Obamadoxy

*Posted by Kirk Spencer

I heard that God was booed at the DNC.  At first I thought it wasn’t true.  I thought that the booing was not directed toward God but toward the fact that the term “God-Given” was being taken out of the Democratic National Platform.  And then a kind person set me straight.  The leaders in the Democratic Party had already removed the hyphenated word “God-given” from the platform and the vote that was booed on the floor of the convention was the vote to put the hyphenated God-word back into the platform.  So I guess God was booed—or at least the God-word “God-given” was booed.  Or more correctly the booing was directed at the chairperson who said that the voice-vote indicated that there was at least a two-thirds majority to approve putting “God-Given” back into the platform, when in reality (after three voice-votes in a row) it was clear to everyone (except the chairperson) that the room was evenly divided.  You can determine for yourself here:


Those Democratic voices for God were summarily passed-over with the “judgment” of one Democrat chairperson—and so they booed God – sort of. The odd thing is that the “God” that caused all the fuss was, in this case at least, just an adjectival hyphenated cliché—he appeared as half of the hyphenated word “God-given” attached to the word “potential.”  And so, in the Democratic National Platform, “Their God-given potential” became just “their potential” and God was not allowed even after He had been hyphenated and clichéd.

The same night that the hyphenated “God-given” was almost exorcised from the platform, our First Lady, Michelle Obama, introduce her husband to the country.  In her speech she said, “Being president doesn’t change who you are.  No.  It reveals who you are.”  These words caused the room to erupt in a loud standing ovation.  How can you argue with such enthusiasm?  It is true that if “being president reveals who you are,” then we can assume that we can really never know someone, such as a presidential candidate, until they have been president.  This does seem to be strangely true about Barack Obama for some reason.  I noticed this during the 08 campaign season.  After two autobiographies, two convention speeches, months and months of campaigning, just before Barack Obama was going to be elected as president, two of the nation’s leading news journalist (who should know about Obama) said these words:

_________

CHARLIE ROSE:

“I don’t know what Barack Obama’s worldview is.  I really don’t know.”

TOM BROKAW:

“I don’t know either.”

_________

I remember Nancy Pelosi, as the Speaker of the House, making this bewildering assertion:  “We have to pass the [Obama Care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it….”   It seems that what is true of the Obama Bill is also true of Obama himself:  “We need to elect Obama as president, so it can be revealed who he is.”   Recently CNN aired a program called “Obama Revealed.”  After two autobiographies, three convention speeches, two campaigns and four years as the “celebrity president” appearing almost continuously on both news and entertainment channels, as well as the topic of discussion on a multitude of radio programs, newspaper articles and wall-to-wall news coverage—after all that, and more—certainly “who Barack Obama is” has been revealed.  If not, then I think it is fair to ask, “Is it that we don’t know who Obama is… or is it that we don’t want to know?”   In his recent convention speech, Obama himself said that his election wasn’t about him, but about us.  His exact words were:  “The election four years ago wasn’t about me.  It was about you.”  Maybe Obama is more right than he knows.  Maybe he was the right man at the right moment onto which we could project our affections and prejudices, and whatever else we might want him to be, without concern for what he might actually be.  The election was not so much about him (really) but rather about expressing who (we hope) we are as a nation.  The question now is… “Is that still the case or is once enough?   Do we need another four years to find out more of who Obama is as we try to convince ourselves of who we are.

In this next election, will it matter that Obama promised, with his hand on the Bible, to the best of his ability, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and then, after this solemn promise, begin engaging in blatant challenges to the very same constitution?  Here are a few examples:

  • President Obama bi-passed constitutionally mandated congressional approval of controversial presidential appointments.
  • President Obama used executive orders to not enforce federal law passed by a duly elected congress and one of the few real mandates of the constitution for the Federal Government (to protect national borders).  Oddly at his reelection convention speech, Obama made reference to this executive order which allowed the children of those who violated federal law and crossed U.S. borders illegally to not face deportation, and then said these words:  “You did that!”  Actually we didn’t do that.  He did that on his own as an executive order, not with, but against what the people’s government mandated in the constitution and the laws that the congress had passed as part of its constitutional responsibility and which he (a former lecturer of Constitutional Law) took an oath, (on the Bible) that he would protect, preserve and defend.
  • President Obama used the Federal Justice Department to sue states over laws requiring the same thing that the Federal Law required according to the mandate of the constitution and the laws passed by congress.
  • President Obama, the same person who promised to have the most transparent and ethical administration in U.S. history, used executive privilege to override and sidestep constitutional processes such as congressional oversight in relationship to apparent cover-up of injustices in the Justice Department and its clear contempt for congress (literally and legally).

Obama’s theology, or “Obamadoxy,” may also be one of the things we don’t know, or don’t want to know, about President Obama.   However, there was one particular “window” onto Obamadoxy that opened at the Café Baci at 330 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago at 3:30pm on Saturday, March 27th in 2004.  He gave an interview to Cathleen Falsani a religion reporter for the Chicago Sun Times.   The interview was exclusively about his spirituality.  Falsani says he answered everything without notes or hesitation.  The complete interview can be found here.

Here are a few highlights:

_________

FALSANI:

What do you believe?

OBAMA:

I am a Christian.

So, I have a deep faith. So I draw from the Christian faith.

On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where obviously there are a lot of Eastern influences.  I lived in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, between the ages of six and 10.  My father was from Kenya, and although he was probably most accurately labeled an agnostic, his father was Muslim.  And I’d say, probably, intellectually I’ve drawn as much from Judaism as any other faith.  So, I’m rooted in the Christian tradition.  I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people… My grandparents who were from small towns in Kansas.  My grandmother was Methodist.  My grandfather was Baptist.  This was at a time when I think the Methodists felt slightly superior to the Baptists.  And by the time I was born, they were, I think, my grandparents had joined a Universalist church.  So, my mother, who I think had as much influence on my values as anybody, was not someone who wore her religion on her sleeve. We’d go to church for Easter. She wasn’t a church lady…  So I don’t think as a child we were, or I had a structured religious education.  But my mother was deeply spiritual person, and would spend a lot of time talking about values and give me books about the world’s religions, and talk to me about them.  And I think always, her view always was that underlying these religions were a common set of beliefs about how you treat other people and how you aspire to act, not just for yourself but also for the greater good.  And, so that, I think, was what I carried with me through college. I probably didn’t get started getting active in church activities until I moved to Chicago…  I became much more familiar with the ongoing tradition of the historic black church and its importance in the community…  So that, one of the churches I met, or one of the churches that I became involved in was Trinity United Church of Christ. And the pastor there, Jeremiah Wright, became a good friend.  So I joined that church and committed myself to Christ in that church.

FALSANI:

Did you actually go up for an altar call?

OBAMA:

Yes. Absolutely.

It was a daytime service, during a daytime service.  And it was a powerful moment.  Because, it was powerful for me because it not only confirmed my faith, it not only gave shape to my faith, but I think, also, allowed me to connect the work I had been pursuing with my faith.

FALSANI:

So you got yourself born again?

OBAMA:

Yeah, although I don’t, I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma.  And I’m not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I’ve got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others.   I’m a big believer in tolerance.  I think that religion at its best comes with a big dose of doubt.   I’m suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.   I think that, particularly as somebody who’s now in the public realm and is a student of what brings people together and what drives them apart, there’s an enormous amount of damage done around the world in the name of religion and certainty.

……

FALSANI:

Who’s Jesus to you?

(He laughs nervously)

OBAMA:

Right.

Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he’s also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.  And he’s also a wonderful teacher.  I think it’s important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history…

FALSANI:

Do you have people in your life that you look to for guidance?

OBAMA:

Well, my pastor [Jeremiah Wright] is certainly someone who I have an enormous amount of respect for…

FALSANI:

The conversation stopper, when you say you’re a Christian and leave it at that.

OBAMA:

Where do you move forward with that?

This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about.  I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize.  There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.

FALSANI:

You don’t believe that?

OBAMA:

I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell.

I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity.

That’s just not part of my religious makeup.

Part of the reason I think it’s always difficult for public figures to talk about this is that the nature of politics is that you want to have everybody like you and project the best possible traits onto you.  Oftentimes that’s by being as vague as possible, or appealing to the lowest common denominators.  The more specific and detailed you are on issues as personal and fundamental as your faith, the more potentially dangerous it is…

FALSANI:

Do you believe in heaven?

OBAMA:

Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?

FALSANI:

A place spiritually you go to after you die?

OBAMA:

What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded.  I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die.  But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.  When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I’ve been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they’re kind people and that they’re honest people, and they’re curious people, that’s a little piece of heaven.

FALSANI:

Do you believe in sin?

OBAMA:

Yes.

FALSANI:

What is sin?

OBAMA:

Being out of alignment with my values.

FALSANI:

What happens if you have sin in your life?

OBAMA:

I think it’s the same thing as the question about heaven.  In the same way that if I’m true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I’m not true to it, it’s its own punishment.

_________

In terms of defining Obamadoxy, I found this statement of particular interest:

I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma.  And I’m not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I’ve got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others…  I think that, particularly as somebody who’s now in the public realm and is a student of what brings people together and what drives them apart, there’s an enormous amount of damage done around the world in the name of religion and certainty.

Obama seems to be suggesting that Obamadoxy is suspect and uncomfortable with any kind of orthodoxy.  If so, then Obamadoxy could be defined as an unorthodox (or rather anti-orthodox) orthodoxy.  Such an unorthodox orthodoxy works well for politicians, like hyphenating God, because it can be easily tailored to a changing mass market.  And in listening to powerful politician speaking obliquely to issues of orthodoxy, yet not addressing directly any of the questions of orthodoxy, we must say, “We don’t know what their theology is.  We really don’t know.”

However, there is a New Theology, a New Orthodoxy which has been around a while—but not as long as the old orthodoxy.  This New Orthodoxy attempts to make “Christianity” acceptable to the growing secular intelligentsia that has begun to dominate many areas of society, such as the mainstream media, mainline denominations and most academic institutions.  There are different varieties of this New Orthodoxy, but the common core believes that Jesus was not fully God but only human and walked this earth as a great teacher, one of many, who taught that we are all connected in different ways and found a way to connect us to a higher power we might define as “God,” or something else if we wish.  Jesus lived an exemplary life in alignment with his own personal value system that gave meaning to his life by working to liberate the oppressed.  This Jesus died a martyr’s death to set an example for us to follow, but he did not rise bodily and visibly from the grave—however, if we choose to follow his example then, in a way, he has risen in our hearts and as we attempt to follow his teachings we can call ourselves Christians.  We can even say that Jesus died for our sins, not as a vicarious, substitutionary and atoning sacrifice, but rather Jesus lived and died to show us a better way—a way to live in alignment with our own values and thus not sin.

This new orthodoxy uses religious sounding language with many of the same terms used historically, but removes any reference to the miraculous, the afterlife, or a real heaven and hell that exist as an eternal reward or punishment.  We might say that the “god” of this new orthodoxy is adjectival, hyphenated and clichéd.  Such a god can be hyphenated onto politics, and other things, until such a vestigial divinity has served its purpose.  Once its purpose has been served, it can be removed like an appendix, (or it can hurriedly be put back in, if need be) not with a two-thirds majority but with just a simple majority, or even if the room is evenly divided, if the chairperson wills—and we are all chairpersons.  However—be warned—a hyphenated-god is a hazard to every enterprise, even doing church.  It happens when we lose our Hope of Glory in Christ Jesus, because Jesus is no longer “Christ” because science, so called, has “proven” there is no Glory to hope for anyway… So we must hope in our own potential… and in our collective potentials as Government.

At the end of Obama’s 2012 convention speech he was speaking about the “hope” and said that it reminded him of these words of Scripture, “ours is a future filled with hope.”  Then Obama said: “And if you share that faith with me, if you share that hope with me, I ask you tonight for your vote.”   Maybe this was why, just a day earlier, the DNC almost removed the vestigial hyphenated-clichéd god from their platform—they had found a new faith—not the old faith in “their God-given potential,” but now a new faith in just “their potential.”  The room was on its feet—clapping, screaming, whistling—for President Obama had just said:  “Times have changed and so have I.  I’m no longer just a candidate.  I’m the President.”  Why would a reference to the simple fact of who Obama is (president) and his great victory (no longer candidate) cause the room to roar with such religious fervor?  I don’t know why a reference to Barack Obama’s first coming into the presidency would cause such fervor.  I really don’t know.   Brother Tom Brokaw may know… but I don’t.  However, I would like to relate one more insight into Obamadoxy spoken by Obama’s pastor of more than 20 years—Jeremiah Wright.  On November 11th 2011 at Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s office at the Kwame Nkrumah Academy, Reverend Wright made this statement about Barack Obama and the church:

_________

REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT:

…The church was not an integral part of their lives before they got married — after they got married.

ED KLEIN:

But the church was an integral part of his politics?

REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT:

Yeah.  yeah.

ED KLEIN:

Because he needed that base?

REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT:

Uh-huh.  Correct.

_________

You can listen to the rest of Rev. Wright’s statements here.

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19 Responses to Obamadoxy

  1. I’ve heard several prominent pastors state that they accept Obama’s “confession” at face value – “He says he’s a Christian.” I think those pastors are either trying to be “politically correct,” or they are just bad “fruit inspectors.” Thank you for calling a duck a duck!

    • Kirk Spencer says:

      Hi Ernie…

      Thanks for the kind words… I tend to agree with Crissyhope that Obama’s status as a Christian, in terms of his salvation, is between him and God. I was afraid in writing this post the it would appear that I am criticizing the sincerity of his faith. In reality I was just trying to understand it. Many of the statements he made in the interview sound very similar to conversations I had in my university years with some of my fellow students and profs. They seemed to be embarrassed to make a clear statement about the reality of the resurrection or the existence of heaven and hell or even the afterlife. The difference is that I could ask them directly and in most cases they would eventually deny most of historical orthodoxy because they felt that to believe in such miraculous (non-“scientific”) things was somehow not only non-intellectual but anti-intellectual and they certainly wanted to appear intellectual and “fit-in” to a thoroughly secularized University life. While I could ask my friends in school, I can’t ask the president the more specific questions about historical orthodoxy and I can’t find where anyone else has either… So as it stands I really don’t know where he stands on issues of orthodoxy… Other than he doesn’t like the concept of orthodoxy.

      Take care

      ks

  2. crissyhope says:

    So it’s pretty clear that Obama’s “Christian” belief system is inconsistent with the Gospel. It would be interesting to critique Romney’s Mormon faith and history too as I would expect some significant heresies there as well. Let’s be fair and admit that neither candidate is “more Christian” than the other in terms of personal religious convictions and church affiliations. I’m guessing that only God knows their hearts in regard to salvation.

    • Kirk Spencer says:

      Hi Crissyhope…

      Great points… and I agree about judging what is in someone relationship to the Lord. And you’re also right about Romney’s orthodoxy. It just might be that this election cycle is a choice between someone who takes too much away from the Biblical account and someone who adds too much to it. Whatever the case, we only really have three choices. Vote Obama. Vote Romney. Don’t Vote. I do believe the first two choices do require that we consider their religious views as best we can distinguish what they might be. However I don’t believe, personally, that a particular religious view trumps all other considerations (such as experience and skill and integrity). The Bible does say that the king’s heart (will in the ancient world) is like water in the hand of the LORD; and with just a tiny movement of His hand, He can turn it whichever way He wishes. So… if my candidate wins it doesn’t mean that all will be well and if my candidate loses it’s not the end of the world (or maybe it is—but that’s up to God.) In America, during election cycles we get to select our “king” and thus we have a responsibility to know about experience, and skill, and ideology, and integrity and yes, even who is “more Christian” especially in their actions and how it reflects on their words (their trustworthiness). For instance if a candidate spends much time talking about compassion and fairness and helping the underprivileged, then information about how much of their income (percentage if you like) they give to the underprivileged through charitable giving is extremely important in whether they actually believe what they are saying or if they are just saying it to manipulate people. Both the presidential and vice presidential candidates giving records are now part of the public record, both before they took office and after. And I think anyone interested would find the numbers very interesting and very telling about who really has the most compassion on the underprivileged and who is more interested in using other people’s money to empower themselves. If somebody really cares all it requires is about a 30 second Google search.

      Oh and about the choice not to vote… that is a cop-out in my opinion. It is to deny your responsibility as a citizen, one of the most basic and easiest responsibilities. If there are Christians out there who are going to stay home and not vote because they can’t vote for a Mormon (or a Universalist for that matter) then they have not remained neutral, they have just cast a vote for the greater of two weevils. So my advice is for everyone to go out and vote for the lesser.

      Take care…

      ks

      • crissyhope says:

        I did a Google search and found several sources stating that Obama gave a higher percentage of his income to various credible charities than Romney, whose giving was all to the Mormon church or related foundations. Are their more “official” public records to verify this data?

      • Kirk Spencer says:

        Hi Crissyhope…

        Good job… I think it is important to seek out information on candidates before we vote. This is especially important with all the misinformation that is out there. I sure that many think that my post is misinformation… it is certainly true that I am biased and do make mistakes as is the case with this very post… I don’t want to imply that any one issue would be a litmus test and trump everything else—especially charitable giving. And at this point in the game I not sure if peoples minds are going to be changed one way or the other.

        When I made the comment about the Google search I was thinking of a fact check article I had seen from the Washington Post… not a very conservative source as far as I know. As a matter of fact the article was about how hypocritical conservative republicans can be. However, in this article the Washington Post reporter relates the stats on Obama’s charitable giving both before and after he began to run for federal office and it showed a dramatic increase. If the Washington Post got it right then I think someone could suppose that his level of charitable giving is for show… it is part of the cost of running for office, like advertising. Actually it makes a similar point as that in the post–by Obama’s pastor that church is part of the political show. It would be interesting to see if the same holds for Romney… it might. His giving may also be for show.

        Here is the link to the Washington Post fact check:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/obamas-gifts-to-charity-just-1-percent/2012/02/14/gIQAXuMDER_blog.html

        thanks for taking time to comment…

        take care

        ks

  3. Pat says:

    I think Tony Evans was accurate when he said that we need to look for the “values” that most represent what a Christian believes in. I would say that would include the issues of abortion and marriage. It would be ideal if they were both Christians, but that is not the case. Obama has also shown that he will not abide by the constitution or the laws that have been votes on by the congress, so I would say there is a BIG difference in these two men and their values.

    • Kirk Spencer says:

      Hi Pat…

      I just love Tony Evans… He is one of the few persons that every time I hear him speak it is like a breath of fresh air—his thoughts just seem to go right to the heart of the matter. As you say, and as I mentioned in the post, constitutional matters really do matter, more than most people seem to realize. Obama was a constitutional law professor (or lecturer) so he knows what he is doing relative to the rule of law found in the constitution and it is extremely shocking. It certainly seems that the mainstream media is covering for him and the conservative alternative media thinks that constitutional stuff is complicated and boring and so they spend very little time on it… So Obama just gets away with it, with very little coverage… His use or rather abuse of the constitution is certainly, to use and Obama word—audacious. The “audacity of chutzpah.” Or rather the “audacity of audacity.” Who is going to stand up to it? We have a chance next month…

      Take care

      ks

  4. Ann says:

    The interview piece was very interesting and thank you so much for providing that. However, your first paragraph not accurate. The term God-given had already been removed from the platform and ambiguous writing about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel had been written in the platform. The vote was to add back in the term God-given and to add back in that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. The booing and no-votes were indeed about adding God-given back in as well as making Jerusalem the capital of Jerusalem. The chairperson indicated that there was a two-thirds majority vote approving ADDING back God-given and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel so people booed, because you’re right the room was split half and half. Normally I wouldn’t be so nit-picky, and I’m a Christian, too but I just thought it was important for you to have the right information.

    • Kirk Spencer says:

      Hi Ann…

      You are exactly right and I was exactly wrong. Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know. And it certainly isn’t “nit picky.” That was a significant mistake. I will certainly find a way to correct the information. Not that learning that God really was booed makes me feel any better, actually I fill worse. And it is cold comfort know that “God-given” is back in the document, for the time being. It does help explain why the chairperson might strong-arm decision–It was a political necessity when it was discovered that it might cost votes. Thanks again for caring enough to set me straight on this…

      Take care

      ks

  5. Tom says:

    Yes. Ann is correct. All language of God had been removed from the DNC platform. The voice-vote was taken to add the language back into the platform along with stating Jerusalem was the capital of Israel.

    • Kirk Spencer says:

      Hey Tom…

      Your right. There the Jerusalem as capital was certainly an animating element. I didn’t mention it in the post, but on the radio show I touch on it a bit. Anyway, thanks for helping me see my mistake… I have changed the post to match the facts.

      take care

      ks

  6. Rob says:

    It’s sad that a nation of “Christians” cares so little about its faith that it hasn’t even learned its theology and doctrine enough tell when someone is duping them, without even putting forth much effort I might add. What’s even worse is that this failure is due in large part to our failure as Evangelicals to share the gospel and “proselytize,” as our president puts it. I don’t think the man hasn’t been true to his word, I believe that president Obama did what he told the American public he would; on the other hand I believe, Mr. Spencer, that you “hit the nail on the head” the American public projected onto our “celebrity president” that which we wished to be true. I’m sorry to say that dispite the grumbling one hears about the president, I’m not sure that enough people regret the decision to elect him enough to prevent it from happening again. A lot of my conservative friends and family worry that “this is the beginning of the end for America!” and while that’s a scary thought it’s less-relevant and less pertinent to the fact the we as Christians are failing our country. Moreover, our allegiance is ultimately to Christ, not America. That does not imply sedition, anarchy, or civil disobedience it implies the sovereignty of God over everything including stiff-necked peoples. I hope with all my heart that America will turn back to God and experience revival but, realizing we are, thankfully, sinners saved by grace, what right do we have to expect God’s blessings and mercy to be poured out on stone hearts? He does do so, but by His mercy not at our command. Anyway, I’m rambling so I’ll stop. Mr. Spencer, you’ve touched on a controversial topic much more adequately and delicately than I feel I would have, good work.

  7. Ivan Gonzalez says:

    Kirk thanks for posting! I resposted this article on FB for a friend and brother in the Lord. They wondered why you do not have one of these on Romney. My friend said: ” I noticed the Kirk Spencer did not dedicate an entire page to what Mitt Romney believes. That very fact makes me suspicious. It seems as if Im being steered in a direction without being given the opportunity to make up my own mind by supplying all the facts. ” I thought that it be great and fair if you also had one of these on Romney.

    • Kirk Spencer says:

      Hi Ivan…

      Thanks so much for the comment and the repost. I know what you mean. I have heard the same thing. It seems that I am being unfair if I say anything about President Obama, if I’m not going to say similar things about Romney too. It makes perfect sense to me. Facts about President Obama cannot be considered until all the facts are in. Anything President Obama says is contingent on things that Romney says. I didn’t even think of this when I was writing the post. I was just intrigued by two statements that President Obama’s pastor had made, on the record, and recorded, about what Obama believed (Obamadoxy) and about what Obama did (Obamapraxy) and I wanted to comment on them in the context of what President Obama himself had said on the record. I just assumed that they could stand on their own and their impact would not be contingent on what someone else may have said or did. I not sure what I was thinking.

      In all seriousness, to be honest, and not to try and steer you in any direction (but that is probably what language is about) President Obama is much more interesting to me as a cultural phenomenon. Many of the things that President Obama says and does is a sort of cultural mirror (I felt the same way about Bill Clinton). Romney just seems to blend into the traditional backdrop. So for this reason and others, I was surprised that some folks would think it is more important what I didn’t say about Romney than what I did say about President Obama (though I think I know why). And I have discovered that there are certainly those who think that Romney is a weasel. So I wrote a post on the “Lesser of Two Weasels” (with links to critiques of both Romney and President Obama).

      Let me just say that I certainly would never want someone to just take my word for it without seeking out all the facts. I think it is obvious that I have my biases, just like everyone else. I don’t think I was avoiding discussion of Romney, I just did not find anything in the news about him that seemed to speak to the culture—as I mentioned above. However I will try to find the very worse things people are saying about Romney and I will do a post about them. Maybe that will restore my fairness “cred.” Probably not…

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment… It means a lot to me.

      take care

      ks

  8. crissyhope says:

    I was surprised to read such a sarcastic response to an honest and simple question by Ivan. I’ve been reading this blog for quite awhile with an open mind, learning many things and sometimes even changing my mind after reading a thoughtful and logical explanation. I must say I’m disappointed with your rebuking tone to a reader, who apparently was looking to this site for guidance in one of the most important decisions facing us these days. In addition, I am flabbergasted at your remarks about Romney blending into the traditional culture. What??!! Are you serious about that?! A presidential candidate who happens to be a Mormon, a billionaire with a questionable tax record, an upper-echelon venture capitalist with controversial business practices, flip-flopping positions on great moral issues, social awkwardness that betrays his inability to relate to middle-class America, and a former Republican governor who developed a universal health care system for his Democratic state. Nothing newsworthy or counter-cultural there…forgive my sarcasm!

    • Kirk Spencer says:

      Hi Crissyhope…

      I’ll forgive you, if you’ll forgive me… It seems my sarcasm was contagious. I guess you do reap what you sow…

      Please don’t stop reading just because of something I have said. You offer a fresh perspective in your comments.

      And I apologize to Ivan also. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful or rebuking.

      And I was thinking that my statement about Romney “blending into the traditional backdrop” would seem strange. I should have explained it better. You’re right that I was speaking about the counter-cultural aspect (not so much the newsworthiness) of things that I have seen in President Obama and do not see in Romney. When I write a post I want them to address issues that are greater than just the news. However I find that people seem to be interested in things that are in the news cycle. And I am fascinated by cultural aspects in this election cycle. Actually my recent politicized posts started with things that President Obama and The First Lady said in their DNC speeches.

      It is true that many of the things being said about Romney (many that you mentioned) are definitely inflammatory. The times that I have checked them out, they seem (at least to me) to be more smoke than fire. And even the accusations being made are things that seem to me to be easily politicized but not very cultural. For instance it might be significant that a traditional politician changes his position, especially if that traditional politician is a conservative/moderate in a blue state, but it does not seem that significant. That a business man who makes money trying help corporations improve, fires people and even has been known to fail at saving a company and must liquidate it… I’m thinking so what. That happens all the time. Plus it’s kinda boring. Corporations need help, people that buy them to try and save them have a vested interest and have risked capital. They have a right to make a profit on their risk. They do it by saving the company if possible and if it cannot be saved, they can still try and reduces their loses… it is just traditional business to me… easily politicized, but traditional. And Romney is a Mormon that believes what Mormon’s believe which is not what Baptists believe for the most part… It is interesting that he will be the first Mormon president, when/if he becomes president and that will be culturally significant. But JFK, the Catholic President stole most of that thunder. None of this traditional stuff inspires me to write a post on it. I don’t think that it has any real interesting cultural significance or even political significance, because being president is not being high priest. I’m much more interested in the presidents abilities to help the corporation of America get out of the trouble its in… which is really big trouble. I know that people are probably concluding that I’m not writing about Romney because I am for Romney. I don’t know what to say, but what I have already said… I’m not writing about him because nothing he has done, good or bad, has inspired a post.

      However, that being said, there seems to be many people who think I should write something on Romney. And I hear what you are saying about Reasons not to vote for Romney… So I am working on a post about Romney and I’ll try to get it up before the election.

      Thanks again for caring enough to write… and sorry about the sarcasm…

      Take care

      ks

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