Jeff Tayler’s been publishing his Sunday Secular Sermons every week in Salon, but I’ve missed a couple. Catching up, I found a good one today, “Marco Rubio’s real disqualification: New video outlines bizarre religious faith—and he wants to govern by it.” It turns out that Rubio has just issued a bizarre campaign video. . . but I’ll let Tayler handle it:
He has just put out a television campaign ad entitled “Marco Rubio on His Christian Faith.”
As a pianist taps out a somniferously bland tune that would befit an ad for a last-rites parlor, Rubio, seated against a dark backdrop, explains the delicate balance he strives to achieve in melding his faith and career as a lawmaker, as well as offering detailed, faith-inspired plans for governing the United States in a time of international turmoil and domestic discontent.
No, wait! He leaves out the plans and turmoil abroad and the discontent at home. He uses his campaign ad to talk only about religion. Aren’t campaign ads supposed to at least have something to do with politics?
Anyway, let’s dissect Rubio’s message line by line.
And then Tayler does, but I’ll refer you to the Salon article for the bloody dissection. But first watch the video below, which, even among faith-osculating Republicans, is a travesty for a political ad. It’s only thirty seconds long, but it’s not only packed with Jesus-osculation, but adds Rubio’s assertion that he’ll govern according to Christian principles (“I try to allow that to influence me in everything I do”). And remember, this isn’t an ad for a church: it’s a political ad to run on television.
Jefferson is spinning in his grave!
I once thought Rubio was a likely candidate for the GOP nomination, but he’s fallen far behind, with Cruz and Trump, equally odious, now leading the pack. I still predict that Trump will be gone by the fall. At any rate, after his parsing of Rubio’s speech, Tayler reaches his conclusion:
The crushing banality, the overwhelming unoriginality of everything Rubio says in his commercial evokes something akin to astonishment. Absolutely any convinced Christ-worshipper could have uttered the exact same words, which are nothing but boilerplate pulpiteer’s patter. That Rubio chose to speak thus before the camera shows just how abysmally low the expectations of the faith-addled are: proffer mind-deadening insipidities and sit back and await the hosannas and hallelujahs that are sure to issue from the segment of the public that will not think for itself, but has to be told fairy tales to feel comfortable about voting for a candidate.
. . . You have, Senator, a constitutional right to profess belief in whatever you want. But you have no right to do so unchallenged by those tasked with ferreting out the truth and conveying it to the public. Unfortunately, though, you can broadcast such views throughout the land with little fear of being called out by journalists, who will shy away from religion as too sensitive and personal a topic.
Given that Republicans are making Christianity and faith a major issue in their campaigns, and saying they’ll govern in a Christian way, which violates the First Amendment, it’s no longer useful nor judicious to avoid questioning their faith. The questions rhetorically posed to Rubio by Tayler should be physically posed to Rubio by reporters. It’s time for the press to stop showing undeserved respect for unevidenced faith.