Enjoy an Ads-Free Jets Insider - Become a Jets Insider VIP!
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30

Thread: Christopher Hitchens on Romney's Faith Speech

  1. #1
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    6,279
    Post Thanks / Like

    Christopher Hitchens on Romney's Faith Speech

    Hitch is a bit in-your-face with his atheism, but he gets the absurdity of Romney's awful speech right.

    From Slate:

    [QUOTE]Holy Nonsense
    Mitt Romney's windy, worthless speech.
    By Christopher Hitchens
    Posted Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007, at 5:40 PM ET

    Almost the only clever thing about Gov. Mitt Romney's long-denied and long-delayed but obviously long-prepared "response" was its location at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, which allowed him to pose (prematurely, I'd say) in front of a presidential seal as well as a thicket of American flags. Composed chiefly of boilerplate, the windy speech raised the vexed question of the candidate's religious affiliation—and thus broke the taboo on mentioning it—without setting to rest any of the difficulties that make it legitimate to raise the issue in the first place.

    Actually, and in fairness, one should say "any but one" of those difficulties. Romney did avow, early on and in round terms, that "no authorities of my church" could ever exert any influence on his decision-making as chief executive. This may get him in trouble with some Mormons, and it does invite the question of why he adheres to a sect whose "prophet" is a supreme commander, but it is the most he could have been asked to say, as well as the least. Actually, the more he goes in one direction, the more he may find it is Mormons who are developing reservations about him. There is already grumbling in the ranks about his statement that the Bible is the revealed word of God, an absurd belief that Mormons do not truly profess, because they feel it is lacking an even more absurd later revelation to Joseph Smith. There are also those who think that Romney's disowning of past Mormon polygamy is too opportunistic, since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does still offer the consolation prize of multiple wives in heaven (just like the sick dream of Mohamed Atta).

    Trying to raise himself above this swamp of nonsense—the existence of which is his responsibility, not mine—the governor mainly treated us to evasion and a rather shifty attempt to change the subject and rewrite the historical record. It may be true that Romney "saw my father march with Martin Luther King" (though the candidate himself, who was of age to do so at the time, doesn't claim to have joined in), but that doesn't answer the question about official Mormon racism, which lasted 10 full years after Dr. King had been murdered, or of what Mitt Romney did or said about this at the time.

    Romney does not understand the difference between deism and theism, nor does he know the first thing about the founding of the United States. Jefferson's Declaration may invoke a "Creator," but, as he went on to show in the battle over the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, he and most of his peers did not believe in a god who intervened in human affairs or in a god who had sent a son for a human sacrifice. These easily ascertainable facts are reflected in the way that the U.S. Constitution does not make any mention of a superintendent deity and in the way that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention declined an offer (possibly sarcastic), even from Benjamin Franklin, that they resort to prayer to compose their differences. Romney may throw a big chest and say that God should be "on our currency, in our pledge," and of course on our public land in this magic holiday season, but James Madison did not think that there should be chaplains opening the proceedings of Congress or even appointed as ministers in the U.S. armed forces. Trying to dodge around this, and to support his assertion that the founders were religious in the Christian sense, Romney drones on about a barely relevant moment of emotion in 1774 and comes up with the glib slogan that "freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom." Any fool can think of an example where freedom exists without religion—and even more easily of an instance where religion exists without (or in negation of) freedom.

    This does not mean that freedom of religion is not as important as freedom from it, yet Romney makes himself absurd by saying that Mormons may not be asked about the tenets of their faith, lest this infringe the constitutional ban on a religious test for public office. Here is another failure of understanding on his part. He is not being told: Answer this question in the wrong way, and you become ineligible. He is being told: Your family is prominent in a notorious church that proselytizes its views in a famously aggressive manner. Are you only now deciding to make a secret of your beliefs? And if so, why? Would he expect a Scientologist to be able to avoid questions about L. Ron Hubbard? Does the governor of Massachusetts who publicly tried for mob applause by demanding that we "double Guantanamo" (whatever that meant) add that the detainees must not be asked what branch of Islam they favor? If an atheist was running against him, would Romney make nothing of the fact? His stupid unease on this point is shown by his demagogic attack on the straw man "religion of secularism," when, actually, his main and most cynical critic is a moon-faced true believer and anti-Darwin pulpit-puncher from Arkansas who doesn't seem to know the difference between being born again and born yesterday.

    [B]According to the admittedly very contradictory scriptures of the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth warned his disciples and followers that they should expect to be ridiculed and mocked for their faith. After all, how likely was it that God had decided to reveal himself to only a few illiterate peasants in a barbarous backwater? Those who elected to believe this stuff were quite rightly told to expect a hard time, and the expression "fool for God" or "fool for Christ" has been with us ever since. That concept has some dignity and nobility. Entirely lacking in dignity or nobility (or average integrity) is the well-heeled son of a gold-plated church who wants to assume the pained look of martyrdom only when he is asked if he actually believes what he says. A long time ago, Romney took the decision to be a fool for Joseph Smith, a convicted fraud and serial practitioner of statutory rape who at times made war on the United States and whose cult has been made to amend itself several times in order to be considered American at all. We do not require pious lectures on the American founding from such a man, and we are still waiting for some straight answers from him[/B].[/QUOTE]

  2. #2
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    11,692
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hitchens is "a bit" in your face with his atheism? That's one way of putting it....

    Romney's speech was awesome. He is FAR AND AWAY the best candidate running. It's not even close.

  3. #3
    Waterboy
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    0
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2251698]

    Romney's speech was awesome. He is FAR AND AWAY the best candidate running. It's not even close.[/QUOTE]

    Is that sarcasm?

    How did you feel about Romney during the youtube debates? It doesn't take much to get him rattled.

  4. #4
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    6,789
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2251698]Romney's speech was awesome. He is FAR AND AWAY the best candidate running. It's not even close.[/QUOTE]

    :confused:

    That speech was awful.

    [QUOTE]Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.[/QUOTE]

    Freedom requires religion? Freedom perishes alone and only endures when coupled with religion? This is complete nonsense which panders to the religious right and diminishes the principle of separation of church and state.

    Romney should have emulated JFK's brilliant speech about the Presidency and Catholicism from decades ago. Now that would have been awesome.

  5. #5
    Rookie
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    991
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2251698]Hitchens is "a bit" in your face with his atheism? That's one way of putting it....

    Romney's speech was awesome. He is FAR AND AWAY the best candidate running. It's not even close.[/QUOTE]

    Wow... I didn't see the speech but I've seen all of his debates and I have to say that I, and many of my conservative friends, have felt that he has absolutely embarassed himself in that forum and that he is far and away one of the worst candidates running.

    If you ever, EVER, called John Kerry a flip-flopper then you are royalty in the land of hypocrites. If you were being sarcastic then I apologize in advance.

  6. #6
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like
    Does anyone know why it seems Hitchens is a very bitter man? He sure seems to be preoccupied with matters pertaining to something he believes is ludicrous.

  7. #7
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=parafly;2251724]
    Freedom requires religion? Freedom perishes alone and only endures when coupled with religion? This is complete nonsense which panders to the religious right and diminishes the principle of separation of church and state.
    [/QUOTE]

    I don't like much about Romney, either. But I was wondering why you think this is so and what exactly you think the separation of church and state is.

  8. #8
    Jets Insider VIP
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    2,645
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    142
    [QUOTE=JCnflies;2251896]Does anyone know why it seems Hitchens is a very bitter man? He sure seems to be preoccupied with matters pertaining to something he believes is ludicrous.[/QUOTE]

    I think, when your IQ is higher than 99.999% of the human race (and his probably is), it takes a lot of patience to explain your viewpoints, and it's easy to come across as exhasperated.

  9. #9
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    11,692
    Post Thanks / Like
    I am totally serious. The speech was awesome and Romney is easily, easily the best candidate running, hands down. I've lived in Mass for years now and he is simply the best qualified candidate. He's literally been unbelievably good and successful at everything he's ever done. He's smarter than everyone else, a better manager than everyone else, and he's dominated in both public and private sectors. I don't care that he's a Mormon because I am not a bigot. And spare me the "flip-flop" charge. I never used it against Kerry and flip-flopping and changing your mind are two different things. Flip-flopping is going from A to B back to A, if circumstances change. Going from A to B is simply changing your mind. And I don't care that he feinted to the left on abortion to get elected in a hyper-liberal state...spare me that righteous indignation. The guy is a devout Mormon, there is no doubt in my mind he has always gotten abortion right. Reagan not only was pro-abortion at one time, he even helped pass legislation strengthening abortion as governor of CA and George Bush's dad was a convert to anti-abortion causes, like Romney. Romney was consistently against abortion as soon as he was elected and is now and even if he flipped for purely politifcal reasons, I DON'T CARE BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE POLITICIANS DOES THINGS FOR PURELY POLITICAL REASON. Politicians ALL say whatever it takes to get elected...your precious Obama does the same things. Romney is smarter than everyone else and is a more than capable manager who can actually make government more efficient because creating efficiency is how he's made his millions.

    Who else is there, Hillary, Obama, McCain, Rudy??? Yeah, see you then. What a joke. These are all run of the mill morons, with perhaps the exception of Obama, who seems like he's actually not an idiot. It's just Obama is wrong on virtually every issue, IMO. He's a Paint-By-Numbers liberal with not a good or fresh idea whatsoever. He's rehashing the same failed liberal platitudes, only he's young and black and so people think he's actually saying something different.

    Is Romney perfect? Hell no. He's simply hands down the best candidate out there. It's honestly not even close. It's a joke that people even consider other gys when people of Romney's caliber rarely, if ever, run for public office. This guy is an All-Star, a high achiever, a value-maximizer. When guys of his caliber come around, you have to vote for them. He's better than everyone else and he's hands down smarter than everyone else and his judgment is sound. This is a layup....
    Last edited by jets5ever; 12-08-2007 at 08:54 PM.

  10. #10
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=rbstern;2252918]I think, when your IQ is higher than 99.999% of the human race (and his probably is), it takes a lot of patience to explain your viewpoints, and it's easy to come across as exhasperated.[/QUOTE]

    THat is a fair point, but it still doesn't explain why a man of such superior intellect is so hung up on fighting against a God he says doesn't exist and a faith he says is for fools. Not only that, but for a briliant man (and I believe he is) he lets his abhorrance of any and all things Christian effect the logic he uses in his debates.

  11. #11
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2252919]I am totally serious. The speech was awesome and Romney is easily, easily the best candidate running, hands down. I've lived in Mass for years now and he is simply the best qualified candidate. He's literally been unbelievably good and successful at everything he's ever done. He's smarter than everyone else, a better manager than everyone else, and he's dominated in both public and private sectors. I don't care that he's a Mormon because I am not a bigot. And spare me the "flip-flop" charge. I never used it against Kerry and flip-flopping and changing your mind are two different things. Flip-flopping is going from A to B back to A, if circumstances change. Going from A to B is simply changing your mind. And I don't care that he feinted to the left on abortion to get elected in a hyper-liberal state...spare me that righteous indignation. The guy is a devout Mormon, there is no doubt in my mind he has always gotten abortion right. Reagan not only was pro-abortion at one time, he even helped pass legislation strengthening abortion as governor of CA and George Bush's dad was a convert to anti-abortion causes, like Romney. Romney was consistently against abortion as soon as he was elected and is now and even if he flipped for purely politifcal reasons, I DON'T CARE BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE POLITICIANS DOES THINGS FOR PURELY POLITICAL REASON. Politicians ALL say whatever it takes to get elected...your precious Obama does the same things. Romney is smarter than everyone else and is a more than capable manager who can actually make government more efficient because creating efficiency is how he's made his millions.

    Who else is there, Hillary, Obama, McCain, Rudy??? Yeah, see you then. What a joke. These are all run of the mill morons, with perhaps the exception of Obama, who seems like he's actually not an idiot. It's just Obama is wrong on virtually every issue, IMO. He's a Paint-By-Numbers liberal with not a good or fresh idea whatsoever. He's rehashing the same failed liberal platitudes, only he's young and black and so people think he's actually saying something different.

    Is Romney perfect? Hell no. He's simply hands down the best candidate out there. It's honestly not even close. It's a joke that people even consider other gys when people of Romney's caliber rarely, if ever, run for public office. This guy is an All-Star, a high achiever, a value-maximizer. When guys of his caliber come around, you have to vote for them. He's better than everyone else and he's hands down smarter than everyone else and his judgment is sound. This is a layup....[/QUOTE]

    Romney is kind of perplexing to me. First off, he appears Presidential. Secondly, he does have a respectable record of success - especially as a Republican governor in a state that sprouts liberals all over. But he has not been sharp in what I have seen on debates.

    As of now, the guy I like most is Huckabee.

    I know a good amount about Mormonism, and am quite sure some of the core tenets of the faith are way, way out there compared to the Christian faith (teachings like Jesus and Satan are brothers and that when you die, you get to be a god on your own planet). But that said, I could vote for him against any liberal. One thing about Mormons - for the most part, their faith teaches similar values about love and charity that all major faiths (save some aspects of Islam) teach: love your neighbor, charity and peace.

  12. #12
    Rookie
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    550
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=JCnflies;2253196](teachings like Jesus and Satan are brothers and that when you die, you get to be a god on your own planet). But that said, I could vote for him against any liberal.[/QUOTE]

    any?

  13. #13
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    6,824
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=rbstern;2252918]I think, when your IQ is higher than 99.999% of the human race (and his probably is), it takes a lot of patience to explain your viewpoints, and it's easy to come across as exhasperated.[/QUOTE]

    Doesn't make his viewpoints correct though....One of the main reasons he has such an issue with God is the fact that he is trying to use the two things, science and reason, to "figure" him out...he is also trying to use religion to shoot the idea down that God exists, which is about as absurd an idea as there is.

  14. #14
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    6,824
    Post Thanks / Like
    I can't say that I know much about Hitchens, but it doesn't take much to see he is cut from the same mold as many of the religious fundamentalists...

    Funny, a person (such as a fundamentalist) who argues vehemently for their faith always gets accused of not truly believing in their stance, needing everyone else around them to believe because their faith is weak.

    Yet, when a militant atheist does the same thing, he is an intellectual giant....funny the hypocrisy of atheism, isn't it? (oops, I forget, there is no such thing as hypocritical atheism...that title only belongs to theists...)

  15. #15
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,709
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=sunmou;2253198]any?[/QUOTE]


    Well ............. any I can think of at the moment:) I don't think Romney's faith should preclude him from being President.

  16. #16
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    1,656
    Post Thanks / Like
    Romney is good at delivering a speech ...

    however, he has been weak in debates and he doesn't walk the talk (talks like a conservate but all signs point to him being a RINO ... based on his tenure as governor).

    The speech was effective in garnering the victim role on the republican side (must have learned that Hillary) ... basically, give a religious based speech and let the media and liberals bash you ... i.e. play the victim to get sympathy for the conversative base of the republican party ... well played.!

  17. #17
    All League
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    608
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=sunmou;2253198]any?[/QUOTE]

    Yes, the so called progressive (liberal) mind set scares the hell out of me. More so then Jesus and Satan being brothers and **** like that.

  18. #18
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Van down by the river
    Posts
    21,930
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=angry jets fan;2254873]i.e. play the victim to get sympathy for the conversative base of the republican party ... well played.![/QUOTE]

    Maybe he can wear a neck brace too. A side effect from switching positions so fast. That can garner sympathy.

    [IMG]http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/153/999243~Shrek-2-Puss-N-Boots-Posters.jpg[/IMG]

  19. #19
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    1,656
    Post Thanks / Like
    true ... that is my big problem with him (being a conservative) ...

    [quote=PlumberKhan;2255147]Maybe he can wear a neck brace too. A side effect from switching positions so fast. That can garner sympathy.

    [IMG]http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/153/999243~Shrek-2-Puss-N-Boots-Posters.jpg[/IMG][/quote]

  20. #20
    All Pro
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    7,648
    Post Thanks / Like
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2252919]I am totally serious. The speech was awesome and Romney is easily, easily the best candidate running, hands down. I've lived in Mass for years now and he is simply the best qualified candidate. He's literally been unbelievably good and successful at everything he's ever done. He's smarter than everyone else, a better manager than everyone else, and he's dominated in both public and private sectors. I don't care that he's a Mormon because I am not a bigot. And spare me the "flip-flop" charge. I never used it against Kerry and flip-flopping and changing your mind are two different things. Flip-flopping is going from A to B back to A, if circumstances change. Going from A to B is simply changing your mind. And I don't care that he feinted to the left on abortion to get elected in a hyper-liberal state...spare me that righteous indignation. The guy is a devout Mormon, there is no doubt in my mind he has always gotten abortion right. Reagan not only was pro-abortion at one time, he even helped pass legislation strengthening abortion as governor of CA and George Bush's dad was a convert to anti-abortion causes, like Romney. Romney was consistently against abortion as soon as he was elected and is now and even if he flipped for purely politifcal reasons, I DON'T CARE BECAUSE EVERY SINGLE POLITICIANS DOES THINGS FOR PURELY POLITICAL REASON. Politicians ALL say whatever it takes to get elected...your precious Obama does the same things. Romney is smarter than everyone else and is a more than capable manager who can actually make government more efficient because creating efficiency is how he's made his millions.

    Who else is there, Hillary, Obama, McCain, Rudy??? Yeah, see you then. What a joke. These are all run of the mill morons, with perhaps the exception of Obama, who seems like he's actually not an idiot. It's just Obama is wrong on virtually every issue, IMO. He's a Paint-By-Numbers liberal with not a good or fresh idea whatsoever. He's rehashing the same failed liberal platitudes, only he's young and black and so people think he's actually saying something different.

    Is Romney perfect? Hell no. He's simply hands down the best candidate out there. It's honestly not even close. It's a joke that people even consider other gys when people of Romney's caliber rarely, if ever, run for public office. This guy is an All-Star, a high achiever, a value-maximizer. When guys of his caliber come around, you have to vote for them. He's better than everyone else and he's hands down smarter than everyone else and his judgment is sound. This is a layup....[/QUOTE]

    Except for the fact that Romney is wrong on just about every issue, id have to say I agree with J5E.

    Oh and hes absolutely terrible in debates. He got his a$$ kicked by good ole Teddy after having a significant lead in the polls late in Sept 1994. After their first debate it was all down hill for Romney

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Follow Us