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Democratic Candidates on a Personal God - Comments

?'s Avatar Comment 1 by ?

I can't stand questions like this in a public setting!!!!

The implication being that if by some ....sorry... miracle any of these candidates are atheists, agnostics, deists, pantheists, etc., the question will ferret them out!

Its like the questions the Inquisition would ask.

All of these people have repeatedly said that they are religious but some people have to get real nosy about it.

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 15:22:00 UTC | #61003

mkcarbs's Avatar Comment 2 by mkcarbs

Mike Gravel's answer to the question was probably the best answer given by any of the candidates.

Gravel's listed religion is the Unitarian Church. Even though he stands absolutely no chance of winning an election, his courage to list himself outside of the mainstream and not lie to pander for votes is admirable.

If there was anyone on stage that stood a chance of being an atheist, it would be him.

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 15:36:00 UTC | #61007

Veronique's Avatar Comment 3 by Veronique

It is utterly pathetic to have some 9 or so adults standing on a dais answering some half-witted question about religion. I presume other questions were asked of the candidates; I sincerely hope so. Why did the moderator allow such a loopy question into the debate?

These are people who are running for a job that requires breadth of thought, understanding and governance. Yet nearly every one of them handed over authority to a sky god. They ought to be ashamed of themselves. Kucinich is the only one who didn't really fall for it. Clinton is useless, the rest no better. It's all very well to say that Americans won't vote for a non god-botherer, but that spectacle was revolting.

No wonder we are on the way to the Unlightenment. Disgusting.


Sun, 19 Aug 2007 15:44:00 UTC | #61008

drive1's Avatar Comment 4 by drive1

What on earth is going on? We've got Putin trying to resurrect the Cold War, Mugabe smashing Zimbabwe to pieces, all the US presidential candidates as bonkers as the present incumbent, the unelected PM here in the UK .. a man who sold half our gold reserves at the bottom of the market, destroyed our pension system and lied to us about tax increases .. leading in the bloody opinion polls. Political and religious factions killing each other all round the world, the climate disintegrating before our eyes, and another season of X Factor on the telly. I tell you .. I'm this close to losing it.

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 16:17:00 UTC | #61011

Duff's Avatar Comment 5 by Duff

It is disgusting, BUT, if they don't answer in a way that in some way massages the rationally impaired, they stand to lose a very large portion of the electorate. It is a sad, but factual state of affairs of the American electoral process.
I don't doubt for a minute that Hillary Clinton is fairly agnostic when it comes to a personal bearded deity looking over everyones shoulder, but "heaven" help her if she were to say so in so many words.
I, personally, will cut her a little slack if she chooses to fudge it a little in order to get the vote. She will be a monumental improvement over the simplistic, "god fearing nitwit" we have now. If she has to lie, cheat and steal to win the presidency, I, for one, will not judge her.

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 16:18:00 UTC | #61012

dawson's Avatar Comment 6 by dawson

And yet each one will end big speeches with "God Bless America!" and go on to say in other arenas that god is on our side in wars and whatnot.

God Bless Hippocrites!

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 16:21:00 UTC | #61013

LeeLeeOne's Avatar Comment 7 by LeeLeeOne

Power of PRAYER! To do what?!

Prayer?! To whom?!

Prayer being used to influence their god, come on! Influence an all-powerful, omnipotent being?!

Prayer being used to "console, counsel, and/or comfort" oneself? Isn't that what a therapist does?!

Democratic candidates are as bad and as pathetic as Republican candidates when it comes to submission of themselves as intelligent men and women.

They cannot cope with reality so they have a one-sided communication in their imagination with an entity that does not exist?

I want a candidate who does not endorse the "santa clause" theory. I want a candidate with enough guts to say that "your thoughts are YOUR thougts, mine are mine." That would be the beginnings of a Republic, a democracy.

I am so sick and tired of this theocratic BS!

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 16:44:00 UTC | #61016

jonahemery's Avatar Comment 8 by jonahemery

This is how I heard the question:

"Are you emotionally strong enough to handle life and nature's challenges?" In that interpretation it is an important question for one of the most influential nations.

Most of them do not have the internal stuff to lead. Clinton seemed to be the most weak. While the guy, whom I don't even know his name, seemed to be the best adjusted when he spoke about love and such.

I suspect Clinton, Edwards, etc. could be a personal psychological mess. That's not a bad thing. We all have messes. Hell I've got mine.

But I would like to see a very stable US President if you asked me.

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 17:41:00 UTC | #61025

EnsilZah's Avatar Comment 9 by EnsilZah

Wow, I've never really realized before what this issue is like in the states.
I live Israel, and sure we have some religious parties that have quite a bit of political power, but I can't imagine a prime minister candidate mentioning in public that he talks to god.

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 18:33:00 UTC | #61030

Satanburiedfossils's Avatar Comment 10 by Satanburiedfossils

We hear a lot in the news about the effects of "climate change" and "global warming" on the environment. That's all find and good. But I think we all know the real cause of inclement weather: too much sinning. The recent floods in England are a good example of this.

We selfishly forget that our fellow creatures must share our fate whenever we fail to control our sinful impulses. But it's not just the animals that must suffer. Imagine the poor trees swept away by God's floodwaters of judgment.

And now here in States we have Hurricane Dean rapidly bearing down on the bible belt. I hope that the Christian churches of America will get the message that God is really miffed and that the only way we can avert disaster is to hold a series of nationwide revival meetings.

How many human dwellings and animal habitats must God, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, see fit to destroy in order to teach us about the importance of prayer? How many of His innocent creatures must God obliterate before we humans learn to control our lecherous urges?

Now I won't claim to know the mysterious ways of the Lord, but I suspect that the terrible tragedy in Minnesota would never have happened had some careless motorist crossing the I-35W bridge not entertained a lustful thought or two about Angelina Jolie.

(Just so you know, this is satire.)

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 19:18:00 UTC | #61034

Lil_Xunzian's Avatar Comment 11 by Lil_Xunzian

I am so voting for Mike Gravel in the primaries!

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 19:43:00 UTC | #61039

Tumara Baap's Avatar Comment 12 by Tumara Baap

Boy that was a loaded question, but in a way was revealing of the candidates. None of these contenders can afford to distance themselves from our countless countrymen who do believe in a vengeful, mind-reading, omniscient God. Clinton, disciplined as she is, played it safest. Edwards and Biden, though they seemingly replied with care, may have set themselves up for political skulduggery. I'm relieved none of them replied in the affirmative, that perhaps we should certainly pray hard for direct intervention, though we may not always know His mysterious ways. The same cannot be assumed for the Republican contenders. It certainly cannot be said for the tragedy of a numbskull we now have with God whispering in his ear.

Sun, 19 Aug 2007 23:57:00 UTC | #61059

Johnny O's Avatar Comment 13 by Johnny O

(Just so you know, this is satire.)

Or is it?

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 01:55:00 UTC | #61077

ridelo's Avatar Comment 14 by ridelo

I cannot play the video. Even if I go to the original site.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 02:00:00 UTC | #61078

posiedon's Avatar Comment 15 by posiedon

Ridelo, It's maybe no bad thing that you can't play the video.
Watching it is enough to make you weep.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 02:45:00 UTC | #61092

konquererz's Avatar Comment 16 by konquererz

I was so disappointed in this question. They pretty much just ignore the non-religious in all political debates assuming that everyone believes, not just in a god, but a personal god. Its disgusting and biased. I was most disappointed that the candidates all bowed down before god on the stage. Everyone but Gravel said that they believed in a personal god of some sorts. Most of them even said that they believe in the power of prayer. Gravel can't win, and he tends to be a bit over the top, but I respect a man who can stand up and say something that he had to know religious o's would dislike.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 04:46:00 UTC | #61113

Pantore's Avatar Comment 17 by Pantore

Why don't Americans worry about real issues...

And the guy that wrote about Putin starting the cold war over again, that's a lie, actually it's the USA that starts cold war nonsense over again.

USA spends more on Defense(offense) in 2007 than the rest of the world spends on defense combined in 2007. Isn't that making you sick?

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 05:29:00 UTC | #61120

notsobad's Avatar Comment 18 by notsobad

Gravel is the only normal candidate there. Along with Kucinich...

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 05:49:00 UTC | #61123

sane1's Avatar Comment 19 by sane1

I pray these bozo suck up fakers get what's coming to them in the after-life.

At least Edwards and Biden understand and say that prayer doesn't work to avoid bad things.

Pandering, pandering, pandering, pandering.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 06:49:00 UTC | #61136

sane1's Avatar Comment 20 by sane1

Pantore: How is the US starting the cold war?

I get how the US started the Iraq War, but the cold war?

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 06:52:00 UTC | #61138

3legcat's Avatar Comment 21 by 3legcat

it could have been worse...

at least they answered "no" to the question.

wonder how many republican would have answered "yes"


Mon, 20 Aug 2007 07:38:00 UTC | #61141

GBile's Avatar Comment 22 by GBile

Drivel, please don't loose it yet, I think things have been worse and are improving a little. I hear most of these 'candidates' (luckily they will never preside over me) actually telling that their deity is incapable (or worse: unwilling) to avert hurricanes and disasters. If they only would also acknowledge their overall delusion.
What they admit is that they 'talk to themselves' in order to boost their moral, strengthen their convictions and the like. They call this 'prayer'.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 07:56:00 UTC | #61146

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 23 by Steve Zara

that's a lie, actually it's the USA that starts cold war nonsense over again.

I disagree. It appears to be primarily Putin posturing before the next Russian presidential elections.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 08:04:00 UTC | #61147

Stephen Maxwell's Avatar Comment 24 by Stephen Maxwell

I couldn't help but cringe when Clinton said "I am dependent on my faith."

I thought Biden's answer was probably the best of the lot. A couple of them (I don't know their names because it's not vastly reported at the moment in UK) were just rambling on, though.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 08:08:00 UTC | #61148

BicycleRepairMan's Avatar Comment 25 by BicycleRepairMan

Gravel is the man here, the only honest, decent person on stage.

And he will be elected as soon as clinton, obama and possibly 3 or 4 of the other candidates are dead, the Niagara falls has catched fire, and Sahara is covered in 40 feet snow. Good luck America, you'll need it.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 12:02:00 UTC | #61178

nothing's Avatar Comment 26 by nothing


Unhappily, I've got to agree. It's irrationality everywhere you turn. I'm also this close to losing it... Actually I think I may already have.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 13:59:00 UTC | #61195

dhweaver's Avatar Comment 27 by dhweaver

Ahhh, the sweet power of prayer. Does everyone remember the mine collapse in Kentucky 2005? 16 miners were trapped. Thousands of family and friends were praying their asses off. After the third day of searching a message came suddenly over the loud speaker that all the men were found alive.

The church bells rang out in celebration. Every live media outlet was showing live pictures of family and friends crying tears of joy and praising god for answering their prayers. For three hours they celebrated in ecstasy.

To everyone's horror, word was spread that there had been a terrible mistake. In fact only one survivor was found and the rest were dead. Three hours their family and friends celebrated while all along they were really dead.

If there is a god, he is an asshole. But of course, we all know better.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 15:54:00 UTC | #61207

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 28 by HappyPrimate

My candidate is Joe Biden. All the candidates must take a stance that does not alienate the religious nuts who vote in droves. Senator Biden has the best temperament and experience to deal with the current situation and is a true statesman. Senator Clinton is also a great candidate who is carrying a heavy load of baggage of being a female and married to Bill Clinton. I liked Bill but many self-righteous Xians hate him. Although Bill can put-on the Xian shirt, in his autobiography, he states that when he was at Oxford, he and the group he hung around with there decided that god was an invention of men. If you listen closely to his speeches, he appeals to atheist views. He is a true politician and is really good at it but he also has a real human heart. That's not to say he is perfect. Neither is Joe Biden, but I really like what I hear from him.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 17:36:00 UTC | #61225

sabre_truth's Avatar Comment 29 by sabre_truth

I believe strongly in the power of contemplative habits of mind. In life, we are presented with many obstacles and challenges, for ourselves, our loved ones, our fellow human beings. Turning inward we can find a peaceful mental space wherein we can more readily call upon those positive emotional resources such as compassion, courage, determination, and equanimity which allow us to face challenges in an effective and dignified manner. Different people have different styles of approaching this inner sanctum.

Perhaps I would prefer that our political leaders did not attach themselves to supernatural beliefs in their style of turning inward, or did not have to hypocritically claim allegiance to such beliefs. But if in their prayer they are able to call up strength from within themselves, then there is some worth in their prayer. I completely disavow this atheistic allergy to the contemplative mode of thinking which sneezes violently at the very notion of calling upon the noblest of human qualities just because it appears cloaked in superstitious language.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 18:41:00 UTC | #61236

thirdchimpanzee's Avatar Comment 30 by thirdchimpanzee

sabre_truth -

if any one of them had said they meditated instead of praying - they'd have my vote. As atheists we don't think there's anyone or anything on the receiving end of a prayer, but the inner contemplation that might accompany the act of praying could have the benefits you talk about.

Meditation has been a perfectly acceptable term in the Christian lexicon for centuries - but try introducing "meditation" into a US school, the Christians will be up in arms about trying to peddle foreign "religions" in the classroom - even though meditation has nothing to do with any religion. This is the stark reality of the situation in the US - the public that is being pandered to by these displays of religiosity isn't really interested in discovery and insight. That's for hippies and liberals and heretics.

What the religious masses appear to be drawn to is standard issue demagoguery that panders to their prejudices about sexuality, homosexuality, race, and the inherent greed and selfishness of humanity. What the Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish fundamentalists share is a profoundly dystopic view of humanity, one that presumes we are incapable of arriving at moral understanding and action without a manual.

So these shabby excuses for wannabe leaders try to demonstrate their religious credibility by invoking prayer. Instead, they unconsciously revealed the worst consequences of such a mindset, describing how prayer help reconcile them to personal tragedy - rather than spurring them to actions that might avert such tragedies for others. The Enlightenment was about escaping this kind of idiotic fatalism and obedience to "higher powers" - watching this crew is to realise how quickly the US is driving backwards.

Mon, 20 Aug 2007 19:15:00 UTC | #61239