Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

Obama-Rama Mania Gone Way, Way Too Far

I know I live in Hyde Park (actually, I live on the border of Hyde Park and the neighborhood to the south of Woodlawn, but we work, shop, and go to class in Hyde Park). I know that less than 10 blocks from my apartment the secret service is sitting at an intersection protecting an empty house. I know that my neighborhood has signs up all over because it is proud that the current President of the United States is our neighbor. I know that there are many seeking to make a little money off this notoriety.

I know my wife works at the same University where the First Lady went to school, and where the President is listed as a Lecturer in the Law School. I know that my seminary is affiliated with that school. I know that every restaurant in the neighborhood has a sign somewhere that says “Obama Eats Here”. One of the restaurants even has their servers wear shirts that say this.

I know that when people come to visit me, they want to drive past the Obama House on Hyde Park Boulevard… and I’m sure the Secret Service has ran my license plate a couple of times. I know that in any particular office here, you are likely to see a picture of the office holder with the now President, prominently displayed… probably from when he was our State Senator.

I know all of these things. I know that people are proud, that they are excited. I know that the energy can become a way to make a little money… but it just has to stop. There are limits…

The flashing sign outside our local Walgreen’s store say alternately “Barrack Obama Headquarters” and “Obama-Rama”. When you walk in, you are assaulted by a plethora of Obama merchandise… sweatshirts, hats, collectibles, all of his books, pictures, you name it… they have it. Would you like a pen that when you click it, the pen quotes some of President Obama’s speeches for you? They’ve got it. Would you like your own pair of gloves with Obama’s name stitched on them? They are yours! Would you like to clothe yourself from head to toe in Obama? Absolutely! Debit cards are accepted.

It has also become an excuse for an endless supply of horrible puns. How about some “BAR”rack Obama shot glasses? Or how about a Bar”ROCK” Obama pet rock? It’s got his picture on it and everything!

I had done my duty… after taking people by his house and talking a little about Hyde Park, I would take them to the Walgreens Obama Headquarters to buy some merchandise to take home with them. But Walgreens (and elsewhere, now that I have seen the television commercial) has now crossed the line.

It is not a compliment to turn someone, specifically the President of the United States, into a Chia Pet. Now they’ve gone too far.

As I walked into the Walgreens for some medication the other day, I was stopped in my tracks by a stack of Barack Obama Chia Pets right in front of the entrance. I stood stunned for about two minutes, before my wife broke through my trance and got me to move… only by getting me to take a picture. Then, when I got home, there was a horrific commercial advertising the magic hair growing Idol to the Barack demi-god.

I guess if there was one in the Oval Office, it would serve the same role as the slave in Roman times who rode in the chariot with the Emperor reminding him that he was only mortal. You could not but realize your own mortality if the statue to you was already pushing grass up from your head.

Wrong. Just Wrong.

Yours in Faith,


One Thought on “Obama-Rama Mania Gone Way, Way Too Far

  1. Are you quite sure those aren’t recycled Bill Clinton chia pets?

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