Monday, April 9, 2007

Barack Obama on Faith and Politics

I have tried to keep the messages from The Virtual Pew on the cutting edge, different, and yet undenying of the reality and need for Jesus Christ. I have also tried to at times push the envelope to reach out to non followers of Jesus so they may consider him, while at the same time speaking to those who profess to be followers of Jesus in order that they may look at their life and ask themselves how they are following the steps and methods of Jesus.

In saying the things above, one should note and know, on occasion, especially during the political season, we will look at challenging individuals to look at particular candidates, and even particular issues those candidates stand on. When we do so, it should not be seen as an endorsement of that candidate. I am also very aware that we have individuals who access The Virtual Pew who are from other countries. As much as many of us in America like to think that our political system has no impact on the rest of the world, we couldn’t be further from the truth. It is with the understanding that we should value the opinions of others, outside of America, that I welcome comments from those not involved in the American process. Where we have people who have concerns over other issues, whether England or Australia, I welcome education, and even posting on those systems as well.

Now why do we do this? We do it because Jesus has called us to be salt and light to the world we live in. Following Jesus is more than walking the aisle during a church service or crusade. Following Jesus is simply that, following Jesus in all areas humanly possible. That includes loving and caring for the very types of people Jesus did, speaking out about the same injustices that Jesus did, addressing the religious people regarding their sins in the same way Jesus did. Following Jesus means just that, for those of us who follow him in word, we should also follow him in deed.

Now all of that being said, I just came across a video presentation of Barack Obama addressing a conference on Reconciling Faith and Politics. E.J. Dionne in an Op-Ed. piece for the Washington Post on June 30, 2006 stated about this speech; "(Obama's speech on faith) may be the most important pronouncement by a Democrat on faith and politics since John F. Kennedy's Houston speech in 1960 declaring his independence from the Vatican...Obama offers the first faith testimony I have heard from any politician that speaks honestly about the uncertainties of belief."

With that in mind, for those who will, I would encourage you to watch this 40 minute speech. Feel free to criticize the speech, feel free to build it up, but more importantly, think about how or if it can help you “follow Jesus” or at the very least, understand that not all Christians are the same, just as not all Muslims are the same, or all people of any particular group are the same. Now, watch, listen, reply. You can also see this speech given in its entirety without break by clicking here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives.

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