Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Drink a health to the wonders of the Western world, the pirates, preachers, poteen-makers. . . .
— John Millington Synge, The Playboy of the Western World
John McCain has two advantages over Barack Obama. Whereas Barack has only one spiritual advisor, John has three, two of whom say nuttier things than Jeremiah Wright, Barrack Obama’s pastor ever thought of and one of whom is dead. The three of them are, however, supporting a Republican and thus, based on the silence from the right, one can only conclude their comments need no explanation. That may be because their sort of nuttiness is indigenous to a party whose biggest present to the United States in the 21st Century is George W. Bush.
John Hagee is the most prominent supporter and where the Lord has led him was explored in last week’s column and needs but brief rehearsing in this. Among other things Mr. Hagee has described the Roman Catholic Church as the Great Whore. For a fund raiser his 16,000 member Cornerstone Church sponsored a slave sale that urged people to “come and go home with a slave,” a come-on that says more about the man than an 800 word column can hope to. John McCain’s statement that he was “very proud to have pastor Hagee’s support” tells you more about John McCain than an 800-word column can. So does McCain’s acceptance of Rod Parsley as his religious advisor.
Rod is a bible-college drop out who began preaching to small crowds some 20 years ago. Today he is the chief pastor of the World Harvest Church of Columbus, an organization that has 12,000 members.
One week before the Ohio primary, Senator McCain appeared with Rod Parsley at a campaign rally in Cincinnati in which Rod described McCain as a “strong, true, consistent conservative.” Accepting the description and with Rod standing next to him the senator described Rod as a “spiritual guide.” That occupation does not, however, enable Rod to live up to his full potential. Rod would make an excellent Secretary of State since he knows a fair amount about foreign policy as his writings show. David Corn, writing for Mother Jones, describes some of the things Rod has written that lend weight to my suggestion.
In his book 2005 Silent No More Rod describes the fact that there is a war between “Islam and Christian civilization.” As quoted by Mr. Corn, Rod writes: “The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.”
Of course a Secretary of State has to understand history as well as current events in order to be effective, and Rod has the appropriate background for that as well. In his book, Rod says Columbus: “dreamed of defeating the armies of Islam with the armies of Europe made mighty by the wealth of the New World. It was this dream that, in part, began America.”
Rod’s dislike of Muslims is not irrational. Rod has discovered, he says, that “Islam is responsible for more pain, more bloodshed, and more devastation than nearly any other force on earth at this moment.” (Lest he appear naïve it should be observed that the book was written before Mr. Bush trumped Islam by invading Iraq.) Furthermore, Rod continues, Islam is not simply evil. It is actually the “anti-Christ religion.” Muhammad “received revelations from demons and not from the true God. Allah was a ‘demon spirit’.”
In his book Rod calls himself a “Christocrat”, wants to prosecute folks who commit adultery (but probably not for past offenses since that would include Senator McCain if Bernard Shaw’s uncontradicted statement to Mr. McCain during a 1999 CNN interview that the senator had an affair while married, is to be believed) and compares Planned Parenthood to Nazis. There are no reports that McCain has disavowed anything Rod has said.
The third endorsement comes from a corpse and one is forced to rely on a blog called BuzzFlash for the report of that endorsement. According to the blog, shortly after the primary season voting started, the McCain campaign announced that the senator had been endorsed by Jerry Falwell. When a reporter asked how that news had been imparted since Jerry had gone on to his great reward some months earlier, the spokesman said the endorsement was a matter of controversy “you know, like global warming . . .. following Senator Brownback’s lead, and indeed that of Gov. Huckabee, about what counts in life, we take the Falwell endorsement on faith.”
It’s not surprising that the campaign welcomes the endorsement, if that’s what the muddled syntax confirms. A corpse is considerably less likely to say things publicly that embarrass John McCain than either of the two self-proclaimed representatives of the Lord he has adopted as spiritual advisors and supporters. Of course, John being elderly, may not even notice.