By Michael Dorian
Will politicians ever cease dragging God into the fray?
During his recent speech at a church in Washington, DC, Bill Clinton claimed that all his life he has “wanted to vote for a woman for president.” He followed with the confession that all his life he’s “wanted to vote for an African-American for president.”
Then, as if to emphasize the depth of his quandary, he dropped a G-bomb: “I wonder why God gave us this dilemma.”
Most Americans can and do suffer the many foibles, contrivances, and deceptions of varying degrees of gravity on the parts of politicians, but when they start playing the god card, it’s time to call foul.
Didn’t Mr. Clinton consider it rather presumptuous and arrogant to assume that a divine power (one of his fancy, anyway) had actually orchestrated events such that now two charismatic Democrats must vie for their party’s nomination?
But apparently God has a horse in this race. Maybe two, considering He even saw fit to work His wonders through the agencies of both a Baptist preacher and a Mormon this time around. Although, since Romney’s withdrawal, one can possibly interpret the remaining field as indicative of The Lord’s favoritism for one stripe of Christianity over another.
And it should come as no surprise when someone as simple and folksy as Mike Huckabee suggests that we “amend the Constitution to reflect God’s laws.” Since he is so without guile as to publicly declare this drivel, at least we are clearly warned of his pious intentions. A surreptitiously subversive Huckabee would be far more insidious than the foolishly direct Huckabee we are “blessed” to have.
Furthermore, considering McCain’s notorious problems courting the conservative Christian vote, we can rest assured that his campaign has thoroughly assessed the potential advantages of a McCain-Huckabee pairing. Imagine the implications of having this man a heartbeat way, as they say.
Even the charming, inspirational Barack Obama uses the staff of religion to prod the masses, seamlessly slipping into preacherly inflections and rhythms when it serves him before a crowd. Granted, Obama has had to clarify and defend his religious persuasion due to the clumsy artifice of some supremely idiotic individuals who have attempted to tarnish the Senator’s political reputation with accusations of his being a Muslim. Recent memory recalls no such epoch in which a single word, or a specific charge, has evoked such hatred and mistrust across so great a part of Western civilization. Not since the “Communist” scourge of the 1950s has a term so promptly sparked open hostility and suspicion.
Despite this condition, or perhaps directly because of it, more overtly religious posturing and pandering have gone on than at any other time in near history. In an era when many would contend that the world is standing solidly on secular and not hallowed ground, this country and much of the Islamic world seem deeply and almost hopelessly mired in absurd eschatology.
Europe might not be a beacon of progress at this point either. The EU certainly has its own share of sectarianism to grapple with as assimilation by its immigrants is often resisted in favor of self-segregation. Could perhaps the admission by Britain’s Labour Party leader Neil Clegg that he does not believe in God strengthen the ripple of secularism, which persists in the dark shadows of antiquated dogma?
In the meanwhile, Mitt Romney’s nonsensical remark that “freedom requires religion” starkly illustrates just how much we are still up against. Even the seemingly innocuous proclamation that John Edwards’ personal faith helped him through the obvious tragedy of his teenage son’s death is another example of American politicians’ stalwart relationship with a purportedly omnipotent force.
Not to be left out, Hillary Clinton rarely misses an opportunity to mention her Methodist background or to end a stump speech with a platitudinous “God bless you.” She and countless others are apparently much less concerned with making millions cringe than they are with committing a sin of omission by not touting their faith from their supposedly secular soap boxes.
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