“Our Lord and Savior Barack Obama….”

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Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cropped version of File:Official port...

English: Cropped version of File:Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg. The image was cropped at a 3:4 portrait ratio, it was slightly sharpened and the contrast and colors were auto-adjusted in photoshop. This crop, in contrast to the original image, centers the image on Obama’s face and also removes the flag that takes away the focus from the portrait subject. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I would hope that actor Jamie Foxx was kidding when he referred to “Our lord and savior Barack Obama” in a speech that was greeted by loud cheers in his audience. It seems, unfortunately, that he was serious. Mr. Foxx is merely a symptom of what has been wrong with Western Culture since its rejection of Christianity, a move, at least in the United States, that is most evidence in Academia, Hollywood, and the news media.

G. K. Chesterton said that a person who believes nothing is willing to believe anything. American society, like Europe, has tried to relegate religion to the private sphere, a move that historically makes no sense given the traditional truth claims of religion as well as its worship practices. Once that move took place, beginning at the Protestant Reformation and continuing through Westphalia and on to the Enlightenment, it was only a matter of time that two of the great monotheistic religions, Judaism and Christianity, would be rejected–first by the intellectual elites and later by the common people. Intellectual elites have already rejected Christianity, and a significant number of academics are atheists or agnostics. Many Hollywood actors are atheists or agnostics–among major actors, atheists and agnostics form the largest percentage of actors compared to those from various religions.

The human being requires the transcendent. Thus, stripped of traditional religion, people sought for transcendence in the secular world. Some people, such as the Romantics and the American Transcendentalists, sought transcendence in nature, sometimes deifying nature itself in a form of pantheism. Others, such as Karl Marx, secularized Jewish (in Marx’s case) eschatology, offering a secular salvation through the rebellion of the proletariat over the bourgeois on the way to a “classless society.” Most African American leaders remain religious and believe in God and hold so a theologically conservative version of Christianity. However, their churches have, in general, become so politicized that the political becomes confused with the transcendent, and salvation becomes secular and economic rather than a redeemed community living forever in Christ. Hollywood and academia generally search for salvation in the political and economic order. Mr. Obama becomes the “New Christ,” a secular savior who shall deliver the groups academics and Hollywood types consider as deserving special privileges due to past discrimination–African Americans, Hispanics, and women, at least those women who accept Hollywood’s chosen version of feminism. The adulation of Mr. Obama by people of every race bordered on idolatry in 2008; now Mr. Foxx makes it official–Obama is Christ, Obama is God and the savior of the specially privileged groups the left sets aside for special treatment.

Such blasphemy dishonors God, dishonors Jesus Christ, the true Lord and Savior of all, through whom all things were created and are sustained–as St. Paul said, “in Him all things consist.” In Christ the infinite entered the finite; God became man. To worship an ordinary man as the new Christ, as “Our lord and savior” will inevitably disappoint. No socio-economic order can bring human salvation. Much human misery results from sin, and that is a matter of the human will. Mr Foxx is at least honest enough to admit he worships Mr. Obama–would that some of his other adulating fans admit that they worship Mr. Obama as well. The claim of Mr. Obama as lord and savior should be sickening to anyone with an ounce of wisdom, but wisdom is sadly lacking in our degenerate culture. Mr. Foxx helps conservatives who feel such a sense of anomie at Mr. Obama’s re-election to understand why they have this feeling. Even John F. Kennedy was not so worshipped. Now Mr. Obama should be reluctant to take on the burden of being God. Perhaps he should gently tell his followers that “I am only a man; worship God.” Yet I wonder if he believes in a deity given that such does not seem to be a precondition of being a member of the United Church of Christ. Even if he does not believe in a transcendent deity, Mr. Obama could disabuse his followers of deifying him–unless, of course, he agrees with them. In that case, the United States is in more trouble than the worst nightmares of conservatives.

On Emigration

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United States (World Map)

Recently there has been a record number of people emigrating–that is, leaving the United States permanently for another country. Some of these individuals have sought dual citizenship; others have renounced their United States citizenship and have become citizens of their adopted country. People leave for various reasons. Many years ago, some American Communists left the country for the Soviet Union or other communist countries. Some jazz musicians, tired of the racial prejudice they faced in the United States, went to Europe, where they received a warm welcome. In the Vietnam War, young people desiring to avoid the draft went to Canada or other countries, and not all of them returned to the United States.

Today the motives for leaving the U.S. are different. The United States currently has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, as well as high income and social security personal taxes. Some parts of the country have property taxes so steep that paying them would be like making a normal house payment in the South. Since the U.S. continues to collect income tax from dual citizens overseas, some Americans have renounced their United States citizenship when they left the country–a record number last year.

Another reason people leave is fear of tyranny. The Bush Administration began a new trend toward expansion of executive power which had been limited since the abuses of the Nixon and earlier administrations. Mr. Obama has continued that trend with a vengeance. The use of “czars” over various aspects of the economy and government, the government seizure of General Motors along with the refusal to pay promised dividends to people who paid higher prices for stocks that guaranteed dividends, and attempts by the administration to circumvent religious freedom have led some of the American people to fear a future dictatorship. With Congress passing a law giving the president the right to authorize the assassination of American citizens suspected of terrorism, there is no protection for people from the use of deadly force by the government. All the government would have to claim is that someone is suspected of terrorism. Fears of even greater expansion of federal authority if Mr. Obama were reelected have led some people to consider leaving the country.

Concern about the moral and religious direction of the country is another motivation for emigration. The American people are going down the European path of secularization, with weekly church attendance down almost ten percent in ten years. A record number of Americans classify themselves as “atheist” or “agnostic,” and the percentage of elite opinion leaders who are irreligious is significantly higher than the average for Americans as a whole. One look at a link of professed atheists and agnostics among Hollywood actors reveals that many of the celebrities people worship are utterly secular in their world views. In addition, ramped promiscuity have led to record illegitimacy rates, and a high divorce rate has helped weaken the traditional family. The abortion rate has gone down from 1.5 million to 1.3 million a year, but the number of abortions remains the highest in the industrialized world. I know of at least one traditional Christian who has emigrated to Roman Catholic Poland, and I doubt he is the only one. I hear increasing talk among the traditionalists I know of the possibility of leaving the country–and this is not mere talk–some are seriously considering leaving.

Now there is no paradise anywhere on earth, no place to avoid the effects of the Fall. But when a nation has become so decadent that many people are leaving and more are considering it, it is a sad day for that nation. This is especially true of the United States, a country to which so many people still desire to come. Moral and cultural decline, as well as a frankly disgraceful administration, have finally pushed loyal Americans away–the America they see now is not the America with which they grew up. Like me, they see a nation turned upside down, in which wrong is considered right, and right is considered hate.

Personally I do not want to leave–I am a Southerner, currently living in my adoptive home of North Carolina, but born and reared in Tennessee and still a Tennessean by heart. There remain millions of decent people in the United States who “have not bowed down their knees to Ba’al.” The country is beautiful, with mountains and hills still untouched by development, farmers enjoying the fresh scent of tilled earth, families in which spouses and children love one another, churches in which people worship. There is still much for which to fight. I understand those who emigrate and do not condemn them–thoughts of emigration have crossed the back of my mind, too. But I also understand those who wish to keep fighting against the decline of traditional culture and against rapidly increasing federal power. Godspeed to both groups.