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Does freedom require religion?

post #1 of 218
Thread Starter 
Mitt Romney seems to think that freedom is only for the ones who believe in a higher power. Yet most religions have a track record of requiring their followers to give up their freedoms especially their freedom to think.

I find this statement to be dangerous and offensive and I fear for my freedom as an atheist under a Romney administration.
post #2 of 218
I wouldn't worry, you still have the freedom to misinterpret and spin what he actually said. No-one can stop you (unfortunately) and that means you'll have a good run yet.

Quote:
"If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest," he said.

"A president must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States."

Sounds fair enough. Unless you are an atheist who wants all religious expression supressed I guess, in that case the fact he happens to be religious is bad enough....

Quote from BBC Article
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #3 of 218
That's not all he said.
Quote:
There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation's founders.
Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.

The guy is obviously delusional, or his magic underpants are too tight, if he can't separate religion and freedom. That and he knows nothing of the founding fathers.

He's also the guy that would exclude someone from his cabinet depending of their religion, specifically Muslims, but I wouldn't be surprised if he harbored the same attitude towards jews.

He knows that a real appeal for tolerance was based on his theology (Mormonism) it would not have gone over well with the group he was trying to appease, the evangelicals.
post #4 of 218
The founding father's views were better expressed by Kennedy when he said:
Quote:
I believe in a President whose views on religion are his own private affair, neither imposed upon him by the nation, nor imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.
...
While the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the chief topic here tonight, I want to emphasize from the outset that I believe that we have far more critical issues in the 1960 campaign. These are the real issues which should decide this campaign. And they are not religious issues - for war and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barrier. But because I am a Catholic, and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured - perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this. So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again - not what kind of church I believe in, for that should be important only to me -- but what kind of America I believe in.
post #5 of 218
Freedom requires religion? That's absolutely ludicrous.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #6 of 218
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

I wouldn't worry, you still have the freedom to misinterpret and spin what he actually said. No-one can stop you (unfortunately) and that means you'll have a good run yet.



Sounds fair enough. Unless you are an atheist who wants all religious expression supressed I guess, in that case the fact he happens to be religious is bad enough....

Quote from BBC Article


He would have to defend my freedom from religion as well.
post #7 of 218
Religion is trying to dominate politics in a country that was founded by people who tried to escape other countries where religion had dominated politics.
post #8 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Religion is trying to dominate politics in a country that was founded by people who tried to escape other countries where religion had dominated politics.

Bah. America was founded by people who were pissed off because they weren't allowed to oppress the people they wanted to.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #9 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Bah. America was founded by people who were pissed off because they weren't allowed to oppress the people they wanted to.

Oh yeah I forgot.
post #10 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Oh yeah I forgot.

Just don't let it happen again.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #11 of 218
And Huckabee thinks that gay marriage will destroy our civilization.

Literally.

Destroy it.
post #12 of 218
Well, maybe gay married terrorists...
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #13 of 218
You can't believe the weight off your shoulders after you renounce false gods.
post #14 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

You can't believe the weight off your shoulders after you renounce false gods.

Wilt thou take all, pale Galilean?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #15 of 218
An Atlas fears no such weight on his shoulders.....
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #16 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

You can't believe the weight off your shoulders after you renounce false gods.

As a matter of fact, they're all false.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #17 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

As a matter of fact, they're all false.

And that's the authentic word so if you don't believe you die infidel !!
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #18 of 218
From Washington Post campaign blog entry:

Quote:
Romney praised the practices of many faiths and underscored repeatedly the religious heritage that was at the heart of the Founding Father's vision of the new country. He called for public acknowledgement of the Creator on currency, in the pledge and said nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in the public square.

So while candidates for high office are tripping all over themselves to profess their love of Jesus and the supremacy of God in all things, the real problems lie in petty, symbolic displays.

Because a manger scene "in the public square" is a much more robust expression of our national godliness than our political class being obliged to genuflect at every opportunity.

One would have to assume that a political culture that features the putative front runner to be his party's candidate for president making a speech that baldly asserts "freedom requires religion", wherein said culture does not find such a declaration surprising or controversial, is not exactly actively repressing expressions of faith.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #19 of 218
Quote:
No. Mr. Romney's position on many of the issues are very different than JFK's. JFK wanted to particularly stress that he believed in the separation between church and state. He believed that no one needed to worry about a Catholic bishop or a cardinal dictating to him as a president, and that freedom of religion included freedom for those to go to any church or not to go to any church at all. So, Romney emphasized the role of religion in public life more strongly than JFK did or would have.

Ted Sorensen..."helped draft Kennedy's 1960 speech on Roman Catholicism"
post #20 of 218
  • I'm ready for a discussion of Mormons getting their own planet after they die.
  • I'm ready for a discussion of Mormons becoming the God of that planet.
  • I'm ready for a discussion of the Mormon idea that the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition was once just a regular guy who died and got his own planet.
  • I'm ready for a discussion of the Mormon belief in pre-existence.
  • I'm ready for a discussion of Mormons posthumously baptizing people without contacting the family and without respect to the individual's religionespecially the long-standing practice of baptizing dead Jews.

Can we have that discussion now?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #21 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

Ted Sorensen..."helped draft Kennedy's 1960 speech on Roman Catholicism"

I really disagree with two of Sorensen's comments:

1. " Q. Romney made the statement "freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom." Do you think Kennedy would have agreed with that?

Sorensen: I don't think anyone would disagree strongly with that. "

He is seriously deluded - for one thing, 12% of the country is atheist, and I bet every one of us disagree strongly with that statement.

2. "This country is in deep, serious trouble, and thoughtful citizens surely are going to make up their minds based on the major issues confronting the country and the major qualities of the candidates and not on such superficial tests as religion, race, or gender."

Race and Gender are superficial differences, but Religion is not 'what you are', but 'what you think is true'. It is not superficial, and in my mind it totally disqualifies Romney and Huckabee both.
45 2a3 300b 211 845 833
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45 2a3 300b 211 845 833
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post #22 of 218
A few thoughts off the top of my head:
Are not the most positive aspects of organized religion: "community, support and charitable activities"?
Humans are more than capable of acknowledging a "higher power" without having to attend churches, mosques or synagogue services.
People do not need to publicly demonstrate that they belong to an approved religious doctrine in order to believe in a "higher power" either.
Public exhibitions of piety have been strongly disapproved of by Jesus and others.
A strong sense of morality and decency seems to have little correlation with whatever religion, if any at all, a person is attached to.
How many people hide behind their respective faiths to conceal activities that are 180º in opposition to the teachings?
The attachment of an "approved", or officially sanctioned religious doctrine to any government at any time in history tends to result in hatred, bloodshed and misery, rather than overall goodwill, peace and benevolence.
Religious freedom demands non-attachment of a specific religion w.r.t. government.
The acknowledging, or (attempted) communications with a "higher power" is a solo, personal, private spiritual exercise, and is unique for each of us 6 billion humans.
etc etc

Question: What is behind the motivation behind those who want to forge close ties between one certain approved religious axis, namely Judeo-Christianity, and government, especially when the Founders knew full well that an officially approved religion was a something to be avoided at all cost?
I wonder if its got anything to do with the plague of "control freaks" currently in offfice?

My 2 cents, for an agnostic.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #23 of 218
post #24 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

What is behind the motivation behind those who want to forge close ties between one certain approved religious axis, namely Judeo-Christianity, and government, especially when the Founders knew full well that an officially approved religion was a something to be avoided at all cost?
I wonder if its got anything to do with the plague of "control freaks" currently in offfice?

My 2 cents, for an agnostic.

I think it has nothing to do with religion whatever. It's about this: the GOP coalition with the Christian right is crucial, and in order to sustain that coalition, they have to pander to them.

I'm sick to death of all this pandering. I'm sick to death of all this lip-service to faith. I'm sick to death of how when a politician says "I'm a devout Christian, and when you elect me, I'll lead by Christian principles!" everyone says "OK!" If politicians are going to make political hay out of their religious beliefs, then I believe we get to know all the ins and outs of their beliefs.

In short, if Romney didn't want people in Mississippi asking him very, very hard questions about, say, how Moroni got to be an Angel and not a god of his own planet, he should've kept his yap shut about religion. But no. He didn't. He made hay out of it.

Same goes for Bush. No one, to my knowledge, has ever, you know, asked him anything specific about what he believes. He says he's a devout Christian day in and day out, but I've never seen him talk about it, nor have I seen anyone ask him what his specific beliefs are.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #25 of 218
That guy has one sweet package.....
A good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts
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A good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts
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post #26 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

100% of Mormons believe in soft, comfy underwear.

"Stand Up for Chuck"
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"Stand Up for Chuck"
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post #27 of 218
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I think it has nothing to do with religion whatever. It's about this: the GOP coalition with the Christian right is crucial, and in order to sustain that coalition, they have to pander to them.

I'm sick to death of all this pandering. I'm sick to death of all this lip-service to faith. I'm sick to death of how when a politician says "I'm a devout Christian, and when you elect me, I'll lead by Christian principles!" everyone says "OK!" If politicians are going to make political hay out of their religious beliefs, then I believe we get to know all the ins and outs of their beliefs.

In short, if Romney didn't want people in Mississippi asking him very, very hard questions about, say, how Moroni got to be an Angel and not a god of his own planet, he should've kept his yap shut about religion. But no. He didn't. He made hay out of it.

Same goes for Bush. No one, to my knowledge, has ever, you know, asked him anything specific about what he believes. He says he's a devout Christian day in and day out, but I've never seen him talk about it, nor have I seen anyone ask him what his specific beliefs are.


Matthew 15/7
post #28 of 218
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

That guy has one sweet package.....

How do you get it out when have to piss really bad???
Anyone who will wear this stuff out of their own free will should not be allowed to operate any kind of machinery at any time and should be excluded from public service.
post #29 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Freedom requires religion? That's absolutely ludicrous.

I know the speech was a big deal on today's news, but I haven't actually had time to stop and listen to it.

That said, it does make sense on a certain level. The only thing is that you must think of 'religion' as what it is, a systemic set of beliefs that inform your worldview.

While atheists and secularists run from the word, atheism is a religion.

And freedom at its most basic level does require that individuals be able to freely choose the beliefs that largely guide their thoughts, desires and actions.

So it's not ludicrous at all.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #30 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamac View Post

Mitt Romney seems to think that freedom is only for the ones who believe in a higher power.

Uh, no. That's what you spun his comments to mean.

Quote:
Yet most religions have a track record of requiring their followers to give up their freedoms especially their freedom to think.

That is an incredibly broad statement. I also think you'd have difficulty supporting it. Clearly you'll be able to point to some examples of freedom of thought being surrendered, but proving your assertion as you made it in context would be difficult.

Quote:

I find this statement to be dangerous and offensive and I fear for my freedom as an atheist under a Romney administration.

That's because you hate all Republicans, particularly ones that happen to believe in God.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

That's not all he said.


The guy is obviously delusional, or his magic underpants are too tight, if he can't separate religion and freedom. That and he knows nothing of the founding fathers.

Actually, I'm pretty sure you know nothing of the founding fathers. What he was saying was that our nation was founded on an appeal to The Almighty and on a belief that freedom was not granted from the power of men, but from Him. It was a God-given right.

Quote:

He's also the guy that would exclude someone from his cabinet depending of their religion, specifically Muslims, but I wouldn't be surprised if he harbored the same attitude towards jews.

Funny, here is what actually happened:

Quote:
Speaking to reporters after a health care forum in St. Petersburg, Florida, Romney emphatically disputed a Muslim businessmans account of what transpired at a mid-November fundraising event in Las Vegas....

...His question was, 'did I need to have a Muslim in my cabinet to be able to confront radical jihad and would it be important to have a Muslim in my cabinet,'" said Romney. "And I said, No I dont think that you have to have a Muslim in the cabinet to be able to, to take on radical jihad any more than during the Second World War we needed to have a Japanese-American to help us understand the threat that was coming from Japan, or something of that nature.

Romney said that instead of filling his cabinet posts with ethnicity in mind, he would choose his cabinet members based on merit.

Asked if that included the possibility of appointing a well-qualified Muslim, Romney said, Im open to having people of any faith and ethnic group but they would be selected based on their capacity and their capabilities and the values and skills that they could bring to the administration, but I dont choose people based on checking off a box.

Quote:
He knows that a real appeal for tolerance was based on his theology (Mormonism) it would not have gone over well with the group he was trying to appease, the evangelicals.

It would be awesome of that above statement made any sense whatsoever.
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post #31 of 218
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

That's because you hate all Republicans, particularly ones that happen to believe in God.

I love republicans and christians, they make me feel superior.
post #32 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamac View Post

I love republicans and christians, they make me feel superior.

Turns out it's not that you don't believe in God, it's just that you believe you're him.
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post #33 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Turns out it's not that you don't believe in God, it's just that you believe you're him.



Her.
post #34 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Religion is trying to dominate politics in a country that was founded by people who tried to escape other countries where religion had dominated politics.

Exactly!
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"Those who would give up essential liberties to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither." -Ben Franklin
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"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."
"Those who would give up essential liberties to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither." -Ben Franklin
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post #35 of 218
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Turns out it's not that you don't believe in God, it's just that you believe you're him.

I am god's gay lover.
post #36 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

I know the speech was a big deal on today's news, but I haven't actually had time to stop and listen to it.

That said, it does make sense on a certain level. The only thing is that you must think of 'religion' as what it is, a systemic set of beliefs that inform your worldview.

So...... what he was actually saying was "freedom and some kind of coherent world view go hand in hand." Funny that he chose such a fraught word as religion to make his point.

Quote:
While atheists and secularists run from the word, atheism is a religion.

Because being against something is close enough to a belief to qualify. As is being for things. So "religion" means "sentient".

Quote:
And freedom at its most basic level does require that individuals be able to freely choose the beliefs that largely guide their thoughts, desires and actions.

So it's not ludicrous at all.

Let's see here...... nope, still ludicrous.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #37 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

That said, it does make sense on a certain level. The only thing is that you must think of 'religion' as what it is, a systemic set of beliefs that inform your worldview.

When he said "religion" he meant "religion."

If there's any indication that he's talking about something broader than that, then that's your burden to prove. Anything can make sense if you generalize it enough. Whether he actually or intended to convey that generalization is another matter entirely. And judging by the fact that he said "religion," I think it's safe to say that "religion" is what he was talking about.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

While atheists and secularists run from the word, atheism is a religion.

What is it with you people lately?

First we have Nick stretching the definition of jingoism to what some people think includes, apparently, vigorous masturbation, and now you're misconstruing religion as something applicable in the same way to non-supernatural beliefs. I know people use the word religion colloquially to say things like "music is my religion" or "sex is my religion." But used like that, anything can be a "religion." So your point is ultimately meaningless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

And freedom at its most basic level does require that individuals be able to freely choose the beliefs that largely guide their thoughts, desires and actions.

I agree with this.

"At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life." -Justice Kennedy (Planned Parenthood v. Casey)
post #38 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Actually, I'm pretty sure you know nothing of the founding fathers. What he was saying was that our nation was founded on an appeal to The Almighty and on a belief that freedom was not granted from the power of men, but from Him. It was a God-given right.

Bullshit. The founding fathers believed that the power of the government is derived from the governed people, not from a higher power, "God". The treaty of Tripoli states that the United States was "in no sense founded on the Christian religion" and that treaty was written when Washington was President and signed when Adams was president. They weren't atheists and they believed in God, but they had serious misgivings about the Bible being the inspired word of God, and Christianity itself. Remember the "Jefferson Bible"? Washington went to his masonic meetings more often than he went to his episcopalian church services.

Or you can check this paper out.
post #39 of 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

It would be awesome of that above statement made any sense whatsoever.

"He knows that a real appeal for tolerance based on his theology (Mormonism) would not have gone over well with the group he was trying to appease, the evangelicals."

There fixed it for you. In other words, if he tried explaining his batshit crazy religion to people, even the evangelicals would balk.
post #40 of 218
Quote:
It may seem sometimes that running for president is all about corporate jets, Secret Service protection and a fawning entourage. Not for Ron Paul, the libertarian anti-war outsider generating some fervent support and impressive fundraising totals. There he was at Washington Reagan airport last night lugging his bags onto the same Continental Airlines flight to Houston as me. On his own. Not an aide in sight.



Campaigning incognito: Ron Paul (centre) boards his plane in Washington

Once on the plane, no one seemed to notice who he was and he chatted amiably (he was sitting behind me) to the man next to him about the weather and the quality of the red wine. As we got off in Houston he was there to spend 24 hours at home I asked him about Mitt Romneys address about his faith at College Station, Texas, which was where I was headed. He seemed only faintly aware it was happening. Useless politicking! he exclaimed. Mormons against radical Baptists. Bah!

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