Hero Worship and the Messiah That Wasn't and Isn't


“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…” – Exodus 20:3-4

Throughout the ages, man has attempted to make almost everything into some sort of god. It’s not always done purposefully. People don’t sit there and literally bow down to their favorite musician, actor, politician, etc., and picture him or her wearing a crown and exalted on a throne but that’s the default position some of these people hold in our lives. I don’t consider myself immune from this illness, either. There have been times in my life where I’ve placed way too much importance on certain things, people, and situations, to the point that God has to be wondering, “Is there any room in there for me???”

The whole death and circumstances surrounding the life of Michael Jackson got me thinking about this. Here’s a guy who, by all accounts, at the very least led a very strange existence. Sadly, it wasn’t all brought on by himself but was forced upon him at a very young age. Regardless, there came a point in his life where, like just about everyone else who’s walked the face of the earth, he became responsible for his own decisions and mistakes. He was a fallible man and I’m pretty sure even he would be a bit uncomfortable with all the idolization of him taking place.

This also takes me back to last year, leading up to and following Barack Obama’s election as our President. Is there any doubt of the hero worship that has surrounded this man? It all began with the media’s overt fawning over him as he ran for the Democratic nomination for President. Even in his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, the Greek god temple-like setup of the stage sort of made me a little queasy.

I can understand the excitement some felt when he was elected, especially blacks who’ve longed for so many years to have one of their own elected as President. I felt some pride as an American at that time as well and wrote about my feelings about it. That post can be read here.

However, when it comes right down to it, a lot of people fell hook, line, and sinker for Obama’s talk about “change you can believe in”. Some conservatives abandoned their principles to vote for an exciting candidate rather than voting their conscience. Obama’s track record was pretty clear. He had a very liberal voting record in the U.S. Senate and in the Illinois statehouse. His background is littered with far-left and even some socialist ideals. Yet millions voted for him based on hype, sex appeal, and hero worship.

Many of those conservatives are now wondering what the heck they were thinking. The evidence was there that this guy was going to deliver exactly what he said he was going to deliver and they voted for him anyway. But that’s what hero worship does. It blinds and enslaves people. Unfortunately, I think many people are still blinded and enslaved. When will they wake up and figure out that they may have made a huge mistake, electing a man well outside the mainstream and even their own beliefs solely for empty change and hero worship? Barack Obama is the messiah that wasn’t and isn’t. The opening lines to U2’s “City of Blinding Lights”, Obama’s theme song during his Presidential campaign, is rather telling, isn’t it?

The more you see the less you know
The less you find out as you go
I knew much more then than I do now

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