Amazing Grace is now in the realm of civil religion (right there with Battle Hymn of the Republic), what with President Obama’s performance last weekend and the almost entire failure of the chattering classes to worry about what the president’s singing means for the separation of church and state (notice comments by Larry Kudlow and Scott Simon at Huffington Post). On the personal level, I like President Obama since he seems to be having fun as chief executive. But it also troubles me that he seems to be the typical boomer, too aware that he is president to act presidential. Think David Letterman always letting us know that he was aware that he was on camera instead of simply performing. President Obama seems to be a guy who had being president on his bucket list of things to do before he died. And now he is enjoying his time as president. From Beyonce and Prince performing in the White House, to being interviewed by Mark Maron on WTF (sorry c,e), to singing a few bars of Amazing Grace all alone.
But aside from the people who don’t worry about the separation of church and state, will the gay advocates really be comfortable with the president singing a song that implies severe and eternal torments for sinful activity (like homosexual sex?):
Amazing grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come,
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.
Are any progressive Americans (or obedience boys for that matter) willing to sign up for being a wretch and in need of saving grace?
How many proponents of a better future are willing to contemplate death, especially death as a penalty for sin?
How many non-Calvinists are willing to affirm that God’s grace is monergistic?
How many Americans think about eternal life as a never-ending P&W worship service?
President Obama on one day celebrates same-sex marriage, the next day he sings a song written by a Christian who would have never countenanced homosexuality.
Is this a
great pretty good country or what?