Obama’s Victory by the Numbers

The not-very-tightly-knit community of Faith and Values pundits is unevenly divided between Narrative People and Numbers People. The latter perform … Continued

The not-very-tightly-knit community of Faith and Values pundits is unevenly divided between Narrative People and Numbers People. The latter perform vital statistical surveys about religiously based voting patterns and public opinion. Though, at their worst, they tend to speak in sentences composed of a noun, a verb and a polling result.

Narrative People, such as myself, are somewhat harder to find. We tend to look for larger cultural, historical and theological patterns. On the downside we are often bad at math, having barely made it out of trigonometry in eleventh grade. We are divas, rogue theorists and often spend way too much on clothes. And sometimes we overreach.

Tomorrow, in my valedictory, I overreach and look for the big stories of 2008. But today we defer to the Numbers People. Some of the data to be considered has been graciously collated and interpreted by the 501(c)3 group Faith in Public Life which held an informative conference call yesterday for journalists.

The Evangelicals: For months now I have been telling anyone who would listen that Obama would win this election if he could siphon away from McCain 5% or more of the Evangelicals who voted for George W. Bush in 2004. Obama did that. Sort of.

McCain scored 74-75% of the Evangelical vote, roughly 5% less than the 79% Bush received. But Obama seems only to have improved upon Kerry’s numbers by 3-4% nationally. Kerry scored 21%, Obama around 24% (though his increases were higher in crucial states like Ohio and North Carolina).

I was of the opinion that the religion-friendly Senator from Illinois was going to better Kerry’s totals by 8-10%. (In June, even conservative Evangelical commentators were lamenting that he was going to take as much as 40% of the overall Evangelical vote). In the end, however, his gains were modest, but still significant. I’ll spin this all into a narrative tomorrow.

Roman Catholics: That other quarter of the electorate–you know, the quarter that campaign strategists get less excited about because they haven’t voted in a huge unified block since 1964–provided a huge boost for the Democrats. Obama’s religious outreach team really scored big in swinging the Catholic vote back to the Democratic column. He won by 55%-44%.

As Dr. Stephen Schneck noted in yesterday’s conference call, these numbers suggest that the Christian Right’s dream of uniting Catholics and Conservative Protestants into one massive majoritarian constituency is in tatters.

The Jews: Here my predictions were right and wrong. I was adamant, correctly so, that the Jewish vote was not going to be a game changer in this election. (It wasn’t). But I was off in suggesting that Jewish support for the GOP presidential candidate would rise incrementally in 2008, as it has in every national election since 1992. Obama captured 77-78% of the Jewish vote (as opposed to the 70-73% I envisioned). This was a two percent increase over Kerry in 2004.

This figure grows more impressive when we recall that polls in July were showing Obama hovering around the unusually low mark of 62% among Jews, á la Jimmy Carter of 1980. It is too soon to explain what caused this nearly sixteen-point shift in the span of a few months (and the Numbers People will remind us that exit polls are a sort of roll of the dice) . Let me point out, however, that Obama built a truly formidable network of Jewish surrogates who canvassed hard for him among Members of the Tribe. It also seems safe to say that Sarah Palin, should she run in 2012, will need a Jewish religious imaging consultant.

The Secular Vote: In my book Thumpin’ It I argued that after their defeat in 2004 the Democrats wagered that they needed to change their image as “The Party of Secularism.” They also bet that their new pro-religion public face would not trigger a massive defection of persnickety Church-State types that comprised a reliable segment of their base.

The gamble paid off. According to CNN exit polls, secularists overlooked Obama’s fairly relentless God Talk and gave him 75% of their ballot. He carried them in the primaries as well.

Obama never called out the leaders of the Christian Right as John McCain once did in 2000. In some ways he posed an equal or greater risk to the integrity of the Wall than his Republican counterpart. Still, the unchurched and nonbelievers are overwhelmingly liberal and everything suggests that they forgave the party that could hardly pronounce their name in 2008.

By Jacques Berlinerblau | 
November 5, 2008; 11:08 PM ET


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  • FRIENDENEMY

    I went to vote for Ralph Nadar and Palin got in the way so I voted for Obama.

  • Janet

    David Waters:You did, in fact, delete Observer12′s posts, not only on this thread, but on Fr. Reese’s thread as well.Considering that you have ignored numerous requests to delete highly offensive anti-Jewish racist posts, what are we to make of this?You delete comments that PROTEST anti-semitic comments, but allow to remain the anti-semitic comments….Dear God.

  • Janet

    David Waters:KINDLY DELETE THE ANTI-SEMITIC COMMENTS OF CCNL, SOMETHING YOU HAVE YET TO DO, DESPITE NUMEROUS REQUESTS.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Does Observer12/Janet consider Rabbi Wolpe and many of the 1.5 million Conservative Jews to be anti-semitic/anti-Jewish???And we see Observer12/Janet finally spelled “Plouffe” correctly!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Observer12, Your potty-mouthed post on the Reese was personally offensive and that is why it was deleted. I wrote just once I would like to read something you said without smelling sulpher and feeling like I’d just gargled sewrage and you responded by calling me a c..t.That is why your stuff was deleted you mindless, muck-mired moron.

  • Luis C. Fernandez

    Please understand the difference between percent and percentage point.”But Obama seems only to have improved upon Kerry’s numbers by 3-4% nationally. Kerry scored 21%, Obama around 24% (though his increases were higher in crucial states like Ohio and North Carolina).”Obama improved upon Kerry’s numbers by 3-4 percentage points, not 3-4%.

  • Observer12

    Anonymous Mary Cunningham:Kindly look back at Fr. Reese’s thread. Less foul language and less anti-semitism would serve you well.CCNL:Kindly spare us both the anti-semitism and the false accusations.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Once again:Does Observer12/Janet consider Rabbi Wolpe and many of the 1.5 million Conservative Jews to be anti-semitic/anti-Jewish???And we see Observer12/Janet finally spelled “Plouffe” correctly!!!!

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Jacque, Jacque, Jacque,You did not vote so why are you commenting on the election?????

  • Peter

    What caused the 16% shift in the Jewish vote in favor of Obama were those horrendous McCain-Palin rallies – the ones where the McCain supporters we’re screaming “Kill him! Kill him!” and worse. No Jew seeing that sort of thing could not but help think of unfortunate historical precedents, to put it mildly.

  • blueball

    On the subject raised, (not the posts so far):The evangelicals have no permanent kinship with catholics, just common interests in imposing moral values on others through the christian narrative. Catholics are useful to them because of their stance on social issues and stake in restricting women’s health choices.catholics are far better able to accept reality over biblical myths, and 8 years of puritan rule simply became untenable to many of them. Enough of them voted to accept reality, this time;

  • KB

    I must express my extreme disappointment at some of our Catholic officials’ behavior/statements during this election. In particular, a radio address by Bishop Gracida of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, TX, who recorded a message that reads, “This is Bishop Rene H. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience. A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate.” With the addition of the candidate’s middle name, Bishop Gracida used the tactic of inciting hatred, fear, and racism into his message against Obama. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope there was no malice intended, however, given the extensive coverage of the issue of race in this election, I cannot help but have an inkling of doubt in my heart that he knew full well what he was doing. That said, I expect much, much more from our Catholic leaders. It would have been easy to dismiss an everyday Catholic parishioner making the same statement, but I believe our leaders should be held to a higher standard. It is inexcusable for that kind of behavior among the leaders of the Catholic Church and I am ashamed to be associated with the Bishop’s statement as it is written. No one refers to Mr. McCain or any other candidate in an unofficial capacity using his middle name. There was no other reason for Bishop Gracida to do so in this case. His message, with which I agree, would have been just as effective. However, with a single word, he likely alienated the nearly 2 million Black Catholics in this country. I pray for the Catholic Church, especially our leaders that they will be as vociferous in their condemnation of ALL evils as they are in their condemnation of abortion.God Bless.

  • Aprilskye

    Despite being raised Catholic I am a staunch secularist. Religion is a personal decision and has little to do with my views on government. Social justice is so important to me that it flavors my political views. It is continually amazing to me that so many people vote against their own interests to keep the Republican party in power. They seem to allow wedge issues, and sometimes just ONE wedge issue, to determine how they vote rather than stepping back and assessing the whole picture of what a candidate stands for and how that translates into the effect it will have on their own life. If more people did a pro/con list on candidates I believe they would be amazed how often they are voting against their interests, economic among many others.

  • manichaean

    “… Still, the unchurched and nonbelievers are overwhelmingly liberal and …”Well, is that so? Berlinerblau, you and I certainly know a different set of people. Most of the nonbelievers I know are quite libertarian, though not ideologically so.We don’t like true believers of any kind, be they religious or political. Far too many of the so-called liberal progressives differ from the fundamentalists only in what they wish to impose, they seem to be solidly in agreement that the government should be used to impose those “values.”We much prefer the more hands-off approach the liberals take to the decisions one makes regarding one’s own life, but this does not make us liberal.Keep the word “impose” right up front in your mind.

  • cagorham2007

    So is the purpose for Christians voting to deem every one that considers themselves liberal as anti-Christian and Republican as pro-Jesus?These articles are so sad to read if not comical behind the so-called Christian-Right’s mission to control the federal government to FORCE everyone to accept their beliefs.Try preaching the gospel and let people make their own choices of whether they choose to accept the message or not. Or better yet, READ THE BIBLE and everyone will see what matter most to Jesus.

  • mandrake

    I would like to think that most Americans aren’t as fanatically “secular” as people believe. I think it’s more likely that they choose not to wear their faith on their sleeves, which is fine with me. So maybe the “secular” vote that Obama received is more “religious” than we think.

  • TWstroud

    JACQUES BERLINERBLAU would do well to read “The Holy Reich”. Hitler legitimately won majority status in the Reichstag by uniting over- enfranchised rural fundamentalists – a major feat considering the centuries old animosity between Lutherans and Catholics. Much of the Furher’s PR tactics and prose was lifted by Rove. Please read the well written, intellectual book – I am not making this up! Their election strategy was the same: target geography that had fewer voters per electoral vote (and Senate). Damn the Weimar Cabaret! (aka Hollywood liberals). What we may be witnessing is assertion of the more urban over the more rural in spite of electoral college distortions. The 2010 census will further dilute the grip of small population states though not as much as I’d like. Also, the religious right is being properly diluted by those guided by the Gospels rather than a very narrow reading of Leviticus. In short, they are being trumped by those more truly Christian.

  • norman ravitch

    The Christian evangelicals have never really renounced their anti-Catholic fanaticism. But neither did the Catholic church until the Second Vatican Council fifty years agok renounce its belief that Protestants were damned to hell. I say that we should reject all these Christian fanatics.

  • Joe M

    Not too surprised except would have expected a greater margin from my fellow Catholics. The GOP has a problem from here on out with the present reduced leadership. While greatly respecting our foundation of “Freedom of Religion” and Rick Waren’s “new” Evangelicals, the older Evangelical and Pentecostal intolerance for others scares me and a lot of others.Obama’s put together a broad coalition and redrawn the map for the Democratic Party. If the Congressional leadership doesn’t screw it up, the GOP will lose even more seats in 2010.

  • Lynn Loyd

    How do you know that a larger percentage of Catholics actually voted for Obama? I don’t recall stating my religion on my voting ballot. If a Catholic was to vote for Obama they are voting for Pro-Choice which is against the beliefs of the Catholic Faith. Furthermore, how can you determine which percentage of any religion voted for Obama or McCain. I would love to know your sources.

  • Steve

    Jews will never vote for Palin who’s church hosted Jews for Jesus ministers, and those that cliamed that Jews were the bankers. And then one of McCain’s ministerial backers said that the Holocaust was part of God’s plan.And the media didn’t play that up like Wright, but those sound bites and Youtubes flowed across the internet.

  • Anne Laurance

    I am particularly interested in how the individual Catholic Bishops speak publicly in their Dioceses. Catholics are very dependent on lay leadership for the day to day pastoral care that happens in their parishes and these ministers increasingly own their souls, so to speak. That does not mean that there will be acrimonious open conflict between the hierarchy and Catholic lay leadership, but this situation is going to effect change in how Catholics conduct themselves in the public realm. I was struck last evening, for instance, by Mark Shields and David Brooks on the “News Hour”: both cited Catholic social teaching, (Brooks did so explicitly) as they went over the Obama election speech.

  • Anonymous

    Since there was no atheist running for president, and there is not likely to be one in the next election, (but who knows?) atheists have to choose between two candidates who talk religion. Atheists are more likely to vote the policies of their choice, rather than consider the religious values of the candidates. If McCain and Palin are hugely unpopular among atheists it is because their pro-life stand could translate into policies (eg. appointing prolife judges with intent to overthrow Roe vs Wade), not necessarily because of the Church they worship in. Neither McCain nor Palin are fundamentalists who are intolerant of other Christian denomination or religions. It is unfair to accuse them of fundamentalism simply because they did not talk with enough political eloquence about being accepting of other religions.

  • poorrichard

    Any evangelical political power broker who thought they could realistically align American Catholics with the Christian right completely misunderstands the temperment of the American Catholics. Actually, the American Bishops completely misunderstand the temperment of the American Catholics.There are the older one steeped in conservative orthodoxy imbued in them with the terror of mother superiors, Monsignors whose names they can’t recall and parents who defended the clergy’s right to do whatever was necessary to bring religion to their children. We all know what happened between those lines…Credibility in Church leadership operates in negative territory.Arrogance of high level church leadership and disregard for church membership sentiments is at all time high.And there are so many of us who are unbelievably embarassed by the Bush Administrations co-opting, not once but twice, the Leadership of the American Bishops to support his invasion, occupation, attacks on human rights, American civil rights, and stewardship of the environment.Like anyone was going to listen to the Bishops this time around.Fool me once. Shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on them.

  • poorrichard

    Blew my punch line’Fool me once, shame on them. Fool me twice. Shame on me.’

  • poorrichard

    Blew my punch line’Fool me once, shame on them. Fool me twice shame on me’

  • Anonymous

    People on the upper and lower rungs of the social order are more likely to vote their purse first before their values – the lower rung wanting to survive, the upper rung not wanting to lose the luxuries. People in the middle, who are not trapped in a struggle for survival and who are not greedy are more likely to vote their values first.

  • Anonymous

    As CCNL rightly pointed out, without a box with religion marked on it on the ballot paper, the percentages claimed is hypothesis. Surveys can’t be expected to be very accurate.

  • Anonymous

    New immigrants struggling to make their way may vote Democrat until they begin to make big bucks. When survival is no longer a priority, they may look around to vote values. They may remain Democrats or change sides.In any election cycle the concern of the day will get top priority in the choices people make.

  • Hipolito Lagares

    I get butterflies in my stomach when I hear religious leaders going to bed with politicians and political parties.In our Country the Christian right supported George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.What kind of christianity is that?All the carnage that it is still going on in Iraq.And by the way, the USA helped Iraq write their constitution where the Iraq constitution mainly discriminates against christians in Iraq.How can the christian right in our country tolerate such an ofense against the people of God?I guess unless the people of Iraq are not children of God.

  • Janet

    CCNL;You and your fellow Catholic racist Mary Cunningham are rife with false accusations which are part and parcel of your racist heritage.Shame on you both. You discredit not only Catholicism, but Christianity.Thou shalt not lie.Thou shalt not bear false witness.

  • cornbread_r2

    Though admittedly anecdotal, among the reasons cited by my (mostly devout) Catholic acquaintances for voting for Obama:-They were tired of being used as tools by the Republicans on the abortion issue.-They didn’t like being told who not to vote for.-They couldn’t force themselves to pull the lever for that ignoramus Palin.

  • Anonymous

    Janet:CCNL;You and your fellow Catholic racist Mary Cunningham are rife with false accusations which are part and parcel of your racist heritage.Shame on you both. You discredit not only Catholicism, but Christianity.Thou shalt not lie.Thou shalt not bear false witness.November 6, 2008 5:58 PM______________________________________________Are the following the same person?JanetObserver12Sparrow4FarnazAll of the above are atheist/agnostic Jews and virulently anti-Catholic.

  • spiderman2

    “the Christian Right’s dream of uniting Catholics and Conservative Protestants into one massive majoritarian constituency is in tatters. “Most Catholics are ignorant of the Bible. That is the problem Evangelicals and Catholics should solve first before making any political alliance.While the evagelicals point to Christ as their leader, Catholics point to the pope in Rome. That’s a very big difference if you understand what that means.

  • spiderman2

    cornbread_r2 wrote “-They couldn’t force themselves to pull the lever for that ignoramus Palin. “This is the thing Im talking about. How can Palin be ignorant if 89 percent of Alaska approved of her job?While the evagelicals point to Christ as their leader, Catholics point to the pope in Rome. This is the cause of the kind of IGNORANCE Catholics display which Im talking about.

  • spiderman2

    Hipolito Lagares blames the Christian right for the “carnage” in Iraq.This is another ignorance displayed by many catholics. The Americans are peacekeepers there, idiot. Maybe you should try visiting Iraq and experience for yourselves who’s going to behead or blow you to pieces once you set your foot there.Im sure you believe in evolution. You seem to make monkeys more intelligent than humans.

  • Anonymous

    Anon, Anon, Anon whoever you are:The following is taken directly from the conclusions of Rabbi Wolpe of the Conservative Jews of America and from the conclusions of most of the contemporary historic Jesus exegetes. Are you calling these people racists/bigots??1. Abraham founder/father of three major religions was either the embellishment of the lives of three different men or aMany of the 1.5 million Conservative Jews and many of their rabbis have relegated Abraham to the myth pile along with most if not all the OT.Realization that the Jews are not god’s not chosen people. http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/ConservativeTorah.htm 2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects. The 30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics. For added “pizzazz”, Catholic/Christian theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the “pew people” to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the “filicider”. Current crises:Pedophiliac priests, atonement theology and original sin!!!!3. Luther, Calvin, Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley et al, founders of Christian-based religions, also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingie thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).

  • Arminius

    “How can Palin be ignorant if 89 percent of Alaska approved of her job?”Perhaps because 89% of Alaskans are ignorant. Just like the 53 million who re-elected our current Neanderthal of a president, the Shrub, were ignorant. Fortunately, the electorate learned, and we now have a real leader.Oh, yeah, a majority of Germans approved of Hitler too. Go figure – if you can.

  • Farnaz

    CCNL:You misrepresent Rabbi Wolpe from beginning to end, and although I don’t always agree with him, I respect him. Never in a million years, not in a billion would he refer to Moses in the way you do. Neither would he say what you did about anything else. NONE of it. But again, we’ll content ourselves with the forgoing. Since Jews never refer to themselves as “the chosen people,” particularly not those at the site you give, you are lying–LYING.The truly pathetic thing is that I posted on Susan Jacoby’s thread that I believed you had a thread of decency in you. I confess I was rather alone in that sentiment. Now, there is no one who harbors it.1. Moses the “Tablet-Man” who talked to burning bushes and made much magic in Egypt.Current crisis:Realization that the Jews are not god’s not chosen people.www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/ConservativeTorah.htm

  • Arminius

    Hi, Farnaz,I am pleased that you finally have awakened to the fraud that the Bewildered Bagel really is.

  • Farnaz

    Hi Arminius,Well, you were right all along. What can I say? And his posts on Susan Jacoby’s thread are stark staring mad, those on Prof. SA’s bigoted and disgusting. Either he’s gone over the edge, or he was always there.Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, this is a good week for the US. It was also good to see the old John McCain, whom I recognized during his concession speech. As I’ve mentioned, I could never have voted for him in any election, simply because our politics differ far too much. However, I always respected him. I respected him for his efforts at campaign finance reform, for the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, for his heroism in the Vietnam War, and for much more. It was good to see him back again after so much negative campaigning.Let us hope that a new day is slowly going to dawn.Regards,PS. Arminius, if you want to know more about CCNL’s Muffinist theology, click on the link Wiccan posted on Susan Jacoby’s thread.

  • Arminius

    Farnaz,I checked out the site recommended by Wiccan – see my reply there. CCNL should now be known as ‘Fluffy’.Agreed, the old McCain came through at the end, and that was really great. I might have voted for him in 2000, because I admire mavericks (true ones) and was disgusted with both parties at the time. But he sold himself out for the nomination. Ironic – the old McCain might have been elected this year (minus Palin, of course), but the old McCain would never have been nominated.

  • spiderman2

    Arminius wrote “Perhaps because 89% of Alaskans are ignorant.”Im not sure what is your pastime. Is it counting stones? The bears in Alaska seems like have a better and more intelligent pastime than you have.The people of Alaska are receiving money (cash)from their government from oil taxes Palin imposed. If you were the governor of Alaska, the bears would eat you, Im sure. You wouldn’t know the difference between a bear and a teddy bear. Here’s an info that would help you manage to escape from bears. You don’t hug a bear.

  • Arminius

    Spidey,Your ignorance is profound, and possibly fatal.Bears – I grew up in the mountains of East Tennessee, and I am very familiar with bears. Have you ever awakened in the deep woods, in the middle of the night, with a bear looking at you, his head a bare two feet away from yours? I have. Don’t tell me about bears, you puny cockroach.Of course, as usual, you made no real answer to my post. You never do. You never can.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    “The New York Times article, titled ‘As Rabbis Face Facts, Bible Tales Are Wilting,’ opens:‘Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.”"One contributor to Etz Hayim, rabbi David Wolpe of Los Angeles, says that the rejection of the Bible as literally true ‘is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis.’ In the back of the new commentary are 41 essays—some quite radical. In one essay on ‘Ancient Near Eastern Mythology,’ Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, says that modern scholarship links the Genesis account of origins and the Flood to Mesopotamian myths, e.g. Gilgamesh (but see Was Genesis copied from pagan mythology?). In another essay on ‘Biblical Archaeology,’ Lee I. Levine, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, questions the Biblical account of Jericho, arguing that the town was apparently empty and unprotected when the Hebrew people settled the area. “Google the subject to get more references to Rabbi Wolpe and other Conservative Jews and their take on the OT.

  • Farnaz

    CCNL:Here is what I posted to you. Below are the LYING claims you made. This is my last post on this matter. The truly pathetic thing is that I posted on Susan Jacoby’s thread that I believed you had a thread of decency in you. I confess I was rather alone in that sentiment. Now, there is no one who harbors it.1. Moses the “Tablet-Man” who talked to burning bushes and made much magic in Egypt.Current crisis:Realization that the Jews are not god’s not chosen people.www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/ConservativeTorah.htm

  • spiderman2

    AnthonyGenX “He shows more commitment and dedication than a certain Alaskan I know who struggles with primary school geography.”Yup, 89 percent of Alaska approved of Palin’s job. And if you’re correct that she is not committed and dedicated, maybe that explains why the remaining 11 percent were not satisfied. Good point. I don’t know idiots are also that smart.

  • cornbread_r2

    Spiderman2 asked: “How can Palin be ignorant if 89 percent of Alaska approved of her job?”Are you really sure you want to postulate a correlation between intelligence and popularity?

  • spiderman2

    Arminius wrote “Have you ever awakened in the deep woods, in the middle of the night, with a bear looking at you, his head a bare two feet away from yours? I have.”Wow, you should go to Alaska. Bears in Alaska are smarter. They would eat you whole if you sleep in their territory. Good you didn’t hug that bear otherwise it could have eaten you. I was right all along. You can’t live in Alaska for a month.

  • spiderman2

    Cornbread wrote “Are you really sure you want to postulate a correlation between intelligence and popularity?”Sure, go elect a monkey for mayor and see how the city goes.

  • labia majora

    both mcain and obama are the ideological sons and the intelluctual heirs of america both came from the same background.why would the american mass public vote for obama and not vote for mcain?why would a majority juchristian nation heads and ideology vote for christian/liberal obama and not for christian/fundmentalist mcain?this election proved the following,2-laisse faire laisse pass$ america is always embraced by secularism and liberalism not with the godly resricted regulated laisse faire laisse pass where people are not willing for nor commited to.3-juchristianity still in the box and up to no government despite the overwhelming majority.4-you cannot play god and secularism on the same election theater what is for god is for god and what is for hollywood is for hollywood.5- when the constitution of the united state of america is replaced by the bible ,only then you can count on the juchristians voices and numbers.

  • David Crosby

    Catholics and their new pit bull evangelicals have spewed more hate and sown more lies than any group in history. You are death and tyranny and your god(dead 2000 years)cares not and is not.

  • Anonymous

    Spiderman2:You have been bringing disgrace on Christianity with your hate filled posts. Surely that is NOT what they teach in your Church? Hate and contempt for others?

  • Anonymous

    Farnaz:You’ll have to get used to the fact that Christians have been reading the OT (Tanak to Jews) for two thousand years. A decent length of time by any reckoning to have some authoritative interpretations from a Christian perspective. The NT is the first cross referenced Scripture in history.Since Christianity is not restricted to any ethnic group, the number of Christian scholars have been much greater than Jews. The tradition of celibate clergy also allowed for full time dedication to Scripture study by literally thousands and thousands of Christian scholars. Protestant clergy have been no less enthusiastic about the study of Scripture than the Jews.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a great fan of Rabbi David Wolpe. I love listening to his sermons on video. As a Christian I was surprised at how similar his sermon was to a Christian one. Then I remembered we worship the same God and Christianity is a fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Although I was so moved by Rabbi Wolpe’s sermon, I couldn’t help missing Jesus. I keep missing Jesus, that is why I remain a Christian even when I enjoy non-Christian worship, and feel an extra special bond with Judaism.

  • Tonio

    The political alliance between religious-right voters and Catholic voters never seemed all that strong in the first place. While both groups share a fervent opposition to abortion and gay marriage, they are deeply divided on a range of theological issues. Among fundamentalism there is a huge amount of hostility toward Catholicism, and I don’t know if the reverse is true.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Obama’s Victory By the Numbers:The fastest growing voting demographic: The 70 million “mothers and fathers of aborted children” whose ranks grow by two million per year. They easily put President-elect Obama in the White/Blood Red House!!!!

  • Jihadist

    Mr. Jacques Berlinerblau,Thank you for your thoughts as in your piece, “Obama’s Victory by the Numbers”.It is by numbers, and the percentage difference between electoral college votes and popular votes is quite a bit. Perhaps, the Narrative People can make more sense in their narrative by looking at numbers, and the Numbers People can find a more coherent narrative in looking at the numbers. Perhaps, Narrative People can do better in looking at not just the “larger cultural, historical and theological patterns”, but also the current economic factors and sociological trends too.The EvangelicalsThat was some maths on percentage points of who scored more of the Evangelical votes, Kerry or Obama, or, for that matter, Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin. I do believe a Evangelical did point out to me in a post in another thread of yours that the Evangelicals are not a monolithic group. Must be the progressive or liberal or modernist or post-modernist or pragmatic or secularist evangelicals who were siphoned off by Obama/Biden. Roman CatholicsOne is tempted to speculate that it was the not quite conservative, or lapsed, or nominal, or maverick or neo-realist Catholics who gave the Democrats a boost. The JewsPerhaps, in the end, in the voting booth, whatever their views are on Israel (a subject raised by the Presidential candidates and many writers on the Jewish American votes as a determining element in their support) the Jewish Americans all decided that they are voting for an American President and not the Isreali Prime Minister. They voted what is best for America.The Secular VoteThe Secular vote is not a single issue vote. The “Secularists” are also concerned about social issues and the economy too. Obama talks God, but is sending out messages he is not imposing God or any particular God on anyone. His stance on social and economic issues also appeals to them. Get the issues which engrossed the voters, get the issues that raised or lowered the temperatures of voters as espoused by candidates, get the narratives, and thus the outcome by numbers would not be a suprise. The Narrative People has the advantage of, well, narration in words, and there are many, many words to go this way and that way and to reflect nuances – “big” can be gigantic, elephantine, tremendous, momentous, huge, large etc. But 1 + 1 = 2 and nothing else, and tells nothing on why it is so? Making and finding narratives from and in numbers is an art, no? A wonderful speculative, ruminative, pontificating art. I am trying to go beyond a noun, a verb and a polling result, so, going by numbers, it is a momentous, a tremendous, a significant win for Obama and America which gives credence to the narratives of Americans desiring “change”. Thanks and regardsJ a People of the Numbers

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Something for the Reality Challenged and Obfuscating Jihadist to work on since her commentary about our presidential race falls of deaf ears:A rewrite of the Worst Book Ever Written, i.e.the koran, would go a long way in making President-elect Obama’s job a lot easier. Said rewrite would delete all the warmongering, death-to-all infidels and oppression of women passages in the current version. And all the dictates made by the “pretty wingie thingie” aka Gabriel to the hallucinating Mahound aka Mohammed would be referenced as such in the new edition with said references added as to where the passages were really taken from.

  • Jihadist

    Hello Farnaz,Much food for thought in your post. The EvangelicalsGranted, the Protestants of all sects and persuasions are the majority in America. Of course, by sheer number, comprise the majority in governance, in the media, academia, business etc. But Evangelicals comprise some 80 million Americans, their numbers are growing, and their votes obviously counts. Ironic to state that Muslim nations, National Socialist bailout process etc are “enslaving” the “rest” of Americans. The world doth think American business, media, government dominate the world by sheer size, by all enveloping presence – from military bases to the so-called McDonalisation of the world. And Muslim states (Saudi Arabia and Gulf states) who bought into US financial institutions, including financial instruments, including derivatives peddled by Lehman Bros. got burned, not profit from them. They are called, “dumb money”, especially the sovereign wealth funds of those countries. Roman CatholicsA wee obvious to state Catholics also control the judiciary and legislative houses in the US due to sheer numbers? Or, is it an over-stretch? After all, I did see a fair amount of vilifications against Catholics even in On Faith threads by members of other Christian churches, denominations and sects. And when were the Catholic clergy and/or Vatican never involved in politics and social issues in the first, second and especially, the third world? And even in the UN organisations? There is a Catholic worldview as we all know, and catholic with a small “c” means universal too. The JewsYes, the mind is a terrible thing to waste, and waste it we do, every day. If “Jews can and will vote for whomever they wish whenever they wish, say what they want when they want” as you stated, it is apparent even in On Faith threads that others too display and assert that right. The African-Americans are, the Pagans are, the Secularists are, the Catholics are, even Muslims for McCain are. Good for them. A coalition of newly energised and politically aware minorities can beat a disparate and disputing majority as this election also show? Seems to me it was not only Evangelicals who were energised, but those in opposition of their worldview. Pontification and speculation cost nothing if right, and nothing if wrong for you and me. But for those in politics, they are consigned to political wilderness by their own party, the media, the voters when they miscalculated on what they think people want and need. We have to ask Palin, now back in Alaska, on that. Regards

  • Farnaz

    Hello Jihadist,The OnFaith censor will not allow me to reply to your post.Interesting.

  • Jihadist

    Hello FarnazI don’t think anyone is censoring you. No reason why. It just takes a while for the posts to come out I think, some two or three minutes as stated, if that is too long for you. Regards, but I got to go and looking forward to your response later.Regards

  • Farnaz

    Hello Jihadist,I’m afraid I’m being censored. No matter how many times I’ve tried to post, I keep getting back the same message, that “my comment it being held for approval by the blog owner.”There’s nothing offensive in it, no “bad words,” etc. and I’ve been trying to post for over an hour.Censorship is what’s afoot, but why I cannot imagine.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Tis amazing that the Reality Challenged and Obfuscating Jihadist knows all about the politics of the USA but remains clueless about the significant flaws and errors of Islam as is so “blatantly” clear in the koran, the Worst Book ever Written.A rewrite of the Worst Book Ever Written would go a long way in making President-elect Obama’s job a lot easier. Said rewrite would delete all the warmongering, death-to-all infidels and oppression of women passages in the current version. And all the dictates made by the “pretty wingie thingie” aka Gabriel to the hallucinating Mahound aka Mohammed would be referenced as such in the new edition with said references added as to where the passages were really taken from.

  • Farnaz

    Part II:Jihadist: A wee obvious to state Catholics also control the judiciary and legislative houses in the US due to sheer numbers? Or, is it an over-stretch? After all, I did see a fair amount of vilifications against Catholics even in On Faith threads by members of other Christian churches, denominations and sectsMoi: Not at all obvious, as the Catholics are not the majority in this country and, hence, their dominance of the Court and Senate must needs be explained. Their ongoing racism with respect to us J people requires no explanation. Tables do turn, Jihadist, when people decide to turn them. What you have been reading is known s “polemics,” of the table-turning variety. And I’m not done. Jihadist: And when were the Catholic clergy and/or Vatican never involved in politics and social issues in the first, second and especially, the third world? And even in the UN organisations? There is a Catholic worldview as we all know, and catholic with a small “c” means universal too.Moi: Irrelevant. There are requirements for religious groups to retain tax exempt status, a status I strongly object to, since I believe in the wisdom of separating Church and State. The Vatican and Fundies, Opus Dei, violated them. That should be the end of their tax exempt status.Thank you for the the “c” explanation. Most illuminating. Protestant also means “protester.”Jihadist: JewsYes, the mind is a terrible thing to waste, and waste it we do, every day. If “Jews can and will vote for whomever they wish whenever they wish, say what they want when they want” as you stated, it is apparent even in On Faith threads that others too display and assert that right. The African-Americans are, the Pagans are, the Secularists are, the Catholics are, even Muslims for McCain are. Good for them. Moi: Yes. However, better for their immortal souls, if they would give up on their racist hatred of Jews, that is, those who harbor them, since they deplete gray matter and deforms them.

  • Farnaz

    Hello Jihadist,Part I:Jihadist: And Muslim states (Saudi Arabia and Gulf states) who bought into US financial institutions, including financial instruments, including derivatives peddled by Lehman Bros. got burned, not profit from them. They are called “dumb money”, especially the sovereign wealth funds of those countries. Moi: A bit obvious and ironic to focus on Lehman Bros., the one company whose CEO was Jewish, and I would add, the one company selected by Billionaire Secretary of the Treasury, Born Again Poulson, whose fortune was made on Derivatives. It is also said that Billionaire Born Again Christian Secretary of the Treasury Poulson KNEW ABOUT THE IMPENDING CRASH LONG BEFORE IT HAPPENED, BUT THAT ALONG WITH CHRISTIAN (BAILED OUT) AIG, KEPT IT ALL GOING TO GET MORE MONEY.Meanwhile, back at the economics farm, economists such as the Jewish Nobel Prize Winner, Paul Krugman have been sounding the alarm for years.Jihadist: ironic to state that Muslim nations, National Socialist bailout process etc are “enslaving” the “rest” of Americans. The world doth think American business, media, government dominate the world by sheer size, by all enveloping presence – from military bases to the so-called McDonalisation of the world.Moi: It would not have been ironic, even if I did say this, which I didn’t. Expected, and therefore not ironic, that you would misrepresent what I wrote.Here is what I wrote, which is quite without irony, as a glance at the now restored out of control gas prices will show:”The Protestants of all sects and persuasions are the majority in this country, control the House, presidency, media, with the Catholics and Oil-exporting Muslim nations, with the bailout corps, and the National Socialist bailout process, that the rest of us are now enslaved to, they control the economy.”

  • Farnaz

    Meant to write:Moi: A bit obvious and ironic to focus on Lehman Bros., the one company whose CEO was Jewish, and I would add, the one company selected by Billionaire Secretary of the Treasury, Born Again Poulson, whose fortune was made on Derivatives, not to be bailed out.To Whom and What It May Concern:Jews will vote for whom they want when they want, will say what they want to whom they want when they want.There is open to all anti-Jewish racists of all persuasions the following option: Bite me

  • Farnaz

    TIME FOR ANOTHER REALITY CHECK:Nazi Connection To Franciscan Order Uncovered Near MedjugorjeSiroki Brijeg, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Near the site of a World War II wartime massacre of Serb women and children by Croatian Nazis stands a Franciscan Monastery. It’s just down the road from Medjugorje or “Miracle City” where the Virgin Mary is said to put in nightly appearances for the tens of thousands of Roman Catholic pilgrims who flock there each year. The Franciscan Monastery at Sirkoi Brijeg and its controversial contents are at the center of an international scandal involving the Franciscans, Croatian ultra nationalists and the Vatican Bank.A lawsuit, Alperin v. Vatican Bank, filed in San Francisco Federal Court in November 1999 by Serb, Jewish, and Ukrainian Holocaust survivors against the Vatican Bank and Franciscans seeks return of Nazi loot stolen from wartime Yugoslavia. According to a 1998 US State Department report, the money known as the Ustasha Treasury, is thought to have been concealed in the Vatican and used in part to fund the escape of Nazi and Croatian war criminals to South America. The Franciscans acted as facilitators and middlemen in moving the contents of the Ustasha Treasury from Croatia to Austria, Italy and finally South America.The Franciscans have denied their wartime ties to the Ustasha regime in Croatia, which slaughtered over 700,000 Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies and set the stage for today’s ethnic battles in the Balkans. However, in Siroki Brijeg, plaintiffs’ attorneys have obtained tangible proof of the Nazi Franciscan connection. Cameramen working for Phillip Kronzer, a staunch foe of Medjugorje and its Marian apparitions obtained entry to the Monastery and filmed a secret shrine honoring the Ustashe. A plaque dedicated to Franciscan monks who were Ustasha members was filmed along with a massive shrine lining the walls complete with photographs of Ustasha soldiers some in Nazi uniforms. The admonition, “Recognize us, We are yours” can clearly be discerned in the video footage. On a later visit to the monastery the shrine had been dismantled but the videotape preserved the evidence and has now been made available by the Kronzer Foundation.Just as in World War II, Medjugorje in the 1990′s was the site of brutal ethnic cleansing by Croat nationalists. Alperin plaintiffs have alleged that Medjugorje and its facilities are connected with the Ustasha Treasury and the monastery at Siroki Brijeg seems to provide hard evidence of the connection.

  • Farnaz

    REALITY CHECK CONTINUED:As more secret documents become public, it is Fr. Krunoslav Draganovic, who emerges as the most significant player of all. The Franciscan had been a senior official of the Ustasha committee that handled the forced conversion of the Serbs. In 1943, the Ustasha arranged with the Church for Draganovic to be sent to Rome. There he served at a seminary of Croatian monks that was in fact a center of clandestine Ustasha activity. He also became the Ustasha’s unofficial emissary at the Vatican and liaison to the Vatican organization to aid war refugees. Draganovic and collaborators such as Fr. Golik provided the means and support, including forged Red Cross passports, for a number ofUstasha war criminals to escape justice. Through an underground railroad of sympathetic priests known as “the ratline”, the Ustashas were able to escape to neutral countries, primarily Argentina. Virtually the entire Ustasha leadership went free.The day that Germany capitulated 288 kilograms of gold were removed from the Croatian National Bank and state treasury. Some of that landed in Draganovic’s hands. Called the “Golden Priest”, he doled it out to Croatian refugees, including Ustasha soldiers. He was never charged and returned to Yugoslavia, where he died in 1983.A memo that surfaced last summer prompted the State Department’s interest, but the Vatican swiftly dismissed it, saying the charges could not be true. Other reports mention Ustashas meeting Vatican officials, living in the Vatican; even being hidden at the pope’s summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo and driving cars with Vatican plates in Rome.The Vatican’s tolerance of the Ustasha during the war was no secret, but though they insist they have nothing to hide, they refuse outside researchers free access to their archives because the collection contains sensitive personnel files. As a general rule, the Vatican says it releases church documents only after about 75 years, but outside observers contend it is much rarer than that. 3/25/97

  • Farnaz

    TIME FOR ANOTHER REALITY CHECK ON CCNL’S RELATIVES: FOR MORE CHECKS, SCROLL DOWNTIME FOR ANOTHER REALITY CHECK:From 1941 to 1945, the Ustashas exterminated an estimated 500,000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies, and looted their property. They demanded 1,000 kilograms of gold from the Jews of Zagreb, only to ship them to concentration camps and kill them anyway. The Croatian Catholic Church was closely entangled with the Ustashas: in the early years of the war, Catholic priests oversaw forced conversion of Orthodox Serbs while Franciscans distributed propaganda.Several high Catholic officials in Yugoslavia were later indicted for war crimes. They included Fr. Dragutin Kamber, who ordered the killing of nearly 300 Orthodox Serbs, the “hangman of the Serbs” Bishop Ivan Saric of Sarajevo, and Bishop Gregory Rozman of Slovenia, a wanted Nazi collaborator. A trial in 1946 resulted in the conviction of a half-dozen Ustasha priests, including former Franciscan Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic, a commandant of a concentration camp where the Ustashas tortured and slaughtered hundreds of thousands with a brutality that shocked even the Nazis.

  • Farnaz

    Oh, CCNL, Bun-Bun,Have you overlooked this book of Daddy’s?John Dominic Crossan. Who Killed Jesus? Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of the Death of Jesus. 1995

  • Farnaz

    Btw., where does Rabbi Wolpe refer to the “OT”?”Rabbi Wolpe and other Conservative Jews and their take on the OT.”Also, Bun-Bun, Maimonides didn’t believe the Tanakh literally true either. You are in very deep waters, and, as usual, clueless.

  • Jihadist

    Hello Farnaz, Thanks for your posts. All the financial institutions in the US and elsewhere in the world which crashed and burned, regardless if their CEOs are Jewish or otherwise, deserve the blame too for lack of internal monitoring and control of their imprudent and unwise minions in devising dubious financial instruments, mismanaging them, selling them, buying them. No doubt, Poulson knew about the coming, and has come crash and burn of some financial institutions. He did not take the right remedial actions. So did Greenspan, who also knew and spoke of “irrational exuberance” in the markets believing markets are capable of self-correction. Until it was too late for many. Certainly, Paul Krugman has been sounding the alarm for years and did call for a new financial architecture to reflect new realities. Yes, I did misread your post on who control what in the US due to the said group being the majority. As for Catholics, certainly Protestants are a larger and the largest faith group in the US. The Catholic Church, as the second largest faith group, get tax exempt status as do Protestants/Evangelical groups. If faith groups are to be considered as NGOs, then they should get all the perks and benefits as all NGOs do. There are secular NGOs, and there are faith-based and faith-related NGOs. There are advocacy NGOs, and there are operational NGOs. Organised faith groups/denominations/sects are both advocacy and operational NGOs. This is quite an effective combination as politicised groups on issues dear to their hearts. With funds and membership, they are thus, quite effective organisers on politicised issues, including gay marraiges, abortion, stem cell research etc. We can’t ignore them. Yes, point agreed that better for all, if Christians and Muslims who harbour them, cease their racist hatred and vilifications of Jews due solely to race and/or religion. I am equally wary and weary of extremist Christians and Jews as much as I am of extremists Muslims. Extremists of any religious, political, economic and social persuasion in fact. Regards

  • Michael

    The Christian Right should heed Cal Thomas’ advice and give up trying to legislate their beliefs in the US. Americans aren’t interested in living under a Theocracy, and the Republicans the Christian Right put so much faith in proved to be more interested in getting votes than they were in implementing the agenda they promised.

  • Farnaz

    Jihadist:Thank you for your reply–All points well taken. Extremists and racists of all kinds have proven themselves dangerous to human-type beings again and again.What distinguishes us J people, IMHO, aside from 2,000 years of victimization, is that the Christians, generically speaking, armed with a supersessionist ideology spelled out in the New (sic) Testament, which occults Jewish identity, have spread the most virulent racist filth about us, some of which is eternally evident on this blog.The hilarious notion that we “control the economy,” determine who gets elected president (!!!) bespeaks a primitive, elemental, almost pre-human level of stupidity hard to even apprehend. How do “we” accomplish this? Where do all the millions of us from all the continents meet? How come we’re not all wealthy, etc. Why are some starving? Why are some being murdered even as I speak? When do the dispossessed three million, among whom I number, get our homes and lives back? How come we were dispossessed to begin with?Hence, as nonracist Christians, Muslims, etc., note, hilarious though all this racism is, it has proven dangerous, deadly, enabled the pre-human (subhuman?) racists to torture us to death, ethnically cleanse the Middle East of us, murder us in the millions, and the murdering morons aren’t done yet.The most recent case of Christian racist proseltyzing is Korea, recently christianized, and simultaneously, transformed into an anti-semitic nation, not that many have even seen or met Jews. What they have seen instead is racist material distributed along with the New (sic) Testament and taught to them as a supplement to the Gospels.As you know, although Islamic anti-semitism figures in the Qu’ran, it was relatively benign until the Christians started spreading their own Christian version of it. Now, Christian anti-semitism has been thoroughly Islamicized.What to do? The same as one would do with respect to any other kind of racism, sexism, classism, ignored by or even encouraged by the larger culture.Fight back. Drag out the polemical armor and don’t give it a rest for a moment. Racisms are like cockroaches. Cockroaches can be kept at bay, but they will always return, unless one exterminates–continually.Best,

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Again it is amazing that the Reality Challenged and Obfuscating Jihadist knows all about the politics of the USA but remains clueless about the significant flaws and errors of Islam as is so “blatantly” clear in the koran, the Worst Book ever Written.A rewrite of the Worst Book Ever Written would go a long way in making President-elect Obama’s job a lot easier. Said rewrite would delete all the warmongering, racist, death-to-all infidels and oppression of women passages in the current version. And all the dictates made by the “pretty wingie thingie” aka Gabriel to the hallucinating Mahound aka Mohammed would be referenced as such in the new edition with said references added as to where the passages were really taken from.

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