Saturday, September 09, 2006

A special kind of premise

Spot has had a really busy week, and he just now has the time to circle back on Pastor Sticks’ homily in the PiPress last Wednesday. The pastor has a serious discussion with himself over overt political involvement and the recommendation of candidates by (right wing) clergy to their flocks. Pastor Sticks concludes that it is okay:

Boyd's view [an evangelical preacher who thinks church and state out to be separate] gives pause for thought, but it does not invalidate the choice made by politically active pastors to engage in politics and urge their parishioners to support candidates who reflect Christian values. Ultimately it is those entering the booths, pulling the curtains and voting their values, Christian or otherwise, who will validate a candidate's position. That's not theocracy — it's democracy.

There is a thing in logic called a horseshit premise. Actually, it’s called a false premise, but Spot prefers his more colorful language. The italicized language is an example of a horseshit premise. Sticks says Christian values; Spot says bigoted codswallop. Who’s right? Well Spot, obviously.

Spot says it is wrong to bring a religious imprimatur to the recommendation of political candidates. It is, frankly, anti-American. And contrary to Sticks’ absurd assertion, it is theocratic and anti-democratic. The theocrat clergy is trying to substitute its will and judgment for that of the parishioners. Got a gay child, or sibling, or cousin and doubt the Leviticus view of things that Pastor Sticks jams down your throat? Too bad, you’d better vote for Michele Bachmann!

The tyranny of evangelical fools is bad enough without licensing preachers to make political endorsements. And they’re not supposed to of course, at the peril of their tax-exempt status.

No comments: