Monday, October 19, 2009

McDonnell's Rev. Wright-like problem

The separation of church and state is a fundamental precept of American democracy that seeks to prevent government at any level from force-feeding religion upon the citizens. So, governments in the USA aren't supposed to promote one religion over another, nor can they require a citizen's adherence to the rules of any religion.

Our government, of the people, is not supposed to require or discourage any faith in a Creator.

But since the concept for codes of conduct all began with ancient religions, and for most of history there wasn't much difference between church and state, washing all the vestiges of religion out of government has been easier said than done. It's a work in progress.

Still, people sometimes get confused about how separation of church and state is supposed to work. It doesn't mean preachers, or any sort of religious figures, shouldn't vote, or take part in the political process.

So, it was entirely proper when Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. took a leadership position in the most important political causes of his day. Rev. Pat Robertson still enjoys the same license to pursue the goals in politics he sees as worthwhile.

Likewise, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, of Chicago, has been both a religious and political figure. Some of Wright's political rhetoric got President Barack Obama in trouble during the campaign last year. Obama's deft handling of the crisis Wright's antics had injected into presidential politics was impressive.

First Obama managed to show a reasonable amount of loyalty to a man he had respected, as the minister of his church, for a long time. After Wright made new statements away from his pulpit that threw gasoline on the flames, Obama pushed away from Wright's off-the-wall behavior. Then Obama gave a speech about race and politics that was very well received.

OK. How about former Attorney General Bob McDonnell? Doesn't he have a preacher problem? First associated with Rev. Robertson in his days as a postgraduate at the televangelist's Regent University in Virginia Beach, McDonnell has continued as Robertson's protégé throughout his career in politics. Has McDonnell ever really distanced himself from the most extreme things Robertson has said or done?

Let's face it, Robertson has said a lot a goofy things over the years.

No need to dredge up his ridiculous comments about bad weather and blurred genders, and so forth. A more ambitious researcher could put together a nice long list of absurd Robertsonisms. The point is, when has McDonnell ever stood before cameras and mics and said where he draws the line, regarding some of the stuff Robertson has said to make headlines?

Maybe he did and I missed it?

Moreover, it says here that McDonnell's connection to Robertson is at least as strong as was the one Republicans were so upset about between Obama and Wright. Remember the righteous indignation?

Then Obama put the record straight. Although many Republicans weren't satisfied, the issue was put to rest for most voters. Now, let's see McDonnell do the same thing.

Since we saw last year that the GOP insists candidates say just exactly where they separate church and state, in their own life, they should be happy to hear Mr. McDonnell set the record straight.

Where and when does McDonnell push away from Robertson?


Shaun Kenney said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have never seen video of Pat Robertson shouting "GOD DAMN AMERICA" to his congregation -- or anywhere else.

I am very glad to see some Democrats explore the connection between Obama and his affiliation with Rev. Wright though.

Doug said...

No but he did call 9/11 a punishment from God

Stuart said...

"This is God's power and he sent this thing to warn us ... we needed a shock." -Pat Robertson on the September 11 terrorist attacks

"Maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up" –Pat Robertson, on nuking the State Department

"We have imagined ourselves invulnerable and have been consumed by the pursuit of ... health, wealth, material pleasures and sexuality... It [terrorism] is happening because God Almighty is lifting his protection from us."
-- Pat Robertson

F.T. Rea said...

Shaun, both Rev. Wright and Rev. Robertson have offended some reasonable people. Some of them have been Christians of one stripe or another; others with no religious affiliation.

Doug and Stuart, yes, well said.

Why shouldn't the working press ask McDonnell to either push away from, or embrace, Robertson's most controversial statements?

Hey, I don't think the press was wrong when Obama was asked to face the same music.

Anonymous said...

Again, do you have something to support your claim that McDonnell is Robertson's protege? Many students went to Regent. Many wrote religious-themed theses. It's a religious institution. That doesn't make everyone who attended Regent Robertson's protege. I would be very interested to see some more direct evidence if you have any.

F.T. Rea said...

Anonymous, there's enough in the public record to support my claim.

But I can understand your effort to separate McDonnell from Robertson. That's exactly why I wrote the post, in the first place.

Anonymous said...

As usual, you get it wrong. I hate Robertson, which is why I would be interested to see the link.

But in your effort to insult me and dismiss me, you once again missed the point. Either you are too lazy to follow through with the claims you make in your writing, or you don't have any support. Either way, you do a disservice to those who read your blog.

Thanks for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Rev. Wright has financial interest in a company that mines diamonds & gold in West Africa, and is associated with bloddy rouge of a despot named Charles Taylor? Oh, wait a minute that's Pat Robertson...sorry.

I'll be willing to bet you one BIG difference between Rev. Wright and Rev. Robertsons: in all liklihood Rev. Wright has never had a direct link/association with the enslavement, murder and mutilation of anyone...Rev. Robertson on the otherhand can't make that claim...

Anonymous said...

Still waiting to hear what that has to do w/ McDonnell.

A picture? A link? Something more than just the fact the guy attended Regent and wrote a religious-themed thesis.

F.T. Rea said...

Anonymous, do you really think your annoying style is clever, or helpful to any of the gubernatorial candidates?

Fact is, nobody gives a hat full of shinola about what anonymous pests have to say about politics.

Anonymous said...

you don't get it, do you. I honestly, legitimately hate Robertson. I am an undecided voter, but deeds has run an awful campaign. i asked for a source and you provide nothing. you missed a chance to help your man, deeds. he should care what anonymous voters think.

Anonymous said...

Rea - you're funny, sorry I thought your post stated that McDonnell had "preacher problem"? I simply expanded a bit on the nature of this so called "problem"...

Therefore, I stated a simple FACT about McDonnell's "problem" (Patty Robertson), and now this qualfies me as an "anonymous pest"? Interesting..

If you have issues with "anonymous pest", then why don't you just disable anonymous post on your blog?

Problem solved Einstein! To me, you now official suck!