We’re all by now too familiar with the wonderful speech that Barry gave at the Tucson
2012 Campaign Rally Memorial Service at a stadium at the University of Arizona, complete with the Jumbotron flashing “applause signs“, bizarre “memorial t-shirts” sporting a campaign motto, “Together We Thrive”, which was previously on an Obama website, circa 2008, and also on “anti-racism” t-shirts for sale at this site, in December, 2010. Earlier still, the same site featured “Together We Thrive”anti-racist baby clothing. [Indoctrination in "right think" can never begin too early.] Curiously, it’s difficult to discover who picked up the $60,000 tab for those shirts. One blog claims that the U of AZ will pay for the shirts (will they really or will it simply be made to appear so?) and also that a U of AZ student designed the shirts. If so, I wonder if the red bubble folks are concerned about copyright infringement? Or might they be the source of these shirts, given that the manufacturer has not yet been determined?
One is left to wonder why an anti-racism motto was used as the theme for this “memorial service” (who ever heard of branding a funeral?) when racism had NOTHING to do with this atrocity? The shooter did not act out of racism. There’s nothing apparent about the victims to indicate any racial motivation for his acts. Can we be forgiven for concluding that this event was used to roll out Obama 2012, whose theme doubtless will be Post-Racial, Post-National POTUS, Redux?
All this is neither here nor there. What piqued my interest, because it’s cited so often now, is this phrase from Barry’s wonderful, brilliant, Kumbaya, bring-us-all-together, memorial unity speech:
“Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.”
Curious, I decided to search the Web for the phrase “expand our moral imagination.” I figured, rightly as it appears, that in no way did Obama not plagiarize this thought, as he (or his speech writers) so often do (remember those shirts?). Oh, what a treasure trove of interesting articles I found!
Moral imagination is code amongst a certain set: some religious leaders, social justice progressives, as well as secular humanists, in particular. Where to begin?
First, no surprise, this is a retread from Barry’s other brilliant, wonderful, globally unifying, yadda-yadda-yadda speech in acceptance of that woefully undeserved Nobel Prize.
“It is also why the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, famine and mass displacement that will fuel more conflict for decades. For this reason, it is not merely scientists and activists who call for swift and forceful action – it is military leaders in my country and others who understand that our common security hangs in the balance. Agreements among nations. Strong institutions. Support for human rights. Investments in development. All of these are vital ingredients in bringing about the evolution that President Kennedy spoke about. And yet, I do not believe that we will have the will, or the staying power, to complete this work without something more – and that is the continued expansion of our moral imagination; an insistence that there is something irreducible that we all share.”
For the curious, according to Barry, Kennedy said,
“Let us focus on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions.”
The New World Order?
Going further back in the time machine, I came across a “resource for deliberation on attitudes regarding immigrants and a resource to interpret and apply ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America] policy related to immigration.”
As defined in this document, “immigrants” are “all newcomers who now live in this country,” so that would include illegal aliens. This 1997 “resource” stated, “Recalling that our families were once the ‘stranger’–and remembering our Lord’s call to love our neighbors as ourselves–can expand our moral imagination, enable us to see the new ‘stranger’ as our neighbor and open us to welcome today’s newcomers. … This is a fitting time for us to … continue to advocate for immigration, refugee, and asylum laws that are fair and generous [an oxymoron?].”
It should come as no surprise that this policy guide also speaks of the need to reunite newcomer families, to find “flexible” and “humane ways” for illegal aliens to “adjust their legal status,” and to remember that “border enforcement should always respect the human dignity of persons attempting to cross.”
So it should also come as no surprise that He Who Speaks In Codes would use this phrase that may be quite recognizable to the many “immigrants” to whom Barry panders, especially in the great state of Arizona.
This church has a booklet of “talking points” for Christian-Muslim “relations.” [You can only imagine the talking points concerning women in Islam. Read at your own risk.] The church was formed in 1988 and has its administration in Chicago. Suffice it to say that it broke from “conservative” Lutheran churches, which now comprise the MO Synod, if I remember history. This church recognizes the “pro-choice” position on abortion.
Their website states: “Twin problems–excessive consumption by industrialized nations, and relentless growth of human population worldwide–jeopardize efforts to achieve a sustainable future.” Reading through their site, one sees that they support social justice and Obamacare, and oppose “global warming.” Their “e-Advocacy Network” encourages church members to write Congress, the POTUS, and others on issues such as (I’m not making this up) telling the president to support a UN resolution AGAINST Israeli settlements.”
Readers are free to correct me; this isn’t a post about any particular church, but I wanted to supply some background so one needn’t go looking to satisfy curiosity. Perhaps Red Pill, our resident religious scholar, can provide more insight.
Given that Barry and the Democrats, in 2008, co-opted religion, particularly the “Christian right”, by attempting to equate “progressive policies” with what Jesus would do, successfully in too many instances, it’s very likely that Barry knows of this church, their administrators in Chicago, and their work specifically amongst “newcomers,” aka illegal aliens.
Let us be forewarned: with their quotes from Job and all the other Biblical references at the Tucson “memorial”, progressive Marxists intend to use this tactic again, in 2012. Thus, this week you hear Obama, Napolitano, and Holder quote Christian Scripture. Be ready to learn more Scripture over the next two years!
But what is the source for this concept, moral imagination? I found this article, “The Moral Imagination” by Russell Kirk which explains that the phrase was first used (if this author is correct) by Edmund Burke, oddly enough, in a critique of the secularist nature of the French Revolution, in which he decried “the destruction of civilizing manners by the revolutionaries,” but also seemed to despise the equality promoted by them: “On this scheme of things, a king is but a man … ”
To me, this sounds as if he prefers the idea of an educated elite, with wise rulers; but then again, I’m no student of “humane letters” nor am I a “humanist.” So it may be that Burke, who wrote at the time of the Founders, circa 1790, despised the notion that a human being is merely an animal, like every other, and nothing more.
The author, Kirk, who wrote a book in 1981 entitled “The Moral Imagination”, explains that “moral imagination aspires to the apprehending of right order in the soul and right order in the commonwealth. … It is the moral imagination which informs us concerning the dignity of human nature, which instructs us that we are more than naked ape.”
But who shall determine the “right order?” I’m sure that Barry has a fitting answer for that question. Barry, his czars, his handlers, Soros, the literati, the elite, but above all, NOT the “common folk”, we who so pathetically cling to guns, religion, and xenophobia.
There is also this article, “Obama and the Moral Imagination,” written over a year ago, and that Barry assuredly noticed. The author, John Couretas, explains exactly what Barry the “Storyteller” was doing with his [to us, well known, bogus] life narrative. He writes,
“Any effort by religious conservatives or free market advocates to counter Obama’s agenda in the cultural or economic spheres will have to come to grips with the way in which the new president is using the grand narratives of American history — and key figures like Washington, Lincoln and King — to connect and inspire supporters who see the Obama phenomenon really more as a social movement than political campaign. Obama the story teller has tapped into powerful currents of feeling, touched the deepest aspirations of millions, in a way that has given him tremendous political momentum.”
Indeed. And now he’s doing the same with religion.
Couretas says, “When Obama invokes, as he did in his inaugural address, Washington’s inspiring words at Valley Forge about ‘hope and virtue,’ … it is not Obama’s story to do with as he pleases, one he can freely make use of without anchoring it to how Washington understood ‘hope and virtue.’” Certainly, Washington’s story is NOT Barry’s story to rewrite to suit his own understanding of “hope and virtue,” but that won’t stop him from doing it. He will co-opt it. Yes, he can. Yes, he will. Yes, he has.
Couretas goes on, “Little wonder, then, that Obama has so heavily employed references to Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, a president who looms like an Old Testament patriarch over the great moral struggle of the American people over slavery. And with his many references to Martin Luther King, Obama also positions himself as the inheritor of that legacy, adapted to a 21st Century transnational multi-culture. This is something close to a universal narrative … For this reason, the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery … has described Obama as ‘the first global president.’ “
So he hopes. Couretas warned, “If there is to be an alternative telling of the American story against Obama’s narrative, it will have to be rooted in the moral imagination, what Russell Kirk described as ‘the bank and capital of the ages, the normative knowledge found in revelation, authority, and historical experience’ which offers as touchstones the great works of art and literature on questions of morals, politics and culture.”
Sadly, the Repblicans didn’t get the memo; Barry is beating them to the punch. He himself will now present the “alternative telling” to his very own bogus 2008 narrative. Their bad!
Couretas informs us that “Obama’s inauguration‘s theme, ‘The New Birth of Freedom,’ is drawn from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. … Obama started early on adopting the Lincoln narrative. He announced the start of his presidential campaign in February 2007 on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. — the site of Lincoln’s ‘House Divided’ speech.”
Barry knows exactly what he is doing. Couretas asks, “Will those who work in the tradition of the moral imagination provide a counter-narrative on those questions where there is a fundamental clash? Do they understand, as Kirk did, the need for ‘the renewal of our awareness of transcendent order, and the presence of the Other’? Will they find their voice?”
God, as opposed to secularism, if I understand his point correctly. Perhaps there will be an alternative voice to counter Barry’s interpretation, but only if it’s the voice of the Tea Party. Don’t look to the Republicans to understand, much less be able to fight this “narrative”. Not on Barry’s level. Yet Sarah Palin seems to “get it.” Thus, their hatred for her.
Another person who frequently uses the phrase moral imagination is journalist, author, and speaker Robert Wright. Wikipedia tells us that he writes about “evolutionary psychology”, religion, and game theory, among other topics.
Notably, one of his books is entitled, “The Evolution of God”. Wright is an agnostic and argues, apparently, that any “deity”, if one should exist, “would be realizing moral progress through evolution’s creation of the human moral sense (and through the subsequent development of that moral sense via cultural evolution, particularly technological evolution).”
If I understand his touchy-feely, secular approach, he seems to argue that it’s well and good to patronizingly allow people to have their superstitions (my word) because ultimately, if nothing else, religion can serve to promote expansion of the “moral sense.” But never forget that the “creator” is evolution itself.
I suspect that Robert Wright has a huge influence, not only on the words that Barry uses in speeches, but also on Barry’s habit of appeasing the Muslim world. This article by Wright, “Why We Think They Hate Us: Moral Imagination and the Possibility of Peace,” specifically addresses how Wright views America’s relationship with the Muslim world (or vice versa) as a “zero sum game”, which basically means, if I win, you lose. His belief seems to be that if we all hold hands together and sing Kumbaya, if we’re all interconnected, all the same (nobody better off than anyone else), all dependent upon each other (in a global economy?), then this would be a non-zero sum game (I win, you win, too) and all will be hunky dory in the NWO.
Wright contends, “If Muslims get less happy with their place in the world, more resentful of their treatment by the West, support for radical Islam will grow, so things will get worse for the West. If, on the other hand, more and more Muslims feel respected by the West and feel they benefit from involvement with it, that will cut support for radical Islam, and Westerners will be more secure from terrorism.”
Wright holds a cynical view of human morality. He believes moral truth is nothing more than an evolved Darwinian advantage working through kin selection, based, when all is said and done, upon self interest alone. So free will is a myth! Good and evil? Myths. He views “intuitions” that lead us towards compassion and altruism as little more than reflexes encoded into our genes. This is a quintessential secular humanist view, otherwise known as “reciprocal altruism.” It denies religion except for an arguably useful role in indoctrinating (again, my word) via “emotional” inveiglement, so that the congregation can be brought to recognize the need to “expand their moral imagination” along the route predetermined by progressives (and evolution, aka, the mindless universe). Humans can be perfected but we aren’t there yet; progressivism will lead to perfection if only we’d all (globally) get with the program.
In Wright’s view, America is not to blame for the 9/11 attacks, but there’s an “asterisk” to his statement. He wrote an entire “online appendix” to further explain his point, which is basically that there’s no such thing as blame: “In the Darwinian view, blame is a kind of epiphenomenon, a byproduct of core strategic calculations.” Aren’t you rubes impressed with those big words?
His bottom line: “America could serve its interests by doing fewer things that are perceived as arrogant,” so that’s what we should do.
You must read the entire essay to understand why I call his view cynical. Again, be forewarned: Wright has an irritating habit of making pronouncements like, “We tend to feel guiltier over minor slights we’ve committed against a high-status acquaintance than against a low-status acquaintance.”
Uh, no “we” don’t, Mr. Wright. You may, but we all don’t. Elites might, as well as those who believe that class divisions are the natural order, and thus they may then “normalize” such beliefs to the entire human race. But that doesn’t make it so. However, Wright’s belief about high-status versus low-status individuals must hold true, else his theory about the evolution of morality falls apart.
Wright’s solution for America after 9/11: When we deal with other countries, especially those who hate us, American politicians must engage them in economic pursuits, so that our fates are intertwined. We must “respect” them and “be aware of the signals we’re sending out.” Americans must learn via expanding our moral imagination how to put ourselves in the Muslims’ shoes. Wright believes, apparently, that Muslims who hate us do so because of our disrespect of them; they perceive that we disrespect them and want to “dominate” them.
Wright’s prescription for USING moral imagination: “Option one is the moral imagination template. Here you manage to relate to the perspective of [Muslims]who deem America arrogant, come to appreciate what a natural and thus powerful grievance this is from their point of view, and conclude that America would be wise to change its behavior.” [I substituted "Muslims" because it's more apt to his thesis and because, inexplicably, he used "flag burners" in his example.]
So what’s my point in boring you with all of this? Read again the two quotes I cited from Barry’s Tucson speech and his Oslo speech. Some, or all of the above, is echoed (some would say plagiarized) in Barry’s speeches, as well as seen in his behavior. He believes this stuff! This is
- why he turns his back on our former allies;
- why he kowtows to and tries to make sworn, unregenerate enemies into allies;
- why he uses religious terms to emotionally inveigle (aka fool) religious people into believing that his policies are what Jesus would do;
- why he goes out of his way to “respect” Muslims (as if his faith and personal history aren’t explanation enough);
- why he turns a memorial service into a campaign rally with a theme of togetherness, with special meaning for those newcomer illegal aliens who simply crossed what should be an open border;
- why he doesn’t seem to care if socialized medicine, cap and tax, or onerous business regulations damage our economy;
- why he wants to unilaterally disarm us and share our defense technology;
- why high unemployment in AMERICA is not a priority; but, above all,
- why he tries so hard to cut America down to size.
This is why he and the rest of the NWO secular elites embrace the fallacy of “global warming” (currently “climate change”, but quickly evolving into “climate instability”, as myth collides with reality), because through this excuse, they can cripple our economy, redistribute our wealth and resources, and prevent us from becoming energy independent.
Why does our president want this country to be dependent (interdependent, co-dependent) on other countries, when it need not be so? This POTUS uses every trick in the book, any excuse (global warming, pollution regulation, snails and owls and darters, oh, my!) to prevent development of OUR energy resources so that we MUST remain energy dependent and so that Muslim “allies” can continue to be profitable, to have a place in the global society, to be “respected.” It’s probably also why he’s giving Muslims a place in our space program. This is an elementary-school-style, self-esteem program, on steroids.
This POTUS actively seeks to MAKE us dependent upon other countries, instead of superior to and independent of them. This is why “American Exceptionalism” is anathema to the man.
I never imagined that this post would become so long. My apologies. But what now? I envision this as a place to document examples of the use of this concept, moral imagination, as well as the inevitable cynical attempts by progressives to use religion, especially Christianity, to further their secular progressive New World Order in the upcoming election.
More links where you can read about Robert Wright; I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t one of Barry’s speechwriters:
Note: To any who may wonder why I refer to the POTUS as Barry, it’s simple: First, it’s his name. Second, when he shows respect for We the People, his employers, then I shall call him Mr. Obama. Until then, it’s Barry.