Can a Creationist Be A Good Mayor? St. Petersburg Debates Whether a Mayor’s Religious Beliefs Are Relevant to His Competence to Lead

famportbio3250px-Macronaria_scrubbed_enhThere is an interesting debate going on in St. Petersburg where mayoral candidate Bill Foster is being attacked for his belief in creationism. As Florida’s fourth-largest city, St. Petersburg has tried to attract businesses and industry. His critics claim that high-tech companies are going to get the wrong impression if the Mayor believes that the Earth was created in six days and that man walked with dinosaurs.

famportbioFoster once objected to his son being taught evolution in school. Pinellas School Board wanted teaching about alternatives to the theory of evolution, such as the Genesis account and repeated the ridiculous claims that Darwin contributed to the rise of Hitler and the Columbine massacre. We have seen this attack on Darwin by people like Ben Stein and others recently.

Foster, a member of Starkey Road Baptist Church in Seminole, has not backed down from his views during this debate. He insists that Genesis says that the Earth was created in six days and that this is literally true. He argues that man and dinosaurs clearly existed together despite the fact that there is a 60 million year gap between the two species. His proof is that “[d]inosaurs are mentioned in Job, so I don’t have any problem believing that dinosaurs roamed the earth.” Job refers to a “behemoth.”

Foster asks a legitimate question: “How does my knowledge of scientific theory impact my ability to rationally govern the city of St. Petersburg? It’s completely irrelevant.”

When do the radical personal views of a politician become relevant? We have seen Obama, Clinton, and other politicians routinely use their religious views as part of their campaigns. If it is appropriate to use religious views as a positive element in a campaign, it opens the door for its use as a negative element. It is not clear, however, that Foster has used his religious views as part of his campaign. For a prior column, click here.

Foster’s extreme views on education and Darwin may be a concern for citizens given the influence of a mayor on school board policies and candidates. Moreover, do extremist views indicate something about a candidate’s intellect or judgment? Would it be appropriate for a voter to oppose a candidate who belonged to a cult or a controversial faith? What do you think?

For the full story, click here.

208 thoughts on “Can a Creationist Be A Good Mayor? St. Petersburg Debates Whether a Mayor’s Religious Beliefs Are Relevant to His Competence to Lead”

  1. Apparently, large metallic disks were seen just sitting on the ice-pack off the coast of Greenland. Air Force reconaissance photographed and filmed these disks, when stationary and “flying” off the ice-pack. These photos and film footage were sent to Andrews Air Force Base. I had the pleasure to witness a retired Lt. Col. who was Air Force, now living in Tucson, interviewed concerning these arctic “saucers”. He witnessed these craft personally and had a fellow pilot pursue one in an F-100 in full afterburner! At the time, this was the fastest jet fighter in the Air Forces arsenal. As he attempted to follow the disk, he closed on it momentarily , and then at 33,000 feet, the disk, literally “walked” away from his fighter. He estimated that the spacecraft was traveling at 10,000 miles per hour when it disappeared….

  2. Back to the topic, here is the letter that started this discussion.
    http://www.sptimes.com/2008/01/10/images/tb_fosterletter.pdf

    This is a distraction from other issues in St. Pete, but shows a pattern of disregard for the Constitution and civil rights.

    On Oct 1st city council will vote to give away the public square to Wells Fargo. The current mayor and Bill Foster’s financial backer is Mel Sembler, who purchaced ambasodorships from the Bushes and is used to getting returns from his “gifts”. He developed the downtown Baywalk project and has demanded that anti-war protests there be silenced. His prefered method is a transfer of ownership of public land to the new owner. So the first amendment is also under assault by local fatcats.

    We have a sunshine law that gives Floridians the right to see what government is doing. During Foster’s last two years on council he allowed secret deal making that gave us plan for a half billion dollar subsidy for the Rays baseball team.
    http://www.pennyforpinellas.net/2007/11/post-election-surprise-450m-taxpayer.html

    Thank you Jonathan for asking questions that local media are afraid to ask.

  3. Mike, allegedly a saucer crashed in Coyame Mexico, just south of Laredo, Texas. Allegdly a few Grays’ were pulled from the downed craft and sent to Wright Patterson Aair Force base in Dayton, Ohio. This crash was in August of 1974.

  4. FFLEO,

    Mike and I have already had a couple of discussions on this subject. The analog to my favorite truism “Everyone has bad taste,” is “everyone has a pet woo-woo theory.”

  5. Billy,
    I heard Keyhoe many times on the Long John Nebel radio program that was on from Midnight to 5:00am in NYC in the 50’s and early 60’s. I heard them all since Long John devoted a lot of time to UFO’s. For me its’ past convincing, I think they’re real, but am skeptical of the contact tales. To me the real mind blowing stuff comes with the evidence that exists in ancient texts, like Ezekial, the Mahabarata, the various myths from Sumer and Egypt.

    There is a lot of stuff in there that seems to me to show not only alien contact, but quite possibly influence on human development. The Sumerian pyramids, for instance, seemed to built as landing places for the “Gods”(aliens)and their stone carvings show things that could be interpreted as spacesuits. That floats my boat these days although it’s not anything I obsess about because there are too many interesting things to catch one’s attention in this life.

  6. The question might also be, “can an alien from Zeta Reticuli be a good mayor”? Nanu, Nanu…

  7. Billy ate all.,

    Them flyin’ saucers ya n’ others have “seen” is not UFOs. Them is clearly identified as the saucer plates that belong to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM). What happens involves physics (for such UFO *stories*, physics as in *laxative* clearly applies).

    Don’t you see, when the FSM turns too fast when a’makin’ right turns in space, (hisn’ mass of tangled spaghetti X the force of gravity X them G-Forces) = hisn’ a’slipin’ off’n hisn’ spaghetti saucer, usually after drankin’ too much sauce.

    That is what you see; not no UFOs, but FSMs unmanned (unspaghettied?) spacecraft a wafferin’ uncontrollable in sky. If the *dude* would juss slow down on them right turns (left turns is Okee-Dokey) hisn’ saucers would not be seen, because in straight manned flight or during left turns, the Flying Spaghetti Monster and hisn’ magic saucers travel faster n’ the speed of light n’ unseenable to the meer human eyeballs.

  8. Byron, I remeber listening to a radio show, broadcast from Oklahoma, while traveling through New Mexico. It must have been about 4 or 5 A.M. on my drive into Colorado. The interviewer was attempting to debunk a lot of the reported sightings and cases that have been reported. He came to the conclusion over a considerable amount of time and effort, that he was only able to expunge approximately 90-95% of the cases reported. The other 5-10% were in fact ” truly” unexplainable, something to think about. He sighted much of the research and inquiry done by Stanton Friedman and J.Allen Hynek Ph.D.

  9. billy:

    do you listen to that guy on the radio at around 10 pm? I cant remember his name but he is into this stuff in a big way.

    I wonder if they are capitalists or socialists. My guess is that they are probably venture capitalists and are looking to purchase property in Tahoe.

  10. People who have witnessed the phenomenon of flying saucer in daylight have had the good fortune to visualize detail and structure on these otherworldy craft. I certainly don’t feel that everything that is reported is in fact flying saucer. I am only interested in craft with visible structure, or has the advantage of corroboration. Nightime sightings are more difficult to substantiate. Still they are valuable in the compilation of cases for further review..

  11. Mike, I remeber the Major Keyhoe book, it was one of the first books I read concerning the phenomenon of “flying saucer”. I YouTubed a video that was downloaded. It was an interview that Mike Wallace had with Major Keyhoe back in the early-mid sixties. I watched it, it was fascintaing. Google it and type in Major Keyhoe- Mike Wallace interview. I think it will be a time capsule experience for you as well, it is real vintage stuff…

  12. I once spoke to a young man from Ethipoia, in fact he was an undergrad student at UofP in Stockton. He and I were discussing flying saucer and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. He was an Ethipoian Orthodox and I Catholic, so we had some common ground in our religious beliefs. He stated that he broached this “very” subject with a priest/spiritual advisor. He told me a most fascinating story. This priest explained to him that these space craft, are in fact visiting us from other planets. He claimed that these humanoid life forms are “forbidden” to come here. They are being disobedient and violating a “command” not to visit or interfere with our existence here on earth. I reflected on what he said, it seemed somewhat reasonable and “why not”, nobody knows for sure one way or the other regarding this phenomenon. I inquired where this priest was able to access to this information, he himself was uncertain. I do distinctly remember having this very “curious” conversation with him. He was an interesting and very soft spoken thoughtful young man.

  13. This is a very interesting interview challenging “social darwinism”. It’s worth hearing out, especially as it addresses the heath care “debate”.

    “Frans de Waal: “The Age of Empathy” (Harmony Books” on Diane Rehm, NPR

    http://wamu.org/programs/dr/

  14. The craft I saw Mike was very large, it had no visible features, i.e. windows, tailfins, or exterior molding. I could not even determine if it was a true craft. It made no sound, had no visible means of propulsion and emitted no vapor or exhaust. It had an elliptical shape and was a bright orange, which as it continued to hover over the mountain gradually became less intense, it became more amber colored and less fiery. The elliptical shaped object began to slowly “wobble” and descend after many minutes behind the mountain range near my childhood home. When it descended, the peaks of the mountain glowed brilliantly for many minutes. I remember calling the Ventura county Sheriff about the sighting as well as the Air Force. Both took official phone reports and seemed genuinely intersted, especially the county sheriff. President Jimmy Carter, a Ph.D. nuclear physicist himself, saw an unidentified craft when governor of Georgia. He too made an official report that was taken with considerable interest.

  15. “or the true case files “culled” from Project Blue Book and Operation Sign.”

    Billy,
    You know your stuff. Ifirst read the files of Project Bluebook, back in the late 1950’s written by former project head Major Donald Keyhoe.

  16. “Mike S.:
    Atlantis is under the north or south pole. I have it on good authority from the little green man that puts things in my head.”

    Byron,
    Atlantis was probably the Isle of Crete destroyed by the nearby explosion/eruption of the Island of Thera about 1,400 BCE.

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