Christianity observed

A peaceable post for once…

It doesn’t happen all that often, in the frequently malarial air of higher politics, but twice recently someone has commented, in a pleasantly surprised tone, at the genuine Christian spirit displayed by a presidential candidate — once it was Barack Obama, and once Mike Huckabee.

Here’s Leonard Pitts Jr., quoting and commenting on Mike Huckabee in a Miami Herald article entitled Huckabee’s empathy cools pundits’ hot air:

Huckabee, invited by MSNBC last week to condemn Wright’s bitter words, invoked instead the era of racial segregation that shaped Barack Obama’s former pastor. ”And you know what?” he said. ‘Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment, and you have to just say, ‘I probably would, too. In fact, I may have had more of a chip on my shoulder, had it been me.”’ It bears repeating: a black Mike Huckabee would be more angry than Jeremiah Wright, not less. It was an admission of startling, unexpected insight and, dare I say, Christian generosity. A conservative white man invited white men and women to project themselves into dark skin, to imagine how bitter they might be, had they come of age in an era where law, religion, media and custom said they were less than truly human beings.

And here’s Andrew Sullivan, blogging for the Atlantic, on Obama himself:

I do want to say that this searing, nuanced, gut-wrenching, loyal, and deeply, deeply Christian speech is the most honest speech on race in America in my adult lifetime. … I have never felt more convinced that this man’s candidacy – not this man, his candidacy – and what he can bring us to achieve – is an historic opportunity. This was a testing; and he did not merely pass it by uttering safe bromides. He addressed the intimate, painful love he has for an imperfect and sometimes embittered man. And how that love enables him to see that man’s faults and pain as well as his promise. This is what my faith is about. It is what the Gospels are about. This is a candidate who does not merely speak as a Christian. He acts like a Christian.

All too often these days, Christianity is presented as a sort of lapel-pin, a badge of identity, a wink that’s as good as a nod — or, from the opposite perspective, as all crusades, inquisitions and televangelism without redemptive qualities. It is good to see it here viewed as a difficult talk that needs to be to be walked. Frankly, I’m impressed.

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One Response to “Christianity observed”

  1. Christianity observed Says:

    […] 7th, 2008 · No Comments Kevin Stilley wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptHuckabee, invited by MSNBC last week […]

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