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 Post subject: Bill Boyarsky: God and John McCain
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:11 pm 
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[url=http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080101_god_and_john_mccain/]God and John McCain
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By Bill Boyarsky

DES MOINES, Iowa—As he addressed a room full of members of the Iowa Christian Alliance in the small city of Cedar Falls, Sen. John McCain demonstrated how hard it is for him to find his way through the tangled forest of Christian right doctrine.

There’s no doubt he believes in God. He gave a moving expression of faith in his speech. He spoke of his own beliefs, and then told how they were shared by others in the most unlikely places. He related a story of how a North Vietnamese prison guard once drew a cross on the ground next to McCain when he was a prisoner of war.

Yet he insists on invoking God in a manner not popular among Republican conservatives. In the same speech, for example, he said that although he favors restrictions on illegal immigrants, they “are still God’s children and they are also human beings.” That’s not acceptable to anti-immigrant conservatives, religious or not. They appear to want nothing less than to put immigrants on trains and ship them south of the border.

The Christian right is a major power in the Republican Party here, as elsewhere. “Evangelicals are what win or lose for you in the caucuses on the Republican side,” said Chase Martyn, managing editor of the Web site Iowa Independent.

The evangelicals will be a key factor in determining the outcome of the Republican race. McCain, the polls say, is trailing Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, whose Mormon religion is hurting him with the religious right. McCain is bunched with former Sen. Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani, the ex-mayor of New York. However, McCain, dismissed by the media as a loser just a few months ago, has hung on and is now considered a real contender.

May all the gods and goddesses frown upon either McCain or Huckabee ever occupying the White House.

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