A reader writes:
I was watching the clip of the interview on Russert's show, and I was surprised with your claim that Obama has a Christian worldview and it is coloring everything that he does. I think this is exactly right. Obama is engaging in a Christian version of politics by being open to talking with enemies, by not belittling his enemies or those who don't agree with him, by running a positive campaign, by treating people as the flawed-yet-still-created-in-the-image-of-God creatures that we are. But surely you understand that a lot of evangelicals (and others) in America (and elsewhere) wouldn't recognize this form of behavior as Christian.
Rather, it's considered being "soft" or "idealistic" or "unrealistic." There is very little difference between being a good American and being a good Christian for a lot of those you call Christianist. And their conceptions of both of these identities are deeply flawed. A part of the problematic in understanding Obama correctly is understanding Christianity correctly. Though I think the Gospel offers a clear prohibition on the use of violence by disciples of Christ and Obama disagrees with this (I am assuming), Obama comes as close to what a Christian president could look like as I have ever seen. In the end, I don't think a faithful Christian can be president, but Obama may come damn close.
Obama is not a pacifist; he's a realist, with some uplift added. At least that's what I glean from his record and statements in foreign policy. If I thought otherwise, if I thought he were Jimmy Carter reborn, I couldn't support him. But America needs now an ability not to just to manage the world, but to re-inspire its inhabitants again. Only by such a radical re-branding can we begin to get out of the hole we're in. Only then, I suspect, will the pragmatic opportunities for national and allied advance open up.