Friday, November 05, 2004

Is God Not For Kerry, or Who is Paul Kengor to Judge?

I just read what Dr. Paul Kengor of Grove City College wrote about an imagined religious hypocrisy on the part of John Kerry. He further accuses the media of a double standard. Dr. Kengor apparently doesn't command all the facts and seems to forget that the Right-wing fundamentalists set themselves up every time for a fall.

Liberals of any shape or color do not make any pretentions toward religion. They are either religious or they are not. Religion is looked upon as a private matter, and part and parcel of every human's right to free speech and belief. Thus we make room for a wider variety of faiths, and have a bigger tent. Liberals can afford to be more honest in their beliefs, that's just a fact. The fundamentalist Christian Right on the other set itself up on a higher pedestal,stricter in it's canon, and has taken on a very chiliastic and unrealistically authoritarian bent to it's beliefs. Therefore, the loftier the height, the more spectacular the fall, as Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker and Oral Roberts can attest. Any double standard that exists, is of their own creation. And it goes without saying that when right-wing politicians embrace the Christian Right for their support, their opponents have the same right to challenge them upon the discrepancies between their stated beliefs and their actions.

Kengor cites Kerry's use of James 2:14 in his essay. "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?" Tue. Doesn't it follow then that if Bush's own actions did not merit his stated beliefs, then did not Kerry have a right to call him upon it? "No Child Left Behind", "Clear Skies" and "Clean Forests" are fine titles yet the programs in practice turned out to be their very own antithesis. If Bush lied, is he not guilty of a mortal sin?

In the area of foreign relations and geopolitics where our leaders will invariably need an outwardly moral posture, the opposition clergy has a special right to call into question the moral character of our President's actions. We live in a world where in many places human life, liberty and happiness are not worth two cents. Wars, economic and environmental devastation and a still very potent nuclear threat are the ultimate badges of immoraltiy. Therefore when the President affects the role of saviour of Iraq, and then needlessly sacrifices the lives of 1000 of our men, and the lives of 100,000 civilians, why can't we call him on the carpet? Liberals went in to save lives in Kosovo, even in Somalia.

So let me ask Dr. Kengor this: Is it for Jesus that we killed 100,000 civilians? Is it for God that we wasted 1000 American lives? Lives of people who could have made their mark in their chosen callings instead of the one our President meted out to them? How does it help the church to have corrupt people like Ralph Reed. or Tom DeLay in the power structure? How did a campaign full of lies and deceit help the Christain Soldiers Onward? You flaunt your "morality" around not as article of faith. but as a political tool, because you do so. we have the right to question your dedication to it.

And, by the way, Jesus WAS a liberal, AND a Democrat!