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Oct 30, 2008

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Tony Wilkins

Roch, see comment #79 here.

Also, don't miss this: Befuddled Hagan Dodges Questions About Godless PAC

Joe Killian

Well, sure.

But I'm a Godless heathen.

I can cut in front of you without worrying about Hell.

cm

OK, I just woke up. I got lots of sleep last night. It was awesome. I'll be happy to hug all of you. I love to hug. I have to get kid #3 off to school and then go help feed a bunch of my homeless friends. Come on over to Grace Community Church this morning and I will serve you bacon and eggs and we'll all hug.

Love & peace, CM :)

Spag

If you expected it in an ad Roch, what does that tell you about Hagan's judgment?

Spag

Eric, please explain how the ad is an appeal to bigotry. Do people not reserve the right to disagree with atheists for legitimate reasons in the same manner that atheists disagree with religious people?

To me this seems like a novel claim of bigotry, but do tell.

Jeffrey Sykes

"whiny-ass rant" @Graham

Graham: That's good stuff. So observations are whiny-ass rants. Got it.

I'm sorry your feelings got hurt once by a conservative. I hope the retribution makes you, and others, feel better.

Jeffrey Sykes

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my poor choice of words in stating "just about every Sunday"

That was a poor decision on my part and a symptom of my rash nature and tendency to go with the flush of first thought.

Twain or somebody said "writing is the art of second thought" and that is why I made a good writer and a poor editor, because I need a good editor keep me in bounds.

My intended point was to observe that we routinely question the religion and faith of others in a political context and therefore it was not out of bounds to question Hagan's via this ad.

It was not to imply evil on the part of Ed or malice in his work, but to observe that he routinely does question the religiosity of Christians in public life.

"Routinely" would have been a better word choice on my part and for not choosing it, and choosing a harsher phrase, I was wrong and do apologize to Ed.

Ed is kinder and wiser than I will ever be and I am thankful for his work here and enjoy reading. And commenting. Sometimes a little too much.

justcorbly

... routinely here on this blog we question or criticize or mock the faith of others in a political context...

We do?

And you've again expanded things a bit. Questioning and criticizing are not to be confused with mockery.

Then there's the implication that those on the left lack any semblance of faith, that none of their politics is the result of their faith. In fact, it's insulting.

Most importantly, though, political speech and behavior is fair game for attack, regardless of its motivation. Example: If someone's interpretation of their faith has them convinced that certain books should be removed from public libraries, that's none of my business. But, if they act on that conviction in the public arena, then I'm free to criticize or question or mock at will.

People don't get a pass just because they say they are doing God's work. And politicians who deliberately expose and leverage their faith to secure votes cannot demand that the tenets of that faith cannot be used to assess their readiness for office. E.g., if Sarah Palin gets herself filmed being ministered to by someone who asks God to ward off evil witches, then I have every right to poke fun at that and decide I don't want a vice president who seems to believe in witchcraft.

Roch101

Tony, I asked you, since you keep saying Obama is not really black, how you define black. The "answer" you offered is this:

"Roch, my opinion is that two black parents produce a black child and a black and white parent produce a multiracial child."

Since your answer requires an understanding of "black parents" you still haven't answered the question. How do you define black? (Corollary: How do you define white?)

Roch101

"If you expected it in an ad Roch, what does that tell you about Hagan's judgment?" -- Spag

It tells me that she isn't as politically savvy as she could be. It's not as big a blunder as the Palin pick, but an amateur's mistake to be sure. But it doesn't negate the deception Dole deploys. So I have a choice between a greenhorn who has a way to go to get up to speed or an old hand who has nothing in her record to run on and thinks deceiving the people she supposedly works for is acceptable. Neither inspires enthusiasm, but one clearly deserves to be rejected.

Spag

That's it Sykes? Unilateral disarmament? Ed is kind to those who kiss his ass and agree with him, and as for the wise part- that is overstated as well.

Spag

"If someone's interpretation of their faith has them convinced that certain books should be removed from public libraries, that's none of my business. But, if they act on that conviction in the public arena, then I'm free to criticize or question or mock at will. "

Similarly, if someones interpretation of their lack of faith has them convinced that certain language should be removed from currency, pledge of allegiance, etc., that's none of my business. But if they act on that conviction in the public arena.....

Well, not me because I don't really care, but that doesn't mean others might not.

eric

Sam, the reason this ad is an appeal to bigotry is that it isn't about "disagreeing" with atheists. It is simply about demonizing them and anyone who associates with them -- even if, as in Hagan's case, that association has nothing to do with atheism. (I've not seen anything to suggest that Hagan knew or had any reason to know of Woody Kaplan's involvement with GAPAC. He is a pretty prominent civil liberties advocate and activist, as is his wife, writer Wendy Kaminer. Kaplan is a former board member of the ACLU; he and Kaminer are both advisory board members of FIRE (a group notable for the broad left-right range of its members and supporters). That, and not anything to do with GAPAC, was most likely the reason they held a fundraiser for, and donated to, Hagan's campaign. Perhaps Dole would like to revive George Bush the Elder's old theme and call Hagan a "card-carrying member of the ACLU".)

If Hagan had (hypothetically) taken a position endorsed by GAPAC, like removing "under God" from the pledge, or eliminating tax exemptions for religious organizations, then it would be fair enough for Dole to note that (hypothetical) fact and to explain why she disagrees. It would even be fair enough to run an ad saying (assuming, hypothetically, it were true) "Kay Hagan wants to take the words 'under God' out of the pledge and tax churches. Is that really what North Carolinians want from a Senator?"

This ad doesn't do anything like that. Instead it says, in effect, "Kay Hagan pals around with, and takes money from, atheists, and must secretly agree with their evil agenda." If we look back at U.S. history, we can see the exact same "argument" (such as it is) made against candidates who enjoyed support from Catholics, or Jews, or African-Americans. The only significance is to suggest an association with a despised minority, and has nothing to do with any rational or substantive disagreement over any issues pertinent to the election.

The bottom line, for me is this: however guilty Hagan herself may be of acting as if the association is something to be ashamed of, that in no way absolves Dole of responsibility for the choice to make this a campaign issue.

justcorbly

Yes, Sam, it works both ways. But the right complains that we're attacking someone's religious values when we attack the politics those values motivate.

Tony Wilkins

Roch, I've given all the answer to you that I can. Sorry it's not enough but I'm done with it. You know my thoughts on this by now.
For someone who has accepted EC's "it became known as" as fact you're being pretty persnickety about my answer. Maybe I assumed you accepted his answer, not sure you did.
Would you feel better if I asked you-"why do you consider Obama black"? And also, you didn't answer my question about the census data.
I'm tired of this conversation, let's go trick-or-treating.
Or we can continue on the implosion of a befuddled Kay Hagan. Did you catch the long version on YouTube?

Spag

Eric, how is that any different that what GAPAC is doing? Dole simply pointed out their agenda and that Hagan took money from people with that same agenda. Unless she is lying, how is that "demonizing" the group? It seems to me what you want to accept is that it is okay for GAPAC to push their agenda, but not okay for people to disapprove of it without being labeled bigots.

I find your third paragraph hard to accept as I am quite certain that if Dole was taking money from the Klan- another group with an agenda that is disapproved of by most people- that you would find this extremely relevant to the election. What about Bush speaking at Bob Jones University? I recall a lot of outrage about that. The people at Bob Jones definitely have an agenda.

What I am hearing is relativism. Those who oppose groups that you have no problem with are considered bigots. GAPAC itself could be considered a group of bigots.

Roch101

"I've not seen anything to suggest that Hagan knew or had any reason to know of Woody Kaplan's involvement with GAPAC." -- Eric

I have. Since it came in the form of a press release from the Dole campaign, I'm confident Hagan did too, and before she went to the fund raiser. The Dole ad is despicable and Dole is the responsible party. Hagan could have headed it off at the pass though with a little more political savvy.

Roch101

"Roch, I've given all the answer to you that I can. Sorry it's not enough but I'm done with it. You know my thoughts on this by now." -- Tony

No, that's the problem, Tony. I don't know your thoughts. That's why I keep asking. You have said on multiple occasions that you object to Obama being called black. Yet when asked what qualifies as black, the best you can come up with is a circular non-answer (black is black).

I'm done with it too. You know you haven't given a straight answer, and I know you've been jerking my chain by pretending that you have. Sorry to say, I won't be answering any questions from you in the future. You could have shown some respect and given me a straight answer or even said that you didn't know or don't want to answer. Pretending that your non-answers constitute answers is all I need to know that you don't deserve to have any questions of me answered. Sorry it turned out that way, but you were the one who wouldn't man up.

Tony Wilkins

Roch, you're way off base with the disrespect label. How many times have I mentioned my respect for you and your determination for government transparency and detail to fact?
I'm not sure what you're fishing for so if I haven't satisfied you with an answer I'll go with your "don't know" option. I specifically mentioned the confusion that evolved with the links that Sean provided with the "one drop" theory.
Chill. I have to assume you've taken something I've said out of context. We've disagreed over many subjects but to stop communicating with me over this just doesn't seem appropriate.
Can I get a Mulligan?

Spag

Roch, what is despicable about Hagan attending a fundraiser that she knew in advance would have people in attendance that would be highly questionable to a large number of voters, then accepting money from one of those people and Elizabeth Dole simply pointing this out?

Since when does telling the truth become "despicable"?

Roch101

"Don't know" is fair enough (geez, all those wasted pixels). But can we at least agree that if you don't know, it's not really smart to object to Obama being called black when you don't know what constitutes black? That's all I was getting at: That if you don't have a hard and fast definition of black that is violated by calling Obama black, then there really isn't any ground for objecting to it.

Tony Wilkins

Point taken Roch. E-hug.

Ed Cone

Jeffrey: thanks.

I try to respect the religious beliefs (and disbeliefs) of others, but I have no trouble criticizing, say, Hagee for blaming Katrina on the gays, or Israeli settlers for claiming God wants them to live on some Palestinian family's farm, or threats against papers for running cartoons of Muhammed, etc.
I question the imposition of religion on politics, and in this country the religion involved tends to be Christianity, but I'm an equal opportunity critic along those lines.

This thread, like many others of late, reflects (along with some good conversation) a lot of tension. It's a stressful moment, with an interminable and high-stakes election finally upon us, and a scary economy looming behind it.

So I'll repeat to all of you, and myself, advice I've given before: Go outside. It's a beautiful day, and it should be a nice weekend. Walk your dog. Spend time with your kids. Watch a ballgame. Work up a sweat. The political and economic stuff matters, a lot, but there are other things that matter too. Peace.

Spag

I'm calling B.S. on Ed for a number of reasons that have been previously discussed in other threads.


justcorbly

... and Elizabeth Dole simply pointing this out?

You're engaging in self-deception if you believe this ad is only an example of Dole simply pointing something out.

The tone and structure of the entire ad -- portentous music, dark lighting, and especially the last image -- is a deliberate intent to scare certain people in North Carolina.

Here's an equivalent: Let's check out all of Dole's neighbors in the Watergate. Chances are we will find a few atheists, some Muslims, lobbyists perhaps on the payroll of unsavory places like Iran and Venezuela, maybe a pornographer or two, etc. It's a big place.

Then we'll make an ad simply telling people Dole associates with these evil people. To close it, we'll find a old photo of Dole looking at a U.S. map and put someone else's voice behind it saying, "North Carolina... so that's where it is!"


Roch101

"E-hug." -- Tony

Eeewwww!

Roch101

Roch, what is despicable about Hagan attending a fundraiser that she knew in advance would have people in attendance that would be highly questionable to a large number of voters, then accepting money from one of those people and Elizabeth Dole simply pointing this out?" -- Spag

Nothing, if simply pointing it out was all Dole did. A female voice under Kay Hagan's picture saying "There is no God," is despicable, yes?

Anthony

"I'm calling B.S. on Ed for a number of reasons that have been previously discussed in other threads."

That is awesome. We could save a lot of time and typing by taking that approach from now on. Sample comment thread:

---

SPAG: I'm calling B.S. on Ed for a number of reasons that have been previously discussed in other threads.

ED: I'm refuting the B.S. call by pointing out previous comments of mine that undermine Sam's argument.

sean coon: I'm insulting Sam.

SPAG: I'm insulting Sean back, and doubling down on my previous allegation of BS.

CARA MICHELE: I'm hugging everyone.

BEELZEBUBBA: I'm saying something that's either provocative or nonsensical - you decide which.

ANTHONY: I'm making a lame meta joke about something in this thread.

ED: I'm attempting to bring things back around to the original topic.

Roch101

It's also misinformation to label the fund raiser as a "secret meeting." Dole's campaign, having sent out a press release before the fund raiser bringing attention to it, contradicts the notion that the meeting was secret. But "secret" just sounds scarier, I guess.

Spag

Roch you're delusional. Now you are complaining about the production of the ad as opposed to the substance. I'm happy to know that liberals get to decide how conservatives produce their ads.

Anthony, I have been on topic throughout this whole thread. I guess you missed that part since you chose not to participate or answer any of the questions. In fact, my first question remains unanswered and that is about the responsibility of Democrats for failing to amend the state constitution.

Phony outrage- again.

justcorbly

Phony outrage- again.

My outrage stems from this ad reminding me that there are still enough intolerant people around to make it worth Dole's money. I'd think real conservatives would want to disavow them, as well, rather than pander to them.

Spag

And your evidence to support your assertion is? What happened to "those people have a right to representation, too?" or does that only apply to liberal interest groups?

You people have no idea how ridiculous and intellectually challenged some of you sound.

Roch101

"Roch you're delusional. Now you are complaining about the production of the ad as opposed to the substance. I'm happy to know that liberals get to decide how conservatives produce their ads."

Sigh. I AM talking about the substance of the ad. It's video, where image and sound combine to make the message. The substantive meaning is not confined to the transcript. An ad with Dole saying "I support the cause," under video of Al Qaeda recruits running the monkey bars has a different meaning under video of American GIs donating blood. The production makes the meaning.

justcorbly

What kind of "evidence" are you talking about? And show me where I said "those people" don't have right to representation. Although if you want to claim that representing the interests of the intolerant is a hallmark of conservatism, more power to you. I'd rather we try to get them to change their ways.

Here it is: Dole thought enough people are intolerant enough that publicizing any Hagan linkage with some atheists would cost Hagan votes. If the intolerance didn't exist, the ads wouldn't exist.

If Dole was running 20 or 30 years ago, she'd probably have run ads declaring Hagan attended a fundraiser set up by, gasp, black people.

Spag

And of course North Carolina voters are just too stupid... or maybe they get the ad entirely, don't believe that Hagan is an atheist, but don't want to vote for someone who associates with them and takes their money.

I am curious to know how many people on this thread are atheists. That might explain a lot.

I can see Hagan now at the fundraiser: "Don't give me the check under the PAC name because people in North Carolina won't like that if they knew who you were. You know how they are down there. Instead, give it to me under your own name. Hopefully, the folks back home won't find out because you know they are a bunch of unsophisticated hicks who don't support the agenda of atheists"

To which the atheist responds: "Well, we don't really care for the agenda of religious people".

Hagan: "Well, that's different. Bigotry is a one way street that only applies when a conservative frowns upon a group favored by liberals. It sure is good to be up here in Boston with smart people for a change".

Spag

JC, it never occurs to you that the atheists are intolerant themselves. That is why this whole thread is ridiculous and hypocritical. One group is allowed to have an agenda hostile to the other and that is not bigotry, but turn it around and it is.

Intellectual dishonesty or intellectually challenged, pick one.

justcorbly

... atheists are intolerant themselves....One group is allowed to have an agenda hostile to the other and that is not bigotry, but turn it around and it is. .

Of course, atheists can be (not are)intolerant, but so what? Being an atheist doesn't imply tolerance or intolerance.

But, the, maybe you think there's something wrong, unAmerican and threatening about being an atheist.

This discussion is not about legitimate political agendas. Intolerance is not legitimate.

eric

@Spag: "I find your third paragraph hard to accept as I am quite certain that if Dole was taking money from the Klan- another group with an agenda that is disapproved of by most people- that you would find this extremely relevant to the election."

Sam, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and presume that this is just an example of the famous Spag provocative wit (which I actually appreciate), and that you do in fact understand why is would be outrageous actually to assert any sort of equivalency between GAPAC -- a group that lawfully and peacefully advocates for the civil rights of non-religious people -- and the Klan -- a group notorious for countless acts of grotesque violence for the purpose of suppressing the civil rights of African-Americans, Jews, Catholics, and other unpopular minorities.

Anthony

"Anthony, I have been on topic throughout this whole thread."

Maybe so - I didn't claim otherwise. It was a joke. Notice I even poked fun at myself in it! Yet I did not complain! To myself! That would be weird!

Spag

JC, you are inferring an intolerance that you have no evidence to support. You are now making arguments with no logical sequences. Where is the intolerance? Is it some sort of nebulous concept out there? This isn't even interesting anymore.

Eric, you prove my point. It's all subjective relativism. When you engage in such arguments, you sacrifice the premise of your point. Some people just might think that atheists are as much of a threat to what they believe as others think about the Klan. You seem to concede that there are some associations that would bear on the qualifications of a candidate so you lose the premise of your argument. After that, it is all subjective and therefore you have no standing to scream at those who don't share your view.

Anthony, I went back and re-read what you wrote. You're right, my bad.

justcorbly

The intolerance is the contempt and fear of atheists that Dole's ads rely on for their impact.

It is a direct parallel to ads trying to scare people about Hagan because she went to a meeting with a bunch of black people. (Unless you're going to tell me that there's no "evidence" for that kind of intolerance.)

eric

@Spag: "Some people just might think that atheists are as much of a threat to what they believe as others think about the Klan."

And when atheists start lynching religious folks and bombing their churches or homes, those people might have a valid point. Until then, there is no equivalency at all, and the suggestion that there is does not reflect well on you.

Now, if you want to make a fair analogy, how about this: An ad along the lines of: "Republican Candidate X attended a fundraiser at the home of John Doe, a Christian activist and director of Stop Abortion PAC. Can we trust Candidate X to protect a woman's right to choose?" That would be roughly equivalent to the Dole ad, and if the surrounding facts were also analogous -- i.e. John Doe, in addition to being on the board of Stop Abortion Now, is also on the boards of various other organizations with agendas unrelated to abortion; the fundraiser was not attended by other Stop Abortion PAC members, but by an assortment of people associated with Doe's other causes; and Candidate X has no record of opposing abortion, and has even been a volunteer at her local Planned Parenthood clinic -- then this hypothetical ad, like the Dole ad, would be (a) false and disparaging, (b) based on a bullshit charge of guilt by association, and (c) have no conceivable purpose other than to play on and stoke irrational hatred and fear of Christians.

If you can find an example of such an ad, I will happily join in condemning it.

Roch101

"That would be roughly equivalent to the Dole ad..." -- Eric

To make it more equivalent, make the Stop Abortion PAC leader a female who sounds a lot like Dole, then put her voice under a picture of Dole saying, "The end is near."

Duke of Denton

The godmores and the godless are laughing all the way to their lifetime pensions and benefits. Have fun storming the castle. I am the Duke of Denton and I approved this message.

Robin Leskovich

This is Barack Obama, and, I am John McCain, and I approved Duke's message.
Now I have another message. Stop taking sides against yourselves!

Beelzebubba

Robin: As McBama anxiously awaits the OCain endorsement, we can be comforted that we need not worry taking a side against ourselves. Simply, because the people who are elected will be up to that task. I approve this message, your message and Duke's message, but not the mAssage of my colon polyps by most members of Congress.

Robin Leskovich

Well, Beelze, I suppose most of us have forgotten that we need to instruct Congress, not be instructed by it. I guess we vote now to determine which hand is better to take up the cat to scourge us. Or, which better to decide what treatment we shall recieve afterwards for our wounds. But the beating we shall take; we ask, sometimes beg, for it.

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