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Old 12-07-2007, 02:58 AM   #76
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
But in the long run I could care less about his religion, his stances are what bother me.

That and his hair.
LOL, precisely .

Not to mention, watching him dodge questions like the waterboarding one during that debate didn't help matters much, either.

Angela
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Old 12-07-2007, 03:55 AM   #77
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Some Christians are appalled at the Mormon conception of God as having a physical body and a wife. In their view, Mormons don't worship the one true God -- so they fear that, as president, Romney would not benefit from divine guidance.

At a Huckabee campaign event a few weeks ago, voter Glenda Gehrke, 63, voiced that concern about Romney, asking: "Will his prayers even get through?"

Others consider Mormonism a cult and worry that a Mormon president would give the fast-growing faith more legitimacy in the U.S. and around the world.

A poll last month by NBC and the Wall Street Journal found that 50% of voters surveyed weren't ready to elect a Mormon president -- about double the number who said they were not prepared to elect a woman or an African American.
"Will his prayers even get through?"

/\ I like that one the best.
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Old 12-07-2007, 06:35 AM   #78
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Oh my God, that's pathetic.
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:55 AM   #79
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I find it curious that the other GOP candidates haven't come out in support of the content of Romney's speech.


They should have endosed it immediately.

dbs
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:58 AM   #80
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Originally posted by diamond

They should have endosed it immediately.

How do you endorse a speech? And why would you "endorse" one of your competitors?
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:31 PM   #81
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A couple of things to note:

This is an election campaign, so any judgment of "genuineness" needs to be tempered by the spectre of "pandering." In that arena, this speech is neither remarkable nor revolutionary, as it sounds like it just fulfilled a series of bullet points to appease his audience, anti-Mormon Christian conservatives. All of the points he stated, for instance, are the kind of things that we've discussed here ad infinitum. The kind of vibe I received from this speech was, "Accept me; I hate the same people as you!"

In terms of his command of U.S. and world history, it is as romanticist and revisionist as one would expect in a speech like this. Our Founding Fathers were not Christian conservatives, as evangelical Protestantism did not exist until around 1835--after they were dead. They were the kind of people that Romney and his target audience would probably think very little of: agnostics, deists, Unitarians. In fact, Romney's appeal "to the Creator" references Enlightenment-era deist vocabulary.

As for "empty" European cathedrals, Romney ignores the fact that Christianity, in Europe, has historical connotations of statist imperialism and oppression. The Vatican still does not have a great track record, as it was a strong supporter of Francoist Spain, and I just read recently that the Vatican and Iran, of all nations, have very strong relations. American Protestantism was, at the very least, designed to be decentralized and independent, but I get the sense over these past three decades that "the powers that be" in American Christianity would rather build a Catholic-style strong, centralized institution and risk being an instigator of the kind of abuses that they sought to distance themselves from.

On that note, let's get to the crux of his speech, where he applauded "people of faith" and basically states that they are the definition of "Americana." Frankly, if you really look closely at all of this, it is much ado about nothing. "People of faith," like any American citizen, are free to petition the government, and this has certainly been the case for centuries. What they don't like, it seems, is the fact that such petitions don't have to be enacted on demand. There still, at its core, is such a thing as "rule of law," and while many in this demographic might believe that the "rule of law" is "theodemocratic," it is simply--and matter of factly--not true. A student of political science knows that our government, by design, was based largely on Enlightenment-era secular philosophy, which purposely sought to create laws based on logic, reason, and fact, not the kind of arbitrary "faith" that many theocratic European imperials ruled upon. This is why we, today, enjoy such idea as universal human rights, democracy, and, yes, religious freedom (not just freedom of religion, but also freedom from religion; the former cannot exist without the latter).

In short, it's a "feel good" polemic based on very little substance. Sounds like a classic political speech to me.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:40 PM   #82
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Originally posted by Irvine511
change around a few words, and it's an Al-Qaedian call to the fundamental overthrow of secularism for a new and divinely inspired Christ-centered government.
This has to be the most ignorant thing I've read in FYM in quite some time.

Are you really so blind to reality that you can't tell the difference between this speech and a jihadist call to action? Did he say one thing about Christ? About the founder of Mormonism? Or did he repeatedly call to the common threads of religion in this country?

ETA: this thread really astounds me in its utter disregard for people of faith -- who constitute the vast, vast majority of people in this country. You realize that you're disregarding the deeply felt perspectives and beliefs of about 95% of American citizens, right? Regardless of whether they're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc.

BVS - just because you don't care about religion, does not mean it does not matter to others.

And the line about America being in the 11th century -- cute.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:49 PM   #83
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Originally posted by nathan1977
This has to be the most ignorant thing I've read in FYM in quite some time.

Are you really so blind to reality that you can't tell the difference between this speech and a jihadist call to action?

For pity's sake, Irvine. You're smarter than this.
The larger question that unites the two, however, is what the role of religion should be in government. Practically speaking, should Saudi Arabia be a model, where those who don't follow the fundamentalist Christian interpretation of religious law get punished? Just to note, such "religious police" did exist in some parts of imperial Europe, so don't think that this phenomenon is historically related solely to Islam.

That's probably what's puzzling about all of this. We can make pandering statements that appease those elements of American society who believe that "their religion" should become law; and, yet, these same people would be outraged if a different Christian denomination was practiced in the public arena ahead of their own. Likewise, we're also busy trying to tell nations like Saudi Arabia that they need to be more tolerant of diversity.

So do "people of faith," as Romney would define them, truly believe in the larger values of freedom and diversity, or are they just being self-centered and selfish? That is, are they only looking for Saudi Arabia to be "tolerant," because they aren't Christian? A lot of people in the Middle East certainly believe that this is our true motivation.

I think these kinds of thorny questions are as to why we shouldn't be so quick to integrate religion into politics.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:50 PM   #84
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They can endorse it in the sense that they can say Romney's faith shouldn't be an issue. It's scary that people are using his religion against him. I didn't know that Mormons believed that God had a wife!
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:56 PM   #85
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Originally posted by melon


The larger question that unites the two, however, is what the role of religion should be in government. Practically speaking, should Saudi Arabia be a model, where those who don't follow the fundamentalist Christian interpretation of religious law get punished?
Why Saudi Arabia? Turkey is a far better model, since they've been able to make it work.

Quote:
So do "people of faith," as Romney would define them, truly believe in the larger values of freedom and diversity, or are they just being self-centered and selfish? That is, are they only looking for Saudi Arabia to be "tolerant," because they aren't Christian? A lot of people in the Middle East certainly believe that this is our true motivation.
Yes, but interestingly, in certain quarters, Jewish secularists are aligning with Christian Zionists in their desire to protect the Israel/U.S. connection. People like David Brog are interesting individuals here. There is always a pragmatic approach to effectiveness, but why alienate people of faith by acting (ironically) holier or more enlightened than thou? Religion in the public square is always going to be a thorny issue, but what's the option? Eliminating it? How does that solve anything, except create a reverse fascistic nation? Romney had an interesting point about secularism being just as much a religion as anything else. (And I'm not even voting for him.)
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:57 PM   #86
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Originally posted by nathan1977


This has to be the most ignorant thing I've read in FYM in quite some time.

Are you really so blind to reality that you can't tell the difference between this speech and a jihadist call to action? Did he say one thing about Christ? About the founder of Mormonism? Or did he repeatedly call to the common threads of religion in this country?
Let's put this in context. There's a lot you can read between the lines here. This was definately a speech to Conservative "Christians". This was not a speech to all religions. Look how my question of putting Muslim or Scientology in the public square got ignored. The people he was making this speech to would shit bricks if Muslim symbols would be found in the courthouses or in the town square, but they scream at the top of their lungs to keep their 10 commandments and nativity scenes there. Don't kid yourself, this was not a speech about all religions.

Quote:
Originally posted by nathan1977

BVS - just because you don't care about religion, does not mean it does not matter to others.

When did I say this? Wow, talk about putting words in my mouth.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:59 PM   #87
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Originally posted by nathan1977
ETA: this thread really astounds me in its utter disregard for people of faith -- who constitute the vast, vast majority of people in this country. You realize that you're disregarding the deeply felt perspectives and beliefs of about 95% of American citizens, right? Regardless of whether they're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc.
Let's not forget, though, that "people of faith" has become a loaded term for "reactionary zealot." I, for example, in a connotation-free world, am a "person of faith" too. And in my studies of religion--which, in a decentralized Protestant mindset, are as equal in value as anyone else's beliefs--I believe it is gravely immoral to continue denying gay rights and gay marriage in our society. Likewise, I am not alone in this belief, as there are other religions out there supportive of both. And, yet, when it came to some key court cases in this nation, how did the government defend denying gay marriage? By bringing in "people of faith," and arguing that "all people of faith" are opposed to it.

I hope you can see the danger in all of this. American Christianity has thrived longer than European Christianity because of the fact that it existed wholly separate from politics. Now that we've come to equate "people of faith" with "far-right, anti-intellectual conservative Republicans," there is the very realistic possibility that future generations of Americans will reject religion en masse, because they will be unable to separate the political connotations of "people of faith" with the reality that religion, at its core, does not necessarily conform to any one ideology nor does it necessarily demand that one hold preposterous, anti-intellectual beliefs like "young Earth creationism" or "intelligent design."

At its core, American secularism has preserved and strengthened religious fervor in our country, rather than having weakened it. And for Romney to bring up spectres of "Europe" is completely dishonest, as far as I see it.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:10 PM   #88
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

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When did I say this? Wow, talk about putting words in my mouth.
Sorry -- I was reading fast. You're right, my bad.

Quote:
Let's put this in context. There's a lot you can read between the lines here. This was definately a speech to Conservative "Christians". This was not a speech to all religions. Look how my question of putting Muslim or Scientology in the public square got ignored. The people he was making this speech to would shit bricks if Muslim symbols would be found in the courthouses or in the town square, but they scream at the top of their lungs to keep their 10 commandments and nativity scenes there. Don't kid yourself, this was not a speech about all religions.
If he wanted to, he could have referenced JC till Kingdom come, since statistically his biggest audience is Christians. If he had, your point would have been proven. I'm surprised (and pleased) that he didn't. His restraint seems to address exactly what you're talking about -- the need to recognize that we live in a pluralistic society where many different faiths are celebrated. And he specifically did reference menorah candles etc in the public square, so these cries seem to fall on deaf ears.

Here's a question -- is pluralism the same thing as secularism?
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:15 PM   #89
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Originally posted by melon


Let's not forget, though, that "people of faith" has become a loaded term for "reactionary zealot."
That's funny, since people like Obama, Hilary, Bono, etc seem to equate "people of faith" with progressive, compassionate, caring, active people.

In the common parlance that is developing, "fundamentalist" is a loaded term for "reactionary zealot." "Fundamentalist" and "people of faith" are very different from each other...as you yourself are an example of.

Quote:
At its core, American secularism has preserved and strengthened religious fervor in our country, rather than having weakened it.


I would say that this is the result of pluralism, as opposed to secularism. To answer my own question earlier, pluralism embraces religion in all its forms. Secularism denies it altogether.
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:18 PM   #90
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Originally posted by nathan1977
Why Saudi Arabia? Turkey is a far better model, since they've been able to make it work.
Actually, Turkey is staunchly "secularist," due to the nationalist ideology of Ataturk, while having noted problems with both religious freedom (putting on lots of restrictions on the Greek Orthodox Church, and closing their seminaries, due to bans on private schools) and tolerance of ethnic minorities (fining Turkish Kurds for using the banned letter "z," which doesn't exist in Turkish, but does in Kurdish).

I don't support this extreme, which very obviously does not exist in the United States. That's why I tend to equate conservative Christian complaints about being "discriminated" in America to be the equivalent of "crying wolf," because they do not suffer from any legal discrimination at all.

Quote:
Yes, but interestingly, in certain quarters, Jewish secularists are aligning with Christian Zionists in their desire to protect the Israel/U.S. connection. People like David Brog are interesting individuals here. There is always a pragmatic approach to effectiveness, but why alienate people of faith by acting (ironically) holier or more enlightened than thou? Religion in the public square is always going to be a thorny issue, but what's the option? Eliminating it? How does that solve anything, except create a reverse fascistic nation? Romney had an interesting point about secularism being just as much a religion as anything else. (And I'm not even voting for him.)
In terms of acting "holier/more enlightened than thou," my recent hatred of relativism means that I will not grant credence to an idea, just because it "exists." And this is very much in keeping with the scientific method. Scientific hypotheses are created all the time, but only the ones backed up with logic, reason, and evidence are given credence. Yet, this doesn't stop people from choosing to advocate a certain hypothesis if they choose.

Likewise, this tends to be my view of the role of religion in society, which should neither be held in higher nor lower regard in terms of the public sphere. As we are a nation of a myriad of faiths, not just fundamentalist Christianity, we are all free to petition the government to do what we believe is right. However, the Constitution and Bill of Rights implore us not to institute laws that infringe on the larger rights of others.

This is why I state that much of this is much ado about nothing, except for those who want Christianity to take a higher place in American society tantamount to theocracy. And, as a matter of principle and pragmatism, I believe that to be a mistake.
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