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Impressed

Entry 695, on 2008-02-12 at 21:25:59 (Rating 2, Politics)

Yesterday I watched an on-line video of a speech by Barack Obama talking about religion and politics. I expected to be depressed but quite the contrary was true: I was actually quite impressed by both what he said and the way he said it. After years of the current American administration I have a very poor opinion of US politics but if Obama does become president (and the consensus now seems to be that he will) and he can maintain some of the ideals he has now, I think he might make a great leader.

Of course, there have been past leaders who demonstrated idealism before being elected but quickly changed once the reality of political life hit them, but we can always be optimistic, can't we?

So what were some of the things I liked so much? Well he claimed to be a serious Christian but it would be political suicide not to make this claim and, if the way he spoke is a good indication, I see signs that maybe he isn't that committed, or at least he has a realistic view of the value of Christianity. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if he's not really a Christian at all, which is ironic since he mentioned in the speech that he has little respect for fake religion. Normally I would not find that sort of tactic acceptable, but he really has no choice so I do understand his position.

He totally rejected any literal interpretation of the Bible and he ridiculed the idea by pointing out the consequences of following some of the rules in Leviticus and Deuteronomy which is something atheists often also enjoy doing.

He talked about how unthinking commitment to authority is dangerous which is another theme I often pursue myself. So even though he speaks highly of faith he clearly understands its not necessarily always the best approach (some would say it never is). He said that Americans are sick of faith being used as a tool of attack which is surely a point which should resonate with any reasonable person.

He specifically talked about the rights of non-believers and how they also have a part in the political process. Considering past leaders have commented that atheists aren't even citizens, this must be a positive sign.

On several occasions he identified himself with being progressive and by American political standards he probably is. But I got the impression he was being careful about admitting to being too progressive.

I haven't taken a lot of notice of the American presidential election process. After all I live on the other side of the world so why should I care? Well America is still the most powerful country in the world and its leadership is important to everyone's future so I do care. And after watching this speech and doing some research on Obama's background I feel a lot more positive about the future. Maybe there is hope after all!

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Comment 17 (1409) by SBFL on 2008-04-16 at 00:20:00: (view earlier comments)

Re iTunes, different platform. Well maybe you are right. Then I certasinly won't be installing Safari. Especially after Apple have started to behave like Microsoft of old:
Mozilla Boss takes a bite out of Apple over Safari

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Comment 18 (1416) by OJB on 2008-04-16 at 14:24:56:

I know some people have made a fuss about this, and I agree that its not a good idea to install extra software this way, but really its not such a big deal. There's no harm in having Safari installed. You don't have to use it, and it is quite a nice browser which is far more compatible with emerging standards than other browsers. And do you think maybe the boss of Mozilla might have had a small interest in the issue?

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Comment 19 (1424) by SBFL on 2008-04-17 at 23:26:16:

Of course he does, but that doesn't mean he's not right. Of course I don't want SPAM software installed - it just clogs up my system: OS and HDD. My preference is for a lean mean machine with only the programs I use installed. If someone wants to install their programs by stealth then I will stay away from them. Hardly an endearing way to approach customers and potential customers is it?

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Comment 20 (1429) by OJB on 2008-04-18 at 13:33:01:

I agree that they shouldn't have done it but I don't think its as big an issue as many people believe. Maybe its just connected with the paranoia PC users have with extra stuff being installed on their systems. In Mac land we have no viruses and a lot less software conflicts so its no big deal to us.

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Comment 21 (2919) by OJB on 2011-08-04 at 16:09:11:

Looking back at this blog entry (it's now August 2011) it is depressing to see how right I was regarding Obama's good intentions being destroyed by political reality. How disappointing his lack of progress on anything worthwhile has been. I guess America really is doomed then...

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