Rick Warren, a bloated huckster with a best-selling book under his belt - a physical representation of neurotic consumption, hosts the two candidates for president - '08. He quotes the bible in his questions as he claims the forum will honor the separation of church and state. What we know of both candidates is that Jesus has saved them both - died for their sins - and guides them to understand what evil is. Stand with Jesus - and your military - and we will exist in the light of righteousness and power.
Those assembled applaud as candidates give them what they're asking for. The candidates know what's being asked of them. We are Christian - we will give lip service to Jesus and then go about our business - like boxers making the sign of the cross before moving to the the center of the ring to do the opposite of Christ-like behavior.
When asked to define marriage they both insulted marriage as well as relegating the gay community to second class citizenship. What neither of them said is that the most important way to define marriage is that - IT IS FOR LIFE. Gay or straight the major element of marriage - what makes it marriage and not an extended date - is that it is - "til death do us part." Jesus had plenty to say about that - those quotes were side-stepped.
Why did Obama - ambassador of change - agree to this meretricious and unctuous forum? Ties off - the open collar giving a sense of informality and ease - no tie makes it folksy - new - less official. Just a "neat" conversation with the two candidates. Obama called this guy "Pastor Rick." Pastor Rick? Like he's a regular on Mr. Roger's neighborhood. He was held hostage - he allowed himself to be held hostage and it was a shame. A literal shame.
"Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you do for me." Who is the least of your brethren? What makes them "the least?" Money, race, gender, sexuality?
The trap with this forum and this kind of pastor is that you will be forced to lie. It's a deep kind of lying. It's not saying what rings true in your head and heart - or you actually shift the chemistry of your head and heart to fit around the velvet iron fist of Pastor Rick's biblical best-selling doctrine. Because tie or no tie - it is the bible that rules. It is the literal word of God to the clapping masses looking to be led by a God-fearing, Jesus quoting prez. And Jesus said fundamental, cornerstone truths. But like -maybe believe them - live them.
Evil was offered up as a subject to address. It became an external reality that needed to be tracked down and vaporized. Evil, as defined by the "evil one" who has "eluded" the US for seven years, is US. So might we get a more intelligent response to what is evil? No - it is not the role of the president to be intelligent. That's what this forum communicated to me. This forum was meant to show how trainable the candidates need to be. Like a border collie taking the elliptical track to move the sheep through the chutes and into the proper pen, Pastor Rick got the candidates to perform, behave and respond. Not think - or teach - or even give an interesting enlightening perspective. I know what you're asking, why you're asking and what I need to say.
Some right wing critics of Obama say "change" is a code word for something sinister. Change is not a code word for anything other than the staus quo with a different face and a slight nuance. No one says change so much except someone who intends to stay the course - or respect the course - or join the course. The course is dictated by the likes of Pastor Rick and until he and his ilk and his questions are challenged there will be no change and continuing loss of faith.