More on the cult of Obama...

This time from Australia.

Now if you wonder why I'm linking this I'll explain. People, I believe, are naturally "messianic" that is they're attracted to people who they perceive are larger than life or larger than themselves or who they see as the solution to their problems or providing some other kind of solace.

This can be fairly harmless as in kids pretending to be their favorite football player or even positive as in our Orthodox openness to embracing and emulating Saints as they model Christ. There's a line, though, sometimes nearly invisible, between a normal human admiration and transcendent veneration and as that line is crossed danger is not far behind. The danger is rooted in our own human brokenness and the reality that both we, and those we consider heroic, are still human and transcendent veneration will always bump up aganst that humanity and sometimes with horrible effect.

In the article linked above the author contemplates what may happen if a surge of people actually propel Sen. Obama into the presidency only to discover that this larger than life image, skillfully crafted, disappears into the real world of actually running a government. What will happen when they discover that this person, so eloquent in front of cameras, is, in actuality, a person and not the "one" who will change everything they think is wrong with this country and usher in a new shining era? After all could anyone be? Where will all that affection go? Where will the emotion of the moment travel? It might be something even the Senator should contemplate.

And less you think this is just about Sen. Obama and the current fascination of the political left one only needs to recall the kind of adulation spent on Ronald Reagan during his term and after with some even suggesting his visage be placed on our Mount Rushmore! Even today his memory is cited by the political right and his veneration continues. We all do it, and we all need to be careful as well.

We humans know we need a savior. Instinctually inside of us we, whether we are religious or not, are convinced there must be something, someone, outside of us with the capacity to deliver us from our nagging doubts, our sense of futility, the awareness of our brokenness. But to give that kind of veneration and power to a fallible human of any kind, including clergy, is fraught with peril. Perhaps the rule for we as Christians should be to not give anyone that kind of worship unless and until they die and rise again.

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