Whoopi the Secularist

You know, I have a soft spot in my heart for Whoopi Goldberg, specifically because I liked her as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation. But I got a little mad at her while I was watching the View this morning. Should that be so unusual, considering how liberal the show is (except for Elizabeth)? Well, I don’t watch it that much, so its liberalism takes me aback.

John McCain was on, and they were all talking about Palin’s performance in the interview. They didn’t criticize her for not knowing what the Bush doctrine is, since many of them probably couldn’t define it either (except McCain and Barbara Walters, most likely). And Barbara Walters said that Palin was obviously “well-briefed.”

But Whoopi asked McCain if he believes in the separation of church and state, and if his running mate is committed to that as well. I didn’t care for Whoopi’s question. She was asking it because Sarah Palin is a devout Christian, and, for some reason, Whoopi seems to assume that only a secularist should hold public office (that’s my impression).

Her concern was that leaders would focus more on doing God’s will and not the will of the people. For one, most Americans believe in God, so Whoopi shouldn’t assume that a secularist is better able to represent the people of the United States. And second, doing God’s will is doing what’s best for the people.

McCain talked about his faith and how, even in the POW camp, he told prisoners that they shouldn’t pray so much to get out, but rather that God’s will may be done. As far as he was concerned, they were fighting for Caesar, not God. But God had a larger interest: to do good for all people, not just Americans.

That’s an important point. God’s will does not necessarily mean America’s specific interests. As Abraham Lincoln said, we should try to be on God’s side, not assume that God is on ours. And God cares about everyone in the world–of every race, nation, and creed.

Surprisingly, the audience of the View applauded as John McCain talked about his faith, and how he continually asked God to help him do God’s will. The View’s audience is not conservative! It didn’t warmly applaud John McCain’s pro-life views, for there was a lot of tension there. But even many of them have a hunger for faith–for putting something above one’s personal self-interest, for doing good as a servant of God.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to Whoopi the Secularist

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well presented. I agree – and I’m a working Mom married to a homeschool Dad. Untraditional and still glad to see Sarah representing the “traditional” with a bit of unconvention. Yay!


  2. James Pate says:

    Thanks for commenting, Anon. 🙂


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