Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The McCain/Palin Campaign Embraces "Agents of Intolerance". Part 2.


Shortly after John McCain's Christian Outreach team returned from its inaugural road trip in Ohio, the Christian Conservative Movement began to coalesce behind him. At a subsequent meeting in Denver, 100 Evangelical leaders announced their commitment to unite in an effort to beat Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. The figures at this influential conclave included Christian luminaries like Phyllis Schlafly, Steve Strang, Phil Burress, David Barton, and Donald Hodel. While some of these leaders hinted that they were ambivalent in their support for McCain as an individual, they were clear in their opposition to the Democratic challenger. According to Burress, "The stakes are too high. And if Obama wins I need to be able to get up on November 5th, look at myself in the mirror, and when I pray, say, ‘Lord, I did all that I could.’” (source).

As summer wore on, it was increasingly obvious that the McCain campaign had been successful in courting the Christian Right*, but it was still a bit of a mystery as to how these folks had been convinced of McCain's sincerity. After all, despite evidence to the contrary, John McCain had recently announced his church affiliation as "Baptist". But as confusing as his denominational loyalties might be, even more potentially problematic were suspicions that McCain is an atheist. So it was vitally important for the candidate to put his money where his mouth was. Many among the faithful, unconvinced by the pronouncements of their pastors and other church leaders, waited for God's Hand to be revealed. Lo and behold, it was.

On August 29th, John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his choice for running mate on his ticket. It was at this point that things became clear to Christians and non-Christians alike. The Religious Right would not be abandoned during the election season of 2008. Almost immediately a flood of support flowed forth into the McCain campaign. The women he sought to elevate to the #2 position in the executive branch was a rabid social conservative. Not only did she work against extending same-sex rights as governor of Alaska, but she opposed abortion- even in cases where the impregnated woman had been raped or involved (willingly or unwillingly) in incestuous relations.

Palin was obviously "the Right girl" for the righteous. Although she made feeble attempts to reassure moderates that she did not seek to impose her personal religious beliefs on the nation, she continued to give all the proper signals to her constituency. They knew what her intentions were. They understood the embedded codes in her language in the same way they had with the current "Born Again" president. There was no mistaking Palin's allegiances. And despite the lukewarm feelings that the Christian Coalition has for the noted "War Hero", it has agreed to put their energy (and money) behind the McCain/Palin ticket. In fact, for the first time in this contest, clergy began to endorse McCain from the pulpit.

Under federal law, it is illegal for tax exempt organizations to endorse or oppose a political candidate by name. But now there is an organized effort by the Alliance Defense Fund to defy the first amendment protection of separation of church and state. This nonprofit organization has been notably linked to efforts to excoriate homosexuals, and are unwavering in their belief that pastors should be involved in politics. In receiving this sort of assistance without inconvenient questions of ethical propriety, John McCain has clearly abandoned any remnant of secular soul he had retained until a few months ago. Whether or not his alliances have been forced upon him, he should be held accountable for his associates.

* Figures like Rod Parsley (a Pentacostal Diminionist), McCain's self-admitted spiritual guide, who remains adamant that there is no separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution . He has called upon Christians to wage a "war" against the "false religion" of Islam with the aim of destroying it.

Or John Hagee (pastor of a "non-denominational" charismatic church in Texas, and leader of a media empire), the founder and National Chairman of the Christian-Zionist organization Christians United for Israel. When McCain learned that he had earned Hagee's endorsement, he said, "I'm very proud to have Pastor Hagee's support". Hagee strongly and vocally supports an American-Israeli pre-emptive military strike on Iran. He predicts that Russia and the Islamic states will invade Israel and will be destroyed by God. He denies global warming and has claimed that Hurricane Katrina was punishment for New Orleans after the city allowed a gay pride parade to take place.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found this article quite interesting:


9:23 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...


I'd prefer that rather than cut-and-paste an article from another site without even sourcing it (which is of dubious legality)... you simply link to it, and give us your summary and maybe a bit of original (if at all possible) thoughts on the issues. Futhermore, it only adds to the dialog if it (in some way) relates to the thread.

These things really shouldn't have to be pointed out nowadays- this whole blog thing is not a new phenomenon anymore.

Note: I've provided a direct link to the article you "find interesting".

9:25 AM  

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