It’s Friday already?… well, here’s the headline of the week for me… “Bernanke: Financial crisis taking toll on economy”… you think? that guy is just BRILLIANT… i wonder how he came to that comclusion…

anyway… it’s been a busy week and i’ve frittered away way too much of my time, but alas, i’m here and i have a few minutes to talk about a few things… today, i’m going to talk about the recent presidential showdown at the Saddleback Corral, the emergency hunger crisis, and two books that i’ve finished, but not yet reviewed… i’m told that summer is almost over and thus, the Mark Lee hosted summer reading club is on its last legs… i’ll also tell you about some new stuff from the front page… let’s get it on…

HIGH NOON

to the tune of Rodeo – Manafest

Rick Warren invited both presidential candidates into his church for a faith forum… two discussions of policies and faith followed, each about an hour in length with the candidates taking turns on the “hotseat”… i didn’t get to see it live, but it’s currently available to watch on CNN.com… i can’t obviously comment on each point that was brought up, but i will talk about a little bit that stood out…

First off, i thought both Obama and McCain started off shaky, Obama fumbling for his words (which actually lasted the entire interview) and misinterpreting the first question (“I wouldn’t limit myself to three” – no one asked you to) and McCain falling into stump mode, but they both also relaxed a bit, McCain, in my opinion proving to be more comfortable on the stage, in the church and within his own identity…. in fact, identity came up as an issue for me as well, and i think that will be obvious as we go along…

The second question, “What is your greatest moral failure?” really hit the mark and, for me, exposed something important about the character of these two men… i’ll take them out of order and praise McCain for his response… “I’m not a perfect man, but the failure of my first marriage was my greatest moral failure”… this response was met with silence and really struck my own heart’s chord, stirring within me empathy for McCain… Obama’s response on the other hand, seemed to be fine, but the more i let it sink in, the more i found myself a little bit disgusted by it…

“I had a difficult youth.”… “My father wasn’t in the house.”… “I experimented with drugs and I drank”… “[there’s] a certain selfishness on my part”… fine… here’s the thing that bothers me… selfishness is fine as an answer at face value… selfishness is common to us all and certainly qualifies as a moral condition… however, i had two problems with this response… first, he prefaces it with excuses… three excuses that pass the blame on to people (or substances) other than himself… it’s as if he’s saying, because i was preconditioned to fail morally, i became selfish and made selfish choices…

the second thing that bothered me was that it’s a very genaric answer… it’s like saying “i have ten fingers… and because of that i had to learn how to use them all”… well, we all have ten fingers (well, ideally) and we all had to learn to use them… it doesn’t tell me anything specifically about you… it seems rather disingenuous and more of a tactic to avoid revealing anything personal than an actual answer… it’s the equivalent of “my greatest weakness is that I try too hard” answer at a job interview…

Next up is a biggie… and even though it’s a question about a specific issue – in this case abortion – but the responses again reveal far more about character and identity… again, i’ll do this in out of order… Question: “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”… McCain, without hesistation responses, “From the moment of conception.”… simple as that… he then states that he’s always been pro-life and he’ll always be pro-life… very clear cut and straight forward…

Obama’s answer, on the other hand, was full of stammering and revealed yet again, a lack of character and substance within this presidential hopeful… “To answer this question theologically or scientifically with any specificity is something that’s above my pay grade”… excuse me? above your pay grade? are you not running for the position of the most powerful person in the country and at times, the world?… nothing is above your pay grade…

but more generally speaking… “One thing that I’m conviced of is that there is a moral and an ethical question to this issue”… um, thanks, Captain Obvious… “I am pro-choice… not because I’m pro-abortion, but because I don’t think that women make these decisions casually”… i’m sorry, but… SO WHAT?… if i choose to rob a bank, it’s a decision that i’m sure to wrestle with and struggle with and not something that i would do “casually” but it’s STILL WRONG OF ME TO DO…

He then goes on to explain that the real concern is how to reduce the number of abortions, which makes sense and i agree with him on that, there do need to be programs in place to help expectant mothers and parents who don’t know how they’ll raise their children once they arrive… support systems and all that… but education? i think everybody knows that having sex may result in pregnancy even if you’re not married or not out of high school… we don’t need more education, we need less escape clauses…

More brief things that stood out to me throughout the interview, besides the constant struggling to put words together, was what seems like an inconsistancy between preventative actions for abortions and later for orphans (“We need to reduce the number of orphans in the world”)… but a hesitation for preventative actions in defense of the nation militarily…

Also, it seems inconsistent to me that Obama keeps driving home “Whatever you do to the least of these”… as an important concept for America to embrace… providing for the least of these… but ignoring the unborn children… and another minor thing that i caught that raised my eyebrow is that Obama mentioned that his faith in God meant that “hopefully” his sins will be washed away…

McCain dabbled a little in the stump speeches, but he also told a lot of stories which resonate very well and, i think he further defined himself as a man and a candidate which is something that Obama continually shifts away from… in trying to be all things for everyone, i think he’s making himself a tin man with no heart or substance…

MY TIME IS UP

so that took longer than i expected and now i must go… you can check out the Brandon Heath Interview and this week’s album reviews in 25 Words or Less on the main page and i’ll be back with more later…

peace… love… bdg….