American adults (age 18 and over) spontaneously named President Obama as the person they admire enough to call their hero in a Harris Poll that did not provide a list for respondents to choose from.
The Harris Poll, released on Thursday, was conducted on 2,634 U.S. adults between Jan. 12 to 19, 2009 – just ahead of President Obama’s inauguration
“The fact that President Obama is mentioned more often than Jesus Christ, should not be misinterpreted,” The Harris Poll clarified in its report. “No list was used and nobody was asked to choose between them.
Following Barack Obama, the next most popular, personal heroes are Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, John McCain, John F. Kennedy, Chesley Sullenberger, and Mother Teresa, respectively, to round out the top 10 people Americans say they admire and would call their hero.
Respondents gave multiple reasons for their choice of heroes, including: doing what’s right regardless of personal consequences (89 percent); not giving up until the goal is accomplished (83 percent); doing more than what other people expect of them (82 percent); overcoming adversity (81 percent); and staying level-headed in a crisis (81 percent).
Only 14 percent of Americans said they admire either their mother or father enough to call them their hero. In contrast, nearly half (49 percent) said a public figure is someone they admire and consider a personal hero
By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. Mark 9:7-8
Peter, James, and John had their own chance for hero worship. One day Jesus led them up a high mountain to a place where they would be set apart by themselves. While there on the mountaintop, Jesus was met by Elijah and Moses who talked with Jesus a while. Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes. They watched Jesus’ garments become whiter than even Clorox bleach could whiten. Peter being ever impetuous, wanted to build huts for Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. While contemplating the idea of building these huts, a cloud overshadowed them and a voice cried from heaven saying; “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.” When the cloud had lifted only Jesus remained.
One Solitary Life
Herein lies the basis for a Christian’s belief in God. Although taught by the prophets and lawgivers of old, it wasn’t until the arrival of Jesus on the scene, that all those ancient prophecies and stories took on fuller meaning. The only thing that sets our faith apart from the religions of the world is one solitary life, the life of Jesus Christ.
All religions have their laws and lawgivers. All religions have their prophets and holy men, but only Christianity has Jesus Christ. Some religions allude to Jesus as just another prophet. Thus this mountaintop experience set Jesus apart from both the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah) when the voice was heard from heaven saying “this is my beloved Son listen to Him”.
Peter, like many of us, wanted to honor all three men equally by building huts for them all. He wanted to show his appreciation and respect for these three men of God. He saw Jesus in the company of Moses and Elijah and viewed them equally. As a Jewish male, raised on the law and prophets, he grew to appreciate the history of Israel and to respect the great men of faith like Moses, Abraham, Aaron, and Elijah. Although Jesus continually called himself the “Son of God”, until this time, I am not sure the three men actually understood the importance of Jesus’ life and ministry. He was just considered a great man, or a prophet. Although Peter had alluded to Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God” in Matthew 16:16, I still do not think the fullness of that revelation had registered with him.
Even though transfigured before their very eyes and shining with the glory of heaven, it wasn’t until after Jesus’ resurrection that Peter, James and John fully understood the whole purpose of Christ’s coming. They had heard the stories of Moses’ face shining with the Glory of God when he descended from Mount Sinai, in Exodus 34, therefore the fact that Jesus also shone with the brightness of God’s glory was not really anything new. And then having Moses and Elijah there with Jesus, made it seem like a reunion. Peter, James and John, may have thought of themselves as special in some way, to have been invited to this gathering of by-gone saints.