I Don't Disagree With President Obama

I Don't Disagree With President Obama November 5, 2012

When’s the last time you heard someone begin a statement about President Obama in one of these ways?
“Even if you disagree with President Obama…”
“I disagree with President Obama, but…”
“President Obama and I would doubtless disagree on certain issues, but…”
…where what follows after the “but” could be anything from “You should still respect him” to “I don’t think he’s an evil person” to “We can still come together on other issues.”

I “disagree” with some people that Empire Strikes Back was the best installment of Star Wars. I “disagree” with other people that tofu is edible. I “disagree” with still other people that hip-hop deserves to be called “music.”
But I don’t “disagree” with President Obama. I don’t “disagree” with his policies regarding human life. I don’t “disagree” with a party devoted to hunting down and killing the weak and the helpless, the disabled and elderly as well as the unborn, because they’re expendable and resources are scarce, and some of them are going to die anyway.
I don’t “disagree” with a man who could smoothly and coolly stand up to oppose legislation that would ensure medical care for survivors of botched abortions who “don’t just come out limp and dead,” and not so much as wince over such a monstrous choice of words.
I don’t “disagree” with a man who could refer unblinkingly to a baby created in the image of God as “a punishment” for one of his daughters.
I don’t “disagree” with a man who places abortion provision so high on his priority list that he could rush to pour countless tax dollars into Planned Parenthood in a time of economic crisis. Even Clinton bothered to lie that he wanted abortions to be rare.
To imply that this man is anything other than a moral monster, worthy to be named in the same breath as Hitler and Stalin, is to succumb to peer pressure—pressure to treat any candidate in an American election as de facto respectable. The stench of death is upon him, and upon his party. Indeed, C. S. Lewis was right. “The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of evil that Dickens loved to paint… It is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.”
No, I don’t “disagree” with President Obama. I regard him as my mortal enemy. Moreover, I regard him as the mortal enemy of everything good in America. I hold his illustrious person in utter contempt. I have fought him for four years, and should he win this next election (which he likely will since any close race favors the side willing to cheat the hardest), I will fight him for another four years. There can be no respect for such a man. There can be no negotiation, no compromise, no I-disagree-with-him-buts. My only prayer for him is that his dreams would be haunted by the silent screams of those dead and dying whose blood is on his head. In truth, I do not know what it would take to save his soul, but I know that God never saved a man who didn’t want to be saved.
Yimach sh’mo v’zichro. May his name and memory be erased.

"It's true that everyone faces those same fundamental questions. But the difference between an easy ..."

Sam Harris Asks Questions Jordan Peterson ..."
"/ Not too many years ago I would have glibly said, "We all have our ..."

Sam Harris Asks Questions Jordan Peterson ..."
"But, a valid ID is too much for you, eh?"

Sam Harris Asks Questions Jordan Peterson ..."
"It was a tough series about African-American spirituality. I was glad when Fr. Rohr picked ..."

Sam Harris Asks Questions Jordan Peterson ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • The Bible could not possibly be more clear on the subject: the powers that be are ordained of God (Romans 13:1), and it is our job to render the due honor. Like you, I find it very difficult to do this for a leader so against the Word of God. But it says it right there in black and white:
    1 Peter 2:17 “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
    President Obama will have to give account for the blood of the unborn. So too shall we give account for the way we have obeyed God’s Word in honoring the leaders God has put in place. It is possible to strongly speak against the words and actions of our leaders, while maintaining an attitude of honor toward their position of authority. God commands us to strike that balance, as difficult as it may be.

  • Check out Daniel 6, where Darius had Daniel put in the den of lions. The king tried to have him killed because he prayed to God, but Daniel never wavered from showing the king the proper honor, even while taking a strong stand for God: Daniel 6:21-22, “Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.”

  • I think there’s a misconception about what exactly the Bible is referring to. In those days, “dishonoring” the king meant refusing to pay taxes or rising up in open rebellion, as in taking up arms against the government. The apostles were telling the Christians being persecuted to remain “squeaky clean,” as it were, so that there could be no doubt that they were not being treasonous.
    Today, only the most loony fringe folk would advocate armed rebellion or refusal to pay taxes. I’ll give Obama his taxes, and I won’t join armed rebellion against the government if there ever comes a day when that actually happens. But we can’t just take the Bible out of context and say, “Well, maybe THEN it meant not rebelling in arms, but today we could apply it to just not respecting the President.” I don’t believe in doing that. Everything should be read in its proper context with a sense of the meaning it would have carried at the time. No more, no less.

  • To give an example, I saw Russell Moore saying something ridiculous the other day to the effect that he won’t let his children refer to “Obama” by his last name only, because that’s disrespectful (somehow, even though it’s common practice to refer even to beloved presidents or politicians by their last name—heck, I sometimes refer to President Reagan as “Reagan,” and he was our greatest president ever!) But he makes them say PRESIDENT Obama, because it doesn’t matter how awful he is, we shouldn’t refer to him without the proper title.
    Now somehow I doubt that the Bible was talking about teaching little kids to say EMPEROR Nero instead of Nero. That’s pure anachronism.

  • I guess I just think the Bible means what it says when it says “Honor the king”.

  • I’m not disagreeing that the Bible means what it says. I’m just saying that the phrase “Honor the king” had different connotations at the time it was written than it does in the 21st century.
    Think about when we talk about “honoring so-and-so’s authority.” The word “honor” isn’t always used in cases where we respect the person we’re obeying or serving under. E.g., “Well, so-and-so is my superior, so I suppose I have to honor his authority, but I am SO looking for another job.” I think that’s what the Bible means by “honor.” Obey the laws, recognize the authority of the “king,” or “emperor” (or government as case may be).

  • Do you have any Biblical precedent for someone speaking in such a strong negative manner about a ruler, and not being rebuked for it?
    In addition to Daniel’s story above, here’s another one: Acts 23…the high priest orders Paul to be smitten, and Paul mouths off at him. When told that he was talking to the high priest, Paul said he didn’t know it was the high priest: “Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.” Paul is probably referring to Exodus 22:28 here. A similar thing is written in Ecclesiastes 10:20.
    Also see Paul’s language when testifying before King Agrippa in Acts 26: “I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
    Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.”

  • I think Paul is pretty clearly being sarcastic in the first passage. Sarcasm was one of his great gifts.
    As for Agrippa, I’m not 100% sure, but I think he was actually a decent king. Let me double-check that.

  • So you think Paul intentionally disobeyed the Scripture he quoted, then used it as a sarcastic tool? I don’t see Paul as that type…

  • No, actually it’s more complex than that. There were two high priests, one appointed by the Jews, the other appointed by the Romans. Now, it is still possible that Paul really didn’t recognize the high priest, but it’s plausible that it was an elaborate Jewish insult. “Oh, well I’m SORRY, I didn’t know he was the high priest.” (Read: Maybe your high-priest bucko, but not mine.)
    As for Paul not being the type to make an elaborate insult, I guess we just get different pictures of his personality. I do agree that he wouldn’t disrespect Scripture, but it may be that he had an interpretation of that passage that left room for him to mouth off at someone who didn’t have LEGITIMATE authority.

  • I guess this is just another case where I’m taking the words I’m reading for what they are. I feel like you’re jumping through a few hoops here trying to find reasons the words don’t mean what they actually say.

  • Well, I think it can be helpful to look at the history that informed the Scriptures. That doesn’t mean I hold the Scriptures in low esteem or believe in twisting the words around like a pretzel to come up with bizarre new interpretations (like “progressives” or liberals). But I think it can shed light on incidents exactly like this one and make them more vivid, as well as supporting the authenticity of the Word as historical fact.
    I do know that the Jews in fact didn’t recognize the authority of the ROMAN high priest. I’m not saying I know definitely that Paul was being sarcastic, but I am saying that given what I know of the political situation at the time, it would make sense.

  • For example, going back to the passage in Peter, it was actually a significant thing for the Christians to choose not to take up arms, given that rebellion had been so frequent among the Jews. It was a way of setting themselves apart. New rules: We are a religion of peace, and if they come to persecute us, to live is Christ and to die is gain. So again, it’s not a stretch to guess that this is the type of thing that the passage meant.

  • David

    Another way (and I think the correct way) to view the passage is to make sure we understand exactly who the king is under the laws of the United States; and the President (any President) is not him. The President is a governor that is put in place by those in whom the ultimate sovereign power is vested by the supreme law of the land; namely, “We the People of the United States. The President, while holding a position of immense power, is ultimately an employee of the people of the U.S., ostensibly within the framework of the U.S. Constitution, and should not be held up as a king. Not only is doing so a slap in the face of our democratic principles and republican ideals, but it’s not a far leap from treating him as a king to treating him as a Messiah; as many have already done.
    We best honor the King, here in the U.S., when we return to our founding principles and give the Constitution the respect and honor it is due; and has been lacking for many years. After all, when someone begins working for the government, in either a civilian or military role, they take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution,” not the President.

  • Lydia

    An Old Testament passages that says not to speak evil of the ruler of the people of Israel was presumably speaking to a theocratic set-up in which the High Priest was both a civil and a religious leader and was deemed to be in some sense a representative of God. Rather like the “Divine Right of Kings.” People might have noticed that the President of the United States is not “the leader of thy people [Israel],” nor does he rule by divine right! Nor is he “the Lord’s anointed” nor anything like that.
    We recognize his power and the reality of his being President. But I see not a thing in the Bible that means that we have to speak _nicely_ about him.
    I do find it kind of ironic to conjecture that some of the same people who tell us we have to speak _nicely_ about Barack Obama because he’s the President would probably cite various OT prophecies in which the prophets use words like “whore” and so forth to condemn Israel and use those to defend watching movies with graphic scenes or language! Never mind Philippians 4:8 and whether that “says what it means.” I don’t know if any of that applies to present company, but, c’mon: If the “strong language of the prophets” (including the way Jesus spoke about the religious leaders of his own time) tells us anything, it’s far more likely to be, “You don’t have to talk nicey about the present politicians running your country” than “It’s okay to expose yourself to ‘art’ that uses bad language and has graphic scenes.”

  • I don’t think that includes present company, but I do agree that for those who do make both of those arguments, there is shall we say a “tension.”

  • You have an interesting point there. Even the President takes an oath to support the Constitution. And as Lydia also points out below, it’s not like Obama is “the Lord’s anointed.” He’s “the people of America’s anointed.” Now of course, we have Jesus’ word to Pilate that he would have no power were it not allowed him by God, but that’s more indirect.

  • Tim

    “Do you have any Biblical precedent for someone speaking in such a strong negative manner about a ruler, and not being rebuked for it?”
    Well, yes. The language about Nero in Revelation 13 is pretty strongly negative. A nameless prophet in 1 Kings 13 speaks harshly to Jeroboam and refuses to eat with him — a grave insult in Eastern culture, but one that the prophet indicates he was enjoined by God to give. Elijah is blunt and harsh with Ahab in 1 Kings 18. Nathan is blunt and harsh — not to say graphic — with David in 2 Samuel 12.
    Isaiah 1:17 enjoins God’s people to “Learn to do good: seek justice; rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless; plead for the widow.” If speaking the harsh truth to Obama regarding his vile record on abortion isn’t rebuking the oppressor, it’s hard to see why anything should count.

  • Thanks for providing these good portions of Scripture.
    I read through them…I don’t see anything in Elijah’s words to Ahab or Nathan’s words to David (most of which is Nathan just reciting words directly from God) that I would consider to be dishonorable. Nor do I think “rebuking the oppressor” is something that has to be done in a way that dishonors an authority figure. I’m all for letting Obama know that he is wrong about abortion, and other things, and if given the opportunity, I would tell him so. That’s quite different, in my opinion, from saying that you hold someone in “utter contempt” and making what is essentially a curse (“May his name and memory be erased.”) I don’t think we should speak like that about anyone, much less figures of authority over us.
    The #1 thing our president, Governor Romney, and probably 95% of the other elected leaders need is salvation. I am praying to that end, while also exercising my rights as a citizen to voice my opinion.

  • That’s an old Jewish curse. It was frequently uttered in connection with people like Hitler and Stalin who slaughtered millions of Jewish people. The Jews placed (and still place) a great deal of importance on someone’s memory living on after death. For example, when a righteous person is remembered, they say “May his righteous memory be a blessing.”
    To wish that Obama’s name and memory would be erased is not the same as, say, wishing for his damnation. However, it is a wish that his memory would not be held in esteem, that it would in fact be wiped out and forgotten. In other words, it’s a wish that people would look back and decry him in the same way we now decry a man like Hitler. That’s a good thing to hope for, even if he has some sort of deathbed conversion (which would of course bring the most glory to God).
    I’m curious—when you say we should not speak of anybody “like that,” are you saying we can’t even say of a monster like Hitler or Obama: “What an evil man. What a thoroughly despicable human being,” even if these things are completely true? I certainly don’t think the Bible says anything to that effect.

  • I would rather spend my time proclaiming how great and good God is, than proclaiming how evil some people may be. But by the grace of God, there go I. If the truth be told, we are all despicable human beings. Well, I’ll speak for myself and say that I am one. In my flesh, my wickedness is the same as Hitler’s, when put up to the measuring stick of God’s righteousness.
    It would have been worth someone’s time to directly tell Hitler, or Stalin, Obama, or even me, how wrong they are about what they are doing. But to just proclaim, from a distance, how evil someone is, just doesn’t bear any positive spiritual fruit, in my view. Who is it helping? Let’s strive, with our speech, to minister grace unto the hearer. That’s what will last for eternity.

  • If nobody had said or believed that Hitler was evil, then how would his regime have ever been broken? How would the people in his grasp have been liberated?

  • Tim

    If you are suggesting that all sins are equal in every relevant respect, you are mistaken; many Scriptures make it plain that these things are, in a morally relevant sense, on a continuum. (Check out Ezekiel 8 and Ezekiel 16.) The fact that all sin is an affront to God does not mean that all affronts are equal.
    I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree regarding what it means to “rebuke the oppressor.” If you are too tenderhearted to use strong terms of denunciation, that’s your affair. If you think there is a prohibition on doing it found in Scripture, you will have to do more than say what you think it means to “honor the king” — you will have to provide an analysis of the cultural context that indicates why other people should believe that your interpretation is correct. This is not a matter of “believing what the Bible says” or not; it is a matter of getting it right. Sometimes, you can’t do that without homework. YGG has provided such an analysis.
    As for positive spiritual fruit, calling evil by its name is a very important part of the Christian witness in the world. Sometimes, people forget just how horrific the killing of the innocent is and how ruthlessly Obama has supported this practice.

  • Lydia

    I’ll answer “who is it helping.” I think it has the potential to help young people who quietly and tacitly get the idea that Obama can’t be that bad because he’s been elected President and that, therefore, his policies aren’t that bad. In other words, that these positions aren’t that important.
    There are all sorts of young evangelicals out there right now being drawn into the Democrat party, which is extremely bad for them. And they are being taught to use phrases like, “Oh, well, I don’t _agree_ with President Obama on the abortion issue.” Think about that: Would one say, “Oh, I don’t _agree_ with Chancellor Hitler that the Jews should all be eradicated”? If you really see this as the Holocaust this is, you won’t use such milk-and-water phrases as, “Well, I don’t agree with him,” which makes his position and policies sound acceptable or respectable. Which is a sign that these new Democrat evangelical young people Don’t Get It.
    The straight talk in the main post has the potential to stop someone who might be headed down that path and cause him to say, “Hmm, how seriously are my Democrat Christian friends really taking this issue? Yeah, maybe the way they talk does indicate some confusion.”
    The issue of losing the next generation of Christian young people is a very serious one. Not only abortion but also the homosexuality issue are being pushed from every side, and compromise is being pushed with evil. And rhetoric like, “Well, I don’t _agree_ with him on everything” is precisely the sort of rhetoric that drives that compromise and very serious moral confusions.
    Blogging against those moral confusions has an important place. It serves as a wake-up call.

  • Yes, and of course some young people are so far gone they actually agree with Obama.

  • The specific verses to which Tim is alluding in Ezekiel are pretty much all God’s words in Ezekiel 8, and then Ezekiel 16:46-47.
    Jesus parallels this when he talks about the different punishments for people who are unreasonably angry with their brothers, who insult their brethren without cause, etc.

  • Ode

    Just caught up with all the blogs on gospel I read, sorry for the late comment. :)I saw transliterated Hebrew, was curious if maybe you doing some language studies.
    After reading the debate I feel compelled to say you are absolutely right – there is no harm and no sign of any unchristian behavior in using the expression . Non-religious ,and non-orthodox Jews, as well as popular culture widely uses it as just an expression of disdain.
    I see a misconception in some study sources on this. While it’s indeed a powerful curse, it is seen as capable to bring harm only by haredim (or worse), because it requires accompanying belief in gematria and Kabbalistic rituals that, presumably, give it the evil force. Just like voodoo and Wiccan chants, it only has the “power “to those who believe it does. Nothing but a reference for the rest of us : )
    Many Semitic or Yiddish expressions, of love as well as hate, seem quite strong to a westerner, due to English being more gentle, subtle than ivrit.        
    While most US Jews would disagree with your opinion on Obama, judging by % of Jewish democratic voters, I personally dislike him,too, if not as strong as you do, and also appreciate the people’s freedom to have such difference in opinions as a great achievement of US democracy. 
    That’s all I meant to say, appreciate your time and, while I am aware of our  major differences on  social issues, I do greatly respect your knowledge of music 🙂

  • Thanks for the comment. Do you consider yourself a Christian or a religious Jew?

  • Ode

    Oh,sorry – I wasn’t much online during the holidays, just started posting back a few days ago. I am a Christian convert baptised 8 years ago , first went to Eastern Orthodox Church, then small homebased and now non-denom. Merry Christmas! 🙂

  • Merry Christmas. I do think of and pray for you sometimes.