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Worried About Direction America Is Going?


Angel Whispers
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2012 Presidential Candidate optimist Newt Gingrich today sought support in the South Carolina voters by making an appearance at the "Cathedral of Praise" in Charleston today.

 

 

“We have a domestic challenge -- defeating the secularists who would replace America as we have known it for 250 years with a different kind of country,” he said to thunderous applause.(Article/Source)

 

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, before she exited the race, was a Dominionist. As is Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who is presently considering dropping out of the bid for nomination. And he who presumably forgets just three years ago led a group of Texas supporters in a herald for Texas secession because he claimed, America had become a Godless nation.

 

And our current President ran on a ticket espousing; change we can believe in. And now 4 years later we can't believe what's happened to our economy, our country, our freedoms, since he was given the chance to lead us to believe.

 

So the question I think is, is the idea of a religious ideology or getting back to those values, as many candidates espouse, really what lends value to a candidate? If the first amendment leads one to recognize an implied separation of church and State, how can it be said even in a campaign to get the nomination, that what America needs is a return to Christian values?

 

When, if faith had anything to do with it, love thy neighbor as thy self would certainly be able to be inferred as that what would preclude deregulation of the banking industry via George W. Bush Jr. , that thereby imperiled the economy and the average citizen. As would the passage of the U.S. Patriot Act and now, under Obama, the creation of the Draconian National Defense Authorization Act.

 

One would think that instead,while insuring our national security with immigration reform, etc... we'd also stand as witness to a Legislative and Administrative process that would reconfigure the welfare act, the economy, insourcing, etc... for the sake of all of we the people.

 

Not espousing a "return to Biblical values" as some candidates, like Perry, often reference when asking to be trusted to lead an eclectic nation of people and beliefs, while ostracizing a great many, such as atheists and agnostics, with statements like;

 

"Let me, uh, let me offer just a thought. And that is, uh, one of the great things about this great land, is we have people of different faiths and different persuasions. And uh, I'm convinced that the nation, that the nation does need, the nation does need to have people of different faiths but we need to have a person of faith lead the country." Presidential Candidate hopeful Mitt Romney 2007

 

And granted that Mitt quote was delivered 5 years ago. However, he remains the same committed Mormon today as he was back then. And if the Caucus' are anything to go by, he appears to be the GOP front runner for the 2012 nomination.

 

So the question is, as an American or as someone abroad who watches our political games with interest, what do you think ? Is religion simply a keyword that politicians at all stages of their investment in the game of power over, throw out in what is a nation often said to be a Christian one, which is in error, and yet is easily inferred as such given the majority of it's citizens are Christian.

 

Or is it the lack of leadership and values in the Administration of this country, so as to follow one sure moral path, that is partly (or wholly) responsible for our present state of chaos?

 

Would you rather have a country wherein religion is kept out of the rhetoric emanating from the halls of power, if it meant this country actually boasted the example of respect for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? With a stable economy, a positive reinforced GNP, insourcing that put Americans back to work and invited industry back to our shores. While the implication of free country, did extend to the right to be free and equal as straight, gay and bisexual?

 

So that the separation of church and State was in place and not in government, even by implication?

 

Because, as some may observe, as it stands now, for all the talk about god, morality, Biblical values, dominionism, it certainly does seem like the elitist values are in place when the representation in power seems to pander to the 1%. While the other 99 are asked to bite hard and suffer cut backs on all fronts, while being asked to work harder so as to net less, so that taxes won't have to be raised on the rich who very often are so because of those 99% who labor to make it possible.

 

The Bible says it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to enter Heaven. Why is it that proof of that has to wait until we're dead, and in the meantime the poor and middle class can't even afford the camel so as to give it a push and see if that hole is big enough to make a difference here and now!

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I don't know that you really want me to get started on that, lol. It is something i have strong feelings and opinions about. Ots certainly something I'm very concerned about.

 

It isn't just the religious part of it, but the whole right wing conservative tone to it all, and what seems such a flood of hatred, anger,selfishness, disregard and outright despising of the poor, immigrants, the disabled, even the elderly. I could never have imagined before i reached the age that I am now, now that I receive SS benefit, that there could be such a widspread attitude that would sneer at me for my waiting for my government check every month, like I'm a leech on society! This is something I've NEVER encountered toward older people on SS until last several years.

 

It all seems to have really started with GW Bush's first campaign, I read the story of how he, while working on his Dad's campaign, had come up with the idea, looking at the demographics, that IF a candidate could get just the majority of the Evangelical Christian vote, it could be enough to win. he tried to get his Dad to look closer at trying to play to that audience, but his dad wouldn't. Then he teamed up with that guy, findamentalist, can't remember his name, but came up with that "Compassionate Conservative" idea. GW's idea circulated in the conservative Evangelical circles, meantime he 'got religion' and learned the part, learned to talk the language, and I know there were those both experienced with political campaigning and some of the big well known Evangelicals that got behind him, and they all worked pretty hard through the Clinton years, to be poised to go for it in 2000. Which they did. and then the fear and paranoia and outrage rhetoric jump ramped it up a few levels with the 2008 campaign, when i think the racism, lingering black hatred, that has never really gone away down here in the south, especially among Evangelicals, as well as muslim hatred, for both race and religion, and of course the hispanics.

 

I know that putting it together, they focused on several things...just winning over the portion of the conservative Evangelicals that were already tradtional voters wouldn't be enough, they figured they had to work on "firing up" the whole Evangelcial.conservative community so as to have them so worked up even those that hadn't otherwise much voted, would get out and vote. And in my opinion, the tactic for that is the usual one for such a result, they played on their fears. Aparantly very well. I think they either created a monster, or woke one up that was already out there, just sleeping latently. O know from my own experience in that kind of religious community, they do tend to be a pretty paranoid bunch, quite convinced its them against the world, the world hates Chrisitians because they are of god and the world of the devil, that other people hate them for being Christians, when its their own dm self-righteous, rude and hateful behavior that makes most people not want to be around them, in my opinion.

 

I don't think ANY of these politcians are relally all that religious in reality, they've just played it up and more more, playing to that conservative right and the religous right, between which there is of course a lot of overlap. But I do think some of them have let themselves get caught up in the fever of it all, just like a lot of Christians that weren't all that radical either just a few years ago. I think in a sense, the monster is feeding itself, firing it all up from within, and honestly i think its just as crazy as what I've written of here about my mother's spiral into madness. I actually know a lot of those people, they USED to be quite mild and not much fired up about anything, they'd just go to church sunday be pretty normal rest of the time. I think they are getting fired up at church by their preachers and just talking to others fired up.

 

Now I fear it has gone beyond even that, it has always been so that anytime there's a fired up movement going on when it comes to political power, there are going to the predators move in to take advantage of it,use it, and that's exactly what I and many beleive has and is happening. Right now, the most obvious, this big "Crony Captialism", big Wall street/Financial industry interestsd and money.

 

I'm honestly more concerned for our country's social and political state right now than i've ever seen cause for in my lifetime, even the flash points of the 60's.

 

Here's another link, i think very relative...it dosen't deal so much directly with the religous, though Bill Moyers does have a religious/faith perspective, but I think is a lot about who/what has gotten behind the religious connection as a power force to get what they want.

 

http://billmoyers.co...e-all-politics/

 

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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Something I think about...something Bill Clinton said after Gabby Giffords and those others were shot in Arizona, and so much controversy was swirling aroud what part all the concervative Republican hate and violence rhetoric may have had to do with something like that....he said that while he didn't think that stuff would cause a sane and rational person to go out and do something like that, we need to keep in mind in what we say, how we go at all this political rivalry and rhetoric, that its like the rain falling...it falls upon the hinged and the unhinged alike.

 

I relate that to what we are on here, the involvment of religion. that goup of people like any other, have their share of the hinged and the unhinged alike. There are those well balanced and those less so. I know many in that community not caught up in all this hate stuff and political radicalism, and most of them are as dismayed at all this and we are. But I'll be honest, I'm seeing people I'd have never thought go off kilter, that are caught up in it...good people, just caught up in something not so good.

 

I'm actually wondering is theres a lot of frustration in that community, maybe emergence of despair, as the modern world seems to be shaking free of their trusted religion, that God hasn't come and taken care of all this Himself, they've begun to give up on the Lord coming to fix it all, and that has made them vulnerable to falling for someone/something else, this political "opportunity" to "change things" that GW Bush opened their minds to.....some do seem to believe this IS what God wants them to do, get behind polticians that they see as "one of them." I may think they are deluded, but then, that's just my view...I'm sure they beleive I;m the one deluded, lol.

 

Jenell

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...that's just my view...I'm sure they beleive I;m the one deluded, lol.

 

Jenell

I don't doubt they would say as much. ;) Of course you're in very good company. *beams with fellow delusional pride* :lol:

 

You know that old adage? It's not paranoia when they pass laws to watch you?

 

I don't think it's at all delusional to bypass the pitcher of Kool Aid and recognize what's happening within this country, what's being led as it were, from the platform of leadership and those who consider themselves potential leaders for the highest office.

 

Then again, which office would that be exactly?

Very often the President is considered the man. The buck stops here kind of fella. And yet, he merely signs passed Bills into law. Or, if he applies a Veto it can go back from whence it sprang and amazingly enough that Veto can be overturned by the Congress who can vote to pass it into law!

 

So who's really got the power here? A two term office, due to term limits upon the Administrative branch. (which includes by the way, the police and military under it's umbrella) or the Legislative? Who have no term limits, and stand to be career power brokers, as was exampled by Bird! The oldest longest serving Senator in the history of the nation! Not to forget Strom Thurmond who represented South Carolina and retired from office wholly unfit to be there mentally, when he was 99 and died when he was 100!)

And the Legislative are subject to receiving perks! From corporations, the private sector and lobbyists.

 

So my puny email to my State rep's, or even the cost of a snail mail hand written letter, or as I've done in the past, a face to face meeting, when I don't have an island compound to throw in for Mr. Representative and his family to enjoy during these long winter months as he considers the future of a Bill that will benefit me and my corporation greatly, amounts to what?

 

We're told ours is a representative government. We're told 1% of our millions in population control all the wealth! Leaving 99% as majority representing the non-wealthy. And as it stands what percentage appears to be represented in our laws and tax legislation?

Especially when the GOP, the conservative wing of our governing bodies, are proud and public in their refusal to raise taxes on the %1. Even when that %1 ask them to.

Now granted, if they were taxed more so that more money went into the national trust, given how poorly government manages the funds there now, then government irresponsibility would just have more money to spend badly. But still! How does a nation's majority have to work harder so as to net less, because countless millionaires are thought not to be found in need of paying more money for the huge sums they earn over and above us? And very often due to our labors!

 

And all the while, the smoke and mirrors that wage a pseudo-war on both sides of the aisle throw faith into it. Mostly that what's coming from where? The GOP side!

How's that work exactly, one would like to ask a Bachmann, or a Perry, or a Gingrich for that matter. "God said no higher taxes!" ?

 

Meanwhile, we watch the media follow candidates around capturing them coming out of church. Or sound bites are released wherein they make some comment meant to pander to and placate the fears of their evangelical base. Whatever it takes to garner the trust, so as to assume the office! And after that, there's no more puckering to smooch newborns heads. No more hand shakes for that unemployed mommy of 3 who's asking how she's expected to pay her children's health care when her unemployment just took a cut, and for whom the answer is; elect me into office and I'll change that!

 

And once there, is it changed? Or is there an excuse as to why that's just not feasible now!

 

And why is it that god is referenced by GOP candidates while they run for the office, but once they catch it he's never heard of again? :blink: At the inception of the 2011 GOP race for candidacy, when all 8 politicians were still on board, there were two Catholics, two Mormons and four Protestants of various stripes.

Now, how do I know that? And why should it in itself be an issue? When the first amendment says it really can't matter?! (LINK)

 

Makes me chuckle, because crying scares my cat, to voice aloud; "What Would Jesus Do?" And then hear myself amuse the Dog, who's always fond of playing with the felines heads, as I answer my own question with; smack the spit out of their mouths, for blasphemy!

 

But hey, I'm weird like that.

Thank goodness I don't have a bird! Ewww that could get wewe strangeness. :P

 

 

*edit missing phrase* Yeah, like I need to say more.

Edited by Angel Whispers
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No. I don't see this country moving in any different direction that it ever did. Every great civilization goes through a period of chaotic transformation and decline. Why should we be any different. I don't really care that much about politics anyway.

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Matt67, to those that don't care about politics, my hope for them is that unlessand until they do, they'd best stay out of it. for all our sakes. And I do not say that in any way as a negative criticism or judgment. just a reality.

 

There have been times in my own life when I had a lot more things personally important in my life to concern myself with, as well as when just too young to be ready to pay attention to it anyway. that's normal and understandable.

 

But when one starts joining the common public rhetoric in conversations and voicing their opinions and political candiate preferences, I think they should take the time and effort to do at least enough study and research, pay enough attention to whats actually going on, before they go any further. If it weren't actually so scary that they actually vote and inlfuence how others vote, so many that are loudly vocal about how they think it should be and who should win elections it would be amusing, that clearly do not have the slightest clue what any of what their are going on about IS really about, often parroting clever sounding lines from Fox news pundits, reflecting complete ignornance and distortion of facts, even outright lies, then I think they should be made to feel a responsibility to either get educated and start thinking rationally, or just go back to sleep!

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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This is a tough one for me. I am interested in politics, but I am not as informed as I probably should be. Part of that is because several years ago I was a news junky - watching CNN, MSNBC and reading BBC online practically all day and night. It was affecting me in a very negative way, so I went on a news fast and discovered I am so very much better without it. Add to that that almost everyone I spend anytime with is a staunch, rabid Republican.

 

I'm not sure what/who I can trust to report the issues fairly and honestly. If anybody can recommend a Web site that will do this for me, I would really appreciate it.

 

As far as presidential candidates go, don't you think some of the rhetoric is planned because the fundamentalists are so loud and obvious? I mean, it seems liberals (except the extremists) tend to be more low-key - yes?

 

As far as our current president, he's been hamstringed by the conservatives at every turn. I don't blame him for the administrations lack of accomplishments.

 

None of the Republican candidates interest me in the least. In past elections, i've seriously and carefully considered all the candidates (except GW, who I always mistrusted). This year I wouldn't consider any of the ® candidates.

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how is this different than at any other time in our history? This is not the Apocalypse.

 

Dutch

 

That is actually my intended meaning. This HAS happened so many times in history, we should be more aware of it as a real threat than it seems we are, as a nation, a society, and as individuals. That is wouuld be much better to recognize it and confront it, BEFORE it completes the full consequence of past similar times in history, BEFORE it brings us completely down, and begin to act on that.

 

Jenell

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Yvonne, I SO know what you mean. I do try to monitor a broad range of news and commentary sources, to try to get as well rounded and balance view as possible on issues that I feel matter to all of us. And yes, really need to just step away from it, turn it all off awhile sometimes, to regain my balance.

As for the present crop of GOP candidates, I guess I'd say I'm a bit more than disinterested in any of them....in fact, I AM very interested in them and how the nomination selection procoess is playing out, for that whomever is eventually chosen could affect my own and everyone's futures if they are successful in the 2012 election. I find myself oscillating between to reactions to this field of candidates.... on the one hand, disbelief and amazement, sometimes even amusement, at how outrageous the things they say, the views and beliefs they express often are, even considering the possiblity the GOP has decided everything is such a mess right now, any president elected in 2012 is going to face a hopeless mess and look bad for it, that they've colluded among themselves to field such a batch of unelectable buffoons as to insure Obama's re-election in 2012, and on the other hand, that of the possiblity of any of them actually getting elected as a potential reality that scares me to death!

 

Jenell

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I AM very interested in them and how the nomination selection procoess is playing out, for that whomever is eventually chosen could affect my own and everyone's futures...

 

I think this is important, Jenell, in that politics affects people in very real ways.

 

There are so many things that I could say that would probably do little more than make myself angrier than I already am at our political system and the social injustices it either ignores or supports.

 

But I'll say this much: As stated in previous posts, the rich rule in this country. This means that they control who gets on the Hill, in the Chair, and on both sides of the House. Therefore, I don't trust ANY of them. By the time our "elected officials" get that high in office, there are dues to be paid to so many financial and power backers that they will not look out for the best interest of the lower and middle class or of this country in general. The rich 1% rule over the other 99% and because they own all the money and power, I don't know how to change that. But it makes me very concerned about the kind of country my grandchildren will grow up in.

 

We need term limits on the Hill. Who is going to pass that law? Imo, we need our "public servants" to have the same health care that SS and Medicaid provide. Who is going to pass that law? And because they are supposed to be "servants" of the public, they should not be paid any more than the median wage in this country. Who is going to pass that law?

 

As it is, the rich have it made. In a country where the rich rule, the rich make the rules. And as they make more and more money by shipping our jobs and services out of the country and buying up our political system, I don't see things changing any time so.

 

Just my 2c.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I believe that a lot of right-wingers who are calling themselves "Christians" are actually authoritarians using Christianity as a kind of ultra-authority front. Bob Altemeyer did a study on authoritarians (available on Amazon as both the original study and a lighter, popularized version; and apparently it's available for free on Altemeyer's own website).

 

It's extremely interesting, and it explains a LOT. I can't even begin to go into it, but I'd love to discuss it if anyone else is interested in reading it. (I haven't finished it yet.)

 

I think there's a lot of fear out there these days, something that's not unusual when times change so fast that a lot of people get spun around, knocked down, or left behind. One reaction to it is authoritarianism, which tries to stuff everything and everybody back into the supposed proper place. Frightened people are more apt to push, say, the Ten Commandments and draconian punishments than they are to honor the Sermon on the Mount and forgiveness, and I think there's a direct connection there to fear and the feeling of being weak (threatened by disorder, say, or the existence of different beliefs) rather than strong.

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The "fear factor" in it that really concerns me is that whipped up in a frenzy when there's nothing there to fear to begin with. The paranoia, frantic fear that the government is about to cancel the 2nd amendment and take their guns away, that Christians are being persecuted and its illegal for Christians to even pray in public, thought its ok for other religious groups to do so, that children get disciplined in school for even saying words like Jesus or God or Christmass....that President Obama is some kind of anti-christ who was conspired (by whom?) even before his birth (in Kenya) to be raised for the purpose of becoming President of the United States in order to orchestrate a socialist, communist anti-christ take-over of American and the world....

People caught up in the hysterical paranoias at the same timne dont seem to have a clue or even be interested in learning a clue about the REAL issues and problems in our society, country, and the world.

Perhaps it is only by tagging "God" onto such nonsense that anyone WOULD fall for, believe that stuff.

 

Jenell

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Fear seems to be the tool of choice for our politicians here in Australia too. As is often the case, we're encouraged to be afraid of something that really isn't any threat. So then our pollies fight for ground on what is really a pretty irrelevant issue. The media buy into it because they love the sensationalism which sells air time and newspapers. We hear about the issue and think we must be ignorant because we didn't know XYZ was an issue, but now we're thinking about who can best deal with this issue that we didn't know was an issue! :)

 

But then again, are we, the public responsible? I know we often say we would like politicians with a view of the future, but the whole system is geared for short term gain. If they don't perform in their first or second term (i.e. of they don't sort everything out perfectly!) then we vote them out for the next guy who is promising the world. Only for the same old pattern to repeat itself.

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And now a word from our better half? :D

 

from Obama's prayer breakfast

 

But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus's teaching that "for unto whom much is given, much shall be required." It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who've been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.

 

And when I decide to stand up for foreign aid, or prevent atrocities in places like Uganda, or take on issues like human trafficking, it's not just about strengthening alliances, or promoting democratic values, or projecting American leadership around the world, although it does all those things and it will make us safer and more secure. It's also about the biblical call to care for the least of these -- for the poor; for those at the margins of our society.

 

Something to think about. It at least takes away anybody's claim on a particular view of Biblical Christianity.

 

Dutch

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Paul, you are absolutely right...at least in our countries where we have the priveledge and freedoms of democratic election...WE, the people that make voting decisions, and choose to trouble ourselves trying to understand what real issues are or not. are the ones reponsible for what we get in politicians. I've read somewhere, "People get the government they deserve."

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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Tea,

 

I heard an interview with a psychologist a few years ago when we were caught up in the 'war on terror.' He said that in times of trouble or difficulty, we instinctively follow a strong leader. He gave the example of a group of people lost in the mountains. If someone says, 'I know the way out' with confidence, people will automatically follow without questioning the person's competence or knowledge.

 

So, astute leaders -- political, religious, whatever -- can recognize this impulse and create fear and a persona of confidence to get people to follow them.

 

George

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If any have read such as Miachavelli (sp?) a commonly required reading material in political science classes, and which is almost without doubt read by most that aspire to political office, the "practical" elements of any would-be leader at least publically apearing to embrace the common religion of the people, and to use it to both endear their loyaties to him and for purposes of manipulating them as he deems fit, there can be no doubt that's what a lot of this religion/political thing going on is much about. When I read Miachavellies (sp) "The Prince', political advice to a person in postion of civic authority, it entirely changed many of me own ideas and feelings about many things in the public sphere, politics, as so much of what that book contains hits the nail on the head exactly in observations of politics and government as I'd known them.

 

Jenell

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So the question I think is, is the idea of a religious ideology or getting back to those values, as many candidates espouse, really what lends value to a candidate? If the first amendment leads one to recognize an implied separation of church and State, how can it be said even in a campaign to get the nomination, that what America needs is a return to Christian values?

 

I think candidates wrap themselves in the cloak of religiosity in an effort to divert attention from the real issues, like the growing disparity between rich and poor in this country.

 

It's far easier to quote the Bible than justify the government's complicity in Wall Street greed, corporate freeloading, institutional racism, sexism and homophobia.

 

I don't think the religious rhetoric is genuine, nor the Christian beliefs consistant.

 

For example, when Mitt Romney wins the Repulican nomination, millions of Christians who otherwise consider Mormonism a cult, will prefer the heretic to someone who would champion the rights of the poor, and deny the largesse of the priviledged and wealthy.

 

For in campaign contributions do they trust.

 

NORM

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