Monday, February 18, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama, "The Audacity of Hope, and Steven Phillip Kazmierczak


Maybe Kazmierczak was putting his hope in the 72 virgins theory. Sounds to me like he was getting a little help from some less than friendly jihads'.

from Debbie Schlussel

For those who have never been here before, don't blame me, I read the idea here.

Mary Mitchell

Now I have a few thoughts on the subject as well, but I'm confident that my take on the subject is much different than Ms. Mitchell's.

First a little about Barack and Hope

Much has been said and written in the last few weeks about Barack Obama's appeal to the voters in the election cycle. He wrote a book last year entitled "The Audacity of Hope" in which he suggests that Americans need to again have hope in the future, believe that change can come, that a spirit of optimism is essential to the American dream. Some on the right would suggest that Mr. Obama's fervored speeches are little more than empty pablum filled rhetoric. I'll leave that for the reader to decide. I want to concentrate on hope.

American Heritage Dictionary
hope (hōp)
v. hoped, hop·ing, hopes

v. intr.

1. To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment.
2. Archaic To have confidence; trust.

v. tr.

1. To look forward to with confidence or expectation: We hope that our children will be successful.
2. To expect and desire. See Synonyms at expect.


1. A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.
2. Something that is hoped for or desired: Success is our hope.
3. One that is a source of or reason for hope: the team's only hope for victory.
4. often Hope Christianity The theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help.

Since I have not read Mr. Obama's book, we will assume here that he uses the term hope in either the verb or noun form, most likely definition #1 in each, and most likely uses both. So hope is a wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of it fulfillment or a wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment. In the speeches by Mr. Obama which I have heard he refers to hope, that we can end the war, suffering, and a long list of other things, "if only we have the audacity to hope".

Now hope can be a good thing, I hope my children grow up to be responsible, God fearing adults, who want to live in a manner pleasing to Jesus Christ, and that they have a personal relationship with Christ which is sincere, fruitful and eternal. I can hope those things. But if I never do anything more than hope, well, it's highly doubtful that this hope will be realized, why, because in my world, hope requires action on my part. I can hope to win the lottery, but since I believe that games of chance are not something that God would have me be involved in, I never buy a lottery ticket, my hope is useless, because you have to play to win, right?

And according to Ms. Mitchell our culture is suffering from the "The pain of hopelessness".
And the question is why? Is it because we lack in material goods? Is it because we lack a political system that "cares" about us? Is it because we have crime and poverty and violence on our streets and in our homes?

Or is it because we have lost the true meaning of hope, and/or we confuse success in life with things which are in reality things which lead to hopelessness? We'll come back to this in a moment.

Lets think about Mr. Kazmierczak for a moment. What would lead a young man, an intelligent, well educated, well liked,he even had a girlfriend, to kill 5 other humans and then shoot himself? Doing some searching about Mr. Kazmierczak on the internet, one soon finds some disturbing things.

Mr. Kazmierczak

and from his girlfriend

if you read through all that, here's a short list,

he was confined to an asylum after he started cutting himself,
he was taking psychotropic drugs to control his "schizophrenia",
who joined the army in 2001 but had to be discharged soon after for psychological reasons,
got a job in a prison but suddenly stopped going to work.
his mother died two years ago,
He was a co-author of an academic paper called “Self-Injury in Correctional Settings: ‘Pathology’ of Prisons or of Prisoners?” which examined why inmates might hurt themselves with behaviors like cutting their skin.
he had begun to get tattoos which included "- and he had disturbing tattoos inked on to his arms; one of a character from the horror movie Saw, one of a skull with a dagger through it and one of a satanic pentagram."
and one of the last things he sent to his girlfriend was "a paperback edition of 19th Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's "The Anti-Christ," a book he had been reading recently, according to sources."

So in summary, Ms. Mitchell was right, "We are living at a time when depression seems to be as common as a cold or flu. Yet what is depression but an impenetrable cloud of hopelessness?"

Here was a young man without hope. But not the hope which Barack Obama is pushing. Because this young man was a part of the the culture of hope. His plan was to help those in the criminal-justice system. He was concerned about his fellow man. He was a good person. He had every reason to hope, right?

All this leads to something which the media, the culture and even the church has failed to tell people. Hope in not found in politics, hope is not found in a college education, hope is not found in popularity or fame. From the definitions above,
"4. often Hope Christianity The theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help."

Hope, real genuine hope is found in Jesus Christ, God the Son.

Romans 15:13
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Galatians 5:5
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Colossians 1:5
For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

1 Thessalonians 2:19
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

1 Thessalonians 5:8
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

1 Timothy 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

Titus 1:2
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Titus 2:13
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Hebrews 6:18
That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us
Hebrews 6:19
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

1 Peter 1:21
Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

I think you'll are smart enough to get the point. The hope that Barack is selling and the hope that Steven Kazmierczak could not find are both false hope, empty hope. True hope is found in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the Cross of Calvary. Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have the hope of forgiveness of sins in this life, and the hope of life eternal. Real hope.

Do you have that hope?