Obama, Fatherhood and a Presidential "Break"

I saw this on Leonard Sweet's Twitter stream the other day (which he repeated on his Facebook profile):

Leonard Sweet M. Obama's 1line smash of stereotypes-"If he cares half as much about the country as he does about his own children, we're going to be fine"

Let me say, I love Sweet's writings and think he's one of the best minds in the body of Christ. But, in my usually snarky style, I posted a reply. I knew it would stir the pot a bit, but couldn't resist the urge to point out the obvious:

Eric Wilbanks
So does that mean he's driving up is own personal debt the way he's doing with America? Just sayin...

Surprisingly, Len replied to me (I say surprisingly because the guy has cazillions of followers):

Leonard Sweet
I tweated this partly as a Father's Day quote for preachers, as the whole stereotype of the absent black father is smashed by this one quote. You can be Republican or Democrat or Libertarian or Independent and still be able to say, "Thank God for this model of a caring, urbane, compassionate father in the White House." That's all. I didn't intend to frame the quote in political terms.

Then another FB'er chimed in:

Gail Wilson
Thank you Leonard for the quote.. It seems some can not give our president a break!!

If you know me, you know I couldn't let this one slide:

Eric Wilbanks
Leonard...I understood completely what you were attempting to do. But let's be honest about a few things. First, I have no idea what kind of father Obama is, and neither do the rest of us. Those who know him personally can give thanks. The rest of us are better off not judging (yay or nay) what is not apparent. That said, I hope he's an exemplary dad. I am passionate about parenthood and can only hope he demonstrates over time that he is also. Second, one quote will not shatter any stereotypes. Stereotypes cannot be shattered...they erode slowly over the course of time with repeated examples that testify otherwise. When Obama starts proving by his actions that he honors the family, marriage and life and makes it part of his administration's legacy, then I'll give thanks.

As for giving "our president a break," I'd love to.The first decision he makes that shows he cares about the opinions and values of the 46% of Americans who did not vote for him, I'll be the first to clap.

Finally,as my wife so brilliantly pointed out, people love to say that the Obamas look like "such a happy family," but "looking" like a happy family means nothing. We've counseled with lots of families who look happy but who tear one another to shreds in private. I am not suggesting that the Obamas are not happy by any means. I sincerely hope they are a model family and hope it radiates into America and begins to erode the stereotypes which Len Sweet addressed. But for now, we can only judge Obama by his policies, not his fatherhood. And his policies are saying (in my very subjective opinion) that he doesn't really care a whole lot about the future of this country or the values and principles upon which it was founded...by our forefathers who literally gave their lives to make America what she is.
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About Eric Wilbanks

Brand strategist. Wordsmith. Change architect. Training specialist. DiSC Certified. Family guy (hot wife and 4 cool kids). Love my Bible, guitars, baseball, and MMA.