Sunday, August 17, 2008

I watched the questions tossed at Senator Obama, and at Senator John McCain last night. Here's what I said, in my letter I just posted, at salon:

Christ was a Peacemaker....
I think I can sum up the "real deal" last night, pretty quickly.
If you're a thoughtful, thought-filled individual, you take time to answer a question. Senator Obama did this.
If you're impulsive, and a bit quick to respond, WITHOUT deliberating your answer, you are I think, a bit cocksure, even arrogant.
Senator McCain answered in that way.
If you are appearing among a group of people who often are hostile to you(conservative Christians) to remove doubt about your allegiances, and to defeat Internet rumors about you, you are automatically in a "proving yourself" mode, and though Senator Obama COULD have been on the defensive, he appeared calm, and thoughtful, and reasonable.
If you are beloved by a certain segment(conservative Christians) and are appearing before them, you will instinctively know what to say to win cheers. McCain did this.
If you're an audience-member who is moved by a candidate's response to questions of faith, and that person answers in terms of how he wishes to SERVE, you'll most likely be happy with Senator Obama's engagement in the discussion he had with Pastor Rick.
If you are a audience-member who gets excited hearing stories of war, and repeated references to war, and glory, then you'll most likely be happy with Senator McCain's responses and anecdotes(some of which were touching, and seemed authentic).
But I hope--and yes--PRAY!--that Senator Obama's tempered and even words of calm will trump the fierce, irascible fight seen in Senator McCain. For this audience member, I am looking for the candidate best able to--among other things--forge Peace.
How 'bout you, dear readers? Anyone out there have a guess as to how this televised event from a mainstream, but rather conservative Christian church will be viewed? I think Senator Obama did a stellar job, but I know a lot of folks will not "connect" with his deliberate, careful, reasoned responses to Pastor Rick. Senator Obama appeared to be engaged in a communion with the Pastor, and not particularly concerned with the "audience" .
That audience will speak, I'll betcha, about all the "down home" feel of John McCain, who kept playing to the audience gathered, much as if he were performing onstage, in a theatre.
Peace, kids.


Collin said...

Obviously, this was going to be a slamdunk evening for McCain. He's playing to the Christian right-wing base and saying everything they want to hear. I was proud Obama was honest in his feelings and opinions.

Lisa Allender said...

Yeah, I was proud of Obama, too. I think it took some major guts to walk into what coulda been a veritable "lion's den"...but he HAD to do it, on account of all those ridiculous rumors about him/his faith. And know what? I think he/anyone running for office should be able to go to ANY house of worship(a Muslim Mosque, a Hindu temple, or Jewish Synagogue, etc., etc.) and not have to answer a single question about it. Who said Christianity is the only "acceptable" form of worship? Geez.

Selma said...

I cannot believe the amount of mud being thrown at Obama. He does handle it well but I would like to see him treated more respectfully. Not fair.

Brrrooom! said...

Thoughtfulness is good, to be sure.

However, questions of this kind of political magnitude *should have been thought about already*! What, Obama is just now thinking about abortion? He handled that debate almost catastrophically badly. I suspect as things become less scripted and move more into debates, Obama is going to suffer.

The big disappointment for me was McCain's serving up the typical "Christian Conservative" answers. On the surface, it's a smart play - McCain is obviously not a Christian Conservative by any means, but he can at least grab that vote with some lip service. But the one thing I VERY MUCH want from a McCain presidency - indeed, the best legacy such a presidency can have - is to finally break Christian Conservative influence in the Republican party. The fact is, McCain doesn't really *need* to follow CC support - he'll get it anyway, just as an anti-Obama vote - and it would be beautiful to see a successful Republican run without explicit CC support.

Abortion is an idiotic issue - it's fundamentally non-political, since there's no ability to compromise on it - and it needs to finally be off the table. Preferably in the same back-alley dumpster with "Intelligent Design", but that's a whole other argument.

Lisa Allender said...

Selma, I agree!
Brrrooom, surprised you believe it would be "beautiful" to see a Republican in any way--in office, after the incredible disasters of the past eight years(!).
Don't get me started! McCain USED to be a "maverick". But whether he's truly a conservative(a CC right-winger), not something this country seems to be excited about, or just giving "lip-service" as you put it (which makes him pretty insincere,and grasping, at the very least)it still looks like he's "John McDubya".
And yeah--abortion is a private matter, and "intelligent design" is just a phrase. Evolution does not hurt my Faith--it only strengthens it. Evolution is elegant. As is God.
Thanks for your comments.

Lydia said...

Yeah, the comment that it'd be beautiful having a non-CC Republican in the White House stopped me for sure.
I am so immature in my loathing of the CC movement. I hate it, hate it, hate it. And while I'm on the subject: who the hell is Rick Warren to be asking questions of candidates for the presidency of the United States? Edward R. Murrow is rolling in his grave. So are Huntley and Brinkley. Reminds me, I wonder if Walter Cronkite has published his opinions about all this crap.

Lisa Allender said...

HI Lydia, Yeah, right backatcha!
I can't get over the incredible LACK of journalists who behave professionally(and hold politicians' accountable, and ask questions--what happened to THAT concept??), and I am stunned that everyone ELSE thinks they can be a worthwhile, worthy interviewer!