Sunday Sunday Sunday
Avoiding politics and religion is a Happy In Bag tradition. Yet I'm tired of waiting in vain for a pundit to articulate an observation I've made about the Barack Obama phenomenon. So here I go breaking my self-imposed rules.
I've been baffled by people who express awe and wonder at Obama's skill as an orator. I consider him just another good speaker.
I now realize why so many people are enchanted by this politician's speeches while I'm left indifferent. I hear extended monologues that are superior to Obama's stump speech almost every time I attend church. My house of worship features a regular rotation of exceptional speakers from a wide variety of denominations and backgrounds. Almost by definition, their message is infused with hope, optimism and promise.
A large percentage of Obama disciples- the ones who cite his inspirational delivery as his primary appeal- don't attend religious services. Unaccustomed to hearing gifted orators preach from a pulpit, they find Obama's approach disarmingly fresh and innovative. This is definitely the case among the most ardent Obama supporters in my immediate circle of friends, family and co-workers.
These converts fail to realize that the Senator's impassioned cadence and ambitious concepts- including the "audacity of hope"- are standard contemporary Christian precepts.
In no way do I intend to slight Obama's speaking style or principles. In fact, given my faith, I'm very comfortable with his format. But even Obama must sometimes shake his head at the ease by which he's winning over an incognizant electorate.