Sunday, August 17, 2008

Megachurch Forum: Was it Worth it for Obama?

Evangelical pastor/author Rick Warren invited both presidential candidates to a live one-on-one discussion/Q&A at his megachurch, Saturday night. Gotta admit, I felt like this was a bit of an ambush for Sen. Obama--the fact that he went first and McCain turned out not to be in the promised soundproof "cone of silence" during Obama's appearance did not alleviate my doubts in this regard--but by all accounts the Illinois senator was warmly recieved.

The Republican nominee, as was expected, was a big hit in this setting, peppering his non-gray area answers with numerous anecdotes. (I'm starting to think the media, when describing Obama's answers in this forum, is using "nuanced" as an epithet; a euphemism for "get to the applause line, already.") But it was pandering full-on to the conservative crowd as far as McSame was concerned, telling them exactly what they wanted to hear, which is frequently at odds with both his previous positions and the truth.

One thing that stuck with me was McCain's pat but crowd-pleasing answer to Warren's question "Does evil exist?" After later watching a piece on 60 Minutes detailing the horror of Congolese women brutally and systematically raped and murdered by so-called "soldiers" in that country's ongoing internal conflict--nothing civil about this particular war--it really sunk in how glib and condescending the Arizona senator's answer on the subject really was.

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