Saturday, September 8, 2007



The following is a long and thoughtful comment by Larry Perrault (also part of a Larry-Steve exchange in the comment section). Larry, a brilliant guy with a background in theology, philosophy, and politics blogs at I urge you to visit Larry's staunchly pro-Huckabee site and, recognizing that he has MS, also say a prayer for him. As I've also had some significant health problems, I assured Larry that when we both got to Heaven, I was sure that there would be a question period. As one of my friends, also a philosophy major, put it: "Life is sure a silly puppy, ain't she? :-) My response to Larry follows.

Steve:We've disagreed and been nearly diametrically opposed on some matters. Yet, we've done so without flapping our wings and getting our feathers up. I wish a lot more disagreements were handled that way. People have visceral reactions, and calling their character into question when they do, usually exacerbates the discomfort. However you judge the prudence of a response, tread softly on the toes. Encourage, don't discourage.Now, speaking of all that, I had some responses, reading your post:First I want to say that I know it can be taken for granted in politics, but I shrink from ascribing political calculation to Mike Huckabee's actions.Call me naive, but I think he does those things because they are the right and Christlike thing to do, though he may rightly feel that that often turns out to be the most effective way to deal with them, too.Mike Huckabee didn't propose statehood for Washington DC, and I don't think he would. That would require an overt defiance and amendment of The Constitution. There goes the 2 senators. But he did say that voting rights for all of those citizens merited consideration, and I think he's right. Some special innovation would have to be designed for that.He didn't say he'd sign a ban on smoking in public places. He said he'd sign a smoking ban for workplace safety, like an OSHA regulation.I think what he said about immigration was just RIGHT: seal the borders (and filter dangerous people), but don't resent or restrain people who want to come to the US to work, as immigrants always have. My sentiments, exactly.He addressed groups like unionists and The Urban League and The National Education Association because its the right thing to do. But, he wouldn't support a government enforced closed union shop, endorse the withholding of merit pay, or government-enforced affirmative action.I think his statement about broadening perspective on the right to life is just that: get a wider angle lens on protecting and nurturing human life.It cheapens those things to distill them down to just politics. Will these things startle or frighten nervous people? Yes. I told you, I got outright reamed on a conservative blog, this week. And in the past, people have called ME extremist and jihadist and such. I can't change my beliefs, but I can and should work diligently on my tone.And speaking of immigration, I'm not or never was a McCain supporter. But he responded correctly: sealing the border was in the bill, "but the people didn't believe us." That's right. I didn't. Why should people believe them? They're going to enforce the new law, but not the old law? McCain got the message: We have to prove ourselves by sealing the border, first. DUH! Huckabee's position, BTW.Even if I thought I was right on the facts, I would go to the Romans bearing flowers. In fact, as a Huckabee supporter, I may do it, myself.
September 8, 2007 1:08 AM

My response: Larry, first of all: you, Treva, MassforHuckabee, and one or two others are convinced I should "apologize" to the Romans. Okay, here's one (of many) of the comments made by the Romans -- who seem to live a tandem life conjoined at the soul. This piece on Rudy Giuliani is by the "missus," but any differences between the two are impossible to detect:

"Giuliani - The Death Of The Constitution Tonight's [September 5] debate has definitely done at least one thing; showed how wrong Giuliani really is and that he is willing to lie and twist the truth to steal votes and cover his record. This man could not speak straight or keep a promise if his own life depended upon it. I am tired of people tip-toeing around calling the skunk for what he is. I have never embraced political correctness, I believe that is part of what is wrong with our society today, and I am not going to start now. This man's record speaks for him. This man does not believe the Constitution or Bill of Rights are practical or relevant any longer. He feels he has the right to decide who they apply to and who has lost the right to them. No matter how you wash that it will always come out a dictatorship." -- S. Roman

Attention Larry, Treva, MassHuckabee, and anybody else who has eyes to see: this statement does not in any sense represent Christian behavior. As Christians, you have an obligation to communicate to the Romans that their behavior -- their words -- are unacceptable. Rudy Giuliani is an authentic American hero, based on his exemplary performance on-and-after 9/11. That doesn't mean you or anyone else has to agree with him on gun control or right-t0-life or the War on Terror. But to call him an enemy of constitutional government or a proponent of dictatorship is absurd -- and just plain sinful behavior.

Frankly, if we want decent people (or anybody) to stand for national office, we have to speak about them with some degree of respect. One Huckabee backer (still visible on the Bloggers for Huckabee site and not named "Roman") says that if Hillary Clinton is elected President, which she probably will be, it would lead to the "persecution" of "hundred of Christians." From every bit of evidence I know of, that statement is totally false.
It is your obligation, and Treva's, and other Huckabee supporters to chastise that person. For Catholics (and Christians generally), it is a moral imperative to inform the person that he is in a state of what's historically called mortal sin.

Some of my fellow evangelicals (people who publicly proclaim and practice the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even when it's inconvenient to do so) believe it's okay to libel or slander people who not on their "side" politically. They ared dead wrong, as the Romans (either or both) are in their totally unproven allegations against Giuliani.

When our "friends" tell us what appear -- by any objective standard -- to be falsehoods about another human it's not our duty to nod our heads in assent. It is our obligation to say: Stop! Gov. Huckabee has done that repeatedly in his career, as he did with the Rev. Rude's unforunate anti-Catholic remark.

Sinful behavior by our "friends" is not something to praise -- or even to ignore. Larry, that's something I'm afraid you've fallen into. The statements by the Romans speak for themselves. I submit it's now the time for you, Treva, and others to speak for YOURSELVES. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and good women) to do nothing."

I also submit it is Larry Perrault's (and Treva's) responsibility NOT to ask someone (who happens to be me) to "apologize" for chastising the Romans and asking how their behavior reflects their purported Christian beliefs. Smugness, hatred, and libel are NOT Christian behavior.

I criticized the Romans for removing their support for Mike Huckabee. It took them approximately one day to reverse that decision -- to decide the Huckabee they criticized so severely was actually the candidate they would support strongly. What exactly is the matter with these people? Perhaps we all crave attention to some degree, but this is ridiculous.

They have also withdrawn their support from Gov. Sarah Palin, one of the shining lights in the Republican Party, the conservastism movement, and Christian evangelism. Here's what they (he? she? both?) had to say about Gov. Palin on August 3, 2007:

D.Roman said... "Thanks [Steve], we are very excited about supporting Sarah Palin. I think a Huckabee/Palin ticket would win over a lot in independents and moderates and truly show what a big tent party we are without giving up any of our conservative ideals. For example Gov. Huckabee won over 48% of the African American vote in Arkansas and I believe this is one of the constituencies that the Republican Party, in general, has not shown enough attention to. Though I am very excited that Lynn Swann maybe running for the House. I was a supporter of his when he ran for Governor. Also, Michael Steele says that he may run for elected office again; I was also a supporter of his during his Senate run. I think with a President and Vice President who relate so easily with everyday men and women of this country we could really get a lot accomplished."

Gee, what exactly did Sarah Palin do to lose the support -- such as it is -- of D. Roman (although not of S. Roman? Relax, I jest)? The obvious answer is that these people are not exactly models of consistency or loyalty. No candidate, including Mike Huckabee, can conduct an effective campaign if his "strongest" supporters are changing their commitments on a daily basis.

As I've suggested, this is a challenging time for Mike Huckabee. He's trying to become something more than the champion of the evangelicals and the darling of the (tiny) homeschool group. As Larry suggests, he is not deviating from Christian positions, but he is trying to apeal generally to the American people (whom our government is "by and for"). As Larry also suggests, Mike's stances are drawing fire from a segment of the candidate's base. They presumably want Mike to be a "lovable loser," a situation he properly finds unacceptable.

If Mike Huckabee takes Christian positions on issues, including immigration and full voting rights for African-Americans, then people who are Christians should not denounce him. Also, if a person is a walking monument to adultery, such as Newt Gingrich, then it's not appropriate to compare him favorably to Rudy Giuliani, whose personal life is admittedly far-less-than-perfect.

It's extremely hard to get some people's attention. My chastisement of two people was justified, and I ask all Huckabee supporters to join me in encouraging these people not to take actions and make statements that are harmful to Mike and others.

Stephen R. Maloney
Ambridge, PA
Supporter of Sarah Palin for President no later than 2016 (and maybe before)

P.S. I'd like to write more in coming weeks about evangelicals, which I realize is a much more diverse group than we urban-Yankees-types sometimes think. In 2004, people identifying themselves as evangelicals voted for George Bush by nearly 4-to-1. Of course, that means more than one-in-five self-described evangelicals voted for John Kerry. Apparently, in 2006, evangelical support for Republicans eroded significantly.

Also, there's a disturbing tendency for younger evangelicals -- concerned more about things like war, poverty, and climate problems -- to move toward the Democrats. As with nearly every other group in the nation, the older the (evangelical) voter the more likely they are to vote Republican. Clearly, as Republicans die off, the Democrats take greater and greater percentages of the votes. We desperately need to fix that.

I mentioned evangelical diversity: There's some evidence -- and I'd love to see more poll data on this if you have it -- that Rudy Giuliani, the supposedly "liberal" Republican is getting more evangelical support than Mike Huckabee, who's a former Baptist preacher. As one official of the Southern Baptist Convention put it, "These people want a winner, and they see Rudy Giuliani as tough enough to beat Hillary Clinton." (That's a paraphrase but it reflects closely what I heard him say.) There's little evidence evangelicals truly see Fred Thompson as "one of them," mainly because he's not.

Some supposedly "conservative" (social values) candidates aren't. I keep hearing how Fred Thompson is big on traditional families and has a great family life, etc. Tell that to his first wfe of more than 20 years, whom he dumped like a sack of kitty litter. Other people who criticize Giuliani for having one or two too many wives for a single lifetime actually salute the (unlikely) candidacy of Newt Gingrich, who may show up at any moment with wife number four.

Fred also supports (or doesn't support, depending on the day) a constitutional amendment making the Ozzie-and-Harriet variety the only permissible form of marriage. Of course, such a constitutional amendment might get enough votes to pass about the time Chelsea Clinton becomes a great grandma.

You'll find a lot of social values candidates (who really aren't such) proposing various constiutional amendments. None of them has even a chance of passing. A Senate vote in 2009 -- the next time big issues will get raised -- on such matters might produce 37 votes in favor (if that), well short of the 67 votes needed for passage. So, why do candidates -- most of them -- say they favor such an amendment? Social values voters can guess the answer to that one.

In other words, some people are reaching out with social values proposals designed not to make policy, but to get votes. I think Mike Huckabee (and one or two others perhaps) really would like to get rid of Roe v. Wade. But at the same time, they realize it may be impossible -- for at least a decade -- to do so via a constitutional amendment. On the Supreme Court, there MAY be four votes to overturn Wade (Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas). Judge Kennedy has somehow morphed into Sandra Day O'Connor

Where is the fifth vote going to come from? Note that John Roberts, who personally is opposed to abortion, is not a man who looks to overturn important precedents, which Roe is. There is no fifth vote, or maybe even a fourth.

When Miit Romney recently said it was time to return abortion to the states (where it was before Roe), supporters of Huckabee and Brownback (if he has any supporters left) jumped all over him.

But what if Mike got his wish -- a big one -- and pased an amendment overturning Roe? Then, the issue of abortion would return . . . to the states. This is basically what Rudy Giuliani is indicating as he indicated wildly to conservative about "appointing strict constructionist judges" -- that is, judges who would overturn Roe.

A good online friend of mine reads such comments and agrees with them but says this, "Steve, don't say it even if its' true. It would completely discourage social values voters."

However, I don't agree that it's best to let people rest in a kind of splendid ignorance of reality. If we can't accomplish everything we want, how can we achieve some things?

I want to write about what politics is -- and what it isn't. Politics is like marriage -- rarely if ever perfect.

I debate that issue regularly with my friend Larry Perrault. Politics can't make everything good. Politics can't act as if we live in a Christian theocracy rather than a largely secular representative democracy.

After the carnage at Fredericksburg, Robert E. Lee said to his generals: "It is a good thing war is so terrible, else we should love it too much." Sometimes I feel the same way about politics.

Yet, politics can make some "bad" things better. Also, with the wrong leadership, it can make bad things much worse. Without politics, there would be no Social Security. Without politics, John Roberts and Samuel Alito would be judges you'd never heard about.

So, politics can do some real good. However, it can't make everything as good as you'd like.

One of the great things about my new role in relation to the mechanics of the Palin Campign is that I can speak the truth exactly as I see it. I don't have to worry about offending some rabid supporter of Ron Paul or Tom Tancredo. Instead, I can be in my usual position of saying some things -- at some times -- that will offend nearly everyone.

What a joy!

Seriously, my emphasis on any problem we face is: how can we make it better? How can we build the coaltions necessary to improve things? Ultimately, how we make our government increasingly one that's "of, by, and for the people? "

Stephen R. Maloney


ThinkAware said...

I respect you as a person and your right to express your views here on your blog. However, I would appreciate it if you would please stop emailing me at this time. I have recieved your many emails, and have read through them all, so please to not feel as though I dismissed them. In an effort to convey goodwill, I a sending this response so that I am not being rude by coming off though I am ignoring you since I have removed myself from the discussion. I wish you only the best, and I thank you for respecting my wishes.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I would like to say that I have never sent an e-mail to Treva. I have no way of knowing her e-mail address, which is not given on her blog. She would not have any copies of such e-mails because none exist. I have printed every one of her comments, and she elects not to print mine. She's a sophisticated user of the Internet, and I'm sure she knows the difference between e-mails and responses to her comments. Any such responses I've made to her are available for anyone who wants to see them.

The only comments I've ever not printed are those from anonymous sources.

I have no idea what "upset" Treva. I began a column that the concept of homeschooling effort and then I withdrew it. My main issue was whether homeschooling was a good idea for certain children living in a diverse, multi-racial, multi-ethnic society and how homeschooling would serve people's ability to function effectively in our society. It may well do so, but I have no personal experience with such schooling. I have extensive experiecne with public education, both as a student and a teacher and I'm very willing to discuss the pros and cons. Treva is a talented person, especially in photography. I question some of her practices, which perhaps reflect the fact that she's a young woman living in a very sheltered environment. One thing I hope she comes to recognize is that being a Christian is more than a kind of feel-good (or worse, feel superior) emotional experience. It does impose many obligations on us, which we generally meet imperfectly because we are fallible human being. The only way we grow, as children or as adults, is to accept and meet challenges -- to our beliefs and our actions. I've learned some good things from Treva. I regret that she is apparently resistant to learning from others who disagree with her to any extent. I don't mean to be cruel, but I wonder exactly what her children are learning under her tutelage. What happens when they disagree with mom? I'd love to hear about that, but I doubt I ever will. I wish her and her photogenic family only the best.

steve maloney

Larry Perrault said...

I am in no position to even attempt to divine Treva's thoughts, though I shouldn't, anyway. It's not atypical for people to just back out of a scrum. But, even when you wrap it in kind words you are cutting the skin when you raise a question about what a parent is teaching their children.

They qualified for an accelerated course of study, but my kids have been in a public education system from kindergarten. I'm glad they've been in touch with the world that surrounds us, but it's a challenge with some of the stuff they inhale and ingest. They are now in high school and clearly aware of how strange their father is compared to cultural normalcy. I have to carry that difference without anything approaching the grace of Jesus. What kids absorb from the popular culture is corruption of perspective at its very roots, which can naturally sprout bad flower and fruit. I fully understand why people don't want to commit their kids to it and themselves to a life of pruning and thorns.

Speaking of Jesus, he confronted immoral behavior with words like, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." If your enemy smites (your candidate) on the cheek...

I never suggested groveling or who was right or wrong or more at fault. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. I'm only saying that acrimony helps no one. It's only a distraction from whatever we want to accomplish. At 50, I'm still trying to learn to avoid that. But, my sarcasm can still provoke people. But ultimately, whether we agree on tactics or not, I still want them to support Huckabee. That's as basic as politics gets. That's why I won't support Giuliani, even if he's the Republican nominee: once you show you will support what is wrong, in politics nothing else matters. Once you let principle go, don't expect it to come calling back: Politics 101.

I never nodded assent to slandering anyone. You know that I deeply disagree with Rudy Giuliani. But it isn't my place to read his intentions. Whatever they are, he's unqualified to be President Of The United States. But we could find a lot of jobs he'd be perfectly qualified for.

I don't think Hilary Clinton would persecute Christians...certainly not in her first term. :0) Bad politics. You recently raised such an issue about BILL Clinton. He's even more of a politician. But Janet Reno said some pretty aggressive things. :)

Stephen R. Maloney said...

As far as Treva's thoughts: all I can do is infer them from what she says. I'm tempted to make various inferences. I once told two young evangelicals (Josh and Amanda from Diana Irey's church) that they were transforming the world, maybe not all of it but some of it. In order to transform the world, one first has to know it. It has to know what it does, why it does it, and what thinking -- if any -- goes into the behavior. Your children will know this, but I doubt (can't know for sure) that Treva's will. She dips her toe in world, and then withdraw when the world dips back. I think she engages in one very bad practice on her Blog, but it's her life. Given who she is -- and the carapace of self-righteousness she is developing -- she'll ignore anything I say. .

I imagine (and that's all it is) a Greenville lesson that goes this way: "Yes, dear, there are people who don't look like us and don't agree with us, and they are the ones described in the Holy Bible as the sons and daughters of darkness." (There is no such exact Bible passage.) The difference between education and indoctrination is the difference between light and darkness. I'm just speaking generally and even fictionally here, since my precise knowledge is very limited.

Let's see Giuliani was a fabulously successful Mayor of the nation's largest city (cutting the crime and murder rates almost in half) and rebuilding a bankrupt city of 8 million-plus, but he's not qualified to be President? He may have the wrong ideas about how to solve problems, but unqualified he is not. Qualification for President is not directly proportional to how closely someone agrees with you.

ThinkAware said...

In an effort to clarify, I was referring to your comment posts that you left for me, not actual emails. I referred to them as emails unintentionally, as I get them in the moderator tab, and I am brand new to blogspot.

Stephen, with all due respect you know very very little about me. My children are in no way sheltered, and that is not why we homeschool. We homeschool for academic reasons, and my children have more of a social and extracurricular life now that we ever had the time for before because of scheduling. I also homeschool because my children are different from each other, and I can personalize their curricula. Obviously, this stems from an acceptance of their individuality as people, and I would never squash that in them. Last but not least, there are aspects of life that would never be taught in the public school system that I can teach them. They could get that in a private, Christian school, however since I am qualified and involved and they have more extracurricular activities than they know what to do with, we'd prefer the time to bond as a family. I really like doing science experiments with them, and these are memories they will have for a lifetime. That having been said, I don't think there is anything wrong with another's choice in how they educate their children. This is just what it right for us, for the time being.

Sir, If you knew my life story, and what I have lived through you would take back all of your assumptions about me and me "sheltered existence". My goodness, if the people who knew me heard that! ::chuckle::. My blog is not a personal one in that sense, so its impossible for you to make these assertions about me.

To be honest with you, I had not seen your post on homeschooling. What turned me off was that you did not see the need to apologize for your harsh treatment of the Romans which you played out publicly. Your opinions are valid and I respect that. You don't have to apologize for your differences. I think it would have shown a lot about your character if you had apologized for the tone in which you made your feelings about their situation known.

Not only have you questioned the Romans's faith, but now you question mine. I am hurt at your apparent supernatural insight as to where I stand spiritually or my level of knowledge regarding Chrisitanity. While I will never stop having room to grow, I have spent the larger part of the second half of my twenties taking my personal relationship with Jesus Christ into my everyday life and how I live it. He IS my life. Number 1, before everything, even my children. It's surprising to be accused otherwise and by a Christian brother who doesn't even know me at that. You know what Stephen? I forgive you for your comments. I have no ill-will toward you, sir, and I wish you only the best. I would appreciate, out of Christian brotherhood, if you would please refrain from mentioning me in any of your posts or comments, or in any other way again, and I will show you the same respect. It would be even better if we could simply call a truce here and move forward with more important matters at hand, such as the main reason we are here, in support of our candidates. My last letter was in an effort to convey goodwill, and that is still my intention.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

To Larry first, on qualifications, I believe the following are "qualified" in alphabetical order: Giuliani, Huckabee, McCain, Romney, Thompson(barely, and Gingrich (whom I abhor). Also "qualified," Mrs. Clinton, Bill Richardson, Joseph Biden, Chrisopher Dodd (barely). I also believe Mrs. Palin is qualified to be President, but could benefit from more time in a position below that of President.

You and some other evangelicals would vote only for Huckabee, which unintentionally digs him the world's largest hole. If Huckabee wins the nomination, Giuliani and the others would support him, which he would dearly need. It's not like being the president of a Houston mega-church.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Treva, I certainly accept your explanation of the e-mail confusion. I urge you to reprint all responses that are not from "Anonymous" or use objectionable language.

This has been a very emotionally draining day for me -- and perhaps for you. I will come back in a few minutes and write you a proper reply.

An hour or so I put up a pciture of me and my 5-year-old granddaughter, Claire. Then, I thought, "This is blankety-blank Iternet," with 95% good people and 5% creeps. So I took the picture down. I don't think my daughter, slightly older than you, would want it up, even though she knows it should certainly be someone's right to do so. So down it came.

It's a tough world, but there are things we can do to make it better, and I certainly think you're doing some of those things.

I have five daughters and a total of 9 grand-children, with more to come!

I'll be back shortly.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Treva, you're right I don't know a whole lot about you. I know the Greenville-Spartanburg area, and I know evangelical life is general (which may not relate a lot to evangelical life in particular). I also know about young mothers, since most of my duaghters are such. I also know about being a child, although not of the female "persuasion."

I realize you're fairly new to the blogosphere, which can a source of joy and of many new friendships -- and can also be downright exasperating & sometime even scary.

I'm sure you do an excellent job with your children, whom I'm sure are pretty much your life (aside from blogging). My fictional version of an evangelical home-schooling situation probably has no application to you or your situation.

I am very, very good at "reading" people, although I admit the essence of a person is unique and almost unknowable. I saw early great potential and strength in you, and I'd like to encourage you to remain active -- and even run for office if the opportunity arises.

I go after people like the Romans because they do great damage to the world that I inhabit. Their one day defection was a call for attention, and I gave them some they didn't want. They're people who diminish the world by their presence in it.

And they're evangelicals (Catholic version). If a person like you criticizes them even mildly, you will lose status, so it's easier to remain silent. Larry cautions against acrimony, but their acrimony is somehow okay.

That is not a position you want to be in. It's not a message you want to send your daughters, because you want their lives to be ones of honesty and moral purpose.

In a way,when you hit your 40s (gulp) I want you to be Sarah Palin. She turned in the state party chairman and the attorney general for ethics violations. That just isn't done, just it isn't done when it comes to having one evangelical criticize another.

You and I should be great allies. Maybe it just isn't meant to happen. But why? Because I won't admire the emperor's new clothes?

You don't admire the emperor's new clothes either, because he doesn't have any. But it costs me nothing (well, almost nothing) to say so, whereas it certainly would cost you a lot of social disapproval.

You imply that I understimate you. Maybe I do, but I actually have a high estimation of you. Life tends to begin truly defining itself around 40, not 29. Hey, you've got 11 years.

If you go the Huckabee blog page, you'll notice various comments. One man says that Mike's Willie Nelson music is the path to perdition. Another man says that Hillary Clinton (Hillary???) is going to participate in the persecution of hundreds of Christians. You won't find the Romans there, but they'd fit right in.

Many evangelicals have told me that if Mike doesn't get the nomination, they will take their ball and go home. I'm at the point, Treva, where I'm ready to say, "Take your ball and leave, and don't come back."

I think many people (especially in the North and West) think of people like the Willie Nelson man and the Hillary Persecution Man as the heart of evangelical Christianity. That is really really until the evangelical movement kicks them out, symbolically if not literally. It also need to kick out the Romans, who are such "good" (bland, conformist, self-absorbed) people.

I want Christians like Sarah Palin who almost never talks about it. She just lives it every minute of every day.

You may have read about the poll that say 92% of the American people think a qualified woman (your daughters someday?) could get their vote. It appears that a big chunk of the 8% against a woman president are evangelical Protestant women. Shameful

Tell your daughters that you expect one of them, and perhaps both, to grow up to be President.

steve maloney

Larry Perrault said...

Steve: I never said anyone's acrimony was OK. I stopped by The Maritime Sentry today for less than a minute. You and I have been dialoging for weeks.

I suppose I should credit you because I think you really believe the things you reflexively say about people.

It's very typical that there is an element in the population that somewhat resembles those things that we strongly disdain.

But, hastily pasting those templates onto people, especially people that you haven't at least had a few coffees or beers with, 1) is often misdirected. And 2) regardless, usually only serves the purpose of scuttling any productive cooperation on a worthy venture.

I think you've been about a worthy venture since you contacted me. I would like you to hold the door open as long as possible to give people the opportunity to join it.

Obviously, we are defining qualification relative to the presidency differently. All of those you mention are American citizens over thirty-five, with some government resume.

I'm just narrowing the qualification of a chief executive sworn to protect and defend The Constitution to PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND THE CONSTITUTION AND RESPECT ITS CONSTRAINTS!

Beyond that, an individual who does not fervently embrace the respect of human life is not qualified to lead a civil society. Again, it's nothing personal. I posted a comment with a letter from a pastor of my acquaintance that was posted at the Huckabee BLOG, today.

If I were president, I might make Rudy Giuliani the Solicitor General under an Attorney General with more refined sensibilities. Or better yet, put him in a post like Homeland Security Secretary. Or even in a post administering the prosecution of terrorism in Iraq! The nation is far adrift. He hasn't the compass to direct it to port.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm perfectly aware of the fact that it is I and not you who is out of step with popular culture in America. More's the pity.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

Larry, I would say this: I agree with the pastor who said it would be a good idea for Christians who believe as you do -- Mike Huckabee does not -- to form a third political party for everyone who has a superiority complex, for everyone totally lacking in humility. He didn't say that exactly, but that's not a bad characterization of the "rejectionist" approach. My new column has a don't let the door hit you in the butt theme.

As for putting templates on people, I am getting a lot of use out of the Willie-Nelson-is-evil guy and the Hillary will dump kerosene on you and light a match person.

If you and Rudy Giuliani sat down for a couple of beers, one of them would listen carefully to the other, and that person would not be Larry Perrault.

As for Treva, there are many (or at least several) forms of salvation. If I didn't truly care about her and her family, I would have ignored her existence long ago. I would have said to myself (cruelly and indifferntly), let her live a life of smugness coupled with quiet discontent. Of course, for a bright, idealistic person the quiet discontent starts to resemble a raging bull.

I want (imagine, hope, fantasize) that Treva and her kids all become Sarah Palin. As the recent quote I used from Sarah suggests, she wants the same thing for them (and a few hundred million others). If she and Sarah met (and maybe they will), they'd both know "the secret handshake."

We need heroes and heroines if there is ever to be any real change in our society. I kept corresponding with Treva because I believe she can be such a heroine -- and probably is already. She also believes it.

Larry Perrault said...

"If you and Rudy Giuliani sat down for a couple of beers, one of them would listen carefully to the other, and that person would not be Larry Perrault."

That's a curious statement. I'd be happy to have a couple of beers with Rudy Giuliani. Sure I'd listen. I'd like it if he would listen. But everything I've heard suggest that he has no clue what I'm talking about. He'd be listening to Greek.

There's that hastiness again, talking about superiority complex and lacking humility. Hey, I have a wife to disabuse me of any such delusion!

It's not about me. Right and wrong is way larger than I am, and I'm a servant, not the oracle of God.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I hope somebody (Larry?) will send this on to Treva because I think she's not visiting anymore, which is a shame for both of us. I have been trying to "read" her personality/nature by statements she makes, and that only gives an approximation of the person. I like what she says about her children, especially her recognition that they're distinct human beings. She's lucky (and so are they) to be able to spend a lot of time with them. I'm sorry the public schools in Greenville leave something to be desired. I was in Athens, GA (couple of hours from Greenville), a university town, where the schools are good. In one Athens school, near graduate housing, there were children whose parents represented 27 different nations.

Any assumptions I make about you are based on your statements and actions (such as not publishing comments that you don't "like," something that doesn't send a good message).

I didn't really suggest you had a sheltered existence, because I have no way of knowing your history. I did suggest that your children might be sheltered, spending most of their time with you and each other, which has good and bad possibilities.

One of the dangers of the evangelical life is the sense it encourages of being both saved and right. I have no doubt that you (like billions of other people) will be saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ. The sense of being "right" tends to less of matter of faith, however, than it does of being in sync with your social group. People in many communities never get challenged, never get asked hard questions, and that doesn't lead to much personal development.

I see no reason on earth to apologize to the Romans. If you can't see that they were totally out-of-bounds with their comments about me, about Giuliani, and even about Mike Huckabee, then you have a way to go. To me, this represents a serious moral failure on your part, but that seems to be something you refuse to consider. "I'm right and you're not" is a heckuva way to conduct a life.

What do members of the Protestant evangelical community do well -- and what do they do less well? I doubt there's any lesson plan ahead that raises that question, and that's a shame.