Jimmy Carter's faith is plain for all to see. Barack Obama, as far as I can tell, has no faith except in himself, and misguidedly while president, in the American people and system.
Yesterday the Trump Administration formally notified the United Nations that it would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords.
Today scientists from 153 countries issued the direst statement yet on the man-made planetary crisis.
That means the supposed "leader of the free world," and the greatest emitter of greenhouse gases, is no longer relevant to the human prospect. As a people, America has ceased to matter to the future of humanity.
In direct proportion to the ecological emergency, described as a "climate emergency" by over 11,000 scientists, man's darkness is saturating human consciousness.
Is only darkness operating effectively in human consciousness? Clearly yes, no matter how much New Agers and wishful thinkers pronounce, "the revolution in consciousness is already happening."
It has become extremely difficult to have faith in humanity, and faith that a greater intelligence cares about the fate of potentially intelligent species such as Homo sapiens.
In 2015, Jimmy Carter announced that he had melanoma, which then spread to his brain. "I have, since that time, been absolutely confident that my Christian faith includes complete confidence in life after death."
"So, I'm going to live again after I de. Don't know what form I'll take, or anything."
That covers a lot of territory, from Christian notions of heaven, to Eastern insights into reincarnation.
On the surface, ex-presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama seem a lot alike. Both won improbable victories as liberals appealing to a broad spectrum of Americans weary of partisanship. Both had failed presidencies, though Obama was rightly hailed as the first African-American to assume the highest office in the land.
Carter was a one-term president that lost to the regressive Reagan, who brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. (The Soviets were so convinced that Ronald-the-bellicose was going to launch a first strike that he had to make direct assurances that he had no intention of doing so.)
Obama won two terms but paved the way for Donald Trump by refusing to read the writing on the wall. He was incapable of taking the weakening pulse of the nation's spirit. His lack of faith and feeling for anything higher than the mind of man prevented him from doing so.
For three years the lamestream media has been pushing the narrative that Hillary's loss and Trump's ascendancy was primarily due to a racist backlash. But it wasn't, notwithstanding the Donald's birther bullshit.
After all, many of the same people who voted for Obama twice---in my home state of Michigan for example---gave up on government and voted for ugly mouth Trump.
Obama was unable to address the spiritual emptiness in America because he is the embodiment of detached intellect. Americans invested their last measure of "hope and change" in a candidate of eloquence and seeming heart. In effect, Barack conned the American people.
After veritably saving the world economy, Obama as president was more interested in pleasing the bankers and preserving the status quo. Rather than go back to the Clintons, the American people turned to a corrupt demagogue.
Calling for more incrementalism at a time of ecological, economic and ethical emergency amounts to gross negligence. Obama still fails to make the distinction between the necessity of political compromise and the imperative of psychological revolution.
So is there faith without belief? Yes, though it's a harder row to hoe. Jimmy Carter embodies faith in both senses of the word, though he's too sure of his Christian beliefs. Obama appears to have little or no faith in either sense of the word, and that's why he was unable to connect with the people.
In the final analysis, there are people who believe there is nothing after death, and people who feel there is something but they don't know what.
I for one feel that "reincarnation is a fact but not the truth." However that still doesn't address the conundrum of "I believe, help my unbelief."
Well, that's why they call it faith. And we each have to work it out for ourselves.
Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He welcomes dialogue. firstname.lastname@example.org
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