Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: “Bitter” is a Hard Pill to Swallow

inthenewsSen. Barack Obama on Saturday expressed regret about the way he phrased a remark describing the plight of Americans who live in small towns, as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign continued its efforts to portray the comments as evidence that Obama is “elitist” and “out of touch.”

“I didn’t say it as well as I could have,” Obama told a crowd in Muncie. Later, in an interview with a North Carolina newspaper, he said, “Obviously, if I worded things in a way that made people offended, I deeply regret that.”

The controversy stemmed from remarks Obama made at a private fundraiser in San Francisco on April 6 when he explained his struggles appealing to working-class voters by saying they were frustrated with the loss of jobs under both Republican and Democratic administrations over the last decade, adding: “It’s not surprising that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment.”

Perry Bacon Jr.
Washington Post

Analysis:

It is interesting to see political candidates say things they truly mean, and then when it gets them into trouble, try to placate their critics while never admitting they did anything wrong.

The latest to get into this trouble is Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama who, in attempting to explain why voters in places like Pennsylvania did not support him, explained that they were “bitter.” Apparently their bitterness led them to vote to protect gun rights, or to express their resentment of illegal immigration, or to vote their religious convictions. Apparently, such voters disagree with the Senator on such issues. He seems to indicate that if they were not bitter, they would choose other issues above these, and would support his candidacy.

This statement is objectionable for two reasons. First, it indicates his belief that people support their religion because of bitterness. It expresses a sentiment that is very prevalent today… that religion is divisive and the cause of hate and the oppression of men.

Second, it indicates his belief that many, in better times, would place other issues above their faith in considering who they want as their President.

The Christian faith does not oppress, it liberates! Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Further, a true Christian is just that… a Christian first and foremost. No faithful child of God would ever deny God just to benefit himself economically or socially. He is compelled to profess his faith, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20); and to live his life by its precepts, “But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). It is not bitterness, it is obedience to a higher calling.