So, with all the talk about Reverend Wright and Obama, it is probably a good idea to at least, for the sake of argument, bring some attention to the other side. I still feel strongly, as our forefathers did, that religion has absolutely no place in politics. I may be alone on that notion and I do realize that religion has a lot to do with informing one’s system of beliefs. However, I think our forefathers were pretty specific on this particular topic and saw the combination of church and state as a threat to the independence of the republic. I don’t condemn other people’s religious beliefs because that is a private matter and people are free to believe whatever they like, so long as it does not bring about harm to innocent people. I just think in order to ensure that rational discussion that involves the highest thought and is in the interest of diplomacy first is strained when strong religious beliefs are brought to the fold. So, it bothers me that this has become such an issue with American politics.
With that said, I am fully aware of the fact that Obama attended Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years and he has strong personal ties to Wright. Obama has condemned Wright’s statements publicly and has worked to distance himself from Wright’s egocentric antics.
McCain also has connections to some frightening religious zealots. The difference being that McCain actively and very deliberately sought the endorsement of these zealots because he has declared that he shares their beliefs. Again, as in the case with Obama, this would be a private matter on McCain’s behalf if it were not for the absolutely insane things that the religious leaders endorsing McCain are saying. They are also saying these things very openly and are not hiding their fanatical beliefs in any way whatsoever.
Reverend Hagee is McCain’s biggest religious endorser so far and as Obama has begun distancing himself from Wright, McCain has drawn himself closer to Hagee and refuses to drop his endorsement. The reason this is disturbing is because of the vast array of discriminatory beliefs held by Hagee, who condemns just about everyone under the sun who does not adhere to his warped morality. He has claimed that Hurricane Katrina was an act of God meant to punish the sinful people of New Orleans. I would imagine there were a lot of innocent people in New Orleans who did not choose to be born there that would beg to differ with that opinion and probably found it deeply disturbing, and rightly so. Hagee also believes that, and I quote, “The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty.” He also believes that the Catholic church is “a great whore” and “a false cult system.”
A new and even more disturbing religious leader that McCain has sought endorsement from is Reverend Rod Parsley. He shares many of Hagee’s views and in some ways is almost more fanatical. So why has this not been as much an issue in the media. Doesn’t this deserve at least equal coverage? Why aren’t more people talking about this? If this presidential race is going to allow us to look at and judge both sides equally then why is the media not at least reporting more openly on this. The beliefs of these men is publicly known and very easy to track down. Why isn’t this being treated as a bigger issue?