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A new, electronic age twist on an old evangelical gimmick
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I got an email today suggesting that in the November election we should write in “Jesus” for president. This note came from Bill Keller, proclaimed to be the world’s leading internet evangelist.

My first thoughts were: I’ve never heard of this guy. Also, does he wear a Rolex? And does anyone actually know how to write in a candidate in a presidential election?

Normally I don’t dignify these yahoos by reading their spiels, but I was curious about this one.

Preacher Keller says that the two choices we have now are like flipping a coin with Satan on both sides. His argument is that Christians can’t in good faith vote for President Obama because of his pro baby killing stance, his pro homosexuality stance and his anti Israel stance.

Then he declares Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, to be a “priest in the satanic Mormon cult.” He says Mormon’s are “100 percent inconsistent with the Biblical Christianity.”

In a nutshell, he says the United States’ biggest problems are not political but spiritual, and writing in “Jesus” on the ballot would be a bold Christian statement.

For the most part, I’ve never been a big fan of televangelists. Too many of them were found out to be charlatans ... or in Biblical terms, wolves in sheep’s clothing. I would be even less impressed with internet evangelists.

I would guess by this fellow’s rationale, there’s no way a Democrat could also be a Christian. I’ve heard that from other sources as well. A friend of mine even told me of a preacher who actually extols that philosophy from the pulpit. And apparently, based on Keller’s view of Romney, not all Republicans can be Christians, which will come as a surprise to some of them.

Now personally, I think this preacher has a marketing gimmick here, and if he doesn’t have a Rolex now, he might be “blessed” with one later. You see, I have noticed over the years that religion is not immune to mass marketing techniques. No siree, Bob! It’s amazing how much a dish rag can look like a prayer cloth with the right camera angle.

It would seem this preacher is pretty heavy on judgment which, I think, runs contrary to what Jesus actually taught.

But some people are convinced that they have all the answers ... that they are genius in every venue. In fact, there was a time when I thought I had most of the answers. Along the way, though, I have been humbled. And now, there are those days when I’m pretty sure I don’t have the answers at all. Heck, there are some days when I’m not even sure what the questions are.

Now many of us who are even casual observers of humankind and its tendencies know that what this evangelist has suggested is pure rhetoric. Rhetoric generally is perceived as idle and nondescript statements. Rhetorical questions are those for which there really is no answer. Example: How long is a piece of string? And even though someone might ask, “Nylon or cotton?” the question is not qualified enough to receive an intelligent answer.

Let’s just say a handful of people did write in “Jesus” on the ballot. It’s still rhetorical because it doesn’t offer an answer to the process of our voting system. Some might even suggest that this preacher is being sacrilegious with this gimmick. As well, some will say that I’m being sacrilegious for not agreeing with him.

It’s been said that our public really has been dumbed down over the past several decades. So there could be someone out there who is actually pondering the “piece of string” question. And again, I could be accused of being sacrilegious here. It’s happened before. And for the record, I wear a Timex.

Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer.

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