God’s Reputation

Published 2008-10-14

I’ve been watching this video of the convocation at a mccain/palin rally with a certain degree of ... fascination. like so many things happening in politics right now, it’s a train wreck of logic and common sense. let’s unpack it a little:

REV. CONRAD: I would also add, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November.

So right away the hon. Rev. Conrad takes a tone with God, the supreme being, our creator, that resembles the kind of lecturing you hear from some of your less inspired high school football coaches. Step it up, Jehovah! Your reputation is on the line!

Because there are millions of people around this world,

Billions, actually!

praying to their god, whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah,

OK here’s where it gets ... weird. First, The right hon. Rev. Conrad seems to think there’s a god named “Hindu.” There isn’t. I checked. “Hindu” is an adjective. It describes the native religion of India, and its adherents.

Second, the Buddha is not a god, and Buddhists would be the first to point this out. The honorific “Buddha” comes from an ancient Pali word meaning “enlightened.” The Buddha Siddhartha Gautama was an ethical philosopher in India in the sixth century B.C. His followers revere him as a great person who attained spiritual perfection, but Buddhism, like Hinduism has room for many gods, one God (note capitalization), or no gods at all. None of which, it bears repeating, is or would be “Buddha.”

Moreover, neither Hinduism or Buddhism make any claim to exclusivity. They have no equivalent to the First Commandment (or the Second, if you’re looking at Deuteronomy). So it’s unlikely that very many Hindus or Buddhists are praying that Barack Obama wins just to show up that smartypants Jehovah.

And “Allah” just means “God” in Arabic. The Quran takes some pains to spell out that the God it discusses is the same God of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. So the people that the right hon. Rev. Conrad imagines praying to “Allah,” presumably for the humiliation of the Christian God, are also praying to the Christian God.

In just nine words, Rev. Conrad has demonstrated he doesn’t know bupkiss about what I would presume is his primary area of expertise: God.

that his opponent [i.e. Obama] wins, for a variety of reasons.

None of which we need to discuss, apparently.

And Lord, I pray that you would guard your own reputation,

Again with the hectoring. Here he sounds like the father of a teenage daughter on Prom night.

because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you. If that happens.

It’s a four-way deity-on-deity smackdown! Because religion is like a pro wrestling match played out by proxy through presidential elections.

So I pray that you would step forward and honor your own name in all that happens between now and election day.

Because God the Almighty, omnipotent and omnipresent, sole creator of the entire Universe, needs a little poke from the right hon. Rev. Conrad every now and then, or his reputation is gonna go to shit.

Some of my lefty friends object to Rev. Conrad’s convocation on grounds that it invokes hate speech. To which I reply: whatever. Sometime in the 1980s “liberals” ceded the topic of religion to “conservatives,” presumably because lefties spend less time in church. Our implicit assumption is that, because the other guys spend so much time talking about God, they must know a lot about Him. To which I would offer: maybe they just don’t know what they’re saying. With twenty minutes on Wikipedia, I can demonstrate more insight into God than Rev. Conrad, and that’s his f-ing job.