Give me a freakin’ break

Yes, Barack had worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people, especially those who elected him in 2008. His followers needed to re-elect him to a second term, so that he could continue to accomplish the promises he made, thus, realizing his vision of America as a more perfect political union or “heaven here on earth.” Then, as I began to contemplate ways to assist Barack in his 2012 re-election bid something miraculous happened. I felt God’s (His) Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night. Listening, cautiously, I learned that Jesus walked the earth to create a more civilized society, Martin (Luther King) walked the earth to create a more justified society, but, Apostle Barack, the name he was called in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society, for the middle class and working poor. Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause, had been taken to the mountaintop and allowed to see over the other side. He had the answers to unlock the kingdom of “heaven here on earth” for his followers. The answers were repeated – over and over – in speeches Barack had made from his presidential announcement to his inaugural address. Those speeches or his teachings contained the answers to the middle class and working poor people living in a “heaven here on earth.” For when the answers were unlocked and enacted, Apostle Barack’s vision of America would be realized.

And now a word from the actual Messiah: “My kingdom is not of this world.”

Where would American politics be without secular messianic claptrap? From the Puritan’s City on a Hill to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic to Teddy  Roosevelt standing at Armageddon and battling for the Lord to the fusion of conservative Christianity with the GOP to Clinton’s “New Covenant” to the glorification of The One, Americans have gone in for the identification of the Kingdom of Heaven with the American Way.  We never seem to learn.

It’s brought out some of the best and the worst in us.  We retain the Puritan impulse to be social improvers and provide uplift. It provided the moral spark for abolition and the Civil Rights Act. But we also retain the Puritan certitude that our way is God’s way (even when we stop believing in God) and therefore we have the right to launch wars tell others how many kids they are entitled to.

The funny part is, we all can see how odious it is–when the other party is doing it.  So all this Obama worship is shrugged off by lefties as mere hyperbole, but fills conservatives with nameless dread (since secular messianism is another word for “incipient antichrist worship”) while Bush’s placid conviction that launching a disastrous war in Iraq was “God’s will” was likewise seen by many conservatives as “biblical” while lefties (rightly) perceived it as stunningly arrogant.

Secular messianism is part of the DNA of America.  It will only end in tears.

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    “we also retain the Puritan certitude that our way is God’s way”

    I”m not sure that’s a Puritan distinctive.

    • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

      Yeah, more like a universal human tendency.

      Maybe a more appropriate term would be… Phraseeism?

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        No, I think you got it right with the first sentence: universal human tendency.

        • Mark Shea

          No wonder Switzerland, Brazil, and Laos are such domineering imperialists. Yes. All our faults are just like what Everybody Else is doing. All our virtues show how awesome and exceptional America is. Keep maintaining that Bubble Thinking at all costs.

          • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

            You got me! It turns out that American Puritans are the only ones who ever said their way is God’s way.

            • Mark Shea

              Note how you ignore my actual point in order to deflect and deny.

              • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

                Note how you overstate what I was saying. My only point was that it isn’t necessarily accurate to suggest that puritans in America were the root cause of Americans believing one’s will and God’s will are the same. As a Catholic, I try not to suggest that the bulk of America’s sins can somehow be traced back to our Protestant or Puritanical origins. Puritans didn’t exactly pioneer the notion that their will and God’s will were one and the same. If they succumbed to that tendency – and they certainly could – it was a tendency already with a long history. The temptation to confuse the wills goes back well before the first puritans decided to be someone.

                Apart from that, there are certainly valid points, and note I didn’t disagree with the meat of the post (my only question below was if this was all about the book itself, or something else beyond just the book). But caution here is suggested, since constantly reaching into stock-filed comebacks such as the oft used ‘Bubble Thinking’ could eventually be seen as evidence of an alternative form of bubble thinking.

                • http://natewinchester.wordpress.com/ Nate Winchester

                  Exactly what Dave G said. And I would just add, that while sins can be classified in general archetypes, there are still many variations among individuals and cultures. Thus, to assume that thinking “our will is God’s will” always leads to imperialism reveals a sort of willful ignorance of human nature and history*.

                  One might even say… you’re in a bubble.

                  *Unless you go by libertarian terms which often define many policies as “domestic imperialism”. In which case, Switz, Brazil and Laos aren’t any more immune. But that’s symantecs.

  • Dan C

    Barack Obama is just a Republican opponent. He hardly differs from them in the policies that matter to the GOP.

    His military policy is an effective form of the work started by Rumsfeld and Bush. In light of the goals of Rumsfeld, in which he wanted “war on the cheap” with few “boots of the ground” and effective use of technology, Obama is achieving this. Know me as a pacifist, so none of this frank barbarism is praiseworthy.

    His economics is not much different than Bush either. He does intend mediating the vagaries of the free market and seeks to regulate the routine base activities of the financial sector. His budget presented summer of 2011 was without agreement by the Republicans because he insisted on taxes. It otherwise looked remarkably similar to Ryan’s budget with deeper cuts to military. It was an attempt to tax the top of the income spectrum at late Clinton era tax rates (not even Reagan era tax rates) that caused disunity on this measure.

    Bush and Obama are similar Presidents. Much like Clinton and GHW Bush were similar.

    • ivan_the_mad

      The drone warfare against, and rationalization of the deaths of, civilians is a particularly sickening continuity between these oh so polar opposite administrations. I am reminded of the words written by a serious Catholic which we would do well to heed, words which apply just as well to our enthusiasm for capital punishment:

      “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” — Gandalf, Lord of the Rings

      • Jeremy Dobbs

        Awesome quote from The Lord of the Rings. I just wish more people would listen to it more. I guess they brush it off since its in a “fantasy” book and movie

  • Andy, Bad Person

    Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause,

    I don’t understand why people refer to him as “young.” He’s 51. Now, I’m old enough to say that 51 isn’t old, but it’s hardly young. I think it’s the college-aged voters projecting again.

    Also, it’s interesting. Since the election, you’ve posted many things critical of Obama, and at least one comment in the thread has always been, “Well, the Right does it, too!” or “Liberals don’t hold a monopoly on foible X!”

    It was the same as when you criticized Romney. Immediately came responses of “But Libs are worse when they do X,” and “So you support baby killing?” The two sides have mastered the habit of avoiding self-reflection and constantly pointing out that, sure, our guy is doing this badly, but think of how much worse the other guy is.

    The difference, for now, is that Obama won. He owns it. He owns every criticism he has coming to him, just as Romney would have had he won. Obama’s in power, so he gets the responsibility and the blame.

    • http://corkyagain.blogspot.com CorkyAgain

      He’s “young” in the sense that he still thinks and acts like a college-age radical.

      The messianism described in this article is typical of an immature mind, one that hasn’t yet fully comprehended and accepted human finitude.

  • Jack

    At least the author only elevates him to apostle. I wonder who else shares his rank, and who holds the title of messiah?

  • RFlaum

    This… this has to be deliberate parody, right? *checks Amazon page* … it’s not parody. This sort of thing almost makes me wish I were a believer, so I could blaspheme to express my feelings. “Higgs Boson on a crutch” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    Thing is, if you read the free sample (and I wouldn’t blame anybody for not reading it), it doesn’t really seem like she’s saying he’s a secular prophet. She’s making a claim that he’s a straight-out, old-fashioned religious prophet. “I felt God’s Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night…. Apostle Barack, the name he was called by in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society…. The Spirit informed me that my service as a Disciple would take me on a journey of….” and here she goes into a bunch of prophecy about her own role, casting herself as a sort of Fifth Evangelist, collecting Obama’s sayings in written form. Her problem is too much Christianity, not too little. (Okay, that’s a little unfair. Her real problem is that her faith exceeded her education — it would make just as much sense to say that she needed better religious education as to say that she needed less faith)

    I also note that the book was published by vanity publisher AuthorHouse, which is both cheering and depressing. Cheering, because it means that no editor thought that there was a real market for this. Depressing, because ASI is just barely this side of being a scam, and I suspect that the woman who wrote this was mentally unstable.

  • John Graney

    “Click to look inside!” No thanks, I think I’ll pass.

  • http://sherryantonettiwrites.blogspot.com Sherry

    Purple prose in short supply! Superlative titles at an all time low! Awe and Fear grip the press! What shall we say to describe the One who is now President? Fie on this author! Fie I say! He hath demoted the One before whom and after which no other shall compare!

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    Is all the fuss about the book title? I mean, I’ve seen a thousand things over the years written as ‘The Gospel according to [Fill in the Blank]‘. I’m not saying that there wasn’t some pretty strong Obama worship back in 2008, though this time it seems more subdued. The media now seems to be saying that it’s time for Obama to do something. They worked tirelessly to get him reelected, now he better produce. Sort of like Sally defending Linus to the naysayers in the Great Pumpkin, only to turn around and lambaste Linus after the doubters leave. Alright Obama, where’s the money?!

    • Ted Seeber

      I will believe THAT when the main stream media stop being bigots and start defending the uns.

    • RFlaum

      Seriously, read the excerpt Amazon has if you doubt that it’s as crazy as all that. This is grade-A lunacy.

      • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

        Not saying that it isn’t lunacy. Just saying it’s not necessarily new.

  • http://www.2catholicmen.blogspot.com Ben @ Two Men

    I’ve heard a saying that goes “God is great…all the time”. This post reminded me that most of us really mean, “God is great…as long as He agrees with me”


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