Ok, so the title may be a little over the top. But you know what? For all that the Obama candidacy isn't a cult, it is most assuredly about faith - in ourselves, in our nation, and yes, in our leader.
And like so many other faiths, we sometimes fall short in the expression of our principles.
So here's the challenge, Obama supporters (and I count myself in that group) - can we live up to the ideals our chosen candidate espouses and expresses? Can we work to uplift our entire nation, Republican and Democrat, black and white, Clinton supporter and Obama supporter alike? Can we walk that high road together?
I believe that the human species is destined for incredible things. I believe that we are a unique, capable, creative, Godlike animal, with a capacity for love, compassion, and understanding that sets us apart from our baser animal instincts. While you may not share my belief in destiny, it is without doubt that you share a fundamental faith in the essential goodness of mankind - for what person could support a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, without believing that the people were up to the task?
The American ideal encompasses this faith in mankind, and expands on it - laying down fundamental rights and responsibilities, a system of self-government based on reason and free discourse, and working to build a framework within which mankind can achieve his highest potential. The Founders had faith in each other, in the power of the reasoning mind, and in the capacity for each ordinary citizen to play a role in his own governance. Barack Obama understands this - and challenges each of us to prove that this faith is not misplaced.
Sometimes we all fall short of our potential. The human mind is relatively new, and has billions of years of instinct underpinning it all. Sometimes we will triumph over fear, and sometimes fear will rule us. Sometimes we will give in to tribal prejudice, and sometimes we will overcome it. Sometimes we will act with compassion, and sometimes we will act selfishly. Sometimes we will judge, or criticize, or cast out our neighbours; and sometimes we - and they - will find it in our hearts to forgive, to learn to see each others viewpoints whether or not we agree.
No matter how often we fall short of our potential, our capacity for transcendant action never disappears, is always there below the surface waiting to be expressed.
So what does this mean?
It means that we too can have faith in each other.
It means that we too can have faith in our system of government.
It means that we too can strive for something better.
It means that we too can reach out to our fellow travellers on the long road of Democracy.
So here it is, Democrats, Republicans, Americans. I am proud to be a part of this continuing journey by our species to transcend instinct with reason. I am honoured to hold my hand out to each of you, no matter who you support or how you worship or where you live. The United States is just a country - but America is an idea the entire species can aspire to and take part in.