Has the Respect for the Office of President Gone Down?

Sep 10, 2009   //   by efremsmith   //   politics, race, reconciliation  //  8 Comments

In all my years of watching Presidents speak before congress and a national television audience, I’ve never known a member of the house to shout out, “you’re a liar” to the President. In just eight short months, I’ve heard our President called a racist, unpatriotic, hitler, a socialist, and the anti-Christ. The real sad news here is that some of those using these terms to describe President Obama are Christians. Some of those who are called biblically to be, “ambassadors of reconciliation” are turning out to be, angry name-callers influenced less by Jesus and more by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

Now, there were some mainline Christians doing the same thing during the Bush presidency, which is no better. Why can’t we have ideological differences and still show some sense of intellect and maturity? Today, going to a town hall meeting can be a very dangerous place.

You might not like this next statement, but there are some who believe that the fire of anger against the President of the United States of America has been turned up for more than just ideological disagreements. Here’s the question some people don’t like, “is this about race?” Uh Oh. Why did I have to go there?

When George W. Bush was in office and he said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, no one yelled at him during a speech before congress, “Liar!” This was the case even though it turned out he wasn’t telling the truth. We won’t call him a liar, we’ll just say he didn’t have all the right information :) Fox News Commentator, Glenn Beck believes President Obama hates White people and White culture. I guess he forgot what color the President’s mother’s side of the family is. You might not want to deal with it, but the reality could be that if you’re the President and happen to be Black, you can’t expect the same level of respect.

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me…” (Areatha Franklin)

R-A-C-E, find out if it’s really still playing a role in our behavior (Efrem Smith)


  • You’re right when president bush adressed congress in 2005 know one called him a liar the democrats just out right booed and hissed at him for many portions of his speech. One guy just yelled one thing (that happens to be true)but your right poor barrack has it tough. I agree when you show up at a townhall meeting it can be very dangerous especially when you have union thugs slamming the doors in contituents faces and actually beating someone up and hospitalizing a man in St Louis for simply disagreeing with them. My problem with the president has nothing to do with race but its easier to go there for a lot of people. The reason he was call ed a liar was because he stated that the health care bill will not cover illegal aliens. Now whether you agree with that portion of the bill or not is irrelavant the bill states it will not demand citiezinship checks for people applying for the goverment option thats their loop hole so in turn it will cover illegal aliens. I know our president is a very intellegent man so to tell me he knows nothing about that loop hole in the bill which will insure illegal aliens get the public option is just not realistic. I belive he may think the people he is speaking to aren’t as intellgent and they drink the kool aid to whatever he says. I think that speach was an embarrassment to the office of the presidency because if you read the bill he told bold faced lies about it to the congrss and the american people. Race has nothing to do with wheteher you lie or not.

  • Hello Brother Smith,

    I believe race is an active factor in the attitudes and decision making process of every racial group in our country to some degree. Division is Satan’s goal, particularly within the Body of Christ, and he works hard to promote it. “A house divided against itself will fall” (Lk 11:17). Satan does have influence in the entire world system (1 John 5:19). The problem is that his influence is also present within the Body of Christ. This should not be! All we have to do is visit many of the churches in our communities to see the racial divide that exists.

    To tie this in with the President, look at the number of votes President Obama received from the black community – 95%. Do you think that race had any influence on that number, many of which came from confessing Christians? These votes represent the heart of a large portion of the black community and communicate an unequaled bias within our diverse racial makeup.

    Why do people think the President has personal racial biases, even though his mother was white. Because he spent twenty years in a church that taught “another Gospel” (Gal 1:6-9) – Black Liberation Theology, the Black Value System. The President has rejected the “comments” of Rev. Wright but has never renounced the belief system he committed himself to all those years. His personal positions on major moral issues also show he does not adhere to God’s value system as revealed in Scripture.

    We as Christians should not sugar coat the racism that currently exists nor should we ignore the evidence that exposes it in those of like race because of past injustices and personal desires to see someone of like race “succeed”.
    Look at the people and organizations (company) in question that President Obama has surrounded himself with throughout his life, some of which Glen Beck has brought to the light. People the mainstream media have ignored or glossed over. Why? If these people and their organizations are legitimate they should refute the evidence that has been presented against them. Let President Obama renounce his ties to those who are corrupt if he wants to be trusted. I pray he does.

    1 Cor 13:33
    Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

    Prov 12:26
    The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

    Prov 13:20
    He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

    Peace, Jay
    John 8:12

  • Over the last 40 years or so, we’ve become a society of divided people who respect the office of President when “one of our own” is the one holding it. When we don’t like who won the last election, then respect for the office means nothing…until we can get one of our own elected again, and then we demand that everyone start respecting the office again.

    To be fair, this is true of ALL extremists — right and left. To be even more fair, the extreme right that is apparently now represented by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, have made this a very lucrative art form.

    To continue to be even more fair. Although I agree with the political ideology (if not THEology) of folks like Keith Olberman and Bill Maher more than that of Beck and Limbaugh, I’ve become disillusioned with Olberman and Maher as they’ve become more hateful and divisive also. The solution to one side acting this way is not for another side to start acting the same way. In fact, I’m starting to think that folks like Olberman need folks like Beck around and vice versa.

    And when you throw in the salaries these hate mongers earn, you can almost start to assume they all secretly go golfing together.

    Yes, Pastor Efrem, it used to be that folks could have ideological differences and still display respect and dignity. That still does exist today, but you are also right that the major media networks in our country don’t cover reasonable good-willed discourse because it doesn’t sell as well as hostility does…ala Beck, Olberman, Maher and Limbaugh.

    Another thought. Because the media has made hostile extremists on all sides more high profile, are hostile extremists doing better in elections now? It seems like the moderates in the Rebuplican Party are the ones who got voted out last November, and the moderates in the Democratic Party are the ones who are most nervous about the mid-term elections coming up. Are we voting out the quieter, more respectful, more thoughtful candidates? Just a thought.

    The one big exception seems to be the Obama election itself. Obama won handily, with a whole lotta white votes and young folks’ votes, not just Black votes. One thing the media missed last fall — and is still missing — might be that the “quieter” majority of us in America are tired of the screaming and hostility. We want civility and respect and honor and good will restored in our nation’s halls again. And whether or not folks agreed with all of Obama’s platform (or, as I’ve heard some say, “just wanted a black president”), I believe multitudes voted for him primarily because he demonstrates the civility, respect and dignity most of us are hungry for.

    To answer the question about race playing into this, yes it does….in subtle and not so subtle ways. As a white American, I’ve been wresting with the race matrix and it’s wicked effects on me and my white and black and brown Sisters and Brothers for most of the 45 years I’ve been alive.

    For now, in this scenario, I just have one question to all my white Sisters and Brothers — imagine John Conyers or John Lewis or Sheila Jackson Lee or Keith Ellison standing up and screaming “you liar” in the middle of a presidential speech to the joint houses of congress. And…imagine that the president they scream this at is…well…ANY other president than Barack Obama. Consider this honestly in your heart of hearts and tell me the response — legal and otherwise — would be the same.

    Andrew, I hear you about folks drinking the koolaid, I do. Obama is neither anti-Christ, nor the return of Christ. He’s just a man. However, there are a lot of flavors of koolaid being sold out there, Brother. I encourage you to resist ALL koolaid salespeople, and drink the life giving water our Lord and Savior and Teacher offered the Samaritan woman at the well. THAT koolaid is the real deal. THAT koolaid trumps everything.

    Grace and Peace,

  • Mark I do drink the “life giving water of our lord and savior” thank you for being concerned though. I am growing very weary though of the mainstream media now making evrything about racism. I have said in other posts that obama gets off the hook with the media because they are afraid of being percieved racist. Whether you are a democrat republican libetarian socialist whatever , you can see the obvious double standard and as a citizen I get pretty frustrated. I am a marine vet who served in I rag twice, bush lied and he was constantly called liar by the liberals congress and knowone was up in arms about that. Perfect example of this is the acorn mess this week. Acorn has lost federal funding and were taken out of the census and are finally being exposed for the corrupt organazation they are so needless to say this is big news, but funny thing its being reported know where on the mainstream media because its another questionable asociation wth our president so they won’t touch the story because of the fear of being racist. Do you think if our current president was white and he had those associations it be the same???? Absolutely not it would be all over the news. I consder myself independent the corruptness and the goverment grab of private industries that I have witnessed in the last 9 months scares me to death. The Obama adminastration is very smart they are now going to make everyone feel like they are racist when they disagree with the president. I would encourage you and pastor smith not to fall for that lie being perpetuated by his adminastration and the main media outlets helping them do it

  • Below is a link to a Maureen Dowd column on this subject. Not saying I agree with everything she writes, or her tone sometimes, but check this out.


    Grace and Peace,

  • […] another GP partner blogger, Efrem Smith, suggests that yes, You might not want to deal with it, but the reality could be that if you’re the […]

  • Hi Efrem, During the 2006 State of the Union Address, a large portion of the Congressional Black Caucus stood up and walked out on President Bush. It was so embarrassingly unprofessional and unpatriotic, that even the liberal press criticized it and tried to give it as little press coverage as possible. Do you think it is appropriate that you in your blog You have called President Bush a liar? He had a lot of distinguished company: Colin Powell, etc….. And, as an American that has African American blood in my veins I take exception to your continued efforts to hijack the memory of Dr. king to somehow propose that he would support your political views. While I am sure he had preferences, Dr. king never endorsed political candidates from the pulpit, as you have. He fought injustice, as Christ did, paying the price of personal discomfort. I, as a child, actually had the chance to meet Dr. King. And as an adult met Coretta multiple times. He would be offended by your efforts to say that because Glen Beck or any other white person is white, that they have no right to invoke the memory of Dr. king. You were not even alive when Dr. King walked this earth and obviously have spent very little time studying his ministry (other than through “pop” culture).

  • good post about, but! i do not wish to be so negative but i do think that your web page could look better if you would have a little red in it :) No, you don’t have to agree… that is only my humble view. Thanks for a great post anyway! 😛 Sincerely, resor till istanbul

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