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Old 02-06-2011, 01:57 AM   #691
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b) The fact that America is still a country where this bullshit actually means leaders need to go through the motions regarding religion, whether they believe or not.
Do you know what religion Stephen Harper is? I don't. Nor do I care. I'm going to assume that he's a Christian, although what denomination is unclear. Nevertheless, as a Canadian, I have never once wondered about the religion of a federal or provincial leader. Whether he/she worships Allah, God, Buddha, Yahweh or whoever is of little consequence so long as they are an effective leader and move the country forward.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:20 AM   #692
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Trumpeting your religion in Australian politics is a definite negative. If a Prime Minister is known to be religious, great, everyone would absolutely respect that, but promoting that would be received at least in a way similar to a politician making some awkward comment about their sex life or something. A little bit, "Umm, thanks, but no-one asked..." And if they overtly weaved it into their politics, they'd get slammed for it. It's a real turn off, even for those who are very religious.

If the Prime Minister is a Christian, great, whatever. If he/she isn't (and our current PM is believed to be an atheist - but we don't really know), great, whatever. But it's irrelevant to your job, and thankfully, beyond that, it is completely and totally a non-event when it comes to electability or ongoing trust/credibility, or judgement, performance, or however else they may be measured or judged.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:56 PM   #693
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I think this mostly boils down to cultural differences in attitudes towards your nation's leader, and not (much) more or less. In the US, the President isn't just bureaucrat-in-chief in the mold of a Prime Minister; he's also something approaching a clan patriarch figure, and the notion that his possession of that status reflects in certain ways on you personally is felt rather keenly. So it's important to have some sense that you "really know who he is" as a person, some feeling for who he is as a family man and a friend and a thinker and what his "vision" of America is like, above and beyond the policy platforms and the resumé and so on. His religious self is another dimension that lends itself to this desire to "really know" him. I'm not saying we're explicitly taught this, of course; you won't find it in social science textbooks; I'm just trying to describe a perception which is there and distinct.

There have been changes in my lifetime in the nature of the role religion plays in US politics, certainly, the rise of evangelical conservatism and all that. There are religious organizations which seek the President's ear for explicitly religion-based political goals, and there's even a significant minority of voters who habitually speak in a judgmental way about which politicians are "true Christians" and which aren't, who say they can only trust and support politicians who know Christ as they do and invent revisionist histories to justify that all-consuming preoccupation. I don't trust these people; I believe they're guilty of bad faith (haha) towards the social contract which binds us all together, and that that is bad for our country. Still, I get the sense that more fundamental attitudes towards the Presidency which underlie and to some extent facilitate these trends are often lost on outside observers, who perceive the presence of religion in our political discourse as a peculiar aberration in an otherwise presumably similar political culture.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:42 PM   #694
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Trumpeting your religion in Australian politics is a definite negative.
Same in Canada. In fact, Stephen Harper has been remarkably good in muzzling his (Conservative) Members of Parliament during election season on anything that even remotely approaches a religiously-tinged issue (read: abortion, gay rights, etc) because he knows the public has no stomach for it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:49 PM   #695
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i think i've heard once that the new zealand prime minister is a little bit jewish. no actual mention of a religion he follows, but he's a bit jewish. i almost want to put the little bit jewish in quotation marks, since i think that's exactly how it was reported.

our prime minister before that was openly agnostic.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:37 PM   #696
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YouTube - Iowa Focus Group on Obama Agrees: He's a Muslim
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:03 PM   #697
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Yep, 11 out of 26 = agreement.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:08 PM   #698
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Anywhere above 1/100 is embarassing enough.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:27 PM   #699
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Yep, 11 out of 26 = agreement.
I don't post the video for the title. I posted the video for the content. Let's talk about that.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:30 PM   #700
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Yep, 11 out of 26 = agreement.
It's an embarrassment. A deep, shameful embarrassment.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:31 PM   #701
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This is what happens when people convince themselves that all information sources beyond the chain e-mails Aunt Sarah forwards them are fascist brainwashing propaganda from Big Brother.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:43 PM   #702
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*Puts head in hands, sinks lower into her seat, groans* Thank you so much, Iowa .

Fully agree with the general sentiment here-I really, honestly, truly DO NOT CARE AT ALL what religion my leaders are, or even if they're religious at all. Are they doing their job to the best of their ability, that's all I need to know.

I just think it's deeply sad that because these are Republican voters, we're automatically assuming they'll be wary of Obama...and that some here fall into that very predictable stereotype. And I still want to know why it was perfectly okay for Bush to babble away about Christianity and how it should be more a part of our lawmaking, but if Obama WAS a Muslim, oh, we couldn't have him referencing HIS faith, that'd just be too scary.

Also, a request: Can we please, PLEASE shut the hell up with the comparisons to anything related to 1939 or the WW2 era in general? Sheesh.

Angela
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:43 PM   #703
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And the one's who don't accuse him of being a Muslim say his religion is liberalism.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:48 PM   #704
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and this is why Obama will win in 2012.

the educated Republicans with money are going to distance themselves from these people as fast as they can. no matter how little they care about the fact that 50m people don't have health care, they won't be seen dead with these people and their tin foil hats.

keep calling him a Muslim. and the more ridiculous it will seem when juxtaposed with the O'Reilly interview, where O came off extremely well and utterly normal.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:02 PM   #705
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It should be noted how shitty O'Reilly's interview style is. He interrupts frequently, and tries to end each line of questioning by sliding in his own two cents without rebuttal.
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