American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation




I’ll say whatever I have to

Posted by Josh Friedlander | 9 Comments

Sen. Obama does not support requiring religious tests for recipients of aid nor using federal money to proselytize, according to a campaign fact sheet. He also only supports letting religious institutions hire and fire based on faith in the non-taxpayer funded portions of their activities, said a senior adviser to the campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity to more freely describe the new policy.

- Obama to Make Call to Expand Bush’s Faith-Based Programs (AP)

What sophistry. The Federal government doesn’t give money to organizations that violate the law. Hiring and firing based on religious affiliation is against Federal law. If the organization takes Federal taxpayer money, it agrees to adhere to Federal law. Otherwise, don’t take the money.

Hey Obama: you’re not fooling anyone, so stop pandering.

Comments

9 Responses to “I’ll say whatever I have to”

  1. Eric
    July 1st, 2008 @

    So, if Obama is expanding Bush’s faith-based programs, is it accurate to say he is running for George Bush’s third term?

  2. Joel L. Friedlander
    July 1st, 2008 @

    America gets the leaders that it deserves. We are constantly pandering to the right wing religious lunatic fringe. Why, in most surveys, the overwhelming majority of Americans believe in G-d and all the dogma that goes with it. They are not afraid of letting religion into the public theater because they are soooo very religious.

    This candidate spent a lot of time during the campaign establishing his religious credentials. He was brought to Jesus by the Rev. Wright and has been a Christian ever since. Well, religious faith doesn’t mean a thing as far as national leadership is concerned. Jefferson was a phony Deist, at least according to his private correspondence shows, and he was a far better president than the religious panderers we have been afflicted with since the right Rev. Jimmy Carter.

    The American people are just as stupid as any other people, and given the chance they will flock to some “Leader” who can help them find the true path.

    Bah, humbug! Keep your religion out of the public sphere and we’ll all be free. I’m waiting to hear from a Hindu to learn how he found Krishna, or a Buddhist to tell me about the path to salvation.

    Religious ass licking is what all of our candidates are doing, and the real reason is that for the American People, the only thing they really worship is the Almighty Dollar. AMEN brother!

  3. Matt F
    July 1st, 2008 @

    Canada is starting to look better and better to me…

  4. Eric
    July 1st, 2008 @

    Joel,
    Your comment makes me weep. You show an intolerance for those that are different from you and you use inflammatory language—such as “right wing religious lunatic fringe,” “American people are just as stupid as any other people,” and “Religious ass licking”—to further demean those who hold their religion close to their hearts and their head. I ask, what is wrong about a belief in God? Why is it wrong for a person to vote for a candidate whose morals most closely align with there own? And why would someone who votes according to their religious convictions immediately be branded as “stupid?”

    What you truly demonstrate is ignorance about what Americans look for in their President. Americans want a President with morals and values similar to their own. Not an amoral relativist which the left wishes to hoist upon this country. A strong religious bearing is important for the leader of this country, because in great times of need, they will turn to God for guidance. And I truly hope they do.

    I believe in God. I am not ashamed to say this, and I am further proud to support candidates who are similarly unashamed of their religious convictions. Even though I may not agree with Obama on issues such as trade and taxation, I applaud Obama’s conviction and support for religious based charities, which do a lot of good for their communities.

    Is it pandering? Perhaps. But it also shows Obama is not afraid of one of the traits which makes America great: strong religious convictions

  5. Joel L. Friedlander
    July 1st, 2008 @

    Eric,
    You seem to have totally missed the point I was trying to make. Like yourself I believe in G-d and I also attend services each and every week and have done so for over 25 years. What I cannot abide is pandering. Moreover, like Jefferson, with whom I do not compare myself, I believe that religion has no place in the public arena. Candidates should not be judged based upon whether their beliefs correspond with any voters. If we take that vote than we will never have a Buddhist president, or a Hindu President, or an Atheist President, or an Agnostic president. The religion of a man or women, or their beliefs in the almighty or non beliefs, have nothing to do with what should be the concerns of the polity.

    As to religious based charities, they have no business getting any federal money unless, and until, they agree to eliminate any religious bias in their hiring, firing, or activities. This is hardly likely to happen, especially as many religions are fixated upon proselytizing their own faith. Moreover, there is frequently a religious bias in hiring for members of their own group members. That is perfectly ok, so long as they aren’t taking any public money. If they are, they have no business hiring from only their own kind. Thus, public money going to religion hurts both the religious interests and the public interest.

    Morals and values have nothing to do with religion, and there is nothing wrong with the polity inquiring as to the morality and ethical thinking of the people that they elect. Aligning religion with that determination will only take us to an era of religious tests for office which are specifically forbidden by the constitution. I completely disagree with your statement that strong religious bearing is important to our leaders. Strong ethics and morals yes, religious bearings, NO NO NO!

    People didn’t openly inquire about religion for the first two hundred years of this republic; it only came to the fore with a democrat named Jimmy Carter, hence my scorn of that man. I don’t care whether the next president is an atheist, so long as he follows the proper moral precepts and ethical rules.

    I believe in a complete wall between religion and government, for the interests of both government and religion.

  6. Eric
    July 2nd, 2008 @

    Joel,

    I wasn’t criticizing your religion. I was criticizing your use of hate speech against those which make political decisions based wholly or in part on religious convictions. Your choice of terms to describe people voting in part based on religion is deeply offensive to me. I cannot believe in this day and age I must fight against the intolerance you espouse.

  7. Joel L. Friedlander
    July 2nd, 2008 @

    It is not intolerance of religion, it is the desire to keep religion out of government and government out of religion. Moreover, I think you are being very emotional about this issue and it is clouding your response.

  8. Eric Hazard
    July 2nd, 2008 @

    I understand you wish to keep government and religion separate. What I don’t understand is why you have such a prejudice against people who use religion as a determining factor for their vote. Why are people who base their vote, in part at least, on a President’s religious bearing, or spirituality, “stupid” or on a “lunatic fringe?” What makes this factor any less relevant, or important, than a candidate’s position on abortion? Or how they feel about morally ambiguous questions around cloning? Or our moral obligation to protect the Earth? Or their stance on gay marriage? Or their views on polygamy? The death penalty? War versus pacifism? Godless communism versus a theocracy? Or the right for Zionists to claim a homeland that was promised to them…by God?

    If all of these other factors are valid, why is it, that a person who may consider religion as merely one factor to consider for their vote, in a world full of infinite factors, is “stupid?”

    I will again retype what you have written:

    “…the right wing religious lunatic fringe…”
    “…religious panderers we have been afflicted with…”
    “The American people are just as stupid as any other people, and given the chance they will flock to some “Leader” who can help them find the true path.”
    “Religious ass licking is what all of our candidates are doing…”
    “…only thing they really worship is the Almighty Dollar.”

    The choice of phrases you have used here are offensive and meant to inflict harm. This is hate speech. Please do not talk down to my argument by classifying it as emotional, and therefore baseless. My judgment is not clouded. Your inflammatory statements are clear.

  9. Joel Friedlander
    July 2nd, 2008 @

    I am well aware of what I wrote, after all it is set out just above these comments higher on this page. What my remarks mean is that I am appalled with politicians who try to get votes by constantly pointing out their deep religious commitment. They are lying, each and every one of them. If a person has true religious convictions he or she doesn’t have to keep pointing them up on a continuous basis.

    This entire campaign has been one religious lovefest, especially by the Republican candidates. Romney was forever talking about faith, Thompson was continually babbling about it, as was Mike Huckabee, a minister. If you really believe that they were speaking the truth then we don’t have to have any further discussions because you are too trusting to discuss politics.

    None of these candidates was standing in the pulpit preaching to a congregation during the campaign, but it would be hard to tell that from the religious platitudes that they were spewing. You want to know the real reason for my vituperation? Well it’s the fact that we are hearing the same platitudes from both the parties and it would be better for the United States of America if they just remained secular parties.

    Now the Republicans have been trying to be a religious party since they figured out that if they could get the majority of the religious right wing votes they could be a majority party. That began with Ronald Reagan, who almost never attended church, although he spoke regularly about his faith. Since then it has been impossible to run on the Republican ticket without meeting endless religious qualifications.

    What I have observed from that religious party is behavior which has been largely unethical and in foreign affairs entirely immoral. That is what I think of the Republican Party. What is tragic is that many genuinely religious people have continued to vote for liars and frauds because those frauds presented themselves as religious people.

    My anger at Obama is that he has fallen for the same trap. He now wants to turn the Democratic Party into a religious party so that he can defeat the Republicans. I expected more from him and that party. Hence my anger.

    The United States Constitution, in Article VI, Section 3 provides, “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    This country is planted thick and fast with different religions, and most of them think that the way that they believe is the only correct way, and is better than the way other religions believe. Such thinking has been the cause of endless slaughter of Catholics by Protestants, Protestants by Catholics, Catholics by Muslims, and Muslims by Catholics. Millions of people have been slaughtered because they didn’t believe the way others thought that they should think. And of course, all of the above have slaughtered the Jews for over two thousand years. All in the name of the belief in G-d.

    I don’t want America to turn into what Europe was for so many centuries. Let all the politicians believe what they want. All they need do is say, “I believe in G-d”, and let it go at that. Any more of a discussion of the topic results in the elevation of one religious tradition over another and that always leads to slaughter.

    Let us follow the Constitution and leave religion to the individual believer, or non believer.

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