Sunday, January 20, 2013

BBC and CofE unite in worship of President Obama


His Grace is all for praying for those in authority - in whatever country, under whatever form of government, of whatever faith. But the Church of England in conjunction with the BBC have gone a little far with the Obamafest broadcast this morning on Radio 4.

Divine Worship came from St Martin-in-the-Fields, and the theme was 'Learning to Dream Again', in celebration of President Obama's second inauguration. Did they ever do this for President Bush? Margaret Thatcher? Or even David Cameron? Is it only Socialist-Democrats who are deemed worthy of a national BBC broadcast in the context of prayer and divine worship? Was there a 'Songs of Praise' comparing the 'troubled times' of the Coalition with those faced by Winston Churchill? Will there be one thanking God for the life of Margaret Thatcher?

The answer, of course, is foregone. Yet the BBC and the CofE unite to worship Barack Obama as Abraham Lincoln reincarnate. The service explored 'the connections between Lincoln's 1865 speech, delivered during the civil war, and the situation facing the world today'. It included 'lively American music and an anthem specially written for this service'.

Would they be talking about 'the souls of the righteous' or 'America’s special vocation', or singing that 'It is well with my soul' if Mitt Romney had won? Would thay have commissioned a special anthem (at what cost and met by whom?) if we now had a Republican back in the White House? Is 'Learning to Dream Again' a purposeful allusion to Martin Luther King? What, in the Name of God, is Obama's dream? And as for ending with 'Come thou fount of every blessing' - was this an appeal to the Lord, or to Obama as Messiah, come to free the captives, heal the sick and proclaim the day of salvation?

The address was given by the Revd Prof Mark McIntosh, Van Mildert Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, who previously served as a chaplain to the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, and as canon theologian to the 25th Presiding Bishop and Primate. It was led by the Rev'd Dr Samuel Wells (Vicar). His Grace reproduces the entire Order of Service below, for it goes slightly beyond praying for those in authority: indeed, it is verging on idolatry and blasphemy (score - Obama: 8; Jesus 8):

St Martin-in-the-Fields
Sunday Worship
19th January, 2013
St Martin-in-the-Fields


Please note:

This script cannot exactly reflect the transmission, as it was prepared before the service was broadcast. It may include editorial notes prepared by the producer, and minor spelling and other errors that were corrected before the radio broadcast.

It may contain gaps to be filled in at the time so that prayers may reflect the needs of the world, and changes may also be made at the last minute for timing reasons, or to reflect current events.

Radio 4 Opening Announcement:
BBC Radio 4. And time now for Sunday Worship which today comes from St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. The design for the building was so influential in eighteenth-century America that several hundred churches in the New World were modelled on it and today countless Americans make their way to it as home from home. In honour of these links with the United States, today’s service reflects on the second inauguration of President Barak Obama. The vicar of St Martin’s, the Reverend Dr Sam Wells, leads the service which begins with the hymn, Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace

Sam Wells - Introduction/Prayer
Good morning and welcome to St Martin-in-the-Fields. Today and tomorrow, in Washington DC, Barack Obama will take the oath of office for his second term as President of the United States, rather poignantly on Martin Luther King Day itself. President Obama carries the expectations and good will of so many people across the world, but also the burden of discouraged hopes and broken hearts, from the impasse on Capitol Hill to the massacre at Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

148 years ago Abraham Lincoln took the oath for his second term as American President. The Civil War between the northern and southern states was nearly over, but already by that day in 1865, a million people had died in the conflict. Lincoln knew it would take amazing grace to release America not just from the slavery of bonded labour, but also from the slavery of profound social divisions and bitterness. Today we look back at the chaos that Lincoln faced and the grace that he sought, and in his words and his vision find wisdom and strength for the challenges facing America and our world. We’ve all heard of the American Dream – that everyone, regardless of background, can make their life better or richer or fuller. The challenge for President Obama and for us, as it was for Lincoln, is to learn to dream again.

Let us pray.
God of each new dawn, you have anointed prophets and priests and leaders of your people. Look with mercy on the suffering of your children in economic distress, in the aftermath of violence, and in the dearth of hope. Raise us up this morning as a people who look to your new day, that we may each find our vocation in your kingdom – and, in your service, perfect freedom. Amen.

The St Martin-in-the-Fields High School Gospel Choir express the hope of this new day in the spiritual, ‘My Lord, what a morning.’

My Lord what a morning/Burleigh/3 verses - High School Choir

Sam Wells
Dan Kaszeta worked for 12 years in the White House. Here he reads from the Wisdom of Solomon, chapter 3.

Dan Kaszeta - Reading
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be a disaster, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of others they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt-offering he accepted them.

Sam Wells
The Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields sing verses from Psalm 19.

Choir - Psalm 19:7-13 (sung)

Katherine Hedderly - Matthew 18:2-7
A reading from Matthew chapter 18. Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!’

Sam Wells
The people who founded the United States had in many cases fled from oppression elsewhere. They saw the new nation as having a unique destiny in the world. That vision of freedom wasn’t always consistent, as slaves and Native Americans knew all too well. This hymn balances the sense of America’s special vocation with a recognition of God’s call to all the people of the earth.

This is my song/Finlandia/Lloyd Stone and Georgia Harkness/3 verses

Sam Wells - Introduction to Lincoln
The release of Stephen Spielberg’s film has brought the figure of Abraham Lincoln back to the centre of international consciousness. With the Civil War all but won, Lincoln reflected in his second inaugural address on the mystery of divine providence. He wondered why God had let the war come, and had let it rage so terribly; and how both sides could pray to the same God. And yet he had no doubt about the evils of the slavery that had precipitated the war. Roger Shaljean now reads from this remarkably short address, recently described as ‘one of the most overwhelming pieces of political prose ever crafted in any language.’ Here Lincoln speaks, as he himself puts it, ‘with malice toward none, with charity for all.’

Roger Shaljean - Excerpt from Lincoln’s Second Inaugural
Both [sides in the war] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. … The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

High School Choir - Precious Lord, take my hand

Sam Wells
Our preacher is Mark McIntosh, Van Mildert Professor of Divinity at Durham University and canon of Durham Cathedral.

Mark McIntosh Sermon
At the heart of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address, often thought of as a kind of American testament, is the passage from Matthew’s Gospel we’ve just heard read. There Jesus counsels his agonizing and contentious disciples. He holds before them, and before us all, the image of children, these little ones, whose hopefulness and vulnerability we can hardly bear to look upon sometimes (shaming us by their trust in us as they do) – these little ones, who are, says Jesus, most especially at home in the Kingdom of God. With tenderness and a strong grieving love, Jesus adds, yes, offences and terrible things may come in this world. But woe to those who bring them about, woe to those who cause even one of these little ones to stumble, to lose their way, lose faith, lose hope. ‘Woe unto the world because of offences!’ echoes Lincoln. And the greatest offence would be if, because of the evils that have come, goodness should lose heart, or that the very aspiration for goodness and compassion should come to seem in vain.

What can cause us to stumble most deeply is unclarity about our own faith, about the true foundations of our belief in God. Sometimes our faith and hope are shaken either because God seems apparently unwilling to answer our prayers or those of others. Sometimes because we are scandalized by the dreadful thought that we and others may be praying to the same God for diametrically opposed things. As Lincoln noted with sorrow about his fellow citizens in the North and the South: ‘Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. . . . The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has his own purposes.’

In the mouth of anyone but Lincoln ‘the Almighty has his own purposes’ could seem like an atrocious dodge. But if anything might be bequeathed to his grateful nation down the years, and indeed to President Obama on his inauguration day, it is surely Lincoln’s indomitable hope. Lincoln’s hope was that beyond the brittle certainties of this group or that, and beyond the appalling evidence of our capacity for inhumanity, there shines a great goodness – a goodness mysteriously working out its purposes in this world. Our faith in God’s goodness cannot be shaken when our own idols of certitude are wrenched from us. Nor need we lose faith even when God’s purposes seem too large for us to hold within the current reach of our desire.

We can see that this was indeed Lincoln’s meaning from words he wrote three years before his Second Inaugural, in a letter to the American Quaker Eliza Gurney: ‘The purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must prevail,’ wrote the President, ‘though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own error therein. Meanwhile, we must work earnestly in the best light He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He ordains. Surely He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.’

Jesus drew the eyes of his disciples to the children in their midst. Here was a faith that, though vulnerable in its trust, was yet dauntless and endlessly renewing in its great openness. Precisely because children trust in a goodness far greater than the measure of our own minds, these little ones leave themselves open to the greater good that God always intends. They show us how to make ourselves the more available to work with countless others – though we may disagree with them about much – for sake of a goodness that far exceeds the more limited views of us all.

So we may wish to ask that some share in this trusting openness to God’s goodness might be granted to President Obama and to all people. This is, of course, a risky sort of prayer, a dangerous thing to ask for, and we might well not recognize the answer God gives to each of us. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked that he might be spared the cup of his suffering and death. It seemed to him, as so often to most of us, that his prayer was left terribly unanswered. But the Father’s answer to his beloved child, to this little one whose trust and hope he would never allow to stumble, was not a longer life-span but the resurrection of Easter Day. Not less than Jesus asked for, but infinitely more. And that is often, it seems, how God does answer prayer: not by giving us the smaller thing we can see far enough to want at any given time in our own lives or in the history of the world, but by leading us onwards into that greater goodness which is the true source of all our desires, that goodness which is simply God. And Christ himself is the sure foundation that no child, nowhere on God’s good earth, need ever hold this hope in vain.

May we all be given grace so to live that no deeds of ours may ever cause one of God’s children to lose this hope. By grace may we each in some small way be a sign and pledge of that greater goodness which is the hope of all the human family.

Sam Wells
In 1873 Chicago lawyer Horatio Spafford sent his wife and four daughters to England for a holiday and went New York to wave them off. Nine days later he received a telegram from his wife with the unimaginably horrifying words, ‘Saved alone.’ He got the next boat to England, and when the ship passed the point of the tragedy that had claimed his four daughters and 222 others, he went to his cabin and wrote this extraordinary hymn.

It is well with my soul/Spafford/Clausen

Sam Wells - Prayers

Let us pray.
God of incarnation, when we struggle with ourselves, with one another, and with you, you come to meet us in your Son. Be close today to all who feel like they are drowning amid the storms of life. Show your face to those who feel they can strive no further. And restore them in your glory.
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our Prayer.

God of the cross, look with mercy on the American people today. Bless President Obama, the Congress, and all who seek justice, prosperity, understanding and freedom for all in the land. Encourage those who have no taste of the wealth of the nation, any who live in prison or in ghetto or in daily fear, and all who have more to give than society wants to receive. Turn their sadness into joy. Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our Prayer.

God of resurrection, you give us not less than we ask, but more. Take our failures and turn them into wisdom; take our regrets and turn them into insight; take our hurts and turn them into compassion. Inaugurate in us a pledge of allegiance to your kingdom, your gospel, and your grace, that we may look back on this day, and name it as the day we learnt to dream again. Amen.

In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we ask God’s forgiveness, seek God’s kingdom, and look for the day when we shall gather together around God’s table in glory, in the words Jesus taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sam Wells
The anthem has been specially written for this service, to coincide with President Obama’s second inauguration. It’s called ‘Learning to Dream Again.’

Learning to Dream Again/Simple Gifts/Appalachian Spring/Copland/Wells

Sam Wells - Blessing
God the Holy Trinity give you a faith of innocence and trust, yet dauntless and endlessly renewing openness. And may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you now and always. Amen.

Come thou fount of every blessing/Nettleton/Robertson

Organ Voluntary

Radio 4 Closing Announcement:
Sunday Worship came live from St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. The service was led by the vicar, the Reverend Dr Sam Wells and the preacher was the Reverend Prof Mark McIntosh, Van Mildert Professor of Divinity from Durham University. The choir of St Martin’s High School was directed by Clinton Jordan. Andrew Earis directed the church choir and the organist was Nicholas Wearne. The producer was Clair Jaquiss.

Next week, Sunday Worship comes from the Metropolitan Cathedral of St David in Cardiff. That’s at the usual time of 10 past 8, here on BBC Radio 4. [Sunday Worship during Lent takes the theme ‘This is our story’, linking stories of faith from the bible with life today. Resource materials from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland for groups or individuals can be found on the Sunday Worship web page.

40 Comments:

Blogger graham wood said...

Apart from the astonishing irrelevance in terms of Jesus' words about the nature of true worship needing to be specifically - "in Spirit and in truth" (John 4:24),
this appears to be an occasion of munumental boredom and tediousness.

"The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed"

20 January 2013 11:48  
Blogger Flossie said...

Ah yes, St Martin-in-the-Fields, where they hoist the rainbow flag at every opportunity.

20 January 2013 11:54  
Blogger Tony B said...

Why I wonder do so many people read this blog? Why do I read it? Is it me, or is of stupendously boring and repetitive?

20 January 2013 12:04  
Blogger Tony B said...

Forget the" of"

20 January 2013 12:05  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Tony B-

Don't read it then.

20 January 2013 12:10  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Obama is a dangerous man - a man for lawlessness and destruction. If he survives, the next four years will see him deliver much pain upon the people of America, and the world.

He needs our prayers.

20 January 2013 12:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Bad enough reading that rot, what ! Listening to it would have been unbearable.

Where was Pussy Riot when you needed them...

Tally ho !

20 January 2013 13:13  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

America under Obama's second term will be Soviet style-Bolshevism run mad!

20 January 2013 13:16  
Blogger David B said...

Lord Lavendon, someone who has taken leave of his senses seems to be posting under your name.

Might I somewhat mischievously enquire whether Copland was a commie, and hence further wonder whaat his music was doing being played in that service.

More generally, what a waste of airtime!

Would it not be more sensible of the Beeb to have broadcast something of some value, like a repeat of 'Clue' with Humph instead?

David

20 January 2013 13:59  
Blogger David B said...

On reflection I think I was rather too kind to Lord Lavendon in my last.

Comparing anything that may happen in America over the next few years with the appalling events in the Gulags is a comment in appalling taste at best, from an apology for a human being.

David

20 January 2013 14:03  
Blogger gasbilly said...

This just shows how sadly deluded Anglican leaders are - praise for a communist Islam-lover. All this while British workers are killed in Algeria with NATO weapons.

20 January 2013 14:53  
Blogger len said...

It shows how out of touch the church is with the purposes of God when it presents Obama as some sort of 'saviour figure.Jesus warns us of these' saviour figures' who would come' in his name'(calling themselves Christians)

God`s purpose is that Christ should have the pre eminence in' all things' and until the church gets with God`s programme it will continue wandering around in the wilderness making meaningless gestures.

20 January 2013 14:55  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Dash it all David B,

Even you have to admit it is better to live under the freedoms that America and Britain have, rather than the dictatorship of the proletariat!

Obama is an out and out left wing liberal fanatic, with sections of western opinion brainwashed into thinking he is their political messiah.

But the reality of the situation is that everyone will suffer as a result of his lunatic policies.

Socialism thinks it is wonderful by redistributing wealth. The reality is that socialist governments = legalised theft!

20 January 2013 15:37  
Blogger michael north said...

I didn't read this blog,having already guessed what it would be like as soon as I looked at Radio Times this morning. You don't need to eat shit to identify it; a sniff will do.

20 January 2013 16:10  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! What utter codswallop...

20 January 2013 16:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 January 2013 16:51  
Blogger michael north said...

OIG

You misunderstood what I was saying. The "shit" I referred to was the stuff HG passed on to us from the BBC. I share his opinion of it and yours too, I dare to hope.

I'm so humble that I don't even aspire to a pseudonym.

20 January 2013 17:01  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Apologies in advance for my denseness!

Set one's feelings about Obama to one side and tell me what was wrong with the scriptural readings, hymns, homily or the prayers.

Personally, I found the message about God's greater purposes and the mystery of history rather uplifting.

20 January 2013 17:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Sincere apologies michael north. One is desperately looking for the bin icon, but is shocked to find it not there. Archbishop old fellow, please delete the libel this man posted above. Your reward in heaven and all that, as you know...


20 January 2013 17:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 January 2013 17:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Saints be praised ! The bin icon has returned !

Had to re-engage the site, and slightly alter the steam laptop’s boiler pressure, and back it came.

By the way, our host, can you repair the ‘preview’ option on your site. It’s been misbehaving for over a year at least...


20 January 2013 17:14  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace: you are so right in portraying the tendency to see BO as: Messiah, come to free the captives, heal the sick and proclaim the day of salvation.*** In consequence of his rise to power, I understand that, in US places where the population is at least 50 percent 'non-white,'** those who are 'hideous' can now suffer considerable reverse discrimination. White is the new version of its opposite.

That's not always the case, though. Some still work together for the common good, as they always did in the true Christian tradition; but it's tough going. A prime reason lies in the atheist-marxist-academic power plants' wieldng of "Post-Colonialism" and "African-American Studies." These fuel the blast-furnaces of Deconstructionist Debate --- for the destruction of British Studies in particular, and Western Civilization in general. The Hispanic (-Arabic) component in the mix is a boon to that cause.

That re-inscribed marxist world rejects views like mine. Nevertheless, back in the early '90s, I visited a plantation site in N. Florida, and its remains of a small church school. A notice-board explained the educational apartheid that had been rescinded in FL only in 1964. I said aloud to the air: "And they're all still blaming me!" This is the great, advanced, American society: yet in the West Indies as a child, I had studied at a (very good) secondary school (UK-type High School) where I was one of maybe a dozen children who would now be dubbed 'hideously white.'

I believe BO, as a product of marxist academia, fuels the generators of agitation still further. I agree with Lord Lavendon here, and I'm spending today in radio-silence in case any snippet (audio or visual) of today's emetic proceedings come my way.

___________
**They try to avoid use the Sp. n... word, or its English translation).

***Close reading of rap lyrics of one Young Jeezy provide an education on how this idea can be slanted... And "sleb" Jeezy is not irrelevant when discussing BO.

20 January 2013 17:28  
Blogger John Magee said...

Totally inappropriate.

An outrage.

I hope the average British citizen is angry about this nonsense taking place in their country for a leader of another country who does not deserve such attention.

Everyone is for giving the leader of a free country a chance and wish him well but to make him into a saint during his lifetime for doing nothing? It used to be only Marxist countries who created a cult of personality for their living or recently dead leaders: Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Mao, etc. We don't do this in the West. Until now.

Saint Obama. The patron saint of the social justice causes.

Prayers for Obama? I'm amazed people aren't praying TO him.

Did these same people at church tod ay at St. Martin's pray for Bush after 911 when he lauched his attack on AL Quaea and Bin Laden? Do they say prayers for brave UK troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan today?

If they want to pray for Obama they should go to the Finsbury Mosque in London. Muslims pray for him there every Friday.

I hope C of E conservatives register complaints with the with priest/priestess in charge of this famous Church in the heart of London which is obviously a hotbed of liberal political correctness.

Since Obama is a secular Messiah who can do no wrong it's understandable stupid things like this service happen. I hope those few who came to St Martin's to atcually worship this morning gave the priest/priestess a piece of their mind at the door when they left the "service".

Obama is the same man who was nominated on January 27, 2009 for the Nobel Peace Prize only a few days after he was sworn in as President. The excuse for his nomination was "hope". That must have been a first. He was awarded the Prize later that year for his work in trying to stop nulcear proliferation and improving relations with the Muslim world. Since then North Korea and probably Iran now have nukes and we see the Muslim Brotherhood take over Egypt and several other countries in the Mid East.

This mania by the left to compare Obama to President Lincoln is obscene. The whole Obama show is a fraud. He just spent 10 million $ of tax payers earning on a four week vacation with his family to Hawaii during a time of high unemployment and unparalled national debt. More people were killed by black and Hispanic gang gun violence in Obama's adult hometown, Chicago, in 2012 than American soldiers killed in Afghanistan during the same period. Yet he is using the tragedy in Newtown, CT as to launch his crusade against the 2nd amendment.

A more appropriate service today at St. Martin's in the Fields would have been a memorial service for the hostages executed by Al Quadea supporters/terrorists in Algeria a few days ago.

I wonder if this liberal St Martin's will give a service for PM Thatcher someday for her work helping to bring down the USSR and turning the UK economy around or for Lech Walesa another true hero who risked his life to free Poland from communism.

Did this church have a service for another hero of the Cold War who died last year, Czech President Vaclav havel? I doubt it.

Instead they honor a man who Americans know almost nothing about and wonder at his life full og no accomplishments before he became a Senator and even then he did nothing to warrant being compared to President Lincoln. Meanwhile this great humanitarian and neglects his half brother in Kenya who lives in a shack there and his aunt from Kenya who lives in poverty in the USA.

20 January 2013 18:53  
Blogger bluedog said...

An excellent post, Your Grace. The whole thing sounds like a rather pretentious rehearsal for the inevitable Oscar award to Spielberg's proposed movie, 'Obama'.

20 January 2013 19:14  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Of course St Martin's in the Fields is where our trail blazing pro-homosexuality Bishop Nicholas of Salisbury came down from less than 18 months ago. Many here wish they had kept him.

Well done your Grace for exposing this seemingly endless stream of dangerous 'progressive' social marxism coming out of the Church of England these days.

As for Obama this is from Asia Times online from the 11th January ...

"US President Barack Obama has made a valiant move by nominating the former US senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel, as the next secretary of defense, defying an avalanche of accusations that Hagel is too "tough" on Israel and too "soft" on Iran. By choosing Hagel, who is also in favor of dialogue with Palestine's Hamas and Lebanon's Hezbollah, Obama has sent an important signal regarding his desire to give his failed "Iran engagement" policy a new lease of life. Obama's pick for secretary of state, the Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, is also likely to be more in sync with Obama's Iran policy than the outgoing Hillary Clinton ever was. Like Kerry, Hagel has in the past hinted at recognising Iran's nuclear rights. In a recent interview with Al-Monitor, Hagel referred approvingly to another Al-Monitor article that urged the White House to take President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's offer of stopping the 20% enrichment if the outside world was willing to guarantee the delivery of nuclear fuel to Iran. The Iran nuclear crisis stands a good chance of de-escalation in 2013 if both sides show the necessary flexibility. Conditions include the US and its allies agreeing to tolerate Iran's enrichment program at a low ceiling and higher degree of transparency, and Iran consenting to a technical formula regarding its enriched pile of uranium." 'Obama duo offers new hope on Iran' By Kaveh L Afrasiab fromi http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/OA11Ak02.html

So there we have it Obama the Sunni muslim without any constraint of having to answer to his electorate again.

20 January 2013 19:25  
Blogger michael north said...

When Obama was first elected I congratulated some liberal friends in the USA that they now had their own Tony Blair. They could indulge in the kind of self-congratulatory smugfest that characterises the Oscar ceremonies. "Look at us; we ain't racist no' mo'."

What I find most depressing about Obamania is that the people I used to admire more than anyone else - the black churches - have swallowed his snake-oil, right down to the dregs of same-sex marriage.

America, like the Soviet Union, is coming apart faster than any "expert" would have predicted.

20 January 2013 19:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

To paraphrase a line from Wilde’s A woman of no importance, (...No Non Mouse, not getting at you...)...

“One has heard there is a lunatic who wants to be a bishop, or is that the other way round”

20 January 2013 20:06  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 January 2013 20:26  
Blogger John Magee said...

bluedog

You forgot to tack on the word "the Messiah" to "Obama" as a title for a possible Spielberg fantasy spectacular film which all the fools of the earth will flock to see.

"Obama the Messiah"

Of course one word as a title is dramatic, almost godlike, which is appropriate considering the subject. So maybe your title is the best one.

@ michael north

Other than it's vastness the USA is not in any way to be compared to the former USSR.

The left in the USA have reached that "magic" 51% of the vote in presidential elections which can enable them to keep the presidency forever and establish one party rule commonly called a dictatorship. To add to the 51% they now have locked in their favor as a majority are tens of millions of uneducated and non English speaking illegals from Mexico and Central America now in the USA soon to be granted amnesty and citizenship by Obama. They will all naturally vote for the liberal left wing Democrats giving this political party a permanent 55%- 60% majority. If this should happen, and it will, this will mean the USA will never be able to elect a conservative President. This was and is the ultimate goal of the left to ceate a large non English speaking and non white population in the name of "diversity" (diversity to the left means to divide) which translates into the destrucion of the European and English speaking (but not including blacks even though they speak English) majority in the USA which the left hates so much and knows is their only barrier from taking over the USA. Controlled by the far left wing and their permanent control of the Executive, Judiciary, and most likely the Legislative branches of the USA government the left can control the courts and government policy forever unchallenged. They can eventually render the constituion meaningless, replace the police by those who will obey a new leftist state without question, and impose their version of a totalitarian Marxist state on the people of the USA. This will of course destroy the meaning of the American experiment in freedom.

When this is accomplished Their vengence on the English speaking white Europeans (and those of other races who speak English love freedom and capitalism)who they imagine treated them so badly in the past will be unleashed.

They already do this in government sponsored affirmative job hiring which favors unqualified non whites over qualified whites in government hiring and in other sectors of the job market.

This is what is in place in the USA today with Obama as President and is the product of the 60's & 70's type revolutionaries who now wear suits and ties, are in places of leadership, and still have as their ultimate goal the destruction of all Western democracies including the USA. They can soon realize their dreams and replace our democartic governments with Marxist ones.

If the left and liberals can ruin a church like the C of E why can't they destroy our nations too? You see it happening in the news almost everyday.

This is Obama's goal and the goal of his life long friends and those around him today and is unheard of in a Western country in modern times. An elected leader who wants to destroy his own country.
This is a man who spent his part of his youth living in Indonesia as the step son of a Muslim and was raised by a Marxist mother.

If you think this is a pipe dream and are under 50 I promise you will see all this happen within your lifetime in your country and in mine.

20 January 2013 22:03  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 January 2013 22:27  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 January 2013 22:32  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Obama's crack must be as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon after such a stupendous tonguing. Thank goodness they filled it in with all that bullsh*t.

21 January 2013 09:24  
Blogger Gnostic said...

First of all I would like to object to Michael North's uncouth language. He should be banned from this page.

Julia Gasper, you should join the LibLabCon Party. They love to ban things. It's not like you have any other party affiliation going right now, is it...

21 January 2013 09:35  
Blogger michael north said...

I was going to reply to Julia Gasper, but decided to google her first. She has suffered enough.

21 January 2013 10:29  
Blogger Pilgrim said...

It was surely more in praise of Lincoln than Obama?

21 January 2013 12:55  
Blogger non mouse said...

OIG @ 20:06 ... Took me a while to figure that one out.* —:) I suspect, though, you saw my point that the reverse discrimination affects all modern Brits.

Each of us suffers retribution for “slavery” etc. – even though our ancestors also contributed to its demolition. (nb Lincoln’s own heritage; not to mention Wilberforce).

BO doesn’t like us, as you know.

______________

Excellent choice of play(wright) on your part! In general, Wilde's aristocrats are so like our lib/lab/decons.

In this particular case, one can draw such apposite parallels when relating the title to its substance. And, at the end, Mrs. A re-turns that eponymous phrase quite messily!

Should we suppose there's a chance that Gerald and his American Pilgrim will manage a better balanced garden/plot for their offspring?

21 January 2013 14:30  
Blogger The Underground Pewster said...

And I thought the idolatry was restricted to here in the U.S. I am sorry to see that it has spread across the pond.

21 January 2013 15:50  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

David B,

Don't be too harsh with Lord Lavendon, he is still trying to cope with the consequences of the French Revolution, let alone the Russian one.

24 January 2013 08:42  
Blogger John Magee said...

non mouse

This weird obsession by the USA liberal media comparing Obama to Lincoln is beyond belief and has absolutley no historical basis as anyone with even the slightest knowledge of American history understands.

To become a great man or woman you must BE one. Accomplished great things during extraordinary or difficult times. They are one of a kind originals who lived through tumultuous times and provided leadership genius. They are and one of a kind hero's and never wanted their role history assigned to them. They did their job because they loved their country.

They weren't manufactured like this phony Obama/Lincoln travesty.

All of us our individual countries know who these authentic hero's are from our history books.

The left does an excellent job manufacturing the cult of personality. For example: Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Che Gueverra, Hugo Chavez, at least three generations of North Korean leaders and numerous other cult figures Marxism makes it's secualr saints. Sometimes they fall of their pedestals into official disfavor and they then get air brushed out of their history book photographs.

Hitler and Mussolini were personality cults of the extreme right but their ilk are few and far between when compared to their Marxist counterparts.

@ david kavanaugh

The French and Russian Revolutions are very much alive today. We see their "life" today in everything the left does. The "Occupy Movement", political correctness,supporting any movement that divides society including radical gays and feminists. They hate Christianity. Even their alliance with radical Isalm. Their goal has been the same since the storming of the Bastille: destroy Western Christian Civilization.

24 January 2013 18:44  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

John Magee

The Nazis party and the Bolsheviks were both socialists of the same coin- and it is all one of degree- national socialism & marxist socialism. Of course during the war, we had to be pragmatic about these matters- support the Soviets or else perish at the hands of Hitler, Churchill said if Hitler had invade Hell, then he would at least speak to the devil, an appropriate analogy. Both fascism and soviet socialist communism are/were un-Godly and unjust systems of government, though.

24 January 2013 23:36  

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