Americans “Born Again” Under President Obama

Democrats, Other Religions, Politics — By on January 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Apparently, we are “born again” as Americans through the redemptive work of President Barack Obama. Left unanswered, however, was the question of righteousness. It is clear to me that President Obama, by his merely assuming the office of the president, has made all America righteous before the world. However, I am left wondering if righteousness is imputed on me personally through the redeeming work of Obama being elected to the presidency or if it is imparted on me only through participation in President Obama’s government?

The Music Manuscript of Faith, iTunes, does not make the righteousness question clear to me:



View Larger Image

smallbarackobamabornagain.jpg

Christ lived a perfect life, was tempted by Satan, confronted the
leading thinkers and rulers of his day, loved people and exhorted them
out of sin.  His blood stained the wooden cross upon which his hands
and feet were nailed.  A crown of thorns pierced his skull and his deep
thirst was hardly satiated by the vinegar they pushed in his face.  By
the power of God He rose from the dead in order to complete His plan of
redemption for those who believe.  All of these things Christ had to do
in order for us to be “born again.”  The metaphor is meaningful because
of this work. 

What work has President Obama done to justify his followers’ use of this deeply Christian metaphor? 



Tags: , ,
  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I’m not sure about your righteousness but this blog still sucks. There’s no focus here, no real driving personality put into any of these posts….except maybe the strange posts about the Kansas Senate race where your non-Kansasian cohort seems to have a strange obsession with proving other people are less Kansasian than they should be.
    It seems the only new idea posted here was the double post on lead standards in toys. Not exactly a topic that’s unblogworthy but not really followed up with real substance.
    It almost feels like this blog is being run as a homework assignment. What is Joe hiring interns at Culture 11 and this is how you’re going to impress him? You guys aren’t really trying here and it is still showing. The point isn’t to toss something up every other day, the point is to actually start a conversation and keep it going. I’m not going to ask you to descend into the comments but there should be a sense of continunity between posts… Of course there will be a difference in tone between a single-blogger model such as when Joe was running things and a multiple author model but there’s no ‘here’ here.
    Sure you can dismiss it as just me but it is pretty clear comments have been dropping off…even on posts that should (or used to) genderate a lot of discussion. I wouldn’t be surprised if your traffic and ad revenue (if you have any) have likewise fallen.

  • Dustin Steeve

    Boonton,
    I’m not going to “dismiss” your point. Quite the opposite. You feel strongly about this. You are a regular reader and contributor to this blog. So, let’s hear it. What do you want to see?
    Dustin

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Dustin,
    Thank you for taking my advice into consideration. I would suggest trying the following:
    Assuming the model here is for several regular authors to be be the main bloggers:
    1. Continuity with comments. Not all the time but I think if interesting ideas are raised in the comments they should spawn a follow up post addressing it. Basically there should be something like a conversation happening here rather than a monologue. That doesn’t mean the posts should necessarily address specific comments (it was somewhat unusual for Joe to do that) but it should seem like the author is aware of the comments, aware of the arguments and agreements.
    2. Some sparring between authors. Don’t make this a press release factory for the Typical Evangelical Opinion. Do you guys have any disagreements? How about it some different perspectives clashing rather than the same perspective from different voices?
    3. Try to push somewhere beyond the usual talking points “we think, they think” disputes. The “lead posts” are both good and bad. On the one hand you’re looking at an issue that’s been mostly ignored. On the other hand you’ve added little to it besides sarcasm. Yes gov’t regulations can be stupid. That’s was an old talking point back in the days of Dan Quayle. How do you think lead in toys should be addressed? More intelligent regulation? No regulation but reliance on lawsuits to deter companies (careful, that’s a trial lawyer friendly idea)? A anarchistic libertarian take, no regulation and no lawsuits…let private companies test and certify toys if the market wants to pay for it!?
    4. You need something different here and to be honest with you I can only toss ideas out. What I can tell you is you need to get from being 2-dimensional here to 3 dimensional. There’s probably a million sane and zany ways to do that and even more ways to try to do that but fail but you’re going to have to try something.
    In his ‘goodbye’ post Joe, I think, made a mistake in assuming blogs could not survive in an age of reader software that aggregates thousands of posts from hundreds of blogs. Yes people will read your blog with their reader software and move onto to other items but others will stay and become part of a community (and a community has its dissidents, free thinkers, iconoclasts etc. too). The aggregators are like those signs on an Interstate advertising a local attraction coming up in the next exit. The interestate may bring more people to the town than ever visited before but the town’s mayor must mayor to the town, not the highway.
    This may sound vague and perhaps others here can put it into words better but I sense most of the posts have been more about selling to the people buzzing by on the highway rather than the people who decided to get off for whatever reason and linger on Main Street a bit.

  • Dustin Steeve

    Boonton,
    I appreciate the thoughts and will share them with the rest of the team. These are some great suggestions, especially number one.
    In fact, that gives me an idea for a new post coming next week.
    Thanks again.
    Dustin

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Thanks Dustin,
    Now about the actual post you’ve written: Over on Pseudopolymath a similar post got me thinking about the the “Obama’s supporters think he is the Messiah” argument. Over hyping is a two sided coin. If you produced someone who said something like “Obama is the greatest thing ever, he will fix all the problems, we’ll all be happy forever for now on…” I’d dismiss the person as pretty immature. (Not always a bad thing, when we’re young we all go through phases where we idolize someone or something only to grow out of it. I wonder how many political campaigns would fall apart were it not for the fact that young people can get excited enough about someone to volunteer so much for them). But I’d also say the same thing about someone who said something like “Obama’s the antichrist, he has conned just about everyone, the world’s coming to an end now!” The latter, though, is pretty nasty and you can’t quite dismiss it as innocence or immaturity.
    So let’s agree that Obama-Messiah-Complex is real but that it comes in two flavors. One is people who attribute too much potential to Obama. The other are people who attribute too much evil to him. In fact, if you listen to some rightists there’s almost this sense that THEY are the ones who attribute Messiah like powers to Obama and their beef is their disappointed….think of stuff like “Look Obama’s elected and the market dropped 300 points anyway!” or “Obama’s elected and people still get murdered in the street”.
    I think OMC is more pronounced among the right than the left. Yes you can dig and find plenty of examples of cheesy Obama kitsch (my favorite were the coins that were essentially Obama’s face painted on a Kennedy half dollar…only out camped by the 9/11 coin that had the WTC towers ‘pop up’). But I still think OMC hits the right harder. On the left I’ve read and heard many people who are very happy over Obama’s election, many who think this is a breath of fresh air the country desperately needed but who are at the same time cautious. The phrase I’ve heard pop up is ‘cautiously optimistic’, which is a good vaccine against OMC. On the other side, though, OMC seems to hit pretty hard. Google “Obama antichrist” to see how silly it can get.
    What’s interesting is that Obama himself seems to be a master of keeping things low key. His promises are mostly modest and often couched with caution (it will get probably get worse before it gets better). He has kept the partisanship to a level that is very low. (Note how Joe Lieberman is still a chairman. Note also Rick Warren, the dinner that Obama had with notable conservative intellectuals (those not invited seem to be at greater risk of OMC)). It’s odd that such a plain and relatively uncontroversial approach could generate so much excitement on both sides.
    I think on the left and for Middle America (sorry, Obama’s got something like 80% approval now….for the time being America’s with the left and not the right), it was about something that was long overdue. Bush won in 2000 on a fluke. Clinton was pretty popular, the economy was good, the election was so close it came down to a few hundred votes in Florida. He was destined to be a one term blip and he and his advisors governed like that. Unfortunately 9/11 gave him a full 8 years and he was horrible. Some of it was policy but most of it was character. The lies, the arrogance (“I’m the decider!”)….that in your face “everything I’m doing is right” stance as everything went to hell.
    Bush did a lot of damage and I think only some of the right is starting to see that. A huge number of them bite their tongues and defended stuff they knew in their heart was wrong, perhaps out of a sense that they should be loyal. I honestly don’t know for sure. The voters saw their chance for fresh air and ran to it. While Bush is finally gone a lot of the pathology still lingers and it will take a lot of introspection for the right to really return to the mainstream of political life. In the meantime OMC is a tempting way to ignore the issue by pretending the election was the result of some supposedly mystical powers Obama holds over people (or variations on that theme like the belief that everyone voted for Obama for the historical novelty of having a black President or that it was one big media conspiracy).
    So sneer all you want at some OMC from the left. It’s actually very helpful. Mockery always helps people from getting carried away with themselves. Keep in mind, though, that OMC is more of a danger for you than me.

  • Look In The Mirro

    Boonton-
    I went to your blog & your last posts were 2 in November & 3 in October, and none had any comments what-so-ever. And, as you said above, there was no continuity, and “no focus …, no real driving personality put into any of these posts”.
    Perhaps you should apply your critique to your own blog before you run around criticizing others.
    Sheesh, what a hypocrite.

  • Look In The Mirror

    Boonton-
    I went to your blog & your last posts were 2 in November & 3 in October, and none had any comments what-so-ever. And, as you said above, there was no continuity, and “no focus …, no real driving personality put into any of these posts”.
    Perhaps you should apply your critique to your own blog before you run around criticizing others.
    Sheesh, what a hypocrite.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    went to your blog & your last posts were 2 in November & 3 in October, and none had any comments what-so-ever.
    Fair point, if you want this blog to end up like mine I can tell you exactly what to keep doing as well as what to stop. I don’t invest nearly as much time in my blog as I do commenting on other blogs. Such is life, there’s always going to be more blog commentors than bloggers. There’s a tradeoff between blogging and commenting. When you comment you engage in a lot of different points of view at a lot of different levels. When you blog you close some of that off and concentrate on developing your own voice. Both have their pros and cons but bloggers and commentors have a symbiotic relationship. I’m sure when Joe was blogging here a thought crossed his mind now and then that might be summed up as “I better get this right because I’d rather Boonton, Ex, Larry and the others take 20 comments to figure out my mistakes rather than 5!” A good blog is a conversation even if the blogger isn’t specifically responding to any particular commentor.
    When you go to the movies do you refrain from commenting on what you saw because Hollywood’s yet to buy your script or let you produce the next Batman film?

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    We simply live in a culture still saturated by Christianity, so most people have this vague (though mostly false) notion of what being “born again” means, and the Obama folks are merely using that to their advantage.
    Your post certainly highlights an important point. No one is going to see how devoid of any genuine meaning the “born again” metaphor becomes when applied to Obama because no one knows what it meant and in what context it was used originally.
    I’m actually optimistic about all this “Messiah talk.” Not only is it impossible for any mere mortal to live up to it (which is good news for that supposedly 20% of us that isn’t cool with radical liberalism posing as common sense and moderation), but that’s exactly the point! No mere mortal can BE the messiah, and yet it’s evident that nearly EVERYONE recognizes our intense need for one. This is, to my mind, a wonderful evangelistic starting point.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I think you overestimate how many Obama supporters are really of the “Messiah” mindset rather than simply being enthusastic. On the flip side, just as no mortal man can live up to “Messiah talk”, no mortal man can live up to the anti-Messiah talk of some anti-Obamaites. (For example, your post seems to imply that Obama’s election is some type of rejection of Christianity by voters) As you yourself point out, “born again” is being used as a metaphor here. When you use a metaphor you are by definition aware you are not using the phrase’s original meaning.

  • http://ateam.blogware.com David N.

    Boonton,
    Not to sound insulting or anything, but your comments tend to be pretty myopic. I purposefully ignored your discussion about the “Obama is antichrist” people and was not commenting on it in any way. I also didn’t overestimate how many people think Obama is a Messiah figure, as I didn’t claim to know how many such people there are. I also didn’t imply anything about rejecting Christianity (I was however making the perfectly warranted assumption that a good number of Obama supporters are either not Christian or “Christian” in name only). Lastly, born again was a metaphor in the first place, and now it’s simply being used in a wrong (and meaningless) way.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    If right wing suffers of Obama-Messiah-Complex were limited only to the ‘Obama = Antichrist’ fringe they wouldn’t be worth talking about. Unfortunately, the antichrist fringe is only the most dramatic group. A lot of otherwise respectable conservatives have wasted a lot of ink (or bits) and made themselves look very foolish with a lot of hysterical anti-Obama ranting. I suspect some of that will now subside since the urgency of the election has passed and claims of ‘radical liberalism’ are pretty hard to support. (Sorry, an $800B stimulus package with $300B in tax cuts hardly equals ‘radicalism’ in the post TARP world…but even before that those who asserted that returning to the Bush I/Clinton era tax tables was ‘socialism’ were communicating more about their own stability than saying anything relevant to Obama).

  • http://carl-my-thoughts.blogspot.com/2009/01/do-evangelicals-represent-church-of.html Carl Storhmeyer

    Interesting post, however I might add another perspective and that is someone of Obama’s character and charisma (whatever your political view, you have to admit he has loaded with charisma). Looking at his history, I would say there is little substance behind his charisma, but that is my opinion
    What I will state more emphatically is that Obama was made by Republicans and the Evangelicals in particular and NOT because conservative views, as true conservatism is a life of service (see: http://american-aquarium.blogspot.com/2008/12/conservatism-vs-capitalism.html )
    However Evangelicals have abandoned this principle of true conservatism and have often become capitalist thugs making others (such as myself) feel like losers because our life’s failures. So along comes Obama promising the World and people drink it up.
    Frankly Evangelicals and many Republicans have got an uphill battle until they grasp this, but based on my life experiences, I have very serious doubts here and if this is the case the true conservative movement will fade into history.
    See: http://carl-my-thoughts.blogspot.com/2009/01/do-evangelicals-represent-church-of.html

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    For the benefit of “Look In the Mirror”,
    file this under ‘more evidence of EO’s decline’.
    Dustin’s latest post said Obama was a wannabe baby killer. The result? All of ten comments, 4 of them mine and one of them spam for some other guy’s blog. Even tossing red meat into the ring produces ho-hums.
    Then again maybe the silence is due to a massive hushed awe at how much better things have gotten here. In that case you can consider my blog to be even greater in the awe that not only Americans but people from around the world have for it.

  • JillD

    Can we please stop commenting on this blog itself and stick to the content of the blog? For goodness’ sake, there are thousands of blogs out there and, if you don’t like this one, move on! Or is it just that you want to tear this one down and direct people to your own? Tacky.

  • JillD

    Can we please stop commenting on this blog itself and stick to the content of the blog? For goodness’ sake, there are thousands of blogs out there and, if you don’t like this one, move on! Or is it just that you want to tear this one down and direct people to your own? Tacky.

  • Kevin

    You’re just another liberal outlet for the obomba agitation! Liberalism isn’t synonmous with patriotism and never will be. Good luck trying to disquise your agenda!

  • Doug Gibson

    Finally somebody who admits that the phrase ‘born again’ is a metaphor. People who teach ‘once saved, always saved’ (also called ‘eternal security’) take it to mean a literal spiritual birth, as though the term ‘spiritual’ really meant ‘physical’. They ask ‘can a person be unborn’? They overlook that a person can be disinherited. Being born only suggests a biological relationship. In adoption, what really matters is the parent/child relationship that is not dependent on blood ties or procreation. An inheritance can be re-assigned by the testator to a more suitable heir.

  • Rev S M Conwell

    The writer of this blog is probably not saved anyway so he doesn’t care about President Obama or salvation. He needed a place to write and be heard so here he is. The bible teaches that we should respect our leaders and government. See (Romans 13:1-5.) No president or politician can completely do God’s will and serve the 300 million people in America. He has to concern himself with polls, big business and the money mongers. God, Christ and the early church were all socialist. That is the thing that Pres. Obama has articulated and been criticized the most for. Look up the term than read your Bible. Old and new testament. The redistribution of wealth (Acts 2) and remembering the least of your brothers (Matt 25:31-46) all are concepts that make us more like Christ. The Republicans lied to us and cost us billions in lives and treasure. That didn’t save us or redeem us. In fact the leaders claimed that an eye for an eye was the right way to go. The democrats are no better. Look to Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. Jeremiah Wright was right. Government is not God. When he condemned America for he sins against the people he was considered anti American. When they other side says the same things pointing to the current president they are profound. Wake up people.