By Ronald Glenn
Previously, I stated that President Barack Obama is neither fascist nor communist. Here, I shall attempt to explain why I believe he is a contemporary religious figure — a shaman.
The first time I reconsidered the question of how I would label Barack Obama, I was sitting in a church on a lovely June morning in 2008. I had attended several different churches over the previous months, mostly due to dissatisfaction with the church I had been attending. I noticed on that June morning in the middle of the church service that the woman in front of me had a Barack Obama campaign sticker on the diaper bag she had brought with her. There she was — a married woman, with several young children, in a conservative Christian church, stumping for Barack Obama.
And I soon discovered, as I went to other churches, that she was not alone. If any of these particular people had thought there was any chance Barack Obama was a communist, they would never have voted for him. I refused to accept the explanation that their support arose solely from hatred of George Bush or because they were too ignorant of Obama’s “socialist” policies.
I will begin my explanation by taking you back in time to another day in summer — August 24, A.D. 410, when Alaric and his troops sacked the city of Rome. In order to defend Christianity against taking the blame for this, St. Augustine wrote the City of God, a twenty-two-book work that would certainly make anyone’s top ten list for great books of the Western World. In it Augustine creates a dichotomy that has lasted until the present day. The history of the world is the struggle between two cities, the spiritual city of God, and the earthly city of men. The Protestant theologian Paul Tillich said Augustine “is the foundation of everything the West had to say.”
In the City of God, Augustine says the human soul is “a part neither of God nor of the divine nature, but merely a creature and, therefore, far from equality with God.” Millions of Christians, including the woman in front of me in church, no longer follow this orthodox belief. This has been replaced by a concept called “the God within,” a concept which began in the 20th century as a reaction against the Christian doctrine of original sin. Educated, hip Americans refused to accept the idea they needed to be saved from some evil inside of them. They turned in droves to meditation, where one could find the universe inside of oneself, and this universe was pleasing and good.
This kind of thinking is promoted on the TV talk show circuit quite regularly, much of it being passed off as “positive thinking,” a mechanism through which what you think can change reality. So what if we cannot do this for ourselves? We have someone do this for us. Someone who has the power.
The following is a quotation from The Hunting Peoples by Carleton S. Coon. You should see how beautifully this describes Barack Obama’s leadership function:
Stated briefly, a shaman’s job is to allay anxieties produced by mysterious causes. These causes are usually believed to be the handiwork of evil spirits, angry gods, or other hostile forces beyond the reach of ordinary men. To thwart them and thus to restore the affected person or persons to health and peace of mind, a specialist needs to be called in.
This specialist is someone who has learned how to communicate with spirits and to deal with them on their own terms. He is believed to be telepathic, clairvoyant, and able to move material objects by telekinesis. The feats of some shamans witnessed by a number of fieldworkers and other western observers have impressed them deeply. Whatever else he may be, the shaman is a gifted artist.
Fill in the blanks. The evil spirits are George Bush and Dick Cheney. The angry gods are the bankers. You get the point.
The problem with being a shaman is that his answers to life are not directed by outside forces, such as the United States Constitution, common sense, or any sort of restraint. Everything is based upon the inner power of the shaman and his ability to get in touch with the spirit world. Obama is endlessly in touch with the spirits of justice, equality, peace, change, and more like it. That these spirit guides would be expected to fit these concepts into the Bill of Rights is annoying to Obama the shaman. Traditionally, shamans do go into trances, but President Obama does not have to since his followers already believe in his magic instead.
Shamanism has its roots in the Paleolithic, at least 35,000 years ago. In the present, shamanism has remained viable only in traditional societies on the edges of, not in, modern civilization. Modern society relies on truths that come from outside of itself, like those found in science and philosophy and law. The kind of people I met in the various churches I attended need to understand that a shaman is not part of Augustine’s Spiritual City, he is part of the Earthly City, tricking them into believing his love of self is really a love of truth. Educated western missionaries to traditional societies saw that shamans were exceptionally intelligent liars and tricksters. Obama’s approval rating is down to 41 percent and will further decline as people begin to wake up from their sleep and slowly realize that Obama is not a shaman but a put-on.
Ronald Glenn has worked in real estate and law for more than twenty years. He now works in Philadelphia, and lives outside the city with his wife. Ron has been writing for America’s Right since January 2009.