Biblical Abuse in the Bible Belt
Dr. Samuel Johnson famously proclaimed that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Here in the Bible Belt that refuge is all too often religion. As a recent immigrant to Arkansas, a truly beautiful place to live in the heart of America, I'm appalled to see one of my senators, Mark Pryor, attempting to hide his liberal support of Obama and the Democrat party behind his bible. It seems that Pryor is understudying another Arkansas scoundrel who when confronted with disgraceful and disgusting sexual misbehavior in the Oval Office, sought cover in staged imagery of him and his scheming spouse attending Christian religious services at the National Cathedral with well-worn bibles in hand. Whenever had Bill Clinton so publicly toted a bible prior to his exposure as a dirty old man? But hey, it worked; even though impeached by the House, he wasn't convicted by the Senate and removed from office.
If a disgraced Democrat president caught taking sexual advantage of a young intern in the Oval office can use the bible as a shield, Senator Pryor must see it as an easy means of shielding himself from the price to be paid for supporting Obamacare. And if anything, Pryor is outdoing Bill in the bible business, going beyond a mere photo event where Bill and Hill just toted theirs, to a full campaign video where he waves that bible in his constituents' faces and embraces it with a fervor not seen lately in the political party to which he swears obeisance. The Democrat party as it exists now supports adultery, sloth, envy, murder, idolatry, homosexuality, etc., all practices condemned by the very bible Pryor waves in that hypocrite ad. If he does indeed believe in that bible then he is much more in alignment with his Republican opponents than with his fellow Democrats, millions of whom are outright enemies of Pryor's professed faith.
Pryor's opponent in the Arkansas senate race is a tall, gangly young congressman with a kind of down-home, aw-shucks aspect, Tom Cotton. But Cotton is actually a very bright Harvard law graduate, a fact which immediately makes him suspect in my mind. But then he also refused an Army assignment as a lawyer and chose to serve two tours as an infantry officer in combat, which is no small decision. It can be, in fact, a true life and death choice, as junior infantry officers get killed or wounded at an unduly high rate in combat. And living in the boonies of both iraq and Afghanistan with the troops is a far more wretched existence than that of a staff legal officer living in civilian-style comfort in the rear area. That Cotton chose to turn down that cushy legal option and lead troops in combat says much about the man's character and physical courage, both qualities sadly lacking and badly needed in our Senate.
Pryor can wave his bible but he can't wave his nonexistent DD-214, his record of military service, and as in Cotton's case, a record that demonstrates qualities of accepting true responsibility under harsh conditions and leading fellow warriors into combat. Not that military service conveys an imprimatur of infallibility upon any and all who serve, but what it does provide is a traceable record of an individual's performance under frequently difficult circumstances. Pryor, as the privileged scion of an Arkansas political dynasty, has never served, and we therefore have no way of determining how he functions under that most telling form of stress. On the other hand, that he trots out the bible and tries to use it to sell himself to the people of Arkansas is quite telling in another sense.
Arkansas deserves a senator who has proved himself a leader rather than the follower that Pryor has shown himself to be. I'm not so naive as to have no suspicion that Tom Cotton chose combat infantry as a way to enhance his political aspirations, but it is equally possible that he did it out of an altruistic and patriotic sense of serving his country. Considering those possibilities, as an Arkansas voter, I'm willing to give Cotton the benefit of the doubt. He did go into combat and face the human hardships and tragedies of human conflict the bible describes, unlike his opponent, who toes the Democrat party line but when faced with re-election, waves a book that apparently has little true meaning for him.