Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Theological Ignorance...

While I am sitting here recovering and in a curmudgeonly mood, I figured I would write a post that is bound to piss off half of you and make the other half shift uncomfortably in your seat even as you agree with the sentiments I am going to express here.  So we begin...

Barack H. Obama, the President of the United States of America, is a theological ignoramus.

Well, why do you have to use such harsh language?

If you ask this question, my rabbinic rejoinder would be: why are you changing the subject? Every time the man opens his mouth to say something remotely religious, I cringe, reach for the remote, or just mutter at the television (or radio, for that matter).  While I do not possess a mandatum, no one can accuse me of being uninformed about my faith or about the basic tenets of Christianity and the Bible.

I will say this, just to clarify myself - I do not believe President Obama to be the Antichrist, or the Devil, or even a non-Christian (although a few do).  I do believe that in a personal way, he is sincere about his Christianity.  What sticks in my craw is when he does speak of religion, it is almost always in a context of policy, and that is what shows his ignorance on the subject.

Example A - earlier this month, the President gave a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast that said Jesus would support higher taxes on the rich, using a quote from the Gospel of Luke to allegedly buttress his argument - "for unto whom much is given, much will be required". Never mind that the quote is pulled from a parable that has to do with judgment day, the problem ultimately is that the President always assumes that when this subject comes up, it is only within the purview of the state to dispense the goodies.

When Jesus speaks of giving and such, it is under the auspices of charity - a freely given gift that springs from a kindly heart, not a legalized form a theft taken at the threat of violence from a 'benevolent' state.  Quite often, people of the same mentality of the President will use the story of Jesus overturning the money changers' tables in the Temple as a way of showing that he was for the redistribution of wealth.

There are two problems with that interpretation: 1) Jesus never overturned merchants' tables outside the Temple, showing that it was as much (or even more so) about profaning the Temple, and 2) The money changers and merchants were living up the rear end of the power structure of Jerusalem, so if we want to modernize the story, Jesus would be going into SEIU, UAW, and NEA headquarters and overturning their tables.  In other words, be careful with the analogies being used.  However, I am not expecting that, because it isn't politically expedient. On top of that, the double standards are odious. If Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney talk religion, they are fanatics; President Obama does so, and he is hailed as being sensitive - even as he seeks to tyrannically curtail religious freedom in this country.

Example B - President Obama's incessant use of "my brother's keeper" as a rationale for whatever new statist agenda he has planned.  A quick look into any concordance (or BibleGateway.com) demonstrates that there is only one time in the entirety of the Bible where those three words are used in succession - in the fourth chapter of the Book of Genesis. Cain, the son of Adam and Eve had just killed his brother Abel and God asks where Abel is, and Cain tries to change the subject with a sarcastic rejoinder, "I do not know, am I my brother's keeper?"  There is a reason why the true keeper of all is not any man, but God himself - just look at the traditional benediction:
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26)
My point is, at least do your homework before trotting out phrases like that.  Of course, he could never just flat out say what he wants to say, so he has to dress it up in language that contains religion-like substance and try to co-opt Jesus.  What he should say is this...
The government of the United States has the best and brightest people working in all sectors, and those people are much smarter than the average American.  As it follows, they are thus eminently more qualified to make decisions for our citizens in regard to the food they eat, the cars they drive, the healthcare they receive, the appliances they use, and even the light bulbs they place in their homes.  In order to maintain this superior level of government, we need to fund all the programs they have thought of, and that means the rich will have to pay more.  You are just going to have to trust us, because we know what is best for you.
Of course...if he did actually say that, he would lose in a landslide.  

3 comments:

J.T. said...

I think if Obama were actually to say that last quote he would still have a legitimate chance of winning. Remember, we are all sheep! BAAAAHHHHHHH

Joshua Lattanzi said...

This is true. Hence the link underneath the quote - it contains that "famous" video of the woman in 2008 who said that Obama was going to put gas in her car and pay her mortgage and give her a job and so on and so forth. With voters out there like that, America is toast. No wonder they want 50% of the population not to pay income taxes - it increases dependency on the state. Just yuck.

J.T. said...

Ah I missed that link. Yep that pretty much sums it all up. Welcome to the U.S.S.A!

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