You could do much worse than follow the series Thomas has been doing, boosted now by an ongoing account of Super Tuesday. I really don’t know how he knows all this stuff, but I am grateful. That it is all emanating from somewhere near the Georges River in S-W Sydney is itself quite amazing.
I mentioned in a comment on Thomas’s site just now an Obama piece I found recently. I was thinking of doing something about it on Ninglun on Blogspot, but I may as well note it here and now. It is interesting to me as it is connected to my favourite US evangelical site, Sojourners. See ‘Call to Renewal’ Keynote Address: Wednesday, June 28, 2006.
Good morning. I appreciate the opportunity to speak here at the Call to Renewal’s Building a Covenant for a New America conference. I’ve had the opportunity to take a look at your Covenant for a New America. It is filled with outstanding policies and prescriptions for much of what ails this country. So I’d like to congratulate you all on the thoughtful presentations you’ve given so far about poverty and justice in America, and for putting fire under the feet of the political leadership here in Washington.
But today I’d like to talk about the connection between religion and politics and perhaps offer some thoughts about how we can sort through some of the often bitter arguments that we’ve been seeing over the last several years.
I do so because, as you all know, we can affirm the importance of poverty in the Bible; and we can raise up and pass out this Covenant for a New America. We can talk to the press, and we can discuss the religious call to address poverty and environmental stewardship all we want, but it won’t have an impact unless we tackle head-on the mutual suspicion that sometimes exists between religious America and secular America.
I want to give you an example that I think illustrates this fact. As some of you know, during the 2004 U.S. Senate General Election I ran against a gentleman named Alan Keyes. Mr. Keyes is well-versed in the Jerry Falwell-Pat Robertson style of rhetoric that often labels progressives as both immoral and godless.
Indeed, Mr. Keyes announced towards the end of the campaign that, “Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama. Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has behaved in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved.”
Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama.
Now, I was urged by some of my liberal supporters not to take this statement seriously, to essentially ignore it. To them, Mr. Keyes was an extremist, and his arguments not worth entertaining. And since at the time, I was up 40 points in the polls, it probably wasn’t a bad piece of strategic advice.
But what they didn’t understand, however, was that I had to take Mr. Keyes seriously, for he claimed to speak for my religion, and my God. He claimed knowledge of certain truths…
I think you now know who I hope is the next US President…
See also Pentecost 2006: Building a Covenant for a New America and Just back from Sydney University on Old Lines from a Floating Life.