Have you been following the Obama religious language brouhaha? And if so, has it affected how you hear your own pastor?

This struck me last night. I was listening to a lecture on Matthew chapter 26, and the speaker was saying some things that I found a bit startling. Out of context, on YouTube, watched by people looking for political clues, some of her remarks would sound downright loony.

“We recoil from the idea of firing squads and stonings and lethal injections because our thinking is twisted.”

How about that for something a political candidate would prefer not to have associated with his name?

The speaker continued. She likes to grab attention by saying something outrageous and then winding it into a more reasoned and defensible whole. I may not agree with her when she finishes, but I can appreciate her argument. Would I give up listening to her because she says outrageous things sometimes? Certainly not. As you may know, I like to hear outrageous things.

Good thing I’m not running for anything.

Partygirl said last night, when we were discussing this, that she thought the whole issue was doing harm to the Democratic party. She thought people might get disgusted and sick of the whole thing before the elections and just not vote at all, even though a large majority were saying not so long ago that we were okay with either candidate and why didn’t they just get together on this and we’d vote for both. Partygirl is sadly predicting that we will end up with another Republican in the White House.

My favorite Republican, Mike Huckabee, has this to say about it (quoted by Ozarque in her Religious Language newsletter):

“As easy as it is for those of us who are white to look back and say, ‘That’s a terrible statement,’ I grew up in a very segregated South, and I think that you have to cut some slack. And I’m going to be probably the only conservative in America who’s going to say something like this, but I’m just telling you: We’ve got to cut some slack to people who grew up being called names, being told, ‘You have to sit in the balcony when you go to the movie. You have to go to the back door to go into the restaurant. And you can’t sit out there with everyone else. There’s a separate waiting room in the doctor’s office. Here’s where you sit on the bus.’ And you know what? Sometimes people do have a chip on their shoulder and resentment. And you have to just say, I probably would too. I probably would too. In fact, I may have had … more of a chip on my shoulder had it been me.”