Christians and Obama

Christians and Obama October 11, 2008

CNN reports the following about a minister speaking at a McCain rally:

A minister delivering the invocation at John McCain’s rally in Davenport, Iowa Saturday told the crowd non-Christian religions around the world were praying for Barack Obama to win the U.S. presidential election.

“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens,” said Arnold Conrad, the former pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport.

If this is evidence of anything, it is the twisted American Evangelical idea that Christian values are the same as Republican values.

Many Christians want Obama to win, not primarily because he professes to be a Christian himself, but because he has plans regarding the economy and health insurance which are in line with the teachings and emphases of the Bible, and yet are part of a key blind spot in conservative Christianity’s vision of the Bible.

It is to McCain’s credit that, for the most part, he has denounced a number of recent instances of hate speech and false claims made about Obama. (In the video that follows, are people in the crowd really shouting what it sounds like?!)

The most bizarre thing of all is not that many Christians are opposed to Obama. What truly boggles the mind is that anyone could in essence shout “Execute him! Crucify him!” and think that they are standing on the side of Christianity.

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  • I think that the prayer says a lot about what evangelicals believe about God. I don’t think they are thinking in terms of values, but, positions or stances toward an issue. Values can be viewed from different sides and are open ended discussion topics, whereas, policy stances, or posiions toward an ideology are “set in stone” so to speak. And the ‘hardening of the categories” is a death knell to discussion or open-mindedness…It is a view of exclusivity..

  • steph

    I think people all around the world are hoping for Obama to win, and would still hope (or pray) even if he was atheist, because he is the safer and more level headed and fairer candidate to lead the unfortunately most powerful country in the world. McCain and his buddy are far right wing imperialistic loose cannons.Although Obama gave McCain credit for correcting his insane supporters, I don’t think McCain had any choice. He was “forced” (as international media have expressed it) to save his face.The extent to which these ridiculous insults have developed among the Republican supporters is McCain’s and Palin’s faults anyway – they are a direct result of the McCain camp smear and fear campaign. He had no choice but to defend Obama now (although it was pretty weak – he just said he was a ‘decent family man’). The whole slanderous rhetoric about Obama’s ‘relationship’ with Ayers is just dangerous and irresponsible fuelling for some redneck gunhappy yobbo who loves his country and wants to be famous, to assassinate Obama.The fact that McCain and Palin have driven their supporters to such mad accusations of Obama, is their responsibility and their embarrassment.

  • Those claims about Obama were long before McCain won the nomination, or Palin was picked as VP, so I don’t think they can be blamed. But I want to address Dr. McGrath’s point: I agree that Christians who support Obama are drawing on Christian values. I disagree with the notion that Obama’s stances on health care and the economy are more in line with the Bible–as if the Bible only lends itself to the liberal party-line. Why should we assume that the liberal party-line is the only way to address problems in the economy or health care?

  • james, without putting words into Dr Mcrath’s mouth, i want to defend his point about the bible being “more” in line with Obama’s policies. the key word is “more”. the other day a guy i know was criticizing a certain country for having universal health care, being “socialist,” and remaining neutral during wwII. to this claim i responded, “i guess the church in Acts 2 and 4 was just as bad.” they shared their stuff, were instructed to pray for their enemies rather than fight them, and even cared for widows and orphans who probably couldn’t afford food, let alone health care. it’s funny how so muany American Christians are just that, American first, Christian second.

  • steph

    that may be James, but McCain and Palin have certainly embraced those ‘claims’ and encouraged the fear.

  • benjdm

    What truly boggles the mind is that anyone could in essence shout “Execute him! Crucify him!” and think that they are standing on the side of Christianity.Of course they would. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t think that.Go back to your post about Abraham, where almost all Christians think that Abraham did the right thing. It’s the official Catholic church teaching and 17 out of 21 of the posters responding at Christian Forums thought it was the right thing. It’s entirely consistent to consider calling for the execution of Obama and call yourself a Christian.