Obama: Dems need to reach out to evangelicals

posted at 1:15 pm on June 28, 2006 by Bryan

As an evangelical Christian (who might be described as a fundamentalist until I’ve had my morning coffee), I find it amusing that the Democrats keep publicly acknowledging that they just don’t understand evangelicals. It’s the only true thing that ever comes out of that party.

The lastest to try to reach evangelicals is Barack Obama. He can at least talk the talk:

Obama, the only black in the Senate, drew national notice even before arriving in Congress last year, and has occasionally used his visibility to scold members of his own party. Widely sought as a fundraiser for other Democrats, Obama responded with a noncommittal laugh this spring when asked whether he wants a spot on the national ticket in 2008.

His speech included unusually personal references to religion, the type of remarks that usually come more readily from Republicans than Democrats.

“Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me,” he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. “I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth.”

Obama said millions of Christians, Muslims and Jews have traveled similar religious paths, and that is why “we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse. … In other words, if we don’t reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway.”

And that’s where Obama shows how little he understands (other than on the issues, where the Democrats’ dependence on the hard left automatically turns off the vast majority of evangelicals). Everyone who knows anything knows that Falwell and Robertson are yesterday’s news. Today’s most influential evangelical leader is the much more shrewd Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback megachurch in California. While Falwell and Robertson run their mouths and get overtly involved in politics, Warren plays puppetmaster, shaping about 30,000 churches around the country in his image. He has a political agenda, don’t be confused about that, and his church-shaping contains elements of his politics. Broken down to its essence, Warren’s politics are pretty populist–he’s against abortion, for traditional marriage and family, but very goo-goo on internationalism and post-nationalism. He doesn’t put a lot of stock in hard doctrine, preferring the soft power of marketing to bring people in. There’s room in the Warren worldview for Obama and other Democrats to make inroads, but they’ll have a hard time as long as their party is represented by Howard Dean, who couches his religious-speak in 60s nostalgia.

If you had to pick a decade as most evangelicals’ least favorite, it would be that one.


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the Democrats’ dependence on the hard left automatically turns off the vast majority of evangelicals

And the majority of all other clear-thinkers. IMHO, if the democrats would rid themselves of their worst elements, ie the hard left, they would become much more of a viable American party, one that could contribute something to the political and cultural and religeous spheres.

Of course, for that to happen, they would also need to decide on something that they were for, and not just against, ie “Bush is Worse Than Hitler.”

Bush will be gone by 2008, so they won’t be able to run on that platform. Which leaves them with what, exactly? No Bu$Hitler boogyman to oppose, and nothing to be for that will actually resonate in the American heart and soul.

Unless they get their act together, I can’t see how they expect to get a candidate in the White House.

EFG on June 28, 2006 at 1:37 PM

Isn’t Obama a former muslim? who converted to Christianity?

darwin on June 28, 2006 at 1:40 PM

I want to see the Dhimmicrats try to hang on to their nutroot base and Soros money while successfully soft-selling “The People of the Book” on abortion, high taxes, and gay marriage. Now, THAT would be a miracle, indeed.

Kid from Brooklyn on June 28, 2006 at 1:49 PM

Clearly, Obama is convinced he can serve two masters.

Kid from Brooklyn on June 28, 2006 at 1:50 PM

Bryan- You mention Rick Warren’s 1.) political agenda 2.) very goo-goo on internationalism and post-nationalism. I’m curious. What has he said or done to make you believe this? I am by no means a Rick Warren apologist but I think it is unfair to make these claims in the context of a piece and not be more specific.

Bic on June 28, 2006 at 2:01 PM

It’s his Global PEACE plan, as well as his signing on to the global warming agenda. He’s also involved in a pretty weird effort to turn Rwanda into a “purpose-driven” nation. I’m all for missionary efforts and outreach, but putting the branding first bothers me a great deal.

Bryan on June 28, 2006 at 2:07 PM

Isn’t Obama a former muslim? who converted to Christianity?

According to Wikkipedia, yes, he is a convert.

But his conversion isn’t really relevant. If it was, then we would have to start second guessing every man and woman who converted to Christianity at any time in their life from any religeon. And that is wrong.

EFG on June 28, 2006 at 2:11 PM

Thanks Bryan.

Bic on June 28, 2006 at 2:37 PM

Of note, Dean acknowledges the failure of the “War on Poverty” in that ’60s piece.

Kid from Brooklyn on June 28, 2006 at 2:41 PM

Indeed he does. Dean essentially lauds the 60s by rejecting what liberals did in the 60s, then insists on a minimum wage hike so that we can all make “a living wage.” And wants enlightened, religious minds to do…something.

Dean is a weird dude.

Bryan on June 28, 2006 at 2:47 PM

“But his conversion isn’t really relevant”.

It may not be, however, I’m just too skeptical of anything muslim or formerly muslim (supposedly) these days.

darwin on June 28, 2006 at 2:57 PM

In my opinion, for what it’s worth, there are two fundamental issues that will hurt any politician chances in 08.
1) Abortion
2) Gay marriage

I believe most religious folks, Christian or otherwise, will not support any politician with these values as apart of their platform, regardless of party affiliation.

Kini on June 28, 2006 at 3:39 PM

Well, I’m not a Christian but rather a religious Jew who leans toward the Orthodox side of things. Either way, anyone who is committed to their religion (any religion) can tell a phony a mile off … and there are pitifully few in the Dem party that can come off clean on that subject. Most are just laughable when they try. And the one Jew who can garner at least some respect … Lieberman … is currently being pilloried by the hard Left. These people are imploding. Give it time.

Chas on June 28, 2006 at 3:47 PM

I just wanna see the Christian and jew bashing left suddenly embrace touchy feely Obama as he spouts his religiousity. They want to stone any conservative that talks like that.

darwin on June 28, 2006 at 4:06 PM

I don’t trust the guy very much, ok..not at all. Just his open arms for Illegals is enough to ‘earn’ my wrath, and there is plenty more on him in these archives I’m sure.
BUT , now we come to this, in his own words:
“Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith: the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps _ off rhythm _ to the gospel choir.”
He blames Pres. Bush of subliminal messages and then insults whites and any attempt of out-reach . Candidates/ politicians just might show up more often than bi-annually if some other politicians (OBAMA) weren’t so damn racist and grossly insensitive in their reception of said visitors.
Barack Osama might get a 2nd chance from me if I hear him talk some more of Jesus, God, Christians, etc. as OK to mention out loud. Or it’s OK to voice as an opinion that spiritual powers lead many of us in our personal lives, including Christians.
He was doing just fine until he ended with”if we don’t reach out” …… “Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway.”
You cant have open spiritual choices and bash, PLUS NAME, the spiritual leaders you don’t like, right or wrong. You lead by EXAMPLE.
Maybe he converted, but old ways are hard to overcome. Seems there is still some deep seated hatred for …well , I’ll leave that up to you.
In closing, he is what he despises. “Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith”. The hardest thing to do in life, is to accurately look at yourself, we fail without help.

shooter on June 28, 2006 at 4:09 PM

I love how he talks about Jews, Christians, and Muslims like we’re all part of one big rainbow religion – and then demonizes guys like Falwell and Robertson.

TRANSLATION: It’s okay to be religious only if you don’t actually believe that your religion is better than anyone else’s… that is of course unless you are any religion other than Christian… and it’s probably kind of wrong too if you’re Jewish because of that whole Isreali/Palestinian conflict thing…

/sigh

As per usual Dems trying to be all things to all people. Freedom of religion is freedom of religion Obama you dope. When are these idiots going to learn that you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

I think my favorite rock band is better than any other rock bands, just like I think my religion is better than any other religion. Trying to get my vote by making me believe otherwise is about like trying to feed me dinner by shoving dead rats down my throat.

venmax on June 28, 2006 at 4:57 PM

Obama reaching out to the religious – must be getting close to an election. All other time, liberals are avidly anti-Jewish and anti-Christian. They, the liberals, actually have more in common with Islam than they have with Judaism or Christianity.

docdave on June 28, 2006 at 5:04 PM

Good luck, Obama, but just “reaching out” won’t do squat if it doesn’t have a foundation of genuine respect. The only thing worse than the avid hatred of the Judeo-Christian tradition by so many on the left would be an obviously disingenuous reaching out that is really nothing more than whoring for votes.

If he wants to start somewhere, he needs to start with his own party/side of the political spectrum and make them understand:

1) Christianity isn’t evil
2) Neither is Judaism
3) Both of the above provide a significant portion of the foundation of Western Civilization; and
4) Western Civilization is worth defending, tooth and nail, as it is by far the most humane civilization ever created.

I seriously doubt if liberals believe any of those things, and that’s where their problem with evangelicals begins.

thirteen28 on June 28, 2006 at 5:35 PM

We will be seeing Howard dean and company in the African-American churches soon reaching out. I doubt we will be seeing them welcomed into the fundamentalist churches to spew their vitriol or speak of their passion for pro-life
versus love for abortion. Hipocrites. All of them.

gary on June 28, 2006 at 5:55 PM

When a country is based on freedom to practice religion, but then some religion comes in whose idea of “practicing” is killing anyone not of the same religion who won’t convert to that religion, what is the country supposed to do?

A little off-topic, but a question that’s been troubling me for some time.

NTWR on June 28, 2006 at 6:02 PM

Osama Obama trying to recruit Evangelicals. How? By promoting abortion and gay marriage? Won’t work.

Obama, formerly a Muslim, is a phony and a militant racist. He cannot be trusted.

doingwhatican on June 28, 2006 at 6:23 PM

Yeah, You’ll see Howard Dean in a Blues Brothers outfit dancing and singing along with the Gospel music. Don’t forget the dark sunglasses.

Then, it’s off to see the penguin….

Kini on June 28, 2006 at 6:51 PM

When a country is based on freedom to practice religion, but then some religion comes in whose idea of “practicing” is killing anyone not of the same religion who won’t convert to that religion, what is the country supposed to do?

Someone ever tries to kill you, you try to kill ‘em right back!

Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds – Firefly

venmax on June 28, 2006 at 9:37 PM

Obama wants to reach out to Evangelicals? Really? Does he denounce the Islam he “converted” from? I guess he’s fortunate to be living in America instead of Afghanistan:they Kill converts there! What do you want to bet that if somehow he becomes President in the future he will have another “religious experience” and switch back to Islam? If “Christians, Muslims and Jews have traveled similar religious paths”, maybe he’ll try Jewish next, going for the trifecta.

Doug on June 29, 2006 at 1:30 AM

Personally I want Dhimicraps to keep their hands to themselves, and NOT reach out to Christians. We see what happens when they “Reach”… they Reach and tax our pay checks and anything we buy, sell, eat, drink, etc.. They reach and take our Bibles & Crosses away. They reach and slap anyone saying “Under God” when they say the Pledge of Allegence.

Hey Deamon-crats… “Keep your Laws off my New Testiment”.

havok on June 29, 2006 at 9:44 AM

Well we see what Demo-craps mean when they want to Reach out… They Reach Out to Take away our Bibles, Crosses, Nativity Scenes. They Reach out to take a bite out of our paychecks, with entitlements, taxes on everything that we buy, sell, eat, drink, hell they might pass a law to tax you if you don’t Buy enough and pay enough sales taxes. They Reach out to slap anyone saying “Under God” in the Pledge of allegence…

I just want to tell Demon-Crats to:

“Keep your Laws off my New Testiment”.

havok on June 29, 2006 at 9:48 AM

Obama’s mother was an atheist or secular humanist, depending how you look at it. His father, a non practicing Muslim who deserted the family when he was a couple years old. His stepfather, a Muslim.

He has made any number of statements that would lead one to believe that he has little grasp of biblical christianity, nor the intent of the Founding Fathers of this nation.

Concerning christianity he said, “I am a Christian…So, I have a deep faith. I’m rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”

He is a member of something called “The United Church of Christ”. It must be some other “Christ” than the one spoken of in the Bible though, for they practice a very liberal notion of what Christianity is, that “ordains” homosexuals.

That’s not biblical Christianity.

Concerning the Founders he said, “I am a big believer in the separation of church and state…I am a great admirer of our founding charter and its resolve to prevent theocracies from forming and its resolve to prevent disruptive strains of fundamentalism from taking root in this country.”

The intent of the Founders was obviously not what he twists it into. In the first place, the vast majority of the Founders WERE, what I am certain he and his liberally minded ilk would call, “fundamentalists”. Second, those God fearing men KNEW that without God in the hearts of men, this Nation would be doomed from the start. They also knew from experience what would happen if the Government stuck its nose into religion, that not only would the religion be virtually destroyed, but it also would be replaced by a government dictated and seemingly religious, false belief system.

He also has stated, “I’m a law professor at the University of Chicago teaching constitutional law.” That’s not true. According the University web site, he is a “Senior Lecturer in Law”.

He believes in unlimited abortion “rights”, and despite what scripture clearly states, denies that Hell exists. The only portion of what he likes to call christianity that he wishes to extend into government is, in his own words, “I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper,” Obama said. He said that principle of taking care of others is relevant “not only in our places of worship but also in our government.” What that REALLY means in liberal speak is, I want to redistribute wealth forcibly via the government through higher taxes.

Non believers will for the most part appreciate and welcome Obama’s “christian” message, simply because it isn’t the Biblical version of Christianity.

NRA4Freedom on June 29, 2006 at 10:03 AM