Author Topic: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest  (Read 7968 times)

Mark Brown

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1315
  • Pastor, St. Mark Lutheran, West Henrietta, NY
    • View Profile
    • Saint Mark's Website
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #75 on: September 04, 2018, 01:55:19 PM »
Maybe this only interests me, but running through all the names I would consider "outliers" (Robert Taft, Humphrey, Dirkson, Inouye, Pepper, et al), they do all share a few things: (1) a very long political career and (2) they died while still in office.

Now, certainly many have died while in office who did not receive the honor. But it seems that if someone is currently serving a term, had a long career, and is pretty well-known (which goes hand-in-hand with having a long career), being lain in state becomes much more likely. And perhaps that's all there is to it.

That said, I think Spengler's piece (thanks, Pr. Brown), while a little too myopic, hits at much of what has been occurring to me. McCain in some ways typifies much mythology about US governance, much mythology that is very quickly being deconstructed. I think there's a lot more to it than just "Let's stick it to Trump." It seems like a lot of people saying: "McCain's the kind of guy we want." Which seems ironic, considering how many voted against him.

Anywho... enough from me.

There is obviously some inflation on that list.  Let's draw the line after Eisenhower in 1969.  Almost as many after as before (pushing all the lists together), but the before is of much higher importance.  Although, Pr. Morris, I might argue that Inouye shouldn't be an outlier (and might explain McCain a bit).  Inouye was a Medal of Honor winner.  He was the first Representative from the State of HI.  He was also the first Japanese American in the congress which given the events of WW2, his honors made some nod of repair.  Like McCain I'd argue his big accomplishment came long before his time the Congress and like so much in this age it is more about what he represents than any worthy accomplishment in long legislative careers.

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13474
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #76 on: September 04, 2018, 02:17:01 PM »
Using her death to further a political agenda is in any case, deplorable.


I did a funeral for a 19-year old boy. One of the few things his divorced (and remarried) parents agreed on is that I should talk about the importance of wearing seatbelts. There son didn't. The driver of the car did. She had a sprained ankle. Is mentioning the importance of seat belts a political agenda? (For some it might be, like helmets for motorcyclists in some states - the government intruding into our lives and our freedoms.)


Our funeral liturgy includes this note (from the Leader's Edition) for after the Prayer of the Day and before the Scripture Readings:

The gathering may conclude with a time when relatives or associates of the deceased comment briefly in thanksgiving for and remembrance of the one who has died. These comments ought not overshadow the proclamation of the word of God that follows.
 
When family or friends speak, (if allowed,) we don't control what they might say. If there are such comments, I want them before the scriptures and sermon. I want the Word of God to have the last word.

In the instance that you mentioned, the non-use of a seat belt, and that case mentioned by someone else of a loved one killed in a drunk driving accident, the cause being mentioned had a direct connection to the death.  And so as we remember the one who died and why, it is perhaps more appropriate to mention/warn against the contributing factor in that death.


Pres. Trump did not cause the death of Sen. McCain.  The comments at the funeral against Trump seem at best a settling of old scores or revenge.  That and "we've got the stage and sympathetic hearers, let's exploit the situation and the audience for our political agenda."
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13474
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #77 on: September 04, 2018, 02:30:19 PM »
Pastor Fienen, that is one of the most offensive and ridiculous sashay, do-si-do and weasely dodges that I have ever encountered. You ignore the substance of what I posted and put on the tinfoil hat that lets you say "He hates Trump and that's all there is to it."
Maybe if you wait more than 21 minutes (minus the time it takes you to read and minus the time it takes you to type) before you put the hat on, the Force Of The Universe and your own brain might give you something substantial to say about the subject.
Or do go a little more poetic and cosmic, didn't someone here recently cite John Donne's "No man is an island," which states that every death is - in a way - "political" or at least has an impact on the civil order. Would you object to a lawmaker who use the death of someone killed by a drunk driver as a reason for strengthening the laws about drinking and driving, or the death of an abused spouse becoming part of a campaign against domestic abuse?
Or (and here is what my knee-jerk reaction might have been) are you just so defensive of Trump that you can't bear to have him criticized in any way? Or are you such a mugwump, your claws firmly gripping the fence rail, that you just can't get to one side or the other?

I'll admit that I do not have your journalistic credentials nor your experience as an ecclesiastical bureaucrat and statesman, Pr. Austin, so I've missed the experience to tell me that suggesting that my favored head gear involves tinfoil is an example of substantive discussion and respect. 


In your world of careful, thoughtful and substantive discussion, apparently anyone who wants to understand all sides of an issue and understand even the points that people you disagree with are making is a disgusting mugwump.  One picks a side and follows that side completely with no understanding for the other side at all.  Apparently you have never read the posts where I have criticized Pres. Trump and disagreed with him because since I do not join you in your visceral revulsion at anything Trump I "can't bear to have him criticized in any way?"  My point was not that Pres. Trump does not deserve criticism, but perhaps a funeral is not the best place to do it.



Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

David Garner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 8065
    • View Profile
    • For He is Good and Loves Mankind
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #78 on: September 04, 2018, 02:42:25 PM »
Pastor Fienen, that is one of the most offensive and ridiculous sashay, do-si-do and weasely dodges that I have ever encountered. You ignore the substance of what I posted and put on the tinfoil hat that lets you say "He hates Trump and that's all there is to it."
Maybe if you wait more than 21 minutes (minus the time it takes you to read and minus the time it takes you to type) before you put the hat on, the Force Of The Universe and your own brain might give you something substantial to say about the subject.
Or do go a little more poetic and cosmic, didn't someone here recently cite John Donne's "No man is an island," which states that every death is - in a way - "political" or at least has an impact on the civil order. Would you object to a lawmaker who use the death of someone killed by a drunk driver as a reason for strengthening the laws about drinking and driving, or the death of an abused spouse becoming part of a campaign against domestic abuse?
Or (and here is what my knee-jerk reaction might have been) are you just so defensive of Trump that you can't bear to have him criticized in any way? Or are you such a mugwump, your claws firmly gripping the fence rail, that you just can't get to one side or the other?

I'll admit that I do not have your journalistic credentials nor your experience as an ecclesiastical bureaucrat and statesman, Pr. Austin, so I've missed the experience to tell me that suggesting that my favored head gear involves tinfoil is an example of substantive discussion and respect. 


In your world of careful, thoughtful and substantive discussion, apparently anyone who wants to understand all sides of an issue and understand even the points that people you disagree with are making is a disgusting mugwump.  One picks a side and follows that side completely with no understanding for the other side at all.  Apparently you have never read the posts where I have criticized Pres. Trump and disagreed with him because since I do not join you in your visceral revulsion at anything Trump I "can't bear to have him criticized in any way?"  My point was not that Pres. Trump does not deserve criticism, but perhaps a funeral is not the best place to do it.

I went to the Antiochian Village last week for the St. Stephen Course residency, and had a lot of time on the plane, on the bus and in the room to talk to a friend of mine from Church.  One of the things we talked about was the press reaction to the Vigano allegations against the Pope (yes, I know there's a thread on this -- trust me, it's tangential to my point).  My take was the press is at odds with its own agenda here, because having spent as much time as possible chalking this up as "religion bad because pedophilia," it now has to confront credible allegations that this is more like "gay predation bad because institutional cover up," and that doesn't fit the narrative.

One of the things I said to my friend was the press has a real problem because of one thing:  "they know which side they're supposed to be on."

Sometimes, that's literally all that matters.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13474
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #79 on: September 04, 2018, 03:13:07 PM »
Pastor Fienen writes (Re Miss Tibbetts):
Using her death to further a political agenda is in any case, deplorable.

I comment:

I agree.


We agree, sort of.  From what else you've posted I have to wonder if your finding the using of her death to further a political agenda to be deplorable relates more to deploring the political agenda her death was being used to further (and who was using it) than the general idea of using the death of an individual to further a political agenda.  The political exploitation of a death for political purposes did not seem to bother you concerning the death of Sen. McCain and his funeral.

Quote
Pastor Fienen goes on:
Sen. John McCain's daughter and others used his funeral to take veiled shots at Pres. Trump.  Was that any less deplorable to use his death and funeral to further political agendas or to take political shots at people that the senator, his family or friends disliked?  If it is deplorable for people to use Mollie Tibbetts to slam some people and score political points, why is it not also deplorable with Sen. McCain?

I comment:

This is one time when the "yes-but-they-do-it-too" refrain from Pastor Fienen is wrong wrong wrong. Senator McCain was by choice a public figure. The shots at him were taken by a man running for the highest office in the land, in a way designed to further that man's career. There can be no comparison. None at all.


Yes, Sen. McCain was a public figure, a politician.  And yes, Candidate Trump's pot shots at him were deplorable.  To make retribution for those insults a feature of the funeral does not bring any sort of healing but simply serves to keep the feud and the hurts alive.  Also the politicking at the funeral went beyond simply striking back at Trump's deplorable comments.


You have a funny idea of what funerals are for if you consider a political rally an appropriate element for a church funeral.  If one is a public figure, does that mean that everything that they do, everything that is done for them must be political?


Quote
Pastor Fienen again:
After the Parkland shootings and many others, those deaths were exploited to score political points and push a political agenda.  Was that acceptable in a way that politicizing the death of Mollie Tibbetts is not?

Me again:

Yes, and it is deplorable that anyone would think otherwise.


Please explain why it is different to politicize the deaths in the Parkland shooting and to politicize the death of Mollie Tibbetts?  And that it is deplorable not to hold them as different.  The only difference that I see is that you approve of the political agenda being pushed after the Parkland shooting and do not approve of the agenda being pushed after the death of Mollie Tibbetts.


Quote
Pastor Fienen:
A single standard of not using tragedies or the deaths of loved ones as political fodder I think would be far superior to a double standard where some deaths and some tragedies that lend themselves to support for political causes are fair game for exploitation and others, on the other side are not.
Me:

You cannot possibly be that naïve or really think that there is some "standard." But consider the cases based on what I cited upstream. One involves all public, political, civic figures. One does not. And the Parkland students killed were not brought into that by the man in the white house, but by their friends and families.


Perhaps I am naïve to hope that some reverence is left in our society, we see so little of it on the Right or on the Left.  "One involves all public, political, civic figures."  Am I to take that to mean that if one is a public figure one cannot expect to be remembered at just a funeral without it becoming a political rally?  Has it become mandatory that the deaths of public figures become political events and the human activities of remembrance and paying of respects be set aside for political theater?


"And the Parkland students killed were not brought into that by the man in the white house, but by their friends and families."  I am trying to unpack this.  Guns were a proximate cause of the deaths at Parkland.  An illegal alien was allegedly a proximate cause of the death of Mollie Tibbetts.  Am I to take it to mean that if her father had chosen to use her death to raise awareness of illegal aliens and the need for stricter boarder controls that would have been fine and acceptable?  Or was it that you are totally in favor of stricter gun control measures that you find the use of the Parkland deaths to push for gun control good while the use of the death of Mollie Tibbetts to push for stricter boarder controls is unacceptable because you are totally against such controls?  Or is it that some of buzz about boarder controls came from "the man in the white house."  It wasn't just family and friends after Parkland that used those deaths to push a political agenda.


Quote
Pastor Fienen:
Cashing in his death to score cheap shots at political opponents, even those he himself opposed, in unworthy of him and of those who honor his memory.
Me:
Are you serious? Are you thinking? It is those who "honor his memory" who brought those words into the setting in order to - wait for it - honor his memory. And by they way, if you will think more carefully, as I am sure you are able of doing, they were hardly "cheap shots." They were eloquent, tearful, heartfelt, laments on the situation.
Want to hear a cheap shot? Listen to the man who said these words: "I like people who weren't captured." (or any of several hundred other blurtings and tweets).



There can be no question but what Pres. Trump is a master of the cheap shot.  And that is not to his credit.  Apparently he is to be held responsible for every cheap shot that he has uttered and everybody should castigate him for it.  The cheap shots uttered by others in politics, especially those who oppose Trump, are to be taken as business as usual. 


But that aside, is a church funeral, even of a politician, now to be an opportunity for a political rally, even for a cause that the deceased supported?  Maybe so, and I think that we as a nation are poorer for it.  Nothing is sacred anymore, from any side.  If the family and friends of Sen. McCain wanted to continue his political legacy or political feud with Pres. Trump, that is their privilege and their right.  But did they have to do it at his funeral?  One of the things that Sen. McCain was known for was reaching out across the aisle, reaching out to political opponents and rivals, and Trump.  Rather there was the sharpening of barbs and arrows and nurturing of grudges and feuds.  Few wounds were healed, rather salt was distributed to make sure the wounds would fester.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 06:49:57 PM by Dan Fienen »
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13474
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #80 on: September 04, 2018, 03:26:11 PM »

Another observation.


We also had this past week the funeral of Aretha Franklin.  Given her prominence in the world of entertainment, and the number of figures from the world of entertainment paying their respects, it was inevitable that her funeral would become quite a production.  But it also became at times quite political, even from one of pastors involved.  In this case the politics was not exactly pleasing to her family.  Since she was a prominent public figure, should her family have expected politics to intrude?  Was it right and proper that it do so?


« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 05:06:59 PM by Dan Fienen »
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 19534
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #81 on: September 04, 2018, 04:07:43 PM »
Should the body of a slain enemy be paraded around the city? Why or why not?

TERJr

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ***
  • Posts: 189
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #82 on: September 08, 2018, 06:26:37 PM »
Should the body of a slain enemy be paraded around the city? Why or why not?
To avenge one’s gay lover, perhaps, but otherwise it’s right out of the question.

Matt Hummel

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2936
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #83 on: September 08, 2018, 09:30:22 PM »
The McCain family obviously loved their father/spouse very much. A short while ago a loudmouthed, craven bully who never did anything for his country made light of their loved one's sacrifice. And then an opportunity arose to pay that loud mouthed coward back. So they took it. Don't know about anyone else on this forum, but they send like my relatives.

POTUS needs to learn the great truth from MIB- "Don't start nothin', won't be nothin'."
Matt Hummel


“The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13474
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #84 on: September 08, 2018, 10:09:03 PM »
The McCain family obviously loved their father/spouse very much. A short while ago a loudmouthed, craven bully who never did anything for his country made light of their loved one's sacrifice. And then an opportunity arose to pay that loud mouthed coward back. So they took it. Don't know about anyone else on this forum, but they send like my relatives.

POTUS needs to learn the great truth from MIB- "Don't start nothin', won't be nothin'."
I thought that the legacy of John McCain was better than don’t mess with John, we will repay every slight and insult.  Funeral = Payback Time?  Funeral = Settle Old Scores?  Wouldn’t a more fitting tribute have been to hold up the courage, sacrifice, service and the reaching beyond personal and political grudges and feuds to serve the country that graces and decorates Sen. McCain’s finest legacy rather than playing tit for tat payback time with the loudmouth craven bully that’s disgraced himself?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

J. Thomas Shelley

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4309
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #85 on: September 09, 2018, 12:04:38 AM »
Other senators to die in office of which I'm familiar are a couple of mine, John Heinz and Arlen Specter (plane crash and cancer respectively).  Neither of whose service to the country matched McCain. 
As a fellow Pennsylvanian:  Neither of whose service to the Commonwealth they represented produced anything memorable.
Greek Orthodox Deacon -Ecumenical Patriarchate
Ordained to the Holy Diaconate Mary of Egypt Sunday A.D. 2022

Baptized, Confirmed, and Ordained United Methodist.
Served as a Lutheran Pastor October 31, 1989 - October 31, 2014.
Charter member of the first chapter of the Society of the Holy Trinity.

Robert Johnson

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 789
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #86 on: September 09, 2018, 01:03:15 AM »
The McCain family obviously loved their father/spouse very much. A short while ago a loudmouthed, craven bully who never did anything for his country made light of their loved one's sacrifice. And then an opportunity arose to pay that loud mouthed coward back. So they took it.

Cheap payback.  Crass.

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 15018
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #87 on: September 09, 2018, 04:53:04 AM »
Or an expression of real pain and sorrow caused when the sacrifice of a beloved husband and father is crudely trashed by the president of the country for whom he suffered and sacrificed.
If you excuse or minimize the president's remarks, then one ought to have some compassion and understanding for what the family said.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Former national staff Lutheran Church in America And the Lutheran world Federation, Geneva. Former journalist. Now retired and living in Minneapolis.

gan ainm

  • Guest
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #88 on: September 09, 2018, 06:01:20 AM »
Sometimes being silent is the more dignified response.

(ESV) Mt 26:62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.

Mt 27:12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Terry W Culler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2388
    • View Profile
Re: John McCain: an American hero is laid to rest
« Reply #89 on: September 09, 2018, 08:12:05 AM »
I voted for John McCain for president on 2 occasions.  He was an honorable man and worthy of our admiration, for the most part.  That is why I was so angry with the hype around his death and funeral, it demeaned McCain's life and work because it was really another anti-Trump exercise by the media and other leftwing hangers on.  Had McCain made peace with Trump his death would have been written off pretty quickly by the left as good riddance to bad rubbish. 
Trying to be retired but failing