I’m Proud Of My Humility [Reader Post]



My friend, Coach Mac, who grew up in Boston in the 30’s and 40’s, often tells the story of how his mother used to say to anyone who was trying to act really humble, “You’re not big enough to act so small!” or something to that effect. Or else, he often says, “There’s no one anywhere who’s more humble than me anywhere”, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, of course! What I have to report today makes me think of this.

All of our fears and intuitions about the pride and narcissism of Barack Obama are being seemingly re-confirmed over and over again almost daily, today at least twice. His behavior today (July 30, 2008) in Washington was that a conquering hero through the triumphal gates of Rome! The Secret Service was corralled to block intersections for his SUV motorcade. Arrangements made only for the President himself till now, were for the first time made with great excitement on behalf of Obama. He then declared himself (before a triumphant group of Democratic legislators) the symbol of all that is great about America about to come with his glorious ascendance. Maybe a supporter might be able to explain this away by believing that Obama himself is faultless; this had to be mostly the overeager response of a rightly enthused populace. However, the second story of the day puts any question of Obama’s complicity in this idolatry beyond doubt. The following is one of many today reporting what the Israeli papers are printing themselves as a matter of news record. If all these papers are wrong, the Obama campaign can sue them for libel. [Somehow I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that!] Here it is:

Report: Obama Publicized ‘Secret’ Prayer at Wailing Wall

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” – Matthew 6:1-2

The publication of Barack Obama’s supposedly secret prayer at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem was a scandal in Israel. James Taranto noted the newspaper Ha’aretz reported calls for police investigations into the removal and publication of the Obama note, published by the newspaper Maariv. But Maariv said it was Obama who authorized the unveiling of his temporarily private message to God.

Maariv’s response: “Obama’s note was published in Maariv and other international publications following his authorization to make the content of the note public. Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem. Moreover, since he is not Jewish, there is no violation of privacy as there would be for a Jewish person who places a note in the wall.”

Taranto added:

Thus, as IsraelInsider puts it, “what initially seemed to be a journalistic scoop of dubious moral propriety now seems to be a case of an Israeli paper being played by the Barack Obama campaign.” Obama’s so-called prayer was at best an open letter to God–a sentiment intended for public, not divine, consumption.

Taranto headlined the story “Potemkin Prayer.” Obama fans seem very intense in asserting that Obama is a devout Christian, but Obama’s act of circulating his own so-called “secret” prayer is an exercise in phoniness and religious vanity. On top of that, the campaign played coy about it. Earlier, the Obama campaign offered a “no comment” when the New York Post asked questions. Will anyone in the “mainstream” media follow up?

—Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center

It seems like the campaign circulated the story of someone taking the prayer from the wall in order to create some sort of impression for whatever reasons, but the Israeli papers simply didn’t play along with this. Maybe Obama is used to something else from the Chicago papers, I don’t know, but it is obvious Israeli journalists are less inclined to hide or ignore parts of a story. They knew he had given them copies of the prayer even before he got to the Wailing Wall.

The most ironic part of this scandal is that the ‘prayer’ included the sentiment, “Protect me from pride”!! Perhaps this resembles the young Augustine’s famous entreaty, “Lord, make me a saint, but not now”, or “Lord, take away all my vices and sins…except for this one…”! The media should be shouting this from the rafters. All patriots should be trumpeting that we have someone who cannot be trusted here.

If we translate what Obama is really saying, what would be a good way to say it? Yes, that’s right: ‘I’m proud of my humility”!!

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