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Religious values underpin his policies, Obama says
Posted: 17 February 2012 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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ciceronianus - 17 February 2012 09:05 AM

This sort of thing is only going to get worse, you know.  Candidates will be healing the sick and lame, soon, in Christ’s name.

Yea, but a Democrat does it the Repuublicans will call them a witch.  (Oh, I forgot they have already done that when Oboma passed Romney’s health care bill on a federal level. ohh )

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Posted: 18 February 2012 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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It is exactly the sickening and dangerous views and attitudes of the current Republican candidates, pandering to (and obviously enmeshed with) the religious right, that make me appreciate that Obama can take a stand for values that protect all Americans.  Perhaps we should be glad that Obama can frame his personal reflections in the language of “prayer” that will at least not offend and may attract to his benefit some religious folks who might feel unable to support the issues that he has been making some progress on—health care, economic policies, international relations—were he to take an actively atheist stand.  The habit of prayer as a practice of reflection (I suppose a more Buddhist understanding of “prayer” than that of most religions, and certainly the form of progressive Christian practice that Obama seems to follow), is not something to oppose.  It is the imposition of any particular religious perspective (or claim of “divine knowledge”) which is a threat to a free society.  Obama is most effective, in our current political climate of inflamed extremist religion, in holding those extremists at bay for all of us by affirming attachment to the core ethical values of the Abrahamic traditions. The bottom line is love of neighbor—I think atheists and freethinkers can get behind that value, and there are a lot of people from all the major faith traditions who stand there as well. Many people of faith have struggled from within their own traditions to uphold values such as reproductive choice, equal humanity (and civil rights) for LGBT people, immigrant rights, even separation of church and state.

I guess my greatest regret about leaving church is the sense that we need “insiders” to continue to speak out against those who corrupt religion, even as we need freethinkers to continue to advocate for the use of human ethics to wrestle with decisions about social goods, not “rules” created and promulgated by some powerful men who claim to be speaking for god as a cover for their own agendas of power and control.  And, I do think freethinkers need to keep speaking out and educating the public about the fact that, for example, “prayer” or any other conversation “with god” is more likely a conversation with one’s inner voice and ability to think and feel and reason, and does not need to be projected onto an external “god.”  But first, I’d rather point out how Obama’s values have the bottom line that’s important to me, and how the religious right’s values do NOT reflect love of neighbor, than quibble about whether the president should be going to church or engaging in daily prayer.

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The Muddler (Diane)

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Posted: 18 February 2012 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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The Muddler - 18 February 2012 06:54 AM

I guess my greatest regret about leaving church is the sense that we need “insiders” to continue to speak out against those who corrupt religion . . .

Continue?  May they should start.  Start doing it publicly. 

Members of my wife’s family consider themselves to be “Irish Roman Catholic” yet they do practice contraception, there was even a late-term abortion, and most of them believe in the separation of Church and state.  But, they might complain that Schlaffley,  Buchannan and Santorum (and those Bishops) are misrepresenting their views, yet I do not think there is sufficient public outcry from progressive Catholics stating: “They do NOT speak for us!” 

And the same goes for the Protestants.  There needs to be more public voices declaring that Robertson and Dobson do not speak for them.  Ministers and priests (at least Episcopal priests) should more vocally express support for the old traditional separation of church and state, both publicly and from the pulpit.  This is NOT a liberal viewpoint—the separation of church and state used to be supported by everyone except a few crazy fringe groups and the Knights of Columbus (responsible for putting that “In God We Trust” and “One Nation Under God” nonsense on official things).  The separation of church and state should be taught again in schools and houses of worship, and people like Christine O’Donnell and James Inhofe should be considered unworthy of holding any office.

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Posted: 18 February 2012 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I can certainly agree that the voices need to get more out there.  I came from the United Church of Christ, one of the more vocal (and therefore often marginalized) denominations.  I think the media also prefer to pick up the sensational noise coming from the fundamentalists, and don’t “play” the progressive voices, thus another reason they’re not heard.

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The Muddler (Diane)

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Posted: 18 February 2012 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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All we need do is ask ourselves, if given the power to install a Democracy or a Theocracy, which would follow the morality of a inclusive secular Democracy or the morality of a exclusive Theocray, Obama or Santorum?

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Posted: 18 February 2012 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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The Muddler - 18 February 2012 11:10 AM

I can certainly agree that the voices need to get more out there.  I came from the United Church of Christ, one of the more vocal (and therefore often marginalized) denominations.  I think the media also prefer to pick up the sensational noise coming from the fundamentalists, and don’t “play” the progressive voices, thus another reason they’re not heard.

I recall years ago hearing about how the major broadcast networks refused to show the United Church of Christ promo-spots because they were considered too “controversial”.  These ads show same-sex couples and inter-ethnic families attending their churches, with the message that the UCC is about inclusiveness and not bigotry.  I actually saw these spots on some of the local Miami cabal stations during one of my visits to Miami.  THey would only be considered “controversial” by right-wing homophobic, xenophobic bigots, but no one should worry about offending those idiots.

Anyway, since he media prefer the sensationalist noise, people who represent the nice view need to work harder to find a way to get the media’s attention.  They do need to show some anger about being misrepresented in a way that is newsworthy without being harmful. 

Of course the people that control the media should aspire to be more informative and less sensational.

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