Bear with me. I am not a Christian, big “C” but I was “born again” when at fourteen years of age I read what Jesus is reported to have said to the people he encountered. I found in Jesus the personification of a set of values that seem to me to be essential to being a worthwhile human being. When I listen to those values, when I feel the deepest message of Jesus, Gandhi, Dr. King and any number of lights in history, I am led to see in Barrack Obama the best hope for their expression in our future as a nation.
I am profoundly pro-life, and I mean life after birth unto death. I am profoundly pro-community and think that individual liberty finds its highest expression in service to others. I am in awe of each human being as an expression of that which creates us all, each moment of life, no matter how beastly and bizarre that expression may be. I believe there are no mistakes and nothing outside the penumbra of the values we have found throughout time to lead us forward.
I place more value on making sure no one is left out of the incredible wealth of the earth’s bounty than on accumulating that wealth so others are excluded from it. I place more value on treating each person as I would want to be treated than in imposing what I see as truth on others. I believe we are all equal inheritors of life’s gifts and each entitled to be treated with respect, dignity and deference by any government.
This is what Jesus taught me. I call it love.
We hear that “Jesus loves me” which may or not be true. I do not believe in the resurrection, so I express no opinion about anything regarding those who have died. But any love he may have for me seems irrelevant to what he taught me, that what counts is how much love I put out toward others.
If Jesus ran for President I am convinced he would propose policies that favor family values – support your brothers and sisters, honor your parents and share the burdens and benefits of life itself. I believe Jesus would favor social policies that allow anyone who is willing to commit in love to another human being to marry. I believe if Jesus were running this year he would favor an immigration policy that acknowledges the contribution of those here without documents and insist that they have a living wage, along with all other living among us.
I believe that if Jesus ran for President today he would engender such hope for the future, would bridge every gap or division among us, that he would break through the horrible grip of corruption, corporatism and cronyism now strangling politics. He would, in short, be “Kennedyesque”.
I know Jesus, and Barrack Obama is no Jesus. He isn’t even close. But he is closer than anyone else running, and that includes Gov. Huckabee whose policies are a mix of social responsibility and homophobia and special deference to white Christianity. I am well aware that Obama in large part is riding a wave of “hope” created by spin and commentators. But in large part that was true of John Kennedy when he ran for office as well.
Hope, empowerment and community are streams that run deep in the human spirit and have throughout time. When someone in the public sphere speaks this language, something awakens within us and we reach out, join in and our heart feels a rise. We want that person to be the carrier of hope, fairness and liberation. We overlook much that is inconsistent so that we do not forget the underlying message, that we do not fall into the despair that all is lost and nothing matters.
Barrack Obama has touched that part of me. If you have read my scribbling here you know my first choice was Dennis Kucinich. Dennis touched my mind, fit my politics and never quite made it into my heart. That space is now assigned to the man who can help America find itself once again.
I want to make it clear this is not anything against Senator Clinton. I do not join in the vicious attacks on her and would ask those who do to stop now. It is simple that when I hear her speak, see her on the screen, I don’t hear Jesus tell me to support her.
Jesus told me to support Barrack Obama. Seriously.