Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Parallel Universe

It has been most interesting to watch the primary election of Nikki Haley in South Carolina this week. It is readily apparent that South Carolina has earned its designation as the newfound eastern capitol of the Red States.

Congratulations to Haley, the second Indian American (red dot type, not native) candidate for a United States governorship. She had been dogged but not scarred by multiple accusations of infidelity, seemingly a prerequisite for elected office in South Carolina these days.

What was most fascinating, at least to me, was the unseemly litmus test that she had to undergo amongst the constituency in order to get elected. An adult convert to christianity from her native sikhism, she had to  deny being a buddhist! Can we acknowledge that Guatama may have originated in India, but that his followers there are few. One would have to surmise that they are not too up on those foreign type religions in the deep south.

Not so, says Haley on her website. “My faith in Christ has a profound impact on my daily life and I look to Him for guidance with every decision I make.  God has blessed my family in so many ways and my faith in the Lord gives me great strength on a daily basis.  Being a Christian is not about words, but about living for Christ every day.”

Haley has been hammered by constituents regarding her religious tenets. And rather than disavow the witchhunt and tell people that her religious views are her own business, she panders to her fundamentalist vote base and assures them that she has forsaken her family's religious roots and heritage for the Mediterranean son king. Her answer, "Absolutely not. I'm a Christian." One of the tenets of judaism, the mother religion of christianity, believe it or not, is that you should honor your parents. I am all for a spiritual conversion and god forbid that I judge, but be gracious and honor your family. Her apparent willingness to flee her native belief system, when faced with a big date in the power seat seems a little distasteful to me somehow. Maybe I'm wrong. I wonder if the non christian indians will be cheering for her?

A local group called the Palmetto Patriots also quizzed her on her confederate bona fides. The Palmetto Patriots are a bunch of good old boys that certify that candidates are in "conservative compliance.""What caused the civil war," she was asked? Any mention of the words slavery sure to kill her chances at a nomination, she stuck with the safe answer. "You had one side of the Civil War that was fighting for tradition, and I think you had another side of the Civil War that was fighting for change," she said. Them dad gum yankees trying to upset states right's and tradition and all.

The candidate has pledged to keep the beloved Confederate stars and bars flying in front of the State House.

The locals were still a tad apprehensive about a non cracker in the top seat. Phillip Bowers, the GOP chairman in Pickens County sent a message to GOP members suggesting that Mrs. Haley had been less than truthful about her religious conversion. "Mrs. Haley can't seem to make up her mind about her faith."

When the pastor Robert Slimp, a Columbia, S.C. reverend who was a member of the interrogation team was asked why none of Haley's rivals were subjected to the same inquisition he said the group did not ask her rivals about the war, because "all of them are Southerners whose families go back to beyond the war between the states, back to antebellum times, and they would have a deeper appreciation of Southern thinking and mentality." Even though she grew up in the state she obviously lacks the generational street cred.

I come away from this glad that I do not live in the bible belt. I am on record as to how I feel about the wretched vinegar based carolina barbeque. Glad that the south has elected a minority but sad that the minority in question had to undergo a convenient and well timed white wash to prove tolerable to the local palette.


NYSTAN said...

blame it on public education mebbe? Holy fuck...we just keep gettin a stupider and stupider.
'Mikey, Poppa thought I was SMAHT, Mikey....I was SMAHT like you Mikey...'

PSOTP said...

They have to start somewhere. Why not a former Sikh? It sounds like a nice compromise, for now. Chip away . . . chip away . . .

Anonymous said...

What is a Mediterranian son king? Is that slang for Jesus?

Blue Heron said...

Yeah, or a new salad dressing. It came in a flash nd was hopefully duly respectful.