In a recent New Yorker article by David Remnick, he discusses Barack Obama and says the following:
… During the campaign, Obama embodied novelty and a broader American coalition, and everything we heard about his temperament — as a community organizer in Chicago, as a president of the Harvard Law Review, as a legislator, as a campaigner — spoke of someone who, in contrast to the outgoing, faith-based President, possessed a gift for rational judgment and principled compromise…
I’ll admit: I’m surprised to see that — a contrast between being faith-based and possessing rational judgment.
William Lobdell explains his take on it. I think he veers off course toward the end:
I don’t know about Bono. But we already know plenty about what Warren believes. I can’t think of any rational reason to oppose gay marriage: Only homophobia and the Bible, neither of which are convincing or worth taking seriously.
The assumption is that President Bush is irrational and unwilling to compromise because of his faith. And the logical next step is to conclude deeply religious Christians don’t usually possess a “gift for rational judgment.” A zillion Christians possess that gift. U2 singer Bono is a Christian and pretty rational. So is Pastor Rick Warren or, for that matter, Obama.
Obama? I’d like to think he’s rational. (Of course, I also harbor secret thoughts that he’s only Christian for political reasons and that he doesn’t buy into the Virgin Birth, Resurrection, etc…)
Is it possible to be both religious and rational?
Can you call someone rational when they follow faith on Sunday mornings and follow evidence the rest of the week?