August 1, 2008

Why did Newsweek express mistrust and disapproval toward "religious nomads" — people who don't come from "a simple, single tradition."

Amba reads an article about Barack Obama and wonders.
Only in the third paragraph from the end, almost as an afterthought, does the article mention that "Presidents such as Lincoln and Jefferson were unorthodox Christians."


Joe said...

Why do people assume reporters are smart? Yes, some reporters are smart, but must are of middling intelligence and many are just plain dumb. Time and Newsweek tend to get the dumber ones--reporters who know how to shmooze, but not much else.

In other words, there is no conspiracy at Newsweek, just a bunch of dumb people trying to act smart.

vbspurs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

Why does Spiritual Nomad remind me of Mark Moford calling him a Lightworker?

And why do seem to begin replies about Obama by adverbs like why, what, how, where and when?

In short:

Why does Obama raise more questions than supply answers?


Randy said...

Why does Obama raise more questions than supply answers?

Probably for the same reason that McCain does: because the people asking them don't like the answers; the people asking them aren't listening to the answers; or the candidate providing the answers is giving different answers at different times.

1jpb said...

"Why does Obama raise more questions than supply answers?"


I this situation we're supposed to be worried about BHO's commitment to religion. OK, got it, I'm afraid. I'll add that to the list; elitist, presumptuous, life details hidden/unknowable/nonexistent, career based on celebrity, has no policy plans except tire inflation and "raising YOUR taxes," as McCain has told town hall folks as recently as yesterday, religious uncertainty, likes exercise more than the troops, wants to surrender to the terrorists (apparently based in Iraq) and so on.

I'm standing by for the next subject where we will question the unknown BHO. It is comforting to know that we don't need to bother with similar questioning of McCain on these things, because we already know these things about him.

LutherM said...


Some Possible Answers:
(A) Stupidity;
(B) Ignorance in general, and specifically ignorance of the U. S Constitution, Article 6.

Why would anyone CARE what NEWSWEEK has to say on anything more complex than an average game of kickball?

Paddy O. said...

What's interesting is that I've long seen Newsweek as the home of religious nomads.

They used to have one of the best religion editors around, Kenneth Woodward. He's a Catholic who had great fairness and insight into all varieties of religion, looking at the various topics from the perspective of the religious.

He got pushed aside, apparently, as their editor Jon Meacham started taking his own interest in religion. The magazine quickly became less about good religious coverage and more about following Meacham's religious pilgrimage, which was a vague form of Protestant liberal theology, only about 100 years out of date.

All the usual suspects of pop liberal theologians began to show up, not unlike a Bill Moyers special. It's all nomadic and unorthodox with this odd veneer of pious religiosity to make it sound a lot more deep than it really is.

That whole expression is entirely not from a simple, single tradition, but maybe that's the reason for the mistrust. Newsweek and the others are trying to make it seem like they really are the arbiters of religious authenticity.

1jpb said...

Speaking of religion:

I think the messiah stuff is funny when I see commentators use it, especially if they use lower case for the 'g' in god.

But, this, directly from McCain makes me a little sick. Maybe, I'm a religious prude. But, from the official campaign, I don't like it at all. I'm sure I'm a prude, maybe it's all good fun, I sure don't feel it though. I see a secondary (admittedly unintentional) attack of God, not just the primary target of BHO.

Revenant said...

I this situation we're supposed to be worried about BHO's commitment to religion.

At this point I think Obama would *like* us to question his commitment to religion. The church he belongs to is run by racist lunatics; if people think he's really not all that into it, that's good for him.

Baron Zemo said...

"I this situation we're supposed to be worried about BHO's commitment to religion"

Not at all dear boy, we are all quite sure that he is very committed Muslim.

Trevor Jackson said...

Ha ha, Baron Zemo. Now THAT is how you troll.

Christy said...

Funny, I've always thought, without any evidence, that Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln and the like were not particularly religious. They simply spoke in the vernacular of the times.

Twelve step groups bring a lot of people back to God, but it is more of a "God as one understands God." A Higher Power, an amalgam of traditions, whatever works for the individual. I'm surprised Newsweek wouldn't approve.

Cedarford said...

Humanity has a long tradition of distrust, proper distrust, of people of feckless moral and religious values that change from expediency or perceived status change benefit.

Chinese rice bowl Christians.
Jews who became many a muslim Satrap's eager tax collectors, legal enforcement proxies, and viziers.
Ambitious Catholics who decided conversion to Church of England opened up the doors to the highest levels of power and wealth in Victorian England - and Catholics who "took the plunge" down South this Century for the sake of advancing their real estate business.

Obama was raised Muslim as a young child, was then allowed a later childhood free of religion by a non-religious Mom and grandparents, then took to a 3rd world loosely Christian-Marxist liberation stance as a yung man? Who then dumped that when he found that belonging to a militantly racist black church suited his great ambitions better where he sought to grow his power base? Who then dumped that as he became bigger than S Chicago? Now his packaging as a messianic?

It raises questions.

Now, it is also true that a lot of well-regarded politicians pretend to be more religious than they are, or hide just how whacky some of their deep religious convictions can be....

Or like Eisenhower switching from Jehova Witness to Episcopalian a week or so before inauguration, are guilty of samll-time expediencies...

But, yes, Obama's "journey" does raise questions that are not going away.

blake said...

Because they're trying to undermine accusations that Obama's too into the whole Black Liberation Theology thing?

Just a WAG.

William said...

Edmund Burke's father converted from Catholicism so that he and his son could make their way in the world. That worked out rather well for conservatives....People change many things about themselves as they move through time. It is important to have a lodestar but sometimes your family or community can serve this function.....I see nothing wrong with Obama being a spiritual nomad. Given his background how could he be otherwise? I do, however, take strong exception to the fact that he pitched his tent with the Rev Wright's caravan.

Revenant said...

I see nothing wrong with Obama being a spiritual nomad. Given his background how could he be otherwise?

"Given his background"?

William said...

His father was a spiritual nomad. Ditto his mother. He was raised in the faith of his parents....He'll end up an Episcopalian. No one ever votes against an Episcopalian because of their religion.

Revenant said...

His father was a spiritual nomad. Ditto his mother.

Yeah, but his father left when he was two and he spent his later childhood -- the time when most people settle into a religion -- being raised by his grandparents.

No one ever votes against an Episcopalian because of their religion

The way the church is these days, I'm inclined to think an Episcopalian candidate would automatically lose half the Episcopalian vote. :)