Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I.Joseph Smith
A Pew study released found that many Americans do not know the religious faiths of President Obama or presumptive Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. A third of Americans do not know that Romney is a Latter Day Saint, a Mormon! The Mormons have conservative views, especially on gender and homosexuality, and are intolerant of members’ questioning official teachings.
The United Church of Christ, President Obama’s church of choice, is more liberal on these issues. Unlike the Mormons, the UCC is not centralized to the extent that the Mormon sect is. It is not uniform across congregations because doctrinal issues in the UCC are left to the congregations, not to a central institute as is the case with the Mormons.
17 percent of Americans say Obama is a Moslem. In 2008, Americans were likely to correctly identify his religion as Christian. Political opposition to Obama as president aimed to remind voters of his pastor, Jeremiah Wright. But Pastor Wright’s supposedly racist remarks actually showed them Obama was Christian.
The separate Pew Research Center “American Values Survey”, which polled more than 3,000 adults nationwide, found that approximately one in five Americans don’t have a religious affiliation at all—the most ever documented. It also found that 32 percent of the latest adult generation have doubted the existence of God—double the number of those who felt the same way just five years ago.
This survey found increased tolerance for difference in every age, religious preference and political group. The new generation is known for wanting to distinguish itself from its peers—to stand out so to speak—by adopting unorthodox ideas.
Criticisms of Mormonism
The doctrine of the Mormon Church separates it from Christianity according to the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant religions, all of which descended from Jesus Christ and his apostles. Mormons had no apostolic succession by which the holy Spirit is passed from priest to priest from the original apostles, could not have been involved in the Nicene Creed, and Mormon cosmology with its plan of salvation including pre-mortal life, baptism of the dead, three degrees of heaven, and exaltation by which humans may become gods and goddesses on a par with Jesus is alien to Christian thought.
Critics have questioned the legitimacy of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of LDS, as a prophet as well as the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon, and include claims of historical revisionism, homophobia, racism, and sexism and paedophilia. Evangelical Christians argue that Smith was either a fraud or deluded.
Murder, which in the case of an individual is admitted to be a crime, is called a virtue when it is committed wholesale. Impunity is claimed for the wicked deeds, not on the plea that they are guiltless, but because the cruelty is perpetrated on a grand scale.S Cyprian (d 258 AD), Epistle to Donatus
More evidence, should it be needed, that our Christian leaders know so little about Christian morality that they can have no claim to be Christian. Bush and Obama in the US, and Blair, Brown, and now Cameron, in the UK, have all “committed wholesale” murder and perpetrated “cruelty on a grand scale”, apparently believing they are entitled to do it with impunity because it is virtuous in the eyes of God. This Christian saint, who presided over seven Church Synods, so must have known something about Christian moral dogma, begs to differ from today’s smug and mendacious paragons.
Don’t these US Christians make you laugh. They claim over and over again the USA is the most Christian nation on earth. They tell us 80% of Americans are Christians, or is it 90%, yet they haven’t the least idea of what Christ taught. If they do have then they are the most hypocritical Christian nation on earth.
In a chorus, they decry the Scottish government for releasing the Libyan, Abdulbaset al-Megrahi, found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing, on grounds of mercy. The man is dying of prostate cancer. He is a merciless man and so deserves no mercy, they argue. The President says it, his Secretary of State says it, the relatives of the victims of the crash say it, everyone in the USA says it, it seems, and most of them Christians!
Do they have any idea what the Christian Holy Book quotes the God of the Christians as teaching when he came down to live briefly among men before he allowed them to crucify him? Evidently they do not know because everything he said American Christians ignore. Do they have the same bible as the rest of us, or do they have one specially printed for them by Satan himself? In his most famous speech, the Sermon on the Mount, he says:
Blessed are the merciful! For they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:7)
This civilized message is repeated over again by the Christian God incarnate and his disciples:
I desire mercy and not sacrifice… (Mt 9:13)
But if you had known what this is, I desire mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless. (Mt 12:7)
But love the ones hostile to you… Therefore, be merciful, even as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and in no way be judged. Do not condemn, and in no way you will be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. For the same measure which you measure, it will be measured back to you.( Lk 6:35-38)
For judgment will be without mercy to the one not doing mercy. And mercy rejoices over judgement. (Jas 2:13)
For God hath wrapped them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (Rom 11:32)
And so on, and so on. Secretary Clinton, does your God mean by all this in the Christian book that really he wants revenge, not mercy? President Obama, is your God to be regarded as disgusting because of His mercy, or because He is not too fussy about his modern day followers? Better to have no God at all than one like this!
The Scottish Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill, was the one to show Christian mercy, saying that even though al-Megrahi had shown no mercy to the aircraft passengers…
That alone is not a reason for us to deny compassion to him and his family in his final days.
Most of the relatives and friends of the British victims of this tragedy are pleased by the mercy being shown, not least because they have grave doubts about Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s guilt.
Americans are less interested in justice than having revenge—a victim. Any victim! So they can have “closure”. What pure hypocrisy. They were bombed by Al Qaida, so they took revenge on the Iraqis, and on the Afghans. They made no attempt to bring the actual criminals to justice. The same is true here. The evidence against al-Megrahi was one man’s identification, yet he was paid a large sum by the US government for giving the testimony he gave, and it emerged that he knew what al-Megrahi looked like having been shown a photograph of him. A great deal more about the whole tragedy is murky. Knowing this, no fair judge could possibly have allowed the case to continue, but Americans still have no doubts.
They ignore what their own God tells them, and they ignore the principles of justice, yet still claim that they are Christians, the servants of God and will be saved. Either they cannot read or they are so bigotted they simply cannot grasp what words mean that contradict their prejudices. Either way, if they are right and God will judge us all, then they should be happy in the dubious circumstances to leave Him to judge al-Megrahi. And, if they are right that God will judge them mercifully, then they will get considerable shock and horror when they eventually meet their judge.
For judgment will be without mercy to the one not doing mercy.
Barack Obama’s speeches are much admired and endlessly analysed. The sheer numbers of people who have heard him speak live set him apart from his rivals, recalling the politics of ancient Athens, where the public speech given to ordinary voters was the motor of politics, and where the art of rhetoric matured alongside democracy.
But, says Charlotte Higgins—author of a Short Book on how Ancient Greece has shaped our world—in an article in The Guardian, 26 November, 2008, one of their most interesting aspects is the enormous debt they owe to the oratory of the Romans, and, through sermons, the church, which taught the rhetorical tradition of the ancients as practically useful to its aims, while destroying most of the rest of classical tradition. To understand the next four years of American politics, we will need to understand something of the politics of ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks and Romans discovered all there was to know about rhetoric, and they put a name to most of the devices it used.
Unlike most politicians who make a point of dumbing down the content of their addresses, Obama’s speeches respect the intelligence of their audience. The adjective used to describe Obama’s oratorical skill is “Ciceronian”. Cicero, the outstanding Roman politician of the late republic, was the greatest orator of his time, and one of the greatest in history, though, more immediately, Obama looks to Lincoln, Roosevelt and King.
Like Cicero, Obama is a lawyer. Like Cicero, Obama entered politics without family backing or a military record, in contrast to his rivals McCain and the Clintons who had one or the other. Like Cicero, Obama is a writer of enormous accomplishment—Dreams From My Father, Obama’s first book, will surely enter the American literary canon, Higgins says. In the intricacies of speechifying, Obama recalls Cicero—Obama knows and uses them, too. Like Cicero, Obama likes “tricola”, the linking of three words or phrases, as in Caesar’s veni, vidi, vinci. In his 4 November speech, Obama said, “Our campaign… began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston”, which is a tricolon. In the 2004 Democratic convention speech, Obama used the technique of “praeteritio”—drawing attention to a subject by not discussing it. Higgins notes that Obama excels in the projection of ethos. In his book On The Orator, a book which aspiring politicians must read now, surely, he argues that real eloquence can be acquired only if the speaker has attained the highest state of knowledge—“otherwise what he says is just an empty and ridiculous swirl of verbiage”.
The true orator is one whose practice of citizenship embodies a civic ideal—whose rhetoric is not empty, as McCain tried to imply, but is the deliberate, rational, careful organiser of ideas and argument that propels the state forward safely and wisely. Higgins asks finally, “Can Obama’s words translate into deeds?”.