Obama Not For Me

A little late, perhaps, but I do know I won't be voting for Obama.

“I know there are some who bristle at the notion that faith has a place in the public square,” Mr. Obama said. “But the fact is, leaders in both parties have recognized the value of a partnership between the White House and faith-based groups.”

Good luck with that, Dems. Perhaps you can do it without people like myself.

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I actually liked Obama's comments.

I think that people of faith, regardless of what they believe, can be a valuable resource as long as they perform their service out of humility and commonality rather than as a form of evangelism or superiority.

Oy, Bink

Now this is what I'm talking about with atheists being so dogmatic. I know you are a believer in all things empirical, my friend, but please recognize the value of what good people of faith have accomplished through their faith. Even Christopher Hitchens finds value in religion if for just having a basis in morality and ethics you can't find in science. It took me a long time to overcome my disdain for religion but I ultimately recognized that it truly helps a lot of people. And it hones me in on the people that misuse it or otherwise use it to their advantage. But to discount a positive movement on a single issue is far too narrow for someone of your intelligence.

And you may also be thinking that he's just pandering. While it certainly was with Bush, using this as means to funnel money to wrong headed abstinence only programs, the program need not be abandoned as there are many urban faith based programs with a wonderful track record of helping the homeless, combating drug dependence, and helping others to overcome hopelessness that corrupt so many. Introducing some common sense by keeping successful programs is what I expect from Obama since he has much experience with these issues.

By all means, criticize away, but you're not convincing anyone that he's a bad choice just because of this single issue.

Way to go, Binky!

Sit home and don't vote in this historic election because of this one issue. How impressive.

Gosh, you sound just like "them" - those other single issue voters, most of them social conservatives. Oh dear! But wait, you're not quite just like them. You're smart.

Shove it

At this point, I'm ready to turn my back on this rednecked religious bullshit of a country.

There is absolutely NO reason to court the evangelicals. Charity, yes, Evangelicals? Absolutely not. Fuck all of those that have to quote the bible at every turn, this is a secular country and those "faith based" programs are un-Constitutional. Why would I support that kind of crap?

What you're turning your back on

are those committed religious people who take to heart the teachings of Christ, and others, on ministering to the poor, and helping the sick and infirm without regard to paying with their soul. Its the Christian Left Obama's reaching out to. That's my kumbaya two cents.

But for my cynical side, I say that its another sign of what a brilliant strategist Obama is. He's using the Republican ploy to funnel treasury money into the hands of Republican campaign donors and flipping it on them to do the same for committed religious Democratic supporters. What's good for the goose.... They certainly can't complain and it shows the fallacy of the "compassionate conservativism" of last eight years. The bonus is that all these programs are now open to federal discrimination scrutiny which they weren't under Bush which will weed out much of the hypocritical flocks in the Bible belt. And it restores some balance between the factions and exploits the ire of many Christians who never saw the American Taliban as their advocates. Moreover, for him to ignore this political strategy would invite peril. Ain't no way Republicans should represent all things religious. Politics is a game of the majority. Individual rights are a matter for the Constitution which he certainly isn't ignoring.

You don't have to support this Bink. But where you gonna go?

Not welcome

I'm feeling unwelcome in today's Obamafest, unwilling to join up and sing camp songs while Republicans commit more crimes. We don't have time for feel good crap while prisoners rot in Gitmo, two countries fall to chaos and so much more.

I guess I'll be one more of those that hate all politicians, hate both parties, and then just watch as the rest of the people make the decisions that keep the status quo.

I can dig it.

But I ask you to recall all the beautifully compassionate things the doofus in chief said in 1999 to get elected. I can give him some leeway here cause we can work with this guy. He'll not be anyone's perfect President, but he's a damn good candidate.

And I agree with you and Tara. I have issues. FISA pisses me off.

Have you heard of the

Have you heard of the Religous Left by chance? My wife and I are progressive Christians who attend a progressive Christian church. It is sad that the attitude of the militant atheists have become so similar to the right wing evangelicals that they so despise.

By the way, my wife and I

By the way, my wife and I used to belong to the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, but the atheists who managed to dominate the culture of that fellowship never made us, as Christians, feel welcome.
It is sad that they have worked to alienate people who would otherwise, politically, socially, culturally etc. be their allies and support their rights as atheists.

Are they atheists or agnostic?

I have many friends in that congregation. I think they're all great and I'm surprised at the reception you received. But you reference the part of the dogmatic mindset that I find repelling. They remind me of Rush Limbaugh. Its arrogant. I am smart enough to know that I don't have all the answers.

I guess the term they use

I guess the term they use now is "Humanists". We love Rv Elizabeth Green, she is fabulous and has always made us feel welcome. Unfortunately there are many in the congregation who have been wounded in the past by dogmatic, evangelical Christianity. I don't think it's a majority, but a vocal minority that definatly has distaste for what they believe all Christians are. During the classes we had to take to become members it was not unusual for us to have to defend our Christianity to other initiates. One person in the group actually said all Christians were idiots, and another said that anyone who believes in God obviously has no reasoning ability.
We loved the concept of the fellowship and what it stood for, but we became weary of having to defend our spiritual path. We've drifted back to the Episcopal Church, which is actually pretty progressive in Idaho.

I considered

myself a humanist before the term became co-opted. I can't find a label that applies anymore. Probably the one that comes closest for me anymore is Deist other than half the time I'm unsure. Which is why I default to agnostic. I forget who coined it but someone once said that the people who continuously quest for God are those that come closest to finding her. Or some such thing. I am not one who finds all the answers to life in empiricism. But I favor rational thought and critical analysis over blind obedience.

I think

the blogmother is a member of that congregation. You give great examples of some blatant bigotry. No church should let that pass unchecked. But most preach such closed minded ideals from the pulpit.

We love the concept of the

We love the concept of the UU Church: one mountain top, many paths. I call myself a Universalist Christian when asked and truly believe that there is no one "correct" spiritual path that fits all.
We miss Elizabeth Green and her excellent sermons. When we need a fix we find ourselves going back just to listen to her wisdom.

Which church

if you don't mind? My spouse attends St Michaels Episcopal which has a wide variety of politics in the congregation. I like most folks down there. And they won me over by accepting the Ten Commandments Monument to shut down the fanatics trying to blur the lines between church and state.

We occasionally attend St.

We occasionally attend St. Stephens Episcopal Church now. The pastor for that church is progressive. He was also opposed to the 10 Commandments fanatics and was in support of the gay bishop.

Religious Left

I don't care for the religious left. I don't care for organized religion, and I distrust those that play in the middle because they can't get along without a crutch.

How much more about the Bible can be proved wrong? Pi doesn't equal 3, the stars aren't painted on a firmament, the Sun doesn't revolve around the earth. Jesus didn't ride around on a pet dinosaur and the earth isn't 6000 years old. Doesn't leave much.

You have a very narrow view

You have a very narrow view of spirituality and specifically Christianity, and are likely tainted by bad experiences. If you care for a broader understanding you should try reading Marcus Borc, Elaine Pagels, or even Karen Armstrong. You will find that the "religion" of the Left is very different from the religion of the Right; and the interpretations of bible and other religious text is very, very different.
As the famous Unitarian Universalist minister Forrest Church (son of Frank Church) said when confronted by an atheist(paraphrased):
Church asked : "Tell me about the God that you don't believe in" after the atheist answered Church replied "Wow, I don't believe in that God either". Forrest Church is a Christian. The point is that your understanding of God is abhorrant to those of us on the Spiritual Left as well.


Spiritualism is just as much of a crutch as the evangelicalism of the right. Neither are needed for morals, guidance or anything at all. Society creates the morals it requires based upon the deep needs of the group as a whole, not as individuals. Religion and spirituality just try to force it all to "mean" something, to have some sort of giant purpose that shifts and morphs in order to defy definition or measurement.

Again, you seem to be

Again, you seem to be trapped in your narrow vision of what "spirituality" means to people. There was a time that I used to have views similar to yours, but eventually my mind opened to new and different possibilities thanks in part to some wise people. Anyway, there's not much more that I can offer here; but good luck in your journey.

Single issue voter or not...

...there are still many Democrats who can't jump on the Obama bandwagon. Bink points out one of the many reasons and more power to him for being so passionate. It isn't just about single issues--I can think of at least three (this courting the evangelicals being one of them) issues that I can't and absolutely will not support Obama on. I'm hoping his veep choice will help, but I'm afraid it may not.

What are the other..

two issues on which you can't support Obama?


He voted for allowing the telecoms immunity.

This statement as well:

“I sometimes felt as if I were watching the psychodrama of the Baby Boom generation — a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago — played out on the national stage.”

Screw that. He wouldn't have the Presidency pretty much handed to him without the "psychodrama" that we participated in.

He's turned his back on the liberals, instead rushing to welcome his new religious friends.

Cause God forbid he move to the center for the General!

Just another indicator why Binky is unfit to play with others. What a douchebag you are binky, just shit all over our only hope. But go ahead, sit back in smug satisfaction, since you have no stake in the election anymore, I hope that means you are gone from 43rd State Blues, beacuse if that's the case, I'll come back (as will many others I guess).

I'm with you ...

... on FISA, I'm with you on the faith-based initiative bullshit. I agree it's unconstitutional and I'm very disappointed in Obama's position here.

I just don't see how you can suggest that refusing to vote is a solution. So you don't have a candidate who thinks exactly as you do. What else is new? Is that ever going to happen? Is refusing to vote the answer? I don't think a vote in favor of Obama is necessarily a vote in favor of that "crap." If anything, it's a vote against the HUGE amount of crap we'll have to endure if McCain is elected. The consequences of a McCain presidency are far more dire for this country than an Obama presidency that includes continued faith-based blah blah blah.

I apologize for my sarcasm in my earlier post, Senor Binky. Wasn't necessary.

Hey Grandjester - You use the lovely terms "douchebag" and "shit all over our only hope" in your post, and then accuse Binky of being unfit to play with others? You might think about walking your talk bro.

hey shrew,

you get my award for 'favorite person of the day' today! :) Been wanting to say something to Grandjester along those lines...


Obama's apparent reversal on so many critical issues at this time are more than a concern. They indicate a severe shift to the right, how much more will he take liberty with? He may have been against Iraq at the beginning, but what will he really do when he takes the Presidency? Given his courting of the right wing, I fear that he will listen to them, listen to PNAC and others that proudly led America down this destructive path.

And if Obama is turning on the left, how many more democrats will be doing the same? The Montana Democrat, Jon Tester has also turned on the left during critical votes.

Ha ha!

When's the last time you heard of some social justice/peace initiative brought to fruition by an atheist?

Doesn't happen.

Yeah, really smart, diss all the progressive religious folks, some half of the electorate.

These "holier than thou" atheists, a minority of such, piss me off.

They are as intolerant and wrong headed as the fundies.

Don't even know that tax dollars have been going to religious organizations for the provision of social services FOR DECADES.

Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services are some of the largest recipients of government social services money.

Are they more or less successful that pure secular programs, that is the question. Have any answers, militant bigoted atheists? Thought not.

GWB used the faith-based initiative to rally the stupid fucking fundies to vote for him, the programs were shit.

Obama (and I'm no Obama-lover) proposes a different kind of program.

I was agnostic/bordering on atheist for many years. Figured out at the age of 13 that Christian exclusivity was a bunch of BS and didn't at all fit with Haysus's central teachings. Some of you poor folks had exclusivist Christianity beat into you for many years, and maybe you even believed it after your brain matured and now you're bitter beyond all belief and hostile to all believers.

Get over it.

90% of the world are believers. You could do a Men in Black mind erase of all faith beliefs, and in 20 days, the vast majority of people would have some sort of belief in a higher power. That's just the way it is. Ask the Anthro/Psychologists.

Hey, I have GIGANTIC problems with the Catholic Church, (which I attended for many years, on account of marriage), but their Pax Christi peace and justice organization is one of THE most influential in the world, as is my religious affilliation's group, the Quakers (American Friends Service Committee).

Quakers have made reconcilliation between the Jewish families who had members killed by Palestinian suicide bombers, and the Palestinian families who had members killed by the IDF, in order to be an influencing FORCE for peace.

Atheists? Done exactly nothing.

I have no problem with ordinary atheists, most do not mock and condemn those of us with faith. Many of the militant holier than thou atheists were once in abusive and wrong Christian families. Sorry about that. Doesn't give you the right to disabuse all believers.

The REVERAND Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Christian, who believed he was called by god in his advocacy. Are you militant atheists going to diss on him for his faith that lead him to fight for the rights, and justice for all people?

Keep Praying

Maybe AIDS will cure itself, or maybe evolving bacterium will just stop because you guys all pray harder.

Then again, you're all praying so hard, why isn't the world perfect? I guess thats all the more reason for you just to pray more and give more to the church coffers.

The faith in government

The faith in government issue cannot be ignored or written of as a non-issue, it’s serious and must be addressed and those who oppose it, are not non-believers in faith but believers in a true democracy and freedom that has existed for over 230 years and provided for the freedom of religion that exists today. Madison and Jefferson indicated that government support for religion would invariably harm both and that the wisest route was to always error on the side of strict separation.

I understood from the beginning of my acceptance of Obama’s candidacy that the issue of faith would most likely be apart of his campaign. My belief in him is found in the bigger picture of the tasks to be addressed for our democracy. A stronger government that represents the people interest over corporate America and its profits, I will vote with confidence that Mr. Obama and his direction will ensure our democracy and a future for new generations.

I use my own faith to guide my personal life and believe that each individual’s choice of faith is sacred and must be respected by all, I oppose extremist faith based ideology and social conservatives who under the cloak of goodness infuse faith for partisan advantage into politics and willfully effort to manipulate a free society through government and its legislation, that is not an American democracy.

Faith based programs created and funded by the Bush Administration “armies of compassion” had alternate social conservative motives, such as, Christianizing America. An individual American who reaches out with a hand in need from a community for assistance should never be required to accept a particular faith in their life as payment for charity.

I don’t know what the compromise might be but, I certainly hope one will be achieved for the good of the country not just a particular faith. I can’t imagine the American tax dollar being provided to any tax exempt faith that has an ideology that intends to manipulate the American government and society for the purpose of serving god.


Maybe AIDS will cure itself, or maybe evolving bacterium will just stop because you guys all pray harder.

Then again, you're all praying so hard, why isn't the world perfect? I guess thats all the more reason for you just to pray more and give more to the church coffers.


The overwhelming majority of ALL scientists are believers, including the greatest scientists of all time.

Your point?

Oh, you have none.

Just bashing believers on principle, again, sans even the tiniest molecule of logic.

Good luck with that.

Glaring Chutzpah

By many's definitions (including mine) Racism cannot exist without the power to opress.

I'd say this also applies for religion vs. atheism. I'd also say that discussions of religion vs. atheism are interestingly different: One can't just hide one's race when convenient by saying "I'm like you."

It isn't like black people are given a chance to just dig until they find (and embrace) a definition of black that excludes them as easily as an ethical and conscientious person can find a description of god they can embrace.

So far you've said that atheists are worthless, then 'proven' this by listing liberal icons that were religious and that did good things. You've used absolutisms like 'the overwhelming majority of ___ are ___, including the greatest ___ of all time' (a phrase I rank down near 'if you don't like it, maybe you should move to ___').

And you've accused bink of bashing sans logic when his (ineloquent) post did offer up a few logical challenges:

Why, in the presence of all this faith, are we such SOB's? Where's the world peace?

Why can't faith heal as promised?

Now, here are some of mine: Bertrand Russell was worthless? You diss Ben Franklin, Tom Jefferson, George Washington and a few others? Is Deism ok by you? What about Descartes' definition of God? How about Gandi's? Take a moment to convince me that Descartes' God resembles yours. Because my gut feeling is that these are intelligent and world-changing souls that found a compromise they could endure in the face of uncompromising religiosity like yours.

Next, why do you care? For two hundred years, religions and government were self-sustaining without overlapping in this country. Why *must* unconstitutional funding of religious programs get this fervent defense by the same bleating crowd that screams about originalism any time it is convenient for them?

By the way, my religious issue du jour isn't this crap. I'm more interested in the LDS church's papal bull that was broadcast to bishops throughout Cali on gay marriage. Moments like that, Bink is deadly right: religious politicking is a very bad thing.

Gresham's law for faith

NB: Gresham's law says that bad coin (bad money) will always push out good. Wrap your brain around that one and why, then dive in:

Like with Gresham's law, I've got a vague sense that religious activity has a twofold pressure system. It claims more than it does and compels adherents through violence and peer pressures.

The first one: If someone needs (and gets) help, the source of this help either claims a religious guidance led to the help (score 1 for religion) or disclaims any cause (score 0 for the nonreligious). There is no agnostic or atheistic equivalent of the euphemism 'it's the christian thing to do', there's quite literally no way to score points for an ethical but nonreligious ideology.

The second: Church. Civic organizations with a religious tone. Missionaries. Church groups. On the more depressing side, the charitable arms of every terrorist and hardcore ultraconservative religious faction in the world (including hammas, the taliban, the Mahdi militia, shiites and sunnis, madrassas, separatists and segregationists).

So... am I wrong? Where's the recruitment arm of the nonreligious and ethical? Where's the support structure that lets ethical Invictusians share and revel in their deterministic or empirical worldview while spreading good words and deeds? What's the agnostic answer to the Masons? What's the phrase used to spread this worldview? Hell, even groups I respect and support like Habitat for Humanity or NAACP occasionally wax religious in ways that must seem exclusionary for ethical and nonreligious people.

Religious "scientists"

As long as the religious scientists insist that evolution is a farce, that science without "God" is evil, and that have the niggling little thoughts that diseases and catastrophes are "God's" will, then religious scientists will hold back developments. Thats why the atheist scientists are the ones making the breakthroughs on evolution and on viral evolution in order to counter the real dangers of the world.

Although maybe the Great Flood really buried all of those cures, or maybe the firmament will come crashing down, or how about religious scientists will finally prove that a flat earth is true.

Religion is holding back our society and our scientists. It is time for us to put those quaint little traditions behind us and move forward, stop waiting for a deity to answer the questions and do it ourselves.

Your ignorance is not becoming

You diss Ben Franklin, Tom Jefferson, George Washington and a few others?

ALL were Deists, i.e. believers in God. Look it up, for god's sakes.

How dumb can you be?

God, athesism must be as mentally retarding as fundamentalism.
Except that I know it really isn't, except for the bigoted atheists, a minority of such, who think their shiite don't stink...

Who haven't a freaking clue.

Cool! We've got another troll

Admittedly, Bink found it first, but it seems to luuurve me, too. And GL's only 3 days old! Anyone want to take bets on if GL makes it 2 weeks -- seems to be burning hot, which usually causes outright flameouts in a fortnight.

GL, considering *I* pointed out these three were deists (which was a codeword contestably close to agnostic or atheist in the 18th century, if you ask me -- remember what happened in those days to heretics), you really seem to need to work on your reading and social skills if your plan is insulting your host and questioning his intelligence on your third day here.

A few seconds of googling challenges your preconceptions about the dearth of valuable contributions to humanity by atheists. Oh, and who said I was an athiest? I just said they're less odious than this drivel and pap.

Oh now

I know glib and he's no more belligerent than Bink. I value his input whenever I encounter him. With respect I think he's closer to the mark on the semantics argument here. His only detriment is that he may be from (gasp) Washington. As far as his good points, he's been kicked off of HBO more than any other blogger. He's a keeper.

Yeah, just did a Ready-Fire-Aim review

... after telling him he wasn't smart enough, I went back to reread his stuff, and as I wrote (concurrently with you, apparently), he does have moments. 'Haysus' cracked me up.

But calling me an atheist because I understand and respect Bink's position evidences some serious mental laziness or immaturity.


He just leapt to a conclusion. And you don't write often enough for people to know you. He's a pretty educated well informed guy and would be a credit to the site. He keeps DFO hopping which is just fine by me.

Hopping? As in wild west style?

As in by shooting at DFO's feet? Like napoleon dynamite and nunchuks, that'd be a skill I'd respect.

Like I say

He gets under DFO's skin more than Binky does. Seems to relish in it actually.


Bink and glib are typically ganging up on others. But he gave Bink some legitimate grief here.

Read the FAQ

Serephin pointed out this AM that you're a regular on the Huckleberries blog. Like the Statesman blogs, HBO is something intellectually underwhelming enough that I'm uniformed ('haven't a freaking clue') on it's userbase in general, so you slipped under my radar. But I'd recommend you slink back there if you're just here to violate the FAQ with your flamage. We expect a degree of intelligence and depth of reasoning together far more than what you've exhibited so far.

EDIT: in retrospect, you did very well with a few paragraphs of 'Ha-Ha!' (http://www.43rdstateblues.com/?q=node/5243#comment-3730). Then you went off the rails completely. Come back toward the light. Bink and Tom keep me on my toes but they're too prickly for me to recommend their style.

Good anti-god, what is this, Alice in Wonderland?

GL, considering *I* pointed out these three were deists (which was a codeword contestably close to agnostic or atheist in the 18th century, if you ask me -- remember what happened in those days to heretics),

Contestably? Laughable.

The few agnostics and atheists at the time would bristle beyond all hell, suggesting they are Deists.

What, can we not even discern here, basic fundamentals of language and MEANING?

Deist: Belief in a god or higher power.
Agnostic: Not sure.
Atheist: There is no god or higher power.

There you have it, class.
It ain't nuclear waste disposal science.

I tread in the belly of the beast, HBO, one of the most popular blogs in Idaho, and have been banned numerous times for doing so. My message gets out, tho, and even the "Great Satan" DFO has to agree with me sometimes. This, after I totally trashed his fundie preacher, who had/has an S/R column, several years ago.

I say again, you want to diss ALL believers as being stupid, ignorant, on their face?

Good luck with that, 90% of the world are believers, of some sort. Including MOST of the best of our scientists.

there is NO conflict between science and belief, unless you're a bigot.


Good thing Pi is equal to 3, then, otherwise science would be at a conflict with that little thing called the Bible!

Oh, and raw meat spawns maggots.


You pick. Either you're intentionally reading me wrong or all the 'twead in da bewwwy of da beets' self-promotion ain't worth shinola here, bub.

Even today, most people face serious political, employment, or other risk by claiming they're atheist. It is easier to pick something acceptable and noncommital.

Deism says God created a clockwork universe, and won't touch the world again.
Descartes said God is the interface between mind and the physical world.

Both of these seem to me to be attempts to reconcile a disbelief in some cross between the North Wind, Father Time and Santa, in favor of what science supported.

And speaking of convincing DFO, I notice you've backed off to 'MOST' from 'ALL'. I don't say this to claim victory... you just spoke in haste. Such is the essence of blogging and comments. Stop ranting at Bink (and at me... was quite a trip for you to second-guess me to be atheist) just because he rants.

Thick skin, no editor, no waiting period for rethinking poison pens... that's OK. But not acting like a human scintillation counter, exploding tenfold for each provocation from another blogger... that's the crux skill.