Book Review: The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama According to Mark, by Mark F. Bozzuti-Jones
October 25, 2013 13 Comments
[Mark F. Bozzuti-Jones, The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama According to Mark, 2012, CreateSpace Publishing, North Charleston, SC, 157 pages ]
Blasphemy against the Christian God while desecrating Sacred Scripture
In a word: blasphemy. Not only does the author blaspheme/revile/malign/profane sacred Scripture (cf. Titus 2:5), as evidenced by the title, he also equates a mere man – in this case Barack Obama – to Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Christian Holy Trinity:
In the year 1961…Barack Hussein Obama was born…The Anointed One was incarnated into this world on August 4, 1961, praises be upon him [p 2; CAPS in original, other emphasis added].
No matter one’s political persuasion, we are not to deify any man. There was only one Incarnation of the “Anointed One”; His name is Jesus Christ, the One for whom the real Gospels (good news) in Scripture are named. The above quote is not ‘merely’ one isolated passage; the entire book is filled with this sort of heresy.
The author impiously fashions his book in the form of a Biblical Gospel complete with parables paralleling or approximating the true Gospels’, but with Obama as narrator/speaker in place of Jesus; however, he adds bits of BHO’s speeches, plus “imagined conversation, and fictional situations” [back cover] to his sacrilegious stew. Bozzuti-Jones’ idea here is not even wholly original, for avowed atheist Jose Saramago wrote a book titled ‘The Gospel of Jesus Christ’, in which Saramago reimagined Jesus’ life (and those around Him), embellishing some Biblical accounts, while making up others out of whole cloth.
Unless the reader is both well-versed Biblically and well-read regarding Obama’s personal life, it will be difficult to ferret out what is true, quasi-true, fictional, or a conflation for the irreverent author’s own rhetorical effect. Bozzuti-Jones states that Barack Obama had been elected president of the Harvard Law Review, noting, “In its 104 year history, an African American had never been elected to lead this group” [p 20]. This appears to be wholly true. Yet, the author perverts the sending of the 72 in the Biblical Gospel of Luke (Luke 10), conflating this with other Biblical accounts, while conjuring up the rest:
Behold I send you out into the cold…When they tell you to eat fruit, remember my words to you. And when they throw stones at you, say to them ‘Peace be unto you.’ When you see the wolf, do not be afraid to bleat, because you are the sheep of God [p 69].
Of course, I’m writing this from the perspective of a Christian – in the historically orthodox sense. Bozzuti-Jones is not. This author self-identifies as “a priest for pastoral care at Trinity Church Wall Street” (as per back cover), a very liberal Episcopalian church in New York. By “very liberal” I mean one in which all humans are “Divine”, at least potentially. As he states on the Dedication page, “And let the reader seek and reveal his or her own Divinity” [Caps in original].
For those who may disagree with my views here, framed by my orthodox Christian perspective, let me just state that I’m not being “intolerant” of the views of this author. As an American, this man shares the same First Amendment rights as have I. He may choose to blaspheme my God and my Savior, and desecrate Holy Scripture. That’s his prerogative. I, in turn, choose to defend my faith against this blasphemy by writing this review, thereby exercising my own First Amendment rights.
I carefully considered whether or not I should even pen this critique. I feel sure that some will seek out this book precisely because of my negative review. But I felt that true Christians should know how some of those who claim to hold to the Christian faith are actually quite the enemy of our faith instead.
Interestingly, the author published other books on the sometimes theologically liberal-leaning Christian imprint Augsburg Fortress (associated with the ELCA), yet this work was self-published. Perhaps Bozzuti-Jones could not find a Christian publisher willing to print this particular one, prompting him to self-publish instead?
Zero stars. Very strongly not recommended – especially to true Christians. Non-Christians may find the author’s musings entertaining and humorous. I’m appalled.