John Steele Gordon also has his doubts.
The president is on record as saying heâ€™s a Christian and so most people simply accept the assertion. To be sure, itâ€™s not exactly unprecedented for people to say things that arenâ€™t true (ask Brian Williams), and one can only wonder how many of the tenets of the Nicene Creed Obama actually takes seriously. But because we are not given the power to see into other menâ€™s souls, we accept his assertion and move on.
But has he ever said he loves this country? Perhaps, especially as a prelude to criticizing it for some lapse from perfection, but I donâ€™t know of an instance. He is very much on record as denying American exceptionalism, which is pretty startling for the head of state of a country as exceptional as this country actually is (a topic for another post).
He has openly expressed his contempt for tens of millions of his fellow citizens who are not part of the liberal intellectual and financial establishment, mocking them for clinging to â€œGod and guns,â€ which is a pretty startling statement for a Christian.
And he is the only head of state in all human history, as far as I know, and I know a fair amount about history, whose core foreign-policy operative principle has been to diminish the power and influence of the country he heads. He wants to lead from behind if we lead at all, and he clearly thinks that America is more often a part of the problem than a part of the solution.
So perhaps he loves this country and perhaps he doesnâ€™t. He reminds me of the sort of parents who say they love their children, but only criticize them, while holding other children up as examples to be emulated. Parents like this, when their children are grown-up, wonder why they never come to visit them. They donâ€™t understand that love is a two-way street. As someone who aspires to be a â€œworld transformative figure,â€ Obama might want to consider that. But I doubt he will.
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