>Obama and the Bible

>Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via Wikipedia

Interesting analysis of how President Obama uses the Bible in his public addresses.  It’s by Professor Jeffrey S. Silker of Loyola Marymount in an academic paper for the Catholic Biblical Association of America.  Read the whole thing HERE.  Below are some of the things I found most interesting.

Obama quotes Bible passages that appeal to the broadest base, Silker said…

Siker found that the president quotes the Old Testament most often in his public addresses, in particular the Exodus story of liberation from slavery, an oft-mentioned biblical theme in the African American community…

But the two most prevalent motifs that Obama draws from the Bible are that “we are our brother’s keeper” ( Genesis 4:9) and the notion of the “Joshua generation.”

“This vision of being my brother’s keeper has important political and social consequences when it comes to such issues as healthcare, consumer protection or education reform,” Siker said at the meeting…

In both “The Audacity of Hope” and a June 2006 speech on faith and public policy, Obama spelled out some of his thoughts.

“Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay and that eating shellfish is an abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?” Obama, then a U.S. senator, said in the speech in Washington D.C. “Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount — a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?”

The answer, Obama said in the speech, was that religiously motivated people must find principles that are accessible to people of all beliefs, including those with no faith at all. “In a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice,” he said.

Not wanting to comment.  I just find this interesting.

Makes me wonder what would be the passages that I allude to most when I preach or talk or pray.


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2 thoughts on “>Obama and the Bible

  1. >Jim-Very interesting blog post, and one I am saving. I'm reading America's Prophet – Moses and the American Story by Bruce Feiler. He demonstrates that from the earliest European immigrants through the revolutionary period, civil war, civil rights, etc. that all "movements" to and within the U.S. primarily identified with the Exodus story. I'm about 2/3 through the book and finding it to be a good read. –Charles (go Phils)

  2. >Thanks for the comment. I think it's particularly interesting that our leaders (and our pastors) have those stories that resonate with their perspectives on governing or ministry. Thanks for reading…(and go Phils.)

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