A couple of recent stories coming out of Honolulu on the Obama Christmas visit were interesting. Well, other than the mention that he missed his gym workout on Christmas Day. Why is it that he goes to the gym daily, if possible, and he's cool. And buff. But, when President Bush is mentioned as a fit guy, he's 'obsessed' with workouts.
Seems the reception Barack Obama - from the office of President-elect - received from the Marines at Christmas dinner time was less than warm and enthusiastic. Imagine that. According to articles on blogs like the one by Jake Tapper at ABC News and Red State, Obama didn't even eat with them. As is traditional and respectful, a visiting big shot eats with the troops or at least pitches in and serves in the chow line. But, no. In typical Barack fashion, he just pops in to say hi and slaps some backs and poses for some photos. Remember when Hillary went on her first trip to Afghanistan and the military from New York wouldn't volunteer to eat at her table? They had to be instructed to do it. Yeah. The fine defenders of our freedom know who is and isn't sincere.
In an article appearing on American Thinker's web site, there is mention of the church the Obama family used for his grandmother's memorial service. It was held at Honolulu First Unitarian Church. The article points out the religious history of Barack Obama's family - his Kenyan father who was a Muslim but then an atheist; his American mother who was raised by parents who were non-practicing Baptists and Methodists and then Unitarians; his Muslim stepfather who adopted him and the family lived in Indonesia reading the Koran and attending Muslim schools; and then Barack Obama's conversion to Christianity in Chicago with attendance at Rev. Wright's church, the church in which his wife Michelle was raised.
None of this is news to people who actually took the time to look at Obama's personal history. The interesting part was the bashing the piece, written by Andrew Walden, did to the Unitarian church.
Full disclosure - my husband and I were married in a Unitarian-Universalist church in Bloomington, Indiana in 1983. We were both raised in the Presbyterian church and decided to join the Unitarian church because we enjoyed the sermons delivered by the minister at that particular church. We are both lifelong Republicans.
The article points to the anti-war sentiment within the Honolulu church and that Obama 'hid' his connection to the Unitarian church during is campaign. Again, his claims of being a practicing Christian and his history of religious faith were examined during the campaign - which wasn't any deeper than his association with Rev. Wright - the history was there of his mother's parents and their support of the Unitarians in Washington state was clear. The problem was, Obama was painted as strongly rooted in Kansas by his mother and her white family. However, Barack Obama himself never lived in Kansas at all. And, his mother's family moved from Kansas while she was a school girl so that she would attend Unitarian schools in Washington State. "The Chicago Tribune mentions a description of the Dunham's chosen church as 'The Little Red Church on the Hill.' " Obama was raised mostly in Hawaii and his grandparents were members of the Unitarian church there.
Yes, the Unitarian Church is socially liberal in philosophy. Most religious leaders, like the Pope, preach non-violence. The author also does a little slap at the fact that "Honolulu First Unitarian was the first woman-led Unitarian congregation". I don't know what that has to do with anything. Our Unitarian minister was also a woman and in many churches of lots of denominations there are women ministers.
Barack Obama's choice of church was criticized as it relates to the leadership of the church. In the case of his church in Chicago, the Rev. Wright was the subject of criticism. This was understandable because Obama was running for President of the United States while he was a member of a church led by a minister ranting hateful messages about America. Plus, the church preaches Black Liberation and Obama was claiming to be a unifier to all Americans. He claimed to be the 'post racial' candidate. Obama's association with the Unitarian church - a socially liberal church - would fit with his political philosophy.
There will be many legitimate reasons to criticize soon to be President Obama. Conservatives/Republicans should resist the temptation to criticize unduly on matters of religion.