“Obama is my Jesus”

Smith college student Maggie Mertens gives her personal testimony in “I Will Follow Him”: Obama As My Personal Jesus. Excerpts:

Obama is my Jesus.

While you may be overtly religious and find this to be idol-worshipping, or may be overtly politically correct and just know that everything in that sentence could be found offensive, I’m afraid it’s true anyway.

As with many spiritual enlightenments, mine came in the middle of a bleak, hopeless period of my life. The innocent, idealistic world of politics that had shaped my childhood, the one that taught me how the president is a good guy, one who makes you feel safe, gives a speech on TV every once in a while and one you’d feel honored to shake hands with, had been slowly whittled into a deep rooted cynicism to anything politically related.

The crush of the Bush victory over Gore was only the first mar on my previously consummate ideal of the American administration. And the tragedies just kept continuing: Bush’s response to the Sept.11 attacks, the invasion of Iraq, the tax cuts for the rich, the downward spiral continued squashing my scant hope that the political world and state of our country could be saved.

Then I found my miracle. Stumbling through my hopeless world, afraid to turn to anyone with my political questions of morality, my concerns about the afterlife of the country I called home, a voice spoke to me.

Barack Obama bore to me his testimony in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention, a testimony that included believing in concepts as simple and wholesome as the Constitution; a belief the current administration had done away with entirely. . . .

I’ve officially been saved, and soon, whether they like it or not, the rest of the country will be too. I will follow him, all the way to the White House, and I’ll be standing there in our nation’s capital in January 2009, when Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States of America. In the name of Obama, Amen.

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

    I wonder if Maggie will have the brains & discernment a few years down the road, if Obama is elected, to recognize the devastation her “god’s” ideas and policies will inflict on our nation.

    Unfortunately, if she had McCain as her “god,” she’d probably be in the same position.

    Neither candidate offers any real hope.

  • Jim Kruta

    … but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD…

    Jim K.

  • Carl Vehse

    I tend to agree with some of the Sophian letter writers suggesting the article is satire, although given some of the posters’ comments on Cranach blog, there probably are some people who actually believe what the article says… other than the Obamessiah, of course.

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer TK

    In reading through the comments made by the paper’s readers, I get the impression that it is being interpreted as satire and is not being well received. I just think it was an exercise in creative writing…it starts with this line: Obama is my homeboy. I would hate to ever discourage anyone from voting just because they don’t agree with me. It’s good to see college students at least caring about the presidential contest.

  • Anon

    Meanwhile, and in the same vein, there is a video on Youtube gaining notice of a group of young Obaman blackshirts (literally!) pledging their allegiance to Obama.

    Not impressive in the quality of their military drill, but the historical resonances are spooky.

  • Ken

    Spooky? How about downright frightening?

    Can it be that people really have forgotten–or never learned, which is perhaps more disturbing–the lessons of 20th-century history? Maybe somebody intends all this just to be rhetoric, but that’s playing with fire. There are some who don’t discern rhetoric from reality very well.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Newsflash: there are very silly people saying very silly things on the Internet. Let us endeavor not to join them, for example, say, by perhaps attributing to an entire group what one member of that group does.

    Or else I’d have to attribute to all you Palin-lovers the qualities of one Ted “the Nuge” Nugent. Who, coincidentally, penned an article titled “Sarah Palin Is My Girl”, referring to her as “a political savior”. The article, while not apparently satire, is fine enough, but it’s Ted’s other, um, speeches I’d hate to attribute to you (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can search YouTube for it, but it’s not what you’d call godly speech).

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer TK

    I “hate” it when I agree with tODD! ;) (that’s a friendly joke, in case it isn’t apparent!)

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer TK

    FWIW, I’d prefer to have college students stretching their minds and thinking, than never considering others’ opinions. I strongly believe that as we age, most of us come around to being more centered…like when we start paying taxes, utilize government services, etc. I can’t say I wouldn’t have cringed if my daughter had written that bit of satire, but I wouldn’t have criticized her either. Sounds like a bright girl and I’d like to be able to hear her speak on her essay.

  • allen

    I’m going to have to assume this is satire.

    I would file it under nutcase, but that particular file has expanded to fill the entire drawer. So, satire it is.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    A man’s got to have a god, I guess, and if it can’t be the One of the Bible, it might as well be Obama as it could be the Beatles….

  • Anon

    Ken is right. And there have been people out there, including Chris Matthews, who have referred to Obama as being such things as a “Light Bearer” (by the way, that becomes interesting in Latin), an ‘evolved being’, The One, and other similar messianic/mahdi-like terms. He himself spoke to a crowd about the religious conversion experience that they were going to have and then vote for Obama.

    Then you have the use of police and prosecutors to harass and even arrest those who disagree with Obama (in Missouri, they took a step backwards, thankfully), you have the attempts by that campaign to shut down free speech on talk radio by the author of _Obama Nation_, and attempts (rejected) to get the FEC to prosecute.

    This is not someone who will stand being opposed or dissented from. This is someone who inspires religious zeal among his followers. I’m not sure that Hitler’s followers were this passionate. This is more like Bar Kochva, or the Mahdi defeated by Chinese Gordon. But with 1930s fascist political tactics (and art).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@12), not surprisingly, I’m going to ask who in the media (the implication of your mentioning Chris Matthews) called Obama (1) the “Light Bearer”, (2) an “evolved being”, (3) “The One”. I looked for Chris Matthews quotes along these lines, and couldn’t find one. You’re using quotation marks, so obviously you’re thinking of particular quotes. Can you tell me where to find them? Because, frankly, I don’t believe such quotes exist from anyone in the media — unless, of course, they’re doing what you’re doing, and mocking those who say such things about Obama.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert Talbert

    It’s college student journalism. Consider the source. A lot of people my age — who were in their 20′s when Clinton was running for the first time — were saying more or less the same stuff.

  • mathguru

    Anon #12 does have some quotes wrong. Perhaps this will help. Chris Matthew’s quote is “I felt a thrill go up my leg.” concerning an Obama speech. Obama as “The One” is an Oprah quote during the primaries.
    San Francisco Chronicle Mark Morford calls Obama “a LightWORKER”, not a LightBEARER,
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/06/06/notes060608.DTL
    but this is New Age anti-Christianity instead of traditional Satan-as-adversary anti-Christianity.
    Toe-may-to, Tah-mah-to. This article, spread and discussed throughout the internet, also says “These kinds of people [lightworkers] actually help us to evolve.” The title of the article is “Is Obama an enlightened being?” so the mistake by Anon is understandable.

    Oh, and I took a whole 3 minutes of internet searching using Google to find this out, so tODD, I am unsure how you failed to find any of this.

  • LAJ

    So writing about Obama isn’t politics? Let’s let it rest for a week so we all can become more civil to each other.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    It wasn’t Chris Matthews who called Obama the light bearer, but a San Francisco Chronicle columnist who called him one of the “light-workers” who will introduce a new age of consciousness: http://obamamessiah.blogspot.com/2008/06/obama-is-lightworker-attuned-being-with.html

    There is a whole blog devoted to Messianic religious imagery ascribed to Barack Obama, as I have blogged about repeatedly. Here is the blog: http://obamamessiah.blogspot.com/

  • Anon

    Right, Dr. Veith, I must have written confusingly. Chris Matthews is the one who reported getting shivers down his legs from Obama.

  • Anon

    Mathguru, you will find Todd and fw and possibly a few others using typical rhetorical techniques advocated by Saul Alinsky and others. Rhetorical techniques like that are not honest questions that need to be answered, unless it is for the sake of someone else.

  • Neb

    Whether this story be satire or not, the scary thing is that there will be people on Nov 4 who truly believe this. I’m surprised Oprah is so supportive of Obama since he’s stealing some of her ‘messiah’ qualities?

    besides the messiah angle, one thing that irks me in this article is the liberal (ok Democrat) line of Bush’s tax cuts for the Rich. If I’m not mistaken the cuts were across the board. Obviously if you’re paying 1k in taxes vs. 100k then you’re cut is $100 instead of 10k. Oh those poor poor people only getting a $100 cut where the rich man saves 10k.

    The only “CHANGE” Obama stands for is a political party change. He is more liberal, left leaning, democrat than Hillary and Ted Kennedy. He’s still a ‘political’ figure and not mr. ordinary joe. I doubt we’ll ever see an ordinary guy get elected Pres.

    by the way, McCain doesn’t do much for me either. Where’s Ross Perot when we need him? (that’s satire)

  • Bryan Lindemood

    On the right many folks are depending foolishly upon elections for some utopian salvation too.

    With all the false gods crumbling around us lately we should be especially sensitive and have compassion on those who do not know where true God and true Savior can be found and so do not know where to place their trust.

    These are confusing times for many people.

  • mathguru

    Anon. #19. Yeah, I know, I was attempting to be facetious. On a related note, my comment (#13) to him in the weekend post “A short break…” went unanswered, but I just assume it was missed when #35 was posted.

  • Neb

    @19 & 22. well thought out points. (@19) you typed better than me. mathguru, I agree with you. I would love for tODD to answer your #13 statement on “a short break from politics”.

    a man who believes human rights start at conception (McCain) is a better candidate (to me) than a candidate who states “it’s above my pay grade” to tell you when human rights begin. and let’s not forget Obama’s comment to planned parenthood. “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby”

  • http://gpiper.org/katiesbeer TK

    This is the best description of the situation, from my point of view, I’ve read so far in this campaign:

    “the only “CHANGE” Obama stands for is a political party change. He is more liberal, left leaning, democrat than Hillary and Ted Kennedy. He’s still a ‘political’ figure and not mr. ordinary joe. I doubt we’ll ever see an ordinary guy get elected Pres.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mathguru (@15), you said “I am unsure how you failed to find any of this.” Perhaps it is because I assumed Anon (@12) knew what he was talking about. As you acknowledged, there was no messianic Chris Matthews quote. There was no quote referring to Obama as an “evolved being”. And the label “light bearer” was not used, either — and it was obviously important to get the phrasing right on that, or Anon’s snarky “by the way, that becomes interesting in Latin” would not make sense.

    I don’t get any right-wing talking points, so I am perhaps not as familiar with every anti-Obama factoid (or falsoid) as others are. As such, I’m forced to rely on the accuracy of claims presented here in order to research those claims. That’s my whole point: if people would cite their sources (or at least get the quotes right) when making sweeping claims, then I could more easily find them. And you know what, then it’d be easier to prove that I’m wrong, as you did, in part!

    Of course, the Chris Matthews “leg” thing doesn’t really fit here, anymore than does the fact that Matthews said of McCain, “You know you’re in my heart”[1] and “He’s kind of like a Martin Luther.”[2] I know McCain has turned his back on the media this year, but they have a strong record of fawning all over him, too.

    By the way, have you read any other Mark Morford columns? The guy’s no journalist. He is about the closest thiing you’ll find to “some fool on the internet” in print.

    Anon (@19), I didn’t even know who Saul Alinsky is (though, thankfully, you spelled his name right so I could look him up). Nonetheless, in spite of your being a “confessional Lutheran”, you continue to impute to me only the worst motives with your passive-aggressive judgmentalism. I’m trying to actually engage you in debate, while you continue your I’m Not Talking To You Nyah Nyah game. Congratulations.

    Also, Mathguru (@22), perhaps you missed it yourself when Veith posted (@27 on “A short break from politics”) that we weren’t to discuss politics any further on that post. So I didn’t.

    Anyhow, in answer to your question (@13 over there) “Are you saying there is no difference concerning [these situations]?” No, no I am not.

    Neb (@23), McCain says he believes human “life begins at conception”, but he also believes it’s good to support embryonic stem cell research, and that abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest. So he believes it’s okay to murder humans in some cases. Hard to know which McCain to believe.

    [1] “Chris Matthews to McCain: ‘You’re In My Heart’”, CrooksAndLiars.com, 1/28/08
    [2] “McCain gush-fest on Chris Matthews Show: McCain is ‘passionate,’ ‘a smart hawk,’ ‘kind of like Martin Luther’”, MediaMatters.org, 11/20/06

    And instead of complaining about the Web sites I found these on, why not assess the quotes presented therein?

  • http://www.gethsemanelutheranchurch.org Greg DeVore

    Bryan says:”On the right many folks are depending foolishly upon elections for some utopian salvation too.” Bryan I dare you to name one of these so called many rightwingers who are looking for utopia to arise out of this election cycle. Most right wingers see this as a choice between a lessor and greater evil. No one sees Mccain in utopian terms. At least no one I know on the right.

  • Booklover

    Obama as Savior is profoundly icky. However, I knew of many homeschoolers who treated Bush in like manner when he was running, only to get slightly depressed when he was part of that multi-faith memorial after 9/11 and when he taxed and spent like many others. There was also a college(s) which groomed students to support Bush. Many also treated Reagan as a savior of sorts. We all have our “messiahs.” Some just seem ickier than others.

  • Neb

    @25 unfortunately the many Christian conservatives have accepted abortion is wrong except the save the life of the mother. To me that’s total crap. Abortion is NEVER the answer.

    I do not agree with McCain on E stem cells. nor I agree with Barack on them either. Both candidates stink at this (effect on my vote:PUSH)

    I agree with McCain that Life begains at conception. Barack states that’s above his pay grade. (effect on my vote: McCain).

    Thoughts on Roe v. Wade. McCain, bad law should be repealed. Obama keep it. (Effect on my vote: McCain).

    Random normal woman wanting to have an abortion at 20 wks pregnancy. McCain thinks it’s wrong. Obama says go for it. “If a woman makes a mistake she shouldn’t be punished with a baby.” (Effect on my vote: McCain).

    Abortion for rape to to save the life of the mother. Disagree with both on this. Many medical experts have disproven this. (Effect on vote:PUSH).

    Kill a baby who survives an abortion. McCain NO, Obama actually voted for this while serving on a House Floor committee. (Effect on my vote: McCain) **especially as I hug my child that God blessed my family with.

    So on this issue. I have no votes for Obama, several for McCain. If I voted simply on this issue I would have to vote for McCain.

    As a Christian, I am serving more of my neighbors (the unborn) by voting on this issue for McCain than Obama.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Neb (@28), I realize I’m beating the same drum here (in time with the same one you keep beating), but …

    McCain cannot truly believe that “life begins at conception”, or else he would not believe abortion is okay in cases of rape or incest, or that embryonic stem-cell research is good. If he does believe that, then he must also believe that it is occasionally good for people to murder each other. Do you see the problem here?

    “I am serving more of my neighbors (the unborn) by voting on this issue for McCain than Obama.” Technically, if you want to turn this into a numbers game, you’d have to consider who is more likely to reduce the number of abortions (again, to say nothing of war “collateral”), rather than who merely talks a better game on pro-life issues. I don’t see that analysis in your comment, so I’m guessing that you conflate the two. However, looking at graphs of the abortion rate under various recent Presidents has caused me to doubt the value of pro-life rhetoric when it comes to actually effecting the number of abortions (cf. Republican administrations since Roe v. Wade).

    Not that I fault you for making the decisions you’ve made. I just wonder if you see there’s room for disagreeing that Christians have to vote for McCain.

  • Neb

    @29. tODD. I’m not saying Christians have to vote for McCain. In fact, I’ve asked in several blog posts why a theologically conservative Christian would vote for Obama? TO this point, I have yet to see an answer. Just rhetoric. You may think my logic is poor but at least I have thought out many issues like I detailed above. Why won’t Christians in favor of Obama state their reasons for him? I’m curious.

    I’m a little puzzled by your logic on abortions. McCain while not like me in thinking ALL ABORTIONS ARE WRONG at least thinks Roe v. Wade is crap and that most abortions are wrong. Obama states “if a woman makes a mistake why should a woman be punished with a baby”. He takes that further by wanting to get rid of parent notification of abortions of minors who cross state lines. This is not the gov’t duty. Parents should help their minor child in dealing with an unwanted pregnancy not allow them to sneak away and ‘solve’ the issue.

    So, in the above case McCain’s plan should limit abortions in minors.

    I’m a big man and can admit when I’m wrong. So I’ll ask again (and waste more bytes) What is so great about Obama? (to theologically conservative Christians who vote liberal?) I’m attempting to learn and see your point of view. I’ve pointed out numerous times that I cannot see the logic. Instead of an answer I get rhetoric. If I want that I’ll watch an Obama campaign speech

  • Neb

    @28 You talk about beating the same drum. I can only ‘play’ the song I know. So That’s what I’m doing.

    It’s like the discussion I had on another board with an atheist. I consistently and constantly stated I am justified by grace for Christ’s sake through faith. He wanted to argue some numbers descrepancy in 2 different biblical translations of the OT. I feel like that how most liberals argue. They look for errors in spelling, grammer, quotes, etc instead of answering the question. Let’s talk big picture

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Neb (@30), what you seem to misunderstand is that, just because someone does not like McCain does not make him an Obama supporter. Might I vote for Obama? I might. Might I vote for a third-party candidate? I might. Have I donated to Obama or any Democratic cause? I have not, and almost certainly never will. Do I wear Obama buttons or bumper stickers? I do not and will not.

    Unlike the Obama-loving strawman to which I am frequently compared, I do not think Obama is all that. But much of what I like in him is that he is not McCain.

    I do not agree with McCain’s reasoning on going into Iraq, and I am very much concerned that he lacks the judgment to prevent us from getting further entangled in stupid, wasteful, power-draining (both military and political), influence-ruining, pointless wars which — and “pro-life” people seem to miss this point — kill tens of thousands of people, and not just American soldiers. I think McCain is not very credible on the environment, and is pretty much beholden to the fossil fuels industry like most Republicans. I think McCain lost his moral standing on torture when he caved and refused to hold the CIA to the Army Field Manual. I have not heard anything from him to convince me he won’t continue in the Bush vein of “unitary executive” secrecy/ultimate power. He seems to make rash, impulsive decisions on important matters. He does not surround himself with good people, or those who support issues he claims are important to him. He has run a campaign I find particularly mendacious, negative, and cynical. He seems intent on continuing Bush’s policy of massively increasing the deficit (with, as always, disproportionate tax cuts for the wealthy), while similarly promising to balance the budget (at least with Bush’s first term, the economic downturn wasn’t obviously looming). This is a small selection of issues, and I realize that Obama is not perfect on many of them, either. I just think he’s better than McCain is. I also think that these issues are far more likely to be dealt with by whomever wins than abortion. I base this on the past 20+ years of Republican Presidents.

    But, and let me make this once again clear for you: I do not support Obama in any meaningful way. There is much about him I don’t like. There is no candidate I consider good, much less ideal.

  • Anon

    Neb,
    The purpose in the constant arguing over grammatical minutiae, typos, accidental infelicitous wordings and always asking for sources without providing them themselves is a tactic designed to derail the conversation and keep you from discussing the actual issues, lest someone realize the truth and be swayed away from their position.

    On the internet, from back in the days before the web, this was called ‘troll’ behavior, because they were trolling, like fishermen, to see if they could start an argument.

    When it is in the political environment, it is a manifestation of the tactics taught by Saul Alinksy William Ayers and Baraq Obama as a tactic to prevent conservatives from being heard.

  • Anon

    The answer, just as Sarah Palin did with Obama operative Iffill is to not get trapped. Don’t get in the argument. Don’t answer the questions as they want you to. Instead, address the substantive issues, ideas and character problems. Don’t let them trap you. Until they ban free speech, as they’ve been trying to do, that is the way to deal with this particular tactic.

  • Neb

    @32. Todd, I don’t prefer McCain but I prefer him to Obama. I’ve detailed some not all of the reasons I support him. I should do a better job of researching 3rd party candidates b/c they might actually care but since I want to make a vote than counts we’re reduced to McCain v. Obama.

    I can tell you are very intelligent and would not vote like I have detailed above. I applaud people like you can ‘stick to your guns’ in this mess.

    for me though Abortion is a huge issue. Obama says there’s nothing wrong abortions and then turns around and spews Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. If there’s nothing wrong with them then why say the later?

    The president really doesn’t have the much authority on many of issues you and I bring up right? I would love to see TERM LIMITS for house and senate seats as well. I think this is the only way America will truly change. Fresh ideas and a limited amount of time to do that.

    I really don’t fit any political party when you know that I’m a conservative Lutheran Christian, I would prefer a flat or national sales tax and get rid of all others, I recycle, reuse,etc., my lawn and garden are organically maintained, I think global warming is crap, think homosexuality is WRONG, wish we had less gov’t, etc.

    sorry to babble.

  • Neb

    tODD (@32) explain this economics professor’s example to me. Remember all the crazy tax laws were guided by the rich. if we increase the taxes too much the people that get screwed are the middle class and upper poor class.

    http://soundpolitics.com/public/2007/04/bar_stool_economics.html

  • Jen Hui

    @36 neb, great example of the economics question. As much as people hate them, the wealthy class really do provide jobs for those in lower classes.

    don’t let the liberal tODD sounding fellow get you down. he’s too busy tooting the obma horn to actually see a real point.

    I agree that McCain is not a great candidate but a vote for McCain is actually a vote against Obama. Obama scares the HELL out of me. I pray the American people get their heads out and vote for McCain. In 4 yrs, we’ll move on to someone else.

    maybe we should resurrect the Brewster’s Millions idea of vote “none of the above”


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