In God he trusts?
The President of the US has ‘appropriated Christianity for the Democrats’, according to Dr Robert Beckford, who conducted a wide-ranging exploration of Barack Obama’s faith for a BBC documentary.
His documentary ‘God bless you, Barack Obama’ was screened on 25 January and showed how faith, race and politics have combined to inform and direct the policies of the 44th president of the US. While many will doubt Beckford’s conclusions, this was still a fascinating insight into Obama’s thinking.
From his roots in Black, liberal Christianity to his affirmation on live TV in 2004 that he believed in God, Obama became one of the very few left-of-centre liberal politicians to affirm his faith in such a way, Dr Beckford said.
Few Republicans will acknowledge Obama’s assertion ‘I believe that Jesus Christ has saved me’ as evidence of salvation, especially given the Democrats’ liberal attitude towards abortion and other ethical issues. But Republican die-hards do admit that: ‘Obama gives every indication of being a good husband and father, which is not always the case for US presidents’.
Obama is apparently the first Democrat president to use the Bible to ‘bash his opponents’ by quoting portions of Scripture in political debates. But, Beckford said, the President must tread a fine line between using the White House to govern a disparate nation of various beliefs and tolerances, and letting his faith ‘give him a mandate to put a social gospel into action’.