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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:39 AM
Original message
Am I the only one that has a problem with this?
OK, I haven't slept for a while so this may be a little incoherent, but here it goes. I'm troubled by the cozy relationship between the Democratic Party and churches.

Shortly after the election, I was casually listened to an interview with a group of religious leaders about the 'morality vote'. At some point the the interviewer (George Stephanopoulos maybe?) brought up the issue of the increasing role the church is playing in politics. An African American (and Democratic) Pastor dismissed any concern that this should be troubling. He essentially said that a close relationship between religion and politics was a tradition in Black churches.

Now, I'm not so naive as to think that there isn't always some association between religion and politics but this unabashed declaration took me aback. And I understand how the organization of the church makes it convenient to communicate to a large group of the constituency. But I wince when our party has to make a few obligatory appearances at African American Churches to connect with the Black community. There has to be a better way. Is it a bit hypocritical to condemn religious leaders on the right for using the pulpit as a political tool when we do the same? How do we reconcile this behavior? Or is this just a problem for some of us non-believing Democrats?

Add to this, bible quoting at govt functions and a bunch of hearty "god bless America"s by Democrats and I get downright uneasy.

OK, that's it for now. Now for a couple hours of nappy time.
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Caution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. Very troubled
Not so much at the Democratic Party as by America in general and the increased voice that fundamentalists have. While I realize this is mostly a loud few and that America as a whole is trending secular, it is distrurbing that the media and government are allowing themselves to be manipulated just because religious nutjobs are more motivated to write a letter or make a phone call.

After decasdes of reporting on how lazy the average American is, you would think they would begin to realize that when some dipstick fundy writes in to complain about the word "damn on TV that this is in fact the vast minority view rather than a good cross-section of overall viewership.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I'm worried that the media and the govt are not only being manipulated
but many are BECOMING religious nut jobs.

I think I've hit a low spot this week. 4 more years by god's chosen president is just maddening.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. I still gag when I think about our representation in Washington
literally TRIPPING over themselves, stampeding into the rotunda to recite the pledge "under gawd" after Nedow's victory.

:puke:
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fshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
2. That's just an expression of
the objective non-separation of church and state in this country. Such separation is written in the constitution (is it, by the way?) but in reality it is trampled and contradicted everywhere. Absolutely everywhere that is! And which of our demovratic leaders will take the risk of establishing clearly this separation? The same ones who don't have the guts to stand up against plain, banana-republic-like vore rigging? I don't think so. This is a lost cause...
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yeah, I was pretty unimpressed with the DNC when they all joined hands
with the repubs to sing "god bless America" (or whatever the fuk song it was) after the 9th circut ruled in Newdow's favor. What a sorry sight.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. deleted
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 05:49 PM by YankeyMCC

not confident I can put into words what I'm thinking clearly enough.

Let me just say this if anyone happens to read this. I believe there should be a wall between chruch and state but people will talk politics within their social groups and the fact is this will always include their church. What the constitution says is no endorsement and no infringment the surpreme court has said this means no "entaglement" and I think that is a good way to look at it. I don't remember which case.
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fshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. People can do what they want in their beds,
in their heads, anywhere they please. They can believe in little green men or in Kerry's secret weapon, that's fine. Having "god" everywhere, including on bills (how'bout that for free media) mandatory reference to religion at each and every public occasion, is NOT. If church was explicitly, systematically and actively kept out of EVERY public setting and event (which is what separation is), we wouldn't have to worry about lots of things.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. At town meeting
They open with a prayer.

We have a town wide email list and the subject of separation of church and state came up and someone mentioned this fact.

A supporter of strong separation replied with something like "Ok from now on just before Mass starts at St Agnes we should read the latest warrants and minutes from the last town meeting."

Brilliant :)
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. In one of the Scandinavian countries
a move was afoot recently to institute prayer in school.

The school board said okay. But the prayers would have to be rotated amongst any religions that wanted to participate. And the atheists got a crack at it, too.

Suddenl, the religious nuts didn't think prayer in school was all that important. Imagine that.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Reminds me of the letter from Atheists.org
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GOPFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. Aaaaaargh! It bothers me too
This whole country is going ape-shit over religion! You can hardly go anywhere without being assaulted by bumper stickers, lighted crosses, signs, storefront churches, etc., etc. And I live in a fairly secular part of the country.

I grew up in the Bible Belt in the 50's. Church attendance was very high back them, but even in the Bible Belt few Americans wore their religion on their sleeve (and their bumpers) like they do today. They were secure in their beliefs and they felt that being an exemplary Christian was the best way to witness to others.

Today's conservative fundamentalist Christians are very insecure. They demand that you also express your love of Jesus loudly and publicly. If you don't, they imply you are un-American or a socialist. Democrats are scared shitless of being portrayed as liberal or socialist, so they are going around saying me-too, me-too...we love God too. We're religious too. And they're acting just as insecure as the Fundies, and they look pathetic doing it.

Democratic politicians think that speaking out strongly in favor of separation of church and state is a losing proposition. I think they would be surprised just how many Americans are sick and tired of being pushed around by the loony funders. They might be surprised to find that a strong rebuke to those who are trying to interject faux religion into public life would bring more praise and support than trying to play the me-too game.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:06 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. They need to reframe
It isn't about "separation" it's about the government not getting "entagled" or "interfering" with religion.

When the goverment funds "faith based" organizations now these organizations have to abide by the rules of the government. Yes I know Shrub has created an atmosphere where they don't for the most part but that wont always be true and I'll bet we could find some examples where the government rules have caused heartache.

And when we talk about things like removing the 10 commandments from courts the focus should be on including all faiths into our community. Community values should include making all members of the community feel welcome including those of different faiths and of no faith.

Just some thoughts.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. I'm just as worried about religion interfering with govt too
Typically, societies that allow religion to call the shots are pretty oppressive, especially for those in disagreement with the believers-in-charge.
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YankeyMCC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I right there with you..
it's just that you can't sell that to religous people you have to sell it from the other direction. And that "other direction" is as valid and true as your concern about religous interference in government.
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fshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. I think you're right.
The political gains would be huge for the democratic leader(s) who would dare to make that part of his agenda BEFORE or DURING the campaign. If the guy is not elected the first time, he'll be the second time. And besides, it's not even about imposing atheism on people! It's about just fucking separating religion from the state. You can go and repeat: " I will not mention or use my personal religious belief in this campaign. Religion and State need to be separated so that people's constitutional right of freedom be respected. There is no way around this. Respect of the Constitution and of people's freedom requires clear and real separation between church and state". Then each time someone uses that religious whining you can repeat it: "You seem to prefer to impose beliefs on the people, I stand by their constitutional right to freedom and by the Constittuion". Over and over gain. While the bulk of the argument is about economy, fairness etc. etc..
It's just a matter of balls, obviously in very short supply among our "leaders".
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
15. Tactics
We are a minority. We are oppressed. We are discriminated against. We must do something to change this. We have to apply tactics that function and succeed at achieving what we want. Our slim numbers (relative to the majority) and disconnected orginizational structures mean that we must make every action count to their fullest.

One of the issues that takes the ground from our feet most often is the notion of the angry atheist. We complain about religion and beliefs. We accuse people of being delusional. We make it very difficult for people to have any empathy for us. This is not a good tactic.

As long as we give them something to look to us as a problem they will never turn their eyes to those that discriminate against us. This does not mean backing down or giving up. It means presenting our arguments with civility and decorum. It means looking beyond the immediate argument. We must look to create the environment we wish instead of bemoaning the one we have.

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pauliedangerously Donating Member (843 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
17. My blasphemous two cents....
First of all, yeah, something like 85-90% of the people asked say they believe in God...in this country anyway, but I think that's crap. People are conditioned to say that. The thing to look at is church attendance...WAY less than 85%.

Does it bother me to see politicians invoking God? Well, it pisses me off, that's for sure. But when I stop to think about it, it tells me that those people don't have much to stand on. Face it, invoking God is the oldest power trick in the book.

The way I see it, we are witnessing Christianity's dying gasp...it could be a centuries long gasp, but it's on the way out. I think people will start to figure it out when God doesn't come to Earth and shit out any more petroleum when we're a decade past peak oil and well into "the apocalypse."

Having been a devout atheist all of my life, and having lived in the Bible belt for fifteen years of my life, I never once felt persecuted. I've been ganged up on, but I can hold my own, and I get kind of amused when their little sphincters tighten up and they tell me with red faces how sorry I'll be when I have to stand before God for questioning after I'm dead. PUHLEEEEZE!!!

Knowledge is power. Let the fools believe what they want. Remember that you have the advantage, because you can't be influenced by nonsense. I don't even bother arguing with people about it anymore. Fuck 'em. I just nod my head and smile and wish them a happy eternity.
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