Saturday, August 16, 2008

Prelude at Saddleback

The holiday (his and ours) is over. He’s back – not from Heaven, but from Hawaii, its earthly approximation -- to test the faith of those who see Him as more than just the lesser evil. The test starts tonight at an Orange County mega-church, where Obama and the increasingly hapless John McCain will field questions from godly parishioners and from the Reverend Rick Warren, their mountebank. A Google search on Warren reveals that he’s one of the most influential men in Christendom. Before I found that out, I had been blessed – I’d never heard of him. Anyway, it seems that, compared to other snake oil salesmen, he’s not too Republican. He even invited Obama to his mega-church before – to the consternation of many in his flock and over the objections of some of his rivals for the hearts and minds and wallets of the deluded. The problem, that time, was that Obama is pro-choice. No problem for Reverend Rick. Could it be that we are entering a post-Falwell Age? It wouldn’t be a minute too soon. Even Nixon’s buddy, Billy Graham, was starting to look good.

Anyway, between now and the looming infomerical in Denver – and thereafter – the intestinal fortitude even of the Obama faithful will be tested repeatedly by the three (trinitarian?) prongs of Obama’s – and the Democrats’ – electoral posturing: displays of unabashed godliness, obeisance to the Clintons and their most benighted supporters, and support for “national security” (an official theme of the Denver gathering of the faithful). The Democrats probably won’t sink so low as to carry crosses, if only not to offend their most trusty paymasters; and they’ll probably not hand out pictures of Hillary, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see more than a few in the crowd. National security – especially “supporting the troops” by keeping them in harm’s way – is another matter. So is “reasserting” America’s “moral authority” in the world. No doubt the Democrats already have a big order in for Harry Truman icons; maybe they’ll even have pictures of A-bombs on them.

Then, if that isn’t enough, there’s McCain’s coronation in Saint Paul, shortly thereafter, to anticipate. That convention will feature speeches by the Torturer-in-Chief and by Dick Cheney. In this year of Our Lord, one would expect that in a city named for a saint, the Righteous would find it in their hearts to make citizens’ arrests of at least those two: for war crimes, crimes against the peace, and crimes against humanity – and, as Vincent Bugliosi explains in The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder (Vanguard Press, 2008) – for plain and simple murder as well. More likely, though, as in New York four years ago, the Forces of Light, largely bereft of any godly contingent, will be herded into far-off cages in this Land of the Free, while Forces of Darkness even more potent than the imaginary ones the Rick Warrens of the world conjure up swirl about them.

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