I just read Barack Obama’s keynote speech on June 28, 2006 to the Call to Renewal conference on the relationship between religion and politics. It was brilliant.
Before you go any further, listen to it or read the transcript here on Obama’s site. As you do, I encourage you to rid your mind of everything that your friends, family, church, and favorite ministries have said about him. I want you to approach this with an open mind, and listen to what Obama himself has to say about his faith and personal beliefs. There were of course a few who had things to say about the speech later, including James Dobson, whom Obama mentioned. His reaction and the reaction of an outspoken agnostic to Dobson’s comments were both enough to make me want to vomit. The reaction of said agnostic is a quick way to read Dobson’s comments as well, so give both a look at once here . I’ll try not to trigger your gag reflex and give my take on the speech, all at the same time.
First, I want to point out Obama’s confession of faith. I was a bit skeptical of his testimony and reasons for believing at first, but from everything he said I’m convinced that he is genuinely a Christian. I know that we can play the game all day of whether his policy choices and his history as a community organizer and politician show that he is a Christian or not, but I also know all about how offensive it can be to be told that you aren’t a real Christian. Considering how much similar comments have bothered him, I feel that his faith is something that he takes very seriously. I think I’ll save the rest for a few posts from now.
A quick note (because I know a lot of you are thinking it): it is true that Obama did not vote yes on the bill to support care for born-alive babies from abortions, and that he has consistently supported pro-choice legislation. However, it is also worth noting that he did not vote no on the said bill either, instead being recorded as present.
I’m not sure how I feel about that choice (mostly got good right now), but the best part about being a blogger is that I don’t need to have all the answers when my work gets published. I invite you to give your opinion as I try to make up my mind on Obama and the other candidates. I forgot to write this in the last post, but there was more to the interview with Tom that I will post on Monday. Until next time, have a great weekend!