The only thing that would have made it more delicious would have been if he had come to Eugene, Oregon, on Palm Sunday rather than on Good Friday. And if his supporters had been waving palm fronds rather than “Change You Can Believe In!” placards. The Obama phenomena has risen to the level of religious, almost messianic fervor.Peter Wierenga, World March 27, 2008.
I see among many of the young a hopelessness that is almost tangible. Alongside that is an inability to trust others and to believe in ultimate truths and values. The mantra is that authority cannot be trusted and that the loudest voices in society want to do nothing more than “sell” something. Broken homes have created a generation with absolutely no one to look up to and to turn to for advice. So direction is lacking, commitment is rare, and despair is rampant.
Barack Obama strides into that void. While voicing “other worldly” themes he suggests “this world” solutions. His soaring oratory and his ambitious promises make his appeal to hope and his drive for change seem reasonable and attainable. He appeals to all that is innate and created in us in a longing for that “better country, that is a heavenly one” discussed in Hebrews 11. And he offers fulfillment in his election to the presidency at which time he will unleash the power of government to set things right in a world currently turned upside down. Thus he offers a messianic hope with the full weight and force of the U.S. government to back him up. For many right now, with the youth leading the way, this is a compelling combination. Heaven on earth is indeed appealing rather than having to wait.