Passion

Obama's Jesus Addiction

Who would Jesus reference? Politico reports that Barack Obama uses Christ in public speeches more frequently than his predecessor. It's odd, considering that George W. Bush's identity as an evangelical was central to his political identity, while Obama has been rather ecumenical—his inauguration ceremony included shout-outs to different faiths as well as nonbelievers. Obama may be advancing two political agendas through his rhetorical use of Jesus: The mentions may help counter the politically risky rumor that he is a Muslim, which 11 percent of Americans still believe; and Obama may be trying to resurrect the Christian Left, which has included such figures as Martin Luther King Jr. Not everyone is on board, though. As a disillusioned former official from Bush's faith-based office put it, "When God becomes identified with a political agenda, God gets screwed."