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."

When Satire Crosses The Line, Beck and Baptists, Evangelicals and Politics, plus…

Posted by: John Schroeder at 05:32 am, May 24th 2010     —    1 Comment »

It’s Not Satire, It’s Just Mean…

Normally we ignore “Wonkette” around here, it’s unhappy people saying nasty things because they think, for some unknown reason, it’s funny.  They obviously have a strong distaste for Mitt Romney.  So be it, but this week has seen a couple of “Mormon shots” that need to be called out.  In a “story” on the demolition of Romney’s childhood home, they flat out call him an obscene name, and make this crack:

The Romneys and their servants once lived a life of Mormon Aristocracy…

I had no idea Mormons had an aristocracy?  But the one that got to me really was this one, from a picture of signs of political figures appearing in Iowa:

Well, that’s Mitt Romney on the left. He emerges from the Iowa dirt every four years, like Mormon Jeebus, to once again haunt the people of Iowa, who will (like every year) refuse to nominate him for anything.

OK, that manages to insult Christians of every stripe – it is pure religious shot.  “Jeebus,” which I had to look up, is apparently a term for Christ that is derogatory, demeaning, blasphemous to many, and dismissive.  In this one piece they manage to make light of Romney’s faith, and the Evangelicals that populate Iowa.

But it does not end there.  Some columnist in Philadelphia chose to refer to a new Mormon temple being constructed in town as “phallic.

I fail to understand how any of this qualifies as “civil discourse.”  I am not trying to squelch free speech here, I am just calling for decency and respect for other people and their view points.  The preceding link talks about:

Apparently we’re no longer allowed to laugh at anything remotely unflattering to ourselves or certain minorities, and that’s not only a shame, it’s downright dangerous.

Joan Rivers used to tell jokes about Italians; Don Rickles insulted everybody, and Jackie Mason still tells jokes about Jews. Now it seems as if some Hispanics are now being encouraged to be as testy over slights as are certain Muslims over perceived disses of the prophet Mohammed.

You know, both Joan Rivers and Don Rickles were funny – their humor was offered in a spirit of affection – but that is not what we are considering here.  There is also indeed a problem with some ethnicities of perceiving barbs, even if offered in affection, as offensive.  But that is not the case here – these comments are meant to be insults.  They are uncivil and they are ugly.

There is too much at stake in this nation to tolerate ugliness – it demeans us all.  Shame on these people.

Doing It Well…

As a Christian, I was once openly, publicly ridiculed in very liberal Santa Rosa, California – by some Wiccans no less.  Which is why I set aside for further study, this profile in the Santa Rosa paper on Mormon Missionaries.  It is actually reasonable in tone and fair – I’ll leave it to our Mormon readers to judge its accuracy.  We should encourage this kind of journalism as it so rarely presents itself anymore.

Beck @ Liberty U…

Yep – the Mormon Glenn Beck was the commencement speaker at Jerry Falwell’s pretty fundamentalist Liberty University.  Here’s coverage from Politics Daily and The Moderate Voice.  This did stir up some “politics before religion” discussion as you can read at the links, but what I find truly amazing is it got no MSM play at all – none, nada, nix.  But of course that would mean pointing out that conservatives can be reasonable, inclusive and a number of other things that the left and its cohorts in the MSM do not believe that we are.

I keep trying to look at my political tea leaves and see what this might portend for a Romney candidacy; but frankly I have Beck and Romney in such different worlds that I find it impossible to draw a conclusion about one based on what happens to the other.  Which is, I think the point.  Shared religion does not automatically mean shared anything else.

Liberal Evangelicals…

Apparently the majority of Obama’s base are not church attenders.  Interesting fact made all the more interesting by this American Thinker piece:

Dear Black Church,

What I am about to say will probably anger you. As a black Christian, I have struggled with whether or not to address this sensitive topic. I only ask that you give my statements prayerful consideration.

Ninety-six percent of black voters, many of whom are Christians, cast their votes for Barack Obama. I question: Did your desire to see a black man in the White House trump your commitment to Christ and Christian values and principles? While I believe many white Christians also made a racist decision by voting for Obama solely because he is black, I am taking this occasion to address my fellow black Christians.

Interesting point, particularly in light of the “politics before religion” discussion surrounding Beck at Liberty.

I think the lesson is that we do not vote based on identity – racial, religious, or musical taste.  But then that goes back to the first section, It’s the left that is just flat out mean when it comes to identity issues.  The right is at risk of becoming reactionary to that fact and returning in kind.  We MUST avoid that temptation.  Which is why Beck should have been welcomed at Liberty U.  The university is a place of ideas – it’s not church, even if religiously based.

Some Interesting Stuff on Church and Politics…

I would remind Mike Lux that church and individual charity are good, even excellent things.  However, when church becomes government, or government enforces charity, it ceases to be charity and becomes simply coercive.

We have encountered Gary North before on this blog.  I think he has a penchant for overstatement of his case.

Hospitality is a good word.

Equally good words about the church and its members.

I think the formula “Evangelicals = conservative and Mainlines = liberals” is going to get us in trouble.  I am a quite conservative mainliner.  I really don’t like the implication that mainline denominations are therefore just wrong and doomed to death.  They are dying, but they can be resuscitated and there is a whole lot correct about them.

And Finally, In the World of Pure Politics…

Chris Cillizza pronounces his list of “Most Influential Republican Leaders.“  He places Romney at number two, but then declares him the “frontrunner” in the POTUS race.  Other than the fact that his #1, Palin, is unlikely to run, is there not something a little oxymoronic about that?


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