Are they?

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Many Americans Uneasy with Mix of Religion and Politics, 69% Say Liberals Too Secular, 49% Say Conservatives Too Assertive

The relationship between religion and politics is a controversial one. While the public remains more supportive of religion’s role in public life than in the 1960s, Americans are uneasy with the approaches offered by both liberals and conservatives. Fully 69% of Americans say that liberals have gone too far in keeping religion out of schools and government. But the proportion who express reservations about attempts by Christian conservatives to impose their religious values has edged up in the past year, with about half the public (49%) now expressing wariness about this.

The Democratic Party continues to face a serious “God problem,” with just 26% saying the party is friendly to religion. However, the proportion of Americans who say the Republican Party is friendly to religion, while much larger, has fallen from 55% to 47% in the past year, with a particularly sharp decline coming among white evangelical Protestants (14 percentage points).

I looked at which blogs were posting about this story to see what the right is saying and Time magazine’s former blog of the year decides that a tap dance around the poll is the most appropriate response, from Powerline, August 25, 2006, Dueling Headlines

“Few see Democrats as friendly to religion.”

The New York Times’s headline:

“In Poll, G.O.P. Slips as a Friend of Religion.”

Does anyone sense an agenda here? As for which headline more fairly represents the poll’s results, the Pew survey found that 47 percent of respondents think the Republicans are “friendly toward religion,” as opposed to “neutral” or “unfriendly,” while only 26 percent consider the Democrats “friendly.” And, while it’s true, as the NYT headline says, that the number of people who say the Republicans are friendly toward religion is lower than last year, the Democrats’ figure is lower, too. And over the last three years, the Democrats’ “friendly” percentage has fallen from 42 to 26, a far more drastic decline.

Since the post is signed “John” I’m assuming the author is Assrocket himself who ends with this bizarre observation,

Which makes me think that those of us who devote considerable effort to combatting media bias probably overestimate the impact–short-term impact, anyway–that the news media have on Americans’ attitudes.

What does that mean, that the media isn’t doing enough to recruit people into right-wing churches. Is that their job? Maybe Assrocket doesn’t have basic cable in his part of the country, I just checked my cable program guide for the next 24 hours and a quick count found over 65 hours of religious programming and this is typical of basic cable programming in my area for twenty-four hours a day six days a week; on Sunday add another ten hours. How much religion does the media have to pump out to make Assrocket happy. If anything the poll indicates that the choir is full up and isn’t likely to convert a large swath of the population over to the unhealthy mix of right-wing politics and right-wing religion that Assrocket is hoping for. Powerline and other like minded on the far right fringe may have to face a startling reality, that their visions of a conservative Utopia is not going to be accomplished by new recruits. The culprit is not the center which the right has somewhat succeeded in defining as the far left, but the world of big business. American business rides on that stickle back monster called pop culture. If business can’t use and propagate pop culture they can’t sell their wares. Who thinks pop culture is the devil in disguise? Mostly the religious right. If Assrocket and his cohorts want to sit around and figure out how to untangle product sells from popular trends and slick advertising go at it, Godspeed.

Not to pick on Powerline, conservatives in general either don’t understand or have been thoroughly dishonest about the relatively simple issue of the NSA and the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens so there is little reason to think that they would be honest or wiser about the role of religious in public life.The point of certain religious factions in America or the middle-east for that matter is not the pursuit of the spiritual or careful inward reflections on one’s own life or the issues facing the world. They embrace religion as a form of crowd control a sociological utopia lies ahead if only everyone would believe exactly the same thing they believe, This is nothing new. The Holy Roman Empire had a pretty good run riding on the supposition that they were the exclusive owners of the one and only truth. Osama Bin Laden and James Dobson both believe they possess the one and only truth. That truth that they believe in is like a bat encrusted with rusty nails, it is not the religion of tolerance and understanding and those that care about the future of humanity are rooting against both of them. The right has embraced religion for many reasons, but the major reason is that it is an easy way to corral and fire up the masses. Religion being so malleable it is easy to manuver around one’s blatantly none Christian behavior. The right’s ideological path takes more from the old testament then the new and yet on a daily basis ignore the commandments. I didn’t make the rules as far as this mixing religion with public policy, but it does seem quite a trick that conservatives don’t just regularly break the 8th and 9th commandments, it peddles its agenda as though they don’t exist. There is always the fall back position that has made its way to bumper sticker fame, “Christians aren’t perfect but they’re forgiven”. If that sounds like the small print on a contract that allows the signers to get out of fulfilling their end of the bargain its because that it what it is. Right-wingers embrace religion then promptly ignore what good there is in it because they have an escape clause. They can and have commited the most immoral acts and most atrocious betrayals of America’s rationalist’s based laws because they’ve made honorable behavior disposable by way of how they apply their religion to culture and political policy. Those in the reality based camp, some of whom are quite spiritual find this behavior to be a real head spinner. The poll may indicate that a few people are catching on, conservatives control America, they are at the reins and yet we’re enjoying a revival of corruption, decadence and bad policies not seen since Harding.

Does the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli say that “The Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion?”

In 1797, six years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights, the United States government signed a treaty with the Muslim nation of Tripoli that contained the following statement (numbered Article 11 in the treaty):

As the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the law, religion or tranquility of Musselmen; and as the states never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mohometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever produce an interruption of harmony existing between the two countries.

Thou shall not take stuff that belongs to someone else, Former Burns Finance Official Accused of Fraud

Montana officials have accused a recently-departed fundraising chief for Sen. Conrad Burns’ (R-MT) re-election campaign with securities fraud, according to a press release.

State Auditor John Morrison says Pat Davison defrauded two families of $1.2 million. Morrison said Davison convinced them to withdraw the money from investment accounts so he could put them in “fake” investments, including a bond issue from a local school trust.

I’m not a biblical scholar, maybe conservatives know something about Christians values that allows for a loop hole big enough to fit over a million bucks through.

OLD SALIERI
What do you want?

VOGLER
Do you understand that you have
sinned? Gravely.

OLD SALIERI
Leave me alone.

VOGLER
I cannot leave alone a soul in pain.

OLD SALIERI
Do you know who I am? You never heard
of me, did you?

VOGLER
That makes no difference. All men
are equal in God’s eyes.

OLD SALIERI
Are they?

from the screenplay “AMADEUS” by Peter Shaffer