Chris Moody, one of the really underrated scribes covering 2012, hangs out with Herman Cain during a stop at Orlando's eschatologically-correct Holy Land Experience theme park.
He did have a slight worry at one point during the chemotherapy process when he discovered that one of the surgeon's name was "Dr. Abdallah."
"I said to his physician assistant, I said, 'That sounds foreign--not that I had anything against foreign doctors--but it sounded too foreign," Cain tells the audience. "She said, 'He's from Lebanon.' Oh, Lebanon! My mind immediately started thinking, wait a minute, maybe his religious persuasion is different than mine! She could see the look on my face and she said, 'Don't worry, Mr. Cain, he's a Christian from Lebanon.'"
"Hallelujah!" Cain says. "Thank God!"
The crowd laughs uneasily.
I was taken aback until I remembered that Cain has said this before. My colleague Will Saletan pointed that out over the summer, linking back to this video of Cain speaking in Georgia, in February, at Rock Springs church. Go to 5:00: He tells the story, and the crowd laughs along, with a faint hint of "eh, should we be indulging him in this?"
At the risk of flogging the hair off this dead horse, I see another stupid aspect to this story. Lebanon is the most Christian nation in the Middle East. Around 35 percent of people living in the country now are Catholic or Orthodox. Cain hears the last name, though, and panics. You're left to wonder what would have happened had the doctor been a Muslim or a Druze or something. You're also left asking: Uh, why does Cain think this story's such a home run with Christian audiences?
TODAY IN SLATE
Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola
Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.
U.S. Begins Air Strikes Against ISIS in Syria
The U.S. Is So, So Far Behind Europe on Clean Energy
It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.