Monday, October 11, 2010

Obama, Cain, and Jesus: A parable of confused morals.

I don't pretend to be a Biblical scholar, so I rarely delve into any type of religious topic. If you had read my previous article about the attacks on Christianity, you might have come to the conclusion that I’m religious. I’m not.

As an agnostic, I’m really not even a person who calls himself a Christian—although I was raised by a Christian mother—nor a “person of faith”—a failing my wife often criticizes and suggests that I work on getting a little more faith.

But I don’t disrespect anyone for their religious beliefs. As an agnostic, who can’t lean on a “faith” to get me through troubling times, I rather envy anyone with faith. And, as Thomas Jefferson once said, “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.”

Which brings me back to Obama. Yes, you knew I’d get there eventually, right?

While I agree with Jefferson’s statement that “{Religion is} a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle”, I can’t help but contemplate our current president’s odd expressions of “faith”. I rather preferred Obama’s previous lack of religious expression to his recent proclamation of faith in Christianity.

Apparently responding to polls suggesting that over 20% of Americans think Obama is a Muslim pretending to be a Christian, Obama publicly stated that he “came to Christianity as an adult”, and was attracted to certain aspects of the religion, although admittedly not all. Now, myself being an agnostic who can’t blindly believe that Jesus was “the Son of God”, I understand his sentiment; I nevertheless don’t judge Obama for not being able to believe the Christian dogma part and parcel. But unlike Obama, I won’t call myself a Christian just because I like “certain parts” of the religion. There is at least one core part of the religion you have to believe or you simply are not Christian: that Jesus was God on earth and he died for our sins to give us eternal life. It’s great if you agree that we should love our neighbor, but if you don’t believe that Jesus is God, you really have no business claiming to be “a Christian”…especially if you only do it in election years!

Many conservatives have already spoken or written at length about that topic, so I won’t delve into it deeply. But there was a statement Obama made that really caught my attention. Remember when he said that he liked that part in Christianity about “being your brother’s keeper”? That was a statement he quoted often during the healthcare debate. When asked about his Christian faith, Obama told the LA Times:

“The precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead – being my brother's and sister's keeper, treating others as they would treat me.”

I haven’t read the Bible lately, but of course all those years of having my mother drag me to church had some benefit, because I realized that the quote Obama spewed out wasn’t a quote from Jesus…it was actually Cain who said it after he’d murdered his brother. Genesis 4:9.

Cain and Abel, sons of the original Adam, were promised to marry twin sisters. Abel was to wed the more attractive of the two, and Cain was envious. He argued with his father and brother and in order to settle the quarrel, Adam arranged for Cain to make a sacrifice to God, to see what God’s response was. God rejected the sacrifice, which was an indication that he disagreed with Cain’s argument. So angered by these events, Cain murdered his brother. In some versions, he did it with the jawbone of an ass. (Is it wrong to note that the ass is the emblem of Obama’s Democrat party?)

Returning to Obama’s statement, the last part of it does, in fact, sound like something Jesus is quoted as saying. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Matthew 5:43. But even then, Jesus was repeating a quotation of the Hebrew Torah, from Leviticus.

Still, there something profoundly ironic about Obama misquoting Cain’s smart-Alec response to God’s query “Where is your brother Abel?” to which Cain responds: “I don’t know, am I my brother’s keeper?”. A holistic examination of Obama’s statement of faith reveals that he has conflated Cain’s disrespectful response to God with the advice given by Jesus! He has somehow joined the concept of “treating others as you would have them treat you”, and the story about the first fratricide in recorded history, and concluded that they contain the same moral.

What does that say about his adherence to Christianity? Did he learn this from Reverend Wright?

A short period after Obama misquoted the Bible, he stood before an audience, attempting to persuade voters in the upcoming November elections to support his party, when his Presidential Seal fell off the podium.

If I were superstitious (I’m not, but it’s amusing to think about this from the perspective of how the ancients might have read the signs), I might consider that an ill omen portending tragedy for Obama…the equivalent of God rejecting Cain’s sacrifice, as it were.

Think of it this way: Cain slew Abel out of envy. God did not consent to grant Cain’s greedy demand to be given the more attractive wife, so Cain murdered his brother in a jealous rage.

What’s ironic is that Obama, with his class warfare rhetoric, sows the seeds of envy among millions every time he promotes his notion of social justice and redistributive policies, and then ends up trying to prove his adherence to Christianity, but in so doing, quotes Cain instead of Jesus. It’s bizarre but fitting.

So do I think that, when the Presidential Seal fell from the Podium, it was God's way of telling us that He had rejected Obama’s Presidency?

I guess I’ll have to consider that as a “matter of faith.”

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