Thursday, September 06, 2012

Sunday school for Obama

Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) has been noting various odd fundraising initiatives by the Obama campaign that ask people to make small sacrifices to send them money. He quotes a reader who comments:
All this begging for small sums of money (skip pizza, send money to Barack) sounded familiar. It just struck me that it is a technique very common among televangelists.
That reflects a similar thought to what I had, not related to televangelists, but to missionaries.

Among many groups of Christians, the work of missionaries is considered the prime purpose of the Christian life. People are encouraged to make sacrifices for the sake of missions in order to emphasize the ultimate importance of saving others from damnation. It reminds us that what happens on this earth is temporary and insignificant compared to what happens in the next life. Our sacrifices today will someday seem as trivial to us as it does when you watch a child have a tantrum because another child picks up his toy.

What really matters to a Christian is the afterlife and what we can do to keep others from facing the ultimate tragedy of an eternity without God. That's why we think it is good to ask children in Sunday school to give up something that they really want and give the money to missions.

So that's our excuse. What is Obama's? He is using the same technique to try to get people to give to his campaign. I don't think the purpose is really just to get a few more dollars --although they really want those dollars. The real purpose is to make people sacrifice for Obama. When you sacrifice for some cause, it binds you more tightly to it. You become more dedicated and more certain of its rightness.

I think the real strategy behind these strange requests is to revive the cult of Obama that we saw in 2008. They want people to sacrifice for the sake of Obama in order to bind them tighter to him in the sort of secular worship that made half of the country comfortable with the Obamadolatry we saw back then. Obama was the ONE. Obama would stop the rise of the oceans. Obama would bring peace between the political parties and peace to the world. Obama was comparable to the Son of God. Opposition to Obama was not just politically wrong, it was shockingly immoral and deserving of hatred and contempt.

We've seen this before. It goes back at least as far as the Pharaohs. We see it in emperor worship in the Far East and in Cesar worship in the West. More recently we see worship of Communist leaders like Mao and Pol Pot and crazy drug addicts like Charles Manson. Some men want to be worshiped, and some people want to worship men. This is part of the evil of human nature because it gives a man enormous power to do harm. And not just any man, but a special kind of man, one who is so arrogant and narcissistic that he is comfortable being worshiped. Such a man cannot be trusted with great power.