Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Pastor Problem®! Let's All Pant Together!

It would seem that the addition of Sarah Palin to the Wide Stance presidential ticket adds a significant Pastor Problem®, as Palin's pastor has a long history of mingling politics with confident pronouncements about god. To wit:

  • People who voted for Kerry in 2004 are bound for hell.
  • People who criticize George W. Bush are bound for hell.
  • 9/11 and the Iraq War are components of god's wondrous plan. So is an oil pipeline in Alaska.
  • A guest preacher, David Brickner, recently told Palin's church, including Palin herself, that Jews are bound for hell:
    Brickner ... described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. ... "Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real. When [Brickner's son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can't miss it."
Nor is that all. In keeping with my legendary even-handedness (you don't take legends at face value, do you?), I can only look upon the emerging Pastor Problem® of Sarah Palin and quote my own comments about recent Pastor Problems:
Shorn of the vaporous abstractions, religion is a nasty business. This is because god, as portrayed in the holy books and in the prophetic imagination, wants precisely what he wants, and sects form because someone believes he's figured it out -- that he has identified god's fondest desires in all their particulars, where all other sects, let alone other faith traditions, have misapprehended them.

Is anyone running for national office prepared to stand next to his/her preacher and issue a thumbs-up or thumbs-down as the preacher takes questions over points of doctrine as applied to contemporary political, social, economic, and scientific questions? How many candid answers and thumbs-up before this process appalls and alienates the vast majority of voters? How many thumbs-down before the politician's attachment to the faith is shown to be hazy, uneven, selective, opportunistic, "cafeteria"?

Should this exercise take place -- and I dearly hope it does for the sake of exposing the stupidity of the wish for godly politicians -- can we expect lamentations from the observers asking why-oh-why the politician didn't leave the scary sect and the nasty preacher long, long before?
Yes we can! Er, can't we? So I ask, albeit with slight traces of irony: why-oh-why didn't Sarah Palin leave her nasty preacher long, long before now? And as of this writing, she has neither rejected nor denounced the nasty preacher.

Speaking of nasty preachers, adding Palin has brought James Dobson back into the fold. Many more of his ilk are sure to follow, encouraged that with Palin's addition to the ticket, the Wide Stance party has embraced the correct Christianist way to hate America for its freedoms.

No comments: