Thursday, May 13, 2010

Using the Bible as a political tool

Yikes, this is unpleasant. Two candidates for Governor in Alabama are arguing about whether one of the candidates believes sufficiently in the Bible.

A mysterious ad that accuses a candidate for governor in Alabama of supporting the theory of evolution and questioning the Bible has triggered a dizzying and nasty shouting match in the state's hotly contested Republican primary race.

The ad -- part of a campaign against Republican candidate Bradley Byrne by a group called the True Republican PAC -- questions Byrne's faith and accuses him of being a "liberal."

Referencing Byrne's time on the state school board, where he was first elected as a Democrat in the 1990s before switching parties, the ad's narrator says in a quizzical voice:

"On the school board, Byrne supported teaching evolution, said evolution best explains the origin of life -- even recently said the Bible is only partially true." Another voice closes the ad by saying Byrne is "trying to look conservative."

That and other ads triggered an all-hands-on-deck response from the Byrne campaign, which launched a "truth team" website, issued a series of statements denying the group's charges, accused a GOP opponent and Democratic operatives of being in cahoots against him, and launched an ad of its own. The campaign also released a lengthy statement calling the faith ad "despicable."

In the statement, Byrne said he believes "every single word" in the Bible is true and that, to the contrary, he fought to get creationism taught in Alabama's schools.

So in their lust for political power, two men who are supposedly believers are engaging in a public mud-wrestling match. What a wonderful witness to the world, men who use the Word of God as a tawdry political tool.

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