SENATOR BARACK OBAMA, AND PASTOR RICK.
I watched the questions tossed at Senator Obama, and at Senator John McCain last night. Here's what I said, in my letter I just posted, at salon:
Christ was a Peacemaker....
I think I can sum up the "real deal" last night, pretty quickly.
If you're a thoughtful, thought-filled individual, you take time to answer a question. Senator Obama did this.
If you're impulsive, and a bit quick to respond, WITHOUT deliberating your answer, you are I think, a bit cocksure, even arrogant.
Senator McCain answered in that way.
If you are appearing among a group of people who often are hostile to you(conservative Christians) to remove doubt about your allegiances, and to defeat Internet rumors about you, you are automatically in a "proving yourself" mode, and though Senator Obama COULD have been on the defensive, he appeared calm, and thoughtful, and reasonable.
If you are beloved by a certain segment(conservative Christians) and are appearing before them, you will instinctively know what to say to win cheers. McCain did this.
If you're an audience-member who is moved by a candidate's response to questions of faith, and that person answers in terms of how he wishes to SERVE, you'll most likely be happy with Senator Obama's engagement in the discussion he had with Pastor Rick.
If you are a audience-member who gets excited hearing stories of war, and repeated references to war, and glory, then you'll most likely be happy with Senator McCain's responses and anecdotes(some of which were touching, and seemed authentic).
But I hope--and yes--PRAY!--that Senator Obama's tempered and even words of calm will trump the fierce, irascible fight seen in Senator McCain. For this audience member, I am looking for the candidate best able to--among other things--forge Peace.
How 'bout you, dear readers? Anyone out there have a guess as to how this televised event from a mainstream, but rather conservative Christian church will be viewed? I think Senator Obama did a stellar job, but I know a lot of folks will not "connect" with his deliberate, careful, reasoned responses to Pastor Rick. Senator Obama appeared to be engaged in a communion with the Pastor, and not particularly concerned with the "audience" .
That audience will speak, I'll betcha, about all the "down home" feel of John McCain, who kept playing to the audience gathered, much as if he were performing onstage, in a theatre.