06 February 2008

Conservative Meltdown!

Tune into Right Wing Radio and whew! Conservative Meltdown! Conservatives of the economic, social, and religious persuasions are throwing a tantrum, because suddenly they have been confronted with the idea that they do not necessarily own, control, or comprise a clear majority of the Republican Party. They remind me of the Sunnis, who were misled into thinking that they were the majority of people in Iraq. The liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein and the Baath (toxic mix of Pan-Arab Nationalism and Neo-Nazism) Party was not nearly as shocking to the Sunnis as the realization that they really didn't have the numbers to call the shots in any kind of reasonably democratic Iraq.

Well, get over it. In this anomalous year nobody from the so-called Conservative "base" is running for the Republican nomination. (Sorry, Huckabee may be a minister, and may be socially conservative, but he didn't make it around the fiscal conservative marker while he was Governor of Arkansas.) This allowed moderately conservative Republicans to be heard, for the first time since Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America." Just deal with it, people.

Of the four front runners, Obama, McCain, and Romney all seem to be decent, honest people (for politicians). I can't apply those adjectives to Hillary Clinton because of the way her campaign has tried to play both sides of the race card against Obama (just to cite the most recent outrage from a list that goes back two decades). Hillary's strength is that she has been around and knows politics, but her weakeness is that half the electorate viscerally hates her and her husband. She will be divisive merely by being President, regardless of what she intends, says, or does. We don't need four to eight more years of partisanship. Obama's strength is his potential to quell the partisan bickering in Congress with his personal charm. McCain may be able to quell the partisan bickering with his willingness to compromise, something notoriously lacking on both sides of the Congressional aisle. And McCain may appear the most scary to Ameria's enemies. Romney's strength is his ability to explain economics to Congress and the American people. And the economy will loom large not only in this election year, but for years to come.

On the other hand, I've started reading the Book of Mormon. Between appearances of the ubiquitous phrase, "And it came to pass," it is revealed that there are only two churches: the church of the Lamb of God (I assume the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and the church of the devil (I assume everybody else, including Protestants like me). I wonder how I'll feel about working for a government led by president who believes I'm going to hell. Or have I been doing that already? [added note: see Blainn's coment.]


Anonymous said...

Your assumption about the two churches is incorrect. Read the section more closely and you'll see that the description of those two churches don't match any individual churches exactly. The Church of the Lamb of God is all those who are seeking to follow God to the best of their ability, and the Great and Abominable Church is all of those who fight against the efforts of God. Only the most naive Mormon would claim that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints qualifies for the first category. Not every nominal Mormon is seeking to follow God ot the best of their abilities, and certainly many who are doing so are not Mormon.

With Romney out of the race, I'm hoping we can come to the end of the "Mormons are weird and dangerous" thing soon. It's really tiresome.

Scooper said...

Thanks, Blainn! The danger of self-study is that one can acquire "the ignorance of the self-taught." Nevertheless, I plan to continue reading. I'll try to check back with you from time to time.

Anonymous said...

It's Blain. And you're welcome. I'm a big fan of being self-taught, but it does require an awareness of the limitations that come with that learning mode.

As it turns out, we just talked about that particular chapter in Sunday School last week, and a friend who was raised Catholic asked about that section. I gave him the answer I just gave you. However, it should be noted that many Mormons (most famously, Bruce R. McConkie in the first edition of Mormon Doctrine) see the Great and Abominable Church as the Roman Catholic Church (as did, doubtless, many 19th Century readers). As with the Bible, the initial reading of any section will not yield every possible nuance of meaning. However, let me suggest that, unless you're a big Isaiah fan, you skip over the big Isaiah sections in 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi. An old Mormon joke tells of a Mormon in the military is saved when shot by his pocket Book of Mormon because not even a bullet can get through 2 Nephi.

As to having many people, including one's president, thinking that one is going to Hell, that's old news for any Mormon or other non-mainstream Christian. Mormons have been in that boat for 177 years now. If you spent a few moments thinking you might be in that boat, well, I don't think it'll hurt you too much. Fortunately, the judgments of our fellow men aren't relevant to the outcome of that particular question.