Third Party & Independents Archives

Politics & Church

This isn’t an ‘article’. It is my opinion on Politics and the Church.

I'm sure others have more information about this subject.
I would ask that you add it to this thread.

If memory serves, there is a church in California that is in court trying not to lose their tax exempt status. Apparently the preacher had the nerve to imply who to vote for in the 2004? election.

A couple days ago I saw and ad where a politician was walking through his church as he explained why he should get your vote.

Now.
I do not believe that churches should lose their tax exempt status for suggesting who to vote for, when Politicians can film commercials inside them OR go and speak to the parishioners from the pulpit.

Has anyone heard of a church losing their tax exempt status for letting a Politician speak? I haven't.

Until our leaders keep Church out of Politics - Why should the Church keep quiet about Politicians?

Sidenote:
Imagine if the money spent on elections was invested directly with the public.

Posted by Dawn at October 30, 2006 2:19 PM
Comments
Comment #191512

Dawn:

I will throw my two cents in here :)

I believe in a strict separation. I believe that the churches should not be involved in politics and vice versa. I think both are wrong, including the politician’s ad from a church.

A church should be teaching me values, and leave it up to me to use that information (or not) on election day.

Religion and politics are strange and dangerous bedfellows.

I think it is one of the most disgusting aspects of politics, the amount of money spent and particularly on negative ads. I would like to see there be a rule that your ads can only say what you will do once in office and not address at all what your opponent does/did or doesn’t/didn’t do.

Until our leaders keep Church out of Politics - Why should the Church keep quiet about Politicians?

There are laws governing the legal status of churches, if they break it, no matter what the political leaders do, it is wrong. That said, I would LOVE to see our leaders keep church out of politics. I guess it has to start somewhere. If the church loses (or maybe even the fact that it went to court) will wake some folks up.

It’s a tacky practice anyway.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #191523

Well, I have no idea what you’re talking about, so I’ll check back later after you’ve found a link on Google….

Posted by: Max at October 30, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #191537

Max
The incident is where a church’s minister had a sermon — and I don’t believe he was endorsing a candidate, so much as he was speaking out against the President.
(this is rough memory)
The next thing you know, the IRS was sending him a letter.
Meanwhile, down the street, Republican candidates were routinely presented as “keynote” speakers at other churches, but guess what? No IRS letters!!
Hmmmmm
anywho
My memory might be faulty on that, if so, then I apologize, however.
What I do recall, is that the issue revolved around the fact that the church in question (being threatened by the IRS) was NOT supportive of the President (whether endorsing a candidate or via a speech)
and I do recall people bringing up the fact that churches that have openly supported Republican Candidates (in one form or another) have not received the same scrutiny.
It would be great if someone did some research and presented the facts of this case (in California, that part, at least, is correct!!)

Posted by: Russ at October 30, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #191552

Dawn, Ford Jr.’s ad of him walking through a church implying his opponent doesn’t know right from wrong was way, way over the line.

Then Ford had the unmitigated gall to say on TV today that he believes politicians should teach Americans right from wrong.

Between Ford’s religious campaign and his opponent’s party’s racist ad against Ford, if forced to choose, I would have to choose the Libertarian or Green, or Minnie Mouse as a write in.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 30, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #191553

Hmmm… so much in this is so difficult to look at with a clean perception.

I do believe that government should have no involvement with religion, except in the name of protecting the exercise and establishment there of. I also believe that church sould not have persuasion over the decisions of government.

With this we do reach one point of contrast. With the majority of people in this country (76% in 2004?) being Judeo-Christian (spelling?)one must respect the ‘ideals’ of those people as they are the desiding factor and that is what makes a democracy. If one small group of individuals control the mass, whether for better or worse, it is a dictatorship to some degree (think Argentina).

So at what point does one truely distinguish the effects church has on government with out the oppression of our democratic-republic freedoms.

Could we by some means establish a fine line between open persuasion of political agenda with in the church with out creating a bond between the two, after all this is what happened when we created laws to govern scientific study.

We did not want government and science working togehter in the 19th century, but with the development and producttion of things like tesla coils (1890s), rockets, and chemical biochemicals (as early as 1860s that I know of on U.S. soil) we feared the open sales and distrobution of such things. We brought government in to regulate science and now it is all but own by government via ‘institution’ (college, university, military, etc…).

So I would like to see someone with a theology/philosphy background to establish an ideal of balance for this fine line that we could begin to develope a true solution from.

All I can really say as fact is that in the past when one calls upon government to have an effect on one thing it tends to have an effect on everything.

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 30, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #191556
I believe in a strict separation. I believe that the churches should not be involved in politics and vice versa. I think both are wrong, including the politician’s ad from a church.

So, womanmarine does that preclude a devoutly religious person from being a politician? Because a deeply faithful person has their religion and beliefs at the very core of their being. Therefore every decision that person makes will be made based on his deeply held beliefs.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #191567

NOTE: There is NO law that prohibits a church from being a political organization too. But, if they do, they will be subject to the same laws and rules as other political organizations (as it should be).

But, why mix the two?
To circumvent the rules?
To covertly raise campaign money and get votes?
There are very good reasons why churches should not be exempt from the same rules and laws as other political organizations.
Money in politics already makes it rotten to the core. Just think how rotten it will get if churches of all denominations can suddenly use their influence to control government.

How would you like it if “The Church of XYZ” down the street (and possibly nation-wide) is campaigning and raising money for THEIR candidates for public office? What if their religion is not the same as YOURs? This is how religious wars get started. Haven’t we learned anything yet?

There are those that will disagree.
But, ask that person, what if the church doing it is not of YOUR religion? Oh, but that’s different?

Posted by: d.a.n at October 30, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #191574

Kirk:

No, I have no problem with a politician being relgious. A lot of politicians have very strong beliefs, I don’t think religious beliefs are more or less important.

That said, I don’t want that politician deciding on religious grounds alone. I want him/her representing his constituents, not all of which are the same religion or religious at all. It is supposed to be a secular government and most of our rules of law are based on secular history, not religious.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #191595

I’m in agreement with Mr. Jefferson on this one:

“Whenever… preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science.” —

I believe religious leaders (Liberal or Conservative) would do well to focus on the soul of their flock rather than the legislative process. Endorsing a candidate or having a candidate seek endorsement from religious leaders or institutions is pandering of the worst ilk. Any church who would step out on the political arena should not be considered a religious institution any more and be subject to the rules and regulations as any political action committee or advocacy group.

Posted by: Dennis at October 30, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #191614

Having religious moral values does not qualify one to be a sub-atomic physics expert, teacher, or traffic cop. Pandering for votes on religious values grounds is NOT a qualification for being a good representative. Certainly, we want representatives who reflect abidence with the nation’s laws, as well as the basic tenets of their religion in the conduct of their inter-personal relationships.

As we have seen time and time again, espousing religious values is viewed as a necessity for getting elected, but, in NO WAY guarantees that once elected, a candidate will act in accordance with religious values. Bush claims to be a Christian, but, on his decision and beliefs, he has caused the deaths of between 40 and 60 thousand Iraqis and nearly 3000 American soldiers in Iraq. Was that a Christian decision? Was going to war electively what Christ would have advocated? Of course not.

Voters would be wise to discount claims of religious values in campaign materials, and look closely at the record of the candidate and their dealings with others, if they want a truer picture of who is asking for their vote.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 30, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #191630

David, between 500,000 and a million Iraqis died under Saddam.

According to the UN, 5,000 Iraqi children were dying a month as a result of sanctions.

If we only use the UN’s numbers and ignore completely how many Saddam was killing directly, 215,000 children would have died by now if it wasn’t for the Iraq invasion.

Therefore, by your statistics about the deaths Bush caused, and according to the UN, a minimum of 152,000 more people are alive today because of George Bush.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #191635

Abortion and stem-cell research are hot buttom issues that both parties exploit. The Roman Catholic Church openly stands and teaches against these things on moral grounds. Who is at fault? The religion for teaching moral values or the politicians for making them a reason to vote?

Posted by: BP at October 30, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #191636

David, between 500,000 and a million Iraqis died under Saddam.

According to the UN, 5,000 Iraqi children were dying a month as a result of sanctions.

If we only use the UN’s numbers and ignore completely how many Saddam was killing directly, 215,000 children would have died by now if it wasn’t for the Iraq invasion.

Therefore, by your statistics about the deaths Bush caused, and according to the UN, a minimum of 152,000 more people are alive today because of George Bush.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 08:36 PM
————————-
This is a straw man. Saddam killed the Iraqis of his own volition. He did not get sanction from the United States to do so. George Bush has launched a war that has killed thousands of people funded by you, me and everyone else that pays taxes in this country. I absolutely reject the idea that George Bush is saving lives. The deaths from the United States were totally avoidable by the United States. Whether Saddam chose to kill people in his own country is not our problem. The logic you use indicts George Bush for not acting in Darfur. Is GWB saving lives by acting in Iraq but complicit in killing Darfurians because he is ignoring Sudan?

Posted by: Diogenes at October 30, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #191647

Being the resident atheist, I think this problem is easy enought to solve. Tax all churches. What makes them more special than the American Citizen? Joel Olsteen has bought a former Basketball and Concert Stadium here in Houston and is making a killing with it. I’ll bet it was built with tax incentives if not taxpayer bonds for the basketball team years ago.

Why should his multimillion dollar business get a free ride from the taxpayers? He can sell whatever politican he wants, just don’t ask me to foot his tax bill.

Posted by: gergle at October 30, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #191656

Diogenes, you’re abolutely right. Saddam killed upwards of a million Iraqis of his own volition without US sanction.

And now, with US sanction, at most he can kill an occasional fly in his prison cell.

And anyway, the overwhelming number of those killed in Iraq have not been killed by Bush at all but by the same type of Muslim fanatics who killed 3,000 Americans on 9-11.

What you’re saying is exactly like saying that the Allied forces once killed 6 million Jews—because their enemy, Germany, did it.

The math speaks for itself. More than 200,000 people are alive today in Iraq than would have been without George Bush. You “absolutely reject” this fact because it can’t be digested by your anti-Bush, anti-American dogma.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #191696
Diogenese wrote: George Bush has launched a war that has killed thousands of people funded by you, me and everyone else that pays taxes in this country.
Thank you. Well said. It’s good that Saddam is gone, but that does not justify the massive blunders and incompetence of this administration to prosecute the war correctly. First of all, the war was unnecessary. But having made the blunder of starting an unnecessary war, the admininstration then set out to lose it with incompetence and blunders every step of the way. But they then have the unmitigated gall and audacity to ask you if you want to win the war?

Never mind that the war was based on a false information (or a lie; i.e. trumped up intelligence?). Nevermind there was NO WMD. No, don’t pay no mind to those facts. Just repeat after me. Blah, blah. blah … aahk … aahhhh … excuse me …I was throwing up.


  • Posted by: d.a.n at October 31, 2006 12:02 AM
    Comment #191715

    And you defend a leader chasing after beating Saddam’s death record. Way to go, Neo-Con Pilsner.

    A majority of Americans have awakened to the fact that Bush is chasing that death record, and Republicans cheered him on for 3 years. That is why his poll numbers are in the toilet. It is also why the Republican Congress is about to give up some power.

    They have forgotten that we were supposed to be the good guys trying to minimize death and destruction, instead of spreading it intentionally, and through ignorance, and incompetence. Anyone from any party with less than average intelligence can order war if they are president with a party to back them.

    It takes leadership, education, and smarts to go to war and win, in short order, minimizing death and destruction, or avoid going to war where victory is not achievable in the first place. Everything one needed to know about whether invading Iraq was winnable or not, was in the 2000 CIA Factbook available to the general public.

    The greatest Christian in modern times was Mahatma Ghandi. Christ was a pacifist. Those who choose to kill and destroy electively do not follow the teachings of Christ, nor Buddha. The two most pacifist major religions on earth. Too bad each has so few followers who abide the teachings of their prophets. True prophets, false followers. Bush is a false follower.

    As governor of Texas he reveled in the death penalty. America really should have known better.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at October 31, 2006 1:20 AM
    Comment #191718

    Actually, you should go to war and maximize the death and destruction of your enemies.

    It so happens, however, that our enemies also enjoy killing thousands upon thousands of innocent people for the propaganda value of doing so.

    Part of the reason they deliberately murder innocents, no doubt, is that they know that people like David will say that “Bush did it” and add those deaths to a total that Bush, not them, will be held responsible for.

    Remember when FDR and Churchill killed 6 million Jews during WWII? You don’t? Well, those were different times. In today’s environment, FDR and Churchill would certainly have been held responsible by some for doing just that… some like people here.

    Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 31, 2006 1:28 AM
    Comment #191743

    Dawn,

    Sidenote: Imagine if the money spent on elections was invested directly with the public.

    Yes!! During the last campaign season, I kept telling people that the first candidate to give away all of their campaign money to helping a worthy cause would have my vote. I guess they could keep enough of it to get the message out that they did so…would only be fair. Of course, the other side would then begin attacking them for giving their money to the wrong causes. Sigh…

    Posted by: Liberal Demon at October 31, 2006 6:29 AM
    Comment #191744

    Neo Con Pilsner. FACT: There was no civil war in Iraq until Bush invaded the country electively.

    There is just no getting around that fact. Like Colin Powell said, we broke it, we own it and everything that came afterward.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at October 31, 2006 6:30 AM
    Comment #191750

    To all:

    Religion and politics are meant to be separated in action, but never meant to be separated in principle. The Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    This is the action side of things. Religious freedom should not be limited by the law. It’s been twisted around by those with an agenda to mean that religion should have no influence on law. That’s not what Jefferson was saying when he coined the “separation of church and state” phrase.

    Religion is a personal belief system. David Remer uses his religion to develop his beliefs. I use my religion to develop my beliefs. Bill Clinton uses his religion to develop his beliefs, and George Bush uses his religion to develop his beliefs. Our beliefs are important in creating our actions, and to limit this in any way is sheer lunacy.

    The founding fathers wanted freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. This belief has been perverted by those with an agenda.

    I have no problem with a Buddhist espousing their beliefs, and voting in accordance with them. Nor with a Muslim who does the same, nor with an atheist who does the same. No one should, yet its clear people do have a problem when someone claims to act from a Christian perspective. The prejudice is clear to anyone willing to look for it. So the question to you all is this: What in your agenda prevents you from looking?

    Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 31, 2006 7:30 AM
    Comment #191813

    JBOD, Fine just stop using my taxes.

    Posted by: gergle at October 31, 2006 11:52 AM
    Comment #191839

    gergle:

    The argument you use is a non-logical one. Everyone’s taxes, to some degree, get used for things that we do not agree with. As a society we decide, but not as individuals, since that simply wouldn’t work.

    There are those who say that if you don’t want your taxes used to provide abortions, then you should adopt the resultant children are mistaken in their logic. They would fit into the same boat as someone who says that those in favor of helping the homeless should give a homeless person room and board in their home.

    I agree with Dawn that pastors should not preach explicitly on who their congregation should vote for—-unless they want to lose their tax exempt status. They should be able to discuss issues and take positions on issues though.

    Lastly, if you really want to use the “don’t use MY taxes for YOUR issues” argument, there’s a whole lotta money that I’m owed. When you manage to have it returned to me in full, I’ll buy into your argument.

    Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 31, 2006 12:59 PM
    Comment #191865
    Sidenote: Imagine if the money spent on elections was invested directly with the public.

    Where do you think the money goes, into the candidates sock drawer?

    The money is directed into the economy where it is used to pay workers wages, hire new workers, becomes tax revenue, is donated by individuals to charity etc. etc. etc.

    Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 1:54 PM
    Comment #191867
    Neo Con Pilsner. FACT: There was no civil war in Iraq until Bush invaded the country electively.

    David you are 100% correct. There was no civil war because the majority was brutally oppressed by the minority.

    Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 1:57 PM
    Comment #191929
    The math speaks for itself. More than 200,000 people are alive today in Iraq than would have been without George Bush.
    Actually, this is completely false. The 100,000 per year figure is based on the child mortality rate of Iraq pre-and post sanctions. However, this rate has not changed, and in fact UNICEF reports that malnutrition in children is now twice as bad as it was before the war. (http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/iraq.html) Additionally, the Lancet study is based on the increase in death rates compared to pre-war, so you don’t get to subtract those out. In effect, the 600,000 figure is the figure of deaths over and above what would have occurred with Saddam still in power. Your logic is completely flawed, and the facts support the opposite of what you are now saying. Posted by: Brian Poole at October 31, 2006 4:36 PM
    Comment #191931

    [Neo Con Pilsner. FACT: There was no civil war in Iraq until Bush invaded the country electively.

    There is just no getting around that fact. Like Colin Powell said, we broke it, we own it and everything that came afterward]

    Well now that isn’t exactly true. There was rebellion that was intended to be civil war. Look at went on in Ireland for nearly half a millenium. There was never a ‘civil war’ there, but there were thousands of uprising that resulted in teh deaths of the oppressed and their families. That’s kinda of what was happening in Iraq.

    Also, the war in Iraq isn’t justified, but Bush Jr. had no choice. We are obliged be the guidlines of the cease fire we signed during the cold war. We signed an agreement with Saddam that he would willing allow free elections. We also signed an agreement with the Iraqi Liberation forces stating that we would disolve the dictatorship and make ascertain three open elections that would be unoffected by outside forces. We also promised them we would aid in providing the people basic service including (but not limited to) schools, sanitation, reconstruction of religious buildings, police, postal, water, electric power, etc… It just so happens by coincident that the term of that contract will be ending in another four years. Bush has to fight and win this war or the ‘country’ of Iraq will be able to put sanctions against us via the U.N.

    So while the war is most definetly NOT a good idea, it is also most definetly NOT an optional thing. Yes, Bush Jr. lied about the reason, but really we should be mad at Bush Sr. for lying to the Iraqis about going to help them.

    Finally, I really don’t see what this has to do with religion in elections! =)

    Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 31, 2006 4:42 PM
    Comment #191988

    JBOD, I agree with your post regarding individuals and the right they have to pursue their spiritual beleifs without interference from the government. I would think that most people who beleive that seperation of church and state is good for this country agree with your comments. I think where we would disagree is when the pulpit becomes a tool for politicians. When a sect or congregation decides to gain political power for their chosen relgion they have crossed the line IMHO.
    I am unaware of any theocracy in history that could compare to a democracy. I would even venture to say that all theocracies, no matter how well intended, are dangerous to the freedoms of the people they rule. To think that one relgious group should rule over another or over the nation as a whole is scary. To think that a preacher should involve him or her self in politics is well.. sorta makes you wonder what other vices they have or are hiding.

    Posted by: j2t2 at October 31, 2006 7:10 PM
    Comment #192055

    JBOD, your argument is fallacious. I never said that taxes don’t get used for things we don’t agree with.

    My point is the establishment of religion. By CHOOSING so called religions to be tax exempt, the government is establishing religion. I don’t believe in vodoo or invisible giants in the clouds, yet I don’t get an exemption for my beliefs. I believe in reality, where’s my tax exemption?

    I simply said your religion should be able to inform your choices with out restriction. The invisible giant can cast down tablets with candidates on them for all I care. Just don’t come to me or my government and violate the Constitution, like our forefathers did on this and slavery, with your hand out asking for tax exemption. Social Security could be saved if we’d just tax those fraudulent businesses called churches. Want to be in freely religious country?—Pay your damn taxes.

    By the way, I think no business or corporation or association should be allowed to pool money for political speech during election periods. Close the bars and pocket books of those who would unduly influence the drunkards and the easily bribed and swayed. Restrict campaigns to one or two months before an election in proscribed debates on free TV, newspaper and Radio as a requirement of their right to operate. Take the influence of money out of it. Let the best ideas win the day, instead of the slickest ad campaigns.

    Posted by: gergle at October 31, 2006 10:42 PM
    Comment #192097
    By the way, I think no business or corporation or association should be allowed to pool money for political speech during election periods. Close the bars and pocket books of those who would unduly influence the drunkards and the easily bribed and swayed. Restrict campaigns to one or two months before an election in proscribed debates on free TV, newspaper and Radio as a requirement of their right to operate. Take the influence of money out of it. Let the best ideas win the day, instead of the slickest ad campaigns.

    R.I.P. - First Amendment

    Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 12:59 AM
    Comment #192305

    Kirk, nope. It’s just that equating money with speech, is kind of like equating money with sex. In Texas, we call it being a whore.

    Posted by: gergle at November 1, 2006 2:28 PM
    Comment #192380
    Kirk, nope. It’s just that equating money with speech, is kind of like equating money with sex. In Texas, we call it being a whore.

    Yep,

    If you infringe on my right or a group of like minded people that I am a member of to purchase TV, newspaper or radio ads to promote a candidate or issue, you have denied me my First Amendment Right.

    Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 5:03 PM
    Comment #192438

    Kirk, I know you feel special, but I mean EVERYBODY gets no access. If you can’t sell the idea through real debate and reading material, rather than slick ad campaigns, tough shit.

    Being the Liberal hater you are, I would think you’d be for banning Hollywood style politics.

    I just want serious issue oriented debate, not shallow shouting matches. Require Cspan to be broadcast or freely delivered into all homes. Take the bribery out of the equation as much as possible. Are you FOR bribery, Kirk? Can you offer a better way to take the money out of it?

    Posted by: gergle at November 1, 2006 7:21 PM
    Comment #192543

    Are you FOR bribery

    Absolutely not, nor am I for taking away someones right to express their opinion in the medium that choose be it TV, Radio or Print and that is regardless of if I agree with that opinion or not.

    It would thrill me to not have to see another Kinky or One Tough Gramma ad, but they and their supporters absolutely have the First Amendment right to run those ads. I will defend their right to do so to the end. If I am too disinterested or too lazzy to find the truth in it all then shame on me.

    Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 10:58 PM
    Comment #192632

    Kirk, the shame is on you for your complacency about corruption. I presume you think Perry is a knoght in shining armour. He makes a good man-whore, but a lousy governor.

    Posted by: gergle at November 2, 2006 9:16 AM
    Comment #192669

    Gergle,

    I’m an agnostic and not affiliated with any church, but my understanding is that you and I could start a church and debate the spirtuality of reality, and we could be tax-exempt as well.

    While I understand your position, I think it is worth noting that in many communities a major piece of the social safety net is available through the local churches. Those facilities are home to AA meetings, food banks, and meals on wheels programs. They provide shelter for the homeless and hot meals. They are polling places and places for the elderly to congregate and communicate. The ability to do all of these things depends first and foremost on having a physical plant. The majority of their tax expempt status goes against any property tax levy. Like it or not without those churches, their would be substantial voids in the communities where they reside. They have earned their tax exempt status.

    Posted by: Rob at November 2, 2006 11:21 AM
    Comment #192722
    Kirk, the shame is on you for your complacency about corruption.

    No gergle, the shame is on you for not wanting to deny someone’s Constitutionally protected rights and for accusing me of being complacent about corruption because I support their rights.

    Being the Liberal hater you are, I would think you’d be for banning Hollywood style politics

    No, I don’t hate Liberals just Liberalism. I even support Michael Moore’s right to put his lying drivel out. Of course you realize that under your plan it would have to be pulled to 2 months leading up to an election.

    I just want serious issue oriented debate, not shallow shouting matches. Require Cspan to be broadcast or freely delivered into all homes. Take the bribery out of the equation as much as possible.

    1)What about the 2% of US households without TV’s? How are they going to watch Cspan or would the government be buying them TV’s?

    2) Unlike print media where you can go back and re-read what is written you can’t do that with TV so I guess we will have to buy everyone TiVo as well.

    3) Who gets to decide what questions are going to be asked in the debates?

    4) Who is going to act as the “Fact Checker” for the answers provided to debate questions? You know answers to debate questions are often just as misleading as political ads.

    5) What about on-line information? You know there are left and right leaning web sites so, I guess we would have to shut down the internet for 2 months as well.

    6) Who is going to compensate the TV stations, Radio Stations and Newspapers for their lost ad revenue. Wow come to think of it, what about the production companies, distribution companies, printers, etc., etc., etc that will also have lost revenues? This could lead to small businesses cutting payroll and increasing unemployment.

    So, I guess in the long run we would all pay for it!

    Posted by: Kirk at November 2, 2006 12:47 PM
    Comment #193102

    Kirk,

    No, I did not suggest limiting speech. Please indicate to me where in the Constitution it equates money with speech.

    I made no such suggestion to provide TV for all. They can read newspapers, pamphlets and attend townhall meetings.

    I don’t propose replacing TV revenue. It’s a cost of business. Why do you think the government owes Tv a guaranteed profit. More Corporate welfare?

    I think Trent had a good suggestion to create a pool that any political contributions are amassed and distributed equally to all candidates, meeting requirements to be on the ballot, are funded without bias.

    Posted by: gergle at November 3, 2006 2:06 PM
    Comment #193103

    Rob, I have no problem with tax exemption for truly charitable organizations. I DO have a problem with promoting religion through official government policy.

    Posted by: gergle at November 3, 2006 2:07 PM
    Comment #193106

    Oops it was John Trevassani not Trent.

    Posted by: gergle at November 3, 2006 2:11 PM
    Comment #193124

    No, I did not suggest limiting speech. Please indicate to me where in the Constitution it equates money with speech.

    The Supreme Court outlined the relevant first amendment framework in Buckley v. Valeo. The Buckley Court held that campaign contributions and expenditures are forms of political expression and association and are therefore entitled to the highest degree of protection under the first amendment.

    Justice Scalia: ”governmental abridgement of liberty is always undertaken with the very best of announced objectives (dictators promise to bring order, not tyranny), and often with the very best of genuinely intended objectives. (zealous policemen conduct unlawful searches in order to put dangerous felons behind bars.) The premise of our Bill of Rights, however, is that there are some things—even some seemingly desirable things—that government cannot be trusted to do. The very first of these is establishing the restrictions upon speech that will assure ‘fair’ political debate.”

    I don’t propose replacing TV revenue. It’s a cost of business. Why do you think the government owes Tv a guaranteed profit. More Corporate welfare?

    Government doesn’t owe TV anything. Neither should it limit it’s ability to earn profits which is exactly what would happen under the plan you propose. Why do you think the government should cause people to lose their jobs?

    Posted by: Kirk at November 3, 2006 2:57 PM
    Comment #193216

    Kirk,
    The only ones that would lose there jobs are the patronage positions of the corrupt politicians you are advocating be sustained. I wouldn’t mourn the loss of those positions.

    I’m reviewing your point about the Supreme Court decision…good point…I’ll be getting back to you.

    On a more serious note, I realize my idea is full of flaws. I’m wondering how you would choose to deal with the obvious corruption and selling of votes that is going on?

    Posted by: gergle at November 3, 2006 9:31 PM
    Comment #193388
    The only ones that would lose there jobs are the patronage positions of the corrupt politicians you are advocating be sustained. I wouldn’t mourn the loss of those positions.

    If you limit campaign expendatures you limit a production company’s, printing company’s, distribution company’s etc ability to earn a profit. Reduced profits could very well result in lost jobs.

    On a more serious note, I realize my idea is full of flaws. I’m wondering how you would choose to deal with the obvious corruption and selling of votes that is going on?

    If corruption or vote selling can be proven, then charges should be filed and those individuals prosecuted. However, if you dig into the messages portrayed in political ads you will find for the most part that there is indeed a vein of truth in all of them. It may not be the whole truth or may be exaggerated but it will have that vein of truth.

    What we need is for the public to be more involved, and get off their lazy butts and check out the things they see or hear from the politicians.

    Do a little experemrnt on your own. Ask 20 people who you do not know well who they plan to vote for and then ask why. I think that most will not be able to offer a reasoned explanation. A good percentage will have one or two issues they will name. Another good question to ask them is to name 3 things that the candidate has done to advance the issue(s) the voter says is important to them. The responses to this question will be mostly drivel.

    In my opinion it is not the fault of the candidates or the parties but the lazy, uninformed consumer (voter). If voters would expend a little energy to inform themselves the negative ads and those with half truths would stop because they would no longer be effective.

    The problem with my theory above is that it is I’m afraid a pipe-dream. However, I do not feel that the solution is limiting someones right to freely express their views or opinions. To do so is an infringement of their rights.

    Posted by: Kirk at November 5, 2006 2:38 AM
    Comment #193393

    Kirk said: “If you limit campaign expendatures you limit a production company’s, printing company’s, distribution company’s etc ability to earn a profit. Reduced profits could very well result in lost jobs.”

    Ahh, I get it. And if you don’t protect habitats you put security and national park rangers and concessionaires out of work, not to mention the number of scientists studying the wildlife in those habitats for the effects of global warming.

    And if secure our borders against invaders we deprive businesses of cheap illegal labor which permits them to hire 2 persons for the price of one and a half.

    This logic is priceless. We should continue corruption in government because it might cost some jobs and business profitability. Ama-a-a-zing linguistic gymnastics!

    We really need an olympics for spin and rationalization. :-)

    Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2006 6:02 AM
    Comment #193410

    Lol, David.

    Kirk,

    I agree with your point, except that it conveys defeatism.

    You seem to be complacent about corruption: That the electorate is too stupid to choose wisely.

    I think that is very cynical, and in many cases true, but the significant problem of our current political process is undue corporate and PAC influence. This is something that a responsible politcio should and would be addressing. Solutions may not be perfect, but it’s something that needs to be attempted and ultimately acheived.

    I haven’t noticed any dimunition of free speech despite all the protestations that such would occur under McCain Feingold.

    Posted by: gergle at November 5, 2006 10:32 AM
    Comment #193514
    Ahh, I get it. And if you don’t protect habitats you put security and national park rangers and concessionaires out of work, not to mention the number of scientists studying the wildlife in those habitats for the effects of global warming.
    And if secure our borders against invaders we deprive businesses of cheap illegal labor which permits them to hire 2 persons for the price of one and a half.

    This logic is priceless. We should continue corruption in government because it might cost some jobs and business profitability. Ama-a-a-zing linguistic gymnastics!

    We really need an olympics for spin and rationalization. :-)

    David, if we did you would win more gold than Mark Spitz.

    You see David, Parks are funded by the Congress they do not have to make a profit from the products they produce. Scientists studying the effect (or lack there of) of global warming are typically funded by grants not by the sale of the products they produce.

    Border security is an area where I have a major issue with the administration. Something should have been done long ago about this problem. Most Democrats have fought tooth and nail to protect illegal immigrants. Most voted against requiring proof of citizenship to vote for instance.

    If you will remove your bias blinders you will see that I said any corruption should be prosecuted. How in the hell does that say we should continue corruption? Ama-a-a-zing linguistic gymnastics on your part!


    Posted by: Kirk at November 5, 2006 10:24 PM
    Comment #193516
    You seem to be complacent about corruption: That the electorate is too stupid to choose wisely.

    Your proposal is the one that says the electorate is too stupid to choose wisely. You have decided that the voter is not capable of culling through the chaffe to find the wheat and therefore must be protected.

    Unfortunately this seems to be a tried and true principal of Liberalism, “we know better than you what is good for you and so we will protect you from yourself.”


    Posted by: Kirk at November 5, 2006 10:30 PM
    Comment #193597

    Kirk,

    Since crime occurs, why should we worry about enforcement? Huh? Your rather convoluted argument seems to be that corruption is fully prosecuted and even though it is only prosecuted years after the damage having been done is Okey Dokey with you.

    No need for reform. Hell, why do we need a legislature at all? The world is perfect and no voters feel duped.

    La la la la.

    Besides, legislatures don’t represent the people anyway so especially since the legislature is likely to be Democratic, we shouldn’t reform anything because that is liberal nonsense.

    So only corrupt Republican legislatures really represent what the voters want?

    What the hell are you trying to say exactly, Kirk?

    I can’t untwist that knot.

    Posted by: gergle at November 6, 2006 12:35 PM
    Comment #193709

    gergle,

    If you will make a coherent post out of the above, I would be happy to respond. However, the way it is now I have no idea what you are trying to say.

    Posted by: Kirk at November 6, 2006 8:48 PM
    Post a comment