Jewish World Review June 22, 1999/ 8 Tamuz 5759
Marianne M. Jennings
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- THE FATHER OF THE INTERNET, model for Love Story, and hog-slopping Renaissance man has a new avocation. Vice president Al Gore got religion. Actually, he assures, he already had it but has "never worn his religious commitment on my sleeve."
I believe, and I acknowledge no theological training, that one of religion's goals is to have one's life exemplify one's spiritual tenets, i.e. Catholics suffer during Lent, Mormons drive Suburbans filled with many minors, etc. Mr. Gore describes himself as a man of faith who, when asked, will admit it, but complains that we "have enough people from other parts of the ideological spectrum doing that."
Still, Mr. Gore's senior policy adviser, Elaine Karamack, maintains that. "The Democratic Party is going to take back God this time," referring to the 2000 races. There's a problem right out of the blocks on this Gore agenda of the day. While not professing complete knowledge of religion's inner workings, I am nearly positive that it works the other way. God does the taking back. He runs an application sort of process, and coups have not been successful. He doesn't succumb to a fund-raising kind of system where if He is annoyed with enough mailings or promised nuclear secrets, He comes around. In fact, the good Lord has been known to strike down the persistently annoying, see e.g., Genesis and Noah's experience or the Egyptian army and the Red Sea in Exodus. God calls the shots on who's in the fold and it's a merit-based system. No grading on a curve, no group efforts, and no quotas allowed, which will be a tough adjustment for Democrats.
But that adjustment will be mild in comparison to others in "taking back God." In their naivete and practice of taking the Fifth on whether they are indeed religious, Democrats have forgotten a few of God's basics. For example, animal rights activists must be driven from the party for the Good Book provides man rules over beast. Spotted owls occupy a lower rank and snail darters are part of a food chain, not a federal protection program. Just the Torah's narratives alone on sacrificial lambs are going to push PETA to violent vegetable pelting.
"Thou shalt not kill" presents a challenge for the resurrection of religion among Democrats. Partial birth abortion could prove problematic.
And, with nary a pro-lifer in its 3,000 mile radius, the National Bioethics Advisory Committee's report recommendation for federal funding for research involving embryos could prove embarrassing. Shy of single mother sainthood, Democrats have never been very big on babies in any form and God is fond of the little bounders.
Democrats taking over religion is an incongruous notion. Democrats summer while Republicans camp. Democrats demand bagels and Starbucks while Republicans eat donuts and are quite happy with Seven-Eleven coffee.
Democrats hike and Republicans fish. Democrats drive Volvos and Republicans drive GM. There's no such thing as a Bible-thumping Democrat. In fact, in Berkeley, I believe there is a noise ordinance against it. Democrats have Richard Gere and Republicans have Moses (Charlton Heston). Democrats have once-a-week church and annual conventions where they debate same-sex marriages and the ordaining of women. Republicans have prayer meetings for the Democrats.
The Democrats seized Republican economics. And Mr. Clinton dragged Democrats and their altruism kicking and screaming into putting criminals in jail and welfare recipients to work. The Democrats are free to abscond with whatever Republican programs they can stomach to stay in power, and Mr. Gore is welcome to adopt whatever agenda he wants from urban sprawl to bean sprouts in every pot. But his claim on God is an encroachment of blasphemous levels. When it comes to religion, the Republicans have the ball. In fact, they are darn proud to be playing and say so. God seems to like that in a servant. Now there's another odd thought ---- a Democrat as a servant.
have them, but they aren't
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles