Europeans are generally baffled by the very American tradition of very public display of one’s faith, which makes it unthinkable that Americans would elect to the presidency someone who does not claim to believe in God, in divine justice, and in some sort of afterlife. I commented a few weeks ago on how Republican candidate Mitt Romney deflects questions about his religious affiliation, even if – in his tenure as governor – it seems to have led to not entirely sound policy choices.
This week, again reading Christopher Hitchens’s most recent crackpot alert column in Slate, I learned that Senator Barack Obama, a fine politician with a message of change, reconciliation and hope, is a member of a church in Chicago called Trinity United Church of Christ. “This bizarre outfit describes itself as “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian” and speaks of “a chosen people” whose nature we are allowed to assume is “Afrocentric.” Trinity United sells creationist books and its home page includes a graphic link to a thing called Goodsearch […] Nobody who wants to be taken seriously can possibly be associated with such a substandard and shade-oriented place.”
Obama, on the contrary, is being taken plenty seriously; yet, should he go on to earn a Democratic nomination, one hopes that “change” would not mean embracing creationism, and “reconciliation” would not be entrusted to such leaders as those of the Trinity United Church of Christ.