our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a


boots on the ground

Living in Red States, I've learned how deeply the Fundi mind-meld reaches. I think the Republicans and their marriage to the Birchers, Falwells, Robertsons, and {your favorite righteous cult here} is so dangerous that even they have an awareness of the powder keg they've created. That would explain the money being thrown at Newt: keep him running, and Romney rather that Rick collects the delegates. Romney is pathetic, but Rick is Ollie Cromwell in destroying angel mode. Catholic, Protestant, forget the sides -- who can follow alliances based on (variously) self-fulfilling, magical, Rorschachian, effervescent, mutating (but almost always) literal readings of (defined by whom? on the basis of what?) scripture? -- this is old British Civil War dregs resurrected in Zombie form.

Doing research on McDonnell, I couldn't avoid the comparisons:

From the wikipedia: Soli Deo Gloria, Regent U's theme
Soli Deo gloria is one of the five solas propounded to summarize the Reformers' basic beliefs during the Protestant Reformation; it is a Latin term for Glory to God alone. The doctrine states essentially that everything that is done is for God's glory to the exclusion of humankind's self-glorification and pride. Christians are to be motivated and inspired by God's glory and not their own. 

Bob McDonnell, my state's governor and current vice presidential hopeful, is a product of (Soli Deo Gloria!)  Pat Robertson's Regent University, and he told us all who he is and what he serves in his master's thesis: God guides him. God as defined by his interpretation of God's inerrant scripture. When he was running for office, the Washington Post asked him about what he'd written in his thesis, and he replied that he no longer held those beliefs. But actions speak louder than words, the old saw says. His record in Virginia has been one incessant push to enact those very beliefs.

From the Regent University webpage:
Regent University: Christian Leadership to Change the World
Regent University is an institution of higher learning that exists to bring glory to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Our mission is to serve as a leading center of Christian thought and action providing an excellent education from a biblical perspective and global context in pivotal professions to equip Christian leaders to change the world.
Our vision, through our graduates and other scholarly activities, is to provide Christian leadership in transforming society by affirming and teaching principles of truth, justice and love as described in the Holy Scriptures, embodied in the person of Jesus Christ and enabled through the power of the Holy Spirit. Soli Deo Gloria.
From the Regent University Pathways Plan 2006-2011:
Underlying the university's vision, mission and goals are the foundational commitments that must occur if we are to achieve our mission. They are a combination of our accreditation principles and our own cultural distinctives (sic).

When McD was running for Governor in Virginia, I wrote:

In the recent gubernatorial debate with Bob McDonnell, Creigh Deeds noted, "[McDonnell's thesis] contains a provision that says people don't want this kind of leadership, they're not ready for this kind of leadership, and you can't tell them what you're gonna do until you're elected."
This reminds me of Christian reconstructionist Gary North telling his fellow spiritual leaders in the '70s to give different political speeches to different groups. North lamented that it wouldn't work forever. But still, it was lament.
McDonnell's thesis defines the pro-working family Democratic position -- health care reform, minimum wage, etc. -- as negative, using quotations around the word family when the family in question doesn't fit his definition. He also uses the term "deviant."
What becomes clear is that he sincerely believes his version of the Republican position is God-given. (Other positions are not. I suppose they are deviant.) Which is to say McDonnell is willing to speak for God. That is the classic definition of irreverence.
Deeming man basically bad, McDonnell draws the conclusion that government, being man-made, should not be trusted. Why, I cannot help but wonder, would a man holding such beliefs seek to be governor?

And now Vice President.

Our task, the one I mentioned? Listen to Santorum, and McDonnell, the very voices of inflation, and understand they represent the opposite of everything America stands for -- our very foundation stone -- when they castigate another's religion, calling it phony because it isn't based on what they believe. Make this a teach-in on a national level -- the what and why of religious freedom.

The value of studying History isn't that it has some magical proclivity to repeat itself, but that it teaches us something about the origins of our own prejudices, all that stuff Cicero said about not knowing one's self is to remain a child. Time to grow up fast, America.