The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

A’Palin politics

I make no apologies for that terrible header.

In the midst of my personal crises life goes on.  The world is stirred and shredded and battered by conflict, war, hatred, conflict,  cruelty.   Politics go on.  Struggle for Truth and stupid-think goes on.

This morning on Beliefnet I took another jab at the religious right’s insane attitudes and their crazy support for Palin.  I shall share that post preceded by a few pointed comments.

Let me be clear.  As a man I do, of course, find the woman attractive.  Of course I do.  As a youth I drooled over the cheer leaders, too.  But you know what?  Those pretty faces and nice bodies hid shallow minds and conceited attitudes.  Pretty girls never had a kind word for the clutzy little fat boy.  So I’m not like so many men, enamored by good looks to the point that my genitals do my thinking when soft skin and sweet perfume are doing the talking.

My personal perception of Palin is that of a conniving bimbo not stupid but stuck on  herself.  Even worse, though she doesn’t show it through her looks her family, her attitudes, and her actions scream one word that turns my stomach:  REDNECK! Though there are probably some differences between Alaskan wilds redneck and East Texas redneck from what I’ve heard so far there are enough similarities to know I damn sure don’t want that woman anywhere near the Oval Office or that big red button, much less holding sway over my rights, the law, or my kids’ future.

The focus these days has been knocked completely off McCan’t, the aging politicrat whose claims he should be president because he was shot down over North Vietnam thirty years ago.  Sure, he managed to poo-poo his way up the political ladder using that “honorable service” while hundreds of thousands of true heroes were and continue to be totally screwed by a VA system that is lackluster at best.  Maybe McCan’t is more honorable than the chickenshits in office today, Bush who got to  play Air Force because of his daddy’s influence and Cheney whose career has been one of getting people to do his killing for him.  Even so, McCan’t’s service is no reason to elect him.  But who’s even looking his way?  Guys are drooling over the pretty face and trying to catch a glimpse of the skirt of the bimbo.  It’s disgusting.  Even more disgusting and incomprehensible is why so many women would want to vote for the bimbo when she not only spouts ideas that would set women’s rights back a hundred years but also because Palin is the woman most know they can never be.

I rant too much.  the post to follow is already too long.  God bless the man or woman who can put the world of ideas into three words or less.  I have not mastered the art.

Here, then, is the Beliefnet post:

[on Beliefnet] Sarah said:

“as a Christian, I am sure this information you state and judge about Sarah Palin will appear. politics….I am sure if this is true as u have so strongly stated, and you are extremely judgmental, let God handle this……the media, and others will, bring it out…..by the way, only one who makes judgment is God.

Peace be with you, and may God Bless you…remember, he see and hears all……”

My apologies to Christian sensitivity but this is exactly the kind of “goofy-think” Evangelicals and conservative Christians spout that the rest of us have come to expect. It’s the kind of rhetoric that shuffles the issues to one side, tosses some holy water on them, denigrates the political opposition on religious grounds, and places the ultimate responsibility on God rather than the voters of this country.

The previous post to which Sarah responded raised exceptionally valid points. Rather than addressing them Sarah dismissed them in typical Christian Right fashion and went for the religious jugular.

The first thing Sarah did was place doubt where there is none: “if this is true….” It IS true, it is documented. I want to know why we should vote for someone who has proven deceitful and has used a position of power not merely to shove policies through but destroy the lives of people with whom she disagreed.

The next thing Sarah did was pull out the “judgmental” word. Christians are extremely adept at wielding that sword at those who disagree with their point of view but are, in fact, some of the most judgmental people on the earth. THEY are of the opinion that we (non-Christians) are ALL going to hell, unsaved, unworthy, etc. If that is not judgmental I do not know what is. Specific to Palin, for example, her A/G pastor made it clear that I am hell-bound because I have been an opponent of Bush since he wrecked Texas as governor. (Another issue here is the one where Palin changed churches because of political expediency rather than a change in belief. Is that part of Christian ethics?)

The last thing Sarah did was to invoke God… “He sees all,” and implied: He’s “in control.” This, too, is a judgment. It sounds as if Sarah is leaving the “sinning” of Palin to God and accepting her anyway, even when that “sinning” is well documented, totally relevant, and extremely important as an example of how she might perform as vice-president or, God (the Universal Creator one) forbid, president.

I live in one of the most conservative towns in the world. This town is run by “Christian” good’ol boys (and gals). It’s a horrid place to live for someone not part of the club. Previous responses here that talk about Palin is “one of us.” To me that is the worst possible endorsement. I shudder to think one of these local good’ol boys could be a national leader!

Even if Palin had a perfect record of honesty and integrity (which she certainly doesn’t) she is hardly qualified to lead this country. First, being able to use looks to gain public office in a very unpopulated state and the ability to make a good speech are hardly reasons to vote for anyone. Foreign leaders pay no attention to looks. They only care about speeches when it says something about the U.S. and it’s relation to them or when the policies promoted will affect them. Third, the budget of Alaska (or that of an Alaskan household) has no relationship to that of the U.S. economy. Fourth, the cultural environment, social climate, racial makeup, among many other things in Alaska are far, far removed from that of the rest of this nation. Even rural areas differ greatly from region to region as attitudes, ethnicity, and local religions differ. A pretty face and svelte body will go nowhere in helping a president deal with the incredibly complex issues a president must deal with.

Palin’s particular religious point of view is obviously something religious conservatives can latch on to. To the rest of us it is horrifying. A president who believes war and oil pipelines are mandates from God is a very frightening thought. A strong conservative Christian viewpoint which Palin apparently has (and, unlike Bush, lives by it) would skew her viewpoint and make her entirely unable to relate to many Americans who profess Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism or other faiths—or no faith. The Christian “turn or burn” mentality is one that is fine for the church house. It does not belong in the Whitehouse.

Another important issue is her motherhood. Being the mother of an infant is a liability, not an asset. (And considering McCain’s age, it’s a good probability that she will become president.) How well could a president perform when that president is a parent with responsibilities to an infant? Infants are all-consuming. Small children demand a great deal from parents. I am not a natural parent but I have been a foster parent of children from five days to thirteen years and I am now foster-adopt parent of three. How could a president with a crib in the oval office perform the duties of office? The idea might make a cute Disney movie but the Whitehouse is not Disneyland. The reality is that the infant would be placed in the care of others most of the time and be without the kind of nurturing it needs. In essence, Palin would either neglect the country to nurture a child or neglect the child to run the country. Is that what Christian mothers are expected to do?

Finally, what of the rest of Palin’s family? Her husband has a questionable political past to say the least even as he proved a close adviser to her as governor. He’s not even a registered Republican. Where would his loyalties lie?

Palin’s pregnant underage daughter is also an issue. I disagree with those who say “a candidate’s family should not be drug through the political muck.” Such might be so if Palin didn’t claim allegiance to conservative Christianity. As they say on Law & Order: “Goes to character, your honor!”

There are two points to be made. First, flaunting the pregnant teen is slighting the abstinence only standards of the Christian Right. I’ve heard the argument that the girl “made one mistake.” But is this true? Are we to believe the young woman gave into the “lusts of the flesh” only once or that she was sexually promiscuous as an UNDERAGED CHILD and the odds caught up with her? Modern culture dictates teen sexuality is perfectly acceptable. In conservative Christian circles (and in Palin’s religious viewpoint) it is not.

The second point is that parading the pregnant daughter before the public as if all is fine is an insult to the thousands of struggling young women who made the same “mistake” but were not lucky enough to be the daughter of a governor. I worked as a welfare caseworker for over three years. I dealt with my share of hardship cases. As a foster parent I held the infant of a teen mother in my arms and known the heartache such a “little mistake” has brought upon so many people. This point is even more relevant since Palin is on record as denying funds for pregnant teens.

Like other candidates whose qualifications and ethics are very questionable the Christian Right has latched on Palin for the single-minded (and closed-minded) reason that she “talks the talk.” One of the reasons I am no longer a Christian is because I’ve met countless Christian leaders who “talked the talk” but behind closed doors paid no attention to the words. One pastor I had in an Assembly of God church to whom I was at one time very close told me of how he found adult magazines stashed in pastoral offices he’d occupied left there by the previous minister. This pastor preached fervent, tearful, emotion-filled sermons about sexual sin. Behind that closed door he had an affair with a member, got her pregnant, and destroyed his family, her family, and a whole church congregation. “Talking the talk” means nothing.

Locals write letters to the paper in support of right-wing causes and candidates. They’re always quick to condemn those who do not agree as “liberals” or “sinners” or even “communists.” They virtually always play up the “morality” of Christians and decry the immorality of non-Christians, liberals, etc. It’s always, without exception, an “us vs. them” point of view with not a single opportunity or offer for compromise. They, and Palin, inhabit a different world than we who do not accept their religion. It’s a closed world that prohibits them from ever reaching beyond the boxed-in theology of their faith.

The Creator is real to many more than those who profess Trinitarian Christianity. The earth’s beauty, the grandeur of the universe, the magnificence of human love, compassion, respect, these we appreciate and understand to be gifts of our Creator. In war all we see is pain, suffering and destruction. In rampant capitalism and oil riches all we see is greed and the suffering of the poor at the hands of the wealthy.

We also see in the words of Jesus the son of that God Christians worship a call for peace, love, forgiveness, respect for others and the importance of sharing wealth and eschewing riches. We are confused how his words can translate into policies that are bellicose, promote greed and wealth, and demean anyone who does not believe.

We see the contradiction between the words of the Christian Christ and the actions of the conservative Christian church. Palin exemplifies that contradiction in a way few candidates ever have. Clearly Palin’s religion is of equal value to her pretty face in reaching conservative protestants. Christians should try to understand, however, that her religious convictions are the single most disturbing thing about her candidacy. I, personally, shudder to think that a person who is a living contradiction with all the liabilities described above could ever sit behind the desk in the Oval Office. Coupled with the political position of her running mate I am convinced that Americans can expect nothing less than the complete destruction of America if that ticket wins.

September 10, 2008 - Posted by | Politics. | , , , , , , , ,

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