McCain and Obama: Two Lonely Souls
The heading above caught my eye. It is from a commentary on the most recent debate by the Reverend William McD. Tully, rector of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in New York City. Tully was not judging, but wanting to be pastoral toward two men being pushed past human endurance in the race for the White House. He wrote in part,
We're told they're being handled, coached, and scheduled within an inch of their lives. We know that national campaigns in this media-saturated and blog-infested time demand a superhuman ability to "stay on message" at all costs.The full text of his reflection is online here: Two Lonely Souls.
But I see two men who are not just standard-bearers of their parties. I see two human beings who are who not so managed that they don't have feelings. The images in the debates invite merciless scrutiny. We are sure that we see both masterful acting and honest emotion. And we know those emotions include fear and anger.
Those raw emotions are in the crowds, too. And there have been some sobering reminders in the last ten days of how those inner energies can spill over from legitimate fear and anger to something ugly and even dangerous.
We then demand the candidates "pastor" those crowds and their emotions. But again: who pastors them now that they've had to disavow their own pastors?
...We can't really "do" anything. We can only hope they get soul-guidance and spiritual nourishment they need.
I note that I wrote in last Friday's newspaper that we will need to pray for the winner. Tully is probably right that we need to pray for them both win or lose given the grueling gauntlet they have had to run.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor