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Is it time to accuse Hillary of planting a Christian smear?

vastleft's picture

As far as I know, this is a rare admission from an American politician:

Through the centuries we have had many people who have done terrible things in the name of Christianity.

More repudiation of Christian and American exceptionalism, please!

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Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Obviously, Catholics committed brutal acts of genocide in the name of God and, more recently, the Klan claimed Christianity justified their violent, murderous racism. This statement, combined with her previous statement about how misogynistic violence was not culture or tradition, but criminal, is great framing: it allows Muslims to be included in the fight against extremism and recognizes that ensuring human rights is a most potent weapon in that fight.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

For instance [emphasis added]:

I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma. And I'm not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I've got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others.

I'm a big believer in tolerance. I think that religion at it's best comes with a big dose of doubt. I'm suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.

I think that, particularly as somebody who's now in the public realm and is a student of what brings people together and what drives them apart, there's an enormous amount of damage done around the world in the name of religion and certainty.

From March of 2004.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

if I hadn't had to watch that fuck Rick Warren give the invocation at Obama's inauguration. Kind of hard to take a denunciation of hateful Christianity seriously from a guy who has given it a national platform. Repeatedly.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

by this statement from Hillary.

When she gives up her prayer circle and condemns the bigotry of her congregants and the atrocities committed by them, I'll consider cutting her some slack. Absent that, she's just one more bible-thumper politician trying to have it both ways and no different in that regard from Obama or any other president since Jefferson.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

I know some people were ranting about that during the primaries. What is it exactly that goes on in those get-togethers anyway? Do they plot new and different ways to screw the American public or something?

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

to some.

Those with familiarity know that most of these smaller prayer circles are about fellowship and sharing each other's burdens. There is little politics at these sorts of things. But, you know, world domination sounds so much cooler.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

At the time, I thought someone fanned the flames of this prayer circle thing to try to overshadow the Rev. Wright controversy, and I'm not sure that wasn't the case.

This just reminds me how totally repulsive the primary was. People lost their freaking minds.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

it was only when I decided to just let it go that I found some peace. I figure if it really loves me then some day it will return.

Clinton's prayer circle issue was discussed in some places when she first announced, although I had written about my concerns elsewhere when I first heard about it five or so years ago. The bunch she hangs with are pretty creepy, not a handful of Quakers seeking inner peace but some of the worst bigots and hard-Right Christianists in Congress.

If all she wanted was a supportive prayerful community there are a dozen or more that are less sinister in composition. You'll have to ask her why she chose this one, but that crowd is one I wouldn't share a cup of coffee with much less a prayer. Any god who would have Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum isn't the right god for me.

connecticut man1's picture
Submitted by connecticut man1 on

And they have some serious whack jobs in their "leadership".

They are big time involved in those Capitol Hill prayer breakfasts too. Though, just going to the prayer breakfasts isn't likely enough to tag you as one of the family cretins. They also have a house near the Hill for any of their members to do "stuff."

Their goals are advancement of Christianity, and they aren't too choosy about the means and the allies they use to achieve that. You are a mass murdering dictator? No problem for the family... They can look past that. As long as you let them try and convert your oppressed population they'll treat you nice. Might even go into business with you to make few bucks while doing it.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007...

I'm not sure if it's mentioned in that piece, but Obama has visited those folks, as well, though I'm unaware of how tied into it he ever became.

I found Hillary to be relatively circumspect about religion in public (there was one quote of hers that rubbed me the wrong way, and dozens from Obama that did), and public grandstanding and bullshitting about religion bothers me more than decisions about private worship, creepy though her fellow prayer-circle members may be.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I thought it was in my comment, a link to that MJ article, but I must have dropped a command somehow; sorry about that.

Dunno about the difference in creepiness; is it more dangerous when someone is public and open about their religious faith or when they meet privately with people like The Family - seriously creepy people - and say very little? Is it just a matter of privacy, or does she feel there is something she needs to keep hidden?

I want a functional wall up between church and state; in that regard they both score a -5 with me.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

Bit of CDS showing, BIO?

What's your complaint with a politician attending a prayer circle of the religion she chooses to believe in? You don't have to attend or believe it.

As for condemning the bigotry - she walked a pretty fine line today. Admit her religion is not infallible while not offending her coreligionists. Read the whole quote:

"I am a Christian," she said. "Through the centuries we have had many people who have done terrible things in the name of Christianity. They have perverted the religion."

Bible-thumper politician? What are you smoking tonight? You want to compare HClinton's stance on religion to Obama (Mr. Let's Expand the Federal Government's Subsidies of Religious Organizations I Like), to Huckabee, to Romney?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Sure to raise the level of debate.

Here's an example of my CDS, and here and here and here and here and here. What a crazed critic I have been.

And yeah, I see no difference between Obama and HRC on their level of religiosity; Obama is more open, Clinton more secretive, so of the two I am less threatened by him.

I made no reference to Huckabee or Romney; if you want to create a diversion, you'll need to do better than false allusions.

So; all that flung poo missed by a mile, and now you have stinky all over your hands. Got anything true to say?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I'd rather deal with someone who is open than someone who acts in secrecy. Between his keeping open company with Trinity and her praying in secret with Brownback and Santorum and the rest of the Family crowd, yeah I find him less threatening.

YMMV, of course. Mi paranoia no su paranoia.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Skull and Bones
Illuminati
Free Masons
The Family

When religionists are kicking you right in the teeth, you know what they are doing. So that's ok. When they work in secret, behind closed doors, and create their plans to control us with via the fillings in our teeth, with programmed messages hidden on our currency. THAT'S when you have to worry.

That's REALITY, pal!

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

Obama's comment refers only to religions in general and his context is tolerance. He's not making any comment about the religion he personally practices. Also - note the setting: Obama is sitting in a coffee shop talking 1-1 with a reporter.

Contrast this with Clinton, who is speaking publically to an audience of Muslims. Her statement references 'Christians,' a religion she claims to adhere to. She is specifically critical of her own religion and those who 'have perverted the religion.'

It may be true, as you say, that HClinton's public statement is not without precedent, but that little snip from Obama's interview would not be it.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Let's see how biased it might be:

lp: "note the setting: Obama is sitting in a coffee shop talking 1-1 with a reporter"
It wasn't, as you characterize it, a coffeehouse chat. He was giving a formal interview, to a reporter, for the record, that was published in the Chicago Tribune. If you read the link you will see that he showed up alone and according to the reporter spoke without hesitation or apparent concealment in response to questions for which he had no opportunity to prepare.

"Contrast this with Clinton, who is speaking publically to an audience of Muslims"
What Obama said was entirely public; it was printed in a major daily newspaper and is a matter of public record. His audience was the world at large. How could his statement have been made more valid by narrowing the religious affiliation of his audience? That is absurd.

that little snip
How, pray tell, is an excerpt from an interview less compelling than an excerpt from a speech? Aren’t they both “snips”?

"Obama's comment refers only to religions in general and his context is tolerance. He's not making any comment about the religion he personally practices."
Your assertion is internally inconsistent. Obama was indeed speaking about religions in general and in so doing perforce included his own. He made no exception for Christianity, and his statement cannot be interpreted coherently in any way but as an all-inclusive rejection of religious extremism. That his statement arises out of a general context of rejecting intolerance only serves to strengthen the condemnation; all oppression of others based on claimed religious superiority is intolerant, whether violent or merely coercive.

For me, plainly read, of the two statements Obama's is in more general terms and all-encompassing. To some extent you are correct to say the two statements are not entirely comparable; Obama's is by a considerable margin the stronger. At that, for me, it is pretty weak tea from them both, but if Hillary gets an "Amen" then one is also due to Obama.

And finally, let’s talk about context. The Obama interview was given when he was a state rep, having just secured the nomination for his US Senate run, so it did not carry the political force of a pronouncement from the office of the US Secretary of State. But who does the SofS, Ms. Clinton, work for? Barack Obama. And are we to suppose that Secretary Clinton was free-lancing when she spoke these words? Surely not; she is far to deliberate and far too cautious. Rather, she speaks with the authority granted to her by the President, and only with his approval. To the extent that these words reflect Secretary Clinton’s position, they also represent Obama’s position. They are, to put a fine point on it, the public position of the Obama administration, in which Clinton serves at the President’s pleasure.

The words may have come out of Hillary’s mouth, but the power of their expression belongs to the man she works for. Along with religion and America, it is past time to put away claims of Hillarian exceptionalism and accept that she is now just another willing cog in the great Obama policy apparatus. A pity, that; for a brief while I had higher hopes for her.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

If you read the link you will see that he showed up alone and according to the reporter spoke without hesitation or apparent concealment in response to questions for which he had no opportunity to prepare.

In 2004.

Whatta guy. How brave.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Should he have waited until now to answer?

How is it less brave to answer then? He was running for office state-wide, and expecting support from the largely evangelical, largely fundamentalist AfAm religious community. To claim less than a definitive belief that JC is the only true path to salvation was a risk.

Somebody has it bad, but it isn't me.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

Well, gee, let me think about...

He wasn't running for president.

Or was he.

I'm frankly astounded that you defend Obama in any way, shape or form. He's proven nothing.

What decisions are his? What experience does he bring to the table? (Which is why your fairly stupid comment about Hillary speaking as the Secretary of State is so laughable.)

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Keep it up; a few more epithets and I'll finally be able to fill out the second page of my CV.

I'm frankly astounded that you defend Obama in any way, shape or form.
I'll defend anyone I see as an ally or potential ally against what I consider to be unwarranted or counterproductive accusations; useful tools are hard to find. I’m also not wild about what I see as a continuing unjustified deification of Hillary.

Where here, in this thread, have I defended Obama? All I assert is that there is - IMHO - little difference between them on the matter of their religiosity or their willingness to condemn religious extremism and intolerance. I wrote in haste earlier, so let me clarify: On a scale of 1 to 10 I rank Obama for maintaining separation between church and state at -4.93; Hillary I put at -5.14 due to my suspiciousness around her religious observational secrecy and the abysmal quality of the company she keeps.

Maybe I shouldn't challenge the worshipfulness of adherents to the cult sectators of St. Hillary. OK, then; pearls flow from her lips, flowers grow where ever she treads, and perfume wafts from her toilet bowl. I'll just go light a candle now....

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Or Hillarians? Maybe called Bringiton's Law?

"Maybe I shouldn't challenge the worshipfulness of adherents to the cult sectators of St. Hillary. OK, then; pearls flow from her lips, flowers grow where ever she treads, and perfume wafts from her toilet bowl. I'll just go light a candle now...."

Five comments ought to do.

How dare anyone question that private observance of religion is NOT more dangerous than publicly cramming it down our throats and formally involving it in the operation of our supposedly secular government?

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

Barack Obama. And are we to suppose that Secretary Clinton was free-lancing when she spoke these words? Surely not; she is far to deliberate and far too cautious. Rather, she speaks with the authority granted to her by the President, and only with his approval.

Wow. Just wow. You do have it bad.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Terminal addiction, I'm afraid; can't seem to shake it.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

The Hillbot is a wind-up toy. Her every utterance has been pre-programmed, first by Bill, now by Obama and his handlers. She's like a Tom-Tom, if it isn't programmed in, she doesn't say it.

But that's only in the daytime, at night she gets together with her cohort from The Family to drink the blood of the children they kill.

I learned that in the primary.

Reality Pie, get with it.

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

She's SecState. One guy can fire her (maybe two, depending on how powerful Rahm really is) -- with a word. So, yeah, she's aware that what she says, to whom and when, matters if she wants to keep that bully pulpit.
Also, she's not stupid. SO ... if she's hoping to try again for a higher slot, she'll be careful not to do the faux pas thing. Dig?

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

What would that be, Sarah? Running for President? Highly unlikely.

Fire her? For not towing what line? What is Obama's foreign policy? What has he ever said that convinces us that he knows what he's talking about, Sarah? Hillary knows far more about that than he does, Sarah. As you said, Sarah, Hillary isn't stupid.

She's looking good. :)

Sarah's picture
Submitted by Sarah on

State, 'cause apparently she's the polar opposite of her predecessor, eh?

Good Gosh. What if he really is picking good people and ... letting them work? Far as I know, we don't have a SecLabor yet -- something about the Republicans objecting to Solis. SecCommerce, I haven't a clue -- didn't, like, a couple nominees withdraw, or something?

She's not just not stupid. She's savvy. Not only does she look good, she does good.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

After Hillary provides four years of faithful service, religiously toeing the line, she ascends like Elijah and Elisha directly to heaven. Such is the power of the Messiah.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Unless Obama is caught in bed with a dead boy, he'll get the nomination again in 2012. She'd have been in a better position staying in the Senate if she wants to run then. If she's looking at 2016, I think she'll be around 70. Certainly not too old, and if she runs I'll support her again - unless somebody who is more progressive and can win is available.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

I've seen Hillary all over the place from, er, day one. Do we have a Commerce Sec. yet? What about Labor? Given that the economy is so effed up, you'd think that Commerce and Labor would be given a lot of priority. Oh well.

But what about Departments that do have secretaries? How do their high level management compare to State's?