Obama’s Devotion to the Virgin Mary: Who Knew?
David Gibson, Politics Daily 2011
Somehow this slipped past the Disputations filter, but during her vacation in Spain in August, First Lady Michelle Obama revealed that her husband — a.k.a. President Obama — “always carries a picture of Mary Help of Christians in his wallet.”
Mary Help of Christians is the patroness of the Salesian order of priests and nuns, and during an Aug. 13 visit to the Spanish city of Ronda with her daughter, Sasha, the first lady stopped at the Salesian community there.
According to the Salesian news service, she told the priest in charge that her husband “always carries with him a photograph with an image of Mary Help of Christians, to whom, those present reported, the first family of the United States has great devotion.”
For Catholics, the special prayer to Jesus through his mother Mary for divine aid is about as, well, Catholic as you can get (evidence of a particular supplication to the Virgin dates back to the 3rd century, according to some sources). It is also more evidence for my colleague Jeff Weiss’s theory that Obama is actually a closet Catholic and not a crypto-Muslim, as many believe.
Hail Mary. The wisdom of a subversive devotion
By Rosemary Luling Haughton, US-catholic.org
There is something subversive about Marian devotion. It sidesteps the structures of patriarchal power, secular and religious, and it has caused church officials unease through the centuries.
Document after document has warned the faithful not to go overboard in devotion to Mary. She is Mother of God, but a creature, not divine, we are warned, and should not be offered “divine honors.”
“Excessive” devotion to Mary is “immature,” the spiritual guides admonish, and this is the worst accusation! We are letting our hearts rule our heads, it tells us, being overemotional-feminine? It means we aren’t making clear distinctions, not keeping our theological categories precise and our devotions clearly labeled.
Recent psychology has noted, however, that the modern concept of “maturity,” developed overwhelmingly by male psychologists, is based on male-derived values of independence, separation, and control.
There are other ways of recognizing maturity, when it is judged rather by values of interdependence, inclusiveness, and relationship.
It is important to ponder this if we are to understand the fullness of the treasure that Mary is for us, without having to look over our shoulders or make excuses for the power she is in the life of so many Christians and in the history of the church.
In the corners of thousands of poor homes, many only earth-floored single rooms, a generous space is given to the shrine of the Madonna – photos are pinned up, statues of other saints cluster around her, holy cards, flowers, and lights adorn this heart of the home. In Eastern Europe and Russia, the family icon of Mary glows in the light of its little lamp.
The question that bothers the theologians: Is she perhaps also the Mother Goddess? This is the fear that underlies all the cautions and condemnations of Marian “excesses.” We are afraid, because we have been taught to associate “goddess” with paganism, witches, sexual rituals.
Pagan Moon (Mother) Religion Starts In UR,
the place where (according to Jewish tradition) Abraham was born.
Ur was the principal center of worship of the Sumerian moon god Nanna and of his Babylonian equivalent Sin. The massive ziggurat of this deity, one of the best preserved in Iraq, stands about 21 m (about 70 ft) above the desert. The biblical name, Ur of the Chaldees, refers to the Chaldeans, who settled in the area about 900 BC. The Book of Genesis (see 11:27-32) describes Ur as the starting point of the migration westward to Palestine of the family of Abraham about 1900 BC.
In the inscriptions of Ur there are references to about five thousand deities. Each city had a chief deity which it considered its chief protector and, therefore, that deity was considered worthy of greater reverence than all the others.
The chief deity of Ur was Nannar (the MOON god), and it is for this reason that the city later became known as Kamarina. (*Qamar is the Arabic word for ‘moon’)
Another major city was Larsa, which replaced Ur as the capital of the kingdom. Its chief deity was Shamash (the ‘sun god’ SATURN). Saturn represents ‘the father’.
The Moon, in Astrology, is the ruler of Cancer. The Moon represents our deepest personal needs, our basic habits and reactions, and our unconscious. The Moon () is associated with the mother and with feminine energy in general. The Moon is both our inner child and our inner mother. It is responsive, receptive, and reflective. The Moon is our spontaneous and instinctual reactions.
Sumerians (who gave the world astrology) have used the “crescent moon and star” motif in some of their monuments and/or documents that have been discovered so far. One of the earliest known crescent and star representation is shown on the Sumerian Ur-Nammu stele.