Friday, June 08, 2007

Politics: "I knew Martin Luther. You're no Martin Luther."

The courting of the evangelical vote turned back up in its more usual digs the other night when the collection of midgets the Republicans are currently offering by way of candidates went at it in a flurry of wagging fingers and thumping Bibles. Mike Huckabee parleyed his ordained Baptist minister status into a polevault to the top of the Holier-Than-Th'Others heap:

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth," said Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister. "A person either believes that God created the process or believes that it was an accident and that it just happened all on its own."

Huckabee also said that if Americans "want a president who doesn't believe in God, there's probably plenty of choices. But if I'm selected as president of this country, they'll have one who believes in those words that God did create."

He went on to quote Martin Luther: " 'Here I stand, I can do no other.' And I will not take that back."

Of course, being a politician, only moments later he... well... did other, and started equivocating.
"Whether God did it in six days or whether he did it in six days that represented periods of time, he did it. And that's what's important."
Relieved to see how easy the waffling came, McCain and Brownback also made vaguely anti-evolution-only-sorta-not statements as well. The money quote, though, was Huckabee's:
"I'm not planning on writing the curriculum for an eighth-grade science book. I'm asking for the opportunity to be president of the United States."
Sure, Mike. That's got my vote. Makes me want to hand you control of the US nucular arsenal right now.

Not.

24 comments:

global village idiot said...

What you call waffling really isn't all that much; and I've found that many Christian denominations hold the view Mr. Huckabee expressed.

It has to do with the translation of the word "day" in the Bible. Much like our own word, it can be used in several contexts:

-The period during which the sun illuminates your part of the world,

-The 24-hour diurnal rotation of the Earth

-An unspecified period of time ("In Cardinal Richelieu's day...")

Moreover, there is the very real likelihood that the Creation story in Genesis is a parable for how the world got made, and how mankind attained consciousness and all the higher brain functions.

In other words, what was to stop God from creating and guiding the process of evolution if that's how He wanted things to go?

Huckabee's not as wishy-washy as you may think. It's just that the stickier parts of theology don't fit into soundbites.

gvi

B&N said...

"stickier parts of theology"

You mean, like all of it?

Call me an atheist, call me a heathen, call me an infidel, call me whatever, I simply tune out anyone who starts in with talk about religion in any public context. Period.

I'm sure I've been castigated as being amoral by some in my time. Morality is not the same thing, and I'm sure there are a good many who can agree with me on this, but religion, for me anyway, is something that I want kept personal and private, and especially when it comes to politicians.

B&N said...

Oh, and continuing with Tam's remark about "midget Republicans," mark this bit down as about reason number five thousand two hundred and eighty for the elephants to screw up the next general election.

rickn8or said...

b&n--

Know what you mean.

I'm amused when the Fundies maintain they are the only ones allowed to posess a moral (ethical) code.

It really messes their head up when I tell them that not only am I an atheist, but I'm a conservative atheist.

If a policiian gives me his stance on the Second Amendment and his stance on religion, I can pretty much predict the rest of his positions.

Don Gwinn said...

The fact that a lot of churches do it doesn't really excuse anything. Seriously, if you want me to vote for you because your belief in your imaginary friend is stronger than the next guy's, then you need to be specific.

Evolution works without any kind of outside guidance. To presume that there must be some outside hand guiding it--with NO evidence--is a simple case of trying to make facts fit a theory.

You might as well assume that there's a minor god pushing your car down the road with His Mighty Hand. Sure, you can put enough stipulations as to his invisibility and whatnot to make it impossible to prove that he isn't there, but the whole thing is a huge leap for no logical reason. The motion of the car can be explained by the conversion of chemical energy by combustion into rotation. Proposing an invisible and unprovable being only gums up the works.

Anonymous said...

Are we Arkansans ever going to catch a break? The last break we got was when the Clintonistas moved to New York.

C'mon Mike, I like you and all, but you are getting in over your head.

Mike was an OK governor, but certainly nothing special. President is really quite a stretch for him. Of course, that doen't make him that much different from most of the rest of the herd in the race.

Šhard

DirtCrashr said...

I wish people would get straight the difference between Southern Baptists and American Baptists - Hucky's definitely not a Valley Forge Baptist -- not that you'd want to give control of the Nuke Arsenal to my dad, the other kind of Baptist Minister, Leftwing enough to give it to Cuba...

Anonymous said...

At what point did all Christians become "evangelical"? I know that's a media invention, but when did it happen? Nearest I can tell, 2003. Correct?

And why the hell do so many people on both sides of the fence take parables and run of the mill allegories so literally? Other than most everyone being a dumbass, I mean.

Anonymous said...

I have to comment on this. I'm a scientist. I'm months away from getting my PhD. I do research daily. I look at repeatable results from controlled experiments, and I make hypothesesesses. I'm also a Christian. I believe in what the Bible says, and I can prove exegetically that "day" means nothing other than a cycle of sundown to sundown (or sunset to sunset, etc.) in Genesis. I can prove theologically that if it was otherwise, then many things Jesus said would be untrue - that Jesus would be a liar, and not the Son of God. That may not matter to you, but to many of what some of you call the "fundies" that means that the Bible means what it says, that the world was created in six days.

Why does it matter? It shouldn't. Public schools were instituted to brainwash all children to a certain point of view - should we be fighting to control who does the brainwashing, or fighting against the brainwashing?

Whether you want to believe (and teach your kids) that the world was created from nothing by a loving God, or created from nothing all by itself, is up to you.

As a scientist, I can say that based purely on the scientific evidence, the whole billions of years evolutionary theory is, at best, uncertain. We have repeatedly observed small changes in genetic material, seen new species evolve based on natural selection pressures. That I'm not arguing - it's proven. I'm just saying there's enough room for doubt in the "billions of years, slime to cells to fish to lizards to monkeys to man" thing. Enough doubt that an intelligent person can believe or not believe, and shouldn't be deemed a backwoods inbred simply because they don't believe in a theory that is being pushed in the same schools which push the theory that people are the property of the government and have no rights.

My opinion is this. Whether I believe the world was created in six literal days by a Creator, or the current theory of the world being created by random chance, I don't believe we should force our viewpoint on others. This could be debated at incredible length, but suffice it to say that Huckabee is not a fundamentalist. He is pandering to them, but no Christian who believes in Creation will believe Huckabee is one of us any more than gunnies believed that Kerry had ever used a shotgun before that silly picture of him squatting in that grassy field was taken before the election.

Tam said...

"My opinion is this. Whether I believe the world was created in six literal days by a Creator, or the current theory of the world being created by random chance, I don't believe we should force our viewpoint on others."

...and that's something I could vote for.

When people use what should be their deepest private beliefs to pander for public office, it makes me itch.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question: At what point did sharing one's views become "forcing" them on other people? If I say "I'm a Chicago Bears fan" am I trying to force whoever I'm speaking to over to Bears fandom?

People need to grow up and get over religion. It's always going to be there in one form or another(people need faith. whether it's God, Karma, or slingin' chicken bones, faith is important), so hike up the big boy britches and get used to it. "I'm a Christian" doesn't automatically mean "and you should be one, too", so there's really no need for such a large percentage of the population to fly into a fist-clinchin' tantrum over it. There are bigger fish fries to be had than this silly shit we have with two myopic groups playing grabass with each other over something that can't be proven one way or the other.

And this is coming from someone the Christians consider to be pagan and the atheists consider stupid for believing in anything at all.

Tam said...

"If I say "I'm a Chicago Bears fan" am I trying to force whoever I'm speaking to over to Bears fandom?"

No, but it would sound silly if you thought I should vote for you because you were a fan of Da Bears.

Anonymous said...

"No, but it would sound silly if you thought I should vote for you because you were a fan of Da Bears."

Perhaps it will be a real issue when a candidate runs solely on the platform of being a Bears fan.

Until then, it's little more than blog fodder on a slow news day.

Tam said...

Yeah, I agree.

It would be silly to have a candidate say:

"In the beginning, Mike Ditka created the Bears.A person either believes that Ditka created football or believes that it was an accident and that it just happened all on its own.[If Americans] want a president who doesn't believe in Ditka, there's probably plenty of choices. But if I'm selected as president of this country, they'll have one who believes in those words that Ditka did create."

Tam said...

Wouldn't that be a silly thing to say to an audience during a nationally-televised debate?

DirtCrashr said...

I might vote for a guy who ran solely on the platform of being a Bears Fan, I think it actually tells me a lot about him - unless he's the mayor of Chicago, then screw-him.

Gewehr98 said...

It's become especially trendy to bash religious types, and quite visibly so in Blogdom. (Tam and Babs being a small subset of the whole, but Tam at least has redeeming qualities to offset) The atheists and agnostics are particularly virulent these days, to the point of proselityzing their own non-belief system whether we want to hear it or not. Ironic, to say the least.

As an ordained Lutheran minister, I haven't hurt, condemned, preached fire and brimstone to, nor otherwise vilified a single atheist or agnostic, or Muslim or Jehova's Witness. I'd tell the hyperventilating and vitriolic members of the former group to go pack sand, but since I'm a Christian, I'll leave it to the imagination as to what they should do with their diatribes.


Oh, by he way, Fred Thompson for president. He suffers least from foot-in-mouth disease.

Ben said...

What about the whole separation of Da Bears and Da Bulls debate?

You know, I'm a real "you believe what you want and don't force your views on me and I'll do the same" kind of guy. Religious freedom is one of the principles the makes our nation great. Now, having said that, I have encountered plenty of folks during my formative years in Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina who do have issues with those who do not believe as they believe or attend the same church they attend. Folks I have literally heard remark things like " I'll believe that when I believe in dinosaurs."
Again, friends and neighbors, you believe what you want, so long as you leave my rights to do the same alone.

I remember seeing the late Jerry Falwell on TV a few years back during another pending election raise a Bible over his head and proclaim, " This is the Constitution of the United States, the Holy Word of Almighty God!"

Let's try to keep that mentality in check.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't that be a silly thing to say to an audience during a nationally-televised debate?

3:32 PM, June 08, 2007

Of damn well course it would. Everyone knows George Halas is Papa Bear.

And somehow I doubt this would be an issue here if he announced he was an atheist.

Masked Menace© said...

No, but it would sound silly if you thought I should vote for you because you were a fan of Da Bears.

Yet polititians keep trying to be seen as football/baseball/hunting... fans. I wonder why that is? /sarchasm


Throwing around your religious background is used for the same purpose.

It is a proxy for saying that you have a similar value system as (nominally) most of the American people, that you share a similar outlook on life, that you can empathize with them due to a shared background. Religion does this much more effectively than most anything else as there is a stronger "bond" with the community than with, say, football fans.

It's to project an image that "I'm just like you". No politician is going to say his favorite passtimes are going to high class fashion shows or caviar tastings (even if it's true). It's hard to convince people to vote for you when you're perceived as a cultural outsider.

It's really nothing more than that for the vast majority of mainstream candidates.

Tam said...

"And somehow I doubt this would be an issue here if he announced he was an atheist."

If he'd come out and said "I'm an atheist", I'd have blogged something about him being a retard and not wanting to get elected, and that's coming from an atheist.

Probably the best thing a candidate can do to alienate the fewest amount of people possible is... er... actually what Hillary is doing: Being as religiously vague as possible.

Masked Menace© said...

Probably the best thing a candidate can do to alienate the fewest amount of people possible is... er... actually what Hillary is doing: Being as religiously vague as possible.

Quite possibly correct. Though I should note that there are those whose votes she might loose for looking like she's scared to admit her true feelings.

Which one will alleniate more? Beats the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

Hell, I think it's a damn shame we live in a world where one has to be vague about religion or the lack thereof. Too bad people are so small-minded and insecure it pisses them off when someone believes something different than they do. Doesn't speak well of society.

Anonymous said...

ben, I know what you're talking about, but don't lump all Christians in together. Remember, Jesus preached more against the religious folks of the day than against the hookers, tax collectors, and heathens. Those same folks like Jerry Falwell who proclaim their religion loudly, "look how holy I am," etc. If you were part of a church which actually preached what Jesus said, and not the modern American churchian version of christianity, then those people would be your biggest enemies. I personally think they're a bigger threat to Christianity than the Muslims, Gays, Evolutionists, and Atheists put together. "there's nothing worse than a monster thinks he's right with god"