Tuesday, February 13, 2007


From Brian McLaren to US Democratic hopeful Barack Obama, on the God's Politics weblog (from BeliefNet and Sojourners):

Please don't lie to us. Please forego both the repulsive, deceptive, and twisted lies and also the flattering lies we like to hear. For example, I heard a fellow candidate recently trot out the tired old line, "America is the greatest country in the history of the world." This makes Americans feel good and gets applause. Maybe it wins votes. But it is a lie. Yes, we are the richest country. Yes, we have the most weapons. Yes, we dominate in many fields, from sports to pop music to movies to pornographic websites to resource consumption and waste production. But the seductive lie of superiority is bad for any nation, including ours. Any nation that keeps telling itself that it is the greatest will become a proud nation (if it isn't already), and pride, I have it on good authority, comes before a fall. Pride makes nations, asindividuals, unpleasant and ugly neighbors, and so candidates make a bad long-term decision when they seek to coddle pride in exchange for votes. If they win, they will preside over a country that their rhetoric has made more ugly and more likely to fall.

Instead of telling us this lie of American superiority, please tell us the truths that we need to hear. Tell us, as you just did in your campaign-launch speech, inconvenient truths – that we and our leaders have a habit of making mistakes and blaming others – whether it's in New Orleans or Baghdad. Tell us the truth about our past – from our own original genocide and ongoing apartheid regarding the Native peoples of this land, to our profoundly unacknowledged and unhealed legacy of slavery and racism, to our failure to care properly for this beautiful part of God's green earth, to our desperate and shameful violations of our own principles and ideals around the world, from Congo to Chile, and from Central America to the Middle East. Those who say, "Those things are in the past, we should just move on," would never say that about, say, September 11, 2001. More.

See also: Barack Obama's faith challenge, by Jerome Eric Copulsky. Official site: http://www.barackobama.com/

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