Monday, April 28, 2008

With God's help and friends like Rev. Wright...by Sybil Sage

The Democrats no longer need the opposing party to get Swift boated. They have spouses, staffers, former supporters and Obama's longtime pastor to do that. Rev. Jeremiah Wright's most recent ratings on an AOL poll shows 11,336 have a negative opinion of him with only 2,527 giving him a thumbs up. Yet he's gleefully accepting speaking invitations, evidently unconcerned that he may be damaging Obama.

This morning, addressing the Washington media, he characterized Obama's distancing himself from Wright as politically strategic. The charismatic pastor, who clearly relishes attention, applause and laughter, pointed out that regardless of who wins, he will continue to serve God and will, no doubt, remain visible and vocal even if it doesn't serve Obama.

Why, I found myself wondering with Wright's prayer breakfast in the background, has religion become so intertwined with politics? I just saw "Constantine's Sword", a documentary with former priest James Carroll that puts a light on the disturbing dominance of evangelical Christianity on our military. Mikey Weinstein, who started the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and his sons, Casey and Curtis, (yes, there's another set of Weinstein brothers) are in the film addressing the widespread anti-semitism at the Air Force Academy.

Yesterday Jeremy Hall, an atheist serving as an army specialist in Iraq, was interviewed on TV about the threats he'd received after refusing to participate in a Christian prayer ceremony, adding that being an atheist destroyed his chances of being promoted.

The military, having dealt with alternative sexual preferences of our soldiers, has turned to dictating religious beliefs, promoting conversion to Christianity. Where can this be heading? Will the widely quoted line be rewritten to, "There are no atheists or gays in a trench hole?"

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