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It's Not Just Bush's Faith...

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Within the nearly exhausted discourse that has been conducted on this board about who to vote for, it seems an Objectivist's anti-Bush stance is basically because of Bush's faith. My question is, how come there has been very little said about Kerry on this matter?

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews...10005840.htm?1c

The White House challenger questioned the values behind policies that support tax cuts for the wealthy rather than spending the money for health care, the Iraq war, Social Security and the deficit.

"In the Book of James, my friends, we are taught: `It is not enough, my brother, to say you have faith when there are no deeds - faith without works is dead,'" Kerry said.

I find it hard for people who think religion within America is our greatest threat, not Islamic Fundamentalism, to vote for a man who ties in faith with the welfare state. True, Bush does this to some degree, but it seems Bush promotes laissez-faire ideals, though based on religion, far more than Kerry. Kerry is completely anti-capitalist and a man of faith.

Note: I'm sorry but I haven't been able to find the exact quotes from Kerry's speech, just this article about it.

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Within the nearly exhausted discourse that has been conducted on this board about who to vote for, it seems an Objectivist's anti-Bush stance is basically because of Bush's faith. My question is, how come there has been very little said about Kerry on this matter?

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews...10005840.htm?1c

I find it hard for people who think religion within America is our greatest threat, not Islamic Fundamentalism, to vote for a man who ties in faith with the welfare state. True, Bush does this to some degree, but it seems Bush promotes laissez-faire ideals, though based on religion, far more than Kerry. Kerry is completely anti-capitalist and a man of faith.

Note: I'm sorry but I haven't been able to find the exact quotes from Kerry's speech, just this article about it.

Kerry's appeals to religion are frightening. If you are an Objectivist who plans to vote for Kerry in order to slow the rise of religion, check your premises.

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Kerry's appeals to religion are frightening. If you are an Objectivist who plans to vote for Kerry in order to slow the rise of religion, check your premises.

I have to agree. Bush doesn't have the monopoly on faith in this election. On the other hand, Kerry can just be pragmatic trying to get as many votes as he can. On the other, other hand, socialists did a great job using faith in the south during the civil rights movement in the 1960s. So, I don't know..

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Kerry is clumsy and uncomfortable discussing his religion. Plus, he's a Catholic, not a "born-again" Christian. At least with Kerry, we know he's only talking about religion to get votes. I don't think his faith is very strong. That line from the book of James is one of the most well known bible quotes, not one of the obscure Old Testament lines Bush quotes to show how intimately he knows scripture. Bush has almost never had a speech where he didn't mention God or Jesus; Kerry only started talking about religion in recent weeks, to get votes. Bad, but not as bad as actually having religion so central to one's life. Simply put, Kerry could never be as bad as Bush on religion. It would pretty much take an Iranian Mullah to top our president in this regard.

The other issue is that Bush makes POLICY DECISION based on faith. They went into Iraq because they had "Faith" in outdated intelligence; "faith" that people brainwashed by Islam would want to establish a democratic republic and welcome westerners into their country; "faith" that they had enough troops to secure the country when many military officials disagreed. Faith that a corrupt regime like Pakistan's is a genuine ally in the War on Terror. Faith that North Korea and Iran can be stopped in their nuclear quests through diplomacy and dialogue. The list goes on. You can find plenty of articles on the subject of how many born-agains are in high places within Bush's administration, and how much of a guide "faith" and "gut feelings" are for collection of idiots. People talk about how they like Bush's foreign policy, but if he doesn't have the competence and rationality to implement his ideas within reality, what does it matter?

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The other issue is that Bush makes POLICY DECISION based on faith. They went into Iraq because they had "Faith" in outdated intelligence;
Outdated intelligence? Everyone that looked at it believed that Iraq had WMDs. I don't think it was a matter of faith. And what we know now (from the Deulfer report) is that we got to Hussein just before he bribed his way past the sanctions re-started his WMD program. How, exactly, is that a bad thing?

"faith" that people brainwashed by Islam would want to establish a democratic republic and welcome westerners into their country;
The people of Afghanistan and Iraq do want consensual government -- overwhelmingly. Whether the new government in Afghanistan and the coming government in Iraq will stay semi-free or be manipulated into theocracy remains to be seen, but at the moment, there is a tremendous desire for freedom in both countries. Neither population wishes to go back to life under a dictatorship.

"faith" that they had enough troops to secure the country when many military officials disagreed.
Which military officials? Not Tommy Franks or General Abizaid (CENTCOM commander) or Donald Rumsfield or any of the guys you hear interviewed from Iraq these days.

Faith that a corrupt regime like Pakistan's is a genuine ally in the War on Terror.
Pakistan has permitted unrestricted use of their airspace to transport troops and supplies into Afghanistan and to conduct air strikes. They are no longer exporting nuclear technology and they have arrested several members of al Qaeda, one of which, incidently, gave us enough info to disrupt a plan to bomb the Brooklyn Bridge. What else would you have Bush do with respect to Pakistan?

Faith that North Korea and Iran can be stopped in their nuclear quests through diplomacy and dialogue.
Bush is repeating the same mistake here that he made with Iraq: he will try the UN/diplomatic approach before resorting to force. Trouble is, Kerry will never resort to force. He voted against the first Gulf war -- and if he wouldn't support that military action, what would he support? Kerry advocates bribing Iran, much as Clinton tried with North Korea. Kerry also plans to cancel the programs to develop bunker busting bombs and a missile defense. So you tell me, who is more likely to (eventually, sigh) take appropriate action against Iran and NK? Bush or Kerry?
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I'm not sure if I see much difference in making policy decisions based on faith in a religious form altruism (a la Bush) vs. faith in a secular form of altruism (a la Kerry).

There are other reasons religion is a threat, but I think we underestimate the power of what Thomas Sowell refers to as the left's "vision of the anointed". While in today's philosophical climate religion may have a monopoly on the source of morality, it does at least have a weakness in that there are blatant contradictions between religious belief and most conservative economic policy. The left on the other hand, has no such contradictions and because of the their more complete embrace of altruism it has a monopoly of the moral high-ground. Religious conservatives seem to accept that fact and spend a lot of time apologizing for it.

Kerry may be paying lip-service to religion in order to secure a few more votes, but in essentials he truly believes “faith without works is dead” and his long standing commitment to consistent religious-in-secular-clothing principles is a matter of public record.

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Pakistan has permitted unrestricted use of their airspace to transport troops and supplies into Afghanistan and to conduct air strikes.  They are no longer exporting nuclear technology and they have arrested several members of al Qaeda, one of which, incidently, gave us enough info to disrupt a plan to bomb the Brooklyn Bridge.  What else would you have Bush do with respect to Pakistan?

Pakistan especially Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir(PoK) is still a breeding ground of terrorists with many terrorist training camps which Pakistan has not done much to remove.

Additional a large section (50-60% of the Pakistanis, I believe) actually support Osama Bin Laden.

I don't think that just because Pervez Musharaff is currently cooperation with US that Pakistan, or rather its people are no threat at all.

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Pakistan especially Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir(PoK) is still a breeding ground of terrorists with many terrorist training camps which Pakistan has not done much to remove.

Additional a large section (50-60% of the Pakistanis, I believe) actually support Osama Bin Laden.

I don't think that just because Pervez Musharaff is currently cooperation with US that Pakistan, or rather its people are no threat at all.

I do not maintain that they are not a threat at all. I simply say that there is at least some basis in fact for considering Pakistan an ally; it is not necessarily purely an act of faith as the original post claimed.

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The other issue is that Bush makes POLICY DECISION based on faith.

You make it sound as if Bush makes all decisions based purely off of faith. I knew the US government was a large bureaucracy, but I had no idea that it was as bad as you make it seem. I mean, we have all these military aides and strategists, along with cabinet officials and general advisors put to waste since Bush simply sits back, prays, and takes it all on faith.

jfortun really hit the nail on the head,

Kerry may be paying lip-service to religion in order to secure a few more votes, but in essentials he truly believes “faith without works is dead” and his long standing commitment to consistent religious-in-secular-clothing principles is a matter of public record.
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The other issue is that Bush makes POLICY DECISION based on faith. They went into Iraq because they had "Faith" in outdated intelligence; "faith" that people brainwashed by Islam would want to establish a democratic republic and welcome westerners into their country; "faith" that they had enough troops to secure the country when many military officials disagreed. Faith that a corrupt regime like Pakistan's is a genuine ally in the War on Terror. Faith that North Korea and Iran can be stopped in their nuclear quests through diplomacy and dialogue.

You do realize that "faith" has a non-religious meaning, right? Even if Bush did do all of the above because of faith rather than reason that doesn't mean they were explicitly religion-based decisions.

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Bush directly promotes theocratic POLICIES and JUDGES; Kerry, whatever he CLAIMS to believe, would not. Note that the president is not the country's intellectual leader. Objectivists, so far as I know, are not against Bush because they think he will convert more of the country to Christianity. We are against him because of his consistently religious agenda which, if carried to its logical extreme, would result in theocracy. Kerry, so far as I can tell, has no agenda other than power lust. (And I find it hard to believe that his recent religious appeals are anything more than attempts to steal some of Bush's votes.)

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Bush directly promotes theocratic POLICIES and JUDGES; Kerry, whatever he CLAIMS to believe, would not. Note that the president is not the country's intellectual leader. Objectivists, so far as I know, are not against Bush because they think he will convert more of the country to Christianity. We are against him because of his consistently religious agenda which, if carried to its logical extreme, would result in theocracy. Kerry, so far as I can tell, has no agenda other than power lust. (And I find it hard to believe that his recent religious appeals are anything more than attempts to steal some of Bush's votes.)

I question whether religion can have that much influence in America today. None of Bush's faith based initiatives have been turned into actual programs. I don't see how that logical extreme is going to be met in today's world, given the counter forces out there.

I remember Dr. Peikoff citing as fact to back him up that Christian music out sells jazz and classical records combined. However, I looked at the numbers, and jazz and classical combined only have something like 4% of the total market of music sales. It would be interesting to look at the trend, but I think that number is very low. He mentioned some other facts, which I also questioned. Iows, I wasn't sure about. Sorry that I don't recall specifics.

Aren't the most influential ideas the ones that come out of the universities? Postmodernism is certainly being pushed and promoted by today's intellectuals much more than Christianity. Environmentalism is the biggest example of that, but feminism, and multiculturalism are also pretty strong. These are certainly movements to be concerned about.

Kerry is a power luster, but he also appears to be very passionately anti-American. Remember, he supported the communists in Vietnam. He spread lies about his commrades in arms, claiming they committed war crimes.

That said, don't take this as an endorsement of Bush. Bush's flaws are huge, starting with his ineptitude in the war on terrorists.

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What makes you think it will be carried to its logical extreme?

Note that I'm not saying Bush will carry it to its extreme. I'm saying that Bush will push us down a road on which we do not want to travel. Principles are our only guides to action. Even pragmatists have to live by principles (how else would they judge what works?)--they typically steal the dominant principles of the time. If we allow ourselves to be pushed in the direction of theocracy, then the principles of theocracy will have been put into action and either a dramatic reversal of policy will be necessary or else the principle will be pushed to its extreme, in the long term.

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I would suggest that the situation may no longer be a matter of either/or. Read this article fom Jeff Jacoby: John Kerry, Preacher-Man.

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/jeffjac...j20041027.shtml

There are two points I think the article illustrates:

1. That the Religious Right holds power such that John Kerry feels compelled to pander to them; and,

2. John Kerry is no bulwark against that power.

The article also gives us a sense of the danger that the wedding of Marx and Christianity poses. It is a mistake to think that Kerry will do anything to slow down the assault of the religionists. Kerry is showing us that he has no compunction in arguing his platform from religion. He also has no difficulty doing so, since he is arguing from altruism.

The article is interesting philosophically as well. Though it exhibits the perils involved in using the Bible to refute Marxism, there's a certain comedic aspect in the attempt to use one biblical verse to refute another. In doing so, each cedes to the premise of the other and the whole exercise proves the futility of a debate between Kantians. Both positions will lead to the same result for America -- totalitarianism.

If the leftests ever recognizes Kerry's cynical tactic of blending the altruist ethic of religion into the altruist ethic of Marxism as anything more than a election year ploy, the disentegration will accellerate beyond anything imagined now. All that will be left of us will be a rotted corpse for Islam to feed on.

I opt for the Christian who believes in Americanism, no matter how faulty that position is, over a Marxist with the same ethic as the Christian, but none of the Americanism.

(In previewing this post, I see that the address for the article isn't exactly as I have written it. If you can't link through that address, try this.)

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One should vote for Kerry to speed up the decline of America. The lights will be out sooner in New York if people like Kerry are in office, that is the most valid reason to vote for Kerry.

-Nate

Do you want the lights of New York to go out?

If so, why?

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One should vote for Kerry to speed up the decline of America. The lights will be out sooner in New York if people like Kerry are in office, that is the most valid reason to vote for Kerry.

-Nate

I used to think that way before I had children.

Now, protecting them means protecting America- not just its ideals, but its physical borders and its cities and buildings. I think there are ashes enough for a new America to rise from without extinguishing the lights of New York.

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Note that I'm not saying Bush will carry it to its extreme.

So.. your argument relies on an "if" that you don't think will happen?

I'm saying that Bush will push us down a road on which we do not want to travel.
Are you warning us that Bush's road isn't great? We know that. I'm getting the impression that you are unwilling to consider that Kerry's road is far worse.

Kerry, so far as I can tell, has no agenda other than power lust.

...A road that paves over our rights, our values, and our country’s sovereignty… ...I can hardly wait…

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Kerry, so far as I can tell, has no agenda other than power lust. (And I find it hard to believe that his recent religious appeals are anything more than attempts to steal some of Bush's votes.)

I don't think Kerry is a normal power luster. I think he is something worse: a second-hander. Whatever power he does seek, he seeks with the approval of the UN and France. I think that make's Kerry more dangerous than any normal politician seeking the power of office because its hands us directly over to the socialists, the terrorists and the dictators.

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So.. your argument relies on an "if" that you don't think will happen?

Are you warning us that Bush's road isn't great?  We know that. I'm getting the impression that you are unwilling to consider that Kerry's road is far worse.

...A road that paves over our rights, our values, and our country’s sovereignty… ...I can hardly wait…

We are already on Kerry's road, that of socialism. Under Kerry, we might get more socialistic, but the country would not make any fundamental changes. Bush is taking us down a NEW road to theocracy. Not only is this a never-before-seen threat in America, but it is far more dangerous than socialism, in my opinion.

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We are already on Kerry's road, that of socialism. Under Kerry, we might get more socialistic, but the country would not make any fundamental changes. Bush is taking us down a NEW road to theocracy. Not only is this a never-before-seen threat in America, but it is far more dangerous than socialism, in my opinion.

Bush’s road is four years OLD and I haven’t noticed progress towards a theocracy. Kerry’s road is Kerry’s road and we have not been down it yet, but he is in a great position to do critical damage at a critical time in our nation’s history. Bush’s threat is long term, Kerry’s threat starts if he gets elected November second (knock on wood). Christianity is nothing new, terrorists with nuclear weapons are; for now I’m worried about the later.

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