To Breathe Your Free Air
3/4/12 at 06:42 PM 6 Comments

He's the President

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The White House
President Barack H. Obama

Who is President Obama? He's the President. That's all you need to know.

Evangelical Christians are often conservatives, politically, socially, and economically. Conservatives, philosophically and historically, are respectful of authority and guard the primacy of authority in the community. Evangelical Christianity takes seriously the biblical admonition to obey rulers and authorities (Romans 13) and to pray for those who rule the community (1 Timothy 2).

These same conservative Christians are Americans. They are not Europeans. In fact, Americans in general are quite distinct from Europeans and consider them to be backward in many ways. Americans, particularly Americans who have a basic understanding of how our political process works and why, know that authority is limited. The power to govern has been delegated to the institutions of the government and to the people who were elected to fill the offices that represent those institutions.

Barack H. Obama was elected president by a clear majority on November 4 in the year 2008. Every citizen over the age of 18 who was registered to vote at that time had the opportunity to have their say. Obama received 69,456,897 votes. His opponent received almost ten million fewer votes than Mr. Obama. Out of 270 electoral votes needed to win, Obama received 365. Presidential power was transferred peacefully from George W. Bush to Barack H. Obama on January 20, 2009. These things happened according to the very specific guidelines established by the U. S. Constitution and other laws passed by local, state, and federal legislation.

If you call yourself a conservative, you are bound by your profession to guard authority as it is defined in the U. S. Constitution. If you call yourself an evangelical Christian, the Holy Spirit commands you to obey and pray for your leaders--not just the ones you agree with or like. We all must show deep respect for President Obama, whether we like him or agree with him or not. It is time for another election, and we must bear this in mind as we prepare ourselves for what everyone says is going to be a brutally disrespectful campaign (who could doubt this after having witnessed the political dialogue over the past three years?).

Who is President Obama? He's the President. But wait--isn't he a Muslim?

Doesn't matter. He's the President.

Wasn't he born in Kenya?

No, Hawaii. And he's the President.

Isn't he a socialist? A Marxist?

Doesn't matter. He's the President.

Doesn't he violate the Constitution?

Perhaps. Make your case. But he's the President.

He always uses a teleprompter.

Doesn't matter. He's the President.

He's always taking vacations.

Doesn't matter. He's the President.

He's gutting our military!

He is the Commander in Chief of the U. S. military. He's the President.

He allowed gays into the military! He's pro-choice! He's for gun control! He likes broccoli!

It doesn't matter! He's the President.

If you do not approve of the President's policies, then speak up--write your congressman, write the President, and vote for his opponent in the next election. Or, you could do what my brother did and run for office yourself. Then you will see that the job of political officeholder ain't nearly as easy as it seems.

I am a committed conservative and I am an evangelical Christian. I agree with very little that the President has done in his first, and hopefully only, term as President. I plan on voting against the President in November. But as a conservative, I am very interested in guarding his, and every American constitutional officeholder's, authority. As an evangelical Christian, I am praying for the President, for Mrs. Obama, for their family--for their health and vitality, and that God would give him wisdom in his decisions. I am going to show him the utmost respect while it concerns me to do so. When I speak of the President, I am going to give the man the benefit of the doubt. I am not going to question his integrity unless there is evidence it needs to be questioned. I will not attack him on the basis of his religion, whatever it is, because the Constitution requires no officeholder to have any particular religious article of faith to be eligible to hold office (U. S. Constitution, Article VI, paragraph 3). I'm going to do my best to stick with my understanding of the issues, and keep the irrelevancies and absurdities down to a minimum.

No hoping he fails; no comparisons to Adolph Hitler or Karl Marx; no references to socialism when his name is mentioned; no speculations on his faith commitments; no musings on the place of his birth. He is my President, and yours too. He is the President of the United States, just as George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and the forty-one previous occupants of the office before them. He is our President, not Charlton Heston, or whomever the president of the NRA happens to be.

Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison on January 30, 1787, "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing." One of the beauties of our Constitution is that it provides for a little rebellion against the legislature every two and six years, and against the president, every four years. It's called an election. If you are a conservative who is against President Obama's policies, go into your polling place and let your voice be heard. But remember to separate the man from the office. Don't hate the man. If you are a conservative and you hate the man who holds the office of President, you are, logically speaking, on your way to treason. If you are a Christian and you hate the man who is the President, you are on your way to treason as well as murder (Matthew 5.21-22) and hypocrisy.

Let's keep our tone civil and respectful this election season. He is the President.

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