The various campaigns for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations are in full swing, with caucuses and primaries raining down upon us like plagues of locusts, sending all and sundry scurrying for the shelter of their homes, where they can watch the unfolding, dual tragedies on their television screens.
And what a spectacle we are subjected to! The Republicans (this writer refers to them as the Tweedle Dums) and the Democrats (the Tweedle Dees), don’t agree on much other than their shared adoration of Israel, but another rather odd similarity can be unearthed. That is their summoning of God to justify, in one form or another, their racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, xenophopic and/or generally deadly tendencies. Those who believe in a supreme being, as this writer does, must feel sorry for him, feeling that having his name invoked by the most unholy of the unholy can only be distressing.
One may think that religion, and its usefulness in getting votes, is the sole purview of the Republican right (a redundancy of terms, since there is nothing left of the Republican Party, it seems, but the far right). But no, a quick look on the other side of the aisle disproves that idea.
In June of last year, Democratic presidential candidate hopeful Hillary Clinton made this remarkable statement: “At the risk of appearing predictable, the Bible was and remains the biggest influence on my thinking. I was raised reading it, memorizing passages from it and being guided by it. I still find it a source of wisdom, comfort and encouragement”.
Well, there now. Aren’t we all inspired? Perhaps not. One hates to criticize anyone’s reading and understanding of any book of scripture; the Bible, like other scriptures, is open to interpretation depending on an individual’s religious background, personally-held beliefs, general understanding and many other factors. But it is puzzling to this writer how the Bible could be guiding Mrs. Clinton, regardless of how liberal he wishes to be regarding interpretations of that book.
Perhaps looking at just two areas might help explain this writer’s dilemma.
One of the Ten Commandments, a list of principle that are certainly more than adequate guidance for anyone, admonishes people not to covet. When it comes to the United States presidency, one must wonder if there is anyone quite so covetous as Mrs. Clinton. She who wishes to wear the mantle of democracy and freedom will, it seems, go to any ends to purchase the presidency. This writer has previously commented on Mrs. Clinton’s apparent romance with Israel. Billionaire Haim Saban, who has said he is a one issue voter, that issue is Israel, and that he will donate ‘whatever it takes’ to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, has already given her campaign over $6 million dollars. Not a bad haul from one individual.
But let us look for a moment at his pet project: Israel. Just last week, Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu, that paragon of virtue who says he just wants peace with the Palestinians as he steals their land, kidnaps and kills Palestinian men, women and children, starves them and generally oppresses them in the most unspeakable ways, had this to say: “Will we surround all of the State of Israel with fences and barriers? The answer is yes. In the area that we live in, we must defend ourselves against the wild beasts.” The ‘wild beasts’ he refers to are, of course, the Palestinian people.
Further, Mr. Netanyahu said that the Palestinians have a ‘culture of death’, claiming they do not want to establish a state, but destroy one. This, apparently, was his attempt to counter United Nation Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon’s very reasonable statement that the Palestinian resistance is a natural result of decades of oppression. The Israeli Prime Murderer, like most world leaders, isn’t particularly interested in seeing himself as the problem, a realization much of the world seems to be reaching.
Yet Mrs. Clinton is more than happy to embrace Mr. Saban, as long as his ample wallet remains open to her grasping hands. After all, what’s a little apartheid among friends?
In addition to condemning covetousness, this writer seems to recall something in the Bible about ‘thou shalt not kill’, again from that list of do’s and don’ts, commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments. Well, again, while he hates to judge, it does appear that his understanding of that particular passage of scripture differs significantly from Mrs. Clinton’s. He understands it to mean: ‘thou shalt not kill’. It seems that Mrs. Clinton qualifies it a bit, perhaps interpreting it thusly: ‘Thou shalt not kill, unless it is politically expedient, or if looking the other way will motivate wealthy, racist donors to write large checks for you, or if you can kill without endangering yourself, such as with drone strikes, or if the victims are under-educated, under-employed, naïve, young U.S. citizens who believe the baloney they are told about the U.S. fighting for freedom’. There; that seems to cover everything.
So, not to be outdone by the religious right, Mrs. Clinton has, indeed, weighed in, invoking her rather peculiar interpretation of the word of God. What it will get her is anybody’s guess, but one can be quite certain that anything she says, any statement for public consumption, is carefully calculated, thought out in advance, and issued for a specific, vote-getting or money-getting purpose. This is Hillary Clinton we are discussing; when one can earn over $600,000 in a single year, from one source (Goldman Sachs), just for hearing the pleasing sound of one’s own voice, one is not going to let their words flow for free.
Fortunately for all concerned, Mrs. Clinton doesn’t often discuss her religious beliefs. Her hypocrisy is sufficiently nauseating on a wide range of topics; she needn’t add insult to injury by proclaiming her spiritual side.
But on any given day, in front of any given audience, a politician as skilled as Mrs. Clinton will say what needs to be said. If it means praising a cruel, murderous, international-law-breaking regime such as Israel, or humbly describing how she is guided by the Bible, Mrs. Clinton will do whatever is necessary to get the job done. And that job is purchasing a four-year renewable lease on the White House. It doesn’t come cheap, but no one is better than Mrs. Clinton at obtaining the required funds.