Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My Religion & Obama

For me, in addition to bringing home values of my generation to my political party, Obama has also brought religion home to my party and it's just as moving for me. And also contributes to my sense of unreality.

Yesterday Obama announced his Joshua Generation. As it's pretty brilliant foray. Joshua DuBois, Obama's Director of Faith Outreach, has done a terrific job, and Newsweek offers a bit of background on him, Obama's New Gospel. (from mid-May)

The most interesting and thoughtful reporter on Obama and religion is David Brody, of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who previews the project here.

The Brody File has learned that in the next two weeks Barack Obama's campaign will unveil a major new program to attract younger Evangelicals and Catholics to their campaign.

It's called the "Joshua Generation Project." The name is based on the biblical story of how Joshua's generation led the Israelites into the Promised Land.

To me, this thinking never mind doing, by a Democratic campaign is just jaw dropping. It has the potential to change things for a generation.

This was the 11th reason (of 11) I set forth as to why I supported Obama back in early February. But I'd read this great piece (cited in my post), called Teacher and Apprentice by Marc Ambinder from the print issue of The Atlantic back in November. (It's fascinating to read again, about Clinton and Obama, in hindsight).

And let you you think Obama's ability to conversant in religious language and values is incidental, the Washington Post reported an interesting tidbit about the now infamous (and wonderfully named) Mayhill Folwer -

Fowler was an unlikely recruit, if only because her mother -- "a typical Southern iron-fisted matriarch" -- banned all talk of politics at home. That was because her dad had spent 14 years as mayor of Memphis, and "she felt politics had destroyed her family," Fowler says.

Politics played no role in Fowler's life as she settled in Oakland after earning a master's degree in English literature at the University of California's Berkeley campus and spent most of her time raising her two daughters. She knew little about Obama and had not even seen his famed 2004 speech to the Democratic convention. But when Fowler, a religious Presbyterian, discovered online a speech the Illinois senator had given at an evangelical mega-church, she was astounded. "It broke me down," she says.

Yeah, he breaks me down too. I'd bet money the speech she was talking about was this one.

Another interesting piece on Obama at religion is by E.J. Dionne, who wrote Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right. Dionne writes for The New Republic, and called this essay Full Faith. I designated this essay a must read back on March 22nd and offered some highlights. The best line is "whole bird Christianity" - i.e. not just left wing or right wing but both left and right wing.

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