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News Obama comments on religion

  1. Nov 7, 2008 #1

    This video looks old but I just got the chance to see it. After 8 years of fundamentalism meddling in American politics, it is refreshing to see the divide between church and state will be renewed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2008 #2
    Full video of speech.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Nov 8, 2008 #3
    This is fantastic stuff.
  5. Nov 8, 2008 #4
    I sometimes wonder if Obama is really a Christian, or if he is just pretending to even stand a chance in the election?
  6. Nov 8, 2008 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I often wonder if anyone really wonders this, or if it is just way to reconcile the fact that this is a primarily a country populated by people of faith - including most of our greatest leaders.
  7. Nov 8, 2008 #6
    I have my doubts about the authenticity of his professed faith. He grew up in a family that at best was spiritual, but was still critical of organized religion, as he pointed out in his speech. It's very likely his faith is for political show.
  8. Nov 8, 2008 #7
    I agree with Lightbulb. Obama is obviously extremely intelligent. Intelligent people tend to believe in things for which there is evidence. I think he is a non-believer.
  9. Nov 8, 2008 #8
    That's not true at all. Intelligence is not immune from belief. There have been a lot of smart people that believed in irrational things over the course of history. Francis Collins would be one example.
  10. Nov 8, 2008 #9
    I didn't say immune, I said they tend to. There's a reason why most American scientists are nonbelievers, while 90% of the general population are religious. The reason is that scientists tend to be rational, and therefore care about evidence :smile:
  11. Nov 8, 2008 #10
    I quite frankly don't care, but I DO think Barack needs to quickly fly down to NC and pray with Billy Graham pronto after the inauguration.
  12. Nov 8, 2008 #11


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    Ah, the old "If you don't believe what I do, you must not be thinking clearly" argument?
  13. Nov 8, 2008 #12
    The important issue is not whether or not he believes in this or that god or some other guy, but that he believes and understands the separation of church and state.
  14. Nov 8, 2008 #13


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    I think you take a rather over simplified view of things.

    While it may be true that among those inclined toward the Scientific Method that literalism may not be unquestioningly embraced, it doesn't really do justice to the landscape to suggest that rational thinkers do not embrace Faith nor be inclined to incorporate Faith based axioms in their own principles of being about in the world and interrelating with others.
  15. Nov 8, 2008 #14
    State Christians like James Dobson are in my opinion very destructive to the Christian faith. Mr. Obama understands this. To say that he is not a Christian because he wants to keep state and church separate is to twist the words of the Bible. Both Paul and Jesus were very clear on separation of church and state. Jesus never concerned himself with the political society and when the Jewish leaders tried to trick him into concerning himself, he answered: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar and to God the things that are God's".

    The church in Europe is almost dead due to the twisting together of church and state. Combining the two is destructive to both.
  16. Nov 9, 2008 #15
  17. Nov 9, 2008 #16


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    Great leaders like Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison, or great leaders like Huckabee, Romney, Brownback, Buchanan and Jindal?
  18. Nov 9, 2008 #17


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    Somehow, you forgot Ms. Palin in that list, Gokul..
  19. Nov 9, 2008 #18
    Oh, wow. How utterly awesome. Y'know, I try to keep my expectations for Obama from getting out of hand, but it's things like this which just send me over the top. This is the kind of profound thing I'll look for opportunities to quote from in the future the way people do with Jefferson or Franklin.

    I've mentioned many times on PF that I'm an atheist and there are things I find fundamentally incomprehensible and alien about religion. But I think that what some of you guys are saying here - as Hurkyl points out, the suggestion that religion is fundamentally incompatible with rationality - is completely and totally contrary to Obama's central message and contrary to what this country needs, unity and solidarity in challenging times.

    I'm inclined to believe that it must be because you just haven't really bothered to get to know very many religious people. Some of the deepest thinkers I've met, the most rational individuals I've had the pleasure to know, have been religious, some of them priests and ministers. I have no trouble at all believing that Obama is genuinely a Christian.
  20. Nov 9, 2008 #19
    I'm willing to be he's just pretending or because he grew up with it. I mean, do you really think McCain supports the kind of fundamentalist nuts he tried to get the support of? No, of course not and he's even said so himself. And I don't remember him talking about faith at all during the election now that I think about it. Good for him.

    Same with Hillary Clinton. When she was criticizing the whole Wright affair, I was thinking "No way this woman actually believes in God." I just can't see her going to church and not chuckling to herself.

    I think it's pretty common these days for politicians to either be atheists or just not care but still have to pretend to be Christian to get votes.

    We'll have a black president shortly (or at least half-black), but I still can't imagine a president who would say "No, I don't believe in God". I mean, atheists are the most distrusted "minority" in the US.

    Hopefully Obama can at least bring back separation of Church and State. He won't dare to look like he isn't 100% Christian, since there are already those who think he's a Muslim (lots of people can't tell the difference. Not Christian = devil) or the Anti-Christ incarnate. It will take a different president to finally make it okay to have whatever religious views you want, though.
  21. Nov 9, 2008 #20


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    Word for word what I would say.

    Atheists didn't cause me to lose my faith in the church. The church did that. People who don't understand their own religion are the churches worst enemies.

    I researched Obama's voting record in the senate last year and found that he and I have very similar political opinions. It's nice to know that we both share similar religious views. Perhaps the fact that we are almost the same age explains why we appear to come from the same mold. I'd be interested in seeing the age group stats, 46-48, for people that voted for and against him.

    And for the record, I'm still a deist. You atheists will never convince me that these voices inside my head are my own.
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