Culture At Large

Religion and the Obama Administration

Jerod Clark

Leading up to the election, there was a lot of chatter about President Obama's religion. He himself said he was a Christian, but for many believers, that wasn't enough. There were still questions. (Personally, I take Obama at his word. Only God knows his heart. If he says he's a Christian and really isn't, that's an issue between him and God.)

I read an article in The Christian Science Monitor that talked about the role of religion so far during Obama's transition into the presidency. Here's an excerpt:

For Obama, the broad outreach into the faith community isn't confined to ceremonies but is emerging as a key element in his approach to coalition-building, say religious leaders who worked on the transition.

"Barack Obama is himself a person of faith, but he also believes that the faith community has a real role to play in creating the kind of social change we need now," says the Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, a network of Christian social activists.

Indeed, religious groups have been broadly advising the Obama transition team on issues ranging from poverty to criminal justice to foreign policy. "To move from a consuming, polluting, poverty-creating economy to one that conserves, is a good steward of the environment, and focuses on bringing people out of poverty, that's more than a structural crisis, it's a spiritual one," says Mr. Wallis.

As a Christian, I'm biased. Of course I think biblical perspective and faith organizations can bring true change and hope to uncertain times. Having watched the inauguration and listened to Obama's speech on Tuesday, I'm happy about how he's included religion and his faith so far.

What do you think?  Will faith flourish under an Obama presidency?  Will faith play a bigger role than many critics think?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Faith, News & Politics, North America