Thousands of people pack arenas, stadiums, and even churches. They scream, cry, shout, and some are so overcome with emotion they faint and have to be revived. When the event is over people speak in hushed tones about the power of the service and how they can sense the anointing that seems to hang in the air.
Are we talking about an evangelistic crusade or a mega church service? No….it is a typical campaign stop for the man some are calling a "political messiah." With more smooze than a seasoned snake-oil salesman and more slogans and clichés than a Madison Avenue advertising agency Barack Obama makes his case to be President (or is it guru) of the United States.
There is literally no substance to his speeches. He speaks of "change" and how "the time is now." He constantly refers to his campaign as "a movement" and a movement it may be but it is a movement sans a message. This is a campaign that seems to be less about the fitness of the candidate to serve and more about the fabulous nature of the campaign itself. It is kind of watching a football game and being more enthused about the stadium than what is happening on the field.
Obama speaks in ecstatic clichés to enraptured audiences. "We can do this…it will not be easy…it will require struggle and sacrifice." He goes on to whip his crowd into a frenzy saying, "I want to speak directly to all those Americans who have yet to join this movement but still hunger for change: we need you." One of the lines that gets the most response is when he cries, "It's different not because of me. It's different because of you." The irony is that the whole thing, the whole campaign or movement is absolutely about Obama. It is about his personal charisma and charm. It can't be about the issues because there are no issues in play. The entire "movement" is built on emotion and adrenaline. It reminds me of the first Beatles concerts in the United States. No one knew for months whether they could sing or not because no one could hear their music above the noise of the crowd. We have no idea whether or not there is any substance behind Obama's rhetoric because if anyone asks about the issues his supporters roll their eyes and look at you like some old coot that just doesn't get it.
Yet, some Evangelicals are flocking to Obama as if he the words he speaks are on par with Holy Writ. But before he is anointed as "savior of America" it might be a good idea to peal back some of the layers of his movement so we can take a peek at his record. Obama has been endorsed by the left wing of the left wing of the Democrat Party. He enjoys the support of NARAL and Emily's List. Both of these extreme organizations not only support but also actually prefer abortions. Of course, that makes sense when you consider the fact that while Obama was in the Illinois Senate he supported a bill that would have allowed babies to be left to die who were "accidentally" born alive after a botched abortion attempt.
MoveOn.org, who just recently ran a full-page ad in the New York Times depicting General David Petraeus as "General Betray Us", has endorsed Obama. Responding to questions in the Family Research Council Action Values Voter Guide, Obama pledged to oppose any federal parental notification law concerning abortion. He vowed to provide federal funding for therapeutic cloning and embryonic destructive research. He promised to work to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and to make sure no Federal Marriage Amendment will see the light of day. He promised to sign legislation that would extend federal civil rights protection based on sexual orientation and "gender identity."
Obama answered, "yes" to the statement "I would sign a federal hate crimes law that included protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity." He stated that he opposes repealing the death tax and any legislation that emphasizes border security over all other forms of immigration reform.
There can be no doubt that Barack Obama is both a Leftist dream and an Evangelical nightmare. He supports the most extreme agenda ever proposed for the American people. Yet most of his supporters don't' have a clue because all they know is he represents "change." It would be good to remember that Karl Marx brought change to Russia and Fidel Castro brought change to Cuba. Both forms of change came complete with chains that still bind people to the lie of Marxism. Change without knowing which direction the change will take us is a scary proposition.
Before Evangelicals join the "Movement" known as the Obama campaign they might want to follow Dorothy's example in the Wizard of Oz and pull back the curtain to see just who the great and powerful Obama really is. And they better do it before they wake up to discover we are not in America anymore.
Dr. Tony Beam is Vice-President for Student Services and Director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina.