Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama: America's Hero, Bigger than Jesus, God

In a new poll, conducted by The Harris Poll, Americans were asked who they admired enough to be considered their hero. The name most often mentioned by respondents was President Barack Obama. Jesus Christ is second (ranked first in 2001) and Martin Luther King, Jr. is third (second in 2001). Of note, former President George Bush is fifth (19th in 2001) on the current list, and God is ranked 11th (not ranked in 2001).

(h/t RNS Blog)


Drew said...

Wanted to lead off with some thoughts. Hopefully this doesn't reinforce that ridiculous Obama as Messiah theme; respondents were obviously affected by recent current events and the American honeymoon with the President.

And, I am sure that Jesus and God split each other's votes. Put their votes together, like orthodoxy presupposes, and I am sure they would have overtaken Obama in the rankings.

Finally, what's up with God just now getting a nod? How did the American public miss God in 2001?

A Faithful Reader said...

To me, the word 'hero' is less encompassing than words like 'savior' and 'messiah.' If I, a Christian pastor, was asked who my hero was, I would not have considered Jesus Christ or God. Jesus as my Christ transcends constructs like 'hero.' A hero is earthly and generally more historically recent. Jesus Christ and God, worthy of worship and devotion, are not heroes, but are larger, greater.

That probably has much to do with the elevation of President Obama over Jesus Christ. The framing of the question, most likely, precluded many from answering with sacred figures.

Drew said...

Spot on, A Faithful Reader. I was lighthearted in this post and my initial comment, but you penetrated the issue correctly. I, like you, would be willing to bet that many devout Christians did not name Jesus Christ and God as heroes, because, relatively speaking, the idea of Jesus and God as 'hero' would diminish our theological understandings of both. Theologically, Jesus Christ and God are greater than heroes, so this probably affected the results of the survey.

Darren Staley said...

Allow me to play devil's advocate for a bit. Could it be because we have had a president for the past eight years who have told us that prayer/faith will lead to peace and prosperity while simultaneously overseeing war and financial ruin?

There are many issues when church and state mix, and this is one. Hamas, et al have tarnished Islam for decades. W, imo, has in that same vein tarnished Christianity.

I am in a room filled with theologoians here. You guys know what happens when someone makes a promise on behalf of God and then God doesn't deliver (at least on their terms).

You all know where the term "kill the messenger" comes from, as well as "false prophet."

JCWhite said...

Where did The Beatles rank?