Creative Minority Reports on a Barack Obama interview in 2004 with a religion reporter for the Chicago Sun Times.
GG: Do you believe in sin?
OBAMA: Yes. GG:
What is sin?
OBAMA: Being out of alignment with my values.
This not only says a lot about Obama, but pretty much reflects an idea that is quite common – even if not explicitly mentioned often.
That the only real sin is hypocrisy from your own values. For a Christian this is such nonsense that it is hard to know where to start. St. Augustine defined sin as "A word, deed or desire in opposition to the eternal law" and sin is the deliberate transgression of a law of God. This idea of sin expounded by Obama means that you could be a sinless serial killer as long as murder was one of your values. Now maybe Obama meant that sin was being out of alignment with his values that were informed by God’s law. Though considering the rampant relativism the idea of "my values" is very prevalent and even when influenced by eternal law there is almost always a restriction of what those eternal laws are and an adding on of your own.
What he views as God’s laws I think are quite uncertain considering the following:
So you got yourself born again?
OBAMA: Yeah, although I don’t, I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma. And I’m not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I’ve got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others.
I’m a big believer in tolerance. I think that religion at it’s best comes with a big dose of doubt. I’m suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.
I think that, particularly as somebody who’s now in the public realm and is a student of what brings people together and what drives them apart, there’s an enormous amount of damage done around the world in the name of religion and certainty.
Are you "certain" that there is much damage done in the name of religion? He "understands" that people are "limited in their understanding" Sounds a lot like "I absolutely don’t believe in absolutes." It is also a rather strange answer to the question and seems to have nothing to do with the idea of being "born again." It seems to me that many people if asked this question who used the language of being "born again" would talk about their faith and Jesus and pretty much not throw water on their faith.
His idea of dogma and having a monopoly on truth is also rather odd. Dogma is just a "formally revealed truth" and if something isn’t true it isn’t dogmatic. This just arises from a misunderstanding of the word and the animus that society has built around it. But truths can to be tested with our reason and should be. Faith and reason go hand in hand and the only reason to believe something is that it to be true and to revise your understanding when you find that it is not. If we believe something to be true after investigating it than why in the world would you worry about having a monopoly on the truth? But then again truth is not something you can have a monopoly on. We can only share in the truth, we don’t own it as a property and truth is not a zero-sum game. He also seems to indicate a certain skepticism that we can’t know the truth in the first place and so should not try to pass on the truth we believe to others. This is also another modern physiological claim that is often believed, but never actually practiced. I am fond of quoting Chesterton line that their are two kinds of people. Those who believe in dogma and those who don’t know they believe in dogma.
The thing about truth though is that as long as not everybody accepts something as being true it will always lead to division. That is one reason why Jesus said that he did not bring peace, but the sword. The modern virtue of tolerance is often in opposition to the truth in that it pretends that all ideas have the same weight and tries to eliminate divisions by pretending that they don’t really exist. Toleration is "the disposition to permit, or bear with, views, actions, or teaching that differs from one’s own." It is not the acceptance of ideas and actions contrary to your own We should do way more than tolerate our neighbors, we should love them. Love is the willing of a good for another.
So I don’t tolerate Barack Obama, I love him and I pray that he finds the truth and gives up his many errors such as his radical support of abortion.