Posts Tagged “clerical endorsement”

In a time when “flip-flopping” is considered a cardinal sin, Dr James Dobson, the ruling prince of the Religious Right™ appears poised to commit an egregious flip-flop of his own:

The AP reports, “Conservative Christian leader James Dobson has softened his stance against Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, saying he could reverse his position and endorse the Arizona senator despite serious misgivings. ‘I never thought I would hear myself saying this,’ Dobson said in a radio broadcast to air Monday. ‘… While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might.’”

You’ll note the twisted language Dobson used — “I’m not endorsing McCain, but I might” — which shows just how tortured the Dobster must feel over this. As I blogged earlier, just a few weeks ago the Dobster had vehemently denied the slightest possibility of any support for McCain, going so far as to declare his sheep “stay-at-homes” rather than vote for a conservative who’s not quite conservative enough for him. Now he’s hedging, implying he might.

This is precious, especially since that the idea that someone might “flip-flop” sends shivers down the horrifically righteous spines of the morally straitjacketed Religious Right™. The political reality that the Dobster will not get a slavering mindless evangelical into the White House this year must have unhinged him.

Of course, the poor man need not have put himself through these contortions; it’s not acceptable for a tax-exempt organization to endorse a political candidate. I’ve tried, but somehow cannot find how it is that religious groups and their leaders are entitled to do so and remain tax-exempt. Maybe someday the IRS will do its job and stop America’s clergy from doing this … but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

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I blogged earlier about John McCain’s pastor problems. Today he finally rejected endorsements by two prominent evangelical preachers, John Hagee and Rod Parsley. Hagee had built a career on anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic comments; Parlsey has been an outspoken critic of Islam, going so far as to claim that the U.S. had been founded (by God, I guess) for the express purpose of destroying Islam.

The names of Hagee and Parsley are not familiar to most Americans, but they are extremely well-known in fundamentalist Christian circles and highly influential Protestant preachers. Here are references for each, in case you want to know more about them:

Can we now please get past clerical endorsements of presidential candidates? Is it not clear, finally, that the time has come to terminate this practice forever?

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