Add new comment

Why such a coddling, piddly tone in the Obama ad? With the angelic cooing-- when the Left's faith is maybe anything but pie-in-the-sky-- it's over the top. (More, it's one of the few ads with a female narrator. Here, she's breathy, Sunday-school-esque, and maternal.) There's nothing piddly, meek, or sentimental about "feeding the hungry"-- we've been able to fight and win wars, while hunger and poverty have handily trounced us. If I didn't know his record, the tone might make me think, like Sunday school, Obama's commitment to "the least" may be periodic and token, instead of abiding, tough, and determined.

I wonder what the producers' decision to use this tone says about how people of faith-- I guess the intended audience, here-- and the quality of their hard-lived and won faith are viewed by the Mt25 Network and broader American culture. Why are appeals to people's religious ideals often airy and inoffensive, while appeals surrounding national security and terrorism are filled with strong, definitive language and fist-pounding? (Jeremiah Wright's fist-pounding prompted discussion of a more grounded religious practice, but was considered a demerit to quickly get beyond.)

Is there cynicism in play here-- in the relegation of the ideals, hope, and virtues which we take from and affirm through our faith to airy realms of song? (In favor of-- what?) And how destructive that all seems-- to sell out the best things we've known... Maybe having two separate worlds, in effect-- one airy and one in which you nearly hear the crush of metal; one with vague, referential language, one with clear language; one female, one male-- allows us in politics to express hurtful, proud, or divisive sentiments bookended with references to our religious ideals with less dissonance than we'd otherwise feel. There are many examples, the lowest fruit being the declaration of war pitched to the people with prayers and blessing.

I'm an Obama-supporter, but have the impression that these campaigns have little understanding of people's faith commitments, and less understanding of their power to actually realize peace, racial reconciliation, constructive support of the poorest, yes, and maybe even economic stability and a basis for rapprochement with our enemies. These ads undermine their power, sadly. And without understanding, I think it hurts us all to have these exploited for political gain.

The questions about cynicism and whether we have sold out remind me of 1Samuel 8, when:
[Israel] said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them... [But first] forewarn them, saying: you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves." [Israel persisted:] "No, we will have a king over us that we may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles."