Tuesday, June 10, 2008

For I was hungry and you gave a shitload of money to these people who talk about supporting this guy who talks about how good it would be if I got fed

So there's this new PAC doing this thing.
A fund-raiser is being held tonight in Washington for a nascent political action committee that is hoping to reach out to Christian communities on behalf of Senator Barack Obama.
Reaching out to Christian communities ain't cheap: "the suggested contribution is $1,000", and I guess that's per person.

The PAC is called "The Matthew 25 Network". As in:
The new group’s name takes its inspiration from the 25th chapter of the gospel of Matthew in which Jesus talks about how he will select people like a shepherd separating sheep from goats, saying, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
Really? When I look at the list of acts which Jesus demands in that there parable, it seems to me that voting and campaigning are conspicuously absent, never mind holding fundraisers "in which the suggested contribution is $1,000". Now, I grant that I could see someone (assuming they are sufficiently untouched by cynicism) coming to the conclusion that they can best answer the parable of the sheep and the goats by supporting the Obama campaign. After all, the American president has the capacity to affect the well-being of people throughout America, and the rest of the world as well; and one might well hope that Obama as president would use that capacity to especially good effect, perhaps even altering the sorts of economic structures (etc.) which underlie problems of poverty (etc.), in a way that the normal individual cannot hope to do, and whatnot.

On the other hand, someone who is in the habit of participating in $1000 Washington fundraisers isn't someone I'd expect to take the parable of the sheep and the goats seriously. (Classmate Mark has this idea for a great new heresy: anyone who makes and keeps over something like $150K / year is ipso facto on the way to hell.)

This isn't the only biblically branded project to come out in connection with the Obama campaign (e.g.), and I gotta say that this whole thing where you slap religious brands onto political campaigns isn't making me any happier now that it's the Democrats doing it.

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