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The "Nappy-headed Hos" of Christendom
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, May 10, 2007

Al Sharpton ... whatta clown:
Sharpton made the controversial remark during a debate Monday with atheist author Christopher Hitchens in New York. According to a tape of the event, Sharpton said, “As for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry about that. That’s a temporary situation.”
Kind of makes you lose any respect you may have had for Christopher Hitchens after bothering to "debate" Al Sharpton (speaking of media hos, er, whores). Of course the "one Mormon's" campaign responded, as you would expect:
“Al Sharpton made a bigoted comment,” Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said yesterday. “It is not at all consistent with the principles of religious tolerance and religious freedom that we all cherish as Americans.”
Sharpton's response?
“The statement by the Mitt Romney campaign is a blatant effort to fabricate a controversy to help their lagging campaign,” Sharpton said in a statement. “In no way did I attack Mormons or the Mormon church when I responded that other believers . . . would vote against Mr. Romney for purely political reasons.”
Yeah, right Al. Sure that's what you said.

Now, do us all a favor and fire yourself.
 
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Comments
"Now, do us all a favor and fire yourself."

No, quite the opposite in fact. I wouldn’t mind keeping Al around the poli-scene; he is as much fun to watch as a car hitting a tree in slow-motion.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Al is a respected and important member of the Democrat Party.

He is also a hyphenated American.

Therefore, he was only speaking truth to power.

Now run along, some GOP member quoted a KKK member on the House floor, must cover that!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Here is what Romney said in Florida back in February:
’’One of the great things about this land is that we have people of different faiths and different religions, but we need to have a person of faith lead the country,’’ he said, as the audience gave him a standing ovation.
Now, imagine for one moment that Romney had said we need a Protestant, or a Catholic, or a Mormon, or a white person, to lead this country. People would be rightfully upset. But Romney comes right out and says that atheists are not qualified to lead this country by virtue of their (non) beliefs. He said it. Right there in Florida. And the crowd applauded.

In other words, Romney is an intolerant bigot. Which is fine. Everyone should be able to have an opinion.

But then to send out your spokesman and claim that you cherish "religious tolerance" and, in the same breath, decry someone else for making a bigoted remark is beyond the pale. Bottom line: Romney is as much a bigot as Sharpton, if not more so. Freedom of religion in America means the freedom not to believe at all.

Sharpton gives Romney a taste of his own medicine and Romney whines like a victim. And this man wants to be President? Get a clue Mitt: if you are going to make bigoted remarks about others, don’t cry when others make bigoted remarks about you.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Sharpton gives Romney a taste of his own medicine and Romney whines like a victim
Yeah, MK, that was what Sharpton was doing, exactly.

First point just show us what Romney said, without making it look like your sort of excusing Sharpton for the same idiocy just because Romney did it.

And secondely Romney wasn’t attacking Sharpton when he said we needed persons of faith, Sharpton WAS attacking Romney.

So, your vacation, it didn’t help much huh?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
But Romney comes right out and says that atheists are not qualified to lead this country by virtue of their (non) beliefs. He said it. Right there in Florida. And the crowd applauded.
Yawn
MK, who the *bleep* cares? Not all atheists do, you know.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
The voters also agree with him, mk. To declare that "faith" is necessary to be a good leader isn’t exactly bigoted, either.

(Is it hateful or intolerant of atheists to assert that they’re unfit to lead the country? Well, heck, you’d say that bigots are unfit to lead the country, I assume, yes? And that’s intolerant. Does that make you an anti-bigot bigot? Or is "bigot" just a cheap shot for anyone who thinks a belief you approve of can be disqualifying?)

Remember that faith is not the same as skin color. Beliefs aren’t race. Beliefs are chosen or rejected, race is by birth and inalterable. And beliefs, of course, affect action in ways race simply cannot.

Pretending that what he said is like saying one must be white to be President is... hell, I don’t know what it is. I’d be tempted to say it’s dishonest, but I bet you really believe it.

(Nor, contra your assertion, was Romney suggesting that people be required to believe in anything.

He asserted that faith was "need[ed]" to lead the country (ie, that someone without faith would be a bad leader).

This is not a violation of "Freedom not to believe at all". There is no constitutional guarantee that nobody can assert that a particular belief or lack thereof makes one unfit to lead the nation. Freedom of speech, remember?)

Hell, given the atheists I’ve dealt with, I’m tempted to agree with Romney on that, and I’m an atheist too.
 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
First point just show us what Romney said, without making it look like your sort of excusing Sharpton for the same idiocy just because Romney did it.
They both made bigoted remarks. I said as much. Romney said atheists, by virtue of their beliefs, are not qualified to be President. Sharpton said Mormons don’t really believe in God.

But only Sharpton is chastized. Romney gets a standing ovation. It’s just ridiculous. And even more ridiculous is that of the two, Sharpton is not running for President, nor does he hold elected office.
And secondely Romney wasn’t attacking Sharpton when he said we needed persons of faith, Sharpton WAS attacking Romney.
So what. This isn’t about a personal attack. It is about bigotry. That’s how Romney has framed the issue.

Again, please explain why it is ok for Romney to make bigoted remarks about atheists, but it’s not ok for Sharpton to make bigoted remarks about Mormons.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The voters also agree with him, mk.
There was a time when a majority of voters thought it was ok to be bigoted against blacks. Is that the standard? If the voters say it is ok to be a bigot, it’s ok?

Look, if voters want to vote for him even though he is a bigot, fine. Let them do it. But let’s not pretend Romney is not a bigot. He is making a blanket statement about non-believers. He is saying every single one of them is not qualified to be President, no matter how bright, how ethical, how moral, how strong, how fair, how confident, and how educated the person is. That is the very essence of bigotry.
Is it hateful or intolerant of atheists to assert that they’re unfit to lead the country?
Yes. It would be hateful or intolerant to say a Christian is unfit to lead the country. Therefore it is hateful or intolerant to say an atheist is unfit to lead the country.

It would seem we all would want someone who would defend the Constitution, regardless of beliefs - or non-beliefs. Why is it any business of the government what god a man worships - or doesn’t worship?
Or is "bigot" just a cheap shot for anyone who thinks a belief you approve of can be disqualifying?
At a minimum, a bigot is someone who believes that someone is not fit for government office solely by virtue of their religous beliefs - or lack thereof.

Care to disagree?
Remember that faith is not the same as skin color. Beliefs aren’t race. Beliefs are chosen or rejected, race is by birth and inalterable. And beliefs, of course, affect action in ways race simply cannot.
Ok, then are you saying it’s ok to discriminate against Christians? After all, they choose their beliefs - it’s not an immutable characteristic.
Pretending that what he said is like saying one must be white to be President is... hell, I don’t know what it is. I’d be tempted to say it’s dishonest, but I bet you really believe it.
Ok - so let’s say Romney said we need a Mormon to lead this country. You would be presumably be ok with that then.

Again, if you are going to make the case that it is ok to discriminate on the basis of religion, but not on the basis of race, then just come out and say it.
He asserted that faith was "need[ed]" to lead the country (ie, that someone without faith would be a bad leader).
He did exactly that - and why is that ok? Why isn’t that bigoted? If it is bigoted to say a Catholic would be a bad leader, why isn’t it bigoted to say an atheist would be a bad leader?

And why doesn’t Romney understand this? After all, there are many people out there who believe a Mormon would be a bad leader. He wouldn’t agree with that, of course. But he thinks it is perfectly acceptable to say that otherwise moral, ethical, law abiding citizens of the United States aren’t fit to be President if they don’t believe in a higher power.

Remember, we are not talking about a religious position here. We are talking about an elected position in a secular government. More to the point, we have a constitution that says there shall be no religious test for holding elected office.
There is no constitutional guarantee that nobody can assert that a particular belief or lack thereof makes one unfit to lead the nation. Freedom of speech, remember?)
As I said before, he can say anything he wants. All I am saying is that he is as much a bigot for saying it as he accuses Sharpton of being. And yet he doesn’t get called for it.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
I see, according to MK disqualification because of beliefs, opinions and the like is bigotry. So maybe disqualification on the basis of ability is also bigotry? How about personal aesthetics; I don’t want someone who is ugly and incapable of grooming themselves taking higher office (that rules out James Traficant ;-).

Sorry, expressed personal beliefs (socialist, economic egoist, atheist, deist, spaghetti-monster, etc.) are fair game because they go straight to the character of the individual in question. Disqualifying someone on the basis of a group affiliation label (black, gay, Mormon, etc.) is not since the question is laid on aspect outside the person’s control; it is a way of avoiding the personal character issue. The two matters are diametric opposites.

Besides, Sharpton’s remarks about Mormons somehow being outside the pale of "those that really believe in God" reveals volumes about his own character. That he dissembled and prevaricated in the presence of irrefutable evidence reveals that he is stupid.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
MK - you...
Again, please explain why it is ok for Romney to make bigoted remarks about atheists, but it’s not ok for Sharpton to make bigoted remarks about Mormons.


Me, previous to that
without making it look like your sort of excusing Sharpton for the same idiocy just because Romney did it.
Mk, again, the vacation, it didn’t help huh?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Who cares about bigoted remarks? I am more concerned of Sharptons hypocrisy. If Romney thinks atheists should not lead the country that is his right to say it, if Sharpton thinks Mormons don’t believe in the real God, that is his right to say it, just don’t be an idiot are cry when someone uses speech you don’t like and don’t be surprised when someone calls you on it.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
"Now, do us all a favor and fire yourself." No, no, no, the real solution is now, do us all a favor and fire upon yourself.
 
Written By: Paul
URL: http://
I doubt Al disagrees with Mitt on the "person of faith" bit anyways...

And I too love the irony of "Mr. Tolerance" speaking intolerantly...

Maybe he was just tired... That’s going around I hear.
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Sorry, expressed personal beliefs (socialist, economic egoist, atheist, deist, spaghetti-monster, etc.) are fair game because they go straight to the character of the individual in question. Disqualifying someone on the basis of a group affiliation label (black, gay, Mormon, etc.) is not since the question is laid on aspect outside the person’s control;
Being a Mormon is outside the person’s control? Really? Please explain. How is that a person cannot choose not to be a Mormon.

And this is the heart of the issue. For some reason, certain people believe that being religious is not a choice, but being non-religious is. I bet Romney believes that too.

Which would make him an idiot.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Mk, again, the vacation, it didn’t help huh?
For the last freaking time: I have no problem criticizing Sharpton for the bigoted remartks he made. But since he holds no political office, and is not running for one, I really don’t care what he says.

But Romney wants to be my President. So he should have to answer for his bigoted remarks. I am only asking the question of why he is not required to, and Sharpton is.

Why is this so hard to understand?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Who cares about bigoted remarks?
Romney does. He sent his spokesman out to whine about them. And yet Romney himself has made bigoted remarks. Yet that is for some reason ok.

I’m trying to figure out the reason. I have yet to hear anyone address the question.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mkultra:

A majority of the United States would not vote for an atheist if their party nominated one. They apparently would not trust/place confidence in a person whose beliefs about the sources of morality and the nature of the universe were so apparently contrary to their own. In your opinion, would that alone make such a person unfit to hold the job?
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
"For some reason, certain people believe that being religious is not a choice, but being non-religious is. I bet Romney believes that too. Which would make him an idiot."

You are completely missing the point there, MK. Being identified with a particular religion is, for the vast majority of us, largely a matter of birth. Leaving that religion, for those who do leave, is a matter of personal decision. So, who is the idiot here? :-P

"Being a Mormon is outside the person’s control? Really? Please explain. How is that a person cannot choose not to be a Mormon."

Now you’re being disingenuous and obtuse. You know fully well that a member of a religious minority will be identified as a member of that minority. Being a member of a particular religious minority myself I can attest to this. Even if a person leaves of his own volition he will still be identified as Catholic, Jewish or what have you by public opinion. In short, you can run but you cannot hide.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
You are completely missing the point there, MK. Being identified with a particular religion is, for the vast majority of us, largely a matter of birth. Leaving that religion, for those who do leave, is a matter of personal decision. So, who is the idiot here? :-P
Being of a particular religion is a matter of choice. To say otherwise is to be disingenious. Indeed, Romney’s wife herself converted to Mormonism; she used to be an Episcopalian. She made a choice.

Some atheists choose to join a religion. Some religious folks choose to become atheists. It’s a simple yes or no question. Can you choose your religious beliefs, or can you choose not to believe at all. Yes or no. I say yes. You seem to say no. I was responding to someone who suggested religion was akin to race, that you cannot choose your religion. That is simply nonsense. And you know it.
You know fully well that a member of a religious minority will be identified as a member of that minority. Being a member of a particular religious minority myself I can attest to this. Even if a person leaves of his own volition he will still be identified as Catholic, Jewish or what have you by public opinion. In short, you can run but you cannot hide.
Sure, to a certain extent that is true. But so what. If Mitt Romney had chosen (I’m not saying he should have) to convert to Catholicism, no one would even be discussing the fact that he used to be Mormon.

And how in the world does that have anything to do with my original point? I say Romney is being bigoted when he says that you need to be a person of faith to be President. And no one calls him on it. Yet the minute the Reverend Al says something bigoted, he is castigated. Why?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
big·ot (bgt)
n.
One who is strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
Who’s the bigot?

Note that the definition specifies being partial to one’s own religion. Romney didn’t say that, just that the President should a person "of faith" as in, any freakin’ faith you can think of.

Sharpton, on the other hand, singled out Romney, denigrated his faith (by implying that Mormons don’t believe in God), and continues to lie about doing so despite the copious evidence to the contrary.

It’s apparent you can’t comprehend the difference, MK, so back in your hole!
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I am only asking the question of why he is not required to, and Sharpton is.
You’re asking me why I’m giving Romney a pass - I pointed out twice, I’m not. It was perhaps stupid for Romney to say (though he certainly knew it was safe, except for you, and I doubt THAT would be all that kept you from voting for him), and it was stupid for Sharpton to say.
I don’t worry about what religion or non-religion the guy in the White House practices. I don’t practice one, but I don’t loose sleep if they do, unless they’re worshipping gods like Baal or Set or Ares/Mars/Kali.
So I don’t require ’faith in God’ from the man in the White House as one of my criteria for his election. Frankly, I’d prefer it if he kept it pretty generic

But your first go round, it looked like you wanted to forgive Sharpton just because Romney said what you thought was a stupid thing.
What I was originally suggesting was, please stop using the asinine standard defense of ’he did it first!’ to excuse the second instance of stupidity.

Furthermore you appeared to forgive Sharpton for attacking Romney, while Romney was attacking NO ONE. You’re arguing about some non-existent atheist candidate, while Sharpton is clearly criticising ROMNEY.
Sharpton is shooting at Romney, you’re all incensed over a theory, and trying to claim the instances are identical.

And Sharpton, not a candidate - oh come on, that’s should be, not
yet.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Wow, what a joy to have mkultra back digging himself into semantic holes. Here’s one that stood out:
In other words, Romney is an intolerant bigot. Which is fine. Everyone should be able to have an opinion.
No, mk, this is not a sign that Romney is intolerant. He just thinks that people of faith make better Presidents. I’m sure Romney tolerates atheists in his presence, and probably has friends who are atheists.

If I say that this country needs a President who believes the earth is round, does that make me intolerant of flat-earthers? Hardly.

You have an overly broad definition of "intolerance" where Republicans are concerned, and an underly broad one where Democrats are concerned.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
To point out the obvious, an atheist is one who has faith that a God does not exist. But that doesn’t work for mk who seems as intent knocking down a man of verifiable indignity as he is propping up another devoid of that trait. But that is today’s left - they are becoming real life Ellsworth Toohey’s.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
No, mk, this is not a sign that Romney is intolerant. He just thinks that people of faith make better Presidents. I’m sure Romney tolerates atheists in his presence, and probably has friends who are atheists.
Ok - so substitute "white person" for "person of faith." "[W]e need to have a [white person] lead this country."

Would that make him intolerant? To me it would. So what’s the difference. I don’t see one. It’s the same thing as if he said: "[W]e need a [Protestant] to lead this country." Catholics would call him intolerant. Would they be wrong? I don’t think so.

In my opinion, faith, or lack thereof, standing alone, should not make a person more or less qualified to be President. I would say the same thing about race or gender. Just because a person is black should not, standing alone, make them more or less qualified to be President. Just because a person is a woman, standing alone, should not make her more or less qualified to be President. Just because a person believes in God, or Allah, or Bhudda, or nothing at all, should not, standing alone, make one more less qualified to be President.

This is the great thing about America. When it comes to government, we do not judge based on race, gender or religion. Or at least we aren’t supposed to. Why? Because, in a secular republic, it should not matter.

I believe that people who think otherwise are intolerant. Steverino thinks otherwise, apparently.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
You’re arguing about some non-existent atheist candidate, while Sharpton is clearly criticising ROMNEY.
Perhaps one reason athetistic candidates don’t exist is because it is apparently ok to be bigoted against them. Hell, the audience gave Romney a standing O when he made his remarks.

And no - Romney was not attacking one person. He was simply stating his intolerance of a whole class of people, namely atheists. Romney believes that their personal beliefs about faith make them less fit to be President - as a class.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Fire himself from what? You mean he actually got a job?
 
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://
Ok - so substitute "white person" for "person of faith." "[W]e need to have a [white person] lead this country."
But he didn’t say "white person", did he? So, it really doesn’t matter, since he didn’t say it.
So what’s the difference. I don’t see one. It’s the same thing as if he said: "[W]e need a [Protestant] to lead this country." Catholics would call him intolerant. Would they be wrong? I don’t think so.
It’s not the same thing at all. They might be able to call him a bit chauvanistic, but not intolerant. Besides, he didn’t say that. There were plenty of people who didn’t think Kennedy should be President because he was Catholic. More recently, Alito was dinged at his nomination hearings because he is Catholic. Speaking as a Catholic, I didn’t find that the Democratic Senators who raised this issue were intolerant, just silly.

At most you can claim that he said, "I think a man of faith should lead the country." It’s a bit like saying, "I think New Yorker should lead the country." There will be those that disagree, but the statements aren’t intolerant or bigoted.
I believe that people who think otherwise are intolerant. Steverino thinks otherwise, apparently.
As I said, you have an overly broad interpretation of intolerance. To you, anyone who disagrees with you is intolerant. I definitely think otherwise.

 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
bitten by my rush to get through spell checker, I re-submit:
To point out the obvious, an atheist is one who has faith that a God does not exist. But that doesn’t work for mk who seems as intent knocking down a man of verifiable indignity integrity as he is propping up another devoid of that trait. But that is today’s left - they are becoming real life Ellsworth Toohey’s.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
This is the great thing about America. When it comes to government, we do not judge based on race, gender or religion. Or at least we aren’t supposed to. Why? Because, in a secular republic, it should not matter.
What America are you from? Candidates are judged all the time based on race, gender, and religion. I’m sure there are plenty of folks who wouldn’t vote for Pat Robertson simply because he’s a fundie.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
No, mk, this is not a sign that Romney is intolerant. He just thinks that people of faith make better Presidents. I’m sure Romney tolerates atheists in his presence, and probably has friends who are atheists.

Ok - so substitute "white person" for "person of faith." "[W]e need to have a [white person] lead this country."

Would that make him intolerant? To me it would. So what’s the difference. I don’t see one. It’s the same thing as if he said: "[W]e need a [Protestant] to lead this country." Catholics would call him intolerant. Would they be wrong? I don’t think so.
I’ll lob one in here before I drop out for the night. Did mk say substitute ’color of skin’ for ’person of faith’? Whoa! I’m gonna need a full night of sleep for that one. One given at birth which you can not change, one OFFERED at birth which you can change. Riggghhht.

What’s the difference? Who are you mk, Andrew Dice Clay?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
This whole MK debate reminds me of a great quote:

"A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand." (Bertrand Russell) — Note that I’m not necessarily calling Romney clever, but I definitely am calling you stupid.

You can’t take a quote that says "we need to have a person of faith lead the country" and compare it to saying "we need to have a white person lead the country." Just because that’s how you interpreted the Romney quote does not mean that that’s how he intended it!

Suppose he said "we need to have a conservative lead the country." That would be a much more realistic comparison to what he did say than the ridiculous line you made up, because faith, after all, is a matter of personal belief, as is political ideology. Race or skin color are a completely different subject. Would you be shocked and appalled to hear a conservative candidate say that we need a conservative leader? Of course not. (Although if you would be offended, then I understand why you spend so much time arguing on the Internet, since nobody would be willing to talk to you in person.) So why is it a big deal for a religious candidate to say he believes we need a religious president?

You might have some credibility if Mitt Romney were a fundamentalist who wanted to impose his religious beliefs on the rest of America (imagine Pat Robertson in office), but Romney is not a fundamentalist.

The point is that American politics today are more divisive than in any point in recent memory, and religion among the hottest contested issues (prayer in school, etc.). Many religious people worry that there is too much of a secularist pressure to wipe any semblance of religion out of public life in America—like removing Ten Commandments displays from courthouses. Such people would probably feel more comfortable with a religious leader in office to deal with those issues. Now, if we could all just learn to get along and respect our differences, then religious issues would fade from the political debate, and nobody would care about the religious beliefs of the President. But as long as people are politicizing religion in this country, people will look at religiousness as one of the qualifications for office. And as long as that is the case, saying that we need a person of faith to lead this country is not a statement of bigotry, it is just a political opinion.
 
Written By: cccjedininja
URL: http://
Perhaps one reason athetistic candidates don’t exist is because it is apparently ok to be bigoted against them. Hell, the audience gave Romney a standing O when he made his remarks.

And no - Romney was not attacking one person. He was simply stating his intolerance of a whole class of people, namely atheists. Romney believes that their personal beliefs about faith make them less fit to be President - as a class.
Heh, you’re concocting this as your defense?
You’re reaching to have a reason to be outraged.
You found the nearest handy instance of a guy you didn’t like saying something you worked yourself up to be offended by, an essentially, for most (be they atheist, deist, fundamentalist or Buddhist, I mean 99.99% of MOST), innocuous statement about faith in some higher authority as a good idea for the leader of arguably the most powerful nation on the planet right now. An attack only in your mind.

And in the process, you’re totally ignoring the post, which was about Sharpton being Sharpton, lord of the offensively offending offended. Which may be why you’re using this attack Romney defense of Sharpton, now that I think on’t, since you’re obviously numbered amongst the easily offended by Republicans class yourself.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Looker, this is vintage mkultra. McQ will post something that says "A did something bad". Mkultra will respond with "B did something that if you look at it upside down and sideways while squinting and humming ’Mary Had a Little Lamb’ looks like it would be almost 1/10 as bad, so everyone here is being hypocritical."
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
He could have meant what he said he meant but it was a really sloppy way to say it.

I’ve said that Romney would be difficult for Christians to vote for as Mormonism is considered a cult by many. And I suppose that by "Christians" I meant "those that actually believe that God is real rather than just thinking Jesus was a good teacher and the Bible is a nice book of stories."

But the claim that "really believe in God" means just that and in contrast to "Mormons" is reasonable. I’m sure that Romney knows very well that many Christians consider Mormonism *not* Christian and a cult. How can he possibly not? Calling Sharpton on it is fair. Smart, too, as it’s going to work for him with those that "really believe in God" to know that Sharpton has announced what they are going to do. They hate that.

The dynamic is a bit hard to explain but it’s essentially the same one that made Kerry and Edwards oh-so-friendly remarks about Mary Cheney work against them and for Bush/Cheney with that exact same group of people.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
Suppose he said "we need to have a conservative lead the country." That would be a much more realistic comparison to what he did say than the ridiculous line you made up, because faith, after all, is a matter of personal belief, as is political ideology.

No, that analogy is wrong. Skin color, race, and religious beliefs have little or no effect on governing ability. Political ideology reflects directly on governing ability. mkultra’s point is that both Romney and Sharpton are doing exactly the same thing: using religion as a false proxy for governing ability. Using political ideology as a proxy for governing ability is exactly how one ought to evaluate politicians.

Put another way, it is not bigoted to say that a white woman wouldn’t make a good Miss Black USA. She’s not qualified for the job, because her skin color directly relates to her ability to assume the title and perform the duties. However, it is bigoted to say that a white woman wouldn’t make a good rapper. Her skin color has no bearing on her ability to rhyme, perhaps not even on her ability to sell records.

- Josh
 
Written By: Wild Pegasus
URL: http://
Ideology reflects on governing ability. What do you think religion *is*?

One can argue with the assertion that a particular ideology is better for governing than another, but it’s not true that religion doesn’t make a difference.

I know that some people want to insist that religion only be held in such a way that it makes no difference in one’s life and choices but, as James might say, faith without works is dead.

A belief system that has no impact on a person’s life is not a belief system.

In the end everyone has "faith" in something. I sometimes joke with my husband about having "faith" that someone will do what I expect them to do, such as "faith" that a criminal will continue to be a criminal. Obviously Romney means religious faith, a belief that they answer to someone higher, perhaps.

But everyone has an ideology. Everyone who isn’t insane has a coherent template that they use to interpret and understand the world. That template determines a great deal about choices and decisions and opinions. People behave according to it, if religion is part of it or if it isn’t. The ideology/faith/world-view will be demonstrated or else it is "dead."

Everyone has one. And it’s useful to know what it is, particularly if we’re looking at voting someone into office.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
religious beliefs have little or no effect on governing ability

Are you serious?!?!?

Well, perhaps they don’t determine an individual’s governing ability, I’ll give you that, but they can definitely affect an individual’s governing agenda. So of course it’s a factor that people will take into consideration, as long as religious issues are considered part of the political debate (like I said before).

Would you say that Islamic fundamentalist political leaders’ beliefs have had no impact on the politics of the Middle East? Or that the beliefs of atheist leaders in China have had no impact on, say, Buddhist monks in Tibet?

Thankfully in America we haven’t politicized religion to those extremes. But as long as politicians are going to debate the extent to which religious values, opinions, and values can be expressed in public, then it should be perfectly acceptable to support politicians who have similar opinions on the nature of religion and its appropriate role (or non-role) in public life.
 
Written By: cccjedininja
URL: http://
To point out the obvious, an atheist is one who has faith that a God does not exist.
I disagree. It does not require faith to disbelieve something — unless there is overwhelming evidence or proof that the thing in question exists. Atheists are not convinced that the available evidence supports the existence of God/gods, anymore than you are convinced that the evidence indicates that Santa Claus exists. Do you require faith not to believe in Santa?
 
Written By: DavidC
URL: http://
DavidC,

To me it sounds more like you are talking about agnostics than atheists. To use your own logic, there isn’t any overwhelming evidence or proof that God does not exist, so yes, it does take a degree of faith to claim that there is no God.

On the other hand, there is pretty convincing evidence that Santa does not exist, so no, you don’t require faith to not believe in Santa.
 
Written By: cccjedininja
URL: http://
Say, wasn’t this supposed to be a discussion on Al Sharpton?
 
Written By: cccjedininja
URL: http://
Sure.

I have faith that I understand the world adequately enough to say, without a doubt, that Santa Claus does not exist.

I suppose that means there is faith and there is Faith, or something.

My problem with the idea that atheists (or perhaps Atheists) don’t have faith in their belief, or non-belief, or that Atheism isn’t sometimes a religion (though I would never claim it was a Religion) is that for some atheists their Atheism is the defining ideology of their life. Some Atheists are actually downright Evangelistic about it.

To get all pedantic about the meaning of the word "faith" or even "religion" to define out anything that hasn’t to do specifically with a deity supports the opposite, actually. A person starts to ask why it’s so self-definingly important.

We say, "He works out religiously, every morning." Yet exercise isn’t a religion.

We say, "I have faith in you." But that doesn’t mean we think that person is God.

We say, "Environmentalism is a religion to her." And that gets closer.

"Faith" is what a person believes about the world or the future. In a sense an atheist has faith that God doesn’t exist. (Can’t have *proof* that God doesn’t exist, after all. It’s a belief, even if it’s negative rather than positive.) For some atheists it’s *really important* and for some it’s not important at all.

Perhaps it’s just that Christians are used to "no other Gods before me" to mean gods and also all the non-god things, and are used to the concept of worshiping money, which isn’t a god or God or even a philosophy. It’s hard to understand the demand not to use certain words when they seem to apply.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
Yeah, but who wants to talk about Al Sharpton?
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
Good point. That’s just what he wants us to do.
 
Written By: cccjedininja
URL: http://
I disagree. It does not require faith to disbelieve something.
Wrong, atheism is not a dis-belief, it is a belief that a supreme being does not exist. I say this as one wavering between agnosticism and atheism. In the realm of the later, I have faith in science’s explaination regarding our universe’s raison d’etre.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
bains -
I have faith in science’s explaination regarding our universe’s raison d’etre.
Science doesn’t really have any such explanation, at least as far as I’m aware.
-=-=-=-=-=-
mkultra - In line with my earlier question, I also don’t see the logic behind the argument you’re making here:
In my opinion, faith, or lack thereof, standing alone, should not make a person more or less qualified to be President. I would say the same thing about race or gender.
Whether or not faith (or lack thereof) should make a person more or less qualified is not what’s under scrutiny. Does a person’s sincere beliefs about the universe and about the sources of morality make them more or less effective at doing a job, particularly if he or she is leading a group of people whose beliefs are directly contrary to his or her own?

At the same time, I’ll take issue with WildPegasus’s claim that
Skin color, race, and religious beliefs have little or no effect on governing ability. Political ideology reflects directly on governing ability.
I don’t know exactly what effects a person’s skin color (or related phenotypes and related genotypes) or sex would have on their performance as PotUS, but let’s face reality: those will have an effect; in fact, every characteristic of that person is going to have an effect on their job performance in some way over the course of several years, some effects more subtle than others. A person’s skin color and sex are going to play a role in that person’s interactions with the other people they have to deal with on a daily basis, and there’s no way around that. The same is true of age, height, physical attractiveness, the timbre of the person’s voice, and so on. We can’t just decide that these facts don’t apply once they become "politically incorrect"—or, more appropriately, ideologically inconvenient. Just because this country has passed legislation that theoretically is supposed to make hiring and firing decisions independent of race/creed/sex/etc. doesn’t mean that those things have no impact on job performance, particularly when one’s job involves interacting with very large numbers of people on a near-constant basis.

Regarding religious beliefs: if a person holds a particular set of beliefs about how things work that is at odds with most of the people he or she governs, that can create an awful lot of friction. If, in a country with several democratic characteristics (like the U.S.), many people do not trust or place their confidence in a leader because of some characteristic of that person, no matter what the truth content of those opinions may be, that person may be a less effective leader as a result... in which case those beliefs are, for the moment, self-justifying. Or maybe the extra scrutiny and accountability will make them more effective in some ways. In any case, it will have some effect.
To take it to absurd lengths just for illustration, how much harder would it be for a president who admitted (after taking office) to being a practicing Satanist to marshal public support behind a particular act of governance? Sure, many of his religious views have only to do with the transcendant, but to say it wouldn’t have an effect is naïve.

Even getting down to some hypothetical pure, technical measure of decision-making capability, a person’s true beliefs will affect his or her decisions. As Thomas Fuller put it, "He does not believe that does not live according to his belief." A person who holds a particular set of beliefs about morality is going to make decisions differently than a person who holds a divergent or even contrary view of morality.

So let’s hear why any of the above is inaccurate or impertinent.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
bains -

Yes, but isn’t science supposed to be the answer to the question how, rather than why?
 
Written By: cccjedininja
URL: http://
Bryan and c^3, both correct, I was knowingly inaccurate. Why and how are huge differences.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Wrong, atheism is not a dis-belief, it is a belief that a supreme being does not exist. I say this as one wavering between agnosticism and atheism. In the realm of the later, I have faith in science’s explaination regarding our universe’s raison d’etre.
You are mistaken. An atheist does not believe god exists, they don’t believe god does not exist. The difference is important because the latter is just as susceptible to the teapot argument as is religion. But you are arguing against a strawman. An atheist does not believe in god because there is no compelling evidence to support the hypothesis. The existence of god is a rather extraordinary claim, and requires extraordinary evidence. An atheist, without any such evidence, defaults to the null hypothesis of nonexistence.

Contrast this to an agnostic who, as Huxley used the word, believes that the existence of god is fundamentally unknowable.
 
Written By: Adam Lassek
URL: http://

 
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