HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Dear Christian-bashers, h... » Reply #82

Response to mistertrickster (Original post)

Tue Apr 10, 2012, 12:31 AM

82. I'll bite. Pronouncements of religious faith in American politics are primarily disingenuous.

Obama is far from the worst example, but he famously invited a full-blown RW Christian extremist to speak. His other comments on his faith, while doubtless true in a general sense, absolutely require a large grain of salt in the context of a fanatically extremist conservative American movement, gathered under the banner of Christianity, that welcomed him with immediate accusations of being a Muslim, and the unspoken suggestion that no Muslim would ever be fit to be President. He, and every other political leader in the country, is constantly under pressure to prove he is sufficiently Christian, goes to church enough, puts the right picture on his Christmas card, doesn't commit the sin of referring to the Christmas season or the (pagan) tree decoration with the overly inclusive term "holidays," etc., etc. etc.

Respectfully, I hope this OP is not an attempt to conflate criticism of religion, which more relevant than ever now, with the tidal wave of religiously justified attacks on women and gay people, with an attack on Obama, and thus to bring it under the umbrella of things not permitted on DU. That would be both sad and incredibly silly.

Back to the point though, it's well past time for more full-throated critique of the role of, in particular, the Christian religion in American culture, and politics. We have developed this very strange, inherently contradictory game, in which anyone who would hold office is put under tremendous pressure to claim devotion to philosophical traditions which, if taken literally -- would be insane.

Why is that okay?

If we were to remove the protective cloak of tradition, and consider the qualifications for national political office -- or even, say, dogcatcher -- of someone who believed the entire world was created by, is in the control of, and has every iota of ethical behavior defined by, some OTHER otherworldly being besides Yahweh / Allah, the conversation would be brief, defined by uncomfortable laughter, and likely followed with a psychological exam.

What we insist on is lip service. No one wants a leader who really believes in virgin births or mystical healing, or prancing devils waiting in the afterlife to torture unbelievers with fire.

No sane person would vote for anyone who genuinely believes our lives should be dictated by 2,000 year-old stories of magical beings who enjoy sacrificial bulls, murder thousands of children when angry, order that women should be subservient to men, or that moral conduct includes what foods a person eats, what clothes they wear, or how or with which other consenting adults they choose to have sex. NO ONE.

It's the Lie Agreed Upon. I don't mean religion itself. There are sincere believers who lead sincere lives and sincerely try to do good, all centered around their faith. I don't agree with critics who would deny that. Normal Christianity, practiced the way normal, secularly minded people practice it, does not require or even deserve ridicule.

None of this is to say incivility toward DUers or any other typical people of faith -- the ones that don't define their beliefs as simply a justification to humiliate or destroy anyone or anything they find culturally distasteful -- is okay. There is plenty of room for any number of beliefs.

But those beliefs are not immune to criticism, including the criticism that they are fully nonsensical.

Not when they are used as a cudgel, over and over and over again, to attack and destroy people and support every heinous political agenda from homophobia to forced vaginal ultrasounds. For Christ's sake.

So long as the public discussion of Christianity in American politics and culture is dominated by the Santorums and Popes of the world, yes, vitriol, satire, and derision are going to be part of the conversation. It's necessary, decent, and more than fully deserved. If it offends normal churchgoers who aren't screaming at the top their lungs about zygotes being people, or gays and Muslims NOT being people, then they just aren't paying enough attention.

I think everyone understands that President Obama is one of many public figures who seem unable to disentangle themselves from this hypocrisy. It is enough, for now, if he will simply oppose as any decent person would, the indecent things continually proposed in the name of Christianity in this country.

It can, however, be done. JFK seemed to have had a pretty good handle on the way religion and politics should work in a sane, secular society. I question whether Obama or any national political figure say this now, given that "separation of church and state" has become another in the growing list flat-out denials of reality embraced by American "Christian Conservatives:"

"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him."



Cannot reply in locked threads

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 171 replies Author Time Post
mistertrickster Apr 2012 OP
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #1
cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #2
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #6
Electric Monk Apr 2012 #59
Union Scribe Apr 2012 #150
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #3
The Straight Story Apr 2012 #12
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #17
The Straight Story Apr 2012 #33
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #41
SidDithers Apr 2012 #32
peacebird Apr 2012 #4
RKP5637 Apr 2012 #24
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #52
hobbit709 Apr 2012 #162
Union Scribe Apr 2012 #5
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #9
sadbear Apr 2012 #10
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #13
sadbear Apr 2012 #14
deucemagnet Apr 2012 #166
Union Scribe Apr 2012 #16
cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #18
Union Scribe Apr 2012 #111
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #7
Chemisse Apr 2012 #161
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #8
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #11
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #19
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #34
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #46
TalkingDog Apr 2012 #159
deucemagnet Apr 2012 #169
neverforget Apr 2012 #15
Honeycombe8 Apr 2012 #20
Luminous Animal Apr 2012 #21
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #26
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #31
provis99 Apr 2012 #35
cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #38
sadbear Apr 2012 #44
cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #48
Union Scribe Apr 2012 #110
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #117
Hugabear Apr 2012 #73
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #75
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #77
RainDog Apr 2012 #97
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #143
RainDog Apr 2012 #146
Tom Ripley Apr 2012 #144
Warren Stupidity Apr 2012 #167
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #27
xfundy Apr 2012 #91
Politicalboi Apr 2012 #22
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #25
Politicalboi Apr 2012 #36
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #51
provis99 Apr 2012 #66
provis99 Apr 2012 #39
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #53
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #60
provis99 Apr 2012 #68
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #69
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #76
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #93
Union Scribe Apr 2012 #113
Tom Ripley Apr 2012 #23
dmallind Apr 2012 #28
OffWithTheirHeads Apr 2012 #29
sylvi Apr 2012 #148
got root Apr 2012 #30
cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #37
sadbear Apr 2012 #40
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #43
cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #45
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #42
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #50
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #55
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #63
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #70
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #74
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #79
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #87
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #141
JoeyT Apr 2012 #142
Hissyspit Apr 2012 #145
UnrepentantLiberal Apr 2012 #149
mtnester Apr 2012 #154
pacalo Apr 2012 #155
idwiyo Apr 2012 #157
Gore1FL Apr 2012 #114
got root Apr 2012 #49
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #58
Skittles Apr 2012 #47
Solly Mack Apr 2012 #54
RainDog Apr 2012 #56
RFKHumphreyObama Apr 2012 #57
NYC Liberal Apr 2012 #61
SpartanDem Apr 2012 #62
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #64
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #67
JoeyT Apr 2012 #138
Mimosa Apr 2012 #160
WiffenPoof Apr 2012 #65
bluestateguy Apr 2012 #71
msongs Apr 2012 #72
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #78
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #80
Obamacare Apr 2012 #84
TriMera Apr 2012 #81
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #85
Hugabear Apr 2012 #88
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #92
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #95
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #90
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #98
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #101
TriMera Apr 2012 #96
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #135
LineReply I'll bite. Pronouncements of religious faith in American politics are primarily disingenuous.
DirkGently Apr 2012 #82
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #89
whatchamacallit Apr 2012 #83
rhett o rick Apr 2012 #86
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #94
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #99
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #100
sadbear Apr 2012 #102
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #103
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #105
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #106
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #108
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #109
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #128
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #133
provis99 Apr 2012 #104
Rex Apr 2012 #107
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #118
RainDog Apr 2012 #120
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #123
RainDog Apr 2012 #129
Humanist_Activist Apr 2012 #134
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #136
cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #124
Hugabear Apr 2012 #125
Warren Stupidity Apr 2012 #168
rufus dog Apr 2012 #112
kentauros Apr 2012 #126
sudopod Apr 2012 #115
Zalatix Apr 2012 #116
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #119
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #132
RainDog Apr 2012 #147
TransitJohn Apr 2012 #121
sadbear Apr 2012 #122
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #127
mistertrickster Apr 2012 #130
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #139
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #131
JoeyT Apr 2012 #137
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #153
teknomanzer Apr 2012 #140
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #151
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #152
Mimosa Apr 2012 #156
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #158
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #170
GeorgeGist Apr 2012 #163
GeorgeGist Apr 2012 #164
MadHound Apr 2012 #165
maddezmom Apr 2012 #171
Please login to view edit histories.