Some years ago, one of our Presidents, a number of years before he became President, was interviewed. He was asked if he prayed often. He may have been caught a little off guard by the question, but quickly admitted,
yeah, I guess I do. It’s not formal–me getting on my knees. I think I have an ongoing conversation with God. I think throughout the day, I’m constantly asking myself questions about what I’m doing, why am I doing it.
He went on to describe the pressures in public life coming at you from a variety of different sides. Sometimes you have to push back, some times you have to be a strong advocate for a point of view. Which requires a “moral compass.”
So, he said,
the biggest challenge, I think, is always maintaining your moral compass. Those are the conversations I’m having internally. I’m measuring my actions against that inner voice that for me at least is audible, is active, it tells me where I think I’m on track and where I think I’m off track.
This may have escaped the notice of the major media, but here a political leader admits his conversations with himself are sort of an ongoing conversation with God, internal conversations in which an “audible” active inner voice tells him where he is right and where he is wrong. I may be mistaken, but what followed in the interview makes me think I am on to something here:
It’s interesting, the most powerful political moments for me come when I feel like my actions are aligned with a certain truth. I can feel it. When I’m talking to a group and I’m saying something truthful, I can feel a power that comes out of those statements that is different than when I’m just being glib or clever.
The interviewer asked the questions I might have: “What’s that power? Is it the holy spirit? God?” The politician answered:
Well, I think it’s the power of the recognition of God, or the recognition of a larger truth that is being shared between me and an audience. That’s something you learn watching ministers, quite a bit. What they call the Holy Spirit.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I am criticizing this or any other religiously oriented leader in the White House or elsewhere who in some sense gets his directions from God, from the Holy Spirit, from “praying” in the manner described. It’s the media coverage. And the “theology” of his last statement seems a bit confused: Is there or is there not a real Holy Spirit, or is “what they call the Holy Spirit” simply “the recognition of a larger truth that is being shared.” Apparently in speaking to audiences he feels at times “the power” of this “Holy Spirit.” (Does Tim Tebow talk this way about throwing passes?) Is this a Christian understanding of the Holy Spirit?
Anyway, I would find it interesting that the mainstream media hasn’t knocked this leader around a little for saying that an audible (to him) voice of God, which he hears in an ongoing conversation with God, tells him where he might be off track or on track. And that he feels the Holy Spirit sometimes when he’s speaking to a crowd–interesting, except that he is Barak Obama. The interview is here. The Double Standard is business as usual for the media, it seems.