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Archive for Saturday, December 15, 2007

Keeping religion out of politics, sort of

December 15, 2007

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Good evening. Thank you for giving me the time to make clear my views on my very personal beliefs on religion, video of which is available on our Web site watchmepray.com.

Let me make something clear. If elected president of the United States, my religion - which many of you know is a combination of Southern Baptist-Catholic-Greek Orthodox-high-holidays Judaism - will never, ever sway my views as leader of this great country that Jesus Christ himself once called the greatest nation in his and his father's creation, though France and the French countryside were a very close second.

I have been asked many, many times on the campaign trail if I believe in a so-called separation between church and state. And my answer is always the same: Jesus is a friend. A buddy. He's someone I'd call if I was bored on a Tuesday night and wanted to get a beer and some nachos and maybe watch a game. If a funny thing happened at the office, something that made me laugh out loud, I'd call or text him or shoot him an e-mail. Would I call him if I had to move furniture? Yes. Would I borrow money from him? Probably not, as I have tried and, although one of the nicest people I know, he's very weird about money.

I frankly do not know how I could be clearer.

There are some who say that the Founding Fathers themselves were adamant about a separation between church and state. Jefferson once wrote of "building a wall of separation between church and state." I know this because I had an aide look it up on Wikipedia because I wanted to make it appear as though I knew something about the Founding Fathers, which I do not.

But what did Jefferson mean by "wall"? What if there's a door in the wall? Or a window? Some walls are thin. I live in a new development, and I can literally hear the couple next door when they're intimate simply by using the bottom of a drinking glass and holding my breath.

My point is that walls come in many shapes and sizes, and although walls can divide us, walls can also bring us together. And perhaps this is what the Founding Fathers meant, that church and state must be kept apart but also brought together by a wall with a door in it, be it French doors or a window unit. That is my position exactly.

Critics have said that I have been evasive yet pious, that I refuse to clearly state my views on creationism versus Darwinism. This strikes me as unfair and blasphemous at the same time. God made me as I am, though I wish he had made me taller, not bald and without the seborrheic dermatitis.

Some ask if I believe the literal words of the Bible. No. But yes. All I can say is that I have seen illustrations in some Bibles, and apparently it's all true, though it has always surprised me that none of the writers of the Bible ever went on to write anything else, considering the success of that book.

Let me pose a question to myself, if I may. Will my beliefs affect me in office? Absolutely not. Let's say, for example, it's 18 months from now and I'm in the Oval Office, praying at the base of a 10-foot-high neon cross that I plan to have installed on inauguration day, and I am informed that terrorists have taken hostages or made a video saying that they are going to take hostages or do something bad, or that there was speculation that terrorists somewhere maybe someday will do something bad - or maybe nothing to do with terrorists at all, and it's just a report from, say, Anderson Cooper, who, although I am a red-blooded American male with a wife and four children, I find, as a man, very attractive.

What would I do? What would Jesus do? What would Anderson Cooper do? I can only speak for myself and Mr. Christ when I say that I would bomb someone or something as soon as possible, not because it's violent to bomb something or someone but because my personal Jesus knows that I bomb because I love. And perhaps if I am to be faulted, it is for this very reason.

Know this: I believe in God. But I believe that God is personal and should not be worn shamelessly on one's sleeve unless one is in office. Does that make me anti-Semitic or judgmental toward Muslims or "confused and kind of weirded out" by Mormons? No. Sort of.

Life is hard and complex, and in moments of darkness and personal trial, we turn to our maker, who, in any reasonable person's case, is Jesus Christ, whom I once met, and no, I'm not kidding. I'm pretty sure it was Jesus himself who once said, "Know me and you shall know, and you will recognize me because, like, you know me, so why wouldn't you recognize me? Just maybe keep it to yourself."

John Kenney is a writer in New York.

Comments

matahari 6 years, 4 months ago

ok, I can see where he is trying to be funny, just didn't quite tickle my bone. I'll give him a C for creativity, and maybe a C+ just because he got published

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EXks 6 years, 4 months ago

Excellent article. I'm sick of political hacks (Dems and Repubs) of exploiting religion for personal gain. I have to give John McCain much credit though, he was recently asked by some bible thumper if Jesus was his savior. McCain said that HIS religion was a PERSONAL matter and NOT for public discussion. You can read more on CNN.com

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Bruce Springsteen 6 years, 4 months ago

"Matahari" is a literalist, so satire is invisible to him/her/it. The point of the article, for the benefit of the reading and humor impaired, is to parody the contorted, manipulative statements of our political candidates as they try to thread the needle of religionized campaigning. And it all would be just that funny and absurd if it weren't reflective of the shallow, hypocritical idiocy we demand of our leaders, as a condition of winning our votes. It's not easy to pander to the bigoted superstitions of voters, without appearing to be excluding anyone, and not end up looking like an overbaked hot pretzel dipped in cheese. Only Kucinich seems to have ducked this pathetic game with something like his philosophical integrity intact.

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Sigmund 6 years, 4 months ago

I think it is important, at this time, to point out that no God, nor Son's of God, were harmed in the writing of this article. Although to be fair, it was tested on animals.

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75x55 6 years, 4 months ago

'Tis the season for all the articles to feed the antichristians...

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Speakout 6 years, 4 months ago

Where is your sense of humor, Matahari? This was brilliant. Very very well written and makes a great point, that all of this is purely fiction. I enjoyed this very much. Thanks for writing this, John Kenny, it puts into perspective our little and shameful prejudices.

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matahari 6 years, 4 months ago

As I was reading this, I was thinking to myself, just who IS this nutcase and what is he trying to say? So, I googled his name, a lo and behold he is a 22 year old from LA and a Survivor Vanuatu contestant.....sheesh, is there a lack of good writers out there or is this typical of the loony news that dribbles out to the rest of us, via Lalaland (LA) oh wait, he's moved to new York, well, they can keep him!

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i_tching 6 years, 4 months ago

Somebody should seriously consider freshening up his bong water.

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