Barack Obama: Religion and Mental Health
'Mr. Wright's assertions of widespread white racism and his scorching remarks about American government have drawn criticism, and prompted the senator to cancel his delivery of the invocation when he formally announced his candidacy in February. Mr. Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate who says he was only shielding his pastor from the spotlight, said he respected Mr. Wright's work for the poor and his fight against injustice. ... It is hard to imagine, though, how Mr. Obama can truly distance himself from Mr. Wright. The Christianity that Mr. Obama adopted at Trinity has infused not only his life, but also his campaign. He began his presidential announcement with the phrase "Giving all praise and honor to God", a salutation common in the black church. He titled his second book, "The Audacity of Hope," after one of Mr. Wright's sermons, and often talks about biblical underdogs, the mutual interests of religious and secular America, and the centrality of faith in public life.'
This paragraph made me cringe. The last thing I want for my country is to have another person blinded by religious convinction as the president. G.W. Bush has had various Evangelical leaders whispering into his ear for the last eight years, and the thought of a close-minded, anti-white, reactionist liberation theologian whispering in the new president's ear is almost enough to make me want to change my vote. What American needs is someone who can remain as objective and uninfluenced by any one religious ideology as possible.
And yet ... there are so many things I like about Barack Obama (even moreso than Rodham Clinton, and let me tell you, I would love a female president in the White House!). I like his progressive stances on abortion, gay marriage, global warming and universal health care. Where Rodham Clinton seems more resistant (she has not been as progressive as Obama about health care or environmental concerns), Obama is not afraid to push it to the next progressive level. I really like that he seems very progressive about mental health care and advocates making mental health care more available for U.S. troops. My father served in Vietnam and I know he would have very much benefited from free therapy (that is, if he would have agreed to it). But is all of this enough if he is going to be so intimiately tied to a reactionary form of Christianity? I'm unsure.
x-posted to Livejournal