This article in Reuters struck me as odd. Here is Senator Barack Obama who is a self-proclaimed Christian visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem (remnant of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD). That isn’t a big deal because I know many believers in Christ who visit that while in Israel. It is what he does at the Western Wall that made me take notice this morning.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made a surprise pre-dawn visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Thursday, at the end of a trip aimed at showing his strong support for Israel.
Obama, wearing a Jewish skullcap, placed a prayer he had written in the wall and bowed his head while a rabbi read a psalm calling for peace in the holy city (emphasis mine).
I don’t know to me this seems like extreme, extreme pandering. Why the skullcap? Why the written prayer and why do you place it in the wall? As a Christian one surely knows that we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit, (1 Corinthians 6:19). That other than for historical value, for the Christian, it is pretty well obsolete. Why leave a prayer at a wall when you are indwelled by the Holy Spirit? Surely Jews who were there know that isn’t his tradition or faith.
I mean would he visit a mosque and utter The Salat in order to connect with Muslims? Would he go pray at a Buddhist temple? Can we expect any special religious activity if he visits Salt Lake City? Perhaps he can go door to door with some Mormon missionaries in order to show solidarity with the LDS church.
While he was there one worshipper took the opportunity to take at shot at the Senator’s position on Jerusalem (which he has flip flopped on), “Obama, Jerusalem is not for sale.” No it is not.
Somebody needs to let the Senator know that political pandering does not belong in the religious realm, and a visit to the Western Wall does not make one a friend of Israel.