Plain Talking About Voting and Church Attendance

by Burt Prelutsky

No matter how much attention a person tries to devote to the political scene, some questions appear to be unanswerable. For instance, with Nevada, a state suffering from an unemployment rate hovering around 15%, why is Harry Reid, a man with the personality of an unsuccessful undertaker, running neck-and-neck with Sharron Angle? Is it that extra “r” in her first name? Do Nevadans fear that someone given to wasting letters is a greater danger than a senator who doesn’t think twice about squandering their tax dollars?

And what’s with the voters in West Virginia? Barack Obama vowed in 2008 to bury the coal industry and send our energy costs soaring, and the folks in West Virginia can’t decide between the Democrat and the Republican in the Senate race? Perhaps all that coal dust has affected their brains.

For that matter, what is it with those undecided voters? According to the polls, in some congressional races, there are still 10% of the voters who haven’t made up their minds. After nearly two years of Obama, Pelosi and Reid, running America into the ground, why would anyone remain undecided? I realize that conservatives and sensible Independents will vote for the GOP, just as I understand that dopey left-wingers and youngsters, who are convinced that other people should pay their way through college and that their parents should pay for everything else, will vote for Democrats, but who the heck are all these lunkheads who will apparently flip a coin on election day?

Much has been made of Barack Obama foregoing golf so that he could take his family to church services on Sunday, September 19th. Cynics wrote it off as a political, not spiritual, gesture. But it seems that there might be more to it than that.

Perhaps because St. John’s Episcopal Church is just across the street from the White House, folks assumed the choice was merely based on its convenient location. But I’m not so sure that was the case.

For one thing, St. John’s pastor, Rev. Luis Leon, delivered a sermon that day that dealt with Matthew 20:1-16. Apparently the parable tells of a landowner who needed to have his crop harvested quickly, and at the end of the day he paid those who had only worked for the final hour the same amount that he paid those who had labored in the heat throughout the entire day.

According to Rev. Leon, “The full-day workers believed in the world of merit, not the world of grace.” In their eyes, according to the pastor, the owner’s graciousness was seen as injustice. Instead of seeing themselves as selfish or self-absorbed, they saw the landowner as unfair, and the tragedy, Rev. Leon told his congregation, is that they estranged themselves from the source of graciousness.

The pastor, it seems, believes that payment should be determined not according to ability or even effort, but simply according to need. Or, in other words, he was making a case for the redistribution of wealth. I’m sure he got a big shout-out from at least one person in the congregation that day.

At St. John’s, where apparently the Gospel According to St. Marx is promoted, they have a series of guest speakers. On that particular Sunday, the speaker was Dr. Ziad Asali. Dr. Asali is described as a Middle East activist. If that sounds something like a community organizer, there’s a good reason. It seems Dr. Asali has addressed Congress on more than one occasion, demanding additional aid for the Palestinian Authority and complaining about “Israel’s disproportionate use of force in Gaza.” In case you haven’t noticed, “disproportionate use of force” is Arab and Muslim code for “How dare the Jews defend themselves!”

Among Dr. Asali’s nefarious activities was serving as a member of the U.S. delegation to Yasser Arafat’s funeral. Which strikes me as a highly questionable honor unless it was to make certain that the Nobel Prize-winning terrorist was, in the words of the coroner of Oz, “not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.” The corpse in this case wasn’t the Wicked Witch of the East, but of the Middle East.

I know that many people were disappointed that as a self-proclaimed Christian, Barack Obama had only attended church three times in a year. But I suspect that now that he knows that Washington’s St. John’s isn’t all that different from Chicago’s Trinity United, he and Michelle will be occupying the amen corner from now on.

©2010 Burt Prelutsky

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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
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  • JDO

    As the President further tries to further propagate the idea that the USA is not a Christian nation, I was pleased to see that “God Bless America” was still being sung during the seventh inning stretch at the World Series. Pretty darn sure it wasn’t “Allah Bless America.” Pretty sure.

    • JDO

      Further tries to further? LOL. Can I vote for an “edit” button for replies/opinions?

      • CCNV

        I enjoyed your ‘further’ explanation necessary!

      • admin

        An edit button sounds like a good idea. Do me a favor and also email so I can keep a list of feature requests.


  • Spencer Ruff

    This parable told by Jesus Christ makes no economic sense and that was His intent. Jesus gave us a parable about grace. God dispenses grace, not wages. Grace is the unmerited gift from God of eternal salvation though faith that His Son Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead as per John 3:16.
    The parable explains that God’s grace is not related to when we believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. The person who believes late in life gets the same reward as the person who believes early in life. However, do not wait to accept God’s grace-receive it as early as you can.

  • CCNV

    Reid has tried repeatedly to destroy any credibility Angle has. He’s taken several of her comments out of context and pieced together TV ads that make her sound like a lunatic. (Granted, some ‘off-the-wall’ things have come out of her mouth, but I blame that on her ‘handlers’, and the fact that she’s ambushed constantly.) Reid is also pushing the message that Angle will be able to waltz into the Senate and act on her campaign ideas single-handedly, which, of course, is a lie.

    On the other hand, we have Reid Jr., who is running for Governor. He has tried to run only as “Rory”, by dropping the “Reid”, but his tactics (and ideas) are just as scary as his Daddy’s. Corruption at its finest in this state. Unfortunately, here in Nevada, it’s not a matter of who you’re voting FOR, but who you’re voting AGAINST.

  • Jay Thompson

    Burt, you hit the proverbial nail on the head. What is scarier than the minister’s sermon, or his guest speaker list, is the fact that so many Americans just don’t get it. Clearly, we are raising a culture of nanny state entitlement and the increasing ignorance of the masses only exacerbates this growing problem.