Obama implies he’s not a believing Christian

“I just lost my grandmother last year. I know what it’s like to watch somebody you love, who’s aging, deteriorate and have to struggle with that,” an impassioned Obama told a crowd as he spoke of Madelyn Payne Dunham. He took issue with “the notion that somehow I ran for public office or members of Congress are in this so they can go around pulling the plug on grandma.”

I know people are going to call this a stretch, but one thing I’ve experienced first hand, and through many conversations, is how different the death experience for those who have faith and those who don’t.

One person’s “agonizing” death from cancer may be a time of family togetherness, all-night prayer vigils, hand holding and hugging and hymnody.  Another’s death really is agony: dark-rooms, somber relatives, no one speaking, everyone standing at a distance. 

We had a big conversation about this at my Carmelite meeting a few months ago.  People told amazing stories of relatives’ deathbed conversions.  Some talked about relatives who had no faith, whose deaths were *horrible.* “You could feel the demons in the room,” said one lady of her brother-in-law’s death experience.  He was writhing in the bed, screaming.  Suddenly, he asked for a priest.  They got the priest who’d been waiting outside, blocked by the atheist relatives.  The priest received the dying man into the Church, and the whole room changed.

When you hear liberals talk about death, they talk about the agonizing nature of it. And the liberals, and the media, just don’t get it.  They think people have a “choice” about “end of life” care (to a certain extent, we do).  They say that the Schiavo case was a matter of “choice” and “family decisions” in which the government had no place (even though it had been in court for years, and the federal involvement was merely giving the family a chance at an appeal to someone other than the corrupt judge who always ruled in Michael’s favor).

But you don’t have the choice not to accept basic nutrition.  You have to the choice to refuse medical care, under certain circumstances . You do *not* have the choice to turn down basic nutrition or hydration, even to the point of refusing to provide nutritoin or hydration to a dying person when one has pulled the plug.

But his talk of the agonizing experience of watching his grandmother’s death–and how much did he actually experience?  Was it agonizing because of his guilt of putting his own ambitions above family?–betrays the fact that he thinks death is something fearful.

Years ago, before my heart surgery, the topic was being discussed at a Cursillo Ultreya.  Members were discussing their ailing parents and how sad it was they were dying in their 80s or whatever, and Dad said, “When John dies, it will be the happiest day of our lives.  All he wants is to go to Heaven, and why should we be sad that he gets his heart’s desire?”

8 responses to “Obama implies he’s not a believing Christian

  1. When John dies, it will be the happiest day of our lives. All he wants is to go to Heaven, and why should we be sad that he gets his heart’s desire?”

    Amen to that. It was the same with my parent. Their home-going was a joyous occassion – finished with one stage of life and on to the next. “We do not grieve as those who have no hope.”

  2. Pingback: Posts about spiritual warfare as of August 16, 2009 | PRAYtheREVOLUTION

  3. As one who had cancer and am an atheist, I am utterly revolted by this post, you should be ashamed… go back to the 17th century. If it wasn’t for science, I would be six feet under… the relatively recent for of operation I had, the chemo, the radiotherapy and the care I got from dedicated doctors and nurses saved me, not some imaginary being in the sky.

    Oh, and this reply will be the link on my facebook page to this terrible piece of crap, which you won’t erase.

    http://www.facebook.com/wolfie.rankin

  4. Pingback: What Religion does to people. « Wolfies World – Wolfie Rankin

  5. Sadly, like most atheists, your post displays a complete lack of logic or literacy.
    What in the blazes are you talking about?
    I write a post that death is not something sad for a Christian, and you are taking all this out of it?
    If anything, you’ve just proven my point that non-believers are bitter and angry.
    I said nothing in this post about science. You make presumptions about me based upon one post in my blog, not even realizing the context in which I’m speaking.

    I have an artificial aortic valve–indeed, a previous atheist who liked to post on this blog until I banned him (not for disagreeing with me but for literally threatening me and people close to me with physical violence) told me that I’m wrong to support “outdated” science like my own artificial valve!!

    I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. Perhaps you’d like to read more of my blog (one of my main objectives is promoting *ETHICAL* scientific research), and then rethink your prejudicial comments.

  6. Is there a common script from which atheists read when responding to theists? I ask because certain key phrases tend to get regurgitated every time: “imaginary man in the sky” is probably the most common, and the most laughable. Ironically, despite their desire to present themselves as rational freethinkers, people like “Wolfie Rankin” tend reveal their own deplorable ignorance every time they open their mouths (or fire up their computers to troll blogs and Facebook accounts). Rankin, if you cannot find peace in the God who made you, at least try to find peace in your own life; perhaps then you will not feel the need to belittle things about which you have neither the grace nor the ability to understand.

    John: this was a very touching and interesting piece. Indeed, your discussion reminded me of Tolstoy’s _Death of Ivan Illyich_, a novella that clearly represents the horror of death for the modern man.

  7. I notice that this person, who claimed I wouldn’t respond, would delete his post, etc., hasn’t responded to me either in this blog or his own.

    In either case, as I pointed out on FB, ironically, it is posts like this that prove the very existence of God (and the Devil).
    1) Yesterday, I made my temporary promises as a Carmelite (for the second time, long story).

    2) This post, written well over a year ago, was specifically inspired by a conversation at my Carmelite meeting.

    3) This person has a similar name to one of the members of my group.

    so,
    4) I come home to see this post on my notifications, and I think at first it’s a post from my friend. Then I find it to be what it actually is, a very hateful post from someone attacking me for a deeply personal article on my blog.
    Proof that the Devil is there, always trying to attack when we make progress in our spiritual lives, which itself does not discourage me in any way, but actually just makes me all the more convinced I’m on the right track!

  8. So, “Wolfie Rankin” presumed I wouldn’t allow his or her comment.
    Then this person presumed I’d delete this whole article after he or she “exposed” it, and talked on his or her blog about how I probably don’t allow posts by people who disagree with me, etc.

    Well, I posted some comments on “Wolfie Rankin’s” blog, and they’re still “awaiting moderation.”

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