Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Palin’s religion again

See first of all some of the comments in the post below, especially the one linking to Naomi Schaefer Riley’s article.

But also consider this: folks have been making a great deal about how Barack Obama’s background is an asset when it comes to understanding other countries and cultures. Well, Sarah Palin’s experience with Pentecostalism (not my theological cup of tea, to be sure) puts her in touch with one of the most vital and vibrant elements of global Christianity. And theologically and morally conservative Christians in general (vide Rick Warren) have more in common with their counterparts in the developing world than do either the liberal mainline or their Afro-centric cousins.

Discussions - 3 Comments

When it comes to understanding other cultures, what do you mean by ‘other’? In one sense you run the risk of reducing the otherness of that culture to a sameness which distorts. That is a common problem with the missionary evangelicals, in that they see themselves elsewhere and call it a diversity of perspectives, or equate unity alone with good and diversity with sin. Their conversion-motif is a violence against the other. Pentacostal xenoglossia at least seeks to affirm each hearing the wonders of God proclaimed in his or her own language, but all too often destroys the otherness of the other in a reduction to the same. Obama’s plurality is more radical, hence better for hearing the other as other, although in the xenophobic U.S. it will of course be exploited by conservatives as hatred of the country or ‘not American’ enough.

STERTINIUS, but Obama has not really "heard" "the other" relating to jihad. He blithely dismisses their earnest devotion to spreading the house of islam by war.

Were he really attuned to the ways and mores of foreigners, he would have no choice but to credit muslim sincerity about jihad.

But he dismisses them, choosing instead to heed the Western Left, which preaches that all people and governments can be relied upon to act pursuant to an enlightened self-interest, when all of human experience dictates that they manifestly do not.

Thus his attentiveness to foreign cultures is more an affectation, a personal tic, calculated to go over well in the faculty lounge and media studios. This guy has as much a clue about international affairs as did Woodrow Wilson, who recklessly pushed the breakup of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, which created a plethora of small states almost immediately vulnerable to the predations of the Soviet Union and a resurgent Germany. It effectively established a date certain for a renewal of hostilities, which Genral Pershing and Marshal Foch noted at the time.

Obama's "otherness" is simply 60s era Great Society liberalism, refracted through the lens of a kind of post-modernism. If this is the radical other, then I guess I encounter it every day on my campus.

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