According to polling data, I am not supposed to like President Obama. I am white, I live in the South, I am an evangelical, and I am a conservative. But contrary to these demographics, I have always had a a measure of personal appreciation for the President. I am no fan of his politics, but I have always felt positively toward him as a person. Maybe it’s because our childhoods were so similar (his father was also absent and he was raised in part by his grandmother as well). Maybe it’s because he is a huge college basketball fan like me. Or maybe because, by all accounts, he is a faithful husband and devoted father. I judge politicians on a personal level by the “could I envision going to a ballgame and having a good time with him/her” test. And on that test, President Obama passes with flying colors.
In view of the final day of his presidency, I wanted to offer some reflections on his time in office. I thought about entitling this post Thinking Through Faith as a Citizen. But there are broader issues to discuss regarding Christian citizenship, topics I hope to address in future articles. Instead I decided to call this post Eulogy for the Obama Presidency. I am a preacher, after all, and writing eulogies is part of my job. Literally, eulogy means “good word.” And I intend to say some good words about the President’s time in office. But eulogies are usually delivered at funerals, a time of great sorrow, and a sense of sadness pervades my thoughts about the Obama presidency as well. Continue reading