Christians for Obama November 4, 2008

Christians for Obama

Many Christians are voting for Barack Obama today — especially younger ones.

Here’s just a (very) short sampling of what some are saying.

Don Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz:

A few days ago I did an interview with a writer for The Today Show, and after the interview she asked how it was evangelicals could come to believe the many lies being spread about Barack Obama. In answer I came back to the insular nature of the suburban church. “When we’ve never met people,” I said, “we are easily manipulated into demonizing them. We are easily made to fear.” And I’ll add there has been a great deal of fear in this campaign. I just received a letter, yesterday, from a prominent church leader in Georgia that accused Michelle Obama, who I have met and found to be a lovely and humble woman, of being be a racist. This was not a small-town backwards preacher, this was a best-selling Christian author, who, honestly, should be ashamed of himself.

I voted for Barack Obama (we vote early in Oregon) because I think he is right on healthcare (his plan will allow 27 million more Americans, including young, pregnant mothers to be cared for) and he is right on responsible fatherhood. I voted for Barack Obama because he will keep George W. Bush’ Faith-based Partnerships Program in play, only increasing it’s funding. I voted for Barack Obama because he has the respect of world leaders, which will be necessary to deliberate an American agenda around the world, and I voted for Barack Obama because he had the judgment to oppose the war in Iraq. I’ve taken some blows from the conservative right on my stance, but, even in public debate against McCain representatives, have not been deterred. I will not be guilted, shamed or controlled. I am not going to vote for one candidate because I have been made to fear the other. I support Barack Obama because he has beat back the dark hour of cynicism and irrational fear, and provided hope to a country closing in on itself. I believe there are great days ahead.

Julie Clawson (Mike’s wife) is supporting Obama — even more striking to me, though, are the descriptions of how and why she voted for certain Republicans in past elections:

… The first election I voted in however was in 1996 — Clinton vs. Dole. At the time I felt like there was no choice but to vote for Dole no matter who he was or what he stood for. He was a Republican, Clinton wasn’t. I was a Christian so I had to vote Republican. I was in my freshman year at Wheaton College and was surrounded by similar attitudes. Dole won by a landslide in the mock campus election and the handful of people who came out for Clinton were called some seriously evil names.

Not much had changed four years later for Bush vs. Gore, at least on campus. I was in grad school at Wheaton at the time. I recall the student newspaper reporting on some political science students who had worked at a Gore rally. The backlash of that was intense — students and alumni writing in to express their astonishment at the sin the college was letting its students participate in. Even though the students had expressed that they themselves weren’t democrats (they just went for the experience), they were guilty by association…

The Matthew 25 Network is a community of Christians supporting Obama during this election cycle.

They’ve also led a charge to denounce James Dobson and Focus on the Family’s ridiculous letter from a Christian in 2012.

I know there are more of you out there.

If you’re a Christian voting for Obama, please tell us what the response in your world has been today!

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  • Good to hear. Reminds me of the “James Dobson does not speak for me” proclamation going around certain Christian movements a few years ago… with a nice healthy dose of “you can’t tell me what to do!!1”

  • I’m a VERY liberal Christian, and I’ve had no problems.

    I guess I’m on the fringe of religion to be honest though, and don’t care about pressure from the right.

  • Christian here, and voted for Obama…for many of the same international reasons Miller listed above. No matter which side I voted, I wouldn’t post it on my blog, or tell many people at my church unless they were open to a conversation. Far too many make large judgments based on how someone voted…whether for Obama OR McCain.

  • The following is the letter I sent to all my Christian friends and former friends. A few replied that they were really touched and agreed. Many worried that I had “bought into the lies.” I’ve had a hard time dealing with all the friends and acquaintances from my former church (a ultra-conservative Southern Baptist church I was very active in for the first 25 years of my life). Now I usually feel I have more in common with secular progressives than Christians. Anyway, here’s my letter:

    As a Christian, I know that politicians are not a solution to Jesus’ calls for social justice, nor is the government. Lately the Church hasn’t seemed like the solution, either. Especially when I see a homeless man turned away hungry from three well-to-do downtown churches. Especially when we’re not doing for “the least of these” when we have 37.3 million people living in poverty in this country while we’re building hundred-thousand-dollar basketball gyms for our social club churches. Especially when we’re not “loving our enemy” and “turning the other cheek” when our churches support a government that has killed tens of thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The church has become too comfortable and lazy in this country. Christian leaders have gotten drunk off the wine of the Empire; off the taste of political power and the money that comes with it. Now the church is more interested in having its policy implemented into law and legislating a false sense of morality on the nation than “loving our neighbor as ourselves.” Christians have become more interested in editing our constitution to be in line with their twisted view of fundamentalist morality instead of following Jesus’ calls to serve the less fortunate.

    The Religious Right has become so corrupt and morally bankrupt that it no longer resembles any of the teachings of Christ. Conservative Christian fundamentalists have become a misguided group who traded the Gospel of Jesus for the Gospel of American Empire; who traded Jesus’ calls to end poverty and violence for the Empire’s call to wage war and to profit from the underprivileged. Pat Robertson’s CBN rakes in $250 million a year in profits, James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” takes in $142 million a year in profits, and Jerry Falwell Ministries, run by Jerry Falwell, Jr., takes in $4 million a year in profits. As Matthew 6:24 says, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” No wonder they have a vested interest in telling you who to vote for.

    This is not a church, nor a religion, I want to have any part of. As Christian author Jim Wallis has said, “How does it reflect on our Christian witness in the world to see self-described Christian leaders engage in blatant fearmongering in order to influence a political race? As Christians we have been choosing hope over fear for 2000 years. Our public witness should reflect our deepest hopes, not provoke unfounded fears.”

    As a Bible-believing Christian, I am pro-life. To me, that means I am against war, against the death penalty, against discrimination, against destroying Creation through pollution and oil addiction, in favor of welcoming the alien, reducing unwanted pregnancies, and against policies that lead to violence and poverty around the world. Life doesn’t begin at conception and end at birth; we need a consistent ethic of life. As people of faith, we should be “values voters” but vote all our values, not just a few that can be easily manipulated for the benefit of one party or another. For instance, do you know how many Bible verses directly address the life issue of abortion? Zero. Do you know how many Bible verses directly address the life issues of poverty and oppression? Over 2,000.

    Though far from perfect, I believe Barack Obama, a fellow Christian, is the best candidate based on these important values issues. I feel Christians should use their own discernment; use their own reason and logic in decision making, and realize that no one political party, and no one denomination or church is the sole arbitrator of divine truth.

  • I haven’t taken much heat for voting for Obama. I have taken heat for challenging things like Dobson’s e-mail and the other slurs against him. I think a lot of people are rather over it in the wake of the longest campaign in history.

    I hate to say it, but if Obama wins, in 2012 I am really going to enjoy going back to all of those people who predicted The End of Civilization As We Know It in the wake of an Obama administration and saying “Well, we’re still here. Guess the Anti-Christ dropped the ball.”

  • Holy crap! Positive Christian campaigning! I mean, I knew it was possible — I’d heard legends — but I’d never seen the real thing….

    But seriously, this is the kind of stuff that I like. Rock on, Christians for Obama!

  • brightbluelizard

    @ James:

    Now yours is the sort of position I can respect: reduce unwanted pregnancies, eliminate the death penalty & unjust wars and reduce pollution (as well as all the other things you said): yeah, that is what I can call pro-life, even if I am pro-choice.

  • Stephan

    Like Julie, I went to a conservative Christian college and have voted Republican because I felt I had to. I supported Obama because I agreed with many of his policies, but above all saw the abject failure of the Bush administration and saw that McCain would continue those policies. On health care, taxes, Iraq, the death penalty and more I agree with Obama. I also disagree with him in some areas, but there will never be a candidate with whom I agree 100%.

    I have been rather vocal with my Christian friends about my support for Obama and have found that I know more Christianists than I had previously thought. Some have been downright unkind and questioned whether or not I was a “real” Christian. It has been a real eye opener for me. This is probably one of those things I will never discuss with my in-laws.

    On the other hand, there have been many Christian friends that have surprised me with their support. They are not as vocal as I have been, but are just as staunch in their support for Obama.

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