OBAMA/ Albacete: One more American secular thinker
From my very first columns written about Barack Obama's campaign for the presidency of the United States, I have attempted to describe the image of mystery which either he cultivated or naturally possessed . Since then, except for brief periods of time, he has not lost this image. It is not easy to define his ideology since important components of well known political ideologies are missing in the decisions he makes. In his silence as well as his powerful manner of speaking.
Ironically , the more he tries to reveal himself as "one of the guys" , the more it seems that he comes from another world. I will never forget in any case what a distinguished resident of Chicago told me when I asked him about Obama's manner of thinking, of making decisions, embracing ethical values, etc., he laughed and said to me : "Listen, don't be deceived. Obama is one more nasty Chicago politician . There's no mystery there. Perhaps you should describe him as a 'mystical Clinton.'"
Some people with whom I have discussed this have suggested that his aura of coming from another world may be due to him being the first African-American President, coming from a well defined culture with a history of intellectual and literary excellence which, unfortunately, most white people do not know. This may be so, but I see black leaders who do not understand him and the way he conducts his politics. (Many years ago I read an article, titled Soul, brother! , on the controversial but irresistible magazine called Triumph where it was argued that because of the failure of many Christian churches (Catholic included) the African-American revolutionary thought became secularized, and when secularized liberal American thought failed to bring them the liberation for which they toiled and fought, they sought their identity in religious movements not associated, or contaminated, by Judeo-Christian thought , such as Moslem Nation, etc.).
President Obama does not belong to any of these groups. He identifies himself as a Christian but, unfortunately for us, he has developed his thinking attempting to find Truth as one more American secular thinker with a religiosity emptied of the tremendous force of faith in Christ that gave them the strength to survive the horrors of slavery.
The "New Evangelization " supposedly taking place must keep in mind the faith of Black America and its contribution to Christian life and thought as it looks for ways to respond to the call of the Church.