The God Card

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Even as we watch the violent collision of politics and religion at American embassies around the world, here at home Presidential politics took a decidedly religious turn. Mitt Romney, trailing in several decisive purple states, has resorted to the “God Card.”  Capitalizing on the omission (and later reinsertion) of God into the Democratic Party platform, Romney has recently added God into his stump speech, “I will not take God out of my heart, I will not take God out of the public square, and I will not take it out of the platform of my party.” [Insert Amen! here].

Here in Virginia, Romney raised the specter of a “godless” Obama removing “In God We Trust” from the currency and from the Pledge of Allegiance.  Standing before the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach amid throngs of veterans and their families (mostly all white and very conservative), Romney remarked, “Our pledge says ‘under God. I will not take God out of the name of our platform. I will not take God off our coins. And I will not take God out of my heart.” Never you mind that Obama wears his religion like a ribbon or that the President never suggested removing “God” from the Pledge or off of US currency, God is good politics.

Romney’s  strategy appears to fit hand-in-glove with his new-found anti-abortion policy. In 1994 while running for office in deep blue Massachusetts, Romney extolled the virtues of  guaranteeing women their reproductive freedom under Roe v. Wade:

“One of the great things about our nation … is that we’re each entitled to have strong personal beliefs, and we encourage other people to do the same. But as a nation, we recognize the right of all people to believe as they want and not to impose our beliefs on other people. I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a U.S. Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law, and the right of a woman to make that choice, and my personal beliefs, like the personal beliefs of other people, should not be brought into a political campaign.

However, Romney’s position has “evolved” and by 2005 he said:

“I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.”

At the Republican Convention he furnished new red meat to anti-abortionists saying he would nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Row v. Wade. While it’s fairly obvious that Romney  has no firm convictions on the issue, he does firmly believe that the issue is a winner among the religiously conservative base that now grips the Republican Party.

But the question remains about how well this strategy of placing God squarely on your side will do among the general voting population. Polls show Americans are more and more rejecting traditional religion for something spiritual but less dogmatic. Atheists/agnostics are the nations’ fastest growing “religion” category even though their numbers are still quite small at 15%.  There is no reliable data showing that a candidate’s religious beliefs sway voters one way or the other. If they did, Romney’s Mormonism would be more of a handicap to his election bid.

But there remains a more fundamental question highlighted by violent religious protests from Libya to Australia. Will Americans, seeing the carnage that religious fanaticism has wrought at America’s foreign outposts, begin to question the wisdom of electing leaders who pursue political goals through religious rhetoric?

Source:  CNN

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

70 thoughts on “The God Card

  1. If you have to rely on the God Card….. You are really hollow within…. We are ALL created in his/her likeness……. Mother Earth…..to ground control….. From something I’ve read is each planet is assigned masculine and feminine qualities……

  2. “I will not take God out of my heart, I will not take God out of the public square, and I will not take it out of the platform of my party.”

    If an Iranian said that, we would hear a chorus of ZOMG! They won’t rest until Sharia Law is imposed world-wide!

  3. Even as we watch the violent collision of politics and religion at American embassies around the world, here at home Presidential politics took a decidedly religious turn.”

    That is what we have been told in the propaganda, but my comment on Nal’s Post today shows it to be rank propaganda.

    There is more than meets the eye.

  4. The dogma his religion espouses has a quirky portion to it that may explain all the furor over “dishonesty and lies” that has caused media trepidation:

    D. Michael Quinn called the use of deception by LDS church leaders, “theocratic ethics.” (The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, page 112) Smith lied to protect himself or the church; which was an extension of himself. Dan Vogel in his excellent work, Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet, described Smith’s viewpoint; he was a pious deceiver. Smith used deception if in his mind; it resulted in a good outcome. Smith had Moroni, an ancient American prophet and custodian of the gold plates declare, “And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. ( Moroni 4:11-12). Translation: if deception was necessary to do good, or bring a soul to Christ, then it was worth it, as long as God approves. Smith believed he knew when God approved of lying.

    (The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy, quoting “Lying For The Lord”). That dogma might be found to be criminal should one of them lie for the lord to a federal investigator.

  5. Thats pretty funny coming from a putz who’s religion is considered a cult by most of the other religions based on Jeshua of Nazareth.

    As a devote Pastafarian I try to be understanding of people who want to bring their faith into what they do. It can be a positive force as long as believers understand they are not getting directions directly from His Noodley Appendage and that they could be mistaken. But thats not what Willard is talking about here. What he is talking about is imposing a peculiar subset of beliefs on everyone because they have been somehow mandated on an incomplete & fairly inconsistent reading of parts of stories told by sheepherders and retold over 4000 years – and in Willards case updated by a psychotic megalomaniac in the early 1800s.

  6. I dont think it is smart for a gypsie (Roma, Romani, Romeny) who belongs to the Mormon cult, who dont know who is granma is amongs eight candidates, should play the God Card. Those who play the God Card get judged by those who are used to other games of chance like Catholics, Baptists, Evangelicals, Scientologists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus. I leave out Bhuddists because they seem to be less fanatical and strive for a Way as opposed to a way to suppress others. For The Willard to trot this card out at this late date to rein in the anti abortion vote is a bit dumb.
    But he went in dumb come out dumb too. Prep school that is. Yes, Prep School Boy With Cheeks of Tan. Atta Girl.

  7. “Will Americans, seeing the carnage that religious fanaticism has wrought at America’s foreign outposts, begin to question the wisdom of electing leaders who pursue political goals through religious rhetoric?”

    I’d add the following edit, Mark.

    “Will Americans, seeing the carnage that religious fanaticism has wrought at America’s foreign outposts, begin to question the wisdom of electing leaders who pursue political goals through religious rhetoric or who pursue religious goals through political rhetoric?”

    And the answer is “I certainly hope so before we all end up slightly to completely radioactive.”

  8. “Will Americans, seeing the carnage that religious fanaticism has wrought at America’s foreign outposts, begin to question the wisdom of electing leaders who pursue political goals through religious rhetoric?”

    Mark,

    “Aye, there’s the rub”. We’ve got a core population of perhaps 25% fundamentalists, who arguably are religious fanatics, or can be goaded into being active religious fanatics. That 25% casts a long shadow as we have seen in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade. In the media for instance when was the last time any of us saw a movie or TV show, where the solution to an unwanted pregnancy was abortion? I see this phenomenon in Judaism, where a real minority of Ultra Fundamentalist Jews, due to their purportedly strict
    religious observance are able to influence traditionally faithful Jews, who feel that their own observance/dedication is less, to adopt beliefs that have only recently been implemented. I use this to illustrate that the effect of religious fundamentalism reaches farther into penetrating the surrounding societies mores than we may think.

  9. God has been good politics since the founding of our nation. Why is this so surprising?

    “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.”

    Jefferson 1774

    “On the contrary. I hold
    (without appeal to revelation) that when we
    take a view of the universe. in all its parts,
    general or particular, it is impossible for the
    human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction
    of design. consummate skill. and indefinite
    power in every atom of its composition.
    The movements of the heavenly
    bodies, so exactly held in their course by
    the balance of centrifugal and centripetal
    forces; the structure of our earth itself. with
    its distribution of lands. waters and atmosphere;
    animal and vegetable bodies. examined
    in all their minutest particles; insects. mere
    atoms of life, yet as perfectly organized as
    man or mammoth; the mineral substances.
    their generation and uses; it is impossible. 1
    say. for the human mind not to believe
    that there is in all this, design. cause. and
    effect. up to an ultimate cause. a fabricator of
    all things from matter and motion. their preserver
    and regulator while permitted to exist
    in their present forms, and their regeneration
    into new and other forms. We see, too. evident
    proofs of the necessity of a superintending
    power. to maintain the universe in its
    course and order.”

    Jefferson 1823

    And many other politicians over the last 236 years.

    Romney didnt invent God nor is he the first one to hold or seek political office who invoked God and admitted we owe thankfulness for His bounty.

    What does it matter as long as no religion is established by the US?

    John Locke has a good work on toleration. It concerns religion but can be used for politics as well.

  10. In addition to the First Amendment, there is one other reference to religion in the Constitution, and it is in Article IV:

    “. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    Even before any amendments were added to our Constitution, the framers of the Constitution wanted to be sure “no religious test” would “ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    I just wish some of our politicians would stop using religion as some sort of measuring stick for suitability to hold public office — especially considering our founders and framers strenuously sought to stop that nonsense.

  11. I enjoyed the article Mark. I do not expect to see God removed from our politics as long as Politicians think it will get them votes. The wall of separation has been eroding for quite some time now, with no hope on the horizon.
    Elaine,
    That video was the first confirmed evidence of a politician Flip Flopping in public!
    Mike S.,
    I hope your 25% figure is high. I think it is a much smaller number, albeit a very influential and politically loud group. I am amazed that so many uber-religious people want God in our government in light of what we have seen here and overseas.

  12. @Elaine: I want you to know I just emptied the Bisquick mixture which was left in its carton. After seeing Gary Bauer’s association with this brand I vow to make my own pancake mix, even if it takes more time. Gary Bauer is a national tragedy.

  13. Romney is professing a belief in “God”, not playing a “CARD”
    Remember the Democrats did try to remove reference to “God” from their platform but it caused such a stink they put it back. I’m sure they realized this was a huge vote loser.
    Incidentally , if you think that was “playing a “Card”, At the return of those killed in the embassy attack, Obama referred to God more times in his address than in his in his addresses during entire administration. Is he trying to get votes???

    The Democrats (” I am registered as Democrat “) are not what they used to be. This administration is leading America toward “Socialism. What did Obama’s open accidental open mike comment of a message to Putin “that he could be more flexible after the election mean”??? You have to wonder!

    Socialist governments do not like religion. It promotes morality, something politics has long ago lost.

    This nation was founded on christian principles with tolerance for everyone. Read the Constitution.
    Note that reference to “GOD” has been removed from our currency, the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer in our classrooms,etc. Where is our religious freedom. Anybody that doesn’t believe in “GOD is not forced to take part, yet they seek to and we allow them to subvert our liberty.
    If you can’t pledge your allegiance to America than go somewhere you can.

    This administration is guiding America toward “Socialism”
    Read about Hitler, Mussolini and other dictatorships, and look at the following steps
    .
    First disarm civilians.
    Hillery Clinton has signed an agreement with the UN which can mean the end of the rights of civilians to own guns, thus eliminating your 2nd amendment rights.

    Make everyone think you are going to get rid of the “rich” upper class by redistributing their wealth to the poor. (absolute power corrupts guess who will really end up with the money)

    Take away individual rights. Recently the president signed an order which was subsequently struck down by a federal judge as being unconstitutional which would allow you to be detained indefinitely on suspicion of supporting subversion. This was a blatant attempt to remove your first amendment right to free speech.

    Why are we bending over to kiss the ass of extremist around the world because someone exercised their first amendment rights and produced a film. We should be more concerned about the videos produced and posted on the internet, by those seeking to bully the US and other country’s through violence such as cutting off an “Infidels” head publicly, and dragging mutilated and burned bodies through the streets.

    As far a a couple of Marines that urinated on some Al qaeda corpses, I would be glad to send them a quart or two if they need more to finish the job.

    Why do we apologize for this stuff when subversives have no respect,
    why should we. We lose because we fight wars with rule books and wussy politicians. If you are going to fight let the military handle it and keep the politicians out of the decisions.

    I an 72 years old and served this country which I dearly love. It saddens me to see where the liberty my generation and others have fought and died for destroyed by a government which promises everything to everyone, and cannot deliver. How high can the National Debt get before people realize their government is failing. The greedy, lazy me only generation of this country deserves what they get, wake up and save your own ass. I won’t be around to suffer, when you reap the rewards of your complacency.

  14. “Will Americans, seeing the carnage that religious fanaticism has wrought at America’s foreign outposts, begin to question the wisdom of electing leaders who pursue political goals through religious rhetoric?”
    Now, that’s just silly. Sure, we’ve got our fringe wackos in America but we’ve always had our fringe wackos. And honestly, we’ve always done just fine with plenty of religious talk in the public square. In fact, the idea that elected leaders pursuing political goals through religious rhetoric is a new thing is just plain wrong. Obama, has done it, (certainly Mrs. Obama has in the last few weeks http://www.inquisitr.com/267890/michelle-obama-theres-no-place-better-than-church-to-talk-politics/), and so has pretty much everyone else pretty since this country’s inception. Sometimes its pandering, sometimes it’s genuine. But it’s usually been pretty harmless in this country. Come on, you’ve read your de Tocqueville. You should know better.

  15. julianmalcolm:

    I have read de Tocqueville but the seminal difference is that the religious fanatics of his time weren’t hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons to usher in their own brand of Armageddon. This religious overtaking of a political party is new indeed since in the past religion preached to its followers to avoid the sins of the world of which government was one. Now the mantra seems to be render unto God what is God’s and render unto God what is Casear’s, too.

  16. Pat:

    “Hillery Clinton has signed an agreement with the UN which can mean the end of the rights of civilians to own guns, thus eliminating your 2nd amendment rights.”

    ***********************

    This is utter nonsense.

  17. Pat:

    The Pledge of Allegiance was written, in 1892, by Francis Bellamy, a Socialist.

    Bellamy’s brother Edward Bellamy, also a Socialist, was the author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).

    The words “under God” were NOT in the original Pledge and were added during the Cold War, in 1952.

  18. Pat:
    …Note that reference to “GOD” has been removed from our currency, the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer in our classrooms,etc.

    …This administration is leading America toward “Socialism

    …This nation was founded on christian principles

    hahaha…no

    Pat:
    …As far a a couple of Marines that urinated on some Al qaeda corpses, I would be glad to send them a quart or two if they need more to finish the job

    are these the Chrisitan principles of which you speak? honestly I don’t remember the Jebus and the Golden Shower parable at all.

    Pat:
    …Why do we apologize for this stuff when subversives have no respect,
    why should we?

    okay Pat I’m just throwing this out there and maybe I’m wrong but I think…wait this guy said it better

    “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

    “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

    sorry that’s crazy talk

    you have an eerily similar writing style to Matt

  19. BarkinDog wonders why you call something Dogma when you refer to some doctrine that is without thought, stupid, and grounded in religion. It it is grounded in religion then call it Godma. BarkinDog is nursing a bite on the rear end from a fellow dogpack dog who does not agree with his philosophy.

  20. Elaine,

    I’d never seen that video before … at least he wasn’t sticking his tongue out catching flies!

    Ugh … that visual has been with me all day. I must think of a way to repay nick

  21. itchinbayDog, You sir are truly the secret master of the thread today. i went to Webster’s to look up the root of “dogma” (I like root words, coincidence, and turtles) and as one of three examples of “Dogma” it provided this quote:

    “The Saudi regime has tried to deflect questions about its management of the country… by supporting and spreading an uncompromising religious dogma. —Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek, 1 Oct. 2001″

    LOL, recursions are not for fractal generation alone :-)

  22. Pat:

    Our Founding Fathers never said the Pledge of Allegiance — the Pledge was not written until 1892. It was written to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas.

    Our Founding Fathers did not put “In God We Trust” on our coins; that phrase was added during the Civil War, when all the Founders were dead.

  23. I was in Vegas one time and I had a good hand at poker. These folks were raising the bets and I had a hand that could not be beat. So, I put in a large bet thinking the others would fold. There was a preacher there behind some lady who was hanging in there with the last three of us. He kept telling her things in her ear. Things got down to the last gasp and I threw in my ace of hearts. The pile was mine, the lady was agast and the preacher was speechless. So I says, as i am picking up the pile of loot and giving a hundred to the hooker next to me, “Keep the Faith and the Lord Be With You.” The preacher got all sheepish and flustered. I says, “Dont worry Preach its all dogma anyway, an ace beats a King or a Queen any time, this is a Democrat state.” Hours later I am coming out of the cathouse and lo and behold there is the preacher coming out and re arranging his clothes. He looks over and recognizes me. “The Lord was with me”, he says, and then adds “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” With that the door opened and the woman he had been gambling with threw his hat out at him and called him a “Cheapskate.” The next day they were back at it at the crap table.

  24. I would refer Pat to Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797. I was signed by President John Adams, one of the more conservative and more religious among the Founders. The Treaty was passed by Congress unanimously with many of Adams’ fellow Founders in the Senate. These men knew exactly what principles were and were not used in founding this country.

    Article 11 begins” In no way was the United States of America founded on the Christian religion….”

  25. Google General Jerry Boykin if you want a real scare.

    He is advising Mitt Romneys campaign.
    Bush had to apologize for this religious fanatic during his administration..

  26. C.Everett KooK 1, September 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm
    ========================================
    sorry that’s crazy talk

    you have an eerily similar writing style to Matt
    ====================================
    I have never written a book.

  27. The implication, of course, is that the other guy intends to strip God from the places Romney would keep. Clever. My hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, but I can hear this dog whistle loud and clear.

  28. Seems like it would be more logical to claim the democrats are playing the “God Card”, by taking God out, and then later voting God back in, even though the anti-God kooks outnumbered the other kooks in the DNC. Romney is being consistent, since his party has a strong background in recognizing God anyway.

  29. Matt Johnson: I have never written a book.

    I speak of a poster named Matt, not Matt Johnson. sorry for the confusion

  30. Mark Esposito: “Will Americans, seeing the carnage that religious fanaticism has wrought at America’s foreign outposts, begin to question the wisdom of electing leaders who pursue political goals through religious rhetoric?”

    Romney will play any card, at any given time, and repudiate his own game-play the next day if that’s what it takes. The wisdom of electing religious fanatics (and liars) is THE issue with some bloc of voters in this country; they will without hesitation to advance whatever fevered agenda the voices in their head compel them to follow. I think most of the rest of us are already clued in to the danger. In fact, the kind of violence we see in Libya will harden their determination: we need a bigger god-inspired army to defeat their heathen army. Their entire world view is dictated by their fanatical religious beliefs.

    Anyone see the Onion article?

  31. mespo727272
    Here’s your utter nonsense since you don”t believe Hillery signed a gun control agreement with the UN that would take away your right to own a gun. See for yourself.
    snopes.com: U.N. Arms Trade Treaty
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/untreaty.asp
    Jul 28, 2012 – A U.N. small arms treaty signed by the U.S. provides a ‘legal way around the 2nd Amendment’? … crises, Hillary Clinton signed the small arms treaty with the UN. … The Obama administration intends to force gun control and a …

  32. Pat:

    “While a treaty can’t override the Second Amendment, it can become the law of the land either directly—equal to any law passed by Congress—or through implementing legislation. Even if a treaty isn’t ratified by a two-thirds majority of the U.S. Senate, it never dies, and can still affect your rights. The U.S. Senate could take a signed treaty off the shelf and vote to ratify it 10, 20 or 50 years from now—as we know from experience. Just two years ago, NRA fought a push to consider a 1997 Organization of American States (OAS) gun control treaty in the Senate. Although the U.S. never ratified that treaty, the Clinton administration used it as an excuse to restrict exports of gun parts and accessories to Canada.

    In a 2010 speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Hillary Clinton’s Under Secretary for Arms Control told the audience: “We will work between now and the U.N. Conference in 2012 to negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty, and we’ll need your help in achieving it. We have made that a fundamental policy commitment.””

    I wouldnt trust Obama or Hillary with the ATT. the 2nd amendment is problematic for some.

    “pencils make mistakes, people dont.”

  33. SWM,

    Wow, sorry.

    I have flash blocked in my browser so I can’t see what any posted video is unless I click on it, I just see a black rectangle with a play button until I click on it.

  34. SwM and gbk,

    It’s good to have the vid and the link to the article … thanks to both … next installment coming soon. Oct. surprise.

    BTW: “… if Democrats can eke out some narrow wins in key districts, their performance could be a lot better than expected. Republicans are very “exposed,” in the sense that they hold a lot of seats, many of them in uncomfortable territory, and this year will likely be a better one for Democrats than 2010.” (http://themonkeycage.org/)

  35. C.Everett Kook 1, September 16, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Matt Johnson: I have never written a book.

    I speak of a poster named Matt, not Matt Johnson. sorry for the confusion
    ==========================================================
    Perhaps you should be a bit more succinct next time.

  36. “Suddenly, his decision to pick a disciple of Ayn Rand for his veep makes more sense:

    This is a major coup for Mother Jones and you should read the whole thing and watch the videos from a private fundraiser earlier this year. The contempt for 47 percent of Americans as parasites is really quite something. As is his total rejection of the preposterous idea that he was born into privilege.” The Daily Beast

  37. I read all of the comments above and missed the reference to Ayn Rand. Is the Big Earred Mick a disciple of her? Second question, Is Rand Paul named after or in honor of Ayn Rand?

  38. Matt Johnson: Perhaps you should be a bit more succinct next time.

    refering to a poster named Matt, as Matt, seems to pretty well fit the definition of succinct.

    perhaps you should of accepted my unnecessary apology and moved on.

  39. Jack2uall: Is Rand Paul named after or in honor of Ayn Rand?

    Rand Paul’s name is Randal, nothing to do with Ayn Rand

  40. C.Everett Kook 1, September 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Matt Johnson: Perhaps you should be a bit more succinct next time.

    refering to a poster named Matt, as Matt, seems to pretty well fit the definition of succinct.

    perhaps you should of accepted my unnecessary apology and moved on.
    ==========================================================
    An unnecessary apology isn’t an apology.

  41. Bron, thanks for the input. Perhaps I am not as far off the mark as i feared. I have heard that Snopes is wrong at times. Maybe there is some truth to what is being said on the net regarding Hillery and the UN Gun ban attempt.
    I don’t trust Obama or Hillery for that matter. Bill Clinton is another decietful one according to this article.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2012/09/06/fibbing-with-gm-job-creation-statistics-bill-clinton-edition/

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