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Does this candidate have a prayer? - Comments

Greyman's Avatar Comment 1 by Greyman

The comedy group Capitol Steps takes its name from the escapade involving our former congressman John Jenrette, who had sex with his wife on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in the late 1970s.

Why is the most surprising thing about that statement that it was with his wife?

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 01:19:57 UTC | #945237

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 2 by mordacious1

Comment 1

They were both going through a Twelve Step Program at the time.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 02:28:51 UTC | #945244

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 3 by Agrajag

Comment 1 by Greyman

Why is the most surprising thing about that statement that it was with his wife?

But now, 30 years on, she claims she NEVER DID IT.
:-(
Steve

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 02:59:31 UTC | #945247

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 4 by The Truth, the light

Q: Why are you wasting all this time on something so frivolous?

If someone needs to ask this question then they clearly have no clue.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 03:00:26 UTC | #945248

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 5 by All About Meme

Intelligent, fearless, witty, well-spoken... atheist Herb Silverman is religion's worst nightmare.

Thank-you, Herb, for your courageous contributions!

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 03:41:38 UTC | #945249

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 6 by Anonymous

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Sun, 03 Jun 2012 04:40:11 UTC | #945253

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 7 by Anonymous

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Sun, 03 Jun 2012 04:52:32 UTC | #945255

mmurray's Avatar Comment 8 by mmurray

Comment 7 by All About Meme :

Actually, if you bothered to read the article, his goal was to become governor of South Carolina -- which he didn't accomplish.

His goal was to overturn the anti-athiest clause in the state constitution which he did.

Michael

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 05:01:14 UTC | #945256

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 9 by All About Meme

Comment 8 by mmurray

His goal was to overturn the anti-athiest [SIC] clause in the state constitution which he did.


In 1990 a colleague at the College of Charleston, where I was a math professor, pointed out that the South Carolina Constitution prohibited atheists from becoming governor.

Since the U.S. Constitution bars religious tests for public office, I asked a local ACLU lawyer how this obviously unconstitutional provision could be removed. He said that to mount a legal challenge, an open atheist would have to become a candidate. And he added with a smile, “The very best candidate would be you-in a race for governor of South Carolina.”

After giving this surprising suggestion much thought, I agreed to run as a write-in candidate.

I read the article, Michael, but thanks for the hair-splitting!

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 05:11:12 UTC | #945258

mmurray's Avatar Comment 10 by mmurray

Comment 9 by All About Meme :

I read the article, Michael, but thanks for the hair-splitting!

It's not hair-splitting. He wanted to overturn the law and for that all he had to do was run for governor not become governor.

Michael

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 05:26:43 UTC | #945260

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 11 by All About Meme

Comment 10 by mmurray

Reporter: Mr. Silverman, are you running for governor?

Silverman: No, I'm just trying to get the law changed.

Your argument doesn't wash, Michael.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 05:31:29 UTC | #945262

Katy Cordeth's Avatar Comment 12 by Katy Cordeth

Q: What do you think are your chances of winning the election?

A: I’m an atheist, not a fool. (Since I wasn’t going to win, I felt free to be honest.)

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 05:48:36 UTC | #945265

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 13 by All About Meme

Comment 12 by katy Cordeth

Herb Silverman's goal was to try and become governor of South Carolina, so that he could challenge an unconstitutional law.

"Running for governor = trying to become governor".

Hair-splitting.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 05:56:39 UTC | #945268

mmurray's Avatar Comment 14 by mmurray

Comment 11 by All About Meme :

Comment 10 by mmurray

Reporter: Mr. Silverman, are you running for governor?

Silverman: No, I'm just trying to get the law changed.

Your argument doesn't wash, Michael.

I think this is arguing for the hell of it but as it's a rainy Sunday I'll keep on for awhile. :-)

So if his ambition was to be Governor why did he settle for Public Notary ?

A few days before the election, Judge Norton dismissed my case on the grounds that it was not ripe, meaning he would only rule on the merits of the case if I won the election. To the surprise of no one, I lost.

So with politics now in my blood, where could I go from there? I decided to try and fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a notary public. Actually, I discovered that South Carolina’s Constitution prohibited atheists from holding any public office. My lawyer told me I could challenge this by applying for a notary commission.. If South Carolina were to grant me a notary public license, it would be an admission by the state that religious tests could no longer be a qualification for public office.

Michael

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 06:32:59 UTC | #945274

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 15 by All About Meme

Comment 14 by mmurray

I think this is arguing for the hell of it but as it's a rainy Sunday I'll keep on for awhile. :-)

You could have shut me up by pointing out the hypocrisy of my original "hair-splitting" comment to bornthisway.

I'm tapping out, Michael. You're too much trouble. (Plus, it's late here!)

:D

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 06:43:38 UTC | #945276

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 16 by mordacious1

I don't understand what you guys are arguing about. He didn't like the law and wanted to change it. His lawyer friend informed him that in order to sue he would have to run for office so that he would have standing in a court of law. He ran, not to become governor, but to have the law overturned, which is what Michael has been saying. Once the law was overturned, he hoped a more serious atheist candidate could run and perhaps win (think about Obama here). It might be 50 years before this happens in SC, but who knows?

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 07:02:01 UTC | #945281

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 17 by All About Meme

Comment 16 by mordacious1

Here is exactly what I said:

...his goal was to become governor of South Carolina...

Perhaps it wasn't his primary goal, but it was a goal, nevertheless. If I had inserted the word "try" there wouldn't be an argument. It's hair-splitting. I was hair-splitting with bornthisway to try and get her attention. I read the friggin' article, and I understood it perfectly.

If you're "running" for governor, you're trying to become governor. Your primary goal might simply be to impress the ladies, but you're still trying to become governor.

I'm completely done with this triviality. Michael was just upset that I flamed Helga Vierich earlier, anyway.

;)

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 07:15:11 UTC | #945282

Katy Cordeth's Avatar Comment 18 by Katy Cordeth

I salute your tenacity, All About Meme. Most people would probably have admitted ages ago that they had got the wrong end of the stick, then cut their losses and walked away. But you're clinging on by your fingernails. Respect.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 07:33:41 UTC | #945283

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 19 by All About Meme

Comment 18 by katy Cordeth

I hesitate to jump to this conclusion, but I think we're in agreement! (And my fingers are very tired!)

Respect right back atcha. Peace out for tonight!

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 07:37:50 UTC | #945285

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 20 by susanlatimer

Comment 17 by All About Meme

If you're "running" for governor, you're trying to become governor. Your primary goal might simply be to impress the ladies, but you're still trying to become governor.

Sorry to split more hairs but I think the OP made it very clear that running for governor didn't have much to do with him having a "goal" to become governor.

Michael said:

His goal was to overturn the anti-athiest clause in the state constitution which he did.

And he was right. It couldn't be much clearer. He ran for governor in order to challenge and overturn this clause. Political involvement isn't just about trying to win office.

Michael was just upset that I flamed Helga Vierich earlier, anyway.

I know you're kidding because of the winky face. But if there's anything we both know, it's that Michael's posts deal directly with any post that might "upset" him. Grudges aren't part of his strategy. ;-) (winky face so you know I know you're kidding). Just saying.

(Plus, it's late here!)

It's late here too. Must stop typing. Time to sleep.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 07:40:25 UTC | #945286

All About Meme's Avatar Comment 21 by All About Meme

Comment 20 by susanlatimer

At least I reply to people when they specifically address me. Can't say the same for... ahem... certain other people. Maybe this is also hair-splitting, but IMO it's simple courtesy. (Ma raised me better, I suppose.)

On the other hand your responses to me, songstress, are more like soothing music than the harsh sound of dividing follicles.

(Winky face.)

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 07:54:33 UTC | #945288

mmurray's Avatar Comment 22 by mmurray

Comment 17 by All About Meme :

I'm completely done with this triviality. Michael was just upset that I flamed Helga Vierich earlier, anyway.

;)

Nah. I just think maybe you need a change of shampoo or conditioner for those split ends :-)

Michael

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 08:26:40 UTC | #945293

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 23 by strangebrew

Comment 17 by All About Meme

If you're "running" for governor, you're trying to become governor. Your primary goal might simply be to impress the ladies, but you're still trying to become governor.

That was not the reason for this particular challenge...it was a legal necessity to overturn a bit of pompous bullshite legalese in the South Carolina Constitution that was at odds with the American constitution. To do that he had to run for a high ranked post in the SC government.

Since the U.S. Constitution bars religious tests for public office, I asked a local ACLU lawyer how this obviously unconstitutional provision could be removed. He said that to mount a legal challenge, an open atheist would have to become a candidate.

He succeeded and that anti-atheist legalese has been overturned...so he accomplished exactly what his goal was...not a hard concept...it really is not!

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 09:14:45 UTC | #945297

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 24 by drumdaddy

Every such state discrimination against atheists must be confronted and challenged. Thanks to our brothers in South Carolina for stepping up. By the way, may I please steal and use your great line about dying?

"Q: What will happen to you when you die?

A: I know exactly what will happen. I’m going to medical school, just like my Jewish mother always wanted me to do. I want to use my body parts to their fullest while I’m alive, but I hope others will be able to make good use of them when I die."

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 09:44:24 UTC | #945298

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 25 by Stafford Gordon

He's ace, and funny.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 10:25:09 UTC | #945301

Jonathan Dore's Avatar Comment 26 by Jonathan Dore

State politics and state constitutions in the US are the great but largely overlooked scandal of the American polity. Commanding a much greater chunk of the political space than equivalent sub-national governments almost anywhere else, their legislation is awash with harmful nonsense and their politicians get away endlessly with absurdities. Writers on American politics spend huge amounts of time and attention focusing on the balance of powers between the different branches of federal government, when what they should be exposing is the grotesque imbalance between the different levels of government, i.e. between the federal and the state. Of course it came about through perfectly understandable historical reasons -- the states were the pre-existing polities that had to voluntarily cede some of their powers to allow the federal government to come into existence, so federal powers were necessarily defined and circumscribed, while the states' powers were undefined and essentially boundless. It's largely thanks to the resulting mess that it took a civil war to root out slavery rather than the simple act of Congress that should have been sufficient. With ineffective oversight and seemingly unmotivated voters, state politics today is a hotbed of demagogues, charlatans, and extremists, and an easy target for entryist zealots. The next frontier in American political reform will be when people start to get serious about clearing up this Augean stable.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 10:27:47 UTC | #945302

CEVA34's Avatar Comment 27 by CEVA34

"It took a civil war to root out slavery" is misleading, because that was not what the war was for. Lincoln made it quite clear that as far as he was concerned the important thing was to maintain the Union. He said something like "If, in order to maintain the Union, I must free all the slaves, I will do it. If to maintain the Union I must free NO slave, then I shall do that."

As for the hypothetical "simple act of Congress", would it not have involved a vote, and would the Southern states not have voted against it?

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 10:48:01 UTC | #945305

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 28 by Anonymous

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Sun, 03 Jun 2012 13:55:59 UTC | #945313

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 29 by Agrajag

Comment 16 by mordacious1

I don't understand what you guys are arguing about.

They're just arguing in their SPARE TIME! ;-)

BTW, "Candidate Without a Prayer" is a very intelligent and humorous book.
Steve

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 14:18:16 UTC | #945314

Odalrich's Avatar Comment 30 by Odalrich

"The comedy group Capitol Steps takes its name from the escapade involving our former congressman John Jenrette, who had sex with his wife on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in the late 1970s".

a) Is it inappropriate to have sex with your own wife on the steps of the U.S. Capitol? b) Can you have sex on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with any other woman except with your own wife? c) Can't you have sex on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with your own wife and with any other woman? Which is the right course to take?

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 14:43:31 UTC | #945316