Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kellman on Obama and Bush

In the early 1980's Jerry Kellman interviewed and hired a young Barack Obama for a $10,000 a year job with Chicago’s Developing Communities Project. Kellman, a Jew who converted to Roman Catholicism, is now the Director of Spiritual Formation for several parishes in the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. He was interviewed by an online spiritual magazine Bustedhalo.com. A sample:

BH: What were the biggest lessons and biggest surprises you learned in divinity school? Did you have any assumptions that were proven wrong?

JK: The biggest lesson was learning the nature of who Jesus was historically, not as God and being resurrected, but as the person he was and living as a Jew in a Jewish world. I also learned how much he resisted any other forms of religion, dogma and hierarchy. If we want to understand God, we can not question who do you believe in, but what kind of relationship you have with God.

I also have a stronger sense of sacramental tradition. Jesus’ purpose in public ministry was to express the Kingdom of God by acting it out in front of people. We can not talk about things, we need to act and take ritual actions that engage our body. I did not come to divinity school with that insight.

BH: How do you feel Obama has used religion in his campaign so far? Do you feel he may change his strategy as the primaries roll on?

JK: With his strong bond in the African-American community in Chicago, he has been able to express his beliefs in a community drenched in religion. We find God together as a people and Barack brings that faith perspective in finding God in the community. His church, Trinity United Church of Christ, has a strong sense of community as a whole.

Barack has articulated this better than any candidate in recent history, especially coming from an administration that has demonized their opponents and has divided people. I think that is so fundamentally anti-Christian I don’t even know where to start. This is the most profoundly anti-Christian administration of our lifetime.

Amen. Via Andrew Sullivan.

No comments: