I think Jesus would make a bad president — and I have to explain why that’s on my mind.
As a general rule, religion should be kept out of politics. The Founding Fathers — those white male Europeans who met in Philadelphia — organized their government around the principle that the two should be kept separate.
We leap forward almost 250 years to last Sunday’s Inside Story on 6ABC on which Mayor Jim Kenney was talking about his reelection chances.
If you destroy 65 homes and lose 11 lives and still get reelected, that should get you into Guinness.
Even more deadly, also in Philadelphia, were the nativist riots of the 1840s, says Philip A. Cunningham, professor of theology and director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations at St. Joseph’s University. People were killed, homes and churches were torched by Protestants whipped into a frenzy against the newly arrived Irish, who were Catholic.
Back in the present, if Kenney’s not reelected, he’d be OK with that, he told TV host Tamala Edwards, but he hoped that it would be “God’s plan” for him to be reelected.
I thought the idea of “God’s plan” coming from a non-churchgoing Christian was a tad much.
He followed that with a comment that didn’t come from Scripture:
“How could God not be a woman? Think about it. Who can … men cannot give life. So God has to be a female,” he told Edwards, who deemed it an “interesting thought.”
It’s not a totally original thought. Former Mayor John Street routinely refers to God as “she” or “her.” Maybe there’s something in the water in City Hall Room 215, where the mayor hangs his hat, except that no one wears hats anymore. It’s where Kenney stashes his yoga mat.
There was other God talk in this election cycle. Republican mayoral wannabe Daphne Goggins called her endorsement by the city Republican Party part of “God’s plan,” to which she also attributed the bipolar disorder that allows her to focus on working for the community, because she has no real job.
She dropped out about two weeks later, saying that “at the end of the day, God did not want me to be mayor.”
So God’s fickle, but with the majority.
I don’t want to mock anyone’s conversations with God — regular readers know I do that once a year myself — but I am entitled to ask whether it was a legitimate conversation or contrived, like mine.
It’s hard to say if Kenney, who was raised Catholic, was serious about God being a woman or if he was just pandering to the #MeToo crowd.
Perhaps he’s no longer sure of Jesus’ gender. In a progressive universe, like Alice’s Wonderland, God could be a Red Queen or a chocolate cannoli, and God is definitely undocumented.
God brings me back to Jesus, who would not make a good president.
Jesus is a mellow guy. Or gal. Your choice.
The U.S. president sometimes has to make war, like, say, if we are attacked, as has happened from time to time. Jesus’ turn-the-other-cheek response would not be appreciated by most Americans. Jesus would be better suited to be secretary of Health and Human Services. That’s his lane.