I don’t know what is wrong with me. Boston College was playing Notre Dame in South Bend — the only colleges to which I applied — and I am instead watching six of the Republican candidates discuss their Christian values before an evangelical group in Iowa. Mitt Romney had the good sense to skip this one, and Jon Huntsman was not invited. I would guess that both were happy to avoid an event where they did not have to justify their religious beliefs before a group unlikely to view Mormonism as a legitimate Christian faith.
I had difficulty initially in getting the internet-only broadcast to stream, and thought I was seeing things with what appeared to be Michelle Bachmann holding a pitcher of water to serve her male opponents. It turns out she actually was doing this, and I guess she deserves kudos for not feeling trapped by stereotypes of political correctness.
It was not much of a debate since only Ron Paul appeared to be of the view that government has no business dictating moral values to its citizens, but should instead focus on protecting individual liberties so each of us can make our own decision. So we were left with a candidate who — take your pick — is a homophobe (notably Bachmann and Santorum), had a family camp featuring a racist slur at its entrance, is accused of serial sexual harassment, or is a thrice-married adulterer. Far be it from me to cast any stones, but do these people actually believe that if Jesus were alive today, he would want any of them telling others how to live one’s life?
There was uniform agreement that America’s ills are caused by the secular left and President Obama. After defining the Latin derivation of the word “secular” for those of us not as smart as he is, Newt Gingrich offered the following (as quoted by Talking Points Memo): “The degree to which the left is prepared to impose intolerance and to drive out of existence traditional religion is a moral threat to our civilization and deserves to be taken head on and described as what it is, which is the use of government to repress the American people against their own values.” He did not say that the proper role of government is to impose the values of Newt Gingrich on the rest of us.
This event was entitled by its organizers the “Thanksgiving Family Forum.” I can only hope that one of the things we will be giving “thanks” for next year is that none of these people will be taking the oath of office on the following January 20