Friday, April 24, 2009

Is the White House really ready for the Sermon on the Mount

In a recent speech Obama quoted the conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount. I have to ask: is Obama and the rest of D. C actually willing to meet the man who authored that Sermon? I don't mean in an evangelical sense - personal savior and all that.

I mean this: are they willing to confront a man who said that "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God." Can they confront the man who warned us to beware of those who seek to sit in the places of honor, and to lord it over others. The man who pronounced the poor blessed, told the rich young ruler to give up his possessions, and who declared that the greatest among us in the one who serves?

In short Mr. President, are you - unlike your predecessors - honestly asking us to consider the teachings of a radical from Nazareth who fought to rebuke violence, include outcasts, defy empire, heal the sick and downtrodden, and turn us away from wealth and greed to healing, forgiveness and community?

Do you really mean to evoke this man? Or are you - like so many who have come before you - paying lip service to the teachings of man you have no real intention of taking seriously?

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  1. It makes you wonder just how far Obama is from his Republican counterparts, who invoke Jesus Christ except when it comes to "feeding the poor, clothing the naked, and healing the sick." Invoking Jesus is merely good political coinage. Afterall, as I said before, the aim of politicians is to remain politicians, and to do that one must, in a democracy, pander to popular opinion, which in this case means Christian Opinion. Playing the Jesus Card gets votes, and Obama is playing the same card game as Republicans.

  2. I'm not so sure Mr. C

    You could be right. I note, however, that President Obama quoted precisely those passages about caring for the poor and needy. And he did NOT really evoke Jesus by name, but the Sermon on the Mount specifically

    In the past Presidents have said the name of Jesus, but never have I heard of them evoking these passages.

    Obama appealed to it in a very different way.

    Now I don't say Obama is not playing the same card, but I also don't say that he is either. I'm more just posing the question.

    I mention one more time, he appealed specifically to the teachings of Jesus, not his name. That is unusual, and that could perhaps signal that he is not doing the same things as the Republicans.

    My post is saying something more like this "O.k. Obama, you appealed to the teachings of Jesus about Justice and compassion, are you prepared to take that seriously or not?" A challenge, not an accusation.


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