August 11, 2008
John McCain’s Jesus problem
Have you heard? John McCain is going to church again.
Yep, his campaign wants you—conservative Christian voter—to know that he’s really a religious man. They know he’s uncomfortable talking about God, that he’s more fluent in the language of the non-God-fearing crowd, that he’s given aging Christian right leaders the heebie jeebies. And the best way to solve these campaign ills, they assume, is to publicly plop his tochis in a church pew.
And you wonder why I am tired of the exploitation of religion for political purposes?
Bring the Pain McCain, though, likely is just as frustrated by the marriage. Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone’s politics writer, observed McCain one Sunday at North Phoenix Baptist Church for an article about the Republican nominee’s presidential dilemma.
As I’ve mentioned before, Taibbi is not the most astute of conservative Christian observers, mainly, I suspect, because he allows his perception to be overly clouded by his deep disdain for their politics. But his article offers some good insights into why McCain is struggling so seriously in his attempts to court the evangelical voters that, much more than four years ago, appear willing to swing for the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama.
Just a warning: You’ve got to wade through some stomach-wrenching turns of phrase. I’ve posted a (fairly) clean snippet after the jump: