The Coming Battle for Electoral Heaven

With Hillary’s Clinton’s expected suspension of campaign operations Saturday, the Faith and Values Primary Season will officially come to an … Continued

With Hillary’s Clinton’s expected suspension of campaign operations Saturday, the Faith and Values Primary Season will officially come to an end.

Speaking on behalf those who study the intersection between religion and politics I want to give a shout out to all the Republicans and Democrats who ran for the presidency. Especially you, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. You guys were the best.

But now we must move to the general election and here are some of the stories I predict we will be following. First and foremost, expect the candidates to be exceedingly cautious with all forms of Faith and Values politicking. The carefree days when an operative could simply approach a cleric and say “Hey you over there with the megachurch and the media empire. Want to join our team?” are decidedly over.

McCain and Obama have endured third-degree burns across 33% of their spring campaigns as a result of their associations with incendiary spiritual mentors, advisers and endorsers. McCain’s camp was singed because they vetted Reverends Hagee and Parsley poorly.

Obama’s injuries were somewhat different and more difficult to heal. He now lives in constant fear of being jack-in-the-boxed by Reverend Wright or Father Pfleger, or whomever else: 1) was his friend, 2) wears a collar, 3) says awful things about America, and, 4) makes a cameo on YouTube.

The controversies surrounding Trinity United Church of Christ have, understandably, left him gun shy and hesitant when discussing religion. And this reluctance is problematic because Obama is unequivocally superior to McCain when it comes to appealing to religious constituencies.

He is endowed with a sharp theological intellect and knows how to do Advanced God Talk (i.e., God Talk directed to people who are not within your own faith tradition). Obama is a very special politician in that he can connect with people who are very different from him. In theory, he should be able to play the ecumenical card to great advantage.

This calls attention to a tactical quandary that confronts Team Obama: how will the Senator from Illinois press his competitive religious advantages in light of recent pastor disasters? Think of Obama like a fighter jet: lethal when in the air, but merely nice to look at when sitting in the hangar. At present, his Faith and Values operation is grounded.

His handlers have to figure out how to thrust him back into the oratorical heavens, so to speak. The challenge is to get him aloft without the publicity-seeking missiles of Trinity Church sending him hurtling back to earth.

At the same time, Obama’s Faith and Values unit will be waging pitched battles on the Evangelical, Jewish, and Catholic fronts. I assume that Mainline Protestants will vote for him overwhelmingly. Ditto for the “No Religion” people. But after that he will need to role up his sleeves and fight in the name of god votes

For starters, he will need to make inroads in the lucrative Evangelical market. His goals here should be twofold. First (and this is very doable) he needs to draw the small but growing progressive Evangelical wing to his candidacy.

Second (and this a bit harder), he must not alienate White Evangelicals who won’t vote for him anyhow. This may sound counter-intuitive, but given that McCain has a history of troubles with this group, Obama will increase his chances by not giving conservative Evangelicals any reason to circle November 4th on their calendars.

John Kerry won a scant 21% of the Evangelical vote in 2004. If Obama can carry between 31-35% this time around he will be in excellent shape. Kerry, however, carried 76% of the much smaller Jewish ballot. The 2008 Democratic nominee would do well to approximate this number. Of course, his adversary has already tarred him as inexperienced and unreliable on Israeli security and Iranian aggression.

To counteract this Obama needs to surround himself with highly skilled national security advisers who do not have neon-light blinking reputations as doves and/or “State Department Arabists.” (His recent address at AIPAC was, in the view of some, also a step in the right direction).

Playing to his strengths, he needs to spend a lot of time kibbitzing in swing-state synagogues especially of the Conservative and Modern Orthodox denominations (He has solid support among the more liberal Reform Jews).

No convincing explanation has emerged for Obama’s struggles with Catholics in the primaries. Since one ought never futz around with the nation’s largest faith constituency, the Senator will have to think carefully about how to woo them. The trouble is that the staunchly anti-abortion McCain generally polls well among White and Latino Catholics.

While Obama’s pro-choice views guarantee that a segment of Catholics will never vote for him, once again his handlers must be confident that to know him is to love him. It is here where he must take to the skies and speak about things like compassion and unjust wars and grace. His rhetorical gifts and human touch (and choice of a Catholic VP?) will be of the utmost importance if he is to ascend to electoral heaven.

(For more information about religion and the candidates check out Faith 2008 by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs.)

By Jacques Berlinerblau | 
June 6, 2008; 9:26 AM ET

 | Category: 

The God Vote


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  • jc

    These kind of people are the ones that are trying to make their believes the believes of this country and that is bull.

  • Spring Rain

    Mr. Berlinerblau (English translation-blue Berliner!) states: “With Hillary’s Clinton’s expected suspension of campaign operations Saturday, the Faith and Values Primary Season will officially come to an end.”ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OFF THE MARK BB-WAIT AND SEE, IF ANYTHING YOU WILL SEE A RATCHETING UP OF THE WHO GOT MORE RELIGION, ME OR OBAMA? FROM MCCAIN, WITH OBAMA TESTIFYING CONTINUOUSLY ON THE STUMP ABOUT HIS PERSONAL “FAITH AND VALUES”-THE ODIOUS REV. WRIGHT AND THE COLD-BLOODED FATHER PFLAGER NOTWITHSTANDING. P.S. I like your unanglicized name.

  • Republican McCain-Bush Hoodwink

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MCCAINED-BUSHED-HOODWINKED BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTYThe Republican Party has sold its soul in exchange for private Wall Street gains that have sent trillions of Our U.S. dollars overseas to sweatshops and tax havens at the expense of the American People. This blindly overzealous Las Vegas gambling style Republican Wall Street greed, which is selling to the highest bidder Our Beautiful Country must stop. America doesn’t belong to the greedy Republican Wall Street Banks. Our Beautiful America belongs with Americans. It’s time to get that straight.International Court of Justice (The Hague) will question McCain-Bush-Cheney-Rice in January about their involvement in the Iraq War.A long-delayed Senate committee report endorsed by Democrats and some Republicans concluded that President Bush and his aides built the public case for war against Iraq by exaggerating available intelligence and by ignoring disagreements among spy agencies about Iraq’s weapons programs and Saddam Hussein’s links to Al Qaeda.That some Bush administration claims about the Iraqi threat turned out to be false is hardly new. But the report, based on a detailed review of public statements by Mr. Bush and other officials, was the most comprehensive effort to date to assess whether policy makers systematically painted a more dire picture about Iraq than was justified by the available intelligence. The 170-page report accuses Mr. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other top officials of repeatedly overstating the Iraqi threat in the emotional aftermath of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Its findings were endorsed by all eight committee Democrats and two Republicans, Senators Olympia J. Snowe of Maine and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. In a statement accompanying the report, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who is chairman of the intelligence panel, said, “The president and his advisers undertook a relentless public campaign in the aftermath of the attacks to use the war against Al Qaeda as a justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein.” Dana Perino, the White House spokeswoman, on Thursday called the report a “selective view” and said that the Bush administration’s public statements were based on the same faulty intelligence given to Congress and endorsed by foreign intelligence services. Senator Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, the committee’s top Republican, called the report a “waste of committee time and resources.”The presidential campaigns of Senators John McCain and Barack Obama had not responded by Thursday night to requests for comment on the Senate report.The report on the prewar statements found that on some important issues, most notably on what was believed to be Iraq’s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, the public statements from Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and other senior officials were generally “substantiated” by the best estimates at the time from American intelligence agencies. But it found that the administration officials’ statements usually did not reflect the intelligence agencies’ uncertainties about the evidence or the disputes among them.In a separate report released Wednesday, the intelligence committee provided new details about a series of clandestine meetings in Rome and Paris between Pentagon officials and Iranian dissidents in 2001 and 2003. The meetings included discussions about possible covert actions to destabilize the government in Tehran, and were used by the Pentagon officials to glean information about rivalries in Iran and what was thought to be an Iranian “hit” team intending to attack American troops in Afghanistan, the report said. The report concluded that Stephen J. Hadley, now the national security adviser, and Paul D. Wolfowitz, who was then the deputy defense secretary, “acted within their authorities” to send the Pentagon officials to Rome. But the report criticized the meetings as ill advised, and accused Mr. Hadley and Mr. Wolfowitz of keeping the State Department and intelligence agencies in the dark about the meetings, which the report portrayed as part of a rogue intelligence operation.The two reports were the final parts of the committee’s so-called Phase 2 investigation of prewar intelligence on Iraq and related issues. The first phase of the inquiry, begun in the summer of 2003 and completed in July 2004, identified grave faults in the C.I.A.’s analysis of the threat posed by Mr. Hussein.The report on Iraq on Thursday was especially critical of statements by the president and vice president linking Iraq to Al Qaeda and raising the possibility that Mr. Hussein might supply the terrorist group with unconventional weapons. “Representing to the American people that the two had an operational partnership and posed a single, indistinguishable threat was fundamentally misleading and led the nation to war on false premises,” Mr. Rockefeller wrote.Mr. Bond and four other Republicans on the committee sharply dissented from the report’s findings and suggested that the investigation was a partisan smoke screen to obscure the real story: that the C.I.A. failed the Bush administration by delivering intelligence assessments to policy makers that have since been discredited. In a detailed minority report, four of those Republicans accused Democrats of hypocrisy and of cherry picking, namely by refusing to include misleading public statements by top Democrats like Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mr. Rockefeller.As an example, they pointed to an October 2002 speech by Mr. Rockefeller, who declared to his Senate colleagues that he had arrived at the “inescapable conclusion that the threat posed to America by Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction is so serious that despite the risks, and we should not minimize the risks, we must authorize the president to take the necessary steps to deal with the threat.” The report about the Bush administration’s public statements offers some new details about the intelligence information that was available to policy makers as they built a case for war. For instance, in September 2002 Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “the Iraq problem cannot be solved by airstrikes alone,” because Iraqi chemical and biological weapons were so deeply buried that they could not be penetrated by American bombs. Two months later, however, the National Intelligence Council wrote an assessment for Mr. Rumsfeld concluding that the Iraqi underground weapons facilities identified by the intelligence agencies “are vulnerable to conventional, precision-guided, penetrating munitions because they are not deeply buried.” On Thursday, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democratic member of the intelligence committee, said that Congress had never been told about the National Intelligence Council’s assessment. International Court of Justice (The Hague in Europe) will question McCain-Bush-Cheney-Rice in January about their involvement in the Iraq War.

  • Chagasman

    Using GOD to get elected is the ultimate in hypocrisy. Facism will come to America wrapped in the flag and carrying a Bible. Let’s keep religion out of politics altogether, and keep our democracy!

  • Tony V

    Why do you keep lumping in the Rev. Hagee/McCain connection with Jeremiah Wright/Flager/Obama connection??? Do you think we’re all stupid or something?OBAMA WAS IN THAT CHURCH FOR 20 YEARS (TWENTY YEARS!!!!!), Obama called him AN UNCLE, an ADVISOR, and MENTOR, which directly links to his BELIEF SYSTEM and JUDGMENT. that’s why voters won’t let that one go. Hagee just endorsed McCain, (McCain didn’t even ask for it) so that has no link to McCain whatsoever. God are you reporters dense or something???

  • Petras Vilson

    Interesting perspective but there is NO religious equivalence between McCain and Obama.Obama is a pro-abortion liberal. McCain is pro-life conservative.Obama has withdrawn from his black-racist-liberation-theology-Church of 20 years. McCain has NOT abandoned his Baptist Church.Obama has tossed his Spiritual Advisor and Marriage Pastor under the bus (like his white supposedly-racist grandmother). McCain has done neither.I suspect Obama has alot more work to do to appeal to mainstream religious voters of any denomination.

  • Former Christian

    It would please me to no end if our candidates did not have to pay homage to gods and/or religion. Worshiping reason and the rule of law would serve this country much better than the arbitrary ideology of one particular sect over another.Demanding evidence and facts as opposed to “having faith” would certainly make America more accepting and less bigoted. And I’m hoping we judge candidates by what they themselves say and do, as opposed to what their acquaintances say.

  • Robin ‘Roblimo’ Miller

    So far none of the candidates have paid even the most minor lip service the true creator of the universe, namely the Flying Spaghetti Monster.Is that because he doesn’t have a large, rich priesthood lobbying on his behalf? I suspect so!At the very least, Obama (or perhaps McCain) should appear at a public, formal event dressed in pirate garb. As we all know, the lack of sailing-ship pirates is what has caused global warming. You can look at the climate charts and see that this is True; that as piracy under sail waned, temperatures have risen.Arrgh, matey! May the best candidate be touched by the FSM’s noodly appendage and end up in the white housE!!!

  • Former Christian

    I guess Tony V and Spring Rain, neither of you believe you can have a friend, even a close adviser, and still disagree on some points or positions.I have many strong, republican friends that still want to give Bush the benefit of the doubt. They are still my friends and in some areas, we agree and in others we disagree.Why isn’t that possible between Obama and Wright? Why do you think that everything hateful Rev. Wright says means that’s what Obama believes?

  • wiccan

    Former Christian-You can always tell when you’ve won an argument with a “Christian” when he starts threatening you with hellfire.

  • Steven

    Proud:wasn’t the first sin the sin of “pride?”By the way, if those of us who have de-converted are given a chance to explain why we began to dis-believe, I’ll copy and paste your note so God can read it, and see a prime example of the garbage that we had to wash our hands of. That’s reason enough to dis-engage from your hateful, horrible beliefs.So in a way, Proud, you’ve contributed to our de-conversion, and to our eternity in hell! What does God say about that. ;)

  • Max

    Am I wrong to worry about putting a Catholic on the ticket? My impression is that the Catholic hierarchy has gone after pro-choice Catholics such as Kerry with special vehemence, while letting pro-choice Protestants off with relatively mild criticism. Even if they turn up the heat on a ticket of pro-choice Protestants, they can’t cause as much trouble for them as they can for a Catholic.

  • Chris Fox

    A very nice summary, Mr. Berlinblau. The fighter jet metaphor made me smile. I often hear Obama dismissed as nothing but a great orator. I don’t view it as mere anything; great oratory goes along with great thinking not perfectly but so much more often than not. There is something Athenian about this candidacy and that’s what I was thinking as I read your paragraph about Obama and Advanced God Talk and his ability to speak to the better part of our natures.

  • Mr Mark

    “He (Obama) states his position- then caves in a day and a half. Wake-up voters.. This man is untested and inexperienced. He’d bring change- but who can predict the nature of that change?”Boy, you’re either a bit dense or you missed the last election.Obama is too smart for the RWers. He knows that the best defense is a good offense. He knows that you MUST respond IMMEDIATELY to these attacks, deal with them and put them behind you ASAP.Obama watched what happened to Kerry last time when Kerry didn’t immediately call out the swift boat liars. He’s watched in this campaign as candidates slow to respond have fallen by the wayside.Either Obama writes his own narrative, or he lets his enemies write if for him. The enemy is probing Obama’s armor, looking for weaknesses, hoping something will stick. A few weeks ago, they floated the “Obama didn’t respond fast enough to Rev Williams. He needs to come clean.” This week, they’re trying the opposite approach – “Obama is responding too quickly…he’s a flip flopper.”Too bad for the R’s that Obama has that easy confidence and can shrug off these attacks with ease.Why is it so easy for him? Well, he’s a black man in white America. He’s had to deal with this sh*t his whole life. The people attacking him are 99% white and 100% Republican, and they haven’t a clue as to just how easy it is for Obama to deal with their childish attacks when he’s spent his life dealing with real issues and real attacks. The Bubble People are looking like idiots, and Obama’s the one who is now writing their narrative. It’s fun to watch.

  • Roy

    How sad the neochristians have come to define American values as political and racial hatred and fear, raping the environmnt and the Christian Oil Crusades. When little Danny Quayle was telling us about the evils of sitcoms, we tried to explain that hate is not a family value but no one listened.

  • Cletus

    It’s funny we’re debating which preacher is nuttier. They’re preachers! They’re religious! It’s all a bunch of ridiculous hooey; Virgin births, Jesus “redeeming” us by an atoning death for the sins of mythological entities like Adam and Eve, etc. Voters currently require candidates profess such nonsense, though. As long as we don’t get another brain-dead creationist, I’m satisfied.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Jared -If one were to stipulate that Obama was an amateur in ME affairs (which I won’t), he would still be preferable by a good margin to John McCain who has been making major foreign policy gaffes on an almost daily basis. In fact, he only avoids making them when he avoids talking foreign policy.In addition, McCain is an angry man (he was actually known as John McNasty in school), and anger is the last quality one wants in a US president who must act as a mediator in ME affairs where he stands between parties who are always angry at each other.Most worrisome, McCain seems to be three steps slow these days, both in his responses and in his decision-making process. His age is showing. Badly. I don’t find that comforting at all. Obama strong suit is his intelligence, his youth and his willingness to consider new solutions to old problems. Any hands-on experience he lacks due to his age or his lack of national experience can easily be overcome through his intelligence. The halls of DC are filled with experienced politicians who would be disastrous outside of their fiefdom. Would you turn Ted Stevens loose on ME affairs? How about Norm Coleman?It’s obvious you’re not a fan of Obama and that nothing will change your perspective. Too bad. Enjoy the next 8 years of his presidency.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Cletus -Excellent post. Succinct and truthful.I hope Jon and Sally don’t read it. Otherwise, they might say, “well, there you have it – game, set, match,” and decide to close down this blog, as any reason for the blog to continue had just evaporated.

  • Garyd

    Foreign policy gaffes by McCain. Thus far there is one. Obama changes his stance on the Middle almost every speech concerning the subject and depending almost entirely on the audience of the moment one of the more irritating tricks he learned from the Clintons.

  • Gerry

    A little fairy tale for Cletus and Mr Mark: Snow White and the seven dwarfs.Says the Catholic preacher: Everybody who doubts that Snow White wore a pink bow will be killed. (Formerly; these days their punishment is reduced to eternal hellfire later on.)Says the Imam: Everybody who believes that Snow White’s bow was pink will be stoned to death. It was green.Says the protestant pastor: Snow White has changed her pink bow for a blue one. If you don’t believe it, we will kill you in a thirty years’ war.Says the ecumenical preacher: Yes, and it is a fact that from there on her bow was violet. We must approach each other in our beliefs.Says the Mormon: Besides, there were only six dwarfs. If you belong to the seven dwarfs faction, you go to hell, with all your wives. The seventh dwarf was erroneously added in the 12th century. Scientifically proved by the disappeared golden tablets!Says the agnostic: Snow White presumably didn’t wear a bow at all. (!)Says the atheist: Who is Snow White?

  • Anonymous

    Gerry, if you couldn’t keep yourself occupied mocking religions, your life would be eternally boring, wouldn’t it? You’d be completely out of business if all did become atheists. So you need religious people as much as religious people need their faith in God. BTW, how many have you converted to anti-theism with all your wit and stories?

  • Gerry

    Dear Anonymous, (why, btw?) my life is rich, full of love, reward, success, respect, entertainment (admitted, your post adds to this!), and my brain has open opportunities plentiful where others have their religious struggles, beliefs, doubts, “truths”, superstitions, wasted time – in short, the opposite of boredom. You see, I don’t need religion nor religionists.I don’t proselytize, as contrasted to the religions.

  • Anonymous

    Dear GerryWithout religionists you’d have no plots for your witty stories at all. Your story was witty to be sure but how could you have possibly written it without religionists providing you with interesting characters.As to your missionary zeal: I have noticed on this forum how instantly anti-theists convert other anti-theists to their anti-theism. Quite a feat!

  • Former Catholic

    A Catholic as Obama’s running mate?

  • bubba hickdom

    berlinblau gets paid to write this crap? and he’s a prof. at georgetown? the dullest most conventional analyst imaginable.

  • Anonymous

    wiccan: “Former Christian-You can always tell when you’ve won an argument with a “Christian” when he starts threatening you with hellfire.”………………..Amazing, you know the term “hellfire” no excuse for you before God “I didn’t know.”Before you run your mouth as “winning” a fight or giving out the victories of a “finished” fight make sure that the fight is over. It has been my experience that those who criticize believers fear an impending doom that they can’t explain and act it out with criticisms such as you did in your post.I suggest you work on running your mouth too quickly, criticizing others, and suppressed fear of Christians and God.Touché

  • Proud to be a believer

    Steven: wasn’t the first sin the sin of “pride?”By the way, if those of us who have de-converted are given a chance to explain why we began to dis-believe, I’ll copy and paste your note so God can read it, and see a prime example of the garbage that we had to wash our hands of. That’s reason enough to dis-engage from your hateful, horrible beliefs.So in a way, Proud, you’ve contributed to our de-conversion, and to our eternity in hell! What does God say about that. ;)…………………………I am comfortable with God knowing what I quoted from scripture, after all he wrote it, not me.But obviously you have a problem with what God wrote so I suggest that you take your issue of what God determined in his plan is for those who “backslide” from Christian belief up with God, end of story.Ah, such brotherly love……..but what would one expect from a “God-hater.”BTW, the proud means “to know and love God” as a parent is “proud” of relationship with there’re child.

  • BGone

    Oh my George! Town?Laughter adds 8 years to your life. Singing adds 15 years. I wonder if that applies to singing the blues. Singing the praises of the Lord God of Israel seems to have added a couple of dollars to the price of a gallon of gas. It wasn’t the Israelite God? Allah did that? What do you mean that’s not funny?The price of gas all by itself says the God vote is really the Devil vote doesn’t it? When are we going to get to the environmental vote? That’s the real God vote, nature’s God that is, the God called upon to justify throwing George out so IT must be the God that one nation is under. Next thing ya know those atheists will upset the delicate balance of nature drilling for oil in the wilderness,, where prophets go to pray.Finding something to laugh about is getting harder all the time. Thanks for the help. The good die young,, freeze to death in the dark. What?!! Die of thirst in the burning sun?

  • Iowa lad

    Concerning Jerusalem, for example, neither McCain nor Obama kinow what they are talking about, and they certainly don’t offer any forward looking and cogent explaination regarding their positions. If they mean Jerusalem should be undivided as a ‘ancient holy city’ iconic to Christian, Judaic and Muslim faiths, that’s one thing. That was the proposal of Swedish UN Rep Count Folke Bernadotte before he was assassinated circa 1948 by the Lehi Group, a faction of the Stern Gang. If they mean that the Palestinian Israelis should have ultimate control of Jerusalem, then that immediately leads to all sorts of other issues including global hunger because of the Middle East oil issue, potential nuclear conflict between two idiotic nuclear powers, Israel and Iran, lack of equality, freedom, liberty and justice in most all states there which is the ideal of democracy, and so on and on including the absence of a strong regional IAEA having full inspection authority, no exceptions, and location of significant UN authority, including an unbiased War Crimes Tribunal, in the former British Palelestinian Mandate. Boy, oh boy, what a crazy and stupid road we of Western Civilization have traveled in that benighted region while basically ignoring and dissing the honest regional moderates since the end of WWII. It is making the Guns of August, 1914 look like Cinderell and the Slipper, or the story about the Emperor and his suit of new clothes. And Georgetown teaches foreign affairs and religious moderation???

  • Iowa lad

    Concerning Jerusalem, for example, neither McCain nor Obama kinow what they are talking about, and they certainly don’t offer any forward looking and cogent explaination regarding their positions. If they mean Jerusalem should be undivided as a ‘ancient holy city’ iconic to Christian, Judaic and Muslim faiths, that’s one thing. That was the proposal of Swedish UN Rep Count Folke Bernadotte before he was assassinated circa 1948 by the Lehi Group, a faction of the Stern Gang. If they mean that the Palestinian Israelis should have ultimate control of Jerusalem, then that immediately leads to all sorts of other issues including global hunger because of the Middle East oil issue, potential nuclear conflict between two idiotic nuclear powers, Israel and Iran, lack of equality, freedom, liberty and justice in most all states there which is the ideal of democracy, and so on and on including the absence of a strong regional IAEA having full inspection authority, no exceptions, and location of significant UN authority, including an unbiased War Crimes Tribunal, in the former British Palelestinian Mandate. Boy, oh boy, what a crazy and stupid road we of Western Civilization have traveled in that benighted region while basically ignoring and dissing the honest regional moderates since the end of WWII. It is making the Guns of August, 1914 look like Cinderell and the Slipper, or the story about the Emperor and his suit of new clothes. And Georgetown teaches foreign affairs and religious moderation???

  • Paganplace

    Eh, that pice of real estate’s nothing but trouble. Maybe all concrened ought to move out and contemplate that a while.

  • Reasonable not hateful

    Mr Mark,You seem pretty confident Obama will be the next President.I suppose you were also confident that Kerry would end W’s presidency also.The one and only think Obama has going for him is charisma. People , especially the media, seem to think he is the black 2nd coming of JFK or even RFK. After that I see a far left socialist that will attempt to move the middle as November approaches.I hope, if elected, he is more like the the latter. JFK was average President that was memorialized through his assassination. He was only in office barely over 2.5 years. I would also note they (the Kennedys) were moderates. I believe this will be a very close election, with McCain squeaking by. The one thing we don’t need is one party controlled both the legislative and executive branches. You saw what happened before 2006 what occurred then. McCain is a moderate, and the only thing that will cause him problems is his lack of charisma.

  • BGone

    Wasn’t it Obama who told a Canadian GO he was kidding about renegotiating NAFTA, just politicing big labor? Lying to teamsters could be dangerous.Dems are still rejecting drilling for oil in Alaska or anywhere else under the flag according to today’s news -rejected Bush’s energy bill.Obama will most likely win. It will be very interesting to see how he handles the oil crunch. I remember Nixon too, the most liberal president ever by most standards. Will Obama turn out to be a conservative, the most conservative president ever? Isn’t drilling for oil in the Alaskan wilderness conservative or is that limited to people of faith?Yes but what are the candidates values? Where’s the God vote? Will Jeremiah Wright crown McCain the way Billy Graham crowned W? If McCain would only get some values then maybe God will vote at him. Yeah, vote at leaving God’s aim the final deciding factor.Are you sure the God of conservatives is really God? Almighty God could simply fill everyone’s gas tank and keep them full. It’s the other supernatural being, the angel that wants to be God, Lucifer that must have help from people. Which God is voting should God decide to vote is the real question. But then we may be at the state where only the Devil cares, known as God forsaken.

  • RCG

    FLIP-FLOP:No, you’re wrong. I don’t want to settle for a devil of any sorts. Why is politics consistantly boiling down to the ‘lesser of two evils’ vote?Why can’t we have any GOOD candidates?PROUD:Your talk about fights and judging simple heathens like PAGANPLACE, WICCAN and myself (RCG – [email protected] if you feel like saying hi) is rather un-Christian behavior, as I’ve come to understand it. I’ve met many, many Christians who have an overwhelming sense of compassion for the community, charity, and sympathy for those needing help. Your spiteful rhetoric doesn’t support that.What is there to fight about, anyway?Christianity already has too much influence over secular American business and politics. Why are businesses and alcohol sales closed on Sunday? Why does the government and banks close on Christmas and Easter? Why are the Christian 10 Comandmans in Public, government-funded schools and Courthouses in the first place? Why is gender-based discrimination still allowed in marraige? It’s not about sexual orientation, it’s about gender. We’re allowed to self-identify in this country, right? Why can a biological man who identifies (and by law legally recognized) as a woman legally marry a biological, self-identified man?Our constitutional republic is meant to protect the minority from the tyrrany of the majority. Please, for the ‘rest of us’, the Biblica “other people”, (found east of Eden in the land of Nod, where Cain, the only surviving son of Adam and Eve, the only two humans on the planet was cast out and met his wife) – for our sakes, keep religion out of politics. Take care of everybody, and let God sort ‘em out.

  • Reasonable not hateful

    Arminius:Nice to see you can discourse without insults…. who’s the Neatherdal? Actually, when it comes to the environment, I am more in the middle of the pack. I don’t trust corporations to keep the water and the air clean. Nixon WOULD have been a pretty good president if he had not been so paranoid. I don’t have problems with keeping bad people in prison, but marijuana users don’t qualify in that category. Obama thinks he can solve all our social problems as do many liberals. I won’t put my trust in a untested rookie that happens to speak well. McCain in the safe choice.

  • Reasonable not hateful

    Arminius:I have a religious aspect to how I vote also. That said, W betrayed religious people IMO.I would expect that in my years leading up to retirement, Obama will tax me to death. I can’t afford the increase in taxes. Government should be responsible in spending. Illegal immigration should be curtailed. Our Military should remain strong.

  • Paganplace

    RCG to Proud:Aww, did I miss some ‘hellfire?’ :) Why should anyone be ashamed or terrified of not believing in someone else’s world of shame and terror? Gods. Certainly have enough of pride not to cower in fear or shame before words I know are wrong. Those fears and shames and Hells are in *your* religion, not mind. I’m sure you figure you’ve got everyone else’s damnation all worked out, but God/dess didn’t put us all here to hang our tootsies over fires based on some interpretation of some translation of someone else’s book. Just ain’t so. People do that. I refuse.

  • Paganplace

    And no, ‘Reasonable,’ Obama’s not going to raise taxes on regular folk, …besides, Bush already deficit-spent us into an economy that *may as well* have been tax hikes. At least those would have gone to maintaining a crumbling infrastructure that corporations and CEOs make their tax-cut profits off using for free.Hardly does to get paranoid about tax raises when the other party has for sure sold half the country to China and raised the cost of living without doing anything about wages and benefits. That’s a tax, too, it just doesn’t go to the public.

  • Peace

    With the convincing victory of Obama the dawn of a new era has begun in U S and for that America and rest of the world should be grateful and hopefully will be better off

  • Paganplace

    So mote it be, Peace. Even after the election, we still gotta work for it, don’t forget, though. America ain’t a spectator sport. :)

  • Dan Turner

    Can we rescue a very good word? “Evangelical” does not belong to the right wing, the “religion for profit, success is gospel crowd!”I am a white 65 yr old Christian evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition (over 250 years running!) Evangelical means “good news” of Jesus saving us from our sin, and saving us to a life of “mercy, justice, and good” by a God of love. Evangelical as a political system does not exist in the Christian faith.To be sure, Believers should be involved in civic and political life. But Believers ought not use their “evangelical religion” so-called to bludgeon others into the “right values.”What values might an Evangelical Voter support in Obama? How about hope? How about concern for the poor? How about working for peaceful resolution of potentially violent situations? How about caring for the soldiers after they come home, caring for the widows? I believe all these are “family values” that can be supported by liberal and conservative alike.I don’t consider any politician a “savior” or a “saint”, and I’m sure America will survive with either a Republican or a Democratic President; but I do believe its time to give the polarization of the “Religious Right,” “subtle racism” and “sexism” a rest. We are Americans. I believe an Evangelical can be happy to support Obama on many of these points.

  • Anonymous

    Dan Turner sez, “I am a white 65 yr old Christian evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition (over 250 years running!)”Wesley was the employee of Satan.Matthew 16,- (Jesus Speaking)15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.Heretics shall burn in hell for all eternity!! Read that last line one more time.

  • BGone

    Don’t let being a heretic bother you Dan Turner. The heavenly father of Jesus was Lucifer, the angel that rebelled like Wesley, wanted to reform heaven the way Wesley reformed the church. Lucifer tried to throw God out of heaven and Wesley tried to throw the pope out.Not to worry. There’s a fire extinguisher in heaven. When you get to the house of the father of Jesus, (at 65 that’s coming right up) you can join His, Lucifer’s army. He’s still trying to throw God out of heaven and take over. When He does that both of you can use that fire extinguisher.The law of averages is way in Lucifer’s favor. Unfortunately, the odds remain the same, zero.

  • Racje

    Dan Turner,Thanks for reminding us what evangelical values are. These are not just “progressive” values, they are values for all Christians who seek to follow Jesus.Good news to the poor, help for widows and orphans, comfort for the sick, sight for the blind, liberation for the captives, food for the hungry, freedom for the oppressed, peace and goodwill among all people. I am a values voter.

  • Proud to be a Believer
  • Anonymous

    “Value” is a word with more than one meaning. Every ministry has a committee that determines the “value” of every family in the congregation, in dollars that can be expected to appear on the plate. Every business does the same thing so there’s nothing sinister in doing that.

  • Gerry

    Ptbab’s “deference” to Romans or any bible quote to prove the “truth” of bible contents is similar to someone who wants to prove the existences of Santa Claus: “But can’t you see his red coat? Can’t you see his white beard? Don’t you see his sleigh pulled by the elks? Doesn’t he bring presents to children? Doesn’t he appear around Christmas every year? And still you don’t believe he exists? How blind can you get!”

  • BGone

    GERRY:All religion begin by defining sins. Those sins return the favor by defining the particular religion. The Bible is a treasure trove of sins thus we have a treasure trove of Bible based religions. And you have no faith in any of them?Faith is faith and never the zero case, no faith.The only way to avoid sin and thus being a sinner is to have no faith. That makes those with no faith righteous -just like them. Maybe religion is a nothing. No matter how many nothings one has one still has nothing.Keep the no faith baby and refuse to acknowledge the existence of the number zero else there can be no faith for if there is a zero then no faith, the zero case of faith is also faith. Now you’re normal, just as confused as an evangelical.Wanna talk about values? How much is nothing worth? How much money does the Vatican have? Billy Graham ministries? Pat Robertson? Haggard and Haggee? Nothing is obviously worth trillions.

  • Fred

    Obama wants us to believe voting for McCain will be voting for four more years of Bush/Cheney.He, of course, can do better. He can offer us four more years of Jimmy Carter.

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