Archive for the ‘Mormonism’ category

Is It Time for Humanism?

December 23, 2007

The Corporate “Religion World” has once again got its trains on the wrong tracks and headed at each other.  The more prosperous the corporate business is, the more convoluted and more disasterous the likely crash will be that awaits the rest of us.  Highlighted by Mike Huckabee and his inference that in someway, Romney’s Mormon faith is defective.  But don’t overlook the Pope reaffirming the singularity of Roman Catholicism as both the true church and of course, always correct in its teachings.  He asked parishioners to forgive the Jews and work to convert them.  Press reports discuss each of these in theological terms as if there is a logic that can prove a point that has been thrown out.  You can learn far more by looking at the economics behind statements like these.  More church goers liking what they hear, means more money for the church.

All organized religions exist because of two facts.  (1) The religions produce a series of products (such as stimulating music, feel good sermons, “get out of jail cards”(forgiveness for your transgressions), dramatic churches or meeting spots, and dynamic speakers) that their customers find acceptable.  (2) In return, the customers agree to contribute enough money to make the religion happy.  As in any business, one searches for better products and ways to earn more money.

Over the years religions have found words that sooth, lift, ease, and refocus the listener.  The listener has a hole in his spirit and the religion finds words to help fill the absence.  Religions often are important to pass on a sense of moral values such as “treat the other person as you wish to be treated” (good outcomes) and “eye for an eye” (usually not good results.  But when, as there always will be, conflicts within the code of rules of each religion, the religion always pulls out the ace of trump and says “it is so because God said it was so”. 

So, we can have a President who says he talks to God regularly and invades a sovereign country bringing death and destruction to both Americans and Iraqis.  He insists that pro-life is the only way and yet does nothing to support the young born into untenable situations.  He supports the death penalty and looks the other way on the dangers of AIDS.  He is sure that all his positions are what God would want.

We need to reject this type of argument amongst the 2008 candidates and insist they use facts and possess a consistent personal set of principles and values.  “Not for Profit” Humanism might be a way to end the discussion closer “god told me so” that distorts so much of our political discussion today.

McCain and Lieberman

December 18, 2007

Yesterday Joe Lieberman endorsed John McCain for the New Hampshire primary (and for any other State that will listen to him).  I wonder whether John will return the favor, if nominated, and select Joe to run as the VP candidate again?

The endorsement is somewhat peculiar.  Lieberman, although an Independent, mostly votes with the Democrats and was allowed to keep his seniority by the Democratic leadership.  To understand it we must consider

1. All the Democratic candidates are for a scaled down Iraq War effort.  Joe is a hawk and has spoken out strongly in support of the Iraq invasion.

2. While most all the Republican candidates talk tough, they are viewed by AIPAC, Israel’s US lobby group, with a litte suspicion.  Romney is a Mormon, you know.  Rudy is Rudy and we can’t be sure who he will be next week.  Huckabee is equally unknown but starting with an evangelical bent, he is suspicious.  And when Fred wakes up, we will find out if he is a friend of Israel.

3. John has also demonstrated that he can bend to special interests as he did so magnificently with Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson.  John’s lips are still chapped.

4. John McCain is a solid contender and to receive anyone’s endorsement should not be a surprise.  Lieberman, however, owes AIPAC big time and the endorsement has gotten his name in the headlines again.

Christian with a small “C”

December 12, 2007

It has been reported that the Huckabee camp has inferred that the Mormon Church believes the devil is black.  This, of course, has nothing to do with the election or with the decision process amongst all the Republican candidates.  In private, it is highly unlikely that any of the candidates believe there is a hell or a heaven where people run around either in asbestos shoes or silk slippers.

You wonder what was behind this slur.  Even if true, there are many that hold that Jesus was most likely black or at least very dark skinned.  What has that got to do with Romney and whether he will be a good president?  What has a statement like that got to do with our expectations that a Huckabee Presidency would embrace science and us it to improve the lives of all Americans?  Unfortunately, probably a lot and it does not bode will for science. 

Let’s get back to events and positons that will impact our lives and improve the US’ position in the greater world.  Let’s talk about things that are proveable and leave this fanciful thinking to the philosophers.  There is something small about rumors, especially ones that impugn both the receiver and the innocent victim.  Huckabee showed me he is a christian.

Credit Due

December 7, 2007

Mitt Romney spoke yesterday about the role of religion in the Presidential race.  Wouldn’t we all have wanted that question on our civics final?  The answer was again affirmed, “none”.  Hold the presses.  It should be none but what if you intentionally stack the courts with Judges who decide according to certain religious (not scientific or legal principles), or what if you justify some Governmental decision because you consulted with a higher authority?  Yesterday gave us part of the answer.

Romney confirmed that consistent with his record in private and public office, he would make his decisions based upon how he saw things and within the laws.  He said his church would not be able to influence him directly.  Just as politicians say, “I will be my own person and large campaign contributors will not have my ear”, we are left to accept it on face value.  (In this regard, the Mormon Church is just one more special interest group so in a way, what difference does it make?)

Romney spoke confidently and looked “presidential” and made a much more positive impression that sneeky Huckabee.  Mitt took a chance, did exceedingly well, and deserves credit for his speech.  Credit given!

The unanswered questions are really what Romney will do if elected.  The outstanding rhetorical style can spin or obfuscate important issues just as easily and conceal from the American people an Administration set on the wrong path.  Just remember the “mushroom cloud”.  The best we can hope for here is that all candidates see that they can not serve two masters that are both big businesses – religious business and real commercial business.  Religion is for those who want it and it should be for them only.  Religion has no place in Government or in a non-secular state.

The Mormon Speech

December 3, 2007

The Romney campaign announced over the weekend that Mitt will give a major speech on how his Mormon religion would influence his term as President if he were elected.  Having been already a successful businessman, the CEO of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, and a State Governor, you might ask what more can he say. 

This is a speech that should not be needed and is totally irrelevant in the secular Government we enjoy.  There are, however, other realities that Mitt needs to confront.  The realities surround the Bible thumping Mike Huckabee who has just moved ahead of Romney in the polls.  It is alleged that Mike is picking up the religious conservative vote and that is making the difference.  Mitt has spent a ton of money and to lose Iowa will put a lot into question about the viability of his candidacy.

Huckabee’s name seem strange until you say it 10 times.  He comes across as a sincere, affable, everyday type of guy.  I would suggest that Mitt consider the impression Mike is amking versus the starched shirt or right out of Lands End look that he presents. 

The great travesty here is that religion should not have any role at all.  These men are running for President not chief pastor of the country.  As usual we tend to forget, what someone believes is their business, and not mine, and what I believe is my business and not theirs.