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Is "whisper campaign" the new election meme?

Posted by non | January 21, 2008 1:53 PM

If he "believes in the power of prayer", he's fucking stupid or he's fucking pandering.

"Prayers offered by strangers had no effect on the recovery of people who were undergoing heart surgery, a large and long-awaited study has found.

And patients who knew they were being prayed for had a higher rate of post-operative complications like abnormal heart rhythms, perhaps because of the expectations the prayers created, the researchers suggested. "

Posted by Don't | January 21, 2008 1:55 PM

maybe HRC can channel her inner daniel day lewis at the next debate and yell at him, "Admit youre a false prohphet!!"

seriously, i do see the difference between this attempt by senator obama, and huckabee's scary hints of prostetant-fascim, but as an atheist, is it too much to ask all candidates to chill on the religion crap? its a bit creepy. we keep this crap up, and one day the christian nationalists are going to have the white house.

Posted by SeMe | January 21, 2008 1:59 PM

As a non-believer I see your point as I would prefer religion be not in the public forum. But at a time when the Clintonistas as supporting a whisper campaign that Obama is a muslim, this may be the most honest way of dealing with it. It is, so to speak, an affirmative defense, and not a shrill "liar, liar, pants on fire" respone.

Posted by Johnrl1 | January 21, 2008 2:14 PM

He's touting UCC as the source of his Christian chops?

Could be worse I guess.

He could have said he was Unitarian Universalist. ;)

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 21, 2008 2:19 PM

That's it I'm voting for Ron Paul. May as well get the nut in a shell as opposed to a nut in a candy wrapper.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | January 21, 2008 2:21 PM

the muslim thing is coming from the media, the republican swift boaters, and other southern baptist groups, i dont think is coming from Clinton.

it would be a stupid move on their part and besides the media has asked them this on national tv so is not a new smear campaign, that racist anti muslim crap has been going on for a while. they know that most of the country associates muslims with terrorists, hell even this fine rag went on a small anti muslim rant not too long ago. i think is the GOP getting ready to smear him, since theyre all good with the smear campaign against HRC, theyre just covering their bases. i think both of these candidates need to be a little more careful and not be too bruised up when they get ready for romney or mccain.

Posted by SeMe | January 21, 2008 2:22 PM

i can see the difference, too, but that doesn't mean those fliers don't creep me out.

nonetheless, having grown up in the south, i know really well that there are tons of people who would not vote for obama simply because his middle name is hussein. it's almost like a superstition, and i don't think this is going to convince those people otherwise, honestly. because most of those people would never in a million years vote democratic, certainly not for a black man named hussein.

(and, for what it's worth, they'll never vote for HRC either.)

of course it's pandering. he is running on hope after all, maybe he's hoping this'll win over those people. who knows.

all that said, it still creeps me out. a better tactic more in line with his message of unity, would be to educate people on tolerance and respect of peaceful muslims.

it's kind of crappy that his response to being accused of being a muslim is to print up campaign fliers with a christian church on them, talking about how he's guided by prayer. it just allows people keep the perception that muslims don't pray to god, are not guided by prayer and faith. that a good muslim couldn't be an effective, peaceful leader.

i guess our generation should focus on getting the first black president elected, and leave the de-stereotyping of muslims to our grandchildren? just comes across as another well-intentioned but inexperienced attempt at pandering to the christian right. (the donnie mcclurkin incident being another good example.)

Posted by kim | January 21, 2008 2:22 PM

or the first woman president.

Posted by watcher | January 21, 2008 2:33 PM

He's boasting about being with United Church of Christ.

Not to offend any UCCrs out there, but comparing UCC to Evangelical Christendom is like equating a Care Bear to a Grizzly.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 21, 2008 2:33 PM

I have two questions. First, is there precedent for a Democratic presidential campaign to release a brochure that is so religious in nature? Second, how is the Obama campaign distributing them? Obama wants to run a different kind of campaign, and this is certainly different from any Democratic campaign I remember from the last twenty years.

As an atheist, I don't have a problem with a candidate speaking about his/her religious faith if it is essential to who he/she is as a person; the more I know about a candidate, the better. I would hope an atheist or agnostic would be just as forthcoming, as politically unwise as that would be in the current climate.

Posted by Bub | January 21, 2008 2:39 PM

Yes, the committed christian thing is a bit off-putting, but Obama is not, in my book, pandering in the way the Clintons machine panders. Obama has never shyed away from saying he is a christian. He is reacting the best way one can react in a place like S.C. What you have to remember is what Obama says to christians that Clinton would never say outside a Human Rights Campaign dinner, that of tolerance of gays and and end to the homophobia.

Posted by Michael | January 21, 2008 2:57 PM

@8 "a better tactic more in line with his message of unity, would be to educate people on tolerance and respect of peaceful muslims."

While I totally agree that this would be a better tactic, I'm pretty sure it can't be done in the 5 days left before the primary.

Posted by Mike of Renton | January 21, 2008 2:57 PM

@5: Hey, I heard that!

Though as a born-and-bred UU, I'd rather see someone from UCC in office than just about any other Christian denomination.

And some day, far in the future, I hope to see a president who didn't need to continually tout their Christ-centric religious beliefs in order to get into office, an office that's not supposed to have a religious litmus test.

Posted by Jessica | January 21, 2008 3:18 PM

Kinda my point, jessica. The only thing kinder and gentler than UCC in the Christian catalog would be UU.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | January 21, 2008 4:24 PM

Bub @ 11, these are being distributed in and around churches - my understanding is they're not just wandering the mall touting his religious faith; it's very targeted and very much addressing the muslim nonsense. I'd love for them to talk about religion less, too, but Obama's faith is a real part of who he is, and if he ignores the muslim rumors his campaign is dead.

Posted by switzerblog | January 21, 2008 4:59 PM

Obvious comment: bizarre, strange, scornable, when GOPsters tout their religion/faith/membership in faith communities.

When Obama does it: that's just fine.

Guess we're all believers now. Praise the Lord and pass the ballot!

Posted by unPC | January 21, 2008 5:07 PM

2: Obama's belief in the power of prayer is not a belief in an interventionist god. It's just a contemplative spiritual practice. He believes that prayer is good for summoning inner strength, and for "developing empathy and compassion" to deal with problems better. He doesn't believe that god is going to swoop down and fix everything if we just pray hard enough.

Posted by Kevin Erickson | January 21, 2008 7:05 PM

Napoleon @10: As a former UCC student minister I regard that as a compliment.

Posted by RainMan | January 21, 2008 7:36 PM

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