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?
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