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McCain: Christian Presidents Only, Please (?)


Dr_Evil_Mouse
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Not that he isn't being totally ambiguous, mind you. Looks like cheap pandering to the Southern Baptists demographic, while trying to appear not to be.

McCain: I'd Prefer a Christian President

September 30, 2007 01:17 AM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain said in an interview published Saturday that he would prefer a Christian president over someone of a different faith, calling it "an important part of our qualifications to lead."

In an interview with Beliefnet, a multi-denominational Web site that covers religion and spirituality, the Republican presidential hopeful was asked if a Muslim candidate could be a good president.

"I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles ... personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith," McCain said. "But that doesn't mean that I'm sure that someone who is Muslim would not make a good president."

Later, McCain said, "I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values."

Asked about Republican rivals Mitt Romney's Mormon faith, McCain said, "I think that Governor Romney's religion should not, absolutely not, be a disqualifying factor when people consider his candidacy for president of the United States."

The Arizona senator was also asked about the confusion over which Christian denomination he belongs to. "I was raised Episcopalian, I have attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church for many years and I am a Christian," McCain said. He added that he has considered being baptized in the Baptist church, but he does not want to do it during the presidential race because "it might appear as if I was doing something that I otherwise wouldn't do."

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I'm not really reading it that way at all - nor would want to. "Christianity" can mean all things to all people; Canadian social(ist) structures would never have been instituted without the hard work of certain evangelical leaders (something US evangelicals would likely be reluctant to want to know).

What puzzled me is what's going on with this claim; at one moment he's saying that he'd rather have be led by a Christian, and at the next he's saying he'd be ok with a Muslim leader, if that person held to the values he considers important.

It's the values, I suppose, that are the real sticking point; I just wish religion had been left out of it, as that's going to be the divisive issue.

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I don't really think there's too much to read into here. He answered a question as to who he think should run the country based on his principles, when the media got a hold of that and turned it into the tried and true 'what, you don't think a Muslim can run the country' spin, he had to clarify his point to avoid bad press.

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All I'm suggesting is that someone's religion is about as ambiguous and ambivalent these days (if not always - which I tend to believe) as, say, their skin colour, and McCain should have responded more intelligently. Already, I don't trust him on any questions of religion. I don't think he's thought the matter through well enough. I'd kinda liked him, among the Republicans on offer, but now have to deal with the bitterness of all the requisite grains of salt.

"Religion" and "principles" cannot be taken as identical categories, and it's to walk straight into dangerous territory when they're taken to be so. He might just be yet one more myopic politician, lacking the necessary sense of difference (like one might lack, say, a sense of smell) necessary to help humanity through this mire we're now bogged down in.

Put more simply, I think he was jonesing for cheap, identity-funded votes, found himself (or found himself accused of) doing so, and didn't know what to do with it.

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"Religion" and "principles" cannot be taken as identical categories, and it's to walk straight into dangerous territory when they're taken to be so.

The problem, of course, is that many people believe that they *are* the same thing. All Christians (or whatever) are good, and no one can be good unless he or she is a Christian (or whatever).

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personally, I dont care if McCain thinks a christian president would be better than a non-christian president or that people vote based on a candidate's religion.

what strikes me as problematic is that he is running as a candidate for president himself and essentially saying they because HE is christian he is superior to anyone who is not. ie., dont vote for that guy because he's a jew, or a muslim and worships a god incompatible with the founding principles of our nation.

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All Christians (or whatever) are good, and no one can be good unless he or she is a Christian (or whatever).

Heh, in my experience Christians (or whomever) are not nearly that all embracing or generous. It's usually "Some members of x denomination who understand fundamental law 1, fundamental law 2, fundamental law 3 to be true and who disdain of the [liberal / conservative] argument that y is trumped by z are good, and no one can be good unless he or she (repeat)".

There's probably more heat inside of umbrella categories of religion than between them :)

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There's probably more heat inside of umbrella categories of religion than between them :)

So true. You remind me of a joke.

A man was walking along a bridge over a river when he saw another man getting ready to jump. He ran over and said: "Wait a minute! You don't want to die! Surely you must be a religious person."

The jumper thought a minute and said: "Yes, I suppose I am." The first man said: What are you, Christian, Jewish....?"

"Christian" the jumper replied.

"OK, so are you Baptist, Methodist,....?"

"Baptist."

"OK, are you American Baptist, General Baptist, Free Will Baptist....?

"I'm Primitive Baptist founded in Dayton, TN in 1899."

"Die, heretic!" said the first man and pushed him off the bridge.

Sects seem only to get over their differences with a) enough space/leisure to eventually get around to it, i.e. the intelligent minds can get past the reactionaries to finally start working things out (e.g. Anglicans and Lutherans, recently), or B) some immediate thread to the both of them. To wit, this analogy:

Descendants of the nation's most famous feuding families are gathering in Kentucky next week to formally end the historic fighting.

The Hatfields and McCoys are meeting in Pikeville, Kentucky, to sign an official truce and proclaim that they stand together against any common foe to the United States.

Reo Hatfield of Waynesboro, Virginia, proposed the truce. Hatfield says he wants to send a message to the world that when national security is at risk, Americans put their differences aside and unite.

The feud between the McCoys of Kentucky and the Hatfields of West Virginia is believed to have stemmed from a dispute over a pig. A court battle over timber rights escalated the tension in the 1870s.

By 1888, as many as a dozen lives were lost. For the past three years, descendants have put aside their differences for a lighthearted reunion.

At this year's reunion, slated for June 12 through the June 15, the families will sign the truce.

Bo McCoy of Waycross, Georgia, says descendants of both families feel a kinship because of their common history.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

97722_14_hillbilly_hare.jpg

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All Christians (or whatever) are good, and no one can be good unless he or she is a Christian (or whatever).

Heh, in my experience Christians (or whomever) are not nearly that all embracing or generous. It's usually "Some members of x denomination who understand fundamental law 1, fundamental law 2, fundamental law 3 to be true and who disdain of the [liberal / conservative] argument that y is trumped by z are good, and no one can be good unless he or she (repeat)".

There's probably more heat inside of umbrella categories of religion than between them :)

True dat.

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