Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Because Not All Religious Leaders Are Middle-Aged Men

Paul Raushenbush at Progressive Revival takes a look at the five pastors that serve as President Obama's spiritual advisers and is disappointed that none of the five are women. (Raushenbush refers to this New York Times article.) From what I can gather this is not an official group of clergy who have been chosen and appointed but a list of five religious leaders whom the President talks to regularly for spiritual counsel.

I too am disappointed that no female clergy were included. (I hesitate to say "excluded.") I'm also bothered by the lack of generational diversity. Of the five—Ottis Moss, Jr, Joel Hunter, T.D. Jakes, Kirbyjon Caldwell, and Jim Walis—four are Boomers and the fifth (Moss) is even older. All four also strike me as safe, obvious choices. I'm not suggesting that Obama put together a team of hot-shot know-it-alls straight out of seminary, but it would be nice if he found a religious adviser who was in her thirties or early forties, especially since younger generations were so instrumental in electing the President. (A rabbi or other non-Christian religious adviser also could be valuable.) I'm not sure whom to suggest (Beth Quick was the first person to come to mind), but it would be nice if the President were to acknowledge that graying men aren't the only people who can offer meaningful religious leadership.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the recommendation! My little brother is an actor, and I often tell him when he's famous I want to be the spiritual advisor to the stars - but advisor to Pres. Obama might be more fun! ;)

11:04 AM  

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