Obamessiah

We know that Obama is just like any other human being, only perhaps more flawed. Aside from being your average bright law school grad, he smells bad in the morning (or so his wife says); he speaks his mind even when there’s nothing in it; he hangs around with some exceptionally foul people; he lies; he prevaricates; and, sin of sins, when he’s off the life-enabling teleprompter, he falls into the “um, er, like, you know” trap typical of young folk today and vapid minds of yesterday.

However, if government is your religion, apparently this manifestly flawed being is still good enough to qualify as the God-figure you’ve been looking for since Hitler went away. And I am not comparing Obama’s values to Hitler although, if he throws the Jews to the Iranians, I will, of course, but we’ll hope that doesn’t come to pass. Right now, though, I’m simply comparing Obama worship, which is a product of elevating the State to a religion, to Hitler worship, which was the perfect example of elevating the State to a religion.

The execrable Mark Morford, writing at the San Francisco Chronicle, provides the most recent, and most perfect, example, of these search for the Messiah amongst those worshiping at the State’s alter:

I find I’m having this discussion, this weird little debate, more and more, with colleagues, with readers, with liberals and moderates and miserable, deeply depressed Republicans and spiritually amped persons of all shapes and stripes and I’m having it in particular with those who seem confused, angry, unsure, thoroughly nonplussed, as they all ask me the same thing: What the hell’s the big deal about Obama?

I, of course, have an answer. Sort of.

Warning: If you are a rigid pragmatist/literalist, itchingly evangelical, a scowler, a doubter, a burned-out former ’60s radical with no hope left, or are otherwise unable or unwilling to parse alternative New Age speak, click away right now, because you ain’t gonna like this one little bit.

Ready? It goes likes this:

Barack Obama isn’t really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway.

This is what I find myself offering up more and more in response to the whiners and the frowners and to those with broken or sadly dysfunctional karmic antennae – or no antennae at all – to all those who just don’t understand and maybe even actively recoil against all this chatter about Obama’s aura and feel and MLK/JFK-like vibe.

To them I say, all right, you want to know what it is? The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture normally completely unaffected by politics?

[snip]

Dismiss it all you like, but I’ve heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who’ve been intuitively blown away by Obama’s presence – not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence – to say it’s just a clever marketing ploy, a slick gambit carefully orchestrated by hotshot campaign organizers who, once Obama gets into office, will suddenly turn from perky optimists to vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores, with Obama as their suddenly evil, cackling overlord.

Here’s where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

The nausea continues here. Iit’s a staggering bit of work, as a man hostile to traditional religion sees in this rather ordinary, deeply flawed man, a spiritual Savior.

The search for false Gods can have dangerous results, although Morford’s abasement before this ordinary man reminds me of nothing so much as the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. You remember that scene don’t you? It’s the one in which the hapless Brian comes to the attention of the Messiah-seekers, who then imbue his every word and motion with mystical significance:

Life of Brian, of course, is a big joke. As I noted at the start of this post, worshiping at the altar of an ordinary politician can have infinitely more dangerous consequences.

Hat tip: JL

Other’s blogging: Hot Air, LGF

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  • Ellie2

    I don’t know where this analogy originated, but I was taught in Sunday School that we are born with “a God-shaped hole in our soul.” Maybe ExP knows who the credit belongs to.

    According to this teaching, we are compelled to fill this hole. Some fill it with God, some with alcohol, some with food or other “things” that become additions. Some fill it with “spiritualism”, Gaia, New Age flotsom, and so on.

    This “God-shaped hole” makes all of us seekers. What we choose to use to fill this special hole in our soul defines who we are.

  • Zhombre

    Chesterton remains apropos: When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    I am currently reading “The War of the World” by Niall Ferguson. In his Chapter 7 there is a section entitled “Brother Hitler” that addresses Hitler’s rise to power on the 1930s. I was intrigued by the number of similarities between Hitler’s campaign and that of Senator Obama.

    Now, I’m not saying that the Senator is or could be another “Hitler” but there does seem to me to be indicators of mass hysteria involved in both campaigns.

  • Ellie2

    Interesting. Hitler apparently also suffered from the “God-shaped hole.” He reportedly searched for the Spear of Longinus and other reputed objects of power (cf “Raiders of the Lost Ark).

    He could not believe in God but he could believe in objects infused with the power of God. Go figure.

  • Ozzie

    He could not believe in God but he could believe in objects infused with the power of God. Go figure. – Ellie

    Some interesting Hitler quotes:

    God does not make cowardly nations free.” — Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

    “Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith.” (The German Churches Under Hitler, p.241)

    “We must turn all the sentiments of the Volk, all its thinking, acting, even its beliefs, away from the anti-Christian, smug individualism of the past, from the egotism and stupid Phariseeism of personal arrogance, and we must educate the youth in particular in the spirit of those of Christ’s words that we must interpret anew: love one another; be considerate of your fellow man; remember that each one of you is not alone a creature of God, but that you are all brothers! This youth will, with loathing and contempt, abandon those hypocrites who have Christ on their lips but the devil in their hearts.” (Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant, page 140)

    “It will be the Government’s care to maintain honest cooperation between Church and State; the struggle against materialistic views and for a real national community is just as much in the interest of the German nation as in that of the welfare of our Christian faith.” (At the Reichstag, March 23, 1933)

    “Without pledging ourselves to any particular Confession [Protestantism or Catholicism], we have restored to faith its prerequisites because we were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” (Berlin, Oct. 24, 1933)

    “But there is something else I believe, and that is that there is a God. . . . And this God again has blessed our efforts during the past 13 years.” (Munich, Feb. 24, 1940)

    “You [blue-collar workers] represent the most noble of slogans known to us: “God helps those who help themselves!’ (Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations, Vol. 2, page 1147)

    “Fifteen years ago I had nothing save my faith and my will. Today the Movement is Germany, today this Movement has won the German nation and formed the Reich. Would that have been possible without the blessing of the Almighty? Or do they who ruined Germany wish to maintain that they have had God’s blessing? What we are we are, not against but with the will of Providence. And so long as we are loyal, honest, and ready to fight, so long as we believe in our great work and do not capitulate, we shall also in the future have the blessing of Providence.” (Rosenheim, Aug. 11, 1935)

    “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. . . As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…. And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” (Munich, April 12, 1922)

    “If positive Christianity means love of one’s neighbor, i.e. the tending of the sick, the clothing of the poor, the feeding of the hungry, the giving of drink to those who are thirsty, then it is we who are the more positive Christians. For in these spheres the community of the people of National Socialist Germany has accomplished a prodigious work.” (Feb. 24, 1939)

    “We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” (Berlin, Oct. 24, 1933)

    “An educated man retains the sense of the mysteries of nature and bows before the unknowable. An educated man, on the other hand, runs the risk of going over to atheism (which is a return to the state of the animal).” (Hitler’s Table Talk, 1941-1944, page 59)

  • Ozzie

    I was intrigued by the number of similarities between Hitler’s campaign and that of Senator Obama. —

    Check out these similarities:

    “I would hope we wouldn’t have to do it militarily, but we have a duty.. . . Going into this period, I was praying for strength to do the Lord’s will. . . .” — George Bush to Bob Woodward

    “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator” — Hitler, Mein Kampf

    “Our prayer is: Lord God, let us never hesitate, let us never play the coward, let us never forget the duty which we have taken upon us,”Hitler, March, 1933

    “I would like to thank Providence and the Almighty for choosing me of all people to be allowed to wage this battle for Germany,” Hitler, in Berlin, March, 1936.

    —————————————————

    “We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended,” G.W. Bush, in his State of the Union address in Jan. 2003

    “Never in these long years have we offered any other prayer but this: Lord, grant to our people peace at home, and grant and preserve to them peace from the foreign foe!”Hitler, Nuremberg, Sept. 13, 1936.

    —————————————————–

    After one of Bush’s operatives promised to “export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in defense of our great nation” Bob Woodward wrote: “The president was casting his mission and that of the country in the grand vision of God’s Master Plan.” And sure enough, when Woodward asked Bush if he had discussed the impending invasion of Iraq with his father, President George H.W. Bush (who could have offered sage advice), the President responded: “He is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength; there is a higher father that I appeal to.”

  • suek

    >>He could not believe in God but he could believe in objects infused with the power of God. Go figure.>>

    I suspect he was afflicted with a severe case of teutonic paganism. Teutonic paganism tends to be more polytheistic or pantheistic than atheistic, I think. In other words, he believed in magic, even if he didn’t believe in God. I agree, it fits into the “go figure” category.

  • David Foster

    “he believed in magic, even if he didn’t believe in God”…in the Screwtape Letters, C S Lewis has the devil (well, just an assistant devil, really) remark that what hell *really* needs is to get the concept of the “materialist magician” accepted among humans.

    It’s kind of happened, if you look at all the “progressives” who typically claim to be anti-religion, while at the same time believing in magical crystals, asserting that natural laws are socially constructed, etc etc.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Ellie2, St Augustine said “God shaped hole” first in Confessions.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    You, my friends, are an erudite crowd.

  • Gringo

    Mary Katherine Ham has a video up which is worth the view. One of the comments on the video summed it up rather well.

    “Keep up the good work. There are truly two Americas. One group is electing a saint and the other is looking at real estate in Ireland.”

  • Gringo

    Since my comment with boldface inside ONE link got eaten, I will try another way. Also no “moderation” comment.

    Mary Katherine Ham has a video up which is worth the view. One of the comments on the video summed it up rather well.

    “Keep up the good work. There are truly two Americas. One group is electing a saint and the other is looking at real estate in Ireland.”

    http://townhall.com/video/HamNation/1450_06052008

  • Ellie2

    I wonder if Ireland has a “right of return”? I’ve got ancestors from County Cork!

    (And HelenL, thanks for providing the credit.)

  • Ellie2

    Hey Book, who but bibliophiles would hang out in a “Bookworm Room”?

  • Zhombre

    Begorrah, Ellie. If you go, let me know, I’ll meet you at the Guinness Brewery tour.

    Obama is not only vacuous himself but brings out the vacuousness of others:

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080604062402.9hhqclqi&show_article=1

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2008/06/06/notes060608.DTL

  • Ymarsakar

    Unlike you Ozzie, we neither worship our political leaders nor do we wish for them to be worshipped.

    The Socialist Elevation of Hitler and the precursors to totalitarianism, is a Leftist flaw.