Monday, August 18, 2008


Go read this article:

Come back and tell me what you think.

Please. I'm writing my thoughts up now and will be scheduling them to post tomorrow but I wanted to see what you thought as well.

Thinking back on it I'm not sure what fired up my mind about this particular article, I think maybe it was the questions themselves. I'm also not sure what thoughts I expected you to have on this. Any and all thoughts are appreciated. Even ones I disagree with. Even rabbit trails.


Ratshag said...

Well, ya did opn the door and invites me in...

First off, I agrees with the premise what religious leaders shouldn't get involved in the voting process. It ain't they's job, it ain't what they trained for, and they usually don't know diddly about being impartial.

Didn't watch the shindig, but them questions do seem pretty inane, and chosen to get particular answers. What was the point of it, then?

Never cares much fer the phrase "As a Christian, ..." Despite the claims of some, Christians ain't got monoplies on being good, decent, thoughtful, caring hooman beings. Nor do being a christian automatically make ya such. So why not use the phrase "As a decent, caring person, ..."? Would be more honest, and less bigoted.

Barrhona said...

Based on the writeup (I did not see the actual debate) it does seem that the questions were leading questions, working to "trip someone up" among the constituency, rather than actually get something good from them.

This seems to me something that Obama almost *had* to do, based on his previous association with his pastor (and the associate non-story that followed it for awhile), and his need to chip into the conservative right. It is a minefield... say stuff which does not get him flamed while still supporting his Liberal base. There seems only stuff to lose in this situation, and nothing to gain.

This was clearly designed as a chance for McCain, right or wrong, to try and gain more support from the religious right which he has never really gotten lots of support from.

ArmsandFury said...

Gosh Damm... wait a tic... that's kind of funny. :)

In any event, which of my thoughts do you want? Would you like my thoughts on the article and how it was written or the topic of the article and how I would answer such questions?

Does Evil exist? Yes.
Do I have the right to deam what is Evil and what is not? Yes.
Am I always right? No.
Would that mean I should pause and give do thought to these type of judgements? Yes.

Does anything living have "rights?"
The problem with the above is that one must either be able to stand up for their rights or have others do it for them. Are the inherent? Possibly. Yet, there is the question of enforcement of said rights.

It is the type of paradox that comes with the old time bit. If we can never make time how can we possibly take it to have?

If we can not enforce our rights or have them enforced for us... did we ever actually have them?

Dammerung said...

@Ratters. I agree with you Ratters that christian's don't have the monoply on loving actions.

I think the phrasing was a valid as both of them have made a claim to this particular faith and they were in a church of that faith.

In general, though, I would simply drop the "as a" phrasing. If it is a question that expects you to believe a certain way...just ask it. Perhaps something like: As Christians our belief is [x], based on this we would like to see your thoughts and beliefs on [x].

This way if a "decent caring person" who didn't believe in Christ but did belive in [x] was there he could say so and they could see that he did have the same views as them on whatever the subject.

@Barr Oddly a lot of the news that I have read on this event seemed to think that it was setup origianally for Obama to finally make inroads into the Consv. Evang. population. I don't know one way or the other. The questions were deffinitly leading questions slanted towards the audiences beliefs.

@Arms All and any thoughts. My thoughts were mostly on the questions asked and whether or not I would want those particular questions asked in this venue.

MamaWau said...

I missed the first bit of the forum but caught the last half of Obama and all of McCain.

I thought McCain was more comfortable with the crowd, more relaxed, so his responses seemed more genuine.

I thought Obama answered well. He was obviously not comfortable and appeared defensive. Nevertheless, he handled it well and gave mostly clear understandable answers.

I agreed with each of the candidates on some things and not on others. Being conservative, it was easier for me to identify with most of McCain's responses.

As to who each candidate addressed their remarks to, I felt like McCain might have been better received if he had continued the forum in the conversation between him and Warren instead of addressing the crowd. But that is strictly a judgment call.

As to criticizing Warren's questions and the format that he chose ... That is really a judgement call. He (or his church) came up with that idea. Mr Waters can easily critize ... he didn't put any effort into the forum, didn't pay for it, doesn't have a stake in it, so he's somewhat like a couch-potatoe watching a football game ... easy to say what you would've, could've, should've since you won't, can't and shan't.

The questions that Mr. Waters poses are indeed very interesting and compelling ... But the greater point of interest to me is that here was an opportunity to hear what the candidates believed in more of a real conversation ... it wasn't a 30 second sound-bite ... it wasn't a bash-the-other-candidate commercial ...

I think that it was a fair list of questions. Larry says that Mr Waters list of questions would be better asked of the pastor or of the head of some denominational organization. Warren was asking the questions to two candidates that want to be president of the USA not to two men who want to be pastors of a church.

As for the kind of questions that Warren asked, these are questions that probably his church wanted to know the answers to. These are questions that were not being asked or answered on the regular news shows and his forum provided a way for both candidates to answer clearly and honestly. I was impressed by Warren's obvious neutrality and respect towards both candidates. I was also impressed by the respect the audience showed to both candidates.

Larry says, if you don't like the questions, host your own forum, put in on the internet and see what happens. If we as Christians don't get involved then we leave our government to non-Christians. If we don't participate in the process, if we don't get informed, if we don't vote, then we have no reason to gripe and complain about how the government is run.

Gaddrick said...

Religion is such a complicated and vast topic that there's really nowhere to begin. I agree that the updated questions are much better and would actually provide 'some' amount of actual information rather than simply regurgitate the acceptable answer. But I guess that could be said about pretty much any political debate. It's all just pointless verbal duck/parry/dodging.

I always wonder, has the country always been this messed up and on the brink of complete and utter self-destruction (to me) or is it simply that I am more aware of these things now that I'm older, and it's just always in this constant state. In other words, was the 60's and 70's just the same to the people growing up in those times?

MamaWau said...

Gaddrick, I was just a child in the 60's but I remember the 70's and politics was mostly the same ... except that there was still this idea that we were a "Christian" nation and so there were things that candidates could and could not say about one-another, because it was still thought that defaming someone ... saying things about someone that you didn't know for a fact to be true, was wrong. There was still a clear sense of right and wrong ... not just well, my worldview says blah, blah, blah, or what is relevant today ... instead there was a clear and definable set of rules.

I was also around in the 70's when that began to change and the shock that we as a nation felt as more and more of these "rules" were torn down, and how there were debates, arguments, and down-right fights over what was and was not acceptable.

Back then, in the olden days things were not perfect, and at that time the old-timers (those who were born at the turn of the century or during the depression) were appalled at my generation's interpretation of "freedoms".

Their generation's definition included giving up your life during the first World War, or sacrificing everything so that one of your own could go to school, or start a business during the depression.

My generation was the beginning of the "It's All About Me" song and dance that has led (I believe) to the apathy seen in this current generation's attitude towards, politics, country, family and God.

Ooooh, I need to stop because I'm just preachin' now.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% with Ratshag. My husband was flipping channels and came across this ludicrous interview with the candidates. I watched the interviewer ask, paraphrased, "What's the most morally wrong thing you've ever done?" I. WAS. INCENSED. First, I don't want to know what morally wrong things you did. Seriously. SERIOUSLY!!!!!! If the person is morally corrupt, he will lie and tell you he did nothing wrong. If the person is morally normal and wishes to be "honest," he will tell you something that you probably didn't need to know about him to make your vote (e.g., I got blow jobs from my high school girlfriend between classes). If the person is morally perfect, he will tell you he did nothing wrong. As such, how can you differentiate him from the morally corrupt person??? It's like one of those stupid puzzles: One knight always lies; one knight always tells the truth... blah blah blah. And to my final gripe about this question. I don't really give a rats-ass about your morals. IT'S YOUR ETHICS I CARE ABOUT. Ethics are more absolute across religions, faiths, philosophies, cultures, etc., than morals are. Case in point: I didn't care what Clinton did in the oval office with whats-her-fuzz. I cared that he LIED about it. Morals vs. ethics. And here our current president CLAIMS to be full of moral-this and moral-that but ethically???? He lies like a beast and treats us like we're the "special needs" children he's been sent to protect from ourselves.

And those are just my thoughts about ONE of the questions in this so-called interview. I expected the next one to be, "What kind of tree would you be?" Or something equally irrelevant.

This is why you don't ask me questions. :D

Anonymous said...

Is where I pick a fight with other commenters: "If we as Christians don't get involved then we leave our government to non-Christians."

Just to set the score straight: We've NEVER had a non-Christian in the White House. And goodness knows, we wouldn't want THAT.

Anonymous said...

@Gaddrick: Everyone thinks they live in the worst of times. How did they feel during The Depression? How did they feel during the Civil War? How did they feel during the Revolutionary War? How did they feel during Watergate? Or right after Kennedy's assassination? Or during the Cold War? Everyone thinks they live in the worst of times. From a certain point of view, they are all correct.

Scott said...

Well, you asked so...

I think there's too dam much religion in politics in this country, and I'm tired of politicians pimping their faith to get votes. That's what I think.

klaki said...

I wish I would have watched it.

@Ratsy: I believe everyone should be involved in the voting process, religious leaders included. It's like the saying "There are no stupid questions, just stupid answers." The more people ask, even if it's religious based or not, the more we know about them. The more we know about them, the chance is greater that we can make a better informed choice.

@Bar: I agree. Obama had to do this. His pastor left a "mark" on him that he is trying to erase. Personally, I don't think this helped any.

@Gad: I think the world has been somewhat like this. The only thing is that 1. You're older and more aware of it. 2. Media outlets, like the internet, cell phones, etc. have brought everything more to the front than back then.

@Ma: I totally agree with you. I wasn't around during most of the 70s (born in 78). Its obvious even now that people look at different and the view of "freedom" is changing. I won't get into it, because I will go off into tangents. I'll just leave you with that fact that I don't see todays' view as being better :)

@Game: I believe that is an excellent question. I agree Ethics is important, but I think Morales are equally important. Using your Bill Clinton example. Should I worry that a person breaks a vow that they made to a woman and to a God that he "loves"? To me, that shows me character, just as much as ethics would show. I would not be able to trust anyone that does that, even if they told me the truth afterwards. And for the record, I did vote Clinton. Oh, and I think all presidential possibilities will choose a belief even if they don't truly believe. Its a PR thing. Remember, its about getting votes. :)

In all, nobody is perfect. In an election, you just have to weigh the pros and cons. In this years, I don't really care for either, so I'm voting Gilligan. :)