"Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic." Pope Benedict XVI
February 11, 2008
Obama's Politics of Collective Redemption
By Kyle-Anne Shiver American Thinker
A messianic fever grips a segment of the American populace and media. A great leader seems to them poised to redeem our collective sins and change nearly everything, bringing about a new era in which permanent solutions are found to age-old conditions.
Whenever I watch Barack Obama, listen to his eloquent but nonspecific oratory, and see the near-swooning young people who invariably follow him wherever he goes, I cannot help but think of the pied piper and wonder toward what destination he is marching our youth. Obama is having this pied-piper effect not only on kids, but also on a large swath of Democrat and not a few independents and Republican voters, too.
Call me skeptical, but this whole Obama phenomenon seems downright eerie.
Over and over again, Obama invokes his double mantra: "It's time for change!" and "Yes, we can!"
Singer Wil.i.am's (Yes, that's right; it's Wil I Am.) YouTube "Yes, we can!" video has already had over 2 million hits, and it has a hypnotic quality reminiscent of eastern religious meditations. I urge every American still capable of thinking for himself to take a serious look at this video.
Then, consider these numbers on recent Google searches using only Obama's name plus one other word:
- Obama + messianic 75,200
- Obama + savior 226,000
- Obama + prophet 312,000
- Obama + Christ 504,000
- Obama + change 4,540,000
A number of internet postings indicate that a great many see Obama in not only political terms, but also wrapped in the untarnished cloak of some vague spiritual-awakening.
It is quite tempting to assume that Barack Obama simply is harvesting the inevitable fruits of 35 years of dumbed-down, political indoctrination in the guise of education in this country. This is dangerous. The problem goes deeper, right into the human soul.
A lust for transformation is a common feature of revolutionaries, and when they succeed in grabbing power, the results usually are brutal. Less than a century ago, massive numbers of people fell for a different political messiah on the European continent, and they were products of an education system and cultural establishment widely regarded as a world leader.
That place was, of course, Germany. And the political messiah promoting "change" was Adolph Hitler.
Hitler's slogan: "Alles muss anders sein!" ("Everything must be different!")
Hitler used each of these phrases to describe his own political program:
"A declaration of war against the order of things which exist, against the state of things which exist, in a word, against the structure of the world which presently exists."
"revolutionary creative will" which had "no fixed aim, no permanency, only eternal change."
"an ethic of self-sacrifice"
"public need before private greed"
"communally-minded social consciousness"
All of these expressions came from Adolph Hitler.
Saul Alinsky, one of Obama's primary political mentors, espoused eerily similar societal admonitions in his book Reveille for Radicals; p. 133 and 105:
"A People's Organization (later changed to "community organization") is dedicated to an eternal war. It is a war against poverty, misery, delinquency, disease, injustice, hopelessness, despair, and unhappiness."
"A People's Organization is not a philanthropic plaything or a social service's ameliorative gesture. It is a deep, hard-driving force, striking and cutting at the very roots of all the evils which beset the people...it thinks and acts in terms of social surgery and not cosmetic cover-ups."
"There is hope, and life is worth living. There may not be a light at the end of the trail but they (the masses) have a light in their hands, a light they made themselves, and they know that not only will they themselves have to work out their own destiny but that they themselves can."*
Obama says, "Yes we can!" change...
Exactly what should change and how is unclear. Everything?
Time for Tough Questions and Straight Answers
More than four months ago, when a reporter noticed that Obama was no longer wearing an American flag lapel pin, and asked if he were making a fashion statement, this was part of Obama's reply:
"Instead," (of wearing the pin) he said, "I'm going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism."
Well, here we are a week after Super Tuesday and it seems we are still waiting for Obama to expound upon the "what" and the "how" of this ethereal "change" mantra, to spell out his commitment to "patriotism."
Little has been made in the mainstream press of the brand of black liberation theology preached by Obama's pastor and spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., who holds a master's degree on world religions with a focus on Islam, and who has traveled to Middle Eastern countries in the company of Louis Farrakhan. Rev. Wright created and presides over the Center for African Biblical studies, whose mission is African-centered Bible studies:
"We are an African people, and we remain true to our native land, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization."
Several forms of liberation theology sprouted during the 20th century, all espousing a third way between godless communism and the socialist utopian dream. All are predicated upon an acceptance that sin is not individual, but collective, and that sin cannot be overcome through religious conversion, but only by a people's struggle against all injustice. Congregations of various faiths and denominations have been used as platforms for collective statist approaches to human redemption. The social gospel espoused by religious-left churches in the U.S. is another form of liberation theology, which takes a political route to redemption for man's collective soul.
According to liberation theologies, God does not save men. Man saves himself through a political process of absolute social justice.
Writing in 2004, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict had this to say about liberation theology in his book, Truth and Tolerance (p. 116):
"...this struggle (against all injustice), it was said, would have to be a political struggle, because the structures (of oppression) were strengthened and maintained by politics. Thus redemption became a political process, for which Marxist philosophy offered the essential directions. It became a task that men themselves could -- indeed had to -- take in hand and became, at the same time, the object of quite practical hopes; faith was changed from ‘theory' into practice, into concrete redeeming action in the liberation process." (emphases mine)
Consider these statements from Obama's campaign website, contained in his video invitation for all to "join us in changing the Country."
- "We believe in what this Country can be."
- "In the face of war, we believe there can be peace."
- "In the face of despair, we believe there can be hope."
- "...America can be one people reaching for what's possible."
Obama indeed seems to be offering a people's government solution to all human problems. He is, after all, running for President of the United States, not for a pulpit. Substituting the state for God as provider has been the inherent common thread in all Marxist regimes.
And in this seemingly redemptive offering, Obama may be promising what only God can actually deliver, in the form of yet another, more eloquent, version of the same old utopian dream that started with Rousseau and Marx.
Can man successfully redeem himself through collective transformation and liberation?
Pope Benedict says "No" rather emphatically, in Truth and Tolerance. Writing of the fall of the Soviet Union:
"...where the Marxist ideology of liberation had been consistently applied, a total lack of freedom had developed, whose horrors were now laid bare before the eyes of the entire world. Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic."
Coincidentally, Saul Alinsky began his book Rules for Radicals:
"Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins -- or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -- Lucifer."
Attempting to discern true meaning from Obama's speeches gives one the feeling of having been trapped in a sort of verbal quicksand. Hair-pulling levels of frustration await any effort to find any specific meaning. A sensation of lethargic sinking into an abyss of abstract gibberish awaits the mind looking for specifics..
Obama's public statements, his speeches, even his "present" votes in the Illinois legislature leave one dangerously unsure of his true intentions.
Whatever Obama's concrete plans are, they ought to aligned with his political mentor, Saul Alinsky, and his spiritual mentor and liberation theology specialist, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
In the absence of any genuine explanations from candidate Obama himself, the change of which he speaks reasonably may be inferred to be quite antithetical to anything even remotely resembling American patriotism.
And that is a legitimate concern for every American voter.