April 9, 2006

Gospel according to DeLay

I keep coming back to this, but I can't quite get over how much someone like Tom DeLay plays the Jesus card. There are others in public life who could fake it better. But this one seems so opposite. And the fact that so many Christians seem to buy his statement that his personal relationship with Christ runs his life bothers me even more. If this is what the Christ-centered life looks like, then I really don't get it.

As I told my texas friend, once Christians started making professions of faith necessary for election, they started a dangerous game. The theory, while questionable from a founding fathers/constitution point of view, is reasonable if it leads to a more moral leadership. I think we would all like our elected officials to act better--to pursue what was right over what gave them more power and money. And if these professed Christians really led to better government, we might have a different conversation.

But when you elect a Bush or DeLay based even in part on their professed faith, and then fail to hold them accountable, that faith becomes an irrelevancy. If there is no expectation beyond speaking a few Christian phrases and pandering to people who rant about a war on Christianity, then you might as well vote for someone because they have blue eyes, or because they played high school football, or because they are left-handed.

Josh Marshall clipped part of an op-ed from one of DeLay's former staffers who notes that the Jesus quoting DeLay liked and rewarded people who cut corners and did what it took to win. Even his "minister." Just as Jesus would do, right?
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: April 09, 2006 - April 15, 2006 Archives: "But Tom prized the most aggressive staffers and most often heeded their counsel ... A former hockey player, Tony Rudy was DeLay's enforcer; he wasn't evil, but lacked maturity and would do whatever necessary to protect his patron. Ed Buckham, DeLay's chief of staff, gatekeeper and minister, constantly pushed DeLay to be more radical in his tactics and spun webs of intrigue we are only now beginning to unravel. And Michael Scanlon, who, in my experience, was a first-class rogue and a master of deception. People like Rudy and Scanlon pleased DeLay because they were always pushing the envelope ... I don't know if Tom always knew what his staff was doing -- I know that I didn't. But I had my suspicions, and now I have seen them borne out."

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