Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Monroe Views: McCain promotes his 'Christian nation'
by Rev. Irene Monroe

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Since President Bush took office, religion has been the litmus test to discern a presidential candidate's electability. And in the current pool of 2008 presidential hopefuls, this litmus test has produced a star-studded cast of Democratic prophets extolling their religiosity as well as Republican religious bigots promulgating their politics. The one-time separation between church and state has been hijacked by both political parties.

John McCain is our latest, but certainly not our last presidential hopeful to tell the country that a government's embrace and execution of Christian principles is the quintessential marker that the right person is holding the highest office the land.

'I think the number one issue people should make in the selection of the president of the United States is, 'Will this person carry on in the Judeo-Christian principled tradition that has made this nation the greatest experiment in the history of mankind?' I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles, ... personally I prefer someone who I know has a solid grounding in my faith,' McCain said in a interview posted on the web site .

A solid grounding in McCain's faith of Judeo-Christian principles would not only run aground of America's solid tradition of religious pluralism, but it also runs counter to upholding the civil liberties of marginalized populations in this country - like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens, who are continually battered by the way religion is used by social conservatives.

I assume it was McCain's Judeo-Christian principles that allowed him to say in an interview with Reuters in December 1999 that he would be 'comfortable with a homosexual as president of the United States.' However, these same principles would not support a federal move toward same-sex marriage rights should this homosexual president want to legally consecrate his or her partnership.

Last month, William Sleaster, a Concord, N.H., high school student, asked McCain, 'Do you support civil unions or gay marriage?' A testy exchange ensued.

'I do not,' McCain answered. 'I think that they impinge on the status and the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. I understand the controversy that continues to swirl around this issue,' McCain said. 'That debate needs to be continued. Discrimination in any form is unacceptable in America today.'

Confused by McCain's response, Sleaster said, 'I came here looking to see a leader. I don't.'

Bloggers went wild commenting on the heated exchange between McCain and Sleaster. One wrote, 'To those … who continue to push their 'theology' on the rest of us, I would like to point out a couple of things. … The Constitution strictly prohibits the government from promoting religion. The only arguments against gay marriage are religious. The government needs to live up to the obligations given by the Founders. Stay out of my religious and personal affairs. Please tell me how gay marriage is any more threatening to the institution than a 50 percent failure rate in straight marriages.'

It is these same Judeo-Christian principles that guided McCain to vote no on extending the definition of hate crimes to include sexual orientation back in January. And in support of the anti-gay military policy 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' McCain wrote in an April 16 letter to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, 'The Department of Defense doesn't ask questions exploring the sexual orientation of prospective service members, and individuals are required to keep their homosexuality to themselves. However, the legislation unambiguously maintains that open homosexuality within the military services presents an intolerable risk to morale, cohesion, and disciple. I believe polarization of personnel and breakdown of unit effectiveness is too high a price to pay for well-intentioned but misguided efforts to elevate the interests of a minority of homosexual service members above those in their units.'

But it is obvious McCain has not checked out the 4-1-1 on himself.

For example, according to the February 2007 USA Today Gallup Poll 42 percent of Americans say they would not vote for a 72-year-old candidate. That is about the same willingness found for a hypothetical homosexual candidate. And a February 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press speculated that McCain's age will be a potential liability for him in the campaign. The February 2007 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press also found that 60 percent say they would not likely to vote for a candidate who is 'Christian,' would not vote for McCain because he is 'too close to Bush' or that he 'gives in to the political right.'

As one who gives in to the political right, McCain uncritically repeats what is an article of faith among many of social conservatives—that the constitution established the United States as a Christian nation.

The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. While the separation between church and state prohibits the establishment of a state religion, it does not mean that the public sphere in American life should be religion-free. But it also does not mean that religion shapes the entire American landscape.

American democracy suffers when people have to be closeted about their faith because it fosters a climate of religious intolerance. However, to suggest as McCain does that an important qualification to lead this country is to be a practicing Christian is an affront to us all.

McCain as a religious person in public life would be just as scary as Bush not only because of the sordid baggage of religious bigotry he would bring. McCain's sentiment is contrary to the American ideal of the United States as a democratic society without a religious test for public office.

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

LETTER Thank you, Pope Francis 2020-10-22
- I never thought I would live to see the day when a pope would endorse civil rights for LGBTQ couples. Praise God for His Grace. Also, the many Roman Catholic individuals and organizations who worked so ...

Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett 2020-10-22
- Women-Church Convergence, a coalition of Catholic-rooted organizations including DignityUSA, deplores the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. We have serious concerns about the judgment of any nominee ...

Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Lambda Legal responds to nomination of Judge Barrett 2020-10-13
--From a press release - Lambda Legal sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging its members to oppose Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The rushed confirmation hearings began today for President Trump's nominee to fill the seat of the late ...

Gay News

LETTER Vote 2020-10-03
- President Trump, you have had almost four years to lead the United States and have failed us by your own choosing. Whether it be in foreign policy and domestic policy you have not protected the United States ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT As a gay bipolar man, I've learned to live with suicidal thoughts 2020-10-01
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 20. LGBTQ+ youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth. In addition, LGBTQ+ youth are almost five ...

Gay News

LGBTQ HISTORY MONTH My Notorious RBG moment 2020-10-01
- In the 1990s, the U.S. Senate was attempting in every possible way to censor this new thing called the internet. The senators soon came up with an idea to stop information that might be objectionable to ...

Gay News

OP-ED: Ruth Bader Ginsburg bent the moral arc toward justice 2020-09-21
- Like so many Americans across the country, I, too, am mourning the news that U.S. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87. As a soft-spoken firebrand ...

Gay News

MOMBIAN True stories, trans tales and more in new picture books 2020-09-16
- New books can be a delightful relief in these days of quarantine. Here are some of the many new LGBTQ-inclusive picture books that just came out last month. (See for even more.) The Fighting Infantryman, ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Get involved in Michigan now 2020-09-15
- You probably feel anxious and frustrated by the political climate and the risk that the Republicans will cheat their way to victory or the Democrats will bumble their way to defeat. The best thing you can ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT The common thread of LGBTQ+ stigma and mental health 2020-09-02
- The relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and mental health has always varied from country to country. But when religion enters the conversation, a whole new aspect escalates the stigma. Countries all over the world have high ...

Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Wear a mask 2020-09-02
- Dear editor: Wear a mask. Illinois made great strides fighting COVID-19, but it will take sustained effort and discipline to keep the virus under control. Illinois doctors are asking everyone to take two simple actions when ...

Gay News

My case for being in Congress 2020-09-01
By Dani Brzozowski - "I already told my family that if I catch this virus — God forbid — I'm not going to the hospital. I'll pop myself or cut myself rather than die in the hospital, miserable and alone." ...

Gay News

LETTER What's in a name? And striving for racial equality 2020-08-19
- What's in a name? Dear community: The growing debate over the name change of Boystown is reflective of a broader cultural tectonic shift on race, gender, sexual orientation and trans issues that take place in many ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Coming-out letter 2020-07-28
- Mom, Starting this letter is by far one of the toughest things I have done in a long time, and trust me, I've done plenty of difficult things. First of all I want to note that this letter is not intended ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINTS In support of the fair tax 2020-07-25
- Passage of the fair tax will improve the lives of the state's LGBTQ community. As CEO of Equality Illinois, the state's civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer Illinoisans, I can attest that ...


Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs     
Privacy Policy      Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.