March 30, 2017

September 29, 2009

Good Lord, Deliver Us: Community Organizers Pray to Obama

Given the location, context, and form of this “prayer,” and the dress and manner of the “celebrant,” I’ll be very surprised to learn this is not the work of Episcopalians in the diocese of Washington and/or Maryland. The Gamaliel Foundation’s web site is here, but it’s such a mess it’s hard to figure out who’s who and where they come from. If anyone can identify the woman leading the “prayer,” please provide whatever info and links you can:

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What is next?  We will be obliged to offer a pinch of incense before a statue of Obama to show that we are loyal citizens?

[1] Posted by AnglicanXn on 9-29-2009 at 10:11 AM · [top]

Baal comes to mind!

[2] Posted by TLDillon on 9-29-2009 at 10:20 AM · [top]

This certainly sounds like a twisted version of the Great Litany.

[3] Posted by Katherine on 9-29-2009 at 10:30 AM · [top]

Two Catholic priests sit on the board. Obama, hear our cry?

[4] Posted by oscewicee on 9-29-2009 at 10:38 AM · [top]

If you listen to the words and not to the text prompts it sounds like most participants are responding ‘deliver us O God’ not deliver us Obama.

[5] Posted by anglicanhopeful on 9-29-2009 at 10:39 AM · [top]

You’re quite sure they’re saying “Obama” and not “Oh God” or “Oh Lord”?  I confess, it sounds like “Obama” to me, especially as they get to the mid-point, and everyone seems to be in the swing of it, but I’ve been stung before by garbled transcriptions that seem to say something damaging, and turn out to be innocuous.

[6] Posted by Dr. Mabuse on 9-29-2009 at 10:39 AM · [top]


I should have noted - this video came from the web site of the Gamaliel Foundation, where it’s posted on their home page. They are definitely saying “Obama” and not “O Lord” or “O God.”

[7] Posted by Greg Griffith on 9-29-2009 at 10:45 AM · [top]

We will be obliged to offer a pinch of incense before a statue of Obama to show that we are loyal citizens?

Yeah, at this rate, I’m wondering if his supporters are even going to have the decency to wait until he dies before demanding a monument on the Mall.

[8] Posted by AndrewA on 9-29-2009 at 10:46 AM · [top]

I’m afraid those who are thinking that the congregation is responding with “deliver us o God” should consider that while God is a trinity, His name doesn’t have 3 sylables!!

[9] Posted by Josip on 9-29-2009 at 10:48 AM · [top]

I listened and I heard most say “Oh God”.  However, I do think I heard some say Obama; especially at the beginning.  If the members of the group are not in general catholic in practice they might have gotten it wrong at first.  I will reveret to the saying (or a paraphrase thereof): “Do not attribute to malice what can be attributed to a lack of knowledge”.

[10] Posted by BillB on 9-29-2009 at 10:48 AM · [top]

At the risk of sounding a little extreme - is this guy the anti-Christ? This is truly scary stuff.

[11] Posted by Nellie on 9-29-2009 at 10:54 AM · [top]

Face it, folks, the people are saying “Obama.” Maybe some are saying “God” or “Lord,” but what you hear is 3 sylllables.

[12] Posted by Nellie on 9-29-2009 at 10:55 AM · [top]

Thank you Nellie.

Everyone - the video is a production of the foundation that sponsored the event. It is posted by them on their web site. They put in the subtitles themselves. THEY ARE SAYING “OBAMA.”

[13] Posted by Greg Griffith on 9-29-2009 at 10:57 AM · [top]

I think BillB is right.  A few idiots in the crowd were saying “Obama”, but it sounds like the liturgy was supposed to be “deliver us O God”. That said, I still think Nellie is also correct. With the Iran missle stuff, his failure to even talk to McCrystal and his junket to Copenhagen, my blood pressure got so high last night, I’m lucky I dadn’t have a stroke.

[14] Posted by David Keller on 9-29-2009 at 10:59 AM · [top]

Nellie, I just don’t see him being competent enough to be “The Anti-Christ,” and that’s even assuming that there is or will be such a thing as a singular Anti-Christ (I think it dangerous to try and make too much systematic sense of prophecy).

In another 4 to 8 years, he will be just another annoying ex-president.

[15] Posted by AndrewA on 9-29-2009 at 11:01 AM · [top]

More on the Gamaliel Foundation courtesy of Wikipedia

[16] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 9-29-2009 at 11:04 AM · [top]

Matin Luther King, minor or major prophet?

[17] Posted by PaulStead on 9-29-2009 at 11:07 AM · [top]

Unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll be just another annoying ex-president. He has said that he wants to chnage the structure of America, and he’s doing so already - or trying to. The government now controls some of our biggest banks, has its finger in the auto industry, is considering “bailing out” newspapers, etc. What do you think a government bailout of newspapers might lead to? Do you think it just might lead to government controlling the news - whether directly or indirectly, by virtue of the papers being dependent on government money? If this health care thing goes through, I may not be around much longer to worry about any of this, since I’m a 64-year-old breast cancer survivor. I’d better hope I don’t have a recurrence, or I may be “encouraged” to consider the burden I will be to my children. Obama has not even spoken to General McChrystal about Afghanistan in 70 days. This man will NEVER be just another ex-president. He may be the presider over the destruction of America as we knew it. Well, I guess in that he has something in common with our illustrious ABC, although as far as I know, no one has yet prayed to the ABC.

[18] Posted by Nellie on 9-29-2009 at 11:10 AM · [top]

OK, my mistake on the subtitles - they were added by someone else. The version on the Gamaliel web site has no subtitles.

That said, though, I’m definitely hearing three syllables and a “b” in there - no mistake about that.

[19] Posted by Greg Griffith on 9-29-2009 at 11:13 AM · [top]

Note also that the woman invokes “the prophet” Martin Luther King.

FWIW, there’s a lot of discussion along these same lines over at Hot Air.

[20] Posted by Greg Griffith on 9-29-2009 at 11:26 AM · [top]

What format is this video in?

[21] Posted by Modest Mystic on 9-29-2009 at 11:35 AM · [top]

I. Feel. Sick.

[22] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 9-29-2009 at 11:52 AM · [top]

God help us all.

[23] Posted by In Exile on 9-29-2009 at 12:05 PM · [top]

#7 Greg, I hear both “Obama” and “O God”
Probably folks present said both.

[24] Posted by southernvirginia1 on 9-29-2009 at 12:07 PM · [top]

The fact that this is even taking place is disturbing enough no matter how many are chanting his name as if praying to him ad not God. On a whole it is awful and says alot about where we are and where we are headed as a country.

we should all be outraged, appalled, concerned, possibly even afraid enough to stand up and do something and be heard.

[25] Posted by TLDillon on 9-29-2009 at 12:14 PM · [top]

People are so gulible. Its not long before the antichrist can come.

[26] Posted by Luthergibt on 9-29-2009 at 12:29 PM · [top]

I, too, heard three syllables with the first one being “O” and the second one being “ah.”  I also heard some people ending with the consonant “d” so I can only assume that some were saying “Obama” and some were saying either “Lord” or “God” or “O Lord God”

I would add a petition for God to deliver us from oppressive bureaucrats and from those who would enslave us by making us unable to stand on our own or to stand together as a community (rather than knee to the government).

Phil Snyder

[27] Posted by Philip Snyder on 9-29-2009 at 01:49 PM · [top]

From the look of the woman offering petitions (I won’t call it prayer when too many people respond with Obama.) she appears to be either an Episcopal, Lutheran, or Methodist clergy person - probably in presbyterial orders.  The fact that she is wearing an alb and a stole at a political/religious event makes me think that she is a poorly trained Episcopal priest.  You should only wear an alb when celebrating the Eucharist.  It is completely out of place at a political rally - even one where you are offering some form of prayer.  I would hesitate to even wear clericals at such an event (even if it was an event whose goals I supported).

Phil Snyder

[28] Posted by Philip Snyder on 9-29-2009 at 02:03 PM · [top]

I am as concerned as anyone else about what is happening in our nation with Obama and his horrible socialist agenda. However, if we are honest, few of us would have concluded that these people are crying out to Obama instead of God if someone hadn’t put text in front of our eyes. As far as I am concerned these tactics are as shameful as those used by the other side.

[29] Posted by wolf on 9-29-2009 at 02:04 PM · [top]

#25 Do what? We can’t all go to Chicago and attend the next rally in protest. We are not professional protesters. It’s another group’s gathering.

What is going on–now–is so way far beyond what I could have imagined a year ago, and I imagined things would be dreadful but not within such a tight time frame.
Most days I can’t tell whether TEC antics mimics US political stuff or US political stuff and manuverings mimic TEC.

I’m sympathetic, brother.

[30] Posted by southernvirginia1 on 9-29-2009 at 02:12 PM · [top]

I know some here “pooh-poohed” the Left Behind series.  But I gotta say….everything that’s gone on for the last 1-2 years seems to parallel many of the main points…well, except for that pesky pre-trib rapture part.

[31] Posted by Florida Anglican [Support Israel] on 9-29-2009 at 03:32 PM · [top]

“O God’ or “Obama?”

  Given that this was shot last December, I’m wondering how many folks who said “Obama” then would say “Oh, God” (and not in a good way) now?

  As for me and my house, we’re sticking with “O tempora o mores,” cause we’re just snobby and stuff.

[32] Posted by Brize on 9-29-2009 at 03:43 PM · [top]

That is actually blasphemy. I do hope Mr O gets to see this and has an opportunity to tear his clothes, if he doesn’t his doom is sure.

[33] Posted by A Senior Priest on 9-29-2009 at 05:03 PM · [top]

Some of my students wanted to debate the health care issue, but every one wanted to argue the Obama-Pelosi view… These kids are in sync with what ever he says and believe that he IS the savior of the American poor… Only about 10% go to church and they are completely converted to BHO message. Lord, Hear MY Prayer

[34] Posted by bdino on 9-29-2009 at 05:32 PM · [top]

everything that’s gone on for the last 1-2 years seems to parallel many of the main points

Obama can’t be the Anti-Christ.  The papacy already has a lock on that job.  Haven’t you read Martin Luther and Jack Chick?

Florida Anglican, I’ve been hearing “everything that’s gone on for the last 1-2 years” for the last 20 year, and I’ve only 27.  I’ve sure some on this blog can remember when Bill Clinton, Ho Chi Min, Kim Il Sung, Stalin, Jack Kennedy, FDR, and maybe even Hitler were all said to be the Anti-Christ who would bring on the Tribulation any day now. 

Go back a few more centuries and you have the Ottoman Turks, Ghengis Khan, Saladin, Mohammad, Atilla the Hun, Nero…

[35] Posted by AndrewA on 9-29-2009 at 05:52 PM · [top]

Um, Atilla the Hun and Nero were a bit before my time… but that Genghis Khan, man! (Thanks, AndrewA, for some perspective.)

[36] Posted by oscewicee on 9-29-2009 at 05:58 PM · [top]

Anywide, going back to the gentle mocking of Obama without the hystronic predictions of apoclypse, it seems that the Left’s new way of sticking it to the man and showing their original revolutionary thinking is wearing T-shirt demanding that you respect the president.

[37] Posted by AndrewA on 9-29-2009 at 06:00 PM · [top]

[35] AndrewA

Haven’t you read Martin Luther and Jack Chick?

There are people I would include in the same sentence as Jack Chick ... Peter Ruckman comes to mind ... but Martin Luther?  That’s just beyond the pale. 


[38] Posted by carl on 9-29-2009 at 06:13 PM · [top]

Good heavens, I never expected to see Peter Ruckman’s name on an Anglican blog ever ever ever ever.

[39] Posted by James Manley on 9-29-2009 at 06:22 PM · [top]

[31] Posted by Florida Anglican

I know some here “pooh-poohed” the Left Behind series.

Because it is based on really bad exegesis.

But I gotta say….everything that’s gone on for the last 1-2 years seems to parallel many of the main points.

There is an assumption here that what happens to the US is of some eschatological significance.  This is simply American exceptionalism inserted into Scripture.  Is there any exegetical basis for it?  No.  We are just pleased to think we are much more special than we actually are.  It’s as if 1776 has been transformed into a re-presentation of the entry of Israel into the Promised Land.  We are not the new Israel.  We are the Old Babylon.  There is nothing significant about our country at all.  Our wealth, our power, our founding, our Constitution, our democratic form of Government, our Judeo-Christian heritage, and anything else the Christian Coalition could print up on its pamphlets - they all mean nothing to the coming of the Last Day.  This nation just isn’t that important.


[40] Posted by carl on 9-29-2009 at 06:26 PM · [top]

Carl,  I have always heard that the Church is the grafted in New Israel.

[41] Posted by Theodora on 9-29-2009 at 07:10 PM · [top]

“Everbody in, Nobody out”  Didn’t Himmler try that slogan?

[42] Posted by Bill2 on 9-29-2009 at 07:38 PM · [top]

“Everbody in, Nobody out”  Didn’t Himmler try that slogan?

Yeah, but it didn’t float well with the focus groups, so they went with “work shall set you free” instead.

[43] Posted by AndrewA on 9-29-2009 at 07:52 PM · [top]

Oh, for crying out loud - they’re saying “Oh, God.”
It’s just that when you’ve got a bit of a Southern drawl, AND people aren’t exactly in sync, it drags out:  “Deliver us, oh-Gah-ahd”. 
I’m as wary of Obama as anyone, but this is just histronics and belongs in the same category as the Youtube video claiming that Jesus named Obama as the anti-Christ.  (And no, if you haven’t seen it, I’m not going to direct you to it.)  I agree with the poster who said that if you didn’t have the subtitles in front of you, it never would have occured to you to think they were saying “oh-bah-mah”.
How about we turn our energy to praying, as they attempted to, that all our citizens receive the health care they need?


[44] Posted by Kathleen C on 9-29-2009 at 08:54 PM · [top]

What surprised me most was that Obama wasn’t in it.

[45] Posted by The Templar on 9-29-2009 at 09:06 PM · [top]

Obama the antichrist?  I thought it was KJS.

[46] Posted by Charles III on 9-29-2009 at 09:07 PM · [top]

[41] Floridian

I have always heard that the Church is the grafted in New Israel.

Yes, that is correct.  But Dispensationalism ala “Left Behind” emphatically denies that is so.  It is from this stream that we get specious exegetical claims like an Eagle metaphor being a reference to the US, or the mark of the Beast being a computer chip, or stars falling from heaven being nuclear weapons from space.  Those are not made-up examples.  I remember once reading that the ten horns in Revelation were the 10 countries of the European Common Market.  We must be very careful to avoid reading contemporary politics onto Scripture. 

Unfortunately, this motif is very popular at the moment. It’s like a plague.  Go into any Christian Bookstore, and look for all the books that relate the Iraq war to End Time prophesy.  Ten years from now they will all be mercifully forgotten.  But something else will take its place. People love to think they have access to hidden knowledge that only a select few can know. 


[47] Posted by carl on 9-29-2009 at 09:08 PM · [top]

I still can’t view this or any video on Stand Firm anymore.  I found this one on YouTube.  I was playing it, and my husband heard it from the other room and shouted, “They’re praying to Obama!?!?!?”  So, that proves that it is not merely the suggestion presented by the subtitles.  Personally, I hear both.  I’m appalled, but not surprised.

[48] Posted by Modest Mystic on 9-29-2009 at 09:13 PM · [top]

Thanks carl.  I got enough of that silliness as a kid.  My church would even get the occasional visiting “expert” giving “sermons” along those lines, and most of them with a book to sell.

[49] Posted by AndrewA on 9-29-2009 at 09:21 PM · [top]

It is funny how the mind works (and technology).  On my desktop with better speakers I hear more “Obama.”  On my laptop I hear more “God” or rather “Gahhda” but I do hear distinct “b” sounds on both.  I don’t think everyone there is particularly religious so they’re crying to their secular idol.  It helps to close your eyes and ignore the video.

[50] Posted by Bill2 on 9-29-2009 at 09:42 PM · [top]

I too stopped watching the video, turned the sound up, and here’s what I think happened.. First of all, got to remember, lots of folks don’t know from formal “prayers” and “responses”.
That’s not a slam, just a statement.

When the thing started, there was some using “God” some, Obama. As it progressed, some were joining in and saying “Obama”.  So, it was both.. As it went on, the “God” folks, started responding louder (this happens in almost any group at times) folks trying to help.

By the end, almost everyone is saying “God” with only a few muddlers.

[51] Posted by Grandmother on 9-30-2009 at 07:38 AM · [top]

As much as I detest what these people stand for, it sounds like “Oh, God” to me, not “Obama.”

We are in great danger of looking silly.

[52] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 9-30-2009 at 12:20 PM · [top]

I hear both.

[53] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-30-2009 at 12:23 PM · [top]

As I’ve said before, the separation of church and state gets very dicey when your church IS the state.

[54] Posted by Jeffersonian on 9-30-2009 at 03:22 PM · [top]

Well, I finally listened.  They are not poor southernese with lisps, ya’ll.  They are saying with an excellent enunciation O-Bom-Uh.  I did not hear even one remotely similar sound to Gawd.  If you can confuse Gawd with Obam-uh, you need some serious ear wax therapy or a new hearing aid.

My Gawd, they-a wuz prayin’ to Obamuh!  Well, shut they’s moufs!  This would be worthy of a Tennesee Williams’ play called THE WASHINGTON MENAGERIE or perhaps CAT ON A HOT TIN FLOOR. 

But the enunciation is wicked clear to this South Carolina native with Georgia, Virginia, Texas, and Missouri under my belt for dialects, and Gullah New Testament in my hand, too.

[55] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 9-30-2009 at 10:21 PM · [top]

Beware of the Gamaliel Foundation and its social activism.  It’s based on the tenets of Saul Alinsky published in his books [which have become almost biblical]  When I was cornered 35 years ago, things happened that “normal” people would have difficulty believing Google Maggies Notebook on the Gamaliel Fdn. and read carefully between the lines.  And episcopalians [sic] are involved.  The implications are scary! I pray daily that they will listen to the Gospel some day.

[56] Posted by Disillusioned on 10-1-2009 at 03:18 PM · [top]

I also turned up my linguist’s ears and closed my eyes.

A [ba] syllable is hard to hear and distinguish from a [ga] syllable. However…

Only in one case could I clearly hear a response more like “God”, in the penultimate “Deliver us…”.

I also clearly hear [ma], every time with that one exception.

“O God” has two syllables, the last one closed by the [d]. Most of the responses I heard had three syllables ending in that open syllable [ma].

I conclude that of the people the microphone was capturing, most were saying Obama, but that one time the person holding the microphone moved close enough to an individual to capture him saying “God”.

[57] Posted by Siangombe on 10-2-2009 at 09:04 PM · [top]

Below is the Wikepedia info on “Gamaliel” —I don’t believe they’re praying to Obama as they’ve been in place for poor people in the Midwest since 1968

The Gamaliel Foundation was founded in Chicago in 1968 to assist the Contract Buyers League, which worked to assist African-American home buyers in the city’s West Side. Gamaliel was reoriented to focus on community organizing when Gregory Galluzzo was hired as executive director in 1986.[1] Seeing its basic function as training and developing leaders in low-income communities, Gamaliel’s goal is “to assist local community leaders to create, maintain and expand independent, grassroots, and powerful faith-based community organizations”[2] that have the power to influence political and economic decisions that impact cities and regions. The name “Gamaliel” refers to the Biblical wise man who was a teacher to St. Paul (see Acts 5:38-39; and Acts 22:3), whom Saul Alinsky considered to be the first great congregation-based organizer.

Gamaliel Foundation works in the community organizing tradition of Alinsky, who began his work in Chicago with the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council in 1939. Following Alinsky’s death in 1972, his Industrial Areas Foundation, under executive director Edward T. Chambers, moved toward a congregation-based organizing model, emphasizing training and leadership development. Gamaliel has developed along a similar path under the direction of Galluzzo, a former Roman Catholic priest who got his introduction to community organizing in the early 1970s in Chicago, where he worked with the Pilsen Neighborhood Community Council, mentored by such organizers as Tom Gaudette and John Baumann (the founder of PICO National Network).

[58] Posted by JA4GOD on 10-4-2009 at 07:01 PM · [top]

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