Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

  • Idle Speculation in Idle Times

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 08:09 am, December 29th 2010     &mdash      2 Comments »

    Things are always slow between Christmas and New Years – but this year with the holidays on the weekend is extraordinary.  This leaves reporters and pundits with nothing to talk about and nature abhors a vacuum, so speculation fills the air and Internet.  Most of it is extraordinarily silly.

    The Washington Post’s “Post Politics” blogs gives their rankings of the Republican field.  Not bad considering the Post would not understand Republican thinking if it was explained to them.  Jonah Goldberg sorts them out pretty well, but I still think Palin is a wild card.  Clark Judge, via Hugh Hewitt, does not name names, but does do the actual serious kind of analysis called for.

    In all of that and more, Romney remains the proclaimed “frontrunner.”   It does look increasingly like he is prepping to run – even with some tough polls and the left continuing to take health care shots.  Consider this quote from the later link:

    And yet, for all the line drawing and needle threading with respect to federalist versus national approaches, the fact remains that when Romney had a chance to write the health care script, he chose an individual mandate.

    That, dear friends, in a nutshell is what is wrong with the left.  For them the constitution is a mere technicality – just needle threading.  They cannot let anything like LAW stand in the way of what they want.  *SIGH*

    But in the world of speculation, nothing could be more speculative than K-Lo saying in her 2011 predictions:

    Mitt Romney will seriously consider not running for president.

    This drew all sorts of idle speculation.  I think it is the safest prediction possible.  Yes Mitt Romney is sending out all sorts of signals that he is likely to run.  But he also understands the seriousness of the undertaking – better than almost anyone else being considered.  No reasonable person would make a commitment like this without considering all sides of it.

    One of the things I find most annoying about the entire process is that we tend to view people in public life as somehow less human than the rest of us.  True, many in the entertainment business act that way, but very few in political life do – they are people trying to do a job in service to their nation – which is us.  They have personal lives, families and foibles just like all of us.  The stresses politics at the POTUS level put on all of that is extreme.

    One of the things most admirable about Mitt Romney is the sobriety with which he approaches such things.  That means he would instinctively consider not running.  But the flip side of that is that if he decides to run, you know it will be a full commitment to do a good job as candidate and president – it will not be a lark or a grab for attention, but a real decision about serious things.

    This season is also idle because serous people are making very serious decisions that should be made away from the glare of the public.  Rather than speculate idly, I recommend lifting the Romney’s and all the other possibles on both sides of the aisle, up in prayer.  Believe me – they need it.


    Posted in Reading List | 2 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    Merry Christmas

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 05:30 am, December 25th 2010     &mdash      1 Comment »

    Luke 2:1-20
    1    And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
    2    (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
    3    And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
    4    And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
    5    To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
    6    And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
    7    And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
    8    And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
    9    And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
    10    And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
    11    For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
    12    And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
    13    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
    14    Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
    15    And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
    16    And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
    17    And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
    18    And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
    19    But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
    20    And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


    Posted in Miscellany | 1 Comment » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    We Interrupt This Religio-Politcal Blog…

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 11:45 am, December 23rd 2010     &mdash      2 Comments »

    …To Bring You News Of Vital and Extraordinary Import!

    Last night, in Hawaii at the Diamondhead Classic, the mighty Bulldogs of Butler University (from which John graduated) handily defeated the very moderate Utes of Utah (from which Lowell graduated.)

    I could at this juncture heap scorn and ridicule upon my blogging partner (and much of our readership) – but I shall exercise Christian charity on the downtrodden and deformed.  However, Lowell and I somehow neglected to wager on this game beforehand; therefore, I hereby declare retroactively that he owes me a steak dinner – and the steak must be at least the size of my head.

    Christmas is indeed upon us.


    Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    Debates? – Now? Too Much POTUS ’12 News For The Week Before Christmas ’10

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 05:30 am, December 21st 2010     &mdash      3 Comments »

    Consider this post an official protest.  We have four debates announced already (though no one is committing to them) and as I stare at the stack of stuff I set aside for this reading list post – I am flabbergasted.  Clearly the media wants to tell Republicans how to run their primary.  They are doing so with all these debate announcements and they are doing so in particular with this election to try and save Obama’s hide.  That they are trying to do so at all is bad enough in principle, but out of obviously loyalty to a particular candidate while claiming neutrality just stinks.

    With the holiday well in hand, I am sorely tempted to ignore most of it, there is little news, despite much coverage – but a big part of our job here is to try and condense all this nonsense for our readers – but we write under protest.  We should be with loved ones celebrating the birth of Christ, or whatever else it is you choose to celebrate this time of year.  We certainly should not, less than two months after a national election just concluded, be discussing the next national election two years away.  But here we are – blame the media.

    Of Course, We Do Not Help…

    …We have all those media candidates.  They are feeding the media beast.  Sarah Palin is, of course, the queen of the media candidates.  She is a leader, but she is no candidate, her polling is awful.  She has done some good stuff, but it just is not happening for her electorally.  And like most media stars, they shine brightly for a moment and then fade – causing them to seek new fuel.

    Then there is the Huckster whose star has already faded looking for space on the media stage wherever he can find it.  Frankly, it’s unbecoming.

    And amazingly, with those few sentences the pile of stuff is cut in half.  That should be instructive to our readers.

    There Was Some Serious Business…

    The tax deal of the week past may be the first event that actually affects the 2012 race.  Romney took the lead in criticizing it.  And got some good coverage out of the deal.  John Thune shot back.   Or did heSome cast this as the first serious showdown of POTUS ’12, GOP style.  And despite what people are saying this thing was not an “Obama” victory.  It was a draw with the tie breaker going to the American people, which may be all we can expect under the circumstances.

    It is way too soon to draw any candidate conclusions from this, but it is instructive about the GOP.  It reveals the divide in the party – some say it’s bigger than a divide.  The left is, of course, going to try and drive a wedge into it.  Since Eisenhower really, this always seems to be how we lose the White House – we beat ourselves.  I hope we do not take the bait this time.

    This week’s court decision on the Obamacare mandate is also a serious issue.  Many are trying to get Romney fodder out of it.  I actually agree with David Frum on this one – it proves Romney’s federalism point.

    Someone said tome in the past week that Mitch Daniels had seriousnerd appeal.”  He is delaying his decision.  And remember when I said his wife did not want him to runRead this and think about it.  Am I good or what?

    Tim Pawlenty has some regrets.  Not good in a presidential possible.

    And please remember I have been telling you that Haley Barbour has some skeletons.

    In Religion News…

    Richard Land speaks up, and is poorly analyzed, but that is not new for him.

    Excellent observation.

    Fizzling“?  There never really was one.

    Important background.

    Good point.



    Posted in Reading List | 3 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    Holiday Musings

    Posted by: Lowell Brown at 12:55 am, December 20th 2010     &mdash      2 Comments »

    One of the welcome challenges of running a humble blog like this one is that the proprietors need to earn a living in order to keep the thing going and avoid becoming a burden on society.  (Well, any more of  a burden than we are already.)  Making the blessed challenge more interesting, John and I both have client-driven occupations, and both of us have suffered severe attacks of employment over the last three months.  I seem to have been hit the worst (and only by a hair more than John has) but there is good news:  We are both still standing, and I am happy now to be back with you all and to be able to post a bit.

    The Christmas Kerfluffle

    I really don’t get this one, which John posted about below.  Let’s see if I have the sequence right:  (1) Reid wants to work over the Christmas break (although presumaby the senators would get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off).  (2) Kyl and McConnell object on very solid grounds, rightly calling attention to Reid’s obvious ploy:  He’s trying to cram lesislation through during the lame duck session that has much more questionable chances of success after the new Senate forms in January.  (3) Kyl, in what looks like a “by the way” comment and by no means the primary point he is raising, adds that forcing the Senate to work over the holiday break would be “disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff.”  (4)  The lefty meme-generators start talking about Kyl accusing Reid of “Disrespecting Christians By Suggesting Post-Christmas Senate Votes.”

    Excuse me?

    I guess some people do see a Christian hiding under every bed.  To make this into a division between Mormons and creedal Christians takes a lot of imagination, but we won’t be surprised if that does happen.  Let’s see.

    Religion, the Forbidden Subject (but only for some)

    John’s other post below, Informative Sociology, leaves this Mormon wondering:  Why is is that Barack Obama or Harry Reid can openly refer to his religious faith but Romney (or Sarah Palin, for that matter) cannot, without sparking attacks, snarkiness, or another round of pondering about issues like The Question?  Reid even has an autobiography out that includes the story of his conversion (yes, conversion!) to Mormonism.  I’ll bet you’ve never seen much in the MSM about that latter subject.

    Romney, on the other hand, is subjected to endless lectures from well-meaning writers like Jana Reiss, who seemingly hope Mormonism in general will make itself less scary to others.  “Stop being so, well, so different!”  seems to be the message.  Meanwhile, Jana notes that ”About 85% of Mormons say they feel a great warmth toward their own tribe,” which means we need to be “a dose of humility.” 

    Wait:  Mormons feel warmth toward other Mormons, so we lack humility?  As a Mormon, Jana knows that from early childhood we are taught that humility means “teachability.”  Just because we like each other means nothing about our teachability.  So are we not supposed to like other Mormons?  I don’t think Jana is urging Mormon self-loathing, but she seems to be taking a step or two down that path.  Maybe Jana think Mormons feeling less warmth toward one another will help them fit in with other forms of Christianity and to be more acceptable generally? 

    If so, I don’t agree. In fact, I’m pretty tired of such suggestions.  Mitt Romney doesn’t check with me before he makes decisions, but if he did I’d tell him to be himself and to act with a relaxed confidence about his religious faith and who he is.  I’d rather avoid the G.W. Bush approach, which John rightly characterizes as “pat statements saying little and deflecting the issue” resulting  in “admissions of faith” that seemed “more perfunctory than heart-felt, more intellectual than life-changing.” 

    In other words:  Mitt, just be Mitt.  Don’t worry about what people say.  My strong belief is that people will simply see you as authentic.  That alone would go a long way towards killing at least  one mainstream news media meme about you.


    Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    Poorly Played…

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 07:21 am, December 15th 2010     &mdash      3 Comments »

    This bunch of Democrat in Congress is beyond the pale, but sadly, some of the Republican leadership is misplaying the response.  Harry Reid is suggesting that the Senate should come back after Christmas and before the the Congress ends Jan. 4 to complete their agenda of things like the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and some type of immigration reform.   Jon Kyl shot back on two levels, one is completely understandable:

    Mr. Kyl said that Mr. Reid’s effort to do too much was inconsiderate of the Senate as an institution and also of senators, staff and their families hoping to celebrate Christmas.

    It is a huge personal imposition to suggest this and it is precisely what Reid is relying upon – by imposing on people that have limited family time to begin with he hopes to weaken their resolve to oppose.  It’s a common ploy and it is ugly.  But then Kyl blew his response with this little tidbit:

    Mr. Kyl added, “ It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing — frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff.”

    This was almost immediately picked up by left wing mouthpiece Talking Points Memo headlined:

    Kyl: Reid Disrespecting Christians By Suggesting Post-Christmas Senate Votes

    Oops!  This reverberated around the Daily Kos as well.  There is indeed disrespect for the holiday in Reid’s suggestion, but Mormons like Reid hold the holiday as holy and important as we creedal Christians.  And note it is only echoing around the left side of the Internet.  What’s up?

    Simple – they want to spread the word amongst the lefties who can use this as ammo to continue to drive a wedge between creedal Christians and Mormons politically.  This will undoubtedly come up should Romney decide to run.  Many lefties will be whispering in the ears of many of their Christian friends “See even the Senators don’t think Mormons are properly religious.”  And in Mormon ears they shall whisper, “See they don’t like you or respect your religion.”

    Jon Kyl is a smart guy, not prone to mistakes like this, but he made one here.  He took Reid’s bait and lost view of the bigger picture.  This particular shot needed to come from Orrin Hatch to defuse the Mormon/Christian issue – and that would be the best fix – Kyl and Hatch to appear together and clarify – even though Hatch’s conservative bona fides are a bit tarnished at the moment, he’s the best we have in this instance.

    The bottom line is this – the Democratic jam down is beyond the pale of civil governance, and defiantly against the will of the governed.  It uses trickery, deceit, guile and parliamentary maneuvering to accomplish what the people have clearly said they do not want.  There is good cause for tempers to rise – but there are lines we cannot allow our tempers to push us across.  Jon Kyl found one here and he needs to step back behind it as quickly as possible.


    Posted in Political Strategy, Religious Freedom, Understanding Religion | 3 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    « Previous« Informative Sociology  |  Next Page »Holiday Musings »