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.
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The story of Gov. Palin is instructive for Christians dissatisfied with the temporal order.
Her rise to become governor of one of the 50 states in the union began with getting involved in local politics. A successful run for city council, was followed by two terms as mayor. And with that she became a player in Alaska state politics.
Local politics matters. If you are dissatisfied with your government or your party, get involved. Call your local GOP headquarters and volunteer to help out at phone banks or by dropping off literature at homes. The popularity of Palin means lots of people will want to help out with the presidential campaign but smaller races need help too. Find out who is running for county commissioner or your state legislature. The people seeking these offices are usually very accessible and they usually have a genuine interest in public service. Helping out their campaign may provide you with the chance to form a true friendship. It may also give you the chance to effect how they carry out the duties of their office. These are small things but we aren’t called to be great, only faithful.
I truly believe that what I am proposing here is a genuine opportunity for the laity to transform the temporal order and to practice apostolate. And who knows, you may discover you have real talent, just like a Sarah Palin did.