Obama is a Gift from God

Kathy Schiffer says on FB that everything is a gift from God, and a commenter says, “Obama is a gift from God??”

Sure. Kathy is right. Well, actually she was re-tweeting what the Holy Father had tweeted, so although Kathy is a great and original writer she’s not that original.

How is Obama a gift from God? Look at it this way. We get what we deserve. The American people voted for Obama. They did so for a complex net of reasons, but when they are all summed up, we chose him. I’m in a hurry this morning, and it would take a very long post to analyze all those complex reasons, but the fact of the matter he is our president and everything is a gift from God.

What interests me is how, looking at history, the bad stuff that happens is also a gift from God because it is his judgement on the human race. This is the message of the Old Testament prophets and the message of the Old Testament to our society today. Read the Old Testament. Understand the prophets. Read the history. See what happened.

The people turn away from God. They turn to their own lust, their own greed, their own cruelty. The drift into complacency and despair and decadence and then they are swept away. Doomsday. Judgement, and all that is a gift of God just as much as the prosperity and peace and goodness and happiness that comes when a person or a nation obeys God and follows his rule book.

I fear this nation, and our Western culture is going down the toilet real fast. I fear a coming cataclysm I dread a coming collapse. I do not wish for judgement, but when I see the decay and the violence–the despair, the greed, the cruelty and lust of our nation the only hope I have if for a supernatural revival of faith.

If that does not come, then some sort of disaster will befall us. It is the way the world is wired. The culture of death brings–you guessed it–death and destruction. It’s just as certain as the rising of the sun or water flowing downhill, and because this is built into the system–because this is the way the world turns–and because God is master of all–even that, as terrible as it may be…will be a gift from God.


  • Barbara Nicolosi

    As someone who works with a lot of non-Christians, I want to point out that the language here is problematic to pagan ears. They hear us saying cancer is a gift of God. Hitler is a gift of God. Newtown is a gift of God. And they conclude, understandably that we are nuts for worshipping this God and calling Him Love. We are on better rhetorical grounds saying, “Freedom is a gift of God,” and then letting people draw the conclusion that freedom is such a great gift that it’s goodness subsumes its horrors. It also removes that uncomfortable conclusion that somehow God is making bad things happen to us. It doesn’t help us at all to talk to non-believers about God “unconditional willing” something like Newtown. Hell, it doesn’t help me to hear that.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      Good point. It was a rhetorical flourish perhaps.

    • elcid

      I think you misunderstand what Father was saying, but anyway…we reap what we sow, God allows bad things to happen because he gives us free will to allow us to put these into effect, God didn’t cause 9/11 but he allowed it to happen because of our collective sins, didn’t NY pass gay marriage a few months ago, one minute they are praying on the streets and the next gays celebrate on the street in a disgusting way, didn’t we just reelect the most radical man I can think of into the white house, I think the disaster that Father speaks of will be a economic one which will be followed by riots in the streets, killings, burnings, etc, I don’t think it will be a moral disaster since we’re already at that point…50+ million babies slaughter in their mothers womb, their brains suck out in a partial birth abortion, but moral clarity for liberals is don’t waterboard a terrorist.

    • Father Joseph LeBlanc, SJ

      Barbara, I enjoyed your post. At times we throw out all these mantras and quite frankly a large number of people have no idea what they mean nor even care to find out what they mean. Good post.

    • http://brandy-miller.blogspot.com Brandy M. Miller

      God doesn’t bring the evil on anyone, and that’s not his gift to them either. That good comes from what men intended for evil is His gift – He brings the good.

    • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

      I beg to disagree. Instead, I’d suggest a change in the wording to reflect with less 19th-century French flourish a profound truth about God and life: “everything brings about a grace.”
      Yes, Hitler brought about the grace of a change in the bitterness towards Jews in the West. Need we recall the acceptable antisemitism in America even as Normandy was being invaded?
      Yes, Newton brought about the grace of the awareness of how precious children are and the heroic example of their teacher who gave their lives for them. Need we recall that a million of children is denied growing to the age of those who were killed?
      Besides, I think that this truth also works as an antidote to the gospel of prosperity and offers an answer to the mystery of suffering.

  • Darlene Mathis

    The name of King Nebechadnezzar comes to mind.

  • midwestlady

    Haha. No comments on this one. Nobody wants to think about this because it’s the likely outcome of where we are. Magical thinking is a high art in contemporary America.

  • Arnobius of Sicca

    Seems to me, we could also say Obama is a gift from God in the sense that God sees every person as worth being given the message of salvation. His policies are truly wrong and against what God commands to be sure. But we’re not to just throw in the towel and deem him beyond salvation.

  • Matthew J. Ogden

    Perhaps the good father would not mind my elucidating what it seems to me like he is trying to say. As St. Augustine put it, “God allows evil to exist so He can bring good even out of evil.” The gift is not the evil person as such, but the opportunity he provides for others to be good by resisting him.

    • Jerry Rhino

      You are so correct. From the evil which God allows, comes spiritual opportunity, which is why God allows it. Think of OJ in jail. Some can say God is at last allowing him to be punished. But there is another viewpoint, God is allowing OJ another chance to repent by changing his environment. I believe God presents us with good things and desires our gratitude. When this does not happen, as we see in the USA today, God presents us with a totally different spiritual opportunity, which we are experiencing with Obama and the most probable persecution to come. Thanks be to God for giving us so many, many chances.

  • Mr. Patton

    I like this kind of rationale. Saul one said:” I became all things to all men, that I might save all.” 1 Corinthians 9: 22. Mr. President is truly a gift to all.

  • Jon D

    Thank you. I’m a Catholic who has been losing faith for a long time. You convince me there’s no reason to believe in any god.

    • elcid

      Then you were never a true Catholic to begin with, if you were a TRUE Catholic then you would believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, to quote Fr. John A. Hardon about the crisis in the Catholic Church “It is essentially a crisis of faith. At the root of this crisis of faith is the mystery of the Eucharist”
      You can read more here: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/intro/grt_need.htm
      Also I think you should read St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori -”Preparation for Death”, if you leave your faith you never know when death will strike you, you may not have time to amend your life or receive the sacracments.

    • Rene

      Dear John,

      I’m sorry to hear about that. I suppose you can now start believing in Obama. I wonder which famous Hollywood celebrity stated about Obama “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you”

    • Wills

      Jon D–First, I am not sure Elcid is the arbiter of true Catholicism, so feel free to ignore him. Second, your response illustrates the great risk of writing and blogging–it is such an impersonal medium one never knows who will receive what we write and how. It’s a risk writers must take. Forgive us when our abilities do not match the truth we try to convey. Third, there is a reason to believe in God but you won’t necessarily find that reason on the blogosphere even in good posts. Find a real. live person who is willing to engage with you in doubt and difficult discussion–even in admitting the occasional aridity and silence that is part and parcel of Christian life, and talk, commune, relate. You will find God only in communion. Fourth, since you are a Catholic, please, please go back to the sacraments and stay close to them even when you feel that nothing is happening. I repeat, you find God only in communion, with Him and with his creation (that means other folks…). You are in my prayers.

      • elcid

        Wills, I don’t think what I said to JonD was mean spirited, plus I did quote two priests… it’s just a hard truth that has to be said in this day and age, the hard fact is many so called Catholics lack faith in the Eucharist which is why they’re faith is lacking, I go to Holy Hour every week and there’s hardly more than 30 people there for confession and Holy Hour yet at Mass just about everyone takes communion, I wonder what percentage of them really don’t believe in the true presence, I would guess it’s pretty high.
        And for the record I may come at things a little harder then you do, that doesn’t mean we don’t have the same aims in sight; Jon’s salvation, maybe you never read the sermons of St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, this priest and others like him were tough in their preaching, why? because souls were at stake, I would think you will agree that some people respond to tender preaching and others to fire and brimstone.

    • Gilbert

      As thinking human beings, we oftentimes equate God to just our idea of what God should be. Sort of like he’s interviewing for a position in our lives. To many, well, this God doesn’t meet the requirements as defined by them, so we “fire” Him. God doesn’t exist. Period.

      If your own father didn’t match up to your idea of a father, does he cease to exist?

      In reality God can do whatever He wants with us, with the world, with the universe. And that is not premised on whether we believe Him or not. I would rather seek and also seek guidance on what He wants us to do and accomplish this. Ultimately, He will live up to His Words. We just cannot comprehend the bigger picture that His infinite wisdom can see, and the twists and turns we see as humans is a very clear, straight line to Him.

    • DJ

      I am a Jew married to an amazing Catholic woman who happened to come upon this site. John, clearly my opinion and 50 cents will almost buy a weekday newspaper. Given that, there are many examples of tragic, vile, violent, stupid, vulgar and insipid behavior from humans. Yes, even from Catholics – some of whom claim to be “good Catholics.” If you enjoy reading/studying philosophy, logic and/or what might be called faith related issues I have a couple of suggestions. Since you are Catholic, you might find St. Thomas’ writings interesting, helpful and insightful on several levels. Also, Maimonedes, the Jewish Philosopher from the earlier Middle Ages, might be helpful – St. Thomas said that Maimonedes was a big influence on his thinking. There is also a Muslim Philosopher who was large influence on St. Thomas but I cannot recall his name.
      As a first step, I think a search on topics you are interested in might be a good way to start. That is, you can read a page or three on a subject you like and find interesting without the investment of starting “Summa Theologica” or “The Guide to the Perplexed.”
      Also, of course, I would suggest start or keep praying. If you do it with sincere seeking for G-d at the worst you will become a much better person. And, of course, you may see and then hear a burning bush……if it happens once – who knows? Good luck and bravo to you for your continued seeking for the eternal.

  • Dr. X

    Saint Francis said that all things are gifts from God save one thing: our own sin.

    • NK

      Is our sin our gift to G_d? There is a quote of St. Jerome – Jesus asks St. Jerome what will you give me?. And the saint replied about time, energy, intelligence etc. And Jesus says .. give me your sins.

      About this blog post; Since the counter-culture of 60s is now the mainstream.. will Catholicism soon become the counter-culture?

      • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

        Catholicism is already counter culture

  • https://sites.google.com/site/truthinphilosophy/ Jim J. McCrea

    All things come only by the will of God – with the exception of sin itself.

  • Tom

    Jon I would start by stating that your belief in God shouldn’t be based on anything that we fallen children have to say. You need to look deep into your own heart and meditate upon the wonders of creation and your place in it. Our faith is what gives us the strength to face the challenge of evil with the glad hope that God and good will be victorious in the end.

  • Angel

    Watch, I guarantee this– God will bring good out of Evil!

  • Ramanie

    Dear Father, A very good article. Thank you. May God bless you always.

  • Morriec


    Jon is a troll.

  • maurice

    I think the bishops of “America”(i’m Canadian)should stand up and forbid
    the faithfull in their care to vote.
    My point? Well,what choice did you have?

  • Wills

    Elcid. Never said you were mean spirited. You did. And for the record yes I have read those works. Do note I suggested he remain close to the sacraments.

  • Craig

    Men, lets not argue-hardcore Catholic Truth is necessary, as well as the Sacramentd. If Jon doesnt hear it now, he may get the usual lukewarm catechesis and then be disappointed when life becomes difficult.

    JON: DVDs and writings by Venerable Archbishop Sheen seem appropriate…

  • Louis Baumer

    The President is really gift from–according to a Pew Research study–the 52% of those nominal Catholics who voted for this pro-abotion, pro-LGBT and obviously anti-Catholic person.

  • Noel Fitzpatrick

    I read here “the bad stuff that happens is also a gift from God because it is his judgement on the human race”
    Not so. People have free will and accidents do happen. We cannot know God’s will but he is not vindictive, he is a God of love. We cannot say the shoa/holocaust is God’s judgement on his people or that a child with special needs is a punishment for failed parents.

    “NRSV Luke13. 4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

  • Jimmy

    I like the title. It really caught my attention like it did everyone who read it regardless of whether you voted for and against Obama. I think it catches our attention because all of us are looking for justification for our moral (or immoral) position and/or for moral judgement on everything for which Obama has become the poster child. So, I have two points. 1) I wish I could have come up with these kind of titles for my term papers back when I was in school. 2) I think Fr. Longenecker explains his point quite nicely regardless of what kind of Chrisitan you are, or are not. Throughout the Bible, there is a condition for receiving gifts from God. Yes, God freely provides us grace and promises us good things, but we can’t expect good things when we’re not following His conditions or laws. Re-read the 10 commandments. Or re-read Jeremiah 29:11-14 (not just verse 11 like so many know) to see how God promises good things to those who remain faithful (note in verses 12 and 13: “when you call me, and come and pray to me,” and “when you seek me with all your heart.”) So, is Obama a gift? Maybe not, but the title got our attention, and we should realize that, like God called Nebechadnezzar in Jeremiah 27:6, Obama may indeed be God’s servant. Whether we voted for or against Obama, I think we can (should) all agree that we need to turn away from the unfaithfulness we have thrown in God’s face, put on sackcloth, throw ashes on our heads, confess our sins and repent, and turn back to the Lord God Almighty like Nineveh did.

  • steve


    Many believe that Ephesians 2:8 teaches that God arbitrarily bestows faith on a selected few so they can believe and be saved. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.(NKJV)

    Salvation is the gift of God, not faith. The gift God gives is forgiveness from sin.

    How do men receive faith?

    Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(NKJV)

    Faith comes from hearing the gospel preached. Faith is not arbitrarily dispatched to a chosen few.

    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greeks,

    Salvation is attained by believing the gospel. Salvation is not predetermined by God and forced on a select few by forcing them to have faith and be saved.

    1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God , it pleased God through the foolishness of the messaged preached to save those who believe.(NKJV)

    God saves men through preaching the gospel. God does not preselect men and the force them to have faith so they will be saved.

    John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but that the wrath of God abides on him.”(NKJV)

    If God imputes faith to all who believe, why would those who do not believe receive the wrath of God. Non-believers would have no responsibility nor capability to believed and be saved.

    1 John 3:20-23….And this is His commandment: that we we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.(NKJV)

    Why would God command us to believe on His Son Jesus Christ if we are not capable of believing, unless He arbitrarily bestows that faith on non-believers?

    Jesus said “He who believes and is baptized will be saved..”(Mark 16:16) Jesus did not say God will give you the gift of faith so you can believe, be baptized and be saved.

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