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BanJoIvie's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by BanJoIvie

FOLKS, please note the date.

This artilce is from October 2006 As Obama was laying the groundwork for a presidential run in a country where evangelical sentiment in politics was at a fevered pitch. This article was NOT written by a stitting president, but by a politician who had sized up his audience (and very shrewdly I might add.)

Considering the context, and the rhetorical pandering to VERY motivated evangelical voters that was going on, I think this is a remarkable statement, and we are foolish to dismiss it with churlish wave. Criticism is great, and of course it's open season, but read the whole article and consider what he actually says in total.

Note his opening assessment of his audience as he cites statistics.

Note his frank admission, in several places that his faith does not preclude doubt, even saying he does not know what happens after death.

Note his firm insistence - again more than once - on secular reasoning as the only viable option in governance and lawmaking.

Note his defense of non-belief as fully moral and fully American - especially his lengthy description of his openly atheist mother's sense of wonder and her fierce advocacy for human causes.

Considering that this is arguably a statement directly addressing religious voters and seeking to establish his Christian bonifides, I think it shows remarkable defiance to faith-headedness.

I'm as critical of "accomodationists" as the next guy but it does behoove us to recognize that not all battlefields are the same. And that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

I see nothing in this piece as a whole that disproves the "closet atheist" hypothesis, just a reminder of the "closet" part.

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 16:03:40 UTC | #619984