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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
Scott Ott Nails It, As Usual 
1st-Jun-2008 09:48 am
OK, Obama has resigned from Trinity Church. Not, given what we've been seeing, before time.

Scott Ott has posted the correct response:

Dear Sen. Obama,

Now that you are back on the market, so to speak, having abandoned your church home of two decades to allow your friends to "worship in peace", I'd like to invite you to consider my church. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

Senator, in my church we love and worship Jesus. We believe the Bible is the word of God. Our preachers faithfully proclaim the gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Our people live out their faith in a variety of ways, from feeding the poor, to providing medical care in rural Africa and elsewhere, to taking the good news of Jesus to Tanzania, France, England and several dozen other places around the world.

Sen. Obama, if you love Jesus, and enjoy the fellowship of others who share your faith in Christ, then you and Michelle and the girls might feel at home here.

Read the rest. Consider inviting someone else to your church.
1st-Jun-2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
He'll probably end up going to a Unitarian church. Left-wing elitists fit right in at those places.
2nd-Jun-2008 05:05 am (UTC)
No mention on the webpage of which creed or denomination that Ott belongs to (I'll take a wild stab and assume some sort of Protestant Trinitarianism); who's then to know if it would even hypothetically compatible with the religiosity of the Obama family?
3rd-Jun-2008 07:30 pm (UTC) - Hypothetical compatibility
Here's an interview of him from 2004: I can't say that the picture it gives is coherent, so your proposal that he should find a "compatible" religion may be harder than you think.
4th-Jun-2008 04:46 am (UTC) - Re: Hypothetical compatibility
My reading, judging by the interview, would suggest that Sen. Obama himself leans towards a Unitarian Christology, and that his attachment to the Trinity Church came about mostly as a result of the happenstance of his living in working in the community.

I found another part more interesting:

The more specific and detailed you are on issues as personal and fundamental as your faith, the more potentially dangerous it is.

Hearing his tacit definition of faith as something that can be "specific and detailed", started me towards wondering how common it is now to treat faith as a synonym for creed, and thereby suppose it to be an expression of dogma or doctrine. I myself am in the habit of thinking of faith as faith, something that wholly precedes, and is ontologically separate from dogma. In fact, I would tend to think of dogma as being only the means by which the experience of faith is grappled with and expressed.
10th-Jun-2008 05:37 pm (UTC) - Re: Hypothetical compatibility
The faith and my faith are easily confused, and the fusion is older than you imply: after all, Henry VIII was "defender of the faith" as the author of a pamphlet against the Lutheran position on the sacraments, not in recognition of his trust in God.

With regard to Obama's fear to be specific and detailed, I suspect it was the quite specific fear of disagreeing with someone whom he wanted the votes of, rather than a position on religious matters. After all, he joined the largest and most influential church in the assembly district he wanted to be elected from, partly in reaction to the criticisms of him from his prior unsuccessful campaign for the office. His training is as a politician in Chicago, and that has certain consequences, among which, in his case, was joining a church in which his family was not welcome.

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