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June 24, 2008



I’m afraid I disagee in part. If Obama wants to inject faith into conventional politics, Dobson or anyone else is perfectly free to disagree with how and why he does it. The details of what you believe and how you back it up begin to matter, which is why George Romney’s Mormonism was no big deal and his son’s did much to derail his candidacy.

Regarding the speech: Douglass, Day, and King were true reformers, but they worked outside the conventional political system. As for Bryan – ahem.

Abraham Lincoln wasn’t really a ‘great reformer’ in the sense Obama is using here, and Lincoln did not begin using any form of religious language until relatively late in his life and then it was partially as a sop to the populace. There is reason to believe he was a closet agnostic. It’s true that towards the end he may have felt that Something Bigger was behind him, but if he had any faith at all it was of no conventional kind. In any case, he wasn't the kind to make speeches about it. Obama should think about that.

John Petty

Hi Hypatia,

To me, that's precisely the point Obama was making, at least in the two paragraphs I cited.

I'm with you on the over-all question. True "transformation" only comes from outside the system--think Hebrew prophets, for example. I've never bought that "transformational leadership" schtick precisely for that reason. Inside the system, there is no such thing.

That's one of the reasons I supported Clinton instead of Obama, by the way. I don't believe in "transformation" this side of the eschaton, and I like Methodists.

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