Barack Obama – My President

Barack and Jim

On January 3, after Senator Obama’s unlikely win over Hillary Clinton in the Iowa primary, I watched, with the rest of the country, as he spoke to his Iowan supporters.  What I heard was a soaring speech, that appealed to all of us as Americans to come together and be one people again.  His speech was so moving, that it literally brought tears to my eyes.  “You came together as Democrats, Republicans and independents to stand up and say that we are one nation, we are one people and our time for change has come.”Now keep in mind that I am so conservative, I make Nancy Pelosi look like Rush Limbaugh, and even I was moved by his rhetoric and his powerful delivery.

A RISING STAR

I quickly texted several friends and family members, saying, “This kid from Chicago is for real – he could really win this whole thing!”

Then on February 22nd, I stood in the hot sun on the campus of the University of Texas Pan American and got my first look at Senator Barack Obama.  He was the most skillful politician in person that I had seen since observing President George W. Bush in McAllen in the late 90’s.  I later wrote down all my thoughts with pictures and video clips in a blog post, and the last thing I said was that Barack Obama would be the next president of the United States.

 

One week later, I heard him again, at a small gathering for pastors in Brownsville, Texas.  After his talk, I shook his hand and thanked him for thinking of us in South Texas.  I subsequently wrote another blog post about that encounter, including pictures and video, and remember mentioning to my companions during the drive back to McAllen that I believed that we had just seen the next president of the United States.

 

In the weeks and months that followed, I watched the campaign with great interest.  Against great odds, Senator Obama defeated the Clinton machine and won the democratic nomination.  Then he began his truncated race against Senator McCain, and defeated him just days ago.

 

SO YOU VOTED FOR HIM, RIGHT?

 

No.  As I said earlier, I am a conservative Christian, and Senator Obama’s radical position on abortion was a deal-breaker for me.  On many other issues, I differ with the Senator as well (taxes, Iraq, judges, etc.), but, for me, his failure to even oppose partial-birth abortion or favor parental notification was too much for me to swallow.  Even though I’m no huge fan of Senator McCain, my conscience would not allow me to cast a vote for abortion.  For other Christians, this was not a big factor, but each person has to answer to God for their vote, and I simply could not justify that vote.

 

ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE

 

Does this mean that I do not still admire President-Elect Obama and some of what he stands for?  Of course not.  He ran a great campaign, worked tirelessly, and earned every vote he got.  I’m glad he took the time to meet, over and over, with pastors, and I believe that he genuinely loves America and wants her to succeed.

 

I am also genuinely happy for the African-American community.  This is a BIG DEAL for them, and I was moved to tears at their celebrations and joy on election night.  Just think, only 150 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that no person of African descent could ever be a full citizen of the United States!  And just 50 years ago, my dad remembers seeing separate water fountains and bathrooms for Blacks.  And now we have just elected an African-American President of the United States of America.  This is such a significant moment that it is almost impossible to fully absorb.  This is worth celebrating and appreciating as Americans.

 

HAIL TO THE CHIEF

 

Now that the election is over, Barack Obama is America’s President.  I will support him with my prayers, I will root for him to be a success, and he has my respect.

 

I will also continue to disagree with his policies when I believe that they are bad for the country, but I will always do so in a manner that respects and honors his office.

 

In my view, anyone who does not recognize Barack Obama as America’s President, and who does not wish him success as our leader and offer prayers on his behalf, is un-American.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

 

Finally, I believe that the President of the United States has much less influence over the lives of individual Americans than we think.  Each of us should continue to focus on the Kingdom of God, our families and our jobs.  Let’s remind ourselves that we, ourselves, are most responsible for our successes and failures, and that there is only one King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and He is not elected every four years.

 

May God bless my President-Elect, Barack Obama, and may He continue to bless the United States of America.

5 Responses to Barack Obama – My President

  1. Hi Jim,

    I don’t know that we’ve ever met, perhaps, but I don’t recall. However, my wife went to school with you, back at Good Shepherd – Lori Chapman. She forwarded your blog to me and I was really impressed. It’s very similar to what I posted on my blog close to midnight on Tuesday night. Even our titles are similar. You can check it out at http://www.oversquozen.com/ if you’re interested.

    I’ve been concerned about some of the reaction I’ve seen come from Christians, much of it based on fear. That means we haven’t been perfected in love yet. (1 John 4:18) During the campaign I did my best to correct misleading and lying emails that were forwarded to me about Senator Obama. When Christians pass this kind of thing on it makes us look foolish at best and evil at worst.

    While I opposed his candidacy based on policy positions, I will pray for him (1 Tim 2:1-4) as my duly elected president, established by God (Dan 2:21; Rom 13:1-2). Anyhow, just wanted to thank you for your blog – from one like minded conservative pastor to another!

    Blessings,
    Nathan

  2. Shawn Clark says:

    Hi, Jim.

    I read with interest your position on Obama. While I can see your viewpoint, I must strongly disagree with your statement that you should support him, and that if you don’t, you are “un-American.”

    Abortion is likely the tipping point for many Christians, but for me the “skillful campaign” was an incredible display of manipulation, poll-reading-decision making, and one of the most incredible attacks on Christianity we will ever see. Let me explain:

    Obama’s record of Faith is spotty at best. The rumors, facts or innuendo regarding his ties to the Muslim “religion” require MUCH closer scrutiny than the in-the-bag press bothered to investigate. Then, his 20-year attendance at a church teaching and preaching ideals that are NOT based on Christian love and acceptance, and instead try to promote a “race” over another, leave me deeply concerned just what Christianity mean to Obama.

    His positions on social issues, such as nationalized (socialized) health care, taxation increases, gay lifestyle approval (or at least acceptance), calling the war against Iraq “a mistake,” I could go on and on with his positions that are anti-Conservative and I believe anti-Christian, that I simply cannot support this man.

    Perhaps the biggest cause for rejection in supporting Obama is his always-common-after-an-election call to unite and be an American, not a Republican or Democrat or whatever. To me, that simply means to throw out my objections and positions and just “get along.” I emphatically say NO. I am flat tired of having my beliefs trashed, I am tired of not being allowed to mention the name of Jesus in public without fear of retribution or lawsuits, not being able to pray to my God, being called misguided, exclusionary, idiotic, ridiculous, when I use the Bible as a Moral Compass. I am sick of hearing Christian leader after Christian leader say we have to join with our Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, (insert other false religions here) and show the world a united front in terms of religion.

    Time is short; the end-times are here, whether we admit it or not. A call to stand for Christ should be our herald, not “Unite as Americans.” We need to stand for what is required of Christians in the Bible, not some liberal “theologian” that claims the greater good is found within; we know, through the Bible, that there is NOTHING good in us, and only through God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s teaching do we have the ability to understand how to be good, and how to show the world what true unity is.

    I have yet to hear the Name of Jesus Christ come from Obama’s lips (just like most of today’s politicians). Until I do, and I see evidence of “Change” towards Christianity, I WILL NOT support this man, and I will continue to fear for my country. I will do everything in my power to wreak havoc with his Presidency, to hold a Biblical position over the populist, and to promote the cause and purpose of my Lord. And in so doing, I will consider myself very American.

  3. Shawn,

    I went back and read my conclusion. Here it is again:

    Now that the election is over, Barack Obama is America’s President. I will support him with my prayers, I will root for him to be a success, and he has my respect.

    I will also continue to disagree with his policies when I believe that they are bad for the country, but I will always do so in a manner that respects and honors his office.

    In my view, anyone who does not recognize Barack Obama as America’s President, and who does not wish him success as our leader and offer prayers on his behalf, is un-American.

    I am amazed that you would disagree with my conclusions. Are you not praying for our president, as the Bible commands you to do? Do you not give respect to the office of the presidency? Are you serious in your quest to “wreak havoc” on his presidency? What?

    Every 4 years we have elections and fight hard for our candidates, but, what makes us different than banana republics and totalitarian regimes is that we all accept the results of the election and accept the winner as OUR president.

    Barack Obama is your president. As a Christian, you must honor, respect and pray for him, and, as an American, you should honor his office. Don’t be like those Bush-haters…we’re better than that.

  4. Wesley Goo says:

    Hey Jim,

    Well said. I appreciate your willingness to put partisan politics (and even theological concerns) aside in order to work together for solutions. Having been a Christian minister for so many years myself, it still amazes me how naive American Christians can be. I’m all for people having opinions but just loathe those that have no tolerance for people who have different opinions than theirs. Unfortunately, often, conservative Christians are the guilty ones (in the various ‘brands’ of Christianity). Often, it’s like one bad theological argument stacked atop another. Bad hermeneutics mixed with some left-over puritanical jargon – throw in some ego – all thrown into a soup called “My Christianity.” It’s sad, really. Thank God the majority of global Christians do not share that view point … a narrow (mostly American margin).

    Of course, people are entitled to their opinion and that’s what makes this country great. However, to say one’s view is “THE” view without taking the time to understand (thoroughly) the reasons why Christians all over the country (and the world) voted for Obama is short-sighted at best.

    I’m proud to be among the millions of passionate Christians who voted for Obama. Does that means he shares all my views as a Christian… of course not. I’m pro-life, mind you.

    I think what annoys me about it the most is – not the disagreement with his politics – but the argument that he’s not a Christian because he doesn’t believe what certain people believe. In my opinion, it’s such arrogance to think they’re in position to judge the man’s heart. I can hear silly arguments of “by their works you shall know them” but again, terrible hermeneutics and selective righteousness at best (eisegesis anyone?).

    And, forgive me for saying (but we are all entitled to our opinion), that those who place abortion as the central issue for “Christians” are not understanding the essential and ontological natures of life and death. The issue of life or death is not solely wrapped up in abortion. Wisdom asks us to understand how life and death play into a gamut of issues (e.g., war, education, poverty, economics, foreign policy, etc.). To say gay marriage and abortion are the most important issue to the Christian concern is sorely missing the point of Christianity as a whole.

    What I love about you is that, though you disagree politically, you’ve always been willing to dialog – even in the face of a passionate disagreement.

    Well done, sir.

    wg

  5. pres says:

    I must say that overall I am really impressed with this blog.It is easy to see that you are passionate about your writing. If only I had your writing ability I look forward to more updates and will be returning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: