?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

I See Presidential Candidates . . .

It seems like each person running for President gets a news cycle all of his or her own. This week, apparently, is Huckabee Week. I'm kind of divided about Huckabee. Don't get me wrong -- the thought that this man, who seems to understand the concept of "separation of church and state" even less than our current Fearless Leader, stands a good chance of becoming the Republican candidate next year is a thoroughly frightening one. But the question is: will the American people actually go for him, or will he make the Democrat look that much better by comparison?

(We're not even talking about Ron Paul. Really, Nixon displayed less paranoia.)

Given the way that large wodges of America are manipulated by Fox News and the Shrub, I have a sinking feeling that Huckabee is going to go far. It does depress me that my fellow countrypersons find attractive a man who runs with a TV ad that flashes the words "Christian Leader." It also depresses me that the country is apparently willing to seriously entertain questions about whether or not Mitt Romney's Mormon faith makes him a good candidate for national office. Mitt Romney is certainly not someone I'd want for President -- I lived in Massachusetts for a while when he was governor, and the man is an order of magnitude oilier than the latkes I made last night -- but the whole national questioning of his faith makes me mad. Didn't we already go through this with Kennedy?

Why should Huckabee have to emphasize his Christianity to be attractive? Why must Romney defend himself against accusations of being a member of a cult? Why must faith (or the lack thereof) even be an issue in the race for national office? You'd think we'd have learned from our latest experience, but nooooo . . . .

Comments

frenchpony
Dec. 11th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
If the last eight years have taught us anything it's that the president's personal morality has a big affect on what happens in the country.

That's true. But I don't think that morality should be so firmly bound to religiosity in public discourse. Romney loses big points with me for having said that freedom requires religion. It doesn't.

It shows me he believes in something and is willing to stick to it, even when it's the unpopular thing to do.

This is not always a positive trait. One must be willing to change one's mind when presented with evidence that one's former position was wrong. Politicians call this "flip-flopping," and they will excoriate each other for doing it. This leads to politicians never changing their minds about anything, which leads to our current Fearless Leader.

It doesn't seem completely unrealistic that people should want to know what Mormonism teaches and what affect it would have on his character and what he would consider the right course of action in a certain circumstance.

Except that that's not really the course that the debate over Romney The Mormon is taking. That would be too sensible. The most current questions are: Do Mormons believe in Jesus? If so, do they believe hard enough? Aren't they just a weird bloody cult anyway? People aren't asking the right questions about Mormonism.

The fact remains that we have never yet had a non-Christian President, and the country has become steadily more religious over the past forty years. Even if there are people like Christopher Hitchens sniping in the public sphere (and Hitchens is indeed a nasty, bitter man who takes his pleasure in attacking other people, the atheists' version of a shande before the goyim), this country is very Christian-friendly, probably more so now than when it was founded. Yet there are a steady stream of people who want to take America back for Jesus, and it's worrisome that they don't seem to realize how illegal that would be or how scary they sound to those of us who don't particularly wish to live under Jesus's rule.
telperion1
Dec. 11th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
I probably haven't been following politics as closely as I should have, especially the Republican side of things, because a lot of what you said was new to me. Anywho....

I don't think that morality should be so firmly bound to religiosity in public discourse.

I agree. I do wish morals weren't so tied to claiming a certain religion. But for a lot of people they are tied together - I don't like it, I don't agree, but I know that thinking occurs. All I was trying to say is that, when people question a candidates' religion, they may be trying to get an answer to two questions: a) Are you a person to whom morals are important, and b) Are those morals likely to be similar to my morals.

Romney loses big points with me for having said that freedom requires religion.

*boggles* He said that? How did I miss that? Yeah, he just sunk a few notches in my esteem.

[on sticking to your "principles"]
This is not always a positive trait. One must be willing to change one's mind when presented with evidence that one's former position was wrong.

Oh, absolutely. But by the same token it's important that a leader only change his stance for the right reasons. Right reasons = circumstance changing, or something causing you to reconsider your previous evaluation of the issue. Wrong reasons = special interest groups, bullying from other politicians, or simply that your position has become unpopular (not necessarily wrong).

that's not really the course that the debate over Romney The Mormon is taking. That would be too sensible. The most current questions are: Do Mormons believe in Jesus? If so, do they believe hard enough? Aren't they just a weird bloody cult anyway? People aren't asking the right questions about Mormonism.

Fair enough. Though I'd argue that for a Christian (and especially an evangelical/fundamentalist Protestant), Christology is probably the most important question. If you believe God can be incarnated in a human body, it radically changes God's relationship to the world, and therefore whether the world is "worth saving" or whether it's just something we pass through on our way to haven. (Which is a valid question with political implications IMO.) But I doubt most people asking these questions think about the theology on that deep a level, so I'll grant you that the questions being asked are the wrong ones.

Again, I'll fall back to my claim of ignorance - I really haven't been following the Romney questioning too closely.

Even if there are people like Christopher Hitchens sniping in the public sphere [...], this country is very Christian-friendly, probably more so now than when it was founded.

You would get no argument from me on that point. It boggles my mind how so many rational people can feel so under attack by so little. Yet they do, and so I guess that makes me understand why they ask the question, even if I don't think it's the right one to ask.
frenchpony
Dec. 11th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
*boggles* He said that? How did I miss that? Yeah, he just sunk a few notches in my esteem.

Yes, he did. I forget whether it was during the debates, or in his speech about Why I Am Not A Bad Person For Being Mormon, but he did come right out and say that he thought that religion requires freedom and freedom requires religion. See? Told you he was oilier than my latkes.

Christology may be an important theological point to Christians, and they are perfectly welcome to that. It should not be an important political point, however, and that seems to be the area in which this country is falling flat on its face.
elliska
Dec. 11th, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
One must be willing to change one's mind when presented with evidence that one's former position was wrong.

Gee, and who do we have in office currently that is incapable of doing this? Anyone...anyone... /cynicism. I just couldn't resist.

Yet there are a steady stream of people who want to take America back for Jesus, and it's worrisome that they don't seem to realize how illegal that would be or how scary they sound to those of us who don't particularly wish to live under Jesus's rule.

Well said. Being from a minority religion, this is exactly my problem. I greatly admire all the teachings of the Old and New Testament. I simply am very concerned with the direction politics have gone over the last years. Separation of Church and State is such an important founding concept of this country. We really need to remember that.
frenchpony
Dec. 11th, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC)
Possibly the defining moment of Shrub's presidency was Stephen Colbert's speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in 2006:

"The greatest thing about this man is that you know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday . . . no matter what happened Tuesday!"

The whole speech is hysterical and gutsy, and well worth seeing.

As far as I can tell, the mixture of Christianity into politics is bad for Christianity and bad for politics. Two institutions harmed for the price of one.
saadiira
Dec. 12th, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
So agreed, it's not even funny, and as well, we must recall what it's really about...not just the cases where we do things like deny postings of commandments in public buildings, or prayer in school, but where we keep specific belief systems from creating and enforcing policies that the rest do not believe in. The constitution is not JUST there for the majority, whatever they may believe. It's also there to protect the rights and freedoms of the minorities, or so-called minorities (as some are not so much a minority by numbers as by representation and given rights, still.)

-Dira-

Profile

by Illsaysheis
frenchpony
frenchpony

Latest Month

July 2015
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow