Volume IV, Issue XXI
Bringing Up an (American)? President
The "other" weekly news magazine this week features Raising Romney. We at THYME feel like not enough has been written about the current occupant of the White House. While the mainstream media seems disinterested in the President's childhood, we at THYME find it fascinating and instructive. Consider Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro, the parent who actually raised Obama. Born in Kansas, she moved West with her furniture-salesman father. In Hawaii, she married Obama's Kenyan Father, a student, at age 18. Then she married an Indonesian, moved to Jakarta, became an anthropologist, wrote a dissertation on peasant blacksmithing in Java, and worked for chairitable foundations.
Actually a pretty interesting story. Young Obama was raised in Indonesia and received a Muslim education. Mom is from Kansas, Dad from Kenya. We're not sure exactly where young Barack was born. His birth certificate is the subject of some speculation and the Social Security number is 'out of place.' Still, accepting the simple explaination that he was born in Hawaii, he was raised in Indonesia. What, and who, actually shaped his values?
It is a Reasonable Thing to Ask What a Leader Believes
"The Left has decided that the best way to counter reasonable inquiries into Barack Obama’s philosophy, theology or worldview is to attack anyone who raises questions. This is classic political hardball -- the opposite of what Obama claims to stand for!" - Focus on the Family Action
Is Obama a Muslim? He says no. World Muslim leaders see it otherwise. Obama was raised in a Muslim worldview in Indonesia. He claims to be a Christian and has been a member of Jeremiah Wright's church. But how does Obama see himself (and fellow Christians)? This is telling.
Maybe it was the creepy extended bow to the Saudi King, or the way he seems all to willing to throw Netanyahu under the bus but when I came across an article by Victor Mordecai asking the question "Is Obama a Muslim?" I took notice.
His Kenyan Father and his Stepfathers were clearly Muslims and his early education was in that tradition. To observant Muslims in the Middle East that qualifies him. Still, to ask the question invites the label "lunatic fringe" for reasons that have largely been manufactured out of Political Correctness.
Mr. Mordecai's wife monitors Arabic radio broadcasts and has documented the following:
Saudi Radio in the months before Obama's election stated: "We will have a Muslim in the White House."
Lybia's Quaddafi said of Obama after his election: "Our man in the White house."
One station stated that Obama would first deal with the Shi'ite of Iran who "threaten all Sunni Muslims" then deal with the "fanatic" new government of Israel under Netanyahu.
Conventional wisdom has it that Obama's education in Muslim schools until age 11 are in the past, just as his association with Jeremiah Wright. Unfortunately Wright's church, with its James Cone inspired Black Liberation Theology is more Marxist in its core philosophy and Christian in the use of language and symolism. If Barack Obama is a Christian there is not a lot of evidence to convict him of it.
Obama Asks: "Am I an American" [click to read] by Byron York
Who Cares About Reverend Wright? [click to read] by Karin McQuillan
It's Not Your Mother's Brand of Christianity
Barak Obama has compared James Dobson to Al Sharpton in a widely circulated speech. Dobson has pointed out some reasonable questions one might ask of the man who would become the next president of the American people. Rather than consider the questions, publications such as Time are simply attacking the messenger.
But if I were the media right now I wouldn't be worried about James Dobson right now and I'd be really curious about James Cone. James Hal Cone is the author of works on Black Liberation Theology and is an inspiration to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama's recently disowned mentor of twenty years. This particular theology has its roots in the movement that made Che Guevera a messianic figure and creates an oppressed/oppressor split in its view of society. Thus a person who subscribes to this theology would naturally identify with the 'oppressed' element of a society. If the split is drawn along racial lines, it is quite fair to ask if one steeped in this tradition could legitimately aspire to be president of all the American people. Consider this quote from James Cone:
"The black theologian must reject any conception of G-d which stifles black self-determination by picturing G-d as a G-d of all peoples. Either G-d is identified with the oppressed to the point that their experience becomes G-d's experience, or G-d is a G-d of racism.... The blackness of G-d means that G-d has made the oppressed condition G-d's own condition. This is the essence of the Biblical revelation. By electing Israelite slaves as the people of G-d and by becoming the Oppressed One in Jesus Christ, the human race is made to understand that G-d is known where human beings experience humiliation and suffering...Liberation is not an afterthought, but the very essence of divine activity." (A Black Theology of Liberation, pp. 63-64)
Barack Obama spent twenty years under the teaching of Reverend Jeremiah Wright, student of James Cone. At best, Cone's 'Black Liberation Theology' is a sort of race-based Marxism in a Christian wrapper. 'Hope and Change' leans in a Socialist/Marxist direction. The mainstream media does not seem concerned.
Obama launched his campaign in the living room of Bill Ayers, who he says is 'just a guy in the neighborhood.' Ayers is no 'Mister Rogers' though, having planned to blow up a number of government buildings in his 'wilder days.' 'Hope and Change' has a bit of Olinsky radicalism to it. The mainstream media does not seem concerned.
Mr. Obama's neigborhood isn't all that shabby either, thanks to his association with Tony Rezco. The Obamas own a pretty nice house, but 'Hope and Change' seems a bit like the 'Chicago Way.' The mainstream media does not seem concerned.
Mr. Obama's Keynsian economic policies are rolling up large amounts of government debt. 'Hope and Change' looks a bit like Weimar Germany. The mainstream media does not seem concerned.
Mr. Obama's publicists want to make him out to be the hero of the common man. If a Republican played this much golf and took so many vacations he would be the subject of much scrutiny. 'Hope and Change' looks a lot like the worst kind of elitism. The mainstream media does not seem concerned.
America is at a crossroads. Four more years of Obama policy could reduce her to a mighty nation that once was. Mr. Obama loves to apologize for America. Does 'Hope and Change' understand the precious legacy our ancestors bled to give us? The mainstream media does not seem concerned.
Two Conflicting Visions are Competing for America
"There are now two Americas. Not a rich one and a poor one; economic status plays little role in this division. There is a red one and a blue one." --Dennis Prager
Politicians of all persuasions express a desire to bring Americans together bound by a common vision for the common good. Dennis Prager Points Out the Fallicy of this Reasoning [click to read] in Jewish World Review. Really, it's time to admit that there are two different ideologies out there and they are in fierce competition for the heart and soul of the Nation. Without this basic understanding of the conflict it is impossible to understand why it must be debated. Indeed the political manifestation of this conflict is merely the tip of a cultural rift caused by very different world views.
Our founders looked to the order of Judeo-Christian principles as they framed a government based on a balance of tensions that would reign in human tendencies in order to create an orderly society. Individual liberties and individual responsibilities played a large part and government was purposely limited to avoid tyranny. Certain Truths were held to be self-evident. Man was seen as a special creation who bore the mark of his Creator, yet was fallen in nature--often acting along the lines of these baser inclinations. Thus government sought at once to reign the base and give liberty and expression to the higher aspirations of mankind.The secular humanism that has come to replace a sense of Divine order has given rise to a new paradigm where government, individual liberties and individual responsibilities are re-prioritized. Thus we no longer see the Divine stamp, Imago Dei, on humanity. On one hand we have created arguments that if man is all there is [no G-d], then man's self-actualization is the main thing. A sense of greater purpose such as that that drove the American Revolution is impossible but we can grab for the highest experiences to justify ourselves. On the other hand, if man is the end of things, then what's so special. The extinction of some rare snail can be elevated above the plight of starving children in Africa. Indeed some radical environmental groups are making that exact argument.
The American left is actually a coalition of many of these often contradictory conclusions and yet they are strongly united in the desire to cast off the "old" constricting beliefs of our forefathers. That is why you will see those who promote the value of free speech in most areas suddenly veer into an irrational supression of religious speech in the public square. The state is now asked to take an even greater role in promoting the well-being of its citizens. The answer must for them be secular, not spiritual. If there is no higher authority it is left to us to pragmatically define and enforce 'virtue.' How else can you explain the fact that after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed from reasons stemming from corruption in government oversight, the answer can only be more government oversight
The Left and Right See 'Freedoms' Differently
The ACLU was founded ninety years ago by Roger Baldwin. He was a socialist thinker who said things like: "America must follow the example of Stalin's Soviet Union where greater freedoms exist than anywhere else in the world". Wow, I never would have known from the history I read! Knowing America would never follow the path to 'social u[dys]topia because of her Judeo-Christian foundations, Baldwin set out to diminish the influence of Christianity in America.
For 80 years the ACLU has twisted the Constitution to exclude Christianity from the public square and the public discourse. That sense of mission is what drives the endless stream of lawsuits against prayer and Christian expression. That is why your kid's 'religious' message is excluded from the poster contest. That's why the school 'Winter Holiday' assembly is devoid of sacred traditional music. Thankfully there is the Alliance Defense Fund [click to read] which was founded to counter this destructive movement.
The Left and Right See Different Americas Altogether
First you have President Obama saying: "You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. … And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
Or consider this quote from Senator Mark Warner: "One of the things you are going to see is a coalition that is just about completely taken over the Republican Party in this state and if they have their way it’s going to take over state government. It is made up of the Christian Coalition, but not just them. It is made up of the right-to-lifers, but not just them. It’s made up of the NRA, but not just them. It is made up of the home-schoolers, but not just them. It’s made up of a whole coalition of people that have all sorts of differing views that I think most of us in this room would find threatening to what it means to be an American."
What does it mean to be an American to these people?
Here's a couple of quotes from former 'safe schools' Czar, Kevin Jennings: "G-d . . . had done nothing but cause me pain and anguish through His inaction and malevolence throughout my childhood. . . . What had he done for me, other than make me feel shame and guilt? Squat. [Scr*w]you, buddy—I don’t need you around anymore, I decided."
"We have to quit being afraid of the religious right. We also have to quit — … I'm trying to find a way to say this. I'm trying not to say, "[F---] 'em!" which is what I want to say, because I don't care what they think! [audience laughter] Drop dead!
Jennings had a difficult childhood and rejected the values of his minister Father, who died when he was young. Yet his experience ignores that of so many young people who have tasted the steadying influence of G-d in their lives and have thrived because of it.
Jennings advocacy of sexual experiences for young people would be troubling enough in considering him for the position of 'safe schools' Czar, but then there is his attitude toward drugs: "I got stoned more often and went out to the beach at Bellows, overlooking Honolulu Harbor and the lights of the city, to drink with my buddies on Friday and Saturday nights, spending hours watching the planes take off and land at the airport, which is actually quite fascinating when you are drunk and stoned." He is clearly in tune with a different America than most of us grew up with. Make no mistake here, the President knew who he was when he appointed him.