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A Faith-Based Question for John McCain

fdl-avatar.jpgDear Senator McCain,

I’m no Rick Warren.

I’m not friends with Barack Obama or with you — I’ve never met either one of you, for that matter. I haven’t written a book that sold 30 million copies and is published in fifty languages. I don’t have a church with a weekly attendance of 22,000 people. I’ve never had my picture on the front page of the NY Times or splashed across cable television.

Like I said, I’m no Rick Warren. But if you’d indulge a simple parish pastor like myself, I do have a question for you.

According to the Gospels, Jesus was turned over to the occupying military authorities in Jerusalem and to their partners in the local religious establishment for a cash bounty paid out to one of his followers. Jesus was convicted in a kangaroo court proceeding where the judge admitted that there was no real evidence against him, he was tortured by his guards, and strung up to die in a media-driven spectacle, complete with crowds cheering for his death.

Here’s the question, Senator McCain: How is it that with all these crimes committed against the one you call your savior, you can endorse the use of the same governmental tactics by our government that were employed against Jesus: the use of kangaroo courts for trials of people who were turned in for cash on the barrelhead despite the lack of any evidence against them, the use of torture (or "enhanced interrogation techniques, if you prefer) against these detainees, the seemingly limitless detention faced by some held at Gitmo, and the creation of media-driven spectacles to drive crowds to cheer for war, war, and more war?

I’m no Rick Warren, Senator — but I still would like an answer to this very faith-based question. You can leave it in the comments below.

Your Brother in Christ,

The Rev. Peterr, Ph.D.

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I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor with a passion for language, progressive politics, and the intersection of people's inner sets of ideals and beliefs (aka "faith" to many) and their political actions. I mostly comment around here, but offer a weekly post or two as well. With the role that conservative Christianity plays in the current Republican politics, I believe that progressives ignore the dynamics of religion, religious language, and religiously-inspired actions at our own peril. I am also incensed at what the TheoCons have done to the public impression of Christianity, and don't want their twisted version of it to go unchallenged in the wider world. I'm a midwesterner, now living in the Kansas City area, but also spent ten years living in the SF Bay area. I'm married to a wonderful microbiologist (she's wonderful all the way around, not just at science) and have a great little Kid, for whom I am the primary caretaker these days. I love the discussions around here, especially the combination of humor and seriousness that lets us take on incredibly tough stuff while keeping it all in perspective and treating one another with respect.

And Preview is my friend.