Kurt Warner, the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals, often speaks publicly about his faith in Christ. Here’s a recent statement.
“I believe that the Lord has a plan for each of us that’s better than anything we can imagine–even if that plan isn’t obvious to us at every stage. He prepared me for this over a long period of time–in lower-profile locker rooms and the grocery store and in Europe, through all the personal tragedies and in spite of the people who doubted me along the way,” Warner explained. “Whether I’m a Super Bowl Champion or a regular guy stocking groceries at the Hy-Vee, sharing my faith and glorifying Jesus is the central focus of my time on this earth. And the fact that I now have a podium, I believe, is no coincidence. I want to be a role model for Christ in everything that I do. Living my life for Him and showing people the beauty of that reality is my mission in life.”
Kurt Warner and the Cardinals face the Pittsburgh Steelers tomorrow (February 1st) in Superbowl XLIII. Warner was the quarterback for the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV when they beat the Tennessee Titans 23-16.
I’m partial to the Steelers, but I can’t help but like Warner.
Who are you rooting for and why?
President-elect Barack Obama has yet to attend church services since winning the White House earlier this month, a departure from the example of his two immediate predecessors.
On the three Sundays since his election, Obama has instead used his free time to get in workouts at a Chicago gym.
Asked about the president-elect’s decision to not attend church, a transition aide noted that the Obamas valued their faith experience in Chicago but were concerned about the impact their large retinue may have on other parishioners.
“Because they have a great deal of respect for places of worship, they do not want to draw unwelcome or inappropriate attention to a church not used to the attention their attendance would draw,” said the aide.
Both President-elect George W. Bush and President-elect Bill Clinton managed to attend church in the weeks after they were elected.
In 2004, Chicago Sun Times columnist Cathleen Falsani interviewed Barack Obama about his Christian faith. It’s a rather interesting interview. It provides insight into Obama’s conversion and his profound respect for Reverend Jeremiah Wright (at least his respect for Rev. Wright in 2004).
Here’s an excerpt:
Who’s Jesus to you?
(He laughs nervously)
Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he’s also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.
And he’s also a wonderful teacher. I think it’s important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history.
Is Jesus someone who you feel you have a regular connection with now, a personal connection with in your life?
Yeah. Yes. I think some of the things I talked about earlier are addressed through, are channeled through my Christian faith and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Read Falsani’s full 2004 interview with Barack Obama concerning his faith: Obama’s Fascinating Interview with Cathleen Falsani.
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It’s no secret that I do not agree with Barack Obama’s policies on abortion and homosexual unions (he didn’t get my vote, if you’re wondering). However, I have been alarmed by some Christians who have resorted to an attitude of disrespect to our President-Elect. Racist remarks and off color comments are completely unacceptable in the mouth of a Christian.
We must honor and pray for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They are our elected leaders. We may disagree their policies, but we must remember that Sacred Scripture commands us to show honor to them:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Rom 13:1).
Despite our disagreements, we must “be subject to the governing authorities”. This is not a suggestion, it a command from the Word of God. It may be hard for us, but “there is no authority except from God”. God granted Barack Obama the presidency. This does not mean that God approves of everything espoused by the President-Elect, but He allowed it to happen for some greater purpose. The purposes of God are unknown to us. Some great good must come out of this. We mustn’t despair.
Saint Peter also taught that Christians should be subject to the governing institutions, even to the emperor as supreme.
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right” (1 Pet 1:13-14).
Keep in mind that Saint Peter spoke of Nero, the most vile Roman emperor and fierce persectutor of Christians.
We should also pray for our leaders. They need extra grace and virtue to fulfill their public offices. Maybe God will bring them to see the light about the injustice of abortion. Whether the conversion of Constantine helped or hindered the Church, it certainly extended the cause of Christ in Europe for subsequent centuries. God had a greater plan. And this is why would should continually pray for our leaders.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way” (1 Tim 2:1-2)
Saint Paul, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit states that we should pray “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life.” We must pray for our leaders. If you count them as enemies in the culture war, then that’s all the more reason to pray for them. Our divine Lord taught us to love and pray for our enemies. Personally, I need a lot of work in this area.
Let’s pray for Barack Obama and ask God to bless him.
PS: I still haven’t decompressed after the election and this post was not easy for me to write. However, I know in my heart that this is the right thing to say at this moment.
Last night, as the networks began announcing Obama’s win, I started to sense the uphill battle we will face as Catholics, Christians, and Americans in promoting a culture of life for the next four years. The Church, in many quarters, has failed to provide the clarion call for that which we must hold dear. During the campaign, Obama promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) into law upon reaching the White House. Should he make good on this promise, the consciences of millions of Americans will be violated – an overreach for which nobody will ever have a mandate. Lastly, I found it tragically ironic that while we were reflecting, as a nation, on the racial progress represented by the historic election, that roughly one third of our country’s African Americans are not alive to witness it because they have been killed through legal abortion.
Many Christians have bought into Barack Obama’s rhetoric because it sounds Christian. Heck – sometimes it even sounds like Jesus! How can that be a bad thing?
The problem is simple. It’s that Barack Obama is a representative of an institution that is fundamentally different from (and many times at odds with) the institution that Jesus founded: the Church.
Is the Church supposed to reach out to the poor? Of course. Are Christians supposed to be concerned with the “least of these”? Undoubtedly. Are we therefore supposed to look to the Government to mandate these things from the general public? Absolutely not.
There is such a thing as “personal property”. The Ten Commandments presuppose it (or else “Thou shalt not steal,” would be meaningless). When the government uses its power to force a hard-working family to relinquish more and more of its resources (on penalty of imprisonment) so that the Government can redistribute the money as they see fit – there’s a name for that. Theft. (There are other names for that too – socialism, communism, Marxism, etc….) The point is: is that something Jesus would want? For the government to set itself up as a parody of the Body of Christ? (a much less-effective one, at that).
A perfect example is how government interventionist policies have created millions of dependent families – the majority of which, ironically, are low-income, inner-city black families. The Government has replaced the role of the father to the extent that now around 80% of black families have no father in the home. If Democrats cared one bit about the people they claim to serve, they would care about the long-term negative effects of the welfare state – and how to fix it. They don’t want to fix it. They want to expand it. Make no mistake – it is about keeping people dependent and keeping politicians in power. (Sadly, Republicans lately have not been much better in this area. The bad news is you can vote for McCain and get much of this too – to a lesser degree. He, at least, does want to lower taxes, lower Government wasteful spending, etc.)
Here’s the point: Government mandated financial redistribution is not Christ-like. But unfortunately, many are skilled at making it sound “just like Jesus”. But Christ, Sacred Scripture, the Church Fathers, et al. equally emphasized personal responsibility. The priority placed on helping the poor was not a prescription for the government to do it on behalf of Christians. Instead, the Body of Christ is called upon to give freely and assist the poor. It’s easy to vote for the guy who says that the government will do all things for all people. It’s harder (and much more compassionate) to actually obey the words of Christ – and do so freely ourselves.
Then there’s the demonstrable fact that Obama cannot be supported by anyone claiming to be Pro-Life. In 1999, an Illinois hospital was discovered to have been “shelving” babies to die in a soiled utility room who had survived their abortions. The Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act was introduced in 2001 to give legal protection to all born babies, wanted or not, including the right to medical care. Then-state Senator Barack Obama voted against the bill and was the sole senator to speak against it on the Senate floor (in a room full of liberal state senators!) Obama voted against this law not once, not twice…but four times! This is not a smear from Obama’s opponents. This is simply a matter of public record.
Anyone who would argue, regardless of the circumstances, that a doctor should be allowed to kill a baby who’d survived an abortion is so morally confused, they are not fit to lead the United States. Period.
Then consider this: Obama co-sponsored a bill called The Freedom of Choice Act – aimed at overturning a ban on partial-birth abortion and other pro-life laws nationwide (partial-birth abortion is the act of partially delivering the baby feet-first and using scissors to puncture the skull and suck out the brains, killing the child instantly). The law would also guarantee abortion as a federal right and would keep abortion legal even if Roe v. Wade is overturned. In a 2007 speech, Obama said the “first thing” he’d do as President is sign the bill.
Obama clearly doesn’t believe partial-birth abortion (let alone abortion in general) is evil. Ask yourself, what do you think Jesus would say about partial-birth abortion? Unborn babies. Aren’t they “the least of these” too?
These are issues of which the mainstream media steers clear. The only public forum in which Obama will be asked about abortion, for example, is at the Saddleback Church event (the moment his poll numbers began to go DOWN). Reporters, pundits and journalists are nakedly campaigning for this man. Totally in the tank. They polish him off – present him as mainstream, and are actively packaging him as a compassionate, mainstream, presidential, patriotic man.
One could go on and on about Obama – his lack of experience, his dangerous appeasement-approach to foreign policy, his dubious alliances with less-than-savory characters (racist pastor Wright, domestic terrorist Ayers…) But his radical abortion stance and redistributionist economic policies should be deal-killers for thinking Christians who are tempted to vote for this man. A man who, when you read the fine print, is the most liberal candidate for President in the history of the United States.