Is Barack Obama the Messiah?
Before we answer that question, let me vent for a moment. In 2000 I was cruelly denied the Pulitzer despite being the only columnist in America to ask the pressing question: Is Al Gore an alien? The evidence was there for all to see. He was born nine months after the mysterious alien sighting at Roswell, N.M. His weird syntax and verbal rhythms are otherworldly. He often refers to "earth" or "this planet" as if he's just passing through, and he once angrily complained to the Washington Post that it had printed a picture of the earth from outer space "upside down."
There is no "upside down" in space - unless Gore had his childhood view in mind.
At least I'm not in the wilderness this time. Lots of people have pondered the possibility that Barack is our Divine Redeemer. There are Web sites dedicated to the question "Is Barack Obama the Messiah?" Google that question and you'll get more than 35,000 hits. (Enter just the words "Messiah" and "Obama" and you'll get nearly 10 times that.)
But there's more concrete evidence. Since Obama declared his candidacy, there have been remarkably few biblical plagues. And lions and lambs seem open to bilateral negotiations.
Obama's apostles are hard to dismiss. Oprah simply calls him "The One," because "we need politicians who know how to be the truth." (Jesus says in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth ...") Oprah goes on to say Obama will help us "evolve to a higher plane," which would put Obama in the role of our Intelligent Designer.
According to the New York Times, Obama's volunteers are taught to eschew discussions of the issues and instead "testify" about how they "came to Obama."
For many, he's no retro-redeemer, but a 21st century savior, a Matrix-messiah and Neo for our modern-day Nineveh. Self-help guru Deepak Chopra dubs Obama "a quantum leap in American consciousness," while prominent "leadership coach" Eve Konstantine assures us that, "He's our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence."
Obama willing, I will never be stuck next to these people on a plane.
Michelle Obama is arguably Obamanity's greatest evangelist, even though she has a streak of Old Testament smiting and wrath to her. She insists her husband has redeemed the entire nation (hence her newfound pride in America). She proclaims her husband is the sort of leader who will fix our broken souls. But don't hope for grace on the cheap. "The change Barack is talking about is hard," she insists, "so don't get too excited, because Barack is going to demand that you, too, be different."
Those of you who thought we had a Second Amendment to keep government from fixing your soul are so 20th century. Evolve already.
And then there's the Gospel according to Obama himself. In January, he told Dartmouth students that they will know to vote for him because "... a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Barack."
When asked in an interview what sin is, Obama defined it as "Being out of alignment with my values." Apparently, the editor failed to capitalize the "M" in "My."
But such mistakes can be forgiven, for Hillary has been cast out and the nomination is nigh. So we can get cracking on fixing America - and ourselves.
"I am absolutely certain," Obama proclaimed in his victory speech, "that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs for the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. This was the moment - this was the time - when we came together to remake this great nation ..."
Now, if you're under the mistaken impression that sick people had some care, or that a few jobs were to be found prior to June 2008, or that maybe - just maybe - the oceans don't rise and fall with the election returns, or that America itself doesn't need "remaking," you're not one of the "ones we've been waiting for."
But you might be one of the ones Al Gore has been waiting for. You'd understand if you realized "Earth in the Balance" is a cookbook.