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Thread: The Greatest thing this election accomplished

  1. #1
    [url=http://www.townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/ct20041108.shtml]http://www.townhall.com/columnists/calthom...t20041108.shtml[/url]

    Reaction by the losing side in last week's presidential election would be startling if it weren't predictable.

    One liberal acquaintance, who had predicted John Kerry would crush George W. Bush, raised the ghost of Adolf Hitler and the Inquisition in the same sentence: "It's 1933 again" and "the theocracy is coming."

    Writing for the leftist Web page Slate, Jane Smiley expresses a theme heard often among many liberals: "The election results reflect the decision of the right wing to cultivate and exploit ignorance in the citizenry."

    Other disparaging labels, including "stupid" and "moron" were hurled at Bush voters by various lefties. If so many people - more than 59 million - who voted for President Bush are stupid, what does this say about our costly and monopolistic public school system?

    The New York Times' Thomas Friedman wrote a column headlined "Two Nations Under God." He, too, detects the strong odor of a coming theocracy. Can the beheaders be far behind?

    Other columnists - from Maureen Dowd to Paul Krugman - were apoplectic in their response to Bush's impressive victory. They demonstrate how clueless they are about a majority of Americans whose worldview differs from their own. Some commentators suggest Kerry lost because he wasn't liberal enough. Maybe Vermont's Ben and Jerry would make a better ticket next time.

    The condescension and elitism expressed by the left displays intolerance at its worst. The left is again exposed as hypocritical, preaching tolerance and inclusion, but practicing intolerance and exclusion of all ideas not in conformity with their own. Has it never occurred to liberals that they might be objectively wrong?

    The left's last gasp to salvage something from the election is the suggestion that having prevailed, the president should now "reach out" to opponents and "heal the rift." Does the left reach out to the right when liberals win elections? No, they exercise the power they've been given, and Republicans should do the same. If the left has hurt feelings, let them seek counseling from Dr. Phil.

    Perhaps the biggest myth perpetrated by the media is that we are a divided nation. Several publications printed a remarkable map that breaks down the vote county-by-county instead of state-by-state. It shows an enormous sea of red (Bush counties) with only tiny patches of blue (Kerry counties) in the usual places where elites and other condescending liberals reside. If you study this map, you have to conclude that America is not becoming more divided; it is slowly, but perceptively, becoming more conservative and Republican.

    President Bush made significant and historical gains with minority voters and women. Exit polls revealed the president won 44 percent of Hispanics (up from 35 percent in 2000), 11 percent of African-Americans (up from 9 percent in 2000), 25 percent of Jewish voters (up from 19 percent in 2000), and 48 percent of women (up from 43 percent in 2000).

    The president says he believes he has a mandate to proceed with the agenda he outlined during the campaign - winning the war on terror, stabilizing Iraq, reforming Social Security, making his tax cuts permanent and putting judges on the bench who believe in the Constitution and not what they think the Constitution says.

    The left has lost. The '60's are over. A majority of the public is tired of being forced to accept every ideology, sexual depravity and secular idea the left wishes to shove down their throats. The election showed they have pushed back.

    It's difficult to select a favorite line from all of the insulting and insane comments made by liberal commentators, but Garry Wills had one of the best.

    Writing in The New York Times, Wills said: [i]"Can a people that believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an Enlightened nation?"[/i]

    [b]Maybe so, if you consider what a higher and really intelligent authority says:

    "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psalm 14:1)[/b]

    ==================================================

    Can you imagine anything more insulting?

    Does this man know that nearly every Christian of every denomination believes in the Virgin Birth ... that this is a basic essential of Christianity?

    This bigot does not even have the decency to frame his question as creation verses evolution ... nope ... he goes straight for the Christian jugular

    And make no mistake about it, this is a man who looks down his nose at all people of faith ... be it Christian or Orhodox Jew or ortherwise

    I have no doubt this man finds those who actually believe GOD gave Moses the 10 Commandments are equally imbeclic, cause this man {so typical of the left wing inelligentsia} represents the height of the bigotry he pretends to abhor

    I have lived in NYC all of my life ... NONE OF THIS SURPRISES ME ... I have been hearing this type of religious bigotry from the left since as far back as I can remember ... the only thing that has changed this week is the election of GWB has blasted them out of the closet, and it's about time too ... about time people of faith get to hear what these folks often talk about in private, but rarely repeat in public

    Now you are getting a dose of the truth from these folks ... just a small sample

    I've heard worse from these folks ... FAR WORSE ... this is just a small taste

  2. #2
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    While I do believe the US is becoming increasingly conservative, I think the obvious answer as to why there was a ''sea of red'' was that John Kerry was an inferior candidate, period. Elections are rarely about whether or not the average citizen sits on the left or right. It's a matter of the right candidate coming at the right time that says the right things and is simply more presidential.

    Now, I'm not saying that a stronger candidate would have knocked off Bush in this particular election, because there was truly no one to step up this time around from the Democratic Party. However, this does not mean that the Republican Party has ensured that they will win the '08 election and beyond. If a strong candidate (like Obama) rises up through the Democratic Party, I can guarentee that there could very well be a shift from a sea of red to a close election or even (gasp) a sea of blue.


    And as far as the religious issues go, I can't say that I really want to get into them. I have my views and I don't feel the need to express them, and I respect whatever anyone believes. A person attacking religion, however, whether liberal or conservative, is totally wrong IMO.

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    It goes beyond mere hypocrisy. The hatred of the Left is the stuff that begets violence. I am telling you, Christians are going to be attacked.

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    quick question:

    how many of you who consider yourselves christians consider the virgin birth absolute 100% fact?

    i'm not trying to insult (i'm from a long line of irish and italian catholics), i'm curious.

    i confess that ham's statement surprised me, i always figured most christians of my generation believed more in the idea of the christian god, and not in the item-by-item characterization of god etc. as described in the bible.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by isired[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 08:58 AM
    [b] quick question:

    how many of you who consider yourselves christians consider the virgin birth absolute 100% fact?

    [/b][/quote]
    Faith is a belief or trust that needs no proof. According to my religious faith, I have to take this story at face value. Intellectually however, I will always experience skepticism. Throughout history, all cultural mythology passes a story down from generation to generation, and with each passing, the story gets embellished, and the hero become’s more superhuman- virgin birth, walks on water, never dies, etc.

    If I want to argue a point, and I’m lacking factual data, then I must turn to the age old question:
    What came first; the chicken or the egg? For a man to be born, he must have a father to inseminate his mother. But what about the first man? Where did his father and mother come from? And who created them? It stands to reason that a supreme being, a “God” if you will, created the first man and the first woman. From that point on, man has reproduced on it’s own.

    But if God could do this trick once, I guess I can buy into the idea that he (or she, or it) could do it twice.

    Hence Jesus.

    Just one way of looking at it, I could be wrong.

  6. #6
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    No this election showed the true side of the Republican base. A group whose hatred for gay people out weighed their displeasure with an inept president.

    Jetfan80: If you honestly think a black man could win the presidency anytime in the near future I don't know what to tell you.

  7. #7
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jetsfan80[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 02:23 AM
    [b] While I do believe the US is becoming increasingly conservative, I think the obvious answer as to why there was a ''sea of red'' was that John Kerry was an inferior candidate, period. Elections are rarely about whether or not the average citizen sits on the left or right. It's a matter of the right candidate coming at the right time that says the right things and is simply more presidential.

    Now, I'm not saying that a stronger candidate would have knocked off Bush in this particular election, because there was truly no one to step up this time around from the Democratic Party. However, this does not mean that the Republican Party has ensured that they will win the '08 election and beyond. If a strong candidate (like Obama) rises up through the Democratic Party, I can guarentee that there could very well be a shift from a sea of red to a close election or even (gasp) a sea of blue.


    And as far as the religious issues go, I can't say that I really want to get into them. I have my views and I don't feel the need to express them, and I respect whatever anyone believes. A person attacking religion, however, whether liberal or conservative, is totally wrong IMO. [/b][/quote]
    Obama's speeches resemble an old time Gospel hour (can I get an AMEN!?!?) which you THINK might actually help him out. I have to say, though, this country's not "ready" (pathetic as that is) to elect a person of color to the presidency.

  8. #8
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Section109Row15[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 10:36 AM
    [b] No this election showed the true side of the Republican base. A group whose hatred for gay people out weighed their displeasure with an inept president.

    Jetfan80: If you honestly think a black man could win the presidency anytime in the near future I don't know what to tell you. [/b][/quote]
    This had nothing to do with homosexuality and everything to do with an inept, untrustworthy, pompous Democratic candidate who failed to express his plan for the nation to America. All he managed to do was berate the existing president which only divided the country and put our troops in more danger... both things he failed to see.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Section109Row15[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 09:36 AM
    [b] No this election showed the true side of the Republican base. A group whose hatred for gay people out weighed their displeasure with an inept president.

    Jetfan80: If you honestly think a black man could win the presidency anytime in the near future I don't know what to tell you. [/b][/quote]
    Section, misunderstanding results like this will only compound the problems that the Democratic Party has. Your statement represents a complete lack of understanding.

    Consider:

    The Values-Vote Myth
    By DAVID BROOKS


    Every election year, we in the commentariat come up with a story line to explain the result, and the story line has to have two features. First, it has to be completely wrong. Second, it has to reassure liberals that they are morally superior to the people who just defeated them.

    In past years, the story line has involved Angry White Males, or Willie Horton-bashing racists. This year, the official story is that throngs of homophobic, Red America values-voters surged to the polls to put George Bush over the top.

    This theory certainly flatters liberals, and it is certainly wrong.

    Here are the facts. As Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center points out, there was no disproportionate surge in the evangelical vote this year. Evangelicals made up the same share of the electorate this year as they did in 2000. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who are pro-life. Sixteen percent of voters said abortions should be illegal in all circumstances. There was no increase in the percentage of voters who say they pray daily.

    Much of the misinterpretation of this election derives from a poorly worded question in the exit polls. When asked about the issue that most influenced their vote, voters were given the option of saying "moral values." But that phrase can mean anything - or nothing. Who doesn't vote on moral values? If you ask an inept question, you get a misleading result.

    The reality is that this was a broad victory for the president. Bush did better this year than he did in 2000 in 45 out of the 50 states. He did better in New York, Connecticut and, amazingly, Massachusetts. That's hardly the Bible Belt. Bush, on the other hand, did not gain significantly in the 11 states with gay marriage referendums.

    He won because 53 percent of voters approved of his performance as president. Fifty-eight percent of them trust Bush to fight terrorism. They had roughly equal confidence in Bush and Kerry to handle the economy. Most approved of the decision to go to war in Iraq. Most see it as part of the war on terror.

    The fact is that if you think we are safer now, you probably voted for Bush. If you think we are less safe, you probably voted for Kerry. That's policy, not fundamentalism. The upsurge in voters was an upsurge of people with conservative policy views, whether they are religious or not.

    The red and blue maps that have been popping up in the papers again this week are certainly striking, but they conceal as much as they reveal. I've spent the past four years traveling to 36 states and writing millions of words trying to understand this values divide, and I can tell you there is no one explanation. It's ridiculous to say, as some liberals have this week, that we are perpetually refighting the Scopes trial, with the metro forces of enlightenment and reason arrayed against the retro forces of dogma and reaction.

    In the first place, there is an immense diversity of opinion within regions, towns and families. Second, the values divide is a complex layering of conflicting views about faith, leadership, individualism, American exceptionalism, suburbia, Wal-Mart, decorum, economic opportunity, natural law, manliness, bourgeois virtues and a zillion other issues.

    But the same insularity that caused many liberals to lose touch with the rest of the country now causes them to simplify, misunderstand and condescend to the people who voted for Bush. If you want to understand why Democrats keep losing elections, just listen to some coastal and university town liberals talk about how conformist and intolerant people in Red America are. It makes you wonder: why is it that people who are completely closed-minded talk endlessly about how open-minded they are?

    What we are seeing is a diverse but stable Republican coalition gradually eclipsing a diverse and stable Democratic coalition. Social issues are important, but they don't come close to telling the whole story. Some of the liberal reaction reminds me of a phrase I came across recently: The rage of the drowning man.

  10. #10
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Section109Row15[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 09:36 AM
    [b] No this election showed the true side of the Republican base. A group whose hatred for gay people out weighed their displeasure with an inept president.

    [/b][/quote]
    It has nothing to do with libs who blame America for everything...as Zel Miller said:

    [b]Anti-Americanism 101. USA is responsible for 9/11 - a new college course.[/b]

    The ABC's of Anti-Americanism

    Pop quiz: Who’s responsible for the attacks of 9-11? If you said the United States, you’re well qualified to teach American students about the defining historical event of their lives. That, at least, is the conclusion reached by Dickinson College.

    This September, in a bid to resolve the lingering dilemma over how best to broach with students the subject of the attacks, and terrorism generally, the Carlisle, Pa-based college sponsored a contest. Together with the Smithsonian Institution, the college invited educators across the country to submit lesson plans proposing creative ways to teach the subject of September 11. The four winning entries—one each for the elementary school, middle school, high school, and college level—were expected to share a common purpose. As explained by the contest’s director, Dickinson professor and former Brookings institution scholar Douglas Stuart, they had to help American students “confront and make sense of, the horrific events of that day.”

    So went the official rules. But if the contest’s eventual winners are any indication, there was yet another, unspoken criterion: the lesson plans had to encourage students in the notion that the terrorist attacks, however horrific, were the direct consequence of an abominably misguided U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East.

    Call it Blame America 101. Outspoken leftist activist and fifth grade teacher Bob Peterson, whose plan to teach 9-11 at elementary schools was selected as one of the four winning entries, urges students to consider the attacks “in the broader context of global injustice.” To wrap their young minds around terrorism, Peterson contends, they must first untangle the “tough questions,” such as, “Why do they hate us?” Another winner, Iowa middle school teacher Tracy Paxton, recommends a vocabulary lesson. Among the words she believes shed light on the nature of terrorism are, “Al Qaeda,” “Saddam Hussein,” “stereotype,” “Taliban,” and, ominously, “Right wing.”

    Equally politicized is the lesson plan of Oregon high school teacher Masato Ogawa. A proponent of “multicultural” studies, Ogawa’s lesson teaches students about the legislation prompted by September 11, the Patriot Act. Far from a dispassionate discussion of legal issues, Ogawa’s lesson exhorts teachers to present the Patriot Act against the backdrop of the Japanese internment during World War II. Finally, there is David Mednicoff. To teach his winning course, “Explaining Terror: The U.S. and the Middle East,” the University of Massachusetts professor, a strident critic of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East who has accused Israel of backing the Iraq war in order to ethnically cleanse Palestinian Arabs, relies on a book by Fawaz Gergez. Gerges, it may be remembered, is the prominent Middle East studies professor who, prior to 9-11, downplayed the danger of militant Islam and assailed the U.S. government for “inflating” the importance of Osama bin Laden.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    This article is from Frontpage Mag...Zell Miller did not write it.

  11. #11
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    [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32793-2004Nov7.html?sub%3DAR&sub=new]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...ub%3DAR&sub=new[/url]

    November 8th, 2004 11:05 pm
    Evangelicals Say They Led Charge For the GOP


    By Alan Cooperman and Thomas B. Edsall / Washington Post

    As the presidential race was heating up in June and July, a pair of leaked documents showed that the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign was urging Christian supporters to turn over their church directories and was seeking to identify "friendly congregations" in battleground states.

    Those revelations produced a flurry of accusations that the Bush campaign was leading churches to violate laws against partisan activities by tax-exempt organizations, and even some of the White House's closest religious allies said the campaign had gone too far.

    But the untold story of the 2004 election, according to national religious leaders and grass-roots activists, is that evangelical Christian groups were often more aggressive and sometimes better organized on the ground than the Bush campaign. The White House struggled to stay abreast of the Christian right and consulted with the movement's leaders in weekly conference calls. But in many respects, Christian activists led the charge that GOP operatives followed and capitalized upon.

    This was particularly true of the same-sex marriage issue. One of the most successful tactics of social conservatives -- the ballot referendums against same-sex marriage in 13 states -- bubbled up from below and initially met resistance from White House aides, Christian leaders said.

    In dozens of interviews since the election, grass-roots activists in Ohio, Michigan and Florida credited President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, with setting a clear goal that became a mantra among conservatives: To win, Bush had to draw 4 million more evangelicals to the polls than he did in 2000. But they also described a mobilization of evangelical Protestants and conservative Roman Catholics that took off under its own power.

    In battlegrounds such as Ohio, scores of clergy members attended legal sessions explaining how they could talk about the election from the pulpit. Hundreds of churches launched registration drives, thousands of churchgoers registered to vote, and millions of voter guides were distributed by Christian and antiabortion groups.

    The rallying cry for many social conservatives was opposition to same-sex marriage. But concern about the Supreme Court, abortion, school prayer and pornography also motivated these "values voters." Same-sex marriage, said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, was "the hood ornament on the family values wagon that carried the president to a second term."

    How Conservative Turnout Soared

    Whether evangelical turnout rose nationally this year, and by how much, is unclear. Without question, however, Bush's conservative Christian base was essential to his victory.

    According to surveys of voters leaving the polls, Bush won 79 percent of the 26.5 million evangelical votes and 52 percent of the 31 million Catholic votes. Turnout soared in conservative areas such as Ohio's Warren County, where Bush picked up 18,000 more votes than in 2000, and local activists said churches were the reason.

    Over the summer, the Rev. Bruce Moore, pastor of Warren County's Clearcreek Christian Assembly, gave two sermons explaining a Christian's responsibility to vote. Then he passed out voter registration cards. His 400 congregants circulated them among like-minded friends, registering hundreds more voters.

    "On this election, because of the issues before the state of Ohio and the nation, they were passionate," Moore said. "It was all hands on deck. I have never seen a rush for voter registration cards in my life as a minister."

    Nationally, the backdrop for the mobilization of social conservatives fell into place when Massachusetts's highest court sanctioned same-sex marriage in November.

    Some Christian leaders perceived not only a threat to biblical morality, but also a winning political issue. Same-sex marriage "is different from abortion," said the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ark. "It touches every segment of society, schools, the media, television, government, churches. No one is left out."

    Yet Bush was slow to endorse a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. In a January conference call, Rove promised impatient Christian leaders that an endorsement would be forthcoming, and it finally came Feb. 24, nearly two weeks after same-sex couples began lining up for nuptials in San Francisco.

    "A few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization," Bush said. "Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity."

    For several months after the Massachusetts court decision, evangelical leaders lamented the lack of a popular outcry. That changed July 14, when the Senate rejected the federal marriage amendment. Media reports described the vote as "a big election-year defeat" for the White House. It was, in fact, an election-year bonanza.

    Backers of the amendment clogged the Senate switchboard with calls. Perhaps most important, social conservatives shifted their focus to amending state constitutions. They launched petition drives to put amendments banning same-sex marriage to a popular vote, and those drives resulted in grass-roots organizations and voter lists that later fed the Bush campaign.

    Ultimately, 13 states approved marriage amendments this year, including 11 on Nov. 2.

    Some Democrats suspected that the ballot initiatives were engineered by Rove and the GOP, but religious activists say otherwise. In Michigan, state Sen. Alan Cropsey ® introduced a bill to ban same-sex marriage in October 2003 and assumed it would have the support of his party. Instead, the Roman Catholic Church in Michigan became the amendment's main booster, spending nearly $1 million to secure its passage.

    "I couldn't say anything publicly, because I would have been blasted for it, but the Republican Party was not helpful at all," Cropsey said. "It's not like they were the instigators. They were the Johnny-come-latelies, if anything."

    Michael Howden, executive director of Stronger Families for Oregon, said it was a similar situation in his state. "There's been no contact whatsoever, no coordinating, no pushing" by anyone at the White House or in the Bush campaign, he said.

    Charles W. Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, recalled a meeting early this year when Christian leaders warned White House aides that the marriage issue was likely to appear on state ballots and be a factor in the presidential election. "The White House guys were kind of resisting it on the grounds that 'We haven't decided what position we want to take on that,' " he said.

    The Enlistment of Religious Leaders

    According to religious leaders, the conference calls with White House officials started early in the Bush administration and became a weekly ritual as the campaign heated up. Usually, the participants were Rove or Tim Goeglein, head of the White House Office of Public Liaison. Later, Bush campaign chairman Ken Mehlman and Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition and the campaign's southeast regional coordinator, were often on the line.

    The religious leaders varied, but frequent participants included the Rev. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, psychologist James C. Dobson or others from the Colorado-based Focus on the Family, and Colson.

    "They did an extremely discreet job," Colson said. "It wasn't like: 'Do this. Contact these voters.' It was: 'Here's what's going on in the campaign.' It was just keeping people informed, and that's all they had to do. It was respectful of the fact that you're talking to religious leaders who are individuals, who should not be in the hip pocket of any political party."

    The Bush campaign enlisted thousands of religious "team leaders" in its canvassing efforts. According to activists in battleground states, however, Christian groups were often out ahead of the campaign.

    Gary Cass was in charge of registration and get-out-the-vote efforts in three Florida counties for Coral Ridge Ministries, the Fort Lauderdale-based broadcasting empire of the Rev. D. James Kennedy. On nights and weekends, he also volunteered for the Bush-Cheney campaign -- and found it far less organized than Coral Ridge's effort.

    "I couldn't get answers. I had trouble getting a sign for my yard," he said. "It was a good thing we weren't coordinating with the Republican Party, because there wasn't anybody to cooperate with."

    In Ohio, Lori Viars held a party for Moms and Kids for Bush at a local McDonald's. As co-chair of her county's GOP committee, she also spearheaded a registration drive at churches that began July 4. "By the time the Bush campaign said, 'You should do voter registration through churches,' we were already doing that," Viars said.

    National religious leaders, and their lawyers, also made a concerted effort to persuade pastors to disregard the warnings of secular groups about what churches can and cannot legally do in the political arena.

    Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, advised in mailings to 45,000 churches that their clergy should avoid endorsing a candidate by name from the pulpit. Other than that, "we told them they were absolutely free and should encourage their people to vote their convictions," he said.

    Such entreaties appear to have worked. Sekulow said he believes that thousands of clergy members gave sermons about the election, and that many went further than they ever had before. The Rev. Rick Warren, author of the best-selling "The Purpose Driven Life" and one of the most influential ministers in the country, sent a letter to 136,000 fellow pastors urging them to compare the candidates' positions on five "non-negotiable" issues: abortion, stem cell research, same-sex marriage, human cloning and euthanasia.

    Dobson, a powerful figure among evangelicals, endorsed Bush -- though he said he was doing so as an individual, not as chairman of Focus on the Family, whose programs are heard on 7,000 radio stations worldwide. "This year the issues were so profound that I felt I simply could not sit it out," Dobson said last week.

    Far from sitting it out, Dobson created a separate nonprofit, Focus on the Family Action, which organized six stadium-size rallies to urge Christians in battleground states to "vote their values."

    A values voter, Dobson said, is someone with "a Christian worldview who begins with the assumption that God is -- that he not only exists, but he is the definer of right and wrong, and there are some things that are moral and some things that are immoral, some things that are evil and some things that are good."

    Although liberals may mock Bush for his good-vs.-evil approach to the world, it "is seen by many of us not as a negative but as a positive," Dobson said. "Here is a man who is simply committed to a system of beliefs."

  12. #12
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Section109Row15[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 09:39 AM
    [b] [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32793-2004Nov7.html?sub%3DAR&sub=new]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...ub%3DAR&sub=new[/url]

    November 8th, 2004 11:05 pm
    Evangelicals Say They Led Charge For the GOP


    By Alan Cooperman and Thomas B. Edsall / Washington Post

    As the presidential race was heating up in June and July, a pair of leaked documents showed that the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign was urging Christian supporters to turn over their church directories and was seeking to identify "friendly congregations" in battleground states.

    Those revelations produced a flurry of accusations that the Bush campaign was leading churches to violate laws against partisan activities by tax-exempt organizations, and even some of the White House's closest religious allies said the campaign had gone too far.

    But the untold story of the 2004 election, according to national religious leaders and grass-roots activists, is that evangelical Christian groups were often more aggressive and sometimes better organized on the ground than the Bush campaign. The White House struggled to stay abreast of the Christian right and consulted with the movement's leaders in weekly conference calls. But in many respects, Christian activists led the charge that GOP operatives followed and capitalized upon.

    This was particularly true of the same-sex marriage issue. One of the most successful tactics of social conservatives -- the ballot referendums against same-sex marriage in 13 states -- bubbled up from below and initially met resistance from White House aides, Christian leaders said.

    In dozens of interviews since the election, grass-roots activists in Ohio, Michigan and Florida credited President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, with setting a clear goal that became a mantra among conservatives: To win, Bush had to draw 4 million more evangelicals to the polls than he did in 2000. But they also described a mobilization of evangelical Protestants and conservative Roman Catholics that took off under its own power.

    In battlegrounds such as Ohio, scores of clergy members attended legal sessions explaining how they could talk about the election from the pulpit. Hundreds of churches launched registration drives, thousands of churchgoers registered to vote, and millions of voter guides were distributed by Christian and antiabortion groups.

    The rallying cry for many social conservatives was opposition to same-sex marriage. But concern about the Supreme Court, abortion, school prayer and pornography also motivated these "values voters." Same-sex marriage, said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, was "the hood ornament on the family values wagon that carried the president to a second term."

    How Conservative Turnout Soared

    Whether evangelical turnout rose nationally this year, and by how much, is unclear. Without question, however, Bush's conservative Christian base was essential to his victory.

    According to surveys of voters leaving the polls, Bush won 79 percent of the 26.5 million evangelical votes and 52 percent of the 31 million Catholic votes. Turnout soared in conservative areas such as Ohio's Warren County, where Bush picked up 18,000 more votes than in 2000, and local activists said churches were the reason.

    Over the summer, the Rev. Bruce Moore, pastor of Warren County's Clearcreek Christian Assembly, gave two sermons explaining a Christian's responsibility to vote. Then he passed out voter registration cards. His 400 congregants circulated them among like-minded friends, registering hundreds more voters.

    "On this election, because of the issues before the state of Ohio and the nation, they were passionate," Moore said. "It was all hands on deck. I have never seen a rush for voter registration cards in my life as a minister."

    Nationally, the backdrop for the mobilization of social conservatives fell into place when Massachusetts's highest court sanctioned same-sex marriage in November.

    Some Christian leaders perceived not only a threat to biblical morality, but also a winning political issue. Same-sex marriage "is different from abortion," said the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ark. "It touches every segment of society, schools, the media, television, government, churches. No one is left out."

    Yet Bush was slow to endorse a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. In a January conference call, Rove promised impatient Christian leaders that an endorsement would be forthcoming, and it finally came Feb. 24, nearly two weeks after same-sex couples began lining up for nuptials in San Francisco.

    "A few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization," Bush said. "Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity."

    For several months after the Massachusetts court decision, evangelical leaders lamented the lack of a popular outcry. That changed July 14, when the Senate rejected the federal marriage amendment. Media reports described the vote as "a big election-year defeat" for the White House. It was, in fact, an election-year bonanza.

    Backers of the amendment clogged the Senate switchboard with calls. Perhaps most important, social conservatives shifted their focus to amending state constitutions. They launched petition drives to put amendments banning same-sex marriage to a popular vote, and those drives resulted in grass-roots organizations and voter lists that later fed the Bush campaign.

    Ultimately, 13 states approved marriage amendments this year, including 11 on Nov. 2.

    Some Democrats suspected that the ballot initiatives were engineered by Rove and the GOP, but religious activists say otherwise. In Michigan, state Sen. Alan Cropsey ® introduced a bill to ban same-sex marriage in October 2003 and assumed it would have the support of his party. Instead, the Roman Catholic Church in Michigan became the amendment's main booster, spending nearly $1 million to secure its passage.

    "I couldn't say anything publicly, because I would have been blasted for it, but the Republican Party was not helpful at all," Cropsey said. "It's not like they were the instigators. They were the Johnny-come-latelies, if anything."

    Michael Howden, executive director of Stronger Families for Oregon, said it was a similar situation in his state. "There's been no contact whatsoever, no coordinating, no pushing" by anyone at the White House or in the Bush campaign, he said.

    Charles W. Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, recalled a meeting early this year when Christian leaders warned White House aides that the marriage issue was likely to appear on state ballots and be a factor in the presidential election. "The White House guys were kind of resisting it on the grounds that 'We haven't decided what position we want to take on that,' " he said.

    The Enlistment of Religious Leaders

    According to religious leaders, the conference calls with White House officials started early in the Bush administration and became a weekly ritual as the campaign heated up. Usually, the participants were Rove or Tim Goeglein, head of the White House Office of Public Liaison. Later, Bush campaign chairman Ken Mehlman and Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition and the campaign's southeast regional coordinator, were often on the line.

    The religious leaders varied, but frequent participants included the Rev. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, psychologist James C. Dobson or others from the Colorado-based Focus on the Family, and Colson.

    "They did an extremely discreet job," Colson said. "It wasn't like: 'Do this. Contact these voters.' It was: 'Here's what's going on in the campaign.' It was just keeping people informed, and that's all they had to do. It was respectful of the fact that you're talking to religious leaders who are individuals, who should not be in the hip pocket of any political party."

    The Bush campaign enlisted thousands of religious "team leaders" in its canvassing efforts. According to activists in battleground states, however, Christian groups were often out ahead of the campaign.

    Gary Cass was in charge of registration and get-out-the-vote efforts in three Florida counties for Coral Ridge Ministries, the Fort Lauderdale-based broadcasting empire of the Rev. D. James Kennedy. On nights and weekends, he also volunteered for the Bush-Cheney campaign -- and found it far less organized than Coral Ridge's effort.

    "I couldn't get answers. I had trouble getting a sign for my yard," he said. "It was a good thing we weren't coordinating with the Republican Party, because there wasn't anybody to cooperate with."

    In Ohio, Lori Viars held a party for Moms and Kids for Bush at a local McDonald's. As co-chair of her county's GOP committee, she also spearheaded a registration drive at churches that began July 4. "By the time the Bush campaign said, 'You should do voter registration through churches,' we were already doing that," Viars said.

    National religious leaders, and their lawyers, also made a concerted effort to persuade pastors to disregard the warnings of secular groups about what churches can and cannot legally do in the political arena.

    Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the conservative American Center for Law and Justice, advised in mailings to 45,000 churches that their clergy should avoid endorsing a candidate by name from the pulpit. Other than that, "we told them they were absolutely free and should encourage their people to vote their convictions," he said.

    Such entreaties appear to have worked. Sekulow said he believes that thousands of clergy members gave sermons about the election, and that many went further than they ever had before. The Rev. Rick Warren, author of the best-selling "The Purpose Driven Life" and one of the most influential ministers in the country, sent a letter to 136,000 fellow pastors urging them to compare the candidates' positions on five "non-negotiable" issues: abortion, stem cell research, same-sex marriage, human cloning and euthanasia.

    Dobson, a powerful figure among evangelicals, endorsed Bush -- though he said he was doing so as an individual, not as chairman of Focus on the Family, whose programs are heard on 7,000 radio stations worldwide. "This year the issues were so profound that I felt I simply could not sit it out," Dobson said last week.

    Far from sitting it out, Dobson created a separate nonprofit, Focus on the Family Action, which organized six stadium-size rallies to urge Christians in battleground states to "vote their values."

    A values voter, Dobson said, is someone with "a Christian worldview who begins with the assumption that God is -- that he not only exists, but he is the definer of right and wrong, and there are some things that are moral and some things that are immoral, some things that are evil and some things that are good."

    Although liberals may mock Bush for his good-vs.-evil approach to the world, it "is seen by many of us not as a negative but as a positive," Dobson said. "Here is a man who is simply committed to a system of beliefs." [/b][/quote]
    Whats the difference between the pastors doing this and the rockstars, actors, and Michael Moore doing there thing? They're encouraging voters as well, just not bi-partisan voters. They are encouraging Kerry voters.

    Another thing to note is I didnt see one of those speeches quoted as saying, "Vote Bush," or anything. One guy simply told the people it was their job to vote and gave them cards. What's the difference between that and Rock the Vote, who gears themselves towards swing votes with a liberal edge and the image we need a change. I dont see the difference.

    For the churches who are campaigning for Bush I think its wrong because it isnt the churches job to do that. Outside of the sermons that is one thing, but inside the church is wrong. However, I do not blame the church or anyone for doing so because of all the stuff going around on the left-side, the right needed a similar voice and got it.

  13. #13
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Section109Row15[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 10:39 AM
    [b] [url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32793-2004Nov7.html?sub%3DAR&sub=new]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...ub%3DAR&sub=new[/url]

    November 8th, 2004 11:05 pm
    Evangelicals Say They Led Charge For the GOP


    [/b][/quote]
    So what's wrong with that? Evangelicals don't have a right to vote? And now that they did they are to be demonized as religious zealots?

    Funny...the rats did their damndest to get blacks and youth to vote...obviously their message fell on deaf ears.

    I hope the libs keep deluding themselves as to the fact THEY and their POLICIES are not the problem...keep believing everyone else is wrong and they are right....fact is their is no place for the liberal-left in today's government and until they face that they are doomed.

  14. #14
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    Young people did turn-out.

    [url=http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2004/11/04/youth_came_through_with_big_turnout/]http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial...th_big_turnout/[/url]

  15. #15
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    Section,

    Bush got 44% in CA, 49% in PA, 46% in NJ, 53% in FL (where many retired NE people live), he got 49% in liberal Oregon, 49% in NH, almost 40% in MA, etc.

    A lot of people voted for Bush who werne't "evangelicals."

    Why do liberals ALWAYS have to find simple reasons as to why they keep losing elections, reasons which always, always cast liberals as morally superior to those that vote the other way. I didn't want to post this whole thing, but I will:

    I submitted and op-ed article to the NY Times. Who knows if they are going to print it or not, but here it is:

    [b]Democrats just don’t get it. The arrogance of some Kerry supporters knows no bounds, even in defeat. Earlier this week, I overheard someone say that they “couldn’t believe that church-going, gun-owning farmers decided the election, rather than normal people.” A colleague at work said that he was not surprised that southerners voted overwhelmingly for Bush, since they are close-minded and uneducated, whereas northeasterners are educated, tolerant and open-minded. This seems to be the prevailing story-line of the Left. Tell me, do open-mined, tolerant people make such crass, unsubstantiated and condescending generalizations? Is it that unfathomable for Kerry voters to think that people can disagree with them without being ignorant bigots? I was born and raised in a northeastern suburb and am well educated. I voted for Bush enthusiastically. I can appreciate why people voted against him. I don't agree, but I don’t think Kerry voters are stupid, evil, bigoted, brainwashed or crazy. We simply disagree, deeply. Why can’t Kerry supporters acknowledge that intelligent, informed, objective people can all examine the same data yet come to polar opposite conclusions? It happens in science all the time.

    The last ten years have seen a spectacular decline in the power and relevance of the Democratic Party and this fact is directly related to their arrogant, elitist tone towards opponents. The GOP took control of Congress in 1994 and now controls Congress by almost 30 seats, the Senate by 10, has controlled the Presidency for 20 out of the past 28 years, and currently holds a majority of governorships, 29-21. This is in addition to the likelihood that two new conservative Supreme Court Justices will be appointed over the next four years, building an insurmountable lead for conservatives on that all-important bench. In fact, Clarence Thomas could very well be the next Chief Justice. If these facts terrify you beyond comprehension, or if your instant reaction to reading about them is to shake your head and bemoan the “stupidity” of the American people, chances are that you and your smug attitude towards those with differing views are a large part of what caused this situation to come about. This type of consistent, broad-based GOP support is not due solely to southern ignorance, religious fanaticism or pervasive stupidity, no matter what spin you are hearing today from the DNC or the mainstream media. Such a deep national majority is impossible to achieve by merely courting those demographics and democrats know it, regardless of what they’ll admit to publicly. Arrogance, elitism, far-left liberalism, the notion that going to church is deviant behavior - these have all been rejected, resoundingly and consistently, over the course of a decade, by a majority of Americans. It is not as if Bush has no support in the Blue States. 48% of the people in Pennsylvania voted for Bush, as well 44% of the people in California, 46% of people in New Jersey, etc. These states are neither southern nor populated with religious fundamentalists.

    The country has spoken loudly and clearly. I think sensible minds must now take back control of the Democratic Party. Their supporters need to look in the mirror. Anti-Bush people need to stop the Smarter-Than-Thou act. Not only is it pathetic and spectacularly ineffective, it is simply and demonstrably untrue. The “conservatives are stupid” argument has been used by the Left since Ike and all it has gotten them is an ever-increasing level of marginalization. You’d think that such “intelligent” people would learn to ditch such a failed approach by now, but their inflated sense of their own inherent goodness has blinded them to their obvious shortcomings. This past Election Day, as well as the past ten years, has been a wake-up call. Please, wake up. It is not that people don’t understand the Democrats’ message, or aren’t bright enough to. The reverse it true; people know exactly what their message is and have rejected it, resoundingly.[/b]

  16. #16
    Nice piece.

    I am open minded(pro-choice, pro gay marriage), gun toting, non-religous, I am educated. A mixed bag.

    I voted for Bush, it was the only choice.IMO

  17. #17
    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 08:40 AM
    [b] It goes beyond mere hypocrisy. The hatred of the Left is the stuff that begets violence.

    I am telling you, Christians are going to be attacked. [/b][/quote]
    Sadly you are correct, but I'll go a step further ... this type of rethoric will encourage the murder of some Christians

    I've seen it happen before back in the late 70's ... right in my own neighborhood

    These evangelicals had rented out a facility for some form of fellowship and one of them was shot

    A Group of thugs marched over to the facility to teach the JESUS FREAKS a lesson, and it ended with one of these evangelicals being shot

    And for what reason?

    What was their crime ... that they were expressing their constitutional right to gather in fellowship and worship the GOD of their choice?

    That incident haunts me till this day ... it happened in my own backyard

    It should have been as big a story as any racial murder in NYC {Howard Beach, etc.} ... but the news media never made a big deal out of it cause it was one of those JESUS FREAKS who got shot

    But there was no rhyme or reason to the attack ... it was based on nothing but pure bigotry ... those folks weren't out in the neighborhood preaching or handing out pamphlets {which would also be their right}, but they were simply gathered together in fellowship

    They were bothering no-one that nite ... BOTHERING NO-ONE ... but who amongst that gathering could have known that soon one of them would be shot?

    And why? ... CAUSE HE WAS A JESUS FREAK

    No other reason

    An Angry mob decided to kill a Jesus freak ... so they did ... end of story

  18. #18
    [quote][b]Whats the difference between the pastors doing this and the rockstars, actors, and Michael Moore doing there thing?[/b][/quote]

    Pastors (or any religious official) enjoys tax-exempt status under the greater Church, and by law cannot activly participate in political campaigns for risk of losing that tax-exempt status. Rock Stars, Movie Stars and Michael Moore do not have either the tax-exempt status nor the legal limitations.

  19. #19
    [quote][i]Originally posted by Green Jets & Ham+Nov 9 2004, 03:15 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Green Jets & Ham @ Nov 9 2004, 03:15 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-jets5ever[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 08:40 AM
    [b] It goes beyond mere hypocrisy. The hatred of the Left is the stuff that begets violence.

    I am telling you, Christians are going to be attacked. [/b][/quote]
    Sadly you are correct, but I&#39;ll go a step further ... this type of rethoric will encourage the murder of some Christians

    I&#39;ve seen it happen before back in the late 70&#39;s ... right in my own neighborhood

    These evangelicals had rented out a facility for some form of fellowship and one of them was shot

    A Group of thugs marched over to the facility to teach the JESUS FREAKS a lesson, and it ended with one of these evangelicals being shot

    And for what reason?

    What was their crime ... that they were expressing their constitutional right to gather in fellowship and worship the GOD of their choice?

    That incident haunts me till this day ... it happened in my own backyard

    It should have been as big a story as any racial murder in NYC {Howard Beach, etc.} ... but the news media never made a big deal out of it cause it was one of those JESUS FREAKS who got shot

    But there was no rhyme or reason to the attack ... it was based on nothing but pure bigotry ... those folks weren&#39;t out in the neighborhood preaching or handing out pamphlets {which would also be their right}, but they were simply gathered together in fellowship

    They were bothering no-one that nite ... BOTHERING NO-ONE ... but who amongst that gathering could have known that soon one of them would be shot?

    And why? ... CAUSE HE WAS A JESUS FREAK

    No other reason

    An Angry mob decided to kill a Jesus freak ... so they did ... end of story [/b][/quote]
    And for every case like this, there are HUNDREDS of cases of minorities being killed because of their race, Homosexuals being killed for the sexual preference, Foreigners being killed for the nation of origin and Women being killed because they were women.

    I don&#39;t think you can pretend that Christianity is somehow being trod upon in America, because it isn&#39;t IMO. [u][b]Freedom of speech AS A WHOLE[/b][/u] is under assualt here in America (some of that assualt led by Conservative Christians, but most of it from P.C. Liberals). Many Christians love Freedom of Speech when it&#39;s their rite to speak about their religious views, but cannot stand it when it&#39;s Larry Flint or anyone against their teachings.

    Christianity itself is not in ANY danger here in the U.S., not remotely. If anything, it is atheists and anti-religion in Govt. types who have to fear nowadays. Clearly, the more religious (read: Christian) element in our society is now in control of our Government.

    This actually leads me to an interesting idea for a thread.......

  20. #20
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Darkstar Rising[/i]@Nov 9 2004, 03:28 PM
    [b] [quote][b]Whats the difference between the pastors doing this and the rockstars, actors, and Michael Moore doing there thing?[/b][/quote]

    Pastors (or any religious official) enjoys tax-exempt status under the greater Church, and by law cannot activly participate in political campaigns for risk of losing that tax-exempt status. Rock Stars, Movie Stars and Michael Moore do not have either the tax-exempt status nor the legal limitations. [/b][/quote]
    Dont think thats correct, my Dad&#39;s best friend is a priest and I know he pays taxes. I also know that my aunt did while she was a nun. I believe the Church enjoys tax exempt staus but the salary that priests get is not tax exempt.

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