Monday, February 11, 2008

Obama speech on religion and politics

Very interesting (if long) read, about the place of religion in politics.

I especially like the end part where he talks about abortion and how not all people who are prolife are anti-women...I also like when he talks about how your views must appeal to a broader base and not just your own religious group, even if they are based on religious beliefs. some very intellegent and nuanced arguments here.

He (still) has my vote. And I live in PA, which in this primary may be a state that might actually make a difference for once! (unilke every previous primary I've been in)

ETA: Here's a quote:
Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

This may be difficult for those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of the possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It insists on the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God's edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one's life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime; to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.


  1. I like the fact that this is from 2006 - BEFORE he was running for president.

  2. Lubab No More has a more than 70 comment post on Obama. While you say that Obama has your vote consider his association with the Nation of Islam, documented in Debbie Schlussel and Israel Matzav.

    You might also want to look at the following from Confederate Yankee:

    "So what do we have in the Obamas? Barack Obama has, in less than one term, established himself as the Democrat with the most liberal voting record in the Senate. More liberal than Harry Reid. More liberal than Barbara Boxer. More liberal than Dick Durbin. He has, in his short career, established himself as the most extremist Democratic Senator. He speaks mightily and often of "change," but is America ready for the radical progressive, socialist agenda his record suggests, and that his campaign avoids mentioning? Based purely on his track record, he seems too liberal to lead France, much less represent the greater population of the United States.

    Michelle Obama has been mostly out of the limelight compared to the other spouse of the candidate in contention, but her advice to her husband to run with his heart—"Feel -- don't think!"—is terrifying advice to give a man who would have nuclear weapons under his control when the next terror attack takes place on American soil, and eventuality which one day will occur, and one that could quite possibly occur during the next presidency.

    As Bill Whittle noted in Tribes, feeling, caring people such as Obama are great to be around when things are going swimmingly, but as we saw when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and Kathleen Blanco melted in her role as chief executive of Louisiana, you do not want them in charge when the crap hits the fan.

    Barack Obama has never faced a true crisis. He has never faced calamity. His character, judgment under pressure, and strength in a crisis have never been tested. He is woefully inexperienced in a leadership role. All Barack Obama has is his emotions... or at least, that is all he has shown us, and what his wife advises him to show.

    Perhaps he is, down deep, made of sterner stuff. But he has not shown it. He instead issues threats against nuclear-armed states, while promising to lose the war in Iraq as recently as just days ago.

    He promises the " audacity of hope" because the paucity of his substance is so revealing. Without his brilliant gifts as a motivating speaker, he has little. As the Bard might say, Obama is "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

    We can do better than a candidate that excels only at oratory, and who would be shell-shocked as one of the most unqualified presidents this nation has ever known.

    We deserve better.

    We can do better.

    Yes, we can."

    Ichabod Chrain

  3. dude, I don't think he is liberal enough. And the fact that he is so liberal is WHY i like him.

    And what is this association? Was his dad nation of islam? Because he is christian...and um dude, I would totally vote for someone who is islam, so I don't know what the big deal anyways. Your entire post is republican racist propoganda. Thanks for that.

  4. AE,
    If you think the Nation of Islam is some benign organization, you might want to look into their history.

    What's racist about criticizing a Balck man for being too liberal? The quote doesn't disparage Obama because of his race, it disparages his politics. Besides, the left criticizes Condi and criticized Janice Rogers Brown Clarence Thomas for being too conservative. Do you feel they're being racist in doing so?

  5. he's not part of the nation of islam, only one crazy person claims that. If that's your only argument against him, then you don't even have one.

  6. Hi,

    I am new to the blog and wanted to respond to what I have read, but it is seriously really long. Is there a way I can e-mail you rather than posting on the blog? If not, then I will try to cut it down, but I am in law school were we are taught to be word-y so no promises :)



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