Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Barak Obama and the Conservative Soul


I'm not sure if Barak Obama is ready to be President -- but then as he himself said on radio the other night -- is any one really prepared. He's young, bright, charismatic, and knows how to talk about faith in a way that is both appealing and genuine. He's gentle and moderate in tone.

Andrew Sullivan, the gay Catholic Conservative, and author of the Conservative Soul -- a book I've yet to read -- speaks highly of Obama and the possibility that he is the one who might lead the moderate and faithful out of the wilderness into the Democratic Party. As the GOP more and more becomes dominated by a narrow -- Christianism is the word Sullivan likes to use -- where do the moderate and faithful go? Democrats until recently have been uncomfortable with faith talk, and yet Obama gives us an alternative.

Sullivan makes note of an interview with Obama that speaks of the importance of faith and also defines faith in less than absolutist terms. It's a statement worthy hearing and taking note of:

"I think this is the historical moment we're in — we have come to define religion in absolutist, fundamentalist terms. So to be a believer is to be a fundamentalist in some fashion. And I guess what I was trying to describe is a faith that admits doubt, and uncertainty, and mystery. Because, ultimately, I think that's how most people understand their faith. In fact, it's not faith if you're absolutely certain. There's a leap that we all take, and, when you admit that doubt publicly, it's a form of testimony."


Yes, it's important to distinguish between absolutist religion and faith -- that sense of mystery is key! I'm looking forward to hearing more from this young man -- oh well, he's only 4 years younger than me! But he is a voice for a future that hopefully will transcend the divisions of the present time.

1 comment:

Danny said...

I'm about 2/3 of the way through Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope. It's a very open, frank book, which makes it a refreshing read. I love that Obama is honest about his own inexperience and the good luck he's had so far in politics. At times he does present himself as one who still has much to learn, but then, our current president thinks he knows everything, so maybe that's a good thing... I also have much to learn, but one thing I do know, if Obama were running for president, he'd get my vote.