Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Faith and God at the Democratic Convention


This subject is being more than adequately covered all over the Atheosphere so I won't say too much. I just want to point out that nearly every speech I've heard weaves "faith" and/or "god" into its fabric. If you are watching, look for this and if you notice anyone who fails to uphold the party line, please report their heathen ass in a comment here.

Here's my question - did the Obama campaign make a conscious effort to ask all speakers to try to do this, or is it just that they are all basically religious people and it comes natural? Or is it a little of both?

20 comments:

Lifeguard said...

Little of both.

The Exterminator said...

Obama campaign. Everybody has to be a committed Christian. Or, if not a Christian, at least committed to something, unlike those evil atheists who hate America.

I'd actually like to see all those people committed.

Lifeguard said...

I'm going to amend my answer to reflect the wording of your question a little better: I think it's a little of both, BUT I do not think the religio-speak comes naturally at all, except maybe to Senator Casey (if you're a pro-life Democrat then obviously you take being a Catholic seriously enough to talk about it)

Pastor Mike said...

I think with the some of this internet chat saying stupid stuff like Obama is a Islamic extremists, the party line is going out of its way to show that he is a Christian—that he is just like them and they don’t have to be afraid.

The Exterminator said...

Pastor Mike:

So are you saying that Obama's heavy dose of Christianity is justifiable because some people think he's a muslim? Why doesn't he say: My religion is totally immaterial to whether or not I'll be a good president. If you're under the assumption that you're voting for a high priest, you're obviously living in the wrong country. Read Article VI of the Constitution.

Now, I know as well as you do that such a statement would be a losing strategy with a segment of the population. But his constant ramming of Jesus down our throats ought to be a losing strategy with an even bigger segment of the population. If freethinkers really had the courage of their convictions, they'd refuse to stand for that bullshit.

grumpylion said...

The first casualty of America today is truth. Most people can't stand the stuff.

Grumpy Lion said...

...present company excepted, of course...

Grumpy Lion said...

We should note that Obama's program includes more money for the so-called faith-based bullshit that Bush has foisted on us. Nothing like kicking the Constitution while it's down.

John Evo said...

@ Ex - been saying it for months, but you really have to have a third party name that atheists and other secularists would be happy to rally around.

We need a Ross Perot of Atheism. 8% vote for him/her with Obama losing by 5% or less and the Dems would think twice. But it's too late. You can't get someone on the ballot to "punch". No one has every gotten 8% of a Presidential vote on write-in. And if you do it and only get 1 or 2 pct., you confirm in peoples minds that we are irrelevant.

Pastor Mike said...

The Exterminator,

I’m not saying any such thing. I answered a good question, that’s it.

And I don’t know if I’d consider you a freethinker…especially if you see a person stating their beliefs as equivocal to forcing their faith on you. What's the matter? Afraid their statements are going to convert you?

Crusaders forced...not Obama. Glad i could clear that up for you.

The Exterminator said...

I have no problem with Obama stating his beliefs as a private citizen. I have lots of problems with him injecting his crap into the presidential campaign. Faith-based initiatives foist those beliefs on me, because I'm forced to pay taxes that go to such nonsense. Religiously motivated policies foist those beliefs on me because, as I said, I don't agree with financing god, or with having bullshit interfere with the country's science, or with demonizing groups of people because some idiot book says so, or with having to pay obeisance to a fairy tale character every time I handle money or say the pledge, or, in general, with having superstition influence public decisions whatsoever.

Glad I could clear that up for you.

AV said...

And I don’t know if I’d consider you a freethinker…especially if you see a person stating their beliefs as equivocal to forcing their faith on you.

Why are Obama's theological opinions relevant to whether he'd make a good president?

My answer to Evo's question: the US is a god-soaked country (albeit with a secular constitution, but neither party wants to talk about that), and the Obama campaign is shamelessly pandering to the religous because it is expedient (which is not to say that it is justifiable to do so. They've also been paying attention to George Lakoff.

DB said...

This has little to do with anything other than votes and image and anyone who disagrees has too much "faith" in politicians. Christianity is convenient when it comes to running for office unfortunately. I am shocked so many religious people are falling for this. God bless you all.

Prash said...

I totally believe that it is full of 'campaign' trick. To get the religious people's votes. Making such comments will not hurt the atheists and agnostics. But if they make an opposite comments then it will certainly hurt the religious people's feelings. Many of them could be could religious and believers of the so-called GOD. But, I think it is a pure marketing of an election.

Cephus said...

I don't think it has much to do with the Obama campaign specifically, I think the Democratic party has realized that if they want to appeal to the disenfranchised religious voters, they have to spout god-talk at every turn. Most of these people, while traditionally Republican, care more about your religion than your political views and if you can capture them, you can win elections.

It's sad, but I fear we're in for a lot more of this from here on out.

Brendan said...

As I said somewhere else, one small sign of hope is that I've noticed several of the speakers not saying "God Bless the United States of America" at the end of their speeches. I mean, besides Kucinich.

Yes, in general, there's more name-checking the Lord than I'd like, but I'm not bent out of shape about it. It's a political reality.

I think it would be better for us heathens to worry less about this, and focus our attention on specifics, like the faith-based program funding that grumpy lion pointed out. You start getting upset every time some politician mentions God, you're going to take Whack-A-Mole to a whole new level.

John Evo said...

@ Brendan - it's difficult for me to happily support Obama based on this AND his other moves, tacking towards the middle (actually, worse than the middle in the case of FISA).

But I think the Republic is in such desperate straits right now that we have to support a guy who shares a lot of our fundamental values and then, IT'S ON...

I won't give this blog a rest from attacking PRESIDENT Obama every time he does things like pushing forward the Faith-based Initiative.

You should recognize though, that this is an issue that tears at the fabric of the freethinking community. Obama has made a mistake in going so far towards the religious. He's definitely lost some votes. I guess the model took that into consideration and they calculated a net plus of independents and Republicans over the loss of atheists.

Cephus said...

Unfortunately, the number of votes Obama will gain from the massive religious block vastly outnumbers the number of votes he'll lose from the much, much smaller freethinker block. It is a simple fact of life that you cannot be elected to high public office in this country without catering to the religious. It's not fair, it's not right, but it is reality.

That's why you won't see an atheist being elected to high public office any time soon.

The Exterminator said...

Maybe now that Sarah Palin revitalizes the Republican religious bloc and gives wavering woo-ists an excuse to return to the party of god, Obama will see the need to energize the secular base that he's taken for granted.

Or maybe, he'll push his committed Christianity even harder. God bless America.

John Evo said...

Like Cephus and others have said, there's no getting around god in American politics.

But there is the god of the Old Testament and there is the "god" of those things we all agree are good - wisdom, kindness, compassion, equality, freedom, charity. I like the god of the second group a whole lot better than the first.

Yeah, they are both woo. But if you have to have one - better to have the Obama notion of god than the one Palin would bring to the White House. Or, the one one Palin would KEEP in the White House, since he's been living there for quite some time now.