Last month, I posted a discussing President Obama’s religion and offered several choices including two “hybrids”. Check it out on this website if interested.
However, soon after President Obama’s inauguration, I wrote an article proposing to determine if Obama was a religious icon. Recently, I revisited that article and found it as relevant and timely now as it was then. So, without further ado, it follows.
A Proposal to Determine If Barack Obama Is a Religious Icon
Synopsis: Although most prominent in politics it appears Barack Obama – and millions of his supporters – consider him a religious icon as well as an historical president. There is some confusion as to whether January 20, 2009 was an inauguration, coronation or ascension. It’s timely to address this issue in the court of public opinion. This proposal presents alternatives for thoughtful U.S. citizens to: consider iconic options; study each option; determine Obama’s status as a religious icon categorizing Him as a modern day:
4) Political Pope
5) All of the above
6) None of the above, i.e. a mortal politician.
Example of 6) Some skeptics divine no spiritual significance to Obama seeing him as a super slick, sophisticated, secular snake-oil salesman successfully selling selective socialism (of U.S. auto companies, financial institutions and health care) to replace Democrat-discredited free enterprise.
Methodology: This proposal states possibilities for the first four alternatives. After reviewing those, readers can study, as necessary, the three major religions from which alternatives are derived. Individuals should then be able to reach an informed decision about Obama’s status as a religious icon. The three religions most involved:
- Christianity including Catholics, Protestants and Mormons
- Islam including significant “branches”
- Judaism including significant “branches”
Each religion has certain qualifications for determining icon categories:
- Messiah – Judaism is an accepted authority on Messiahs while Christianity is based on Jesus Christ as the true Messiah.
- Prophet – Islamic and Jewish representatives are accepted authorities but Mormon beliefs might be relevant. That church recognized 19th century prophets.
- Saint and Pope – the Roman Catholic Church “wrote the book” on canons of sainthood and papal selection.
NB: Whereas an individual (or followers) can proclaim him/herself a Messiah or Prophet, more stringent requirements exist for Saints.
Possibilities for each status:
- In his campaign Mr. Obama exhibited messianic traits convincing a majority of voters He is “The Chosen One”; “The One He was waiting for”.
- He depicted himself as omniscient, i.e. possessing solutions to all economic and political problems. With His supreme knowledge He is also nuanced, perceptive and wise.
- He seemingly perceives the presidency and a congressional majority as rendering Him personally and politically omnipotent.
- His media and memorabilia promoters have made Him omnipresent.
- Old Testament scripture mentions “The weight of the government will be upon his shoulders….”
- Catholics believe the mother of Mary (mother of Jesus) was without original sin. Obama’s grandmother must have been without political sin for Obama to emerge from corrupt Chicago and Illinois politics unblemished and unstained.
- If Obama is determined to be a modern day Messiah:
- A new book might be added to the Holy Bible: “The Gospel of Barack”.
- The Holy Trinity might become “The Gospel Quartet”, “Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Obama”!
- The website (www.barackknows) can continue enabling devotees to go online 24/7 for answers to “What would Barack do?”
- The presidential cabinet could be reduced in number to 12 and renamed “The 12 Apostles” although the Treasury Secretary shouldn’t be rechristened “Judas”.
- In his campaign Mr. Obama prophesied — channeling Jeremiah by lamenting the terrible events to befall the nation if a Republican were elected president.
- Since a Republican wasn’t elected, it’s impossible to determine the accuracy of Obama’s prophetic lamentations.
- Should, Heaven forbid, those terrible events occur “on Obama’s watch” –although he might consider them “beyond his pay grade” — it would seem to negate his candidacy as a legitimate prophet.
- Prophetic statements abound promising the bountiful blessings to be bestowed upon the nation by electing Barack president and giving him majorities in both houses of Congress.
- Until those bountiful blessings are bestowed, it may not be possible to determine Barack’s status as prophet.
- However, if determined to be a modern-day prophet, a new book might be added to the Old Testament: “The Book of Obama”:
- It could include his non-messianic speeches and writings.
- If those are too scant, the book could also include (without crediting Kahil Gibran) any portions of Mr. Gibran’s book “The Prophet” that could burnish Mr. Obama’s status as a prophet.
Ironically, sainthood may be the most difficult to achieve due to certain specific requirements.
- The title of “saint” means a “candidate” lived a holy life, is in Heaven and is recognized by the catholic (small “c”) church.
- Sadly, “community organizers” aren’t automatically holy “saints”.
- Canonization started in the early church with all the Apostles called saints.
- The other first saints were martyrs who sacrificed their lives for their faith.
- The Roman Catholic Church became involved many years later:
- The title of Saint is applied after a candidate’s death. (Isn’t the devil always in the details?)
- In addition to an exemplary life, a candidate must have performed one miracle before his or her death.
- Exception: martyrs are not required to have performed a miracle while alive but must have done so after death (as proof she or he is in Heaven and capable of intercession on earth).
Internet definition: “Papal Infallibility” means the Pope is infallible when proclaiming, as a definitive act, some doctrine of faith and morals. It doesn’t extend to all his actions and statements.
President Obama seemingly considers himself infallible in all his political proclamations. If he doesn’t convince a requisite majority with one speech, he will deliver additional speeches ad infinitum and ex cathedra until an issue is decided in his favor or a majority vote goes to the opposition.
Although there is no official “Political Pope” readers are free to confer this title on Obama if they consider it justified.
On the other hand, unless readers ignore clear-cut requirements for sainthood, they might logically decide — since Barack is alive and not in Heaven – he can’t classify as a saint. If so decided, readers should then return to and address the remaining possibilities including Political Pope or mortal politician.