Dear President Obama,
I write this letter to you as a Brother in Christ and concerned citizen of the United States. I’ve been struggling lately with the heightened coarseness, contempt, flippancy and dishonor I’ve seen among some of my Christian brothers and sisters towards you. I attend a Baptist University in Texas and am a member of Baptist churches in Irving, Texas and Henderson, Nevada (my hometown), so I guess that explains why I’ve been so exposed to a more conservative view throughout my life. Now, I’m not bashing my Baptist background – it’s the biggest part of who I am. But I am bothered by many of the ungrounded negative comments and slander that have been thrown at you these last few years. And, on behalf of Christians everywhere (realizing completely that not every Christian agrees with me), I want to say I’m sorry for how we’ve treated you.
We’ve been incredibly un-Christ-like in our approach to political engagement since the 2008 election. Some of us have had the impropriety to disrespect your office, calling for impeachment on baseless grounds and even questioning your legitimacy to be President based on your “questionable” birthplace. We’ve had the audacity to mock your executive decisions, whether they be related to economics, the military or constitutional law, as if we have the knowledge and expertise to do so and the conscious judgment to know that we would act differently in your place. And, perhaps most heartbreaking, a number of us have even had the nerve to not only question your faith in Jesus, but straight-up deny it and even go so far as to say you’re a false convert, a Muslim or even the Antichrist. In doing this, we not only insult you, but we insult God, whose grace and salvation is sufficient for us all, including you.
As Christians, we’re called to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds. Part of honoring God with our minds is being informed and making intelligent statements grounded in truth, not ignorant arguments based on cherry-picked facts on conservative blogs, end times prophesy websites or right-wing talk radio. There’s nothing wrong with those things as supplements to our objective news gathering, but many of us have allowed them to become our primary source for information under the false pretense that the rest of the news media is “pro-Obama” and “anti-Christian”, as if those two ideas are symmetrical in meaning.
As you might imagine, many of my Christian peers have taken issue with my criticism of some of their attitudes, most often citing the ungracious behavior of the Hollywood left and other liberals during the second term of President George W. Bush. My response to them is what my mother taught me: we can’t control what others do, but we can control our own actions, and hope they see Christ in us through our gracious attitude and kind demeanor. We have failed miserably in this regard, and you have unfortunately been the target of the majority of that dishonor. A majority of our more progressive friends don’t claim Christ as their savior, therefore I don’t expect them to sustain a biblically-inspired mandate of loving one’s neighbor in Jesus’ name, nor do I view their lack of such civility as a legitimate excuse to not apply it to ourselves – particularly directed towards you, Mr. President.
True, there are things that you’ve done that we as Christians are upset about. Mainly, your expansion of federal funding to the abortion industry and your refusal to exempt companies like Hobby Lobby from mandated post-intercourse birth control coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Now, I understand that you took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and that abortion has been deemed constitutional by nearly every federal court since Roe v. Wade. Even though I feel that your position on this issue in no way effects your salvation (nor the salvation of any Christian who voted for you), I do wish you shared our desire for justice for the unborn and would pursue policies to meet that end.
Mr. President, I didn’t vote for you, but you are my President, and I’m proud to call you my President. I respect you and admire your life story, drive, conviction, judgment, values, and testimony. I am thankful for your service to our nation and for your leadership throughout our recent economic crisis, the war on terror and on issues such as immigration, healthcare, guns, and the environment, whether I agree with your particular stances or not. It takes a brave and honorable man to devote his life to public service like you have chosen to do, and I commend you for your faithfulness and thank you for your sacrifice.
I want you to know that I pray for you often and can’t imagine the immense pressure you are under every day. It undoubtedly takes a toll on not only you, but your wife and daughters, as well. Given that reality, I can’t think of anything more powerful than a Church on her knees in prayer on your behalf. And though I know that some Christians refuse to pray for you, they prove by their actions that they know no truth and are hostile to the true message of the Gospel. Don’t let their silliness get to you. You’re a bigger man than any of them could ever dream of being.
I know you will probably never read this, as you’re an extremely busy and important man with little free time – unlike bloggers like me who need to get a life. But, on the outside chance you do, I hope you’ll find it in your heart to extend forgiveness to us for wronging you so harshly. God knows we need it.
Thank you, Mr. President.