God and Election 2008, cont.

In this video, Mike Blejer offers another look at the role that God may have had in this election.  (My take can be found here.) Mike’s a friend of mine from college, and is an emerging comedian in the DC area.

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In which I help the "guilt by association" smear-mongers

There’s a post over at my favorite conservative blog* calling on the McCain campaign to run “guilt by association” ads against Barack Obama in the swing states.  One at a time, 30 seconds each:  Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, etc.

Frankly, I believe the subtext of such ads is absurd: Obama knows people who are crazy!  Ergo, he would be a bad president. In my comment, I remarked that it’s a shame that this poster apparently doesn’t believe that John McCain can win simply on issues that are legitimate.

Nonetheless, I’m ashamed to admit that this idea did get my creative juices flowing.  Therefore, here’s my suggestion for the Barack Obama/Bill Ayers “guilt by association” ad.  It would be called “TERRORIST LOVER”:

(Ominous Music)

NARRATOR: Barack Hussein Obama knows a guy who is a real bastard.

ON SCREEN: Obama...a real bastard.

NARRATOR: Barack Hussein Obama and aging-hippie terrorist Bill Ayers once served on the board of a charity…AT THE SAME TIME.

ON SCREEN: HOLY F**KING SH*T

NARRATOR: Terrorist Ayers even donated $200 to one of Barack Hussein Obama’s political campaigns once.

ON SCREEN: OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

NARRATOR: Barack Hussein Obama is a terrorist-lover.

ON SCREEN: Believe it, b*tches.

NARRATOR: It’s time to ask the question: who is the real Barack Hussein Obama?

ON SCREEN: ANSWER: somebody who wants to bomb your house.

* patterico.com really is my favorite conservative blog.  It’s the only one I ever read.  It takes a non-religious, reason-based, conservative approach to the issues.  Patterico and I disagree on basically everything (though he actually does support same-sex marriage, which is cool).  Nonetheless, as a rule, the front-page posters are reasonable, respectful, and (somewhat) post-partisan, which is commendable.  Also, they practice free speech over there, allowing and encouraging dissenting opinions to be expressed in good faith dialogue (though such will be roundly challenged by the regulars).  Suffice to say it’s a good site for another view.

What McCain and Obama's tax plans reveal about their priorities

The Washington Post has an interesting graphic which gives a good visual for both McCain and Obama’s tax priorities.  It’s easy to see the difference between the two:  for McCain, the more money you already have, the more you’ll get back from the government.  The less you have, the less you’ll get.  For Obama, those who have the least receive the most tax support proportionally:

These figures are based on the Tax Policy Center’s analysis of the candidate’s proposals.  (The full report is available on pdf here.)

What’s particularly striking to me is what this says about each candidate’s priorities.  John McCain evidently believes that those who have the most should be given the most back – both in terms of actual dollars and percentages of tax decreases.  Barack Obama has the exact opposite philosophy here:  those who have the least actually get the highest percentages back.

As a Christian first, but also as an American who believes in fairness and equal opportunity, I frankly can’t understand where John McCain is coming from.  The idea of giving the most to those who already have the most, and giving the least to those who have the least is completely backward. It belies the interests of economic greed to which McCain is beholden.  It is out of touch not only with the needs of real people, but with the biblical idea of whom in society should we really be helping.  If this is an example of how John McCain’s values translate to policy, he should be opposed not only on political but moral grounds.

UPDATE: Commenter cheyenne alerts us to another chart of the same data, created by chartjunk.  This one offers a visual that corresponds to the size of the U.S. population.

This blog is temporarily suspended.

Some of you may be wondering why I haven’t posted recently.  That’s understandable.  Here’s why: this blog has been suspended so it can go to the Senate for the first time since April 8th and work on the economic crisis.

(Note: this joke plagiarized directly from Muzikal203’s comment on the Great Orange Satan.)

Expell me, Father, or have I sinned?

A couple of conservative news sources are reporting that a college student in Florida is being threatened in this life and beyond for having removed a consecrated wafer from a Catholic Church.  It first was placed into Webster Cook’s mouth during Communion and at some point thereafter, he decided to take it out.  Allegedly, a church official then tried to pry the wafer out of his hands, and Cook responded by putting it in a Ziploc bag and leaving the premises.  He voluntarily returned it later on in the week, after receiving death threats and assurances of eternal damnation.

Bill Donahue from the Catholic League is pissed:

“For a student to disrupt Mass by taking the Body of Christ hostage – regardless of the alleged nature of his grievance – is beyond hate speech. That is why the [university] administration needs to act swiftly and decisively in seeing that justice is done. All options should be on the table, including expulsion.”

And, a spokesperson from the local diocese is calling it a hate crime:

“We don’t know 100 percent what Mr. Cook’s motivation was…however, if anything were to qualify as a hate crime, to us this seems like this might be it.”

Hmm.  Well, that would seem difficult, since a hate crime first and foremost is defined as “a criminal offense”  Oops.  So much for that.  It also must be “…committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.” This will also be difficult to prove, given that Cook is Catholic.

Here are my immediate thoughts:

  1. How is this possibly considered a hate crime?  There’s no crime, and no evidence of bias.  These accusers don’t even seem to know what constitutes a hate crime.
  2. There are some really interesting Christological issues here, especially considering the traditional Catholic view of transubstantiation.  If the consecrated bread-become-body of Jesus leaves the church, what happens to it, theologically speaking?  Surely this is written somewhere?
  3. My theology of communion really privileges the sovereignty of God.  In my view, mere humans do not have the power to make – or break – the sanctity of the Eucharist.  Either Jesus will be present to us in the breaking of bread and sharing of the cup, or not – but I absolutely do not believe that humans have the power to defile that which God has made holy.  That limits the power of God too much for me.
  4. If this is a hate crime, what’s the crime?  If this is to be viewed as Cook “stealing” a Catholic artifact (the consecrated wafer), at what point does the bread/wine become transferred to the parishioner?
  5. It may go against Catholic doctrine, but is it also a “hate crime” or “hate speech” for a non-Catholic to take Communion at a closed Catholic table?  I mean, she would likewise be “stealing” a consecrated Catholic artifact too, if that is indeed the root of the problem.
  6. Bottom line: Jesus is a big boy.  If he is so vulnerable that improper handling of the consecrated elements pose a viable threat to his sovereignty, than perhaps Cook should get expelled.  But if the risen Christ is, as I suspect, actually strong enough to survive this affront…perhaps the local (and national) Catholic authorities are going a little overboard here, no?

Another reason to legalize same-sex marriage

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the man suspected of masterminding the attacks of 9/11, doesn’t want an American attorney, because in his mind, the US supports same-sex marriage.

”I will not accept anybody, even if he is Muslim, if he swears to the American Constitution,” he said, vowing to follow Islamic shariya and scorning the U.S. Constitution “because it allows for same sexual marriage.”

Clearly, it is our patriotic duty to insist that American gays and lesbians be allowed to marry.  I can see the slogans already: “Piss off a terrorist: support gay marriage!”

Yes! Score one for the vegetarians!

This video, called Battle at Kruger, is absolutely unbelievable. I don’t have anything useful to say about it, other than that it should be viewed by everybody. This testifies to the power of one individual with a camera, in the right place at the right time.