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I Put “Obama” In My Title, so Chances Are You WILL Read I

*Sigh*. I swear, other than hot kenkey, I don’t think there is one other person who incites as visceral a reaction in people than the mere allusion to or mention of President Obama.

I sent this tweet this morning, not really expecting anybody to read, let alone respond to it. I said:

Poor God. He has nothing to do with this election. 1 of the candidates is in a cult and the other betrayed any Christian values he may have ever professed. Why are people praying for either of these clowns as if God is backing one heathen over the other?

But someone did respond, and the more I think about it, the more I’m confused about why she’d care about God and politics. She’s not a particularly religious person – not religious in the least, in fact. Why should she be concerned about this candidate and his alleged eschewing of his Christian values, I wonder? It should rather make her happy! Since she DM’d me on Twitter with her question, it stands to reason that she probably doesn’t want her identity revealed. I’ll just she’s a dear/best/awesome friend who is the ying to my yang.

How did Obama betray any Christian values he may have? she asked.

Ah. When did I mention Obama’s name in my tweet? That’s right; I didn’t. But she knew instinctively who I was talking about because as I said before, she’s my closest friend.

I was going to respond by throwing back a short list of “conservative” answers in 140 characters or less, but that would cheapen the content of what is to me a very serious conversation. That is: what role does God play in our elections, if any?

Before I carry on, let me state the obvious. I am not God Almighty, and don’t let anyone convince you of anything else! The Almighty is the only one who has the ability to judge a person’s heart. We mere mortals can only judge their actions. That being said, I can carry on into what led me to send the tweet.

Everyone is talking about this election. From former professors posting links and articles on their social media feeds to customers walking into my store, it’s almost all I ever hear about. More than fifty times, I’ve heard the following phrase or something close to it.

Oh God! Let Obama win this election! I’m praying for him to win this election!

Most of these people are Democrats, of course.

But why? Why are you expending useful energy praying to a deity who was removed from the platform at the DNC and whom the president and his VP have said that although they hold strong personal beliefs, that would never let those beliefs guide the policies and measures they would put in place for this nation? What kraaa does God have to do with any of this?

This is my stance as a Christian: either the Bible is completely false, or it is completely true. We can’t have it both ways. Either God was confused when Leviticus 18:22  (http://bible.cc/leviticus/18-22.htm) was written, or He was very clear. Homosexuality is an abomination. It’s either cool for us to kill our sons and daughters – according to the word of God – or it’s not. It’s worth reading the whole thing, but Psalms 106 says in part:

They worshiped their idols,
which led to their downfall.
 They even sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons.
 They shed innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters.
By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan,
they polluted the land with murder.
 They defiled themselves by their evil deeds,
and their love of idols was adultery in the Lord’s sight.

It seems pretty clear to me that God has a problem with the shedding of innocent blood. But that’s just me.

I have a general sense about how the God of the Bible must feel about America, or any nation that professes to be “one under” Him, and I imagine that would be disgusted. Have you ever dealt with someone who just wouldn’t make up their friggin’ mind? I mean about ANYTHING? How frustrated were you? We don’t even like it when people take too long at the cashier’s counter in a store. They should have decided definitively what they wanted before they inconvenienced the rest of us! America is a nation caught between two or more opinions about God’s place in our society. How is that honoring the One whom we claim to be author and finisher of our faith? Let’s pull God off the shelf when we need a miracle during a hurricane, but by no means should His word ever be consulted when we need guidance on how to rule and conduct ourselves.

My problem with people invoking God where Barack Obama is concerned is that judging from his actions, policies and voting patterns, he appears to be a man caught between two opinions. He practices what my husband calls “casual Christianity”. On one hand he wants to empower women to murder their children in the womb, which is contrary to the heart of God. That doesn’t matter. But almost within the same breath, he invokes the spirit of God by saying it’s our Christian duty to care for the less fortunate, i.e. meaning we should all pay more in taxes to support government programs. When therefore are Christians supposed to pick their crosses and do the will of the Father? When the president and the government say it’s expedient to do so? Indeed:

This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD.  – Jeremiah 17:5

Is there ANY greater trust in the strength of men than to live a life so wholly dependent on the public dole? Yet a certain party wants to extend welfare programs instead of empowering those at the very bottom with education and ingenuity, no matter how much lip service they pay to the contrary. There are millions of dollars made every year by keeping people in ignorance and poverty.

My friend said she had no interest in Mitt Romney, but I’ll still go ahead to add that Mormonism is a creepy cult. Its roots are racist and some really shady practices (like necrophilia) are included in their dogma. Why again would I pray to my God to raise up a man with this belief system to rule over me and my family? Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Why again should I pray for God to raise another who is just as spiritually shady to do the same?

People say this election is about choosing the lesser of two evils. Personally, I don’t want evil leading me. Period.

I guess my point is, no matter who wins, these two men are not men convicted by the Holy Spirit. They are motivated by the whims of interest groups and big business. Don’t deceive yourself, dear Christian. No matter who you vote(d) for, he was not God’s elect. He is Saul 4.0.

This article has 17 comments

  1. gboukzi

    Hmmm.. Thought provoking. You make it sound like having to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. I’m curious though; does this mean there’s no hope for the US as far as religious leadership is concerned?

    • Malaka

      I can’t say! I don’t know that America necessarily needs “religious” leadership. The pope isn’t in charge of fiscal budgets in the Vatican, I’m sure. I’d like to see leaders guided by righteous principles, but history has never been kind to righteous men, has it. Sir Thomas Moore anyone?

  2. nas009

    *Exhale* So where do I start my response from?

    Firstly I DM’s my question because I didn’t want to have a public back and forth with you which I thought (knowing our different political stance) could become acrimonious so let’s do it on your blog instead 🙂

    You’re right, I’m not a particularly religious person. I can’t quote bible verses verbatim, and I don’t have the unshakeable belief that some religious people have that their view is 100% right and that of other people is wrong because the bible says so. I think of the Bible as a book written by men, and I know that powerful men determined what was included in the bible and what was left out. I know that if there is a God then surely s/he is not a misogynist so wouldn’t have somehow randomly only inspired men to write the gospel. I have heard that there was a gospel according to Mary yet I’ve never seen that in the bible.

    Like some of you I was brought up by parents who ensured I went to Sunday school, and my first five years of secondary school was in a Catholic boarding school so I imbibed a lot of religious messages. A few years ago I randomly started going to a church 5 minutes from where I lived because when my Mum had been staying over her one wish for Mothers day was for me to take her to church and so I decided to take her to this neighbourhood church that I had walked by a 1001 times but had never entered…that day the preacher was a lay woman who spoke about how Jesus spent his time with the outcasts in society, how he was a revolutionary because he hang out with women and prostitutes (not one and the same thing I might point out). I was sold and started going to that church regularly until I moved countries. A year or so ago I interviewed Mercy Amba Oduyoye, a feminist theologian for an AWDF publication which I edited. Her central message was that ‘Jesus is a feminist’. If Auntie Mercy had a church I would be there every Sunday. These sort of messages make sense to me. The concept of a God or Jesus that is loving. I am turned off thoroughly by Christians who are so self righteous that they refer to other Christians as ‘casual Christians’. Wow. Cos they must really have it sorted. I suspect if Jesus was alive today he would consort with those that these right wing Christians shun – the homosexuals, those who have had abortions. Wasn’t there something in the bible about ‘he who has no sin should cast the first stone’ or something along those lines? Yet ‘professional Christians’ are so quick to grab stones, rocks and boulders?

    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Zain Ghana

    • grantmxMarsahll

      Sorry for the book…
      @Nas009 – You are more right than you credit yourself. Jesus actually went against the grain of the “professional religious” of his day by integrating (even emphasizing) women in to his movement, Mary – his mother, Mary Magdalene, Martha, etc. When you read the gospels you see a very prominent role women took after Christ died. They were also the first on the scene when he resurrected. This was important because at the time, a woman’s account wasn’t thought as trustworthy, yet those “powerful men” you speak of kept every account of women confirming to Jesus’ disciples of his Resurrection, which is the paramount of the message of Christ.
      In fact, history accounts more women in the 1st century church than men. There are Women in the bible who had strong leadership positions in Israel as well as the Christian Church; who predicted Christ’s birth to his parents; women who were integrated in his genealogical line; even whole books were devoted to women (book of Ruth); this too was unheard of in ancient writ, yet those “powerful men” kept them in there.
      BTW – those books of the bible (called the Apocryphal Books) that were taken out weren’t really taken out. They were never in there in the first place. When you look at the history of the bible, what is called the Old Testament was compete once Jesus was on the scene. And what we call the New Testament was complete about 10 – 30 yrs after Christ’s death. The Apocryphal Books were written 100 – 300 years after Christ’s death and aren’t considered valid because of how late they were written and their content (including the book of Mary).
      One place where I philosophically differ with you is this idea of “the religious view being 100% right because the bible says so.” If I follow your logic you are basically saying that the bible is wrong because it was written by men. What then do you judge your point of view from? What you feel is correct?
      The other portion I disagree with you along this same of logic, is what is right and what is wrong. Following something called the Law of Contradiction, all religions cannot be true, but all of them can be false. Then of course you have to then pass all the tests for truth, which I have found Christ has made very reasonable arguments regarding his truth.

    • Malaka

      I typed a long reply and then lost it. But in short: acrimonious how? We both know where we stand. I’m not going to say anything to intentionally pick a fight with you. What would that accomplish? 🙂

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to saddle my donkey and do some good ol’ fashioned professional Christian duties! I get paid big bucks for that you know!

  3. malota

    I totally loved this post yesterday, loved it more today for the comments. All i really want to know is the question that you asked, What role does God play in our elections, if any? I dont think he plays a role for the “average electorate” Most people vote based on family affiliation, the appeal of the candidate and what seems to be the in-thing at the moment. Only a few care if their leader is a man of God, Ever since man (Israel) chose to have man rule instead of having God as their leader, the qualities used in choosing a leader has been more of what makes the electorate happy and not what is good in the sight of God or what is generally good for the nation. Sorry for the long ass comment. I should stick to sharing your wonderful posts.

    • Malaka

      You must NEVER, EVER refrain from commenting! That’s what makes a blog different from a novel: the ability to engage in discussion with your reader. The only people unwelcome to leave comments on my blog are trolls and those who actively insult my readership who have been kind enough to leave a comment. It is for that reason that I have engaged the services of S. Gyekye, Troll Hunter Extraordinaire. He swoops in and decimates them with his keyboard ninja stars. 🙂

      Thanks for re-tweeting as often as you do!!

  4. Nana Darkoa (@nas009)

    @Marshall – Thanks for your explanation about the aprochyphal books. My issue is that in the bible as it is – how come there are no gospels written by women? I appreciate what you are saying about these books that were never part of the bible…but in what is currently in existence how come we don’t directly hear the voices of women? I am not saying the bible is wrong because it was written by men. I am saying I struggle to swallow wholesale thoughts/ideas/concepts written by men who are human, powerful, speaking from their own perspectives but saying they are validated by the spirit (which I cannot confirm or deny cos I simply don’t know) . Its odd to me that the spirit only spoke to men for e.g. Surely the spirit doesn’t discriminate. Or does it?

    @ Malaka – No, no, no I didn’t mean YOU or I were going to become acrimonious 🙂 I think we’ve prioritised our BFFFL status such that we do our best to rise above conflict or just kinda stay away from stepping on each other’s trigger points. I thought the acrimony could come from a public debate (hence the DM) cos others jump in, put salt and pepper in the stew, blah, blah, blah. But thinking about that now that’s probably a reflection of my own fear of conflict with friends and desire to preserve friendships. Hey, debate is good right? Even when we won’t change each others mind 🙂

    • grantmx

      Gotcha. That is a good point, but honestly, there is very little, if any ancient authoritative text of ANY kind written by women: religious, secular, educational, philosophical or historical in that time period. And the hard reality of it all is that at that time in our World’s history women were largely baby makers and keepers of the home. But Christ elevated the role of women in society more than any ancient figure of his day (refer to the points I made in my last comment), religious and non-religious.

      If you ever get a chance to read the Bible from cover to cover, you’ll see that the role of women is indispensable to the success of Israel as well as the early days of the Church.

      If you need me to point out a few women worth noting let me know.

  5. Joghey

    Couldn’t read this post fast enough! Thank you for giving words to my exact thoughts.

    Abortion’s been sold to us as this: If you are against it, then you are against ‘woman’

    sigh, I dont get it.

  6. Barbara

    and today he won….between the two evils he got the most catholic votes. i think to be a president is to strike a balance…..

    • Malaka

      It doesn’t matter if he won. One of them had to win, and they BOTH suck. Buckle up for 4 more years of inertia. Unless you’re gay and on welfare, there’s nothing Barack Obama had done as president that’s worth celebrating.

  7. kattails------Kathy M. Upton

    What a great post….thought provoking and wise…and spirit-led, I believe. Your site came up in a random google search I did….( so silly I won’t even repeat what it was but you can probably discern it …lol). I feel a bit better I must admit….not hopeful but better. I’ve detested Obama as president since before he was elected in 2008. And it has nothing to do with race. I disagree with nearly all his social policies among other things. But my thinking has been voting for the lesser of two evils….period not even considering that neither would be God’s choice if the choice were left up to God. I was glad to see you posted a reference to Psalms 106—–that’s been one of my biggest fears for decades now—-that America’s sacrifice of life…of unborn children would hasten her downfall. I’m really glad I found your blog….God bless…

  8. David S.

    I grew up in a very religious family and was a very active christian in my youth. As an adult I’ve become very cynical about religious establishments. The more I talk to people who claim to be guided by “moral principles” the more I’ve come to believe that most people cherry pick the bible, extract those moral principles with which they struggle the least, and that becomes their definition of morality.

    So I roll my eyes whenever people talk about finding a politician with Christian values. I don’t think it’s realistic for us to expect our politicians to follow the bible, when we ourselves only follow the parts that suit us.

    Of course my eye rolling extends to cynicism about politicians. I believe our politicians are a reflection of the society they live in. So when my colleague who I know fibbed on his resume to get his job complains about Romney’s shifting political positions, I roll my eyes. If the political arena is full of godless individuals pretending to be christians, it’s because our churches are full of moralless individuals pretending to be christians.

  9. Ekuba

    Lol, this article is so on point! I personally love Obama but I agree with you that neither of the candidates; this year touted christian values. One thing I’ve realized since I came to the US is that neither liberals nor conservatives have their Christian values right- I’ll explain. You see, although I believe in not judging others and I sin from time to time (I am trying to re-new my relationship with God now and sin less), the fact remains that if it’s the Bible we’re using then certain principles that liberals cherish are sinful eg. pro life, gay marriage etc. On the other hand, although conservatives promote christian values when it comes to abortion and homosexuality, when it comes to their love of capitalism and their ‘as long as I am ok, I don’t care about my neighbor’ principles, they also veer off the path since Christ’s gospel is about giving to the poor and loving our neighbors. I think that the most important thing is for us to pray for this nation that God redirects people’s hearts to him. Good article (i’ve read it like 3 times). PS: I hope you’ll publish a book very soon because you are really talented.

    • Malaka

      Thanks so much for the compliment! I would love to write a book, except I still don’t know WHAT to write about.

      You know, I agree to you up to a certain point. I don’t think what you described about not giving to the poor is conservatism at all. It’s merely stinginess, and liberals have done an excellent job at making the two synonymous. The most giving people I know are conservatives, however the biggest tax cheats I know would describe themselves as democrats or liberals. From Tim Geithner to Shanequa borrowing one of her cousins kids to put on her tax return.

      I think conservatives and liberals do care about the poor, but their approach is different. Whereas liberals want to tax the rich to give to the poor, conservatives would rather give the poor a job so that they can earn their own keep. One approach is more sustainable than the other, depending on how you want to run the economy. We either develop a system where everyone can prosper, or we keep a system where only a few prosper so that we can tax their wealth to feed the poor. I’d rather have the ability to create my own wealth than a government handout any day.

  10. Ekuba

    lol about it being merely stinginess! yeah, even with relation to Africa, it has been documented that Republican presidents have given more financial aid than Democratic presidents (George Bush gave more money to HIV/ AIDS and malaria prevention than Clinton did or Obama has done). And I also believe that a lot of liberals pretend to care about people and give money to help others when they really don’t. However, I guess what I want to say is that as a Christian, there is something about the message of conservatives that strikes me as materialistic and doesn’t seem to agree with what Jesus thought about what our attitude should be towards wealth and people around us. I don’t believe in free handouts for everyone but in an unequal world, some people are going to need a hand here and there once in a while. Although a there are a lot of lazy poor people (the book of Proverbs tells us this), there are also hardworking poor people and these should be helped. After I watched ‘Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream’, it became even clearer to me (it’s on hulu tv’s free service). Best wishes with the book thingy. Hugs

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