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Be Alert!

Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Friday, June 05, 2009

10 Most Important Obama Faith Moments

10 Most Important Obama Faith Moments U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT [NY Daily News/Mortimer Zuckerman] - April 29, 2009 1. Rick Warren's Inauguration Day Invocation http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments/rick-warren-invocation 2. Granting First TV Interview to Arabic Language Network http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments/obama-on-al-arabiya 3. Reversing Mexico City Policy on Family Planning Providers Abroad http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments/family-planning-abroad 4. Opening Rallies With Prayer George W. Bush started cabinet meetings with prayer and encouraged the formation of Bible study groups at the White House, but President Obama has gone a big step further in embracing religion by opening many of his public events with prayers that have been commissioned and vetted by administration aides. The prayers, which have kicked off at least a half dozen of the president's outside-the-beltway rallies, are written and read by local community members who've been selected by the White House. Interviews with former White House aides and official presidential archivists going back to the Carter administration turn up no evidence of similar programs. "If a similar thing had been done by President Bush's White House, I guarantee you there would have been a lot of people crying foul," says Bill Wichterman, President Bush's liaison to religious groups. The White House declined to comment about the program, other than to say that such prayers have been standard since Obama began his presidential campaign. http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments/opening-rallies-with-prayer 5. Launching White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments/white-house-faith-office 6. Convening a Faith Advisory Council http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments/faith-advisory-council 7. Joe Biden's Receiving Ashes on Ash Wednesday http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments/biden-ash-wednesday 8. Lifting Restrictions on Federally-Funded Embryonic Stem Cell Research http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments/stem-cell-research 9. Announcing Plans to Give Notre Dame's Commencement Address http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments/obama-at-notre-dame 10. Speaking to Muslim World From Turkey http://www.usnews.com/listings/ten-obama-faith-moments FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Barack Obama is a narcissist

Dr. Sam Vaknin is an Israeli psychologist. Interesting view on our new president. This can be checked out on Snopes: http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/vaknin.asp Dr. Vaknin has written extensively about narcissism. Dr. Vaknin states "I must confess I was impressed by Sen.Barack Obama from the first time I saw him. At first I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident - a wholesome presidential package. I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words. Obama's speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history. Never a politician in this land had such quasi "religious" impact on so many people. The fact that Obama is a total incognito with zero accomplishment, makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming. Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact he is quite ignorant on most important subjects." Barack Obama is a narcissist. Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the Malignant Self Love believes "Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist.." Vaknin is a world authority on narcissism. He understands narcissism and describes the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism everyone listens. Vaknin says that Obama's language, posture and demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves. Jim Jones, the charismatic leader of People's Temple, the man who led over 900 of his followers to cheerfully commit mass suicide and even murder their own children was also a narcissist. David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao,Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler are a few examples of narcissists of our time. All these men had a tremendous influence over their fanciers. They created a personality cult around themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers, filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new zest for life. They gave them hope! They promised them the moon, but alas, invariably they brought them to their doom. When you are a victim of a cult of personality, you don't know it until it is too late. One determining factor in the development of NPD is childhood abuse. "Obama's early life was decidedly chaotic and replete with traumatic and mentally bruising dislocations," says Vaknin. "Mixed-race marriages were even less common then. His parents went through a divorce when he was an infant (two years old). Obama saw his father only once again, before he died in a car accident. Then his mother re-married and Obama had to relocate to Indonesia, a foreign land with a radically foreign culture, to be raised by a step-father. At the age of ten, he was whisked off to live with his maternal (white)grandparents. He saw his mother only intermittently in the following few years and then she vanished from his life in 1979. She died of cancer in 1995". One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological narcissists. They project such an imposing personality that it overwhelms those around them. Charmed by the charisma of the narcissist, people become like clay in his hands. They cheerfully do his bidding and delight to be at his service. The narcissist shapes the world around himself and reduces others in his own inverted image. He creates a cult of personality. His admirers become his co-dependents Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help them to reach their personal objective. They are focused on one thing alone and that is power. All other issues are meaningless to them and they do not want to waste their precious time on trivialities. Anything that does not help them is beneath them and do not deserve their attention. If an issue raised in the Senate does not help Obama in one way or another, he has no interest in it. The "present" vote is a safe vote. No one can criticize him if things go wrong. Those issues are unworthy by their very nature because they are not about him.. Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. The University of Chicago Law School provided him a lot longer than expected and at the end it evolved into, guess what? His own autobiography! Instead of writing a scholarly paper focusing on race relations, for which he had been paid, Obama could not resist writing about his most sublime self. He entitled the book Dreams from My Father. Not surprisingly, Adolph Hitler also wrote his own autobiography when he was still nobody. So did Stalin. For a narcissist no subject is as important as his own self. Why would he waste his precious time and genius writing about insignificant things when he can write about such an august being as himself? Narcissists are often callous and even ruthless. As the norm, they lack conscience. This is evident from Obama's lack of interest in his own brother who lives on only one dollar per month. A man who lives in luxury, who takes a private jet to vacation in Hawaii, and who has raised nearly half a billion dollars for his campaign (something unprecedented in history) has no interest in the plight of his own brother. Why? Because, his brother cannot be used for his ascent to power. A narcissist cares for no one but himself. This election is like no other in the history of America. The issues are insignificant compared to what is at stake. What can be more dangerous than having a man bereft of conscience, a serial liar, and one who cannot distinguish his fantasies from reality as the leader of the free world? I hate to sound alarmist, but one is a fool if one is not alarmed. Many politicians are narcissists. They pose no threat to others..They are simply self serving and selfish. Obama evidences symptoms of pathological narcissism, which is different from the run-of-the-mill narcissism of a Richard Nixon or a Bill Clinton for example. To him reality and fantasy are intertwined. This is a mental health issue, not just a character flaw. Pathological narcissists are dangerous because they look normal and even intelligent. It is this disguise that makes them treacherous. Today the Democrats have placed all their hopes in Obama. But this man could put an end to their party. The great majority of blacks have also decided to vote for Obama. Only a fool does not know that their support for him is racially driven. This is racism, pure and simple. The downside of this is that if Obama turns out to be the disaster I predict, he will cause widespread resentment among the whites. The blacks are unlikely to give up their support of their man. Cultic mentality is pernicious and unrelenting. They will dig their heads deeper in the sand and blame Obama's detractors of racism. This will cause a backlash among the whites. The white supremacists will take advantage of the discontent and they will receive widespread support. I predict that in less than four years, racial tensions will increase to levels never seen since the turbulent 1960's. Obama will set the clock back decades... America is the bastion of freedom. The peace of the world depends on the strength of America, and its weakness translates into the triumph of terrorism and victory of rogue nations. It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Castrists, the Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists and virtually all sworn enemies of America are so thrilled by the prospect of their man in the White House. America is on the verge of destruction. There is no insanity greater than electing a pathological narcissist as president. FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Do You Recognize Barack Obama in These Texts? - First Series

Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. - 3/2/2009 This is the first in a series of articles examining Obama's psychological makeup in minute detail. By now, the world had two years of exposure to Barack Obama. We all have followed his exploits and antics; have watched him on television; have heard his speeches; have witnessed his scripted and spontaneous interactions with family, subordinates, co-workers, and friends. You should read this text with a few grains of salt. Scroll to the bottom to review the disclaimers. I also recommend that you get acquainted my previous article: "Barack Obama: A Narcissist, or Merely Narcissistic?" http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/obama.html Following are descriptions of narcissistic and psychopathic traits. They are common among people diagnosed with the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) ( http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/npdglance.html ) and the Antisocial Personality Disorder (psychopaths). Read these texts. Do you recognize Barack Obama in them? Narcissists are self-sufficient and consider themselves peerless. The Narcissist's "friends", companions, and acolytes provide the narcissist with an obsequious, unthreatening, audience and with the kind of unconditional and unthinking obedience that confirms to him his omnipotence. They are sufficiently vacuous to make the narcissist look sharp and omniscient - but not so asinine as to be instantly discernible as such. They are the perfect backdrop, never likely to attain centre stage and overshadow their master. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: The Narcissist and His Friends http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal85.html In the narcissist's surrealistic world, even language is pathologized. It mutates into a weapon of self-defence, a verbal fortification, a medium without a message, replacing words with duplicitous and ambiguous vocables. Narcissists (and, often, by contagion, their unfortunate victims) don't talk, or communicate. They fend off. They hide and evade and avoid and disguise. In their planet of capricious and arbitrary unpredictability, of shifting semiotic and semantic dunes - they perfect the ability to say nothing in lengthy, Castro-like speeches. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: The Weapon of Language http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal34.html The narcissist is the guru at the centre of a cult. Like other gurus, he demands complete obedience from his flock: his spouse, his offspring, other family members, friends, and colleagues. He feels entitled to adulation and special treatment by his followers. He punishes the wayward and the straying lambs. He enforces discipline, adherence to his teachings, and common goals. The less accomplished he is in reality - the more stringent his mastery and the more pervasive the brainwashing. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: The Cult of the Narcissist http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal79.html The "modesty" displayed by narcissists is false. It is mostly and merely verbal. It is couched in flourishing phrases, emphasised to absurdity, repeated unnecessarily - usually to the point of causing gross inconvenience to the listener. The real aim of such behaviour and its subtext are exactly the opposite of common modesty. It is intended to either aggrandise the narcissist or to protect his grandiosity from scrutiny and possible erosion. Such modest outbursts precede inflated, grandiosity-laden statements made by the narcissist and pertaining to fields of human knowledge and activity in which he is sorely lacking. Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the "old ways": against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon a narcissistic (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: The False Modesty and Fake Folksiness of the Narcissist http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq36.html Narcissistic and Psychopathic Leaders http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/15.html The narcissist's lies are not goal-orientated. This is what makes his constant dishonesty both disconcerting and incomprehensible. The narcissist lies at the drop of a hat, needlessly, and almost ceaselessly. He lies in order to avoid the Grandiosity Gap - when the abyss between fact and (narcissistic) fiction becomes too gaping to ignore. The narcissist lies in order to preserve appearances, uphold fantasies, support the tall (and impossible) tales of his False Self and extract Narcissistic Supply from unsuspecting sources, who are not yet on to him. To the narcissist, confabulation is not merely a way of life - but life itself. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: The Confabulated Life and Biography of the Narcissist http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal75.html The narcissist is confident that people find him irresistible. His unfailing charm is part of his self-imputed omnipotence. This inane conviction is what makes the narcissist a "pathological charmer". The somatic narcissist and the histrionic flaunt their sex appeal, virility or femininity, sexual prowess, musculature, physique, training, or athletic achievements. The cerebral narcissist seeks to enchant and entrance his audience with intellectual pyrotechnics. Many narcissists brag about their wealth, health, possessions, collections, spouses, children, personal history, family tree - in short: anything that garners them attention and renders them alluring. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: The Narcissist as a Pathological Charmer http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/case05.html The narcissist has a complicated relationship with his parents (mainly with his mother, but, at times, also with his father). As Primary Objects, the narcissist's parents are often a source of frustration which leads to repressed or to self-directed aggression. They traumatise the narcissist during his infancy and childhood and thwart his healthy development well into his late adolescence. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: The Narcissist's Dead Parents http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq54.html The narcissist perceives every disagreement - let alone criticism - coming from people whom he does not consider to be his "peers" (e.g., the media) as nothing short of a threat. He reacts defensively. He becomes indignant, aggressive and cold. He detaches emotionally for fear of yet another (narcissistic) injury. He devalues the person who made the disparaging remark. By holding the critic in contempt, by diminishing the stature of the discordant conversant - the narcissist minimises the impact of the disagreement or criticism on himself. This is a defence mechanism known as cognitive dissonance. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: Narcissists, Disagreement and Criticism http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq73.html The narcissist constantly consumes (really, preys upon) adoration, admiration, approval, applause, attention and other forms of Narcissistic Supply. The normal person is likely to welcome a moderate amount of attention - verbal and non-verbal - in the form of affirmation, approval, or admiration. Too much attention, though, is perceived as onerous and is avoided. Destructive and negative criticism is avoided altogether. The narcissist, in contrast, is the mental equivalent of an alcoholic. He is insatiable. He directs his whole behaviour, in fact his life, to obtain these pleasurable titbits of attention. He embeds them in a coherent, completely biased, picture of himself. He uses them to regulates his labile sense of self-worth and self-esteem. To elicit constant interest, he projects to others a confabulated, fictitious version of himself, known as the False Self. The False Self is everything the narcissist is not: omniscient, omnipotent, charming, intelligent, rich, or well-connected. The narcissist then proceeds to harvest reactions to this projected image from family members, friends, co-workers, neighbours, business partners and from colleagues. If these - the adulation, admiration, attention, fear, respect, applause, affirmation - are not forthcoming, the narcissist demands them, or extorts them. Money, compliments, a favourable critique, an appearance in the media, a sexual conquest are all converted into the same currency in the narcissist's mind. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: Narcissists, Narcissistic Supply and Sources of Supply http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq76.html "Haughty" body language - The narcissist adopts a physical posture which implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Though the narcissist usually maintains sustained and piercing eye contact, he often refrains from physical proximity (he is "territorial"). The narcissist takes part in social interactions - even mere banter - condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux "magnanimity and largesse". But he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the "observer", or the "lone wolf". Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: How to Recognise a Narcissist? http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq58.html Two narcissists of the same type (somatic, cerebral, classic, compensatory, inverted, etc.) cannot maintain a stable, long-term full-fledged, and functional relationship. There are two types of narcissists: the somatic narcissist and the cerebral narcissist. The somatic type relies on his body and sexuality as Sources of Narcissistic Supply. The cerebral narcissist uses his intellect, his intelligence and his professional achievements to obtain the same. The cerebral narcissist is a know-it-all, haughty and intelligent "computer". He uses his awesome intellect, or knowledge (real or pretended) to secure adoration, adulation and admiration. To him, his body and its maintenance are a burden and a distraction. Thus, if both members of the couple are cerebral narcissists, for instance if both of them are scholars - the resulting competition prevents them from serving as ample Sources of Narcissistic Supply to each other. Finally the mutual admiration society crumbles. Consumed by the pursuit of their own narcissistic gratification, they have no time or energy or will left to cater to the narcissistic needs of their partner. Moreover, the partner is perceived as a dangerous and vicious contender for a scarce resource: Sources of Narcissistic Supply. This may be less true if the two narcissists work in totally unrelated academic or intellectual fields. But if the narcissists involved are of different types, if one of them is cerebral and the other one somatic, a long-term partnership based on the mutual provision of Narcissistic Supply can definitely survive. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: Narcissistic Couples and Narcissistic Types http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq60.html The Cerebral vs. the Somatic Narcissist http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq60.html God is everything the narcissist ever wants to be: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, admired, much discussed, and awe inspiring. God is the narcissist's wet dream, his ultimate grandiose fantasy. But God comes handy in other ways as well. The narcissist alternately idealizes and devalues figures of authority. In the idealization phase, he strives to emulate them, he admires them, imitate them (often ludicrously), and defends them. They cannot go wrong, or be wrong. The narcissist regards them as bigger than life, infallible, perfect, whole, and brilliant. But as the narcissist's unrealistic and inflated expectations are inevitably frustrated, he begins to devalue his former idols. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: For the Love of God: Narcissists and Religion http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/journal45.html The narcissist is not really interested in publicity per se. Narcissists are misleading. The narcissist appears to love himself - and, really, he abhors himself. Similarly, he appears to be interested in becoming a celebrity - and, in reality, he is concerned with the REACTIONS to his fame: people watch him, notice him, talk about him, debate his actions - therefore he exists. The narcissist goes around "hunting and collecting" the way the expressions on people's faces change when they notice him. He places himself at the centre of attention, or even as a figure of controversy. He constantly and recurrently pesters those nearest and dearest to him in a bid to reassure himself that he is not losing his fame, his magic touch, the attention of his social milieu. Truly, the narcissist is not choosy. If he can become famous as a writer - he writes, if as a businessman - he conducts business. He switches from one field to the other with ease and without remorse because in all of them he is present without conviction, bar the conviction that he must (and deserves to) get famous. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: The Narcissist's Addiction to Fame and Celebrity http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq19.html Psychopaths are said to be fearless, imperturbable, and sang-froid. Their pain tolerance is very high. Still, contrary to popular perceptions and psychiatric orthodoxy, some psychopaths are actually anxious and fearful. Their psychopathy is a defense against an underlying and all-pervasive anxiety, either hereditary, or brought on by early childhood abuse. Rings a bell? Continue to read about this specific trait or behavior here: The Psychopath and Antisocial http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/personalitydisorders16.html (To be Continued in the Second Series) DISCLAIMERS 1. I am not a mental health professional. Still, I have dedicated the last 12 years to the study of personality disorders in general and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in particular. I have authored nine (9) books about these topics, one of which is a Barnes and Noble best-seller ("Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"). My work is widely cited in scholarly tomes and publications and in the media. My books and the content of my Web site are based on correspondence since 1996 with hundreds of people suffering from the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (narcissists) and with thousands of their family members, friends, therapists, and colleagues. 2. Only a qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews. But, in the absence of access to Barack Obama, one has to rely on his overt performance and on testimonies by his closest, nearest and dearest.Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Global Politician, Central Europe Review, PopMatters, Bellaonline, and eBookWeb, a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101. Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com You can download 22 of his free ebooks in our bookstore http://www.globalpolitician.com/25489-obama-narcissist-psychopath-usa-president FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Obama's Christian "Point Man": 'The Perfect Hybrid'

At 26, Joshua DuBois has already been a pastor and a congressional fellow, and is now the President's faith-based point man. CHRISTIANITY TODAY [CTI Publications] - By Sarah Pulliam - May 13, 2009 At 26, Joshua Dubois has already rubbed shoulders with more religious leaders than most religious leaders will in their lifetime. And he's starting to do a lot more of the same as President Obama's director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He'll be rubbing shoulders with the President, too. In fact, nearly everyone who knows DuBois believes he holds a special bond with the new President, an asset previous directors of the office say will be vital in order for his priorities to gain any attention. During the campaign, DuBois put together a daily devotional for Obama, using passages of Scripture and other religious books. Now he's helping him choose a church home in Washington, D.C. On his first day in office, Obama was ushered to a prayer service at the National Cathedral, where clergy, including Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, greeted the new President in private. "Katharine is very formal in a good Episcopalian way," said Wes Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary of the Reformed Church in America. "She has this staff, like a crosier, a big ornate thing. Obama looks at the staff, and playfully says, 'Joshua, I want one of those.' " That interaction demonstrated to Granberg-Michaelson that Obama and DuBois share a comfortable, close friendship. And if evangelicals want to have a voice in the new administration, DuBois is their window, said Granberg-Michaelson. "He has a tremendous amount of trust and relationships that span the theological spectrum."
Dividing Lines DuBois speaks openly about faith without going into many details. He's quick to clarify that, because of his new role, he wants to welcome all faiths. When asked whether he describes himself as an evangelical, he didn't directly respond. "In my role with the federal government," he explained, "I try to be clear that I'm not ashamed of my faith, but I try not to get into too many labels." Similarly, those who know him say that DuBois avoids the traditional religious dividing lines in his work as he meets with conservative organizations like the Family Research Council and liberal groups like Faith in Public Life. "He's not interested in the old ways in which we've sliced and diced communities," said Melissa Rogers, director of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public Affairs and a member of the office's advisory council. DuBois has also built relationships with people not known for political advocacy, such as Blue Like Jazz author Donald Miller and Relevant magazine founder Cameron Strang. "If you want to appeal to conservative evangelicals, you don't necessarily go to an organization," said Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland Church in Longwood, Florida. "You think in terms of individuals instead of institutional leadership. That's part of the makeup of the coming generation of evangelicals." During the campaign, DuBois met repeatedly with Hunter and other religious leaders from all over the country. He met with Granberg-Michaelson at Wrigley Field in Chicago. "We talked about how I worked with a Christian senator, Mark Hatfield, how a church relates to the issues of political power, and how those in politics relate to those in the Christian community," Granberg-Michaelson said. "We just had an awful lot in common and a lot to talk about. In the 2004 election, the job of Democratic religious outreach often seemed like being a tourism director for Gary, Indiana."
A Family of Faith DuBois grew up in Nashville, where his stepfather is a minister in an African Methodist Episcopal church. DuBois grew up listening to stories of his grandmother being spat on when she participated in the 1960 Nashville lunch counter sit-ins. "I've been proud of my family and their history and speaking up for what they think is right," he said. "But we are not a family of radicals. In fact, I probably listened to much more Focus on the Family than Pacifica Radio. "I probably had many dreams as a kid of living in Whit's End," DuBois said, referring to the Focus show Adventures in Odyssey. "I used to have Psalty the Songbook tapes. Those were my favorite songs." But even though DuBois grew up in a Christian home, he said it wasn't until attending Boston University that he began to have a personal relationship with Jesus. "Maybe there are some preachers' kids who had a similar experience, maybe because I was so close to the church in some ways, I was further away from it. Maybe I thought I knew everything," he said. "It really took me leaving home to realize that something was missing in my life." Eugene Schneeberg, DuBois' college friend and prayer partner to this day, invited him to Calvary Praise and Worship Center, a small African American Pentecostal congregation in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Just two years later, DuBois became the church's associate pastor. (He also still preaches in his father's pulpit on occasion.) Warren F. Collins, pastor of the church, was startled when DuBois showed up to preach one Sunday in a hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants. His nerves calmed as DuBois used his outfit as a sermon illustration, removing his sweats to reveal a suit underneath. "He was showing that you can't judge a person by how they look initially. If you hold on to a person, they will evolve into what is expected of them," Collins said. "The one thing I always say about Joshua is that he is wise beyond his years." DuBois also recently preached from the Book of Job about getting through trials. "When my mom and biological father divorced, she was left pretty destitute and we spent some time not having a place to live. Seeing her fortitude in that period has always provided me with strength," DuBois said. "Trying to get through political challenges in the White House is nothing compared to a single mom with a young kid trying to get a roof over her family's head." Like the President, DuBois is still looking for a permanent church home in Washington. He has been attending National Community Church, whose congregation of mostly 20-somethings meet in several movie theaters in the District. The church, pastored by Mark Batterson, is aligned with the Assemblies of God, the Willow Creek Association, and the Mosaic Alliance—which may be ideal for someone who is constantly trying to reach out to many denominations.
A Political Career Emerges During DuBois' freshman year, a jury in New York acquitted four police officers whose 41 bullets had killed unarmed Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo. DuBois joined the protests, holding a sign inscribed with "No More" at a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Boston for 41 hours. "As with many teenagers, I didn't give a tremendous amount of thought to anything spiritual or political before college," DuBois said. "It was something that kind of shook me a little and got me thinking about my relationship with the wider world." DuBois graduated from Boston U. in 2003 with a degree in political science and worked for Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) while earning a master's degree in public affairs from Princeton. Shortly before starting his law degree at Georgetown, DuBois saw Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004. He was struck in particular by the line, "We worship an awesome God in the blue states." It took him three tries before he was hired by Obama's Senate office. But once involved in Obama's presidential campaign, he gained a reputation for coordinating religious outreach, from the Saddleback Civil Forum to a small Chicago gathering with several dozen evangelicals, including Strang from Relevant. "He has the perfect hybrid of experience," Strang said. "He has the relationships to get things done, and he has the pastoral experience to understand how a church works."
Facing Criticism Despite his rapport with the President, it's unclear how much access DuBois has. "It'll be interesting to see how much attention it gets," said John Bridgeland, who served as Bush's director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, which oversaw the previous faith-based office. "The office is most active and gets the most presidential attention when people have direct access to the President." The first two directors of the office under Bush reported directly to the President, but DuBois will report to Melody Barnes, who now oversees the White House Domestic Policy Council. Barnes said that having that office in her council will keep it from becoming segregated. "The President knows Joshua well and respects his work. That will mean that we have robust activity going on in this office," Barnes said. "Having the relationships with people in the community, understanding the issues, and having the trust of the President make him a very important person." Barnes said that faith has always played a large role in her own life, so she takes a special interest in the new office. When asked about criticism of the office, she responded, "They will know us by the work that we do." DuBois defends the office by saying much of its work will be behind the scenes. "Our job is to communicate the opportunities and to provide technical assistance, like how to write a good application," DuBois said. "We're not necessarily having a press conference every time we move forward." Some observers criticize Obama for hiring someone from his political campaign rather than someone with experience in social policy. "Can you imagine the uproar if President Bush had appointed an evangelical pastor to the faith-based initiative?" asked Jim Towey, a former director of the office. Towey said he's concerned about how issues will be handled on a case-by-case basis, how the office will be able to tackle such a large agenda, and how DuBois will balance his time working with several federal agencies while handling a new advisory council. "I think President Obama gets credit for not sticking the faith-based initiative in the Smithsonian," Towey said. "Josh will always be able to get the President's ear, just by the force of his friendship, it seems. The challenge for him will be to produce results." Sarah Pulliam is online editor for Christianity Today and oversees the CT Politics blog (blog.christianitytoday.com/ctpolitics). http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/may/24.46.html
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