God's Politics

God's Politics


Chris LaTondresse: Conservative Kingmakers at Work

posted by God's Politics

An interesting and important development in the 2008 race for the White House: conservative evangelical hatchets are out in force, trying to cut down a prominent 2008 presidential hopeful. Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama? John Edwards? Wrong on all three counts.
Having already publicly attacked Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani in a remarkably candid editorial last month, Focus on the Family and Family Research Council have now unleashed their political machine against none other than Mitt Romney, working in tandem with some of Fred Thompson’s online organizers. It’s fair to interpret this as an early signal about where these groups are likely throw their political weight in the lead-up to Super Tuesday.
Read The Nation. article:

With onetime Republican presidential frontrunner Senator John McCain in meltdown, Mitt Romney suddenly finds himself under fire from some of the Christian right’s most influential activists. Romney’s evangelical critics claim the former Massachusetts governor and devout Mormon was complicit in the Marriott hotel chain’s sale of pay-per-view porn on its in-room television sets when he served on the corporation’s board of directors from 1992 to 2001. Two Christian-right operatives involved in orchestrating the charges have enlisted as Internet organizers for former Senator Fred Thompson, who is preparing to enter the race formally. The tactics of these religious-right players, targeted below the radar against Romney, are calculated to alter decisively the outcome of the Republican primary contest.
The assault was launched on July 5 with an opening shot in the form of a breathless press release issued through the mega-ministry Focus on the Family. In it, veteran antiporn crusader Phil Burress called Romney’s failure to take action against pay-per-view hotel porn during his tenure on Marriott’s board “extremely disturbing.” That same day, a Focus on the Family spokesman took to the radio airwaves to ask whether Romney would “turn a blind eye” to pornography if elected president. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which functions as Focus’s Washington lobbying arm, immediately joined the pile-on. He briefed the Associated Press on the record, explaining that Romney must “take some responsibility” for his supposed connection to Marriott’s porn profiteering. The AP report on the accusation against Romney was subsequently reprinted in the pages of major outlets from The Boston Globe to The Washington Post. It only took a full six years after Romney resigned from Marriott’s board for the Christian right’s leading lights to profess their outrage—and only hours for the press to echo it.

Chris LaTondresse is the special assistant to the CEO at Sojourners/Call to Renewal.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 9:56 am


Political advocacy groups getting involved in politics? Scandalous!



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Ben Wheaton

posted July 20, 2007 at 9:59 am


“Christian right operatives:” clearly something wicked is afoot!



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 10:12 am


So – when some groups ask the hard questions about issues that they are focused on or feel passionate about – they are trying to influence the process. They are labeled as a bunch minipulative subversives that should not be allow a voice in this world. You know if the author had not outted the groups in question – I would have thought they were talking about labor unions and political think-tanks in MN supporting the DFL.
What? You are suprised by this -
Welcome to politics of the last 30+ years.
If is it a lie – say it loud, often and with all the passion that you can muster up, the people will believe you.
OK – FOTF wants someone to ‘clairify’ why they did something in the past and how they will view the issues on a larger scale in the future so that we understand the canidate. Hold the canidate accountable for what they did and why – what a concept. Hopefully they can come forward with an answer and the documents to support the decision – even if they did not agree with the decision but felt compelled to vote for it. If not – they might be able to have someone loose the records and then find them on a desk two years from now – that has worked in the past too.
‘…mega-ministry – tactics of these religious – immediately joined the pile-on – unleashed their political machine against – likely throw their political weight…’
Great writing, but if the tables were turned and the shoe was on the other foot – what would you say and how would you phrase it.
Bring on the Political Fodder – Leno has so much fun with it and I kinda like listening to him.
Have a great weekend – I will be sitting at the USA Cup for soccer tonight.
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 10:30 am


You all have missed the point. These boys to a certain extent were used to running the show and act as if they still have the authority (which in fact largely evaporated last November). Besides, they’re committed to absolute ideological purity, don’t know the meaning of the word “compromise” and don’t realize that, sometimes, it’s necessary.
Great writing, but if the tables were turned and the shoe was on the other foot — what would you say and how would you phrase it.
You mean Sojo? Ain’t happening.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 10:41 am


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | July 20, 2007 10:30 AM
Not sure that they influence has ‘evaporated’ – the 06 election was interesting to surmize the why’s and how’s to say the least. Who cares what they are “committed to” – they still have free speech like the rest of the US. (and Sojo isn’t committed to their ideological whatever…)
You mean Sojo? Ain’t happening.
You must be a prophet.
Have a great weekend!
.



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Anna S.

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:12 am


I’m not sure why this should surprise anyone. Did you read the second sentence of that Nation article?

Romney’s evangelical critics claim the former Massachusetts governor and devout Mormon

You don’t need to go any further; the rest of the sentence is entirely incidental to why this is happening. Romney is a Mormon. For the Baptist (because let’s get specific: as much as the media might like to call them Evangelicals, those organizations are patently Southern Baptist) fundamentalist crew, having a Mormon in the White House would be worse than having a Catholic. All Christian groups are not created equal, and the Baptists have been anti-Mormon for years. I think the current official Convention stance is that Mormons are a cult. Some of the concerns with Mormanism are the same as with Catholicism: the Mormon church has a supreme leader whose word is doctrine, but there are other differences as well. The biggest one is that Mormon doctrine posits the Book of Mormon as an extension of the Bible and the word of church leaders as an extension of the Book of Mormon. The religious right wants someone who will govern Biblically, and they re Not Happy with the idea that Mitt’s version of scripture includes extra books.
People shouldn’t be surprised to hear certain right-wing groups attack Mitt as harshly as Rudy in the lead-up to primaries. Southern Baptist church literature has recently amped up their focus on why Mormonism is wrong and bad. I’ve always thought that Mitt didn’t have a chance with the Republican base. He got elected governor in Massachusets, which is a liberal state, so he didn’t get elected there based on how Biblical he could be. Just because he’s a ‘family values’ candidate doesn’t mean that he’ll float in the Bible-belt. He doesn’t have the right religious pedigree to appeal to a vast majority of the groups that make up the religious right.
Anna



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Ben Wheaton

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:14 am


“absolute ideological purity”–sojourners, anyone?



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:25 am


Not sure that they influence has ‘evaporated’ – the 06 election was interesting to surmize the why’s and how’s to say the least. Who cares what they are “committed to” – they still have free speech like the rest of the US.
They do have the right to speak, to be sure, but their goal from the start was cultural domination, which means they essentially intended to cut out people who didn’t think just like them. The fact that more and more conservative Christians are speaking out against them, and not just on this blog, says plenty.
You must be a prophet.
In fact, some say that I am.
More to the point, Sojo does not really have a dog in this fight — in its more than three-decade existence (I’m not sure axactly how long, but it was already established when Jimmy Carter became president) it has never supported or opposed any candidate for political office and I don’t expect it to do so now. It will say, however, that certain actions are right or wrong and call political leaders to account, and that’s legitimate.



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Modertelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:26 am


I personally do not believe that Mormonism is a ‘Christian’ religion. We do not worship the same God, our understanding of ‘salvation’ is different, our idea of ‘heaven’ is different. (personally – I hope there is a special place in hell for Joe Smith – but that is just me) But Mormons have the right to practice their faith, run for office etc. Romney in the White House would not be the end of the world. I could work with a Romney if given the change – there are things that we agree on and some that we don’t. Just because some in the ‘religious right’ do not want Romney as their canidate of choice – don’t think that they will vote for the other person from the other party. So who will I be voting for in the next Pres election. Whoever the Republicans put on the ballot. Why will I be voting that way – because that is what I have learned from the DFL in MN. The ‘party’ is paramont not the canidate.
Have a good one – or a cold one.



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Steve

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:28 am


Surely, one of these days, Republican leaders and businesspeople will declare “we’ve had enough of their underhanded ways and innuendo” and push them out of the tent?



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:29 am


“absolute ideological purity”–sojourners, anyone?
Uh-uh. You don’t do interviews with or stories about conservatives, which Sojo has done, if you’re committed to ideological purity. (Two people that come to mind: Cal Thomas and Joel Hunter.)



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:32 am


Asking for a pro-life nominee from the Republican party is not a demand for ideological purity, and this blog has been critical of Romney’s Mormonism.
“All Christian groups are not created equal, and the Baptists have been anti-Mormon for years. ”
Well, strictly speaking, the Mormon church is anti-Baptist, since the LDS is the only true church according to their religion. That aside, Mormonism is not simply a denomination of Christianity. Whether that should have any bearing on their candidacy is another question, but to the extent that Baptists are “anti-Mormon” as a religion, I don’t see how they could arrive at any other conclusion.
“The religious right wants someone who will govern Biblically”
Um, yeah.
“Just because he’s a ‘family values’ candidate doesn’t mean that he’ll float in the Bible-belt. He doesn’t have the right religious pedigree to appeal to a vast majority of the groups that make up the religious right.”
Maybe it’s just that he hasn’t run a very good campaign. Nobody thought he shined in the debates. He hasn’t been good at generating press. The Mormon issue is the least of his worries.
The pay-per-view issue might be a political cheap shot, but if you don’t think that Democratic power structures are doing their able best to undercut certain candidates (particularly one Barack Obama), then you are naive.



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Mr. Former Baptist

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:33 am


Forgot to say Anna is right. Mormoms are considered a cult by the ultra conservative Christian sects. There is much material available to teach Sunday School about all the cults and the Mormons fit in that mold in those teaching guides.



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William Wallis

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:35 am


“[Sojo] has never supported or opposed any candidate for political office”
LOL. That’s a good one, Rick. We all know Sojourners opposed Bush.
The title of this post is distressing in that it represents a complete and total lack of Christian charity: “Conservative Kingmakers”? Sorry, Chris, but that’s garbage. Conservative President Makers should have sufficed.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:37 am


…as much as the media might like to call them Evangelicals, those organizations are patently Southern Baptist)…
That’s a tad unfair. D. James Kennedy, for example, is a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America, James Dobson comes from a Nazarene background and Jim Wallis, while evangelical, grew up Brethren; I myself am an evangelical but was never a Baptist. Though they have similar beliefs, “fundamentalists” and “evangelicals” are not synonymous.



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Anna S.

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:38 am


Moderatelad:
I’m undecided personally on whether Mormonism is a sect of Christianity or not (technically, they do believe in salvation through Christ, I think), but I agree that the issue won’t keep even the hardest-core religious right from voting for him, should he make it past the primaries. That’s why you’ll see heavy criticism of him now, in the run-up to the primary elections. Groups like Focus on the Family don’t want to have to back him, and the easist way to do that is to ensure a Thompson ticket. If he makes is past the primaries, I’ll bet a lot that you’ll see those sorts of criticisms evaporate ASAP.
Anna



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:42 am


‘…it has never supported or opposed any candidate for political office and I don’t expect it to do so…’
Does anyone have a question as to which parties canidates the lions share of Sojo and the authors will be voting for in the next election? I didn’t think so.
‘…cultural domination, which means they essentially intended to cut out people who didn’t think just like them…’
In your estimation – only the, as you put it, ‘christian religious right’ wants to ‘cut people out’? Oh – give it a shake peaches, that is politics and human nature. Sojo is cutting at groups it does not agree with and trying to marginalize them. The DFL in MN wrote the book on ‘Cut and Run in Politics’ which the Dem party adopted nation wide. If anything – conservatives were a little late to the table on the ‘cut and run’ idea.
Enjoy your day -
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:43 am


That’s a good one, Rick. We all know Sojourners opposed Bush.
Did it overtly tell people not to vote for him or provide active support for Al Gore or John Kerry? No, it did not, and thus my statement stands. That said, opposing his policies is fair game. That’s different from the actions of FOTF and FRC, which are actively seeking a specific candidate to endorse.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:49 am


“Mormoms are considered a cult by the ultra conservative Christian sects. ”
And South Park.
“No, it did not, and thus my statement stands. That said, opposing his policies is fair game.”
Rick, that is what the people cited in this article are doing. They are calling out Romney for his actions and Giuliani for his policies.



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Anna S.

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:51 am


Kevin: I agree that both sides will eat their own in the primary campaigning. I’ve not been following Mitt’s campaign particularly closely (although I did post an analysis of one of his ads on my blog (soundbytechristian.blogspot.com) in which I confessed to being confused about his message), so I can’t comment on how successful he’s been in projecting positive press. Also, out of curiousity, do you have any specific examples in mind about Obama getting undercut by typically-Democratic interests? I’m interested in how race and gender are affecting the Democratic race, so if you could point me in the direction of potshots at Obama on silly issues like this I’d be grateful.
Rick: Clearly I spoke too broadly. My mistake!



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:55 am


In your estimation – only the, as you put it, ‘christian religious right’ wants to ‘cut people out’? Oh – give it a shake peaches, that is politics and human nature. Sojo is cutting at groups it does not agree with and trying to marginalize them.
No, if anything, Sojo allows those groups to marginalize themselves, which is what they’re doing now. It’s one thing to say that “Such-and-such ministry has it wrong and here’s why”; that’s OK even if there’s disagreement. But it’s another thing entirely not to recognize them even as fellow believers or as “less than” precisely because they don’t share your specific agenda, even to see them as a threat, and the right has always done this (specifically with people like Jim Wallis, Ron Sider and Tony Campolo). Wallis will tell you (and in fact wrote about it in “God’s Politics”) he was cured of that kind of arrogance by his relationship with Bill Bright, the late founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, with whom he feuded in the 1970s and ’80s but reconciled with years later.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:04 pm


Rick, that is what the people cited in this article are doing. They are calling out Romney for his actions and Giuliani for his policies.
Per their history they will eventually go further than that — they are looking specifically for someone to support. And that’s why I trotted out the phrase “ideological purity.”



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:06 pm


The Clinton campaign has been all about subjogating Obama while leveraging the party apparatus. Clinton reached out early and often to secure endorsements, and those efforts are paying off (compare her press room to Obama’s). Her team got a smart op-ed placed in Newsweek (asking Hillary to consider Obama for VP).
I don’t think the undercutting has racial overtones, and I’m actually somewhat surprised by that, though I am less familiar with the campaigning going on in the south.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:11 pm


Does anyone have a question as to which parties canidates the lions share of Sojo and the authors will be voting for in the next election? I didn’t think so.
That’s a totally different question because they are not going to disclose their specific preferences. It is fair to say, however, that they probably will not vote hard-core conservative — but, depending on specific candidates, they may vote for some Republicans. Need I remind you that GOP does not equal GOD?



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:21 pm


I don’t think the undercutting has racial overtones, and I’m actually somewhat surprised by that, though I am less familiar with the campaigning going on in the south.
That’s for two reasons: 1) Frankly, most of the whites who would be swayed by “racist” campaigning are already in the GOP; and 2) Hillary is herself quite popular with blacks already, as is Bill.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:24 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | July 20, 2007 12:11 PM
Need I remind you that GOP does not equal GOD?
Thanks but the obvious I understand. I have stated that “God” is neither Dem or Rep. But in reading the articles, (not the postings) of so many and their comments about people in power – do you question what their party of choice is? (if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…) Wallis gave the Sat. respond to the Pres. talk for the Dems. The first (and more than likely final) CNN SOJO gathering of canidates started with those associated with the Dems. Stevie Wonder could see which way they lean politically.
Have a great one!
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:29 pm


The first (and more than likely final) CNN SOJO gathering of canidates started with those associated with the Dems. Stevie Wonder could see which way they lean politically.
They’re actually trying to put together a GOP candidate gathering as we write and indeed promised to do so.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:44 pm


“That’s for two reasons: 1) Frankly, most of the whites who would be swayed by “racist” campaigning are already in the GOP; and 2) Hillary is herself quite popular with blacks already, as is Bill.”
I’ll concede the second point, but the first is nonsense. Most overt racists are not involved in politics at a primary level (on either side). But cultural prejudices exist (again on either side) and can be exploited under the radar. The notion that Democrats are above such opportunistic shenanigans is to deny reality.



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Eric

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:47 pm


Mr. Former Baptist wrote that “Mormoms are considered a cult by the ultra conservative Christian sects.”
Are you saying that other Christian denominations consider Mormon’s Christians? I think you’d be hard pressed to find any Christian denominations that believe this. It’s not just “ultra conservative Christian sects.”



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moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | July 20, 2007 12:29 PM
They’re actually trying to put together a GOP candidate gathering as we write and indeed promised to do so.
I know – I have read the same articles. But – if I were a working on a campain for a Rep for Pres. I would tell my person to skip it for two reasons.
1) It has such a small audience. The size of the audience that watched the Dems was small and most of the viewers of CNN are more than likely to vote Dem regardless of the of who the canidate is for the Reps.
2) The questions will be more pointed and direct than the softballs that we thrown at the first one.
This is why it should have been a mixed group right from the get-go.
Blessings -
.



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Eric

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm


What horrors! Do you mean to say, Chris, that there are people in conservative politics who are actually out to undermine the candidates they don’t like in favor of those they do like? My gosh! I’m so shocked! That was certainly worth a post on the Sojo blog.
Next topic… Did you hear how people related to Obama’s campaign are working with interest groups that prefer Obama to Hillary to dig up dirt on her? What a shocker! I can’t believe it. Oh the humanity!!!



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James

posted July 20, 2007 at 1:13 pm


I am waiting for the day when some courageous reporter asks James Dobson this question: “Who is closer to your understanding of Christianity? Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney? Hillary Clinton or Rudy Giuliani?” and, just for fun, “Hillary Clinton or Joe Liebermann?” I’d love to hear his answers.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 1:38 pm


Posted by: James | July 20, 2007 1:13 PM
Incredably lame -
About as informative as asking former Pres. Clinton about his view on sexual misconduct in the work place. We sorta know and his actions tell us everything.
You question is like asking ‘Have you stopped beating you spouce yet?’
Please try again -
Blessings -
.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 2:30 pm


“I am waiting for the day when some courageous reporter asks James Dobson this question: “Who is closer to your understanding of Christianity? Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney? Hillary Clinton or Rudy Giuliani?” and, just for fun, “Hillary Clinton or Joe Liebermann?” I’d love to hear his answers.”
Dobson has been pretty vocal about his disappointement with the Republican field. I think a lot of Christians are looking at where we stand, and where we should stand in accordance with our faith.
“I think you’d be hard pressed to find any Christian denominations that believe this.”
Do Mormons even believe this?
“Next topic… Did you hear how people related to Obama’s campaign are working with interest groups that prefer Obama to Hillary to dig up dirt on her? What a shocker! I can’t believe it. Oh the humanity!!!”
A lot of people don’t know this, because “the man” tries to keep it under wraps, but…
In November of 2008, people are going to have the ability to select a new president. They will be able to choose between not one but TWO parties. That means that the people will actually have the power to choose a leader who does not agree with some people. What has happened to America when people can actually choose their leaders based on information? I hate to say it, but this is just like Nazi Germany.



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carl copas

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:10 pm


Why all the snarkiness as if LaTondresse doesn’t know the hard realities of politics?
It’s an informative posting, nothing more and nothing less.
Or is the effort to paint LaTondresse as naive the best the conservative posters can come up in response to the article? If so, why not shut the hell up for a change?



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Anonymous

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:10 pm


Just for the record – does anyone know why Obama is in the Senate? (yes – when the votes were counted he had the most…) The Republican in IL that was running for the Senate seat by all polls had the race won hands down, there was no contest to speak of. THEN – the Democratic machine with the assistance of the New York Times got the ‘sealed’ divorce records of the Republican unsealed. (might I add that they were private – sealed at the request of both parties involved and that they had children of minor age…but that does not matter to Sojo and others – he was a Republican) Anyway – they were unsealed and the reason for the divorce was brought to light for God and all the world to see. I will admit it was embarasing to say the least and the Rep. dropped out of the race. So – Obama was elected. NOW – what if the shoe was on the other foot and it was the RNC of some state with the assistance of some publication went after a Dem’s sealed records? (dare I say – Kerry…) ABC-CBS-NBC-CNN I think would be willing to do anything to make sure that didn’t happen and if it did – they would be calling for the caining of those involved. (didn’t Larry Flint offer money for info that would ‘out’ any Rep. and all the Dems kept silent – again, you got to love a liberal)
Have a great weekend -
.



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Anonymous

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:20 pm


Posted by: carl copas | July 20, 2007 3:10 PM
If so, why not shut the hell up for a change?
Oooo carl – what, you down to one nerve and we happen to be on it? ‘snarkiness’ – I just think that it is direct discussion from some deep thinkers. If I was going for snarkiness – you would know it.
Have a great evening -
ps – Kingmakers…I thought that went out in 1776. but then again – the Kennedy’s (the senator.driver not the PhD) are the American Royality – Dan Rather…evening news.
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:24 pm


I’ll concede the second point, but the first is nonsense. Most overt racists are not involved in politics at a primary level (on either side). But cultural prejudices exist (again on either side) and can be exploited under the radar. The notion that Democrats are above such opportunistic shenanigans is to deny reality.
You apparently haven’t been paying much attention to racial politics, which is a special case, over the years. The reality is that, in the South, Democrats have to reach out to African-American communities because that’s where the highest percentage of Democratic votes are, and that most whites are now Republican. The Washington Post reported last year that 80 percent of white voters in Alabama went for Bush and 90 percent of black voters supported Kerry, which I found quite credible. And with the Southerner Edwards taking a populist tack of his own (blacks today will vote for a white Southern Democrat in a heartbeat), I see no reason why race will play that big a role in the campaign on the Democratic side; if not for Obama it would play even a smaller role. So my comment stands.
What has happened to America when people can actually choose their leaders based on information?
Depends on the information. The right wing was out to get Bill Clinton from jumpstreet, but he won anyway.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:30 pm


Kingmakers…I thought that went out in 1776.
Charles Colson might see things differently — you might want to read “Kingdoms in Conflict,” in which he addresses that issue.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 4:00 pm


“You apparently haven’t been paying much attention to racial politics,”
No, i just look past the superficial “all racists are conservative” stereotype.
“, I see no reason why race will play that big a role in the campaign on the Democratic side;”
It doesn’t need to play a big role. If it plays any role, Clinton will exploit it. She’s not dumb (or particularly principled).



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 4:02 pm


“Or is the effort to paint LaTondresse as naive the best the conservative posters can come up in response to the article?”
I don’t think she is naive, I think she is being hypocritical.



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Wolverine

posted July 20, 2007 at 4:09 pm


Kevin S. wrote:
I don’t think she is naive, I think she is being hypocritical.
I’m also getting a bit of cognitive dissonance here: the Religious Right is supposed to be declining, but they are still “kingmakers” within the GOP? What’s up with that?
Wolverine



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Chris LaTondresse

posted July 20, 2007 at 4:17 pm


Kevin, Moderatelad and Eric:
I think you missed the point of my post.
The most recent public statements of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council regarding Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney are “interesting and important development[s]” in the 2008 race for the presidency – as opposed to “scandalous”,“surprising”, or “shocking”.
One of the most important, yet-to-be determined realities of the 2008 primary race is, without an obvious choice among front-runners, who will socially conservative evangelical voters throw their weight behind? Or will they throw their weight behind anyone?
This question is fundamentally important because most recent trends suggest that any Republican presidential candidate hoping to win their party’s nomination without the support of social conservatives is in for a long and hard race—a race they’ll probably lose.
Evangelical voters with real concerns about the sanctity of life and protecting American families tipped the election for George W. Bush in 2004 – with 22% of the electorate saying “Moral Values” was the top issue that informed their voting choice, and close to of them voting for the sitting President. There’s no doubt about it.
The influence of groups like Focus/FRC and individuals like James Dobson/Tony Perkins on framing the issues that affect evangelical voting behavior was strong then and continues to be strong to this day. There’s no doubt about that either.
This being the case, observing the posture these groups take toward particular candidates is essential to anticipating future developments in the Republican primary process. Therefore, as a fellow, albeit less conservative, evangelical, I find these statements both interesting and important (read: “fascinating and politically significant”).
I admired the depth and authenticity of Perkins’ moral conviction when, in the Politico op-ed where he assessed Rudy Giuliani’s candidacy, he said, “Make no mistake… the aim of social conservatives is not to strew the path of the Republican Party with roses. We are not waiting in the winner’s circle with a garland of roses for whoever becomes the GOP nominee.”
While there are many policy prescriptions that Tony Perkins and I don’t share, there are many values we do. We both recognize the inherent value of every human life, made uniquely in the image of God. We would both like to see America’s abortion rate reduced to zero—we just differ on the most effective and compassionate way to achieve this.
Perhaps most significantly, we agree that authentic people of faith do not simply look for candidates and parties to uncritically baptize. Rather, when we engage the public arena, we do so out of deeply held value-sets that frame the ways we see the world, and in-turn, affect the way we choose our political priorities.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 5:06 pm


Chris,
Thank you for your thoughts. It is indeed interesting and important to note the actions of these organizations.
When you describe these efforts in terms of kingmakers unleashing a political machine to unfurl public attacks designed to cut down candidates, it comes off very negatively.



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jerry

posted July 20, 2007 at 5:53 pm


chris’ article is indeed enlightening and the apparent motives of the people and groups engaged in the shameful actions is shocking. who would believe this kind of activity is being done prior to a national election. thank goodness we have sojo to point this kind of stuff out. and boy am i glad chris came back to explain what he thought he meant and and then try to justify what he meant to say nice work chris. duh!
more sojo mojo.



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jerry

posted July 20, 2007 at 5:59 pm


anybody notice how this “God’s politics blog” is pure politics with a fair marketing strategy and self stated christian values. christians beating up on christians.



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Payshun

posted July 20, 2007 at 10:34 pm


Jerry said:
anybody notice how this “God’s politics blog” is pure politics with a fair marketing strategy and self stated christian values. christians beating up on christians.
ME:
Poor conservative Christians. You all are the perpetual victims.
p



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:08 pm


No, i just look past the superficial “all racists are conservative” stereotype.
Well, conservatives do have that nasty history … that many refuse to address. That’s why most blacks won’t vote for them.
It doesn’t need to play a big role. If it plays any role, Clinton will exploit it. She’s not dumb (or particularly principled).
True, she’s not dumb, but she has her husband as an advisor and he knows how to handle the race issue quite well.
The influence of groups like Focus/FRC and individuals like James Dobson/Tony Perkins on framing the issues that affect evangelical voting behavior was strong then and continues to be strong to this day.
It’s no longer as strong as you think it is, witness this blog. One of James Dobson’s “Stand for the Family” rallies was held in my city, as a shill for a particular U. S. senator who was in serious political jeopardy (and he ended up being trounced by 18 percentage points anyway). Dobson also has a tendency to lash out at anyone who disagrees not with just his agenda but also his approaches to the issues.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:11 pm


anybody notice how this “God’s politics blog” is pure politics with a fair marketing strategy and self stated christian values. christians beating up on christians.
Well, there was this little movement two generations ago called the civil-rights movement which effectively comprised the same thing. Only the conservatives were doing all the beating then.



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Wolverine

posted July 21, 2007 at 1:11 pm


Rick Nowlin wrote:
Well, conservatives do have that nasty history … that many refuse to address. That’s why most blacks won’t vote for them.
Okay Rick, what would it take for us to address our nasty history to your satisfaction?
Please be as specific and concrete as possible.
Wolverine



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Kevin Wayne

posted July 21, 2007 at 2:00 pm


Romney being taken out? boo hoo. The guy is a right-wihg “yup dog” -”yup, yup, yup” I’ll say whatever you want” I don’t think, however, that digging up a scandal on someone is very Christlike, however. I think Jesus would have just made overall statements regarding the state of someone heart, rather than go looking for skeltons.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 21, 2007 at 8:44 pm


Anna ,
Mormons believe Christ and Satan were brothers . Also you reach heeaven based on your works , and through your work as Christians you become a little god . It has some other basic differences in how they read the Bible that are not shown in Traditional Christianity . I noticed some differences with liberal bloggers right off here the way I have always understood the Bible , and also the way I was answered when I asked for help understanding . Even what the Spirit Of God has helped me understand over the years . This bothers me more then Mormonism .
We not seen differences even in our own denominations . Mormonism goes beyond the many differences we may have , and many Mormons actually are unaware of some of their doctrines themselves .
Mitt Romney seems like someone who would share our value systems , and it appears his life has been one I think many might consider quite Godly . The trouble with him from my conservative connections and reading , is his flip flops . He appears to have leadership qualities , I liked him better then Rudy myself .
He was Governor of a very Liberal state . Hard to show any conservative brownie points doing that .
I have this very bad feeling from my perspective that Bill Clinton will be doing a Whitehouse Tour of the Whitehouse in 2009, explaining how he picked out the China and explaining to the film crew to skip the Oval Office part of the tour because nothing happens in there worth remembering .



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 21, 2007 at 11:00 pm


Okay Rick, what would it take for us to address our nasty history to your satisfaction?
It would take too long for me to do so here, but for starters I suggest reading Martin Luther King Jr. Most conservatives in my experience recognize him as a legitimate leader, but if they read what he actually said they might think differently because he was every bit as critical of modern conservatism as I have been on this blog. If you can find it, I recommend “Strength to Love,” a collection of his sermons that was first published in 1963.



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jesse

posted July 21, 2007 at 11:35 pm


Okay Rick, what would it take for us to address our nasty history to your satisfaction?
–Come on, Wolverine. You know the answer to this. Abandon conservativism, become a liberal (or at least adopt Democratic policy positions), and he’ll be satisfied.



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kevin s.

posted July 22, 2007 at 12:52 am


“Most conservatives in my experience recognize him as a legitimate leader, but if they read what he actually said they might think differently because he was every bit as critical of modern conservatism as I have been on this blog.”
I recognize that MLK was critical of modern conservatism. That doesn’t mean he was right in all of his criticisms. So can we recognize that he was a great man without agreeing with him on all things?



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 22, 2007 at 8:31 am


Abandon conservativism, become a liberal (or at least adopt Democratic policy positions), and he’ll be satisfied.
Well, my pastor’s neither a liberal nor a Democrat, but he gets it and preaches effectively. Why can’t you?
So can we recognize that he was a great man without agreeing with him on all things?
The very policies you try to defend he attacked because he saw them as the problem to be solved. So in essence you want to praise a man for working against exactly what you stand for, and having read plenty of King myself I think that’s a pretty accurate statement. Based on the way you’ve criticized “liberals” in the past you’d jump on him in a minute.



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Wolverine

posted July 22, 2007 at 10:33 am


Okay, after I’ve read Strength to Love, then what?
Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted July 22, 2007 at 11:23 am


Rick,
This may seem a trifle odd but…
I’ve just finished reading the last of the Harry Potter books. I don’t want to give too much away but one of the things that happens in the book is that Harry learns his mentor Dumbledore had some very serious flaws and had made some terrible mistakes. But Dumbledore doesn’t turn into a villain, and his grand plan to defeat Voldemort ultimately does work out.
Now, in the real world, people like Dumbledore are all over the place, and we admire them anyway, not because they are perfect, but because they managed to do some very important things right. In a fallen world it isn’t the absence of vice, but the presence of virtue, that makes a man or a woman great.
I can’t put this any nicer: Martin Luther King got some important things wrong. He was wrong about Vietnam and he was spectacularly wrong about welfare. But he got two very important things right: he was right when he said that segregation, in all its forms, had to come to an end, and he was brilliantly right when he settled on non-violent resistance.
King died some forty years ago. And while I think a lot of conservatives are mistaken when they try to remake him into a proto-conservative, it’s not much better to assume that he wouldn’t have changed his mind about some things if he were alive today.
It is not inconsistent to try to remember King for what he got right and not dwell on what he got wrong. It is Christian.
Either way, King was not inerrant. You can’t just say “King would have done this not that” and expect that to end all argument.
Like Dumbledore the conservative movement has things to be ashamed of: with a few notable exceptions our predecessors resisted the civil rights movement. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t right about other things, and that doesn’t mean we aren’t obligated to do what we understand to be right, even if it isn’t exactly what Martin Luther King would have done.
Wolverine



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jesse

posted July 22, 2007 at 1:12 pm


The difficult and frustrating part of this type of conversation is that there are important distinctions between modern conservativism, pre-civil rights era conservativism, pro- and anti-segregationist conservatives, pro-segregationist left-leaning unionist types (and there were and are many), present conservativism, present conservatives, the Republican party of today and yesterday, individual christian conservatives, and so on. The Republican party of today, for example, is socialist according to the standards in place 50 years ago.
It’s easy and may get you some political points by throwing me and other conservatives in with the segregationists, but it’s also fundamentally wrong, dishonest, and even bigoted to do so. Just as it would be wrong for me to lump Wallis in with communists and anti-American left-wing radicals he may associated with. Or to lump him together with the pro-slavery Democrats of the past.
Also, MLK Jr. did a lot of good things, but he was far from infallible. Saying “MLK Jr said it so it must be right” is as much a proof as any sort of appeal to authority.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 22, 2007 at 2:48 pm


I can’t put this any nicer: Martin Luther King got some important things wrong. He was wrong about Vietnam and he was spectacularly wrong about welfare. But he got two very important things right: he was right when he said that segregation, in all its forms, had to come to an end, and he was brilliantly right when he settled on non-violent resistance.
On the contrary, King was proven right on both but was effectively sabotaged by those same conservatives he was critical of; not for nothing did he call Barry Goldwater “the most dangerous men in this country,” one of the few times he named a political candidate. People want to pick and choose, but he saw all of those as an outgrowth of his faith and ministry; he actually ended up breaking with President Johnson on the Vietnam War. If you read “Strength to Love,” all that will be obvious.
Like Dumbledore the conservative movement has things to be ashamed of: with a few notable exceptions our predecessors resisted the civil rights movement. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t right about other things, and that doesn’t mean we aren’t obligated to do what we understand to be right, even if it isn’t exactly what Martin Luther King would have done.
This sounds good, except that conservatism has consistently — at least over the past couple of decades — refused to make adjustments, for the simple reason that it doesn’t want to be seen as weak. You never see people on the right sitting down with people they don’t agree with; in their view that’s a sign of weakness (when, ironically, self-criticism is a sign of strength). When Bill Clinton, despite the manufactured “scandals,” remained popular conservatives never considered that they, or more accurately their failing ideas, may have been the problem. And it’s the same thing we see today as we figure out how to deal with Iraq.
It’s easy and may get you some political points by throwing me and other conservatives in with the segregationists, but it’s also fundamentally wrong, dishonest, and even bigoted to do so.
Given history, on the contrary. Now, you may not personally agree with de jure racial segregation (and most modern conservatives outside the South probably do not), but the roots of the problem have never been addressed — and they are that they still intend to cut people whom they can’t control out of power. I just received an issue of the Christian Research Journal that includes an article denouncing “diversity” as, in effect, another religion; it’s an example of that kind of “soft racism” that refuses to address the aftermath of institutional racism that is alive and well in even evangelical circles. It is the reason so few African-Americans subscribe to ideological conservatism — and also why so few blacks, which have the highest level of church attendance, are part of the “religious right.” You see, in my experience conservatives say they want justice and reconciliation — but only on their terms, which of course defeats the purpose.
All that said, my primary problem with King’s philosophy was his liberal theology (of course, back in the day he couldn’t have been admitted to any conservative seminaries back in the day).



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jesse

posted July 22, 2007 at 4:32 pm


Rick,
Do you think that liberals have any humility about their own ideas that conservatives do not possess? Do YOU think you might be wrong about your political positions? Have you ever seen anything less than absolute certainty from Wallis about his political positions and theology? He says he even knows God’s plan for social security…that’s some serious audacity!
The truth is that conservatives are more tolerant of dissent than liberals. On the issue of abortion, in particular, the Democratic party has allowed no keynote speaker (don’t ignore the “keynote” part there) in the past several conventions who is prolife. Not so the Republicans. And there have been wide and varied views on the Iraq war among Republicans (and stem cell research, education, taxation, the environment, and many other issues)…Bill Buckley and Robert Novak were against it. Leiberman defended it…and he ended up having to run as an independent. The National Review runs a debate between Jonah Goldberg and Peter Beinart every week.
Anyways…if it’s not one thing with you about conservatives, it’s another. I would just recommend that you take a good dose of humility yourself and maybe start admitting that you might not be right about all of your ideas, either.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 22, 2007 at 4:55 pm


I don’t see how you can be a liberal today and say you support King using that criteria.
Poor poor liberals , have been so beaten up by Conservatives . The church I belong to walked with King ,
I have no clue to what your talking about , what does that have to with any person having a conversation here . My roots are better then your roots . Shhheesh
Liberals have marched in parades where advocates for child molesters have , they align with organizations where their alles attack far right organizations like the Salvation Army , Boy Scouts , and of course theose right wing hate group organizations that stand up for the unborn .
Now obviously they have a selfish motive.
King would be happy with your choices ?
LOL Nope , he is an American hero , you can’t
have him . He represents justice , he represents right winning over wrong ,not giving up and not giving in , he respresents the very best things about each of us on either side of the spectrum . To think otherswise makes the ones who opposed him think they really won .



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kevin s.

posted July 22, 2007 at 4:58 pm


“You never see people on the right sitting down with people they don’t agree with;”
Right. Every single piece of bi-partisan legislation came to pass only because benevolent Democrats were willing to set aside partisanship to work with the nefarious Republicans.
” When Bill Clinton, despite the manufactured “scandals,” remained popular conservatives never considered that they, or more accurately their failing ideas, may have been the problem.”
They’re “failing” ideas has quite a bit to do with Clinton’s re-election. Do you know who Dick Morris is? Ever heard of triangulation?
“Given history, on the contrary. Now, you may not personally agree with de jure racial segregation (and most modern conservatives outside the South probably do not)”
Find me a poll that says that most modern conservatives in the south agree with racial segregation. Find me that poll.
“I just received an issue of the Christian Research Journal that includes an article denouncing “diversity” as, in effect, another religion;”
Depending on the context, I see where this could be true. Do you have a link?
“it’s an example of that kind of “soft racism” that refuses to address the aftermath of institutional racism that is alive and well in even evangelical circles. ”
“Soft racism” is a convenient term. Calling anything “soft” allows you to retract your argument in the face of any specific rebuttals. We are not racist, per se, just “soft racists”.
” You see, in my experience conservatives say they want justice and reconciliation — but only on their terms, which of course defeats the purpose.”
What are our terms, and how do they differ from your terms?
“All that said, my primary problem with King’s philosophy was his liberal theology”
Kudos for admitting this.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 22, 2007 at 5:23 pm


Do you think that liberals have any humility about their own ideas that conservatives do not possess? Do YOU think you might be wrong about your political positions? Have you ever seen anything less than absolute certainty from Wallis about his political positions and theology? He says he even knows God’s plan for social security…that’s some serious audacity!
Then tell me about some liberal “network,” started by a few intellectuals and bankrolled by super-wealthy liberals, who basically took over a political party and dragged aggrieved religious folks with it, who started their own think tanks, student organizations and media to spread their propaganda. You can’t, because it doesn’t exist. But that’s just what the conservatives have done since 1955. What you see from “liberals,” on the other hand, is more grass-roots; only in the last few years has the “left” been gaining steam and only because of the war in Iraq. You can’t even realistically compare the two.
I don’t see how you can be a liberal today and say you support King using that criteria.
I have never said I’m a liberal — that’s a label people like you have hung on me because I don’t subscribe to the conservative agenda.
Find me a poll that says that most modern conservatives in the south agree with racial segregation. Find me that poll.
One will never be taken — because everyone knows what the answer will be. Ask any African-American who has lived in the South for any length of time; he or she will know the score.
Depending on the context, I see where this could be true. Do you have a link?
I think you can find it at http://www.cri.org — but to be more accurate I’d have to dig for it. What I have is a hard copy, which I’m going to give to my pastor.
“Soft racism” is a convenient term. Calling anything “soft” allows you to retract your argument in the face of any specific rebuttals. We are not racist, per se, just “soft racists”.
“Soft racism,” in the context in which I use it, has the very same effects but is not necessarily regarded as such. Saying things as “I hate n—— and think they should die” or “They don’t belong in this school/neighborhood” and trying to change the laws to reflect that is what I would call “hard racism.” Calling King a troublemaker, as many conservatives — including Ronald Reagan — have done and calling efforts to foster racial justice and reconciliation “political correctness” are what I would call examples of “soft racism.” Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney, who will tell you flat-out that he received “white privilege,” used to speak about racism at PK rallies and got stony silence in response, and he has said that involvement dropped when he started doing that.
What are our terms, and how do they differ from your terms?
With your way, you identify the problem and set the agenda, all the time, to benefit yourselves. We want to bring everyone to the table.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 22, 2007 at 5:27 pm


Sorry — that URL is wrong. But it’s from the Christian Research Institute.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 22, 2007 at 5:49 pm


Then tell me about some liberal “network,” started by a few intellectuals and bankrolled by super-wealthy liberals
MoveOn Org



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 22, 2007 at 6:01 pm


Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney, who will tell you flat-out that he received “white privilege,” used to speak about racism at PK rallies and got stony silence in response, and he has said that involvement dropped when he started doing that.
LOL .. From all the hate and planned conspiracy theories about this organization given to it by the left , to see it now defending a liberals position is indeed worthy of note.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 22, 2007 at 6:35 pm


Martin Luther King Said at Birmingham
“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.… [S]egregation is not only politically, economically, and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful.”
This is King’s own words. One can hardly get farther from nihilistic relativism of the liberal culture , it be in public schools , NOW, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign and other Gay Activist Groups, Sojorners, Rainbow Coalition, and other religious leftwing organizations that promote all roads lead to heaven . Justice proves otherwise , and King knew it best . He was a Minister first , that is why so many religious people have fallen in love with him , his issues will hopefully be secondary 100 years from now , because his belief of right and wrong , and aligning that up with the Bible is something liberal Christians that love God and his words should be glad for , not scared of .
In these few sentences, King demolishes much of the philosophical foundation of contemporary liberalism. Again , liberalism of today has nothing to do with King of the 60′s . Those liberals who do have that belief of his , sure have not made any kind of fight to preserve it either , except maybe comeout against conservatism , which is not anything like it was in the 60s either .
Some good , some bad . Sojorners makes a very big mistake that the “religious right ” did much but possible get some candidates over the hump . The moral issues of our time have gotten worse, candidates hide their religious beliefs in some parts of this country , we as a people are not more open to religion , the only reason the religious left makes any in roads is because the secular left is there waiting for you .
Its so obvious , its as obvious as the corporate right using issues to gain power for the welfare of the Oil Company .
King would be uniting both of us , what we need are leaders, not people that divide those who are called according to His purpose.



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jesse

posted July 22, 2007 at 7:06 pm


“Then tell me about some liberal “network,” started by a few intellectuals and bankrolled by super-wealthy liberals, who basically took over a political party and dragged aggrieved religious folks with it, who started their own think tanks, student organizations and media to spread their propaganda. You can’t, because it doesn’t exist. But that’s just what the conservatives have done since 1955. What you see from “liberals,” on the other hand, is more grass-roots; only in the last few years has the “left” been gaining steam and only because of the war in Iraq. You can’t even realistically compare the two.”
–This point is completely unrelated to my quote above it, but I’ll address it anyway…do you really think capitalism or free market ideas (ie, conservative economic theory) didn’t exist outside of these few intellectuals? JFK was a supply sider. Have you ever been to England? Read any Hayek? Do you think conservativism only exists in the US? I guess it’s easier to take on the conservative straw man that you keep holding up.
Influences on the Democratic party go way beyond the grassroots and are found in the media, academia, Hollywood (movies and tv), unions, the civil rights industry (and it definitely is an industry…just check Jackson and Sharpton’s bank accounts), population control groups, feminists, and on and on…



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jesse

posted July 22, 2007 at 7:16 pm


Calling King a troublemaker, as many conservatives — including Ronald Reagan — have done and calling efforts to foster racial justice and reconciliation “political correctness” are what I would call examples of “soft racism.”
–It matters little to me what Reagan, Al Gore Sr., Robert Byrd, or anyone else may have said decades ago. Are you also aware that Reagan declared a national holiday for MLK Jr.?
Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney, who will tell you flat-out that he received “white privilege,” used to speak about racism at PK rallies and got stony silence in response, and he has said that involvement dropped when he started doing that.
–And I also remember a black pastor interviewed at a PK rally lamenting the fact that black churches did not attend these rallies because of their racial pride. Having grown up in New Orleans (in a racially diverse church), I can tell you that racism definitely exists in black churches, too.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 22, 2007 at 9:59 pm


From all the hate and planned conspiracy theories about this organization given to it by the left, to see it now defending a liberals position is indeed worthy of note.
Well, given the conservatives’ penchant to rule everything that’s completely understandable.
One can hardly get farther from nihilistic relativism of the liberal culture, it be in public schools, NOW, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign and other Gay Activist Groups, Sojorners, Rainbow Coalition, and other religious leftwing organizations that promote all roads lead to heaven.
This may surprise you, but King had ties to some of those groups. I know he accepted an award from Planned Parenthood but don’t remember the details. And Sojourners doesn’t belong in that list.
This point is completely unrelated to my quote above it, but I’ll address it anyway…do you really think capitalism or free market ideas (ie, conservative economic theory) didn’t exist outside of these few intellectuals? JFK was a supply sider. Have you ever been to England? Read any Hayek? Do you think conservativism only exists in the US? I guess it’s easier to take on the conservative straw man that you keep holding up.
What you’re talking about is how conservatism was sold — that’s not what it is. And besides, I’m talking about not the Democratic Party but ideology. And the right is this country is by far the furthest right anywhere in the world.
It matters little to me what Reagan, Al Gore Sr., Robert Byrd, or anyone else may have said decades ago. Are you also aware that Reagan declared a national holiday for MLK Jr.?
Are YOU aware of what Reagan said upon signing the bill? Jesse Helms, the racist right-wing senator from North Carolina voted against the bill, accusing King of being a Communist, and Reagan said, “We’ll know in about 35 years, won’t we?” Reagan would have looked like a fool if he hadn’t signed it, which passed both houses of Congress by veto-proof margins.
I also remember a black pastor interviewed at a PK rally lamenting the fact that black churches did not attend these rallies because of their racial pride. Having grown up in New Orleans (in a racially diverse church), I can tell you that racism definitely exists in black churches, too.
It’s not so much racial pride but a fear of being dominated and/or pushed aside, for reasons I’ve already mentioned. Evangelicalism as a whole still has not taken a hard look at its race problem.



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Payshun

posted July 22, 2007 at 10:09 pm


But I am willing to bet that even though some in the black churches believed themselves to be superior to whites or whatever I am also willing to bet that they were really tired of the lackluster, lazy and poor response in dealing w/ race from the white side.
If King were alive today he would have never have supported current conservatism and like his wife would have supported gay rights. He was a liberal minister because conservative seminaries would not admit him and did not. His policies and love for all people is what inspires so many to him, that and by today’s standards doesn’t appear to upset the white hierarchy. But at the time he pissed off everyone, the established black conservative Christian moment, white people and the more radicalized black power movement. They felt he was too weak but he understood that power must not be a goal in and of itself but a method to insure justice and protection for all people. Some conservatives seem to only want that for straight Christian couples. Anyone that doesn’t fit that get’s the shaft. Which is why the more right wing groups are seen as nuts.
If he was alive today he would have been a thorn in the side of both democrats and republicans because of their corporate owned, weak response to poverty, the lack of respect for the LGBTQ community and the Iraq war. If you doubt that then read about how he felt about the Vietnam War.
p



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Payshun

posted July 22, 2007 at 10:16 pm


Nihilism is a problem of the human spirit. I have seen just as much destructive tendencies among the urban poor and suburban rich. The problem is that we are taught from the world to destory ourselves and only by choosing love will that change.
p



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Anonymous

posted July 22, 2007 at 10:27 pm


Rick Nowlin wrote:
Well, given the conservatives’ penchant to rule everything that’s completely understandable.
WHOA NELLIE!
This was his reponse to the observation that Promise Keepers had committed itself to challenging white racism, a position that represented a serious concession to the political left.
But now this is all part of a sinister plan to rule everything. Mmmkay. Rick, would you mind explaining how this works?
Are YOU aware of what Reagan said upon signing the bill? Jesse Helms, the racist right-wing senator from North Carolina voted against the bill, accusing King of being a Communist, and Reagan said, “We’ll know in about 35 years, won’t we?” Reagan would have looked like a fool if he hadn’t signed it, which passed both houses of Congress by veto-proof margins.
Which proves what exactly? That Reagan hadn’t seen the files? That he had and knew that MLK had ties to communist groups?
Did it ever occur to you that maybe what Reagan was saying was that he had gotten to the point where he wasn’t all that worried about it?
It’s not so much racial pride but a fear of being dominated and/or pushed aside, for reasons I’ve already mentioned. Evangelicalism as a whole still has not taken a hard look at its race problem.
I certainly am seeing evidence of fear here.
Wolverine



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 22, 2007 at 11:11 pm


This was his reponse to the observation that Promise Keepers had committed itself to challenging white racism, a position that represented a serious concession to the political left.
Will you stop with the ideological labels here, for once? Has it ever occurred to you that fighting racism is Biblical and has nothing to do with right or left? In fact, McCartney, who is no liberal, made this statement, “The Spirit of the LORD said to my spirit, ‘You can fill a stadium, but if men of other races aren’t there, I won’t be there either.’” But, as I said, a lot of white men didn’t want to hear that.
But now this is all part of a sinister plan to rule everything. Mmmkay. Rick, would you mind explaining how this works?
I’ve been doing that all along. You just haven’t read carefully.
Did it ever occur to you that maybe what Reagan was saying was that he had gotten to the point where he wasn’t all that worried about it?
To Jesse Helms, one of his closest allies in the Senate? Please — he probably signed that bill with his teeth clenched.



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kevin s.

posted July 22, 2007 at 11:32 pm


Rick said:
“Will you stop with the ideological labels here, for once?”
Rick also said:
“Well, given the conservatives’ penchant to rule everything that’s completely understandable.”



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Anonymous

posted July 22, 2007 at 11:55 pm


“One will never be taken — because everyone knows what the answer will be”
So, your support for your statement that the majority of conservative southerners believe that segregation ought to be law is that everyone knows it is true. That’s a bit circular.
“Then tell me about some liberal “network,” started by a few intellectuals and bankrolled by super-wealthy liberals, who basically took over a political party and dragged aggrieved religious folks with it, who started their own think tanks, student organizations and media to spread their propaganda.”
The left-wing blogosphere, for starters. Unions, Hollywood, and Higher ed. for more.
“calling efforts to foster racial justice and reconciliation “political correctness” are what I would call examples of “soft racism.”
Right. Soft racism is defined by opposing whichever ideology to which Rick Nowlin subscribes (hereinafter: WITWRNS), and their views on how to foster racial justice. That is why it is such a convenient term. I object to being called a racist, because I am not one, but you get to have your cake and eat it too by using the term without really meaning it.



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Moderatelad

posted July 23, 2007 at 8:15 am


Posted by: Chris LaTondresse | July 20, 2007 4:17 PM
Thanks for your clairifacation. I will do a little more thinking about what you said. Much is applicable to either side of the political fence and the 2008 election will be interesting no matter who the canidate(s).
Blessings -
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 23, 2007 at 9:43 am


So, your support for your statement that the majority of conservative southerners believe that segregation ought to be law is that everyone knows it is true.
Reread the rest of that paragraph — as I said, any black man or woman who has lived in the South for any length of time will tell you the truth; conservatives are no longer as vocal about it as they once were. In fact, as mentioned months ago on this blog, the “religious right” got started in the first place in response to Jimmy Carter’s siccing the IRS on private Christian academies in the South which apparently were founded, really, to circumvent court-ordered desegregation in public schools. There is serious mistrust in the African-American community toward the political right, for some very good reasons.
The left-wing blogosphere, for starters. Unions, Hollywood, and Higher ed. for more.
Doesn’t apply. I said a network, not disparate interest groups that may coalesce around certain candidates.
I object to being called a racist, because I am not one, but you get to have your cake and eat it too by using the term without really meaning it.
Kevin, I never called you a racist. But the historical fact remains that racism is a stain in the conservative camp, and your complaints about my bringing it to light will not change that one bit. Now, you want to believe that modern conservatism is on a higher moral plane or at least equal, but I’ve seen enough of it to believe otherwise, and if that offends you … well, I don’t send sympathy cards.



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jesse

posted July 23, 2007 at 10:26 am


the “religious right” got started in the first place in response to Jimmy Carter’s siccing the IRS on private Christian academies in the South which apparently were founded, really, to circumvent court-ordered desegregation in public schools.
—Right, and abortion and the direction of Carter’s party had nothing to do with it. I can just see you with some elaborate layout playing connect the dots with these nonsense paranoid claims.



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Anonymous

posted July 23, 2007 at 10:55 am


“I said a network, not disparate interest groups that may coalesce around certain candidates.”
They are not so disparate as you describe. I’ll agree that, in the 1980s, a number of conservative organizations formed, largely in response to the prevailing liberal ideologies (e.g. the Federalist Society).
“Kevin, I never called you a racist. ”
I was using the hypothetical “I”.
“Now, you want to believe that modern conservatism is on a higher moral plane or at least equal, but I’ve seen enough of it to believe otherwise, and if that offends you … well, I don’t send sympathy cards.”
It doesn’t offend me in the slightest. I just think it short-circuits real discussion about the merits of the ideology. I am not racist, have seen precious little evidence that conservatives (I mean movement conservatives, not politically disinterested folk who happen to label themselves as such) are racist. The ideology is not driven by racism, nor is it designed to achieve racist ends.



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Wolverine

posted July 23, 2007 at 11:28 am


Rick Nowlin wrote:
Will you stop with the ideological labels here, for once? Has it ever occurred to you that fighting racism is Biblical and has nothing to do with right or left?
In fact, McCartney, who is no liberal, made this statement, “The Spirit of the LORD said to my spirit, ‘You can fill a stadium, but if men of other races aren’t there, I won’t be there either.’” But, as I said, a lot of white men didn’t want to hear that.
Erm, I was aware that Bill McCartney was not a liberal. (McCartney was an assistant coach at the U of M for the blessed Bo.) As for the labels, sorry, but liberals and conservatives exist, and they have different opinions on racial matters. That’s just a fact, and as far as I can tell that fact underpins most of your worldview.
As I wrote on another thread: nouns are very useful in writing, so your objections notwithstanding I shall continue to use them where appropriate.
Rick also wrote, (regarding Reagan’s cryptic comments about MLK while signing a law making MLK’s birthday a national holiday)
To Jesse Helms, one of his closest allies in the Senate? Please — he probably signed that bill with his teeth clenched.
Did you actually see him clenching his teeth, or are you just assuming that?
Wolverine



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 23, 2007 at 12:21 pm


Right, and abortion and the direction of Carter’s party had nothing to do with it.
That’s right, Jesse — they did have nothing to do with it. Evangelicals were silent on Roe v. Wade at the time, and abortion was added at that time only to give the group more “nobility.” In fact, secular interests were involved from the get-go, specifically Nixon-Goldwater fundraiser Richard Viguerie, which added Moral Majority to his direct-mail empire.
I am not racist, have seen precious little evidence that conservatives … are racist. The ideology is not driven by racism, nor is it designed to achieve racist ends.
You haven’t actually read their complaints about “liberals.” Besides, their racism was cloaked, using code words as “law and order” and “welfare queens,” telling us simply to “do better” but without the resources they have. I don’t have the time or space to go into all they ways that actually do promote racism without looking as if they do.
I’ll agree that, in the 1980s, a number of conservative organizations formed, largely in response to the prevailing liberal ideologies (e.g. the Federalist Society).
But they were funded by a few wealthy conservatives, one of which lives in my city (and in fact publishes a competing newspaper) — if you have a cause that supports the conservative agenda you can approach these folks and they will cut you a check. That is how they became established so quickly. You can’t say the same for “liberal” groups.
Erm, I was aware that Bill McCartney was not a liberal.
Then why did you say that fighting racism was part of the “left”? Aren’t there some things that are just correct to do? That’s what I objected to. Besides, as I mentioned earlier, McCartney benefited from his race and will admit it.



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Anonymous

posted July 23, 2007 at 1:17 pm


Rick Nowlin asked:
Then why did you say that fighting racism was part of the “left”?
That’s not exactly what I said, although to be fair I can see why you might have gotten that impression. Here’s what I wrote:
This was his reponse to the observation that Promise Keepers had committed itself to challenging white racism, a position that represented a serious concession to the political left.
But now this is all part of a sinister plan to rule everything. Mmmkay. Rick, would you mind explaining how this works?
The “observation” was originally made by someone else. My point was to ask how this concession would advance our plans to take over the world. (“What are we going to do tonight, Brain?”)
Yes, some things are just morally right, and among them is resisting racism. But that doesn’t mean that conservatives and liberals don’t have different views on the extent of, and best ways to fight, racism.
We seem to be in agreement that McCartney is not a lefty. And just after ripping me you write that McCartney “benefitted from his race and will admit it.” (emphasis added)
Admission, concession, to-may-to, to-mah-to. Can’t we just call this whole thing off?
Wolverine



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jesse

posted July 23, 2007 at 1:20 pm


That’s right, Jesse — they did have nothing to do with it. Evangelicals were silent on Roe v. Wade at the time, and abortion was added at that time only to give the group more “nobility.”
–Yes, they were silent on abortion at first, which is why many of them supported Carter in 1976. But by the time 1980 came around, they started caring about it (for many reasons), which is what led them to vote for Reagan and propelled him into power.
Of course, you’ve said before that everyone who’s prolife who votes for Republicans (ie, votes prolife) doesn’t actually care for the unborn but only cares about controlling people. But that’s just your own bigotry you’ve got to deal with.
What makes it so frustrating talking with you is that you think ad hominem attacks and the connect the dots guilt by association you do is actually a valid way of arguing. It’s a logical fallacy that proves nothing and won’t change anyone’s mind on any issue: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html
I’ll try not to get roped into these meaningless and futile debates again. Me and most others here would much rather debate issues.
Good day to you.



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Russell

posted July 23, 2007 at 1:27 pm


To be honest this story is much ado about nothing. We all know that Focus on the Family’s agenda is to encourage people to vote for politicians that will stand against homosexual marriage, abortion, and pornography so why is this a big surprise.
They are trying to force the candidates to answer the questions that they need answered. I don’t back Focus on the Family in everything they do, but why is this even a story?



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kevin s.

posted July 23, 2007 at 1:34 pm


“Evangelicals were silent on Roe v. Wade at the time, and abortion was added at that time only to give the group more “nobility.”"
This is a narrative of your own imagination. The Moral Majority was founded within 7 years of Roe v. Wade, which was a major tipping point for evangelicals in the political sphere.
“”You haven’t actually read their complaints about “liberals.”"
Sure I have. They are not racist. Law and order is a legitimate pursuit. You have decided it is a code word, but you are incorrect about that. In Minneapolis, we have an incompetent mayor who has generated numerous calls for a law & order mayor. We don’t hate blacks. We just don’t want to be shot to death.
” I don’t have the time or space to go into all they ways that actually do promote racism without looking as if they do.”
In other words, they level complaints against WITWRNS, and that defines them as racist. One need not do anything, say anything, or manifestly BE anything racist in order to be racist. Racism, then, becomes a bludgeon to force people to accept political viewpoints that they believe to be wrong.
If opposition to welfare programs on the basis that many take advantage of the system constitutes racism, then you have defanged the charge of racism. This will present some problems down the road, when real racism (or anti-Semitism… Dark Jewish cabals anyone?) rears its head, we will be immune to the charge.
“You can’t say the same for “liberal” groups.”
That rich people cut the checks? You can in some cases (see: Soros, George). In other cases, blue collar workers are forced to subsidize the party via their paychecks, so you have a point there.



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Payshun

posted July 23, 2007 at 2:22 pm


Wolvie:
Yes, some things are just morally right, and among them is resisting racism. But that doesn’t mean that conservatives and liberals don’t have different views on the extent of, and best ways to fight, racism.
Me:
I don’t think many people on the right rarely bother to fight it. There are still plenty of battles that need to be fought. They seem pretty complacent about it unless it’s at their door steps and they are benefitting from it. Most people don’t like giving up privelege.
Oh and I am not saying liberals are any better (progressives can tend to be) but most armchair liberals care nothing about fighting against injustice.
p



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Anonymous

posted July 23, 2007 at 5:48 pm


Yes, some things are just morally right, and among them is resisting racism. But that doesn’t mean that conservatives and liberals don’t have different views on the extent of, and best ways to fight, racism.
To fight racism you have to understand the institutional culture that promoted it in the first place, and that’s where the controversy takes place. The biggest problem is that we have neighborhoods segregated not so much by race but by class, and few, certainly not conservative Christians, are adressing that situation — while most people won’t be quite this honest, the real message is “We moved to this neighborhood to get away from them” — fill in the blank with the “them” of your choice. We see that a lot in my city.
Of course, you’ve said before that everyone who’s prolife who votes for Republicans (ie, votes prolife) doesn’t actually care for the unborn but only cares about controlling people. But that’s just your own bigotry you’ve got to deal with.
No, I didn’t say that. But in fact, since the conservative agenda is indeed about controlling people, I can see why you made that statement. I did say, and I believe this to be true, that the GOP became officially “pro-life” only for the sake of votes. Even James Dobson will tell you that, and at least once he threatened to pull his support.
This is a narrative of your own imagination. The Moral Majority was founded within 7 years of Roe v. Wade, which was a major tipping point for evangelicals in the political sphere.
Try precisely five. And my original point stands, that evangelicals were silent when Roe happened. I remember distinctly that there was essentially no outcry then, and in fact a leader in the Southern Baptist Convention, also reported on this very blog, was sympathetic.
We don’t hate blacks. We just don’t want to be shot to death.
With that comment you completely undermined your own point — because, truth be told, most victims of gunplay are other blacks who live in certain areas, and those shootings don’t generally happen randomly.
One need not do anything, say anything, or manifestly BE anything racist in order to be racist. Racism, then, becomes a bludgeon to force people to accept political viewpoints that they believe to be wrong.
No, it’s just that you don’t recognize racism when you see it, and in fact it took me a little while to do so. I remember about a decade ago at a junior high school — I don’t remember where, but it wasn’t in the South — a black eighth-grader was banned from commencement exercises because he had cut his hair too short — or, rather, that was the excuse. You see, this kid was ranked number one in the class and slated to give the valedictory address and the principal in charge didn’t like that.
If opposition to welfare programs on the basis that many take advantage of the system constitutes racism, then you have defanged the charge of racism.
The issue is, and was, that they didn’t want ANY money going to the ‘hood for any reason. Need I remind you that the reason so many African-Americans were on welfare in the first place — but, truth be told, until the Clinton years a minority — was because most of the people with means left the cities and took the financial heft with them. Almost all “big-box” stores, for example, in my area are in suburbs. Also remember that job-training programs and need-based grants also were cut under Reagan, and guess why?
That rich people cut the checks? You can in some cases (see: Soros, George). In other cases, blue collar workers are forced to subsidize the party via their paychecks, so you have a point there.
Again, I’m talking not about parties here but interest groups. Yes, George Soros does it, but only since around 2004. The guy in my city has been doing it since the 1960s. (How do you think Soros got the idea?)



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Wolverine

posted July 23, 2007 at 6:44 pm


Rick Nowlin wrote:
The biggest problem is that we have neighborhoods segregated not so much by race but by class, and few, certainly not conservative Christians, are adressing that situation — while most people won’t be quite this honest, the real message is “We moved to this neighborhood to get away from them” — fill in the blank with the “them” of your choice. We see that a lot in my city.
Depends on the “them”. Drug pushers? Hookers? Armed gangs? My folks stayed in Detroit long after most of the whites bailed. What finally pushed them out was when the local punks set our next-door neighbor’s camper on fire. So basically they moved to get away from arsonists. Awful bigots, my folks, not wanting to live around out-of-control fires.
As far as what led to the birth of the Moral Majority, I can verify what Rick is saying — to a point. Back in the late 70s Bob Jones University had a unique policy of prohibiting inter-racial dating, and there were a fair number of fundies that were upset when the IRS took away Bob Jones University’s tax exempt status on accout of that policy.
But my recollection was that the MM didn’t take off until they minimized the BJU thing and focused on abortion instead. That was also about the time that evangelicals started peeling away from fundamentalists. And from what I saw the shifts were largely motivated by embarassment over BJU’s stark racism.
As far as Soros and Scaife go: to hear Rick tell it, you’d think John, Bobby, and Ted Kennedy all grew up in Southie. Yes, the conservative movement has learned to use political money in new and disurbingly effective ways, but politics has always been disproportionately a rich man’s game, and that goes for both parties.
Wolverine
Wolverine



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Payshun

posted July 23, 2007 at 8:04 pm


We don’t hate blacks. We just don’t want to be shot to death.
Me:
But those neighborhoods are good enough to buy drugs from. Many suburban white kids buy their drugs in the inner city. I have also known many white people that move to the innercity to help rebuild it. But when they lack the support of other blacks they move out. Many have never had their apartments broken into so I think your fear masks some really destructive assumptions about the urban poor. The truth is you can get shot in any neighborhood. The chances of getting shot in the innercity can increase but w/ gentrification and other developments that’s going down. So my question is what’s your next excuse?
p



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 23, 2007 at 8:24 pm


Rick Said
This may surprise you, but King had ties to some of those groups. I know he accepted an award from Planned Parenthood but don’t remember the details. And Sojourners doesn’t belong in that list.
I don’t or the conservatives certainly don’t have our roots in your list you put us in either . Does not stop you from drawing links .
Rick if you do a google search on King and Planned Parenthood you will find many articles on this . I have found Faith Based and Pro Life African American Orgainzations playing it down , But you can find as many or more organizations claiming what you are , conservatives embracing King when it is convenient and not when its not .
If he did support abortion , he goes down a peg in my eyes . Jefferson had slaves , the liberals , democrats, ACLU , and those who promote Civil Justice quote him on religion and other issues . My church Newsleter the Evangel had a great story about the Baltimore Colts Coach and his Faith last Sunday . Sorry , don’t expect sympathy cards from me either . I see that as a problem still yet in your party . A majority of Christians do . If the majority of Christians are wrong , then perhaps the majority of blacks are also ?
According to Margaret Sanger’s own Autobiography , , she spoke to a KKK Rally
From Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, P.366
“Always to me any aroused group was a good group, and therefore I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan…In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered.” (Margaret Sanger: An Autobiography, P.366)



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 23, 2007 at 9:43 pm


So my question is what’s your next excuse?
p
Actually most crime percentage wise comes from black on black , not white on black or white on black or white .
If white or black kids have to go in to urban areas to buy their dope they obvious are not coming from the suburbs or rural areas , there is plenty there available , and they have taken to making it themselves .



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Anonymous

posted July 23, 2007 at 10:29 pm


“Many have never had their apartments broken into so I think your fear masks some really destructive assumptions about the urban poor.”
I have not only had my house broken into, but lived in. I chased a man down an alley with a knife. I live in a (relatively) safe neighborhood of Minneapolis, we still hear gunshots almost every weekend. No car is safe from constant break-ins anywhere in the city. Our church meets in Minneapolis, and almost everyone I know has had their car broken into at least once (many several times).
Our mayor has countered this problem with the same pathetic excuses you enumerate. Suburban white kids are the problem, what with their funding the drug trade and all. Bologna. Anyone can blame suburban white kids. Show me the results.
R.T. Rybak is a incompetent dolt who made his name by buttering up to the gay power structures and the big money lake neighborhoods (which are quite white, and quite liberal, btw). When we say we want law and order, we mean what we say.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 23, 2007 at 11:36 pm


Depends on the “them”. Drug pushers? Hookers? Armed gangs? My folks stayed in Detroit long after most of the whites bailed.
Well, the neighborhood I grew up in is still pretty much middle-class (no gangs, prostitutes, junkies or pushers), but by the mid-1970s all the whites were gone.
But my recollection was that the MM didn’t take off until they minimized the BJU thing and focused on abortion instead. That was also about the time that evangelicals started peeling away from fundamentalists. And from what I saw the shifts were largely motivated by embarassment over BJU’s stark racism.
That’s not how I remember it; Falwell, of course, fell in with a couple of conservative political activists at that time. Fundamentalists in those days pretty much stayed out of politics, at least at first, while evangelicals jumped in with both feet. In fact, Falwell’s church eventually switched Baptist affiliations, eventually joining the more politically-active Southern Baptists.
I didn’t even know about the Bob Jones University situation until around 1981, when the controversy was featured on ABC News’ “Nightline,” but it came out that the school didn’t even admit black students until 1976. The schools I was referring to were primary and secondary, not colleges, most of which had already desegregated.
I have found Faith Based and Pro Life African American Orgainzations playing it down, But you can find as many or more organizations claiming what you are, conservatives embracing King when it is convenient and not when its not.
As I was saying, a big part of that was the reality that King could not have attended a conservative seminary and had to go to a liberal one, and he was received by liberals while reviled by conservatives. Besides, King — and I just reread a number of his sermons in “Strength to Love” — basically had the race thing right. King had been dead five years before Roe v. Wade, so we don’t know exactly how he would have felt about it. Also consider that toward the end of his life he began to jettison his theological liberalism, speaking more and more sharply to the issues of the day but losing his former influnce, as black moved toward “black power” and whites toward the Vietnam War.
Yes, the conservative movement has learned to use political money in new and disturbingly effective ways, but politics has always been disproportionately a rich man’s game, and that goes for both parties.
Excellent observation.
Suburban white kids are the problem, what with their funding the drug trade and all. Bologna. Anyone can blame suburban white kids. Show me the results.
In the very richest neighborhood in my area, the dope dealers actually run a regular courier service — I learned this from one of the elders of my church who actually lives there.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 24, 2007 at 12:20 am


Anyone who thinks the drug problem is the cause or blame of one race is in denial . It has contradictions , different dimensions , and feeds a hopelessness that is beyond my or your understanding .
I recall a time when the only people I knew in my circles of influences ” or being influenced” that did not get high was the Pastor of a church I had just attended and the friend that invited me .
I was in my early thirty’s then , but I really find this discussion somewhat indoctrinated with idealogical BS and little reality.
What little difference does it make , really , in the eyes of any rational person if the person hurting is white, black , brown , or from NJ .
Just like corporations , the drug corporations have a huge divide between those who profit from tehem and those who are just surviving dealing with them .



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Payshun

posted July 24, 2007 at 12:46 am


Mick said:
Actually most crime percentage wise comes from black on black , not white on black or white on black or white .
Me:
I know which is why I wondered why you were afraid of getting shot?
You:
If white or black kids have to go in to urban areas to buy their dope they obvious are not coming from the suburbs or rural areas , there is plenty there available , and they have taken to making it themselves.
Me:
Yes they are especially for crack and other drugs. Some drugs like X or special K are imported thru Mexico, and Germany. Crystal is usually made in rural areas but for some smaller dealers they do it out of their homes. That runs the risk of blowing up the surrounding neiborhood but that does happen. Acid is another one that fits that.
p



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 24, 2007 at 1:12 am


Payshun said
I know which is why I wondered why you were afraid of getting shot?
ME
That was not me , that was another white guy . Do we sound alike too ? ;0)
In Washington State we don’t shoot people , we declare their neigborhood a wetland and let everybody drown .
You
Yes they are especially for crack and other drugs. Some drugs like X or special K are imported thru Mexico, and Germany. Crystal is usually made in rural areas but for some smaller dealers they do it out of their homes. That runs the risk of blowing up the surrounding neiborhood but that does happen. Acid is another one that fits that.
ME
Yes it happens , I did not mean to suggest it does not . But its not the main source of drugs for the suburbs anymore . Where I live people move out in the rural areas just as you said to make the meth . The Canadian border comes the crack , it is exchanged up there for Canadian Bud for other drugs and money from Mexico . Sounds crazy to me , but I never got involved into the politics of it till I got out of it if that makes sense .
.But till you allow for race to part of the way to solve the problem , instead of using it to blame the problem , there will always be the problem .
Just wondering can you give any policies that have been enacted by democrats that have even started to attack this problem . In DC ? There are many states that are quite blue , I just don’t see blame as any part of any solution . In fact , I don’t even see democrats making solutions , but I am opento them . God knows that is my heart .



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 24, 2007 at 8:50 am


What little difference does it make, really, in the eyes of any rational person if the person hurting is white, black, brown or from NJ.
The wealthy white person gets sympathy plus access to expensive substance treatment centers/programs. The black person or poor white person may end up in jail. That’s the difference



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Payshun

posted July 24, 2007 at 11:09 am


Rick:
The wealthy white person gets sympathy plus access to expensive substance treatment centers/programs. The black person or poor white person may end up in jail. That’s the difference
Me:
which leads to the prison industrial complex.
p



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 24, 2007 at 1:47 pm


Rick said
The wealthy white person gets sympathy plus access to expensive substance treatment centers/programs. The black person or poor white person may end up in jail. That’s the difference
The poor black person or poor white person ends up in jail . The white person gets sympathy ? I guess, the democrats now use survey questions giving Paris Hilton as an example of why you need to tax the white rich proves your point ? Money promotes lenient sentences , not justice .
OK anyway that is your point , justice is not served when say crack offenders is treated different then a gram of white . Ok , thats a point , a good point .
So your a democrat to make sentences for drugs to fit the situation , and you see tough on crime as a code word for racism . Well I have changed my mind plenty of times on how to handle drugs in regards to criminal justice , none had race in mind at all . Stopping drug abuse was always on my heart .
At times tough drug users was part of that , but according to you that was racism , or something to do with Eisenhower in 55 ? You points are all muffled with logic that makes no sense hurting most of all your good points .
The ultimate solution I am talking to is people not abusing drugs , because they end up abusing you . You appear hung up on some deep baggage , hurting your ability to make a coherent arguement on helping people get off drugs to another person without injecting racism as part of your solution , which totally disregards the real injustice , of people loosing so much of their lives to drugs . You don’t even seem concerned about it .



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Payshun

posted July 24, 2007 at 2:55 pm


Mick,
I think you are missing the point of what Rick is getting at. Race and class are factors for many in sentencing, representation… Those factors prevent true justice from reigning down, not to mention the fact that we treat drug abuse like it’s a crime when it is more of health issue (unless you are rich and white.) Stealing is a crime and consequences have to happen but when someone is an addict things become more complicated.
I have a lot of friends that are recovering alcoholics and drug addicts and we have had to go thru recovery a few times. Seeing their struggle and working w/ them has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I guess my point and Rick’s is that criminalizing drug abuse doesn’t solve the problem. It only makes it worse.
p



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 24, 2007 at 5:00 pm


P said
I think you are missing the point of what Rick is getting at. Race and class are factors for many in sentencing, representation…
Mick said
P I agree with that , no convincing needed . I think Rick’s assumptions made the conversation go left as some would say .
P said
we treat drug abuse like it’s a crime when it is more of health issue (unless you are rich and white.)
ME
Why don’t You see it could be more of a health issue if you were rich and black too P , not just white and rich as you stated . Your comments take the issue of drug abuse , and give it a racist slant .
To me it would be abuse if it was legal or not , I
I don’t want the black , white , or any kid using drugs . I certainly don’t want black kids suffering legally wise unfairly , also I don’t want them doing drugs .
The discussion took an element of agree to everything or its racism time , that is destructive and stupid when dealing with other believers that I have seen commenting here .
I don’t want the black kid getting an even chance because he is black , I want the kid to get an even chance because he is a kid .
P Said
I have a lot of friends that are recovering alcoholics and drug addicts and we have had to go thru recovery a few times. Seeing their struggle and working w/ them has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I guess my point and Rick’s is that criminalizing drug abuse doesn’t solve the problem. It only makes it worse.
Well said P .
God Bless your Ministry .
It appears that the most important factor is the person wanting to stop , being sent to drug treatment centers does not seem to help either unless you want to go there .



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Payshun

posted July 24, 2007 at 10:18 pm


I wish it were really a racist slant. But I have seen rich black kids recieve harsher sentences than for a former friend named Dan and he was a date rapist (but he was never arraigned for that crime.) The man (white) got caught trying to boost a car w/ a broken leg and recieved probation. He was an alcoholic and there are others. I wish it were equal when it comes to wealth but that’s not always the case.
p



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 24, 2007 at 10:50 pm


So a person using say OJ as an example and how blacks get away with it , etc . You would not consider a racist slant . Well I hear that from the democrats I work with , Union you know . They say OJ used his race to get off with murder .
You need a conservative translator . Because you loose your ability to make a point by appearing to be what your complaining about.The person who got the ligheter sentence is not privilleged , the person who got a harsher sentence and if was because of his race , was treated unjustly , unfairly , and you would find ALL people here more then agreeable to that point . , In fact wanting to change that . That is what you don’t get get or can you .



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 25, 2007 at 10:52 am


So a person using say OJ as an example and how blacks get away with it, etc. You would not consider a racist slant. Well I hear that from the democrats I work with, Union you know. They say OJ used his race to get off with murder.
No, in OJ’s case he used his
class status to “get away with murder,” being able to hire the best legal minds and all that. That’s why many blacks cheered the “not guilty” verdict.
BTW, I didn’t get your last statement at all.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 25, 2007 at 12:23 pm


he used his class status to “get away with murder,
Oh
The incoherent post was me trying to philospical about it , and I don’t think your open to it . Or I am capable of explaining it properly to you . Sorry about my gramar , but mainly trying to explain a better way of explaining injustice is not promoting stereotypes .
Too many people in their course of life , they have more then their share of burdens , obstacles , hills to climb , heartbreaks etc .
Racial prejudice , causing a greater hardship on one person , using words like white privildge to explain to some one why they barely made their elctric bill payment sounds stupid . Whose parent had the police just call because they pulled over his kid and he is in trouble for a controlled substance and a bong in his car .
What your speaking to only washes in liberal circles Rick . Its logic to your view point , in your world . and your world view has caused you clam up and not even reach out , its a poisin to your soul .
Having some one treat you with respect , treat you fairly , and assume your honest is not white privildge . For someone to treat you without respect , assume your dishonest , treat you unfairly is not white privildge , its racist .



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Payshun

posted July 25, 2007 at 1:19 pm


Umm this is where conservatives don’t get it. OJ’s race played against him the entire trial. He just had a brilliant lawyer and that’s how he got away w/ it. He did not get away w/ it because he was black. As a matter of fact you all have been making him pay for that ever since.
p



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Payshun

posted July 25, 2007 at 1:24 pm


Mick:
So a person using say OJ as an example and how blacks get away with it , etc . You would not consider a racist slant . Well I hear that from the democrats I work with , Union you know . They say OJ used his race to get off with murder .
Me:
No one ever said ignorance was limited to one party.
p



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b

posted July 26, 2007 at 4:01 pm


I don’t understand what the problem here is. Those on the Christian right are using their influence and voice to push for and against certain candidates. That is their right. Just like I am sure there are many groups on the left doing the same thing to influence the Dems. Everyone has a right to have their voices heard. If Republicans want to continue to court Christian right voters and ideals, that’s their perogative. I thought the idea of Sojo was not that old voices of power are quieted, but that all voices are heard; may the best man (or woman) win. Peace.



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Peter

posted July 26, 2007 at 4:57 pm


I’m glad Focus is taking Romney to task over this. I’m a liberal Democrat and have no great love for Romney or Focus, but I just wish one of the more liberal groups like Sojourners had pointed out Romney’s hypocricy in this area first. I’m pretty damn sick of being offered porn pay-per-view every time I stay in a hotel on a work-related trip and Marriott and Hyatt and all the rest of the chains that provide it need to be held accountable.
When are liberals going to get serious about condemning pornography? The only liberal groups I hear talking about it are the feminist organizations, and they condemn it much less than they used to.
All I can say is, good for Focus for going after the two Republican frontrunners. They’re doing our work for us. As much as I dislike Dobson, I have to give him points for being consistent.



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