Much has been made of Barack Obama not throwing his spiritual mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, “under the bus.” I am among those who find Obama’s loyalty in this matter highly laudable. There is however, a truth that Barack dare not speak; a truth more offensive to the public than if he were to agree with the Reverend’s comments.
That truth is that in all likelihood, religion is to Barack Obama what it is to most Americans (and dare I say most people globally): a salad bar. Belonging to a church is as much a social practice as it is a devout one. Most people are “conveniently religious.” They take from religion what they like. If the edict or practice goes against their core beliefs, or is just plain too much a pain in the ass to follow, they discard it. The Catholic church is an especially good example of this, wherein the most commonsense of practices (such as birth control) are frowned upon. Just about every Catholic you meet, ignores substantial teachings of the church but still calls themselves Catholic. The same goes for most religions. If your primary purpose in going to church is to see and be seen, then it hardly matters what the pastor says.
I’m not suggesting that Barack Obama is a fake Christian. I’m simply suggesting that he falls in the category of most church goers who treat religion like a salad bar. They take the lettuce, tomatoes and shredded cheese but perhaps they ignore the croûtons. My guess is that Reverend Wright’s most controversial sermons were the croûtons that Obama simply chose not to digest. Why did he not leave the church? Because like most Americans, he had no problem staying and enjoying the lettuce, tomatoes and shredded cheese. He got sustenance where he found it, and avoided the parts he found distasteful. How many of you “Sunday regulars” have not done the same thing?