Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

On the Hypocricy of the Electorate

I have been contemplating the front-runners for the Republican Presidential nomination. McCain, Giuliani, and Gingrich. Multiple marriages, messy divorces, and serial adultery run through the group, yet they are the darlings of the religious right because they make the right noises about gay marriage, abortion, and gun control. Your behavior doesn't matter, only what you say.

Example no. 1: Ronald Reagan. The first divorced President had a messy home life, with alienated children and rumors of adultery between the First Lady and Frank Sinatra. Yet because he spoke in favor of "family values," people claimed he was a "spirit-filled Christian." Yeah, and I'm the Easter Bunny.

Reagan made the right noises about the Soviet Union, but when the rubber met the road, when the Soviets shot down an unarmed civilian airplane, Korea Air Lines Flight 007, he thumped his chest and did absolutely nothing. He put unarmed Marines in harm's way on the end of the runway at the Beirut airport. When a suicide bomber drove into the barracks there and killed a bunch of Marines, he pulled them out, slipping out like a dog with its tail between its legs, and he is a hero to the national defense crowd. Why? Because he made the right noises.

So what you say is the most important thing. Giuliani is pro-choice on abortion, pro-gay rights, yet because he has promised to appoint "strict constructionist" judges, a lot of people who call themselves Christians will vote for him. Newt Gingrich waltzed in with his floozy to his wife's hospital room where she was being treated for cancer and presented her with the divorce papers. Then he became a deadbeat dad and the church had to help his ex-wife support his children. Meanwhile, he was married to his second wife and carrying on with his secretary, whom he later married. Yet a lot of "family values" voters will vote for him because he says the right things.

If you read the Gospel of Luke, you see a portrait of Jesus that is anathema to conservative Christians. The Jesus of the Gospels cares for the poor, condemns the rich for exploiting those under them, and lifts up those on the bottom of society's ladder. Just the opposite of the Republican platform that so many "conservative Christians" will support.



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