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A New Racial Time …. where?

August 26, 2009

I’m looking at a new book Audacity of Faith: Christian Leaders Reflect on the Election of Barack Obama. I’ve got a chapter titled “Barack Obama and the Unfinished Business of America” (based on an article I wrote in Christian Century).  I forget the setting, but I realized I used that last phrase once and Stanley Hauerwas said something like “don’t you mean the unfinished business of the church?” Stanley gets to the heart of the matter quickly.  It’s something I press in the chapter:  for the enthusiasts out there, let’s not forget that Obama is not Martin Luther King.  The former is a politician with America’s “interests” at heart.  The latter was a prophet and preacher who, more and more was telling the truth no matter where the cards fell (such as his eventual opposition to the Vietnam War).  At the same time it was Jim Douglas who taught me in his remarkable book JFK and the Unspeakable that U.S. presidents can become prophets in their own way.  Of course Douglas contends that led to Kennedy’s death.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jean-Luc Charles permalink
    August 26, 2009 8:20 pm

    Yes,
    but don’t forget that Barack Obama is a Christian, an African-American Christian at that and he self-consciously stylelizes and riffs upon MLK’s riff on the beloved community. That he practices his Christianity as a professional politician should not be held against him.

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