Obama and Simple Christian Truthfulness

First, three rules for those who like to regularly forward mass emails offering sensational or conspiratorial or rumorish info to the rest of us:

1. Don’t.
2. If you must, please refer to rule #1
3. If you still must, please take 30 seconds and google. You’ll find that most of what you are about to send is a load of hooey.


I received an email forward last week. My guess is a number of you did as well. Essentially, it was a fear-mongering piece drawing out (again) the familial connections between Obama and Islam. To begin with, many of the assertions were simply not true; and for every legitimate historical fact included, they added an interpretive layer on top that was nothing short of imaginative conjecture based on a whole boatload of prior assumptions.

It sent me over the moon. Really, it did.

And my reaction was not because I’m an Obama supporter. I like the guy. I appreciate much about his way and ethos, and I cozy up to some of his ideas. However, my political impulse and my convictions about the common good and social justice, etc., will most likely move me elsewhere. We’ll see… But that’s just not what this is about. This is about basic issues of Christian honesty and fairness, of integrity and baseline respect for our fellowman.

I was angered because of this: the subtle under-text of this vastly distributed email was that the patriots initiating it were somehow protecting our Christian nation from the infidels. One of the most egregious claims was that Obama had joined a Christian church for the sole purpose of political expediency. Please tell me how could one possibly know such a thing? Didn’t Jesus have something to say about subjective human judging – on the issue of one’s soul, nonetheless?

I read this email. And I grieve. I grieve that it seems we care about political maneuvering more than we care about the simple Christian discipline of truth-telling. I grieve that we sell out our subversive voice because of our infatuation with a cause (a cause other than God’s Kingdom, no less). I grieve because such things tell us where our loyalties truly lie. I grieve because it signals we want to win more than we want to live in the Jesus way, speaking what is true and honest and just.

Winning at any cost is not a Christian virtue, no matter the cause, no matter the spin.

peace / Winn

p.s. I must add this. One of the mistruths in the email was that Barack refused to be sworn in on the Bible but rather insisted on using the Koran. Regardless of what one thinks about such things in a pluralistic nation, the plain fact is that it is a lie. Barack was sworn in on the Bible, and the hilarious part is that there is a picture of Dick Cheney right beside him when it happened. Again: 30 seconds. Google.

8 Replies to “Obama and Simple Christian Truthfulness”

  1. I’m with you man. If I had a nickle for every one of those e-mails I get I’d have a bunch of nickels. I love the picture at the end, it so punctuates your point.



  2. Yeah, I read that his campaign has been trying to fight this pretty hard here in South Carolina, where sadly there reside plenty of people who are not only foolish enough to believe this tripe, but also backwards enough to believe that it matters. Though, it’s hardly something Obama is surprised by – I believe he wrote in his first book that a friend told him years ago he’d never go far in politics simply because of his name. Glad to see he was wrong.

  3. Great post. Forwarded emails or not, the things people come up with on their own without thought or Jesus. Such as my grandma who said she would not vote for Obama because he would give “all the black people Welfare.” Good Lord, help us all.

  4. I actually had a discussion about this with a dear friend, who I think must have received the e-mail as well. (I did, too. I just started to read it and thought it was a load of …well, anyway.)She began to share with me those thoughts, and before I got too vocal, I actually put together rational, patient thoughts to help her see how full of “hooey” that e-mail was. But I was saddened that someone I love was so easily deceived. Or worse…maybe she believed what she wanted to believe anyway.

  5. great post. i forwarded it to 3,000 people!

    hey, speaking of pluralism dallas willard has some excellent stuff to say at dwillard.org. not that you could miss it with this title but it’s called, “Being a Christian in a Pluralistic Society”

    thanks, man. jonathan @ http://www.theproblemwithreligion.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *