Christians and Disagreement (on Craig Detweiler’s Obacalypse Now)

November 6th, 2008 in Church by admin 6

Craig Detweiler and I have tangoed on here before. I like Craig, I really respect the way he’s handled our personal disagreements in the past, and I think he’s a very good writer. Like Barack Obama he is winsome and has a way with words.You don’t become “Dr. Film” without having a way with words.He recently wrote a piece in his Dr. Film column space that was fetchingly (and creatively)entitled Obacalypse Now in which he kind of implied that white evangelicals who aren’t excited about the Obama presidency may be “obstructionists” and/or “alarmists” and/orJames Dobson.

I’m grossly oversimplifying of course, but I still think that’s what he was saying if I had to distill about 3,000 words into a paragraph or so. If you’d like you can read Craig’s article here:

Craig won’t be shocked to learn that I don’t share in his excitement about the Obama presidency. He probably also won’t be shocked to read that I disagree with him on, well, disagreement.

But he does, continually, seem surprised that Christians Disagree. The fact that I wish Obama hadn’t been elected doesn’t mean I don’t care about the poor, don’t want to make the earth a better place, andam uncomfortable with a black president. To quote Jerry McGuire, “I’m Mr. Black People.” (Kidding, I actually just wanted to quote Jerry McGuire. Although sometimes I think Craig and other liberal evangelicals think they trulyare “Mr. Black People.” This is part of Stuff White People Like. Thinking they’re Mr. Black people. Anyway.)

I don’t begrudge Craig his giddiness/weepinessover the Obama election. Obama’s ethos is a perfect fitfor our cultural climate, and a perfect fit for liberal evangelicals. It would have been shocking/impossible for liberal evangelicals NOT to fall in love with Obama. I’ll pray for Barack and his administration, just like I would have prayed for a McCain/Palin administration. Obama is, now, my president.If there had been a black candidate whose politics I agreed with, I would have gladly voted for him. For that matter, if Walter Payton were still alive and had run for president I probably would have voted for him too.

To answer Craig’s question (first pgph, his column), I didn’t weep for joy or disappointment the other night. I wept because my parents had to put our family dog down, and I wept because in the morning I knew I had to tell my six year old son. These are the kind of issues thathappenedto trump politics, for me, on the biggest most important culturally racially politically significant day in the history of our country ever. My son wasn’t taking comfort in the fact that we had just elected our first black president. He was sad.

I don’t think the sky is falling, and me saying that I take comfort in the fact that we serve a sovreign Lord isn’t just a veiled way of saying “I don’t like Obama.” The fact of the matter is, our world desperately needs a savior, and that savior is not Barack Obama, who may or may not turn out to be as “important and beloved” as Craig was so eager to annoint him.

If you’re still reading (doubtful, after the Mr. Black People section) take the time to read this perspectiveby a guy who says it much better than I can, both because he’s black and also because he just says it better: