Short Takes
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 10:55:40 PM EST
Street Prophets:  Pastordan wonders why John McCain made such a big deal about Georgia being "one of the world's first nations to adopt Christianity as an official religion." Maybe it has something to do with his overt Christian Nationalism.

The Hill: McCain won't turn down campaign contributions bundled by Ralph Reed, the former leader of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition and notorious associate of Casino Jack Abramoff. Here is more on the flap. He will also attend campaign fundraiser on August 18th that Reed promoted in connection with the bundling solicitation.

Street Prophets: Pastordan also reports that Democratic antiabortion activists led by Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, and one-time Christian Coalition head Joel Hunter are declaring victory regarding the Democratic Platform on abortion. Only problem is that they did not get their proposed "abortion reduction" plank, and have to settle for a semantic bone without any change in substance.

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I like to think I know what is going on in our world and yet I find myself reading with skepticism, both the sites which share my point of view and those who challenge me. The war in Georgia, is a jumble of contradictions. It is far way, but the impact is right at home. We as Americans don't know much of the history or the present reality, but as Americans are represented by our leaders (CIA, military ad visors, and state departmentl.) and have worked behind the scenes in this situation. Did we attempt to prevent it? Do we feel powerless to stop it?, Did we provoke it? Are we using it to our advantage? Robert Scheer raises interesting questions in his article. on_ploy/ Small kernels of truth embedded in the reporting from all sides, but how do you assemble a puzzle with pictures on both sides, missing pieces, and having never seen the box cover? This is the task facing the American citizen, justly outraged by this new outbreak of war, the unnecessary loss of life, and the political dangers it brings. It seems apparent to me, that we must individually as citizens work to break our cycle of growing world dominance, and empirical ambition. It is time to call for a nation of social responsibility, compassion, and environmental sustainability for our world and all its people, not just our nation and corporate friends. "Christian Nationalism" is a phrase which should be as quaint and obsolete as "Divine rite of Kings". It is time to consider the Biblical injunction to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. The few policy makers can not remain powerful, should the population become aware and committed to reform. Back in the pulpit I would call it a call not for reform but revival. We need it.

by chaplain on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:40:51 AM EST

As a number of blogs have pointed out, the reason John McCain used the phrase was not that it expressed his feelings about the matter, but because he simply took all his information on Georgia from Wikipedia and since the phrase was there, he copied it.

Which gives me an opening to make a point I have been wanting to make for a while.  I think T2A has been making a mistake by assuming that they can impute Radical Right principles to John McCain.  This is as inaccurate as the commentators who have accepted his 'maverick' role.

As far as I can see, John McCain does not, and never has, demonstrated that he has any principles whatsoever -- not even bad ones.  He was a 'maverick' because that was the only 'open slot' in 2000, and he cozied up to the likes of Hagee because he thought he needed 'some preacher, any preacher' on his side.  I don't think he had any knowledge of what Hagee had said, or cared, as long as the man had an audience that he could reach -- and then 'oops.'

Part of McCain's problem as well has been his immense ego.  "I am JOHN McCAIN, and JOHN McCAIN doesn't need to check things out!"

by Prup aka Jim Benton on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:00:25 PM EST

He chose the phrase for a reason. And whether he believes the things he says and does or not -- they are nervertheless what he says and does. Take a look at the link about Christian Nationalism above, his intervew on the subject and the controversy that followed is classic.

It is not wrong to highlight what pols do and say, especially for our purposes, when the religious right is an important part of their constituency.

What McCain is saying in this regard is strong evidence of how he would behave as president, with all of the policy implications that flow from that. As for what he or anyone else actually believes or does not believe, no one can really ever say now, can they?

by Frederick Clarkson on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 02:58:13 PM EST

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