Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No Calvinists in the Presidential Race

It's become common in my Presbyterian circles to point out that we all have "gods" and "idols" in our lives, things we think we need in order to be happy and fulfilled. Usually, however, they are less literal than what our presidential aspirants are carrying in their pockets. Time Magazine tells us that Senator Obama, for example - a professed Christian - carries "a bracelet belonging to a soldier deployed in Iraq, a gambler’s lucky chit, a tiny monkey god and a tiny Madonna and child." Does that make Obama a Hindu-Catholic-Pagan Christian, or just a confused man?

McCain and Clinton have their lucky charms, as well, though apparently not in the same quantity. See the Time web page for more details.

At this point, I'd really like to throw some stones, especially at Obama, who's shown on several occasions now that his claim of allegiance to Christ doesn't include much in the way of spiritual discernment or an understanding of the Scriptures. But I've got my own idols, too, just better hidden than his.

Nevertheless, I really don't believe there's such a thing as "luck" in life. Events may appear random, of course, and they may fail to meet our expectations or hopes, but they can never be divorced from the One who runs the universe.

No one from the east or the west
or from the desert can exalt a man.
But it is God who judges:
He brings one down, he exalts another.


  1. This is a good reminder, Arnold. My idols tend to be food, cats and Bob Dylan. But they don't do much for me, as God patiently keeps showing me. Thanks for not throwing stones.

  2. I agree that we are a culture with deep rooted issues of idol worship, but these seem like just pocket trinkets. I am not so sure "lucky charms" can be put in the same category as false gods.

    Do men like McCain or Obama really think these artifacts have any effect on their elections, or that they have magical powers? I see them more as keep-sakes.

    I actually carry a few metalic items on my key chain that have no utilitarian value, and may be considered "lucky charms". They are really there to remind me of something I charish, or associate with something comforting.

    I appreciate that Obama is carrying an identification bracelet of someone fallen in Iraq. I can do with out the monkey god, but the rest of the stuff looks pretty benign.

    President and Nancy Reagan used the astrologer Joan Quigley while he was president in the white house. I find it a bit ironic, and troubling, that he is such a venerated heroe among Christians.


  3. I commented yesterday about Ronald Reagan's association with the occult. I neglected to mention Hilary Clinton's disturbing channeling with Eleanor Roosevelt while her husband was in office.

    And we might even question current president Bush's connection to the siritual world. In light of all the information that has come out concerning the prelude to the Iraqi war, I question who was speaking to him when he made the assertion, "God told him to invade Iraq."

    Al these cases seem creepier to me than Obama and McCain carrying lucky charms, and more in the spirit of God's judgement for idolotry.