Now, having said all that, I sincerely hope that your response is, "Yeah, and?" Or, "Who cares?" Or maybe, "Why are you telling me this?" My religion and my faith (two different things) are my business. I don't trumpet them, and neither do I deny them. They're not on my nametag and, this column notwithstanding, I generally don't start sentences with them.
This is my main problem with politics and the media in general, and with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in particular. One's faith should not be a criterion for garnering votes. A whole lot of church-goin' folks are scum, and a lot of atheists do good things in this world. (I've always wondered what atheists and agnostics would do if there actually is a heaven and, through their good works, they end up there. They'd probably say, "Well, I'll be damned," for which they'd be shifted to purgatory for 14 years.)
I've got news for all of you people who make the sign of the cross when you step into the batter's box: God doesn't give a crap whether you strike out or hit a home run. God doesn't care who wins the boxing match or American Idol or even the Grammy for Best Gospel Song.
And Sarah Palin, I've got some news for you: God is not all giddy that we're all of a sudden "winning" in Iraq, and it's not "God's will" that we build a $40 billion pipeline across Canada. Shame on you for thinking that, and double-shame on you for letting those stupid words spill forth from your mouth.
I can't even wrap my mind around that second one. How can any rational human being believe that God cares whether a pipeline is built from Alaska to Canada? Does God have a stock portfolio that's heavy on energy?
As for "winning" in Iraq, how is that something for Palin and the GOP to tout? Hey, after seven years and thousands of American lives lost, we're finally beating Iraq! If we finish them off, we get to take on the winner of the New Zealand-Zanzibar war in the quarterfinals. We'd better be able to beat Iraq.
The question is--and always has been--should we have gone into Iraq at all, and the answer has always been a resounding no. In fact, the God I know probably looked down at the U.S. forces massing on the border of Iraq and said, "You've got be freakin' kidding me!"
There are lots and lots of reasons to be creeped out by Palin (including her desire to have the biblical tale of creation taught in public schools). But they should involve politics, not personal stuff in her family.
I hate the way things are being done these days. Eight million bloggers, all trying to outshout the others (even though nobody outside of the TV networks is actually listening to them), throw stuff against the wall in hopes that something sticks. Hey, her husband got a traffic ticket 20 years ago! That's important!
Then the networks run with it, turning their attention from what really matters, and the GOP can rightfully claim that the media aren't doing their jobs.
Take, for example, the blogger uproar about who will take care of the youngest Palin child, the kid with Down syndrome. First of all, it's nobody's business. And second, I find the question wildly offensive for another reason: Isn't she married? Doesn't she have a husband? As someone who spent a couple of decades as a stay-at-home father, I find it objectionable to suggest that only the mom can take care of that, or any, kid.
If she gets elected vice president of the United States, I would think that her job (despite former Vice President John Nance Garner's assertion that the position "isn't worth a bucket of warm piss") would trump her husband having a job in the Alaska oil fields. Why did it not occur to any of the bloggers that the dad could take care of the kids while the mom is away at work?
The bloodhound bloggers are leading the lazy-ass media down a bad path. I admit that I giggled, just like everybody else, when John McCain couldn't answer how many houses he and his wife own. But is that important at all? McCain, Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Romney--all of the people who had a shot at winning their respective party's nomination are richer than the vast majority of us will ever be. That's a given these days.
What's important is which one really cares about real people. Which one will keep us out of stupid wars? Which one better understands that if the shrinking middle class disappears completely, we will be done as a nation, as a grand idea, as a shining spot in human history?
This is what the media should be finding out, not who got busted back in the '80s or which one is nearer, my God, to thee.