When Barack Obama speaks, do people listen?  I don’t know, but Post columnists do start writing about how wonderful he is.  In addition to Hoagland’s nod to the Obama “Call to Renewal” keynote address, E.J. Dionne fell all over himself praising “Obama’s Eloquent Faith.”  So what did the man of eloquent faith have to say?  Here is an excerpt that reveals a lot about Mr. Obama’s assumptions about religion:

Each day, it seems, thousands of Americans are going about their daily rounds - dropping off the kids at school, driving to the office, flying to a business meeting, shopping at the mall, trying to stay on their diets - and they’re coming to the realization that something is missing. They are deciding that their work, their possessions, their diversions, their sheer busyness, is not enough.

They want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives. They’re looking to relieve a chronic loneliness, a feeling supported by a recent study that shows Americans have fewer close friends and confidants than ever before. And so they need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them - that they are not just destined to travel down that long highway towards nothingness.

While Daniel Pulliam at GetReligion was not impressed by the speech (his post is a great resource for links to the various responses to the speech), this sort of Hallmark sentiment-meets-Anthropology 101 simply blows the average liberal columnist away.  And no wonder, as this is just about as profound and serious as liberals ever allow themselves to get about religious yearning and the inborn desire for truth and meaning!  However, so long as liberals choose to think of religious conviction in terms of self-fulfillment and relief from loneliness they will not penetrate any deeper, and they will certainly not convince a lot of Christians they either understand or care about the latter’s faith.