God Votes Republican and/or Tea Party? Really?

[The following is a rewrite of a post originally run on August 20, 2008.]

This morning I received this email from a “born-again” reader:

“Why are you still politically liberal since becoming a born again Christian? I was once liberal. But when I was born again, I believe the Holy Spirit changed many of my views to those that I think are the norm for all who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.”

Well, for the record, I’m neither liberal nor conservative. Depends on the issue. I imagine some of my opinions might qualify as conservative; I know many of them make the “liberal” cut. Call me a conservative democrat. Call me a liberal republican. Better yet, don’t call me at all—especially if you want to talk politics.

But the emailer’s point is interesting. Because most Christians are politically conservative, right? But I always figured that has as much to do with culture and regional history as it does anything else. At the moment I became a Christian, I didn’t think, “Sweet! Now I know how to vote!” But apparently this reader’s conversion experience did lead him to start voting differently than he had before he was a Christian.

Does anyone out there really believe that voting Republican and/or Tea Party is a natural, inevitable consequence of being Christian? Because if it is, then wouldn’t that mean that any Christian who doesn’t vote Republican/TP is less of a Christian—is less “indwelt” by the Holy Spirit—than is any Christian who does?

Isn’t saying, “If you’re a Christian, then this is how you should vote,” the same as saying, “Insofar as you don’t vote as a Christian should, you fail as a Christian.”?

And isn’t that the same as saying, “I’m closer to God than you are.”?

And isn’t that about as offensive a thing as it’s possible to say?

Bottom line: Show me someone who’s sure what political party God belongs to, and I’ll show you someone so dumb they shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

****

Vote for me!

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • Mindy

    Another hit, Mr. Shore. As far as I can tell, Jesus was a liberal socialist hippie. Granted, I’m no scholar on the matter, but I simply don’t believe that he, as the embodiment of God, would recognize an awfully lot of today’s conservative Christians as anything resembling what he meant.

  • Murf

    I, who am usually at odds with you, John, on this point agree. God belongs to NEITHER political party. I think Christ would point out shortcomings in BOTH parties (and rightly so). Christ was not a liberal, socialist, hippie, nor was he a button down conservative anti-tax crusader (“render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”). He sent all of the Pharisees running when they dragged the woman caught in adultery (“let him who is without sin cast the first stone”) AND he told the adulterous woman to “go and sin no more.” I don’t think anyone was totally comfortable in front of him because he was always going to expose who you really were, and let’s face it, no one likes to see themselves as they really are, which is to say, as sinners.

  • JAy.

    I feel quite certain that God would be a solid … independent.

    And based upon the current political climate in D.C., God is also most likely … disappointed.

  • Ace

    I’ve been told, straight out, that you can’t be a Democrat and be a Christian, or that if you are Christian you “have to” vote Republican

    The whole idea sickens me, really.

    My faith is not a political stance, sorry.

    • Anonymous

      Don’t know where you live Ace, but down here in the Lone Star state, why that first line of yours, it’s considered gospel here, dontcha know. We’ve got our own brand of hopey changey and that sweet mama grizzly bear is darn tootin’ popular. *wink*

      Sorry, dude…just came back from voting. Heard someone praising Sarah Pee’s reality show.

      1. *gag* 2. *cringe* 3*repeating steps 1 and 2*

    • Anonymous

      Don’t know where you live Ace, but down here in the Lone Star state, why that first line of yours, it’s considered gospel here, dontcha know. We’ve got our own brand of hopey changey and that sweet mama grizzly bear is darn tootin’ popular. *wink*

      Sorry, dude…just came back from voting. Heard someone praising Sarah Pee’s reality show.

      1. *gag* 2. *cringe* 3*repeating steps 1 and 2*

      • Ace

        I’m in Tennessee, which I have learned in the few years I’ve lived here, can be a very backward place indeed.

        I, too, voted today, and I feel dirty having done so, since every single candidate on the ballot sucks, considerably. It’s like choosing between a hanging and a firing squad, there’s no good answer.

        As for a mama grizzly bear, one might be good at protecting her own cubs, but I wouldn’t trust her to look after mine, or even not eat them if it suited her interests, for that matter, if I had cubs. And that’s all I’m going to say about bears.

        • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ allegro63

          try voting in South Carolina, where a good portion of the available seats went unopposed, one major seat was essentially that since the opponent was completely unelectable and then there are the ridiculous constitutional amendments.

          Nah. I ain’t bitter…much.

          • Skipj

            Being from SC my self, I have to ask, allegro, are you a… well… excuse my French… “liberal”? (Note to rest of planet: “liberal” in South Carolina means “fanatically middle-of-the-road” in your world.) I didn’t know there were others out there like me. I’m just so touched.

          • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ allegro63

            I am…to the rest of the world, a progressive moderate. To the SC way of thinking, I am not a republican therefore way way to the left. Even more” horrifying”, I am the type of voter that researches stuff, like issues, voting records, validity of claims, and the writes about it.

        • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ allegro63

          try voting in South Carolina, where a good portion of the available seats went unopposed, one major seat was essentially that since the opponent was completely unelectable and then there are the ridiculous constitutional amendments.

          Nah. I ain’t bitter…much.

        • jes

          “As for a mama grizzly bear, one might be good at protecting her own cubs, but I wouldn’t trust her to look after mine, or even not eat them if it suited her interests, for that matter, if I had cubs. And that’s all I’m going to say about bears.”

          Brilliant!

  • Jeanine

    The John and Kathy show on 101.5WORD Fm had a great interview yesterday between a native American Pastor in an inner city church and an evangelical Pastor of a predominantly white church. One’s congregation was mostly democratic and the other ones mostly republican. Excellent exchange about the Gospel and politics. Check it out if you get a chance on their podcast.

    • Jeanine

      Sorry…I meant African American Pastor……

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

    I’d say you hit the nail on the head so hard with this post you drove it completely through the baseboards.

    • Anonymous

      thanks!

      • Anonymous

        What Barnmaven said, JS.

  • kenleonard

    Jay and Ace, I’m right there with you.

    I was actually farther to the Right when I was a nominal Christian without any real faith. Since really being saved, having a real relationship with Jesus, and reading my Bible more than selected passages, I’ve moved pretty darn close to what’s considered the political center. I’ve been called a crazy right-winger and a leftist, or (more recently since some dimwit made the term popular) a progressive.

    But as I read the Bible, I can’t help but notice that Jesus doesn’t talk about politics. Paul doesn’t talk about politics. James and John don’t talk about politics. It’s almost like there are things more important than politics in the Christian life.

    Huh.

    By the way, I’m pretty sure that God would be in the Rent is Too Damn High Party if He picked one.

    • Susan in NY

      I so wanted to use my vote on Jimmy McMillan, but I had to do the right thing and vote for crazy Carl.

      Nah, just joking. I voted for Andrew Cuomo. What a year this has been for looney candidates – or at least candidates with some crazy ideas!

      I just hope Carl does not come after me with is crazy orange baseball bat that he held during his concession speech. sigh.

    • Susan in NY

      I so wanted to use my vote on Jimmy McMillan, but I had to do the right thing and vote for crazy Carl.

      Nah, just joking. I voted for Andrew Cuomo. What a year this has been for looney candidates – or at least candidates with some crazy ideas!

      I just hope Carl does not come after me with is crazy orange baseball bat that he held during his concession speech. sigh.

  • Kara K

    Does the fact that I’m more excited about voting in the “Photoshop John Gesturing” contest than the current political fiasco make me less of a Christian?

    • Anonymous

      Yes. Bummer for you

      • Kara K

        Hmmm, my criteria for choosing my favorite pic may have just been altered. I think “Most embarrassing to John” just moved up in the list.

  • Patricewassmann

    The longer I am a Christian the more liberal my politics become. Funny how the Holy Spirit made me liberal….and made that other guy conservative. Maybe one of us has it wrong, but I’m not thinking it is me….(arrogant tho that may be!)

    • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ allegro63

      I am actually finding my self the same way. The older I get, the more I research, and read, and explore my faith, the more liberal my politics become as well. Maybe it is because I desire compassion, a more level playing field for everyone, better communication and services, and opportunities for all our residents, as well as a broader scope of respect and appreciation for diversity, a desire to move forward, changing what is needed, and being willing to make tough choices for everyone’s benefit.

      Of course, maybe I am completely crazy.

  • Thom

    Jesus preached tolerance, and that’s something so many conservative Christians fail to practice. Most liberal people I know are far more tolerant of differences between people.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike Burns

    It does seem that strong belief turns many people into single issue voters. For the first time ever; I have become something of an anti-single issue voter.

    This year I looked through the stances on all the candidates available to me and simply voted against anyone that listed the code phrase ‘family values’. I feel dirty, but the republicans made me do it. If I saw that the republican party could tolerate a range of positions on complex matters, then it might have been different. At one time I would have called myself republican, but they seem broken right now…and have been since Reagan folded religion into the party.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike Burns

    It does seem that strong belief turns many people into single issue voters. For the first time ever; I have become something of an anti-single issue voter.

    This year I looked through the stances on all the candidates available to me and simply voted against anyone that listed the code phrase ‘family values’. I feel dirty, but the republicans made me do it. If I saw that the republican party could tolerate a range of positions on complex matters, then it might have been different. At one time I would have called myself republican, but they seem broken right now…and have been since Reagan folded religion into the party.

  • Anonymous

    Statistically, maybe the majority of born again Christians are Republicans, but that doesn’t mean Jesus is one. Statistically, all Christians still sin. By the same sort of deductive reasoning, Jesus must also be a sinner.

    “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” —John 14:27

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty

    Based on the records of his ministry I’ve always assumed Jesus to be staunchly apolitical. His generation faced issues of slavery, legal prostitution, strange taxation policies, and a lack of his people’s national sovereignty, and overall his response seemed to be “meh, hey look a cripple let’s get him up and walking LOL FTW!”

    Okay maybe he didn’t use teh latest web lingo, but I picture Jesus caring about politics as much as I care about vampire TV shows. His kingdom wasn’t funded by taxpayers and didn’t require armed forces to defend it.

    • John

      Was Jesus non-political. I think not – but he was not “party political” – I believe Jesus spoke against the injustices of his time, just as he would have us speak against injustices in our day and age. But as for political leaders – I don’t think he would advocate the notion of “the divine right to rule” unless you were talking about His Heavenly Father. He rules and reigns in my heart.

      I do believe that my relationship with Jesus will have some impact upon my political perspectives, but that makes me neither a better nor worse Christian who may not share my political views.

      Some might say that as Christian I should only vote for candidates who are Christian, but I disagree:
      1) They may be politically expedient Christians
      2) Even if they are Christian – they may not be the best person for the post. Isn’t that the sole criterion on which to base our voting position.

      What if the person running for the office is a professing atheist, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Mormon (Mr. Romney) or a Catholic (John F. Kennedy) etc. To say I won’t vote for them because they are not Christian is discriminatory.

  • http://allegro63.blogspot.com/ allegro63

    Sadly sometimes the craziness that is politics carries over into the church. This happened a few years ago near where I live. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/07/AR2005050700972.html

    Of course that is an extreme example, but it sure demonstrates quite aptly why the church needs to stay out of the politics business, and vice versa.

  • Curt Russell

    I see it this way, Jesus himself was quite liberal.
    “Matthew 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself”. It doesn’t unless he doesn’t share your views.

  • RecG

    A quote from my other favorite blog, which sums it up fairly well IMHP:

    “In all honesty, I regard much of politics as the real “la-la land,” and not only because the candidates usually lie about what it is they’ll do once in office (either deliberately or through a change of course after inauguration). Rather, my concern is that those who genuinely want to see real help for real suffering so often believe that the best (and perhaps only) way to effect such a change is to vote for it. This attitude is directly related to the common (and specious) maxim that “You can’t complain if you don’t vote.” This whole paradigm is based on the diversion of devotion which is deserved only in religious matters to questions of politics.
    And yet it was the non-Christian Gandhi who is remembered for saying, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.””

    http://roadsfromemmaus.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/priorities-and-practicalities/

    I’ve swung the liberal-conservative pendulum for plenty of voting years now. Yet I’m just now realizing it’s probably more important to “be the change” than to “vote for the change.” I vote, sure. But did Jesus preach to us on how to vote, or did He live by example – healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and spending time with sinners? Is our behavior on election day more important than our behavior toward the people we meet EVERY day? I think not. :)

  • Kristen

    If someone is putting their hope into a political candidate that hope is severely misplaced. However, I do find there are many practical reasons why Christians tend to commonly, but not always, identify as Republican/Tea Party supporters. Those reasons are sometimes interwoven with Biblical thoughts/teaching so they start to put them hand in hand. The best part of it all is that faith can remain true and steady despite what form or shape government takes.

    Although I do not recall anyone mentioning this, as student studying Political Science I have found that many liberal/leftists carry a certain arrogant attitude that their views are more rational and supreme and anyone who thinks differently is a complete moron. That is truly just as annoying as what you addressed in this blog post.

    • DR

      Kristen, there is a huge difference between being annoying and dangerous to our nation. I’ll take the former any day of the week.

      • Kristen

        I just know in collegiate life (and beyond) if someone has a super conservative message people roll their eyes and scoff . If someone presents a super liberal message people start to yell. Pick the middle and people are like GET ON A SIDE! It’s just a mess. lol One extreme doesn’t really cancel out the other.

    • jes

      “Although I do not recall anyone mentioning this, as student studying Political Science I have found that many liberal/leftists carry a certain arrogant attitude that their views are more rational and supreme and anyone who thinks differently is a complete moron. That is truly just as annoying as what you addressed in this blog post.”

      That statement is entirely valid if you substitute “conservatives/rightists” for “liberal/leftists” and doesn’t actually prove a point. Many people on both ends of the spectrum (and in the middle, and at every point along the spectrum) have an arrogant and annoying attitude that is entirely unrelated to where on the spectrum they fall. Nearly ANYONE you talk to will tell you that their opinion is rational and better than a disagreeing one, on nearly any topic. If they didn’t think that, they wouldn’t hold that opinion.

      • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike Burns

        Jes. You make a vitally important point. Everyone thinks their position is the most rational/moderate/pragmatic/sensible…or they wouldn’t maintain that position. Everyone judges another’s position relative to their own. Hence; whether person ‘R’ has moved more right or whether person ‘L’ has moved more left, perceptually neither person can tell tell which has happened (at least in this simplified example)

      • Kristen

        Yes, that was really my point. It’s circular. Both sides are annoying.

  • Don Rappe

    Wasn’t it FDR who told his speechwriters to be sure to put in plenty of that God stuff?

    • Mike Burns

      I think God started to be folded into political discourse in the Eisenhower era…what with the godless commies and all. That is when we added “under God” to the pledge and slapped “In God We Trust” in a bunch of currency.

  • Shadsie

    Back when I was looking for work, I was using a service for people with disabilties/mental illness – they are the folks who got me the barn job I like. When trying to find a place for me, my personal job-agent linked me to a T-shirt company online. They were looking for a graphic designer (which, despite my poo-job, is my primary specialty. The barn job came about because I had experience and love animals/ have no fear of large ones). The T-shirt company was a Christian shirt company and I think I’d let it slip in casual conversation with her that I was Christian at some point.

    I took a look at some of the current designs and got offended. It wasn’t so much the conservatism of the shirt designs as it was “Dude, you really think you’re going to win anyone over with the rudeness?” One of the shirts said on the front “God Loves Homosexuals.” I thought “Aw, neat!” then I saw the back “He loves even those looking for love in all the wrong places.” – The dripping condescension really made the love and the “redemption” angle they were trying to go for fall flat.

    Some of the shirts were political. One of them was “God is not a Republican.” The back: “But he SURE isn’t a liberal democrat!”

    You know, I really hope God doesn’t judge me for how I vote. At this point in my life, I don’t even “vote my concience” most of the time so much as I vote for “maybe this person or this group will screw me over less.”

    One of the reasons why I know this? There was a political radio ad in my area that detailed one candidate’s views on these two issues: Abortion and stem-cell research. While my views on these issues are complicated/too complex to fit into “black and white” anyway, I found myself talking back to the ad “WHO CARES, WHERE ARE YOU ON JOBS/THE ECONOMY?!!!”

    Maybe it’s calloused of me to not really care about the fetuses so much as the already-born people being able to feed their families, but, some of the “morals” issues I don’t even care about anymore. I figure every candidate (especially the ones big on “morals” ) are going to eventually be caught in a sex scandal, anyway.

    Yes, I’m a bitter, jaded little Shadsie.

    • Ace

      I think you pretty much pulled the thoughts out of my head. “survival voting” is how I phrase my choices. Who is going to be less likely to put my ass out on the street or otherwise ruin my life and livelyhood?

      I too am sick of the abortion/stem-cell debate. I could give a rat’s ass at this point about that total red herring. There are much more serious, more urgent issues that need to be dealt with and they are still flogging that dead horse to get votes and people are still foolish enough to be sucked into because they think they are voting for pro-choice/pro-life when they are really voting for who is or isn’t going to create jobs, or wage wars, or change taxation policies, or address the health care crisis and so on. Don’t get me wrong, I have an opinion about abortion and stem-cell research and I don’t think they are totally unimportant, I just think their relevence has been blown out of proportion.

      One-issue voters just make me want to scream, especially ones who base their voting entirely on an issue that affects only a small percentage of the population (like gay marriage, which I think is important, but narrow) as opposed to broad issues that affect EVERYBODY.

      • Shadsie

        You know how I figure and how I justify my vote in this regard?

        The way I see it, either major party you vote for, you vote at least indirectly for death. There is no way around it.

        The pro-lifers have their leg to stand on in saying “Abortion is the taking of lives/at least potential lives” – they are absolutely right on that. Pour as much sugar as you want on it, it is nixing a potential human being. However, abortion-rights advocates have many legs to stand on to in regards to it being justified, ie. Women with life-endangering health issues regarding their pregnancy, and women in other extreme circumstances.

        On the other end, the “family values” votes often to to war-hawks. In modern warfare, collateral damage happens all the time – innocent people who get the bombs dropped on them to get at the bad guys. Also, there is the issue of people who die of treatable ailments because they cannot afford to see a doctor and the policies that ensure they can’t get help. Again, people can give justifications for these things, too – such as “It is unfortunate those civilians died, but there was no other way to keep our people from getting killed” or “This would involve a major change in our economic system and there are problems inherent in the other systems we’ve seen.”

        In short, I decided some time ago that neither major political party has a perfect moral standing. There are gray areas everywhere.

        • Ace

          Yea, nobody has the monopoly on “goodness”.

          There really isn’t much differens between the dems & repubs, both primarily serve corporate America anyway.

          All these “morality” issues just rub me the wrong way anyhow, because even the “family values” politicians routinely end up in scandals for cheating on their spouses or being abusive or something else that they purport to be “against” which just shows up their hypocrisy for what it is. I can’t even listen to them on the TV without getting incredibly annoyed.

          As for abortion, well you’re right – we’re all screwed either way. SOMEBODY is going to suffer, no matter what anybody does. Personally I’d be much happier if we just shelved that particular debate for a few decades and worked on providing better services for underpriveleged mothers & children, better ways to facilitate the adoption process, better support for those who choose to keep their baby, and then maybe fewer women will feel that abortion is their only answer in the first place. Debating abortion rights is putting the cart before the horse. Abortion is merely a symptom of deeper issues, not the source of the disease.

          But hey, it’s such a great political horse to beat. Throw around some vitriolic rhetoric, wave around placards with pictures of aborted fetuses, shout about “God” and there you go, idiots vote for you, even if you don’t really care one bit about anything.

          • Shadsie

            The way I feel on the issue is…

            A person with something like an ectopic (sp?) pregnancy or one of those other things where supporting the “life inside her” means her death/the death of both is one thing – to “let two die rather than save one” because it’s the “will of God” is ridiculous. God gave us *brains* for a reason.

            A person getting an abortion because they cannot afford to have a child and feel at the end of their rope is… just tragic. Same with those people who live in the deep south or are a part of very strictly judging churches who would shun a young woman from the community for having “slipped up” and gotten pregnant out of wedlock – you know, choosing a secret abortion although it goes against everything they believe in because they don’t want their secret to be found out and to be excommunicated. (In a disscussion of these issues, someone linked me to a page of stories told by doctors and nurses of pro-lifers who came in for abortions for these kinds of reasons). Again, tragic all around.

            However, a well-off person who just gets abortions as if it were a normal form of birth control ought to look into things like condoms or that birth control thing advertised on TV with all the happy women singing and jumping into a swimming pool. A person who treats abortion as picking up one’s dry cleaning strikes me as someone who must be rather calloused of heart/not really thinking about the weight. I don’t think people like this make up the majority of abortions, though. The uber-conservatives would like you to think it’s all people like this, flippant, whimish – but I tend to think it’s more of the people in the tragic situations who see no other way out. Every story I’ve ever read from anyone who’s had an abortion has been a health-thing or hard-decision.

            I mean, philosophically, I *do NOT like* the idea of “getting rid of the unwanted” in the pure sense. “I don’t want this person/potential, they are inconvienent to me and society” – well, as even a mild mental illness sufferer and financial struggler, I’ve found *myself* pretty inconvienent to society and decided in a “won’t let the bastards grind me down” decision, that I don’t want to be dead or shelved. So the whole “gettinig rid of unwanteds” in and of itself is anathema to me. At the same time, my heart (and I feel Jesus, too, most likely) demands me to be compassionate toward those who’ve had a desperate situation, not to be crying “murderer!” Combine that with the idea I’ve got that I’m just not really sure that the pre-brain level on a developing organism qualifies as “souled.”

            No one in the political parties now represents my nuanced views. Therefore, I’ve decided it’s an issue I just don’t vote on anymore. Go ahead, send me all your pro-life/pro-choice lit. Tell me why NOW supports this guy and hates the other guy. I don’t care. I’m looking at how they handle what is, in my mind, core issues rather than “distraction issues.” Morals? Ha. Fix the economy. Finish/solve/get us us out of this war. Preserve and promote civil liberties for all our groups, religions and non-religions. Grease the machinery.

            The “distraction issues” like abortion are cheapshots – I mean, it is a life issue (whatever you believe about “levels” of life), and a cheap way to get attention and distract from the “we got nothin’.”

            The thing that my guy and I are most annoyed about with politics currently is that it actually takes a certain amount of money to run. Technically, you could run penniless, but to appear on the ballot, there’s some kind of huge fee and to run a campaign? If you’re a joe schome, forget about getting your name out there or any attention at all. I think most of the Unemployed in this country could run the country better than any of the politicians.

            Ultimately, though… since you’re an anime fan and might have seen another one of my favorites: Wouldn’t it be interesting to have the political system of The Tweleve Kingdoms? Abortion is a non-issue since babies grow on trees only for to couples who pray for a child… the king of the country is chosen by a holy creature that represents the will of the people and pure compassion… if the king is good, he or she is immortal and the land prospers. If the king is bad, they are slated to die from natural causes. Okay, so the years between kings where the land is blighted and overrun by demons would be crud, but it would be a less confusing system.

          • Ace

            I’ve seen 12 kingdoms and it is basically a Fantasy version of medieval China. Read up on the Dynastic Cycle if you want to see that sort of power structure in a real-world setting. I have no particular opinion of it, really.

            As for the high ticket price for running for political office, this is why I REALLY WISH there were limits to campaign funds, even those politicians take from their own pockets. There should be a set amount every candidate can spend at a particular level, period. It’s been shown time and time again that the candidate that spends the most on their campaign is nearly always the winner, regardless of the issues at hand. It’s ridiculous that people can just buy their way into office.

            P.S. I’ve known a few girls & women who had abortions, and NONE of them did so flippantly or lightly. I’m sure there’s somebody out there who does use abortion as casual birth control, but I have never met her and find it hard to believe that she represents the majority of those who are faced with such a heartbreaking decision. Pro-lifers who use that straw man of an example annoy me far more than the rest because it’s obvious they don’t know anything about the subject.

  • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike Burns

    Ace said:

    “I too am sick of the abortion/stem-cell debate. I could give a rat’s ass at this point about that total red herring.”

    Would you agree that a candidate that conflates stem cell research, early term abortion and late term abortion into a single issue lacks a sufficient complexity of thought to justify putting them in charge? …of anything?

    • Ace

      Yes, actually. If you don’t even know what the heck you are talking about, it’s time to shut your mouth and go read a book or something. Especially considering that not all stem cells are even fetal anymore, there is also research going on with adult stem cells that is quite interesting (if one can be bothered to find out about it).

      Most political candidates don’t have the brains to be in charge of a fish tank, never mind part of a city, state or large nation.

      • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike Burns

        Too bad those that are ignorant on an issue are typically unaware of their ignorance. Maybe naively, but I still think enough of the individual that, if shown their ignorance, they would be motivated to want to read that book to mitigate that ignorance. On the flip-side; I am jaded enough to think that most are too lazy do the real scholarship to properly address their ignorance.

        [Though tempted...I shan't get into the adult/embryonic stem-cell discussion. Your welcome John]

        • Ace

          Individual people, members of the public, yes I would agree with you that some would be willing to learn more about a subject they know little about. It might not necessarily change their opinion, however.

          Politicians, on the other hand, don’t care about being right, they mostly just pick a “constituency” that they think has the numbers to get them into office, and try to say whatever they believe that group wishes to hear, whether or not they personally believe it or even if they know it to be patently wrong.

          For example, not too long ago I read about a Republican congressman who voted against gay marriage rights because that is what his voters wanted, even though he himself was actually gay (previously in the closet, but recently outed).

          It’s all about amassing political power and influence through currying public favor, and has nothing to do with what’s “right” or best for the nation or truly moral or just or anything else. Ultimately these people are in it for personal gain, and some, quite honestly, seem like borderline sociopaths, from what I’ve seen.

          • http://fvthinker.blogspot.com Mike Burns

            Again; I am optimistic to think that, at least initially, most people seek public office for the right reasons. The jaded part of me feels that the political process splits those office holders into two basic groups. 1) Those that succumb to the power of the position and lose sight of their original goals of doing the greater good and 2) Those that keep their eye on the greater good, but always feel that they can do more from the next highest political perch.

            The latter, necessarily, panders (hopefully without outright lying) to get the votes necessary to reach that next perch. Unfortunately that becomes a never-ending cycle that might only end at the beginning of a U.S. President’s second term…when there is no higher office to which to aspire.

            As far as voting for your constituency and against your personal convictions is crazy. Voters should vote for the person that they believe best reflects them in their methodological process and social empathies (and hopefully not discount the ‘elites’ who might actually know something more on a given subject than they). Lawmakers are often privy to far more information than the constituency and should vote based on their full(er) knowledge of a situation.

  • Stephanie

    I am from Boston but I live in MS with my darling husband who was born and raised here. Let me tell you it was a scary thing moving South… but I think I have become a better Christian in facing some my misconceptions about the Bible belt. However, I have also grappled with living on the fringe of my church community because I do not share their conservative and often times judgmental theology. I have been told that if you vote Democrat down here you can NOT be a Christian. Well, at least not “their” kind of Christian and for that I thank God. :D

    • Anonymous

      Southern Man (sung to the Neil Young tune of the same name)

      Southern man better
      Shut your trap
      Stop professing that
      Redneck crap

      Jesus came here to
      Give us grace
      Now you’ve gone and spit
      In his face

      Southern man

      Sorry, but my satire pops out like a multiple personality. ENOUGH! Go to work, slacker!
      Not you…..me. : )

      • Shadsie

        I have an online friend who’s lived all his life in Florida. We talk on AIM – met through mutual anime fandom. We talk often about religious and philosophical issues. He was raised *very* Fundamentalist but now is … what did he describe himself as again? Diest Christian Pantheist Univeraslist – something like that. Very “non-fundie” anymore. A believer in evolution and that God isn’t so small that he’s confined to the human idea of a week. Takes value in other philosophies. Also prides himself on being very Spock-logical – I find him very refereshing for being an ex-fundie uber-logician who is *not* an angry anti-thiest. In fact, he finds some of the angrier ones illogical and irrational. *Grin.*

        But… he does live in and grew up in Florida… and he has come out of it less than generous. Obviously, I wouldn’t know… even Arizona (where I grew up) is apparently less backward. My friend says that when he takees over the world and becomes its overlord, he will institute a series of daily canings for the redneck types he’s know for the crime of wasting his oxygen.

        Upon saying that I thought that a little extreme, he told me “You don’t know these people.”


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