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It was 1968. I was heading into my first year of high school. My parents were staunch Republicans and I began to follow politics. That year the hawkish, outgoing administration was that of Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat. The tar baby war that our country couldn’t seem to win, or get out of, was called Viet Nam. And in the primaries, among the Republican presidential wannabes, was the governor of Michigan: A well-funded, strong-jawed, gray-haired patriarchal figure of a man who had recently changed his position on the war. He was suddenly, with the rest of the country, against it. His presidential ambitions, however, were quickly dashed when he explained that his previous support of he war had been the result of being “brainwashed.” Not exactly the best choice of words. Not really a quality we look for in our Presidents––the proclivity to be brainwashed. (Although, as we have recently learned, having a brain could come in handy.) This presidential hopeful’s name was George Romney; you know, Mitt’s dad? And he, like his son, was a devout Mormon. The only difference is back then no one cared. So why is our current Romney having such a rough go of it? Why is he having to address his faith in lofty, pandering speeches? Why is his highly-funded campaign now suddenly trailing that affable, underfunded Baptist pastor, Mike Huckabee? And why––as much as I like a good theological debate––are we talking about whether the cosmic struggle of Good vs. Evil is mere sibling rivalry between Christ and his black sheep brother, Beelzebub? Why are we suddenly choosing our Presidents on what lessons they learned in Sunday School? Maybe I am alone on this one, but I’d rather have an outstanding atheist brain surgeon cutting on my cranium that a middling one with an Icthus in his Yellow Pages ad. My standards for a President? Pretty much the same.

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One Comment

  1. I’m completely with you on this one.

    I think that if a conductor leads an orchestra to play their best beautiful music, it’s to the glory of God – whether the conductor is a blatant homosexual dying of aids or a Christian who preaches the Gospel at every given opportunity.


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