Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Brian McLaren has hope

Regular readers know that I am rather unfond of Brian McLaren, formerly known as a man who had something to say. Of late, McLaren has been shilling (rather extravagantly) for Barack Obama, who has never had anything to say. Recently, he has penned a series of essays entitled "Why I'm voting for Barack Obama, and hope you will too". Here's part 3. Selected responses below.

He begins:

Thanks for all the positive responses to this series of posts.


You're welcome. I, however, find you to be a nauseous pretender to my religion. Suffice to say, your gratitude is presumptuous, to some degree.

I’m a Matthew 25 guy. That means that I take very seriously Jesus’ words about caring for “the least of these.”


What kind of jackass starts an essay by saying that he's the sort of guy who adheres to a line of scripture? I like Sarah Palin. Does that make me a Judges 4 guy?

I don’t believe a nation’s moral greatness is measured by how many tax breaks it gives its richest individuals and corporations, or by it's kill-power in terms of weapons and readiness to use them,


Of course, neither does anyone else. That said, our ability to care for the least of these is dependent, to some degree, on our "kill power". Think Bin Laden and Putin would support SCHIP, if given the chance?

So when I come to an election, I don’t just ask, “Which candidate will do the most for me and my nuclear family?” I extend my concern.


How magnanimous. McLaren's nuclear family does quite well for itself, incidentally, partly on account of McLaren's political advocacy. But who am I to question motives? I'm for more kill-power, after all.

I extend it to my extended family, which includes people with special needs and disabilities, people with chronic illnesses, gay people, poor people, people of advanced age, people with histories of addiction and crime and mental illness.


Great, everyone loves disabled people. So why does he support Obama? In the process of touting his own altruism (something McLaren does quite frequently), McLaren has buried the lede, so to speak. I get it, dude, you are the least selfish voter EVER. Move on.

I extend my concern even farther.


Oh, for crying out loud.

How about people who live less than an hour from my front door – in inner-city Washington DC, in impoverished sections of Baltimore – how will they fare?


An hour? So Mr. Matthew 25 lives in a freaking exurb? Indeed, it is so.

Or how about people in states like Ohio and Michigan … where hundreds of thousands of people are unemployed because too many American corporations shipped jobs overseas?


Just to throw out two random battleground states that just so happen to be vital to the electoral victory of the guy I am endorsing. That said, Michigan and Ohio's jobs didn't go overseas. They went to Mexico, and (more frequently) the way of the dodo. But nobody would confuse McLaren for a policy wonk.

from Mexico to Chile to South Africa to Burundi. Which candidate will do the most for the least of the least of these?


What is Barack's proposal for poor people in Chile? I mean, since McLaren cares about them so much. Anyone?

And it’s also a matter of war, because a nation at war has fewer resources to be generous.


This is so stupid, it practically drools. I could write a dictionary, but just take my word for it.

Which candidate best understands poverty and economic vulnerability through the closest experience of it?


I dunno. Maybe the guy who spent the better part of a decade in a !@#$%^& POW camp? You think that guy might have some insight? If McLaren pulls the "south side of Chicago" line, I'm gonna get a breakfast invitation next week.

I don’t doubt that Senator McCain would make national defense his top priority as president, and I don’t doubt that he would be most ready to sustain or expand our war-making activities around the world. But I’m ashamed of our nation being known for rushing to war. I would like to be known for helping the poor.


Then quit shilling for Barack Obama and help the poor. Americans help the poor more than any other nation (on a personal and policy level). If Brian McLaren expects Russia to stand and applaud our efforts, then he is deluded, which, of course, he is.

In the end, I truly believe that a nation that helps the poor will have fewer enemies


Hey, worked for Jesus. What? Oh, that's right.

That other-oriented mindset is, to me, a powerful reason to support Barack Obama for president.


Is this the other-oriented mindset that compelled him to give one percent of his income to charity even though he had dual six figure salaries coming in, and who picked a running mate with a similar, um, "mindset"? The people I know who actually care about the poor give money and time to churches and charities.

But then, why would I expect McLaren, a wealthy author who lives in an affluent Maryland exurb, to give a damn about putting money where his mouth is? For that matter, why should I give a damn about his shoddily-supported conclusion that Barack Obama would make a better president that John McCain? I don't, and neither should you.

McLaren ends in parenthetical.

(You may be wondering, “What about the unborn? Aren't they among the least of these?


Actually, I was wondering why we are touting wealthy skinflints for their other-oriented mindset, but these are good questions as well.

And what about other living creatures - endangered species and the threatened ecosystems on which they depend? Aren’t they among the least of these?”


Well, no, I wasn't wondering that. Considering animals to be among the least of these would be a barbarous trespass against Christ's intended meaning. But, barbarous trespass is certainly in McLaren's wheelhouse.

I plan to address these issues in upcoming posts. Stay tuned.


And I'm betting he cares an awful lot about those issues. He cares so much. You can trust him based on how much he cares, which is a lot. He cares more than you, and you, and you, and you, and...

9 Comments:

Blogger Adam Omelianchuk said...

I think the most aggravating thing about McLaren's series is how much of his arguments apply to his own reasoning. For example, he deplores McCain's (supposed) "us vs. them" mentality. He considers this an outmoded "binary" way of thinking. Well, isn't the bifurcation between the light of Obama and the darkness of McCain a pernicious "dualism" of Manichean proportions? St. Augustine would blush at such an "us v. them" mentality!

McLaren will give the Obama economy will reduce abortions bit, and then paint McCain as an animal killer who devours the flesh of lambs with the likes of Cheney, Bush, and Rove.

And emerg'os scoff at the insinuation they represent the Religious Left. Unbelievable.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

That is exactly what he will do. McLaren equates babies with animals. In fairness, there is no other proper defense of abortion.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous John Mulholland said...

You had me at "jackass".

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting me onto McLaren's essay. It was truly brilliant. Yours on the other hand...well keep trying. Just a suggestion, your stark sarcasm really doesn't correspond well to the alleged Christianity you espouse.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

If you thought McLaren's essay was "brilliant", then your opinion is of no value to me whatsoever. That said, even the most casual observer will recognize it as vainglorious piffle, so I think your praise is a bit disingenuous.

Further, there is absolutely no contradiction between sarcasm and Christian faith. Brian McLaren is a heretic who (advocacy of the Obama campaign notwithstanding) lies about God on a regular basis.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same could be said for you and your blog.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Then feel free to remain and amend the facts as they are wronged.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

Enough trolling. You've had your fun.

11:34 PM  

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