Farah presents his view from the point of view of a Christian who believes that praying for Obama’s success means that you are praying for success in his specific positions that are contrary to our moral position. These things by now are no particular secret. Clearly, abortion rights is a major issue, and any attempt to expand these rights through the Freedom of Choice Act, his past voting record as an Illinois State Senator, voting against an act that wouold protect infants who were born alive after botched abortion attempts, and the appointment of liberal judges can’t be supported. During the campaign, Obama and Biden both stated that they are not for gay marriage, though they favor civil unions. But in the past, Obama has said he favors it, and even since the election he does not support constitutional bans of same-sex marriage, and ‘respects’ state Supreme Court decisions that thwart the will of the people. When asked to discuss one of his greatest regrets, of all things he could have chosen, he decided to point to his support to review the case of Terri Schiavo. Why, of all matters possible, would an intervention to simply review the case one last time to ensure justice to a woman who is being starved and dehydrated be the one thing that comes to mind? It’s somewhat galling. This clearly presents Obama in a different camp than us Christians on the issue of euthanasia. It’s also been no major secret that Obama supports publicly funded embryonic stem-cell research.
These are moral issues. I cannot and will not support Obama in any of these issues if he continues to take the path he has taken in the past, and claims to want to take in the future.
But does this mean that I should pray for Obama’s failure as a president? Well, I guess it depends on what it is you focus on.
Here’s my thought: Hope and pray for America’s success. Pray that Obama succeeds in doing God’s will. Pray for his safety. Pray that, on issues that are not moral issues, he succeeds and fails in accord for what is best for our country.
Let’s leave the moral issues aside at this point. We have strict differences there, and my opinion is known. I most certainly hope the promotion of these issues fails. It is nothing personal against Obama, and it is not for political expediency that I feel this way. It is because my convictions in these areas must outweigh any perceived lack of patriotism some misguided souls may inappropriately apply to such hope for failure.
But on other issues, should we pray for failure? I suggest that the answer is ‘no.” Don’t get me wrong here. I wholeheartedly disagree with increasing our tax burden. I disagree with trillion dollar debts and more bailouts. I disagree with increased regulation. I am less certain about the best strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan, and foreign policy. There may well be a few nuggets that I can agree with and support Obama on, as well. But these issues are debatable. They are not strict issues of morality (not even welfare, social security, and the role of government. That is NOT a moral issue. It is the strategy of attacking a moral issue which all of us fundamentally agree is an issue, but with different ideas of addressing it. That is why it is so maddening to have people compare that to abortion).
Let me outline my thinking here by providing the analogy of working for a company. Let’s say the company is discussing a new marketing strategy. Let’s say you have an idea on the best route to go with it, and someone else has the polar opposite view. Now, let’s say the polar opposite view from yours wins out as a strategy. Now, you may personally believe that this is a mistake, and it could be a disaster. You have made your opinion known, you have had the debate, but now the decision has been made.
So, do you undermine your own company and try to cause the new strategy to fail? Not if you have any integrity. Unless we’re talking about moral or ethical issues, you do your part to try and make this new strategy succeed. You assist when called upon, you do your best, and you falt-out hope that your perception of this was wrong. That’s right, you humbly hope you are mistaken, and wish success to the company President, the team, the whole company, and the guy who had the idea in the first place. If necessary, you shoot for success even if it’s in spite of the decision that was made in lieu of a potentially better way to go.
I personally believe we’re heading for disaster if we introduce a near-trillion dolalr stimulus package. I believe that an effort to roll back the Bush tax cuts is ill-timed and could cause even worse economic hardship. I am concerned that we will withdraw too quickly from Iraq. I am concerned about over-regulation in a number of areas, and even a restriction of our rights via the ‘Fairness Doctrine.’. I’m concerned that the left will go bonkers and start trying to send former administration officials to jail for political purposes.
Some of these I feel more wary about than others. But in the end, what I hope for is that, whether or not I can see the wisdom of a certain action, that whatever is decided is the right thing for America. Maybe that means Obama fails miserably in terms of getting his way, and that is what’s best. Maybe it means that he gets his way and I am wrong about the implications for the country. Maybe it means that Obama is more willing to stand up to the extreme left than I give him credit for, and that he really does want to govern from the center. Maybe it means that the Republicans get a spine and get energized, and thwart bad policy. And however it happens, if it’s the best for America, that means we’ll be better off in four years. And it may be because of Obama or it may be despite Obama. But that’s what I hope for.
It’s what we all should hope for.
So, hoping and praying for Obama’s success, in my opinion, is not the same as hoping and praying for a successful institution of his policies. It is at once reasonable to be praying and working for a failure of some policies, while praying and working for the overall success of our President and our nation.