Author Topic: Politics as cult  (Read 15905 times)

jrubyaz

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2008, 07:09:36 PM »

The point of the thread is the cult of personality .I was simply pointing out that not everyone Thinks Obama is the messiah. It was relevant, you may think it is not. But don't lecture me.

Jeff Ruby 


I just heard the ATF broke up a skinhead ring trying to kill Obama and many other African Americans.

Maybe not everyone thinks he is the Messiah.


Fine and dandy. But that's not the point of the thread. Please keep on topic.

-ghp

ghp

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2008, 08:18:21 PM »

The point of the thread is the cult of personality .I was simply pointing out that not everyone Thinks Obama is the messiah. It was relevant, you may think it is not. But don't lecture me.


I started the thread; I know the intent/focus. Given the thread drift that was happening, I'm just trying to keep it on track, not lecture, particularly as a moderator saw fit to sticky it.

In any event, it's a given that not everyone thinks he's the messiah. Heck, that should be a given on this forum, no? But does the fact that some do/seem to, and that a secular/pagan iconography/hagiography has sprung up around Obama have any bearing and/or meaning for Christians?

I think it does. A cult of personality is one thing (and is bad enough), but when it crosses over into overtly religious/Christian expressions, that's even more problematic. Thus, when a candidate is referred to as "The One", a "Messiah" come "to save the world/planet/country/economy/etc.", and there are beatific posters, votive candles, and the like, it starts to tweak my theological radar even more than my political radar.

-ghp

jrubyaz

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2008, 09:21:16 PM »
And I believe numerous posters have pointed out the following:

a) This is not unique to Obama. In fact, in a shorter period of time Palin made more magazine covers and inspired more women to buy her eyeglasses frame than Obama has had similar impact.

b) This is not unique to historical elections and politicians in terms of amassing followers. Remember the college kids who flocked to RFK (I was 6 at the time, but have read several histories about that era). Comparable situation. 

c) Both parties have figures they have beatified, both parties have politicians they are looked up to with idol like status.
    (Lincoln, FDR, JFK, RFK, Reagan ) to name a few.


As I said earlier, this is nothing new under the sun. If there is something of real substance here the thread will thrive. If not, it will die. Until there is something more interesting than "yes he is a celebrity and cultic personality" or "no, this really isn't an issue at all", it will die a swift death.

Jeff RUby   
 



The point of the thread is the cult of personality .I was simply pointing out that not everyone Thinks Obama is the messiah. It was relevant, you may think it is not. But don't lecture me.


I started the thread; I know the intent/focus. Given the thread drift that was happening, I'm just trying to keep it on track, not lecture, particularly as a moderator saw fit to sticky it.

In any event, it's a given that not everyone thinks he's the messiah. Heck, that should be a given on this forum, no? But does the fact that some do/seem to, and that a secular/pagan iconography/hagiography has sprung up around Obama have any bearing and/or meaning for Christians?

I think it does. A cult of personality is one thing (and is bad enough), but when it crosses over into overtly religious/Christian expressions, that's even more problematic. Thus, when a candidate is referred to as "The One", a "Messiah" come "to save the world/planet/country/economy/etc.", and there are beatific posters, votive candles, and the like, it starts to tweak my theological radar even more than my political radar.

-ghp

Lutheran_Lay_Leader

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2008, 10:23:07 PM »
I think too many people are confusing media hyerbole and rhetoric for what the actual man in the street really thinks. I can't believe how much over-the-top exaggeration I'm reading in this thread regarding how people "feel" about one candidate or another. I don't think I've ever met a sane person who truly loved or hated any political leader. About the strongest terms I've ever seen that were used accurately is "liked" and "disliked".

If there is too much hyperbole in referring to Obama in messianic terms, a more sensible explanation is that the news is often written by former sports reporters, to whom restraint and calm objectivity are unknown attributes.

I do not hate Obama. I do not love McCain (except in a vague sort of "we should love all mankind" sort of way). I don't think Obama could be a messiah. I don't think he's the (or an) anti-Christ.

The very idea of taking media hyperbole seriously is just plain silly.

Erme Wolf

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2008, 11:29:38 PM »
      Glen, have you ever been to Washington, D.C.?  Go take the tour of our nation's Capitol building.  The guides proudly point out the painting on the ceiling of the rotunda.  It is of George Washington being received among the gods. 

      Abraham Lincoln was referred to as "Father Abraham" and close to deified after his assassination.  Many households had a picture of FDR in a prominent place during his lifetime, as he was (rightly or wrongly) viewed as their "savior" from the Depression.  There has been the cult of the Kennedys, and a movement to put Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore.

     There are folks who are getting way too caught up in misplaced "worship" of Sen. Obama. I can understand how he has become the object of this for some in our country.  But I do not see that Sen. Obama has encouraged this, and in fact he made a joke of it at the recent Al Smith Dinner in New York City.   

ghp

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2008, 11:45:47 PM »

As I said earlier, this is nothing new under the sun. If there is something of real substance here the thread will thrive. If not, it will die. Until there is something more interesting than "yes he is a celebrity and cultic personality" or "no, this really isn't an issue at all", it will die a swift death.


True enough, Jeff. Given the lively comment thread over at Dr. Veith's blog (some/most of it even on topic with Dr. Veith's original post!  :o ;) ), I thought that it might spark some interesting discussion hereabouts. Problem is, it can be tough to separate it from the partisan politics swirling about (for me as much or more as anyone else...). Ah, well, if it dies, it dies...  :-\

-ghp

John_Hannah

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2008, 06:32:15 AM »
To set up any presidential candidate as the Messiah is to replace the Christian faith with simple earthly politics.

To set up any presidential candidate as the counter-Messiah (anti-Christ) is to replace the Christian faith with simple earthly politics.

Republican Christians will want to be careful to avoid the second temptation.

Peace, JOHN HANNAH
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

anonymous

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2008, 08:25:12 AM »
      Glen, have you ever been to Washington, D.C.?  Go take the tour of our nation's Capitol building.  The guides proudly point out the painting on the ceiling of the rotunda.  It is of George Washington being received among the gods. 

      Abraham Lincoln was referred to as "Father Abraham" and close to deified after his assassination.  Many households had a picture of FDR in a prominent place during his lifetime, as he was (rightly or wrongly) viewed as their "savior" from the Depression.  There has been the cult of the Kennedys, and a movement to put Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore.

     There are folks who are getting way too caught up in misplaced "worship" of Sen. Obama. I can understand how he has become the object of this for some in our country.  But I do not see that Sen. Obama has encouraged this, and in fact he made a joke of it at the recent Al Smith Dinner in New York City.   

So you saw that? I had a real weird feeling. He was reading a joke written for him. Beyond that, seemed somehow inappropriate to even give voiceto it.

For those who didn't: "And no I wasn't born in a manger."
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 09:34:48 AM by Valentin Ernst Löscher »

dfrazer

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2008, 09:22:39 AM »
Notified that his grandmother was sick, he waited for four days to "rush" to her bedside.

I know of one other person, told his friend Lazarus was sick waited before going to Bethany. Hmm.

jrubyaz

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2008, 09:57:14 AM »


We have had a man in the White House the past 8 years with a Messiah complex. It must  cut across party lines.

Jeff Ruby



      Glen, have you ever been to Washington, D.C.?  Go take the tour of our nation's Capitol building.  The guides proudly point out the painting on the ceiling of the rotunda.  It is of George Washington being received among the gods. 

      Abraham Lincoln was referred to as "Father Abraham" and close to deified after his assassination.  Many households had a picture of FDR in a prominent place during his lifetime, as he was (rightly or wrongly) viewed as their "savior" from the Depression.  There has been the cult of the Kennedys, and a movement to put Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore.

     There are folks who are getting way too caught up in misplaced "worship" of Sen. Obama. I can understand how he has become the object of this for some in our country.  But I do not see that Sen. Obama has encouraged this, and in fact he made a joke of it at the recent Al Smith Dinner in New York City.   

So you saw that? I had a real weird feeling. He was reading a joke written for him. Beyond that, seemed somehow inappropriate to even give voiceto it.

For those who didn't: "And no I wasn't born in a manger."

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2008, 10:01:31 AM »
We have had a man in the White House the past 8 years with a Messiah complex.
Really?  What's your evidence of that?  Let's be precise.  Misguided, mistaken, boneheaded, I could buy.

Sterling Spatz
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 10:11:51 AM by MaddogLutheran »
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jrubyaz

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2008, 10:28:11 AM »


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

Jeff Ruby


We have had a man in the White House the past 8 years with a Messiah complex.
Really?  What's your evidence of that?  Let's be precise.  Misguided, mistaken, boneheaded, I could buy.

Sterling Spatz


ghp

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2008, 10:40:20 AM »
We have had a man in the White House the past 8 years with a Messiah complex.
Really?  What's your evidence of that?  Let's be precise.  Misguided, mistaken, boneheaded, I could buy.

Sterling Spatz


Yes. And there was none of the explicitly Christian religious imagery ascribed to GWB himself as a messianic healer. GWB is, to be clear (if not brutally so), a bumbling but well-meaning neo-evangelical, in that he gets carried away with the Law-driven (that he mistakenly thinks is Gospel) God-talk. As Sterling said, that's misguided, mistaken, and boneheaded. But I don't think it's messianic, in a personal sense.

Again, though, I'm drawn back to the fact that with Obama we have someone to whom there is directly being ascribed overt Christian messianic imagery on/as a personal level/characteristic. That's the key data point, and the focus of interest, imo.

-ghp

anonymous

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2008, 10:47:08 AM »
And I am in wonder that Americans are sourcing far-left English newspapers period, much less as some sort of credible  thing to be pointing to!

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Politics as cult
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2008, 11:04:40 AM »


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

Jeff Ruby


We have had a man in the White House the past 8 years with a Messiah complex.
Really?  What's your evidence of that?  Let's be precise.  Misguided, mistaken, boneheaded, I could buy.
Thinking God is speaking to you and obeying Him makes you a Messiah?  Really?  Maybe an instrument of God or a prophet of the LORD, but I don't see anything messianic about this.  I'm not particularly comfortable with it, but that's something else entirely.  Seems to me the major difference between GWB and Jeremiah Wright is that the former had the power to act.

Sterling Spatz
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