Many of you may have noticed my absence during the past few months. When I last spoke to you, I was explaining to you how Mr. Giuliani’s multiple affairs actually reflected well on his character.
I was, of course, deeply injured by an ungodly public’s rejection of both my message and the candidate I felt had certainly been sent by God.
I sought solitude and reflection at Saint Maximilian’s Monastery and Methadone Clinic in the remote forests of the Ukraine. In a secluded pine hut deep in a snow-covered conifer forest, I read and reread a Ukranian copy of the Good Book, hampered only by delirium tremens, dysphoria, and a complete lack of knowledge of the language in which it was written. It was then I had a revelation.
One morning, John McCain’s personal friend Mark Salter arrived on a sled drawn by Siberian Huskies with the news that not only had Rudy Giuliani endorsed John McCain, but that the campaign was interested in completing the renovations to the Rectory that had been left half-finished by the Giuliani campaign when they ran out of money.
After Mr. Salter left, Saint Maximilian himself appeared to me, and told me that my austerities were greatly appreciated, but that they weakened my ability to do God’s work.
“How does a car run if you starve it of gas?” the Saint asked me.
“Not well,” I answered.
“And how do you, Prurience Cavendish, run when your appetites are unfulfilled?”
“From my lips to your ears,” I confided, “this solitude and reflection is killing me.”
“Then go,” Saint Maximilian urged me, “go home and indulge yourself so that you have the fuel to work for John McCain. Although he has transgressed, he was forgiven, and is now truly God’s candidate in the 2008 election.”
And it turns out that McCain campaign is every bit as fun as the Giuliani campaign! But what was the transgression about which Saint Max (as I like to call him) was warning me?
Today’s reading is from Acts 22:8, which reads: And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. Here, the disciple Paul encounters Christ as he walks on the Road to Damascus to annihilate its Christian community. Although he has blood on his hands, Paul – who went by the gansta rap name Saul of Tarsus – is converted on the spot by Christ, and became an A-list Apostle.
So too John McCain had his own "Road to Damascus." He almost became a Democrat in 2001, but narrowly escaped his sinfulness to become the Republican nominee. McCain’s moment came when he was tempted by the Satanic Tom Daschle. Although McCain's spokeperson said it was a “purely social visit,” at the time the Republican Party felt just as persecuted as the Christians did by Saul of Tarsus. Here is Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, quoted in the Washington Times (3/31/2001): “McCain is now certifiably McCrazy. . . Prediction: John McCain will never again seriously contend for the GOP nomination for president.”
To understand why Mr. Moore was even wronger than usual on that day, we must look deep into John McCain's character to understand how it was that he was able to turn away from his sinfulness. I will read to you from two excellent insights into his character and let you judge what happened at this time.
Howard Fineman of Newsweek reported that:
Inspired by his crusading 2000 campaign, angry at what he thinks were Bush’s dirty tactics, adored by the media and egged on by advisers who share his reformist agenda and his love of the limelight, [McCain] is war-gaming options that include bolting the party -- and another run for president in 2004, this time as an independent. . . [Most Republican leaders] view McCain as an untrustworthy, media-obsessed cry-baby. But few will say so publicly. . . Asked if he’d ever run as an independent, he gave Newsweek a flat ‘no.’ But he remains intrigued. ‘Ask him again,’ said one top aide. ‘It depends on what day you talk to him.’
It all depends on what day you talk to him. This was true of Paul, too, who heard voices and completely changed his mind the next day!
Another description of McCain is from Michael Kelly, writing in the Albany Times Union (June 6, 2001). Kelly says that McCain:
. . . was to the run-of-the-mill media-hound senator as Marilyn Monroe was to the run-of-the-mill sexpot. He took an old and tired stereotype and reinvented it through exaggeration. McCain didn't just wait for reporters to describe him as the last straight-talker in politics; he named his presidential primary campaign bus The Straight Talk Express. Unlike other war hero politicians, he didn't just murmur his reluctance to lay bare the secret and heroic horrors of his war; he shouted his reluctance from the rooftops. He spent his presidential run not so much in bed with the press as in Plato’s Retreat, and he made it clear that he loved every lubricious moment of it. And so too did the press. Never was there a more reciprocated love.
Republicans think he is "McCrazy," a "media-hound," and "an untrustworthy, media-obsessed cry-baby." Yet they forgave him and now want him to be president! Why would this be?
Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians were much the same sort of thing –- they weren’t leaked to the press by the Corinthians, I can assure you. When Paul said: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. (1 Corinthians 9:24) he might well have been describing John McCain’s presidential ambitions, and the attitudes of a party that rightly puts winning the election ahead of worrying about the character of the candidate that they nominate.
These insights into John McCain’s character tell us exactly what we want to know, that like Paul, it was not a matter of killing Christians or converting others to Christianity, it is that you have to run, that ye may obtain.