Palin and those 'scary' Christians

cross ABC News Ties Sarah Palin to Pentecostalism

“As America gets a crash course in Sarah Palin, the question has been raised of how her two decades as a member of the Assemblies of God church in Wasilla has shaped her personality. If elected, Sarah Palin would become the most powerful Pentecostal in U.S. history. So how has this church shaped her as a leader? ”

What is interesting to me about this is that my father (a minister now for forty years) was an Assemblies of God pastor for seven years and was also a pastor for many years with Church on the Rock International. That is the ‘non-denominational’ church referred to in the article that Sarah Palin now attends. Church on the Rock is an association of churches, not a denomination, so they can technically be spoken of as ‘non-denominational’.

My maternal grandfather (a minister, pastor, and preacher for some sixty years) was also an Assemblies of God pastor for many of those years and then later was an ordained minister with the Independent Assemblies of God for about the last twenty five years of his life. My great uncle, great-grandfather and step great-grandfather were also Assembly of God pastors.

I guess all of that makes Sarah Palin one of “my people”. I can safely say that I have far more insight into the personal theology, belief system and Christian world view of Governor Sarah Palin than the entire staff of ABC News could ever hope to have.

The Assemblies are actually considered pretty mild for “Pentecostals” and I wouldn’t have the slightest trepidation of putting someone with that belief system in a position of authority. If anything, a few more people who strive to be honest, moral, and forthright and who have humbled themselves before God might be just the thing our increasingly corrupt system of government needs.

What ABC is trying to say is that because Palin is a Bible believing Christian that somehow makes her scary, or dangerous or ‘other’ and therefore she should be rejected in favor of the secularist who attended a radical, black liberation theology church for twenty plus years and whose pastor and spiritual mentor is well known for his anti-white, anti-American and anti-Israel stances, rants and raves. This also means she is probably not a baby whacker or willing to personally officiate at lesbian weddings, obviously making her ‘not a feminist’ and worthy only of being the subject of unending slander, character assassination and rumormongering of the basest sort.

Sounds fair, doesn’t it? I absolutely detest the media. It is sad to see a nation that has now apparently declared secularism to be its national religion while rejecting, ridiculing and mocking the Faith that this nation and its concepts and laws was founded upon. The road is not always easy for those who have chosen to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

For those seeking some perspective on numbers, “Pentecostals” number about 10-30 million in the United States depending on how you define the term and make up one quarter of all Christians worldwide. They are a subset of the larger evangelical movement that numbers about 102 million people in the United States. The word "Pentecostal" is not really a word used very much by anyone except apparently ABC News, with the terms "Spirit Filled", or "Full Gospel" having replaced it to a great extent.

My theme song

Posted by David M. Huntwork at September 17, 2008 10:05 PM
Comments
Comment #263269

The Republicans are responsible for much of their own trouble on this issue. They chose to provide a mainstream outlet for what are basically reconstructionist views.

If you learn about these views, you’ll find them scary and extreme. The concern for many people is whether candidates of these religions will leave their views at home and carry out policy in an equitable manner for a country of millions of whom most are likely worshipping differently than them.

They don’t want somebody who selfishly pushes their religious views on everybody else through public policy.

Bush and others have created for themselves a record of such intervention. The Terri Schiavo case is an example. The teaching of creationism in schools is another. Bush in particular has gone a long way towards convincing people that public piety along evangelical and protestant terms is a warning sign of a problematic candidate. Even Republicans have had issues with Mormonism.

All of this becomes beside the point when religion stops being a primary qualification for office. When that happens, we simply cease to care.

When people remark upon Kennedy as the first Catholic President, they don’t do so to highlight some aspect of his policy, but to highlight a Demographic first. Aside from that, he more or less gave the promise that he would not let the dictates of his Church get in the way of the dictates of his office.

If Republicans were to return to that line, they could ditch having to worry about who’s Mormon, who’s Episcopalian, who’s Baptist, and who’s Catholic, and they could get down to policy, just like Harry Reid, Evan Bayh, Robert Byrd, and Joe Biden do.

If Religion remained a personal, private thing for a candidate within the Republican party, and we could count on them to do their jobs and respect our privacy on such matters, the issue of whether or not a particular candidate’s religion was scary would never come up.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 17, 2008 11:12 PM
Comment #263270
the secularist who attended a radical, black liberation theology church for twenty plus years and whose pastor and spiritual mentor is well known for his anti-white, anti-American and anti-Israel stances, rants and raves.

Barak belongs to the United Church of Christ. I have a friend whose mother is a pastor for this church. The church is neither black, ant-American, nor anti-Israel. It’s pretty middle of the road as far as Christian churches go.

But by all means, question Barak about his beliefs, and question Palin about hers. Palin has said that if Israel bombs Iran, she would not “second guess” their decision. She has also referred to the war against Iraq as “God’s plan”. I would like to know if Palin believes if the war in Iraq is a “holy war”. I would also like to know if she believes in the rapture.

Personally, I don’t want someone that believes in the rapture to be in charge of this war. I do not want to fight a “holy war”. I do not want my President or Vice President refusing to second guess Israel because they are a holy people that will bring about the rapture. I don’t want to second guess this country’s leadership, and wonder if they are doing what they are doing for religious reasons only.

Posted by: Max at September 17, 2008 11:22 PM
Comment #263273

“No,no,no…not God Bless America, God damn America; it’s in the Bible” :)

Nice article David. The thing to keep in mind is that the MSM is full of a bunch of liberals. And, liberalism is their religion; and all the tenants (feminism, man-made global warming, socialism) that go along with it! They fear religion and capitalism b/c it’s something they can’t control. They have to control everything.

Now, just look what happens when they try to make comments on religion “Jesus was an community organizer, Pontius Pilates was a governor”… they step in it bigtime! Bush, Palin, Lincoln, the founding fathers, they are all scary to the libs b/c of their beliefs and deep roots in religion. They go nuts! It’s fun (as all hell) to watch them in the process, though.

Posted by: rahdigly at September 17, 2008 11:28 PM
Comment #263274

David M. Huntwork-
I’m thinking you could have stuffed another talking point buzzword somewhere in there, if you really tried.

What ABC is trying to say is that because Palin is a Bible believing Christian that somehow makes her scary, or dangerous or ‘other’ and therefore she should be rejected in favor of the secularist who attended a radical, black liberation theology church for twenty plus years and whose pastor and spiritual mentor is well known for his anti-white, anti-American and anti-Israel stances, rants and raves. This also means she is probably not a baby whacker or willing to personally officiate at lesbian weddings, obviously making her ‘not a feminist’ and obviously worthy only of being the subject of unending slander, character assassination and rumormongering of the basest sort.

You want people to accept your religion, but see fit to indulge in overbearing attacks on those of others, even vicious distortions, for the sake of politics.

You can’t have it both ways.

Either you will respect Obama’s religion in the same way, making the same allowances, or your candidate’s religion can be validly drug into fray as another hostage to political fortune. If Obama’s church is cariactured wrongly as scary by your side, what defense do you have of a similar distortion of your folks’ religious impulses and intentions?

People will decide on their own in this country whether they are saved or not, and who saves them. for 200 years that decision belonged to the person alone in America, aided by Founding Fathers who ran the gamut of worship and religious attitude.

Result? America’s a uniquely religious country among Western powers, and peaceful given its diversity of faiths.

America doesn’t need it’s government out there trying to save souls. It needs Government to mind its own business.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 17, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #263275

First this non-partisan comment. Don’t you just love it when the media says “Questions have been raised” about this, that, or the other and then launches into it as if it’s not actually them who is raising these questions? My writing teachers always said not use the passive voice but it seems like it happens quite a lot whenever people try to shift responsibility. It’s jut like when politicians say “Mistakes have been made,” as if we’ll just forget that they were the ones who made those mistakes.

This idea that Americans are getting or need a crash course in pentecostalism is baloney.

For starters, it’s not really unfamiliar at all to anybody who knows anything about the various large church denominations in this country. What’s more, Sarah Palin left that demonination for a different one, six years ago I believe, and the logical reason has to be that she prefers the theologoy of a different church. I know tons of people who’ve switched churches, and if you want to know something about why, you can ask them, but why that’s a question for a political candidate is beyond me. It’s like the Assembly of God is some fringe church with strange alien views. There are tens of millions who belong to it, and as David Huntwork notes, it’s a fairly mild version of pentecostolism that is unfamiliar only to people who have know knowldege of religion in America. Like ABC reporters it seems.

Posted by: Liam at September 17, 2008 11:49 PM
Comment #263282

I can only assume this line was meant to be some sort of punch line. It was pretty funny.

If Republicans were to return to that line, they could ditch having to worry about who’s Mormon, who’s Episcopalian, who’s Baptist, and who’s Catholic, and they could get down to policy, just like Harry Reid, Evan Bayh, Robert Byrd, and Joe Biden do.

Stop it, you’re killing me.

Posted by: David M. Huntwork at September 18, 2008 12:49 AM
Comment #263292

Christians aren’t scary. There are millions of Christian Democrats, and they aren’t scary at all to the audience you imply are scared of Christians.

It is Republican Christians who are scary because they work to control and subjugate the government to meet their unique sect and brand of Christian beliefs. It is akin to the Radical Muslims in Iran controlling Iran’s government such that the practice or observance of any other values differing from their brand of Islam, will be punishable by law.

Abortion is a perfect example. Roe v. Wade DOES NOT tell Republican Christians they must or must not have an abortion. And they appreciate the fact that Roe V. Wade does not MANDATE that they abort a Down’s syndrome fetus under threat of punishment by law.

The hypocrisy of these same Christians attempting to make it a law punishable by imprisonment that everyone observe their religious belief that human life begins at conception, is just plain intolerable to the rational and logical mind.

So, no, it is not Christians who are scary. It is a particular combination of Republican and Christian fundamentalism following the same political objectives of the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran that is scary.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 18, 2008 3:32 AM
Comment #263296

David H:
Oh give me a break…
If Obama had to endure his ‘connections’ and ‘associations’ with previous churches, so should Palin.

Obama for a good solid two months had to endure some bizarro-world connection with Rev. Wright. i must have missed your admonishment of this tactic.

Since McCain chose NOT to, Palin should have to go SOME SORT of vetting process even it’s the press doing the vetting.

Posted by: john trevisani at September 18, 2008 7:24 AM
Comment #263297

David Huntwork-
How can you even claim to deserve the benefit of the doubt on Palin’s religion when a) Your folks make Obama’s Pastor and church life a negative issue, and b) You’re listing it as a qualification for office, more or less, which should make it fair game for examination and critique from the press?

Oh, look at Obama’s scary pastor. Well, if eccentric pastors are a problem, they should be your problem as well as ours. Much as you’d like to think otherwise, most people attend churches where the raptures is considered a scriptural misinterpretation. Most find views that attributed the bloodshed and suffering in Israel or New Orleans or elsewhere to some punishment from God abhorrent.

If you are interested in shielding your candidates from criticism for their faith, you can let religion fade back into the woodwork as a private matter it once was for both Democrats AND Republicans, something that didn’t stick its head so intrusively into public policy.

If Church and State are not to be kept separate, if a religious test is to be applied, even informally, for the office, then the American Public will naturally discriminate against minority religious views as a matter of course. Those who count themselves among the flock of fundamentalist and pentecostal congregations could find themselves shut out, or at least reduced in stature for the offices, because their views fall outside the mainstream there.

But if your people chose to let the matter become irrelevant to public life, then you could simply ask us why we’re making a big deal out of something you’re not.

It’s your choice: make religion a qualification for office and watch those with minority religious views like yours get shut out eventually as people come to fear and misunderstand them, or leave it out and rightfully claim that it’s none of anybody’s business.

Your choice.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2008 7:27 AM
Comment #263299

I could care less what church Palin goes to - I do how she believes will shape policies she will push for. Does she believe in science? Do her deeply held religious beliefs blind her to obvious facts? It appears so from what she has said. If you believe that the earth is between 6-10,000 years old you believe in something that runs counter to every piece of scientific evidence out there. That makes me question someone’s judgment. Does she believe that god plopped us down here in our current state as human beings? If so I question her judgment. Most Christians have come been able to understand that science and religion are not necessarily at odds and when overwhelming evidence is put in front of them they can accept it without rejecting their faith. From what little we know of Palin, it appears that her religious beliefs blind her to the obvious. It is that inability to demonstrate good judgment that I question not what denomination she belongs to. That is why someone’s belief system is important and that is why she should be asked those questions. We are all operating in a vacuum here because the PALIN/mccain campaign will not allow her or will not push her to go in front of the media and answer questions. In the absence of information we are forced to assume the worst.

There are policy matters that her religious beliefs should be called into question. I will avoid the abortion issue because there are valid non-religious arguments against it even though I am pro-choice. Gay marriage for instance, the only really valid social argument against gay marriage is that your religious beliefs tell you that it is wrong. I would totally disagree with this but I do believe in religious freedom and if you religion tells you to be a bigot then so be it. There is not a single legal reason why anyone should not be allowed to marry who they want and the government’s interest in marriage is about property, taxes, and the division of property if the marriage dissolves. It is a 50/50 business relationship in the eyes of the government nothing more. All of the arguments against it are basically bigoted claims having to do with religious beliefs or just plain old homophobia which is just stupid and lame. I would say in defense of christians who believe same sex marriage is wrong that at least there is some basis for this belief. Those who don’t have this foundation for their beliefs are just hateful people.

Therefore, I don’t think her belonging to a pentecostal church is a disqualifier for office but she, like every candidate for public office should answer questions as to how she will govern if given the chance. She has refused to answer any questions not in a tightly controlled environment. She did a horrible job in the Charles Gibson interview and he went pretty easy on her. I’m sure she’ll do better with a friendly Hannity interview but he will serve up nothing but lobs over the plate for her to tee off on. There will be no tough questions from this joke of a “journalist.”

Thomas Jefferson was savaged by the press when he ran against John Adams. He was called an atheist, an adulterer and that was mild stuff compared to calling him a French agent. Through all of this he defended the right of the press to have free, open access to our public officials. Palin has shown no signs of being open to answering questions about anything (McCain has been pretty absent too). So as I said above in the absence of her explanations we are forced to assume the worst.

Finally, her religion has nothing to do with my belief that she is lacking in either curiosity or intellect from what I have heard from her and my beliefs that she is totally unqualified to be janitor at the White House much less VP or president.

Posted by: tcsned at September 18, 2008 8:54 AM
Comment #263300

john

“Obama for a good solid two months had to endure some bizarro-world connection with Rev. Wright. i must have missed your admonishment of this tactic.”

what bizzaro-world connection would that be john ? the man attended a church for wasn’t it 20yrs, and subjected his children to this hate monger that gos by the name of rev wright. you call that a bizzaro-world connection,.. interesting.

Posted by: dbs at September 18, 2008 8:59 AM
Comment #263301

dbs - nice try. Calling Rev. Wright a hate monger? What do you call Pat Robertson? Jerry Falwell? How about the rest of their ilk? These guys have a much worse record than Rev. Wright. So every southern baptist that attends a Church that blames gays for 9-11 or Katrina should be disqualified from office?

Condemning someone for a few soundbytes is nothing compared to a careers of intolerance and bigotry that have spewed out of the mouths of Falwell and Robertson and their ilk.

I haven’t heard all of the youtube comments from Rev. Wright but while he went way over the top with the “god damn America” comments what would you say to a nation that starts an illegal war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives? How about a nation that tortures innocent people? How about a nation that engaged in the most hateful behavior against people of color for most of its history? I wouldn’t use the language that Rev. Wright used but do I think this country has engaged in less than savory behavior - yes. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love my country as much as anyone else. It is the only place for many years that you could even have this conversation without legal retribution. I just set the bar very high for what this great experiment called America should live up to and we have fallen way short many times.

Posted by: tcsned at September 18, 2008 9:32 AM
Comment #263304

tcsned

“nice try. Calling Rev. Wright a hate monger? What do you call Pat Robertson? Jerry Falwell?”

not the point tc. john made a comment all i did was respond. your guy is worse than mine is another thread…..nice try.

Posted by: dbs at September 18, 2008 10:09 AM
Comment #263306

When it comes to religion, the Republicans have made their own bed. The unholy union of business and religion was bound to fall apart sooner or later. The main problem I see with fundamentalists is their belief in the Bible. Most Christians in America think evolution was one of the tools the Lord used to create everything. But the book, especially the Old Testament was wrote by shepherds 3 or 4 thousand years ago.In my mind it was never meant to be a history book or a science book. We would be much better off if people paid more attention to the New Testament, (If someone steels you coat offer them your shirt.) WOW that’s profound.

Posted by: m at September 18, 2008 10:24 AM
Comment #263307

dbs-
Folks like yourself keep repeating this line, refusing to believe that Wright was anything more than the content of a few minutes worth of controversial rhetoric and opinionation.

Those with more comprehensive experience of Wright’s preaching consider his heated rhetoric in those sermons to be extreme, but not representative of his career as a whole. If you want a good idea of what Obama saw in Wright, you should look up the sermon that Obama borrows the title of his book from.

The theology he preached was not black separatism, but black involvement, blacks giving back to the communities they came from. In many ways, his rhetoric mirrored that of conservative cultural critics, dealing with responsibility and other things.

I know you are more likely than not to revert to that corrosive talking point. That has been the nature of Conservative politics: vilify and demonize. No moderation, no conciliatory language. But just as the Republican politician’s zeal has pushed their politics over the edge of moderation and common decency, just as their zeal has pushed them past caring about anything but defeating their opponents, the zeal to make Obama seem foreign and threatening has lead people like you to make a rhetorical mountain out of a molehill’s worth of Rev. Wright’s career.

If you want your church to be your business, let it be. Let Obama have his pastor, let Palin have hers. If they are radicals? Well, here’s my perspective: if we both agree to keep religion out of politics, to emphasize government along secular lines, and leave religious decisions and attitudes to the individual, then it won’t matter either way. But so long as Republicans emphasize religion and faith as qualifications, and turn doctrine into policy, they will field questions and intrusive attention upon their religious choices.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2008 10:38 AM
Comment #263311

stephen

what does your statement have to do with johns bizzaro-world connection statement ? you and tc seem to want to turn my response to john into something it isn’t.

Posted by: dbs at September 18, 2008 10:53 AM
Comment #263314


Either you will respect Obama’s religion in the same way, making the same allowances, or your candidate’s religion can be validly drug into fray as another hostage to political fortune. If Obama’s church is caricatured wrongly as scary by your side, what defense do you have of a similar distortion of your folks’ religious impulses and intentions?

One type of church teaches you to love your neighbor as yourself, to love your country, and to ask God’s blessing upon this nation.

The other teaches racial discord and distrust, hatred towards your country, and for God to damn America.

Which one do you think Obama chose to attend for 23 years and fund with tens of thousands of dollars? And we’re talking about Palin’s judgment here? Good grief. Put the Kool Aid down.

Posted by: David M. Huntwork at September 18, 2008 11:04 AM
Comment #263317

“It is Republican Christians who are scary because they work to control and subjugate the government to meet their unique sect and brand of Christian beliefs”

Could it not also be said that liberals are scary because they work to control and subjugate the government and people to meet their unique brand of liberal beliefs?

What’s the difference between pushing ones religious beliefs onto others and pushing ones political beliefs onto others?

This fear of non-liberal Christians is ridiculous, hypocritical and nothing more than fear mongering to advance a political agenda.

Posted by: kctim at September 18, 2008 11:22 AM
Comment #263320

All of this is testament to the fact that politicians should leave their religion at home. Separation of church and state. It is that push by extremist religious groups to force their beliefs via government on everyone else that is scary. The republicans use them for votes. The religious groups use their votes to propagate their religious ideology. Government should be centered on practical matters. Not matters of various faith based theologies. Government has enough problems reaching consensus without the confusion of variable religious ideologies entering the equation.

Posted by: RickIL at September 18, 2008 11:44 AM
Comment #263322

RickIL

“It is that push by extremist religious groups to force their beliefs via government on everyone else that is scary.”

what do you consider a religion ? there are those that would consider extreme environmentalism a religion. it’s all a matter of whos beer goggles your viewing it through.

Posted by: dbs at September 18, 2008 11:51 AM
Comment #263325

dbs

what do you consider a religion ? there are those that would consider extreme environmentalism a religion.

Religion is based in faith. Environmentalism is based in science. I do not consider science religion. It has to do with real world fact and cumulative study in a particular field. There is no comparison with worshiping interpretations of a book that has been written and re-written with exclusions of original text many times over to suit the needs of various secular groups.

Posted by: RickIL at September 18, 2008 12:00 PM
Comment #263326

David Huntwork-
Don’t give me that crap. First, your side’s representation of his church treats TUCC as if it’s just a few minutes worth of controversial footage. You are not on solid ground to make your broader claim. Secondly, I am not arguing that we should all like either church. I am arguing that the Republicans make themselves fair game for criticism directed at their religion, given how strongly they want to impose their doctrines on their country.

Your religion will be scary to some people. For many new-age faiths are harmless. For some, they are practically Satanic. For some, Wiccans are a breath of fresh air. For others, they are a revival of loathsome paganism. For some, Fundamentalism represents the worst kind of intolerant close-mindedness. For others, their religion is one of integrity and truth.

Everybody’s got their own ideas, their own sense of what proper faith is. Rather than have the government run through those faiths like a bull in a china shop, trying to favor the best and suppress the rest, our framers decided to just let the sleeping dog lie, and leave religion a personal matter. Results? Good. People own their religion in this country, rather than being owned by it.

Republicans, seeking in their culture war to counterbalance what they see as dangerous departure from conservative religious traditions have sought to expand religious influence and pressure from government. But in doing so, they run right into the issue the Framers wisely dodged: competing claims on legitimacy.

So long as Palin’s faith is presented as a virtue for office, there will be those who weigh in, as private citizens, for and against it as a qualification. After all these years of Bush’s administration, many treat ostentatious Christianity in the Presidency with a sense of alarm and caution. And why not? They value, have a stake in, their own faiths and attitudes about faith. They own their religion and fear that others will confiscate that ownership.

It would be for the best if Republicans stopped trying to own faith in this country, and let it remain distributed among its rightful owners, to be handled and dealt with according to that person’s private interests. Leave that question alone, and it will leave you alone. Persist in making religion an issue, and you will have to deal with the negative consequences of that focus.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2008 12:06 PM
Comment #263329

RickIL


“Environmentalism is based in science”

to some extent yes, but there are those who follow blindly without verifying or doing thier own research. the same could be said about someone who follows the teachings of a church without ever reading the bible. both IMO are acting on faith, and following blindly. not much difference. both also can play to the fears of the uniformed in order to create compliance. in this way enviornmentalism is very much like religion.

Posted by: dbs at September 18, 2008 12:17 PM
Comment #263331

dbs-
A person can, through reason, demonstrate the effects of pollution. There are pieces of evidence and observable phenomena with which to separate the true from the false.

A person cannnot, through reason, demonstrate God. A person can reason themselves or other into accepting faith, but reason is unable to pierce the veil of the supernatural to distinguish the orthodox from the heresy. Grace is not accountable to mortal men.

Fervency does not make a religion, appeals to supernatural forces as underpinnings to the Cosmos do. One can fervently believe a scientific fact, but not take it on religious faith.

The false equivalency presented is merely meant to muddle the issue, to make something whose truth can be empirically determined a mere matter of personal opinion, as if global warming is merely a point of view, rather than a testable concept.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2008 12:23 PM
Comment #263337

Stephen,

Very well said. BTW, do you follow the skeptic movement? What you say and how you say it fits in very well with the evidence-based approach to reality they promote.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 18, 2008 12:29 PM
Comment #263339

stephen

following blindly, whether the facts are verifiable or not is IMO religion. both rely on faith in someting you haven’t taken the time to research your self.

Posted by: dbs at September 18, 2008 12:30 PM
Comment #263344

stephen

just a thought, there have been people through the ages that have worshipped things that can be quatified such as the sun. does this not qualify as a religion ?

Posted by: dbs at September 18, 2008 12:35 PM
Comment #263347

The only bashing is that conservative news source bashing ABC news for investigating. How dare they report on the anointed one!

Posted by: Schwamp at September 18, 2008 12:40 PM
Comment #263353

dbs,

Of course the sun objectively exists, and of course worshiping the sun is a religion.

Is that a contradiction? No, because sun worshipers venerate not just the objective existence of the sun, but instead imaginary powers they assume the sun has (including that the sun cares whether it is worshiped).

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 18, 2008 12:50 PM
Comment #263361

kctim said: “Could it not also be said that liberals are scary because they work to control and subjugate the government and people to meet their unique brand of liberal beliefs?”

Your comment fails to appreciate the difference between secular public policy and private religious belief. One is determined by public consensus, the other by private belief. Two separate worlds, or at least intended to be so, until the rise of the religious right which even a substantial number of Republicans abhor for ever having allowed them to dominate the GOP’s agenda.

Consensus can determine whether jaywalking should be a punishable crime according objectives of public safety. Consensus has no place forcing to people into prison or the electric chair for not ascribing to the belief that God injects a soul into two cells upon conception, which equates to homicide if those cells are terminated from further growth, or prevented from joining in the first place.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 18, 2008 1:21 PM
Comment #263362

An interesting comment on Palin’s religion from the Daily Dish:

Regarding the “odd lies” of Sarah Palin. I grew up in a deeply evangelical family, and through the lens of evangelical thinking the world is magical, populated with demons and angels, devils and gods. You are taught not to believe your eyes or your senses, that the wisdom of man is foolishness to god. That belief is Truth. That belief is Truth before reality is truth. What comes out of this is what I’ll call magical thinking.

You feel the presence of God, feel Him talking to you, feel the mission of your life, the purpose the plan the direction given to you by God. So everything becomes like a mythic fairy tale. You get in the habit of fitting the day to day realities into a ‘story’ the life story of God’s purpose in your life.

And here’s more from Palin’s Pastor:

“I’m not going tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for this particular person, I question your salvation. I’m sorry. If every Christian will vote righteously, it would be a landslide every time. I hate criticisms towards the President, because it’s like criticisms towards the pastor — it’s almost like, it’s not going to get you anywhere, you know, except for hell. That’s what it’ll get you.”

What you see in Iraq, basically, is a manifestation of what’s going on in this unseen world called the spirit world. … We need to think like Jesus thinks. We are in a time and a season of war, and we need to think like that. We need to develop that instinct. We need to develop as believers the instinct that we are at war, and that war is contending for your faith. … Jesus called us to die. You’re worried about getting hurt? He’s called us to die. Listen, you know we can’t even follow him unless you are willing to give up your life. … I believe that Jesus himself operated from that position of war mode. Everyone say “war mode.”“


Posted by: Max at September 18, 2008 1:22 PM
Comment #263363

dbs, investing in corporate stocks is an act of faith. But, not a religion in the customary definition of the word.

Waking up in the morning to a new day is an act of faith that you aren’t still sleeping and dreaming that you are waking up to face a new day. But, that is a philosophical faith, which too, is different than religious faith. Religious faith is by definition faith in an authoritarian prescription, whether that author be Siddhartha, Christ, or Mohammed. It is an acceptance of belief based on nothing more than the authority pushing that belief, and acceptance without empirical tests or evidence even being possible.

Religious faith is quite different than any other way of perceiving or arriving at decisions regarding behavior. The political world has the potential for testing the validity of public policy and whether its objectives are met or not, and thus subject to question, review, and change.

A very different animal than religion and religious belief.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 18, 2008 1:29 PM
Comment #263365

dbs-
I’m afraid I did a lot of research before I became a fully confirmed Catholic. Religion and rationality are not opposites, you just can’t prove your faith right by such means.

As for the notion that people have worshipped natural objects, yes. Question is, even if a scientist does worship the object of study, does that render their science incorrect?

The answer is dependent on whether the science they produce tests out properly. There are plenty of vulcanologists in Japan who pay homage to the Gods and spirits of their subjects, but still apply rigorous science to them as well. Newton pursued Gravity, the Laws of Physics and Alchemy motivated by religion; alchemy has been disproven, and in ordinary experience, Newton’s laws still hold true.

The trick of all this, is that it all leads you back to the same place: testability, provability. Can the phenomena in question have its truth or falsity determined empirically by the evidence? Scientists have been empirically backing up their claim that Global Warming has been a problem for some time now. There is no complete scientific certainty on the matter, but science is never meant to be certain, just the best approximation of certain that one can pin down by empirical study. Since we’re imperfect creatures, never entirely sure of our knowledge, science will never meet that standard.

It can, though, be said to meet a standard that justifies the taking of action, or at least precautions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2008 1:36 PM
Comment #263370

dbs

to some extent yes, but there are those who follow blindly without verifying or doing thier own research. the same could be said about someone who follows the teachings of a church without ever reading the bible. both IMO are acting on faith, and following blindly. not much difference. both also can play to the fears of the uniformed in order to create compliance. in this way enviornmentalism is very much like religion.

Doing the research is what scientists do. They go to school get educations in varying fields in order that they can pursue whichever avenue of science most concerns them. I do not need to do my own individual research. I can read the results of scientific study to analyze and determine effect. This computer screen sitting in front of me is the result of the evolution of science. As is the car I drive and every modern convenience I use. If you choose not to believe in science well that is your choice to live in denial of a concept based on proof of fact. Most science is based in provable fact by way of years of research. The rest is theory based on an understanding of how something might work but not yet knowing why. We could have this philosophical debate forever, but unless you can convince me with fact the need to worship a deity that you can’t prove exists your side fails to hold any practical validation with respect to reality.

Posted by: RickIL at September 18, 2008 1:42 PM
Comment #263375

David
The difference between secular public policy and private religious belief? If both are based on individual beliefs, how are they two separate worlds?
Forcing people to help their neighbor because God says so is wrong, but forcing people to help their neighbor because govt says so is right? Come on man.

“Consensus has no place forcing to people into prison or the electric chair for not ascribing to the belief that God injects a soul into two cells upon conception, which equates to homicide if those cells are terminated from further growth, or prevented from joining in the first place”

Then why does consensus have a place in forcing people into prison for not ascribing to the belief of whats mine is their’s?

I’m not trying to be a smart-ass or anything, I just really don’t see why its wrong for a belief based in religion to be forced onto people but its ok for a belief not based on religion to be forced onto others.
Both are wrong and both are unconstitutional. Well, at least they were when our country was founded.

Posted by: kctim at September 18, 2008 1:52 PM
Comment #263376

kctim-
Any claim of property relies on government. If there was not government, I could tear something from your hands, and with sufficient force, keep it. Currency is also created by the government, as are the rules by which the economy operates and the means by which businesses incorporate and enforce agreement.

What’s yours is yours because we have laws defending that right. To enforce such laws and extend other services to the communities, state and country at large, we tax some of each person’s wealth. We could try things ad hoc, but then big enough groups of people could deprive you of your so-called property and belongings.

The constitution itself is written with an eye towards regularizing and legitimizing a particular set of systems. Taxation, which you term theft, is set out as a legitimate power of the government, and in further amendment, allowed to be levied upon income. Other takings, like eminent domain, are also legitimized in the Bill of Rights.

The question in a Democracy like ours is not whether government can redistribute wealth, or anything like that, but how and why it does it, where the limits are, and how the government goes about it.

Given all this, you can browbeat people about how such takings are theft, or you can discuss these matters more calmly with others about what the appropriate manner of taxation and confiscation are.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2008 2:05 PM
Comment #263378

David Remer,

You wrote-“The hypocrisy of these same Christians attempting to make it a law punishable by imprisonment that everyone observe their religious belief that human life begins at conception, is just plain intolerable to the rational and logical mind.


All you highlight by this nonsense is that religion IS one’s view of reality.

It is, for example, also my religious view, reflected in law, that blacks and Indians are fully (not only two-thirds) human and thus fully endowed with human rights. It is my religious view, reflected in law, that personal property is a right that can’t be severed without a legitimate due process of law. Just go through the law with an open mind and you will see it riddled with assumptions drawn directly from flagrantly religious principles.

Roe v. Wade makes the blatantly religious assumption that humanity is granted by human fiat at some poorly defined moment, usually fixed, except in Obama’s Illinois, at a live birth. In other words WE decide when someone is human, just as Nazis did in the Holocaust.

And that, David, is what you think a SECULAR view is.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 18, 2008 2:09 PM
Comment #263384

Stephen
We are talking about beliefs and forcing them onto others, not “taxation and confiscation,” and I simply asked a question. I am staying on topic and I am not “browbeating.”

I was asking why you guys think its ok to force beliefs onto others in the name of govt, but not in the name of religion and I only brought up taxes because its the simpliest example of forcing beliefs onto others.

Posted by: kctim at September 18, 2008 2:48 PM
Comment #263387

KCTim: but, taxation isn’t a forcing of beliefs. Without taxation our government can’t exist, which I think you well know. Your argument seems to be about what that money is used for (join the club, we will probably never as a nation agree on this, it’s why we elect people to make these decisions).

And, the belief you are talking about (I think) is political rather than religious.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 18, 2008 3:13 PM
Comment #263388

Lee said: “It is, for example, also my religious view, reflected in law, that blacks and Indians are fully (not only two-thirds) human and thus fully endowed with human rights.”

But, you miss entirely the understanding of my previous commentary.

Your religious view is not by virtue of it being YOUR religious view, allowed to govern the actions of all others in this nation. The Law’s view with the passage of suffrage for all, was a view achieved by consensus of the law making process and the people as a whole by way of their elected representatives.

Which means, if the view that human life begins at conception and ANY action which terminates that conception should, at the very least, be viewed as an act of negligent homicide if not 2nd or 1st degree murder, then it will become the law of the land. But NOT because it is religiously true, but, because there was consensus that such action would promote the general welfare of the society at large.

Which also means if the people change their mind, the law can change with it. Religious truths are not subject to such consensual revision. Again, a major separation of realms between politics and religion.

Another irony of the religious right is their hypocrisy over stare decisis. They rail against Democrat activist judges, yet, seek to elect president’s who would appoint judges who would ignore stare decisis in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. Judicial activism proponents can be found on both sides of the aisle equally.

Which is why it is very dangerous for either side to elect presidents on the basis of judicial ideological activism, for a host of injurious reasons to the rest of the fabric of our society and legal system.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 18, 2008 3:15 PM
Comment #263390

kctim, government is a consensual process. The people by a majority consent to their elected officials directly, and their representatives consent in a majority to impose legislation.

Religious views, sects, and interpretations are diverse and not subject to review and change by consensus, in a religion tolerant democratic society.

The democratic process is a system which tolerates differences, and even protects them. Religion throughout the ages tends to be intolerant of differences of interpretation and religious perspective. Religiously based Pro-lifers are a perfect example. They are intolerant of others who don’t subscribe to their belief of a soul injected at conception and thus deserving of protections on religious grounds.

Whereas, Pro-choicers are very tolerant of Pro-lifer’s choice to have children regardless of deformity or manner of conception or threat to the life and health of the mother.

Tolerance for differences is the chasm which SHOULD separate church and state in a democratic society, and it is the stark difference between Iran and the U.S. on this point. In the U.S. consensual law dictates punishment for violation of the law, not religious views and proscriptions of a particular religious sect upon all whether they belong to subscribe to that sects religions views or not.

If you don’t get it, that’s fine. You are not alone. This debate has ebbed and flowed for centuries as each new generation must undertake the debate and decide for themselves to follow the path of Iran or our own heritage of separation of church and state.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 18, 2008 3:26 PM
Comment #263395

Womanmarine
It’s about what we have allowed ourselves to be taxed for, not what is needed to run our govt.
Everything, religious and political, is based on beliefs, so why is forcing ones beliefs based in religion wrong, but ok when based in govt?

Posted by: kctim at September 18, 2008 3:51 PM
Comment #263396

KCTim:

The difference lies in the differences and ramifications of religious and political beliefs. Separation of church and state. You want to lump all beliefs in the same lump, which you use to justify your non-taxation for what you don’t want to pay for belief.

Clear?

:)

Posted by: womanmarine at September 18, 2008 4:00 PM
Comment #263397

David
Don’t both sides vote for the candidates they believe will best represent their personal beliefs? Isn’t the consensual process then, greatly influenced by one’s own personal beliefs? If forcing personal beliefs onto others is wrong, why does where that belief comes from, matter?

You speak of how religiously based Pro-lifers are intolerant of others who don’t subscribe to their belief on life, but what about govt based pro-welfare(?) people who are intolerant of others who don’t subscribe to their belief on aiding and caring?
How can one be right and the other wrong, in a free and just society?

Posted by: kctim at September 18, 2008 4:06 PM
Comment #263398

Womanmarine
I am not a religious person, so yes, I do lump all personal beliefs into one. I don’t think it matters where one gets their beliefs or who or what they do it in the name of, forcing those beliefs onto others is wrong.

Posted by: kctim at September 18, 2008 4:13 PM
Comment #263400

Lee Jamison-
Roe vs. Wade was defined on medical privacy grounds, the procedure protected on the grounds that the developing embryo or fetus was not fully separate from the mother. That’s what makes viability a standard.

As it was, under Illinois law, there was also another doctor present during such abortions whose job was to take care of the fetus should it become a live birth. The question was what degree of care was merited, not the merit of the care involved.

The standard proposed had two problems, from the standpoint of current jurisprudence on the matter: one, it seemed to backdoor define an unborn child as a legal person, which American law has never defined one as; two, it took the doctors judgment of viability, the one that should matter since we train these people to properly interpret the vital signs at issue, out of the equation.

A doctor, under this law which maintained abortion as legal, could be accused of murder for not giving further aid to a child he or she had determined was beyond help. Obama, like many Republicans and Democrats in the legislature, found it poorly written. The law should say one thing, and say it clearly. If you want to criminalize abortion, don’t pussyfoot around it, don’t decieve people and rely on technicalities, own up to it.

Religion is one’s view of the supernatural, if you believe in it. In some countries, folks have their governments decide the controversy for them. We are not one of those countries. Since nobody wanted the trouble of fighting about religious matters in government, fighting over them, they let it alone, and decided to run government according to principles, constitutional and otherwise which they could agree with each other on.

Reality can be seen in common terms by people. The easiest way to do this is to default such decisions to objectively agreeable facts, and decide by majority vote on the moral and legal principles from there. That’s the value of Democracy. You may not like the results, but at least you’re given the choice and the chance to participate in these decisions.

The bible calls on us to be as agreeable and peaceable as possible with our community, while still maintaining one’s religious conviction. There are times we must speak truth to power, but there are other times when it’s better to let God’s grace work on others and stay out of the way. By commingling politics and religion, Republicans and conservatives have overshadowed the apolitical message of Christianity with an Earthly, materialistic one that places far too much faith in far too fallible people.

kctim-
I was offering you the justifications for the “forcing of beliefs” involved with government and taxes. There are objective reasons one prefers a state of law and order: stable property, reinforcement of safety against various threats against person and property, structure for business and finance. There’s a way to prove ideas right and wrong, even if scientific rigor isn’t possible.

But Religion? The object of concern is beyond objective proofs and understanding by definition.

As for forcing things on people in the name of government? You really can’t. The Liberals who have succeeded captured the center, kept their policies moderate and their moves careful. But the very nature of Democracy means that some people in the minority will find themselves the unwilling subjects of laws they did not want. However, they are free to be part of the other majorities that impose the same things on others. Additionally, should people come to dislike what’s been wrought, the former minority can become majority and the “injustice:” from their perspective can be righted.

But all that considered, you can’t get everything you want. You have to settle for that, in the name of keeping the system open for your further suggestions, your further influence. If folks destroy the ability of others to employ the rights and privileges of Democracy, they set up conditions that might one day cut them out of the equations of power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2008 4:22 PM
Comment #263402

KCTim:

Perhaps not being a religious person is what makes it hard for you to understand those of us who differentiate the religious from the political. You have to (I think) admit that there is a powerful religious contingent of Americans who wish to affect politics based on thier religious beliefs. I seriously believe that those religious organizations that attempt to affect the political in this country should lose their tax-free status.

The concept of separation of church and state isn’t a new one, but it is getting smeared into something unrecognizable.

Your beliefs are as valid as mine and everyone else’s as to what government is and should be. That’s the politics of it all. Compassion for your fellow man, in any form, is not necessarily a religious belief although it exists in many religions. I believe you to be a prime example of this.

I also believe (politically that is) that to encourage/allow large religious organizations such power to influence government is at my and your peril.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 18, 2008 4:25 PM
Comment #263403

Stephen
“But the very nature of Democracy means that some people in the minority will find themselves the unwilling subjects of laws they did not want.”

Which is why gays cannot marry, so they should just sit down, shut up and wait until the majority gives them permission to express their love how they wish? Sorry Stephen, but I don’t see it that way. Govt has no place in telling us how to express our love or how we should care for and aid.

Posted by: kctim at September 18, 2008 4:34 PM
Comment #263405

Womanmarine
Heck yes I believe “there is a powerful religious contingent of Americans who wish to affect politics based on their religious beliefs,” but is what they want really any different than the powerful liberal contingent of Americans who wish to do the same?

I’m not questioning the validity of beliefs of what govt is or should be, I’m questioning why its ok to force those beliefs onto others for one reason but not the other.

“I also believe (politically that is) that to encourage/allow large religious organizations such power to influence government is at my and your peril”

Because they then could force you to believe a certain way? Financially support what they deem you should? Dictate what you put into your own body? Require you to tithe a certain percentage of your earnings to support what they think you should support?
I know how you feel.

Posted by: kctim at September 18, 2008 4:50 PM
Comment #263416

David,

I actually attended a few services at an Assemblies of God church at the request of a co-worker. I can tell from my experience it was very scary. They seem to have an unhealthy obsession with the apocalypse. I have never seen so many people get so excited with joy about the end of the world. It is not fair to say all Christians are scary as you imply, though. I have also attended other Christian churches that were quite pleasant and anything but scary.

For the life of me, I will never understand how Christianity came to be represented by the conservative right wing. Jesus’ diatribe against the Pharisees could very easily be applied to today’s religious rightwing evangelicals.

Posted by: JayJay at September 18, 2008 6:17 PM
Comment #263424

kctim

Because they then could force you to believe a certain way? Financially support what they deem you should? Dictate what you put into your own body? Require you to tithe a certain percentage of your earnings to support what they think you should support?
I know how you feel.

So tim are you proposing a sort of wild west free range society in which it is everyman for himself? I have read all of the above posts and understand that you think no one group, organization or person should have any more right to impose a will than the other. That would be great in a perfect world in which hatred, greed, jealousy, lust, selfishness or disease did not exist. The problem is that we are a country of over 300 million individuals with a myriad of ethnic groups scattered over a large country each with their own individual needs as determined by variables related to region. There is no possible way to meet the concerns of every person in every niche of society. The result is that we have to attempt to determine the most important concerns which affect all of society. In order to bring some substance into that structure we have to eliminate from the equation things we can not control or might further confuse the process. We have to focus on practical matters which we can control. Religion is based on faith in a belief, not practicality. It would not be practical to support the needs of one particular faith while at the same time ignoring the concerns of another. How do we go about deciding which faith government should acknowledge when making law?

Posted by: RickIL at September 18, 2008 9:08 PM
Comment #263426

It’s downright strange to see liberals obsessing over the connection between conservatives and their churches considering the extent to which a core constituency of theirs—the Black community—is politically organized and in many cases led by pastors. And how African-American churches across the country are hotbeds of political activity and have been since long before the Civil Rights Movement.

Ever heard of the Reverend Jesse Jackson? The Reverend Al Sharpton?

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright, though his rhetoric is extreme and out of touch with the majority of his fellow black ministers, is hardly typical of those mixing politics and religion.

So why is their liberal outcry about Blacks mixing politics and religion? Because these are in most cases, LIBERAL policies being pursued.

I have no problem with this—but that’s because I’m not hypocritical.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with advocating for policies that reflect your religious values. Nothing. The ONLY problem is a Constitutional one—no one should be advocating for the establishment of a state religion. So who is doing that? I’m not aware of anyone.

The notion of separation of church and state requires something of BOTH the church and the state. The church must NOT try to establish themselves as an official ruling government authority, and the state must NOT exclude anyone from exercising their rights—including the right to be political active—based on religion.

I don’t see any churches trying to establish themselves as the official state religion. I see many, however, who think it’s somehow okay to suggest that church-going people are not entitled to be part of the political process.

If a person holds the religious belief that rape and murder are sins against God and man, does that mean that they’re not entitled to also hold the opinion that rape and murder should be outlawed?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 18, 2008 9:23 PM
Comment #263427

jayjay

For the life of me, I will never understand how Christianity came to be represented by the conservative right wing. Jesus’ diatribe against the Pharisees could very easily be applied to today’s religious rightwing evangelicals.

I attended a Lutheran wedding a few months ago. My first. The preacher got my immediate attention when some of the first words out of his mouth were “the woman must submit to the man”. Boy if only my ex wife had known about that. LOL! Seriously though it made me do a double take. That whole notion just seemed ridiculously antiquated and backwards for this day in age. Especially for here in America where feminism is such a big deal. I am good friends with the grooms side and he was marrying into the Lutheran side. I know for a fact that the grooms mom without a doubt rules the roost at home. To be honest I think the grooms father was a bit jealous of his son after hearing those words. :-)

Posted by: RickIL at September 18, 2008 9:25 PM
Comment #263428
If a person holds the religious belief that rape and murder are sins against God and man, does that mean that they’re not entitled to also hold the opinion that rape and murder should be outlawed?

No, that doesn’t follow because prohibitions on rape and murder have significant justifications that do not rely solely on religious beliefs. In contrast, banning homosexuality and homosexual marriage has no justification absent religion and tradition.

I have no problems with religious and church-going people participating in the political process when they can support their arguments with reasons other than their personal faith. However, when the only reason they can come up with for a law is “my pastor/faith/holy book says so,” I can’t take the argument seriously.

I’m not saying that people don’t have the right to try to change the law based on their religious beliefs; they do. However, I have the right not to take them seriously.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 18, 2008 9:35 PM
Comment #263432
I’m not saying that people don’t have the right to try to change the law based on their religious beliefs; they do. However, I have the right not to take them seriously.

And nobody can ask any more of you than that. You have the same right as any religious person to hold opinions and take seriously or not take seriously whatever you wish.

I’m not aware of any movement afoot among Christians to ban homosexuality. I’ve never even heard of such a thing. But gay marriage is quite different, and opposition to it actually cuts widely across the political parties. Do you happen to know, incidentally, which group has the highest percentage members opposed to gay marriage? African Americans, who are over two thirds opposed.

Personally, I’m against gay marriage. In my church, that is, and I’d oppose any effort to require the church to sanction or perform a gay marriage. And that is because, yes, I consider marriage to have a religious dimension.

But I say let each church decide for themselves, and frankly, I’d go so far as saying that a government ban against gay marriage may very well violate some people’s freedom of religion. If the church leaders and members are okay with performing a gay marriage, that’s their business.

As for what the government allows, I’d prefer them to simply offer civil unions to everybody—straight or gay, and not get into the business at all of deciding what is and what is not a “marriage.”

Of course, this leads us into some interesting areas.

In contrast, banning homosexuality and homosexual marriage has no justification absent religion and tradition.

Is the same thing not true of polygamy? If a man and 20 women, all of whom are past the age of consent, want to be married, is it not just the religion (of some) and the tradition and custom of our society that prevents it? Polygamy, actually, has long been accepted in many societies, and is currently still accepted in others.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 18, 2008 10:20 PM
Comment #263434
I’m not aware of any movement afoot among Christians to ban homosexuality.

It’s out there. In fact, laws banning homosexuality were struck down by the Supreme Court only five years ago.

I’d oppose any effort to require the church to sanction or perform a gay marriage
And so would I, and I’m about as pro-gay-rights as you can find in a straight person.
And that is because, yes, I consider marriage to have a religious dimension.
I don’t think that marriage is inherently religious, but I see your point. I don’t think churches should be forced to recognize gay marriage. Just like synagogues shouldn’t be forced to serve ham and cheese sandwiches just because pork is legal.

I tend to agree with the idea that the civil concept of marriage and the religious concept of marriage should be decoupled. Whether that would require renaming the civil rights of marriage, I don’t know.

Is the same thing not true of polygamy?
You’re right, in theory. However, every case I know of where polygamy has been accepted, the practice has been inextricably intermingled with child brides, rapes, and other degradations of women. Are those actually inevitable consequences of polygamy or just artifacts of general sexism in patriarchal systems? I don’t know. I wouldn’t be opposed to an attempt to legalize polygamy, but not if it would be in an attempt to force young girls into sexual slavery.

I’m torn in a similar way about prostitution; theoretically, if an consenting empowered adult woman wants to make money that way, I don’t see a problem with it. However, in practice, prostitution doesn’t work well for women and girls. Holland’s system is likely the most egalitarian and safe approach in history, but even it has problems.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 18, 2008 10:37 PM
Comment #263436
However, every case I know of where polygamy has been accepted, the practice has been inextricably intermingled with child brides, rapes, and other degradations of women.

Sure, but marriages before the age of consent, rape, etc, are not defining parts of polygamy any more than they are defining parts of heterosexual or homosexual relationships.

If you get into the business of banning things because of what “might” happen, be it in regard to straight or gay unions, polygamy or prostitution, then you’re violating the presumption of innocence which is a bedrock of our civil rights.

The question is really one of how far down the road can we go (and how fast) in discarding the norms that are part of our civilization simply because they’re matters of tradition and custom that may have some religious origin?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 18, 2008 11:04 PM
Comment #263437
Sure, but marriages before the age of consent, rape, etc, are not defining parts of polygamy any more than they are defining parts of heterosexual or homosexual relationships.

Perhaps this is true, but I’m not sure that it’s not an assumption. If legal polygamy were a positive practice for consenting adults, then I’d have no problem with it. As I said, I don’t know if the negatives associated with polygamy are inevitable consequences of polygamy or just artifacts of general sexism in patriarchal systems. If they are just artifacts like you claim, then let’s legalize it. If they are inevitably linked, then it probably shouldn’t be legal.

Do you have evidence to support your assertion that they are not inevitably linked?

…far down the road can we go…

Well, to go back up the slippery slope, should we allow mixed-race marriages? After all, only 40 years ago, religious reasons and tradition were used to justify anti-miscegenation laws. Personally, I’m glad those laws were eliminated, and I’d be glad to see anti-same-sex-marriage laws eliminated.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 18, 2008 11:20 PM
Comment #263438

kctim-

Which is why gays cannot marry, so they should just sit down, shut up and wait until the majority gives them permission to express their love how they wish?

My answer, already given:

But the very nature of Democracy means that some people in the minority will find themselves the unwilling subjects of laws they did not want. However, they are free to be part of the other majorities that impose the same things on others. Additionally, should people come to dislike what’s been wrought, the former minority can become majority and the “injustice:” from their perspective can be righted.

Additionally, the question of banning gay marriage at the federal level is on shaky constitutional ground. Marriage is traditionally one of the powers yielded to state authorities. However, all states have to honor marriages and divorces performed in other states (what made going to Las Vegas and Reno popular, once upon a time.) The Defense of Marriage Act could quickly find itself following the Sodomy Laws into oblivion if it’s really put to the test. Then, if couples get gay-married in Cal-E-4-Nye-A, Mass, or the Aloha state, it wouldn’t matter whether anybody else made it illegal.

The truth of the matter is, government at all levels has been a long companion to us. We just don’t notice it, half the time. The trick of Democracy is that a mass of people with objections or little enthusiasm for a law or program can work against it. There may be some things you’ll just have to be frustrated about. But there are worse things TO be frustrated about.

LO-
First of all, Black Churches involved in politics are rarely trying to impose their doctrines on others. Their interpretation of the gospel translates into secular appeals for greater aid to the less fortunate, and for social justice. That’s easy to sell to centrists and liberals.

Politically, concerning Rev. Wright, you have to consider something: Wright was one of those people that Bill Clinton appealed to, long before Clinton surrogates and others made political hay of Wright’s comments. He was largely a mainstream figure, and if you read the Audacity of Hope Sermon, you’d find it a nifty, though normal bit of church sermonizing. I think your people have been extraordinarily unfair to this church, and have your own share of sins, in terms of the rhetoric you allow from your side, regarding America, the deserving of destruction, and things like that. Just ask that Hagee guy, ask that Parsley fellow. I know McCain belatedly severed connections with them, but so did Obama with Wright. McCain may have had a cursory relationship with those pastors (Though highly hypocritical, given past rhetoric) Palin has no such excuse, according to your rhetoric, for associating with her controversial pastors.

Why don’t we have a nice little festival of Pastoral eccentricity, have it all out?

Your only way out here IS hypocrisy, to basically claim a double standard where controversial sermons from your side are true, so blow it out your ass that they’re so offensive, but Wright’s controversial sermons are evil and racist and must be opposed.

That is, if your approach is to continue making religion an issue. Trust me, sooner or later, that’s a losing issue, especially in a post-Bush period where people are wary of politicians with their faith on their sleeves.

The Separation of Church and State is a good thing. No, religious people are not barred from government. You’d have to be positively panicky to believe that. But they can’t use their offices to impose religion. Think of it this way: if Obama wins, would you want his religion shaping policy instead of yours? Well, since nobody can legally do that under a robust Separation doctrine, nobody has to worry.

More importantly, for the purposes of good Government, since no one Church under such a system would set the tone, those who do the preaching and those who do the politicking can’t get lazy. Churches have to appeal to worshippers others are competing for. Politicans can’t count on permanent support from a religious block, so they must appeal to any number of church groups, of which, yours might be one.

Ultimately, it has a moderating effect. You bring up rape and murder as crimes, and ask whether those should be, could be outlawed under such a system. The truth is, since such crimes are near universally recognized, there is no problem in imposing these laws on people.

Which is my final point: This government has to fit the nation as a whole, if you want peace, prosperity and all those other things. The lack of competing views, thanks to the national cult system, would lead to tepid performance. If you don’t have to work to keep your audience, you won’t.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 18, 2008 11:28 PM
Comment #263440
I see many, however, who think it’s somehow okay to suggest that church-going people are not entitled to be part of the political process.

What bullshit.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 18, 2008 11:43 PM
Comment #263441
First of all, Black Churches involved in politics are rarely trying to impose their doctrines on others. Their interpretation of the gospel translates into secular appeals for greater aid to the less fortunate, and for social justice. That’s easy to sell to centrists and liberals.

Oh, I see. Since you AGREE with the liberal content of their interpretations of scripture, you just set aside the objection to mixing politics and religion that you reserve for conservative interpretations of scripture. It all makes sense now.

Seems to me, however, that these calls for “social justice” which include demands for everything from reparations, massive expansion of affirmative action, and redistribution of wealth don’t have quite the mainstream secular appeal that you claim. Otherwise we’d have it all already. The fact is, that the wider public DOESN’T want this stuff any more than they want creationism taught in schools or an abortion ban.

The problem here is that the objections you raise to mixing religion and politics are cast right out the window as long as you endorse the MOTIVES of such attempts—and so long as those motives are reliably LEFTIST. I wonder if you share the same enthusiasm for the anti-gay sentiments that are preached from the pulpits of black churches.

It hasn’t occurred to you apparently, that the goals of religious conservatives are also concerns about social justice—because its not your side’s brand of left wing social justice. You fail to see, for example, how “greater aid to the less fortunate” and “social justice” might very well include mounting a defense of the unborn. Such a goal, after all, is not a goal of the secular left. The hypocrisy and double-standards are stunning, if not at all surprising.

Further, leftists can try until the cows comes home to draw a silly equivalency between pastors who have endorsed McCain or had passing acquaintances with him and Reverend Wright, Obama’s pastor of twenty years who was captured repeatedly on video attacking whites and calling for God to damn America (and who Obama threw under the bus days after saying that he could no more disavow him than his own grandmother).

But good luck with that.

We all know full well that any campaign ads Obama or his followers wanted to make spinning out these vague connections between McCain and pastors whose followers number in the millions (rather than a couple thousand Chigago-based Afro-centric parishioners who are already all reliable Obama voters) can never have the force of those videos of Obama’s pastor of twenty years spewing deranged anti-American hatred.

If Obama becomes president, I have no problem whatsoever with him advocating for laws, within the legal framework of what’s permitted under the Constitution, that reflect his religious views, whatever those are. None whatsoever. The fact that they don’t square with my views (if they don’t) simply means that I’ll oppose him. I’m certainly not going to pitch a fit based on the possibility that his socialist agenda might somehow derive from his religion.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 19, 2008 12:16 AM
Comment #263443

Marysdude, your barnyard expletives aside, it’s roundly obvious that leftists constantly attack the participation of Christians in the political process as somehow illegitimate. An extremely stark example from this very thread.

It is a particular combination of Republican and Christian fundamentalism following the same political objectives of the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran that is scary.

Got that? Christian Republicans, you see, want to publicly hang homosexuals, stone women who commit adultery, ban alcohol and imprison those who slander their religion. After all, these would be the “same political objectives” as the Iranian Islamic rulers. You don’t see that as trying to suggest that Christians involved in politics seek illegitimate ends? You agree, I suppose, that this is what Christian Republicans want? Or do you just not see anything even a teensy bit wrong with making such slanderous over-the-top statements as long as they’re directed at Christians and Republicans?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 19, 2008 12:33 AM
Comment #263444

I apologize, of course, for calling you marysdude instead of womanmarine. As they say in the newspaper business, “We regret the error.”

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 19, 2008 12:35 AM
Comment #263445

LO:

Your error aside, I stand by my expletive. Exaggeration to the extent you are carrying it is bullshit, and I suspect you know it. As a Democrat, one of many Christian Democrats, it wouldn’t make any sense to want to keep Christians out of the political process as you suggest. That we don’t want religion to become the basis for law in this country is not what you are suggesting.

I don’t want my government based on any one religion or sect of a religion. Period. It is one of the premises of this country, not to have any one religion or religious standards forced on those of other religions.

Separation of church and state isn’t only about establishing a government religion, you know this also. But you feel it necessary to cloud this and other issues just because you disagree, and feel your version of Christianity is the only right one.

Moral standards and moral laws for the country are not based on religious principles, they are based on basic human rights principles, which most religions share.

You want to stop abortion, do it through your religion, be persuasive. Don’t attempt to make laws, convince people of the rightness of your beliefs, convert them.

I personally abhore abortion, but I see my Christian responsibility as helping to curb it where and how I can by convincing people that there are other alternatives and giving the support that those who seek it need. As much as I abhore abortion, I don’t want to see it taken away and a return to back-alley, coat-hanger days. We are and can be better than that. Give love and support, not laws and punishment.

“The greatest of these is love”

Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 1:12 AM
Comment #263448

I do thoroughly enjoy opening up cans of worms.

And for those who are “scared” of us Christians who believe in following the morals and guidance of Scripture, and not the new religion of secularism or the perverse cults of moral equivalency, multiculturalism, and environmentalism (dare I say evolution?) I can only say:

BOO!

Scared you again, didn’t I?

Posted by: David M. Huntwork at September 19, 2008 1:55 AM
Comment #263454

Huntwork:

I am a deacon in the Church of Christ. The Church of which I am a member is significantly stricter than Palin’s Pentecostal church (we are not protestant, btw). Our beliefs fly in the face of much of what mainstream ‘Christianity’ believes. We believe in sola scriptura - and anyone who does honest and objective research will find just how far away most ‘Christians’ are from the commands of God, Jesus, and the apostles.

But when it comes to government, “Render unto Caesar”. We are taught to follow the rule of the laws of the land - and not just the letter, but the SPIRIT of the laws. To break the law is a sin. Every so-called ‘Christian’ that supports Bush and Cheney, McCain and Palin, while ignoring their ongoing flouting of American law…does not have a complete understanding of how a Christian should act.

We also believe in separation of Church and State…and the continual efforts of the evangelical neo-cons to push their beliefs on the rest of us is against the law - in spirit if not in the letter of the law.

If you believe yourself to be a Christian, then for starters you should be pounding on Bush’s and Palin’s doors for refusing to allow their subordinates to answer subpoenas and hiding e-mails from legal investigations.

But that would require a desire to follow the law of the land…and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Republican take the law seriously (unless it was to tear down his opponent).

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at September 19, 2008 3:15 AM
Comment #263455

Huntwork,

“And for those who are “scared” of us Christians who believe in following the morals and guidance of Scripture, and not the new religion of secularism or the perverse cults of moral equivalency, multiculturalism, and environmentalism (dare I say evolution?)”

Perverse cults?

A mind is like a parachute sir, it works best when it is open.

Perhaps your religion blinds you to the way we humans have trashed the place we call Earth, but maybe your God expects us to live in a pigpen.
Perhaps your religion blinds you to the fact that America is actually made up from different cultures, and we are all richer for it.

The only things I find scary about the fundamentalist right are it’s “my way or nothing” attitude, it’s inability to play well with other children, and it’s doctrinaire view of reality.

LO,
One of the major problems with Polygamy is the likelihood of congenital defects.
Take the time to look up “Fumarase deficiency”.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at September 19, 2008 6:48 AM
Comment #263463
Is the same thing not true of polygamy?
I realized something ironic about your use of polygamy and Lee’s earlier use of slavery as examples of immoral institutions we might accept only if we discard the moral guidance of religion.

Both polygamy and slavery are accepted practices in the Bible! (see King David and Philemon, respectively, for just one example of each) If you two truly wanted to live in a moral and legal system based on the the example of the Bible, you would be greeting these practices, not fearing them.

What this shows is that we modern humans have come to acknowledge moral standards independent (and superior?) to what we get from ancient religions. For some reason, though, you think it’s unacceptable when we do the exact same thing you are doing.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 19, 2008 8:36 AM
Comment #263464

womanmarine

Moral standards and moral laws for the country are not based on religious principles, they are based on basic human rights principles, which most religions share.

Well said. Of course this moral issue is a large part of the problem for Christians. They prefer to claim that they are the creators and purveyors of morality. It is how many of them validate their belief that their views are more credible than the rest. It is silly beliefs like this one that is good example why religion should not be involved in setting government policy.

Posted by: RickIL at September 19, 2008 8:42 AM
Comment #263465

Glen
And Obama and Biden and Clinton went by the letter of the law. Sure they do and did.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2008 8:49 AM
Comment #263466

glenn

did you support san francisco mayor gavin newsome when he started handing out marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, even though state law prohibited it ? you can’t have it both ways. you either follow the letter of the law, and it’s intent, or you don’t. most people break a law at one time or another, whether they do it knowingly or not.

Posted by: dbs at September 19, 2008 9:13 AM
Comment #263468
But when it comes to government, “Render unto Caesar”. We are taught to follow the rule of the laws of the land - and not just the letter, but the SPIRIT of the laws. To break the law is a sin. Every so-called ‘Christian’ that supports Bush and Cheney, McCain and Palin, while ignoring their ongoing flouting of American law…does not have a complete understanding of how a Christian should act.

I’m curious how McCain and Palin are ‘ignoring and flouting American Law’?

If you believe yourself to be a Christian, then for starters you should be pounding on Bush’s and Palin’s doors for refusing to allow their subordinates to answer subpoenas and hiding e-mails from legal investigations.

I’m sorry Glenn, but if the body who has decided to investigate the incident aren’t legally charged with doing so, isn’t ignoring the subpoenas the legal and right thing to do? Or are you just assuming that in both cases, since the target is a Republican, that they have legal right even if they don’t?

I don’t know for sure if they do or not in the Palin case, but it sure looks like they don’t because they lament the fact that in order for them to fulfill the law, it would not be until January until they could get the legal authority necessary. Do you have different information?

Personally, I find it kind of sad when people start saying that ‘they aren’t really christian because…’ as if they have some moral authority to do so. And I’m an athiest….

But that would require a desire to follow the law of the land…and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Republican take the law seriously (unless it was to tear down his opponent).

Because it’s just Republicans that do that, Glenn? Please…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 19, 2008 9:31 AM
Comment #263471

RickIL
“I have read all of the above posts and understand that you think no one group, organization or person should have any more right to impose a will than the other…”

I am asking why its wrong to impose one set of beliefs but not another. We don’t have to live in a perfect world in order to respect everybody’s right to believe as they choose.

“Religion is based on faith in a belief, not practicality.”

As are political beliefs. You believe govt should help others and you can only have faith that it will.
Now, whats practical or not, really depends on an individuals beliefs doesn’t it? You say it “would not be practical to support the needs of one particular faith while at the same time ignoring the concerns of another.” Is our govt not supporting the needs of your particular beliefs while at the same time ignoring the concerns of me?

“How do we go about deciding which faith government should acknowledge when making law?”

By vote, just as we do now. But our troubles isn’t that religious and non-religious people are in govt, its that we have given them the power to force individual beliefs onto us.
We fight which side should be able to do it when we should be fighting to ensure neither side can.

Posted by: kctim at September 19, 2008 9:51 AM
Comment #263472

Rhinehold -

How did McCain flout American law? Actually, if one compares his 26 years of ‘experience’, he’s not so bad - his major scandal was being one of the ‘Keating Five’ influence-peddlers. My greatest problem with him is his JUDGMENT…as is evinced in his knee-jerk selection of Palin (and ‘knee-jerk’ DOES apply when all one does is has an interview, a phone conversation, and fill out a 70-question interview to be a heartbeat away from the nuclear trigger).

Palin? Gee, where do I start? How about her abuse of power by pressuring her commissioner to fire her ex-brother-in-law? Was it overt? Not unless you pay attention to the emails sent by her staff and by Palin herself. And now she and her husband and her staff are IGNORING subpoenas issued by the Alaska LEGISLATURE investigating the matter…and you don’t think the Alaskan CONGRESS has a legal right to issue subpoenas in an investigation?

You probably don’t - which is why you probably don’t have a problem with Bush not allowing so many within his administration to testify before the U.S. CONGRESS when they were issued subpoenas to do so.

Rhinehold, when the executive believes he or she is above the law - which BOTH Palin and Bush have shown by their ACTIONS - then they abandon the constitutional requirement for a BALANCE of power between the THREE branches of government.

And have Democrats ignored Congressional subpoenas? I don’t know of any that have. Tell you what - how about you name a Democratic president that has. How about a Democratic governor. Can you?

If not, then it IS ‘just Republicans who do that’, huh?

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at September 19, 2008 10:00 AM
Comment #263473

oops -

70-question QUESTIONNAIRE, not 70-question interview.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at September 19, 2008 10:01 AM
Comment #263475

Stephen
I know your answer was already given thats why I said sorry, I don’t see it that way.

And again, my questions are not about our differing views of our govt. I am just curious as to why you all believe pushing one set of beliefs onto others is wrong, but pushing your own onto others is fine.
Maybe thats not political enough for this blog or something, I don’t know. It’s just something I am sincere about trying to understand.

“But there are worse things TO be frustrated about”

Sorry Stephen, but forcing individual beliefs onto others is a violation of their individual rights and to me, that is something to be very frustrated about.

Posted by: kctim at September 19, 2008 10:07 AM
Comment #263480
Palin? Gee, where do I start?

I say we start with what we know to be true, not just what is supposed, and examine it from both sides.

How about her abuse of power by pressuring her commissioner to fire her ex-brother-in-law?

Which there is no evidence of, even your link you provide states that. Even Monegan states that he was never told to fire Wooten.

Was it overt? Not unless you pay attention to the emails sent by her staff and by Palin herself.

I’ve heard the phone call and read the two emails. Neither of them IMO suggest that Monegan should fire him or be fired himself. The fact that Wooten is, to this day, still employed seems to bolster that. In fact, I agree with Palin, that someone who has done the things that Wooten has done should not be in uniform at all. What I hear is frustration in just wanting to get information from someone as to why he was still employed, not that he should be fired. And evidence has been provided (again in your link) that Monegan was fired for trying to push through programs that Palin opposed, attempting to go behind her back.

Further, the two emails where not about Wooten but only mention him in passing. Which is hilarious to say that using Wooten as an example of policy changes she wants to make is proof that she was abusing her powers.

And now she and her husband and her staff are IGNORING subpoenas issued by the Alaska LEGISLATURE investigating the matter…and you don’t think the Alaskan CONGRESS has a legal right to issue subpoenas in an investigation?

Not exactly correct, Glenn. It is a question of authority on who can or can’t investigate the firing of a state official. Does the legislature have that authority or not? I’m sure you say they do. I am not so sure unfortunately. In addition, the impartiality of the committee is obviously compromised at this point with the comments of the chairman.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 19, 2008 10:47 AM
Comment #263481
why he was still employed, not that he should be fired

And the difference is???

Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 10:50 AM
Comment #263482

Huntwork said: “And for those who are “scared” of us Christians who believe in following the morals and guidance of Scripture,”

What BS. Most of the religious right believe in the death penalty despite the fact that innocent persons have been murdered by the State’s justice system. Not very Christian. They also justify every war we have ever been in and defend it. Not very conforming to the teachings of Christ. Most uphold and defend usury, though Christ taught charity. OK, I will give half credit here, as the religious right is very charitable at the same time they support usury.

Many of the religious right support Sport and Trophy killing of God’s creatures. Not very Christian nor good stewards of God’s creation. The hypocrisies of convenience and rationalization pile so high you would think the religious right would be able to reach heaven just by climbing up them. Babel! A lesson failed by millions of the Religious Right.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 19, 2008 10:52 AM
Comment #263484
us Christians who believe in following the morals and guidance of Scripture

Not scared of you for this, but the fact that you want to force that on others. Regardless of the fact that probably none of you referenced do it completely or perfectly. Yet you believe that you should be able to legally require it of everyone? That’s just so wrong.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 10:59 AM
Comment #263488

LO-
What you miss about the involvement of black churches in politics is that they’re not trying to force their religious doctrines on others. What they are trying to bring about, the justice that has been historically sought, is translatable into secular terms that everybody can agree with.

The reason our government is secular, and made secular for the most part is not so that it can spread secular attitudes, especially not because most people might be secular, but instead because a secular government, a government without religious or sectarian loyalties is better able to serve what was even in colonial times a diverse religious culture. Leftism isn’t what motivated the founding fathers to prohibit support for churches, to prohibit religious tests of any character, to prohibit laws that criminalize or otherwise abridge the freedom of religion. It was simple, mutual disarmament.

Your side is doing more than advocating policy. It’s actively working to subvert the system, to corrode the safeguards of the mutual disarmament in order to impose its ideals. Your side isn’t asking or appealing. It’s putting up stealth candidates. It’s packing school boards to make controversial decisions. It’s packing the ranks of the Justice Department. It’s trying to force its way past the law of the land to intervene in what courts have established as private decisions. And on Foreign Policy?

On Foreign Policy, what we seem to have are a bunch of people trying to trigger the events of a scenario stitched together by an eccentric English preacher from bits and pieces of Revelations, the Book of Daniel, and other Apocalyptic chapters and verses of the scripture. When it wasn’t the Islamists, it was Saddam Hussein. When it wasn’t him, it was the Russians. People are actually trying to force God’s hand in Israel. That, more than a lot of things, many Americans find scary.

Nothing in what the Black churches did or are doing even approaches this. The change they lead was one of asking for what was rightfully theirs: equality, enfranchisement.

On the subject of Reverend Wright, I think your position is deplorable. The use of that phrase “thrown under the bus” implies a certain callousness on Obama’s part, but Obama, to maintain that relationship, gave one of the most eloquent speeches about race relations that has been made in the last few decades, condemning the sin, but being very merciful with the sinner for a politician. Wright had to go out and make a fool out of both himself and Obama by running his mouth off before Obama cut ties.

But then, you bring up this cutting of ties like a lawyer examining a breach of contract, treating Obama as if he didn’t go to extraordinary lengths to forgive and let the public forgive Wright, before Wright squandered that rehabilitation. Worse yet, you were using his refusal to do so initially as evidence of his unfitness for office.

Here’s the thing: you talk about twenty years under Wright as if Wright was always as radical and bombastic as he was in those sermons. You talk about Wright’s afrocentric focus as if Black churches weren’t culturally distinct to start with, as if that cultural distinction was a function of hatred against whites, rather than a means of upholding pride in the face of a history of slavery and discrimination.

When Obama gave his speech, he did not whitewash over the hard feelings, or dredge up the injustices of the last thirty years as if the Civil Rights Laws and other changes hadn’t improved things. He didn’t pretend, though, like you have, that laws alone make everything better. He didn’t excuse Wright’s remarks or justify them. He explained them, and in the way he explained them, he critiqued what was wrong with them.

Obama dealt with the problem without employing the kind of moral equivalency you’re trying to accuse us of here. He explained the reasons for Wright’s comments without defending them as if they were justified.

This is what bugs me about your side’s critique of him: The rifts that Obama seems to bridge here, you seem perfectly willing to exploit to win. You’re perfectly willing to treat Wright as an enemy of the people, rather than as a person with a real greivance who was immoderate and overly strident in his voicing of that grievance. You’re perfectly willing to exploit the divisions and the bitterness of all kinds of people to win this election.

Personally, my belief is that Palin’s beliefs only become my problem when her beliefs start leading her to support bad, even dangerous policy. Whether somebody advocates bad foreign policy from religious, or political motivations (as in the case of the Neocons) is irrelevant.

Should I trust somebody who might see the current wars as a holy crusade with command of our Armed Forces?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2008 11:16 AM
Comment #263491
why he was still employed, not that he should be fired
And the difference is???

Understanding if there was some union protection, some legal reason, a policy decision that should be looked into, something out of the hands of the state police department in dealing with local police officers, an ongoing investigation that needs to play out, etc…

I can think of a lot of reasons, but then I’m not trying to politically sink someone either, so perhaps my mind is a little more open…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 19, 2008 11:22 AM
Comment #263503

Rhinehold:

You imply I’m trying to politically sink someone, that my mind is closed. Because I interpret what has been reported differently? Because I ask you to explain your interpretation? Wrong.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 12:16 PM
Comment #263517

Forcing beliefs onto others is fine, as long as it is your beliefs that are being forced. Fight for your sides rights to take away the rights of the other side.
Its the ten comandments vs. the ten planks of marxism.
Its what divides this country and its what will eventually destroy this country.

Respect of individual rights would prevent it, even our founders knew that way back when.

Posted by: kctim at September 19, 2008 2:20 PM
Comment #263523

DRR
I as a Christian and DO NOT force my beliefs on anyone,but the fact is that God as I know him did institute the death penalty for certain crimes and Jesus Christ Himself in the garden when he got arressted said to Peter when he used his sword against one of the peolpe that arrested Jesus “THOSE WHO LIVE BY THE SWORD SHALL DIE BY THE SWORD” God gave the state the right to impose such sentences. But mankind is fallible and does make mistakes. As far as killing animals for trophy any Christain who does this in my book is NOT A CHRISTIAN. And as far as the religious right goes, I strongly disapprove of them just as much as I strongly disapprove of the liberal left and their BS. I am just as affraid of the far right as I am of the far left.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2008 3:17 PM
Comment #263529

I am a conservative and Christian and don’t view abortion from strictly religious views. Even if I were an atheist I would have a problem with the intentional killing of the unborn to preserve our perceived rights of the already born.

The real issue is one of individual rights and has been much discussed for years in these blogs. Our courts have ruled that these constitutional rights begin at birth, not at conception. And, that has required the definition of when one becomes a human being and again our courts have ruled that humanism begins at birth or at some level of viability.

We know for certain, barring some unpredictable circumstance, that the fetus will eventually become viable and be endowed by human law with rights. Christian theology endows humanity and rights at conception.

A man-made law granting rights to discard the unborn should logically carry with it an understanding that what one discards is no longer owned or controlled by the one who has discarded.

Humans relinquish rights of ownership every day to material things with no problem at all. We buy, sell, trade and barter all kinds of things without destroying that which changes ownership.

Let us treat the unborn in the same fashion. Ownership of the unwanted fetus should revert to those who would cherish it, whether by adoptive parents or religious organizations. Both parties are satisfied…the rights of the owner are upheld according to human law and have effectively discarded that which is unwanted. The religious are satisfied and become owners and caretakers of that which is wanted.

No religious beliefs are involved, just a desire to give life to the unborn.

Posted by: Jim M at September 19, 2008 4:03 PM
Comment #263535

Jim M:

Um, they have to be viable to be able to have “ownership” transferred. Since most abortions take place in the first trimester, this isn’t possible. You can’t be suggesting that any woman have to go through carrying the child to term to fulfill your premise?

Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 4:47 PM
Comment #263545

Jim M -

There are tens of thousands of families wanting to adopt. Yes, we KNOW this. However, last year there were over 1.3 MILLION abortions.

So let’s exaggerate the number of families wanting to adopt. Make it a hundred thousand. That means each family would have to take in THIRTEEN unwanted children.

And then you get to worry about the 1-point-something MILLION unwanted children from the NEXT year….

Nobody LIKES abortion, Jim. But until there is a better, more PRACTICAL and REALISTIC alternative (and ‘abstinence’ isn’t one), all you would do by overturning Roe v. Wade is to worsen society as a whole (not to mention giving the Republicans what they hate most: an added tax burden of orphanages for millions of unwanted children (and the added crime rate that comes along with them)).

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at September 19, 2008 5:30 PM
Comment #263547

I think Palin is definitely one of those who give a lot of lip service to scary religious-extremist beliefs. In reality though, she isn’t at all a religious person, because if she actually was she wouldn’t be so dishonest, and corrupt and have so very much to hide after such a brief career in politics.
Speaking of which, I really wish Palin would release her tax returns. It seems like she doesn’t want anyone to see them. Like many other people, I’m really interested to know whether she listed all those per diem expenses she took for herself and her family when she became the governor.

If anything, a few more people who strive to be honest, moral, and forthright and who have humbled themselves before God might be just the thing our increasingly corrupt system of government needs.

I truly find this comment side-splittingly funny! Because Palin clearly isn’t honest, moral, forthright, or humble — no matter how much she tries to cloak her true nature with all that over-the-top nutty, authoritarian God-speak!

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 19, 2008 5:40 PM
Comment #263549

Rhinehold -

Have you found any Democratic presidents or governors who ignored (or made their staff or family ignore) congressional subpoenas?

Even one?

Or is this flouting of AMERICAN LAW something that only Republicans do?

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at September 19, 2008 5:48 PM
Comment #263551

I live in the church district of a Chicago suburb, across the street from a United Church of Christ. Across the alley from that is a former Christian Science church, which changes brands every few years. Right now it is a Romanian church. Before that it was something else with the word hallelujah and covenant in the name. I thought they might have been waiting for the second coming of Jeff Buckley, and given up when it didn’t happen. We need more Buddhist temples, and fewer churches.

Apparently, in some parts of our country, the historic religious groups haven’t wanted to open churches, allowing room for others brands to thrive. The second largest religious congregation in the country, the Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, claims to be non-denominational, but sounds baptist, which wouldn’t be a good brand here.

Our country has thrived because we do not have an established religion, and the contributions of many have been valued, without having to praise Jesus, or submit to getting batted around the public square on Easter, or burned alive or drowned in accordance with someone’s view of something written in some book somewhere. That is what societies have actually been like when Christianity was an established religion. Christians only became civilized when more people became skeptical. There is no reason whatsoever to believe they would not go back to being the same, without enough others to object to the nonsense.

Beer goggles, LOL!

RickIL, I’m guessing that was a Missouri Synod Lutheran church.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 19, 2008 5:57 PM
Comment #263552

kctim-
What’s causing harm in this country is the emphasis on slogans and political loyalties over critical thinking. It doesn’t matter, for example, if you call yourself independent if you still buy the rhetoric and assumptions peddled in the talking points that the party distributes.

You’re still framing everything in a culture war sensibility. You’re still treating what is really progressive American politics with a dash of social welfare programs as tantamount to full-blown communism.

You’re not recognizing a whole gamut of philosophies and beliefs between confiscatory marxism and free market beliefs, between militant atheism and devout fundamentalism.

KAP-
Jesus, I think, was telling him to be consistent with his teachings, not to use violence to face down the opposition he would face. And why? Because violence, once employed, is often reciprocated, and Jesus’s message was as much about breaking such cycles of reciprocation as anything else.

Jim M-
There are scientific arguments to be made that the child is part of the mother for much of the development. This is not simply a matter of dependence; the genetic material of the mother begins the shaping of the human being, and its not until much later that the fetus’s own DNA starts taking over.

What begins at birth, for quite obvious reasons, is one’s status as a person. This is the simplest way to deal with the fact that not every embryo or fetus makes it to term. An abortion, as originally defined, is just another word for what we call a miscarriage.

So we wait until a child exits the womb to give it that status.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2008 6:08 PM
Comment #263559

“You can’t be suggesting that any woman have to go through carrying the child to term to fulfill your premise?”
Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 04:47 PM

Well, yes I am womanmarine. And if you find a problem with that then abortion isn’t the issue, but rather, inconvenience.

Glenn writes; “There are tens of thousands of families wanting to adopt. Yes, we KNOW this. However, last year there were over 1.3 MILLION abortions.”

Glenn, let’s test the religious and see if they will put their money where their mouth is OK? I am talking about privately funded orphanages for those not adopted, not government. And, there is just the possibility that the woman considering abortion may decide to keep the child rather than giving it to someone else or be more careful about becoming pregnant. That’s a possibility isn’t it.

“So we wait until a child exits the womb to give it that status.” Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2008 06:08 PM

No compromise isn’t working very well in solving this contentious issue. Using the royal “WE” hardly describes the feelings of everyone.

Posted by: Jim M at September 19, 2008 7:38 PM
Comment #263562

Stephen D.
I suggest you read Gen.9-6. Jesus recrocated that statement from the bible. Not what you suggested.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2008 8:07 PM
Comment #263566

KAP-
That’s God’s statement to Noah about the consequences for killing a man. By that logic, Christs followers should have gone Godfather third-act montage on the Sanhedrin and the Romans.

He was telling Peter not to try and resolve the situation by violence, because that would only invite violence back upon him and his followers.

Jim M-
Compromise? Birth is the definitive definition of the beginning of a person’s life. Not merely life in terms of the divine spark, or in terms of biological activity, but life in terms of sustained, self-sufficient existence. That’s no compromise, that’s the Gold standard. If you’re so confident that Birth is a compromise as a definition of the beginning of life, start telling doctors to induce labor before the baby comes to term.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 19, 2008 8:49 PM
Comment #263567

Stephen D.
WRONG!!!!!!! He was giving him His laws by which he and all mankind were to follow. He was telling Peter to stop what he was doing because he knew what Peter would be guilty of and what the consequences would be for his actions and that would be CAPITOL PUNISHMENT.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2008 9:00 PM
Comment #263570

Stephen D.
Also read the book of Leviticus you will be surprised to see what else is considered punishable by death. Thank God Jesus did come on the scene to change some of those punishments and grant mercy, but murder wasn’t one of them.

Posted by: KAP at September 19, 2008 10:45 PM
Comment #263571

David,

You wrote:

I guess all of that makes Sarah Palin one of “my people”. I can safely say that I have far more insight into the personal theology, belief system and Christian world view of Governor Sarah Palin than the entire staff of ABC News could ever hope to have.
I could care less about Sarah’s religion as long as she leaves it out of her politics and governs from a secular perspective. This is a secular country. It is as much my country as it is yours. I am an atheist - a mystical atheist actually…

I accept that Sarah and many fine Christians are sincere in their faith and I respect Christians who quietly live their faith for themselves. The problem is when they start pushing their misguided morality on the rest of us. Those that do, tend to have a shallow morality. Those Christians that are truly humble and quietly live their faith for themselves - like Bill Moyers are beautiful people that draw many people to their religion. Unfortunately, Sarah is not one of those. She is one of the self righteous kind that thinks their Christian morality is automatically superior to others and therefore should be imposed by government force… I grew up fundamentalist; Church of the Nazarene and Free Methodist, and drank the coolaid for a while until I achieved a higher state of enlightenment which led me through naive atheism, New Age metaphysics, Budhism, Native American tradition, Eastern esoteric knowledge, and finally to mystical atheism. There are many belief systems that are fully competitive with and superior to the naive, but sincere Christianity of my youth - including enlightened Christianity. Unfortunately, Sarah is not one of those. She is the Pat Robertson Jerry Falwell kind… Not the Oprah, Bill Moyers kind…



Posted by: Ray Guest at September 19, 2008 10:55 PM
Comment #263573

Jim:

“You can’t be suggesting that any woman have to go through carrying the child to term to fulfill your premise?” Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 04:47 PM

Well, yes I am womanmarine. And if you find a problem with that then abortion isn’t the issue, but rather, inconvenience.

Funny you didn’t mention that little point in your posting of your idea. That option exists now, as I understand it. But, and there are quite a few buts, indicative of what’s wrong with your suggestion. There are many, but I’ll name a few.

In cases of incest and rape, you would force a woman to live with that for nine months and go through the risks associated with carrying a child to full term.

Who, exactly, would provide support, emotional and financial, to these women? And for how long? It would be required long after the birth I suspect.

There are many more that come to mind, but my very last one is: this is possible now, but I have yet to see any religious organization or enough adoptive parents stepping up to the plate now. There are already so many “unadoptable” children in this world. Lets see what you suggest happen, a trial program perhaps. Without government funding, taking complete care of the woman for her every need with compassion. I would like to see this. Including making up to her for whatever the nine months cost her from her life.

Its a wonderful idea, Jim, just not going to happen.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 11:03 PM
Comment #263574
I am talking about privately funded orphanages for those not adopted, not government.

Sorry, that’s not an attractive alternative at all in my book.

And I will never buy your “inconvenience” argument, based on my personal medical experience. I have seen too much about what can and does go wrong. That’s just a callous jibe to someone who doesn’t share your opinion.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 11:06 PM
Comment #263577

Rhinehold -

Have you found any Democratic presidents or governors who ignored (or ordered their family or staff to ignore) subpoenas?

Or is this just something that only Republicans like Bush and Palin do?

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at September 19, 2008 11:21 PM
Comment #263579


A mind is like a parachute sir, it works best when it is open.

Besides being a rather tired bumper sticker slogan, I have no problem with that as long as you don’t just fill it with every fad ‘ism’ that come along. Being open minded has nothing to do with swallowing whole anything and everything without using at least a semblance of logic, common sense and principle. Suspending all notions of judgment and right and wrong is not synonymous with ‘tolerance’ or ideological maturity, bit merely an amoral easy way out where there is no right and wrong, only different. There is still a place for morals and values, principle and self restraint, personal responsibility and self control, respect for yourself and for God.

And those who are trying to decipher whether or not one can be a Christian and take part in a trophy hunt, you made my day. I’ve never even heard that debated in that way before. I can pretty much assure you that Scripture doesn’t address trophy hunting one way or another.

A side comment: Not embracing the sudden faddish redefinition of marriage, massive government socialism, sex education for kindergartners, cheer leading promiscuity or worshipping the creation instead of the Creator is hardly “pushing our religion” on everyone else. If anything, it is the religion of secularism that is insisting on pushing its own twisted agenda and “values” (or lack thereof)on the American people and culture.

Posted by: David M. Huntwork at September 19, 2008 11:41 PM
Comment #263582

Ray Guest, well said.

womanmarine:

“You can’t be suggesting that any woman have to go through carrying the child to term to fulfill your premise?”

Jim M:

Well, yes I am womanmarine.

Well, that’s just too damn bad for you and your ilk, Jim M. Because American women will not be returning to the Dark Ages of forced births, or coat-hanger abortions and death simply to fulfill the wishes of regressive religious extremists who think the way that you do.
Indeed, you’ll enforce your narrow-minded moralization program and absurd, regressive patriarchy on American Women over the dead bodies of enraged armies of other American Women.

KAP,
Are you laboring under the impression that the literally interpreted violent fairy tales you obviously set such store by are of immense significance to the vast majority of rational, mature people?
Just curious.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 19, 2008 11:56 PM
Comment #263584

KAP-
Wrong?
The quote only shows up in the Gospel of Matthew. All the synoptic Gospels record the incident, as well as the Gospel of John.

In all for cases, one thing is made clear: this was destined, and Jesus did not want his followers to resort to violence on his behalf. In John, he explicitly asks Simon Peter “Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

That theme of violence against the opponents of the faith not being the means by which Jesus’s purpose would be fulfilled is consistent.

In Matthew, the part after that quotation has Jesus continue, asking him a rhetorical question: “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulffilled, which say it must happen in this way?”.

In other words, as Son of God, Jesus has all the power he would ever need to win that fight by force. He was saying that the only thing trying to free him by violence would do is ultimately get this unnamed disciple killed, that he was powerful enough to fend for himself, but believing that it wouldn’t fulfill the purpose he came to fulfill, he has willingly let himself be betrayed, arrested, and led off.

Many would-be messiahs did not live, advocate or end their lives so peacefully. This passage was meant to say, this Messiah is different. If you look into Jesus’s other teachings, you can see a pattern that goes deeper, and interweaves with a message about forgiveness, mercy, and peacemaking.

Taken together, Jesus is saying this: Violence against others will not fulfill his purpose on Earth. If he had wanted to stop his captors,

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2008 12:35 AM
Comment #263585
Not embracing the sudden faddish redefinition of marriage, massive government socialism, sex education for kindergartners, cheer leading promiscuity or worshipping the creation instead of the Creator is hardly “pushing our religion” on everyone else. If anything, it is the religion of secularism that is insisting on pushing its own twisted agenda and “values” (or lack thereof)on the American people and culture.

This cracks me up. All this we’ve got “Small Town Values” in Mayberry, just lovin’ Jesus and enjoyin’ a glass o’ buttermilk on the front porch with Gran and Grampa Regressive Bullsh*t Mythology. It doesn’t exist. It never existed. But the Religious Right keeps trying to claim that’s really the way it is in their magical lil’ world of unshakable faith, and pious observance where everybody follows scriptural rules, and therefore creates goodness for all.
The truth is, their way has always been to deny and submerge human nature (which creates silent monsters), and remove or deny people their rights, and trash this planet for a profit. And they do all of this according to a bunch of horrifically outdated and regressive dogma written so long ago it’s laughable. And yet, they want to force every American to live by it too — just because they say so. From A to Z it’s all such complete bunkum, and always has been.

And it is because of people like this that the Framers in their Enlightenment Era wisdom (thank goodness!) wrote the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights exactly as they did. Rational people needed then, as now, to be armed with the protections they’ve always provided.
But if these people get their way, those protections will cease to exist, along with the concept of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 20, 2008 12:37 AM
Comment #263587

Sorry about the rough end. If Jesus had wanted to stop his captors, he had the power to do it. But not every problem can or should be solved through force and bloodshed.

VV-
What you believe about the bible is your business. I am a Christian, and what you term violent fairy tales I think have deeper meaning and significance.

Love your enemies. Easy? No. But what comes of that effort? It means one has to step back a little, start seeing your adversaries as more than just rivals. Bless those that curse you.

I’m no fundamentalist. I think some of the most profound truths of the scripture must be read between the lines.

But there is an intellectual power to the religion and what it advocates, and some of what I have learned that drew me towards it, I drew from bitter experience.

David Huntwork-
Marriage has been defined in all kinds of ways over the ages. Christians can define marriage their own way, with or without the rest of society’s help.

Massive government socialism is a problem you’ve really never encountered for yourself. Go to Russia, where people had their jobs assigned to them by Bureacrats, where people left windows open because they didn’t have to pay for heat, lived hell and gone out in the suburbs because transportation was free.

You have your political lens stuck on telephoto, so many of your views of the left have a rather flattened perspective. Zoom out from your narrow angle on politics, and you might see the wider panorama of political moderation where most people are, Democrats especially.

The Sex education for Kindergarteners things is a flat-out lie. The bill involved a K-12 curriculum that didn’t involve the salacious pollution of immature minds, and had an opt-out clause to boot to allow parents their parental discretion on the matter.

Worse yet, Obama’s additions involved teaching kids how to avoid sexual predators and teens how to avoid STDs, so you’re effectively attacking him for protecting our children and warning them of the risks of irresponsible sex. Good Job.

As for cheerleading promiscuity? With all due respect, the McCain-Palin ticket is not the ticket to to roast others over promiscuity, with one candidate a notorious womanizer and adulterer, and the other the mother who apparently didn’t teach abstinence well enough to sway her daughter.

You talk of the religion of secularism, but that’s just an excuse for not treating fellow Christians as Christians, and not treating non-Christians with respect. Secularism is the live-and-let-live lifestyle of a nation where religion is a private decision.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2008 1:13 AM
Comment #263593

Stephen, you’re free to think whatever you like, and so am I.

Bless those that curse you.

If it was only these people cursing others, things would be fine. They might be considered rude, and ill mannered, and totally hypocritical (according to the teachings of Jesus) but that’d be perfectly okay. Because a very large number don’t believe in or fear their curses anyway, and we’re all entitled to our own opinions.
No, the real root of the problem is that these people don’t believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. They want to tell other people exactly what to do, and how to live, and what the laws must be, all according to their religion. A religion which they don’t care whether we agree with or not, but one they want to force us to observe against our will.
This is Un-American.

Respect has got to be a two way street, yet the Religious Right obviously has none for anyone who doesn’t agree with them. And in that case what are we who believe in the separation of Church and State supposed to do? Bless their intolerance? Show an enormous amount of deference toward their beliefs, while all they do is try to sh*t all over ours?
You tell me.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 20, 2008 1:59 AM
Comment #263597

Your comment’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. Christ you say gave states the right to kill, but, this same Christ taught to turn the other cheek? So, Christ sanctioned brutality for those with power but advocated deference to one’s torturer’s and murderer’s for those without power? Your really believe Christ held this hypocritical double standard, that justifies those with power exploiting, and having their way with the poor and non-powerful?

No wonder you can support McCain who stands on both sides of any issue depending on political expedience. Thank you for helping me understand.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 20, 2008 5:37 AM
Comment #263603

VV-
The fact of the matter is, the people we find ourselves in opposition to rarely go away, rarely convert as we would wish them to convert to our side. Do people really change? They can, but it’s often a whole lot that goes on before that happens.

The hope out there for people like us is that folks have enough in common with us that we can share a common understanding. Are all our goals completely objectionable to these folks?

Part of what has maintained the power of the religious right and the rest of the Republicans to this point is their ability to divert people to the same conclusions time and again, even when evidence and experience argues against it.

I went to a very conservative college, Baylor University. The political battles were between the right and far right. But even there, I found common ground with people, and learned that the old stereotype of religious conservatives was wrong. There’s more variety to these, people, more depth than we might suppose, based on what the vocal minority that dominates the discourse might lead us to think.

Every unnecessary and overheated attack we throw their way only makes it easier for them to point at us and say “Your enemy.”

In a very real way, these folks are not our enemies, and shouldn’t be treated that way. The Republicans act like Secular humanists were responsible for the end of school prayer, but in fact it was Jehovah’s Witnesses. They act like Secular humanists are responsible for this notion of the Separation between Church and State, but many Baptists would probably be surprised to find out that their religious forebearers played a significant role in drafting up that separation. The very concept was laid out, as we understand in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists.

Once upon a time, you had to have a license to preach. The Baptists of that time believed that only God could ordain a minister.

Many of the characteristics we attribute to religious conservatives aren’t necessarily attributeable to even most of them. The university I went to, despite being Baptist, took a contextualist approach to the bible, resisted the intrusion of Intelligent Design Theory into the curriculum and taught the sciences as mainstream scientists understand them.

I’ll tell you this: the more we define people like that as “other”, the more we pile up grudges against them, the more we do their worst partisans a favor.

Once, many of these people voted their interests, rather than helping people impose morals. The GOP took advantage of folk’s shock and dismay at the cultural changes to wedge folks who might otherwise vote in our direction away from us. But the reality is, their opinions are more diverse than their voting patterns would seem to indicate, and these folks are not necessarily imbedded permanently in the Republican party, or stuck in its orbit.

There are plenty of people who get over disagreements over one issue or another in the interest of voting what they feel overall. We can play that same game we’ve played for ages, reinforcing these folks’ stereotype about us, or we can show greater depth and bring greater depth out in them.

Here’s what I say: let them curse us. Then let us talk to them in a way that shames them for their hostility, that undermines the hard feelings behind the curse. Instead of trying to hold grudges, let’s settle them, find common cause. We do little good for ourselves or society by reinforcing the old, distracting conflicts of the culture wars. It’s time for this country and our approach to mature past the adolescent struggle for control and power. It’s time to bring the debate back down to earth, and back down to substance.

We don’t win when we crap on their beliefs in return. We win when we realize what a sorry farce this whole culture war thing has been and they realize it, too.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2008 8:09 AM
Comment #263604

stephen

well said.

Posted by: dbs at September 20, 2008 9:20 AM
Comment #263614

S.D. V.V. D.R.R.
I AM NOT saying Christ advocates violence. Far from it. He does though, advocate following the law, either God’s or man’s and the punishments associated with them, either Capitol or not.

Posted by: KAP at September 20, 2008 10:54 AM
Comment #263615

I agree Stephen, to a point. I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains and we have more pentacostal churches here than you can shake a stick at. Most of these folks I find to be decent, caring people. They will proselytize me on occasion though they always accept my response that the only thing worse than someone who doesn’t believe is someone who pretends to believe. I can’t be a hypocrite like that and they accept this and we move on. However, just like in any population of people there are kind and cruel, good and bad, open minded and bigoted. It has nothing to do with the religion they follow it has to do with the kind of people they are. My wife was raised Southern Baptist, went to church 6 days a week, the whole 9 yards in the back yard of Rev. Falwell in Lynchburg, VA. Her church preached about love, respect, and community unlike the more famous church in her town which was about bigotry, drawing distinctions, and placing blame. Generalizations are unhelpful and I admit that I sometimes fall into generalizations because it’s usually the unkind, bigoted folks that are the loudest. Pastor’s like my wife’s was humble, decent, and not a media whore so he never made the news.

There are plenty of Christian conservatives that would make excellent leaders even though I would probably disagree with them politically. But it doesn’t mean that just being a Christian conservative makes one a potential leader, VP, or president. Instead of looking at Palin’s faith look at how she uses it. Look at what she does outside of her church. I personally don’t think she is intelligent, thoughtful, or curious. That is her problem not the church she goes to. Her lack of intellect does manifest itself in her religion and the way she uses her faith as a bludgeon, uses magical thinking, and as a cause for smugness. She seems to be part of this anti-intellectual movement in this country that seems to take pride in their ignorance. This movement paints a man who was raised by a single mother on food stamps, got an education, went to help the poor in his community, then went to Harvard Law school on student loans, became editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review (the first black man to have this position) as an elitist and the silver spoon son of an admiral who married an heiress is a man of the people. It defies logic.

Posted by: tcsned at September 20, 2008 11:09 AM
Comment #263625


tcsned: You gave a wonderful rendition of Obama’s life but, you stopped short. Obama caught the eye of the Chicago Democratic political machine. After a short and lackluster career in the state legislature, he moved on to the U.S. Senate where he promptly violated his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the laws of our nation.

Today he is a member, in good standing, of the corporate/government good old boy’s crony club which has perpetrated this economic disaster on the American people.

Obama is unfit to be elected to public office.

John McCain is unfit to be elected to public office.

Every politician in Washington is unfit to hold their elected office and everyone knows it.

The people, especially the voters, have been so conditioned by our economic system and the pork comming out of Washington that they will do nothing about these politicians and indeed, will reelect them time after time. The standard conditioned response of the people is, my politician is a good guy and everyone elses is a crook.

An unworthy people deserving of unworthy political leadership.

Posted by: jlw at September 20, 2008 12:24 PM
Comment #263627

Well Stephen, as the old saw goes: it takes all kinds. I think it’s fine if you want to keep trying to find common ground with people who don’t actually respect your views, and keep trying to shame them into being able to grasp that everyone has a right to their own opinions, and to be equal in the eyes of their government, and to not be forced to live by the religious dictates of others. And I, on the other hand will keep doing as I tend to do, which is to frequently speak the truth as I see it, and to denounce anyone who seems to think that their personal views and wishes are paramount, and should therefore guide our government and our laws — and that on top of this everyone should also show respect and deference toward them, despite the viciousness of their intolerance.

It’s time to bring the debate back down to earth, and back down to substance.

I agree. Which is why I stated what I think is the real root of the whole problem: that people on the Religious Right actually refuse to adhere to the bedrock rights and principles that this nation was founded upon. That all are created equal and endowed with the inalienable right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That we have freedom of, as well as from, Religion, as it pertains to our government.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 20, 2008 12:38 PM
Comment #263631

“raised by a single mother on food stamps”

Is there any record of anything anywhere to suggest that this is an accurate statement?

“went to help the poor in his community”

If this refers to Chicago, it wasn’t his community at all. His “community” was Honolulu.

For BHO’s educational credentials, can you spell affirmative action?

Posted by: ohrealy at September 20, 2008 1:07 PM
Comment #263635

ohreally - affirmative action? He finished in the top of his class. Where did McCain finish? At the bottom - if anyone was given a preference it wasn’t Obama. Do you think McCain’s father being an admiral had anything to do with his acceptance? Can you spell - silver spoon?

Posted by: tcsned at September 20, 2008 1:19 PM
Comment #263675

ohreally:
http://www.khnl.com/global/story.asp?s=7884655
Obama says that they were times living in Hawaii that they were on food stamps. I don’t have any documentation of him being on food stamps but Obama said he was - I haven’t heard of anyone debunking his statement. If this weren’t true I’m sure the right wing hit machine would have been screaming “liar” just as the left wing hit machine has every time PALIN/mccain lie.

As to community - I would define one’s community as the place the choose to live. I am an army brat and moved 12 times before I was 18. Do I not get a “community” or am I bound to Frankfurt, Germany? Do you still live in the town of your birth?

Posted by: tcsned at September 20, 2008 1:36 PM
Comment #263687

“He finished in the top of his class.”

What class where? Please be more specific or stop repeating talking points. A lot of people finish at the top of a lot of classes in a lot of places. Do you really think that is the reason that BHO was selected for Harvard Law School?

I actually live in a suburb of the town of my birth, Chicago, Illinois, having lived in 3 other suburbs here and 3 other towns in Florida. BHO’s community in Chicago is Hyde Park. The poor people you are referring to him “helping” viewed him as an outsider, an elitist, a snob, and an itellectual self-righteous do-gooder with an agenda that didn’t interest them.

Back on the religious point, I mentioned a large church here that can’t use the word “baptist” in their name if they want to attract a large congregation. In previous years, in a similar discussion here, I mentioned 2 other churches that actually changed their names to avoid associations with Falwell and such. The more historic of these being the former First Baptist Church of Evanston, founded about 1864, now called the Lake Street Church.

Incidentally, the famous Rev Wright taught at Garrett in Evanston in the 70s, where I took some classes when attending college. He was supposed to give the commencement and get an honorary doctorate at NU’s graduation this year, but they disinvited him after the controversy, and Mayor Daley was invited instead.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 20, 2008 2:34 PM
Comment #263690

vv

“And I, on the other hand will keep doing as I tend to do, which is to frequently speak the truth as I see it, and to denounce anyone who seems to think that their personal views and wishes are paramount, and should therefore guide our government and our laws — and that on top of this everyone should also show respect and deference toward them, despite the viciousness of their intolerance.”

quite a profound statemnet from some who continually fails to practice what they preach. your own statement seems to fit you to a tee. nice job.

Posted by: dbs at September 20, 2008 2:55 PM
Comment #263692

ohreally - ok - once again … Obama graduated from Harvard Law School with his JD Magna Cum Laude - that means you finished in the top 5% of his class or - at the top of his class as opposed to the bottom of his class (5th from last) for McCain at Navy and 5 colleges before earning a degree for Palin.

In addition, both Obama and Biden earned graduate degrees. Palin has a journalism degree and I don’t know what McCain’s degree from Navy was in but neither got a graduate degree though he apparently excelled in literature and history (which is a good thing) not so much in math. In fact, the only member of the GOP ticket with a graduate degree is Cindy McCain who has an MA in Special Education.

Posted by: tcsned at September 20, 2008 3:03 PM
Comment #263693

oops - I forgot the source for Obama finishing at the top of his class:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_obama

Posted by: tcsned at September 20, 2008 3:06 PM
Comment #263694

I looked at Harvard Law’s website and cannot find Obama’s actual place in his class but he did graduate with a Magna Cum Laude attached to his JD which means he did graduate in at least the top 10% (not 5% as I mentioned earlier). Either way, he finished at the top of his class and graduated with honors from the most prestigious law school in the country if not the world. PALIN/mccain cannot make this claim.

Posted by: tcsned at September 20, 2008 3:16 PM
Comment #263697

tcsned, do you see how repeating the talking points of a political campaign as facts, creates confusion. I thought you were talking about his place in his class at Punahou or Occidental or Columbia. Try sticking to unbiased sources:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17003563/

hmm, nothing about food stamps there.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 20, 2008 3:49 PM
Comment #263698
quite a profound statemnet from some who continually fails to practice what they preach.

This would make sense only if I was trying to remove the rights of others to be able to practice their religion, or if I was insisting that my views were the only ones that were correct for the entire country to live by and thus, should be able to dictate the laws of the nation. This is exactly what Religious Right Extremists are trying to do. But since that is not what I do, your comment is entirely nonsensical.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 20, 2008 3:54 PM
Comment #263699

VV-
There are two books by Mark Buchanan that you ought to read, Nexus and Ubiquity.

The first is about small worlds networks. The interesting insight there is the strength of weak connections- that is, that people are most connected to one another by folks they are acquainted with, rather than those they know well. The folks you know well, typically know folks you’re already at first or secondhand acquaintance with. I believe that in political terms, the importance of this is the need for efforts to go beyond the party faithful, beyond the bases. Sure, your adversarial rhetoric might please the people you know, but the people you know are already the most likely to be on board with whatever kind of belief system they have. You’re preaching to the choir with them.

If we want to reach into communities beyond our base, into states beyond our standard blues, it’s necessary for us to broaden our rhetoric and our thinking beyond our insular political groups, and to accept the compromises and diplomacy necessary to make those appeals.

Part of what’s progressively crippled the Republican Party is their preference for an insular, self-reinforcing viewpoint. when they had more people following them, when their agenda had more credibility with the average person, it gave them political strength. But now, it’s a political straitjacket. Some people are going to maintain the culture war mentality among the Religious Right, and it’s going to cost them with the broader populace which is no longer as thick with generations that remember such resentments.

Meanwhile, if we take a broader view, we can appeal to those for whom the agenda of the Religious Right no longer satisfies or doesn’t make sense.

Which brings me to the other book. Ubiquity talks about critical state changes, and how many events in history come about along those lines.

So long as we consider people in very simplified terms, the opportunities to compete seem scarce. But if we understand that people have all kinds of mixes of beliefs and sensibilities, then America becomes a landscape of clusters of people, who may be pulled by tensions to one camp or another. Pull enough, and they have a sort of strange attractor effect on the rest of the population.

In other words, if we pull on enough people through persuasion and education, if events themselves pull on people in certain directions, the stage may be set for a critical phase shift to occur in our society, and in our politics. We’ve seen one part of this already, and the change is not yet over.

There’s good reason for this change: the Republican mindset seems to be unsuited to the kind of challenges, politically, policy-wise, militarily, and domestically that are put before us. However, the old tensions of yesteryear are still at work, and may in the short term slow the effects.

More to the point, there is still an element of metastability to the whole scenario. Metastability, to put it plainly, can be linked to the critical shifts. A situation, put under the right kind of circumstances (or the wrong, depending on your point of view) can snap under stress into a new, self-reinforcing state of normalcy different from the old one.

I think we have an opportunity in this time to change the direction of the country fundamentally. Obama’s agreement on this count is part of what has lead me to support him. I believe we are in a position where we might easily find support among people who ordinarily would not be considering alternatives, but who have been brought by circumstance to recognize that they might have more in common with others than they first thought.

If you want to change the vicious culture-war environment, your best bet is to defeat the preconceptions and antagonisms first. Those are what they use to insulate their people, to reinforce the zealotry and overbearing disrespect for outsiders. The Republicans have not been demonizing us on all fronts for years just for their health. They’ve been doing it to draw distinct lines between people, and they’ve been doing that, in turn, because it’s what allows them to isolate, propagandize and conform these people into their more hardline views.

I think what deserves to be defeated most is the divisive politics, and if we live by the sword trying to do that, we’ll die by the sword. We need to be reconciliators, peacemakers.

Ohrealy-
Affirmative action only factors in for those who are at the margins. Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law, which probably means top ten percent. If you want to float, without evidence, the suggestion that Obama was a marginal student who benefited from race, you’ll have to explain how such a marginal student managed to get the grades to outdo more than 90% of the other students.

Additionally, you’ll have to explain how he got a job teaching law at a tier one law school Is that affirmative action? It’s an overused phrased employed by those looking to minimize the achievements of minorities.

As for his place in his class at Punahou or Occidental, let me put this plainly: First, he got into Harvard Law, second, he got a Graduate level degree, which few do, and third, in seeking this degree, he passed with flying collars. There are plenty of people who drift around at first, looking for a purpose, but who find it and lead more ambitious lives from that point onwards. He found his calling in the law.

Compare this with a man who graduated the Naval Academy at the bottom of his class. Compare this with a woman who went through several colleges before graduating.

Compare it, if you can get beyond the need to question and quibble about obvious qualifications.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 20, 2008 4:13 PM
Comment #263701

ohrealy - nice try. Does everything ever written about a man have to include food stamps for it to be true? It also didn’t say he wasn’t ever on food stamps. Show me something that specifically debunks it and I’ll believe you and admit Obama was lying as PALIN/mccain have been proven to be over and over again.

I know since the GOP is so stuck on promoting candidates that were middling students at best which is telling of who these people are. The Democratic candidate finished at the top of his class in, as I said, the most prestigious law school in the country. I never said he was a perfect student his whole life. Here’s where your point falls apart - he wasn’t a spectacular high school student that is true. But, he got into a college and then became a top student at Harvard. He progressively got better as the schools got harder and as the challenges became greater. It’s not where you start it’s where you end up. I want a guy who rises to his challenges not sits around reading My Pet Goat.

Granted, I may be personally biased as someone who had a 2.6 GPA in high school then flunked out of college once. After a few years working construction and in the music business I went back to school, applied myself made the dean’s list three straight years, got into graduate school and have a 3.95 QCA after two master’s degrees and all of my coursework for my PhD.

Though, this is all off topic - as I think we were discussing Sarah Palin being a poor representation of a Christian.

Posted by: tcsned at September 20, 2008 4:15 PM
Comment #263706

S.D., qualifications for what? Teaching at the U of C ? Did Milton Friedman ever become POTUS? Are you really that clueless about the possibilities for public careers of those who are overeducated beyond any possibility of non-academic employment? I believe that the current POTUS also has a graduate degree from Harvard, besides the undergraduate from Yale. Legacies are part of the same problem to me.

?”need to question and quibble”? Isn’t that why this website exists? Regardless of what it may become, it wasn’t set up as an auxiliary propaganda forum of the daily Kos.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 20, 2008 5:06 PM
Comment #263708

ohrealy - overeducated? Are you for real? How can it be possible to learn too much?

The current POTUS certainly did not excel in his college days at anything, didn’t excel in business (the subject of his education) and certainly hasn’t excelled as POTUS. Do you see a trend?

This anti-intellectual trend in this country does us a huge disservice - don’t we want our smartest and best educated to be our leaders? Not that it is the only ingredient in the recipe for success it is an indicator of ability. The GOP has been running against “the intellectual elite” for years and while it has worked to some extent it goes hand in hand with this baffling pride in their ignorance that George Bush has made popular and Sarah Palin has continued. It probably comes from the popularity of anti-intellectual right wing talkers Limbaugh, hannity, & O’Reily. Being a “C” student is nothing to be proud of.

Posted by: tcsned at September 20, 2008 5:25 PM
Comment #263711

“don’t we want our smartest and best educated to be our leaders?” Not when they think they know better than us what is necessary for our own good, and end up perpetuating the same problems when in office. Back on being raised by his mother on foodstamps, don’t you get the disconnect between BHO’s statements and reality? He was raised by his grandparents, who made sure that he went to a good school. He claims he was drunk or stoned much of the time, but got good grades and went on to Occidental, where he entered an affirmative action program that got him to Columbia. You’re being played.

Here is something on the original topic of the problems with religion, via AbFab:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciZmN4KLMnU

Have a nice evening.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 20, 2008 5:48 PM
Comment #263713

ohrealy - thanks, some much needed comic relief.

Posted by: tcsned at September 20, 2008 6:17 PM
Comment #263718

John Kennedy was the most powerful catholic in our political history and HIS religion never interfered with his presidency.

Why should Sarah Palin’s religion be a “downer”?

Jeremiah Wright never would have entered into the “religion” equation had it not been for his profound anti-American diatribes which Obama had felt/ was continuing to feel comfortable listening to for at least twenty years!

And just LOOK at all the free publicity Obama milked the Wright thing for!
First, his Philadelphia speech where, almost swallowed in American flags,he hugged his “uncle” while dissing and dumping his typical white grandmother.

Then, the second “race” speech in which he cast aside his “uncle” because Jeremiah had called him a politician… among other things!

Basically however, I strongly believe in separation of church or synagogue or mosque..and state!

Follow whatever religion you want so long as it NEVER interferes with the carrying out of your responsibilities as called upon by the constitution and other laws of the land!

Posted by: QUESTIONER.. at September 20, 2008 8:44 PM
Comment #263721

‘Questioner’ -

Perhaps ‘accuser’ or ‘assumer’ would be more appropriate, because Obama did NOT ‘milk’ the Wright controversy, which dogged him for far longer than it should have.

But you’re obviously supporting the Republican side, and it’s glaringly obvious that Republicans have no problem with false claims as long as they accomplish your purpose.

You should note that the claim of ‘Reverend’ Hagee (whose endorsement McCain sought), who claimed that Hurricane Katrina was God’s judgment against New Orleans for their tolerance of gay and lesbian social events.

Then there’s Parsley, who said, “I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion [Islam] destroyed” McCain referred to Parsley as his ‘spiritual adviser’.

‘Questioner’, I don’t know how well you know history, but there’s a difference between recalling historical facts and making it up as one goes along. So what will McCain do if his ‘spiritual adviser’ Parsley tells him to go obliterate Islam? Hm?

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at September 20, 2008 9:51 PM
Comment #263740

ohrealy-
If you don’t think DailyKos patrons don’t question or quibble, then you have pretty much proven that you hardly visit the place at all.

As for your quibbles about qualifications, You don’t know what you’re talking about there, either. The J.D. Degree that Obama holds is a standard law school degree, so talk of him being “overeducated beyond any possibility of non-academic employment” is a bit premature, given the excellent prospects for most law school graduates.

As for the rest? Harvard’s exams are graded blind, for one thing, so favoritism on account of affirmative action wasn’t a factor.

Every argument that he was somehow unworthy of his honors ends right there. He did better than more than 90% of the other students, graded blind.

I think you’re the one being played, being fed this BS. Goodnight.

QUESTIONER-
John Kennedy promised to keep his religion, controversial as it was then, to himself, that he would not accept instructions on governing the nation from his church. Palin’s made no such promise, and never would.

Jeremiah Wright enters into the equation with excerpts from three sermons that were indeed, controversial and provocative. But what more have you seen? Where are the other chickens come home to roost? If he were such a constantly controversial man, there would be no end to the sermons that would show up.

They haven’t. If he were really trying to milk this, he’d just keep the hits coming. Surely your people would love to see more of the same. Where is it?

As for free publicity, I don’t think the Obama campaign, which regularly drew crowds of thousands and tens of thousands lacked for publicity.

The grandmother quote is that he could no more disown him than her. You claim he was dissing his grandmother, but that’s silly He was making a case that you can love somebody who is imperfect and has minor prejudices.

But there’s a difference between doing that, and allowing that person to trample all over your goodwill.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2008 3:32 AM
Comment #263749

stephen

“Jeremiah Wright enters into the equation with excerpts from three sermons that were indeed, controversial and provocative. But what more have you seen?”

those three are all we’re aware of. were they isolated icidents ? unless you are a member of his church you will probably never know. one has to assume that over the course of his tenure as pastor of that church there were probably many more that will never see the light of day. how that reflects on obama is up to you to decide. if you like his politics it will probably not effect your vote. on the other hand you’re sitting on the fence, those incidents may play more of a role in the decision you make.

Posted by: dbs at September 21, 2008 9:08 AM
Comment #263761

dbs-

unless you are a member of his church you will probably never know. one has to assume that over the course of his tenure as pastor of that church there were probably many more that will never see the light of day.

There are plenty of copies of plenty of other Wright Sermons for those looking for them. They were taped and sold by the church. They are out there.

Given that they are out there, you have to ask the question of why more sermons have not come to light that confirm this constant ministry of hatred you speak of. Parishioners, including Obama himself, say that the controversial sermons were unusual. He could get salty and politically incorrect, he was known to get political at some times, but this was not out of the ordinary for Black Churches.

The simple explanation for the lack of further controversial videos might be that they simply haven’t looked. Do you believe that? I don’t. They probably put people on the staff at both the McCain and the Clinton Campaigns just to go through those videos.

The explanation might be that they’re holding back on them. Okay. But we’re still waiting, and I’m not sure that in the age of uncoordinated bloggers that it wouldn’t get leaked prematurely.

But finally, the simplest possible explanation is that they went through all the videos they could find, and simply selected the most offensive, politically incorrect, and damaging ones.

The argument from ignorance is that there could be others just as bad out there. But an argument from ignorance is an invalid one. Obama’s pastor certainly isn’t an uncontroversial figure, but he seems more like an occasionally bombastic man than a perpetually fringe-ish radical.

More to the point, Obama doesn’t seem to have taken on such divisive politics on himself. You could argue, again without the benefit of positive evidence, that he’s just waiting to reveal himself as a divisive race-baiter. But so far, he hasn’t, and he has no good reason to, even if at heart he is one. Essentially, he’s trapped himself in a goody-goody persona.

This is about inspiring irrational fear and distrust. The most likely explanation is that Wright was a bracing, challenging, smart sermonizer, and this intrigued and drew in Obama, who at that point was a young college graduate. This notion of him being a disciple of hate is simply the use of a few sermons to extrapolate with little other supporting information a predetermined conclusion. The Liberal has to be exposed as a racist bigot elitist race-baiter, even if the body of evidence as whole will not cooperate with that conclusion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2008 12:12 PM
Comment #263768

“There are many more that come to mind, but my very last one is: this is possible now, but I have yet to see any religious organization or enough adoptive parents stepping up to the plate now. There are already so many “unadoptable” children in this world. Lets see what you suggest happen, a trial program perhaps. Without government funding, taking complete care of the woman for her every need with compassion. I would like to see this. Including making up to her for whatever the nine months cost her from her life.

Its a wonderful idea, Jim, just not going to happen.”
Posted by: womanmarine at September 19, 2008 11:03 PM

Thank you womanmarine. My intention was to pose a solution that considered the end result of both sides of the issue. I know it’s not perfect. At the current time we can’t test my solution for lack of appropriate regulation. And, I agree, it’s “just not going to happen” as hearts and minds on both sides have hardened to make compromise nearly impossible.

I believe the issue of abortion mirrors other issues where compromise is not likely such as gay marriage, private vs group rights, government and judicial social engineering, prayer in school, the death penalty, fighting terrorism etc. Reasonable people have agreed to no longer be reasonable. Doctrine, whether religious or political has become paramount.

We have a candidate in Mr. Obama who declares his intention to compromise to accomplish great things. From where will this compromise come? I have seen no evidence on these blogs that either liberals or conservatives are willing to compromise. Compromise, as describe by both sides, is being confused with capitulation.

If the goal of abortion is to rid the woman of carrying the fetus to term then there is no compromise available with those who would see the fetus born. It can’t be both. Only if women carrying these unwanted fetuses agree to not abort them can the right to life people assume responsibility for those lives.

womanmarine also wrote in response to my statement; I am talking about privately funded orphanages for those not adopted, not government.

“Sorry, that’s not an attractive alternative at all in my book. And I will never buy your “inconvenience” argument, based on my personal medical experience. I have seen too much about what can and does go wrong. That’s just a callous jibe to someone who doesn’t share your opinion.”

womanmarine, it may not be attractive, however the alternative is an endless discussion and continued division of our nation over this issue.
Please understand that no callous jibe was intended. I am not including women who can not carry to term without endangering their health. My “opinion” is one that says reasonable people should be able to find a compromise with neither side having to entirely abandon their political or religious beliefs. Is that not what our founders intended?

Posted by: Jim M at September 21, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #263772

Jim:

Sorry, I don’t find it acceptable to force women to go full term just to have the child go to an orphanage somewhere. An orphanage is not acceptable to me at all. I’m not sure how you would accomplish that anyway, would the orphanage adopt the child? Otherwise, doesn’t the mother have to accept responsibility for the child until an adopton occurs?

Believe me when I say I understand your concern. I just think your concern should be for the children already here. When those problems are solved satisfactorily perhaps some other ideas could come to fruition. Until then, I believe it’s wishful thinking.

And I would never expect a pregnant woman/child to carry to full term in cases of rape and/or incest. It is a devastating enough crime without adding nine months of physical hell to the mix.

I firmly believe that abortion should not be used as birth control, but sometimes birth control fails, and sometimes recently there have been pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions. That’s not compromise in my book. It has to work both ways.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 21, 2008 2:10 PM
Comment #263779

S.D., you can’t have it both ways. If he was so great in school, then he is lying about the drug and alcohol use. Do you know who lies? Lying liars lie. On lawyers, just look the word up on opensourceshakespeare to find my opinions on that. Most law schools should be closed.

I don’t want to revisit an old fight, but womanmarine should be writing articles here. If the blog requirement still exists, someone may be willing to set one up for you.

exceprt from Wright’s most famous sermon:

“She had the audacity to keep on hoping and to keep on praying and to keep on praying when there was no visible sign on the horizontal level that what she was praying for, hoping for, waiting for would ever be answered in the affirmative. That what she wanted most out of life had been denied to her. Think about that. Yet in spite of it, she kept on hoping. The gloating of Peninah did not make her bitter, she kept on hoping. When her family made its pilgrimage to the sanctuary she renewed her petition there, pouring out her heart to God. She may have been barren in her womb, that’s the horizontal dimension; she was fertile in however in her spirit, her vertical dimension. She prayed and she prayed and she kept on praying year after year, no answer and she kept on praying. She prayed so fervently in this passage that Eli though she had to be drunk. There as no sign on the horizontal level that for which she was praying for would ever be answered and Paul said something about that, too. No visible sign. Hope, the vertical dimension, he says, hope is what saves us for we are saved by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope. For what a man sees, why does he have hope for it, but if we hope for that which we see not, no visible sign, then do we with patience wait for it, almost an echo of what the prophet Isaiah said: they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. The vertical dimension balances out what is going on in the horizontal direction.”

from

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1986116/posts

Posted by: ohrealy at September 21, 2008 3:10 PM
Comment #263780
If he was so great in school, then he is lying about the drug and alcohol use.

Huh?????

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 21, 2008 3:13 PM
Comment #263799

ohrealy-
I don’t recall making an argument that was saying that he was doing large amounts of drugs and maintaining excellent grades at the same time.

He admits to both being a poor student in his earlier college years, and a drug abuser at the same time. As he puts it, though, his aimlessness and drug use were things he matured beyond at about the same period.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 21, 2008 5:41 PM
Comment #263845

“You’re still framing everything in a culture war sensibility. You’re still treating what is really progressive American politics with a dash of social welfare programs as tantamount to full-blown communism”

How is that any different than treating conservative American politics with a dash of Christian morals, as “tantamount” to a full-blown theocracy? Its not.

“Really progressive American politics” are based on the same thing as conservative American politics: beliefs.
Implying that the liberal beliefs of Obama will lead us on a socialist path towards a govt owned and controlled country, is no different than implying the conservative beliefs of Palin will lead us on a conservative path towards a govt run by a religion.

I treat it as a culture war because that is what it is Stephen. BOTH sides believe they know whats best for everybody and BOTH sides are forcing their beliefs onto everybody.

Posted by: kctim at September 22, 2008 10:27 AM
Comment #263889

kctim-
What puzzles me is how beliefs that are less liberal than the ones belonging to Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Kennedy, economically speaking, are said to be a slippery slope towards socialism. I think what we have here is a case of the rhetoric running away with itself.

As for me, my standard is simple: separation between church and state. I’m not one to talk about theocracy at the drop of a hat, but I do believe that Republicans have become intrusive with their quest to put religion in the driver’s seat of government.

The culture war has done more to aggravate cultural decadence than its done to prevent, it, and the kind of morality it emphasizes seems more like Victorian Hypocrisy and gilded age materialism than true religious revival.

Now you can do your part to mature this country past that adolescent garbage, or you can contribute to it. For my part, I feel the best course of action is to mature past it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2008 4:31 PM
Comment #263894

S.D., “his aimlessness and drug use were things he matured beyond”. Yeah, Right, get him to a meeting. You’re making this too easy. Let’s see, your guy is the new W, but isn’t in AA yet, as far as we know. No, I already did that. People are talking about his confessions about past drug use as misdirection. No, I already did that. How about, when they make Farenheit 2009, instead of Vacation by the GoGos, they could use Sad Vacation, by Johnny Thunders, here with one foot already in the grave:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASS5q10j7h8

Here’s a video you might like, Taking it Back with Barack. I got it because it features someone from OLTL:

http://wwwh.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJW67YfLWgs

Posted by: ohrealy at September 22, 2008 5:17 PM
Comment #263896

Stephen
How have you “matured past it,” when you claim Republicans are on a “quest to put religion in the drivers seat of govt?” How is that any different than those who claim liberals are on a quest to put liberalism in the drivers seat? It’s not, but yet you label their concerns as “adolescent garbage,” while expecting them to acknowledge your concerns as “mature” and wise.

Can you honestly not understand why so many people do not like socialism? Do you honestly not see why so many fear it as the left fears religion?
If they shouldn’t be able to use govt to force you to tithe to their holy religion, why should they be forced to tithe to your holy govt?

Our founders knew the mess that would come from govt running lives, that is why they tried to prevent it. Sadly, we threw it away and now we are in the mess we are now.

As far as the “culture war,” I could solve it in one day: leave each other alone.
Let Steve and Steve marry in San Fran and let Mr./Mrs. Doe wear a cross when they teach. Let liberal Larry smoke his dope and let Conservative Joe own his gun.

Nothing but beliefs Stephen and the best way to truly mature past them, is to respect them.

Posted by: kctim at September 22, 2008 5:19 PM
Comment #263903

A JMcC commercial that I don’t expect to see aired in Chicago, but I’ll be counting the ads on Boston Legal tonight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ0cq4Nytu8

I object to the part about Emil Jones. He only wants to have his senate seat made hereditary, which is not that unusual here.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 22, 2008 6:22 PM
Comment #263910

kctim-
You do realize that you’re trying to force libertarianism on those who don’t want it, don’t you? Look, The trouble here isn’t that people want the government to legislate to their tastes. That’s inevitable. You can wholesale tell people that their beliefs are an intrusion on yours, but its the nature of both society and government that this kind of stepping on each other’s toes is inevitable.

The trouble is, we’ve let the debate become this divisive kind of shooting gallery.

Truth is, and we’re going to have to live with this, is that even the folks you or I think are wrong, are going to have their say, and many times, have their way.

You don’t have to like it, or shut up about it and just take it. But let me let you in on a bit of my approach here: It’s always easy to preach to your fellow travellers. You’re going to speak the same language, know the same outrages, so on and so forth. The Right in America’s gotten good at this.

It’s the relationship with everybody else that’s gone to hell. The Right’s gotten arrogant about its policy, just as the left once did, and to a certain extent, still does.

The lesson many among Democrats and Liberals have learned, is the lesson of translation. Don’t assume that people should know things. Don’t assume that your favorite sources are going to be trusted by others. Find the information, find the common ground, find the practical, first principles explanation for your views.

And be prepared for disagreement. Be prepared to moderate your own views and admit a few faults. Have the bravery to go out on your own, and say what needs to be said, instead of what is merely strategically advantageous.

If you’re not prepared to deal with people as equals, and your own views as less than inevitable, you will fail to translate your ideas to the folks you need to persuade.

Ohrealy-
I think we’ve established this: If it’s negative about Obama, you’ll believe it. If that’s the course you want to take, fine. But stick to what you can prove. The grades thing: argument from ignorance: you don’t know his grades, so you’ll assume he was a screw-up put over the top by affirmative action. The drugs thing: He didn’t have a notarized certificate of being off drugs, so you’ll assume he’s snorting lines on his desk even today.

There doesn’t seem to be an attack on Obama you’ll not treat as Gospel truth, even that Larry Sinclair con artist.

Like I discussed with kctim, it’s easy to get fellow travellers to believe these things, but don’t think for a second anybody’s going to allow Obama to get swiftboated. Liberals learned their lesson the last time. If you can’t back your charges with solid evidence, Obama supporters will pound your assertions with a barrage of facts. Why do you think Obama, despite everything you’ve thrown at him, maintains high favorable, maintains poll numbers above 50%?

Because the attacks in the end are transparently aimed at political ends. Because they remember what they got for giving credibility to such a campaign. Because Obama has been a very strong counterpuncher on these charges, and because Democrats have a much better ground game out there. This is Rovian talking points, and people are beginning to get the sense that they are being manipulated when they see commercials of this kind.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 22, 2008 7:39 PM
Comment #263949

Huntwork,

“Besides being a rather tired bumper sticker slogan, I have no problem with that as long as you don’t just fill it with every fad ‘ism’ that come along. Being open minded has nothing to do with swallowing whole anything and everything without using at least a semblance of logic, common sense and principle.”

Yet you guys are buying into this “Palin is the second coming” shtick lock, stock, and barrel.
Oh and BTW, that is exactly what the right is accusing the Obamaites of doing.

You assume too much.

There is a middle ground here, yet for all of the fundamentalist right’s open-mindedness you guys fail to see it.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at September 23, 2008 6:48 AM
Comment #263960

Stephen
I’m not talking about how liberals no longer wish to adhere to our founding principles and my wish to become a Constitutional Republic once again. I know that will never happen.

The left is accusing the right of always pushing their beliefs onto them, but you do the same thing to them. You say they do not respect your beliefs, but you do not respect theirs. You demand concrete evidence against Obama, but opinions, assumptions and guilt by association are what you use for all Republicans. The left has learned their lesson, but the right has gotten arrogant?
Come on Stephen, you can’t fix something if you believe only half of it is broken.

I am curious though, how does one force freedom of choice onto others?

Posted by: kctim at September 23, 2008 9:46 AM
Comment #263973

Ohreally:

Thanks much for the vote of confidence. I really don’t want my own blog. I would still like to be able to post the occasional article here though. Maybe if the rules change.

Thanks though.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 23, 2008 10:43 AM
Comment #264000

kctim-

I’m not talking about how liberals no longer wish to adhere to our founding principles and my wish to become a Constitutional Republic once again. I know that will never happen.

I think there are a lot of liberals who would be shocked to find out that’s what they believe. The problem here is that you’re letting your rhetoric run away with you. It’s one thing to disagree with what the Liberals consider constitutional. It’s another thing to wave this bloody shirt around that Democrats don’t believe in the constitution, or oppose running this country like a constitutional Republic.

You don’t “force freedom of choice” on the people getting that freedom. Instead, you inhibit government actions that would take away their freedom.

I won’t deny that many of my fellow Liberals and Democrats don’t take the pains to argue things properly. However, that’s how most people argue. Not everybody is a college-trained debater or logician.

However, if you’re going to be making such claims, you might as well make them more concrete, so that nobody has the excuse of thinking you’re merely being unfair to once side or another.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 23, 2008 2:41 PM
Comment #264015

Stephen
Kind of like the left lets their rhetoric run away with them when they talk about Christians using govt to force their beliefs onto them? Like claiming Palin will do the same if people are dumb enough to elect McCain?
‘Palin and those ‘scary’ Christians’ is about the left preying on fear, IMO, you jumped right in and defended it and you criticize others for doing the same thing.

“I think there are a lot of liberals who would be shocked to find out that’s what they believe”

I would love to talk with even one of them.

“You don’t “force freedom of choice” on the people getting that freedom.”

Of course you don’t, but since that isn’t any longer our case, I thought I would mention it.

“Instead, you inhibit government actions that would take away their freedom”

Like our Constitution used to do before we allowed it to be perverted? I totally agree.

“if you’re going to be making such claims, you might as well make them more concrete”

It doesn’t get any more concrete than the Constitution my friend. It is interpreting the Constitution to push a particular agenda that makes the concrete soft. Which is why our nation is crumbling.

Posted by: kctim at September 23, 2008 3:46 PM
Comment #264028

kctim-
You are talking with one of them. Do you understand, first, how offensive that implication is, and second, how counterproductive to your point?

I believe in the constitution. But I don’t believe that your interpretation of it is correct. You intepret that disagreement as a lack of belief in the founding charter. It turns that disagreement, which can be mediated, into a melodrama where you can wear the white hat, and me the black.

This has served folks on the right poorly. It allows their views to be increasingly isolated and distanced from their fellow Americans, while Democrats who have learned to be more conciliatory can reach out to people.

You can sit there being happy at how constitutional you are, but unless you can convince others who are skeptical, non-committal, or even opposed that you are right, it’s just self-indulgence.

As for concrete examples? Look, you can run people around in circles with generalized rhetoric, but where are the anecdotes, laws, logic, and other premises to your arguments that get it to where others will feel you are right?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 23, 2008 4:37 PM
Comment #264031

S.D., people have been trying to cram BHO down our throats for months, and attacking anyone who has anything negative to say about him. I’m looking at what people who are not his partisans or strategists have to say about him. Also, I like to laugh. That’s a good thing.

Your guy wants to continue the mess in opium poppy Afghanistan, continue the private contractors protecting oil fields in Iraq while shooting randoms, and generally supports the military industrial complex and the status quo in so many ways that I don’t see why he is even considered to be a liberal. People of your generation have a fantasy which you are projecting onto him. To me, he sounds a lot like Nixon.

The JMcC anti-Chicago ad was aired by some of the stations here as news.

I guess the secret service caught someone trying to break into BHO’s property here this morning. Apparently, it looks a little different now, with security fences.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 23, 2008 4:48 PM
Comment #264038

Stephen
It cannot be “mediated” until both sides respect the other sides right to believe and live as they choose, as our founders intended.
It is that lack of respect which has placed us at this crossroads as a country and that lack of respect which pisses you off so much when dealing with people such as myself.

I don’t sit around all happy about it and I don’t worry about people feeling I am right. I do, however, practice what I preach, which is far more than most.

“while Democrats who have learned to be more conciliatory can reach out to people”

First, a moderate would have reached out to people and there would be some realism in that statement. Obama is no moderate.
Second, the lefts “concern” over religious people forcing their beliefs onto them and then their total lack of concern over pushing their beliefs onto others, shows the only reaching out you guys are doing, is to your own and those whom your fear tactics have worked on.

Posted by: kctim at September 23, 2008 5:35 PM
Comment #264097

ohrealy-
Even if your accusations had merit (aside from Afghanistan, and I don’t mind Afghanistan), here’s the important distinction: what’s the alternative?

The alternative is worse. The alternative is affirmation of the policy. The alternative is somebody who’s politically interested in not only keeping the status quo, but intensifying it.

If nothing else, Obama has put himself in a position where his support depends on ending the war and opposing other major Bush policies. To the extent he falls short, he puts himself at risk, and he knows it.

If you find the last eight years even remotely a negative experience, voting for McCain is an act of masochism. If you’re given a choice between bad and worse, pick bad.

As for Nixon? Obama has not demonstrated the paranoia, nor the tendency towards political demonization of the other side. I know he’s been rather negative about McCain, but Obama’s not put commercials on the air essentially accusing his opponent of wanting to teach six-year-olds explicitly about sex. If anybody resembles Nixon, in the mean-spirited behavior, secrecy, and paranoia, it’s McCain. Hell, McCain is even friends with G. Gordon Liddy.

As for people cramming Obama down your throat? First understand that on the web, sampling opinion tends to be like drinking from a firehose. Second, consider the fact that most Democrats this time around have had enough with being lukewarm and polite. We’re angry and bitter (I wonder why folks think Obama meant that being bitter was a bad thing, given our circumstances?) about what’s gone before, and we’re not going to sit back and let things unfold as they have before.

Obama has turned out to be an assertive, responsive candidate with a talent for skewering the nonsense coming from his rivals. If you think telling us that he’s not a goody-two-shoes is going to send us into despair, then you’ve been over at Freeperville too much, and haven’t spent enough time at DKos or any mainstream Democratic blog. We like that he seems able to denounce the idiocy and misbegotten policy of the Right without coming across as strident. We like that he’s hitting back, and not just sitting around letting his opponent define him.

kctim-
Look, nobody starts off from perfect respect. A little respect is a good start. A little compromise is a good start. In my book, sometimes you have to begin with small goods, rather than try to force the greater good into existence from nothing.

Obama is a moderate. Compare his positions to the polls. Listen to what he says. The only reason why some think he’s far left is that they define moderate for Democrats by listening for Republican policies coming out of their mouths.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 24, 2008 10:42 AM
Comment #264120

Come on Stephen. Obama has changed his positions to seem like a moderate so that he will win. His past is nothing like the guy running today.
I have listened to what Obama says, but, unfortunately for the left, myself and others have also looked at what he has done and it is not representitive of what is best for our country.

And are you seriously still blaming the Republicans for this being such a close race? With past elections so easy to review, you still do not believe those losses have anything to do with the far-lefts positions on the issues?
I’ve got bad news for you Stephen, what you want to believe people think is alot different than what they really do think. That is why you cannot see how wrong you are and that is why this race is even close.

Posted by: kctim at September 24, 2008 12:59 PM
Comment #264145

Stephen, where to start? I got on this track because of a much repeated comment that your guy was raised by his mother on food stamps. Do you actually believe that?

The Free Republic had a copy of Wright’s sermon without any silly commentary before or after. I apologize again for all my shortcomings, but that was the amount of time that I wanted to spend looking for it online. I’m sure we’ll continue to argue somewhere.

womanmarine, I am going to be stuck somewhere this weekend with a WIFI connnection and not much to do. If you want it done, send an email to iryhousen@yahoo.com with you email info. Adrienne was my favorite contributor of all, and she left because of that situation. Of the women writing here, one is too wonky, the other does too little research, but you’re just right.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 24, 2008 3:45 PM
Comment #264842

Ohrealy:

Adrienne was my favorite too. Wish she would/could come back. Thought she might have been banned.

Thanks so much for the offer. I really don’t want my own blog. If that’s what is required to be an editor here, I’ll just continue to post to articles.

I do appreciate the offer, and the vote of confidence. I suspect I will post some things you will strongly disagree with at times :)

Posted by: womanmarine at September 28, 2008 10:23 AM
Post a comment