Monday, November 3, 2008
I have had a hard time writing of late. I was trying to write something on the beauty of God and how artists are called to imitate the beauty of God in what ever medium that they have. But I have been brought up short by the nastiness of this election.
I am tired of hearing that Barak is a Muslim—not because being a Muslim is a bad thing. We are a country that should be able to accept a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, or a non-believer in the White House. But I am tired of people telling bald-faced lies in order to discredit a candidate. It does remind me of the lies they told about John F. Kennedy when a Roman Catholic aspired to the highest elective office in the nation. There were tales that he would have a direct line to the Vatican installed in the White House. JFK was far from the virulent Opus Dei type Catholic that unchurched Protestants feared.
Barak Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ—the old Congregational Church—that quintessential American manifestation of the Reformed Christian movement that founded this land. Because his father named him with more Afro-centric names rather than saddle his kid with a slave name, right-wing religionists have smeared him. It is the grossest form of slander. I have even heard people quote Revelation to perpetuate their lies that he is the Anti-Christ. This is disgraceful, sinful, and unworthy of the American public.
I will fight to the death for people to have the right to vote for whomever they think is right. But I will not continue to support those who would smear a candidate simply for the color of his skin or the ethnic background from which he comes. This is like calling someone who has a German last name a Nazi, or some one of Russian decent, a communist simply because of his name.
It is as if the ethics of Christianity are overlooked when it comes to electioneering. We tout ourselves as a ‘Christian nation’ and yet we ignore the basic morality of Jesus Christ by passing around such cheap shots in this smear campaign.
I am not fond of Sarah Palin. I neither like her platform nor her lack of experience. But I like less the kinds of misogynistic drivel that has come out about her. I really disliked the same kind of stuff being leveled at Hilary Clinton too. Have we not come far enough as a nation to discuss the merits of a platform? Have we not become clear enough in our understanding of how we can move forward as a nation without lying? Without taking potshots about someone’s religion or one’s gender?
I used to be able to listen to this kind of low-level mudslinging and “consider the source”. But the sources are now becoming the substance rather than the by-product of small minds. Our election process is becoming a laughing stock to the nations when it was once the hope of the nations. Tomorrow is the final day of this. I pray that the American public can go to the polls and vote for the candidate because of the quality of the person and the importance of their platform, not untruths told by fearful men.