Friday, October 09, 2009

The Nobel Prize:
An Act of Grace

President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.” [full text of announcement]
Obviously, lots of folks are talking about this; and I am sure someone will be able to explain why President Obama was deserving [here it is] - despite the nominations closing on February 1, just 11 days after President Obama took office.

Rick Moran points out the previous Presidents of the United States who have won the award:
Teddy Roosevelt got his peace prize for mediating between Japan and Russia and ending their bloody war. Woodrow Wilson got his for his efforts at peace after World War I. Jimmy Carter - whatever else you can say about him - engineered a singular, personal triumph with the Camp David accords which was the first peace agreement between Israel and another Arab state
Obviously, President Obama has negotiated nothing, brought no one together. However, he didn't win the prize for any actual accomplishments:
WorldMagBlog: . . . Obama has created “a new climate” in international relations. “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,” Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee said.
Even if, as the announcement states:
Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
shouldn't actual results rather than hope for results have some bearing on the prize. For instance, Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was one of the other nominees
WorldMagBlog: . . . has been fighting oppression and organizing against the ruling party of dictator Robert Mugabe for over 10 years. He has survived three assassination attempts and this year, just as he became part of a coalition government with Mugabe, survived a suspicious car crash that killed his wife.
Some other names on the "short list":
It is obvious to me that, on a rewards level, there were many names on the list who have done far more to deserve the prize than President Obama.

Although, I am working my way through Romans now so maybe the Nobel Prize committee wanted to give the award not based on President Obama's works but on their faith [confident expectation in the unseen] in his future accomplishments [that didn't quite work did it?].

Okay, it was an act of grace towards President Obama: an act of unmerited favor. For folks who need a concrete example of the type of grace God shows us despite what we have done (and haven't done) - this is a worldly example of that grace.

1 comment:

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly