Thursday, April 24, 2008

For the Love of God

I just got an e-mail from Eli Pariser, of I had to go and eat a cupcake afterward because it made me feel so confused and cranky. Here's what Eli asked of me:
"Right-wing pastor John Hagee says Katrina was New Orleans' fault. John McCain sought out, and embraces, Hagee's support. MoveOn members are trying to deliver a petition to McCain in New Orleans just a few hours from now: will you sign?"
No Eli, I won't sign. I don't know about you, but I am getting so sick of all of this business about presidential candidates' pastors and preachers. Who cares?

For the record:
  1. I do not care that Barak Obama's pastor said a bunch of inflammatory things about being black in America, nor that Michelle Obama said that she has only very recently been proud to be an American.
  2. I do not care that John McCain's pastor said that the people of New Orleans were being punished by God.
Could we please get back to talking about the economy, the crappy public schools, health care, and how we're going to straighten out the mess we've made in Iraq? Please?

I thought that you had to be a U.S. citizen over the age of 35 to be a presidential candidate. I never knew that the following were also required:
  1. You must never, ever have made a judgment about someone or used a stereotype.
  2. You must not know or associate with anyone who has judged or used a stereotype.
  3. You must never have said something stupid, nor known anyone who has said something stupid.
  4. You can't go to a church if people there believe or say stupid things or even just things that some other people disagree with.
Hello! We are human beings, and we live on the planet Earth. If we have to find someone who meets these criteria, we will never have qualified candidates for the job. And it's already a hard enough job as it is.

Hello! Religious leaders aren't politicians! Their job is to deal with issues concerning life, death, and morality. And so they make statements about how people should live, about "right" and "wrong," about how our behavior relates to God. That's what people look to them for. They're not trying to make friends, they're trying to make determinations about how to live. Inevitably, such determinations will upset people. If you don't like what they say, if it's stupid, if you disagree, that's OK. You can leave their church, or not invite them to dinner, or not. Their stupidity doesn't make you stupid, too.

One of the things I like about John McCain is that he can work with people with whom he does not agree. That's something the American people should encourage and demand from their leaders.

One of the things I like about Barak Obama is that he can stand with a foot on each side of the vast chasm that is Race in America.

One of the things I like about America is that we can handle the tension of complexity when it comes to living amidst people who are not like us. We're the Melting Pot--we do it better than anyone in the world. That ability is our greatest asset, and it needs to be our chief export. We need leaders with demonstrated proficiency in this trait.

1 comment:

pat said...

Right-fucking-on, Trish.