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John McCain Is Bad At Jesus

By Jesse Taylor
Thursday, June 26, 2008 16:38 EDT

imageFrancis Wilkinson writes in today’s NYT about the fact that John McCain has shown insufficient regard to the GOP base’s need for more than his name, rank and serial number in God’s Righteous Army:

In an essay on The Times Op-Ed page in March, the writer Neal Gabler suggested that the reason John McCain has enjoyed excellent relations with the press is that they are birds of a feather. According to Mr. Gabler, Mr. McCain is “an ironist wooing a group of individuals who regard ironic detachment more highly than sincerity or seriousness.”

The flip side of this shared reverence for irreverence, however, is the discomfort it induces in those for whom sincerity is serious. Though Mr. McCain belongs to a Southern Baptist congregation in Phoenix and made headlines last year calling America a “Christian nation,” he still oozes a fighter pilot’s four-letter regard for piety. Many Christian conservatives, who’ve been battling purveyors of ironic detachment ever since Clarence Darrow showed up at the Scopes trial, don’t get the joke — and don’t want to.

I’m not entirely sure what’s “ironic” about John McCain, to be honest. He’s a crusty, curmudgeonly white guy running to be the head of the party of crusty, curmudgeonly white guys. He’s entirely inconsistent on what he believes, why he believes it or when he believed it. But he makes ribs, apparently slathered in irony (which, for ribs, is sold in the form of vegan barbeque sauce).

Secularists no doubt welcome Mr. McCain’s solid grounding in the profane. But when I showed the passages above to a learned evangelical friend (unnamed here because his conservative university prefers he keep a low political profile), he was struck by the Reverend McCain’s strict division of labor between God and man.

“As an evangelical, spiritual alarms start going off when I feel myself segmenting any element of my life from my devotion to Christ,” he wrote in an e-mail. Unlike a very personal Jesus providing critical support along a “faith walk,” Mr. McCain’s deity sounds like an aloof neighbor who keeps his lawn tidy and his hedge high, an exemplar of the kind of moderate, mainline Protestantism that launched countless evangelicals on the seeker’s path in the first place.

This, of course, leads us to ask – if John McCain’s insufficiency of piety is based on his years of captivity and torture as this piece seems to say, and evangelicals vote against him based on said lack of piety…does this mean that Jesus hates the troops?

I know a lot of people of various ages and backgrounds who’ve been in foxholes and come back atheists, or at least agnostics. After a while, it does become hard to reconcile a constant stream of death and brutality with an active, involved God watching over each and every one of us. Of course, if I had my druthers, McCain’s faith walk would rank alongside McCain’s choice of toothpaste and shoelaces as relevant factors in his run for president.

Nobody ever gives me my druthers.

Now Included With Botox: Gas Cards

By Jesse Taylor

My knowledge of medical ethics doesn’t extend much beyond confidentiality, but it seems that there’s a difference between shilling for the great appendectomy you got and shilling for the great facelift you got. The mechanism of reward for endorsements should always be made known, and perhaps some sort of restriction put on how soon a patient can endorse a doctor’s treatment (i.e., after they’ve healed), but for voluntary cosmetic procedures it doesn’t really seem as…


Rove Should Get A Better Candidate

By Jesse Taylor

We fucking get it already. The heartening thing so far about this election is that the closest thing the GOP has come to a consistent line of attack is that Obama’s some sort of amorphous blob of badness who’s frequently used the presidential campaign stump to further his own nefarious…


In My Booths, Defraudin Mah Votes

By Jesse Taylor

The McCain campaign wants to make good and damn sure that you know they won’t stand for voter fraud. On yesterday’s longish post about Republicans scaling back their voter fraud efforts, Trevor Potter, McCain’s lawyer, sends along a statement: “Any impression that we’re not committed to stopping voter fraud is…


Let’s not forget who is discriminating and who is discriminated against

By Amanda Marcotte

One thing that continues to frustrate me about the pharmacy refusal debates is that all the attention is paid to the rights of pharmacists to religious freedom, and none is paid to the rights of their customers that are being violated. I think in part this is because almost all…


McCain meets (in private) with Log Cabin Republicans

By pams

UPDATE: The Freeper reaction to the hush-hush meeting is below the fold. In a get-together not on McSame’s public schedule, he met with members of the Log Cabin Republicans. Gee, why wasn’t this a big public event — you know, to help educate the rest of the LGBT community about…


Shorter Michelle Malkin

By Jesse Taylor

Today, liberals kept a man who raped his stepdaughter from dying in prison by confining him to death in prison.…


And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Cristal

By Jesse Taylor
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 23:46 EDT

As we enter the fourth week of the Glorious Revolution, Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs is getting a little bit overzealous. “If we all register and vote, we will have the first black president in the history of America,” Sean “Diddy” Combs told the crowd Tuesday at the Shrine Auditorium before chanting…


Revenue Is For Loser States

By Jesse Taylor

The state of Ohio is tight on cash, and one of the big fights that’s consuming the statehouse is how to continue paying for things. State Rep. John Sidney (R-Sidney) has the simplest solution, which is to apparently stop. For 36 years, Ohioans have been sending a portion of their…


Ohio: ‘Christian’ woman’s ‘Obama is a baby killing Arab’ smear

By pams

These fringe folks are throwing anything they can against the wall. Tim Russo of Blogger Interrupted has the story of an Ohio woman named Joy Atwood who managed to get on the Cleveland CBS affiliate and spew complete batsh*ttery — Barack Obama is an Arab, and wants to kill babies.…