My friend Jon commented a few posts back that there is a need to recover the art of satire. Well, if you are looking for some pretty good theo-political satire, I would suggest this article from Gerard Baker, a columnist with the UK Times. Though not satire, you may also want to read the provocative Catholic novelist Michael O’Brien’s chilling comments on Obama, written on the eve of the election.
In my last post, I offered a prayer (and you need to know that it was truly heart-felt) for both our own Prime Minister and for President-Elect Obama. I do want to give every respect due these men as God’s servants to do good for the nations they govern, but I also pray that they will continually remember that as human authorities, they are under divine authority.
I also pray that we the people under their governance remember that these are men, not gods, not even demi-gods. So while Canadians and Americans share the same fundamental sinful malady–the temptation to break the first great commandment (“You shall have no other gods besides me”)–at least one difference, in my humble opinion, between the current Canadian Prime Minister and the new President-Elect of the United States is that far fewer (if any) seem to think that our Prime Minister is the hope of the world. I’m not so sure I can say the same about many people’s (and not only Americans, but Canadians, Europeans, and Africans alike) near “Messianic” expectation of the new US President-Elect, aided and abetted and iconified in large part by gushing adulation much of the mainstream media.
I just hope and pray that Obama will be able to resist the unimaginable demonic temptation of taking those messianic expectations placed upon him too seriously. I also hope and pray that no one will seek to make him a martyr when he, a mere man, fails to live up to such unrealistic messianic expectations. If some wanted to cast out Bush as a war mongering demon, others may well be standing in line ready to crucify Obama for failing to bring in a kingdom of their own expectation.
Fortunately, if there is one thing working in President-Elect Obama’s favour, it is that the problems that he faces are nearly insoluble and the pragmatic reality of the complexity of dealing with the ubiquitous fiscal, domestic and foreign policy crises will likely quickly serve to temper the public’s utopian expectations of what a president can accomplish. But though Obama himself warned in his acceptance speech that change will be slow, such talk can be easily forgotten in the face of utopian expectations. Public thirst for change is directly proportional to the degree that salty promises for change are served up as rhetorical appetizers before the main political meal.
So today and tomorrow, and next week, month, and year, may we never forget the fundamental confession proceeding by the Spirit from our mouths as followers of Christ: Jesus Christ is Lord and God!