Saddleback Politics...

I have to say that I was disappointed in what I've seen of Obama's performance at Saddleback last weekend. From the kind of progressive-but-passionate faith he writes about in his books, to the speeches he's given with such figures as Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo, Obama could have (and should have) been far more prepared to deal with hot-button questions concerning issues like abortion.

He almost choked a little bit on the abortion issue, as if it wouldn't be the foremost topic raised at a mostly-white Evangelical megachurch!

At an AIDS conference at Saddleback Church in 2006, Republican Senator Sam Brownback turned to Obama and said, "Welcome to my house." The audience of evangelicals howled with laughter. But when Obama had the chance to speak a few minutes later, he returned to what Brownback had said: "There is one thing I've got to say, Sam: This is my house, too. This is God's house."

That's the kind of Obama I've been inspired by. He knows how to talk faith without caving to a few bullet point issues. Obama could have talked (I would imagine) for hours about "a consistent ethic for human life," not just one that focuses on the unborn. He did not. He could have discussed the facts that abortion rates went down during the Clinton Presidency, and began to climb again during Bush Jr.'s. He did not. Even radically left-leaning liberals can get on a bandwagon that praises fewer abortions due to decreased public demand, when other social needs (like education, childcare, retirement, debt relief, healthcare, public safety, etc…) are being adequately met. But Obama didn't seem to go there. He was almost strangely nondescript.

NEVERTHELESS, in a follow-up sermon on Sunday (the following day) Rick Warren preached a surprisingly suggestive sermon:

"Don't just look at issues, look at character," Warren said. "Look at the candidate and say, 'Does he live with integrity, serve with humility, share with generosity, or not?'"

Who knows who Warren will actually vote for, but I gotta give him credit for going in a different direction than so many of his Evangelical friends and affiliates. And if I were to paint a picture of the candidate who more closely resembles his description of 'character beyond issues,' I'd swear he was an Obama man.

I hope that the senator from Illinois recognizes his need to go a little deeper into those "gray area" issues so many Christians wrestle with in Evangelical America.

1 comment:

On Porpoise said...

Appreciated this post man!

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