Friday, April 20, 2007
(11:43 PM) | Old - Doug Johnson:
Obama at Call to Renewal
Jim Wallis is still too patriotic for me, I refuse to vote (if I make an exception, it will be for Obama - voted
against the war, pro-poor, and black), and I've said before that the very idea of last year's Call to Renewal is
the opposite side of the same problematic coin as Fallwell and Robertson in my book, but anyone read
Obama's speech there? Brilliant through and through.
My 72 year old grandmother who I am absolutely positive has voted straight ticket republican since[Excerpt]
the day she turned 18 read that speech at the behest of my brother and said that she will seriously
consider voting for him. That's why I've long thought now that Barack Hussein Obama will win unless
he's shot in somewhere as that same brother is predicting.
I am not suggesting that every progressive suddenly latch on to religious terminology - that can be dangerous. Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith. As Jim has mentioned, some politicians come and clap -- off rhythm -- to the choir. We don't need that.
In fact, because I do not believe that religious people have a monopoly on morality, I would rather have someone who is grounded in morality and ethics, and who is also secular, affirm their morality and ethics and values without pretending that they're something they're not. They don't need to do that. None of us need to do that.
But what I am suggesting is this - secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Moreover, if we progressives shed some of these biases, we might recognize some overlapping values that both religious and secular people share when it comes to the moral and material direction of our country. We might recognize that the call to sacrifice on behalf of the next generation, the need to think in terms of "thou" and not just "I," resonates in religious congregations all across the country. And we might realize that we have the ability to reach out to the evangelical community and engage millions of religious Americans in the larger project of American renewal.