Outside his audacity of hope, it could be Barack Obama's audacious scrutiny of religion that becomes his undoing.
Did I mention it's 2008? And yet we're still talking about God. Despite being so advanced and clever in all aspects of our existence, human beings are still talking about a bearded dude, who supposedly walked on water, and could cure people with one touch, but couldn't navigate his way off a cross.
Perhaps recognizing the benefits of leading a population fearful of an invisible daddy figure in the clouds, moderate politicians have always approached the issue of religion cautiously. After all, terrified people are easily led and fed all kinds of crazy bullshit. Why educate them and screw it all up?
But when politicians do dare to break past the restrains of religion, they become Obama post-Gunsn'God faux pas in Pennsylvania. For a presidential nominee, mentioning secularism as part of their ideology is the political equivalent of self-castration.
After Obama's slip, Clinton tripped over her feet rushing for the podium to capitalize on what whiny traitor, Joe Lieberman, and the conniving jackal, Bill Kristol, have termed Obama's "Marxist rhetoric."
Talking over the jeers of the room with that creepy, plastic smile stuck to her face, Hillary Clinton was cautious to harp on her "faith," and not "religion," which is a politician's way of nodding to the religious right without admitting to being one of those loons, who believes Jesus is a cracker, or that the all-powerful creator of the universe cares if humans eat shellfish or engage in sodomy.
But the issue of faith (see: religion) is still very much a part of the modern political debate, despite the discover of the Human Genome, humankind's ability to create vast networks of infrastructure, and the scientific strides made in the exploration of the universes of microorganisms and outer space.
We know so much, and yet some of us just can't shake the God fantasy.
Even when a popular "Progressive" candidate like Barack Obama runs for presidential office, he has to be cautious not to dis' God, lest Pennsylvania yokels chase him from their great land, shouting and waving pitchforks from the backs of their pickup trucks.
Of course, that's if you believe the God issue was a big deal to Pennsylvania voters until Hillary Clinton furrowed her brow and acted concerned about the issue of "her faith" for a five minute stump speech.
In a Op-ed for The New York Times, Roger Cohen wrote:
I'm troubled by Hillary Clinton's recent innuendo-dripping remark that her Christian faith "is the faith of my parents and my grandparents." As opposed, of course, to Obama, who came to Christianity from a mother whose "secular humanism" held that "rational, thoughtful people could shape their own destiny," and a Kenyan father born into a Muslim family, and a Muslim stepfather.
Religion is such a taboo subject in American politics that even Obama's most valued trait, his diverse upbringing, brands him as religiously impure. The fact that he dares to talk about secularism and his father's Muslim roots would have spelled out "doom" for any other candidate.
However, until Pennsylvania, Obama had somehow managed to dodge all the bullets that fell his secular predecessors. That may be due to the fact that Obama threw the media wolves enough meat scraps about attending church with his girls and praying to keep them at bay.
It's sad that the media has seized upon this moment to harp on issues of rhetoric, like if Bill Clinton made an equally offensive faux pas in 1991instead of how we can transcend the issue of religious fantasy.
After the Reverend Wright scandal, Barack Obama delivered an ambitious speech about race, and as Jon Stewart put it, he talked to Americans like they were adults. It's a waste that no speech about religion followed Clinton's unfair and petty assault on his "guns and faith" remark. Though, Obama can hardly be blamed for skirting the issue entirely. No one - not even the golden Man of the Hour, Barack Obama, can dare to dis' God.
And yet religion is a timely issue, as timely as the economy or the Iraq War. In fact, Iraq's rapidly deteriorating state can be credited to American-caused chaos and a subsequent increase in religious sectarian violence.
If only Obama could operate without the threat of religion slowing him down and censoring him. It would have been a welcome change after the Bush administration, which declared an all-out War on Science, and famously destroyed the wall between religion and state.
At home and abroad, religion slows the progress of science and prevents humanity from evolving. Religion is a destructive force in our world. It encourages tribalism and results in sectarian violence. Religion curtails scientific curiosity with the most nauseating of all child-like excuses: "God did it."
It will take more than one man dipping into the secular pool and then furiously backpedaling for this evolution to occur. It will take an enlightened population, unafraid of a fantastical God - a population that values science, truth, and wisdom above sectarian lies.