Thursday, October 04, 2007

Politicians and Faith

I read recently that a whopping gazillion percent of the voting population 'think' it is important for a candidate to be a person of faith. That is, they want their candidates to believe in invisible people, miracles, ancient texts, etc. I'm sure the requirement for faith indicates to the theist that this person is then also a person with a moral center. A "good" person. Right. Let's not even go down the path of the religious who have committed atrocities. I'd like to focus more on the very idea that belief in impossible things somehow (ok, wait I get it...via even MORE magic) gives you a leg up in the moral competition.*

But how would that work? Why couldn't a candidate refute belief in crazy, invisible things and come down hard on being for such things like fairness, justice, beauty, the environment, etc. These concepts do NOT require belief in a Deity. The golden rule itself is the golden rule because it makes SENSE. Common sense and rational thought can be a great guide to making decisions. Perhaps the ONLY guide?

Tell me, do you really want a person in a high office who believes that no matter how high his or her office is, there is REALLY a higher one? Would that be fair to all. Our freaking president right now, what's his name**, says that he speaks directly to god (I think through Cheney on a conference call though). Well then no problem going to war if you got the message right from the big guy himself. Plus, there's no way to even check this. I could say the same thing. Are you telling me that god does not speak to atheists? Damnit!

To hell (or wherever) with 'does it make sense'? Is it the best for everyone involved? Is there another way? Can we wait and collect more data? Who needs THAT kind of convoluted, brainy thinking? Got the message already from the big guy. As Richard Nixon said, "Don't confuse me with the facts"!

Americans love quick answers to their questions. Good school? Show me a test number. Good morals? Show me a picture of some dope walking out of church. OK, check and check! Where's my TV clicker.

*Here's another thoughtful take on the concept

**Here's an excerpt from an article by Jim Hoagland at the Washington Post:

Let me rephrase that: In contrast to its foreign policy, the Bush agenda at home is a collection of smoldering ruins. The administration has illogically dismissed deficits and balanced budgets as decisive economic factors, alienated Congress on every conceivable issue, left its tax cuts vulnerable to reversal, and enveloped Social Security reform in a poisonous political atmosphere.

Bush's most durable support comes from a coalition of social conservatives who usually define their politics in religious terms -- whom Bush has pleased or placated by nominating John Roberts and Sam Alito to the Supreme Court -- and the pro-democracy activists of the right who agree with him on pushing democracy in Iraq, Ukraine, China and elsewhere.

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