Democrats fight over “God”

The Democratic Party Platform (see our post about that) cut out language from earlier platforms referring to “God.”   Paul Ryan and other Republicans jumped on that omission, so party leaders introduced an amendment putting “God” back in.

But the convention chairman, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, had to call for three voice votes from the floor.  It appeared that most of the convention voted “nay.”  Nevertheless, the chairman gavelled it through, ruling that the “ayes” had it and that “God” would be put back into the party platform.  Whereupon the floor erupted in boos.

Also put back in was language affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

See this for details and a video.  Also  Democratic National Convention 2012 platform altered to add God | World | News | National Post.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Michael B.

    I wish that whenever a politician invoked “god”, he would instantly be asked “Which God are you taking about, sir?”. People with itching ears just assume it is “their god” the politician is talking about. One can be a Mormon, Catholic, Lutheran, conservative Calvinist, or liberal Methodist, and they all just assume they are talking about the same god. What people are basically worshiping is a state god.

  • Michael B.

    I wish that whenever a politician invoked “god”, he would instantly be asked “Which God are you taking about, sir?”. People with itching ears just assume it is “their god” the politician is talking about. One can be a Mormon, Catholic, Lutheran, conservative Calvinist, or liberal Methodist, and they all just assume they are talking about the same god. What people are basically worshiping is a state god.

  • Rose

    Not so, Michael B.
    The Creator gave us inalienable rights, not the State.
    The scuffle yesterday was symptomatic of the party’s belief that the State can deny the right to life, curtail liberty and tax beyond belief the pursuit of happiness.

  • Rose

    Not so, Michael B.
    The Creator gave us inalienable rights, not the State.
    The scuffle yesterday was symptomatic of the party’s belief that the State can deny the right to life, curtail liberty and tax beyond belief the pursuit of happiness.

  • Joe

    The thing about the reaction to the amendments to the platform is that you really can’t tell which amendment they were booing. The two amendments were voted on together. The two amendments were: 1. putting the God language back in and 2. putting the Jerusalem is the capital of Israel language back in. There is no way to tell which of these amendments the crowd is booing. Could be one, could be the other, could be both.

    If these conventions were really about something other than a stage show, they would have been equipped to actually take a recorded vote to determine if 2/3rds of the delegates wanted to: 1. suspend the rules to consider an amendment and then 2. adopt the amendment(s).

  • Joe

    The thing about the reaction to the amendments to the platform is that you really can’t tell which amendment they were booing. The two amendments were voted on together. The two amendments were: 1. putting the God language back in and 2. putting the Jerusalem is the capital of Israel language back in. There is no way to tell which of these amendments the crowd is booing. Could be one, could be the other, could be both.

    If these conventions were really about something other than a stage show, they would have been equipped to actually take a recorded vote to determine if 2/3rds of the delegates wanted to: 1. suspend the rules to consider an amendment and then 2. adopt the amendment(s).

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    What interested me was the fact that the chair kept asking for re-votes, hoping to get the result he clearly wanted, and finally just declared victory and moved on. This, in my admittedly prejudiced view, is liberal governance in its essence.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    What interested me was the fact that the chair kept asking for re-votes, hoping to get the result he clearly wanted, and finally just declared victory and moved on. This, in my admittedly prejudiced view, is liberal governance in its essence.

  • Carl Vehse

    Determining the god to which the Demonicratic diversity refers is tilting at windmills.

    But one should note that the United States, in one of its official documents, did specifically acknowledge the Triune God. This document is one of the top four early documents of the United States held by the National Archives, the other three being the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the U.S. Constitution (1787), and the Bill of Rights (first ten amendments, 1789). Incidentally, September 3rd was the 229th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1783).

  • Carl Vehse

    Determining the god to which the Demonicratic diversity refers is tilting at windmills.

    But one should note that the United States, in one of its official documents, did specifically acknowledge the Triune God. This document is one of the top four early documents of the United States held by the National Archives, the other three being the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the U.S. Constitution (1787), and the Bill of Rights (first ten amendments, 1789). Incidentally, September 3rd was the 229th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1783).

  • fws

    carl @ 5
    and your point is?

  • fws

    carl @ 5
    and your point is?

  • HippoAugustine

    I was horrified at how the chairman denied the obvious will of the convention! And why did not the delegates protest more firmly? In former times, they would not have allowed the convention to go any further. This is significant.

    So on the one hand you have leaders who overreach their authority; on the other, followers who surrender what authority they do have.

    Fascinating.

  • HippoAugustine

    I was horrified at how the chairman denied the obvious will of the convention! And why did not the delegates protest more firmly? In former times, they would not have allowed the convention to go any further. This is significant.

    So on the one hand you have leaders who overreach their authority; on the other, followers who surrender what authority they do have.

    Fascinating.

  • fws

    HippoAugustine @7

    Horrified! I tell you, simply HORRIFIED. and fascinated….. this is sooooooo significant. What happens in party conventions means so very very much doesnt it?

  • fws

    HippoAugustine @7

    Horrified! I tell you, simply HORRIFIED. and fascinated….. this is sooooooo significant. What happens in party conventions means so very very much doesnt it?

  • James Hageman

    He who sits in the heavens laughs . . .

  • James Hageman

    He who sits in the heavens laughs . . .

  • HippoAugustine

    @fws 8
    Heh.. point taken. Yeah, I might have been a bit overblown on that.

    However at conventions, regardless of how important they are, a party seeks to put its collective best foot forward. So the chairman’s disregard of the will of the convention, was significant. Their party was on display. They displayed illicit behavior in parliamentary situations. And they want us to let them govern us?

  • HippoAugustine

    @fws 8
    Heh.. point taken. Yeah, I might have been a bit overblown on that.

    However at conventions, regardless of how important they are, a party seeks to put its collective best foot forward. So the chairman’s disregard of the will of the convention, was significant. Their party was on display. They displayed illicit behavior in parliamentary situations. And they want us to let them govern us?

  • CRB

    Really love James post at #9 !!
    And that applies to both conventions!! Man, proud man, thinks that he is doing SOMETHING, when, in reality, it will all come to abstolutely nothing. God, the true and only God is in control and always will be!!

  • CRB

    Really love James post at #9 !!
    And that applies to both conventions!! Man, proud man, thinks that he is doing SOMETHING, when, in reality, it will all come to abstolutely nothing. God, the true and only God is in control and always will be!!

  • #4 Kitty

    @James Hageman #9

    He who sits in the heavens laughs . . .

    Zeus?

  • #4 Kitty

    @James Hageman #9

    He who sits in the heavens laughs . . .

    Zeus?

  • dust

    HippoA@7….right on, and don’t leave out the complicit media who for the most part made no mention of the “kangaroo” convention :(

    can’t say can blame them, busy and distracted by all the freebies as per Dr. Veith’s opening thread :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    HippoA@7….right on, and don’t leave out the complicit media who for the most part made no mention of the “kangaroo” convention :(

    can’t say can blame them, busy and distracted by all the freebies as per Dr. Veith’s opening thread :)

    cheers!

  • fjsteve

    Another stellar media moment for Los Angeles’ say-nothing-and-do-even-less mayor. He looked like the buffoon that he is and I couldn’t be more pleased.

  • fjsteve

    Another stellar media moment for Los Angeles’ say-nothing-and-do-even-less mayor. He looked like the buffoon that he is and I couldn’t be more pleased.

  • mikeb

    Michael B. @ 1

    One can be a Mormon, Catholic, Lutheran, conservative Calvinist, or liberal Methodist, and they all just assume they are talking about the same god.

    If one is a Catholic, Lutheran, conservative Calvinist, or liberal Methodist we don’t just assume we’re talking about the same God, we actually are. For we all believe in one God, the same God that we all confess in the Creed.

  • mikeb

    Michael B. @ 1

    One can be a Mormon, Catholic, Lutheran, conservative Calvinist, or liberal Methodist, and they all just assume they are talking about the same god.

    If one is a Catholic, Lutheran, conservative Calvinist, or liberal Methodist we don’t just assume we’re talking about the same God, we actually are. For we all believe in one God, the same God that we all confess in the Creed.

  • mikeb

    Lars @ 4

    +1

    Too bad nobody in the hall was familiar enough with Robert’s Rules of Order to think about appealing the ruling of the chair to the parliamentarian and seek a full recorded vote. It would have made for some excitement/drama that the scripted conventions sorely lack.

  • mikeb

    Lars @ 4

    +1

    Too bad nobody in the hall was familiar enough with Robert’s Rules of Order to think about appealing the ruling of the chair to the parliamentarian and seek a full recorded vote. It would have made for some excitement/drama that the scripted conventions sorely lack.

  • Grace

    Michael @1

    YOU WROTE: “One can be a Mormon, Catholic, Lutheran, conservative Calvinist, or liberal Methodist, and they all just assume they are talking about the same god. What people are basically worshiping is a state god.”

    No Michael, you can discount the Mormons, but the rest ARE worshiping the same God, and it’s NOT a “state god” -

    Mormons believe Joseph Smith, who contradicts the Bible.

  • Grace

    Michael @1

    YOU WROTE: “One can be a Mormon, Catholic, Lutheran, conservative Calvinist, or liberal Methodist, and they all just assume they are talking about the same god. What people are basically worshiping is a state god.”

    No Michael, you can discount the Mormons, but the rest ARE worshiping the same God, and it’s NOT a “state god” -

    Mormons believe Joseph Smith, who contradicts the Bible.

  • Tom Hering

    Huh. The Democratic convention is failing to impress people here. There goes the re-election, I guess. :-D But seriously, last night, Bill Clinton gave the best speech/argument heard at either convention – bits from which the media will play hundreds of times between now and November. And Clinton’s always been the guy with the greatest ability to convince undecided voters. No, there aren’t many of them this time around, but they will, indeed, decide this thing (if it remains a tight race).

  • Tom Hering

    Huh. The Democratic convention is failing to impress people here. There goes the re-election, I guess. :-D But seriously, last night, Bill Clinton gave the best speech/argument heard at either convention – bits from which the media will play hundreds of times between now and November. And Clinton’s always been the guy with the greatest ability to convince undecided voters. No, there aren’t many of them this time around, but they will, indeed, decide this thing (if it remains a tight race).

  • Joe

    Tom — I disagree with most of what he said and I really don’t understand his appeal (he seems used car salesmanish to me); but there is no doubt about it he arguably the most effective political speech maker alive today.

  • Joe

    Tom — I disagree with most of what he said and I really don’t understand his appeal (he seems used car salesmanish to me); but there is no doubt about it he arguably the most effective political speech maker alive today.

  • Tom Hering

    An effective used car salesman is just what’s needed when trying to convince people to buy something four years old, as opposed to a new model. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    An effective used car salesman is just what’s needed when trying to convince people to buy something four years old, as opposed to a new model. :-D

  • DonS

    The next time Democrats tell you that they are just about making sure every vote counts ………..

    Of course, the problem would not have arisen if they hadn’t stripped the language out of the platform in the first place, and then attempted to jam it back in for apparently craven political reasons. So, they deserve what happened to them.

    Political conventions have outlived their usefulness. The fix is in and delegates have no power or authority. So, let’s eliminate them and save a lot of money and headaches.

  • DonS

    The next time Democrats tell you that they are just about making sure every vote counts ………..

    Of course, the problem would not have arisen if they hadn’t stripped the language out of the platform in the first place, and then attempted to jam it back in for apparently craven political reasons. So, they deserve what happened to them.

    Political conventions have outlived their usefulness. The fix is in and delegates have no power or authority. So, let’s eliminate them and save a lot of money and headaches.

  • Helen K

    What LARS @ 4 said and mikeb @16 replied.
    +100

  • Helen K

    What LARS @ 4 said and mikeb @16 replied.
    +100

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom @ 20 – brilliant!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Tom @ 20 – brilliant!

  • Carl Vehse

    The only person I know who had more adulation about Monica’s ex-boyfriend’s convention speech than in post #18 is Chris “thrill going up my leg” Matthews who stated:

    “I always figured that if Bill Clinton landed on Mars, he would know how to do it with them, he would know how to reproduce, he would know everything. He’d just instinctively know how to talk to people.”

    Admittedly, I haven’t check the latest reviews from “journalist” Nina Burleigh, who in gratitude once offered to perform a sex act on Slick Willie, or ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who hasn’t quite.

  • Carl Vehse

    The only person I know who had more adulation about Monica’s ex-boyfriend’s convention speech than in post #18 is Chris “thrill going up my leg” Matthews who stated:

    “I always figured that if Bill Clinton landed on Mars, he would know how to do it with them, he would know how to reproduce, he would know everything. He’d just instinctively know how to talk to people.”

    Admittedly, I haven’t check the latest reviews from “journalist” Nina Burleigh, who in gratitude once offered to perform a sex act on Slick Willie, or ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who hasn’t quite.

  • dust

    yahoo had a good piece on the accuracy of Clinton’s remarks:

    http://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-clinton-claims-compromise-stretch-043255807–election.html

    cheers!

  • dust

    yahoo had a good piece on the accuracy of Clinton’s remarks:

    http://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-clinton-claims-compromise-stretch-043255807–election.html

    cheers!

  • mikeb

    Joe @ 19

    I really don’t understand his appeal (he seems used car salesmanish to me); but there is no doubt about it he arguably the most effective political speech maker alive today.

    Yes, I suppose he does give a good speech. But effective? He won the presidency with 43% and 49% of the vote.

  • mikeb

    Joe @ 19

    I really don’t understand his appeal (he seems used car salesmanish to me); but there is no doubt about it he arguably the most effective political speech maker alive today.

    Yes, I suppose he does give a good speech. But effective? He won the presidency with 43% and 49% of the vote.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mikeb (@26) … um, is percentage of the popular vote a measure of speech effectiveness somehow?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mikeb (@26) … um, is percentage of the popular vote a measure of speech effectiveness somehow?

  • helen

    9 James Hageman September 6, 2012 at 10:27 am
    He who sits in the heavens laughs . . .

    He who sits in Brazil, too, apparently. ;-

  • helen

    9 James Hageman September 6, 2012 at 10:27 am
    He who sits in the heavens laughs . . .

    He who sits in Brazil, too, apparently. ;-

  • mikeb

    tODD @ 27

    Yes, I do think that popular vote percentages (and aggregate votes, as well) are a reflection of one’s ability to convince voters. While it’s not the only metric, it is a valid one when we’re talking about political speech.

    Consider it this way: In 1996 when President Clinton ran for re-election he managed to convince 47-million voters (49%) that his vision was right for the country. In contrast, a decade before President Reagan convinced 54-million voters (58%) that his vision was right. Reagan is roundly praised for his ability to give a speech as well (hence the “great communicator” moniker). I would argue that Reagan was quite effective, Clinton less so.

    He does play the elder statesman role quite well. And it was obvious he enjoyed being the center of attention. I’m just not convinced it will translate into votes for Obama or down the ticket.

  • mikeb

    tODD @ 27

    Yes, I do think that popular vote percentages (and aggregate votes, as well) are a reflection of one’s ability to convince voters. While it’s not the only metric, it is a valid one when we’re talking about political speech.

    Consider it this way: In 1996 when President Clinton ran for re-election he managed to convince 47-million voters (49%) that his vision was right for the country. In contrast, a decade before President Reagan convinced 54-million voters (58%) that his vision was right. Reagan is roundly praised for his ability to give a speech as well (hence the “great communicator” moniker). I would argue that Reagan was quite effective, Clinton less so.

    He does play the elder statesman role quite well. And it was obvious he enjoyed being the center of attention. I’m just not convinced it will translate into votes for Obama or down the ticket.

  • dust

    mikeb…good answer! he did not seem like the old clinton last nite to me anyway….plus it seemed he was talking louder than usual? in my little brain people do that when their arguments are weak and they think by being louder, it makes their argument stronger? or it just could be he’s getting older and the hearing is going? that might be it, as did notice some spittle off the right corner of his mouth, like he was foaming a bit, or having some dry mouth, or who knows…did anyone else notice?

    not pretty, but am sure made an impression with his ardent admirers :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    mikeb…good answer! he did not seem like the old clinton last nite to me anyway….plus it seemed he was talking louder than usual? in my little brain people do that when their arguments are weak and they think by being louder, it makes their argument stronger? or it just could be he’s getting older and the hearing is going? that might be it, as did notice some spittle off the right corner of his mouth, like he was foaming a bit, or having some dry mouth, or who knows…did anyone else notice?

    not pretty, but am sure made an impression with his ardent admirers :)

    cheers!

  • fws

    helen @28
    ;)

    Mikeb @29

    Well what it does do is rally the troups like me MikeB. It fired me up! And it also helps for Democrats who were feeling apathetic, because, lets face it, the economy is still not doing very well.
    So Clinton might have gained some independents, and for sure he rallied the Democratic base.

    And Michelle Obama did well too I might add in both those areas. Her speech very adroitly contrasted the wealthy Romneys. It was sorta wierd that Ann shot to get some street cred for being less than wealthy when her marriage started . She has never known want and neither has Mitt. And I am not saying that as a criticism, but that is simply the truth.

    I really doubt that either spectacle, either of the Dems or Republicans are gonna really change the election very much in terms of winning over the “other side”.

    I see even my own self becoming more polarized. I could have voted for Goldwater , for certain Gerald Ford or even Bush Senior without qualms. Bush II or Romney? Not a chance. For different reasons. Actually I think Romney would end up being far more liberal than most Republicans might expect based upon looking at his Governorship. Obama could be said to have copied the Health Plan that Romney in place there, that he is now against…..

  • fws

    helen @28
    ;)

    Mikeb @29

    Well what it does do is rally the troups like me MikeB. It fired me up! And it also helps for Democrats who were feeling apathetic, because, lets face it, the economy is still not doing very well.
    So Clinton might have gained some independents, and for sure he rallied the Democratic base.

    And Michelle Obama did well too I might add in both those areas. Her speech very adroitly contrasted the wealthy Romneys. It was sorta wierd that Ann shot to get some street cred for being less than wealthy when her marriage started . She has never known want and neither has Mitt. And I am not saying that as a criticism, but that is simply the truth.

    I really doubt that either spectacle, either of the Dems or Republicans are gonna really change the election very much in terms of winning over the “other side”.

    I see even my own self becoming more polarized. I could have voted for Goldwater , for certain Gerald Ford or even Bush Senior without qualms. Bush II or Romney? Not a chance. For different reasons. Actually I think Romney would end up being far more liberal than most Republicans might expect based upon looking at his Governorship. Obama could be said to have copied the Health Plan that Romney in place there, that he is now against…..

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I saw the clip of the vote and then Debbie Wasserman Schulz reaction, and then Anderson Cooper’s reaction to her. Cooper said she must be in an alternate universe. Check it out:

    My personal favorite was when the Chairman said, “Isthereanyfurtherdiscussionhearingnonethematterrequiresa2/3vote…”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I saw the clip of the vote and then Debbie Wasserman Schulz reaction, and then Anderson Cooper’s reaction to her. Cooper said she must be in an alternate universe. Check it out:

    My personal favorite was when the Chairman said, “Isthereanyfurtherdiscussionhearingnonethematterrequiresa2/3vote…”

  • mikeb

    fws @ 31

    I understand your “feeling fired up”. I’m still not convinced the needle will move.

    As I’m sure Ann Richards said (or should have!) countless times about her political opponents, I always thought Bill Clinton was ‘all hat and no cattle’.

  • mikeb

    fws @ 31

    I understand your “feeling fired up”. I’m still not convinced the needle will move.

    As I’m sure Ann Richards said (or should have!) countless times about her political opponents, I always thought Bill Clinton was ‘all hat and no cattle’.

  • dust

    heard the admin was in talks with bill for over a year in order to pull off the speech….makes you wonder what kinds of deals he got out of it?

    perhaps a guarantee his vp will not run, so it will be hillary?

    or bill himself as secretary of state….a nice platform that could handsomely increase the funds coming into his foundation :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    heard the admin was in talks with bill for over a year in order to pull off the speech….makes you wonder what kinds of deals he got out of it?

    perhaps a guarantee his vp will not run, so it will be hillary?

    or bill himself as secretary of state….a nice platform that could handsomely increase the funds coming into his foundation :)

    cheers!

  • fws

    mikeb @ 33

    I agree that the needle wont change.
    Id pick clinton over bush II on substance any day of the week.

    but that aint sayin much is it? Clinton only looks good because Bush II followed him I think. Our last good president in my opinion? Bush I or Gerald Ford. And I am a democrat sayin that.

    But I do like Obama. Alot.

    MikeB: isnt there lots of emotional manipulation and hyperbole going on on both sides of the aisle? the world is going to simply end if the other side gets into power. dot dot dot.

    And it isnt true.
    examples:
    NOM National Organization to Save Marriage.
    If gays are allowed to get a marriage license it will be the END of Marriage and civilization. How so?

    If we elect a Republican president abortion will be ended.
    How can a president do that? supreme court nominees!
    News flash: Republicans have already placed the majority there. and…? not happening.

    stupid.

  • fws

    mikeb @ 33

    I agree that the needle wont change.
    Id pick clinton over bush II on substance any day of the week.

    but that aint sayin much is it? Clinton only looks good because Bush II followed him I think. Our last good president in my opinion? Bush I or Gerald Ford. And I am a democrat sayin that.

    But I do like Obama. Alot.

    MikeB: isnt there lots of emotional manipulation and hyperbole going on on both sides of the aisle? the world is going to simply end if the other side gets into power. dot dot dot.

    And it isnt true.
    examples:
    NOM National Organization to Save Marriage.
    If gays are allowed to get a marriage license it will be the END of Marriage and civilization. How so?

    If we elect a Republican president abortion will be ended.
    How can a president do that? supreme court nominees!
    News flash: Republicans have already placed the majority there. and…? not happening.

    stupid.

  • mikeb

    fws –

    I’m confused. Romney is no neocon, that’s why he had a hard time getting the nomination. He’s much more in the vein of Bush I or Ford – a traditionalist from the center right. I think his record in Mass. shows he can work across the isle to get the best deal possible (think Romneycare) given the circumstances.

    What’s your beef with him?

  • mikeb

    fws –

    I’m confused. Romney is no neocon, that’s why he had a hard time getting the nomination. He’s much more in the vein of Bush I or Ford – a traditionalist from the center right. I think his record in Mass. shows he can work across the isle to get the best deal possible (think Romneycare) given the circumstances.

    What’s your beef with him?

  • kerner

    MEMO:

    From: DNC

    To: Arab Americans

    We have good news and bad news.

    Good News: God exists

    Bad News: Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel.

    And just for kicks and giggles, can anyone explain to me why the location of the capitol of a foreign country is the subject of the political platform of any US political party? How on God’s green earth is that even our business?

  • kerner

    MEMO:

    From: DNC

    To: Arab Americans

    We have good news and bad news.

    Good News: God exists

    Bad News: Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel.

    And just for kicks and giggles, can anyone explain to me why the location of the capitol of a foreign country is the subject of the political platform of any US political party? How on God’s green earth is that even our business?

  • Grace

    Kerner

    YOU WROTE: “And just for kicks and giggles, can anyone explain to me why the location of the capitol of a foreign country is the subject of the political platform of any US political party? How on God’s green earth is that even our business?”

    Underneath it all, it’s about the Jews. Jerusalem is the main place, it always has been throughout Biblical history.

    It’s not about “kicks and giggles” it’s about what has been written and promised througout the Bible, both Old and New Testament, to the Jewish people. NO ONE has taken THEIR PLACE.

    Study Romans 11, it’s overlooked by all those who believe they have taken the place of Israel, the Jews. Paul states differently verses 1 and 2 – read the entire chapter. There is much to be learned from God’s HOLY Bible, concerning Israel and the Jews.

    1 I say then, Has God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the descendants of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
    2 God has not cast away his people whom he foreknew.
    Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah? how he makes intercession to God against Israel, saying,
    Romans 11

  • Grace

    Kerner

    YOU WROTE: “And just for kicks and giggles, can anyone explain to me why the location of the capitol of a foreign country is the subject of the political platform of any US political party? How on God’s green earth is that even our business?”

    Underneath it all, it’s about the Jews. Jerusalem is the main place, it always has been throughout Biblical history.

    It’s not about “kicks and giggles” it’s about what has been written and promised througout the Bible, both Old and New Testament, to the Jewish people. NO ONE has taken THEIR PLACE.

    Study Romans 11, it’s overlooked by all those who believe they have taken the place of Israel, the Jews. Paul states differently verses 1 and 2 – read the entire chapter. There is much to be learned from God’s HOLY Bible, concerning Israel and the Jews.

    1 I say then, Has God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the descendants of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
    2 God has not cast away his people whom he foreknew.
    Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah? how he makes intercession to God against Israel, saying,
    Romans 11

  • dust

    kerner….it might just be something so simple that the us believes in the “rule of law” and wasn’t the state of israel and it’s capital somehow created out of un resolutions, etc.? pehaps it’s as simple as the us wanting to show it’s respects that process and will defend it’s decisions until another resolution (kind of like a law, no?) comes along and changes things…it is how a good and decent nation, built on the rule of law and democratic principles conducts its affairs, even if it’s politicians want to score points by saying otherwise?

    cheers!

  • dust

    kerner….it might just be something so simple that the us believes in the “rule of law” and wasn’t the state of israel and it’s capital somehow created out of un resolutions, etc.? pehaps it’s as simple as the us wanting to show it’s respects that process and will defend it’s decisions until another resolution (kind of like a law, no?) comes along and changes things…it is how a good and decent nation, built on the rule of law and democratic principles conducts its affairs, even if it’s politicians want to score points by saying otherwise?

    cheers!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mikeb (@29) said:

    Yes, I do think that popular vote percentages (and aggregate votes, as well) are a reflection of one’s ability to convince voters.

    Which is, of course, different from your initial claim regarding “effective political speech”, but whatever.

    It’s still a ludicrous claim, and here’s why. Never mind that you’re taking one single number (popular vote percentage) and claiming that it is informed by one factor only, that of effective speech ability. Never mind that you’re completely ignoring the context in which an election takes place — the nature of the opposing candidate, the economy, all that. Sure, let’s ignore everything else that goes into an election and pretend it’s all about speaking.

    The fact still remains that, if Reagan was supposedly a “great communicator” (with 59% of the popular vote in 1984, which I’m sure had nothing to do with Mondale being a weak candidate at all), then you know who was truly an effective political speaker?

    That’s right. Richard Milhouse Nixon, who won 60.7% of the popular vote in 1964. What’s so fascinating is how Nixon gained his super-human speaking skills over the course of four years, having won only 43% of the popular vote in the previous election. Wotta learner!

    But he’s still not the most effective political speaker, according to your theory. No, that would be LBJ, who earned a percentage of the popular vote unsurpassed since the popular vote has been counted: 61.1%. LBJ: the Best at Speaking, Ever.

    At least, according to this ridiculous theory.

    It should also be noted that Lincoln, according to your theory, was a lousy speaker, as he only earned 39.7% of the popular vote in 1860. Again, great theory you’ve got there.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mikeb (@29) said:

    Yes, I do think that popular vote percentages (and aggregate votes, as well) are a reflection of one’s ability to convince voters.

    Which is, of course, different from your initial claim regarding “effective political speech”, but whatever.

    It’s still a ludicrous claim, and here’s why. Never mind that you’re taking one single number (popular vote percentage) and claiming that it is informed by one factor only, that of effective speech ability. Never mind that you’re completely ignoring the context in which an election takes place — the nature of the opposing candidate, the economy, all that. Sure, let’s ignore everything else that goes into an election and pretend it’s all about speaking.

    The fact still remains that, if Reagan was supposedly a “great communicator” (with 59% of the popular vote in 1984, which I’m sure had nothing to do with Mondale being a weak candidate at all), then you know who was truly an effective political speaker?

    That’s right. Richard Milhouse Nixon, who won 60.7% of the popular vote in 1964. What’s so fascinating is how Nixon gained his super-human speaking skills over the course of four years, having won only 43% of the popular vote in the previous election. Wotta learner!

    But he’s still not the most effective political speaker, according to your theory. No, that would be LBJ, who earned a percentage of the popular vote unsurpassed since the popular vote has been counted: 61.1%. LBJ: the Best at Speaking, Ever.

    At least, according to this ridiculous theory.

    It should also be noted that Lincoln, according to your theory, was a lousy speaker, as he only earned 39.7% of the popular vote in 1860. Again, great theory you’ve got there.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@37) asked:

    can anyone explain to me why the location of the capitol of a foreign country is the subject of the political platform of any US political party? How on God’s green earth is that even our business?

    Isn’t it obviously a question of foreign policy? That is, whom do we recognize as the legitimate government in thus-and-such a place? Surely it hasn’t escaped your notice that there are occasionally competing claims for authority here and there. And that merely claiming you’re the authority doesn’t make it so. And, furthermore, that the opinion of all the other people in the world does kind of matter, as it’s often them you’re trying to convince.

    Cf. the “one-China policy”. Is the capital of China Taipei or Beijing? And all that entails.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@37) asked:

    can anyone explain to me why the location of the capitol of a foreign country is the subject of the political platform of any US political party? How on God’s green earth is that even our business?

    Isn’t it obviously a question of foreign policy? That is, whom do we recognize as the legitimate government in thus-and-such a place? Surely it hasn’t escaped your notice that there are occasionally competing claims for authority here and there. And that merely claiming you’re the authority doesn’t make it so. And, furthermore, that the opinion of all the other people in the world does kind of matter, as it’s often them you’re trying to convince.

    Cf. the “one-China policy”. Is the capital of China Taipei or Beijing? And all that entails.

  • Grace

    When comparing statistics throughout the past 150 years, one has to examine how those stats were comprised.

    Individuals who take part in these questionnaires are only a small segment of the population. Not given entirely or even fairly where they live, income, education or a multitude of variants.

    Nixon was a brilliant man, he had flaws that were later found out.

    Kennedy was a bright man who had flaws that the whole world has been privy to for a long time.

    LBJ, had some of the same problems JFK had, they were no secret.

    Reagan was a great communicator. Who could deny it?

    George W. Bush was a man who spoke the language of the people of his state, and most of the south. It didn’t sit well with the pseudo intellectuals, but when he spoke, we understood what he said. He led this nation through one of the worst attacks we’ve had on our shores.

    Clinton, a great speaker, is just that, a great speaker. That’s about all he had, and he still is a good speaker, SO WHAT?

    Obama? There isn’t much to say, he doesn’t say anything unless he can read it from a teleprompter, but still sounds like a kid in high school, running for the cheer leader position.

    Abraham Lincoln was one of the best men to lead our country. A man without a formal education, but one who stood on solid ground, a real president and leader.

    If people understood the history of our times, understanding how we’ve come to this point, and why this country is so disenfranchised, they might have a vote worth paying attention to.

  • Grace

    When comparing statistics throughout the past 150 years, one has to examine how those stats were comprised.

    Individuals who take part in these questionnaires are only a small segment of the population. Not given entirely or even fairly where they live, income, education or a multitude of variants.

    Nixon was a brilliant man, he had flaws that were later found out.

    Kennedy was a bright man who had flaws that the whole world has been privy to for a long time.

    LBJ, had some of the same problems JFK had, they were no secret.

    Reagan was a great communicator. Who could deny it?

    George W. Bush was a man who spoke the language of the people of his state, and most of the south. It didn’t sit well with the pseudo intellectuals, but when he spoke, we understood what he said. He led this nation through one of the worst attacks we’ve had on our shores.

    Clinton, a great speaker, is just that, a great speaker. That’s about all he had, and he still is a good speaker, SO WHAT?

    Obama? There isn’t much to say, he doesn’t say anything unless he can read it from a teleprompter, but still sounds like a kid in high school, running for the cheer leader position.

    Abraham Lincoln was one of the best men to lead our country. A man without a formal education, but one who stood on solid ground, a real president and leader.

    If people understood the history of our times, understanding how we’ve come to this point, and why this country is so disenfranchised, they might have a vote worth paying attention to.

  • mikeb

    tODD @ 40

    You selectively quoted me. I said electoral results are one metric, there are others. I never claimed that outside factors don’t influence the election, they do, and let’s also remember that really effective leaders don’t merely benefit from outside events but shape them.

  • mikeb

    tODD @ 40

    You selectively quoted me. I said electoral results are one metric, there are others. I never claimed that outside factors don’t influence the election, they do, and let’s also remember that really effective leaders don’t merely benefit from outside events but shape them.

  • kerner

    Hmmmm. Given the information found here,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_of_Israel

    dust, I don’t think the rule of law has very much to do with it.

    tODD, I think you are probably right, but we also appear to be trying to have it both ways. We SAY that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem, but our Embassy is i n Tel Aviv. I didn’t know that.

  • kerner

    Hmmmm. Given the information found here,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_of_Israel

    dust, I don’t think the rule of law has very much to do with it.

    tODD, I think you are probably right, but we also appear to be trying to have it both ways. We SAY that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem, but our Embassy is i n Tel Aviv. I didn’t know that.

  • dust

    kerner…you can’t be serious? in black and white, the wikipedia piece sas it is a matter of law, albeit unsettled while the international “jury” weighs the evidence, if you will?

    the us as a security council member, etc. needs to step up and let it’s opinion be known..thus it’s proper to include one’s position in a parties political platform.

    Lots of other reasons, like supporting an important and faithful ally…but your smart and can figure it out, eh :)
    cheers!

  • dust

    kerner…you can’t be serious? in black and white, the wikipedia piece sas it is a matter of law, albeit unsettled while the international “jury” weighs the evidence, if you will?

    the us as a security council member, etc. needs to step up and let it’s opinion be known..thus it’s proper to include one’s position in a parties political platform.

    Lots of other reasons, like supporting an important and faithful ally…but your smart and can figure it out, eh :)
    cheers!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MikeB (@43), weak. Sorry, but it was a ridiculous argument.

    Kerner (@44), of course we’re trying to have it both ways! That’s kind of what diplomacy is all about.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    MikeB (@43), weak. Sorry, but it was a ridiculous argument.

    Kerner (@44), of course we’re trying to have it both ways! That’s kind of what diplomacy is all about.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Underneath it all, it’s about the Jews. Jerusalem is the main place, it always has been throughout Biblical history.”

    So what?

    That has nothing to do with the American government. Israel can put its capitol wherever it wants. That is up to Israel. Why should our government care at all?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Underneath it all, it’s about the Jews. Jerusalem is the main place, it always has been throughout Biblical history.”

    So what?

    That has nothing to do with the American government. Israel can put its capitol wherever it wants. That is up to Israel. Why should our government care at all?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@47), again, our government cares because we interact with their government. It’s called diplomacy. Could Israel put its capitol in Lebanon? There’s a reason I ask that seemingly ridiculous question.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@47), again, our government cares because we interact with their government. It’s called diplomacy. Could Israel put its capitol in Lebanon? There’s a reason I ask that seemingly ridiculous question.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @48 Yes, of course.

    Still, it is weird to be so overly interested in some other country’s politics.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @48 Yes, of course.

    Still, it is weird to be so overly interested in some other country’s politics.

  • dust

    sg…Israel is not just “some other country” for heaven’s sake! just to mention a critical ally of the us throughout the cold war, one that we hopefully won.

    You can’t throw a friend like that under the bus if you want others to trust you in the future, bad for neighbors and bad for nations!

    On top of that, one of the only democracies in that region of the world…am sure you can find many more reasons they are not just some other country, eh? god bless you sg….

    shalom!

  • dust

    sg…Israel is not just “some other country” for heaven’s sake! just to mention a critical ally of the us throughout the cold war, one that we hopefully won.

    You can’t throw a friend like that under the bus if you want others to trust you in the future, bad for neighbors and bad for nations!

    On top of that, one of the only democracies in that region of the world…am sure you can find many more reasons they are not just some other country, eh? god bless you sg….

    shalom!

  • kerner

    I agree with sg. It does seem weird.

    But I see tODD’s point about Israel putting its capital in a neighboring country. There are people who claim that Israel has done just that.

    On the other hand, when the Serbs tried to expand Serbia to include places that had been historically part of Serbia, but had not been so for a long time, they got in a lot of trouble. I just wish there could be some conssitency in these matters.

  • kerner

    I agree with sg. It does seem weird.

    But I see tODD’s point about Israel putting its capital in a neighboring country. There are people who claim that Israel has done just that.

    On the other hand, when the Serbs tried to expand Serbia to include places that had been historically part of Serbia, but had not been so for a long time, they got in a lot of trouble. I just wish there could be some conssitency in these matters.

  • kerner

    dust:

    This may be a gap in my knowledge of foreign affairs, but, why do you describe Israel as a “critical ally” during the Cold War? I’m not saying they didn’t give us any help. I’m just saying that I don’t know what help they gave us. So, what help did they give us?

    I gues that I have at least for awhile believed that our relationship with Israel was pretty one sided. We help them a lot, but what do we get in return? Again, just because I have recently held that opinion doesn’t make it true.

    But, I’m not that impressed with Israel’s record as a democracy. How many representatives in the Knesset do the Palestinians have?

  • kerner

    dust:

    This may be a gap in my knowledge of foreign affairs, but, why do you describe Israel as a “critical ally” during the Cold War? I’m not saying they didn’t give us any help. I’m just saying that I don’t know what help they gave us. So, what help did they give us?

    I gues that I have at least for awhile believed that our relationship with Israel was pretty one sided. We help them a lot, but what do we get in return? Again, just because I have recently held that opinion doesn’t make it true.

    But, I’m not that impressed with Israel’s record as a democracy. How many representatives in the Knesset do the Palestinians have?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@51), for good or ill, consistency has little to do with diplomacy.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@51), for good or ill, consistency has little to do with diplomacy.

  • Other Gary

    I don’t see why any party would want to invoke God in its platform. Seriously. It does not appear that He favors or disfavors any particular party, or even any nation for that matter. I think serious theologians ought to mull the question of what it means today for a nation to live under His blessing. (Or would the better word in this case be providence?)

    I’m sure He didn’t get offended when the Democrats honestly thought at first to take mention of Him out. I rather suspect He may be less than amused that His name was exploited to make the platform seem more traditional or “righteous.” I doubt if they ran the platform by Him first and asked for His endorsement.

  • Other Gary

    I don’t see why any party would want to invoke God in its platform. Seriously. It does not appear that He favors or disfavors any particular party, or even any nation for that matter. I think serious theologians ought to mull the question of what it means today for a nation to live under His blessing. (Or would the better word in this case be providence?)

    I’m sure He didn’t get offended when the Democrats honestly thought at first to take mention of Him out. I rather suspect He may be less than amused that His name was exploited to make the platform seem more traditional or “righteous.” I doubt if they ran the platform by Him first and asked for His endorsement.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @52 I too will confess to speaking from the absence of knowledge. What was our policy towards Israel before say 1940, or before 1900, 1850, 1800? Did it make much difference? I dunno, but it would be interesting to compare.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @52 I too will confess to speaking from the absence of knowledge. What was our policy towards Israel before say 1940, or before 1900, 1850, 1800? Did it make much difference? I dunno, but it would be interesting to compare.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@55), when you say “Israel before … 1940″ … what state are you referring to?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@55), when you say “Israel before … 1940″ … what state are you referring to?

  • mikeb

    tODD @ 46

    What makes an effective speech and an effective speechmaker? Is there some objective measure in your view or do we ‘know it when we see it’?

  • mikeb

    tODD @ 46

    What makes an effective speech and an effective speechmaker? Is there some objective measure in your view or do we ‘know it when we see it’?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mikeb (@57) asked

    What makes an effective speech and an effective speechmaker?

    That’s a rather vast question, isn’t it?

    No, there isn’t a terribly objective measure for speech effectiveness, your attempt notwithstanding. I mean, you have to make your point (and it should be a good one), you have to relate to the audience, you have to use words that sound good (and which the audience understands), and there will be some aspects of those (and other obvious platitudes) that are nigh universal. But it remains an art form.

    So, just as we can all agree that Liszt was almost certainly a superior pianist than Ben Folds, even as there is likely some amount of debate as to which of them made better (that is, more “effective”, if you will) music, so it is that there will be speakers who are clearly gifted, even if their efficacy is debatable.

    For one thing, it seems obvious that one’s perception of a speaker’s effectiveness is necessarily affected by one’s opinion of his ideas.

    But more to the point, if you’re going to measure effectiveness (which, again, I’m claiming you can’t), you should at least be required to calculate a pre-speech baseline, against which the post-speech reaction is measured. That’s what effectiveness means. And what that means is that effectiveness is least measured by people already predisposed to the speaker’s way of thinking. That is, his speech didn’t make them think that way, as they already thought that way before the speech.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Mikeb (@57) asked

    What makes an effective speech and an effective speechmaker?

    That’s a rather vast question, isn’t it?

    No, there isn’t a terribly objective measure for speech effectiveness, your attempt notwithstanding. I mean, you have to make your point (and it should be a good one), you have to relate to the audience, you have to use words that sound good (and which the audience understands), and there will be some aspects of those (and other obvious platitudes) that are nigh universal. But it remains an art form.

    So, just as we can all agree that Liszt was almost certainly a superior pianist than Ben Folds, even as there is likely some amount of debate as to which of them made better (that is, more “effective”, if you will) music, so it is that there will be speakers who are clearly gifted, even if their efficacy is debatable.

    For one thing, it seems obvious that one’s perception of a speaker’s effectiveness is necessarily affected by one’s opinion of his ideas.

    But more to the point, if you’re going to measure effectiveness (which, again, I’m claiming you can’t), you should at least be required to calculate a pre-speech baseline, against which the post-speech reaction is measured. That’s what effectiveness means. And what that means is that effectiveness is least measured by people already predisposed to the speaker’s way of thinking. That is, his speech didn’t make them think that way, as they already thought that way before the speech.

  • DonS

    Other Gary @ 54: Well, I think you’re right. However, the usage of “God” in the platform was pretty innocuous, comprising “‘We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the change to make the most of their God-given potential.’ My question — why in the heck did the committee feel the need to take that out, anyway? Good grief, that was stupid. Only a few hard-core atheists don’t believe that their potential and ability is God-given, regardless of their faith or whom they believe God is. You have to be a real ideologue to insist on removing that reference to God. And that reference has nothing whatsoever about claiming God favors or disfavors a particular political party — it is merely an acknowledgement, ala our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, that the Creator has endowed us with certain inalienable rights (and abilities).

    Now, to be fair, I don’t believe most of the delegates who voted against the inartfully promulgated platform amendment did so because of its reference to God. It was the Jerusalem reference that was really at issue.

  • DonS

    Other Gary @ 54: Well, I think you’re right. However, the usage of “God” in the platform was pretty innocuous, comprising “‘We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the change to make the most of their God-given potential.’ My question — why in the heck did the committee feel the need to take that out, anyway? Good grief, that was stupid. Only a few hard-core atheists don’t believe that their potential and ability is God-given, regardless of their faith or whom they believe God is. You have to be a real ideologue to insist on removing that reference to God. And that reference has nothing whatsoever about claiming God favors or disfavors a particular political party — it is merely an acknowledgement, ala our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, that the Creator has endowed us with certain inalienable rights (and abilities).

    Now, to be fair, I don’t believe most of the delegates who voted against the inartfully promulgated platform amendment did so because of its reference to God. It was the Jerusalem reference that was really at issue.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@59):

    Only a few hard-core atheists don’t believe that their potential and ability is God-given…

    Um, wouldn’t all atheists, by definition, not believe that their abilities derive from God? Probably quite a number of agnostics, as well, I’d imagine.

    You have to be a real ideologue to insist on removing that reference to God.

    Not really. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to question its value. As one who does, in fact, believe in God, I think the phrase is little more than mealy-mouthed political pabulum. And I say this precisely because the Democratic party (this goes for Republicans as well, mind you*) in no way agrees as to which god they’re referring to, or what he’s like. Given the obvious range of ideas on what “God” means, it’s beyond pointless to include a reference to him (if, indeed, they could even agree to the singular masculine pronoun). What good is it?

    In short, one shouldn’t have to give reasons for taking it out. One should have to give reasons for keeping it in.

    And those reasons aren’t super obvious, given that the sentence reads the same without the phrase:

    We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the change to make the most of their potential.

    Oh noes! It’s vastly different now!

    it is merely an acknowledgement, ala our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, that the Creator has endowed us with certain inalienable rights

    Wait, what? Constitution? Yeah, the Declaration got lots wrong, especially the part about “rights”.

    *Yeah, let’s ask the Republican presidential candidate exactly what “God” refers to, shall we?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@59):

    Only a few hard-core atheists don’t believe that their potential and ability is God-given…

    Um, wouldn’t all atheists, by definition, not believe that their abilities derive from God? Probably quite a number of agnostics, as well, I’d imagine.

    You have to be a real ideologue to insist on removing that reference to God.

    Not really. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to question its value. As one who does, in fact, believe in God, I think the phrase is little more than mealy-mouthed political pabulum. And I say this precisely because the Democratic party (this goes for Republicans as well, mind you*) in no way agrees as to which god they’re referring to, or what he’s like. Given the obvious range of ideas on what “God” means, it’s beyond pointless to include a reference to him (if, indeed, they could even agree to the singular masculine pronoun). What good is it?

    In short, one shouldn’t have to give reasons for taking it out. One should have to give reasons for keeping it in.

    And those reasons aren’t super obvious, given that the sentence reads the same without the phrase:

    We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the change to make the most of their potential.

    Oh noes! It’s vastly different now!

    it is merely an acknowledgement, ala our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, that the Creator has endowed us with certain inalienable rights

    Wait, what? Constitution? Yeah, the Declaration got lots wrong, especially the part about “rights”.

    *Yeah, let’s ask the Republican presidential candidate exactly what “God” refers to, shall we?

  • DonS

    tODD @ 60: “Um, wouldn’t all atheists, by definition, not believe that their abilities derive from God? Probably quite a number of agnostics, as well, I’d imagine.”

    Um, good point. But my point was that we are talking about only a very few people. And my wording wasn’t the best — a good number of those (maybe “soft-core” atheists or agnostics?) who don’t believe their potential is God-given still don’t object to the language — because they are not viscerally opposed to the concept of God, they just don’t believe or are indifferent.

    “Not really. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to question its value. As one who does, in fact, believe in God, I think the phrase is little more than mealy-mouthed political pabulum.” Even granting your point, questioning its value is a long way from removing it. A political platform is, by definition, for most of us, “mealy-mouthed political pablum”. But this is still a country that acknowledges the presence of God, in at least some form, and it has seldom been good politics to mess with that.

    “In short, one shouldn’t have to give reasons for taking it out. One should have to give reasons for keeping it in.” Why? What good reason is there for taking it out? And if you believe there are good reasons, why shouldn’t you have to give them? Is it wrong? Is the statement better because the reference to “God-given” has been removed? I’m not following. Certainly, there is no good political reason for taking it out, as evidenced by the party’s desperate ham-handed efforts to put it back in, when the heat came down.

    You’re a terrible politician, tODD. Of course, many would find that to be a feature, not a bug ;-)

  • DonS

    tODD @ 60: “Um, wouldn’t all atheists, by definition, not believe that their abilities derive from God? Probably quite a number of agnostics, as well, I’d imagine.”

    Um, good point. But my point was that we are talking about only a very few people. And my wording wasn’t the best — a good number of those (maybe “soft-core” atheists or agnostics?) who don’t believe their potential is God-given still don’t object to the language — because they are not viscerally opposed to the concept of God, they just don’t believe or are indifferent.

    “Not really. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to question its value. As one who does, in fact, believe in God, I think the phrase is little more than mealy-mouthed political pabulum.” Even granting your point, questioning its value is a long way from removing it. A political platform is, by definition, for most of us, “mealy-mouthed political pablum”. But this is still a country that acknowledges the presence of God, in at least some form, and it has seldom been good politics to mess with that.

    “In short, one shouldn’t have to give reasons for taking it out. One should have to give reasons for keeping it in.” Why? What good reason is there for taking it out? And if you believe there are good reasons, why shouldn’t you have to give them? Is it wrong? Is the statement better because the reference to “God-given” has been removed? I’m not following. Certainly, there is no good political reason for taking it out, as evidenced by the party’s desperate ham-handed efforts to put it back in, when the heat came down.

    You’re a terrible politician, tODD. Of course, many would find that to be a feature, not a bug ;-)

  • kerner

    Much as I agree with you about most of these serious things, tODD, I have to step up and defend Ben Folds, who gave my son his hoodie after my son got back stage at a concert. Until Franz Liszt gives one of my kids an article of clothing, I will not acknowlwdge his superiority over Mr. Folds. ;)

  • kerner

    Much as I agree with you about most of these serious things, tODD, I have to step up and defend Ben Folds, who gave my son his hoodie after my son got back stage at a concert. Until Franz Liszt gives one of my kids an article of clothing, I will not acknowlwdge his superiority over Mr. Folds. ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@61), from what I can tell, you can’t actually find a reason to justify the “God-given” language. Seems like your best reason is: because it’s already in there. And … for some unspecified reason, it shouldn’t be edited?

    What good reason is there for taking it out?

    I already gave you several. Most importantly to me, the phrase does absolutely nothing to change the point of the sentence it’s in. The point was to allow everyone to “make the most of their potential”. Still works just the same without “God-given” in there. So that’s one reason.

    Another reason was, as I already said, that there is little to no agreement as to what is meant by “God” or “God-given”. This is supposed to be a statement of what the party agrees on. If one member of the party hears that and thinks in Osteenesque terms (I built this myself and so God blessed me), another member thinks in terms of orthodox Christianity, and yet another member thinks of God as a former man that gave birth to him by having relations with a spiritual “mother”, and blesses those according to works righteousness, well … what’s the point?

    Is the statement better because the reference to “God-given” has been removed?

    Yes.

    I will agree that the efforts to put it (and the Jerusalem language) back in were ham-fisted and awkward. I’m fairly convinced that high-level Democrats did that merely so as to avoid criticism of the Republicans. It was a weak, scared response, an attempt to head off a line of attack.

    But no, I don’t respect Republicans more for using that kind of pandering generic-god talk. I respect them less.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@61), from what I can tell, you can’t actually find a reason to justify the “God-given” language. Seems like your best reason is: because it’s already in there. And … for some unspecified reason, it shouldn’t be edited?

    What good reason is there for taking it out?

    I already gave you several. Most importantly to me, the phrase does absolutely nothing to change the point of the sentence it’s in. The point was to allow everyone to “make the most of their potential”. Still works just the same without “God-given” in there. So that’s one reason.

    Another reason was, as I already said, that there is little to no agreement as to what is meant by “God” or “God-given”. This is supposed to be a statement of what the party agrees on. If one member of the party hears that and thinks in Osteenesque terms (I built this myself and so God blessed me), another member thinks in terms of orthodox Christianity, and yet another member thinks of God as a former man that gave birth to him by having relations with a spiritual “mother”, and blesses those according to works righteousness, well … what’s the point?

    Is the statement better because the reference to “God-given” has been removed?

    Yes.

    I will agree that the efforts to put it (and the Jerusalem language) back in were ham-fisted and awkward. I’m fairly convinced that high-level Democrats did that merely so as to avoid criticism of the Republicans. It was a weak, scared response, an attempt to head off a line of attack.

    But no, I don’t respect Republicans more for using that kind of pandering generic-god talk. I respect them less.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @56

    Yeah, that is the whole point. We didn’t concern ourselves much with Jerusalem.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @56

    Yeah, that is the whole point. We didn’t concern ourselves much with Jerusalem.

  • dust

    sg…we did not concern ourselves with the ussr before the revolution in 1916-ish either, so what is your point?

    cheers!

  • dust

    sg…we did not concern ourselves with the ussr before the revolution in 1916-ish either, so what is your point?

    cheers!


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