Tag Archives: Jerry Falwell

They’re Dropping Like Flies! (And Why Are Religious People So Mean?)

23 May

Pity John McCain.  He’s spent all week dumping lobbyists from his campaign only to have to throw his top spiritual adviser overboard today.

Guess the question now is “is anyone actually still officially working on the McCain campaign?”.  Must be getting mighty lonely for the “maverick” senator these days.  Then again, maybe he has some company on the other side of this race. 

Let’s take a look.

First up, lobbyists.  For a guy who’s made a career out of being a maverick (no annoying quote marks this time), it turns out John McCain is a lot like every politician.  I can’t really say that I blame him all that much.

I truly believe McCain is his own man much of the time.  In part, it’s the system that forces people like McCain to play the game.  In part, it’s ambition.  Whether personal or for the greater good, if you want to get things done, you have to play the game by DC’s rules.  And DC’s rules include lobbyists.

It’s interesting that Obama’s campaign has jabbed at McCain over the lobbyist issue.  I’m no journalist or insider, but my guess is that the Obama camp is playing with fire.  As interconnected as everything is in politics, it will come as no surprise if revelations come out about the people on Barack Obama’s campaign having lobbying backgrounds.

Call the lobbyist issue in favor of Obama, for now…

Next topic – mean, maybe crazy religious people!

All of us who were sane and sober over the last few months, know all about Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the challenge he’s been to Barack Obama’s campaign.   It seems to have died down now and perhaps it will turn out to be good for Obama that it came up so early in the process instead of during the general election.  Yet, you can’t help but feel that the Obama camp is just one sensational Youtube clip away from being right back at square one having to explain Jeremiah Wright.

As for McCain, he has at least two crazy religious guys whose endorsement he’s been proud to garner.  Reverend John Hagee, of course, is the guy he threw overboard today.  After accepting Hagee’s endorsement, McCain ended up having to defend some of Hagee’s charmingly misguided hateful statements about the Catholic Church, the city of New Orleans and others.  In comparison to the Wright controversy, the original Hagee controversy died down quickly.  Too quickly perhaps.

Speaking of sensational video clips, when a clip of a 1990s Hagee preaching about how his god had put Hitler on Earth to do god’s bidding, the controversy re-ignited and forced McCain’s hand.  After all, if you’re running for president of the United States, it’s tough to be in bed with a guy who thinks Hitler was an instrument of god.

You get the feeling that the controversy over the holy men in Obama and McCain’s lives isn’t done yet.  My gut is that people will always understand, if not respect, selling your soul to the devil.  People will see the politics at play in McCain looking for Hagee’s endorsement.

With Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright is a personal thing.  As much as anyone might like or admire Senator Obama, it’s tough to understand how he could have just sat there for twenty years in Wright’s church hearing nothing.

Despite the upheaval today, call this one in favor of John McCain.

Final topic!  Why ARE religious people so mean?

Listen, I grew up Catholic in the 1970s.  Despite what you might have heard about alter boys, in my parish it was all about the New Testament and a loving God.  What is it about politics that attracts people with hard line religious beliefs?

Hagee’s god, when not enlisting Hitler as a sidekick, is busy destroying New Orleans due to him being peeved by the sin going on in the Big Easy.  Falwell and/or Pat Robertson’s god is busy knocking down the Twin Towers to punish us.  Rob Parsley (McCain’s “spiritual guide”) thinks the United States was created to destroy Islam.  Do these guys love their Old Testament or what?

Here’s my guess.  It’s all about being right.  It’s an addictive thing.  Ever had the experience where something bad came true that you’d predicted?  Yet, even though it’s a bad thing for you, on some level you’re pleased because you can say you’re right?  If it’s nice to be right in a bad circumstance, imagine feeling right all the time.  Pretty sweet!

Intolerance rocks!  Not only do you get the satisfaction of being right all the time, but you save so much time.  When like Hagee and his ilk, you see the world as completely black and white, it gets a lot easier to understand.  There’s no reason to be intellectually curious. There’s only right and wrong.

We’re right.  You’re either for or against us.  Any of this sounding a bit familiar?

Hate and war become natural.  There’s no need for silly things like compassion or trying to understand other points of view.

Frankly, it frees up a lot of your schedule.  And that’s why religious people tend to be so mean.

Politicians Should Just SAY NO To Church (or Temple or Mosque…)

18 Mar

There’s been a lot of flack coming Barack Obama’s way lately for his pastor’s controversial (some might say crazy) statements.  As is my weekend habit, I was busy cleaning the bathrooms here at the homestead and had talk radio on to pass the time.  Once again, the ever breathless Monica Crowley was on the air and gunning for Barack Obama.

Last time I listened to Ms. Crowley, the best she had to throw against Obama was that he was (are you sitting down for this?) a smoker.  Not a great habit, but not a habit that was worth the federal case she was making against it.  Yet, given the kind of year it’s been for hyper conservatives, I felt a twinge of sympathy for Crowley’s blatant grasping at straws.

This weekend, it was different.  It was early Christmas for Ms. Crowley and her ilk.  She had the statements of Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, to throw at him and they were sticking with her mostly white conservative audience.  They include this gem from just after 9/11:

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye….We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

Completely stupid statements, but you know what’s interesting….

On the other side of the aisle, these comments aren’t too distant from the thoughts of the now dead but certainly still a big GOP supporter, Jerry Falwell.  Falwell also thought we brought 9/11 on ourselves.  Although in his case, Falwell thought it was due to gays, liberals and other people he didn’t like angering god enough to knock down our Twin Towers.

More recently, John McCain, who has been pretty silent on the Wright controversy with good reason, was embroiled in much the same mess as his fellow senator/presidential hopeful.  McCain had to explain how he could accept the endorsement of John Hagee, who runs a mega-church in Texas where he makes mega-millions and spews idiocy and hate. 

 You want examples?  Hagee has repeatedly attacked the Catholic Church calling it (and I quote) “a whore”.  I’m not the biggest fan of the Catholic Church.  But, a whore?  Why was that necessary?  He could have gone with the much less offensive “harlot” or even “floozy”.  The fact that he didn’t tells you a lot about the man.

Like Falwell, Hagee believes in a vengeful god.  In his case, Hagee declared that Katrina was god’s response to a high level of sin in New Orleans.  Sounds like Hagee’s god has some anger issues.  Create us.  Give us free will.  Then destroy us when we don’t live up to expectations.  Not quite the god I’m familiar with…

But anyway, what are these politicians up to?  Barack Obama sat in Wright’s church for 20 years yet claims to have missed anything controversial ever said by the man.  Perhaps he nodded out.  That happens frequently in church in my experience.  On the other hand, John McCain accepts Hagee’s support yet talks about Hagee’s words being taken out of context. Seems to me the context is chrystal clear unless Hagee’s writing you checks or delivering his flock to your voting booth.

The true story is that both McCain & Obama are trying to have it both ways.  Each accepts the support of a pastor out of the mainstream because each reverend has a big following among a certain community critical to each candidate.  It’s a great way for McCain to reach Fundamentalists and other ultra-conservative religious voters and it’s Obama’s way of reaching and keeping support of the urban African American audience. 

Both McCain and Obama are counting on the rest of us to understand this.  It’s the old wink game.  You know, I have to make like I’m along for the ride, but trust me, when I’m elected my crazy reverend friend won’t have any influence.  Hopefully that’s true.

But, I think it’s worth pointing out one of Hagee’s views before concluding this post.  Hagee is eager for the apocalypse.  He’s got a hard on for judgement day.  This is a guy who supports Israel because he sees it playing a key role in bringing on a new world war that will end all time and start up the kingdom of heaven as he sees it.

So, perhaps it should give us all pause that Hagee, who’s trying to speed up the end of the world, is supporting John McCain.

Guess I’ll listen a little closer to what Barack Obama has to say tomorrow in Philadelphia…