The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Frank Schaeffer’s “Open Letter to John McCain”

with 8 comments

Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin

Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin

Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin have gone off the rails with talk that arouses the worst instincts. The potential for tragedy is grave.

I was pleased to discover that Frank Schaeffer had written them a strongly worded rebuke. Orginally published in the Baltimore Sun, this reprint came from DemocracyNow!, and is part of an interview with Schaeffer there that I encourage you to read.  The emphases are mine. Here’s Amy Goodman’s setup:

Frank Schaeffer, bestselling author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back. He is the son of the late evangelist Francis Schaeffer and considered himself a lifelong Republican. He voted for John McCain in 2000, and McCain even endorsed one of Schaeffer’s earlier books on military service. On Friday, Schaeffer published ‘An Open Letter to John McCain’ in the Baltimore Sun.

Crazy for God

Crazy for God

An Open Letter to John McCain:

“John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as ‘not one of us,’ I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

“At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, ‘Kill him!’ At one of your rallies, someone called out, ‘Terrorist!’ Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee—an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.

Keeping Faith

Keeping Faith


“John McCain: In 2000, as a lifelong Republican, I worked to get you elected instead of George W. Bush. In return, you wrote an endorsement of one of my books about military service. You seemed to be a man who put principle ahead of mere political gain.

You have changed. You have a choice: Go down in history as a decent senator and an honorable military man with many successes, or go down in history as the latest abettor of right-wing extremist hate.

“John McCain, you are no fool, and you understand the depths of hatred that [surround] the issue of race in this country. You also know that, post-9/11, to call someone a friend of a terrorist is a very serious matter. You also know we are [a bitterly divided country] on many other issues. You know that, sadly, in America, violence is always just a moment away. You know that there are plenty of crazy people out there.

Stop! Think! Your rallies are beginning to look, sound, feel and smell like lynch mobs.

Francis Schaeffer, Frank's father, was a big voice in the previous generation of evangelicals

Francis Schaeffer, Frank's father, was a big voice in the previous generation of evangelicals

“John McCain, you’re walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out ‘Terrorist’ or ‘Kill him,’ history will hold you responsible for all that follows.

“John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.

Change the atmosphere of your campaign. Talk about the issues at hand. Make your case. But stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people—forever.

“We will hold you responsible.”

Strong words! But those are the kind of words that Christians are supposed to speak to power misused.  Would that the whole Church would say them.

Don’t forget the interview, here.

Tags: , , , , , , , Monte Asbury

Written by Monte

October 13, 2008 at 8:40 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Paul, for you to have enough time to hang around a blog with which you so clearly disagree, when you are so clearly not actually interested in learning anything or having a real conversation, falling back constantly on the lame kool-aid metaphor, makes you seem either unemployed or worse, in serious need of mental health care.

    You constantly regurgitate the talking points of folk like Rush Limbaugh. Not much of an independent thinker (not much of a thinker at all, I’m afraid), and you accuse others of drinking kool-aid? Give me a break.


    October 16, 2008 at 2:58 pm

  2. Ralfest, for you to spend all that time writing that dissertation with all that anger, and with your shorts in such a bind, you’ve got too much free time. Go drink some more Kool-aid.


    October 16, 2008 at 2:06 pm

  3. For that matter, why should Obama need to say anything at all about ACORN? They have no connection whatsoever. What ACORN does or doesn’t do is none of his business.


    October 16, 2008 at 12:40 pm

  4. Do you have any proof of all that? As for ACORN, they are the ones that a) reported the abuse, b) are taking a hit from lazy people taking their money and not doing their jobs properly. There is a difference between voter registration and actual voter fraud and so far the evidence is scant that this is just more than a few perpetrators. Worrisome yes, but not the whole story. Mickey Mouse would never show up to vote, if they are making names up, that means those people don’t exist and therefore can not show up to vote. Now purging voting rolls en mass in an election year, that is worrisome as it can deny the right to vote to real people as is challenging votes of people that lost their homes since voting is not tied to ownership of real estate, but to the person. Also when Obama represented ACORN he did it alongside the US Justice Department. Oh and lets ask how McCain really feels about ACORN?

    As for the Palin baby thing, I said it at the time and say it again, it was gutter trash stuff and does not deserve to be repeated. Mind you that then Palin paraded his pregnant daughter and her husband to be (shotgun weeding?) in front of the cameras.

    Obama and Ayers, no real connection there, just a lot of empty inferences. But McCain did appoint a former lobbyist for Saddam Hussein and the Oil-For-Food program to his transition team.

    And lets look at that Ayers-Obama connection:

    Now I wonder where are they hiding the bomb factory?

    And as for that pol in Florida, that is his and his family problem. He didn’t diddle any kids as a member of a party that hates gays or had secret liaisons in the men room. The Democrats do go around saying they are the Moral Party, only the party that knows how things work (whether that is true or not….we shall see)

    So don’t play the victim when for years talk hate radio bullies have been pushing the same garbage.


    October 15, 2008 at 4:52 pm

  5. 1. Paul, nobody at Obama rallies is advocating murder of McCain. There is a world of difference.
    2. I wasn’t aware that Mickey had voted. Indeed, he hasn’t. Federal law requires ID from those who register remotely. Know how many ACORN registered voters have been known to vote illegally? ZERO!

    ACORN hires workers to register voters. ACORN checks the names, identifies those that look fraudulent, and turns them all in, as obliged by law. Sometimes ACORN has been defrauded by workers who got names illegally (I presume they pay the worker so much per name), and ACORN has cooperated completely with law enforcement. Indeed, most of the fraudulent situations we know about were brought to authorities’ attention by ACORN! Repubs have brought suit after suit against ACORN – and all the many that I know of have been found in ACORN’s favor.

    There is no voter fraud charge pending against ACORN – none! There has been some voter registration fraud, which robs ACORN more than anybody else – and that’s what Republicans are crowing about.

    Voter fraud in the USA is almost non-existent. The GOP simply doesn’t want poor and non-white people – who have historically been way under-represented in the electorate – registered to vote. See The Republican Voter Fraud Hoax.

    Stay calm, man. The facts are so different than Rush portrays them. He keeps his audience and thus makes his fortune by making stories more outrageous than they are.


    October 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm

  6. Why isn’t Obama denouncing the fraudulent activities of ACORN?
    What if the Republican’s were doing this? What if the Republicans were signing up massive numbers of people illegally? The Amy Goodman’s and the Jesse Jackson’s would be crying “racism” since all the white conservatives were registering in mass.
    Wonder if Mickey Mouse get’s to vote in Florida? ACORN registered Mickey, but then maybe Amy and the left don’t care. It’s only when conservatives do it. How many want to bet which party America’s Mouse is registered?
    Oh, and what about the Florida Democratic congressman who had the affair after campaigning on “family values” Don’t hear much outrage from the left. Gezz, at least Mark Foley didn’t screw anyone!


    October 15, 2008 at 2:50 pm

  7. So we just ignore all the nastiness, sexism, and racism coming from the Obama supporters?
    Extremism is occurring on both sides, and both candidates are failing to renounce much of it. But to label only McCain as the only guilty party is naive. You can’t denounce every single nutcake in the crowds.
    John Lewis playing the race card, Jesse Jackson and his Israel remarks, people in the Obama crowds shouting “Palin is a C*NT”, and the Daily Kos claiming Palin’s special needs baby was birthed by her daughter. Where is the outrage from you Obama people?
    Wonder what the mainstream leftwing media would be saying if McCain was friends with Timothy McVey? I don’t see the difference between one domestic terrorist and another.


    October 15, 2008 at 2:27 pm

  8. Oh! This is so important. I’ve really been bothered by the potential for violence broiling close to the surface last week. Awful! I saw somewhere a poster that had circulated in Dallas the day before JFK was assassinated, mocked up like a wanted poster, accusing him of treason.

    Them’s fighting words, alright, and completely irresponsible. I’m so glad conservatives are speaking out about it and encouraging him to act more responsibly. I just hope he starts living up to his slogan of putting “Country First.” And reigns in that ugly attack-dog-in-lipstick of his.

    BTW, at my blog I just posted a video of Campbell Brown finally dealing with the underlying conflation of “Arab” and “Muslim” with “dangerous” and “untrustworthy.” This election has gotten ugly, hasn’t it? It’s going to take some time for us to heal, I’m afraid. Let’s just hope (and pray, since that’s you’re bent) that nothing happens that can’t be taken back, if you know what I mean.


    October 15, 2008 at 10:40 am

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