Elizabeth Drew: “A Victory Over Suppression?”
Despite their considerable efforts the Republicans were not able to buy or steal the election after all. Their defeat was of almost Biblical nature. The people, Democratic supporters of the president, whose votes they had plotted, schemed, and maneuvered — unto nearly the very last minute — to deny rose up and said they wouldn’t have it. If they had to stand in line well into the night to cast their vote they did it. The lines were the symbol of the 2012 election—at once awe-inspiring and enraging.
Andre E. Johnson: “Conservative Ideology and Theology at the Crossroads”
Conservative ideology and its kissing cousin, conservative theology has always been about maintaining the status quo; clogging up progress, grinding the forces of change. While both of these conservative groups, in an ideal world, have an opportunity to reshape and reconfigure their theological thought processes, chances are that they will not take advantage of the opportunity. Many will just double down on a more conservative interpretation of their own opportunistic shifting theology and in the process add to the growing number of dissatisfied former Christians looking for something relevant in their lives.
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: “Election 2012: A New Day for Religion in America”
Christians cannot insist on a place at the center, but must move to being part of a wider circle of fellowship. We can recognize that our country has a wonderful heritage of Christianity, without subtly intimating that non-Christians occupy a place of second class citizenry. The most Christian act would be to love our neighbors of other faiths and no faith as equal partners who in our nation’s spiritual tapestry. [Tuesday’s] victory of the first Hindu to the US congress and the first Buddhist to the Senate only underscores the increasing and welcomed religious diversity in America.The new religious vision for America insists on equal worth within our religious diversity. We reject the denigration of Muslims and distrust of people who have no religion. Part of religious diversity is acknowledging that we will disagree on matters of theology but that we can agree on matters of respect, and mutual commitment.
James W. McCarty III: “We Are Each Other’s Keepers: The Political Theology of Barack Obama”
Importantly, this story contains the first mention of the word “sin” in the Jewish or Christian scriptures. In what may be a surprise to some Christians, the word “sin” is not used in reference to Adam and Eve violating God’s command not to eat the fruit of a certain tree. Rather, “sin” does not enter the story of humanity until human beings hurting each other (and, as Obama points out, especially the “least of these”). Barack Obama recognizes this and infers that not to “keep” each other is to commit sin, a view that many of his opponents reject, especially in the political sphere. They describe such a stance to be paternalistic or a dictatorial and socialistic intrusion upon the liberty of individuals. Their vision of sin is one of private acts that offend God and not as public acts that injure others and the common good. Obama has consistently pushed against this theological vision with one of human interdependence.