9/9/08

Maybe It Is Me
By: Mark W Adams


But I think Atrios agrees.

I find any discussion of what goes on in Sarah Palin's church utterly irrelevant to the political discourse, no matter how "weird." I'd go as far as to say I'm completely bored with the subject, uninterested in the questions Rachel Maddow would like to ask Palin about her belief in the Rapture and Alaska being some kind of safe-haven for the "end times," or if she personally ever "talked in tongues," or witnessed or even participated in some form of faith healing.

I don't give a damn. If she believes a God that has a plan, then presumably everything, including the Iraq War, is part of that plan. What's the problem? Just because you or I don't think that way doesn't mean there's something wrong with those that do. Of course truly religious people are going to include a shout-out to their Holy Father when big decisions are on the line.

I haven't seen anything where she said God told her it was a good idea to start a war based on lies and deceptive propaganda. She comes across as intelligent and rational, not someone who goes around saying she's channeling a deity or that she hears voices. That would be cause for concern, but so far I'm unmoved.

I don't like her (and I really don't) because she took her first opportunity to make an impression on me and the rest of America to issue a litany of nasty and insulting bullshit and some already debunked distortions of her record. I don't like her because as far as I know, she presumes I can be convinced that she is a viable pick for the second highest office in the land without speaking about one single issue, one policy plan, or answer questions on the record that all politicians are expected to answer.

I don't like her because she's all about personality and not policy -- and anything that comes out at this late date will be rehearsed talking points and not a window into how she would govern. She turned me off by opening her mouth and shutting down access. I'm actually kinda pissed that all we really have to go on is the tabloid stuff and presumptions about inferences about her faith. I'm unimpressed with her sense of responsibility to the voters -- but in a funny way, not surprised coming from McCain's campaign.

If she want's to pray for something like a pipeline, fine. It can't hurt, and it only diminishes those who make fun of her prayers in the mind of those who do clasp their hands together, close their eyes and make an earnest appeal to a higher power -- or just bow their heads and say grace only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

It's obvious the woman has a moral code she tries to follow. It's not my code, but I'd no more appreciate her telling me I'm going to hell for my beliefs, or lack thereof, than I find belittling her faith either clever or any of my fucking business. As long as she's not engaging in ritual sacrifice -- whatever. Live and let live.

Do I like mixing religious beliefs with politics? No. I think George Bush's reliance on religious conviction substituting for considered examination of options in policy decisions is at best alarming. But to the extent that someone tries to be a good person and the degree to which they live up to their own ideals -- yeah, that matters. It's the hypocrisy that matters, as well as using God as a way to shirk responsibilities for your actions, not the rituals.

I'd no more be disturbed by Palin for participating in the customs of her church than I'd bat an eye when Afghanistan's President Karzai or Pakistan's newly elected President Zardari invoke the phrase Inshallah as they speak of the future of democracy in their nations. Joe Biden has lit a candle or two. Joe Lieberman clears his work schedules for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover. It's what they do. So what.

As Barack Obama so eloquently said last week: "ENOUGH!" The over-analysis of the hockey mom is starting to bore me and we risk losing sight of the big picture. To the extent her family tells us something about her character, and something about the thought processes McCain did or did not go through in picking her, that's interesting even beyond the mere human interest story and gossipy stuff that piques our curiosity.

The disconnect about respecting the Palin family's reproductive choices matter when the Governor would eliminate some of those choices for others, and it matters a great deal -- especially when Palin has no qualms about putting her family on display. The fact that "WalMart Moms" identify with her is a done deal just for who she is, a strength that is worthy of a frontal assault in the best Rovian tradition. But until I see a Congressional debate or litigation concerning the legality of the "laying on of hands," who cares about the religious stuff.

I fail to see Palin's religious affiliations moving any significant blocks of voters other than those who share her beliefs identifying with her more than they might otherwise. If you're a Democrat and think "exposing" her worshiping ways helps, you're wrong.

All most atheist and agnostics needed to see was the "R" after her name to be turned off. If you think this might sway a significant number of Jewish voters who find the Pentacostal rituals off-putting or silly, would you ask them how stylish they think their Jewish friends look in a personalized Yarmulke or tell Catholics they look strange with dirt on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday. It's just not a place you want to go.

If you think it's time to "get even" for the bashing Obama took over Reverend Wright, leave the retribution to God or Kharma or the Universe's inexhaustible sense of humor. Keep this in mind. No one made fun of way the parishioners Trinity Church worshiped. The issue was the political ideology that emanated from the pulpit masquerading as a sermon that caused the uproar.

Just don't go there. There's no return on the investment of time and brain-power and you'll look petty trying.

6 Comments:

Don said...

In addition, asking pointed questions about Palin's religious views opens the door for GOP charges that Democrats are attacking her for being a Christian. It's probably a smart move to deny them that opportunity.

shep said...

I fail to see Palin's religious affiliations moving any significant blocks of voters other than those who share her beliefs identifying with her more than they might otherwise. If you're a Democrat and think "exposing" her worshiping ways helps, you're wrong.

Well, one aspect is political and one is practical. I don't want to "expose" Palin's worshiping ways, a la witchhunt, because that's obviously bad politics. But I definitely want to "expose" what she believes in the sense that I want rational people to know whether she thinks that God Herself might physically deliver her a federally-funded bridge-to-nowhere because she prayed for it. That's magical thinking and it has no place in people who are being given the keys to run the world.

Declarations of Pride said...

Mark...Did you delete me? That can't be possible? I must have messed up the posting process???

I have been reading and following you for more than 5 years...I must have made a mistake?

Declarations of Pride said...

Grrrr....It was me! I made a mistake, and posted on the story below this accidentally.

Well that makes me feel better! I was horrified to think what I could have said that would have prompted you to edit me out.

;-)

Mark W Adams said...

DoP: Maybe it's you ;-)

I figured you weren't disagreeing with me and getting all over the religion question cuz you really miss Joe Scarborough in the AM. LOL

I don't recall ever deleting anyone's comments, ever. Like it used to say in my bio, I'm passionate about the right to speak one's mind.

BTW, thanks for being so loyal. That's very cool.

I appreciate what you're saying about Palin's church being "out there" and It seems like it's fair gbame since they made such an issue out of Obama's church. But consider two things.

Joe Biden's church, the Roman Catholic Church -- THE most "mainstream" Christian church on the planet -- has a more extreme position on abortion than Palin does. She at least would allow it if the life of the mother was in jeopardy, but that's her only exception.

Biden's church also forbids birth control of all types and engages in a cannibalistic ritual where you eat the body and drink the blood of their savior, a guy they insist was a living breathing diety. They also would have you believe that the church eleders can elect one of their own to rule over them all, and by "grace" of winning a straw poll he (and only he, women need not apply) has a direct line to the intelligent designer or the universe.

Point is, let's not even go there.

And as I stated, Rev. Write "preached" politics from the pulpit -- fair game since it was fairly incendiary. Stupidly overblown, but different.

shep said...

Here it is:

"I'd like to see Palin and Biden participate in one of these Warren-fests and have Warren ask them --- in church, in front of his flock --- to lay out her religious beliefs the way he demanded of Obama and McCain. Surely he believes that the voters will be even more enthusiastic about her once they know exactly what it is she believes in. After all, it's pretty close to what he believes in too. Shouldn't he want to help her make her case?"

No one should have to "expose" Palin. She should be forced to expose herself. Either let the crazies know that she's not one of them or let everyone else know that she is. It's about what she believes not what religion she belongs to.