Happy In Bag

Thursday, February 21, 2008

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.


  • At 10:55 AM, Blogger Donna. W said…

    I do love a good sermon, well-preached. Sadly, I hear too few of them these days.

  • At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love an orator with strong skills but I really need girls to sing me soft songs of love.

  • At 3:08 PM, Blogger Ed said…

    Excellent observation, and one I hadn't thought of before. Well done!

    Of course, that point is only worsened given the orating skills of the current president.

  • At 4:39 PM, Blogger bgo said…

    I believe Obama is stirring an evil brew of religious and political fantasies. I find his
    “40 Days of Faith and Family” initiative downright creepy.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • At 6:46 PM, Blogger kcmeesha said…

    Will be funny when he is not going to win

  • At 12:26 PM, Blogger KC Sponge said…

    To bring that optimism to the public forum without preaching to them, without giving them a way to follow - but to encourage us to find a way together - very unlike a politician, very unlike a preacher.

    Not in awe because he is an amazing speaker, not in awe of his message - its a simple one - but in awe that someone is saying that that is who we should be as Americans. Reminding us that we can do better - expecting us to do better, making us want to do better. Its not especially HOW he says it - its what he is saying and how he is making us hear. Now, that, is why people are responding.

  • At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's too simplistic to assume that everyone who is responding to him has been swept away by his oratory skills. Reagan had them, too, but they didn't persuade me. Obama really cares about the repressed and those trapped in poverty and other socio-economic ruts. You can find it beyond his words; it's in his activist past, too. Yes, he's still a politician who has to comply with some of the dirty rules in that filthy game, but he is, for now, unaffiliated with much of the old guard and the tired ways. Read about him before you dismiss him:



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