Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Obama, the Pastor in Chief

Barack Obama defends his support of 'civil unions' (gay marriage in all but name) including the right to 'visit each other in the hospital, transfer property', and so forth, by citing--


In the words of our Lord, red lettered, with notes by this writer--

'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven'.

This means (the other possible meaning is incoherent) "the poor will be blessed in their spirit", and it has nothing to do with civil unions and is irrelevant to the position Obama defends. It is an extension of the Christian notion that suffering is inevitable and if we 'share it with God', dedicate it to Him, it is easier to bear and counts to our good in eternity. The theology is hard to fully understand, even for longtime Christians; the point is, it has NOTHING to do with government programs for the poor or oppressed or marginalized.

It is about the SPIRIT. It is God's word to comfort the poor, to reassure them that their suffering is not all in vain, that it is noted and will be rewarded in Heaven. The obverse meaning, that those who luxuriate on this earth will do less of that in Heaven, is left unsaid.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Having been a mourner, as I will be for the rest of my life, it's good news. It is also irrelevant to Obama's assertion, unless he's planning a government giveaway for everyone who suffers the death of a loved one.

Not out of the question by any means, if he can get votes with it.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Assuming Obama intends to defend his position with this part-

It takes a really loose interpretation of 'meek' to include today's typical 'poor' American, who has two televisions, a working automobile and a really whiny attitude about other people owing him/her a living
. They are in many cases the opposite of meek; assertive, demanding, unsatisfiable. And our modern meek do nothing to endear themselves to the other Americans, those who will pay the bill.

And I would certainly list as among this group the many gay activists I've seen and heard, given the sheer volume of the whining sound made by so very few people and the unique privileges they are usually seeking.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Righteousness being defined contextually here as acting in the way God wants us to act (as the Bible itself teaches us throughout both Testaments), this assertion by Christ certainly excludes cynical appeals to certain voting groups; and since the Bible is fairly unambiguous about what marriage is (even Christ says 'a man and woman shall leave their parents and cleave one to another' in Mark 10:6-9, not to mention Paul's discussion of 'perversions'), the gay activist cannot here claim anything like the 'righteousness' of which Christ speaks in this sermon.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Defined as? A merciful redefinition of the word "marriage"? To his credit (not his moral sense, of course, but his political sense) Obama eschews changing the meaning of the word. But if the reality is there, the verbage matters little. And again this plainly goes against the words of Christ, saying unambiguously that 'the two shall become one flesh'; this union between a man and a woman is for life. It is marriage, and in the context of the Greco-Roman world in which the Hebrews live, it is revolutionary. It elevates the woman to the status of first-class human being, removes the label that says 'property of the man'. Divorce is now equivalent to amputation; they are 'one flesh'.

She had suffered with this second class status for as long as the human race existed, until the tablets came down from the mountain and the Hebrews learned how God wanted His creations to live.

We are wise to remember this revolutionary nature of the Hebrew way (one all powerful creator God, women and men different but equal in value, etc.) as we consider what is actually a counter-revolution, a return to the animal human and his subjective values, currently being conducted by leftists.

(aside-- part of the leftist arrogance at work here rests in their idea that only in this generation, only recently, have (only) certain people become wise and smart enough to address the reworking of the foundations of our culture. It takes a determined effort to ignore C. S. Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine and Origen and Polycarp and John the Elder and all the Apostles and prophets, as well as Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and Cicero and Seneca and Marcus Aurelius and all the thousands of voices which have made and shaped Western and Jewish and Christian culture for thousands of years. Humility is part and parcel of the character which honors and admires the great teachers of the past; arrogance and contemptuousness is the hallmark of those who toss it all out the window and insist they are smarter than those old people, those 'dead white guys', those antiquated types from yesteryear. Stalin tried it with the 'new Soviet man', Hitler with the Aryan supremacy theme, following Lenin and Marx and Trotsky and Sartre and Neitzche. It didn't work for them, and it doesn't work now. The sheer gall of those who think theirs is the only generation smart enough to remake human culture is breathtaking. Hillary Clinton is one such person, and has been from a young age. Clearly Michelle Obama is another, and doubtless Barack is also.)

Back to the fisking-

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Not applicable, certainly not to politicians (who shudder involuntarily when hearing this part).

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Because sometimes peace only comes when the clenched fist is applied to the unashamedly violent and oppressive, I count the United States Military among the peacemakers. Obama would not. And it is not relevant to the idea of 'civil unions' or even government largesse in general-- unless 'making peace' is somehow (as it is always, in this modern world) the responsibility of the defenders of the old ways, so that they are compelled to sit down and be quiet and let the changes happen for the sake of peace.

It is always the more conservative among us who are asked to be silent, isn't it? Obstruction of 'progress', as it were.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"For righteousness' sake" is the key here; people who are persecuted in general, or believe they are, do not appear on that list. It is for people who stand up and speak (and live a life which does not make the speech hypocritical) for God and Jesus and the Bible, knowing they will recieve grief or harm for it.

This includes, ironically, many people who stand and oppose the gay rights agenda.

It is those who have the courage to speak for God and Christ, not those who claim to have courage in the general leftist sense, 'speaking truth to power', yada yada. The real "truth to power" is the Gospel.

Blessed are ye, when men shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.'

See previous paragraph; note that it is not for people in general who have been spoken against falsely, but those who suffer this for the sake of Christ specifically.

There is now growing a zeitgeist in the Western world, amplified with zeal by the media-supported gay activists, which ever more boldly denounces Christians as intolerably intolerant (an irony completely lost on the 'tolerant'); Christianity might soon go as Judaism has long gone, down the road of the truly oppressed. We are presently only a little down that road.

But some of us would be wise to educate ourselves on the millenia-long and terrible story of the Jews, if only to better prepare.

All this simple exposition of the beatitudes, the beginning of the Sermon, should serve to tell Barack Obama that if he is to use Scripture as support for a political stand, he'd best be sure of the contextual meanings.

Thus endeth the beatitudes, mostly irrelevant to Obama's articulated position. More on the remainder of the Sermon after I get a night's sleep.

/end notes on red letters-

In summary-

Looks like Barack Obama hasn't been listening to Pastor Wright in church; or worse, he HAS. This sort of appeal on Biblical grounds is utterly wasted on anyone who knows, and cares about, what is actually written in that Book.

Constituent politics using Biblical references fails at a key point; the spot where 'government programs' are presumed to have been what Christ and the Apostles were proposing as 'charity' or 'caring' or what have you. We can logically extend that to any effort by government to put any group in a position to financially benefit from its actions. That is not what Christ was about. He spoke to individuals, about their OWN choices and thoughts and actions. He was not a 'group activist' in that sense.

Spending someone else's money, as in supporting a government program you aren't paying for, is not only not charity; it is the opposite. It is something approaching theft. And if you stand to benefit from the program you support, it is an immoral conflict of interest, a grubby grab for other people's money cloaked in the clean white robes of democracy.

Gay activists certainly stand to benefit in many ways from this new Obama world. Of course, it is legal NOW to write a will which names a beneficiary, but that is apparently too permanent and too much work; in a promiscuous lifestyle such things are a constant chore to maintain. So they demand spousal rights to estate inheritance, hospital visitation rights, mostly as a cover for what they really want: BENEFITS. Health care free on a partner's work benefit program, legal co-ownership of pensions and so forth.

And that too is a hit to the average citizen, who will suffer from economic pressure consistent with the new burdens carried by businesses, burdens that result in fewer jobs, higher prices for goods and services and so on. It is not a huge burden
; gays are a small percentage of the population. (Although I'd hate to be working in the Human Resources department right about now.)

But it is one of many burdens which Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would add (in a lunge for the votes of many special interest groups), and the totality is dreadful to contemplate.

I think it was Cicero who said something like--

When the masses discover they can vote themselves a share of the public treasury, the Empire is finished.


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