Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Polarity

Everyone must think the economy's going to get instantaneously better as of today, because Starbucks was as busy as a Saturday in December . . . which we barely even saw in December. It's good. We need the business. (This might be a topic for another post, but not yet.)

And let's face it. Today is pretty historic. I think it's cool that this Inauguration Day in particular was the day after Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. (And the day before the season premier of Lost, which is also--but differently--exciting.) I confess, I did vote for Obama. I'm happy for the change.

But on the other hand, this adulation kind of creeps me out. I admit it: any time I hear of anyone--I mean anyone--who generates so much enthusiasm, my anti-christ radar starts going off. I don't always believe the radar, and so far none of the people who have set it off have actually gone out and become The Anti-Christ. But it does go off.

I suspect it has something to do with my being both a natural contrarian and someone who belongs to the evangelical Christian subculture, so the tendencies of both elements merge and . . . I start predicting the end of the world. A lot of us do it, I fear. On the other hand, I don't think I'm wrong to be cautious. Or necessarily contrarian. I will also admit never to having been a big supporter of George W. Bush and some of his decisions, but booing him? Not okay.

Here's the deal guys. They're just dudes. Barack Obama is not Jesus, and George W. Bush is not the devil--nor is it the other way around. Only one Man in the history of the planet gets to be scapegoat or Messiah, and it was the real Jesus, and He was both at once. And He was the only Scapegoat-Messiah we needed. I just don't think it's right or safe or fair to put so much pressure on any other one man.

It's not right to blame everything that's wrong with this country right now on George Bush, although I think he (as did we all to some extent, I would posit) contributed to it. That's way too much pressure. Nor is it right to pin all our hopes for the future on Barack Obama, although I think he (as will we all, I hope) contribute to some improvements. That's way too much pressure, too. Whether these guys asked for the pressure is another issue, I suppose, but it doesn't negate the fact that it's too much.

I think this is the time for grace. Expectations should be high--I mean, the nation overall did elect Obama to this important, powerful, pivotal position, and yes, he had better do his job. Let's just remember that whether we as individuals voted for or against him, he's not going to be perfect. He's still just a dude.

12 comments:

dave grosser said...

Not only are you right, but that was really effectively written. Nice.

Young Christian Woman said...

I confess: I voted McCain.

Because he doesn't think a baby is a punishment. Because he doesn't think a child's worth begins when the mother accepts her child. Because he doesn't think it's okay to kill a newborn so long as the foot's still inside. Because he hasn't pledged to send my money all over the world for killing babies, and to make his first act in office enshrining baby-killing as a legal right.

Really I voted Palin, but McCain came with the ticket.

I confess: I want Obama to succeed. I think he is a socialist and his theology is questionable if he is a Christian. I want him to prove me wrong. I think he is going to end up prolonging and worsening this recession. I hope I'm wrong. I hope he has a Damascus experience, that he comes to know God better, or at least that he seriously reexamines the issues and reverses his positions on some of them. I pray for him and his family.

Honestly, didn't you see all this "Obama is the messiah" stuff before the election? At very least, the fact that he has not refuted the worship makes me think that he has some learning about his chosen religion to do. I'm not saying he isn't a real Christian, because I don't know his heart, but I have some doubts.

Annelise said...

Amen to this post, Jenn. The Europeans are sure glad to see this new face, but I hope everyone knows he's only a man. I was glad to have voted for him, and actually didn't mind being an American yesterday!

Jenn said...

Dave--thanks.

YCW--I was pretty sure I knew what you would say when I saw you had commented. ;) And the abortion thing does freak me out. And I DID see the "messiah" thing before the election. I think it's maybe exacerbated in this case because of the visible distinctions between Obama and his predecessors, but I also think that this kind of thing kind of goes with the territory and happens to some extent in every election, and frankly, I've never seen any of the recipients "refute the worship." I think Christians as much as non-Christians participate in this worship on occasion, no matter who the candidate or president.

I guess I don't feel a particular need or inclination to argue my reasons for voting for Obama at this point. I'm mostly just putting out there the idea that no matter one's reasons or leanings, let's not absolutise a human being.

Young Christian Woman said...

I respect that you don't want to turn this into a debate about why you voted for whom; that's fine. I'm just saying, that's why I didn't vote for him.

Your main point--that he is a human being--is absolutely right. I hope you don't feel like I was highjacking your blog; that wasn't my intent. Feel free to delete or edit if you want to stick with the main point.

Jenn said...

YCW--thank you. I don't feel like you hijacked the blog--only that I could have sidetracked if I had allowed myself to get into a debate. I'm actually glad you posted, because I respect your views, too, and I'm glad you felt free to voice them in public. (Not surprised you did, necessarily . . . but glad. ;)

Heather-of-Six said...

Thank you, Jenn, for writing so eloquently. I feel you've expressed a lot of what's been bouncing around in my thoughts... but I've been unable or afraid to put into words. I appreciate YCW's comments too and I really identify with what she's saying. Despite my many contradicting thoughts about Bush's presidency, the election and this new administration, I couldn't help but feel proud to be an American as we joined a gathering at the US consulate last night to watch the "I Have a Dream" speech followed by the Inauguration. Obama is only a "dude" and we need to keep praying fervently for him, the other leaders and our nation. I'm just so thankful I know the sovereign King of Kings as I live my days on this imperfect and sin-filled planet.

David Madeira said...

Well, it's happened before! Remember Hailee Selassie? The Rastafarians' returned Messiah? We'll see if any religions spring up in worship of Obama!

jasdye said...

yes, jenn, Obama is neither the Christ nor the (contrary to some belief) anti-Christ. very well put. but i must admit i got all choked up and teary-eyed during the swearing in ceremony (even though he flubbed it. twice?). after years and years of disheartening old boys' club politics, it was good to see such a change. it is also not hero-worship. not for all of us. it is a common and healthy social-psychological phenomenon called elevation. you can read about it here. and i blogged about it here.

even though i know that in the grand scheme of things, obama is another politician and he can't and he won't live up to all his promises.

such as that one promise that he supposedly made to NARAL a couple years ago about his first act as president. That turned out to be signing a a proclamation declaring a national day of renewal and reconciliation and calling on Americans to serve one another," according to the Boston Globe (36th picture).

(more cont.)

jasdye said...

also, i'm struggling to understand why in the world anyone would classify President Obama as a socialist, if you don't me asking, Young Christian Woman?

i've known a few socialists in my life, and seen quite a few more. that man, my friend, is no socialist.

not. in. the. least.

jasdye said...

please forgive my curtness, poor grammar and forgetting to put some words between other words. i usually try to be more civil and writer-ly than that.

Jenn said...

Really interesting links, Jasdye. And thanks for commenting, too. ;) I might have a better take on the actual emotion (for or against) surrounding the event for ME, if I hadn't been working when the inauguration was going on.

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