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View Diary: President Obama offers an Easter and Passover greeting (137 comments)

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  •  Or maybe he did it... (8+ / 0-)

    ...because he honestly believes it?

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 08:13:32 AM PDT

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    •  Yes that is my opinion of it all, he has said he (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fireshark

      not raised in a religious home but he became a Christian after he moved to Chicago. The right wing seems to think he was raised a religious Moslem, apparently by a mother who was not religious and grandparents who were not religious. They make no sense.  As even his father whom he did not know at all really was an Atheist.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 08:44:32 AM PDT

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    •  If Obama believes this he's a religious ideologue. (1+ / 0-)
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      Medium Head Boy

      If doesn't believe it, he's a bald-faced liar.

      Thomas Paine put it rather more eloquently:

      All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for impostors to preach and fools to believe.
      Indeed, it is deeply disturbing to hear Obama profess a fundamentalist belief in religious doctrine:
      These holidays have their roots in miracles that took place thousands of years ago. Tomorrow, we will celebrate the resurrection of a savior who died so that we might live.
      I wish some enterprising journo would query the president as to how many biblical "miracles" he believes to be factual accounts of real events. I mean, if you're going to say you believe in a literal resurrection from the dead, the immaculate conception must be quite doable.
      •  Those aren't "fundamentalist" beliefs. (1+ / 0-)
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        Juliann
        Indeed, it is deeply disturbing to hear Obama profess a fundamentalist belief in religious doctrine:
        The quotation you highlight there is not by any means unique to fundamentalism among Christians; many members of mainline Christian denominations also believe in miracles and in the literal resurrection, including me.

        Or are you going to objectify us by denying us our right to self-definition, imposing your label of "fundamentalists" on us whether we like it or not?

        I wish some enterprising journo would query the president as to how many biblical "miracles" he believes to be factual accounts of real events. I mean, if you're going to say you believe in a literal resurrection from the dead, the immaculate conception must be quite doable.
        Do you even know what the immaculate conception is? Please do tell me what you think it is, and where you believe it's found in the Bible.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 09:37:42 AM PDT

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        •  JG, as the resident DK theologian... (0+ / 0-)

          Why don't you weigh in on this?

          Several commenters on this thread seem to be ignorant of the fact that not all Christians denominations subscribe to a belief in the literal resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

          It's as if they never set foot in a church, or a library -- which is fine by me, except when it comes to the statement of uninformed opinion.

          •  Find me one that denies it. (0+ / 0-)
            Several commenters on this thread seem to be ignorant of the fact that not all Christians denominations subscribe to a belief in the literal resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
            Please name for me an orthodox Christian denomination whose official statements of faith don't express this belief. There are some that are quasi-officially agnostic on the question in that they demand few if any theological commitments from those who carry their name, and others that affirm the Nicene Creed in name but have cultures that are open to some forms of heterodoxy, but I can't think of one Christian denomination that denies a belief in the literal resurrection of Jesus.

            Furthermore, that's not my point; my point is that there are numerous Christian denominations that do believe in the literal resurrection of Jesus while not subscribing to the tenets and tendencies of the historical movement of Fundamentalism (including but not limited to Biblical inerrancy, separatism, premillennial dispensationalism, six-day creationism, penal substitutionary atonement, etc.).

            Therefore, the President expressing his belief in a literal resurrection does not make him a Fundamentalist; in fact, as those who are familiar with the tenets and tendencies of Fundamentalism will attest, there are a great many things about the President's philosophy, theology, lifestyle, and politics that, when taken together, are completely incompatible with adherence to a Fundamentalist worldview.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 05:17:36 PM PDT

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            •  Eminent Episcopalian Bishop John Spong... (0+ / 0-)

              Bishop Spong expressly denies a literal interpretation of several key Christian doctrines: including, the historical truth of the Virgin Birth; the bodily resurrection of Jesus; and biblical miracles.

              Bishop Spong served as rector of St. Joseph's Church in Durham, North Carolina from 1955 to 1957; rector of Calvary Parish, Tarboro, North Carolina from 1957 to 1965; rector of St. John's Church in Lynchburg, Virginia from 1965 to 1969; and rector of St. Paul's Church in Richmond, Virginia from 1969 to 1976. He has held visiting positions and given lectures at major American theological institutions, most prominently at Harvard Divinity School. (Wikipedia)
              Likewise, Episcopalian Priest and Columbia University Professor of Religion Gary Dorien has published numerous books and hundreds of essays with a focus on liberal theology. So clearly, even within the Episcopalian Church, there are examples that contradict your assertion that all "Orthodox Christian" religions preach a conventional understanding of the resurrection, biblical miracles, etc.

              Of course, beyond these immediate examples from the Episcopalian faith, there is the broad field of Liberal Christian Theology proper, with a history dating back more than 200 years.

              James, I'm surprised to see you denying any knowledge of these things, considering that you give the impression of being extensively informed on the subject.

              Thomas Paine: All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for impostors to preach and fools to believe.

              by PreciousLittle on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 10:05:40 PM PDT

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              •  Did you read what I wrote? (0+ / 0-)
                ... and others that affirm the Nicene Creed in name but have cultures that are open to some forms of heterodoxy...
                While Bishop Spong did have a more symbolic interpretation of many of the tenets of orthodox Christianity, each and every parish in his diocese said the Nicene Creed each and every week. Bishop Spong does not set Episcopal doctrine—and Episcopal doctrine does continue to hold that the bodily resurrection of Christ took place.

                Nevertheless, even that still fails to address my original point, which is that belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is not sufficient grounds for suggesting someone is a Fundamentalist, as many other non-Fundamentalist Christians also affirm such a tenet—and thus, that the President's affirmation of what continues to be one of the basic parts of Christian doctrine throughout the religion does not mean that he is a Fundamentalist, particularly given that there are no other indications of any kind that he affirms the theology, epistemology, worldview, or culture of Fundamentalism.

                Perhaps you'd like to address that, rather than continuing to go off on other tangents...?

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 10:27:14 PM PDT

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                •  JG, your definition of Fundamentalism is arcane... (0+ / 0-)

                  Moreover, you are seeking to eliminate vernacular use of the term "Fundamentalist" as it is commonly applied in everyday usage.

                  You insist that an "Orthodox Christian" cannot be deemed a Fundamentalist until s/he completely adopts "the whole of the Fundamentalist worldview and all the tenets of Fundamentalist epistemology, theology, and cultural thought". So, evidently, you have an agenda to restrict the use of the term to only the most extremist subset of textbook Fundamentalists  -- which conveniently allows the vast majority of right-wing Christian ideologues to forgo the  discomfort of being characterized as Fundamentalists.

                  Fortunately, you don't get to dictate the terms of this debate. When politicians (including President Obama) publicly espouse the previously cited "Five Fundamentals" of Christian Fundamentalism, there are those of us who find it justifiable to use the vernacular and say 'there goes a Fundamentalist'. All the more so when religious doctrine is used as a cudgel to beat down legislation that would expand social/economic/political liberty and justice for all of "god's children". If you go out of your way to defend politically-opportunistic fundamentalism, don't be surprised when you're called out for being a fundamentalist sympathizer.

                  BTW, in your profile, the first word you use to describe yourself is "ideologue", which suggests that you have no qualms about being uncompromising and dogmatic. Discussing the subject of religion with a self-professed ideologue has become exceedingly tedious to me. Peace out.

                  Thomas Paine: All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for impostors to preach and fools to believe.

                  by PreciousLittle on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 11:35:01 PM PDT

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    •  Given the space occupied by religion in the (0+ / 0-)

      U.S., it may be a good thing to have someone as consequential as a President pushing back on the rightward drift of religious orthodoxy in the last 40 years.  I can remember when many of the religious leaders in the public sphere were on the left, not the right.  MLK, for starters.  William Sloane Coffin.  Father Robert Drinan.  You don't have to be a wingnut to be devout.

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 01:15:49 PM PDT

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      •  Observer, you said President Obama is... (0+ / 0-)

        "pushing back on the rightward drift of religious orthodoxy".

        Please, give us some detailed examples of what you mean.  Are you talking about some lines Obama may have said in a speech, or are you thinking of actions he has taken while in office. I'll take either, although the latter is infinitely preferable to the former.

        •  He fought for and won the repeal of DADT... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Observerinvancouver

          ...and has directed his DOJ to stop defending DOMA. No, he's not where many of us (including many liberal orthodox Christians) wish he were on marriage equality, but it's impossible to deny that he has worked for LGBT rights.

          He has continually supported reproductive choice, even to the point of picking a fight with conservative Roman Catholics and conservative evangelicals on contraception coverage.

          And despite the claims of both conservatives (who claim that he's a closet Muslim) and some atheists (who claim that he's too smart to be anything but a closet atheist), he has done those things while espousing religious orthodoxy, as he did in today's address.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 05:24:31 PM PDT

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        •  I guess your nickname describes your brain (0+ / 0-)

          size.  

          We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

          by Observerinvancouver on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 05:46:55 PM PDT

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          •  No, the nickname isn't due to a mental disability. (0+ / 0-)

            It stems from a childhood physical handicap. If you still want to be an asshole about it, please, feel free.

            "All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for impostors to preach and fools to believe." ~ Thomas Paine

            by PreciousLittle on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 11:32:10 PM PDT

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