Candidate Obama, are you closer to Mike Huckabee than we thought?

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.

5 thoughts on “Candidate Obama, are you closer to Mike Huckabee than we thought?

  1. I think that, while Obama displays his faith publicly and talks about it often, he doesn’t let it influence his political decisions. In fact, I’ve only heard him talk about religion a few times. Much, much less than Huckabee, who gives the impression that he wants to make the United States into a theocracy. Indeed, one would hope that Obama doesn’t have the same plans, but he doesn’t seem like the type.

  2. I won’t be concerned about Obama’s being too secretive on his alleged religious agenda. If Obama ends up being the Democrat nominee, Republicans will be fast to frame him as a closet Muslim: Muslim relatives; Indonesian childhood; Middle-Eastern middle name. It will be in Obama’s best interest to scream out his Christian credentials, even if they’re associated with an embarrassing congregation. If he really has some religious schemes in his mind, he’ll make them public as soon as he secures definitive support from his party, just to underscore the authenticity of his faith. With Bush Junior, we had a guy playing down his religious preferences in his first campaign and overdelivering on religious themes in his first mandate. With Obama, it might be well the other way round.

  3. Pingback: Michelle Obama, will you please be less perfect, please? « Live from Planet Paola

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