Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mitt Romney's Concession Speech.

Should he withdraw from the race he hasn't officially entered yet.

Mitt: Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life. and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don't care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this country might think that's stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, America, but you're so high and mighty you couldn't look past my religion and just be my friend back. You've got a lot of growing up to do, buddy. Suck my balls.

[turns around and walks off. All four boys just look at him in wonder, even Weisberg.]

Weisberg: Damn, that kid is cool, huh?

Wiesberg’s column is way off. For the most complete, entertaining, yet surprisingly even-handed treatment of the controversial Joseph Smith story, look here. [The episode, not the site, which I haven't bothered to look at.]

Mitt is the man to beat, this election. He’s smart, he’s good looking in a most presidential kind’ve way, he’s a business-oriented conservative who can play nice with liberals, his values appeal to Southern Christian conservatives, he's a Northeast governer with ties to the West, and he’s going to impress the hell out of the voting public (if perhaps not the political pundits) once the debates get underway. It’s foolish and arrogant to underestimate this man because of his religion. “Let he who is without sin…” and all that.


bite said...

But he is an extremely unpopular 1-term governor.

The problem is that the Republican base (read: christian whackjobs) won't vote for a mormon. To get an idea of what they really think, read Jack Dallas, the most honest republican on the board.

TenaciousK said...

The pivotal point will come right around the time Mitt gets serious, live press coverage. You know the camera loves Mitt, and I'm betting that the Christian Conservatives will feel mighty reassured when they see him in live action.

Christian whackjobs hate mormons, in large part because they've had little exposure to mormons. With greater exposure, I'm confident that non-Mormon Christian whackjobs and Mormon Christian whackjobs will find they see eye-to-eye about an astonishing number of things. Bridges will be built, Mormon students won't be kicked out of private Christian schools so often, and coalitions of mutual bigotry will be formed against the jointly defined servants of iniquity.

[sigh...] I'm not even a Romney supporter. I just think people like Weisberg are being foolishly dismissive of someone who may have the firepower and appeal to win the Republican nomination. The Mormon objection is overblown, partly because people like Weisberg are sadly ignorant of the degree to which Mormons have become mainstream.

fluffy black puppies said...

the few mormons living here whom i personally know are less wacko than many of the evangelical christians.

on top of that, many of the evangelical christians whom i know say that they would far rather vote for someone of any religion than vote for some godless heathen humanist/[gasp!]atheist.

fluffy black puppies said...

ps. weisberg was being an idiot about mormons, but i have to agree with one thing: i'd like to be able to vote for a reasonable, religion-free candidate. for any office.

unfortunately, richard dawkins and his ilk have made us all look like the devil incarnate.

catnapping said...

He's a christianist, and that makes him dangerous to all living beings.

What we need in the whitehouse is a good, old-fashioned pagan. Now those folks can teach us all a thing or two about traditional values.

TenaciousK said...

Well if we consider "traditional" to mean "venerable", I suppose no one has the pagans beat.

The problem of religion cuts across affiliation, of course, and has more to do with the degree to which it can be employed to objectify people. I'm not sure Christianity is much worse than the other contenders on that dimension, though Buddhism probably comes out looking best. Probably.

Religion-free. I remember hearing someone talking with some authority about how many of the "founding fathers" were actually gnostics. I wish I knew if it were true. I think a rather pragmatic approach to religion might be fine - someone who by-and-large values things like, being nice to each other, and not judging, and being good to children, and not hurting people.

Problem is, religious frameworks are usually employed to assess the degree to which a person is lacking (even if the person being assessed is the person making the assessment). This brings up all sorts of ideas about unacceptability/shame that are frankly unhelpful and too often prove dangerous.

But that has more to do with application and focus than with religious or philosophical tenets themselves.

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

Sounds an awful lot like:

There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer, and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you, and what is outside you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion.

Closely related observations, from Thomas & Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. I wish more people in political office (or organized Christian worship) were familiar with such venerable, but seemingly radical (or psychobabblish) ideas.

From the little I know about paganism, BTW, it seems this inner/outer parallel is taken to a rather concrete extreme. I'm not sure this is a helpful thing, either.

It strikes me that, were people less certain in their beliefs (regardless of the system espoused), it would save the rest of us a lot of grief.

All the trouble seems to start when people attempt to make concrete interpretations of abstract ideas, and brings me back to the contention that it's concrete thinking, from any philosophical or religious tradition, that poses the chief threat to the well-being of humanity. Would a believing, unimaginative Mormon really make a worse Commander-in-Chief than a dupe for business interests? Or a Republican ideologue? I think the wackiness surrounding the founding and early practices of the LDS church is actually advantageous; it's difficult to take it all seriously, and encourages the kind of separation of logic and religious belief that could prove protective, in cases where religious people are in positions of authority.

It's all in the application of those beliefs, rather than the beliefs themselves.

Isn't it?