September 29, 2010
WHAT THE HELL KIND OF FREAK IS OBAMA, ANYWAY?
This post from Brutally Honest got me thinking:
Much is being written about Obama's defense yesterday of his Christian beliefs and what he had to say in that defense:
"It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead," Obama said. "Being my brother's and sister's keeper. Treating others as they would treat me."
Now, Rick rightfully points out that the whole "brother's keeper" thing isn't even from Jesus. It's an OT reference to Cain not knowing where his brother was. So Obama's inclusion of it here is somewhat bizarre in a discussion of Christ's precepts.
But it gets stranger.
First of all, I've never met a Christian who talked about "precepts". They always refer to it as the "teachings" of Christ. Obama's construction is quite peculiar. Especially since the term precepts is more commonly associated with Buddhism. In Christianity, it's used more typically by academics than practitioners.
But even odder is his clumsy mangling of the Golden Rule. Most people learn it as "do unto others as you would have others do unto you." But the thing is, people don't LEARN it - they MEMORIZE it. And they don't SAY it, they RECITE it. Not saying it exactly as memorized is awkward and uncomfortable. Most normal people would construct their sentence around the recitatation rather than paraphrase a memorized quote, like Obama did. It's as weird as saying "when it rains, it usually pours pretty hard".
Not to mention the fact that Obama's construction has more of an "eye for an eye" connotation than the patient, tolerant empathy that Jesus was going for.
And then there's Obama's mangling of the Declaration of Independence - twice omitting the phrase "by their Creator".
Who the hell paraphrases the Declaration? For most Americans, it's memorization and recitation. Recitation, I might add, that typically includes a noticable tone of awe and reverence.
It's like Obama is some Asperger's-afflicted sociopath to whom words are mere sounds without meaning, whose sole use is to manipulate the emotions of whatever audience is in front of him.
I find that - and Obama - quite disturbing.