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checks-n-balances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:37 PM
Original message
My take on religious leaders as talk show panelists
I'm speaking only of the "Christian" religion, since it dominates the political scene here.

For example, this morning, both Meet the Press and ABC's This Week w/Stephanopolos had a panel of four (supposedly "balanced") members debating religion & politics. They both had one African-American male, and no females (what did you expect?).

Progressive/liberal panelists on MTP were Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners. There was only ONE on ABC - Rev. Tony Campolo. Campolo did pretty well at holding his own, but on MTP the fundamentalists characteristically talked over the others and were allowed to dominate the conversation.

Predictably, on both of them, the conversation quickly centered around abortion and same-sex marriage. Seems like it ALWAYS does! And on both shows, the progressive/liberals brought up the fact that the Bible/Jesus say more about how we treat the poor than about sexual issues. Their points quickly get drowned out, since the other panelists don't want to discuss THAT issue. The sexual issues trump the economic issues EVERY TIME!

Of course, the host is largely responsible for this problem. They usually allow it to drift this way and do not know enough about the Bible to challenge the hard core right-wingers.

IMHO, the talk show hosts could have a more truthful and beneficial (and ground-breaking!) discussion if they would include and press on the following topics:

1. End-times "Armageddon theology" and its implications for foreign policy

2. Including economic and environmental issues as moral issues

3. The tendency to confuse patriotism/nationalism with religion (the Bible calls it "idolatry"), including the moral implications of war and empire-building

4. The encroachment of Dominionism/Reconstructionist thinking & theology into U.S. politics

The progressive/liberal panelists can easily argue and debunk the right-wing views on these issues if the talk show hosts will allow them to make as much noise as the other panelists.

One more idea/suggestion to these programs:

Next time, insist that panelists (for once) steer clear of "sex-based" religious issues!

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asjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:43 PM
Original message
I started to watch MTP rather than
doing 3 day old dirty dishes but I just couldn't. When I saw Falwell was on my stomach turned. Why Russert doesn't balance his show with members of other faiths escapes me. It turned out to be, as I understand it, a sermon by Falwell.
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MatrixEscape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good points.
Edited on Sun Nov-28-04 12:46 PM by MatrixEscape
Sadly, the religious "leaders" are such a big deal now.

To me, inviting them to a debate is like asking P.T. Barnum to sit on an ethics commitee.
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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. talk show hosts
are NOT about civil conversation on issues.
They are not about discussion they are about entiertainment that on the surface looks like discussion.Sex and babies sells but poverty and the failure of christianity to translate into sane foriegn policy does not.
They are as about as civil as jerry springer befre fists fly.

Talk shows are about loudmouths and quips.

There is NOT enough time to discuss issues for real on talk shows.
So they put a bully on there and he takes over because nowadays socialized sociopaths entertain and the sell.

The social democrats say, they want someone, anyone who can get into the abusive fray on talk radio and fox news or some such place and compete against the bullies and win public opinion from the right wing nuts out there. I think public acceptance of violent speech can result from violations of unspoken trust based ethical /psychological compacts of honor held between people in order to function in a collective way together. Sociopaths violate this compact, and they have a "conduct disorder". They are unable to be trusted and relied upon to be honest, fair willing to negotiate, walk their talk with people around them. Certainly the way Rush Limbaugh belittles people and Falwell blames pagans, gays and the ACLU for 9/11, and Bush provokes half the world to hate us with rhetoric like "either you are with us or against us" is to me some evidence of disordered conduct in all of them.
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The Crazy Canadian Donating Member (260 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yeah, but the Christian Right can really rally their troops with
issues like abortion and same sex marriages. That's why they'll keep bringing up these type of issues every time. It's just more emotionally charged topics than talking about the poor.

The Christian Right don't care much about the poor to begin with, their totally with the wealthy elites and will toss a few crumbs to the poor to make it look like they care about them.

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MatrixEscape Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-28-04 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I like to call that ...
Machiavellian Chistianity.
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Ranec Donating Member (336 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-04 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
5. I couldn't watch the ABC discussion
It just turned my stomach. They weren't having a discussion about religion or spirituality; they were talking about the role religion should play in politics.

No voice was saying that politics should be about policies not morality.

Someone mentioned when John Kerry said that he personally was against abortions but believed in laws and personal freedom. The speaker that mentioned this ridiculed him, and said that it was the moment the electorate turned against him.

I shut off the TV.

I wanted to shout "We aren't electing the Pope. We are electing a president."

Then I tried to find something else to do.

The whole grounds of the debate, the general outline of the issues, was flawed in my opinion. Liberals should not be sending our great minister to debate their great minister. Is this really the way we want our country to be run?

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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-29-04 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. In al fairness, there was never an election of a president - not with W
It's been a Coronation in 2000, another one coming. It's appropriate - in a sick sort of way.

"You're not such a scary guy," joked his guide. "Yes, I am," Rove replied. Walking away, he muttered deliberately and loudly: "I change constitutions, I put churches in schools ..,12271,1358966,00....
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TaraMoon Donating Member (45 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-30-04 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
7. Dueling theology
In my opinion, we play into the hands of the Religious Right
when we engage in dueling theologies.  To do so results in the

1) We play on their gamefield. They are expert at manipulating
theology to support their conclusions.  The average viewer of
such a debate is not and will not become theologically
sophisticated enough to determine which side in the debate is
"theologically correct", even if there is such a
thing.  We will lose.

2)We acknowledge Biblical authority as the ultimate arbiter of
the law of the land. This is a fatal mistake and one that the
Religious Right wants us to make.

Instead, we need to focus on exposing the Religious Right as a
totalitarian POLITICAL MOVEMENT fronting as a Religious
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