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Life in the Empire

Throw an atheist off a cliff, and half-way down they’ll start talking to something. Pilots tend to be an especially superstitious lot, as are sailors, dealing with wind shear and vertigo miles above the earth or angry leviathan waves that break over the bows of Kennedy-Class aircraft carriers. Such forces tend to make even the most rational person, overtly or subconsciously, call on the help of unseen metaphysical forces.

Matt Tabbi’s Rolling Stone article, Without a Prayer, talks about how McCain has (so far) avoided the usual bible-smacking pipe-organ proselytizing that has become the Mark of The Beast now for decades. The question is: “why?” As Tabbi says: “All the party needed was one more pious, Scripture-quoting, hair-spray-soaked whore to hold this thing together for another four years, and instead they got John McCain.” So what’s the problem, John? Why not paint-up lacquer-up and get out under the gas light and lure the farm boys?

Tabbi attributes McCain’s prostituting parsimony in this particular area to old-fashioned cornbread Conservatism: “McCain comes from a generation of American men for whom religion was a ticket you punched once a week, a low-effort symbol of conformity to go with your two-car garage, your sorority-girl wife and your weekly golf game with the fellas.” Only briefly does Tabbi speculate that McCain just might be “…afraid to lie to God,” and then dismisses it. A politician afraid to lie? Nahhhhh… but give the devil his due: maybe McCain really IS afraid to lie to God.

McCain was bred Episcopalian, a very complex theology considering it was born of a King’s rationalization and had centuries to evolve a complex code. It is laser-scalpel theology compared the stone-hammer scatological screed of Evangelical Baptist hoo-doo. It comes from the brain and not the gut, and like politics, you have to make deals to get your Grace. There are complex forces to be reckoned with, and as with even Faustian bargains, a deal is a deal. Even if McCain has hauled his dress over his head on social and financial issues, there are some things a low-class ho will not do.

Even the most rational non-believing person is reluctant to tempt fate. Richard Dawkins himself would probably be reluctant to dance on graves and call up demons for all but the most robust of research grants. You can be sure that above the clouds or in dungeon deep, McCain made some bargains with the Big Nasty, by whatever name it goes. Now as first floozy of the ancient Kleptocrat Kabal, he may even be exposed to some genuine weirdness.

I hope it scares the hell out of him.

Views: 13

Comment by John Bessa on January 26, 2009 at 10:05am
Heh, interesting. I recently became a Methodist when I joined the tiny and ancient Plutarch just north of New Paltz, NY (USA). Ancient? It just got electricity, the heat is by burning wood, and the bathroom is out back, way out back (bring your own TP).

I just learned that my radical rattlesnake manifesto that will undo the "trickle down theory" is really only a re-write of Wesley, the UMC founder. Funny, never thought of Methodists as economic radicals.
Comment by John Bessa on January 26, 2009 at 10:05am
Sh*t, you can't edits posts !! Oops..


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