Archive for Friday, April 18, 2008

Dems go after religious vote

April 18, 2008

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Beware when politicians talk about "compassion," especially when they hold a "Compassion Forum" to do it, which is what they did at the appropriately named Messiah College near Harrisburg, Pa. Politicians identify with the messianic because they think they are God's gift to America.

The forum attracted Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but not Republican John McCain, who apparently saw it for what it was: an attempt by the Democrats to get back in the religion game.

You've got to hand it to Clinton and Obama. They did their Sunday school homework. They quoted Bible verses and told religious stories like it was testimony time at an old-fashioned revival meeting. "Yes, indeed, brothers and sisters. We Democrats have seen the light. We once were blind secular humanists, but now we see into the electoral Promised Land! Vote for us and we will deliver you from the sin of ever having voted for a Republican!"

This is nothing new, of course. As recently as George W. Bush and as far back as the founding of the nation, politicians have invoked God in favor of their candidacy and policies. But God can't simultaneously approve of one political party or policy and its opposite. Abraham Lincoln gave us the best line on the idea of a schizophrenic deity when he said about Northern and Southern religious people in his Second Inaugural Address: "Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other."

Does God favor the Democrats' proposal for an Iraq pullout? How could he if President Bush hears the voice of God and takes a different path? What was that you said, Mr. Lincoln, about a house divided not being able to stand? Oh yes, you were quoting Scripture, too, but you also once made a larger point; something about it being less important that God is on our side than if we are on God's side.

Before government hijacked charity in the form of the New Deal and Great Society, compassion and charity began at home. People were to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit prisoners, care for widows and orphans and love their enemies. Those were biblical commands to individuals, not government. Democratic politicians see things differently. Apparently believing there aren't enough caring people, they want compassion to originate in Washington, depriving it of its true meaning. They define compassion as big and ever-growing government and a guaranteed check forever with no expectation - or requirement - the recipient will ever better his or her circumstances.

Traditionally, Republican compassion has encouraged private charity with government picking up the leftovers of what religious and other charitable institutions were unable to do. President Bush, through his "faith-based initiative," took this one step further by subsidizing religious groups with federal money. This removes the responsibility and privilege from individuals and turns it over to government. When that happens, religious organizations become one more constituency in the never-ending campaign for political support. Once, evangelicals "prayed it in" when they needed money. Now too many of them ask government to "send it in."

Can Obama and Clinton get away with fooling Democrats as Republican politicians have sometimes fooled their supporters with God-talk? Of course they can.

At a press conference in a working-class neighborhood in Scranton, Pa., over the weekend, one questioner asked Clinton about the last time she went to church. She properly ridiculed the statement, finally admitting it was on Easter Sunday. What does that have to do with being a successful president?

Whether or how many times Obama and Clinton (or McCain) attend church services is no barometer for forecasting their potential presidency.

When politicians speak of compassion, put your hand on your wallet because they intend to spend your money, not theirs.

Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Comments

bearded_gnome 7 years, 3 months ago

well written Cal, indeed guard your wallet, Barry H. O'bama and sHrillary insist on being compassionate with other people's money! plus Barry H. O'bama's spouting of Bible stories and verses is really hypocritical. Barry H. O'bama: his pastor; his church with the killer black liberation theology completely apart from truth of scripture; his wife not so proud of america; and his unrepentant domestic terrorist bomber buddy who had a Barak fundraiser in his home! Barry H. O'bama says that people like us just cling to religion out of bitterness anyway...elitist leftist looking down his nose at people of faith. clearly, the gospel has not changed either Barry H. O'bama or sHrillary. sHrillary will compel people to join her enforced national health care, garnishing wages and strongarming people to join. she was Bill's enabler to continue abusing several women which contradicts any real faith, also contradicts any "femininism" she might believe in. Barry H. O'bama: his judgment is deeply suspect because of his associations and 20 years sitting under Wright's hate filled rants. Shrillary is also hypocritical to claim Biblical knowledge since her life is a living example of refusal to submit to the commands of Scripture.finally, both Barry H. O'bama and sHrillary have voted against banning partial birth abortion! Barry even voted inn the IL legislature to not provide health care to babies that somehow managed to survive abortions. inhumane. they believe in birth control abortions on demand. babies in the womb are the most vulnerable among us, and least able to speak for themselves. glad McCain nixed this event Cal is writing about. he is not so beloved by us conservatives, but he is certainly better than O'bama and sHrillary. He will make sure that the lives sacrificed in iraq will not be in a useless cause. now, before somebody raises Hagee against McCain: Hagee was not his pastor, he's just another nutbag preacher on TBN and most of us christians know he is a false prophet. McCain didn't chose to be in hagee's church under his bigotry and hatred for twenty years. nice job Cal, thanks for writing this up.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Getto, "borrowing from children and grandchildren" did not begin with the current Bush administration. It is the direct result of Keynesian economics, elements of which have been vigorously advocated and practiced by Democrats from FDR onward and taken to the greatest extreme of irresponsibility by LBJ and the "guns and butter" Democrats of his era. Republicans fought against this tooth and nail for over 60 years until they regained control of Congress in 1995 and began to rein in much of the spending advocated by the Clinton administration, and by the time President Clinton left office they had nearly succeeded in balancing the budget. By the early 2000's, however, on the heels of the Clinton scandals and with the election of a Republican president, they had tasted power long enough to have begun spending like the drunken sailors that a great number of Democrats have been since the Roosevelt administration. It's a sad fact that many Republicans in Congress appear to have given up the fight against deficit spending and most of the Democrats continue to cherish it and only complain about it when they're not in power - which is grossly hypocritical given the fact that they got the ball rolling on it and have kept it rolling as disastrously as they have for over 70 years now, most recently with the connivance of way too many gutless Republicans who lack the ability to say "no." Yes, Mr. Getto, our reckless deficit spending may prove to be extremely harmful to future generations - but please give credit where credit is due.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 3 months ago

ah, screedy throws the racist and sexist charges early. screedy is now disqualified from any more discussion. when the fringies start throwing racism/sexism you know they're getting nervous about losing the argument; it represents a desperation pass throwing jello on the wall to see if it sticks.also, aggie, cbn is run by pat robertson, and as I have written before, pat robertson represents real christians like jesse jackson represents blacks, for his own selfish benefit and power. we know that.

Ceallach 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't get it. Why is it funny that the VFW is at the end of the list?

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 3 months ago

Makes sense.Fundy nuts vote in huge numbers, liberal nuts don't

bearded_gnome 7 years, 3 months ago

yes, aggie, there are some nutbag prosperity gospel preachers being investigated, as they should be. its been in this paper and I've commented on it.it has nothing to do with Cal's article or th point he is making. in fact, you could I suppose say that barry H. O'bama and sHrillary are in the same category as Kreflo A. Dollar and the other nutbag TBN preachers. that is, they all want your money and spout falsely their faith. thanks Aggie, now that I've written it out I see your point and once again, you have accidentally helped me make mine! what a gal you are. ***screedy, you demonstrate a lack of capability in political argumentation and discussion when you just push the racist/sexist button. btw, if Condi ran I'd volunteer for her campaign, there's one fine black woman with values looks and charm. what a babe.

Rationalanimal 7 years, 3 months ago

"People cling to religion out of bitterness"--now that is reaching out to people of faith.

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