... the world can be divided into worthy and unworthy and that any human being has a right to judge another on a spiritual level. - Noemie Maxwell on Washblog
It is a sad time when politics draws judgmental religious thinking into an arena where inflammatory sermons without fail do more harm than good.
Lietta and I are reading Frank Schaeffer's bio "Crazy for God." Schaeffer's father (Francis Schaeffer) is credited by most as being the theological father of the late 1970's and early 1980's evangelical insertion into activist political dialog. The father'ss focus was almost exclusively on opposition to abortion. For example, Operation Rescue's Randall Terry openly credits Francis Schaeffer as his inspiration.
The later chapters of the son's book address Frank's own deteriorating attitude regarding religious celebrities who speak on political issues. I recommend Frankie's book to anyone with an interest in the history and growth of evangelical political agitation. (For more specifics, go to the The Yurica Report: The Despoiling of America)
Unfortunately, the gates to political preaching were opened 30 or more years ago when purely greedy televangelists recognized an opportunity for greater fame, greater audiences and corresponding cash flow (or notoriety) by taking cues in hate-mongering and anger-mongering from the likes of Limbaugh.
Actually, one could even go further back for inspiration in modeling one's own pulpit political content based on the political activist preaching of Dr. King. King's preaching and speeches gave us the healthiest form of religious/political rhetoric - probably because it stuck to the liberal compassionate philosophy of Christ as found in the New Testament.
Sadly, it now seems commonplace for ignorant and poorly-read political biblicist candidates like McCain to attempt to make hay or lure supporters of the ilk of John Hagee and Rod Parsely. These are those whose indignation seems to be more patently and deliberate grandstanding as opposed to the assumed sincere and righteous indignation unleashed in Reverend Wright's fire.
In addition, although Hagee's literalist devotion to the end-times fantasy comes across as naive ravings of Donald Duck, there are evangelicals who still naively and passively assumed that the political manure dragged by preachers into their sermons is the same god-talk that Jesus talked.
The underlying problem to all of this which now seems a permanently-embedded aspect of political life in America (a more effective way to knock down any wall of separation than some constitutionally mandated formality) is how one party using manipulation and newspeak has inserted this kind of nonsense into public discourse.
Traditional and presumably non-self-righteous parties and candidates are nevertheless forced to talk the talk and walk the walk of religious rhetoric whether they want to or not. Politically, Fake Consultant's words about America's own role in generating the creation of emotional global "IED's" of resentment and downright hatred of this country are on target.
Writings like Chalmers Johnson's books and William Blum's "Rogue State" are not refutable unless you are so blindly nationalistic and full of the limitations of jingoism that your proclamation of "America: Love it or Leave It" becomes the unspoken arrogance of your own ignorance as well.
Undeniably, American global imperialism is why the most insignificant of American citizens cannot travel abroad without the need for serious consideration of personal safety, not to mention the need for much more CASH.
We have the extremely inferior and failed Corporate Free-Market Government-Bail-Out-Supported system to thank for that. (Would Jesus have bailed out Bear who more than likely ruthlessly refused to forgive it's on economic debtors?)
As a members of a global community we Americans are both economic and religious global imperialists. Honest evidence and observation makes that statement is almost impossible to rebut with the use of lying and self-serving rhetoric. ... unless you are a political and religious bigot taught by shallow contemporary corporate conservatism to believe the at all costs, what is good for American business is good for the whole planet regardless of American Corporate tactics and strategy.
It's the ultimate answer to the growing negative response to an old American cliche: "Would you buy a used car (do business) with this guy?"