Evangelical Zeal in Politics

kenneth.mackendrick at utoronto.ca kenneth.mackendrick at utoronto.ca
Mon Aug 7 07:56:13 PDT 2000

On Sun, 06 Aug 2000 21:17:48 -0700 Michael Pugliese <debsian at pacbell.net> wrote:

> And anyway, the Christian fundy sub-cultures would forgive the miscreants
just as they did Swaggert and the Bakkers. Secular left-liberals like all us on the list love to point out the hypocrisy but, these folks believe that we are all sinners, forever tempted but always redeemed after confession.

This is precisely why Chuck's otherwise awesome strategy likely won't work: "With God, anything is possible." Regardless of whatever diabolic deeds these folks have (or have not) committed... all is forgiven according to those who believe. It is precisely because the 'church' is privileged as a private (confessional) institution that such 'public' forgiveness is possible. The hypocrisy of the evangelical right is precisely what makes it so appealing... public obedience and private transgression - if the evangelical right was 'perfect' and 'flawless' they would likely have a hellova lot less support: because it wouldn't be believable / desirable. Maybe the best strategy is to paint these folks as "saints" - G. Bush - he's PERFECT, a flawless human being, an angel here on earth - and keep stressing it until everyone is looking at him... watching every detail... and despite his idiocies... keep up the rhetoric, "he's perfect!" - a real divine disciple.

If you've ever fallen in love... think about it. We fall in love not because the person is perfect, but because there is some fatal flaw and we can hold over them - giving us a sense of autonomy in the face of the Other. How else can one explain Clinton's popularity in the midst of scandal? The problem with Gore is that many likely think he's a nice guy... he's polished. The best thing in Gore's favour is that he's associated with 'dirty' Clinton... and had Bush not had a shady history... people wouldn't likely be interested in him... in short, there is something appealing about sin, scandal and imperfection... it is the saint that we despise...

speculatively, ken

"Will the real sad sinner, please stand up, please stand up..."

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