Monday, August 18, 2008

Faith and Politics

Feeling some effects of “Fay” and like many in South Florida, praying she will go away. But I wanted to post what has been on my mind since I watched the Civil Forum with the Presidential Candidates, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama and moderated by the “purpose-driven” Pastor Rick Warren.

Before Saturday night I wondered why such forum was needed especially since we’ve seen enough fiasco on the political scene with Preachers a la Rev. Hagee, Parsley, Wright and Father Pfleger. But I like Warren (I’m one of the 25 million who bought his book) so I thought it couldn’t be that bad.

It wasn’t, it was an intimate look about the values that drive the Candidates. According to Warren, with a toss of the coin, the first person to start the forum was Obama. I thought Obama gave thoughtful answers to the questions about his faith, his moral failure, marriage (different or same), and abortion (a big wedge issue) among others.

I thought his disposition was that of humility in comparison to his haughty opponent, McCain. Let me talk about McCain for a minute. I really have an inkling (as some others) that McCain got some tips about the questions even though Warren assured the audience he was in a “cone of silence.” Whatever! As of last night, former South Florida anchor and now CNN’s Rick Sanchez asked Warren if McCain was really kept in a soundproof room. Warren said he has to trust McCain and his supporters acted in integrity. Hmmm.

Anyway. The cringe-worthy moment for me (and I believe a lot of his supporters) was when McCain defined rich as someone making $5 million a year. Democrats: Cue the attack ads on that gaffe! He just gave you manna from Heaven. Seriously, who can blame him? He’s been married to a beer heiress worth over $100 million for over two decades. And this is the person with his cohorts who have the nerve to call Obama an elitist.

Speaking of McCain’s marriage (second one) to the heiress, he said his biggest moral failure was the failure of his first marriage. But quickly (in nano seconds) he switched his answer to America’s greatest failure; I was like “wait, wait, wait, let’s explore that!” Tell us how you really failed in your first marriage like cheating with your now wife when your first wife was suffering from being partially disabled from a car accident.

But I wouldn’t get my wish because McCain just wanted to tell me his Vietnam stories for the umpteenth time and how he would “follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell” if he has to. The surprising thing to me with the last statement (which he has said a few times) was the audience, who were mostly “Christians” clapped after he made that comment. I was thinking why would you want to follow anyone to the gates of hell. If anything, you should want to avoid the damning place and allow the evildoer to follow the lonely path himself. It just goes to show that most people don’t listen.

Tags: Rick Warren, Civil Forum, Saddleback Church, Faith and Politics