Saturday, August 16, 2008

Senator McCain's Faith

Maeve Reston wrote an article in the Los Angeles Times on Senator McCain’s faith. Like or dislike him this is a good look at his hard won Christian faith. A short excerpt.

McCain is most comfortable talking about his religious awakening during his 5 1/2 years in captivity, where his connection to God grew stronger and he served as "room chaplain" for a small group of prisoners.

In his early life he was influenced by his "deeply religious" father, who relied on his faith in a long struggle with alcoholism. Prayer and church became an "ingrained part" of McCain's life at his high school, where he attended chapel every morning and on Sunday evenings, even after church, he says.

McCain says in those days, he was a self-absorbed rule-breaker who became a hard-partying naval aviator. It was not until after his plane was shot down over Hanoi in October 1967, he wrote in his memoir, "Faith of My Fathers," that he learned to "grasp" faith tightly. In solitary confinement, he prayed "more often and more fervently than I ever had as a free man."

"I was very slow in maturing," he said aboard his campaign plane. "I knew right from wrong; I knew the Bible; I knew the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed and the tenets of my faith. And although I neglected them, the time came that I could fall back on them as a net, as a way of salvation, literally."

Often his faith helped him "get through another minute," he said. At the same time, McCain said, he learned to be "careful not to ask God to do things that were temporal rather than spiritual."

In McCain's first talk as chaplain, he cautioned fellow prisoners not to pray for their release -- reminding them of a parable in which Jesus was asked whether it was right to pay taxes. "He held up the coin and said, 'Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's,' " McCain said, recalling his lecture. "The point of my talk was we were doing Caesar's work when we went into combat, so we really shouldn't ask God" for release.

That lesson guided McCain not to pray for his own personal success. "I pray to do the right thing so I won't look back in regret or embarrassment or even shame that I betrayed my principles and my faith," he said

HT: Get Religion blog

1 comment:

Dymphna said...

I believe McCain is sincere and I think he was forced to either grow up or die while in prison.

It's interesting that when he was doing his turn as chaplain, he seemed to have large parts of the Book of Common Prayer already in his head and he could use that as a template for his "liturgy".

I think I want to read his book. It'll be interesting to see if the library has it. I don't doubt they have Obama's.

OTOH, the NYT #1 -- Corsi's book on Obie -- has to be purchased by the library committee. Interesting dilemma for those leftward folks.

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