Obama at Georgetown blasts a culture of "instant gratification"

His speech at the Jesuit university today on the economy(he is speaking as I write) evokes the themes of personal responsibility and the similarly "old-fashioned"--dare I say conservative?--values that he has reiteratedsince his inauguration. (It has been an interesting shift, his campaign rhetoric of hope--which was often derided as shallow--to the governing languageof responsibility. It is well done, in my view, and a natural development.)Politico has a report and excerpts of the speech,titled "A New Foundation," and the NYT has the full text.In the speech,Obama also gets scriptural, sayingthe nation "cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand."Is he channeling the Messiah again?! Actually, he may be channeling Muhammad. He follows the Sermon on the Mount referencewith an exposition of the "five pillars" of the new economy. Five pillars?! Yikes. I expect a spike in that Obama-is-Muslim stat. In any case, these are the kind of opportunitieswe as a church would miss if the "bar Obama" voices were to prevail. But they keep on keeping on. Randall Terry et al planned to lead protests at Georgetown:

"The University has deliberately poked its finger in the eye of the Bishops and faithful Catholics who have condemned President Obama's appearance at Notre Dame.But far worse they have cast aside the unborn who will perish under President Obama's policies. They have put prestige ahead of life. Georgetown's attitude seems to be: Germany's leaders built great roads in the 1930s, they helped save the banks, and they rebuilt the economy. Let's focus on their economy not that whole genocide thing."

 

Just finished listening--really good speech. (And I didn't see any goose-stepping storm troopers, but they're probably being fetedat the cafeteria.) Yes, the bar was low, as far as basic speechifying. But even 12 weeks after the inauguration it's still so astonishing to hear a president speaking so honestly about the problems and challenges and stressing the difficulties ahead, and the responsibilities each of us has.

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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