Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Obama & Nobel

Wow! So President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Although everyone, including the President, is a little shocked at this little sudden turn, we really shouldn't be. This follows the natural order of events surrounding Obama; Give him awards and positions because, you know, one day he'll probably get it anyhow.

President of the United States? "Sure, he's not experienced... but he probably will be one day, so lets give it to him now."

Nobel Peace Prize? "Sure, he's only been in office 8 months and hasn't really done anything yet... but he will, so lets give it to him now."

As of late, I have been at odds with some of my compatriots in the Republican Party who I feel criticize Obama just for getting up in the morning. Last week when they rallied in opposition to his Chicago Olympic support in Europe, I couldn't go there. I thought it was a fair move and supported the President.

But even I was shocked when I opened my web browser and saw President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. My first thought was, "For what?"

Now to be fair to the President, he seemed to have a "for what?" look on his face as well and responded that he viewed the decision "less as a recognition of his own accomplishments and more as 'a call to action'".

Translation: "Ok, Yes, we all acknowledge its pretty silly I got the Nobel Peace Prize but hey they're Europeans, and, really, who can understand what Europeans do or why they do it? But maybe I can use this completely ridiculous situation to help get healthcare passed."

So just why did the committee in Norway decide to honor our still wet behind the ears president for such an illustrious prize?

The Nobel prize is awarded by 5 lawyers who are nominated by the Norwegian Parliament. Traditionally those in the 'Nobel inner circle" have espoused a world view that is decidedly European and President Obama fits neatly between their goal posts. The election committee was unanimous in it's vote and said in justifying their decision, "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future."

Translation: "He's not Bush, so welcome back to the fold America"

Hey, why we're at it, let's give him the Nobel Prize in Literature as well, because, you know, he wrote a book too.

The disturbing aspect to all this is that there are people who toil a lifetime to bring both International and Domestic peace to troubled regions around the world and by awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to an untried and inexperienced President goes beyond absurd; it reduces a highly respected and distinguished recognition into a scoffed at political tool.

President Obama may have one the Nobel Peace Prize one day, but even he knows, he hasn't won one yet.


Logan said...

Well said!

Bob said...

Bravo! Agree with everything you say here. This "prize" just cheapens what it is. In his defense, though, as you point out, he didn't ask for it.

Republicans should, in my opinion, be careful not to be overly critical though. Just let it happen, acknowledge the meaningless of it (didn't Al Gore get it too?) and get on with things.

Someone has suggested that he send the parents of a fallen soldier to accept the award, symbolizing those who keep us safe and AT PEACE! That would be classy but it won't happen.