Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Obama's Debt to Moses

by Jake Mohan 

Tags: spirituality, Barack Obama, Moses, politics,

mosesBarack Obama will continue to face challenges in his occasionally troubled relationship with religion in America—from the Reverend Wright fracas to the (howlingly inaccurate yet maddeningly persistent) rumor that he is a Muslim—Bruce Feiler writes for Beliefnet. In “More Moses, Please, Mr. Obama,” Feiler draws analogies between Moses, “who created the template for how to escape from slavery,” America’s fraught racial history, and Obama’s promise as a reconciler in racial and religious arenas. “At times [Obama] has made his debt to Moses public” with subtle religious language, but Feiler argues that the newly minted Democratic presidential candidate could afford to make Biblical imagery even more overt without alienating his secular followers. It’s an interesting idea for the next phase of Obama’s campaign: a forward-looking prescription for how the candidate might navigate race and faith, two issues that have both plagued and invigorated his campaign.