Friday, January 04, 2008

Religion and Politics

My friend TRP has an interesting post up about playing campaign manager for Obama. As a political junkie, I think his idea is brilliant and should be implemented immediately.

As a non-religious American I only have one thought: "Ewwwww. Gross."

Seriously, can we just cut this crap? Let me put this as plainly as I can: I don't give a Flying Spaghetti Monster about your religious preferences. I think it's rude to parade your religion in public like that.

Think I'm a bit hyper-sensitive? OK, imagine if TRP's fictional statement reads like this:

"We have a long, spirited campaign ahead of us. I'd like to lead it off by inviting Governor Huckabee to join me [in a 3-way with my Wife]. He can ["cum" up here and do it] in Chicago, or else I'd be honored to [do him and his Wife in] Arkansas if he'd like. No cameras, no press there...just my family and his [getting it on all night long with various toys, lubes, and restraints -- if that's what he prefers], starting off the campaign by thinking about one thing we share in spite of all our differences: our [strap-ons]."
See? Icky, right? That's what I hear whenever I hear any candidate speak about their religion. I feel uncomfortable, like I've been invited into their living room to hear them discuss how they had sex with their partner last night and oh by the way wouldn't you like to join us?

Just please stop it, OK? I'm not interested in your sex life -- I mean religion. Seriously.


Hugh said...

Alright, now I have to clean off my keyboard.

The coffee... um...that I spilled...reading... uh...that post.

Have you seen Michelle Obama?


tommyspoon said...

Hell yes, I've seen Michelle Obama! Two words: Hubba and hubba.

TeacherRefPoet said...

So, because you are uncomfortable with it, it shouldn't be publicly discussed?

tommyspoon said...

I think candidates should be very circumspect in discussing their religious beliefs. I listened to Huckabee's victory speech last night and the way he speaks about his faith is very moving. But I feel that candidates are making a big assumption when they speak thusly: that everyone in the room and watching at home on TV shares their beliefs.

Guess what? We don't. Therefore, I think it's very presumptuous to discuss religion on the campaign trail. (And yes, it bothers me when Obama and Edwards do it too.)

I am not in favor of banning religious discussion from the public square. As a non-believer, I would appreciate it if folks didn't assume that I'm already in their camp before opening their mouths.

TeacherRefPoet said...

Then when candidates discuss their religious beliefs, they're in danger of losing your vote. That's legitimate. I want to know people's philosophical underpinnings for their ideas.

MORE SPEECH. I want to know everything I can about a candidate, and then I get to decide what is important and what is not.

(It's called the free marketplace of ideas. If the ideas aren't spoken, how can anybody decide what's important or isn't?)

tommyspoon said...

I think you would agree that there is a difference between someone discussing their religious beliefs and someone who is proselytizing their faith. From where I sit, the line between those two tactics is razor thin. Huckabee straddles that line as well as anyone that I've seen and heard. But he's a preacher at heart, so I suspect that he's a proselytizer at heart.

TeacherRefPoet said...

Agreed on Huckabee. Would my hypothetical Obama speech be proselytizing? I don't think it would.

Again...the only way we can discuss really important issues like the role of religion in politics and other public venues would be if we talk about it in our campaigns. This is why your desire to ally with Rove and Atwater is so disheartening to me. I think it hurts the nation by reducing discourse. The way to increase discourse is to practice it.

(But I'll grant that my hypothetical Obama move isn't really that.)

tommyspoon said...

Well, nobody's perfect, TRP.


watchwhathappens said...

my brother claims that constant repetition of the word "jesus" and related religious words in your campaign will always win votes. oy. loved how you put it, though.

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