaks of the end times as to haveing many antichrists, but one will seperate himself from all the rest and lead the world into destruction. Is this man really Barak Obama, or someone far more influential in WORLD POLITICS and not American politics... Only time will tell. Barak Obama is a man of flesh and blood. Until he proves otherwise I can not jump on the ANTCHRIST bandwagon of prejudgement!!! (I will be watching though, and not be quick to embrace any leader in the world today, especially one who has solutions for all the worlds ailments...)

I think Obama is onto something many Christians accross the board are seeking. Obama is letting the word of God transform his heart and allows for grace in so much of the life we all experience and are challenged with. I pledge to neither Democrats or Republicans, I am a Libertarian/former republican. Sadly, I think many evangelical Christians in the white and the black church have assumed too often their own agenda forgetting about the people who face reality. We have argued points and put disclaimers out before we are even faced with the people who face these real issues. We make no room for them in our life Why? Why doest it freaking matter where people come from? Why are people uncomfortable with reality? Does it compensate for our own transparency? Take the attention off of self, put onto someone else? If people cannot come to people of faith for help--where are they to go? They are going to go where they can get help, love accecptance. If we are not willing to be doeers of the word, but merely protesters, pontificaters (of the word or our own agendas) and not implement love, guidance and support, than both sides can shut up, pack up and go home. Right and Left wings alike, democrat and republican, what are we doing? If we dont pursue life together with tolerance, love, justice and an honest heart, than give up now. Stop using faith as a guard to not do anything but pontificate. Obama has my support because he is on a quest to be a doer of the word, while handling people of varying positions with grace. He is not preaching how we fail to live up to it--he is empowerign us to live it if we really believe it. My agenda cannot be yours, nor yours mine. Right wing nut jobs--I'd like to see more grace from you all that you claim you have recieved so rightously. I'd like to see another focus rather than homosexuality and abortion which habe been goign on for years and will continue no matter what law is in place. Left wingers-- I'm sad to say I think a lot of the time we are pro and against as a just cause for our opponent. Not all left wingers are "liberal" but fall to that side as a result of being burnt by the right. Really think about the approach--which is the same as the right in power and point. Equals in my eyes. If there is such a thing as political rebellion, it is the extreme left and the extreme right. It is time to grow up, face reality, face each other's reality. Trust we are doign the best we can--with and for eachother. Obama--blessings to you, and I hope to see you at the Whitehouse one of these days.

I have read the various blogs presented here. Each holds its own truths, but I just cannot shake the suspicion that there is something prophetic about this guy. I am currently in the middle of "The Audacity of Hope,��? and after reading the first few chapters I found myself going to sleep at night thinking how I could help the "Obama Cause." But then, almost in an instance (maybe by divine intervention), I started to ask myself, "is this guy to good to be true." Look at the facts- the insane rationality of his defense on all issues. He turns what would be a two decade debate on the Senate floor about abortion in to a numbers game, making the idea of murder, of all things, statistical, as opposed to a moral issue. Oprah- and you can laugh all you want, but internationally she is one of the most recognized personalities of our time and Obama has, not only her vote, but, as one can imagine, her financial backing as well. For years my mother has said that mass media is the "anti-Christ,��? possibly presenting the "little horn" in the Bible, and as we all know Oprah is the queen of this market, on several continents to boot. This leads me to another issue, Obama's international appeal. From Africa to Indonesia Obama has experienced numerous realms of thought, philosophy, and cultural struggles. He has seen the world at its best and, more importantly at its worst. He is aware of the vulnerabilities of people world wide. One might argue that this is simply his way of campaigning, and those men like JFK, Reagan, and Clinton were all very similar in their public speaking and overall appeal. But I cannot help but question Obama's motives. And believe me it is difficult. Having a background in politics, having worked on Capitol Hill, I was relieved after hearing the most recent Democratic Convention speech. "For once" I thought, "Someone wanting to erase political lines, as opposed to thickening them." I mean this guy even finds good things to say about the Carter years in his book; meaning- no matter who you are, how rich or poor you are, no matter your faith or your education, you will find something in this book to agree with which leads you to the next chapter and the next and the next. The book evolves from a sheer political commentary then to a philosophy to an, almost suggestive way of life, a path. I grew up Catholic, was educated Catholic, and still am a proud Catholic. That being said, I, to the dismay of my grandmother, married a Baptist. This has allowed me to see other parts of the Christian faith I had never explored before, specifically the parts about the "end times." It does prophesize union before judgment (division), peace before chaos, and a man who takes us outside of the box in terms of thought and rationality. A man so convincing and remarkably calm and non-threatening that he could easily fool the unsuspecting and vulnerable. At a time when Americans are so thirsty for peace Obama is in a sense a "savior." What many Christians, who as the Bible states will be “children of the light,��? (un-fooled by such a man), need to ask themselves now is what team you really think this guy is batting for?

What if Barack Obama is the anti-christ? Watch out for him.

His belief in gay marriage and abortion reflects on his ablitiy to think laterally on religion and keep in tune with the world. He also maintains spritual belif for inner strength which i belive is good mix suited for an ideal president.

Wonderful read! I will precinct walk for Obama! He is addressing the issues that need to be addressed. We all struggle with the paradox. I appreciate Obama's struggle. He has my vote!

This man's elegance is astutely profound and his simplicity
is encredidly liberating.

HE will skilfully serve as a much needed comforter to the masses.

America has been greatly blessed by this man's seemingly effortless gravitas and presense here.

Im European, but like Obama, my father is Kenyan and my mother a WASP. Its truly appalling to read fair minded Americans talking about anti-christ and describing abortion as homocide. It seems to me that being a christian is a prerequisite to get involved in politics in the US. In that sense the US constitutes a huge paradox, claiming to be the melting pot and yet being so unaccommodating to gays and to women's right to decide the fate of their own bodies. Being a dr Im acutely aware of the fatal destiny of many young women who become single mothers, or children who end up being victims of 'unwanted' pregnancies.
Im rest assured that many Europeans would find what you call pro-life as oppressive as some Europeans find the mandatory veiling in certain cultures. Europe is xenophobic - true and highly so, but most Europeans would, even if reluctantly, accept a black person if he was raised in the that particular country and especially if he was fluent in that country's language. In that sense, America is an incredibly racist society. The obsession with Obama being black or a mix is an example of this. Having grown up in Scandinavia in very similar conditions to Barack, I find it interesting that he has had to choose whether he is black or white. But then we are practically communist compared to conservative Democrats.
Of course Barack should embrace both his places of origin. That also why it is sad to see him taking on the 'christian' attitude because he knows he wont go anywhere in politics without it. Those are the sorry facts. I believe no American president has ever seized presidency without some sort of compromise. What we are seeing, is Obama making just that. Obama is getting ready to run for the oval office! And may he have all my secular blessings.

Barack Obama is the anti-christ?

It is important to point out that pro-choice doesn't mean that any sobering prom date suddenly feeling that she has made a mistake can run to the abortion clinic around the corner, nor should it ever.
Abortion isn't like renting a video a Blockbuster, and most pro-choice advocates adopt their view when they realize that there are some circumstances under which a pregnancy can be harmful in some way to a fully developed person.

How strongly does this single factor influence whether or not this man is capable of leading the nation? There are a lot of other things out there killing people a lot faster than abortion does.

Senator Obama speaks of his faith and decision from a standpoint that I can embrace.I dont agree with his stand on abortion or gay marriage but we arent talking about someone to head up the southern baptist convention.We are talking about a leader of all the people of the united states not just the christians.As the apostle Paul stated Be all things to all people. Keep the door open so all those who seek a different path my enter in and understand the true God.He would never even stand a chance taking a hard liners position to get into office to make a difference we all agree needs to happen.He seems to have more guts and conviction than anyone that has been running that I can remember.Guts and conviction are what it will take to right this ship.We as a nation have lost our moral compass and we need someone who is going to decide to steer the other direction.The problems with his stand dont keep him out of office as far as I am concerned.If he truly believes what he speaks, then the rest will take care of itself.All problems in our nation are a lack of morality and absence of integrity. Obama seems to have enough of both to make sound decisions or at least listen to sound advice and act accordingly.

I’m so tired of progressives saying "I don't want my religious beliefs regarding abortion to get in the way with a woman's right to choose." If you truly believe abortion is wrong, you should let it get in the way of your decisions. If you don't think it's wrong, just say so. This is like a pro-choicer saying, "I don't want my beliefs in a woman's right to choose to get in the way with an unborn baby's right to life." Or maybe, "I don't want my beliefs that gay marriage is right get in the way with the sanctity of marriage." If it's what you believe is right, than you should stand for it. I'm tired of my party's leaders (Kerry, Obama) Not having the guts to say what they believe and sticking with it. Why would I vote for someone who doesn't want his beliefs to affect his policies?

Abortion and Gay Marriage is not something Jesus Chirst supports, therefore I will not.

I heard this morning that none other than AL FRANKEN is endorsing this man. If Al Franken has chosen this man over Hillary Clinton, I am concerned and anything the man says is suspect to me. Obama is affiliated with a group called Sadeen. After some research, I have found this group to be PLO supporters. Tell me how "moderate Democrat" Obama is garnering support from the Jewish Al Franken and a Democratic voting Jewish public? Also, as the son of a single, immigrant mother, who funded his exhorbitant education? And why, in early November were there literally thousands of hits when searching "anti-Christ Barak Obama" and now there are barely any? Those that are found are Christian parodies. The old adage warns us to "follow the money." I suggest we do so because there is a lot more to this man than meets OUR eyes. I am not suggesting he is the anti-Christ, but I would not argue his sinister intent. Remember - this Great Country was founded on Christian values, regardless of what the secularists may say. Evey minute of our existence, the success of the US is challenged by forces we may or may not understand. Tread carefully.

I think "tread carefully" is the best advice I've seen here. I want to know way more about this man than what I've seen so far before jumping on the bandwagon. What exactly is Sadeen?

You know what? It concerns me that there is an attitude that is prevalent in America, a disrepectful, demeaning, arrogant, response to anyone that disagrees with you. Too bad we can't express our differences without demeaning the other person. I see this everywhere. The nightly news, the blogs, politics, and it is very sad that we are so mean to each other. We all have a right to our opinions. Whether they are right or wrong. There is a way of disaggreing with somebody without demeaning the person we disaggree with. Anyone could be wrong! Maybe it is you? Maybe its me? In the end we will know!!! In the mean time! we are wrong to be so disrespectful, demeaning, and arrogant!!!!
So lets agree or disagree respectfully!!!!!......jb

The last paragraph, or the last statements, closing argument of this address tells it all.

When we prejudge all following comments as; disrespectful, demeaning, and arrogant, we have really just judged what we said as; "My comments are above anyone’s comments" therefore no other comments are justifiable or acceptable in my terms, I'm the last word.

We fool ourselves don't we?

We tell on ourselves do we not?

Mr. Alan Keys rises far far above this man in White House material and in so called rhetoric material as well;

Alan’s balance comes from a "well balanced background" where this one is shaky at best and has the name and religion to prove it.

The church of Christ believes and teaches if you are not a member of their religion you are lost... heretics... what other religions teach this?

Shame on the gullible public!!!

Let us also note that Cheryl (read below:cherylfeil abrahamson) also made a $1550 dollar donation to Pres. Bush in 2004. http://www.fundrace.org/neighbors.php?search=1&type=name&lname=ABRAHAMSON Ohh politcal contrubutions.. what to think of them from a biblical perspective?
Obama is a true inspiration.

to moses ancion:
It was an opinion and a rather good one too (my opinion)was your reflection a judgement? or an opinion?...jb

I understand Obama's speech in terms of accepting all people where they are. But years ago there would be no majority voice heard for abortion rights! In fact I doubt there is actually a majority voice for abortion today! But the truth is the truth! Where do we find complete truth? From where I set Obama is trying to accept all at the expense of truth. In truth there cannot be a true separation of church and state. Our values all come from the same place actually. It is when we move further away from those values or truths that these issues even start to surface! So, maybe our goal should be to become more unified about truth as a nation. To find truth is more difficult than to just accept any and every thought and/or opinion. It seems that Obama is saying that we should accept any and every opinion or thought that there is?! Is that truly possible? To accomodate every thought or idea is impossible. It would be better to strive for complete truth maybe? I know we can never reach this but; to stop striving for it is to accept less than what any of us wants. Is it not? Trying to make it look like God will look well on a nation who does not strive to do His will (Truth)is not the truth! Does anyone actually feel that God looks well on a nation who kills it babies and supports gay marriage? If so, then maybe we need to study truth more? Nations are destroyed for lack of such knowledge! Nations are not destroyed for lack of accepting any and every thought there is just because it exists! If so, then where is the line to be drawn? Will cannabilism be accepted in our nation at some point? Who is to be eaten and who gets to survive? I guess it will depend on who is in control at the time won't it? Where do we stop accepting every thought that exists and start attempting to be unified by the truth of God's word? If God does not accept lukewarm Christians then who should we serve? Man or God?

I'm surprised no one picked up on the senator's silence regarding the doctor's statement that the free market was idolatrous. With so much at stake in every election it is vital that we become critical thinkers and learn to read between every line. Words have meanings and Senator Obama knows how to use them. It is unlikely that he would be so careless as to not weigh the implications of such language and I suspect he is watching for reaction about that phrase as much as he is the religion aspect of the speech.

Barrack is not saying that he personally is anti-abortion or pro gay marriage. This is what is so frustrating about debating his issues. His stance is simply that in a country which houses a host of religions, non-religions, and differing views that the governmental policy needs to protect all those beliefs.

So, from a hierarchal perspective, yes he is pro choice and for gay marriage. However, within his home he certainly follows the order of his bible and would not practice those beliefs. Unfortunately, these 2 issues really shouldn't matter in our country, but they do and a man who can finally tie them together gets breaded by extreme followers of the church. Hopefully he has the strength to stay strong through those views and lead our nation back to a powerhouse of open dialog and differing opinions which built up the fantastic nation we once had.

Anyone who could call Barack Obama an inspiration needs their head examined. Someone who believes abortion is okay in any way is permitting and agreeing with murder. A christian has a moral responsibility to protect the innocent. While democrats are fighting for the trees and animals, millions of baby parts are sitting in garbages outside of abortion clinics all over the world. Wake up people- we are living in a horror movie, and the victims are tiny helpless infants. We as Christians (this is for those who are) have a responsibility to vote for someone who takes the bible literally, and doesn't accept murdering infants as an answer to anything. As for evolution- what moron thinks we actually came from monkeys? Where did the monkeys come from? Did everything just appear suddenly? Of course not.

Honestly, I've reached my breaking point with the political/religious arguing. I wish that people would realize that issues like gay rights and abortion will never change no matter who is in office. The problems of the world have become too complex. It's sad to say, but abortion and gay-rights will always find themselves on the backburner to national security, immigration, and the war on terror in the Middle East. It doesn't matter if the next President is Pro life, Pro choice, Pro gay rights or what...We have been arguing over these issues forever, and every election these issues become deciding factors for a huge mass of voters, but as soon as the newly elected official takes office what happens...Something more important comes along and all those guarantees about anti abortion laws, gay rights legislation, and so on go right out the window. That's the way it always has been, and that's the way it will continue to be. It may not be right, but it's a fact of life. I think the sooner that we can all come to terms with that and vote based on issues that really can be addressed our nation will find itself in a much better position. People need to stop voting against issues, and start voting for our country (chew on that for a little bit). I am a firm believer in Christ and a young man of great faith. I wholeheartedly believe that abortion is wrong; however I don't believe that my faith in that gives me the right to blast other people for taking part in it. I don't have that right, only God does. Yes, abortion does violate the 10 commandments, but which of you can honestly say to me that you have never told a lie, disrespected your father or mother, or taken the Lord's name in vain? And contrary to popular belief, all sin is of equal weight. Sin is sin people, lying carries as much weight as murder in the eyes of God. And there is no unforgiveable sin either. Jesus saved a murder from hell as they hung on the cross together. So next time you think that you have a right to blast someone for theirs, take a minute to stop and think of yours. If you still feel that you have the right to do so, I can't help you there, that's between you and the Big Guy. Think about it like this...I don't smoke, I think it's unhealthy and I simply choose not to do it; does that mean that I have the right to condemn others who do? Absolutely not. My opposition to smoking is to simply not smoke. That being said, if you believe abortion is wrong, protest it by not having one.

To the people:

It sounds like a true America on this page, we all have opinions and it means absolutly nothing. Mr. Oboma to me, if you look into his past and present, a bit like the anitchrist. I'm by no means saying that he is, but where did he come from. The Senetor of Ill. I never knew, until his presidential canadecy. All of a sudden he is a front runner. People are mesmorized by him. As a few of you said, he beleives in abortion, and in gay marriage. I don't know any church in my area that would support either of these. So what we do is sit and write and complain about everything and yet we don't do anything. They say we have a voice at the polls, but we saw George get voted in. Which clearly did not come from the American people. Then what did we do? Complained, and yet the man went for a second term. What kind of a Democracy do we live in, really?

We have experienced enough of War, Hate, and Negative Judgement... it is time for a leader who speaks from the heart and leads others along a path of compassion; uniting the many in inner peace... Love and Peace are making a come back!

Mr. Obama may be this person... however, only time will tell.

What will Obama do about PL 87-297 and what does he say about the
Unites Nations.
Will he do away with Homeland Security and the Patrick Act?
Let him tell us this?


Somethings obama saids sounds good but is it pure truth or mans words. Iagree with somethings but the majority of his standards seems to be more for the worlds way of thinking and not God's way in his morality statements. I have a problem when one thinks all religion leads to one faith in God. You will never unite Muslims beliefs,Jewish beliefs,Christian beliefs together in unity.Jesus himself states to come to God you must come through him who is the son of the living God.In looking at the words veiw this country or any country will never be at peace or unity until Jesus return and he sets up His kingdom and He rules and reigns.All we can do is pray and trust God to have his way and do what must be done until he fullfills His word in this day and age we live.We of Christian faith continue to do our part and seek God and obey his word and live a life that pleases God not man.We may be persecuted for it yet remember those that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.Endure,persevere,and keep serving and living for Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour.God bless you all.One thing we do know for sure and that is God knows Obama better than we do and if we pray trust God to deal with his heart and soul.Who are we to judge his soul.For God is incontrol of it all anyway and God will always have the final say so . I only pray that every christian will truely cry out to God in earnest prayer to seek after the mind and will and heart of God in Jesus name I pray.For the bible teaches us to pray for those in authority and leadership.The apostle Paul gave us these instructions so may we all follow them and be the Christian God would have us all be and not argue or debate the issues but pray and seek the face of God about them.

I have been reading through these comments, and several things struck me. The first thing is,the reason people of other belief systems have such a hard time accepting Christianity is because it is not a pluralist world view. Jesus says, "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." And as Christians we are called to go out and make disciples of all nations. This means that if we live our faith, not only do we refuse to accept other belief systems as true, but we are to proclaim God's word to those we know, in order that they also might be saved. This does not leave us any wiggle room. In fact, in the book of Revelation, Christ tells the lukewarm church that since they are neither hot nor cold, he will spit them from his mouth. Believing therefore that this world is only a small blip on the eternal timeline, it becomes very important to put first God's priorities, not our own. This does not mean we should sit in judgement on those who do not believe, but that we should see everyone as Christ does, part of a creation that is groaning to be saved and restored. We should therefore be reaching out in compassion to the impoverished and the orphan, to the hungry and the infirm, to those women who think that abortion is the only way out. I agree with Patricia Heaton that abortion as a viable option is a sad indication at how our society has let women down. There are many things that are legal that are not moral. I have held many sisters hands as they have cried over many kinds of loss, and felt that there must be another way to address this issue. It is a misnomer that reproduction is a choice. To have sex is a choice. to reproduce is a hope, to abort is the death of that hope. So this then is the second thing, i truly believe that Obama believes all the things he said in this speech. He comes across as measured and considered and like a man who thinks things through and he comes across as someone who is open minded. So here then is my problem, his words remind me of Pilate's washing of the hands ( and I am not saying that he is getting ready to crucify Christ...I am meaning that he wants us to believe that detachment to this issue under the guise of political office makes it possible for him to support an issue that he claims not to personally support, this is merely rhetoric.) I would like to vote for a person of compassion who believes that just as we must be decreasing those becoming infected with HIV, and affected by illiteracy, or unemployment or lack of healthcare, we must actively be working to decrease the number of abortions that are happening each year. We must have better programs to aid unwed mothers, better education about all the options, we must have better education and open discussion about the possible problems and complications of abortions, that it can lead to infections, infertility, even death. And while I am not saying this happens in all cases, it is at least as relevant as saying that abortions must be available for women who would die if they didn't have one. However, my point here is about Obama. I am disappointed that while he discusses how we must meet each other, he proposes nothing new. While he claims to embrace his faith, he explains how it cannot influence his voting, he does nothing more than court the Christian vote and try to convince Christians that we must be open to vote for a party that will only provide lip-service to issues that are eternal to us. it is true that a democracy cannot by nature support one view, that it must be pluralist, but every individual candidate need not be. If i vote for a candidate that does not support the causes i do, i lose my vote. Therefore, I will not vote for Obama. Which makes me sad, because i was going to until I read this. I am like many others, inspired by his fresh outlook and by his earnestness and common sense, but he has told me that he will not speak for me.

Wilma, Amen! Beautifully put and such truth spoken with love. As I read Obama's words and the following remarks, I prayed for wisdom from the Lord to know how to think and respond concerning his speech. I believe your words are God's answer to my prayer. We need not only a man who claims Christ, but one who believes His word and will vote according to God's will. Christian's may we not be luke warm, but stand firm knowing Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

All I hear is God has a plan. There is no plan because we have to plan every day not God. God may be the creator but I don't believe it comes with a plan; What would be the point? And for any politician to use religion as part of his (Obama's) plan is sickening. Leave religion out you idiots, it does not belong in politics. Because that is how you cheapen a religion or belief, or whatever you want to call it. No president will ever be a Messiah so get used to lying politicians now and forever more.

I have never heard such judgmental crap in my life. If you are a Christian fine, Jewish fine, Moslem fine, Buddhist fine, Hindu fine. All the religions have a statement like the golden rule in the doctrine. We all need to start using it. And Carly The bible is a book, and is not written by Christ. Evolution is just a theory and so is the big bang. What kind of moron believes that god floats around in space pointing for someone to go to heaven or hell. If you judge another group, expect judgement yourself.

Barack Obama is not the Antichrist, I am. This has already been proven, and is no longer a subject that is open for debate.

If Obama keeps trying to take credit, I'll be forced to stop allowing Obama's legion of hardcore spammers to submit semi-automatic pro-Obama spam posts to Digg.

His speech is wonderful, intelligent, unifiying, progressive, thoughtful...BUT, in my heart of hearts, my gut tells me that Obama is a sheep in wolves clothing. We have been warned for milleniums now of someone like this and the fact he will speak of peace, hope, faith...he will deceive many, and many will follow him as something that is good...but beware of the king of lies and there is just something about him and especially his wife Michelle...something deceitful, double-minded, and dark. I have voted every year since the time I was 18, in every election, federal, state, and local and I have been a devoted and passionate Democrat in each of those elections. I have been pro-active in furthering the cause and mission of the Democrat Party.

But something in me is sickened. A deep warning about this new leader that has come out of really no-where, just in recent years. A leader that speaks peace, that is everything to everyone, that has policies regarding Israel that are scary, that his beliefs are so sublte...it reminds me to be watchful and cautious...to get on my knees in prayer. I don't want to be mislead and I am feeling strongly that this man is not who he says he is and that America is embarking down a road that is strange and dark. Hold on people and return to the Lord, for these are certainly ominous signs in ominous times.

Obama is just ANOTHER politician who knows how to say all the right things at the right time to get what he wants. It's so typical! I've never even heard of a conservative democrate anyway, so his talk about faith and religion is just a gimmick to get more votes. You know actually...I wouldn't be surprised if he turned out to be the ANTICHRIST :-O lol

Unifying the people of The United States of America concerns The God of this 'post Christian culture' only as it is done by His Standard. Not by compromise. And compromise is surely what makes Barak Obama a part of the system of this world. Not a Godly man. But a man who will deliberately place a note in the Western Wall in Israel with eloquent language and quazi sincere words. He cares more that he gets elected than for people. If this were not the case, we would have seen this heretic step back and reassess his claims to be a Christian instead of fighting to stay in Trinity United Church of Christ. Which by the way is a denomination that most of Christendom denies a kinship to as they have abandon the doctrine of the Bible.
Yea to all of you who feel that Jesus was not speaking to you when he said, "Not everyone who says "Lord". "Lord". will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

"But it’s fair to say that if any of us saw a twenty-first century Abraham raising the knife on the roof of his apartment building, we would, at the very least, call the police and expect the Department of Children and Family Services to take Isaac away from Abraham. We would do so because we do not hear what Abraham hears, do not see what Abraham sees, true as those experiences may be. So the best we can do is act in accordance with those things that are possible for all of us to know, be it common laws or basic reason."

Barack is forgetting the context of WHERE Abraham was when he followed God's prompting to do this. Abraham was purposefully living in the wilderness, AWAY from a civilization (Sodom and Gomorrah) that did NOT see what he saw or hear what he heard. They were morally corrupt to the core, just like our increasingly secularized society is becoming.

Of COURSE our society today would call DCFS and the ACLU and a number of other four letter acronyms not necessarily because of concern for the child (though it would arguably be part of that), but because of their perception of religion in general being that which liberal Hollywood and elite academics have spoon fed them for over 50 years..."People doing religious things are nutters".

Abraham was fortunate to have been able to live out his religion in peace and seclusion, but only because he had to run from the destruction that eventually befell the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah, despite his dire prophetic warnings to them.

When it comes to the final judgment, when God divides the sheep from the goats and the wheat from the tares, arguments that we adhered to pluralism as an attempt to "just get along with Babylon" are not going to be helpful to us.

All the time we hear people saying, "I didn't like what that preacher said about XYZ. It doesn't sit well with my political beliefs." Or, "Why can't politician John Doe stop wearing his religion on his sleeve and separate his political life from his religious life?"

God is not in the business of watering down his doctrine to stroke our political or social egos, or to make us more acceptable to others who disagree with our beliefs. He calls ALL (not just Christians) to repentance and to be zealous in obedience and faith. Those who do not repent are chastened and should not hate God for it, because He does it out of love.

Revelation 3:19 - As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Otherwise, we will be lukewarm:

Revelation 3:16 - So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

In regards to Mr.Obama's speech, do not use biblical stories to justify your statements to the public in this election. You call yourself a Christian, but will stand behind letting an innocent child die due to a botched abortion. You say it is the women's choice to have a child or not and not to allow an unwanted burden on this woman, well let me tell you something--I found out at a very young age that I was pregnet and in no position to raise a baby. The thing was, this child did not asked to be conceived and had no say in what the right decision was for me to do in this situation, but this child, even though not born yet had a heartbeat and I did not hold the right to end that. I gave birth to a 6 pound 9 ounce baby boy on Oct.25, 1991 and gave him up for adoption to a family who tried for 16 years to have a child. Just because I could not be the mother he deserved or have been able to give him a life like he deserved with me, I gave him the chance of life.

You claim your a Christian, I'm sorry, I disagree, where in the bible does it say that you have the right to pass an act or law stating a baby from a "botched abortion" should be left to die? God says in the bible- and eye for an eye (let the punishment fit the crime), but an innocent child-what crime did they commit?
Believe me when I say, I am no angel, but I will never take as a Christian, the Lord's words of what is right and wrong and justify or twist them to get what I want. If you claim to be a true Christian then I guess you already know, everything you do and stand behind, someday you will have to answer for to a power much higher- and all your votes and campaign adds at that point will mean nothing. I hope the Lord is as open-minded as you seem to be.

you guys say you will not support abortion and gay marriage b/c jesus wouldn't .. but all christians voted for Bush and there is still abortion going on and gay marriage still being legalized in states..
so why do you think McCain would do any different?
Obama is a Christian and as Christians you need to pray for him not condemn him or slander him.
I'm voting for him!

So what is more precious, the life of a soldier lost in battle? A newborn baby? Or the eggs you ate this morning? Where do you draw the line people?!!

Personally I feel Barak is just following his "Master's" plan. He serves as the anti-Christ now voted in by america which gives him the right to rule those under his thumb. He is of reptillian decent ( look up reptillion if you do not understand) and is part of the plan for the end times and the world to end by 2012. He is bringing a false peace and this will soon be seen as the majority of people fall for his tactics. God is still in control and we will all see the Truth as it unfolds.

I day WROTE: "Barack Obama is doing everything possible to bring christians into his "fold" disguised as a wolf in sheep's clothing. True Christians understand and believe that abortion and contraception are inherent evils against sacred human life."

I think you "True Christians" need more than you own political party (you've destroyed the GOP); more than your own country; I think you need your own planet.

"True Christians understand and believe that abortion and contraception are inherent evils against sacred human life." I'd bet that in the entire world, less than 10% of the world's Christians believe that. It must be wonderful to be so absolutely right in a world that is so utterly evil. Actually, I believe you are wrong and I think your self-righteousness is sad.

THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THE PEOPLE,

"As you all know the i am very proud of Barack Obama, a black man to be president of the united states of America and openly I endorsed him when he was a candidate.I also talk about him a lot on my radio and TV talk show. But I totally disagree with him by designating the month of June as lesbians, gays and transgenders pride month. if June is LGBT Prime month, maybe president Obama will designate some other month as the adultery pride month.

I know there is a number of Americans and Haitians who are lesbians and gays and I also know that you cannot fight someone for what he or she believed, and/or about his or her sex orientation. However, as Christian we should not for any reason support lesbians, gays, adultery, etc. It’s against God's words.

A true Christian, whether you love president barack Obama or not. Whether you voted for him or not should not agree with him when he supported openly,lesbians, gays, transgenders and appointed them openly on his administration at the white house.

Now, what about our kids. would you like them to become lesbians, gays, transgenders? I doubt it.
therefore I urge all of you to stand against President Obama on this issue even though we stood for him on the election; because, our president is really went wild by standing against God's words.

Read these verses in the bible and see that God's position regarding lesbians, gays and transgenders.

How God feels about homosexuality.

The classic story of how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality is recorded for us. The term for the homosexual practice of sodomy takes its name here. There are 47 references to Sodom in the Bible describing a "benchmark" of sin against all others.
Genesis 19: 4-5, 24-25
4 before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom --both young and old--surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah --from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land.

One of several laws listed against sexual sin...


Leviticus 18:22
Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

Judges 19:22
while they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him."
This resulted in the raping and killing of a concubine, that later caused a war that wiped out most of tribe of Benjamin.

Not acknowledging God has consequences that affect your thinking, your feelings & your actions.
Romans 1:26-27
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Here are a few more of the many injunctions against sexual perversion and immorality (fornication of all kinds).


Acts 15:29
You are to abstain from..

.


Sexual immorality.

Romans 13:13
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God ? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:18
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.

1 Corinthians 10:8
we should not commit sexual immorality.

Galatians 5:19
the acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality.

Ephesians 5:3
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality.

Colossians 3:5
put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires.

1 Thessalonians 4:3
it is God's will that you should..

.


Avoid sexual immorality.

Jude 1:7 in a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
2 Peter 2:4-10
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-- 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous

SARAH PALIN IS REALLY A PIT BULL WITH LIPSTICK.

SARAH BARRACUDA DID IT WRONG. SHE IS PLAYED THE WRONG CHORDS BY WALKING OFF THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE JOB WITH 16 MONTHS LEFT IN YOUR TERM. IF YOU CANNOT HANDLE A GOVERNOR JOB, HOW CAN HANDLE THE WHITE HOUSE?

BY LEAVING THE JOB, SHE PROVED SHE COULD NOT PLAY THE VICE-PRESIDENT ROLE; SHE PROVED THAT UNDER PRESSURE SHE WILL DO THE SAME THING IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

IF YOU WANT TO BE A PUBLIC PERSON, YOU MUST BE ABLE TO STAND THE HEAT OF THE MEDIAS. HOW CAN YOU AVANCING IN ANOTHER DIRECTION WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW?. HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU LOVE YOU JOB AND YOUR STATE WHEN YOU LEAVE THEM ALONE? NOW, IT 'S GOING TO BE TOUGHER FOR HER TO BECOME A NATIONAL POLITICAL FIGURE. NOW, PEOPLE LOSE TRUST IN HER, SARAH PALIN HERSELF LOST TRUST IN HERSELF. BY WALK OFF THE GOVERNOR ROLE, SHE BUILT HER OWN CAVE. AND SHE IN GOING TO BE BURRIED BY HERSELF. DEMOCRATE TERM THEIR BACKS ON HER. REPUBLICANS HATE HER. SARAH PALIN WALKING ON A ROAD BY HERSELF.

you shall know them by their works

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 28, 2006 9:03 AM.

Sweet Column: Blagojevich D.C. Debacle. was the previous entry in this blog.

Rahm Emanuel: Back to back news conferences today. is the next entry in this blog.

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