Dear Kids, I almost forgot that the Americans have yet to elect a President. In the chaos that is the American Electoral College, some states are more important than the others. One "battleground" state in the news lately is Virginia. John McCain, a Vietnam Vet, is eyeing a virginian with Paleolithic Conservative voting record as a vice president. He is obviously courting the Religious Right.
Because the last time I read about "McCain" and "Virginia" on the same page of a news item was back in 2000 when he delivered a speech at Virginia Beach to outline his difference with George W. Bush. To put it bluntly, it was a salvo against Pat Robertson-- The same conservative leader he is courting with his move to dangle the Vice Presidential Carrot in front of the nose of a Virginian.
He railed against the overwhelming political power of the religious right by implying that he advocates simple faith, untarnished by self-righteousness. The part of his speech below gave me goosebumps first time I read it.
"Many years ago, a scared American prisoner of war in Vietnam was tied in torture robes by his tormenters and left alone in an empty room to suffer through the night. Later in the evening, a guard he had never spoken to entered the room and silently loosened the ropes to relieve his suffering. Just before morning, that same guard came back and re-tightened the ropes before his less humanitarian comrades returned.
He never said a word to the grateful prisoner, but some months later on a Christmas morning as the prisoner stood alone in the prison courtyard, the same Good Samaritan walked up to him and stood next to him for a few moments. Then with his sandal, the guard drew a cross in the dirt. Both prisoner and guard stood wordlessly there for a minute or two venerating the cross until the guard rubbed it out and walked away.
This is my faith, the faith that unites and never divides, the faith that bridges unbridgeable gaps in humanity. That is my religious faith ... It is the faith that we are all equal and endowed by our creator with unalienable rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is the faith I would die to defend..."
THAT is the John McCain I admireD. I wonder where he is now