Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Sunday Afternoon Dose of Politics and Prayer: An Obama Win Means "Their" God is Bigger Than "Our" God

“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his [McCain’s] opponent wins, for a variety of reasons,” said Arnold Conrad, former pastor of Grave Evangelical Free Church. “And Lord, I pray that you would guard your own reputation because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name in all that happens between now and Election Day.”

As the Wall Street journal is reporting, apparently McCain's camp has a direct hot line to God. Funny, Palin and McCain are calling in all the favors they can get this electoral season. Palin the Christian Nationalist seeks blessings for pipelines, fiscal growth, and political success from African witch doctors and McCain allows his rallies to be opened with blessings that explicitly speak in terms of "our" God and "their" God. And folks wonder why there are many critics, pundits, and observers on both sides of the partisan divide who find this effort to "Otherize" Obama so sickening and disturbing. Funny, it makes one think which candidate really has the "pastor problem?"

Two thoughts. First, do these moments not highlight the wisdom of being a strict secularist, especially in all things political? Second, isn't it ironic that the Christian Nationalists who are McCain and the GOP's base want to criticize the Arab world and "Islamo-fascists" for being theocratic, while in their hearts McCain-Palin and company believe much the same?

The McCain camp's response is typically evasive. We are never responsible for the actions of our staff members or what occurs at our rallies (or for what our VP candidate says or does) yet we continue to benefit from them:

“While we understand the important role that faith plays in informing the votes of Iowans, questions about the religious background of the candidates only serve to distract from the real questions in this race about Barack Obama’s judgment, policies and readiness to lead as commander in chief,” said McCain spokeswoman Wendy Riemann.

It is at these moments that I recall Thomas Jefferson's words that:

"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

I do sincerely hope that both camps will reflect on this practical wisdom.


aimai said...

I love your site. I usually lurk but today I just wanted to second this post and say a huge "what the f?" on the subject of McCain and Palin's god. As I understood it, christians were supposed to believe those other gods *don't exist.* This guy is some kind of freakin' manichean who thinks his god is at war with those little gods and, worse, on the verge of losing his street cred in the rumble that is '08. Couldn't happen to a nicer god, as far as I can see. He'd better hope that "Hindu" Buddha and Allah don't take him out back behind the grocery store and kick his ass.


Lady Zora, Chauncey DeVega, and Gordon Gartrelle said...

thanks for the love.

and i hope that those "other" gods summarily issue a butt whoopin on mccain and his cronies.

but it is for the fates to decide not us!