Thursday, May 29, 2008

Politics and Religion May 2008

May 2008 - Politics and Religion

Political note - John McCain had a very public fallout last week with a couple of his religious zealot mega-church evangelical preacher endorsements he had sought earlier in his campaign. Some rather nutty remarks about Hitler from one John Hagee’s past sermons surfaced on a blog and John McCain called them "crazy" and denounced and repudiated them. He then rejected Hagee’s endorsement and Hagee then later withdrew it anyway. I was watching CNN as the story unfolded and thought CNN’s coverage was modulated about right. It got about an hour of coverage. McCain ended up rejecting the endorsement of another looney-toon preacher, Ron Parsley, as well - something about Christianity's duty to destroy Islam.

McCain claimed he didn’t know about the controversial views of either pastor. Huh? That’s a stretch. No one on your campaign staff knew that either?

Huh? Sound familiar? A repeat of the Obama/Wright controversy in some ways? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander? I thought so. And after the endless and breathless FOX NEWS reporting of the Obama/Wright issue….. I’ve never seen Sean Hannity so excited as when be pounded on Senator Obama and Wright night after night after night.

Anyway, I began to wonder how FOX NEWS was covering the story and so switched over to check it out…..And I swear to God, I’m not kidding, after the thousands and thousands of hours devoted to Obama/Wright bashing, and while the McCain/Hagee/Parsley "denouncing, rejecting, condemning" was going on, FOX NEWS was showing a rerun of a Bill O’Reilly interview with ……William Shatner about fueds on the old Star Trek TV series! And then later, when I checked back, I kid you not, with reruns of a Sean Hannity interview with Jerry Falwell’s son. I checked back several times over the succeeding days and the most I saw was a ticker tape at the bottom of the screen summarizing the event in a dozen words.

I really don’t expect FOX to be fair or balanced, but this was too much. Maybe they covered it and I missed it, but it certainly wasn’t with the breathless endless excitement and zeal of the Obama stuff. But enough about the politics of Religious Bigotry. Let’s move on to the Religious Bigotry of Politics.

There is a serious story here about a nutty vein of Christianity and other religions that attract tens of millions of followers. Religious leaders who are vengeful, angry, self-satisfied, and arrogantly confident in their direct link to understanding God’s Will -- I include Hagee, Parsley, and Wright, and the mullahs, and Osama bin Laden and that whole nutty Islamic fundamentalist crowd, too, in my thinking here. Fundamentalist Judaism is not off the hook either – some of the West Bank and Gaza settlements fit into this category, I think. And I’m not even talking about the crazies waiting for the spaceship to take them back home.

I’ve always feared that the more Armageddonistas out there, the more "end times rapture golden virgins" nut balls marching onward toward their apocalyptic visions, picture Pat Robertson, or Hagee, or Parsley, or Bin Laden, or Iran’s President, whatever his name is, with nukes, the less room there is for the rest of us to somehow muddle through as best we can trying to figure out what should be valued, and raise our kids, and grow vegetables, or paint a sunset or a flower, or read a good book.

Lighten up, dudes, and be excellent to each other!

Bud search for "artbycassiday"


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