Morality is not determined by the church you attend nor the faith you embrace. It is determined by the quality of your character and the positive impact you have on those you meet along your journey
In my opinion President Obama's mother had a very balanced, healthy, thoughful, and realistic approach to religion. It is the only sane approach.However, her approach would not exclude his attending church services periodically. Nor, would it exclude using Christian language in a metaphorical sense.To judge President Obama's "faith" is an impossible endeavor. However, his actions and life show a wonderful heart.
No, from the way he treats other people, especially the respect he shows to other nations, I think he does believe in God and the tenets of all world religions, which is the Golden Rule. I think he has been forced into this box by the GOP and the warmongers in the Democratic Party, which allows him to approve the drone strikes which are killing too many people. The great advantage he has over the fundies is that he HAS been exposed to so many different religions, and has taken the good from all of them. The fundies are so afraid they might be wrong, that they cling to their leaders like sheep, unaware that the leaders are in fact wolves ready to devour them. President Obama is not so easily led astray.
Sorry Gryphen, but you ARE wrong on this one. I believe our president is one of the smartest men in the world, but even HE could not have the clairvoyance to speak about "the beauty of the cross" and "the humbling knowledge of Christ's ultimate sacrifice" WAY back when he was "just" a community organizer- because it would be "politically expedient". Just face it- some people have faith. Let it go!
The man sits in the same pew in the same church every Sunday for 20 years and you call him a fake?
I respect the president more because he does not wear his religion on his sleeve. He feels comfortable with people of all faiths - even those who do not believe in God. I am sick to death of the religious right who are convinced that their god is the only one. Such religious intolerance has been the cause of most of the wars and strife in the world.Once again, President Obama makes me proud.
Nope, Sorry Gryphen.Twenty years at his church in Chicago? No one does that even for political expediency. He's a christian and he tends to walk the walk. He's just an open minded, true christian who doesn't sit on dogma and judgement. If there had been more around like that when I was growing up---I might not be an atheist. Then again--it wouldn't have mattered. I always want to see the science.
I agree. The President seems too pragmatic a person to be overly-religious, and that is fine by me.
No wonder our President is so capable of understanding and patience. His mother was educated & gave him her time & made sure he was aware of the teachings of history. He is so well rounded and open to people of all beliefs.The religious right are so full of vitriol that they are choking the god out of their religion.I was raised Catholic and at age 12 was sure I would be a nun. Today I'm not a practicing Catholic. The church & the right wing of it has become an abomination to what Jesus would do.The bishops & their hypocritical stand on sex & contraception after the world knows of their criminal cover-up of assaults on our children,(one of my sons was a victim of a priest at 7 yrs old)! The vatican is hiding plenty of scandal & hopefully will be outed for the criminals they really are.Thanks for the post Gryphen.
I often say: I had the unusually good fortune of being raised a 3rd-generation atheist thank God!
I disagree. I think that when he found the church, through Michelle, he found a warm supportive community of African-Americans that he had never experienced, having grown up in a white world with no church relationship. I think he moved from agnosticism to believing that there really might be something more because of the faith of the people he met there, to finally believing in the message of Christ. Not the "born again" message, but the real message to love your neighbor as yourself. I think he connects with people so well because he really has incorporated this message and it shows in many of his policies (DADT, immigration, ACA). This message also came to him from his mother, but I think the church gave him another source of support for his political beliefs.
I agree with you, Anon at 4:49 am. And I enjoy seeing photos of the Obama family going to church in Washington. President Obama is not the fundamentalist evangelical faux-Christian that we hear so much about today; he is more typical of the traditional mainstream Protestant kind of Christian. Nothing wrong there. I also think that he benefitted from his mother's anthropological distanced interest in religion. Nothing wrong there either.
I agree. He was raised with the knowledge of all religions - so that he eventually could choose which one fit most with his view. I am happy, his mother was so open-minded. She definitely succeeded with what she tried to instill in himI tried to do the same with our daughter. She got NO organized religious indoctrination, but she was presented with all different religions. For a while, she dabbled in Wiccanism, she went to several different church denominations, and right now (again), she is simply 'spiritual' - which is what I am, too.
There's a vast world of difference between being religious and being spiritual.Religious = narrowness, confinementSpiritual = the expansive awareness of the Divine universe and its truths that are greater than what religion offersHow fortunate for Barack Obama that his mother was able to allow him to learn spiritual truths beyond the narrow confines of religion.And now how fortunate for us that President Obama is able to show us how his leadership and daily actions are intertwined with his spiritual understandings. These understandings are not just lip-service. They are now part of his DNA.
I think our President is one of the very rare men with a truly open mind. Religious faith is by definition a closed system of taught belief. Open, unfettered by conclusions, those whose minds and hearts encompass all people and myriad possibilities can wander freely in wonder.Only such a mind, a wide open one,unbound by dogma, can access and process intuitive input as well as logical reasoning, can consider and wonder without automatic pigeon-holing or interpreting from pre-packaged answers. It is the most effective mind because it can freely, fully engage. It accepts others and respects their beliefs, truly a universal mind.I'm still astonished we actually elected such a man as our President.
Me, too. Gawd, Mawd, we sure dodged one deadly bullet.
I agree with the posts here.....there is a reason Obama sees the big picture, his mother exposed him to the world when he was young. She taught him that being different wasn't wrong or scarey, it was something to be embraced and explored. She was a scientist and viewed religion thru those eyes, how amazing this woman was for her time. As a grown man he decides along with his wife, how they will raise their children...it is so obvious this man has tremendous faith, I doubt it only comes from 1 place.
Political expediency? I think you really denigrate him by saying that, Gryphen. Basically, you are accusing him of shilling to his base. No matter how much you may want President Obama to be an atheist, no one ever knows what is truly in the heart of another. We get hints by how a person behaves, but that is about it.As for me, being the anti-organized religion person that I am, I define a Christian as someone who follows the teaching of Christ and tries to follow his two most important rules: " 'Vengence is mine,' saith the Lord" and "Above all else, love one another." Whether one believe Christ is the Son of God or not, I think following those rules makes a person a "Christian."
No- I read Dreams of My Father, and PBO sought a place to "worship".I, too, have studied all the religions, and believe in "God" and find that there is commonality in all of them. Not only did I study, but I attended many religious services. The dogma/man's interpretation is the "problem" with me, so I don't "belong" to one. PBO's background gives him the ability and insight to be inclusive. He can have various services for various religious groups (at the WH) and be comfortable. As a country of many religious beliefs, we really really lucked out with PBO.
Gryphen,sometimes its better not to say things.Please don't give the nutjobs fodder to use against our President.You and I may believe that religion is a huge hoax (power hungry men took over the cult of Jesus worshippers and used it to subjugate women and control the masses and acquire more wealth.)Please do not start the rumour that President Obama does not believe.It will only add more fuel to the "He's not one of us,he's a Muslim,he's a liar" meme. Sorry Gryphen,but I wish you had not posted that thought.
Agreed..I am totally shocked to read Gryph's words here.
I have always thought so too Gryphen. Two reasons, mainly.1. If you're not brought up believing in god(s) it's highly unlikely you would feel the need to start. Belief in god(s) is brainwashed into religious families from birth but there's no more reason to believe in the Christian god than a bunch of Norse gods or ancient Egyptian gods, and everyone knows those are bunk. Obama is way too smart, and the quote you posted makes it clear that he sees the exact equivalence.2. It's an absolute fact that no one any time soon will be elected as US president if they don't at least pay lip service to going to church and believing in god. Period. Obama is smart enough to know that, too.
My point exactly.
You are both wrong. I am an atheist and have been since I was 9 (am now 54). I can tell the difference between President Obama's faith and those in the religious right. It's the same difference that my best friend from grade school has, the one who travels to foreign countries and teaches people how to grow food instead of selling religion. She has that same quiet, deep faith that does not need airing all the time.Both of us chose different paths in our lives, mine is secular and her's is one of faith. Both of us do good works, love our families, and cherish our similarities and differences. Wish all of humanity could do the same.
Einstein believed in God and/or Universal Intelligence. People of ancient times, had to frame things in other ways, therefore, the superstitions, rituals, and various mythologies. I wasn't raised in a religion, my parents let us kids do our own search. I am very cynical, and do a lot of research; dabbled in everything from the occult to Catholicism to Hinduism, Buddhism, Darwinism...I studied out of curiosity; why so many religions? I have had experiences with entities from "the other side" or what can be referred to as angels..(all good! :-).. Whether you believe in "God" or not, there is another dimension occupying another frequency. I don't belong to a religious organization. Neither did Jesus Christ; so belonging to an organization doesn't make one spiritual, but finding like-minded people can be a source of refreshment and give people a structure to live by. Some churches do a lot of good work in the community: soup kitchens, free clinics, etc. because they take the basics of loving everyone to heart, and that we are all one.
Anon 8:37am I agree with you. I sense a deep spiritual core from which he operates. Whether he is "Christian", "Buddhist", "Sufi", or whatever, the spiritual transcends the details of religion. Thomas Merton, Christian monk and mystic, found he had much in common with Zen Buddhist monks. That is what Mr. Obama apparently learned from his mother. The name put to it fairly unimportant.
I KNOW you are wrong about this one. An old friend of mine who was a minister in Chicago disputes you. That friend knew Barack Obama when Obama was a community organizer. That friend told me about Obama then as the embodiment of Christianity as it is meant to be practiced. Obama's religious expression is the same one you, Gryphen, occasionally praise as being right, such as embodied in Mr. Rogers. That is before you lump all Christians together, including Mr. Rogers, for bashing. You validate the crazies when you do that. I said I was not going to even read your religion posts any more but could not pass this one up because I know the answer. Our president's governing reflects what Christianiy is really supposed to be about. AND he shoves it down no one's throat.
It has gotten so bad, we don't even recognize it anymore.
Elizabeth, some of us do still recognize it.Case in point for you. Secular Franciscan Jim Flickinger, successful Michigan attorney, gave up his lucrative practice and his home in order to found Amazon Relief, providing food, shelter, and medical care, initially to lepers in the Amazon, and then to anyone in need.Christians like this don't get any press. Go figure. But they are proof that there are real Christians out there, acting all Christ-like, and getting no recognition because they also embrace the Christian virtue of humility and self-effacement.So please see the big picture. It needs to get out there.
I think obama probably believes in a higher power, but he's way too smart to think that a dude died on the cross and came back to life 3 days later. I'm sure he sees right through that. as I typed that I am once again struck that people can actually believe that.
I've read some interesting history about the dying on the cross part. - It was staged. - Jesus was a spiritual master and had a message for the people, as did Buddha and many more Saints etc. - HOWEVER, if he was a poor carpenter why did he have a tomb? That was reserved for the elite aristocrats. - There is evidence, that people conspired to help him escape. In the Bible, he appears to his apostles saying he is alive... haha, he really was! The guards were given drugs in their wine, and the stone was rolled away so he could escape. He was "crucified" the day before the Sabbath. This was important, because it was the Jewish custom to take down the crosses by midnight prior. This helped Jesus from actually dying if he had to hang there all night. - He and Mary Magdalene - other sources point to them having a relationship/marriage - went to France, there is evidence that they continued their work there. Too long to get into here.
As you were happily eating your French freedom fries this Independence Day, the armchair patriots of the Republican Party via their conservative media outlets were stewing in a marinade of right wing lies about your President. The usual suspects — Karl Rove and Breitbart’s site — are involved. They kicked off the celebration of our independence by lying on Saturday.Sure, this is nothing new, but this time around the lie was so blatant, so horrifically obvious, that it should be noted for it tells us something important about the Republican Party and its followers.The conservatives have decided that the President is spending July 4th in Paris, France to raise money for his campaign. They are outraged, I tell you! OUTRAGED!What kind of Muslim Kenyan Socialist spends 4th of July in Paris!? Oh, well, yeah. Okay. It kinda makes sense if you believe everything they say. And therein lies the rub.Here’s Ezra Klein sitting in for Rachel Maddow and detailing the latest big right wing lie:http://www.politicususa.com/conservatives-spend-july-4th-weekend-lying-president-obama.html
I tend to think agree with your thinking on this, Gryphen. He may have gone to church(es) with his mother when he was young and now sits in church with Michelle and his family, but how much church did he attend in those intervening years? My guess is none. I think the reason he attends church is for the same reason most men do - it keeps the women in the house happy. Are you going to tell them 'no'? I wouldn't try it.Religious people have such a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that a person can grow up to be a reasonable, intelligent and compassionate adult and god has nothing to do with it. I don't think Barack Obama grew up to be the person he is because he sat in church and tried to follow the dictates of some god - it has much more to do with his being raised by reasonable, intelligent and compassionate women (his mother and grandmother) from whom he learned by example.To quote what a wise man once said - "Morality is not determined by the church you attend nor the faith you embrace. It is determined by the quality of your character and the positive impact you have on those you meet along your journey."
President Obama celebrates the 4th of July and all of the great things that make our country, America the Beautiful.Here is Barack Obama’s America the Beautiful with soundtrack provided by Keb Mo:http://www.politicususa.com/real-american-barack-obama-celebrates-america-beautiful.html
President Barack Obama gave an unusually personal speech about his religious faith on Thursday, saying that "it is the biblical injunction to serve the least of these that keeps me going and keeps me from being overwhelmed," in address to a prayer breakfast in Washington."My Christian faith has been sustaining for me over the last couple of years and even more so when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time," the president said Thursday, referring to his wife. "We are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but that we are true to our conscience and true to our God.""When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, I ask him to give me the strength to do right by our country and our people," Obama said later. "And when I go to bed at night, I wait on the Lord and I ask him to forgive me my sins and to look after my family and to make me an instrument of the Lord.""Faith reminds me that in spite of being one very imperfect man I can still help whoever I can, however I can, wherever I can for as long as I can," Obama said of the first kind of prayer, "and that somehow God will buttress these efforts.""The second recurring theme in my prayer is a prayer for humility," Obama said later. "God answered the prayer early on by having me marry Michelle.""The challenge is to balance this uncertainty and humility with a need to fight for deeply held convictions," he continued. "I pray for this wisdom very day. I pray for God to show me and all us the limits of our understanding."http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/03/obama-to-deliver-major-speech-on-personal-faith-white-house-official-says/
President Barack Obama gave an unusually personal speech about his religious faith on Thursday, saying that "it is the biblical injunction to serve the least of these that keeps me going and keeps me from being overwhelmed," in address to a prayer breakfast in Washington.The speech, delivered at the National Prayer Breakfast, comes on the heels of public opinion surveys that show only a minority of Americans know that Obama is a Christian and that a growing number believe he's a Muslim."My Christian faith has been sustaining for me over the last couple of years and even more so when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time," the president said Thursday, referring to his wife. "We are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but that we are true to our conscience and true to our God.""When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, I ask him to give me the strength to do right by our country and our people," Obama said later. "And when I go to bed at night, I wait on the Lord and I ask him to forgive me my sins and to look after my family and to make me an instrument of the Lord.""Faith reminds me that in spite of being one very imperfect man I can still help whoever I can, however I can, wherever I can for as long as I can," Obama said of the first kind of prayer, "and that somehow God will buttress these efforts.""The second recurring theme in my prayer is a prayer for humility," Obama said later. "God answered the prayer early on by having me marry Michelle.""The challenge is to balance this uncertainty and humility with a need to fight for deeply held convictions," he continued. "I pray for this wisdom very day. I pray for God to show me and all us the limits of our understanding."With regard to his third kind of prayer, Obama said the recurring theme "is that I might walk closer to God and make that walk my first and most important walk."
Thanks, Gryphen. His mother was a truly enlightened woman, and I admire how she raised her son. It's more from his actions than his words where we see his true character. The Golden Rule is what we taught our kids, and we purposely chose not to raise them in any religion. Whatever spiritual path they choose, I'll have to accept, knowing we did our best to make sure the decision was theirs to make, and not from a faith they were "born into" or any decisions made by us.
Yes, you're wrong. A person can be both intelligent and religious.One thing I'd say to you, Gryphen. "Your God is too small." Your many religious posts seem to indicate a narrow definition of the divine, as dictated by poorly-education fundamentalists. There's so much more, but you have to seek it out. President Barack Obama has, and he found the truth.
I believe his faith is real. It is consistent with both his words and deeds over a period of years. (Before someone takes offense, I wish to agree that one certainly does not need to be Christian to do good works, but there's more to it with him than that.)Perhaps, Gryphen, you do not see it because you do not wish to see it, or, not having faith yourself, cannot fairly identify it when it is in front of you. If you are looking for faith in the way it appears in fundamentalist churches, you will not find that in him. I believe you will find true, thoughtful, Christianity, though.The Reverend Wright belongs to the United Church of Christ, an open and affirming church that believes in social justice and does not expect its attendees to check their brains at the door. Many denominations and believers do not find Christianity and science incompatible. For example, I believe in creation and evolution, and have found no compelling logical argument that precludes my belief in both. Jesse, please consider following Obama's lead and being a bit more open minded and respectful of religious views that are different from your own.
Love your blog Gryphen, but I think it is kind of fucked up to suggest that someone does not have the faith he claims to have, when his behavior and comments seem to be consistent with the notion that he does. You seem to support our President, but I would have trouble supporting someone who would speak so passionately and in such great detail about his faith if it were all fake and done for the sake of politics. I have never been a religious person, but I do have respect for friends' religious beliefs and would never suggest they were not genuine. How rude!
Don't feed the trolls! It just goes directly to their thighs.