For those distressed by the sectarian turn of American politics, it just got worse. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney are now in a tussle over whether Mormons believe Jesus is the brother of Satan.
On Sunday in The New York Times, Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asked: “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”
Romney has refused to answer that question and attacked Huckabee for challenging his religion. This only the latest example of how religiosity has take hold of both the Republican and Democratic elections. One would think that this was the presidential campaign in Iran, but we have gradually moved from faith-based programs in government to faith-based candidates in politics.
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14 thoughts on “Latest GOP Campaign Issue: Is Jesus the Brother of Satan?”
Does anyone else get the creepy Shi’ite vs Sunni feeling about the Romney/Huckabee exchange?
I suggest the candidates can put a stop to this religion-in-politics nonsense by reminding voters–and particularly the media–the TRUTH, that we are a SECULAR nation founded on the US Constitution (which specifically prohibits this kind of growing litmus test) and the principles of citizens’ rights versus monarchies’ as developed during the late 18th century Age of Enlightenment. Or they can use a twist on Nancy Reagan’s pet slogan and “Just Say No” when asked about religion.
Religion is ALL that matters in truth. Like it or not. Our country was founded on RELIGIOUS FREEDOM for a reason. It’s all about religion. They made it about religion because it’s a tool that works. It’s the way they keep people blinded. But, its the game we got. It’s far to naive to expect religion won’t play a role. It will always play a role, because that is the way they want it.
Add to that, the FARCE AND FRAUD of many religions and what you have are people who woke up and want to warn others; especially when the Fraud is running for public office of the world and his Jesus gave him the ok to team with Blackwater. Yeah, it’s relevant, because they trained the populace to make it so.
At this point, I am not sure Congress has not been so hobbled by the precedents it has allowed the Executive to establish, that it can now effectively act even if it wanted to.
Even if both houses of Congress was filled with younger Robert Byrds, Ted Kennedy’s, Paul Wellstones, Dennis Kucinichs and a supermajority of like minds….they might not be able to get around the blocks the Executive would throw up.
And always, looming in the background, is the broker, the Supreme Court, who in numberless cases over the last 2 decades has shown an antipathy to our legislature.
No, if this tyranny is to fall, it must be because it divides against itself.
Congress can put an end to the imperial presidency by simply acting like an independent and equal branch. That requires a willingness to fight on principle, which has never been in great supply within the beltway.
I just knew that when the GOP started to play this “my religion is better than your religion” implosion, that I, as an agnostic respectful of all peoples religious beliefs, would see the Christian Right show the same intolerance to Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion.
Mr. Turley. I just saw your most recent MSNBC discussion on signing statements on Dan Abrams show on the MSNBC website. KEEP IT UP. Yourself, Keith Olberman and Dan Abrams have the decency to speak up for our Constitution when the Democracts in Congress look for a spine and make excuses for not taking action out of an fear that they will get blamed as being weak on terrorism if we get attacked again.
What are we on. Scandal no. 50? How about Congress and the courts putting an end to this imperial presidency and hold them accountable?
KS Knight, I agree with you completely. Religion is such an important issue right now to “joe sixpack” because the Apocalypse is continually invoked by these guys when they discuss WWIII, a continued war in the Middle East, and what they describe as mere “climate change”, something that is beyond humans’ ability to change. If I hear one more time that what Bush is doing is all part of God’s plan… blah, blah, blah.
And you are dead on about this being headed toward a faux-theocracy. These religious fears, as well as the presumed “real” dangers of Islamist fundamentalists of the everyday Joe are being USED to the advantage of Bush, Romney, Huckabee et al. Combined with the misinformation from talk radio and lack of information from the regular media, you have a great many of people who FEAR “the enemy,” which takes precedence over any rational thought or discussion. What difference does it make if our healthcare system isn’t fixed if the end of the world is coming anyway?
I’m not quite “joe sixpack” but I come from a family filled with them. You can’t even get them to tell you what exactly it is they fear, or who the enemy is. I can’t even tell you the arguments that “our Creator” as written in the Constitution doesn’t necessarily mean “God.”
And, incidentally, readers of our only newspaper don’t even know that impeachment is being discussed by anybody else but Liberals, let alone constitutional experts like Turley.
I find this whole religion thing inevitable, and amusing. The Republicans pushed hard to bring religion to the forefront of politics and now that they have succeeded, they are fighting amongst themselves to see who can out-religion the other. I hope they continue with their religious squabbles for the simple reason that it shines a light on disparity between the many sects of Christianity.
Hopefully it will reach a point where people just get tired of all the intolerant diatribes between the different sects and come back to their senses. This country doesn’t not need a “Christian Leader” as Huckabee proclaims himself to be. The leader we need is one who will follow the document upon which this country was founded – the Constitution.
In answer to your question, Ron (and I’m sure it was partly rhetorical), the reason they’re talking about religion is exactly because they don’t want to talk about real issues. Increasing numbers of Americans are coming to understand that politics, in its current form, is nothing but “sound and fury signifying nothing.” Both parties and media are not just complicit in this, but collaborators. What seems to work (from their standpoint), is talk about BS and pretend the 800 ton gorilla in the room isn’t there.
And I hate to say it, to a sizable portion of the population, arguing about what God said, who He is and what He wants, passes for learned debate on important issues… To some, religion is the ONLY issue, which is why I’m very, very scared the Amerika is well on it’s way to a faux-theocracy (I say “faux” because the powers-that-be very very cynically use religion and religious people to their own ends, not “God’s”, whomever or whatever He is…). This is on top of and in addition to the psuedo-dictatorship the country has already become.
In my opinion, we need a new party or parties led by people who are not co-opted or compromised and who understand fundamental issues of importance to “joe sixpack,” even if joe doesn’t know it himself. Oh, and that quaint “piece of paper” called the Constitution. Where we would get such people of integrity and honor who are willing to put themselves and their families into the wood chipper that is modern
Amerikan politics, I don’t know…
To me Romney’s and Huckabee’s so-called tolerance is an oxymoron. You can’t have tolerance from men who faithfully believe that all other forms of religion are illegitimate faiths. Just look at Romney’s speech wherein describing the faiths that he had good comments for and claims that he would show tolerance to — Jewish, Evangelical, Lutheran, Catholic, Muslim, etc. — he excluded a myriad of others, including monotheistic belief systems, Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age spiritualism, etc. — so presumably he’s telling us that he wouldn’t show tolerance to them. And then flatly stated that the ones of the enlightened people, he considers corruptive, and indeed shows intolerance to this new “religion” of the seculars.
Sorry, but I don’t believe either of their prolamations of tolerance. Romney’s idea that faith being inextricably linked to freedom to the point that it is a requirement of freedom sends chills down my spine. And the notion, the marriage of faith with government rule will lead to more tolerance for other religions is just ridiculous on its face.
Also, having been raised in a Catholic family that converted to Baptist, and then Pentecost, I grew up having the Evil of other “religions” being preached at me daily. The Fundamentalist were specifically persistent that there was an urgent need for us, the chosen ones, to infiltrate a government that at every level would be filled with those of our correct faith. Romeny and Huckabee and their ilk don’t want tolerance, they desire dominance.
“Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end–where all men and all churches are treated as equal–where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice–where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind–and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.”
–John F. Kennedy
Sept. 12, 1960
Oh, sorry for the spelling error.
And yes, it is a sorry state of affairs that religion seems to be becoming a relevant issue in our national political choices.
Maybe Maslow was right after all and people have a positive, wired-in need for some kind of framework of meaning in life. Popular religions purport to fill that need and there is a growing backlash worldwide against what is faciley called “materialism”.
Nature and politics abhores a vacuum and the religions are not wasting any time in stepping in to fill the gap, meet the need.
I don’t have the time to really get into the insanity of this important GOP issue, only to make these quick comments. With all the important concerns, (the Iraqi invasion and how to deal with it long term, health care in America, the legitimate war on terrorism, the economy and all that goes along with that idea, etc.) why is this nonsense issue even being mentioned? Why give it any print space? What is wrong with America, if this really reverberates! Mormon fantasy is no more nutty than Christian baloney. I wish all candidates, from all parties, would stick to the real issues and allow valuable time to be spent on important matters of national concern. I wish they all would stop trying to out religion the other candidate. But I babble on. I’ve got to get back to work or I’ll lose my mind!!
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