Saturday, August 27, 2005

my american prayer...

Okay, I'm about to be political. At the end of the day, the one issue I care most about is life. I'm pro-life; and for better or worse, I'm a one issue voter. But I do like Obama. He seems like a nice guy. A talented guy. An inspiring guy. And as a Christian, I am sympathetic to many positions of the secular left in America.


But honestly, I think this video is kind of horrifying. First of all what is "American Prayer"? And once we've sorted out what it is categorically, what is THE American Prayer that they keep singing about? (And what is the "change" they keep touting on their placards? Obviously change can be good or bad...) Secondly, what is the "church you can't see"? America? God have mercy on us. I like America as much as the next guy. I'm profoundly grateful for having been born here, etc. But in no sense is it "a church" -- let alone "the church". Nor is it even in any sense church-like. Nor will Obama make it such, nor should he. I have always found the civic religiosity of (conservative) middle-American Protestantism to be revolting and dangerous. Its bizarre, and no less revolting and dangerous, to see it now being co-opted by the left. Also, I find it disturbing that Obama is seldom (ever?) shown in this video as a live person. Instead we just get a kind of granular, Chairman Mao-like visage of Obama waved at us from time to time – as though Obama were an abstraction, a spiritual ideal destined ever to remain slightly out of focus, just beyond the horizon of tangibility, distant, but ever smiling and benevolent – he is the immaterial force that inspires this in-gathering (this “ekklesia” if you will) of Americans in a communion of faith, hope, and love. He’s the loving power that inspires Forest Whitaker to gaze into heaven (expecting to see Obama?) and put his hand over his heart - the One, perhaps, implicitly who has gotten "to the top of the mountain" and will now tell us what he sees. And its hard to forget the fact, looking at the image toward the end of this video of the pregnant couple smiling at one another over the woman's womb, that the policy of Obama and his party is to ensure this woman's "right" to root-out and destroy the human life inside of her, ostensibly the source of this couple's joy.


By all means vote for Obama if you like. America could certainly do much worse. But vote for him because he’s a sensible guy with a sensible policy platform. Not because his election will align the planets and inaugurate the Age of Aquarius. This Obama messianism really frightens me.