Rudy and the religious nuts

I have always thought it rather strange that the American States of the US were originally united by their desire to separate church from state and pursue a ‘democratic ideal’, yet they continue to fail miserably to keep this separation even in these ‘modern times’. This is evidenced again by the petty, ugly shenanigans and attempted smear campaigns going on between the presidential contenders. It would seem comic were it not for the high stakes. After all, the US is the world’s remaining ‘superpower’. These kind of antics merely compound the derision and contempt of the rest of the world toward this tragi-comic, dangerous, bullying behemoth.

Divine Comedy
by Michele Cottle
Rudy and the religious nuts: why Giuliani gets a pass.

Excerpt:

[…]

Unfortunately for the competition, there just aren’t that many red meat issues by which to starkly distinguish oneself from the pack. Most everyone in this group (thanks to a few strategic adjustments by Mitt in recent years) opposes abortion and gay marriage, loves guns, and cannot wait to round up America’s 12 million illegal immigrants and send them home in cattle cars. As for the war on terrorism, it’s hard to get to the right of Rudy, whose entire candidacy is based on his swaggering machismo and endless reminders that he is the Big Dog who helped New York survive 9/11. Mitt Romney took a stab at out-toughing Rudy by sharing with us his presidential dream to “double” Gitmo. But since even George W. Bush is talking about disbanding the facility, Romney’s grand plan doesn’t make him look manly so much as confused.

This is not to say that there aren’t plenty of policy differences between the guys battling for the base. But we’re talking here about pressure points that play on a visceral level with the God-fearing grassroots–meaning the issue needs to involve sex, drugs or rock n’ roll. Barring that, the only thing left is to play the God card. Most of the electorate will snigger and roll their eyes and dismiss it as empty pandering. But many of the GOP faithful will know exactly what you’re talking about and will share your doctrinal concerns. (As noted, the Southern Baptists’ chief political spokesman and Fred Thompson groupie, Richard Land, has been lecturing Mitt Romney about the need to publicly address his Mormonism if he wants to win over evangelicals.)

[…]

Read complete article on The New Republic online site here.

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15 Responses to Rudy and the religious nuts

  1. str8shooter says:

    I also find it rather strange that so many people who tout the myth of “separation of church and state” are the very ones who don’t know the first thing about what they’re talking about!

    The phrase “separation of church and state” appears nowhere in the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, or any other official US document. It’s origin comes from a private correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and the Danbury Baptist Association reassuring them that the government was not going to be declaring any “Official Religion”, or promoting any religion over any other, and NOT in any way prohibiting religious expression by anyone INCLUDING government officials. That’s why the First Amendment is written the way it is;

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEROF; or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    All of the Atheists, Agnostics, the ACLU and the rest simply need to go to college (or back to as the case may be), and study Civil Engineering so that they can learn to BUILD A BRIDGE AND GET OVER IT. The Constitution exists for a reason, to protect EVERYONE’S religious freedom, and that includes someones freedom to not exercise religion, but it is not now, nor has it ever been an instrument to enforce anyones attempts to guarantee anyone exposure TO religion. If someone is so weak willed and minded that they can’t handle seeing or hearing someone exercise their freedom of religion, then they’re entirely too weak willed and minded to be taken seriously by anyone with an above room temperature IQ.

  2. verbena19 says:

    I was NOT implying that the ‘separation of church and state’ was written into your Constitution as such. I was merely remembering the early history of the Americas, and why many British subjects originally left the mother country. If you recall, most were fleeing religious persecution. Their ‘faiths’ (or lack thereof) did not comply with the state religion of the old country at that time. So they were seeking freedom to worship (or not) as they wished, and were strongly in favour of separation of church and state because of the persecution they experienced ‘back home’. Consequently, I was pointing out that it is perplexing that a country that was founded on such noble ideals continues to be a pawn to religious fundamentalism in the political arena. Wouldn’t time (and money) be better spent on focussing upon candidates’ platforms instead of their religion? Why is there this incessant pandering to a ‘religious base’? Shouldn’t the real issues of the day and affairs of the country count for far more than religious persuasion? I just find it rather strange, that’s all…

  3. str8shooter says:

    It’s not strange when you consider that over 80% of the population of America consistantly report a belief in God (whether they be Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or whatever else), and over 60% reported routinely, if not regularly going to services, so religion is a huge part of peoples lives here, and therefore a subject of political importance. The only reason Mitts religion is even an issue to some is because of the checkered past of the Mormon Church. We all know that there have been a lot of ‘revisions’ to the faith in the past century, but there are still a bunch of ‘die hards’ in the Church, and people need to make sure that he’s not one of them before they give him their nod for President. To be honest, he’s not even on the radar as far as I’m concerned, so it’s a matter of complete indifference to me what his religion is.

    Your assertion that we’re somehow “pawns” of religious “fundamentalism” clearly indicates 2 things to me; one, that you’re either Atheist or Agnostic, and two, that you don’t understand what “religious fundamentalism” really is. There is no such thing as ‘religious fundamentalism’ in the US, at least not in the way it’s implied by the Left or mostly understood outside the US. We don’t force our views down anyones throat even though we will discuss them openly (as is our Right), and we don’t go around killing people just because they’re of a different religion, or have NO religion, like REAL ‘fundamentalists’ do (take a look at the nut-jobs in Iraq, Iran, or anywhere else in the “Muslim” world for TRUE “religious fundamentalists”). If you choose to either not believe in God, or to not exercise whatever religion you may or may not have is entirely your choice, but even attempting to paint religious Americans as “fundamentalists” clearly shows a level of ignorance that is inexcusable for someone who claims to have live here.

  4. str8shooter says:

    On another subject, did you get the invitation I e-mailed to you?

  5. verbena19 says:

    S. sometimes you exasperate me. I did NOT attempt to paint ALL religious Americans as fundamentalists. I was referring to the so-called ‘base’ a la Falvell, Robertson and their clones. You must admit that those guys spew a lot of outrageous nonsense and much venom. If the law allowed these hypocrites to have more power, you can bet they’d be even more intolerant of anyone else who has different views, and would act accordingly. Did you happen to see the documentary about these Christian fundamentalists’ camps for kids?? Even you may be appalled at what they teach youngsters, some as young as 6! Somewhere on my site there is a short piece about this preceding the airing of the documentary, likely on CBC or PBS (maybe even BBC). Maybe you can find it… ‘Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war…’ Indeed! Given the right set of circumstances, these people could be/would be/may very likely be just as dangerous as their Muslim fundamentalist counterparts.

    I am neither an atheist nor an agnostic. I was raised Catholic. Now I am a Unitarian Universalist. I hold the view that religion should be a uniter, NOT a divider as in ‘us’ vs ‘them’ or the ‘others’… To me, my faith is a sacred, private spirituality… Religious communities can be good for their ‘community interaction by bringing people together, to be part of a group of like-minded individuals who help each other and their community. In this way, they can serve a useful purpose. But when any religion dictates that their way is the ONLY way, that’s when I dismiss them as irrelevant at best, or rather, hypocritical, and even dangerous. Do you remember what the Roman Catholic Church and its adherents did to the Indigenous Peoples of South America during the times of the Conquest?? And the Crusades? And what some other religious proselytizing converters did to the gentle Hawaiians, Polynesians, and elsewhere??? ALL of the ‘mainstream’ Judeo-Christian religions (that includes Islam) perpetrated atrocities in the name of ‘saving’ the ‘heathens’. (I don’t even want to get started on this…)

  6. verbena19 says:

    What invitation? I’ll go check now, ok?

  7. str8shooter says:

    Please do. I sent it over a week ago so I wasn’t sure if you’d gotten it or not. I used the e-mail addy on your “Contact Me” page.

  8. verbena19 says:

    I just saw it. Thanks! I’m going over there now.

  9. str8shooter says:

    I look forward to seeing you there.

  10. verbena19 says:

    Look for Canuck Annie.

  11. verbena19 says:

    Good thing you brought it to my attention. I don’t always remember to check all my addys often enough…

  12. str8shooter says:

    Not a problem, and Welcome Aboard! I look forward to seeing your input.

  13. verbena19 says:

    Thanks! Just put up a small comment under your latest.

  14. str8shooter says:

    Anyway, getting back on topic now; You’ve just illustrated one of the biggest fallacies in modern America, that being that Robertson and the late Rev. Falwell are representative of ANY so called “base”. They represent themselves and a very small minority of the American public. As far as their “spewing a lot of outrageous nonsense…” it’s no different than that coming out of the liberal looney-toons, tin-foil hatted Left, so let’s avoid using them as an example of anything more than what they are, representatives of the extreme ends of the spectrum. As to their having any “power” you need to remember that under our system of government, each of the branches answers to at least one, and usually both of the other branches, so except in a very limited set of circumstances, nobody does anything without the consent of the other branches, ergo, your fears are unfounded.

    No, I didn’t see the story about the camps so I cannot comment on them. What kind of camps, where and when? As to “Onward Christian Soldiers” was that the title of the story, or are you refering to the song? As far as some peoples concerns over Mitt Romney, given the not so distant history of the Morman Church, it’s understandable why some people have questions that they’d like to have answered before they give their approval to Gov. Romney. As for myself, while I respect the mans record while in office, I find other candidates to be more representative of my political beliefs, so he’s not even a factor in my book. Now, if it came down to a contest between him and ANY Dim-O-Crap, I’d have to give him my vote, but I’d much rather see any one of at least 3 other candidates.

    Concerning your statement about “dismissing” people because of thier views, I find that to be rather contradictatory of your assertion that you prefer religion to be a “uniter”. I myself have friends of various beliefs, and even some who believe that theirs is the “only way”, but I consider these differences to be an opportunity for discussion rather than division. We can discuss the commonalities as well as the differences, and even if we don’t agree on one, so long as we are willing to discuss those differences openly, honestly and from the standpoint of an academic discussion, we can agree to disagree on those small differences and agree to agree on the bigger ones.

    Yes, I remember reading about all of the sins of the various religions through the ages, the difference today is that the real Judeo-Christian churches have learned from the mistakes of the past and imbraced the true teachings of the scriptures, but the Muslims still seem to be stuck in the 7th Century which is where the problems lie. Firstly, Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of it’s adherents, is NOT part of the Judeo-Christian faith. While Islam is an offshoot of the Jewish nation, and the Quaran contains many of the same stories, names and places, there are entirely too many Muslims who have completely forsaken the TRUE lessons of the original faith, and replaced it with the teachings of a murdering, adulterous, lying, felching, pedophile with delusions of adequacy (PBOH).

  15. verbena19 says:

    You misunderstood what I was trying to say, or more likely, I did not make it clear. (Too late, I’m tired, have to get up early for a conference.) I was not implying that everyone who thinks their religion is the only way should be dismissed. I meant the religious LEADERS who spout this are the ones I tend to dismiss or dissociat myself from. It took a while for my mother to get used to the idea that my religious thinking is different from how she brought me up. She and still I disagree on many aspects of religion, but I don’t ‘dismiss’ her. We find common grounds of understanding. I also have many friends who are adherents of diverse faiths (or none, or agnostic, or whatever.) I have Muslim friends too, who happen to be very nice, fine, good people and wouldn’t harm a fly. I just can’t stomach the Falvells, Robertsons, and their ilk. Saw too much harm their preaching did to people when I lived down there. Anyway, it’s too late and I’m not making sense even to myself… g’night.

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