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JenellYB

If You Are Comfortable With This....

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I'm not so much disturbed by the images - I've seen clergy being anointed before.

 

What disturbs me is that this guy is a SERIOUS contender for the Republican nomination for the president of the United States. My GOD, did we learn nothing from born-again-Bush?

 

NORM

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I'm not so much disturbed by the images - I've seen clergy being anointed before.

 

What disturbs me is that this guy is a SERIOUS contender for the Republican nomination for the president of the United States. My GOD, did we learn nothing from born-again-Bush?

 

NORM

 

Uh, well, yes, Norm, that IS exactly why I find them so disturbing, even offensive, lol! He is not being annointed as clergy,he's being annointed as a contender for the Republican nomination for the President of the United States. I guess I kinda thought that went without saying....

Jene;;

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Because they're a charity recieving tax breaks from the government. If they want to endorse a political candidate, then they must give up their tax exempt status. Those are the rules of the IRS.

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You can pray for someone without "technically" endorsing them. But if you want to influence elections you have to give up your non-profit status as a church. Focus on the Family had to split off a lobbying organization. Congregations who are embarrassed by the fact that they "endorse" a candidate become very careful with language. But even the very progressive liberal church I used to belong to was inhibited by the diversity in membership.

 

But just laugh. Santorum is so far over the line - just think of him as comedic relief. He could be the Don Maes of this presidential election. Because of committed grass roots activism Maes became the Republican candidate for Governor of Colorado. He was such a buffoon that he took the Republican party down with him for an election cycle. I hope Santorum doesn't even get close to being a candidate. His response to the Prop 8 court decision was - was - was #############. If he is nominated then I will ask the state to unblock my restriction on owning a . . . :D

 

 

Dutch

Edited by glintofpewter

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Jenell,

 

Just linking in with your other thread concerning healthcare and my comments comparing Australia's political/religous relationship,

 

In Australia, I'm certain a picture like this would be the kiss of death for any aspiring, mainstrem, political candidate. Political leaders are happy to acknowledge their religion here (if they are religous) but are very quck to dustance themselves from being 'too' religous.

 

Excessive religion is not appreciated here by the voters. Maybe it harkens back to our convict, anti-authoritarian history. We don't like people telling us 'what we need' when it comes to God! :)

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Something I've been noticing, I don't think I've ever noticed before, is people I've known, that have always been pretty clear of keeping their politics and religion separate, are being increasingly pressure to mingle them, and/or become quite uncomfortable in some of their previously comfortable social and religious environments. The bolder and more openly spoken preference for, and even more disturbing to me, "connection" between Republican and "godliness" as if Republican IS the "godly choice" for real Christians, really got started during the lead in to the election of obama in 2008. There was even some flaps in the news about preachers and others in some conservative churches outright telling congregants they weren't "welcome" there anymore if they didn't support the Republican candidate....

 

This is being forced on a lot of people, that have preferred to keep their politics and religion separate....the emerging environment just isn't letting them do that anymore, at least not comfortably.

 

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB

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I'm personally not offended, I would suggest all of the candidates go there to be anointed and prayed for. God knows they need it. :D

If they are 501(3)c they have to give all candidates equal time if asked.

 

Joseph

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I had to think about this for a while before commenting. I really was not disturbed by the picture, except I didn't notice any women in it.

 

Mingling politics and religion doesn't really bother me all that much either – its done all the time, reference the legislators singing “God Bless America” after 9/11, the legislative sessions open with prayer (at least I think they still do), the pledge of allegiance still contains the words “under God”. And, with conservatives and fundamentals being so absolutely rabid about mixing the two, I think it would benefit liberals and progressives to allow politics and religion to have more than a passing acquaintance. As Christians, I think it would a good idea if we held those politicians who profess to be Christians to act like Christians. Oh, I'm not saying I favor a theocracy or a state religion (yikes!) But I am saying that if politicians are going to use a religious platform, let's make them accountable to it. We should hold them to acting with compassion and justice. IMO, except for the radicals, liberals are pretty darn quiet in the political arena. (I'm thinking this isn't a very poplar stance.)

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Something I've been noticing, I don't think I've ever noticed before, is people I've known, that have always been pretty clear of keeping their politics and religion separate, are being increasingly pressure to mingle them, and/or become quite uncomfortable in some of their previously comfortable social and religious environments.

Even at my parents' fundamentalist church, they always said we should pray for God to guide the nation to make the best decision in the elections for the next president. Though they were fairly conservative and looked down upon Democrats, they never said you should pray for your favorite candidate to win and their church was actually fairly apolitical compared to some other churches. They were more focused on helping poor people and saving souls from hell than trying to get their favorite candidate to win. Praying for your favorite candidate to win seems like cheating to me and ridiculing prayer like all those Christians who claim God is miraculously rigging football games so Tim Teabow can win while kids are starving in the streets in third world countries. I have to wonder how all those Christians who prayed for Sarah Palin to win the election last time reconciled their faith after Obama won.

 

its done all the time, reference the legislators singing “God Bless America” after 9/11
The irony here is that God Bless America was written by an agnostic and it was actually intended to be an anti-war song, not a pro-war song: http://ffrf.org/lega.../may/?ft=barker

In 1938, while the United States was resisting joining the new European conflict, the singer Kate Smith was looking for a song to perform during her Armistice Day broadcast--a "song of peace," she said. It happened that Irving Berlin was also casting about for an idea for a pacifist anthem. Almost no one in America wanted to go to war. "I'd like to write a great peace song," he told an interviewer, "but it's hard to do, because you have trouble dramatizing peace. Easy to dramatize war. . . . Yet music is so important. It changes thinking, it influences everybody, whether they know it or not."

He tried writing a couple of peace songs, but they were "too much like making a speech to music," he said. It then occurred to him to dig up that discarded composition from 1918.

"I had to make one or two changes in the lyrics," Berlin continued in the interview, "and they in turn led me to a slight change and, I think, an improvement in the melody. . . . One line in particular; the original line ran: 'Stand beside her and guide her to the right with a light from above.' In 1918 the phrase 'to the right' had no political significance, as it has now. So for obvious reasons I changed the phrase to 'Through the night with a light from above,' and I think that's better.

"One of the original lines read: 'Make her victorious on land and foam, God bless America, my home sweet home.' Well, I didn't want this to be a war song, so I changed that line to 'From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam, God Bless America, my home, sweet home.' This longer line altered the meter and led to a change in the melody."

 

Oh, I'm not saying I favor a theocracy or a state religion (yikes!) But I am saying that if politicians are going to use a religious platform, let's make them accountable to it. We should hold them to acting with compassion and justice. IMO, except for the radicals, liberals are pretty darn quiet in the political arena. (I'm thinking this isn't a very poplar stance.)
They tried that with Gingrich and the media tried pressing Gingrich about his proposed open marriage with his second wife and he went ballasitic and tried to claim the evil liberal media was trying to ruin him and persecuting him and it ended up backfiring though I think the media could have pressed the charges harder. Edited by Neon Genesis

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Because they're a charity recieving tax breaks from the government. If they want to endorse a political candidate, then they must give up their tax exempt status. Those are the rules of the IRS.

 

This may be right, I don't know much about tax codes. I guess I have a narrower sense of what "constitutional" means though. There are plenty of laws and codes in the US that may or may not be constitutional.

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Like many other buried treasures in our constitution the nature of the separation of church and state was not immediately recognized. Historically churches were often very vocal about their political preferences. Johnson is rumored to have been angry about religious groups who campaigned against him. The link has footnotes about this perhaps apocryphal story.

 

2. Has this prohibition on political campaign intervention always been part of the Internal Revenue Code?

 

No. The prohibition on political campaign intervention did not become part of the Internal Revenue Code until 1954, when an amendment to section 501©(3) was introduced by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson during a Senate floor debate on the 1954 Internal Revenue Code. The prohibition was added to the Code without hearings, testimony or comment by any tax-exempt organizations. Although there is no legislative history to indicate definitively why Johnson sought enactment of the political campaign intervention prohibition, neither is there any evidence that the prohibition was targeted at political campaign intervention by religious organizations.

 

 

Dutch

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But if churches were allowed to endorse political candidates, would you really want evangelical megachurches to donate billions of dollars to Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich so they can use church money that should be used for feeding the poor to pay for bigoted commercial ads? Mitt Romney has already donated thousands of bucks to ex-gay groups and I wouldn't want ex-gay groups to suddenly be able to donate back. I think it's already bad enough that non-religious corporations can endorse and donate to political candidates. We don't need churches to turn into corporations.

Edited by Neon Genesis

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Thanks for the link, Dutch. I know there are some laws related to this, involving tax exempt status, but not exactly how the written, intepreted, or applied. I can see that without some kind of guidelines, it might become hard to tell a non-profit tax exempt organization from a special interest and partisan political activist organization.

 

Btw,there were more than one picture attached to that article...the one really bothered my is the one where Santorium is posed, "Christlike", hand extended, in an altar area, bathed in a golden glow, with the dove of the Holy Spirit hovering above him.

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB

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in case you were wondering

 

Outside of express endorsement of or opposition to candidates for political offices, pastors and churches may engage in many other permissible activities.

From a long list:

Introducing visiting candidates

Allowing visiting candidates to preach so long as it is not to urge the members to vote in favor of the candidate. :rolleyes::blink:

 

Pastor's name may appear in a published ad or letter signifying the pastor's endorsement of the candidate, and the pastor's title and affiliation with the church can also be listed with the notation, "Title and affiliation for identification purposes." :blink:

 

Pastors should not endorse a candidate while in the pulpit. :rolleyes:

 

From 1954 to the present, not one church has ever lost either its IRS tax-exempt letter ruling or its tax-exempt status for engaging in too much lobbying (for a cause). One IRS case ruled that 5 percent of an organization's overall activity devoted to lobbying was permissible, but another case held that 15 percent was not.

 

http://www.lc.org/resources/pastors_churches_politics.htm

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Another of the photos wit interesting, "suggestive" staging is the one where Santorium in centered, a light pole rising up behind his as suggestive of a staff rising above his shoulder, topped with a lamp, that points upward to the cross-topped spite of front of the church building... The more I look at those pictures, the more elements of suggestive "staging" I notice...I don't think they are 'accidental." I just find it offensive, a disturbing abuse of symbolisms of faith to promote a political candidate.

 

AS a Christian, I feel offended by such obvious and deliberate attempttomanipulate people through theirreligion, ans AS a Christian, I am apalled, and even embarrassed by, so many Christians seeming to fall for it as they have and are.

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB

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I think the photo that offended me most was the one of Rick Santorum standing behind this artwork of the dove of the Holy Spirit looking like it's flying down over him with the light of God shining down on him as if he's saying he's the son of God.

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Lol, yeah. Which brings up a question..at least for me. I just have to wonder sometimes....

 

Things are not always as they seem. Surely, one must wonder, especially at something so, I suppose the word is blatant, as this. There seems no doubt there is carefully considered staging toward inciting a reaction, a response. We all sometimes miss it, fail to notice such things as the words a writer chooses, images a photographer chooses,the way the subject is staged and framed, that carry implied connotation, symbolic triggers. But for maximum effect, they are best subtle. Too blatant, they tend more to have an effect reactive rather than responsive to the "message." Such as these photos seem to me,well, too blatant? Likely to incite reaction, rather than response? And yet, these are photos taken in supposed context of a photographer given access, for positive coverage? To illustrate a supposed positive, event, among supportive santorium fans? Can they really have missed, not see, the potential for very negative reaction?

Jenell

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hmmmm...with that thought still in mind....things not always as they seem....

I clicked from here, elsewhere....my son, staunch and passionate little atheist and skeptic that he is...has sent be a link to a blog (which I'll post below)...we challenge each other quite regularly, lol....

 

But something about that blog....the reactionistic nature and tone, seemed synchronisitc to this idea I just expressed...

 

I have considered before something of a puzzle, the many at the heart of and driving force within the Tea Party and liberatarian leaning conservative right fringes, as well as some seeming less so fringe in the GOP....I understand are quite impresssed by, influenced by, Ayan Rand. She, of course, almost fanatically atheistic, even a "social Darwinist," in what I and some others consider a sociopathic degree.

 

I know this is kinda out there....but....could there be influences and forces behind this crazy hard right lurch toward extreme fundy religion, BEHIND the scenes, staying low, so to speak...with intent not to BRING the religious right into power, but to so overwhelm popular sensibilities with absurd extremism, toward destroying, eliminating, support within the population, for religion at all? That is using the religious right as the tool of their own destruction?

 

Jenell

 

http://skepticfreethought.com/2012/02/theopublicans/

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That is using the religious right as the tool of their own destruction?

Self-destructive fear, run amuck due to lack of critical thinking, and the Koch Bros (as representatives of the rich who want fewer taxes.)

And the inability, perhaps, of the left to speak to all the values conservatives hold dear instead of trying to convert them into being liberal with its stream-lined set of values. (See John Haidt, Moral Foundations.)

 

Dutch

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