Cross Posted from "The Maddow Blog"
Politicians arguing about religion is routine. But politicians arguing that one major party is "anti-God" because it disagrees with him is well outside the norms of the United States.
In other words, in Virginia, E.W. Jackson may have finally gone too far.
From the power Oz this week is a look at some of the religious rhetoric coming from Virginia Republicans, which strayed awfully far from the American norm.
Last Thursday, E.W. Jackson, the Virginia GOP's right-wing-nut candidate for lieutenant governor, doubled down on his previous theological condemnations of those he disagrees with politically.
Jackson has said in the past that he thinks believing in God and voting Democratic are fundamentally incompatible, so WLEE host Jack Gravely asked if he still believes it. Gravely explained that he's a Christian and tends to vote Democratic, just like his parents and family. Jackson didn't back down.
"You are saying for us, we're all wrong, leave that party. And all I'm saying to you is, if you said it before, you still have to believe it, why did you say it?" Gravely asked. "Oh, oh, oh I do believe it," Jackson responded. He continued: "I said it because I believe that the Democrat Party has become an anti-God party."
As a rule, major-party candidates for statewide office simply don't talk this way in the United States. American politicians have argued about religious issues since before we were even a country, but those hoping to represent a diverse constituency of millions of people generally don't argue -- out loud and in public -- that one party is "anti-God" and one party is pro-God.
Jackson, in other words, whose rhetorical excesses have made him a caricature of what a ridiculous candidate looks like, is pushing the envelope beyond traditional American norms. He's also lying -- while most secular voters gravitate towards Democrats, there's literally nothing about the Democratic Party or its platform that's hostile towards religion or the supernatural, and most Democratic voters nationwide consider themselves religious.
Indeed, Jackson went so far that Pat Mullins, chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, distanced himself from the candidate's extremism. "I do not agree with that statement," he told Salon in a statement. "My parents were Democrats, and I've got a lot of Democratic friends in Christian churches all around Virginia."
To provide some context, it's not at all common for a state GOP chair to criticize a statewide GOP candidate's rhetoric three months before Election Day. Jackson has apparently gone so far, he's too extreme for far-right Republicans.
To even have to utter such a statement for the record is testament to the untoward extremism of our Tea Partying friends and foes!
Some of my best friends are - are the most offensive defense of what usually turns out to be one's indefensibly display of ignorance when it comes to Christianity- at the least, or worst, latent or otherwise, dearly held prejudices are the norm for The American Taliban!
So, in my state of Virginia, there's a set of party affiliated candidates who are so prejudiced against the other major party brand they'd cast them out or pillory them for crimes against the spirit?
A whole lot of bullshit resides in the minds of Virginia Talibangelicals these days, and its not healthy for our nation, nor the Christian faith!