Friday, March 21, 2008
Religion, politics, and presidential candidates
I read the September 2007 Mother Jones article, Hillary's Prayer: Hillary Clinton's Religion and Politics, and became very concerned. It wasn't just the terrible caricature of her which headed the article:
What I found scary is the thought that if she should become president, and if the story is accurate, we could find our country led by another strong religious conservative who cannot isolate her beliefs from from her political actions. And I don't think it would be a good thing to do that again.
Now that the press is working Obama's religious beliefs and affiliations over the coals, I thought I would discuss the above article a bit here. And I could, but I would be doing you a disservice. A far better discussion appeared Thursday in the Progressive Review Undernews:
WHY IS THE MEDIA PAYING SO MUCH ATTENTION TO OBAMA'S PREACHER?
AND NONE AT ALL TO MCCAIN'S RIGHTWING MINISTER PAL AND CLINTON'S MEMBERSHIP IN A GROUP OF RELIGIOUS EXTREMISTS?
THE CORPORATE media is doing a major hit job on Barack Obama's ties to a minister given to hyperbole, but is nearly completely ignoring John McCain's extremist religious backer, Rev John Hagee, or Hillary Clinton's involvement with a group of religious fanatics known as the Fellowship. Both these stories have been reported here before, but to make it easier for the corporate media to introduce a touch of fairness into its coverage, here's a reprise plus a clip from a new Nation article. [Undernews, 3/20/08]
Please check this out if you are curious about the candidate's religious affiliations and how they might influence decisionmaking in the White House. If only we could ignore a person's private beliefs. Ideally we should, but if our leaders keep injecting their beliefs into their leadership then their beliefs become fair game. In fact, with the clash of religious extremists currently driving world politics, an understanding of the interaction of religion and politics is essential.
I'm indebted to peace researcher and visiting UH professor Johan Galtung for his emphasis on cosmology (broader than just religion) as a driving force of world history. In other words, to ignore how a person's background influences them as a leader would be foolish.
This relationship with Coe is something that deserves more light.
And re: Rev. Wright, I encourage folks to judge his in context, not just based on a few 10-second clips played over and over on cable news.
The "chickens coming home to roost" sermon. (Did you know he was actually referencing the comments of a white Republican ambassador on Fox News?):
The "God Damn America" sermon (in which he could easily have included Hawaiians among the many people who America's government has failed:
And which revered American minister, to whose memory all candidates have expressed fealty, said the following?:
"The greatest purveyor of violence on this earth is my own country."