Deciding who to vote for has always been one of my most difficult tasks during elections, because I never agree 100% with any candidate. As a responsible voter, it is my duty to rank the issues by importance, and try to find the candidate who will best represent my views. It's no easy task, and is often an exercise in frustration. Yet I take it seriously, because that's what makes Democracy work.
Apparently, the evangelical Christian community has a much easier solution: Vote for any candidate who is the "most Christian." Never mind the candidate's qualifications, or actual voting record, or inconsistent past ... if the candidate goes to a conservative church, and mouths the correct buzzwords, they're in.
According to this article at alternet.org (a liberal webzine), the selection of Sarah Palin brought more than pigs-and-lipstick jokes to the campaign. It brought money. Lots of it. The Swift-boaters, the ones who successfully besmirched the reputation of an American patriot, poured over 10 million dollars into McCain's campaign immediately after Palin was selected.
What's amazing is the statistics on evangelical Christians. Before McCain selected Palin, white evangelicals favored McCain over Obama by 68% to 24%. Palin's selection pushed it even further, to 71% / 21%, apparently due simply to her religion.
Do these people even think? Could they tell you the detailed positions that the four candidates hold? Or is the abortion / creationism debate all they care about? What about the trade deficit? Global warming? Nuclear proliferation? Overpopulation? AIDS and other international health problems? What about the candidates' experience, credibility, statesmanship?
I find it hard to believe that there is something in Jesus Christ's teachings that makes it clear that McCain/Palin is a better choice than Obama/Biden. All four of these potential presidents are good Christians; to an Atheist, their views about God and the supernatural are virtually indistinguishable. Yet, evangelical Christians apparently believe that being evangelical is the only qualification for the job.