I accidentally put this post up with no title. Actually kind of like that and believe it will stay Untitled #1. Here's an article from CSM on the president as theologian in chief.
As a senator in 2007, Obama expressed admiration for Reinhold Niebuhr, an early 20th century theologian. Explaining his attraction to Niebuhr, Obama told The New York Times:
I take away the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief that we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard, and not swinging from naïve idealism to bitter realism.
And Niebuhr himself:
Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.
I remain eternally optimistic.