Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Preacher President

I’m not expecting, nor would I want Obama to be a preacher/pastor president. I don’t think that faith, in itself, qualifies or disqualifies someone from public office. But Obama has a way of speaking that has deep roots in the African-American preaching tradition, painting a picture of a promised tomorrow in tones that can only come from a lifetime of struggle, and an inheritance of hope.

I think most people who heard Obama’s speech walked a little taller, spoke more gently to adversaries, and were flush with a fresh sense of possibility for their lives and the world. And Obama did that with “mere” words. Just like any good preacher.

Tomorrow, those feelings may fade. We may go back to harsh factional fighting, partisan bickering, and rank self-interest. Obama will no doubt disappoint in some areas.

But today we have a hope for the future we didn’t have yesterday.

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