What John McCain Could Save His Soul By Learning

5 09 2008

. . .is that this evangelical meme about a Christian god ordaining and constituting our government isn’t harmless, and it doesn’t put “Country” first. It doesn’t even put Americans as people first, much less our government.

And John, since you and everyone who speaks on your behalf keep bringing it up, let’s talk straight about it. The ideological Christian control meme now active in government power isn’t just about controlling government but lives and minds and bodies. Indoctrination, thought control, censorship. Captivity, yes, and even torture. Never mind the immorality of torturing terrorist prisoners, what about domestic torture, of wives and teenage daughters and worst of all, little innocent children, even small babies, both physical and emotional? Many suffer and some actually die as a result of such dangerous, dominionist beliefs being glossed over with lipstick!

Calling that faithful or loving or godly or Christian or principled or prolife is not straight talk. And it certainly isn’t “leaving the families and children alone” and unmolested by politics or ideology.

Yet this week you, all by yourself, the original maverick who would rather lose an election than go against your family values, patriotism and principles, YOU, sold out your hard-won position of trust for your own ambition to be elected president, without properly vetting your second-in-command.

Let’s talk straight now. I’m a good American mom, small-town background, smart, experienced in education and public service, much like Sarah Palin, right? You do appreciate all women like us, not just Sarah Palin? Then here’s some diversity of advice not driven by party. I saw signs of this Christian control ideology in Sarah Palin’s background in just one morning of quiet reflection, on August 2. (see my words from that date below, just as they first appeared under this essay toying with the wild idea of Palin.)

Except this divine intervention storyline isn’t harmless. . .
[refer to] the Christian control meme: “. . . a series of posts examining the Christian control meme as semi-pornographic advice online and off, advice on spanking with love, no — that spanking IS love. And that love is control, shown through an elaborate system of limits and consequences. And that the child’s resistance is natural; expect it and prepare to subdue it early and often. Beat it out of the children you love, show them who’s boss every minute of the day and night. This is divine commandment and the more ritualistic and intimidating, the more memorably painful, the more thoroughly it breaks the child’s spirit, the better.
Love is thereby defined as power, absolute control by any escalating means that crushes challenge to authority of any kind.”

Their idea of prayer is brandishing god’s will to prove that he wants them personally to win every battle large or small right here on earth. (And get rich besides.)

It translates to a form of self-deluding political power over other people including friends, family and of course foes, that simultaneously corrupts the believers into hurting the receivers — meaning that it literally hurts real Americans right here on earth in both human and divine terms.

I’d argue that if there is a god and he indeed has loving plans for his human creations, we’ve clearly been lied to and set up by sinful self-serving mortals from the beginning of time about what it is and how it’s supposed to work.

In America this wicked reality used to be seen mainly in church, you know, corrupt televangelists and . . . cult child abuse, etc. So if you could stay out of that — and you weren’t in any [minority] class Church resented and terrorized — then you were reasonably safe in secular society with the Constitution and the rule of law.

But now this divine dominion, paternalist pugilist meme has amassed great secular power too, apparently generated from this same conviction that one’s power must be untouchable because it is divinely bestowed.
God obviously wants me to win, because I am winning.

As I wrote, [Alberto Gonzalez’ hatchet-woman Monica] Goodling’s victims and what happened to Terri Schiavo [shamefully, shockingly fed by Christian control-meme men at the highest levels of government including Bill Frist and my state’s governor Jeb Bush] are recent example of secular power directly hurting individual humans.

Now look at the private Palin family fight and how it connected to her public power. Her own husband “is employed as an oil-field worker and fisherman” without legal or political qualifications of any kind, yet apparently as her First Gentleman he was all OVER this story. . .

Whatever actually happened to the state trooper and his government supervisor under Palin, it’s plain to see that it didn’t happen the way good government and American justice is meant to work, with transparency and due process and civil rights for everyone involved:
With a righteous WALL between anyone’s personal-family power and public governance power.

So the real threat to all we hold dear as Americans, is now a paternalistic, working class-pandering, gun-toting, moose-killing, code-speaking, militaristic, cop-warrior, tension-racheting, testosterone-saturated tough-guy Christian Soldier army animated by absolute belief that god made everything on earth for them to control, including all the other people in or out of church who won’t just salute and obey, and then, that god blesses the telling of whatever lies seem necessary to keep the plan working.

And now the responsibility is all on you. You have elevated the Embodiment of such dangerously unAmerican beliefs to the very threshhold of the White House, created a Golden Calf (er, Moose? Pitbull?) these ignorant, brutal, woman-child-and-truth-trashing tribes are thronging to adore.

So why couldn’t you see it, John McCain? Maybe you need to take some time alone in the desert (Arizona, say) to be very sure you haven’t been tempted again, to betray America in return for your personal survival?

Repent now. Your time draws short. If you win, you lose, and so does the country and people and principles you love. Which would mean it wasn’t really a miracle but a temptation, right? You say you’ve lived through the worst and doing the right thing is easy for you now. So do it, John McCain. Save the nation you put first and spare innocent children, not just their lives but their freedom to think and learn independently, to believe or not without being forced and held captive and beaten, to live yes but also to love and pursue happiness in this great country we ALL love.

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11 responses

6 09 2008
JJ

I do feel like I must be swallowing crazy pills. Fight WHO, John? Who is it you plan to lead into battle, and against whom?

He used the word “fight” 43 times in the course of the speech, as he sought to present himself as the insurgent he was known as before the primaries, when he veered to the right.

“Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight,” he said at the end of his speech. “Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.”

You can’t mean your morally bankrupt Republican party should stand up and fight against the rest of America, because you said both you and your veep pick were fighting AGAINST Republicans, so this wasn’t about party, and your campaign proclaims “Country First!”

And the NYT story about your speech began by reporting

ST. PAUL — Senator John McCain accepted the Republican presidential nomination Thursday with a pledge to move the nation beyond “partisan rancor” and narrow self-interest in a speech in which he markedly toned down the blistering attacks on Senator Barack Obama that had filled the first nights of his convention.

So which Americans ARE you calling to arms, to fight whom, if you’re not turning us against ourselves in a cynical partisan bloodbath?

Do you mean your presidency will pit all of us Americans as the whole “Country” in pitched battles fighting the rest of the world without end, amen?

Is that your idea of making history, fighting the biggest and longest military wars to immortalize the winning commanders? Well, I guess your own education was geared that way and all your experience. And you did come right out and say about Iraq, that you believe it’s best for American troops to invade, occupy, declare victory and then never leave.

It’s been pretty hard to believe anything any Republican has said for years now, but maybe we should believe you on that. . .

6 09 2008
JJ

Surely you as as a US senator for the past quarter century staking a claim to the presidency of this country you say you stand so proudly for, are not now calling upon your party’s extremists to fight against the government itself, become an actual “insurgency” against our duly constituted American government and constitution, civil war?

6 09 2008
JJ

In Palin’s Life and Politics, Goal to Follow God’s Will

So Sarah Palin says god wants the oil pipeline funded and the war in Iraq. Let’s say you now believe that’s a fine quality in an American president, to lead secular American democracy based on divining and implementing god’s will.

But wait — when your contributor and supporter John Hagee damns your veep pick’s husband to hell as an infidel, is that god’s will too? Is this all fair game now for American political discourse, debating whose god will make whom do what, and punish us for which sins?

On MSNBC this morning, McCain campaign spokesperson Tucker Bounds touted the fact that Todd Palin is a “stay-at-home-dad.” Interestingly, radical cleric and erstwhile McCain endorser Rev. John Hagee insists that, in the Lord’s eyes, a stay-at-home-dad is “a bum” who is “worse than an infidel.” “Hell is your future home,” Hagee says.

You say you’re prepared to lead this fractured and dysfunctional nation, John McCain. Persuade me. What’s your plan? What’s your presidential reform answer to evangelical theocracy and the wedge document and polygamist cults in Texas that abuse children, and the war on science and banning books and birth control and sex education, so that the next generation is even less independent, more gullible, idea-impoverished and enslaved by “family values” than the last one?

How can we trust any of the “god’s will” politicians and supreme court justices are actually right, if some of them have to be wrong for any of them to be right? Whose god gets to run things, John, whichever one can get elected and/or confirmed in each cycle? — that might work for the governor or president but it’ll make the judicial and legislative branches into never-ending religious wars, won’t it?

Oh wait. That ship has sailed, John. We’re already at war, at home. Show us what you really believe John, not what you’re willing to die for but what you’re willing to live with, to be president.

6 09 2008
JJ

This editorial sees the need for repentance and redemption too, John McCain. Do you no longer believe in your own ideals?

On Wednesday, the nastiest night of the week, Mr. McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, and other speakers offered punch lines, rather than solutions for this country’s many problems — ridiculing the Washington elite (of which most were solid members) and Barack Obama.

“Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America, and he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights,” Ms. Palin said.

Mr. Obama, in reality, wants to give basic human rights to prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, only a handful of whom are Qaeda members, and shield them from torture.
So, once upon a time, did Mr. McCain, but there was no mention of that in St. Paul, or of the bill he wrote protecting those prisoners.

Mike Huckabee dismissed Mr. Obama, the first black candidate of any major party, as a mere “symbolic” choice for president.

At the same time, the Republicans tried to co-opt Mr. Obama’s talk of change and paint themselves as the real Americans. It is an ill-fitting suit for the least diverse, most conservative and richest Republican delegates since The Times started tracking such data in 1996.

It was, in short, a gathering devoted almost entirely to the culture war refined by Mr. Rove in Mr. Bush’s two campaigns. . .

15 09 2008
JJ

Yes, I realize the Internet is beyond your mid-twentieth century orientation, John McCain, and you never were a scholar or defender of libraries and intellectuals so you probably don’t read or think about such things as the “moral insufficiency of integrity” — too bad.

The fecundity of Bristol Palin is a windfall for Jesus, but the fecundity of black girls is the doom of the republic. Spiritually speaking, the forgiveness of oneself or of one’s own is a smaller attainment than the forgiveness of the other or of all.

My friends, the politics of virtue is a vice.

. . .Whatever the Christian conservative way of life is, Palin is living it. And so her grotesque and fascinating candidacy broaches an interesting subject, which is the moral insufficiency of integrity.

In its etymological origins, integrity refers to wholeness, to a coherent arrangement of the parts into a whole, to the consistency of the parts with each other, to the harmony of a thing or a being with itself.

Integrity is a formal property, a consideration of structure. It is, in other words, contentless. It is indifferent to the substance of the elements whose internal relations are its concern, and neutral about questions of truth and falsity, good and evil.

False ideas often add up; evil individuals often add up. A unified identity is not for that reason an admirable identity.

It is all very nice to have the courage of one’s convictions, but the convictions matter as much as the courage.

In other words, John McCain, integrity is value-neutral like a hammer. (I would say nail gun but that’s probably too modern and high-tech for your atrophied understanding of current life on the planet Earth.) To pound away with your handy-dandy tool is neither good nor evil until we define what — and who — you’re hammering on and filling full of sharp metal. Are you connecting and building what we need, or just making a bunch of new holes in what little we have left?

12 11 2008
JJ

Post-election analysis that sounds a lot like what I wrote pre-election:

Obama and his supporters decried McCain’s tactics. Yet some of the strongest criticism came from people whom McCain revered or who had long revered him.

And it was not merely about strategy—the backbiting that always consumes losing campaigns. It was about the very nature of John McCain.

In their eyes, at least, their hero was losing not only an election but his reputation—or, as one prominent backer put it, “his soul.”

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[…] What John McCain Could Save His Soul By Learning […]

1 10 2009
Education Freedom and Religious Freedom In Conflict? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] What John McCain could save his soul by learning. . . . . .is that this evangelical meme about a Christian god ordaining and constituting our government isn’t harmless, and it doesn’t put “Country” first. It doesn’t even put Americans as people first, much less our government. […]

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[…] Is this the only power of story conservatives get, war? All they can talk about, the only way they can make a case for their “freedom” values and respect for “life”? WMD as WWJD? […]

26 08 2011
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[…] What John McCain Could Save His Soul By LEarning: Surely you as as a US senator for the past quarter century staking a claim to the presidency of this country you say you stand so proudly for, are not now calling upon your party’s extremists to fight against the government itself, become an actual “insurgency” against our duly constituted American government and constitution, civil war? […]

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