- For a guy who has essayed on the violence of categorization … Mr Schraub sure depends on it, with Black Conservative, Black Liberal, (how about Black Jew?), Black (or is it not racially linked) paleo-conservative and so … to note a few categories. Personally I find categories of that sort less than useful when discussing individuals for rarely do they actually line with the “bins” like they should. Once I was “two letters of WASP”, being White and Protestant, now I am down to only one, “White”, but for me, I find the notion “White” and “Black” so filled with internal inconsistencies that the categories are next to useless … so why use them?
- Jonathan Rowe at Positive Liberty wonders “Can One Be a Good Christian and a Good American?”. I think this is a better question than his discussion of the topic envisions. I think his quoted notation, that “I would simply note that Americanism and Christianity are not the same thing; Christianity is compatible with American style republican government because Christianity is compatible with almost any form of government, even and especially tyrannical government that is hostile to Christians (indeed, the very government in which Christianity was born!).” I think this misses the point, from a Christian standpoint. With respect to tyranny, Christianity may allow one to submit more to incursions on one’s “rights” (whatever they might be), but it never allows one to participate. I think the early Church notion, following Rowan Williams description, that a Christian must be a “resident alien” in his land held in tension with “render unto Caesar” and what that entails in a Republic is the essential tension … not ideas of tyranny and submission.
- Recent postings on Mr Obama’s plate offering to Trinity, one wonders at the paucity of his gifts. This seems endemic of the Left who find charity to be the job of government. There are suggestions that his donations have picked up in recent years as he’s noted the negative political effects small charitable donations hurt Gore and Clinton.
In 2002, the year before Obama launched his campaign for U.S. Senate, the Obamas reported income of $259,394, ranking them in the top 2 percent of U.S. households, according to Census Bureau statistics. That year the Obamas claimed $1,050 in deductions for gifts to charity, or 0.4 percent of their income. The average U.S. household totaled $1,872 in gifts to charity in 2002, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Gifts to help for the Tsunami and New Orleans seem conspicuously lacking as well. I don’t tithe yet, as my fears of two college tuition bills looming 5-6 years away keep me from doing that as yet. But … Mr Obama’s income seems above noticing such bumps when compared to mine … which is not 6 figures.
- One thing to note on the Wright/Obama thing, which is in Mr Obama’s favor. I have sat in pews listening to politically slanted sermons I didn’t agree with. For example, I highly value N.T. Wright’s theological writings … but his political statements seem naive to me. Furthermore, when we speak of Rev. Wright as Mr Obama’s spiritual adviser … the question arises … what is meant by this term? Spiritual adviser brings to mind ideas of the Orthodox staretz. It’s pretty clear that isn’t the relationship. Does Trinity even hold to a Sacrament of Confession? I doubt it. It’s also clear however, Mr Obama wasn’t unknown or just a random anonymous pew sitter from Wright’s point of view in this large mega-church. So the issue is likely muddy. Here is one, somewhat cynical take, from the opposite side of the aisle (at least the first half of it). That sort of idea,rings more true, for me, in that Mr Obama to me via his spin/message of “hope and change” notwithstanding offers a fairly vanilla middle of the road liberal package of proposals. To call the “ordinary” package “change” brings to mind a certain amount of cynicism that comes with an ease of with manipulating meaning. Mr Obama’s response seemed Clinton-esque in the careful wording, “I never heard” … left “but was certainly aware of it all along” on the table and unspoken. I wonder if the linked piece also gives credence recent display of Biblical exegetical ignorance given lately about Romans and the Beatitudes?
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