Thursday, November 04, 2004

Thought I found a smart pundit. My mistake.

This article by Edgar Rivera Colón at Salon.com had a tantalizing intro: Bush, God and Democrats: This country isn't secular or rational. And if the Dems want to win, they can't be either.

I thought for a minute he was going to say something that no one else seems to have grasped, that if the Democratic Party wants to win, it will have to abandon its virtual agnoticism and admit that not only do reasonable, intelligent, socially-responsible, devout Christians and Jews exist, but they will VOTE FOR YOU if you give them half a reason to. But alas...

In a country where upward of 75 percent of the population believes in God and an afterlife (in its decidedly Christian registers), only fools do not avail themselves of such a diverse and vibrant rhetoric for communicating concerns around a whole host of issues concerning justice and what possible ethical and social meanings can be attached to our sojourns here on earth.

Well, the Democratic Party leadership is such a collection of secular and rational fools. There are obvious exceptions in the black churches and the mainline Protestant denominations, but the religious rhetorics of these communities have rarely taken center stage in the last decade or so.

In short, the Democratic Party needs to stop pretending it lives in a secular country. Until French citizens are allowed to vote in U.S. elections (as an old-time Socialist, how I would welcome the advent of that political impossibility), the Democratic leadership will have to fashion its messages for the deeply religious country it presumes to lead one day.


Translation: talk Bible talk to these strange and simple folk, and you'll have them eating out of your hand. From making the point himself that the Dems don't give a voice to religious people, he concludes only that they should adopt the language of religion. So basically offer up the same sound-bytes in some tasty II Thessalonians sauce.

Amazing. Don't they understand that we use the language that we do because we believe it, not just as a mind trip or a posture or a power play? Do agnostic liberals (let's just be crazy and assume the author fits in this category) really not believe that religious people truly and simply believe in God, the Bible and their church? Maybe not.


...Democrats need to make judicious use of the irrational. People are not rational, nor do they make their political choices out of some logic model. Americans voted their fears, their fantasies, their hopes, and their irrationalities. The Republicans banked on these factors and won.
Now that I look at it, I realize that the author isn't even talking about winning over Jews and Christians with this oh-so-subtle verbal masquerade, just the swing voters, undecideds, independents. So even though 75% of the country believes in God, we're still not going to track their messy theism into our nice, clean house.

So, false alarm. I still haven't seen a single commentator on their side that sees any need to give religious people a voice in the Democratic Party. Well, I'll have to search elsewhere for some sign of intelligent life. If they can get this point, I think they'll have a shot in two years of re-taking some of the lost ground. Otherwise, I don't think they will. There. It's that simple, if you ask me.

9 Comments:

Blogger Steers and Queers said...

Religious people aren't given a voice because they are too stupid to have influence.

If religious people ran the world, they would start war after war trying to make people believe what they do.

We've had thousands of years like that already, and we don't need more of it.

George W. Bush just pretends to be religious, and he's exploiting you for your votes.

What has he really done? Gay Marriage --> Not banned. Abortion ---> Still around.

So shutup about how great Republicans are, because they dont' like you either.

- Super Waco
http://transplantedidiot.blogspot.com

November 4, 2004 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Karl Thienes said...

"If religious people ran the world..."

They do--they're called secular materialists. When are people going to realize that there is no such thing as a "non-religious" person?

November 5, 2004 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Grace said...

"So shutup about how great Republicans are, because they dont' like you either."

Um ... yeah. Stunning argument there. Glad a mental giant dropped by to show this stupid religious girl the error of her ways.

Thanks for stopping by. Don't let me keep you.

November 5, 2004 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger Grace said...

Karl:
Point well made, as always. Did I ever bother to say that the 'heterodox' of 'Orthodox & Heterodox' refers to that fact? The secular types have their religion and they are as fanatical and blindly zealous as the fundamentalists they despise so much. So, saying what those guys don't want to hear these days isn't treated as a different point of view, it's treated as heresy.

November 5, 2004 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"I still haven't seen a single commentator on their side that sees any need to give religious people a voice in the Democratic Party."

It's news to me that religious people don't have a voice in the Democratic Part. Oh... you mean YOUR religion. Big difference.

My religion tells me it is wrong to start an unjust war. It is wrong to give money to the rich at the expense of services to the poor. It is wrong to cynically devide people with hate and fear.

November 13, 2004 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Mastiff said...

Does your religion say it's okay to allow people to commit murder just because the people they are murdering are not Americans?

Listen very closely. Arguing against war is only one side of the issue. The other side is that you are arguing for the perpetuation of bloodthirsty regimes who are a blot on the Earth. There are several reasons why overthrowing them might have been a bad idea, but hiding behind your watered-down conception of religion is the act of an intellectual coward.

Produce a well-reasoned theological argument why it is not meritorious to save the lives of others even at the cost of some of your own, and I will withdraw my attack.

November 13, 2004 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Bruce J. Koole said...

I apologize for the length:

The argument against war in general by the left and right(read Bill O'Reilly) is Jesus condemned killing in the 6th Commandment and was a peace-loving guy as revealed in the sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 - 7) and when he told Peter to sheath his sword in the Garden of Gethsemane.

This reveals that either the brother, who protested war, needs a new minister or he needs to read Scripture better or for the first time.

Begin by reading the entire Crucifixion Story in all four gospels. Do it again. Do it a third time.

1) Notice that never once during the entire ordeal does Jesus rebel against the Roman government, but rather submits to the legal sentence brought by three different judicial bodies (Pilate, Herod, and the Sanhedrin), which condemned him to death on the trumped up charges of blasphemy. Jesus never condemns the Roman and Jewish rulers for exercising the death penalty against His Own Person and the two thieves on the cross. He condemns them for their lies and putting an innocent man to death. (That is 3 examples so far where Jesus approves of a State's use of the sword/death/killing to protect itself)

Nor by the way does He ever protest against the breaking of the legs of the two thieves in order to kill them quicker. He had died by that point, but being all-knowing, Jesus could have earlierstopped the soldiers.

2) Never ever does Jesus protest against a single military act of the Roman Empire and again, being all-knowing, He could have, e.g., condemned Caesar Augustus for taking unilateral action against the Gauls during the 60's and 50's B.C. Now this is not to say that Rome was infallibly right in all cases, but that God does approve of military campaigns.

3) Romans 13:4-5 (King James Version) states, "For he [the ruler] is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister [or servant] of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake." Notice that the power of the sword against evil doers is given to the government. Remember that swords are used to break things and kill people.

4) Read Ephesians 6, where the divine, inspired Apostle Paul uses body armor to describe the weapons and protection that Christians must take into spiritual battle. Paul, who wrote Ephesians and Romans, emphatically leaves the physical, earthly, and fleshly battles to the proper gov't authorities and adjures Christians that we fight NOT against flesh and blood and but against principalities and powers of darkness. Paul's use of the armor as imagery implies approval of the gov't's use of force.

5) The first New Testament Gentile converted after the resurrection is the Roman Centurion. The Apostle Peter, who baptized the Centurion and his house, never condemns the soldier for his craft, and remember that the centurion was responsible for at least 100 men, so he would be 100 times more guilty of death than any soldier.

6) To every (negative) Commandment of the 10 Commandments there is a positive side. The positive part of the second table of the law is I must love my neighbor with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. As regards the 6th, I must do all in my power to preserve the life of my NEIGHBOR. Now NEIGHBOR is defined as anyone who crosses my path, however, since as early as the '72 Munich Olympics, when Yassir Arafat was involved with the slaughter of a 12 Israeli athletes, continuing up to the 1979 Hostage Situation, Islamic Radicals have revealed themselves as haters of the Great Satan, and therefore unwilling to be our neighbors.

7) See also Jude where the angels fight against Satan and his dominions, and struggle over the body of Moses. See also the Old Testament where an army of angels rings the city to protect Elisha (maybe Elijah) against the prophet’s enemies)

In the end God, Jesus, Scripture, the Apostles' Paul and Peter all approve of the sword's use by the government. This does not mean reflexively that every action undertaken by a Nation-State is automatically approved, but contra the anti-war argument, the USA, and every other country has Divine approval to fight wars against bad guys.

November 13, 2004 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

This war is unjust because it was a war of choice, not a war of necessity. It is also not yet over-- I fear many more people will die (both Americans and non-Americans). The justification outlined above relies on the state using violence out of protection. Herein lies the point: there was no threat. If we cared so much about stopping Saddam, we should of thought about it earlier, say in 1983 when Rumsfield was shaking hands with him.

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?ei=UTF-8&fr=sfp&p=rumsfeld+saddam

November 13, 2004 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

I can tell you when the the Democrats will get it.

When the Republicans give some respect to the RINOs in their coalition.

i.e. Never

of course by that criteria the Republicans are only temporarily smarter than the Democrats.

Once the RINOs are banished the Democrats will start winning again.

Well, enjoy the power while you have it.

November 14, 2004 at 1:39 AM  

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