There is something to be said for any human being who makes a gallant effort in the face of adversity and expects success, especially when they must comprehend their determination to succeed is futile despite the energy, forethought, and resources they invest in a crusade. It is pathetic, really, to watch a valiant effort to succeed come up short when anyone with half a brain knew all along that there was no more chance of success than expecting the Sun to rise in the West, but hope springs eternal and intelligent people often underestimate the power of stupid people; especially when religion is part of the equation. Such an effort was on display over the past few weeks in the congressional race between Elizabeth Colbert-Busch and former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford.
It is important to get one thing straight; Colbert-Busch never had a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning a congressional seat representing South Carolina, and it is not because she was unqualified, but because her opponent represented everything the 93% Christian population holds near and dear to their hearts. It is true that a strong intelligent woman who also is a Democrat is toxic to the Christian community, but it was more that her opponent epitomized what Christians love most; a sinner who lost his way, came groveling back full of repentance, and found redemption in the lord and therefore the people.
Apparently, voters in the district were unaffected by Sanford abandoning his elected office, his wife, his children, and his god for an adulterous affair with a foreigner, and threw their support behind the lying cheater because he humbled himself before god with prayer and supplication and sought forgiveness. The fact Sanford is a white Christian male and Republican didn’t hurt either, because South Carolinians have demonstrated profound affinity for white male politicians who represent everything wrong with America so long as they profess American-style Christianity, bigotry, and apathy for fellow Americans who fall outside the “real American” ideal. It does not matter if it was serial racist Strom Thurmond, homophobes Lindsey Graham and Joe “you lie” Wilson, former Senator and Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint, or Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer who compared hungry Americans to stray animals with a tendency to over breed; they are coveted by the “good folk” of South Carolina.
A strong intelligent woman who just happened to embrace tolerance and show empathy for all Americans is an aversion to conservative Christians, and her famous celebrity brother did not help her chances to prevail over a penitent fornicator one iota. It is true, Stephen Colbert has a strong national following, but his national audience was not a part of the electorate who chose a lying adulterer over Colbert’s sister, and although he parodies the typical white Christian “real American,” even bible thumping yokels know when they are being mocked mercilessly. Colbert-Busch would have been better served if her famous brother disavowed any familial relationship with her, but alas, he championed her candidacy while disparaging the very people she needed to defeat the repentant Christian adulterer.
The people who elected Sanford typify the segment of America that prevents the nation from ever moving out of the 19th century, and they are not confined to South Carolina. Although they make up the majority in Southern states, there are millions of Americans who prefer a Mark Sanford Christian who opposes gays, the EPA, supported public funding of religious schools and teacher-led prayers in public schools, and voted to redirect welfare funding to faith-based organizations (churches).
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch is anathema to conservative Christians and she campaigned against their ideal in Mark Sanford. That he is a lying cheating adulterer who abandoned his family and disrespected the office of governor, as well as the people of South Carolina was, in the end, his key to victory because conservative Christians love nothing more than an lying adulterous sinner who sought, and was granted, forgiveness by the lord and people who support bigotry, corporatism, and theocracy.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.