The glee with which some have pounced on Obama's decision to quit TUCC strikes me as unbecoming to anyone who takes faith seriously. The premise, of course, is that Obama doesn't take faith seriously, that his own relationship with Jesus is faked, that only politics brought him to Trinity and only a combination of concealed communist sympathies and hatred of America kept him there. Since the hard right has fused politics with religion, this cynicism is perhaps understandable. But it doesn't make it any truer. Jamil Smith:
I know what it's like to join a congregation, as Barack did, without a strong connection to the Lord and, over time, feel that connection grow. I joined my current church, an A.M.E., in 2005, and in my time there, I've gained more insight, felt more fellowship and enriched my faith in ways unimagined. Even still, my current relationship with Christ isn't close to where I need it to be. I still have a lot of work to do. But I know the process Barack is talking about, and if I were tomorrow forced to rip myself away from my church by forces of mankind - politics, prejudice and misunderstanding being examples - I would be saddened beyond belief. I would have truly lost a part of myself. And that's after less than four years in the church. I can't imagine what I'd feel after 20.
Discussing the culture and politics of Trinity is fair game, I guess. But exploiting a family's source of spiritual nourishment and ridiculing and dismissing someone's faith journey: not so much. That goes for others seeking God at Trinity, or anywhere else. They didn't ask for this scrutiny and they deserve a break.
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