I don’t like to write about U.S. politics.
As a matter of fact, I’ve mostly referred to politics as part of humor posts. The blogosphere hosts plenty of idiot voices on our country’s political system and personalities; I don’t need to add mine to the mix.
But we are gearing up for a presidential election—and an obliquely political comment last week caught my attention. In case you missed it, the Rev. Al Sharpton, in a debate with author Christopher Hitchens, said something controversial about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney:
“As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways …”
Wow. For a man of ostensible Christian humility like Sharpton, that’s quite an arrogant statement. His apparent first instinct, as revealed in this impromptu debate response, is that a Mormon like Romney doesn’t “really” believe in God.
I don’t care how Sharpton imagines his pet version of a supernatural, divine being. Frankly, I don’t care how Romney or anyone else does, either. That’s not the point.
It’s the assumption of the holier-than-thou attitude that troubles me.
Sharpton seems to think that he is best placed to identify the people who “really believe in God.” (I can’t put my finger on it, but something tells me that Big Al puts himself into that group—which, naturally, makes him superior to others who fail to believe in his version of God the way he does.)
Shame on him as a supposed “man of God.”
And think about it: This is the most economically advanced, technically sophisticated country in the long history of humanity. Yet part of our social and political spectrum holds up a person spouting this kind of hypocritical, haughty prejudice as a spokesman.
Shame on us as a supposed nation of tolerance.