“Barack Obama is an Absolute Moron”

I confess that I was truly shocked when someone I went to school with wrote a comment on something I posted on Facebook, which read as follows:

No since Barack is an absolute moron and possibly the most worthless president that ha been elected

It wasn't the spelling and lack of punctuation that bothered me, nor surprise at this person apparently being on a first-name basis with the president.

It was shock that someone would actually write that, someone I went to school with, would write something at once so insulting and so ridiculous.

Apparently I should not have been that surprised. A piece I saw today on Opposing Viewpoints suggests that hate speech about president Obama is on the rise on Facebook.

At the time, my first instinct had been to respond by saying that if the leader of a country, one who is well-educated and articulate, seems to you like a moron, then that probably just goes to show how hard it is for such a person to lead a country among the citizens of which there are people who are such morons that they would call an intelligent person a moron, in public, and think it makes them look smart.

In the end, I chose to reply somewhat more pointedly, focusing on the fact that casting a quick insult says nothing about the intelligence of the person insulted, but says a lot about the one doing the insulting.

What I want to comment on here is what the extent and pervasiveness of such vitriol tells us about the United States.

We are a country the vast majority of whose population self-identifies as Christian.

We are a country in which a great many people believe that the nation was founded on Christian values, and that departing from them is disastrous.

We are a country in which a surprisingly large number of people do not realize that hating even an enemy, if that's what they think Barack Obama is, would be completely antithetical to the previous two points.

We are a country in which there seems to be no awareness that Barack Obama is motivated in some of his views and policies by his own Christian faith, often drawing on texts that are in the blind spot of the so-called Religious Right.

We are a country in which people will happily demean the intelligence and mental competence of a president even though he is highly educated and even taught at one of the nation's top universities, and will not realize that, while the insults themselves run counter to the Bible's teaching, propagating such insults to such an extent that people start to believe them is essentially bearing false testimony, something even more serious from a Biblical perspective.

Perhaps it would be a good thing if the United States did indeed see a return to its Christian roots. But unless a very substantial number of Americans grasp that that would include loving neighbors, loving enemies, and not insulting even people who insult us… And here's how the Holman Christian Standard Bible renders Matthew 5:22:

But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Fool!' will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, 'You moron!' will be subject to hellfire.

There is a lot of lip service paid to Christianity and the Bible in the United States, and unfortunately most of it comes from people who don't really know enough about Christianity or the Bible to do it effectively.

Whether the president's policies are right or wrong, helpful or harmful, the best or worst we've seen in years – none of that is the point of this post. The point is the one I made to my former classmate: the throwing about of insults doesn't in fact tell us much about the one insulted, but they do tell us a great deal about those doing the insulting.

 

  • http://youtu.be/fJ1Z6hWzfsA Keika

    When the Monica Lewinsky story broke wide open and the Clinton’s did everything in their power to discredit her, Paula Jones and a number of other women, Bill had sexually assaulted; I pounded my desk wondering why oh why, I detested that man. One day while pounding on a blank sheet of paper, again thinking hateful thoughts against Clinton, I asked God simply…why did I hate this man? And God spoke to me by telling me to write out the word: “Forgive.” As I started to write, my ink gel pen stopped working with the first stroke of the letter F. The end.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Wilson/1355591760 Michael Wilson

    I agree that insulting people, even those you find incompetent and dangerous, is un-Christian and moron is gratuitous, he certainly no moron. However, technically someone is the most worthless president ever elected and Gerald Ford and Andrew Johnson are out of the running, since they were never elected. personbally, I never cared for Jackson over that Trail of Tears thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesdtabor James Daniel Tabor

    Thanks Jim. When I first saw your Tweet I thought, OMG no, not Jim…

  • angievandemerwe

    While I agree that personal attacks have grown virilent over the internet, is it because of the average person’s awareness, and knowledge about things that they didn’t have access to in the past, unless they were fully invested enough to investigate? Now, much information is spread by social networking. The question should be is it productive to spread political information through social media? It is if one adheres to the value of accountability in government. It is not, if one wants to promote efficiency in government. John Locke said that when property is at stake, people will engage in society. Isn’t that what we find over the healthcare debate, as taxes will increase and people are worried over what will be left after government takes from their paychecks? And Americans understand their paychecks as “private property”. Perhaps, Americans believe that anyone, including the President, is not above the law, when it comes to priviledge….though those in his camp promote advantaging the disadvantaged at the costs of others, and it won’t be those in power that pay the price!

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    I think your point is well taken. Even if we disagree strongly with the policies of our president, he still deserves our respect. By the way, if I were to go back through the archives of your blog would I find that you wrote a similarly impassioned plea when his predecessor was similarly denigrated?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I think I tended to steer clear of topics related to politics more in the past than I have been lately, so perhaps not – I honestly don’t remember whether I did or not. If you decide to search and find evidence one way or the other, please do let me know!

  • angievandemerwe

    One wonders with the stats on how many have become dependent on entitlements, whether, like in the past, the property owners (those we produced and made profit to promote prosperity in/to society) should be the only ones allowed to vote!! (altho those opposed to such a view would cry “Foul” based on the fact that humans were considered property, back then….
    But, then, many are on unemployment, not by choice, but by necessity as our financial crisis promoted by factors that weren’t based in “fair play”, but visions of re-distributing wealth, globlaization, tax bail outs, political rhetoric that promises without an ability or intent of following through. The culture of poverty cannot be solved by enabling the poor to continue in their lifestyle, dependent on government subsidies….and voting for those that promise to continue them!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Pieret/100000023960330 John Pieret

    … my first instinct had been to respond by saying that if the leader of a country, one who is well-educated and articulate, seems to you like a moron, then that probably just goes to show how hard it is for such a person to lead a country among the citizens of which there are people who are such morons that they would call an intelligent person a moron, in public, and think it makes them look smart.
    Maybe it’s just me, but I think you should have gone with your first instinct. Sometimes we have to call out the morons.

  • Gais25

    I wish more than anything that OBAMA   and remember his name is “Barack “Hussein” Obama—-So much like SADDAM “Hussein” and “OSAMA” the murderer of the people of the World Trade Center.  How is God’s name could we AMERICANS EVER elect a person like him?  He actually thinks he is the GOD ALMIGHTY—Worse than any terror organization in the world—We have as our President.  May 4 yrs pass without any more horror and May he quickly get out of our sights and minds forev er!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I am going to assume that the comment above is a spoof and not actual slander or the rantings of someone who is mentally ill. Anyone who thinks that similarities of names are relevant to a person’s character would have to be either so irrational or so bigotted that I must hold out the hope that you are not someone whose mind is so twisted by evil as to view things this way and then consider those less bigotted than yourself to be the ones who are megalomaniacal and evil.

  • Susan Burns

    President Obama is not a moron but to walk the parade route is a moronic thing to do. I held my breath. He has no right to risk his life now. There are so many haters like Gais25    who despise the President that I fear for his safety. Perhaps walking the parade route was the proper thing to do but I think it was moronic.

  • Stlkvandyke

    While I do not agree with many of President Obama’s policies, and I did not vote for him, I am told by God’s Word to submit to governing authorities. He is my president, and there is no authority on earth that is put in place without God’s permission. With respect, I will say this- President Obama has the most difficult job in the world- the leader of the free world. It takes guts to want to be the leader of the free world and take on the pressures of that task, whether you have the leadership skills or not. I pray for our president, our nation and our world. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.anthony.7359447 Michael Anthony

    Excuse me for a moment…First Obama is a Moronic and Secondly, because someone says that does not mean that are in danger of hellfire! The Only Fools that will have their souls in Hell and then the Lake of Fire are those who simply DO NOT Believe the Gospel: that Christ Jesus Died for our sins, was buried and Rose again the Third day!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I humbly suggest that you read the New Testament and not simply make things up and call it Christianity.

  • JB

    Insults usually come from frustration. Frustration in this case about the path our country is on. I share that frustration but choose to keep the insults to myself. Our president is not a leader, his policies are expanding government entitlements and the peoples dependency on government. Asking congress for $3.7B, not to control the border which so desperately needs to be done, but to basically import poverty and more people dependent on government. This and other government expanding policies, along with all the baby boomers retiring and fewer jobs is placing all the freedoms we all have in this country in jeopardy. That along with our politicians have forgotten they are public servants not royalty. Have we forgotten what the words GOD and Country mean? Seems like we are a country more interested in what is on Dancing with the Stars, than GOD and Country. That is the only reason we could have elected our current president, we have forgotten what is truly important and what made this country strong and sustains our freedoms. GOD help us all!


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