An associate editor of the campus newspaper at Massachusetts’ Smith College has joined the chorus attributing to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama messianic characteristics, but she has gone one step further, calling Obama her “Jesus.”
“Obama is my homeboy. And I’m not saying that because he’s black – I’m saying that in reference to those Urban Outfitters T-shirts from a couple years ago that said, ‘Jesus is my homeboy.’ Yes, I just said it. Obama is my Jesus,” wrote Maggie Mertens in the Smithsophian’s commentary section recently under the headline: “I Will Follow Him: Obama As My Personal Jesus.”
“While you may be overtly religious and find this to be idol-worshipping, or may be overtly politically correct and just know that everything in that sentence could be found offensive, I’m afraid it’s true anyway,” she wrote.
The writing prompted P.J. Gladnick, in a posting on NewsBusters.org, to express concern about Mertens’ dedication to her “Jesus.”
He cited her conclusion: “I’ve officially been saved, and soon, whether they like it or not, the rest of the country will be too. I will follow him, all the way to the White House, and I’ll be standing there in our nation’s capital in January 2009, when Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States of America. In the name of Obama, Amen.”
“Saved, ‘whether they like it or not.’ That sounds like a threat to me,” the NewsBusters report said. “What will you do, Maggie? Burn non-believers in your holy Barack at the Democrat party stake for being heretics?”
He said the problem is people turning Obama into a sort of spiritual savior, as WND reported radical Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan also has done with Obama.
“A lot of the commenters to this article were hoping that this was just satire by Maggie Mertens, NewsBusters’ Gladnik said. “Your humble correspondent knows satire and this was definitely not satire. Mertens was serious although, after the richly deserved mocking she is sure to receive over her belief in Barack, she might try to squirm out of it by pulling a Sheryl Crow. … She might claim she was really just joking as Crow claimed after she was widely ridiculed by claiming we could fight global warming by using just one square of toilet paper per sitting. Crow was serious and so is Maggie Mertens in proclaiming Barack Obama as her savior.”
“Barack Obama bore to me his testimony in 2004 at the Democratic National Convention, a testimony that included believing in concepts as simple and wholesome as the Constitution; a belief the current administration had done away with entirely. … I was intrigued. I would follow him,” she wrote.
“I must admit, I questioned this myself. After all, would I have ever bought a T-shirt with Al Gore’s face on it? Was this all he was, the newest pop culture fad? I questioned my newfound faith – was it all only a phase, like the time I thought I was Baptist in junior high? But my inner dogmatic struggle only helped cement my beliefs,” she continued.
“Wait, this is satire, right,” wrote one participant in the newspaper’s forum.
“It’s very telling that people have to ask if this is satire, don’t you think,” said another.
“Um … whoa. I hope this is a parody. … If it isn’t, I just don’t know what to say except that your conception of the appropriate place of government and politicians in our lives appears to have reverted 2000+ years,” added another.
On the NewsBusters site, the concern level was ratcheted up a notch.
“This is actually quite frightening. There are a lot of stories out there where people actually look at Obama as more of a deity than a typical politician,” wrote one forum participant. “And I have yet to hear him counter it.”
This messianic image of Obama was highlighted by ABC’s Jake Tapper
NewBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd had earlier commented on the “penchant” in some media corporations “for selecting photographs of Sen. Barack Obama that make him appear rather, um, messianic.”
He cited an ABC blog, which featured a photograph of Obama with a halo around his head, and raised similar questions.
Accompanying the critique of media image uses there was the headline: “There is Born to You This Day in the City of Chicago a Savior.”
WND reported less than a week ago on comments from Farrakhan, another powerful Chicago-based political figure associated with the Obama’s longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who told an audience when Obama talks “the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”
You can watch it for yourself on a newly posted YouTube video.
Addressing a large crowd behind a podium Feb. 24 with a Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day 2008 sign, Farrakhan proclaims,
“You are the instruments that God is going to use to bring about universal change, and that is why Barack has captured the youth. And he has involved young people in a political process that they didn’t care anything about. That’s a sign. When the Messiah speaks, the youth will hear, and the Messiah is absolutely speaking.”
WND also reported when talk radio host Rush Limbaugh criticized Democrats who were comparing Obama to Jesus and Gov. Sarah Palin to Pontius Pilate.
“I know Jesus Christ. I pray to Jesus Christ all the time,” said Limbaugh.” I study what Jesus Christ did and said all the time, and let me tell you something, Barack Obama, you are no Jesus Christ.”
Democrats, including party strategist Donna Brazile and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., earlier made nearly identical biblical comparisons of the characters in this presidential election, which Limbaugh traced back to a Sept. 4 posting on a Washington blog.
“Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus,” Cohen said during a one-minute speech on the floor of the U.S. House. “Pontius Pilate was a governor.”