Third Party & Independents Archives

Barack Obama Fakes Interest in Evangelicals

And here I thought Democrats had learned a lesson from DNC Chairman Howard Dean when he made a fool of himself during his presidential run saying he wanted to be the candidate “for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.”

Winning elections is all about getting the votes; something Democrats haven't successfully done in a long time. Realizing there's big numbers in the religious bloc, the popular first-term senator from Illinois is trying to tap that reserve.

The only problem: he's a Democrat:

WASHINGTON - Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.

"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,'" he said. "Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats."

Sounds reasonable, right? But that kind of thinking is considered "extreme" by many far-left liberals who don't want the phrase "under God" recited by children in fear of indoctrination. They don't want voluntary prayer groups anywhere near schools. They get behind the ACLU, an organization that sues the government every time a single red cent of tax money ends up in a church.

Just what incentive is there for religious voters to go blue? As if one speech by Senator Obama is going to convince the religious masses. And it's not like Obama is somehow a friend of the faithful just because he wants their votes. Since he became a senator in 2004, Obama has so far opposed every federal judicial appointment by President Bush who is seen as a threat to the constitutional right to abort a fetus in the ninth month.

He talks about voluntary prayer groups in school as being okay, but the judges his party appoints routinely strikes them down as unconstitutional. Obama was one of only 22 senators to oppose John Roberts for the Supreme Court, placing him to the left of most Senate Democrats. He opposed Samuel Alito and many of Bush's appellate court picks - for the same reasons the party is getting scorn from Obama in the first place.

Forgetting that he always opposes judges who loosely interpret the "separation of church and state" doctrine, Obama criticizes his party for not loosely believing in the "separation of church and state" doctrine:

"Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."

Obama mentioned leaders of the religious right briefly, saying they must "accept some ground rules for collaboration" and recognize the importance of the separation of church and state.

So Obama wants it both ways. He wants religion to be tolerated in public but not to the point that it violates church and state. But at what point does that happen according to Obama? If reciting the Pledge is okay, how about a monument of the Ten Commandments? I can see him sweating already.

Democrats will never win the Christian vote because they don't understand Christians. I can't think of a better way to earn the respect of evangelicals than to vote for an amendment protecting the flag from desecration. Sure enough, just yesterday the proposal fell one vote shy in the Senate because most Democrats opposed it. Gee, to think if only Obama had voted in favor of the amendment it would have successfully passed the Senate.

But to Democrats, supporting an amendment protecting the flag is "silly" and a "waste of time." Yet it's those silly patriotic issues that are important to evangelicals, and yet Democrats can't even get that issue right. Let's not even go near abortion - perhaps the single most important issue to religious Christians, an issue they're still fuming over ever since the Supreme Court invented a right to the practice back in 1973.

Sorry Obama, but your party is far from getting the religious voters on your side.

Posted by Scottie at June 29, 2006 1:06 PM
Comments
Comment #163244

Microscopic Question - Are there really physicians that will perform an almost full term abortion? That seems wrong to me.

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #163245

Question:

If the far left is so correct in matters such as gay rights, freedom from religion, abortion that is legal until the baby takes it’s first breath outside the womb, and the rights of child molesters —
Why do they have to hijack the Democratic party?

Their platform should be good enough to break away and create their own ‘Liberal Party’.

Posted by: bug at June 29, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #163249

bug - I agree, but pease don’t equate gay rights and freedom of religion, with child molestation and murder. I’m left. But I’m not “that” left.

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #163251

It’s OK Scottie, Bush has faked being a President for over 5 years and 35% are still fooled. We don’t need too many bible thumpers to guarantee a GOPer rout and they are clearly easy to fool.

Posted by: Dave1 at June 29, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #163252

I have to disagree with you Scottie, especially here in Ohio where there are Democrats who do have Christians on their side. Three of many examples that what Obama is talking about is happening elsewhere.

http://www.webelieveohio.org/about/index.html

http://www.catholicdemsoh.org

http://www.tedstrickland.com/news/411/strickland-blackwell-should-respect-the-faith-of-all-ohioans

It is entirely possible to be against abortion yet not believing you have the right to tell another person that they can not have an abortion. That is crossing the line over to placing the requirements of an individual’s faith onto another person that may not share that faith. There are pro-life Democrats just as there are pro-choice Republicans. Despite the party platform message it’s not quite such a black and white clear cut issue.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at June 29, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #163257

LR - Thank you for the article, it gives me much to think about. It would be my greatest dream to have a third party that were a mix of middle conservatives and liberals. I beleive that in the political “Bell curve” that is where the majority of people fall. The parties that we have can never achieve that with their own extremists, but a new one that discluded extremism could.

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #163262

DOC,

I said freedom FROM religion. In my mind there is a difference.

I was just stating what most people I know think the FAR left represents.

What Lisa said is more of what the dems and the repubs seem to represent - the FAR left just seems to have the louder voices and that is why many believe the dems have those views. Same on the right when it comes to religious fanatics.

Our country would be in a better place if BOTH sides had their ‘fanatics’ break off and start their own parties.

Posted by: bug at June 29, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #163267

Scottie said: “Just what incentive is there for religious voters to go blue?”

Scottie, your approach on this is myopic. This nation contains millions and millions of religious voters who are pro-choice. To appease the anti-abortionists would be to lose the pro-choicers. This fundamental fact should not be ignored. Fact is, abortion is not a religious issue. It is a values issue. One need not go further than to point out that large numbers of anti-abortionists are pro-war and death penalty.

It is a values issue, which gets wrapped up in religiosity for political packaging purposes. The Bible makes no mention of abortion. Nor does the Bible impart a soul to egg upon fertilization. Those are beliefs and faith issues which divide religious peoples, and rightly so, since their founding book offers nothing about the issue save what people want to read into it.

On issues like this, a politician cannot straddle the fence. They live on one side or the other as far as the electorate and the opposing party is concerned.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 29, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #163269

bug - I see it now. My apologies.

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #163273

Wow David I mostly agree with that, especially the part about politicians who get caught in the middle. And abortion is, at least for me, not a very religious issue but a value question.

Imagine a political party with a centrist platform. On all issues its position would be “it depends” in order to accurately reflect the views of its constituents.

Posted by: George in SC at June 29, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #163275

Scottie-
I’m a Christian and a Liberal. I believe the Separation between church and state is necessary, and no better evidence of that can be found than in Iraq.

In America, no religious group can see its doctrines promoted by the government at other religion’s expense, financially or legally speaking. We don’t do this because leading according to Christian principles is wrong, but because it is the will of the people that gives the law its authority, and the law that gives those who govern us their authority in turn.

The moral authority for a government may come from religious scripture as a pious person might suggest, or from first principles as an atheist might believe, but whatever you value or worship, this is a Democracy, and when we talk of the rule of the people, we mean the authority to rule comes frome the people, and that means all of them. Because it comes from all people, it must serve and represent all people equally. When they are out of their robes and on the street, they may worship God, Buddha, Satan, or the almighty dollar. Nobody’s requiring that judges be godless, or to not underly their interpretation of the law with their own point of view. We’re just saying that the public spaces of America have to be a neutral zone, open cities in truce.

It is unfortunate that some do not understand the wisdom of this approach. They should ask themselves what they would think of a judge who posted a sacreligious parody of the ten commandments behind them, or who set up an Islamic shrine in front of their courthouse. To rationalize such things, we would be forced to allow judges to push their religion as they please. Then, though, the impartiality of judges towards religion would become a joke, and it might become a campaign issue… Indirectly religious creeds would become a part of the selection process.

This is why faiths are to be set aside at the Bench. One can believe whatever one wants about the underlying basis of the law, but this is a government required to guarantee to the public that the law is impartial to one’s religion. The only way to guarantee that is to present a neutral face on the matter.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 29, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #163278

George - Yes. Exactly. A “Centrist” party. Rather than wait for the extremes to break off on thier own, leave them without moderates which ould be most of thier power. It would be much easier to get legislation passed, as it would not be discussed and not be “All or nothing”. It just seems to me that it’s time for something new that reflects a regression back to government of the people by the people, (rather than the “Parties”)

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #163283

George, what a horrid idea…

That is a recipe for hypocrisy and irrational application of he power of the government, much more than we see even today.

(for example, alcohol is legal, marijuana is not; prayer in school is unconsitutional but we can have laws dictating what can and can’t be done on a sunday; interceeding in Iraq is ok, inerceeding in the Sudan is not; etc…)

In fact, what you suggest is the politics of Clinton and the type of ‘leadership’ we have seen since 1996 in both parties. To simply check a poll to determine what policies we are going to implement and what we aren’t.

What we *need* are people of Principle, where those principles are known, that we vote on so we know where they will stand on the issues.

The democrats use to be principled. The republicans use to be principled. But both parties have ‘lost their way’ in fights over control of their parties and attempts to gain and hold power. Instead, the third parties like the libertarians and greens are the only ones who are expousing a government by principled leadership.

For example, if you want a constitutional federal government where the 9th and 10th amendments were still in effect, you should vote libertarian. You will know that in every policy initiative they will consider that principle first. If you want the government to have the environment be more important than personal rights and have more to say about what can and can’t be done in the country, you should vote green.

If you want politicians who are willing to use the citizens of the united states as political footballs concerned only with the next election and keeping power, vote democrat or republican, there is really not much difference between the two to be honest…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 29, 2006 3:21 PM
Comment #163287

Steven - How about this for a compromise. Rather than being exclusive of faith in public spaces, we investigate a consensus based symbol that everyone can identify as the representation of faith without being specific to any one religeon.

A piece of art as it were, but a consistent piece of art recognizable everywhere. I look at the geodesic domes of the conservatories in Vancouver, B.C. and St. Louis, or the glass Pyramids in front of the Louvre and in Galveston and I can’t help seeing a sprirituality to them.

The same thing was done to create the olympic flag.

The symbols that each religeon uses are arguably divinely inspired, and that same inspiration could happen again in an attempt to unify.

A spectacular glowing glass ball representing the the all seeing eye? Something like that.

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #163290

I already hear, some, gasping for air. It’s the lobbyists that the extreme right have in thier pocket that keep marijuana illegal. If it weren’t for corporate built prisons, we would have 25% fewer inmates.

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #163297

David Remer

I would agree that it has to do with value. I look at a baby and see someone who is alive (every knows they are alive) and innocent. The problem with those who are for abortion is they do not believe the child human until it is born. I do not see the reasoning with that.

The religous discussion comes from multiple passages such as Psalms 139 12-14

12Even the (A)darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day
(B)Darkness and light are alike to You.
13For You (C)formed my inward parts;
You (D)wove me in my mother’s womb.
14I will give thanks to You, for [a]I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
(E)Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

I realize we do not wish to get into a religious discussion and this is not intended to do that. I only wish to clarify why evangelicals see things the way they do. Which is pertinent to this conversation.

I do not see where evangelicals will ever go to Democrats. In the 80’s I knew many who were Democrat but most have left the party due to how extreme it is becoming. They are not able to support those positions.

I know many people want to discount evangelicals as a special interest group and not very big but the problem is in doing that they are discounting as not important the influence they have. Though someone might not consider themselves evangelical many are influenced by evangelicals. In fact with out the evangelical influence the Republicans would have not won the election.

Many Republicans are losing that support to more conservative third parties that evangelicals believe will work for them. This will end up splitting the conservative base.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 29, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #163318

DOC
“How about this for a compromise. Rather than being exclusive of faith in public spaces, we investigate a consensus based symbol that everyone can identify as the representation of faith without being specific to any one religeon”

Not being specific to any “one” religion, is still being specific to religion.
Your “compromise” would do the same thing taxes do right now. It would satisfy the majority while ignoring the rights of the minority.

Posted by: kctim at June 29, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #163323

I actually spent some time and had several practical successes in consensus building, and in one particular circumstance I had a group that were conciensiously divided. Both sides had very valid and heartfelt reasons for thier view. It came to a point that point where you’re just about ready to throw in the towel, when I thought, these people are afraid of something, and it occured to me that it was a fear of being split apart forever. The one thing you *never* do in consensus building is split people into groups, so I did it. All of the hidden fears came to the surface. Consensus was reached on a different level wherein they agreed to help each other develop and implement two versions of thier idea, together.

I understand politics is cutthroat, and that consensus in government is a near impossibility,
but if we are finding that the motive to hold power outweighs the motive to prosper, then it is not democracy.

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #163325

Obama’s speech scared me for a moment actually. But I agree with you scottie that Democrats have little chance of pulling something like that off.

Democrats are not in a position to capture evangelical christians because the ship of philosophy democrats are on is going in the opposite direction. I would welcome a change in course for them but alas I fear most would jump ship.

The moral arguments for liberal platforms are based on marxist-collectivist doctrines, not religious ones. And the religious left all but disavow the very literal-reality of their religious beliefs.

I’ve had conversations with those on the ‘religious left’ and there is a huge gulf between them and evangelicals who actually believe in a more or less literal interpretation of the bible.

I mean, can you call yourself a follower of Christ if you can’t even say definitively that he was a real person and that what the bible says about him is accurate? Seems like if you believed more than half of the bible is not true then why would you even want to pretend to be a christian at all?

Posted by: esimonson at June 29, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #163330
I mean, can you call yourself a follower of Christ if you can’t even say definitively that he was a real person and that what the bible says about him is accurate? Seems like if you believed more than half of the bible is not true then why would you even want to pretend to be a christian at all?

Posted by: esimonson at June 29, 2006 04:46 PM

And that is exactly why Clinton had the correct idea when he excluded the religious right from policy decisions. A persons religious beliefs has no purpose in our government. Selfrighteousness is reason enough to have kept Bush out.
Posted by: Dave1 at June 29, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #163332

kctim - Freedom from religeon .vs. Freedom of religeon? Hmmm. Well, I guess you could throw in the views of fundemental athiests as well. Never having been an athiest, it’s hard for me to imagine there is much fervor in their non-beleif.

Posted by: DOC at June 29, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #163336

The GOP uses the evangelicals like the Dems use the Left. The GOP throws them a bone every once in a while (gay marriage, immigration, flag-burning)—it’s all smoke and mirrors. What governs the GOP is the corporations. This isn’t about values, it’s about money and power.

The evangelicals vote Republican because the party pays lip-service to them—but God forbid that there really be no abortion in this country, because the GOP would be flattened in an instant.

“Winning elections is all about getting the votes…”

If that were true, Al Gore would have been President in ‘01—and, with the power of incumbency and the bully-pulpit, right now, probably.

“Democrats will never win the Christian vote because they don’t understand Christians.”

This statement would be like me saying the “true” Christians in the Democratic Party don’t need to impart respect to GOP evangelicals because they don’t know what Christianity is.

I am not a Christian, but if I were, this claim of yours I would find insulting.

There is one thing I do respect the evangelicals on—they’ve done the groundwork. They were patient, perservering and hard-working over the last twenty-five years. Consequently, their grass-roots organizing is second-to-none. That’s the way democracy works, and if they feel abortion is murder and two gays marrying will cause the end of Western Civilization as we know it, okay.

But their continued insistence on proselytizing, and sharing the “good news” is taxing Americans’ live-and-let-live attitudes, and there may come a time when the pendulum swings again, and symbols of fish won’t be on car bumpers, but used in the original sense. When Christianity was persecuted almost out of existence, and the symbol was serreptitious and underground—and you would be in prision or dead for shooting your “values” off.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 29, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #163344

Tim Crow

Interesting points because we are specifically talking about evangelicals here and they believe what you said. They believe there is coming a time when they will be on the run for their beliefs oh well. It was that persecution in anceint Rome that actually caused the church to grow to what you have today. If that is not understood then those who cant understand it will never understand evangelicals. They think that it will actually be okay if that happens and that in the end it will work in their favor.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 29, 2006 5:20 PM
Comment #163349

Randall:

“They [Evangelicals] think that it will actually be okay if that happens and that in the end it will work in their favor.’

They also believe in the rapture, Intelligent Design, and their concern for life from conception to birth is exemplary.

I often think of the quote in QBVII, in which a lapsed jewish son tells his rabbinical father—“Father, you can be as Jewish as you want to be, just don’t make it my cross to bear”, then bursts out laughing at the absurdity of the mixed metaphor.

I see Evangelicals as being in spiritual kindergarden. Truly advanced spiritual beings, I have found, have a great silence and stillness about them. And there’s a sparkle in their eye, not a glint.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 29, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #163354
Never having been an athiest, it’s hard for me to imagine there is much fervor in their non-beleif.

Normally no, until those of the ‘initiated’ start trying to make laws based on their beliefs and expect the athiests to sit around and take it. You would be very amazed at the level of fervor and indignation you will be presented with then.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 29, 2006 5:45 PM
Comment #163360

One comment I forgot to include—Barack Obama is a babe in the woods politically. He’s feeling his way along. He’ll step on some toes, and he’ll get stepped on himself.

He, like most of us, is exploring what spiritual belief’s place is in a pluralistic, ‘democratic’ society. Those definitions are in constant flux, and must be constantly examined and tested.

He is stating that conceding the evangelical vote to the GOP is questionable policy. Perhaps he is right. I don’t know.

But he has a long way to go, IMO, in interpreting the American political and cultural scene. He is obviously an intelligent man, but like Jon Stewart said, the US Senate seems to be a place where intelligent people go to die.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 29, 2006 6:07 PM
Comment #163423

Obama isn’t faking it. He’s the real deal. He’s always been religious. I don’t think he’s pandering to you either. Personally, I don’t want you in my party. You don’t respect other people’s rights to have beliefs of their own. You don’t respect me; I don’t respect you.

Posted by: Max at June 29, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #163427

So Judgement is Scotte’s,sayeth the Lord.

Posted by: BillS at June 29, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #163455

Lisa Renee
Good to hear from ya again. Missed ya.
But like usual I have to disagree with you. And you know what I’m going to say don’t ya? Abortion kills a living human being. That’s why it’s wrong.
Life begins at conception. Not when the baby takes it’s first breath. The baby can hear, has a heart beat, and moves on it’s own power. If it wasn’t a life it wouldn’t be able to do any of these.
And I know how your gonna answer. But go ahead.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 30, 2006 12:18 AM
Comment #163488

“Democrats will never win the Christian vote because they don’t understand Christians”

That doesn’t make much sense to me, since Obama is committed Christian. He might not agree with your interpretation of the bible, but the man is very religious. I personally don’t agree with some of the things he said in this speech, as I do not believe in the abstract concept of G*d or Christ’s divinity, or anything like it. I also don’t think that religiously oriented substance abuse treatment programs are particularly effective, due to their emphasis on people being weak and powerless, as opposed to being capable of handling their own lives (its cult indoctrination behavior, taking advantage of those in need.).

And as for the flag desecration (which is not the same thing as burning might I add) act, what does that have to do with religious sentiments? A lot of people are against the flag burning amendment (which would most likely have failed in the ratification anyway) and have served in the military, are strong patriots, and care about our country. Just because you believe in freedom of speech, it is disrespectful to a national symbol? Guess what, the marketplace of ideas only works if it is open and free. As well, there were only four reported cases of flag desecration last year, up from three. This is not an issue deserving any sort of national attention. It bothers me to have political correctness legislated. Everybody wants to ban videogames and flag burning and whatever else they don’t like. You do not have a constitutional right not to be offended.

So, you’re wrong, in that you imply that somehow Barak is not a Christian, and that Christians do not vote democrat. Recall that most Americans are Christians, and Democrats do well enough to finish in the high forties in most presidential elections (they tallied more votes in 92, 96, and 2000 might I add). Also, you cannot associate Barak with all democratic policies, he has his own stances on issues and nominees for his own reasons.

Posted by: iandanger at June 30, 2006 2:49 AM
Comment #163494

Scottie, I hate to burst your insular little bubble, but the vast majority of Democrats are Christians. Democrats already have tens of millions of religious voters on their side.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 30, 2006 3:34 AM
Comment #163514

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Posted by: Kevin Collier at June 30, 2006 5:45 AM
Comment #163535

Hey Rhinehold-

On the Centrist party I said imagine it; as David said if you sit in the middle you get run over.

I will, however, advocate the New Federalist Party where even liberal/progressive ideas are welcome at the local level…. Cause all politics is local (the Tipster).

Posted by: George in SC at June 30, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #163551

Rhinehold - Agreed. I find people bent on the “biblification” of government as frustrating as those who want every icon with potential religeous connotation removed from existense.

Posted by: DOC at June 30, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #163561

DOC,

Don’t you think the strong reaction from the “seperation” block is a response to the FREC assault? Chicken or Egg?

Posted by: Dave1 at June 30, 2006 11:15 AM
Comment #163565

Dave1 - (LOL) I sometimes appears so, but no.

Posted by: DOC at June 30, 2006 11:29 AM
Comment #163579

I actually think the sequence is:

Reagan front paged religion into politics. (Seperation proponents get nervous, religious right is part of the system)
Clinton excluded far right christian leaders like Robertson & the so-called “Moral” Majority.
(Religious leaders consoilidate base and take advantage of flocks feeling marginalized, Seperation opponents are part of the system)
BushII took Reagans lead and put religion up the flag post, although he’s very hypocritical about it.
(Seperation opponents go on the offensive, religious right keep trying to brandish the -you hate religion- banner)

Posted by: Dave1 at June 30, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #163618

Dave1 - Okay. I see it. And it all colides in a terrible riot where a gay couple exchange vows while being burned at the stake above a pile of American flags. On the front page of every polital rag the next morning the headline reads “WE WIN”

Sorry. Just my imagination. You do have a point.

Posted by: DOC at June 30, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #163678

iandanger:

I for one would never say that Barack Obama is not a Christian. It’s really not for me to determine. I think its fair, though, to say that there would be few Democrats among what is called the fundamental religious folks. A high percentage of Americans say they are Christians; of those, many really don’t take the time to understand what they mean by that. I think they generally mean they have some sort of belief in God, though often its a rather nebulous and tepid belief.

Typically, when people talk about the ‘religious right’ or the moral majority, they are referring to the Republican party, which is more identified with being religious. I think those that are more openly religious, where religion plays a stronger role in their lives, tend to be in that group. That’s not intended to denigrate Democrats, but rather to identify why most people see Republicans as being “more religious”.

Re your comment about “religiously oriented substance abuse treatment programs”, I’d simply throw out Alcoholics Anonymous. I dare say they have a strong track record of success, and they rely on a higher power as a part of their culture. I can’t think of another group that has met the success they have met with in regards to alcohol abuse.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 30, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #163702


I believe that the alliance that the Christian right has with the republican party will be a short lived episode in American politics. As each day passes, the Christian becomes more aware that the republicans are using them to maintain their control of the government. The rep politicians give a lot of lip service to the three big issues, abortion, homosexuals and prayer in school. They have not provided any tangible results on these issues. One may argue that the choices for the Supreme Court are a step in the right direction, but these judges were picked more for their business beliefs than their religious beliefs.

Many Evangelical Christians have lost a job to outsourcing. Many are low income and depend on welfare at least for food stamps and medical cards which help them raise their families. Many older Evangelicals depend on Social Security. Those Evangelicals who are dependent on these and other government programs may soon realize that they have more in common with the democratic party than they would like to admit. Once they realize that the republicans are only paying lip service to the Evangelicals conservative issues while at the same time they would eliminate many government programs which are popular, even with Evangelicals, then perhaps many of them will reevaluate their political affiliations.

Posted by: jlw at June 30, 2006 5:00 PM
Comment #163704

Jbd,

Actually AA doesn’t release statistics about their success rate because the numbers are quite bad. seriously, try and find any statistics, they don’t allow anyone to see what their recidivism rate is. They’re a religious cult, they use addiction as a way to convert people who are vulnerable. I find that despicable.

One man’s opinion.

Posted by: iandanger at June 30, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #163705

jlw:

Many Evangelical Christians have lost a job to outsourcing. Many are low income and depend on welfare at least for food stamps and medical cards which help them raise their families. Many older Evangelicals depend on Social Security.

It would be just as easy to say that many Evangelical Christians have NOT lost a job to outsourcing, many are NOT low income and do NOT depend on welfare….

If you could produce statistics that showed a high number of Evangelical Christians in the sectors you mentioned, then your point might be valid.

You’d also have to have Evangelicals seeing the issues as you see them. If they do not see the lipservice that you claim, then it matters little whether there is merely lipservice or not. With the USOC, I’d think that more Evangelicals are happy with Bush’s choices than are unhappy, regardless of whether they were chosen for business or social reasons.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 30, 2006 5:07 PM
Comment #163709

iandanger:

What you find despicable seems to help an awful lot of people. If you look at their culture and literature, you’d find nothing that suggests what you say they do. I think you’ve just got a mindset that doesn’t like their methods. I disagree.

A question: If they don’t release their stats, then how is that you know their recidivism “numbers are quite bad”?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 30, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #163787

jbod,

How do you know they “helped an awful lot of people”? Unless you mean alcoholics are “an awful lot” of people :-)

Posted by: Dave1 at June 30, 2006 9:59 PM
Comment #163795

Dave1:

Its simple. Check out their website and read the comments from people who have been helped. Look at the meetings that they hold, and see the number of people around the country that go to them. All ya gotta do is look. No need for detailed statistics—that’s why I didn’t give a specific number.

But its plain as the nose on your face that AA has done a lot of good for a lot of people. Not everyone who goes succeeds, but many do.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at June 30, 2006 10:59 PM
Comment #163886

JBD,

Penn and Teller tracked down internal documents which said they had a 5% retainment over the course of a year.

Several books I’ve read quoted this same number.

Can’t help you beyond that, but keep in mind, they ought show, statistically, that their program works, the burder of proof is on them, if they want their program to be court ordered.

Posted by: iandanger at July 1, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #163890

Speaking as someone who has been in more than a few AA meetings, I don’t believe it to be some “Christian” cult—I was very sensitive to that possibility, but I never felt uncomfortable with it.

I had a tremendous sponser, and there were a few times, when I was unable to stand on mine own, where he got me through a very dark place.

If AA only helps 1000 people, it’s worth it.

Haven’t gone to a meeting in years now, but thankfully, I’m still sober—and hopefully, not a dry drunk. But it got to the point where it got to be a drag being around drunks!;-) So much for the 12th step.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 1, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #164100
A high percentage of Americans say they are Christians; of those, many really don’t take the time to understand what they mean by that. I think they generally mean they have some sort of belief in God, though often its a rather nebulous and tepid belief.

Wow, JBOD. Do you moonlight as Saint Peter at the Gate? That’s pretty presumptuous of you to judge the depth of another person’s faith, don’t you think?

I’m sure you’ll cite some anecdotal evidence to support your claim, but what if those people are just uncomfortable in expressing their faith or are just too polite to discuss it?

For example, if I were to talk candidly about my faith, I’d tell you that I’m a Catholic — the one true religion. I can trace my faith back more than 2,000 years directly to Jesus Christ through his Apostles, unlike the so-called Christians who trace their religion back to some heritic crack-pot or other a few hundred years ago or even later and will assuredly burn in Hell.

But I’m a pretty polite guy, so I rarely bring that up in polite conversation. I’m also pretty humble about my faith and I’m sure God has some plan for all the non-Catholic heretics, so again I rarely bring it up.

Think about that the next time you’re inclined to assume someone has “a rather nebulous and tepid belief” just because they don’t talk about it much.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 2, 2006 3:30 AM
Comment #164372

I came to my Catholicism after years of being in turn secular, atheist, spiritual, agnostic, a believer in God, a Christian, and finally a full Catholic.

Because of my peculiar path, I can be very forgiving of those who do not immediately see the value in Christianity. Real Christianity demands that you understand that others are only human- just like you. You have to believe that other’s errors are just as salvageable as you hope yours are. Otherwise, you will either be too unrepentant of your error to truly seek forgiveness, or you will be too masochistically convinced of the irreversibility to seek redemption.

You got to admit that you’re worse than you think you are, capable of better, and then extend that to everybody else as well. People can reject the chance to be forgiven, can reject the mercy you offer, and continue in their errors, but that’s their call and their conscience.

If somebody professes to be a fellow Christian, I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt. This automatic doubt of Christians who don’t hew to a certain political program is a misunderstanding of what Christ’s Kingdom is. To define it by the worldly parties of today is a sacrilege. Christ’s body has both a right and a left side, despite what some of its members on both side think.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 2, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #164397

Well put, Stephen. My church had a guest priest, a Scalabrinian, holding the Mass last week. They do a lot of good work with immigrants and refugees, and he came in to talk about our illegal immigrants.

He preached compassion for people who leave their homes, their families, their churches and their communities to create a better life for their loved ones — and I was appalled to see several people walk out during the sermon.

You have to ask yourself if Jesus would put his boot to the backside of a family trying to escape poverty and oppression and improve their lives. I don’t think so. Sen. Obama doesn’t think so. Democrats don’t think so.

By all means control the border, but let’s show a little compassion for the illegal immigrants already here who are our neighbors, co-workers, and fellow Christians.

I think immigration is really a touchstone issue for the depth of one’s faith. What would Jesus do? What would Jesus want us to do?

Posted by: American Pundit at July 2, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #190894

Great comments, Scott. One wonders why the Jesuits at Boston College, and the Benedictines in another college, have asked Obama to give speeches, and have studied the book about his father. One wonders why the Jesuits in Austria are determinedly promoting Hillary Clinton too. They are already firmly behind the democrats. The Catholic votes count, and the Pope has already declared abortion almost a non-issue.

Posted by: francesYoshida at October 27, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #202006

Did you ever stop to think that maybe Obama didn’t agree with Judge’s views on federalism, executive power, or maybe even the treatment of military detainees?

This is why I get so frustrated with some members of the Religious Right. They vote on a single issue or a small class of moral issues. There are more issues on the table than just Abortion and Gay Marriage. Perhaps Senator Obama had to balance all of the issues and decided that he couldn’t support the judicial nominee.

Independents for Obama

Posted by: Independents for Obama at January 8, 2007 11:10 AM
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