Saturday, 24 January 2009

opinions after an inauguration

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times about Obama and the devil in the hole.

Jonathan Sacks wrote in The Times that Obama renews a covenant and inspires fresh hope.

Simon Barrow wrote at Ekklesia about Re-investing democracy with hope.

Comment is free had a whole week of answers to the question: Will Obama be good for religion?

At the Telegraph George Pitcher had opinions on the inauguration speech, Barack Obama inauguration: God knows His place, and also on the accompanying deluge of prayers, We British pray better than Americans.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, Karen Pollock writes in the Guardian about antisemitism, in Face to Faith.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 24 January 2009 at 12:13pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion
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I want to again commend +Gene Robinson's blog comments re the Inauguration, as seen from up-close: http://canterburytalesfromthefringe.blogspot.com/

(The pictures alone are worth taking a look!)

Posted by: JCF on Sunday, 25 January 2009 at 11:18pm GMT

Yesterday in my church prayers were said for the people of Gaza but not for the people of Israel. I wonder how common a pattern this is? I defend neither the Israeli military nor Hamas, but if we are talking about the *people* of any nation, why is there an apparent slant in favour of only one group in this particular situation? Both are suffering and have suffered, and both are in need of peace and reconciliation, which I feel should be the main thrust of our thoughts in this case.

Posted by: orfanum on Monday, 26 January 2009 at 8:59am GMT

Orfarnum, I completely agree with your sentiments here - about the need to pray for all sides in the conflict. I still have in mind the psalmist's word: "O pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for they shall prosper who love her". We cannot escape the fact that there are people on all sides who have a great and abiding love for the "Holy Land". To ask God to prosper one side against the other is surely not what God would expect of his children. There are root causes of every conflict on earth. What we need to do is to help to alleviate the problems which are at the root of human disaffection - not to exacerbate the escalation by identifying with the local politics of one side at the expense of the other.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 26 January 2009 at 9:54am GMT

Obama's inauguration speech was inspirational and set a benchmark for which we can hope and aspire. My prayers are that he and his leaders do not become jaded and uninspired by the day-to-day burdens and machinations of office.

Fraser reminds us that victory involves bringing hope to those who are not normally seen essential for success or victory. That's what Jesus did when he sought out the lepers, outcastes and downtrodden.

It's one of God's most cherished dreams, to have all kinds of souls collaborating and taking collective responsibility for creating a civilization that is for all and not just a selfish elite.

In biblical imagery we see that God's plans for peace are across all Creation, and that it is a genuine peace of all collectively contributing their part, and in turn being fairly provided for in their own right.

Sacks was insightful when he commented "A social contract is about power; a social covenant is about collective responsibility. A social contract is about governments and laws. A social covenant is about the shared ideals of its citizens..."

Nor is a social covenant about having one set of ideals imposed and adopted by all its citizens. But rather, by having an commitment to the common good whilst relishing diversity.

Isaiah 36:16 "Make peace with me and come out to me. Then every one of you will eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern..."

Micah 4:2-5 "The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes... Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid... All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever."

Zephaniah 3:9-12 "“Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder... On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill. But I will leave within you the meek and humble..."

Posted by: Cheryl Va. on Wednesday, 28 January 2009 at 2:18pm GMT
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