I scoff at myself after each presidential election cycle and vow to be a good little clergyman next time: I will embrace sentiment behind the first line of a March interview with my favorite Catholic priest, Father James Martin, S.J.: “I try to stay as far away from political commentary as possible.” I’ll do it. It’ll […]
Tag Archives: Republican Party
March 21, 2016
They’re so soaked in shamelessness they don’t even see it: Senate “leaders” are folding their arms like pouting six-year-olds and refusing to unwrap President Obama’s gift. By all accounts, Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland would be the justice’s justice. If he’s a radical, then Norman Rockwell was a Soviet mole. But the six-year-old Victorian gentry won’t even meet with the mild-mannered Garland. They’re gambling on a POB White House takeover (you might want to think about folding early, Mitch McConnell; things aren’t looking up). That’s obnoxious.
October 16, 2013
“… we must point out that the ongoing shutdown of the federal government deprives many pregnant women of the WIC vouchers that ensure they get enough milk, protein, vegetables, and fruit to ensure the health of their unborn children. And cancer patients—many of whom are children—have been blocked from receiving time-sensitive and potentially life-saving care at National Institutes of Health facilities.”
October 2, 2013
Thanks. I’m grateful – obliged, even. Representatives of the supposedly more religion-friendly political party have deepened our understanding of the Bible and clarified the need for its amendment, contextualization and application. We can be relevant now. For starters, they’ve finally tidied up chaotic Ephesians 4:31-32: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be […]
August 19, 2012
The all-American picture of the All-American family struck our Facebook walls hours after the announcement: A trim dad, donned with a baseball cap and a sweatshirt, sits on the porchswing beside his beautiful wife. Three children smile on their laps. The headline pleads above: “Please say a prayer for the Ryan Family.” The caption explains below: “They are about to face a terrible and merciless onslaught of lies, rumors, and smears from the progressive/Democrat propaganda machine known as the, ‘Impartial and Objective Main Stream Media.”
So the culture-war detonates with a prayer, sealing Mitt Romney’s vice presidential designate from criticism because he’s a pity-worthy victim. Political discourse – always filled with passion and never for the faint-hearted – is no longer about reasonable verses unreasonable or practical verses impractical. It’s good verses evil, the wholesome verses the malicious, the decent verses the vile. Think of that harmless family. Think of the children.
I actually sympathize as they face the potential onslaught. I have no reason to doubt Paul Ryan’s sincerity or his religious devotion. I honestly wish him no harm. He might be a great guy. Perhaps we’d be friends. Maybe he’s one of those give-you-the-shirt-off-my-back libertarians, individualy charitable but suspicious of candy-doling but power-hungry governments. I should listen – especially if he’s the admired GOP intellect and policy wonk. At the same time, my American citizenship obliges me to gauge a candidate’s intellectual coherence, what previous generations called wisdom – and, since he’s a self-advertised Christian, his representation of Christ and his teaching. Romney opened that door when he played the religious card, apparently forgetting how the deck was once loaded against him. He hailed Ryan’s Catholicism and, in a Virginia campaign ad, accused the president of waging a war on religion. Many are leaving churches of all stripes because the faithful are seen as Bible-heaving, take-no-prisoners zealots, so I need to see what we’ve been dealt.
March 24, 2012
Cue the off-key organ grinder monkey music. The postmodern circus has come to town, with Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich enrolled as the unlikely ring leaders. Step right up and watch them assert “traditional values” while twisting and bending the truth until it snaps. The political Left tries to join the circus but is no good at it, and journalists, truth’s supposed watch dogs, sleep at the door.
Postmodernism is a vague, multi-layered worldview born in the rubble of World War 2 and nurtured in the iconoclasm of the 1960’s. Many of its adherents shun labels – including “postmodernism” – before arguing that our cultural and personal biases so cloud our vision that we cannot see reality. Our concept of “logic” is tethered to a Western-centered saga, or “meta-narrative,” and is really an excuse for our quest for world domination. Objective truth, if it exists at all, is unknowable. We grope with psychological and cultural cataracts. We’re like Clint Eastwood wandering through Alice’s Wonderland while reading the script for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. We can’t even interpret our interpretations – so please, let’s do away with religion’s moral absolutes. As Stanley Fish once said, “The trouble with principle is, first, it does not exist, and second, that nowadays many bad things are done in its name.”
Apparently, principled leaders like Frederick Douglass, Winston Churchill, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Desmond Tutu don’t count.
January 20, 2012
Unless Americans wake-up to their own self-delusion, one of the nation’s two great parties will knowingly nominate a computer generated hologram of a candidate whose only demonstrated conviction is a desire to become president. He is his own goal.