Barack Obama, Messiah?

Several observers have noted that in both his rhetoric and in the zeal he inspires in his supporters, Barack Obama is being presented as a  Messiah. Consider these lines from his speeches:

“We are the hope of the future.” We can “remake this world as it should be.”      

We can become “a hymn that will heal this nation, repair this world, and make this time different than all the rest.”

  “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Similarly, people are putting their “hope” in him.  They are “inspired” by him.  He is “charismatic.”  Notice the religious terminology.I like Obama and far prefer him to Hillary Clinton.  But in a secularist culture–something rare and unnatural in the history of humanity–religious impulses, long suppressed, can lie just under the surface and, with the right catalyst can come roaring back into the void. The old pagan model–revived under Fascism– of a divinized ruler in a divinized state may be the default position in human governments.I guess people who think all religions are essentially the same and equally valid  might see this messianic outbreak as a good thing, but Christians cannot.  (Contemplate again the skull of Valentine, who refused to accept the Roman pantheon and Caesar as god at the cost of his life.)    

UPDATE:  And now people at Obama rallies are getting  slain in the spirit.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Manxman

    British essayist Walter Savage Landor wrote, “When little men cast long shadows, it is a sign that the sun is setting.”

  • Manxman

    British essayist Walter Savage Landor wrote, “When little men cast long shadows, it is a sign that the sun is setting.”

  • Eric

    Obamamannia is something to behold. I went to my first DFL Caucus to vote for him in their binding straw poll. It was a sad day after so many years as a Republican foot soldier. The reaction was amazing when they announced the ballot totals, 209 to Ms. Clinton’s 54. People got up and danced. I got up and left when the Kucinich supporter started reading a resolution to indite Cheney.

    Obamamania is no more a messianic then Republican Reagan mania. How may times have the Republican candidates invoked the NAME. How many debates have been at the Reagan Shrine, I mean library. Many Presidents through out our History have been treated this way.

    Reagan was a great president. I was 16 when he left the presidency. I thought he was a great man and had been awed by his rhetoric and power to inspire. Reagen made me a pasionate Republican, until W unmade me.

    Reagan is dead and moldering in the grave. Obama is alive. That fact alone gives Republican’s shivers.

    Quick disclaimer. If the MN Republican caucus straw poll had been binding; I would have probably gone their to support McCain, just like I did in 2000.

  • Eric

    Obamamannia is something to behold. I went to my first DFL Caucus to vote for him in their binding straw poll. It was a sad day after so many years as a Republican foot soldier. The reaction was amazing when they announced the ballot totals, 209 to Ms. Clinton’s 54. People got up and danced. I got up and left when the Kucinich supporter started reading a resolution to indite Cheney.

    Obamamania is no more a messianic then Republican Reagan mania. How may times have the Republican candidates invoked the NAME. How many debates have been at the Reagan Shrine, I mean library. Many Presidents through out our History have been treated this way.

    Reagan was a great president. I was 16 when he left the presidency. I thought he was a great man and had been awed by his rhetoric and power to inspire. Reagen made me a pasionate Republican, until W unmade me.

    Reagan is dead and moldering in the grave. Obama is alive. That fact alone gives Republican’s shivers.

    Quick disclaimer. If the MN Republican caucus straw poll had been binding; I would have probably gone their to support McCain, just like I did in 2000.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    A major difference between Reagan and Obama is that Reagan actually had concrete proposals to talk about.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    A major difference between Reagan and Obama is that Reagan actually had concrete proposals to talk about.

  • Manxman

    Lars,

    As Krauthammer wrote, Obama doesn’t have much of a paper trail, but what he does have is horrible.

    From the World Mag blog site yesterday -

    The Senate will vote as soon as today on a bill that, if passed, would place a global tax on the United States costing $845 billion over 13 years. The “Global Poverty Act,” which is sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama, would commit the United States to spending 0.7 percent of its gross national product on foreign aid.

    The bill, which is item number four on the committee’s business meeting agenda, passed the House by a voice vote last year because most members didn’t realize what was in it. Congressional sponsors have been careful not to calculate the amount of foreign aid spending that it would require. According to the website of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, no hearings have been held on the Obama bill in that body.

    A release from the Obama Senate office about the bill declares, “In 2000, the U.S. joined more than 180 countries at the United Nations Millennium Summit and vowed to reduce global poverty by 2015. We are halfway towards this deadline, and it is time the United States makes it a priority of our foreign policy to meet this goal and help those who are struggling day to day.”

    Obama’s messianic vision obviously is to extend America’s dysfunctional welfare state to the whole world.

  • Manxman

    Lars,

    As Krauthammer wrote, Obama doesn’t have much of a paper trail, but what he does have is horrible.

    From the World Mag blog site yesterday -

    The Senate will vote as soon as today on a bill that, if passed, would place a global tax on the United States costing $845 billion over 13 years. The “Global Poverty Act,” which is sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama, would commit the United States to spending 0.7 percent of its gross national product on foreign aid.

    The bill, which is item number four on the committee’s business meeting agenda, passed the House by a voice vote last year because most members didn’t realize what was in it. Congressional sponsors have been careful not to calculate the amount of foreign aid spending that it would require. According to the website of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, no hearings have been held on the Obama bill in that body.

    A release from the Obama Senate office about the bill declares, “In 2000, the U.S. joined more than 180 countries at the United Nations Millennium Summit and vowed to reduce global poverty by 2015. We are halfway towards this deadline, and it is time the United States makes it a priority of our foreign policy to meet this goal and help those who are struggling day to day.”

    Obama’s messianic vision obviously is to extend America’s dysfunctional welfare state to the whole world.

  • Chryst

    He came to our town this week. The local paper was a-gush.

    I contemplated going, either to touch the hem of his garment, or perhaps shout, “give us Barabbas!”.

  • Chryst

    He came to our town this week. The local paper was a-gush.

    I contemplated going, either to touch the hem of his garment, or perhaps shout, “give us Barabbas!”.

  • S Bauer

    The motto of a generation has gone to seed:

    “We are stardust, we are golden,
    We are billion year old carbon,
    And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

    The wheel has just gone around further than Hillary banked on.

  • S Bauer

    The motto of a generation has gone to seed:

    “We are stardust, we are golden,
    We are billion year old carbon,
    And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”

    The wheel has just gone around further than Hillary banked on.

  • http://www.pagantolutheran.blogspot.com Bruce

    S Bauer, too true!

    Rush Limbaugh has analyzed Obama and observed that he is a “blank slate”, onto which whatever fantasy you may have can be placed. His language is vague enough to accomodate libs, RINOs, you name it.

  • http://www.pagantolutheran.blogspot.com Bruce

    S Bauer, too true!

    Rush Limbaugh has analyzed Obama and observed that he is a “blank slate”, onto which whatever fantasy you may have can be placed. His language is vague enough to accomodate libs, RINOs, you name it.

  • organshoes

    Obama-speak makes me think of the old–old, old!–quasi-religious song ‘I Believe.’
    http://www.barb-coolwaters.com/h001/believe.html
    The definitive Elvis version (a prior messiah himself).

  • organshoes

    Obama-speak makes me think of the old–old, old!–quasi-religious song ‘I Believe.’
    http://www.barb-coolwaters.com/h001/believe.html
    The definitive Elvis version (a prior messiah himself).

  • Don S

    Following up on Lars’ comment above, Reagan is revered for his optimistic demeanor and ability to inspire by promoting policies designed to unfetter us from the chains of confiscatory government taxation and regulation. In other words, he trusted us enough to give us our lives back and let us do what Americans do best. Barack inspires people by promising them deliverance. He doesn’t really explain how this deliverance will come about, but we know from his scant record that it will involve more taxation, more regulation, and more government control of our lives. Reagan treated us with dignity and respect, Barack treats us like children or sheep.

  • Don S

    Following up on Lars’ comment above, Reagan is revered for his optimistic demeanor and ability to inspire by promoting policies designed to unfetter us from the chains of confiscatory government taxation and regulation. In other words, he trusted us enough to give us our lives back and let us do what Americans do best. Barack inspires people by promising them deliverance. He doesn’t really explain how this deliverance will come about, but we know from his scant record that it will involve more taxation, more regulation, and more government control of our lives. Reagan treated us with dignity and respect, Barack treats us like children or sheep.

  • fw

    first….

    You might actually READ his web site before you criticise obama for lacking substance.

    for starters listen to his thoughtful speak on religion and politics. then go to his eye-glazingly-detailed policy position papers. He compares on detail to any other presidential candidate.

    I dare someone to argue with this um…substantively.

    second..

    When Obama criticizes, he includes himself in the criticism. He said “WE are all complicit” in negative campaigning. Unlike others, it is not WE vs them , demonizing the them.

    THAT is the real difference I love about Obama.

    Thirdly:

    Imagine Lincoln or MLK speeches, or wj bryant or any other great american orators without reference to the almighty. I respectfully believe that the good Dr Vieths comments on this point are off the mark.

  • fw

    first….

    You might actually READ his web site before you criticise obama for lacking substance.

    for starters listen to his thoughtful speak on religion and politics. then go to his eye-glazingly-detailed policy position papers. He compares on detail to any other presidential candidate.

    I dare someone to argue with this um…substantively.

    second..

    When Obama criticizes, he includes himself in the criticism. He said “WE are all complicit” in negative campaigning. Unlike others, it is not WE vs them , demonizing the them.

    THAT is the real difference I love about Obama.

    Thirdly:

    Imagine Lincoln or MLK speeches, or wj bryant or any other great american orators without reference to the almighty. I respectfully believe that the good Dr Vieths comments on this point are off the mark.

  • fw

    None of you have looked at his site in detail apparently. He could be easily accused of being a “policy wonk”.

    Obama is different because he also includes himself in the “WE” when he is leveling criticism. He pointed out that he was also complicit in the urge and acts of negative campaigning .

    Only then he criticized and said WE could do better.

    THAT is what makes him different. it is not “WE vs them” even he disagrees with someone.

    The “negative ” campaigning that is happening now looks pretty tame. I give him alot of credit for setting that tone. it looks way different than the 16 years of clinton/bush. it looks more like bush senior and before….

  • fw

    None of you have looked at his site in detail apparently. He could be easily accused of being a “policy wonk”.

    Obama is different because he also includes himself in the “WE” when he is leveling criticism. He pointed out that he was also complicit in the urge and acts of negative campaigning .

    Only then he criticized and said WE could do better.

    THAT is what makes him different. it is not “WE vs them” even he disagrees with someone.

    The “negative ” campaigning that is happening now looks pretty tame. I give him alot of credit for setting that tone. it looks way different than the 16 years of clinton/bush. it looks more like bush senior and before….

  • fw

    oops. sorry for the duplicate post friends.

  • fw

    oops. sorry for the duplicate post friends.

  • organshoes

    Looking at other websites other than Obama’s, though I have listened to his religion/politics speech, I see where he’s got a 0 rating from National Right to Life, as he’s been for every assault on life there is, from embryonic stem cells to parental notification to partial birth abortions.
    From yet another site, I see where he’s gotten, conversely, perfect ratings from Planned Parenthood in Illinois and from the ACLU.
    What hope does he offer to the unborn?
    It’s not that we haven’t paid attention to what he says or has said, but that what he says does little to uncover who he really is.
    Not that that seems to matter much, to his supporters/believers.

  • organshoes

    Looking at other websites other than Obama’s, though I have listened to his religion/politics speech, I see where he’s got a 0 rating from National Right to Life, as he’s been for every assault on life there is, from embryonic stem cells to parental notification to partial birth abortions.
    From yet another site, I see where he’s gotten, conversely, perfect ratings from Planned Parenthood in Illinois and from the ACLU.
    What hope does he offer to the unborn?
    It’s not that we haven’t paid attention to what he says or has said, but that what he says does little to uncover who he really is.
    Not that that seems to matter much, to his supporters/believers.

  • Don S

    What is on Barack’s website is all “wonk” stuff — designed never to actually see the light of day. I doubt even Barack could tell you what’s on there. I KNOW that very few of his adherents could. It’s not like his constituency all pored over his website, reviewed his policies, and then made an intellectual decision to vote for him.

    Again, Reagan inspired by promoting a principle of individual liberty. He conveyed a trust in the American people to do the right thing if unfettered from the chains of excessive government. He inspired us to go out and DO something. On the other hand, Barack inspires by chanting the platitudes of “change” and “hope”. He doesn’t encourage action on the part of the individual to improve one’s outcome, but rather promotes the hope of some sort of deliverance by a benificent government re-directed from serving the rich and powerful to serving the less fortunate. Just wait, and believe (and vote for me), and it will come! He hopes that no one will inquire as to what “it” is.

    But as we all know, deep in our hearts, since government necessarily acts by coercion, it reduces individual liberty and thus actually enslaves, rather than serves.

  • Don S

    What is on Barack’s website is all “wonk” stuff — designed never to actually see the light of day. I doubt even Barack could tell you what’s on there. I KNOW that very few of his adherents could. It’s not like his constituency all pored over his website, reviewed his policies, and then made an intellectual decision to vote for him.

    Again, Reagan inspired by promoting a principle of individual liberty. He conveyed a trust in the American people to do the right thing if unfettered from the chains of excessive government. He inspired us to go out and DO something. On the other hand, Barack inspires by chanting the platitudes of “change” and “hope”. He doesn’t encourage action on the part of the individual to improve one’s outcome, but rather promotes the hope of some sort of deliverance by a benificent government re-directed from serving the rich and powerful to serving the less fortunate. Just wait, and believe (and vote for me), and it will come! He hopes that no one will inquire as to what “it” is.

    But as we all know, deep in our hearts, since government necessarily acts by coercion, it reduces individual liberty and thus actually enslaves, rather than serves.

  • organshoes

    Listening to Michelle Obama stumping for her husband prior to the California primary.
    She promises that Obama is ‘the only person in this race who can heal this nation.’
    ‘…we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.’
    Which leads to talk of universal healthcare.
    I do not think for one second that Barack, Michelle, and I share the same hope for me and this country.

  • organshoes

    Listening to Michelle Obama stumping for her husband prior to the California primary.
    She promises that Obama is ‘the only person in this race who can heal this nation.’
    ‘…we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.’
    Which leads to talk of universal healthcare.
    I do not think for one second that Barack, Michelle, and I share the same hope for me and this country.

  • Don S

    Organshoes, you must listen to the Hugh Hewitt show. Very chilling audio.

    We have THE great Hope. He is the Christ. Our deliverance will come from none other, and certainly not from a plan to impose universal (i.e. rationed) healthcare upon this great nation.

  • Don S

    Organshoes, you must listen to the Hugh Hewitt show. Very chilling audio.

    We have THE great Hope. He is the Christ. Our deliverance will come from none other, and certainly not from a plan to impose universal (i.e. rationed) healthcare upon this great nation.

  • CRB

    Whoever you all vote for, I would highly recommend that you read, “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning” by Jonah Goldberg. Fascinating stuff for those interested in what are the conditions that bring about a “fascist state.” Of course, you should read Dr. Veith’s book also, “Modern Fascism” which is more specific relative to the Christian faith than is Goldberg’s book.

  • CRB

    Whoever you all vote for, I would highly recommend that you read, “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning” by Jonah Goldberg. Fascinating stuff for those interested in what are the conditions that bring about a “fascist state.” Of course, you should read Dr. Veith’s book also, “Modern Fascism” which is more specific relative to the Christian faith than is Goldberg’s book.

  • CRB

    Don S,
    Could you be more specific about your reference to
    the Hugh Hewitt show. How do you access this video?
    Thanks!

  • CRB

    Don S,
    Could you be more specific about your reference to
    the Hugh Hewitt show. How do you access this video?
    Thanks!

  • Don S

    CRB:

    The Hugh Hewitt show is a talk radio program carried on the Salem Radio Network. Hugh played clips from Michelle Obama’s speech at UCLA. No video, just audio. Clip is here: http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/MediaPlayer/AudioPlayer.aspx?ContentGuid=9e3a08aa-ad84-46cf-8492-6aff289bca42

    If for some reason, that clip won’t work, then go to http://www.hughhewitt.com, and scroll down to a post by Duane Patterson on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:38 PM. The clip is posted there.

  • Don S

    CRB:

    The Hugh Hewitt show is a talk radio program carried on the Salem Radio Network. Hugh played clips from Michelle Obama’s speech at UCLA. No video, just audio. Clip is here: http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/MediaPlayer/AudioPlayer.aspx?ContentGuid=9e3a08aa-ad84-46cf-8492-6aff289bca42

    If for some reason, that clip won’t work, then go to http://www.hughhewitt.com, and scroll down to a post by Duane Patterson on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:38 PM. The clip is posted there.

  • CRB

    Thanks! the first link worked. Quite revealing speech!!

  • CRB

    Thanks! the first link worked. Quite revealing speech!!

  • anon

    Once again, kaisaros ho kyrios is heard in the streets of the West.

  • anon

    Once again, kaisaros ho kyrios is heard in the streets of the West.

  • fran

    I’m still trying to figure out why people refer to Obama as a black nominee or Africian-American. He is a bi-racial American whose father was a Kenyan (country not continent people).

  • fran

    I’m still trying to figure out why people refer to Obama as a black nominee or Africian-American. He is a bi-racial American whose father was a Kenyan (country not continent people).

  • fran

    I’m still trying to figure out why people refer to Obama as black or African-American. He’s a bi-racial American whose father was Kenyan (that’s a country people not a continent.)

  • fran

    I’m still trying to figure out why people refer to Obama as black or African-American. He’s a bi-racial American whose father was Kenyan (that’s a country people not a continent.)

  • Caleb Voskamp

    Mr Vieth, Your daughter, Mrs. Hensley taught my Omnibus class and she really impacted my life. I want to show my appreciation for hardwork and dedication by having Starbucks do a suprise delivery to her of a strawberry and cream fraupichino. I just want to make sure that she is not travelling or not at home. It would work best for Starbucks to deliver it around 1:00 on a week-day. Would you happen to know if Mrs. Hensley would be home at that time some week-day. If you could let me know I would deeply appreciate it.
    Thankyou so much for your effort.
    Caleb
    Voskamp

  • Caleb Voskamp

    Mr Vieth, Your daughter, Mrs. Hensley taught my Omnibus class and she really impacted my life. I want to show my appreciation for hardwork and dedication by having Starbucks do a suprise delivery to her of a strawberry and cream fraupichino. I just want to make sure that she is not travelling or not at home. It would work best for Starbucks to deliver it around 1:00 on a week-day. Would you happen to know if Mrs. Hensley would be home at that time some week-day. If you could let me know I would deeply appreciate it.
    Thankyou so much for your effort.
    Caleb
    Voskamp

  • http://www.prophecycodebook.com Jeff

    I’m not ready to flee to the mountains just yet. However, I would say that Obama’s does resemble the biblical antichrist. Even so, may I suggest that you go to my website at http://www.prophecycodebook.com and begin to learn what I learned several years ago after using the Hebrew language and the number 2520 as the key to unlocking bible prophecy. I will say this, I found that the Hebrew language translates the sin of Lucifer “ascend” from Isaiah 14 into the word Allah, and that the feet and toes of king Nebuchadnezzer’s great image from Daniel 2 (depicting the final gentile world power) translates the words “mix” and “mingle” into the word Arab.

  • http://www.prophecycodebook.com Jeff

    I’m not ready to flee to the mountains just yet. However, I would say that Obama’s does resemble the biblical antichrist. Even so, may I suggest that you go to my website at http://www.prophecycodebook.com and begin to learn what I learned several years ago after using the Hebrew language and the number 2520 as the key to unlocking bible prophecy. I will say this, I found that the Hebrew language translates the sin of Lucifer “ascend” from Isaiah 14 into the word Allah, and that the feet and toes of king Nebuchadnezzer’s great image from Daniel 2 (depicting the final gentile world power) translates the words “mix” and “mingle” into the word Arab.


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