Religion

Republican Debate

What I really love about this blog is that it’s designed for conversation about the politically incorrect – religion and politics.  Sometimes even both at the same time!  Ah…

So last night was the two-hour Republican debate on CNN, where the candidates answered questions from people on YouTube.  Here are some quick highlights before we get to the question that inspired this post.

The debate started off with a heated exchange about immigration in which Giuliani accused Romney of hiring illegal immigrants to work at his house.  Of course, Romney didn’t hire them, the company Romney hired hired them.  And that is supposedly not his fault.  But didn’t KFC endure negative publicity for buying chickens from farms that didn’t treat them humanely…even though the farms were within legal regulations?  Why shouldn’t the future President have to ensure he is hiring reputable companies that operate within the law?  What will not be Romney’s fault when (if) he is President? 

Then a former general who wasn’t able to come out of the closet until he retired challenged the candidates on the “Don’t ask don’t tell” rule.  The Republicans, true to their Christian conservative platforms, supported the rule based on “unit cohesion” and the fact that the majority of Americans (and therefore those in the military) share “Judeo-Christian values”. 

Then a woman asked, if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, what would the criminal penalty for offenders be?  (The great unanswerable question)  And the candidates danced around that – basically saying penalties should be left to the states.  And a video was played from Romney’s 1994 election for Governor in which he clearly supports Roe v. Wade.  His response?  He was wrong – and if you want a candidate who’s never been wrong and can’t admit that he’s wrong, you’ll have to look elsewhere.  BTW, he also said that he didn’t think “Don’t ask don’t tell” would “work”.  And he was wrong about that too.  Maybe that’s his new campaign strategy – “Romney: the candidate that’s wrong”.

But then came the question that riled me up.

One questioner from Texas said (and I’m paraphrasing from memory), “There’s one question that will tell me everything I need to know about you.  [Holds up the Bible]  Do you believe every word in this book?”

Most of the candidates skirted the question with the typical “symbolism and allegory” apologies, but Huckabee, who has a degree in theology (how scary is that?) says (paraphrasing again), “The Bible cannot be understood by a finite mind because it was created by an infinite God.  If you can understand every word in your Bible, your God is too small.” (this was met with applause)

Let’s just think that through.  An omniscient, omnipotent, and infinite God created a book via humans and for humans, and this is the only vehicle through which they are able to experience and understand him, and he made it too complicated for them to understand.  And the fact that it can’t be understood only proves how great he is. 

So I guess the more senseless the scripture, the greater the god.  Wow.  I may need a theology degree to understand that line of thinking…

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15 Comments

  1. My roommate and I were joking about the guy holding up the bible saying that after the candidates finished responding, the youtuber who asked the question should open it up to the words "I am a huge hypocrite" or "Gay people are awesome" written on one of the pages. :P

  2. Well, keep in mind you are dealing with people who are 100% committed to the position that God exists and that their particular God is the right one. Logical thinking is not a strong point of this demographic.

    I suspect Huckabee's answer was meant to assure moderates that he wouldn't push a far right conservative religious viewpoint as President. And I think he's lying.

  3. There's one question that will tell me everything I need to know about you. [Holds up the Bible] Do you believe every word in this book?"

    At least we're getting a good helping of comedy while the writer's strike keeps The Daily Show and Colbert Report off the air :)

  4. Everything I need to know about Huckabee he courteously provided a few weeks ago when he said:

    "Oh, I believe in science. I certainly do. In fact, what I believe in is, I believe in God. I don't think there's a conflict between the two. But if there's going to be a conflict, science changes with every generation and with new discoveries and God doesn't. So I'll stick with God if the two are in conflict."

    He's quite possibly the worst presidential candidate right now, and that's saying a lot.

  5. So, we're not supposed to understand the whole Bible. . . Then why can we take anything it says seriously? Maybe that bit about "a man should not lie with a person who is a guy" is just one of those parts we can't understand, because we're finite and it was written by an infinite author.

    As a math-and-science person, I'm used to words like "infinite" having precise, well-defined meanings, with which we can therefore reason using careful, rigorous logic. Many surprises lurk in wait when we contemplate mathematical infinity: the integers and the points of a line are both endless in quantity, but there are more points on a line than there exist integers. Ascending orders of infinity have been a staple of mathematics for well over a century.

    Theologians, by contrast, use "infinite" as a mantra, a totem-word to intimidate the unwary. One imagines them waving their hands over their heads, wiggling their fingers and making ghost noises: "Woo-ooooo-oooo! In-finnn-i-teee. . . ."

  6. But if there’s going to be a conflict, science changes with every generation and with new discoveries and God doesn’t.

      Didn't the "smiting of Sodom" god of the Old Testament change just a smidgen when he became the "believe that I am my own son and you'll get into heaven" god of the New Testament? How many times is god allowed to revise his PR campaign before he's no longer considered immutable?

  7. An omniscient, omnipotent, and infinite God created a book via humans and for humans, and this is the only vehicle through which they are able to experience and understand him, and he made it too complicated for them to understand.

    That just makes god mean spirited and a smug show off in my book. If you really believe your god acted in that way why would you worship him? Maybe to avoid divine retribution but surely not out of any actual respect or admiration.

  8. As a skeptic I don't place that much value on what a candidate says in a public forum. It's what their record shows, how they have voted on issues, that is the best gauge to me on where they really stand.

    Public "debates" are about attacking the other guy and avoiding any critical mistakes.

    The record appears pretty bleak on the Republican side so I just hope the Democrats can get better organized for this election.

  9. "“If you can understand every word in your Bible, your God is too small.”"

    What does God's size have to do semantical definitions of words? I assure you that there is not a single word in the Bible that I cannot define or use in a sentence in a grammatically and contextually correct manner.

    Now, Shakespeare on the other hand: there are plenty of words I do not understand in there. Like Honorificabilitudinitatibus

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