Obama on sin:
Do you believe in sin?
What is sin?
Being out of alignment with my values.
Ahem. Allow me to point out that regardless of one’s personal beliefs, the Christian intellectual tradition is rather clear in stating that sin isn’t being out of alignment with Obama’s values, but rather being out of alignment with GOD’S values as provided in the Bible. Now, in fairness, Obama could well be trying to talk around his Christian faith for the media’s benefit; it might be less than courageous, but it would certainly be understandable given the context of the ongoing political campaign. If Obama’s values are Christian values, which are directly derived from God’s values as provided in the Bible, then his statement is correct from a transitive point of view.
But since we don’t actually know what his values are – remember that Adolf Hitler also claimed to be a Christian when running for office – we can’t simply grant him the benefit of the doubt. And yet, I rather doubt that anyone in the media is likely to pin him down for clarification on this rather important issue. After all, if one does him the courtesy of taking him literally, the man is a complete lunatic with an actual god complex.
UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg points out that the chance Obama has any coherent idea regarding what he’s talking about is close to nil anyhow:
I don’t know enough about Obama’s beliefs to know if he actually knows what the real Social Gospel movement was, or even if he really has that in mind when he uses the term. He may use the phrase Social Gospel the same way he (and so many others) uses the word “progressive,” i.e. in near total ignorance or indifference to its actual historical connotations. For example, when Obama held a rally at the University of Wisconsin, Madison he proclaimed “where better to affirm our ideals than here in Wisconsin, where a century ago the Progressive movement was born?” Obama seemed not to know or to care that the University of Wisconsin Progressives were almost all racists and eugenicists who might have thought — at minimum — that his parents should have been barred from having children.