Gimme That Old-Time Moral Clarity
More moral clarity on true evil. Matthew Yglesias reports, “Rep. Peter King, one of our moderate’ Republicans, just said on ‘Crossfire’ that there’s a ‘new axis of evil’ composed of “UN bureaucrats, The New York Times, and Dan Rather.’”
Green Bay Bishop: Gay Marriage #1 Election Issue
The Bishop of Green Bay wants Catholics to get cozy with Christ inside the voting booth. Declaring that abortion and gay marriage — especially the latter — outweigh the little things, such as war and money, he was stumping hard for Bush hit past week. “‘When you go to your local polls, don’t leave God outside,’ Zubik wrote. ‘Remember that God created marriage. It’s not a lifestyle choice that seeks to make marriage by law something God never intended marriage to be.’”
Kerry Against Abortion?
Crisis, the hard-right Catholic magazine helmed until recently by Bush’s Catholic GOTV pointman, Deal Hudson — since outed as a serial sexual predator — reveals a genuinely confusing statement from Kerry: “In a Thursday interview with Univision — the popular Spanish-language cable network — Senator John Kerry dropped a bomb. According to the Catholic News Agency, when the interviewer stated, ‘Some sectors of the Catholic Church are concerned because you support abortion and therefore you would be going against its teachings,’ Kerry replied, ‘I am against abortion.’” But that doesn’t do him any good with the Catholic Bishop of Arlington, Virginia, who in his Halloween homily declared that despite his four principles for selecting a candidate — “the protection of human life, the promotion of family life, the pursuit of social justice and the practice of global solidarity”– really only the first matters, and only when it comes to abortion, which is a position of no compromise — except when both candidates are for allowing abortion in some cases. In which case, you should just disregard all that “fundamental morality” and vote for Bush anyways. Phew! Thank goodness for moral clarity!
Hi, This is Karl Rove. I’d Like You to Vote for Gay Marriage.
See “The Marriage Campaign,” above; then read this. AP reports that unknown Kerry opponents are trying to spur anti-gay marriage voters to the polls with phony phone calls for gay marriage purporting to be from the Kerry campaign. Some pundits charge that the gay marriage ban initiatives weren’t so much populist as carefully planned to make sure conservatives disappointed with Bush go to the polls anyway. News like this makes that cynical story easier to believe.
Not In the Stars
“‘It is cosmic writ that George W. Bush cannot become president of United States again.’” Indian “emperor of astrologers,” Lachhman Das Madan, sees a Kerry win.
Cemetaries Desecrated in France
As Roman Catholics celebrate All Saints Day, Catholic tombs in a French cemetary werevandalized, marking the second cemetary attack of the weekend, after Jewish tombs were desecrated on Saturday with swastikas, the initials “SS,” and other racist inscriptions.
Selling “Stolen Honor”
We’re getting reports that Christian television broadcasters around the country are making last minute pushes for Bush by showing all or part of “Stolen Honor,” the factually faulty anti-Kerry documentary. We’re curious about this conflation of faith and politicking — what Christian principles are being served? What Christian principles are being ignored?
Freestyle Powwow?
With more Get Out the Vote movements than can be counted, and 100% Church drives, a predictable amount of space is going to predicting how evangelicals will vote tomorrow. Some conservative Christians, like SBC’s Richard Land and James Dobson say this could be the election that will prove their strength, by bringing millions of voters out for Bush, after 30 years of evangelical ambivalence regarding Republicans’ “halfhearted embrace of social conservative causes.” But if they don’t, and Bush loses, Land speculates (or warns), Republicans might turn away from evangelicals. Land says this would only be temporary: “‘Without social conservatives, they don’t have anything left but chiefs and no Indians.’” But, with The New York Times’ poll showing 48% of evangelicals thought Bush was hiding something about Iraq, and The LA Times citing a Pew poll on Bush’s slipping support among evangelicals torn between two sets of “life” issues, there’s more division and complexity than the evangelical voting block was given credit for. Maybe the point should be less about wooing political chiefs, then about listening to the “Indians” who might not like cowboy-rule.
Political Pulpits
Every big paper has a round-up of politicized pulpits from yesterday. We think The Los Angeles Times‘ is the best, though like all of them it suffers from an overly literal approach to sermons. Beyond the hints and innuendos, there’s living theology that’ll guide voters who follow their faiths.
Escaping the Weird Mundane

The streets of my Brooklyn neighborhood are appropriately eerie this Halloween night, nearly empty of people and filled with the sound of leaves rasping across the sidewalk. Even the late night bodegas are closed, shuttered with steel curtains they lower only once a year. The evidence of the wars that raged earlier in the evening is everywhere, broken eggs and shaving cream trails, but the only person I come across is a bum sitting with a stack of newspapers, sending pages into the wind one by one as if to compete with the leaves. Standing in front of my building, I look up at the few dim stars you can see above Brooklyn, and I stare at them for a long while, a luxury I wouldn’t take on a busier night, when people are passing. Then I come inside, and sit down at my computer, and return to the weird mundane that that is the media one day before the election. It’s all down to stargazing now — reading signs, following slight shifts, perceiving patterns, declaring this or that with authority. It’s astrology disguised as astronomy, with neither the imagination of the former nor the intellect of the latter. Looking, not seeing. Counting, tabulating, processing — but not knowing. And amidst all this jumble, by way of yet another wonky blog, I stumble on this radio interview with Real Live Preacher, and listen to just the end, a three minute story about constellations. Hokey as hell and perfect for the evening; a parable of vision and knowledge and the hard bargains one makes between them.

–JS