Monday, September 10, 2012

Leave it to Richard Dawkins to call out Mitt Romney over his religious beliefs.

Okay now I have often said that since I find all religions essentially ridiculous, that identifying one or the other as MORE ridiculous, would be sort of......well ridiculous.

However having said that, I do have to admit that there does seem to be a bit of a historical cushion built in to ancient religious beliefs, due simply to the fact that they have been around so long and believed in by so many. Even as a critical thinker I can almost give a little leeway to people who are adhering to the religion of their ancestors, or accepting on faith alone the stories written, and accepted as truth, for many thousands of years ago.

However the ability to provide that same benefit of the doubt to a person who is a member of a more recently formed religious faith, such as Mormonism or Scientology, and whose prophets are well represented by the modern historical record, becomes much, much more difficult. At least for me.

In fact recent advances in genetics essentially disproves one of Joseph Smith's most important "revelations."

 “For Mormons, the lack of discernible Hebrew blood in Native Americans is no minor collision between faith and science. It burrows into the historical foundations of the Book of Mormon, a 175-year-old transcription that the church regards as literal and without error."

So for somebody to continue to embrace a faith that history identifies as the creation of a con man, and which science finds lacking in credibility, what does THAT say about their judgment?  And is that somebody that we can trust to control the most powerful military force in the world?

In my opinion these are questions which cannot be ignored simply because we find the questioning of a person's faith uncomfortable, or worry that we will be considered impolitic.

Just remember what happened when we failed to consider how George Bush's religious world view would impact HIS policy decisions!

29 comments:

  1. The two-hour video of SOMETHING FROM NOTHING? from which this is an excerpt, is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUe0_4rdj0U

    Founded in 2008, the ASU Origins Project is a university-wide transdisciplinary initiative aimed at facilitating cutting edge research and inquiry about origins questions, enhancing public science literacy, and improving science education. Since its inception, the Origins Project has brought the world's leading scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, to Tempe to explore origins questions. The Origins Project has hosted workshops and public events that have focused on questions as fundamental as the origin of the universe, how life began, the origins of human uniqueness, and the origins of morality.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Leland3:33 PM

    I have always loved the way that both Hitchens and Dawkins have no problem with calling a spade a spade.

    And Dawkins is right. What kind of fool would want a person in the White House who is stupid enough to believe that crap?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beldar J. Conehead4:02 PM

    "So for somebody to continue to embrace a faith that history identifies as the creation of a con man, and which science finds lacking in credibility, what does THAT say about their judgment? "

    And therein lies the dilemma... If you focus on Mormonism and come to this conclusion, you're forced by fairness to cast the same skeptical eye on every other religion. And the unavoidable conclusion must be that all religions are essentially lacking in scientific credibility.

    And intellectual honesty then can only lead you to the further conclusion that at the heart of every religion claiming to 'hear the spoken word of god, see the physical form of god, experience the physics-defying parlor tricks of god' must also be the work of con men, the delusional, the addled, the power mad or a combination of all of the above.

    There is nothing wrong with someone adhering to the positive virtues attributed to Jesus, Buddha, Mohamed or other religious figures. But belief in scriptural inerrancy and acceptance of biblical text as literal or historical reportage have no place in the highest ranks of a government controlling tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.

    Thank god for great minds like Richard Dawkins!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous4:04 PM

    As a breeding scheme to produce at every generation a larger base of willing tithers, Mormonism has no equal. Compare, for example, the economic fate of the Shakers.

    Mitt Romney is probably incapable of rational thought within the confines of his "faith". Seepage into decisions like Supreme Court picks is the big threat. We could be burdened for decades with one of his picks making it through the Senate by virtue of being in deep cover, then blossoming into as big an idiot as Mitt himself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Balzafiar5:07 PM

      Your second paragraph is the second reason Mitt Romney should never be President -- his intimate ties with the power structure of the Mormon cult.

      The first reason is that he is a sociopath who cares only for himself. Anyone who thinks GWB screwed up our country would consider him an amateur after Romney got through looting the treasury and making indentured serfs of all of us.

      Delete
  5. angela4:10 PM

    I have always admired Dawkins. But as I think all organized religion to be fairy tales I guess he has always made sense to me.

    What is extraordinary though is many of the people voting for Romney who consider themselves evangelical christians have absolutely no idea the Mormon belief system. And they are the ones who think religion matters in a president. Many would be appalled. Some wouldn't care, but some wouldn't vote for Mittens.

    Its not his religion that keeps me from voting for Mitt. Its the fact that he is a robotic plutocrat who will destroy the country and not even care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous9:24 PM

      I wonder, with Romney at such a high level in the church and all the scrutiny about the religion because of his run for POTUS, does anyone else think there may be a blowback against the Mormon faith? He's not really a motivating figure and, as Angela said, many are unaware of the tenets of the faith.

      Delete
  6. Olivia4:15 PM

    OT:
    Well, It happened again. the gays have destroyed another hetero marriage. http://nashvillecitypaper.com/content/city-news/wife-former-us-sen-bill-frist-files-divorce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:53 PM

      Bill Frist is the as$hole who got the bill thru the Senate that you couldn't sue your doctor for malpractice. Like mine that took out a benign breast lump and cut into the cancer and spread it. That's what happens when a Republican doctor that has no empathy runs for the Senate. Only the rich can have money, not the people who suffer from their mistakes.

      Delete
  7. From the beginning of this campaign season, the candidates' religions were declared off limits. Why? For the last four years no one has had a problem demanding that our President clarify, defend and justify his own. Why can we not ask the same questions of Romney? Does anyone else remember when he ran for President last time? One of the cable networks ran a series about Mormonism. It, obviously, wasn't off limits then and it shouldn't be now. Let's get it on the table. We're entitled to know where his faith lies, that it's built upon prolific procreation and ancestry, that it equates great wealth with great power, that it's racist at its core. How can he separate himself from the beliefs that fashioned his oppressive views and yield to ensuring our Constitutional rights?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could appreciate maybe a segment of a sit-down prime-time covering faith and the other segments on other areas of his life and getting into what his REAL DRIVERS are. Skilled politicians can make even extreme positions sound mainstream if they have enough polish, and the same with religious leaders. What seems normal for some of us because of familiarity seems very peculiar to others. If faith affects business decisions or decisions about public matters, yes, I want to know how someone goes through the decision-making process. But I would expect Mittens to gloss over the minutiae of the religious blah blah differences from mainstream and talk only about the similarities.

      Mitt can't answer for the strange orthodoxy, but he should be willing to discuss how it affects his decisions in the public arena. I've done a little homework and haven't found where the peculiarities of his religion caused problems in governing in MA. But I wouldn't vote for him now anyway because I don't know if he really believes all of the right-wing nutter positions he now espouses, or if he is just pandering. But IMO, either one of those possibilities disqualifies him from my support. My hope would be that if a catastrophe happened to Obama's campaign and Mitt won, that he'd move hard to the center once elected in order to get something done, just as Clinton moved to the middle close to where Bush41 had been. The current Repubs panicked after 08 and have really screwed the pooch by polarizing every issue, and the Tea Party people will punish them some on down tickets this fall but even worse in 2014 when turnout is lighter in primaries and general elections for mid-terms.

      Rambling here, sorry. Back to religion, I recall that it wasn't very revealing when major interview was done with W because he talked about how much he prayed about major decisions but when it came to invading Iraq, W listened to Dick Cheney and not God. I also specifically recall W saying that he wasn't into getting involved in the affairs of other countries or nation-building. But I'll be damned if we didn't have to pay for breaking Iraq, and then turn around and pay to have it rebuilt. Well, we're still paying for it and will be a long time.

      Good politicians still lie on some things of the heart. Great ones get away with the lies because they don't affect their performance where it matters in their leadership and decision-making. I don't want Obama to have to defend his personal brand of Christianity. I want to hear what his plan is to get the R's off their ass and the D's as well and work to get shit done for the country.

      Honestly, I'd be very curious to hear Mitt's responses, but it's a distraction from real issues that concerns me. But if BabaWawa gets the interview with him, I'll be there watching with my popcorn bowl in my lap.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous4:31 PM

    Romney & the GOP have double-downed on the god thing lately. Talk about pandering for votes. Pretty sickening.

    Speaking of religion I’m ired up over some messages on my private cell phone. Only my family and a few close friends have my phone number. So this message gives a website and is about some movie called “Last Ounce Of Courage”. Googled the movie and found out it’s a piece of right wing religious propaganda film about soldiers, family, faith, and the supposed attack on Christmas of all things. How timely since Romney is mentioning “In God We Trust” on coins. This fake war on religion is just wayyy over the top. Last I checked nobody is stopping right wing-nuts from practicing their religion.

    If the Christian taliban’s movie is so wonderfully legitimate, then WHY do they have to spam cell phone numbers? I don’t see any other movies doing this. In fact it’s against the CAN-SPAM Act and the FCC says I can file a complaint if I receive an unwanted commercial email message sent to my mobile phone and I did report this using their online form. It seems to me that the only way GOP, Teabaggers, wing-nuts can win anything is by underhanded tactics. They are already trying to shove their religion down my throat and now they are trying to shove their propaganda down my throat by spamming my cell phone??!!?? Has anybody else on here been spammed by these people? Save the message if you do because you’ll need the info to report them to the FCC.

    http://www.fcc.gov/guides/spam-unwanted-text-messages-and-email

    World Wide Release at 12,000 theaters coming to your town Sept. 12, 2012 but patriots can watch a special release on Sept. 11 at “patriot day” theaters according to the film website. Naturally, Chuck Norris is starring.

    Here’s the trailer:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMtT_SKzsyk&feature=related

    Comments & Reviews:

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021304669

    Please Like This:

    Last Ounce Of Courage Equates Dying In War With Being Able To Violate the 1st Amendment

    http://tinyurl.com/96b3m6w

    -Colleen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous5:47 PM

      Here's the exact form on the FCC website to report this illegal activity:

      https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form1088!createComplaint.action

      Cell phone privacy is protected by the FCC under the CAN-SPAM act. The CAN-SPAM Act supplements the consumer protections provided by the TCPA. The CAN-SPAM law bans unwanted email messages sent to your mobile phone if they are “commercial messages.”

      Delete
  9. Anonymous4:42 PM

    I believe in letting other religions alone, no matter how preposterous their tenets seems to be- like the ability of males to become gods and rule his own planet.

    That said- I am disturbed by the Mormon belief that Jesus gave The Constitution to our Founding Fathers (whom they baptized after death) and Christ commanded that the Mormons spread it throughout the world.

    That is troubling- how will it influence Romney if he's elected...


    CO almost Native

    ReplyDelete
  10. I doubt Mitt has any deeply held religious beliefs at all, which might make him an even more dangerous choice than Bush the younger.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Frank Schaeffer was on Sharpton's show on MSNBC today.

    Schaeffer does not mince his words when it comes to the use and abuse of God.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3096434/#48978697

    Romney had Pat Robertson on stage at one of his rally's this weekend. That in itself is enough to vote against him!

    He also had Steven King open a rally for him at which time Romney cheerleaded for King to be re-elected. King being another asshole that stated after Akin that he didn't think women could get pregnant from rape. King was also the one attempting to start a witch hunt for muslims.

    Romney also met with the head of the Family ..... (I've had a brain fart in that I can't remember his name or the name of the organization!!). He appears on CNN, Fox, etc and is of course big time pro-life. I recall before Romney was declared the nominee, he had appeared on CNN and said Romney wasn't pro-life enough. Damm -- I can see his face in my head but the name and organization ?????

    What that says to me is that Romney's comments that he's for abortions in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother -- ain't the truth!! He's saying it for the soundbyte on TV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous9:18 PM

      King is cut from the same cloth as your prototype bigots: Louie Gohmert, Allen West, Rand Paul, frothy mixture Rick what's his name that hates the blahs, Rick Perry, Bachmann, you know the rest.

      In a couple of generations, his family and the families for the others will have to apologize for claiming him in order to stay in public life. If I were related to him, I would never acknowledge it if asked. "No comment."

      These people would embarrass me if I ever even voted for them.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous5:30 PM

    The 'Mormon' religion was started by a sexual deviant pervert.. A shyster, who fleeced people out of their money by pretending to be able to find golden treasures..He was caught repeatedly bonking underage teenage girls and decided to proclaim it a religion to get away with it. And Mitt Romney is stupid enough to believe in the Book of Mormon and its so-called 'teachings.' That, in itself, is absolutely frightening.
    If anyone is interested in learning more about this cult, please read 'Under the Banner of Heaven' by Jon Krakauer. It's a revealing look into the Mormons that ought to scare the beJesus out of anyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous3:43 AM

      Two more:
      'No Man Knows My History' and 'One Nation Under Gods'. The last one will scare the living shit out of you as we are living it today.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous5:49 PM

    This is o/t except for the religious Republican.
    Human Organs In Self-Storage Belong to Medical Examiner with Checkered Past, Ties to Mysterious Death of Joe Scarborough’s Former Aide (Lori Klausutis found dead July 20, 2001)
    http://tinyurl.com/9pzmuwh

    What a story.
    http://tinyurl.com/9md77xn
    I didn't know it was so twisted and even connected to Chandra Levy (missing since May 1, 2001)and to 9-11.
    Dr Michael Berkland
    http://tinyurl.com/d4e8fbo
    Markos Moulitsas banned from MSNBC after twitter feud
    http://tinyurl.com/35rpayl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous8:28 PM

      Who Is MSNBC Anchor Joe Scarborough?
      http://www.larryflynt.com/notebook.php?id=17

      "Consider this a warning. The same gang of neocons are advising Romney on foreign affairs. This time, the sights are on Iran and its significant oil reserves."
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/opinion/the-bush-white-house-was-deaf-to-9-11-warnings.html

      Delete
  14. Anonymous6:16 PM

    I don't know why religions continue do not pay taxes.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous6:34 PM

    Dawkins brings up JFK in the video, and I've heard others in the media bring up the Kennedy case as well, in that we should disregard Romney's religion, as JFK eloquently asked for his religion to be disregarded. But this is spurious - JFK was not a priest or bishop or cardinal in the Catholic church.

    That's the real difference: we would be electing, with Mitt Romney, an individual who held high-level positions in the Mormon church, and is still intimately involved with the Mormons today.

    Can you imagine the fuss if Obama was a Catholic bishop, trying to get elected President?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what it means to be a Bishop inthe Mormon church. I know they have young kids come to my door with pins identifying them as "Elders." But the problem with your comment is that JFK specifically said that his faith was a personal matter and not a factor in his political life. Romney has said the opposite: he has said that his religion will guide his governance. Big dif!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous1:07 PM

      When JFK was running for president there was a lot of fundamentalist prejudice against Catholics but most people at least had some idea of what Catholicism was all about.

      That's not the case for Mitt Romney and Mormonism. Most Americans do not have a clue about what Mormonism is all about. It's so secretive and seems to be so controlling of its members' lives. And Mitt Romney does not seem capable of separating his concept of government from his church. That is the real problem and the real threat - that there will be no separation of state and religion were Romney (God forbid) to become president.

      Delete
  16. Anita Winecooler9:34 PM

    I loved the video, Mr Dawkins explanation of Mormonism was entertaining and educational, but then everything he says usually qualifies.
    It's not just his not being held accountable for his religious beliefs, it's his tying Mormonism with mainstream Judeo Christian "traditions" to get the almighty Evangelical Teabagiban voting block that bothers me the most.

    He hides behind Ann with her "you people" and "they're demonizing Mitt" because of his religion/wealth" meme.

    If religion shouldn't be considered and questioned, why don't we have a buddist, taoist, muslim, wiccan, Jew or atheist running for president?

    I wonder how Mitt, or the American Public would address any of these possibilities?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Supreme Court has ruled that a Jew cannot be vice-president, even if he wins the majority of votes, and would have carried Florida no matter which of the methods of vote counting that were argued for would have been used. See, Gore v. Bush.

      Delete
  17. I'm a religious guy, and I don't much care for bashing of religion. However, I did blog about Romney's religion at http://schapira.blogspot.com/2012/05/originally-appeared-friday-may-11-2007.html Romney's latest stump speech includes this: "If I become president of the United States, I will not take God out of my heart, I will not take God out of the public square and I will not take it out of the platform of my party." I am confuzzled. I thought his religion was off limits. Do we get to talk about the planet Kolob?

    ReplyDelete
  18. As Kurt Vonnegut has reminded us (Cat's Cradle), a perfectly useful religion can be based on lies.
    That's why I remain a member of the First Bokononist Church of Saint Hereticus the Apostate.

    ReplyDelete

Don't feed the trolls!
It just goes directly to their thighs.