Wednesday, June 6, 2007

smart S.M.R.T. smart

The following article represents why I am having such a difficult time picking a specific candidate that I would like to see living in the white house in 2008. Religion seems to be so important to the American voters that even candidates who are obviously not religious are hiring strategist that will help them reach religious voters by exuding a belief in “a god.” As if this wasn’t disturbing enough now many candidates are finding themselves in a sticky situation when trying to answer questions pertaining to their belief in a god. Being that it is nearly impossible for a Presidential candidate to get elected without professing a belief in a god, it makes me exceptionally angry that Christians are still spouting that they are being persecuted. Read with caution!

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Lately it seems all the leading presidential candidates are discussing their religious and moral beliefs -- even when they'd rather not.

Indeed, seven years after George W. Bush won the presidency in part with a direct appeal to conservative religious voters -- even saying during a debate that Jesus Christ was his favorite philosopher -- the personal faith of candidates has become a very public part of the presidential campaign.

If I remember right George’s favorite quote from his favorite “philosopher” went something like this. “Fool me once shame on, shame on, Ya fool me ya can’t get fooled again!” Seriously though, this man won an election based on professing Christianity, and then a re-election based on the same thing. Obviously his actions carried no weight.

Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have hired strategists to focus on reaching religious voters. Obama's campaign holds a weekly conference call with key supporters in early primary and caucus states whose role is to spread the candidate's message to religious leaders and opinion makers and report their concerns to the campaign.

OK, I really liked both Hillary and Obama up until now. I am not sure that they would have received my vote, but I am sure that they won’t now! How about if we stop worrying about these idiots, that are still worshipping a sky creature and start worrying about “ISSUES.” The only reason that Christians are getting catered to so heavily in this country is because there are so many of them. If everyone here believed in Thor then we would be studying his teachings and building a political campaign around them. Either way it is ridiculous. Why do we care what religious leaders think about the candidate’s message? Let them eat their kosher crackers and drink their grape juice while we let our intelligent political candidates make the decisions that will affect us here in the real world.

Democrats in general are targeting moderate Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants and even evangelicals, hoping to enlist enough voters for whom religious and moral issues are a priority to put together a winning coalition.

This is setting Democrats up for disaster. As soon as the first Democrat gets caught with his/her dick in an interns mouth (little joke there for those of you that are a bit slow) the Republican party will masterfully frame and twist the event to tear the Democrats off of their so called moral platform.

Next week, Clinton, Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards are scheduled to address liberal evangelicals at a forum on "faith, values and poverty."

FAITH!!! FAITH!!! They are going to address liberal evangelicals on the issues of faith! “I believe in God, vote for me!” Jesus Fucking Christ, are we seriously contributing to these mental patients delusions?

Some top-tier Republican candidates, the natural heirs to conservative religious support, are finding the issue awkward to handle.

“Senator McCain, do you believe that the axis of evil is representative of the four horseman of the apocalypse from Revelation?”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has been questioned so much about his Mormon faith -- 46 percent of those polled by Gallup in March had a negative opinion of the religion -- that he has taken to emphasizing that he is running for a secular office.

Wow, the Mormon, the only one that everyone is really really afraid of, is the only one that is making any sense!

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Catholic who says he gave serious consideration as a young man to becoming a priest, is fending off critics who say he should be denied the sacrament of communion because he supports abortion rights.

Oh no! No more stale crackers and grape juice for poor Rudy!

Religion has become such a common element of presidential politics that during the first televised debate among the 2008 Republican candidates, a reporter asked if any did not believe in evolution -- three Republicans raised their hands: Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo.

Now just throw in a phrase like “God has called me to lead this great nation” and you’re in!

"To many Americans, religion is a very important part of their life and they are interested in how religiosity influences candidates," said John Green, a University of Akron political science professor and senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

"Where this election cycle is different," he said, "is that more of the Democratic candidates are speaking out about their faith, and they've organized their campaigns to appeal to religious voters."

In past campaigns, Republicans nearly cornered the conservative religious vote. The 2004 Democratic nominee, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, is a Catholic but lost the Catholic vote 47 percent to 52 percent to Bush, according to exit polling. Bush won white evangelicals 78 percent to 21 percent.

Have you ever wondered who the idiots voting for Bush were? Well, here is your answer!

Now, Democrats are speaking plainly about their beliefs. In March, Edwards told the multi-faith Web site Beliefnet.com that Jesus would be appalled at how the nation has ignored the plight of the suffering.

OK, pretty cool move. A statement like this appeals to the religious voters, sides yourself with the moral teachings of Jesus, but doesn’t submit yourself to the belief in religious dogma. Can we have respect for Edwards now?

"I think the majority of Americans, the people who largely decide elections, what they are looking for -- particularly in these times -- is a really good and decent human being to be president," Edwards said in an interview with The Associated Press. "If you are a person, a man or woman, of faith, that has an impact on how they view you as a human being, whatever your faith is."

So I suppose it is clear that getting these voters is important. I like Edward’s angle on this. Unfortunately it is just too easy to verbally assassinate a candidate with this on the fence stance by asking him a direct question regarding his faith. This of course is the type of attack that Republicans seem to excel in.

Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, which is holding next week's liberal evangelical forum, said in a statement that "faithful voters" are "hungry for a real conversation about the big moral issues of our time."

There are a couple of problems with Jim’s clearly uneducated statement. First let’s have a little grammar lesson. “Faithfull voters” would actually refer to people that always vote, not necessarily people that vote based on faith. I am assuming that good ol Jim meant the latter though. Second, Jim has fallen into a fallacy in this statement. Jim’s statement begs the question by assuming that having faith has something to do with having morals. Christians love to say that the verdict is in on this argument but it is clearly not. Morals are much better explained by “Memes,” than through religious doctrine that was most likely built through “Memes.” That is, of course, only one theory that explains moral behavior better than the Bible.

The forum is the latest in a series of events in which presidential candidates have addressed the issue of religion and politics.
Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, a Catholic, told an April forum at Boston College that Democrats have made "a huge mistake over the years" by not talking more openly about how their personal faith informs their public policy positions.

Hopefully this is because their personal faith is "NOT informing” their public policy positions!

Brownback, a former Methodist who converted to Catholicism in 2002, told the same forum that faith "doesn't make all your decisions, but you can't segregate it out -- it's part of the values basis you bring."

In one of the first joint appearances of the 2008 campaign, Brownback and Obama were guest speakers at the evangelical Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., where best-selling author Rick Warren is pastor.

Obama's close relationship with his own pastor at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, whose theology emphasizes "black values" and strengthening the black community, has also been a campaign issue. Obama withdrew an invitation to the pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., to speak at his presidential announcement in February.

This was a smart move by Obama. It is wise to separate yourself from a racist no matter what color they are or who they are racist against. Of course it seems that Obama’s decision was based more on politics than on personal belief. Obama was recently quoted talking about how there is a "silent uprising" in the African American community that is coming about due to the government ignoring the displaced black citizens from the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Well I hate to have to be the one to point this out but there were people of all races displaced by this disaster and ignored by the government. Pointing out a specific race is only necessary if they are being singled out (not the case here) or if you are trying to gain special privileges for the group. (possibly the case here) I would like to see someone like Obama make a call to action to help all of the displaced “people” from the Katrina disaster rather than all of the displaced “black people.” How will we ever move past our race issues if we keep separating all of our races? But I digress!

Last year, Obama chastised fellow Democrats 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 churchgoers.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," he said.

Well, of course not, but allowing religious leaders to influence policy with their insane beliefs makes us no better than any other extremist of any other belief system!!!

Ironically, it is some of the top Republican candidates who are shying away from public discussions of their faith.

"I don't think that a person who's running for a secular position as I am should talk about or engage in discussions of what they in their personal faith or their personal beliefs think is immoral or not immoral," Romney said in an AP interview last week in response to a question about whether he believes homosexuality is immoral.

Giuliani didn't want to talk about his faith, either. "The mayor's personal relationship with God is private and between him and God," his campaign told AP.

Seriously, what a truly great way to approach it! Keep your faith to yourself, and make decisions based on logic. If you want to bathe in frankincense and say 1000 hail marys while flogging yourself with a Holy leather whip each night before you go to bed, then fine, but when you come into work in the morning it better be business as usual. Employers will tell you during initiation for a new job to leave your personal issue at home; this obviously includes your strange religious beliefs and rituals!

It may be difficult for Giuliani to keep a lid on discussions of his faith. Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI said he agreed with bishops who said Catholic politicians had excommunicated themselves by legalizing abortion in Mexico City.

Because God would rather have massive amounts of children growing up in poverty and spending their whole lives wallowing in feces, building homes out of trash and starving to death. Yea, that’s reasonable. Yeah God!

Seven of the 18 candidates for president -- four Democrats and three Republicans -- are Catholic. Besides Giuliani, the four Democrats also support abortion rights.
But support for abortion rights doesn't necessarily hurt candidates with Catholic voters, who support legalized abortion in all or most circumstances by 53 percent to 43 percent, according to 2004 exit polling.

Catholics are making sense? What is this world coming to?

"Catholics are in a middle position -- Republicans woo them on things like abortion and same sex marriage, but Democrats are closer to their core teachings on things like health care for the poor, the death penalty and social welfare policies," said Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University professor and author of several books on politics and religion.

"They're a swing bloc not fitting clearly in either party, which makes them a very valuable constituency in elections."

Valuable? *Sigh*

4 comments:

tina said...

I was so engrossed in this post. I could have read on and on. Personally, I don't see how religion can stay out of politics, just for the fact that abortion is an issue with religious people. I have never said," I wish I were younger" before,but I'm saying it now. I sure wish I was brought up in a household that was interested in politics. I'm learning as I go, I was never interested until I figured out I was a non-believer. Now everything catches my eye. I was leaning towards Obama also but not sure anymore. I have never voted, I know, I know, dumb ass right? Well, I decided to go register and vote in the election but my hopes for a good president keep getting shot down by the people running. I hope you keep posting topics on politics, you're easier to understand than the spin doctors on the news! Hope all is well with you and your family.

angelsdepart said...

Thanks for your comment Tina. During the Presidential election for 2004 I remember having a discussion with a girl on my college campus regarding who the best candidate for president was. We both agreed on Ralph Nader, but she still said that she was going to vote for John Kerry. She believed that a vote for Nader would be a wasted vote because only Kerry or Bush actually had a shot at winning. After a long debate with her and the old “things will never change unless one person is willing to make the first stand” speech, I convinced her that a vote for Nader would be appropriate. When all was said and done Nader pulled less than 2% of the vote. The margin that Kerry lost by was close to that. I could only assume that the large portion of the Nader votes would have went to Kerry (who I considered to be the lesser of two evils) had Nader not been in the race. Maybe history would be very different right now. Obviously my vote really made no difference, which is why I would never rag on you for not voting. It is mostly pointless. The candidate with the best television commercials will win the election because the public will be to lazy to actually research the issues and cast an intelligent vote. In the voting booth they will remember the ad with the funny talking dog and vote for the candidate that endorsed it. Some major reform is needed in this country before anything has a shot at getting better. Unfortunately it will take a cataclysmic event to trigger such an intense change.

Poodles Rule said...

I live in Utah, I usually vote Democrat, talk about a wasted vote... but I still do it anyway, makes me feel better if even for a moment.

tina said...

Larro over at http://ungodlycynic.blogspot.com/ I think basically said the same thing the college student did.