July 24, 2008

Joe Lieberman, friend to the crazed

It's hard to believe that just a few years ago, Connecticut Senator Joseph Isadore Lieberman was the Democratic candidate for vice-president. And, but for the arguably archaic provisions of the Electoral College, he would have been the vice-president in a Democratic administration.

Since then he quit the party and became an independent, is expected to address the Republican National Convention next month, and most recently has been praising a religious fanatic from Texas called John Hagee by comparing him to Moses.

Hagee's mission is to bring about an apocalyptic war in the Middle East to force the second coming of Jesus Christ, who is expected to deliver Hagee and his friends up to Heaven, leaving behind Lieberman and the rest of the non-Christians (as defined by Hagee) to burn and boil in a lake of fire. Another wacky Texan, Tom DeLay, hopes that that happens tomorrow.

It's the sort of fanciful tale you might expect to hear from somebody bouncing around a rubber room dressed in a straitjacket. But amazingly, it's what passes for mainstream American politics. Even more amazingly, Joe Lieberman willingly lends himself to furthering Hagee's agenda, just not to the point of converting to Hagee-style Christianity to ensure his flying up to Heaven with Jesus.

Many Christians and Jews believe that Moses was a real person who actually wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, which is especially remarkable considering their closing chapter, Deuteronomy 34, chronicles the death, burial, and obituary of ... Moses.

"Even Moses fell short of God's expectations," Lieberman regaled the Hagee acolytes on Tuesday, just as Hagee presumably had with his harebrained condemnations of rival Christians, and his claim that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for the organizers of a gay pride parade in New Orleans.

That was too much even for John McCain, who rejected Hagee's endorsement of his candidacy for president. But Lieberman soldiers ahead for the Hagee cause.

Israel, Lieberman tells us, was created not in 1948 but "four thousand years ago" when God reportedly promised another character from Old Testament folklore, Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you."

My copy of the Constitution, on the other hand, states that it was established to "secure the Blessings of Liberty," not those of YHWH or even the Elohim, a plural set of deities that occasionally make an appearance in those portions of the Book of Genesis that were apparently not authored by the monotheist Moses.

As another Congressman, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, informed the United States Senate in March, 2002:
I believe very strongly that we ought to support Israel; that it has a right to the land. This is the most important reason: Because God said so. As I said a minute ago, look it up in the book of Genesis. It is right up there on the desk.

In Genesis 13:14-17, the Bible says:

The Lord said to Abram, "Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward, and southward, and eastward and westward: for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed forever. ... Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it to thee."

That is God talking.
While there may be any number of strategic reasons why American foreign policy considerations should include for support of Israel as an ally, "Because God said so" doesn't strike me as an appropriate one, arising as it does solely from one individual sectarian interpretation of the Bible.

It should be no more compelling or convincing than John Hagee's borderline-insane beliefs in the formation and purpose of tropical weather disturbances. Which is to say, not at all.

1 comment:

grumps said...

Has Hagee gotten around to pinpointing the cause of the flooding in Cedar Rapids yet?

Were they playing too much Sheepshead? Were they not giving a fair measure in the sausage? Was it some kind of a foulup in the jots and tittles?

Surely this pious know-it-all must have an answer for us.