Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess...

Only nominally related to teaching, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Barack Obama's speech.

It was pointed, specific, poetic, unwavering, angry, and hopeful. This man will be the great leader this country needs right now. Wow.

I certainly didn't mind the part about higher salaries for teachers, either.

I am glad that he's not Kerrying back in fear at McCain's petty, lying campaign. His barbs tonight were on point: "If you don't have fresh ideas, you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, you paint your opponent as someone voters should run from" and "McCain says he'll follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives." Damn.

Then it was back to his message about what America can be: "America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise -- that American promise -- and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess."



jessica said...

"...on November 4th, we must stand up and say Eight is Enough!"

The man is going to make one helluva president. Awesome, awesome speech.

Brandon said...

It was a stirring and emotional speech. However, the closing reference to Scripture, while it served his purpose, was taken completely out of context and seemed like a manipulative appeal to religious voters who may not take the time to read their Bibles. The half verse he quoted was Hebrews 10:23, "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Within the paragraph the hope that the author is talking about is for fogiveness of sins, open access to God through Jesus Christ, and everlasting life with God. The larger context of Hebrews includes much more encouragement for people who are being persecuted for their religious beliefs to hold out for a greater promise. For a man who has gone to church for over two decades, and claims to have this same faith, Obama has mangled the message of this passage. He has turned the hope he openly claims in God into a hope in man and the American dream for a better future. Sounds like more political manipulation to me.

Anonymous said...

Brandon you sound like a miffed Republican. I have not heard ONE criticism of Barack Obama's speech, except on Fox News. I cannot understand as an American Veteran how you could not be encouraged and overjoyed by his speech, but it doesn't matter. This man has a movement that has swept this nation like a huge wave and you can't stop the wave.

Kellyg said...

Brandon, I completely agree. The scriptural reference is our hope in Jesus Christ, not our hope in Democrat or Republican or in any mortal man, even one named Obama.

Nancy said...

Brandon and Kelly, you are both taking Obama's words out of context; he never said in WHAT hope he just simply said "hold firmly without wavering to the hope that we confess"....that simple no need to look into that specific statement any further. Take it as it is! We DO need CHANGE NOW!!!! It's time we change our thinking and open up our minds to a positive America.

Teach Baltimore said...

Brandon and KellyG:

You are completely missing the point of using a biblical allusion in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Brandon and Kelly. Gods word shouldn't be tampered with.

Obama, although a very good speak, took words from the Bible and took out it's meaning to fit his own.

The verse implies the Hope we have in the Lord Christ Jesus.

Obama used is to imply a hope for a better nation, and American dream.

I'm sorry if you disagree, but you cannot dispute the fact that he twisted the words into a different context. Do not blindly follow a mans words with out studying them.

I'm not a Republican by the way. I just don't follow some motivational speaker with out thinking, that's all.

JP Farrell & Associates, Inc. said...

Obama's final line draws inspiration from the scripture and honors its power and its message. How can it be a perversion of the ideals of faith, hope and charity, themes that run throughout this speech, to promote these virtues without giving a treatise on their treatment in the bible citing chapter and verse?

This was the most powerful speech by an American statesmen since Martin Luther King "stood on the mountaintop." Its central message, "hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess," could not have been more eloquently expressed.

John McCain's cynical choice of an unqualified, attractive, untested woman as his running mate, as if any woman will do, dishonors women, politics and faith in the American people. Nothing could more clearly demonstrate his reliance on the politics of pettiness and divisiveness than this desperate bid to draw attention away from his opponent's historic challenge to the policies and approach that have so weakened our country and its resolve.
Obama's message -- believe in the ideals that have made us great and we will together and individually be able to rise to the challenge -- is the message for our times.
There is a time for every purpose under heaven.

Teach Baltimore said...


Obama didn't twist any words. He did what people who love the Bible do - he used it to find inspiration and wisdom. Your cynical reading of the allusion doesn't show you're "thinking" about it, but, rather, that you don't understand how or why people use biblical allusions.

Jorge said...

I think some of you guys need to actually read the verses in it's context in the Bible. I think if Obama had done so, he probably wouldn't have used it because the context matters greatly.

I think these Bible guys know what they're talking about.

Obama is a great speaker and it was really motivational, but lets not just go gun-ho over a speech. I think it's wise to analyze first.

The original verse (Hebrews 10:13) implies "a hope in Jesus".

Obama's use for it differs. It implies "a hope found in us".

I don't really see how you guys can miss this. He pretty much changed the meaning of the verse.

In other words, he kinda twisted it.

Brother Sully said...

I'm a fan of both Obama and the Bible and what I liked about the way he ended his speech was that it begged the question What hope is he speaking of... the hope in the democratic party to affect Change, or the hope of Glory in Jesus Christ. The answer is... YES and Amen

Teach Baltimore said...

I'll continue to say that saying that Obama twisted the words of the Bible is utterly ridiculous and overly literal.

The passage was about faith and hope. That's how Obama used it. That's how people who love the Bible use its words - to inform and shed light on their own lives.

If you disagree with using the Bible's poetry to do this, that's fine. I think it's being overly literal and short-sighted, but it's still fine. But saying that Obama twisted the words when he is doing what a majority of people who quote the Bible do - drawing inspiration from it and utilizing its wisdom for his current situation - is dishonest and clearly an attempt to politically discredit the man.

Anonymous said...

Obama did much the thing at Saddleback when he quoted Matthew to justify (the government's) taking money from the "rich" and giving it to those (it) deems the "poor." Scary guy.

Anonymous said...

The problem with this discussion is that some rely on words like "mangled," "twisted" and "manipulative" to describe the Biblical allusion used in this speech Someone even went so far as to suggest Obama "tampered" with the words of the Bible. I think the negativity of these characterizations are reflections of how these people view this candidate rather than a fair, unbiased reading of his speech. Since when is it a crime to use a powerful idea to inspire people? Poets and writers do it all the time, and no one says they are wrong. Obama is saying that America possesses an intrinsic goodness that we can have hope and faith in LIKE people have hope in faith in God. He used this particular Bible passage to help us see a similarity not to make a substitution, and to suggest otherwise is silly. There is a big difference between saying something IS something else and saying something IS LIKE something else. if you don't understand, then I suspect that either you don't like Obama or your study of the Bible and its impact on our literature is incomplete. The problem with literalists is that they take all the wonder out of the world.