Saturday, September 25, 2004

Pastors as Political Hacks and Pawns

Saw a news report about fundamentalist pastors urging parishioners to register to vote. Certainly seems patriotic, on the surface. It's the way they urge them to vote that's manipulative and even hypocritical for a supposedly loving Christian organization.

Many of these churches are using materials provided by, the far-right political action arm of Focus on the Family. I went to the website, and found a clever web of links that eventually leads to radical far-right Republican stances and candidates.

The clear implication is that only Republicans have values. And our pastors, no less, are clearly telling us that if we don't vote this way, we have no values. Could anything feel more damning to the faithful? Could anything be less democratic?

They say that only Republicans support the sanctity of life. (False, by the way.) And like obsessed, spoiled children trying to have their way, they insist that no other issue matters. Mind you, these are the same people who support the death penalty. The same people have no moral issue with killing 1,000 American soldiers, maiming for life tens of thousands more soldiers, and killing 13,000 Iraqi civilians on their own soil....all apparently for oil and corporate financial gain for Republican donors.

Sanctity of life, indeed. Without hesitation, this president, as governor of Texas, presided over more executions than any other public official in American history. This is the president whose adminstration ran horrifying concentration camps at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and who knows where else. The Republican stance on sanctity of life for all God-created persons is at best inconsistent and worst, offensively hypocritical and racist. It's hard to imagine a public official with less regard for sanctity of life than George Bush.

Imagine pastors, reared on all Ten of the Commandments, using devious tactics, sly smiles, haughty eyes and smooth words to seduce parishioners to vote for George Bush, who has more discretionary blood on his proverbial hands than any other President in recent decades, and under the guise of sanctity for life? (Sounds like the description of a slick attorney, not a trustworthy Christian pastor.)

The insultingly smug, judgmental arrogance that only people with values vote Republican, the party of wealth, war and status quo, reminds me of........Pharisees.

It's enough to make the faithful doubt their pastor's understanding of Jesus' words.

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