After McCain announced that he would "defeat evil," he went on to give specific examples. First, he said he would hunt Bin Laden to "the Gates of Hell." But then he brought up the war in Iraq, noting terrorists had used retarded women as suicide bombers. McCain suggested the Iraq war was a conflict of good Vs evil. I was appalled. But something else I saw appalled me even more.
Later, Pastor Rick Warren was interviewed by CNN. Discussing the question about evil, Warren brought up the fact that he had recently been on the phone with President Saakashvili of Georgia. According to Pastor Warren, his friend Saakashvili was caught up in a fight against evil!*
Speaking to Larry King, Bill Maher summed up what's so very wrong with this picture:
Did you see the Rick Warren thing? . . . Here's a good example of why religion shouldn't infect our public policy. . . The big question was "what should we do about evil?"In the earlier post, I reflected that McCain's response to the problem of evil seemed indistinguishable from that of another world leader famous for mixing religion and politics, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Check out this rough video sketch I put on Youtube.
. . .And so Obama gives this very nuanced answer -- which I liked. And so, he loses the crowd. Yeah we should be aware of evil, he says, but we should be humble about evil. . . . What was trying to say is that it's easy being here in America to say that we're the good people. Evil is over there. You know there is a lot of evil right here: look at the prison system .. . . we torture people now. . .
And then McCain is asked the same question, and he says "Defeat it." And of course this goes over very well with this crowd, because they think of evil as something very tangible. The Devil. They're not kidding. They believe in this comic group figure, the Devil.
And so how can you have -- supposed to be a superpower, in this world, making the right decisions if this is the kind of thinking that goes into it. It's like trying to play a song when half the keys are out of tune.
* I wish Warren would read my timeline history of Georgia, Russia and the Ossetians. The situation in Georgia doesn't look nearly so clear cut if viewed in the light of history.