Friday, March 14, 2008

hillary and barack in the parables of jesus

OK, I will come clean. I think there is probably nowhere to go but up in the coming presidential election. My rationale for this conviction. Let me count the ways:

1. The economy
2. The war
3. The environment
4. The debt
5. Torture

I will stop there. And I speak here not as a preacher but as a blogger.

One would think the Democrats would seize this opportunity to shift the balance of power, if only for a season. But the disintegration of the Democratic campaign has led us, it seems, to a very bad place. One side accuses the other of being sexist. The other cries "racist". And, at bottom, the real question is all about who frames the crucial identity marker. Is it gender or race?

And so the campaign has become very personal, and surreal in several respects. I cannot see a good end to it all, each side having alienated a constituency that is needed for his or her success.

Back to preaching. I have had an odd sense about what is happening. Two parables come to mind. Hillary Clinton is like the older brother (sibling) in the Prodigal Son story. She has been there all along, working hard, as she continually reminds us. No one has thrown her a party. The youngest son returns, from the far country. Everyone rejoices, and the crowds celebrate. But she will not join in the fun; she will have none of it. The father, appeals to her: "we have to celebrate, for we were lost, and now we are on the way to being a family again".

Or, another parable. Hillary has been working in the field, all day long, gaining experience. At the end of the day along comes a new guy, who takes part in the work and does it very well. He is natural. And it is obvious that she resents his presence. You can see it in her eyes, you can sense it in her tone. "How could you possibly consider us as equals?', she asks, to anyone who will listen. "I have been doing this a long time. I have been working hard". Of course in the end the position is given to the one whom the electorate chooses. Such is human (and divine) freedom.


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