FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Holy Obama

by PATRICK IRELAN

I need to reassure all my readers. I know you’ve been worried sick about Barack Obama’s religious beliefs. Does he practice mysterious rites under the full moon? Do his howls frighten away the wolves? Does he steal chickens in Waukegan and sip their blood while reciting incantations?

Just as I was about to close the newsroom last night, a story from the leased wires of the Associated Press landed in my in-box. According to AP reporter Jennifer Loven, Obama told the good folk of Zanesville, Ohio, that the recent primary elections had somehow created the misapprehension that he was “on the left,” but that he’s really quite religious.

The clear implication of this statement is that “the left” is incompatible with religion. For example, Fernando Lugo, the leftist Catholic priest who was recently elected President of Paraguay, obviously isn’t religious at all. He says he wants to use the office of the president to help the poor. That makes him a leftist. So he can’t really be religious.

As a general rule, Catholic priests aren’t supposed to become presidents. Lugo understands this and submitted his resignation, but the Vatican refused to accept it. I don’t know how Obama plans to handle all this when he becomes president. Maybe he’ll label the College of Cardinals a terrorist organization.

In any event, now we know what Obama was talking about when he preached his daily sermon on “hope” and “change.” You thought he was talking about peace in Iraq, health care for everyone, and other leftist nonsense. In reality, Brother Obama hopes to change all of you into evangelicals. He and George Bush are old pals. God told George to invade Iraq. What will God tell Brother Obama?

Our founding fathers (we had no founding mothers) got it all wrong. They believed in the separation of church and state. Evangelicals want to separate the state from your tax money by turning Sunday’s collection over to certain religious groups that will use it for “faith-based initiatives.”

Which religious groups? I wouldn’t want to predict exactly which groups will end up with the money, but if you’re a Muslim who wants to start a childcare center for the members of the local mosque, I wouldn’t spend much time standing by the mailbox, waiting for the check to arrive. Brother Obama is sending you a signal, and the message it carries is that we’re talking about born-again childcare.

I also think that Father President Lugo might as well forget about U.S. aid to help the poor people of Paraguay. Do-gooder priest-presidents will have to use their imaginations. He could say that FARC is gathering in the mountains. That would fetch a pile of aid from the U.S., most of which would arrive in the form of firepower. This works for President Uribe, the current mob boss of Colombia. Of course, Lugo would have to lie about all this, which raises additional moral and ethical problems.

Returning from Paraguay to Zanesville, Brother Obama told the assembled throng how he had arrived at the faith-based initiative stage of his political life. “While I could sit in church and pray all I want, I wouldn’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I went out and did the Lord’s work,” he said.

At this point, we need to back away from the voting booth and ponder for a moment. I wonder if Brother Obama has forgotten a theological issue that led Protestants and Catholics to slaughter each other with astonishing efficiency during Europe’s religious wars, which occurred a relatively short time ago. Are we saved by our faith or by our faith and works? The opposing answers to that question provided a convenient excuse for carnage. The underlying motives for the carnage were, of course, what they always are—wealth and power. Today, a new Thirty Years’ War, or maybe longer, seems well underway in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brother Obama, we’ve had enough presidential theology. Feed the hungry. End the war.

PATRICK IRELAN is a retired high-school teacher. He is the author of A Firefly in the Night (Ice Cube Press) and Central Standard: A Time, a Place, a Family (University of Iowa Press). You can contact him at pwirelan43@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
February 23, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Richard D. Wolff
Capitalism as Obstacle to Equality and Democracy: the US Story
Paul Street
Where’s the Beef Stroganoff? Eight Sacrilegious Reflections on Russiagate
Jeffrey St. Clair
They Came, They Saw, They Tweeted
Andrew Levine
Their Meddlers and Ours
Charles Pierson
Nuclear Nonproliferation, American Style
Joseph Essertier
Why Japan’s Ultranationalists Hate the Olympic Truce
W. T. Whitney
US and Allies Look to Military Intervention in Venezuela
John Laforge
Maybe All Threats of Mass Destruction are “Mentally Deranged”
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: an American Reckoning
David Rosen
For Some Reason, Being White Still Matters
Robert Fantina
Nikki Haley: the U.S. Embarrassment at the United Nations
Joyce Nelson
Why Mueller’s Indictments Are Hugely Important
Joshua Frank
Pearl Jam, Will You Help Stop Sen. Tester From Destroying Montana’s Public Lands?
Dana E. Abizaid
The Attack on Historical Perspective
Conn Hallinan
Immigration and the Italian Elections
George Ochenski
The Great Danger of Anthropocentricity
Pete Dolack
China Can’t Save Capitalism from Environmental Destruction
Joseph Natoli
Broken Lives
Manuel García, Jr.
Why Did Russia Vote For Trump?
Geoff Dutton
One Regime to Rule Them All
Torkil Lauesen – Gabriel Kuhn
Radical Theory and Academia: a Thorny Relationship
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Work of Persuasion
Thomas Klikauer
Umberto Eco and Germany’s New Fascism
George Burchett
La Folie Des Grandeurs
Howard Lisnoff
Minister of War
Eileen Appelbaum
Why Trump’s Plan Won’t Solve the Problems of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
Ramzy Baroud
More Than a Fight over Couscous: Why the Palestinian Narrative Must Be Embraced
Jill Richardson
Mass Shootings Shouldn’t Be the Only Time We Talk About Mental Illness
Jessicah Pierre
Racism is Killing African American Mothers
Steve Horn
Wyoming Now Third State to Propose ALEC Bill Cracking Down on Pipeline Protests
David Griscom
When ‘Fake News’ is Good For Business
Barton Kunstler
Brainwashed Nation
Griffin Bird
I’m an Eagle Scout and I Don’t Want Pipelines in My Wilderness
Edward Curtin
The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Missy Comley Beattie
Message To New Activists
Jonah Raskin
Literary Hubbub in Sonoma: Novel about Mrs. Jack London Roils the Faithful
Binoy Kampmark
Frontiersman of the Internet: John Perry Barlow
Chelli Stanley
The Mirrors of Palestine
James McEnteer
How Brexit Won World War Two
Ralph Nader
Absorbing the Irresistible Consumer Reports Magazine
Cesar Chelala
A Word I Shouldn’t Use
Louis Proyect
Marx at the Movies
Osha Neumann
A White Guy Watches “The Black Panther”
Stephen Cooper
Rebel Talk with Nattali Rize: the Interview
David Yearsley
Market Music
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail