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Obama on Christianity

So what does Obama really believe? Let him speak for himself, from a Chicago Sun-Times Interview.

OBAMA:Right. Jesus is an historical figure for me, and he’s also a bridge between God and man, in the Christian faith, and one that I think is powerful precisely because he serves as that means of us reaching something higher.

And he’s also a wonderful teacher. I think it’s important for all of us, of whatever faith, to have teachers in the flesh and also teachers in history.

GG:The conversation stopper, when you say you’re a Christian and leave it at that.

OBAMA:Where do you move forward with that?

This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and proselytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.

GG:You don’t believe that?

OBAMA:I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell. I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity.
That’s just not part of my religious makeup.

Part of the reason I think it’s always difficult for public figures to talk about this is that the nature of politics is that you want to have everybody like you and project the best possible traits onto you. Oftentimes that’s by being as vague as possible, or appealing to the lowest common denominators. The more specific and detailed you are on issues as personal and fundamental as your faith, the more potentially dangerous it is.

GG:Do you believe in heaven?

OBAMA:Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?

GG:A place spiritually you go to after you die?

OBAMA:What I believe in is that if I live my life as well as I can, that I will be rewarded. I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.

When I tuck in my daughters at night and I feel like I’ve been a good father to them, and I see in them that I am transferring values that I got from my mother and that they’re kind people and that they’re honest people, and they’re curious people, that’s a little piece of heaven.

GG:What is sin?

OBAMA:Being out of alignment with my values.

GG:What happens if you have sin in your life?

OBAMA:I think it’s the same thing as the question about heaven. In the same way that if I’m true to myself and my faith that that is its own reward, when I’m not true to it, it’s its own punishment.


Language and a Failure to Communicate

Communication only occurs if people agree on language; French and Germans can’t talk unless they agree on common language. But problems occur even if both speak the same language like English; language is only possible because we agree on the meanings of words. There’s no reason “table” could not be called “squid”, except for the reason we all agree on which is which. Yet in discussion (especially in politics and religion) not everyone uses words with the same definition – some people use different meanings (not commonly held) of words which prohibit communication and cause confusion.

Mormon Teaching about Satan and Jesus

Do they teach Satan and Jesus are brothers?

After Romney’s statement that they’re “attacking my religion, and that’s really low”, he avoided the question that started it all when a reporter asked – don’t Mormons believe Satan and Jesus are brothers?

In areas like this, don’t fall for the political spin. Do a little research yourself – go to the official Mormon web site (lds.org) and you’ll find the following:

Huckabee and Romney — Is Jesus Satan’s Brother?

This week in politics we’re focused on religion instead of the real issues after Romney’s response “They’re attacking my religion” as reporters asked a question of another candidate about what Mormons believe (it is a silly and irrelevant question, but it certainly isn’t an attack to ask what a religion believes). Are they really attacking Romney and Mormonism? What does the Mormon church teach about the relationship between Jesus and Satan?

Don’t guess or listen to the various parties spin and dodge, go to http://lds.org (the official web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons as they’re commonly known), and in the search box type in “Jesus Lucifer brothers”, and you’ll find the following question and answer (from “I Have a Question” Ensign, June 1986, 24-27 — currently the first search result, although that may change):

How can Jesus and Lucifer be spirit brothers when their characters and purposes are so utterly opposed?

On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations …

When our Father in Heaven presented his plan of salvation, Jesus sustained the plan and his part in it, giving the glory to God, to whom it properly belonged. Lucifer, on the other hand, sought power, honor, and glory only for himself. (See Isa. 14:13–14; Moses 4:1–2.) When his modification of the Father’s plan was rejected, he rebelled against God and was subsequently cast out of heaven with those who had sided with him. (See Rev. 12:7–9; D&C 29:36–37.)

That brothers would make dramatically different choices is not unusual. It has happened time and again, as the scriptures attest: Cain chose to serve Satan; Abel chose to serve God. (See Moses 5:16–18.) Esau “despised his birthright”; Jacob wanted to honor it. (Gen. 25:29–34.) Joseph’s brothers sought to kill him; he sought to preserve them. (Gen. 37:12–24; Gen. 45:3–11.)

So there it is, straight from LDS’s web site. Romney may not know the answer about his religion, but now you do.