My wife called me this evening to watch Sean Hannity’s interview with Senator John McCain. As many of you know Sean Hannity was extremely critical of McCain during the primaries.
He did a very candid interview tonight and raised several of his objections quite fairly. I felt McCain handled them honestly and without attempting to curry favor with people who do not like him on some "hot issues." What interested me in particular was John McCain’s answer to the Jeremiah Wright/Barack Obama story of the past four days. He told Hannity that he "sincerely believed" Obama’s answers on Friday evening were truthful and that he would not turn this pastor and parishioner story into a political issue. He condemned the pastor’s inflammatory and hateful speech but he also said, "Senator Obama is a decent man and if he says something I believe him. I profoundly disagree with him politically and I will campaign hard against him but I do not intend to turn this into the politics of personal destruction." Bravo for McCain! He added that he feels that millions of people are tired of such politics. I sure am.
Hannity then reminded him that he said in 2005 that Senator Clinton "would make a fine president." He smiled and graciously said that he meant that she was very qualified to lead. He added that he did not dislike her as a person and that in fact he considered her a strong campaigner and a good senator. But he reiterated that he intended to campaign very hard against her views if she were the nominee. I found myself hoping and praying that this would be the case on both sides. We need good political debate but this does not mean we should turn this business into the politics of mutual destruction as we’ve seen in recent years on both sides of the political divide.
Such an appeal for honesty, civility and human respect is precisely what I had in mind in the blog that I wrote on Saturday about Barack Obama. It is what I have also appealed for over the past four months. I sincerely hope many more Christians will listen to such appeals. (Many Christian leaders are making them from what I see and hear day-by-day.)
Our warfare is "not with flesh and blood" and thus we have an opportunity to regain missional ground that we lost in the recent culture wars if we learn to fight such battles in the right way. Our Lord did plainly say, "Blessed are the peacemakers." This is for all of us, Democrat and Republican Christians both.
Even the abortion issue does not justify the hate speech of many who are pro-life. I have been pro-life since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. To use McCain’s terms, with a twist, "I am a foot-soldier in the pro-life movement." But I have never felt the issue justified the methods of some pro-life people. I think the success of recent years proves this point but some clearly disagree with me.