John McCain was the sometimes Episcopalian, sometimes Baptist Christian, who got his religion the old fashion way— by praying in a situation where his ass was on the line. And frankly, it was among the most exciting come-to-Jesus moments one may have, I think.
But oddly, not one that always necessarily rises above an intellectual, emotional conversion, to the lofty plateau of a spiritual one.
Jesus is certainly aware of McCain’s suffering in Vietnam, extending from the moment he was shot down while flying his 23rd bombing mission over North Vietnam. He was hauled out of Truc Bach Lake near Hanoi, by a dozen or so angry young men, to become the captive of the very men, women, and children he had been dropping napalm on a few minutes earlier; he was stabbed with a bayonet, and his shoulder was crushed with the butt of a rifle, but they did not slay him. He became a prisoner of war who was regularly and brutally beaten and tortured for five and a half years. He was eventually freed, and until Saturday, August 25th, of 2018, he still drew breath.
And before that, the Lord heard John McCain when he said, “Now that I’ve seen what the bombs and the napalm did to the people on our ship, I’m not so sure that I want to drop any more of that stuff on North Vietnam.”
Jesus is also aware that, despite John McCain’s awakening to the fact the jellied gasoline he’d been dropping on human beings was not unlike “that stuff” that burned 138 of his crewmen to death— and nearly him too— when a rocket errantly fired on the deck of the U.S.S. Forrestal, that he continued to do it anyway.
And rest assured his professed Master and Savior took note of him when he shew his guidance for the Christian nation he would lead by opining: “There will be more wars.”
And many years later the Creator of us all heard John McCain when he intentionally mis-sang the Beach Boys lyric from their song “Barbara Ann,” as “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.”
And Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” John McCain will be forgiven.
May he rest in peace.