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Switch to Forum Live View George Will on religion in politics
7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 8:19AM #1
artemis01
Posts: 925
From "None of the Below" in the Washington Post, by George Will:

[QUOTE]
[INDENT]On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee's candidacy rests on serial non sequiturs: I am a Christian, therefore I am a conservative, therefore whatever I have done or propose to do with "compassionate," meaning enlarged, government is conservatism. And by the way, anything I denote as a "moral" issue is beyond debate other than by the uncaring forces of greed. His is a moralist's version of the intellectual vanity once ascribed to Oxford's Benjamin Jowett:

My name is Jowett

Of Balliol College;

If I don't know it,

It is not knowledge.

Many Iowans think it would be wise to nominate a candidate who, when the Republicans were asked during a debate to raise their hands if they do not believe in evolution, raised his. But, then, Huckabee believes America can be energy-independent in 10 years, so he has peculiar views about more than paleontology.

Huckabee combines pure moralism with incoherent populism: He wants Washington to impose a nationwide ban on smoking in public, show more solicitude for Americans of modest means and impose more protectionism, thereby raising the cost of living for Americans of modest means.

Although Huckabee is considered affable, two subliminal but clear enough premises of his Iowa attack on Mitt Romney are unpleasant: The almost 6 million American Mormons who consider themselves Christians are mistaken about that. And -- 55 million non-Christian Americans should take note -- America must have a Christian president.

Another pious populist who was annoyed by Darwin -- William Jennings Bryan -- argued that William Howard Taft, his opponent in the 1908 presidential election, was unfit to be president because he was a Unitarian, a persuasion sometimes defined as the belief that there is at most one God. The electorate chose to run the risk of entrusting the presidency to someone skeptical about the doctrine of the Trinity.

If Huckabee succeeds in derailing Romney's campaign by raising a religious test for presidential eligibility, that will be clarifying: In one particular, America was more enlightened a century ago.[/INDENT]
[/QUOTE]

Will quoted the section I put in bold on This Week with George Stephanopoulis yesterday, and said that the U.S. had "regressed."

Uh, yeah.  Will, BTW, is a confirmed conservative.  God, America is falling apart.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 8:54AM #2
rbchaddy2000
Posts: 1,277
artemis: I agree. Wonderful observations. Richard
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 9:02AM #3
AintKatie
Posts: 1,657
Well, phooey. I was kinda soft on Huckabee til I read your post. Now I'm back to thinking he's not to be taken seriously. As for George Will, a guy who loves baseball can't be all bad.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 9:30AM #4
artemis01
Posts: 925

AintKatie wrote:

Well, phooey. I was kinda soft on Huckabee til I read your post. Now I'm back to thinking he's not to be taken seriously. As for George Will, a guy who loves baseball can't be all bad.



I agree.   I like Will; he's a conservative who actually respects other people's views, even when he disagrees with them.

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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 10:41AM #5
RJMcElwain
Posts: 2,946
[COLOR="Red"]Can I vote for George Will?  :D[/COLOR]
Robert J. McElwain

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Supposedly)Thomas Jefferson

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral."
St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 10:52AM #6
hortonthrockmorton
Posts: 3,497
Maybe we've regressed, maybe not.  I'm not sure yet.

I agree that there is no Constitutional religious test, and I agree that the presidency should not be limited to Christians, whether religious or in name only.  I could vote for a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, even -- gasp -- an atheist.  I think it's necessary for a president to respect Christianity and Christians, but not to be one.

But I disagree that a candidate's religious views are by definition irrelevant.  I think if a candidate is a Scientologist, that's very relevant, because it tells me something about the candidate's intellect and ability to believe weird ridiculous stuff.

The question for me is, is Mormonism more like Scientology as something out-there weird, or is it more like Unitarianism as something unorthodox but not really troubling for our president to adhere to?
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 11:19AM #7
artemis01
Posts: 925

hortonthrockmorton wrote:

Maybe we've regressed, maybe not. I'm not sure yet.

I agree that there is no Constitutional religious test, and I agree that the presidency should not be limited to Christians, whether religious or in name only. I could vote for a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, even -- gasp -- an atheist. I think it's necessary for a president to respect Christianity and Christians, but not to be one.

But I disagree that a candidate's religious views are by definition irrelevant. I think if a candidate is a Scientologist, that's very relevant, because it tells me something about the candidate's intellect and ability to believe weird ridiculous stuff.

The question for me is, is Mormonism more like Scientology as something out-there weird, or is it more like Unitarianism as something unorthodox but not really troubling for our president to adhere to?



Lots of people think that Christianity is "weird ridiculous stuff," you know.  Virgin births, miracles, people being raised from the dead, etc.

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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 11:26AM #8
hortonthrockmorton
Posts: 3,497
Yes, I know, but the issue remains the same.

Not all weirdness is equal.
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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 11:30AM #9
artemis01
Posts: 925

hortonthrockmorton wrote:

Yes, I know, but the issue remains the same.

Not all weirdness is equal.



True. But I think the point is the same one we bring up consistently here: you have to look at the fruits of something, if you find the beliefs weird. It could simply be a matter of taste, after all.

IOW, are Mormons doing weird things these days? Are weird things happening in their communities, and are people damaged? I don't think so, although I don't really know much about Mormonism, honestly.  I do know that some of these polygamous communities that call themselves Mormon are pretty bad - but the Mormon Church dissociates itself from these, I do believe, and does not condone polygamy any longer at all.

Don't get me wrong: Mormons kick gay people right out of their church, so I do have a beef with them. But is Romney doing anything weirder than anybody else? If so, I don't see it, personally. Perhaps Mormonism is evolving.

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7 years ago  ::  Dec 10, 2007 - 11:51AM #10
Dutch777
Posts: 9,113
[QUOTE=hortonthrockmorton;129111]Yes, I know, but the issue remains the same.

Not all weirdness is equal.[/QUOTE]

Yeah -- but, how do we compare "weirdnesses", especially of the non-validatable / invalidatable variety?   How does "resurrection" compare in weirdness to Joe Smith's "Golden Tablets" found in Palmyra, NY?  How about the belief that earth was initially inhabited by visitors from Planet Krypton (or whatever the Scientologists call it) with belief in 6-Day creation; or "Incarnation" with "Reincarnation"?   

My belief is "revealed truth";  you belief is "damned weirdness" --- nicht wahr?

Evolution is validated scientific theory; to deny it is to be in radical opposition to the scientific method and the very organizing principle of the various modern sciences.  That's testable-validatable weirdness; couldn't vote for anyone exhibiting such profound opposition to Reality.
The Path
To Moon Lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own Dharma*Path
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
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