Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not a Bigoted Bone, or, Christian Nation

Much has been heard in recent days about Republican Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain's comments to a Christian group that he would prefer to see a Christian president and that the United States was created by the Founding Fathers as a "Christian Nation." Repeated calls from Jewish and Muslim leaders for McCain to retract the statement have been met with attempts from the McCain camp to "clarify" his meaning and mollify offended non-Christian groups, but fell short of repudiating his statements outright. All of which led me to believe that he meant his remarks literally, and that he is unable to separate Church and State, and properly respect members of different religions. Then I read that (Jewish) Senator Joe Lieberman said of McCain, "I've known him for years and he doesn't have a bigoted bone in his body." That's a pretty strong statement, especially in light of the fact that Lieberman is a democrat and McCain is a Republican, so he isn't merely sticking up for a compatriot along partisan lines. So if I had to reconcile McCain's statement, it seems he really didn't mean any harm by what he said and perhaps doesn't want to prozelytize the nation for Christianity. Nevertheless, he feels that once said, he can't afford to offend Christian groups by retracting the statement.

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