“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” Ms. Wallace said.John McCain and Barack Obama sojourned to Rick Warren's saddlebags (wait, what?) to immanatize their respective eschatons, or something. Insofar as Barack Obama is in fact a Christian and John McCain is not, Obama's performance was superior. Insofar as the pseudo-dispensationalist gah-gah pop-culture self-help crypto-cult that is the non-body of the non-demoniational American Evangelical movement has got precious little to do with the moral precepts or doctrinal requirements that one would naturally derive from a so-called literal reading of Scripture, and is instead principally interested in the "womb-tomb" and the kindergarten-style self-affirmation of personal specialness, McCain appears to have taken the day. When asked about America's greatest moral failings, Obama cited Matthew. When asked the same question, McCain said America hasn't always devoted itself to causes greater than it's self-interest, which is, you know, funny, because Washington said that . . . well, anyway. I don't suspect anyone in that auditorium would've cared much for what Washington thought, and surely none of them would vote for him if he were running today. When asked about their relationship with Jay Cee, Obama sliced open a lamb, squeezed its blood into a bucket, and bathed in it right there onstage. McCain said, "I'm saved and forgiven." Next question.
The whole spectacle of presidential candidates prostrating themselves before a hocus-pocus divine in order to utter pious non sequiturs is faintly amusing or fairly terrifying, depending on how hard you squint. I have some obvious prejudices here, and though I was never a Catholic, I've always had sympathy for Stephen Dedalus' riposte to friend and rival Cranly, who asks why, if he's lost the faith, he doesn't just become a Protestant:
I said that I had lost the faith, Stephen answered, but not that I had lost self-respect. What kind of liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogical and incoherent?A couple of political office-aspirants discoursing on the existence of evil would be funny were it not so terrifying. McCain averred that we "must defeat it," the "it" being evil, of course. Now consider this in light of the setting. Here is a church that ostensibly affirms the essentially sinful nature of man after the Fall, that believes in the inheritance of Adamic guilt, that believes that each person must be "born again" in order to be eligible for salvation, that believes that Edenic disobedience allowed sin and evil to enter irrevocably into the world, until such time as the sci-fi reentry of the Lord Jesus Christ into this world. So here's McCain disputing one of the basic tenets of Evangelical Protestantism, and it's one of his biggest applause lines, and no one, not even the damned preacher, seems to notice?