The Hope That We Confess

I’m not a very political person. I lean Republican, but not always very strongly. I tend to be apolitical. If you’ve been reading this blog or known me for very long, you’ll know that’s true.  I mention these things to back up the fact that I’ve never been too bothered by anything Obama has said in the sense that I understand what he’s thinking and why he thinks that, even though I don’t usually agree with it. But tonight I heard something that made me nearly fall out of my chair, or shout, or I don’t know what.

This commercial was released by the Obama campaign recently in which they lift some audio from the end of Obama’s recent speech at the DNC. In case you don’t have time to watch the ad, this is the end of the section of the speech they use in the ad, and to which I’d like to draw your attention (emphasis mine):

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.

When I heard it, I had to stop and rewind. Here, Obama is quoting Hebrews 10:23. You might like to take a look at the surrounding passage or the whole chapter to get a little context. It’s worth it, go ahead and read. If you’re not really into reading the Bible, try this version.

With that verse in its proper context, the hope is the promise of God to save us from our sin through the sacrifice Jesus made. The hope we have is based on God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises.

I know Obama is a Christian and not a Muslim. But a person who takes his faith and his scripture seriously, no matter what religion he is and what his holy book is, would never leave the ambiguity that Obama did when lifting that reference to Jesus, the single most important character in the Bible, and his God as a Christian, out of scripture and putting it into his speech. Why? Because in the context of his speech, our hope becomes something else altogether. Hmm… what could that hope be in, I wonder?

I suppose we’ll just have to fill in the blanks ourselves.

I would sooner die than distort scripture like this. Dude is not a Muslim. He’s not a Christian either. He’s an opportunist.

Twitter and the Debate

Tonight’s presidential debate between McCain and Obama began about 50 minutes ago. Steph and I don’t have cable TV, and our reception is pretty bad out here, so I haven’t been watching the actual debate itself on TV. (If you’re curious, we get all our TV from various reputable locations the Net.) I have, however, been watching the comments going by on Twitter’s Election 2008 site.

If you go there outside the debate, you’ll of course see all the random things people are saying about the candidates, the election, and other buzzwords surrounding their campaigns. But visiting the site during the debate itself is an interesting and unique experience. Being able to watch people’s reactions live (or nearly-live, perhaps delayed by a minute or two) is a fascinating, unfiltered look into what Americans are thinking as the event happens moment by moment. All the funny lines, all the stutters, and a lot of overflowing love and disagreement are tangled up in the stream as you watch it go past. It’s beautiful.

It felt like a pretty important moment at the intersection of politics, technology, and public discourse, so I recorded a movie of it scrolling by on my screen about 20 minutes after the debates started, just to give a sense of what it was like. It’s just under four minutes long. Note that the language and emotions are unfiltered, as I have already said, and with that in mind, check it out.