Thanks, Obama

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Dear President Obama,

History usually has a way of revealing the truth.

Like the sun gradually coming up and burning away the morning dew covering everything, the unfolding years chase away the noisy bombast of social media rhetoric and knee-jerk, in-the-moment emotion, leaving us with the unvarnished reality of people and their lives.

This will be true of your service too, and of the mark you have left upon the world. Your body of work will testify loudly on your behalf far beyond these days, and in this way your legacy is secure.

But what may be less apparent looking back from the distance of time, will be something that is less easily quantifiable anyway: Character.

Over the past eight years, I’ve watched you.

I’ve watched the way you’ve absorbed a billion body blows from your critics; brutal words that run far deeper than policy or platform, words composed within poisoned hearts long before you served a single day in office.

I’ve watched you bombarded with a daily molotov cocktail of white privilege and hidden or overt racism disguised as objective opposition.

I’ve watched your wife and children attacked with a ferocity and malevolence that defy any sense of decency and that have no precedence.

I’ve watched your birthplace called into question, your personal faith ridiculed, your very humanity discounted.

I’ve watched you endure the incessant, bitter venom of those for whom the color of your skin was always going to be a problem.

And through all of it, I’ve watched you be the better man.

In the face of a sustained, spitting, violent, raw-throated hatred you’ve never responded in kind.

You never allowed yourself to be defined by the bigotry of your critics and you never disrespected them by becoming them.

This, Mr. President, is perhaps your greatest legacy: the way you retained your dignity in the midst of the most undignified behavior of your adversaries. 

The truth is, many of us understand that the Evangelical Right, the NRA, FoxNews, and far too many ordinary folks living here were simply never going to be okay with a man of color leading them and succeeding—and yet you have done both. 

Eight years later, those same people still strain to bait you into reciprocating bitterness and in fulfilling their toxic prophecies of you, while you simply continue to do what you do with nobility, compassion, good humor, and steadfast, unapologetic conviction.

You live the grace so many Christians invoke but rarely model.

As a father, I realize that my children are always watching me, always taking cues from the way I treat people, from how I respond to adversity, from how I care for those in pain, from how I face mistreatment. I know that for them, my words will always be secondary to my conduct; that how I live will always trump what I say.

This is where I find my deepest gratitude for you in these days.

For eight years you have worked for those who have been marginalized, even while so many have sought to marginalize you. I and so many others notice, and it is spurring us on to speak and move and work for the inherent value of all people regardless of the cost or the wounds or the attacks from those who would deny it. 

We are chasing equality and justice together, unfettered by the words of our detractors. 

We are trying to live passionately yet with integrity.

We are committed to standing upon principles and never upon people. 

We are seeing the way you’ve done it and are moved to move similarly together.   

So you’ll forgive me if I speak informally right now, and if I use words used often brandished by your critics to undermine the work you’ve done and the life you’ve lived and the character you’ve shown.

Without a trace of irony or sarcasm, let me simply say:

Thanks, Obama.

 

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229 thoughts on “Thanks, Obama

    • I take issue with ObamaCare… because the exact same number of Americans remain uninsured as before the mandate (about 17%). But Obama has made it a crime not to buy a service (Health Insurance). A steep fine is now leveled against Americans that can’t afford health insurance, or choose not to purchase it.

      We pay $1,100 mo for health insurance, and now have $10,000 deductible, instead of $5,000 deductible. In essence we pay double, for the same insurance we had before ObamaCare.

      I know health care costs have gone up, but mine have doubled.

      • Paul (l.G. Marshall) If you have private health insurance outside Obamacare, I am not surprised it has doubled. You cannot just assume that it doubled because of Obamacare. The private insurance market is all about insurance company greed , predation, and the evaluation of how sick you have been personally and how sick they expect you to soon get at your age—given the health problems you already have. The last company I worked for was a small consulting firm where the staff was almost all people over age 50. We went through Hell just trying to get a group policy as part of our benefits plan. Every employee had to fill out a highly detailed form where they were required to state every tiny and big health problem they had ever had in excruciating detail. Those were then sent to the private insurance company so they could calculate what premium and deductible they would have to charge to still make a profit from insuring us old people. Everything ended up being high as a kite. You would be better off with an Obamacare policy and cheaper premiums because your private insurance is going to wear you out until you have no salary left.

        I have a close friend in the healthcare industry. He says that insurance companies already know for certain that socialized medicine in this country is inevitable and just around the next corner. Right now, they are behaving like Satan—devouring as much American worker income as they possibly can as quick as they can “because they know their time is short.”

        • The deductibles under the Health Insurance Marketplace are higher than last year and my brand name drug co-pay went from $30 to $50. An underwriter still calculates rates needed to make a profit, but the government will provide a discount based on your income.

          I was under the impression that “Obamacare” eliminated health underwriting for new groups, however insurance companies are able set rates based on age and gender as well as some other demographic data. What they are no longer able to do is deny or raise rates based on an individual’s health history.

      • Obamacare isn’t perfect. The truth is that this was probably negotiated many times with republicans. In my opinion this was not part of Obamacare to begin with but who knows. The only objective the President had was to make health care affordable for all and not just some.

        • The deductibles under the Health Insurance Marketplace are higher than last year and my brand name drug co-pay went from $30 to $50. An underwriter still calculates rates needed to make a profit, but the government will provide a discount based on your income.

          I was under the impression that “Obamacare” eliminated health underwriting for new groups, however insurance companies are able set rates based on age and gender as well as some other demographic data. What they are no longer able to do is deny or raise rates based on an individual’s health history.

        • There were no negotiations with the Republicans, it is all Obama and the Democrats mess. Remember Nancy Pelosi’s remarks ” let’s pass the bill then we can read it”. No we are reading it and some are weeping

          • You are a lying Repug troll!!! Those of us who CLOSELY followed the passage of that bill KNOW that the conservatives did everything they could to water down or destroy the original intent of the ACA.

            Mitch McConnell and the rest of that despicable bunch of do-nothing elected officials were intent on making certain Obama failed, or as Turtleneck openly stated, to make sure he was a one-term president. Your ignorant lies cannot change the facts, they are easily found online.

            In the end, that ACA was a flawed piece of legislation PRECISELY due to the concessions made to the Repugs who still wouldn’t support it
            EVEN THOUGH IT WAS NOT ONLY BASED ON THE MODEL THAT GOV. ROMNEY PASSED IN MA. BUT ALSO ON WHAT REPUGS THEMSELVES HAD THEMSELVES BEEN ARGUING FOR FOR YEARS!!!

            Of course that is until President Obama chose to support it. That is the story of his presidency, no matter how much he would try and include ideas that the Repugs stood for, the minute he would co-opt their stance, they would suddenly take the opposite position (even on bills WRITTEN AND SPONSORED BY REPUGS THEMSELVES!!!)

            The GOP has destroyed itself with their disgusting, anti-American, obstructionist and retrograde actions and rhetoric. That today they are saddled with Trump as their nominee for president is a shining example of how far they’ve sunk.

          • This “no negotiations” post is not true. In order to get something started on the road to universal healthcare, compromises were negotiated with the idea that they would be worked out over time as data came in to know how best to make adjustments. This led to conservatives screaming socialism and liberals screaming Obama sold out, so it must have been a pretty good initial compromise. Obama used a lot of his equity to get America a start on healthcare reform that had to begin (big pharma, medical, and insurance lobbies had totally blocked the discussion since the 1930’s). Unfortunately, the later elected Republican congress refused to work on adjustments to improve the AHC program when data began coming in, and like other acts by that congress is shameful and a disservice to Americans, who are now seeing increases in premiums, etc. (It is hardly the only disservice to America by this do nothing meaningful, obstructionist, well lobbied group.) The congressional obstruction may hurry along single pay healthcare, however, as Americans figure it out and see who is really to blame for a healthcare system that costs too much and provides too little in comparison to elsewhere in the world.

          • Mister Kral, I will say this as nicely as possible, because I do not want to go off on a Malcolm Tucker styled rant on you:

            Please stop with the lying. That’s not what happened. And if you think that getting rid of it will solve things, you are wrong, period.

          • Rep. Pelosi said no such thing. I think it is quite telling that every time some ACA critic attempts to use her remarks given at an annual convention of county executives, they fail to accurately quote her.

            She never said ” let’s pass the bill then we can read it”. You are either misinformed or deliberately lying.

      • And I feel I am being called a racist because I don’t like his policies and the way he’s handled things in the Oval Office, INCLUDING Obamacare? NOT! I have and never will be racist, but this man didn’t have the qualifications to be president, and has made a mockery of America by badmouthing us to other nations. Shame on him!!!

        • And yet you post anonymously. Not everyone who oppose Obama is racists but those who are will never admit it. Some are not even self-aware enough to know it and those who protest the loudest usually are.

            • Surely then someone can find a link to at least one quote on a Democratic or non-partisan website which can be then posted here.

              Why a Democratic website? For the same reason that I would want to read Donald Trump’s words from a Republican website to be sure of the probable intent of the remarks.

        • What qualifications is he lacking to be president? And who was he bad mouthing us to? People can’t take your complaints as valid if you don’t support them with facts.

        • I will stand up wth you have n that. I don’t know who called you racist for disagreeing withbpolicy, but tobdovso is, in itself, racist.

          I have been tracking profess of the ACA closely. Currently itvis keeping me alive. Now don’t take me for an alarmist, I have an emergency backup care plan in place -assuming the foundation can febuilt the coffers.

          But speaking for Kentucky and the new governor’s claim that expansion of Medicaid is costing too much, the same big private insurors (Humana, Anthem, UHC) who manage our state Medicaid as well as Medicare supplements – have been rasing premium rates for years and saw a scapegoat in the ACA to blame when they raised them to rates that were simplybunconscionable. Don’t take my word for it, look at their quarterly and annual reports: profits in the billions.

          I know as long as health insurance companies remain publicly traded, their loyalties will always be to their shareholders.

          • YouWill have to forgive my earlier handwriting, I have problems with my hands and the nerves and then and sometimes I overdo it. This is usually because I have every intention of making a brief statement, but brief statement have never been my strong point. I appreciate your patience.

        • President Obama had more experience at the time of his election than Mr. Trump will have when he assumes office. Quite frankly, all of this tilting at windmills is quite useless, the American voters have chosen our next President. May God have mercy on our nation.

      • Where are you “facts” about the percent uninsured coming from? Here is data from The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation:
        The share of the nonelderly population that lacked insurance coverage hovered around 16% between 1995 and 2007, then peaked during the ensuing economic recession (Figure 1). As early provisions of the ACA went into effect in 2010, and as the economy improved, the uninsured rate began to drop. With the implementation of the major ACA coverage provisions in 2014, the uninsured rate dropped dramatically and continued to fall in 2015. In 2015, the nonelderly uninsured rate was 10.5%, the lowest rate in decades.

      • Paul, I am the business manager for a very small dental practice. Our group health insurance premium, through a HUGE carrier, has remained significantly unchanged since the Affordable Care Act went into effect and in fact went down slightly in 2016. We have received a rebate for the past 3 years due to the insurance company making an excessive amount of profit. And it isn’t a crime if insurance isn’t purchased. There is a tax penalty levied against those who choose not to. I believe there are many people who have been able to afford insurance for the first time through the ACA. It isn’t perfect by any means but it’s a start.

    • Beautiful words John Pavlovitz. I’ve shared your post far and wide. Truly appreciate your heart and every expression of your thanks to one whom history will remember as one of the greatest presidents in American history.

      • I agree with you. We are not ignorant and have had almost eight years to see that it is pure racism. It is that simple. I am thankful that many see the same. Actions speak louder than words. There is no concealing it because it is so exposed. The light cannot hide what is so obvious for all to see. Today, tomorrow, and the future will reveal what has happened in our time and it is shameful.

  1. “As a father, I realize that my children are always watching me, always taking cues from the way I treat people, from how I respond to adversity, from how I care for those in pain, from how I face mistreatment. I know that for them, my words will always be secondary to my conduct; that how I live will always trump what I say.”

    Amen and Amen.

  2. The USA has enjoyed eight years of having its international reputation restored, largely due to the dignity of President Obama. It is astonishing how few Americans understand the gift that he has given.

    • As an observer from across the Atlantic, in UK, I totally agree with you. He has the bearing and dignity of a true statesman. Sadly, the entire presidential race has been so unworthy of the USA and has brought into sharp focus the character of President Obama. He will be missed.

  3. So eloquently said, so truthful and yet so painful. Regardless of your party affiliation, our President should be respected and Barack Obama deserves our respect. He has always had mine. Thank you, Mr. President for weathering the storm for us the past 8 years.

  4. I’m going to respectfully disagree, my opinion is this man has divided our country… During his tenure as president I’ve seen racism at a all time high in my life time (not of all time) I’ve see people not being able to afford insurance anymore because of “obamacare” I’ve watched a man destroy a country. I know many will disagree and that is ok with me we all see things differently.. But this is the way I’ve seen it.. Once again this is just my opinion..

    • “…my opinion is this man has divided our country…”

      How has he done that, precisely? I’ll tell you how. He has committed the cardinal sin of Governing While Black. When he first won the Presidency in 2008 I did not think I was so naive as to think it meant racism was finally dead in this country, but I was certainly not prepared for the angry hordes of disgruntled White people to whom a Black President was an insult, an abomination.

      PhotoShopped pictures of the President and his family depicted as chimpanzees. Pictures of the White House lawn dotted with watermelons. And those are just two examples I pulled off the top of my head. I am sure I could find more if I went looking for them, but the thought nauseates me.

      “I’ve seen people not being able to afford insurance anymore because of ‘Obamacare'”

      Sorry, but that is just not true; the Affordable Care Act has made it possible for MORE people to have health insurance, not fewer.

      “I’ve watched a man destroy a country. ”

      And just exactly how has he done that? We’re still here, and we’re still breathing. You want to accuse someone of destroying the country, why don’t you point your finger where it belongs: at the do-nothing Congress who swore on the day of his Inauguration in 2008 that they would not work with him. In fact they swore to make him a “one-term President,” but that was possibly the only nasty trick they were unable to pull off.

      The racism underlying your remarks is exceeded only by your lack of accurate information on this man’s Presidency.

      • Scott,

        I totally agree with you. While Lisa is entitled to her opinion, she shows that she only believes what she is told. Many of my friends now have healthcare when they would have been completely unable to get any healthcare before the ACA. Too often on the radio and talk shows, the one percent or less who did not benefit is given the coverage. If you hear enough negativity, you begin to believe it.

        I know President Obama helped get this country out of a huge mess that President Bush left behind him. I don’t understand for one nano second how anyone could say that Obama ruined this country. Where are the data and the facts to back that up? The same data used to show that other presidents did a good job are overlooked when evaluating Obama. All I keep asking for is that people be consistent because then I know what the rules are. Instead, we are forced to deal with a moving target, a double standard.

        • Your experiences may not be the same as Lisa’s; your dismissal of her opinion is sad in itself. I, too, have seen my healthcare costs triple under Obamacare; I’ve been able to absorb those costs in the short term, but not every one can. Plus, I may not be able to absorb any new increases, which I’m sure will occur with year end renewal.
          Like Lisa, I also feel the country is more racially divided than when President Obama took office. It occurred whenever there was national attention to any incident between authority figures (law enforcement) and people of color. Many different times in which Mr. Obama made what seemed to be rash, early statements without having all the information. Those statements invariably added to the heat and divide between races.

          One of the things that does concern me — and one of the reasons I’ve even responded to this — is the easy dismissal of Lisa’s opinion, and OF LISA because she doesn’t agree with you or sees things differently than you. Isn’t that dismissal something we should try to eliminate in our dealings with one another? Ones experiences in life should not be so readily dismissed or criticized without making an effort to understand the other persons perspective.

          • If only President Obama had been afforded those same courtesies you speak of…. This conversation would not be needed! It’s funny how some only see their perspective. It is best to speak in facts if you want to be taken seriously and that is all he asked of Lisa. The race issues that Lisa speaks of were always there, under cover… Folks just felt comfortable publicly invoking their racist beliefs and hatred under this president because of the color of his skin. The sad an awful truth!

          • That’s EXACTLY what is happening with Black people in this country, their voices are being dismissed by non Blacks without them making an effort to see Blacks perspective.

            And please give specific examples of “Mr. Obama making what SEEMED (my emphasis) to be rash, early statements without having all the information”

        • Lisa is most likely referring to the fact that Obamacare supplanted numerous low-quality to no- quality insurance plans that had a cost of almost nothing when compared to much higher-quality health insurance. The dumb bunny who had these low-cost policies thought they had real health insurance, but their insurance was really a bogus scam.

          Any of you folks who have half a brain should know that a private health insurance policy paid for solely out of a private citizen’s pocket for a premium of only $15 per month is not going to get you any real healthcare coverage when you get sick. The hospital cost for your heart attack will be $60,000. Your cheap insurance will pay maybe $200 total on that—that is if you can actually get in touch with them to file a claim—which is doubtful—and they might finally pay that claim in 2047 if they are not out of business or their executives are not in prison for business fraud. The remaining $59,800 will come straight out of the heart attack patient’s pocket.

          This low-cost, rotten scam insurance is what Obamacare did away with because it was more fraud than real insurance. Numerous Americans had been conned into thinking that they had real insurance, and because they never got seriously sick, they were blind to the fact that they were not really covered. The Republican Party knows this, but they have said to themselves: “Hey, all these suckers with low-cost, fraudulent insurance are writing in and complaining to us that Obamacare replaced their low-cost insurance. Of course their insurance was fraudulent!! We know that. But we can make some real political hay out of this if we keep that “fraudulent” part quiet and make out like “low-cost real insurance” was taken away by Obamacare.”

          Lisa. The fact of the matter is this. Outside of Obamacare in the private insurance market, a family of four cannot get a basic, decent health insurance policy out-of-pocket for any less than about $1,800 per month. That is more than the monthly house payment for many Americans. Obamacare can get you a similar policy, depending on your income, for way, way, way, way less than that number. I know that because I am deeply familiar with Obamacare, and it is my family health insurance right now (for a family of four). Our policy costs about $380 per month. How much does your insurance cost Lisa? If your total family income is $93,000 or less and you are paying high health insurance premiums each month, you are getting ripped off. An Obamacare policy would cost you much less for the same quality of insurance and your presence in the program would help buy health insurance for a really, really poor person to boot. Jesus would love to see you do that . Been there. Seen that.

          The Republican Party propaganda about Obamacare is all a sack of LIES. I know that from first-hand, in-the-trenches experience.

      • This man your all speaking so highly of does not care about this nation. All he cares about is his agenda. He has proven that time after time. He has no respect for the Constitution nor our legislative branches of government. If he does not get what fits his agenda he signs an executive order that blatantly bi passes or legislative process. I do not agree with any thing said here so far. Just my opinion!

          • You two are both idiots. Let me tell you why. A President who Signs an Executive Order IS NOT doing anything illegal. Two things:

            1) Under the U.S. Constitution, the President is the CEO of the entire Executive Branch of Government.

            2) When the Congress passes a law, the law often contains a codicil that states (paraphrased): “The Congress hereby authorizes the [Executive Branch] federal agency in charge of implementing this law to promulgate any regulations it deems necessary to implement and administer this statute. These regulations shall have the force of law.” They are also authorized by Congress to revise regulations as needed.

            3) The President has the authority to order the federal agencies under his direct control to do certain things—just like the CEO of a private sector company can order the corporate divisions under his direct control to do certain things. This is often done by writing and signing an Executive Order. All Executive Orders have numbers, such as Executive Order 11593.

            4) The President can also order the head of a federal agency under his direct control to revise a federal regulation promulgated under a given statute because the Congress authorized the agency to promulgate and revise regulations.

            5) All recent Presidents (Republican and Democrat) have written and signed executive Orders on various subjects under the direct authority of the agencies he controls as the Federal CEO. It is not an illegal act to write and sign an Executive Order. If it were, a large number of our 20th century Presidents would have federal criminal records. THEY DO NOT.

            6) You two dumb bunnies will believe anything the Republican Party or FOX News tells you. The Republican Party and FOX news are both LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH to you about the illegality of Executive Orders because they know most of the American people are extremely ignorant of how the federal government actually works internally on a day-to-day basis. They are using this ignorance to fool the pants off of you—and they have succeeded thoroughly with you two. By the way, I work with Executive Orders in my profession.

            • Thank you Charles for your insightful, factual, ratIonal responses to some of the overheated posters in these threads!

            • Those are all good points regarding Executive Orders, but the President does NOT have the power to issue executive orders that are designed to counter legislation that passed and is now law. United States v. Texas shows that these two are not idiots, as you suggest. They merely disagree with your slant, and you owe them an apology (at least as far as the name calling is concerned).

              I like when you present your facts. It’s too bad you feel they aren’t sufficient to make your case, and that you have to add insults to them. It makes me think much less of your views.

      • Thank you for your civil reply to Miss Lisa. The only people dividing this country are those who, out of the gate, decided they could not abide being governed by a Black man. I too would like to have specifics as to how Pres. Obama has divided us. His detractors CHOSE to divide us. I thank John Pavlovitz for his fearless truth telling. God save us all.

      • Exactly! Affordable Care Act needs overhaul but guess who won’t work with the President to change it? That’s why we need to vote for Democrats across the board so we can get real changes instead of obstruction!

        • I prefer legislation that the entire country can get behind, rather than legislation 45 to 50 percent of the country can get behind.

          There’s a reason the House is divided the way it is. It’s not because Democratic policies are universally popular. It’s not because the Democratic party has made such a sound articulation of its position that no one can deny their sense. It’s because they haven’t — either the explanation has been poor, or the policies are not above reproach, one or the other.

      • First of all, the Affordable Care Act has made it possible for more people to get health insurance. Having said that, there are groups of people who already had insurance whose rates have risen, in some cases significantly. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, there ARE some people who are not eligible for subsidies whose rates rose to the point where they have had issues maintaining their existing health insurance.

        Secondly, that person’s remarks were not even slightly racist. You are not only a jackass but possibly a bigot yourself for suggesting it.

        I don’t have a problem with Pres. Obama; I think he has acted with integrity and courtesy towards his opponents. I happen to think the same about his predecessor. I think the problem has been more with the average Americans who opposed them. Both have found venom-spitting wackos because that is what we have in this country: people on the left and people on the right who hate.

        • I have worked in health care for over 25 years. Let’s think rationally about this. If we add the two major items that everyone likes about the ACA, allowing children to remain on their parents plans until age 26 & removing the pre-existing condition clause but we don’t enforce the mandate for every one to purchase health insurance of course premiums are going to rise. What you have is only at risk individuals or people who have insurance through their employers. Why would a young healthy individual buy a plan when you have a pre-existing condition clause? They would just wait until something happens & then purchase insurance. If they get in an accident, auto covers it. When only elderly & sick are enrolled rates are high.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I agree with you. Since when did the line care what the jackal thought? Obama does not have to worry about what he’s left behind, because his time is done. The division, hurt and time of tyranny can only continue if we as citizens permit it to.

    • Of course you’ve seen racism at an all time high…what did you expect racists to do when a black man was elected President? Twice?

    • So true, I believe he has been the “Divider in Chief” No muslims have ever had such privilege and been so many appointed to so called government positions that were created by a person in the WH. I believe the foxes are guarding the hen house. This is planet earth..where are you people… not in reality, for sure!

      • “So true, I believe he has been the “Divider in Chief” No Muslims have ever had such privilege and been so many appointed to so called government positions that were created by a person in the WH.”

        I knew if we waited long enough someone whose raging Islamophobia had made them drink the Kool-Aid would show up on this thread.

        Karen, I would not presume to try to wrench from your brain the appalling untruths you have allowed in, but your statement begs the question WHY would a Christian man (despite your implications, I have to inform you that the Obamas are members of the United Church of Christ) “create jobs” in the White House just to put Muslims in them? He may well have placed Muslims in jobs that already existed and needed to be filled, but you are clearly suffering from a raging and dangerous case of paranoia if you think this man (who killed Osama Bin Laden after George W Bush decided he was no longer worth pursuing ) has shown any kind of favoritism to Islam.

        That being said, there is nothing wrong with treating other religions with respect. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs…we all have to share the same planet and respect will get us far more than its reverse.

        • My fundie uncle used to say: “I don’t care who they are, or whatever it is that they believe. No matter what it might be, it is our first responsibility as Christians to tell them that they are wrong.” If you think about it, that’s pretty expansive.

      • Karen. You must be a Christian fundie. You know what Jerry Falwell said: “[Fundie] Christians are like soldiers. They ask no questions and do what they are ordered to do.” Do you know what Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. Christians do when people like the late Jerry Falwell tell them what to do? They say it in two syllables: The ” F” syllable and the “Y” syllable. Very large numbers of Muslims are a lot like Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. When the Muslim terrorists speak, they give them the FY treatment. But of course, people like you would not do that because you keep your ears glued to the lies on local conservative talk radio and FOX News.

        Your Question: “But when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, the FCC had a rule that everything that was said on radio and TV had to be the truth. They did not even allow false commercials for products, like medicine, that did not work as advertised.”

        That was my understanding too long ago—but the FCC must have gotten rid of that rule long ago. You have to be really careful these days because we have whole radio stations and media networks devoted to telling lies.

        • Yes. The Fairness Doctrine was a rule put in place by the FCC in1949 which disallowed the airwaves from broadcasting anything that could not be proven as true and that contrasting views on a subject be presented concurrently. Ronald Reagan vetoed efforts to enact this rule as law during his presidency and George W Bush did so again during his. I hope it will resurface again and finally be approved by Congress and the next president

          • STFU dammad, you are not the least bit funny nor entertaining and in fact sound like a child. It’s time for you to go to bed, I hear your mother calling you, you schmuck.

      • And how many of these appointed Muslims have committed acts of terrorism. NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Under the First Amendment, Muslims have no more or less rights than any other religion.

    • Lisa, I agree that there are many arguments for and against Obama’s policies and decisions. He made good and bad ones. John was not discussing his policies, but rather how he conducted himself in the face of withering attacks. If we separate Obama the man from Obama’s policies and decisions, and speak only of the man, I think many would agree that he conducted himself admirably. I think John speaks for many of us that he was a role model worthy of emulating and appreciating.

      • Yes, I agree absolutely in this regard.

        It, however, has not been something Obama has done above other Presidents. I think you have to go back to Nixon to find a President who hasn’t done the same with about as much virulent opposition (although maybe Bush the 1st didn’t have such outspoken opposition).

        I admire Pres. Obama personally very much. I am not going to label him as one of the top two or three most admirable presidents in this regard, however, as some of my friends on the left seem to think of him.

    • I have to chime in, only to say that my husband and I are self-employed and successfully self-insured for years until “health care reform” removed all the affordable options for us. We are now on a limited indemnity plan that covers next to nothing but costs more than we were paying before. We may be a special case because we live in Arizona, which I believe refused to expand Medicaid and perhaps we fall in the gap that created. We make too much to qualify for subsidies but too little to be able to afford what is being offered.

      As for the original article, I have used the word “class” to describe President Obama’s character, but I really feel like “nobility” covers the scope of my feelings. I, too, have viewed the insulting treatment he has received over the years with disgust and horror. And he has never returned in kind. I don’t agree with many of his political positions, but as a man and a president, he stands tall. He will be missed.

    • Lisa,

      I respectfully ask that you stop watching Fox News and listening to the right wing radio hosts…..research other points of view. Try to cultivate empathy for your fellow man. The good President Obama has done will go down in the history books, and his detractors will not be on the right side of history.

    • Yes, this is your opinion. It is based on propaganda you parrot and your inherent racism. Not facts. Racism at an all time high? Gee – I guess it is Obama’s fault that he chose to be black. That high level of racism is 1000% due to the racist reaction of those who freaked out about a black President. It would not matter who that would be.

    • I am going to disagree with you..It isn’t this president that has divided the county.. It is the hate and racism that has divided and is ruining
      the country. It has shown to me that it has always been there and people has let it shine through now which is so sad. Honey you have not been on this earth long enough to have seen how it was in the 40’s and 50’s when segregation was a way of life. I have and the hatred and racism is trying to take us back there.. No Way!!

      • I don’t think anyone is trying to take us back to the days of segregation. If you really believe that, you are not living in reality.

        • Rick R., unless David Duke has dropped entirely out of politics, there is at least one person in politics who might be trying to take us back to the days of segregation. And if we can move on to the general populace, then since I have no reason to believe that the folks who burned a cross in the yard of a California State University in Northridge have either died or emigrated, then there are probably a number of private individuals who would be pleased as punch to see segregation restored.

    • Obamacare is not the cause of outrageous premiums etc. insurance company greed is the culprit. And Obama did not create the divisiveness in our country, racist and prejudiced bigots did that all on their own. They absolutely could not stand a man of color in the White House. He has not destroyed the country by any stretch of the imagination. He actually has done the opposite. And I was not initially a fan of his. But I can see with my eyes wide open how much he has done for the country. Not against it.

    • And the Repugs had absolutely nothing to do with the current situation??? You are as ignorant and biased as they come!!! Do you listen to conservative HATE radio??? If you did you would KNOW where all the division and hatred in this country is coming from, you lying horses ass. Obama has done NOTHING to try and divide this country.

      I DARE YOU , YOU COWARD, TO PRODUCE ONE SINGLE QUOTE BY THE POTUS, ONE SINGLE ACTION OR PIECE OF LEGISLATION THAT HE’S PUSHED THAT HAS DONE ANYTHING TO INCREASE THE DIVISION IN THIS COUNTRY!!!!

      The party that has been CONSTANTLY pushing division and hatred in this country is the GOP!!! They are the ones who are preaching hatred and discrimination against minorities, immigrants, Muslims, NOT OBAMA AND NOT THE DEMOCRATS!!!

      You idiots need to wake up and smell what you’re shoveling. You people are some of the worst bigots I’ve met in my life, you rail against gays and gay marriage, you can’t stand the idea of society helping those who are poor, those YOU refer to as the “moocher class”, you intolerant bigoted asses!!!

    • Lisa, it is not his fault that racism is now, in your words, “at an all-time high”.

      That’s due to people not accepting that this Black man is, well, just a better man than them, and smarter too…because to them, a Black man just cannot be that.

      Also, who are these people you’ve “seen” who cannot afford health insurance now because of the ACA? As opposed to the millions who do have and can now afford such insurance due to the ACA and do not have to worry about being rejected for pre-existing conditions (you know, like having cancer)?

      And which “man” are you talking about who destroyed which country?

      You say this is your opinion, but as Harlan Ellison would say, it’s an uninformed one.

    • Do you honestly believe that Barack Obama is responsible for the racism, and therefore the divide in America? Perhaps you might think again and realize racism has been alive and active in the US for generations, and all President Obama did was make it obvious by all the bigotry and hate shovelled on him over the last 8 years. I think he’s reached out and done more to bring people together than any other president in history, it’s just the racists have been louder and more obstructive than he could be a bridge to peace. Wait to see how you feel after 4 years of the new administration to see what an amazing president and man Barack Obama has been. History will tell the truth to be told.

  5. Thank you, Pavlovitz.
    I have felt everything you describe in this piece, but I have never read anything that so accurately speaks to me as “Thanks, Obama.” I just found your blog two weeks ago. Looks like I’ll have to set aside day or two to read the pieces in your archives.

  6. I truly believe that all of us could take a huge lesson from Jesus, as He washed a dozen pair of feet, even the feet of His betrayer.

    For you see, it’s our attitude toward our enemies that determines how we handle things within Godly principles.

    Jesus surely exposed His enemies by writing words in the dust – and telling Mary to go and sin no more.
    God is most interest that each one of us develop enough discernment to recognize the Devil in sheep’s clothing so as to run from his evil effects.
    For after-all, the Devil was wise enough to deceive about one third of the angels into believing lies about God. Maybe we should take another look at the evidence for and against….. Not to necessarily condemn, but to surely go in the other direction.
    For wasn’t it the Spider that said, “Come here” to the fly?

  7. Thanks, John, for your tribute to our President Obama today. I feel so much the same. I got so tickled when you said a while ago that he “out Jesused Jesus,” or something close to that. I’ve said for years that he “out Christs many Christians” in our world, particularly the vocal ones lately.

    I’m grateful to you for your appreciation of President Obama and his family. He’s a “keeper” and so are you. ;o)

    • Particularly when he destroys nations (Libya, Syria, Egypt) and supports jihadists (see aforementioned nations). Arab Spring = Mideast Nightmare
      And let us not forget his admission that he is a muslim. Aside from the dear leader, know any Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. that would claim another religion than his own? And not bat an eye when George S. tried to bail him out.

  8. John Pavlovitz : As usual, you have expressed your – and many, many others’ – feelings flawlessly. Not only do I always appreciate how well you frame the ‘big picture’ in any situation, but your words reach deep and focus with laser precision on details that are subtle, yet integral pieces that elevate your thoughts from typical commentary to keen insight. Thank you for taking the time to provide such grounded and authentic perspective.

  9. Thanks John. You said it so beautifully. Sometimes I think we forget that a video will one day be played and we will be reminded of our treatment of others whether good or bad. I try to live so that when that video is played of my life I do not have to drop my head in sorrow. Thanks for your words to such a wonderful family man as our president and a reminder of who we need to be. Be blessed. You are so thoughtful.

  10. John, thank you for your inspired and heartfelt words about an inspiring man. President Obama has always risen above the shabby treatment his adversaries threw at him. His grace, dignity and good humor are a remarkable legacy.

  11. Thank you, John for putting into words the sentiments of so many of us who try daily to live as Jesus demonstrated. I hope that you have sent the President a copy of this letter because despite the grace, decorum and dignity that he has shown throughout these last 8 years, I am sure that there are too many moments that he needs to be encouraged and told “well done, good and faithful servant.” For he has indeed been a servant to all of mankind.

  12. Your words say exactly what I have felt, as well. Grace in the face of ugliness, kind firmness in the face of hatred and disrespect, humanity in the face of self-interest. Thanks, Obama!

  13. I was no hopeful nor was I very happy when Barak Obama became president. His experience level was low, he was another %$#@ attorney where we needed someone with integrity, and he had a lot of people lined up to try to make him fail. And regardless of the fact that I disagreed with his naysayers, I was fearful that they would be willing to see the country fail, just to see President Obama fail, and all of us would lose because of it. But in my humble opinion, he has done far far better than I had hoped. He has had his failures. What president has not. But he has proven himself to be a man of character, (in spite of the fact his is an attorney) he has shown himself to be a leader worth following, and when he is wrong, he has admitted it, and when he was right (specifically the affordable healthcare act) he stood up to the jerks who were willing to fight for the status quo rather than find a way to help million of Americans get the healthcare we all deserve. Thank you Mr. Obama. God bless you in the next chapter of your life, and God bless America as it tries to deal with either of the two dweebs we now have running. I’ve always been ready for a change when 8 years were up. But now as we face two idiots slug it out and we are force to vote against a one bad choice by choosing another bad choice, I wish we had made the term limit for president three terms.

    • I’d love to see a petition to continue with President Obama until more worthy front runners emerge. Bernie Sanders had promise…but I need to hear more. Extend the presidential election 2 more years, leaving President Obama and First Lady Obama in the White House , and let’s see who steps forward.

      • 2 terms are more than enough !!! No one is thinking that we have a 3rd option this election. I’m talking about the Libertarian Party. I’m hoping that the other thinking people of our great Republic start thinking outside the box and start considering these Libertarian Candidates as the Republican and Democratic candidates are both so unelectable (for want of a better word)

        • Yes! I can’t vote for Ms. Clinton, or Mr. Trump, and wouldn’t have been able to vote for Mr. Sanders or Mr. Cruz.

          There are some candidates I could have voted for, but I think I will seriously look at what the Libertarian candidate says in this election.

  14. I feel so tainted by the evil that I have heard spoken against Obama. And in my own family, where it bites even more. I respect what you write John and again thank you for articulating what is in my heart but which sometimes I can’t find the words for.

  15. Very true, but far from unique. Every president has and always will suffer the same fate. It is in the job description. It just seems worse now because of 24/7 “news” and social media. Nothing new under the sun…

  16. History will judge Barack Obama in the upper echelon of American Presidents and world leaders. History may also note a turning point in American life where this man’s steadfastness shown a white, hot light on the racism lying just beneath the surface of our public discourse, a turning point from which we gradually became better. The resulting Age of Obama will linger and influence the future far beyond our short time here.

    • I could not agree more, we all feel more able to talk about race and racism than 8 years ago and that brings all the hurt and anger to the surface to deal with it. And that is never easy. It takes growing pains and that is what is happening . Our nation is growing in its understanding of equality and it is hard for both sides. Just like when a family has the elephant in the room talked about, it takes time and healing and communication. That is where I think we are and it is hard.

  17. I believe the First Family has shown historic dignity. I am constantly reminded of Kipling’s “If.”
    Thank you, John, for your words today. Profoundly true.

  18. I read each of your emails and usually I agree with most of or all of what you say. Sadly, I could not disagree with your comments today more strongly. I believe Obama has been a failure on almost every issue facing our country. That does not make me stupid, uneducated or uncompassionate as many on the left would judge me. Thanks

    • No, what makes you stupid is you and those who agree with you having this incesent need to not get past policy. What he wrote had nothing to do with policy. He was speaking of the vile, racist remarks made time and time again that President Obama ignored and went on doing his job. Instead, your conservatism cannot allow you to see the good in anyone who isn’t slash-and-burn against government, can’t bring themselves to ignore that Reagan had significantly more executive orders than Obama when you call him a dictator, and that many dispise what you think this country is about (which it’s not and hasn’t been in over 100 years). The fact that you cannot put those aside and think about what this man and his family have been put through, and how he has handled it, that, sir, is what makes you stupid and uncompassionate.

    • I think Mr Obama is a very nice man, and he has a beautiful family. I was thrilled that Americans elected the first African American to the Presidency. Truly a watershed moment. I think Michelle has been a terrific 1st Lady.

      I disagree with Obama’s leadership because of his Globalization Agenda. To me, his romanticization of unlimited illegal immigration is incredulous. I don’t think Universalism is a worthy goal. All his decisions are based on that premise, that we are one world, one people, one government.

      Britain has suffered greatly because they believed in the same agenda as Obama. But where did it get them? Near complete annihilation of everything that made them a People. Yesterday’s vote, to get out of the European Union, was a wise decision by the People. I’m grateful that they still had a soupçon
      of Freedom to make that happen.

      PS– lest you accuse me of racism, me & my family are black & mixed race, including native american.

      • “I disagree with Obama’s leadership because of his Globalization Agenda. To me, his romanticization of unlimited illegal immigration is incredulous. I don’t think Universalism is a worthy goal. All his decisions are based on that premise, that we are one world, one people, one government.”

        Oh yeah. So, even though Adam and Eve were our ancestors, we are somehow not members of the same human family?

        P.S. Nero was the Anti-Christ. This one world government under the Anti-Christ nonsense and bringing the United Nations into it is not going to happen. It already happened in the generation after Jesus—just as the Bible said it would. See the following:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preterism

  19. Thank you John! Your words gave wings to the gratitude in my own heart! This president, this man, this husband, this father…this creator of change with the audacity to HOPE, I look forward to seeing what both Obama’s accomplish after leaving office. Godspeed and long life to one of the most electrifying couples in politics, President and First Lady Obama!

  20. Thank you John!
    No president has been perfect and Obama has not been perfect but I hold him up there with Jimmy Carter as a president with integrity! Obama has tried very hard to get good legislation passed and has amazing ideals and goals. For instance the affordable health care plan was huge. It was totally overdone, but something had to be done and no one else was doing it. Now we have something that can be modified to help the American people in the years ahead when before we really had nothing.

    • Thank you! As a teen when Jimmy Carter was in office, I loved him dearly and still do! I don’t doubt that the bey same love is extended to President Obama! Two very incredible men who worked for the people, as his job description implies.

  21. Well. I have always liked President Obama, contributed to his campaign in 2008, and worked on-line for his re-election in 2012. For all the American racists, fundie Christians, conservative evangelicals, and so forth, I dedicate this song that best describes the world you people live in from one day to the next—and the stuff that is in your Kool-Aid:

  22. i do not think racism is at an all time high since obama has been president. i think it has always been high. however OVERT racism is on a huge increase and i think the reason for that is simply because there is a black man in the white house . he has done a great job agains obstacles no other president has faced, he inherited an illegal unfunded war brought to us by the worst president in the history of ever, bush43. and a great deal of the reason racism is becoming more overt is because of the right wing nut job evangelicals who hate him preaching sedition and fear. no wonder the donald looks to be our next president. if only there were a god, and if only that god could save us. alas

  23. “I read each of your emails and usually I agree with most of or all of what you say. Sadly, I could not disagree with your comments today more strongly. I believe Obama has been a failure on almost every issue facing our country. That does not make me stupid, uneducated or uncompassionate as many on the left would judge me. Thanks.”

    I might take you a tad bit more seriously if you did not simply make a bald statement and then run away with your tail between your legs, leaving no facts or data to back up your claims.

  24. I too have been saying this for a while. My mother lives in Canada and has been terribly rude about President Obama while being a Christian. We have argued about it to the point where we now agree to disagree. I admire the President for his grace under pressure. Thank you for saying this so well

  25. Yes, thanks Obama for $9 trillion in new debt that our children will have to pay off (almost doubling our total debt). That’s $30,000 in new debt for every man woman and child. In Greece, similar profligacy has caused a generation of young people to look for jobs outside their country. Pensioners have watched their pensions disappear. Wonder what we could have bought with the $30,000 that’s been taken out of our pockets?

    I like this blog for its spiritual perspective and willingness to take a hard look at changes needed in the church, but if you’re going to venture into politics, I’ll be unsubscribing.

    • Its a shame, you’ll be missing out on a good, honest man’s observations. Its rare to find a man who doesn’t operate from a place of negativity or blame who can speak eloquently and thoughtfully about issues that generally come free with volatile or accusing words and often violent opinions.. We will never agree with everything anyone says, but we cannot ignore the thoughts or opinions of everyone else. Do some checking on President Obama’s achievements and shortfalls, perhaps you’ll find its not near as devastating as reported. Life gets political sometimes, and I appreciate all respectfully voiced opinions, including yours, and I think everyone has something to learn from John even if they disagree with some of his opinions or personal truths. I hope you’ll keep reading. We all have something to give and something we can take from each peacefully voiced interaction.

      • Shortfalls? The man is a war criminal (Libya, Syria, Egypt) and he supports jihadists, Mexican drug cartels (gave them guns), targeted groups through IRS.

    • Of course, you do not want to talk about the trillions George W. Bush borrowed for the worthless war that keeps on giving in Iraq—or the fact that Ronald Reagan borrowed our way out of the Jimmy Carter recession, just like Obama did, to the tune of trillions of dollars. I wonder how little debt we would be in now if Republicans had not cut off government income for 30+ years by refusing to raise the taxes necessary to pay government bills?

    • I live in uk so speak as one looking in. I don’t agree with everything he’s done but I do on most. My parents live in Canada and share the malformed hateful views of the Christian Right in USA. Under all the attacks he has remained gracious. Especially over his place of birth and religion of choice. And speaking as a person from an alien culture I share his ill temper over the continuing outflow inbox auto rifles. To be frank can I ask why you need all of them. You think your government will attack you!!

      • That is exactly what it is for many, even those who claim they just want them to protect themselves from criminals are actually paranoid about the government having weapons and them not. The ignore how many countries (most of them allies) managed to ban guns without taking things over. There is a reason most of the people who feel this way come from the American south. Southerners are quick to forget why the war was fought: because they wanted to have slaves and the northern states no longer approved. That is why they don’t trust the government. Because their region has already experienced the government coming down on them militarily. Of course, the fact it was with completely just cause doesn’t matter to them. So, because of something that happened 150 years, they want guns so they can shoot at government people. It’s as plain as that.

        • I agree. I have lived down south all of my life. When I was growing up here in the 1950s and 1960s, many adults were still bitter about the American Civil War because they had relatives who had fought for the Confederacy in that war. They hated people from places like Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and New York, and they passed that same hatred (in various forms) on to their Baby Boomer Children. Yankee tourists never helped that much either because they would come down here on vacation and spend a lot of time making fun of people—openly like the ugly Americans who visit France. I experienced it myself while working at a tourist venue in Nashville. This two-bit bastard from Ohio or some place like that put down a penny for a 10-cent postcard. I said, “That will be 9 more cents please.” Then he yells over to a friend, “Hey. I got one of the educated ones here!!!”

          I have some news for people from Yankeeland. We Baby Boomers down South put up with a lot of crap from you people while we were growing up. One of these days, one of you is going to misbehave like that again, and the southern person you are doing it to (not me) is liable to deck you with a left hook right on the spot. People down here are highly sensitive to that sort of nonsense.

          We got a lot of that crap out of Northwestern University students and alumni when they came down for a New Years Day football game. My alma mater’s football team handed them their heads on a golden platter and ran up the score as payback for the way they treated us.

          So yeah. The fact of the matter is that the American South has not really felt like it was part of the United States of America since about 1830. South Carolina did not at first want to leave England or fight the British in 1776—and came around only after much begging and cajoling.

          • P. S. I do not like living down south because the people here are SO ANGRY and MILITANT that I am convinced—absolutely convinced—as an archaeologist and a historian—that a second American Civil War is inevitable and that it will come soon—probably in the next 25 years—and that is not long off. The vanguard of that war will be the many unhappy Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals who fill the American South nearly to the brim. I predict that they will fire the first shot in violence. Fortunately, I will be dead, but my children here in Tennessee will experience the full brunt of it, and I fear for them. Me personally, before I die, I would like to live in Vermont, Norway, or New Zealand.

    • Obama came into office set in his ways, and has never been willing to be Our President. His constant sniping and whining about those that disagree with him has been cringeworthy. His propensity to ignore Islamic terrorism, is puzzling. ..

      –When Fort Hood was under attack by Jihadist, He should have alerted the country but he didn’t. He called it work-place violence.
      –When bin Laden was assassinated, it was only minutes before he gloated & told the world. Thereby giving all our enemies a head start in covering all their tracks.
      –When he traded AWOL Sgt Bergdahl for (5) Jihadists, he staged a love fest in the Rose Garden
      complete with homage to Allah by Bergdahl’s family.
      –When Americans were murdered in our Consulate in Libya, he jailed an American Christian for making an anti-Mohammad video. And told all the World, that no one should be allowed to say such hateful things about Mohammad.

  26. Thanks for that great post i do hope the people of the USA will read it, I am a Canadian married to a man from the USA and from westpoint and we agree with what you say , and he stands heads over the citizens that wish to put him down. I am so dispapointed in the lack of respect that has been shown . My husband said right now he is glad he is in Canada although
    we are not perfect . I do hope the USA can stop the HATE AND THE FEAR THEY HAVE .

  27. Thank you for these words. My sentiment and thought, exactly! President Obama has been a gentleman throughout it all. His integrity is amazing.

  28. John, great post. It has been painful to watch the way Obama and his family have been treated. As a Black woman, I admit, I’ve worried about his and his family’s safety more than I have any other president, and it’s simply because I know the kind of hate that persists when it comes to skin color. I always marvel how White people call him a divider as though we people of color are the purveyors of persistent, systemic, institutionalized and deadly racism for hundreds of years. So for eight years he wasn’t supposed to comment on race ever in an effort to make sure folks were never discomforted, never confronted, never made to consider how racism affects our country?? Oh, ok. Folks can miss me with that.

  29. I’m not American and perhaps some think I don’t have the right to comment here, but this is an amazing post about a Good man, who was dignified through everything that was thrown his way. I too will miss him.
    Thanks Obama

  30. Wow! You certainly know how to judge me without knowing a thing about me or my opinions on certain issues. Sounds just like what your calling me

  31. Thank you President Obama, and Michelle for showing us how to remain classy and graceful under attack.
    Y’all are going to be dreadfully missed.

  32. Scott, Eileen, Charles …thank you! Speaking as a Canadian looking in I have hope in you Americans to make that country GREAT again! Obviously not in the way that Mr. Trump says but in values, classiness and fight for the right!

  33. I just wish the Christian conservatives who come to post here could honestly look inside themselves and say what is really on their minds:

    “We have had a GDFing n-word in the White House for the past 7.5 years. American has gone to Hell in a hand basket because of it. My daddy taught me there ain’t never been and never will be a GDFing n-word who knows how to do anything right.”

    Well, that is pretty much the way I used to hear it when I was growing up in hyper-conservative Gallatin, Tennessee in the 1950s and 1960s. Danged near everyone born between 1890 and 1910 believed that earnestly. Some of them as late as 1971 were still referring to Africa-Americans as “dawkies.”

    Come on conservative Christians and non Christians. The Obama administration has made it safe to be openly racist again. Which one of you fundies wants to fess up first. Let’s hear what you really feel about Mr. Obama in all that tried and true working man’s slang from way back yonder—you know—the slang your mommas and daddies taught you was God’s own truth. C’mon. I want to hear right here it and right now.

    • Charles, I’m confused, are you a fundie so to speak, or are you referring to them? I read that you worked on his campaign. I also want to say that the letter was so heartfelt and it touched my heart deeply. In my opinion president Obama is a true gentleman, who is someone who demonstrates grace. I might not agree with all of his polices, but that’s ok. In Yiddish, ( a language which is a combination of Hebrew and German, which is spoken by some Jewish people);the word to describe him would be a mensch. This means , that he is a real human being. This would be the highest honor given to a person. I used to be Jewish, before I became an ordained non denominational minister. For me, I found a lot of people on here and else where who say that they are Christians, but with their words or actions , aren’t very Christ like. For the record, the qualifications for becoming the president or holding that position of the United States of America, DOES NOT HAVE TO BE CHRISTIAN!!!

      • You must be new here. I like Mr. Obama. I was simply asking the fundies who come here to fess up about how they hate Mr. Obama and do it using the specific racist language their daddies and mommies taught them when they were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s.

        Please feel free to visit my blog at the safe link below. I feel sure you will find it to be a fascinating place:

        https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

  34. I’m not American and I have undergone a huge personal change in the time of President Obama’s service in office, from conservative fundi-ism (perhaps white racist, though I never thought so, but perhaps I have been blinded there – I hope not) where I viewed his election to office as the devil incarnate and as the antichrist come to where I now totally agree with what you say, John Pavlovitz. Barack Obama has risen above all the negativity of his critics and shown himself to be a man of great compassion and integrity. Thank God for him and his wife (such a gracious first lady).

    • Thank you Jem. I listened to a lot of the CNN coverage late tonight about the UK deciding to leave the EU. I sort of got the impression that this change in the UK had been engineered by right wing radicals who, in their own European context, are on the same plane with Donald Trump here. I hope this new European “Trumpism” is not an omen of our own election results in November 2016.

  35. This is moving and so true. There is nothing Christian about racism. Jesus shunned no one. I honestly do not know how President Obama has done it all these years, maintaining his poise and grace. Regardless of your politics, one has to recognize he is indisputably a good man. Please send a copy of this open letter to the White House. He would appreciate your words. 🙂

  36. I am appalled at the virulent posts and responses to other people on this thread. The name calling and insults are rampant towards any person who doesn’t share the opinions of some posters. I’ve always liked John Pavlovitz’s writing and feel he has worked to share perspective on many issues of Christian faith AND life in general. I can’t imagine John is pleased with the trolls on this thread; how very un-Christ like some people’s behavior and words are expressed here. I don’t understand the dismissal of any opinion other than the ones held by a few, profligate individuals. The intolerance and even ridicule expressed towards others — the lack of civility — is incredibly sad.

    • Charles, my opinion is based on the FACTS I have experienced with Obamacare; tripled premiums, increased deductibles, higher costs by a significant margin. Perhaps your experienced are different, leading you to a different opinion. I also based my comments on actions I have seen Obama take on the national stage; he did little to foster cooperation and understanding and much to widen the divide between races by taking positions on local issues before all the FACTS were known. And before you try to jump me, please understand that I supported him in a caucus state, and was elected as a state caucus delegate supporting Obama. When he was running for office, I had some concerns about his lack of experience, but honestly thought he was the best alternative at the time. While some believe he may have acted with grace by turning the other check, his policies — or lack of policies –have done harm to our nation, IMHO.

    • Do you mean stuff like this:

      “Come on conservative Christians and non Christians. The Obama administration has made it safe to be openly racist again. Which one of you fundies wants to fess up first. Let’s hear what you really feel about Mr. Obama in all that tried and true working man’s slang from way back yonder—you know—the slang your mommas and daddies taught you was God’s own truth. C’mon. I want to hear it right here and right now.”?

      I am not apologizing for that because I think it is true. If “Obamacare” had been “BuffyFitzgeraldcare” it would have been praised as a miracle innovation—like the Massachusetts “Romneycare” model it was based on.

      I remain absolutely convinced that most of the unhappiness with President Obama in conservative circles, including fundie circles, si based on conscious and unconscious hatred of African-Americans.

      • And that comment, “I remain absolutely convinced that most of the unhappiness with President Obama in conservative circles, including fundie circles, si based on conscious and unconscious hatred of African-Americans.” I think it is absolutely clueless, and why I have to write off a lot of what you say. You are certainly a bigot if you think anyone who opposes him does so for racial reasons.

        I am not saying there aren’t those people. There are way too many of them. But it’s not close to the majority of his critics. It is a lazy reason that can’t be justified, and is intellectually dishonest. It is a reason given by some on the left so that they don’t have to confront actual criticisms of his policies. It is an easy thing to say, difficult to prove or disprove, and provides the kind of knee-jerk response that gives the unthinking masses on the left the support they need. (And yes, just as there are unthinking masses on the right, there are unthinking masses on the left.)

        • Rick R., perhaps your neighborhood is different from that of my cousin in South Carolina, who, like you, disapproves of Obama for political reasons. According to my cousin, most of his neighbors disapprove of Obama because he is both
          black
          and
          smarter than they are.

  37. It sounds like you’re looking for something to gripe about – he waited too long, he spoke too quickly! America is not the only one in the UN. This post was about President Obama, the man of strength and character. If you are so apt to pass judgement, why not run for president? Too many people are using this as an opportunity to get on their soapbox, including you. That’s NOT what this is.

  38. To be wise is to be open, to be open is to be knowledgeable; to be knowledgeable is to understand that you really know nothing. Sol Palha

    I have read probably three fourths of the comments made on this post concerning President Obama and his character. Please permit me to approach my comments from a different perspective.

    President Obama was not put into office by man. President Obama was put there by God. He didn’t ask man what attributes they wanted in a president. He already knew. He didn’t ask man whether President (then Senator) Obama was above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He already knew. He didn’t ask man whether or not President Obama had a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. He already knew.

    In other words, God already knew Obama’s “Character.” He already knew the wisdom President Obama would use to make decisions. He already knew President Obama’s level of knowledge that would aid him during his presidency. He already knew that President Obama had the resolve and stamina to weather the “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that were hurled at him and his family. As John put it:

    “The truth is, many of us understand that the Evangelical Right, the NRA, Fox News, and far too many ordinary folks living here were simply never going to be okay with a man of color leading them and succeeding—and yet you have done both.

    Eight years later, those same people still strain to bait you into reciprocating violence and in fulfilling their toxic prophecies of you, while you simply continue to do what you do with nobility, compassion, good humor, and steadfast, unapologetic conviction.

    You live the grace so many Christians evoke but rarely model.”

    This is an intriguing issue of leadership. The qualifications of leaders, as they are laid out in the Bible, are nothing more than what God expects out of everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. Biblical leadership is built on the foundation of being the person God expects every one of his children to be.

  39. To be wise is to be open, to be open is to be knowledgeable; to be knowledgeable is to understand that you really know nothing. Sol Palha

    I have read probably three fourths of the comments made on this post concerning President Obama and his character. Please permit me to approach my comments from a different perspective.

    President Obama was not put into office by man. President Obama was put there by God. He didn’t ask man what attributes they wanted in a president. He already knew. He didn’t ask man whether President (then Senator) Obama was above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He already knew. He didn’t ask man whether or not President Obama had a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. He already knew.

    In other words, God already knew Obama’s “Character.” He already knew the wisdom President Obama would use to make decisions. He already knew President Obama’s level of knowledge that would aid him during his presidency. He already knew that President Obama had the resolve and stamina to weather the “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that were hurled at him and his family. As John put it:

    “The truth is, many of us understand that the Evangelical Right, the NRA, Fox News, and far too many ordinary folks living here were simply never going to be okay with a man of color leading them and succeeding—and yet you have done both.

    Eight years later, those same people still strain to bait you into reciprocating violence and in fulfilling their toxic prophecies of you, while you simply continue to do what you do with nobility, compassion, good humor, and steadfast, unapologetic conviction.

    You live the grace so many Christians evoke but rarely model.”

    This is an intriguing issue of leadership. The qualifications of leaders, as they are laid out in the Bible, are nothing more than what God expects out of everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ. Biblical leadership is built on the foundation of being the person God expects every one of his children to be.

  40. I’m sorry. I don’t know how it happened, but somehow there are two post of mine, both the same. The only difference is the avatar.

  41. Thank you, John for so eloquently putting into words what many of us are thinking. Through it all, he has been the epitome of dignity and grace. I will also miss him when he leaves office. I say simply: Thank you, Mr. President and may God ever bless you and your family

  42. I can only imagine that Lucifer, now know as the Devil had a very elegant way about himself to deceive about one third of the angels to follow him. Likewise, Jim Jone that lead over 900 people into drinking the Kool-Aid laced with deadly cyanide, must have had a very persuasive way about him in order to convincing these people that they were going immediately to Heaven.
    Hey, you wonderfully made, God created people, God surely put this man where he is to reveal how the Devil works in the disguise of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
    Haven’t you heard that love is blind? I’m sorry to see that Revelation 12 has become true as the whole world has been lead astray.
    I’m hearing Fox New and other people being put down – but maybe some of you should lesson to the evidence of both sides for a thought provoking comparison – then make a choice of what and who you stand with and or believe.
    America, wake up – you’re being HOODWINKED from the enemy that’s within.

  43. You people are all idiots. This has nothing to do with the color of his skin. He is bar far the worst president we have had in decades. Yes it is because of Obama Care that insurance premiums doubled and the coverage provided is less. His legacy is that he has brought racism to a whole new high, he is not Christian, and he has allowed our country to become a joke to other nations and he should be in prison for treason. Get over your own racism, forget about the color of his skin and look at the real damage he has done. Then, and only then, will you retract your statements of praise for this monster. And did you forget about his mother; she was white, so he is not black he is biracial. It’s unfortunate that it’s people like you who are going to vote the next criminal into office so we will continue another 4 years of this nightmare.

  44. Wow! Name calling is a childish way of getting nowhere. In fact, if the truth were really known – when one is pointing – there are three pointing back.

    I sincerely believe all of you are wonderfully made, God created people – that are part of the grand scheme of things to demonstrate how we will treat one another all in the name of what we think is the better way.
    Lucifer thought he had a better way than God’s way – which resulted in him and his being cast out of Heaven.
    This cause Lucifer, now know as the Devil to be angry at God – so how is God solving the problem but to allow him to have his way for a time.
    See, the Devil has everyone fighting over some, so-called, better way. This is God’s way of revealing the results of evil.
    But if we refuse to examine the evidence – for or against – we may never have the privilege of moving past our ignorance.

    Yes, I’ve been called Gullible and Stupid – but as I was growing up – my brother called my worse than that and I still loved him – I guess I’m stuck with who I am – for I’ve been told – “You Can’t Fix Stupid”

  45. John, I have loved your views on life over the past several years…but because you decided to venture into politics you will now be blocked from our system!

  46. I keep reading these responses that engage in name calling and ridicule towards any person who dare not join in singing the praises of President Obama. If one takes exception towards his policies, or expresses concern about some of the issues they believe have created difficulties in society, they are automatically accused of being racist. When one is expected to only praise him BECAUSE he is black, it’s nothing more than more another form of racism. All this, without anyone knowing the circumstances or complexion of another poster. Charles, I’ve rarely heard language as foul as you used, claiming it was what you expected to be the dialog of any “Christian fundies” about Obama. Repeating that language perpetuates it, even if, as you claim, that isn’t your personal feelings. Where is the consideration for others? I’m fully capable of separating skin tone from actions. Just because Obamacare had benefited your family doesn’t mean it didn’t create increased costs for others. Can’t we be more kind and gentle with one another?

    • Thank you, Pat. I tried to use humor in my Charlie Brown posts but given the level of LPCF vitriol I am certain they won’t get it. I’ve enjoyed – if that’s the right word – my brief sojourn here. It was a great reminder that LPCFs, who generally have no argument, resort rather quickly to put downs, name calling, labeling, denigration, condescension, made up labels such as Islamophobia, which is an attempt to label people as mentally ill. In a word, they are supercilious and I’m bored with it. I wish the best.

  47. I wish I had not been presented with the same position with regards to President George W. Bush’s policies.
    I wish that my former friend had not apparently ended our friendship because he was certain that I had ‘betrayed’ him and had voted for Obama in 2012 just as I had in 2008.

  48. John, you may not get a chance to read this comment but I wanted to say thank you. I’ve spent the past few days reading many of your posts and I’ve felt so inspired, so encouraged, and so challenged. You have given voice to many things I’ve felt for a long time but did not have the wisdom or courage to articulate. Thank you for speaking truth, thank you for sharing your heart, and thank you for daring to believe that God is greater, kinder, and more loving, than we ever imagined Him to be. I got to a point where I felt I had to numb my sense of empathy and love for humanity to keep up with certain theological conclusions I’d always been taught, and I became fed up with that. This journey of deconstruction and reconstruction of faith is a difficult one, but more and more I feel the scales of religion falling from eyes and so many things appear more beautiful to me than ever before. Thank you for being a part of that process for me.

    (Also I absolutely love this letter to President Obama. He’s been a wise leader, an obviously loving husband and father, and a pillar of courage amidst so much vitriol and opposition. I think history will remember him kindly, I know I will. I’m very proud to have lived during his time as Commander in Chief.)

    • The Libyans, Syrians, and Egyptians will hold him up as a great man that delivered jihad on them. You admire a war criminal.

  49. While I’m unsure about the Libyans, it seems fairly clear to me that Jihad is not occurring in Egypt (though president Morsi’s policies were definitely worrisome), and Syria’s problems are partially a result of US policies and behaviors in Iraq and partially a result of Assad’s response to the Arab Spring in Syria.

  50. Eternal wars for eternal profits, soaring income inequality, total surveillance state institutionalized, whistleblowers treated like spies, extrajudicial killing of American citizens by their government legalized, signature health care giveaway to medical device makers, pharm and insurance, TPP, TTIP, TISA nullification of the Constitution. Thanks Mr president.

    • “Eternal wars for eternal profits, soaring income inequality, total surveillance state institutionalized, whistleblowers treated like spies,…” Much (most?) of this started under the previous administration. “Global War on Terror”
      “The Patriot Act”
      Drop taxes on the wealthy, do nothing to help California recover from the actions of Enron et al.

  51. Pingback: Thanks, Obama | Susanthur Political Observer

  52. John, I thought this was a excellent post, well-written and conveyed how I feel about Obama, the man. But then I got to the point where, yet again, disagreement with his policies is interpreted as racism. I admire Obama, the man. He is a loving husband and strong father figure. That is admirable and a wonderful role model for everyone, but especially for young black men who have had few strong father figures given that 70% of black children are born to single mothers. President Obama has shown strength and Grace when attacked as a person. But he has not shown that same character when attacked politically. He and his administration resorts to blaming others. I had great hopes that he would reach across the isle and be a President who could heal deep wounds, but I agree with other’s comments that he has not done that. I am deeply disturbed by the level of vitriol, hatred, and down-right mean-spiritedness that I see in the comments to others who may disagree with them. That is not the American way or the Christian way. While I admire Obama, the man. I do not admire Obama, the politician. I believe his policies hurt those he is trying to help. Studies have shown that raising the minimum wage hurts young black men disproportionately than other groups. There was recently an article in BET to support this claim. Thomas Sowell, a renowned economist and tenured university professor, who happens to be black, states the same. While others are praising Obamacare, our experience has been less than positive. Our daughter can no longer afford health insurance, attempted to get a subsidy to buy it, and was told she makes too little money to get the subsidy. She had health insurance before Obamacare Exchanges. For the last 2 years she has received a letter from the healthcare exchange to send to the IRS so that she doesn’t have to pay the penalty. The company I worked for was going to be fined millions because they provided what was considered a “Cadillac plan” unless they decreased the coverage offered. They chose to decrease coverage….but our premium increased, and has increased every year for the last three years. The one positive was that our youngest son could remain after college graduation on our plan until he turned 26. You, perhaps, have seen positives from Obamacare, but we have not excepting the one item I mentioned. I would encourage you to go to the CDC site for a critique of numbers. They are less than glowing. Every time there is a mass shooting, Obama calls for more gun control. Do some real research. Not one of the mass shootings would have been prevented with more gun control legislation. Again, while I admire Obama, the man, I am called a racist for disagreeing with his policies. This should not be. Are there some people who hate him just because he is black? Sure. But many voted for him just because he is black while disagreeing with his platform. This is also as objectionable. I fully expect to be attacked for this post just as others have been attacked for disagreeing. When did we get to the point that we are unable to have honest, open discourse and agree to disagree? When did we get to the point where civility and respect is nonexhistent? Those on the Right are accused of being intolerant but, in truth, the comments I see here prove that those who are on the other side are spewing much more hatred and bigotry. It just seems they are blind to their hatred. “No one is more blind than the man who will not see”. John, I appreciate your support of Obama, the man. I do see his strength under attack. I object to your implication that just because I disagree with his policies that it is because he is black and I am racist.

  53. As one of the Christian conservatives folks are so willing to bash, I find that one of the few things I can agree with is that history will shed light on this presidency, just not as favorably as some assume. The leap to conclude that we are racist, even if unconsciously so, is offensive. I disagree with Obama’s policies, his race had nothing to do with it. Democrat cries of racial inequality (from the party that has done more to establish and maintain that inequality than almost anyone) have done more to fan the flames than put them out.
    “Progressive” networks such as CNN and their ridiculously biased reporting haven’t helped.
    I don’t hate LGBT, what people feel between one another is not my concern. I don’t care if they marry. Someone else’s marriage has nothing to do with mine. Basically, if you build a life together, give then the same legal rights. That’s fair.
    However, don’t go after the local bakery who won’t bake a cake for your wedding because of her beliefs. For a group who demands understanding, you seem pretty unwilling to exercise it yourself.
    Everyone screams fact check. Okay, I have. There is exactly zero proof that Trump is a racist, mysoginist, or any other of the labels slapped on him. He made financial decisions, charged prices for properties that made them too expensive for lower income people. I’m white, and I’m one of those lower income families. Boo hoo, I can’t live somewhere I would never have considered living anyway.
    Mrs Clinton has had far many more claims against her, with proof of misconduct (email scandal) yet liberals turn a great blind eye to that and the many investigations she’s been under, claiming a giant conspiracy against her while laughing at Trump and his conspiracy claims.
    Bottom line for me is that I would rather take a chance on an unproven blowhard than a proven liar, at the very least someone who was careless with top secret information. A woman who stood by her sex predator husband to keep her own political agenda alive,
    He’s an unknown quality, and to use her own (racist) words, I think I know who the super predator was in the equation.

    • Do some research. The proof that trump is what he is comes directly from his own mouth. Then when confronted with it, he outright lies, saying the opposite of what he was heard to say, despite it being video recorded.

  54. It’s interesting how people choose what to believe, claiming to fact check but through a prism that only allows the outcomes they already espouse too. Too bad truth is outside the city of their hearts and justice cannot enter. They don’t know what they don’t know and no amount of facts makes a difference. May God help us.

  55. Pingback: Christian Pastor Writes To OBAMA That He's "The BETTER Man"! - progresstribune.com

  56. Pingback: Thanks, Obama? – Thoughts and Prayers for the Faithful

  57. Thank you John, for all of your wonderful writing. Thank you and God bless you and your wonderful family, President Obama. I will miss you!

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