An Immoral Minority?

And so it came to pass that after weeks and months of antagonizing, blaming, ridiculing, and blasting former President Bill Clinton’s “immoral behavior” during the “Days of Monica,” former Speaker of the House and possible ’08 contender Newt Gingrich admits that he was having an affair at the same time. Sadly, I am not at all surprised. This is the nature of the knee-jerk right.

Gingrich said: “The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge,” inferring that his admonishment and investigation of Clinton had nothing to do with sexual misconduct and everything to do with lying under oath. Apparently lying in general is an okay but lying under oath is not. Did he want a standing ovation for that nonsense comment? Fast-forward three days. Jerry Falwell, of “Moral Majority” fame, invites Gingrich to speak at Liberty University’s Commencement Exercises. Falwell said: “His most recent book, “Rediscovering God in America,” is a brilliant essay that highlights the unique and obvious Christian influence that inspired our nation’s dawning.” Wait… what!?

In case you don’t know about Falwell, I’d like to note the following comments previously made by him at this point. Read with caution.

• “I think the Muslim faith teaches hate”.

• “There are almost as many alcoholics as there are negroes.”

•”He is purple – the gay-pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle – the gay-pride symbol.”

• “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen”. (Referring to September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks.)

Last but not least,

• “I am a Christian.”

I can only shiver in fear when I think about what Gingrich and Falwell will discuss prior to their rendezvous in Lynchburg. A possible 2008 Presidential run?

I happen to consider myself a believer. I tend to support the separation of church and state for many reasons, though the “tag teaming” of Gingrich and Falwell’s “moral majority” gives me more reason to support it. Faith is a personal journey, not a political mandate. I can’t for the life of me, figure out why the religious right wants to impose their confined and defined belief systems on a nation that is as diverse, if not more so than any other.

Now comes the question of 2008 Democratic contenders. Have you heard the religion of Clinton, Edwards, or Richardson mentioned? Nope. Yet, people are all over Barack because his family has a multi-cultural background that has had exposure to “the rest of the world”. Why does it matter whether Barack is a Christian or not? As long as there is separation of church and state it shouldn’t matter. Are we that desperate to find someone who fits our defined boxes and lives within the lines we draw that we are willing to attack the fact that other religions exist in the world and –get this—may have something very valid to offer. It’s gotten so bad that the Republican Party has begun to pick out their own people, throwing stones at Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. It’s as if they think people who are different have contagious diseases that can’t be cured.

For the record, and for those that care –Barack Obama is a Christian. Bottom line.

So, this brings me to my closing argument. If Newt and Jerry want to rant and rave about folks being “immoral” and “un-Godly”; if the Radical Right chooses to separate politicians based on religious beliefs; if the “God-factor” is going to determine the election and these politicians choose to talk the talk, why not walk the walk too? The walk of empathy rather than exclusion, the walk of grace rather than condemnation, the walk of kindness rather than rejection, the walk of embracing differences rather than pointing the finger. Aside from that, nothing matters. I look forward to a point where we no longer feel the need to confine God within the boundaries of our traditions, cultures, communities, and political philosophies.

Thanks for reading.

Nathan Lean
Executive Director
RockwithBarack.com

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