Jefferson Would Be Appalled

Monday, March 05, 2007

Who does God want me to be today?
Blond? Brunette? Shaft?
-- Bo Chrysalis, "Absolutely Fabulous"

Election 2008 is gearing up to be the most sanctimonious, Bible thumping, separation of church and state be damned, election in my memory. And Democrats are the worst offenders. I made the mistake of turning the TV on today, and was assaulted by Hillary's sad rendition of the "southern preacher character" a good ten times. Pulling off that suit was no mean feat, but her flair for color ends about there.

The style-over-substance news channels declared Obama the winner of the dueling preachers contest, in historic Selma, Alabama. And, yes, I do appreciate that in the black community churches serve a much broader social function than they do in the white-bread world I grew up in. But Martin Luther King didn't harp on religion as much as these two do, and he was a preacher.

But the icing on the cake of my day was opening The Huffington Post to be greeted by a photo of a haloed John Edwards scolding the country for failing Jesus.

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says Jesus would be appalled at how the United States has ignored the plight of the suffering, and that he believes children should have private time to pray at school.

Edwards, in an interview with the Web site, said Jesus would be most upset with the selfishness of Americans and the country's willingness to go to war "when it's not necessary."

"I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs," Edwards told the site. "I think he would be appalled, actually."

Considering that a healthy percentage of Americans don't have reason to care one whit what Jesus would think, isn't there some other moral arbiter we can reference?

And the sanctimony continues:

Edwards told Kuo he stood by a decision to keep two bloggers on his staff despite their provocative writings criticizing the Catholic Church. Edwards said he also found the writing offensive, but "decided to forgive them and stand by them, knowing there would be potential political consequences for that."

Excuse me. Forgive them?! For what? Exercising their First Amendment rights? He was offended. Fine. But making them "wrong" is a whole 'nother matter.

The bitterest irony is that as our national obsession with religiosity is reaching ahistorical heights, the country has come completely un-moored from its moral underpinnings.

Five years of presidential overreaching and Congressional collaboration continue to exact a high toll in human lives, America’s global reputation and the architecture of democracy. Brutality toward prisoners, and the denial of their human rights, have been institutionalized; unlawful spying on Americans continues; and the courts are being closed to legal challenges of these practices.

I'd like to hear our Presidential front-runners talk a little less about God and little more about how they intend to restore the Constitution. See, you don't need to be religious to know that torture is wrong.