Archive for Barack Obama

Mosque Controversy is Obama’s Prop to Promote Religion

Posted in Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by neandergal

While the controversy surrounding the construction of a Community center/Mosque three blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, New York continues, the more fundamental issue of a President of a supposedly secular nation taking a positive stand on the issue goes largely ignored. To add insult to injury, President Obama had the audacity to announce his support for the Mosque and community center from a dinner at the White House celebrating the start of the holy month of Ramadan. By taking a far from neutral stance on the issue, Obama is clearly endorsing religion. Obama could have chosen to remain neutral stating that the issue of the mosque is a local issue to be resolved locally and not a matter for the administration to pass judgment. Diplomatically, this would have been the correct response. Instead, he used the issue as a platform not to give a speech on the right to religious freedom and non-belief of which neither is in dispute, but to covertly promote religion. This recent appeasement to the Muslim community is not a display of religious tolerance, but is testimony to the President’s stand on faith generally.

Let us take a look back to 2008 and review the most grandiose inauguration ceremony in history where Obama chose the Southern California Pastor of the well to do Saddleback mega church, Rick Warren to say the inaugural prayer. And let us be reminded that Rick Warren backed California’s Proposition 8 which was to prevent the right for gays to marry. Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to read a prayer should have set off early alarm bells ringing loud and clear to the media, but instead they fell on deaf ears.

In February, 2009, less than a month in office, Obama rekindled George Bush’s Office of Faith-Based Activities and Neighborhood Partnerships by executive order and appointed then 26 year old Pentecostal Minister, Joshua DuBois to head the federally funded department.

Close inspection of Christianity, particularly fundamentalist forms of the faith, Islam or any other religion are far from democratic because they marginalize women and suppress thought outside the realms of the said religion. Either the President is incredibly naive as to what these belief systems represent or he subscribes to them and views them as an integral part of a secular democratic nation.

It is one thing to promote the virtues of the right to practice faith, but to endorse it with speeches, government offices and appointing ministers to run them is quite another. The question has to be asked is that was this really just a glaring political gaff or is there another hidden agenda to promote rather than restate the country’s neutrality on religion?

Sources:

UK Telegraph: Barack Obama backs Ground Zero Mosque

Executive order 13199:

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Our Obama Who Art in the White House

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , on February 8, 2009 by neandergal

On February 5th, 2009, Obama announced a rekindling by executive order of a George W. Bush legacy, The Office of Faith Based Activities and Neighborhood Partnerships. The Reverend Obama tells us that “Faith-based and other neighborhood organizations are vital to our Nation’s ability to address the needs of low-income and other underserved persons and communities.” It now seems that it is the church and not the state that will decide the poor’s fate. This is something that Ronald Reagan could only dream about. And yet twenty years after Reagan left office, we find a Democrat turning a democracy into a theocracy.

Even more disturbing is the hiring of 26 year old Pentecostal pastor Joshua DuBois as the Director of Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The fact that he is a Pentecostal pastor makes it almost certain he believes in a literal interpretation of the bible. Ergo, a creationist. Like many Pentecostals, he probably believes that people can speak in tongues and face an eternity of hell and damnation for their earthbound wicked ways. It is likely that he is pro-life and only believes in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. It is discerning to think that someone who looks to divine intervention for solving social problems should lead a government department.

Placing social programs and services into charity does nothing to alleviate the societal problems associated with poverty because it shifts responsibility and accountability away from government. Obama tell us that problems with the poor and underserved are too big for Government to solve. This is surprising news as government generally handles big problems like military operations overseas and bailing out corporations. Yet poor housing, education, healthcare, high-unemployment and poverty are now the problems of faith-based organizations and neighborhood partnerships. A lack of state responsibility to the poor results in no public policy or accountability. The faith based services will undoubtedly greet the poor with one hand while handing them a bible with the other.

Let us hope that journalists follow the actions of this Office very closely and that it does not follow the doctrines of Pentecostal faith.

News sources in addition to text links:
Guardian UK Newspaper
Faith in Public Life

Inauguration Day with Facebook

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , on January 21, 2009 by neandergal

Watching the CNN Inauguration Live on Facebook on Tuesday was a real insight into America and its people – at least on Facebook. It was entertaining being able to “chat” on Facebook with excited friends in America while simultaneously “chatting” with a less excited one in the UK while watching the inaugural events all on one screen.

People feverishly updated their Facebook statuses with platitudes for the entire world to see or for anyone that cared to see. According to a report by the Telegraph UK, “More than 3,000 people were leaving comments on the Facebook CNN feed every minute at the ceremony’s peak.” Kenneth, for example, felt “like a kid on Christmas morning!” Elizabeth reminded everyone that, “there is nobody but God.” Donald was “witnessing change.”

I worry that poor Kenneth will unwrap his gift left by Father Hope only to find more of the same, another stocking full of broken promises, more cheap products made in China and real soldiers still playing war games overseas. I wonder if Elizabeth will ever realize that God probably doesn’t exist and hope that her church does not get its way with more faith-based programs or help get creationism in science classrooms. Will the “change” that Donald wishes for just be another unfulfilled American dream? Let us hope not.

Obama Inauguration: Dawn of a New Era?

Posted in Politics with tags , on January 18, 2009 by neandergal

Tuesday will highlight the country’s pride of making history by inaugurating its first African-American President. This inauguration will rival that of any other inauguration or other public event in pomp, circumstance, Evangelical Christianity and price. According to an article in the UK Guardian, Obama’s inauguration set to be the most expensive in US history, the price tag dwarfs that of George Bush’s 2005 inauguration by just over $100m during a time when America continues to bail out major financial institutions and the auto industry.

The historical inauguration will serve to restore the hopes and dreams of Americans crushed by their disillusionment of the Bush administration. Many Americans believe he holds the silver bullet to solving the country’s problems. This is because the mainstream media eulogized Obama by turning him into a pop-star and an election campaign that echoed the sound bites that everyone wanted to hear.

The insufferable parading of the Obama family across the media continues in a “personal” letter addressed to his children published in this Sunday’s Parade Magazine. The letter is a nauseating display of ultimate self-promotional tackiness. What we will witness on Tuesday is a marathon pep-rally resembling the Superbowl and the Grammys. Welcome to the dawn of a new era of polititainment.

Change We Can Believe in?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2008 by neandergal

Barack Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the January 20 inaugural prayer is an interesting one. I am curious as to why the president-elect, who is looking to promote science and technology in America, would choose a man who declares on his official website that “the church is the greatest force on Earth.” In an article posted on Pastors.com he describes how God spoke to him “in a very audible way” through his wife.

Let us not forget that Warren backed Proposition 8 in California that explicitly states that California will only recognize marriage between a man and a woman. Obama also opposes gay marriage.

Warren’s Saddleback Church which has a congregation of 20,000 worshippers in affluent Orange County cites the literal interpretation of the bible in the What We Believe part of its web site. Fair enough, it is a Christian church after all. What is disturbing is that a future Democratic President of the United States would choose a creationist and someone who looks to God and divine intervention for solutions to the world’s problems to read the inaugural prayer. Especially since Obama presents himself as a president who will promote science and technology. It looks like the only promotion will be Warren’s own self-promotion, his books and congregation. Warren will have more exposure than Obama’s scientific and technology team.