I just watched this ‘mockumentary’ by Morgan Spurlock while folding my mounds and mounds of laundry this afternoon. Reverend Billy and his ‘stop shopping’ choir tour the country preaching the evils of consumerism. It’s a good pause for thought before entering the Christmas season to be thoughtful of what I purchase, where I shop, and how I think about the season and all it entails… You can watch the full video on Google Video.
After an overt audience preference for John McCain at Saddleback’s faith forum last week, I found myself skeptical that another Christian mainstay (Thomas Nelson) could treat a democrat fairly. However, like moderator Rick Warren, author Stephen Mansfield does a respectable job proving for insight into the spiritual life of the current democratic presidential nominee in The Faith of Barack Obama.
The Faith of Barack Obama appears to be written for a more conservative, evangelical audience. At points, it feels as though Mansfield uses the views of the religious right as the measuring stick for the ‘correct’ faith. When speaking of faith, the perspective with which he compares Obama stems solely from the more conservative Christian viewpoint (as opposed to Muslim, Hindu, etc.) Given the audience, there is no fault in this, but it would be helpful to note this point to better understand the book’s perspective.
In spite of the audience, Mansfield works hard to highlight Obama’s message of unity to the traditionally divided factions of politics and faith. Chapter two opens with an example of then-presidential candidate Sam Brownback and Obama at Saddleback’s World AIDS Day summit. At the summit, Brownback commented that he felt more ‘comfortable’ than he’d felt when they’d shared the stage at the NAACP conference. Given evangelicals’ tendency to lean Republican, Brownback turned to Obama and commented, “Welcome to my house!” In his infamous eloquence, Obama responded, “There is one thing I have to say, Sam. This is my house, too. This is God’s house.” Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Faith of Barack Obama”