Tuesday, January 08, 2008

After Obama's speech on the night of his Iowa victory, pundits began to speak about his ascension to Democratic frontrunner in terms of a veritable movement. But witnessing his campaign stops here, this movement seems less like a political one than a religious one. Earlier in his campaign, Obama spoke quite openly about his belief in Jesus Christ, reaching out to Christian voters with tales of his conversion and the role faith has played in his life.

In New Hampshire, this week, he's talking to people about salvation as well. But this time it's our salvation, and the messiah's word he's spreading is his own. And it's this godly fervor, not a political one, which may well be galvanizing the grassroots youth effort not just in New Hampshire, but across the country.

Obama's sermons setting forth his own transcendent leadership are not accidentally Christian in nature. He's internalized this practice so deeply that he's already joking about it in his stump speech. Like a pastor who asks first-time church-goers to raise their hands at the beginning of the sermon, he requests a show of undecided voters and beams his kilowatt smile upon them, saying "A light will shine down from somewhere. You will experience an epiphany." In the chortles of the crowd, you can practically hear the angels sing.

It's not his own resurrection Obama preaches, but that of the country, and that of ourselves. His litany on hope has basically nothing to do with politics and everything to do with incandescent inspiration.

Obama Recast As MLK, Jesus, Leading Spiritual Youth Movement, by Lauren Sandler. Huffington Post January 8, 2008.