by Ol’ School SharkWatching Tucker Carlson last night on Hannity discussing the video of Barack Obama being Barack Obama — in other words, a shape-shifting and accent-modifying liar — left me somewhat disappointed. Why? Because the video left room for Juan Williams to do what the basic defender’s of Barack Obama are certainly going to do.
Shrug it off.
I had hoped it would be something with the effect of Benghazi, something that absolutely can’t be shrugged off but instead had to be nakedly lied about in a futile attempt to diminish it with the people that matter most in Presidential elections — those undecided voters still open to persuasion.
To be sure, Tucker said all of the appropriate and accurate things. For instance, with respect to the President’s remarks, Carlson noted that the speech was remarkable, in part, for these reasons:
- A remarkable exhibit of falseness, extreme pandering that uses fear to motivate
- This guy is whipping up race-hatred
All of which is true but . . . ultimately insufficient. The feeling of insufficiency nagged at me, and unsettled me so much, I had to embark upon a quick search. This column, quickly written, is a product of that search and may suffer from too little reflection.Maybe not.
Whatever the case, the search was guided by a Christian curiosity. I kept thinking of the seven deadly sins while viewing and listening to the President. Watching Barack Obama at Hampton University, one of the leading universities among African Americans, was enlightening precisely because it showed Obama at his shape-shifting best. And his shape-shifting best led me to the concept of envy, which just might be the bedrock sin among the seven deadly sins.
My quick search led me to a post on envy as a capital sin by Steve Smith at the Spiritual Warfare blog:
- If we have envy, then we have no faith, we have no hope, and we most certainly have no charity. If we have no charity, then we can have no love, and if we have none of these virtues as taught to us by Christ and the Apostles and as handed down to us for our instruction and edification by the Church, then we deny Christ, and His example, and His sacrifice for us all. If we say that we are Christian, and we envy our neighbor for whatever he or she has or does, then we live in complete hypocrisy. Indeed, to envy one’s brother or sister, is to hate him or her. For as Saint John the Apostle tells us in his Epistle 1 John 2:9-11: “Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”
That strikes me as a roadmap to attack the politics of envy and Mitt Romney, through the life he has lived, strikes me as the man who can effectively deliver the attack.As we close out the 2012 election cycle I find myself hoping that Mitt Romney will grant himself permission to call into question, as a Christian, the politics of envy that many presumably Christian Democrats all over the land are far too disposed to employ without ever being challenged over the tactic.
Thomas Aquinas had this to say about the sin of envy: “Envy according to the aspect of its object is contrary to charity, whence the soul derives its spiritual life… Charity rejoices in our neighbor’s good, while envy grieves over it.” We hear remarkably little in our political discourse today about the sin of envy. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, the Democrat Party owes much of its modern existence today to the politics of envy masquerading as concern for the less fortunate.
Like me, David Cohen, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for President George W. Bush, is tired of the masquerade. He wrote recently about the farce of liberal compassion:
- I’ll share a little secret with those of my conservative friends who, unlike me, have never had the pleasure of being a liberal: Many liberals have a deep-seated psychological need to believe they have a monopoly on compassion. And many Obama supporters stubbornly cling to this belief in the face of all evidence that the president’s policies — measured by results, not supposedly good intentions — have been the opposite of compassionate.
Cardinal Ratzinger in his Introduction to Christianity emphasized that true understanding grows only out of belief; that is why theology as the understanding, logos-like (meaning, one’s rational understanding through reason), discussion of God is a fundamental task of Christian faith. Belief, according to the man who is now Pope, is not a blind surrender to the irrational. It is rather a surrender to what is rational, peaceful, and loving, because in the final analysis it is a movement towards the truth that gives meaning to man’s existence.A movement toward truth is wholly incompatible with the politics of envy.
And as far as that movement toward truth goes, I’m far less interested in what percentage of income someone paid in taxes than I am in knowing what percentage of income went toward the payment of taxes *and* charity.
It’s high time we seriously inject more Christian context into our presidential election cycle and far less of the relativistic “Hey, I’m a Christian and a  Harvard grad;  black man;  patriot (take your damn pick) so you can’t question me” nonsense we consistently get from the Barack Obama crowd.
As Clint Eastwood so magnificently made clear at the Republican National Convention, the President of the United States is a public servant and he works for us. Every aspect of his conduct leading up to, and during, his Presidency is legitimately open to serious scrutiny.As such, I want his politics of envy vigorously challenged.
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