Sunday, September 11, 2011

Obama's Reelection Psalm?

Barack Obama read psalm 46, the questions we should ask ourselves should go beyond the usual:
"was it appropriate"
As Ron Paul correctly states on 9/11:
"Sometimes it can be very uncomfortable to ask the right questions and face the truth. When a slick politician comes along and gives a much more soothing, self-congratulating version of events, it is very tempting to simply believe what we would like to hear. But listening to lies does not make us safer, even though it might make us feel better about ourselves. The truth is that ending these misguided wars and occupations will make us safer, more prosperous and more free."
Bob Clegg, a Huckabee supporter in New Hampshire in 2008, commented on Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann's use of God in their campaigns recently by comparing them to Mike Huckabee:
"He wasn't like these guys," Clegg said last week. "Mike was a religious person, but he didn't campaign saying God put him here, God told him to run and this and that."

Obama reads psalm 46 at the 9/11 commemoration in New York. What translation did he use? What meaning should we attach to this reading?

Many are discussing this issue. In a statement released by the White House, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained the decision to use Psalm 46:
The President chose a scripture which he believed was most appropriate -- he believed it was particularly appropriate to use -- to read scripture this morning. And he chose a passage that talks of persevering through very difficult challenges and emerging from those challenges stronger.
 In my first gut reaction I decypher it as a code for the continuity of the Bush Obama foreign policy of interventionism. A symbolism in line with Rick Warren's presence at the inauguration.
"@roelkuiper In 2001 was dit een van de eerste dingen die Bush deed voor camera: psalm 46 lezen. Mooi dat Obama dit ook deed."
(If you are happy about that continuity you should have your head examined)

Two other (Dutch) Christian journalists, for the record:

"#NOS maakte van Obama's Schriftlezing onbegrijpelijke nationalistische onzin. geeft nu de juiste context. "

"Mooi! over Obama die bij Ground Zero Psalm 46 las. . Beter dan die schandalig slecht ondertitelde."

Some previous uses of the psalm psalm.
Russel Simmons @unclerush an Obama supporter and many others tweeted the line:
"Be still, and know that I am God" – Psalm 46:1 "
Strange summary of the psalm, but if this is what people remember from the reading it could well be that Barack Obama  was aiming to play into the religious cult around his personality, the anti-muslim sentiments and justify his ongoing assault on civil liberties (John Whitehead, Francis Schaeffer's research assistent for "A Christian Manifesto").

Klaas Schilder wrote a short piece on the meaning of psalm 46 september 29 1933 in which he gave his interpretation of this psalm. Nobody questions that psalm 46 is an eschatological psalm, it connects the past with the future. In his usual mathematical approach Schilder zooms in on the meaning of the river (in the psalm) for both creation and generation. His statement:
"Wij gelooven aan de continuïteit der herschepping, en zien haar vruchten, en haar zegeningen in de gebroken schepping. Wij kunnen slechts zóó gelooven aan de waarheid van Psalm 46."
In my translation:
"We believe in the continuity of regeneration and see it's fruits, it's blessings in the broken creation. Only in that specific way can be believe in the truth of Psalm 46"
As Julius Caesar once said:
"There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures."
Ad de Bruijne, theologian at the theological University in Kampen, wrote an article on the september 11 attacks which he sees as the:
"sign on the wall, which points to the reality that God's severe judgment over the western world is inevitable"
Thanks to HJSteen for a succint and clear commentary on Ad de Bruijne's article.
This theological debate continued in the Dutch daily Christian newspaper "Nederlands Dagblad" as tweeted by Robnijhoff:
"Zo te lezen komt er een boeiend theologisch gesprek over #9/11: en Ad de Bruijne. Het laatste oordeel staat nog uit... "
Gert-Jan Segers was appointed as director of the scientific institute of the ChristenUnie mainly for his criticism of Islam.
"Op 11/9 was ik te gast bij En inderdaad, het ging over 9/11. Kan nabeluisterd worden:  "
 he wrote several days ago @gertjansegers:

The attack on the embassy was quite stupid. Uncivilized, with the reinstating of emergency laws as result. Congrats..
To which a Christian from Egypt responded:
@ " it's even more stupid 2 kill Egyptian troops on the border w/ Israeli fire & call it a mistake. Our anger is bad!"

Another tweet by @gertjansegers in same discussion:

"hfakhry Sure. But a democratic Egypt depends on democrats and democratic means. Attacking an embassy is not the way to express your anger."

Interesting how interventionists lecture the rest of the world on non-violence. This video on Ron Paul's 9/11 comments in the recent GOP debate gives some context.

Collection of tweets mostly on the theme interventionism by Gert Jan Segers:
"Dat Gadaffi wel weg is en Assad - vooralsnog - niet, laat zien dat bemoeienis van buitenaf in het MO cruciaal is voor echte verandering."
To further understand what Obama means when he quotes psalm 46, we could listen to US Ambassador to France Charles H. Rivkin and President Nicholas Sarkozy who, in two terribly low quality speeches, claim that 9/11 is the basis for their common foreign policy objectives. Same holds for the NATO secretary general in a recent tweet:
"NATO is your ally. No matter how long or hard the road to freedom we walk this road shoulder to shoulder #Sept11 #911plus10"
No attempt to engage critics, no selfcriticsm, no humility.
Sarkozy's views on foreign policy are further explained in an article in foreign affairs:
"France and the United States, he argues, cannot afford to be anything but firm friends. They are intimately linked by a shared revolutionary history, based on individual liberty and republicanism."
As Philip J. Crowley, former United States Assistant Secretary of State, @pjcrowley correctly points out today, the US and it's allies should do more:
"Ten years after 9/11, we need to decide how to combat violent extremism long-term, after two wars. A necessary debate. @carlislepolicy"
Ron Paul has a more balanced approach to the topic in which he mentions the French revolution , he has an  alternative approach:
"They feel that America is exceptional and that we are very special, in some ways I agree with that, but their conclusion is because we are exceptional and so special that we have this neojacobinism that we have this moral obligation to spread our goodness even if we have to use force, and that is what the french revolution was about . See the difference with me is I believe there is a lot of good traits and a lot of good qualities about America's belief in liberty, markets, freedom and sound money, but we should spread our goodness by setting an example, that's the difference, the idea that somebody would use force to make other countries to act like we do or make individuals act like we think they should rejects the whole notion of liberty, because we reject the notion of using force to mold peoples lives and change the world. So that's where the separation is on big government conservatives and more libertarian constitutionalists. Because we believe we can persuade people rather then forcing people to except our views and act as we do."
Ron Paul seems to have read Abraham Kuyper
Today Ron Paul responds to the simplistic Obama-Sarkozy-Bush narrative in a video:

Spurgeon gave a sermon on psalm 46: 1-3 in 1887 , anyone remembers?

Remarks on 9/11 by Susan Rice

1 comment:

Dedetizadora said...

Barack Obama won by a small difference of individual votes. This demonstrates dissatisfaction with his rule of almost half of the American people. I'm hoping, however, for Obama to take the reins of the economy, because U.S. growth produces positive effects in Brazil and much of the world.

Thank you,