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Baron
Well, you might not say that I actually met him. I was screaming angrily at him at the time, and he was trying to ignore me.

Here's the story, copied and pasted from another forum...

And no, I am not making this up.

Just ask Mr. Kerry.


This morning, I grabbed my book of train tickets, put on my black "Signs of Life" t-shirt, put my rosary in my pocket, and went to the Kerry rally at Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon.

I stood in line for one hour. Then I stood in the sun, in my black shirt and dress shoes. It got pretty hot...

But, I was patient. Most of the crowds had left. Senator Kerry was doing a segment for ESPN. (Playing with a football...that man is SO ripping off Keneddy. If I did that in Speach class, my teacher would give me an F.) I got closer. A crowd of people had stood around, at the fence, waiting to see the senator.

It was another half-hour, but he came out of the press tents and came towards the crowd. He was ten feet away, shaking hands! I stood silently, bidding my time.

This all happened in the space of four seconds: When he was four feet away, I jumped up and shouted: "Mister John Kerry! Do you know how to use one of these?" In my hands was my beautiful Italian-made rosary, hanging over the crowd. He noticed me...and then tried to ignore me. He continued shaking hands. "Sir, I'm just curious, are you a real Catholic?" He heard me. He must of. He got rather uncomfortable for just the split of a second. However, by then, a secret service agent had come up and was coaching me off the fence.

"Um...hi?" I looked up into the reflective glasses of the secret service agent.

"You made your point." and then, silently, you could tell he was saying: Please remove yourself from the fence.

Kerry was coming closer...but then, someone tapped me one the shoulders. It was some male supporter of Kerry. "Hey...there's someone from the press who wants to talk to you." Slightly confused and slightly eager to meet the press, I decided to stop bothering Kerry and find the press guy. By the time I'd reached the back of the crowd, Kerry had gotten into his black SUV...and there was no press. Stupid lier.

As the motorcade pulled out, I ran up the yellow tape and held up the rosary. Kerry saw me again...about nine feet away, out the window of the SUV.

Now knowing that there were angry democrats and suspicious secret service agents in the area, I decided not to stick around looking for press and booted it for the nearest light-rail station.

So...I'm hoping that someone from the press saw all, or part, of that. Maybe even took a picture or got a video of it all. That would be cool.


So, now I've been advised by other online friends to call up a national talk radio show and tell them the story...get a bit of notariety and face time with a real reporter.
ravein
While I am sure your religious beliefs are important to you, I personally would be happy if our elected officials kept their religion out of the White House.. There is this thing called separation of church and state. I am more interested in his views on health care, foreign relations, the war, economic issues and civil rights issues. As far as I am concerned, he can be agnostic. As long as he is a proper leader and does what is best for all Americans, not just Catholics, Christians or any other popular religion.
And with that I am moving this over to the Issues forum.
CommieBastard
Can anyone provide some background on this? I wasn't aware there was any question as to whether Kerry was a "real" Catholic.
gothictheysay
QUOTE
I wasn't aware there was any question as to whether Kerry was a "real" Catholic.


Kerry has some beliefs that the Catholic Church does not entirely share...Don't quote me on this because it was a long time ago when I read it, but there had been some disruption because Kerry supported abortion in some shape or form, and that got the Catholic Church a bit teed off.
MistressAlti
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Aug 14 2004, 05:26 AM)
Can anyone provide some background on this? I wasn't aware there was any question as to whether Kerry was a "real" Catholic.
*


"Real" Catholics don't support abortion, but Kerry does. There's been a recent argument in the Catholic church saying that any Catholic that supports abortion should be denied Holy Communion, as they are actively and willingly supporting sin. It's a controversial issue right now.
CommieBastard
QUOTE (MistressAlti @ Aug 14 2004, 01:11 PM)
"Real" Catholics don't support abortion, but Kerry does. There's been a recent argument in the Catholic church saying that any Catholic that supports abortion should be denied Holy Communion, as they are actively and willingly supporting sin. It's a controversial issue right now.
*


Huh. Scotsman fallacy. It hardly seems relevant to whether the man would be a good President.
gerbilfromhell
Yeah, well, all things considered, judging someone on their religion isn't as bas as judging them on their looks (not that judging someone based on their religion isn't an incredibly terrible way to pick a cnadidate anyways, but still....). Seriously, thousands and thousands, and probably more, votes are cast based on height, dress, haircut, and looks in general (even eyebrows! No joke, I know of one person casting her vote based on eyebrows).

See, this's why I have no problem with people who decide not to vote. I don't want people voting who're only going to vote based on height, religion, looks, etc. just because they simply don't care about politics and no nothing about the candidates. So many people are saying, "You all need to vote in the elections! Your vote matters; use it!" Y'know what would happen if everyone was forced to vote? You'd have a very, very large group of voters that voted based on the most ridiculous things. Can you imagine the elections of our country being decided *only* on looks, while the people who actually care about politics and voting at least somewhat are a *minority*?
Snugglebum the Destroyer
QUOTE
It hardly seems relevant to whether the man would be a good President.


I suppose that depends on whether he's using his Catholism to better his chance at gaining votes - in which case it does become important.
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Snugglebum the Destroyer @ Aug 14 2004, 01:41 PM)
QUOTE
It hardly seems relevant to whether the man would be a good President.


I suppose that depends on whether he's using his Catholism to better his chance at gaining votes - in which case it does become important.
*



But what's a "true" Catholic? It's the Scotsman fallacy:

A: No true Scotsman puts sugar in his oatmeal.
B: But my friend Angus is a Scotsman, and he always puts sugar in his oatmeal!
A: Then Angus isn't a true Scotsman.

If your definition of a Catholic is someone who believes exactly as the Vatican believes, then yes, Kerry isn't a "true" Catholic. But is that the definition? We don't define "Republican" as "someone who unswervingly agrees with everything the Republican Party says", do we?
Silver Star Angel of Da Towers
I don't think a candidate's religious opinions should matter. It should be about what they can do for the nation, not what they believe in.
Baron
Kerry's made it known that he carries a rosary, prayer book, and St. Christopher medal on the road.

And yet, Kerry got uncomfortable and tried to ignore me.

Then there's what that secret service agent said..."You've made you point." I got the distinct impression he was smiling at that point. These guys travel the road with Kerry. Maybe he was inadvertantly dropping a hint that Kerry is a hypocrite?

Of coarse I'm probably overanalyzing things right now. I can't imagine another circumstance where an agent would drop anything inadvertantly.

Kerry claims he's an active Catholic. He's pulled stunts...like the rosary and prayer book thing. And then recieving communion in a church...after bringing cameras into the church. The Catholic vote is split right down the middle, and it's going to be one of the most important parts of the upcoming election. Kerry's religious nature might even decide the election.
gothictheysay
QUOTE
Kerry's made it known that he carries a rosary, prayer book, and St. Christopher medal on the road.

And yet, Kerry got uncomfortable and tried to ignore me.

The Catholic vote is split right down the middle, and it's going to be one of the most important parts of the upcoming election. Kerry's religious nature might even decide the election.


Has he made it known? Do you have any solid evidence? That might help. People are bound to get uncomfortable in the situation Kerry was in. Maybe he was uncomfortable about a religious display? And I surely hope Kerry's religious nature doesn't decide the election...
CommieBastard
QUOTE
Kerry's made it known that he carries a rosary, prayer book, and St. Christopher medal on the road.

And yet, Kerry got uncomfortable and tried to ignore me.


Politicians almost always avoid confrontations; it always gets reported, and they never, ever come out of it looking good. Should he have gotten into a shouting match with you? All that would have acheived would have been him looking like an arrogant asshole.

As to the uncomfortableness: I don't know about you, but I hate being confronted like that. Even when I know I'm in the right, blood rushes to my face, I speak too loud and I start to stammer. I say stupid things. I expect I would have done exactly the same thing: looked uncomfortable and done my best to avoid you.
ravein
I don’t understand the relevance, many followers of a religion may carry religious items with them in an effort to feel protected, or comfortable. Just because you do not agree with everything a man made religion says does not make you any less of a person. Lets face it, religion is the interpretation of a group of people who wrote a interpretation of someone who claims to be a profit. Over thousands of years religion has been translated and manipulated to fit the view of certain groups of people.. no one is a true Catholic, Christian, etc.. to be a true Catholic, Christina etc.. one must have sat at the knee of god/christ/mary/buddha/satan/athena/pan/<insert god-goddess here>
and taken notes for yourself.
I think the best one can do is following your own heart, if not all members of your chosen religion feel that way.. well tough.. religion is a personal experience for each person.
artist.unknown
George Bush wouldn't make a model Catholic, either, if he was one. From what I've heard, the Pope was also against the war. It also tickles me silly that while people get themselves all in knots over the abortion issue, they ignore the fact that the death penalty is similarly vorboten by the Vatican. So Kerry's a bad Catholic because he's pro-choice? What about all the pro-death penalty Catholics? It's wrong to make hypocritical judgements based on religion. Kerry may be at odds on one issue, but it's irresponsible to ignore the fact that Bush is, by the same Papal rules, much worse.
Righteous
Any attack on one's religion would cause that person to feel uncomfortable. If I were to say that because you insulted someone based on his Faith (or in this case, lack thereof) and therefore not a Catholic, you'd probably get pissed at me just as well. The Secret Service agent probably figured you were harassing Mr. Kerry and just needed a talking to.

And Ravein's right. Who's to say that someone is or isn't a true Catholic or Christian or whatever? I recall vividly on instance in particular someone telling me flat-out that I'm not a Christian because I listen to metal and wear black clothes, chains and makeup (and going back to my earlier point, I wanted to pop the asshole's face but my friends were there and they prevented me from doing so).

And how do you know that person was a supporter of Kerry? Was he wearing a button or shirt? Could you figure that he just didn't dig your yelling?

I'm a Christian (a nondenominationalist, but I attend a Methodist church). I'm for gay marriage, for abortion rights (though not abortion itself), for the Second Amendment, anti-democracy, anti-death penalty, for drug legalization and for the end of any and all socialistic practices in the US government. My politics are spawned from my religious and spiritual beliefs. THere are Christian organizations who are against all of the above. Is my Faith not real then? Do they have any bearing on my Faith? Or do I decide what I believe?
Phyllis
I'm sure you honestly made very little difference in Kerry's day.

Think about it...he's been in the Presidential race for quite awhile. He has to be used to people yelling criticisms at him by now. In order to be in such a position, you have to learn how to shrug these things off and not let them get to you...which is probably exactly what he did.

If it had been me you had shouted at, I would have asked what business was it of yours how I practiced my faith (I'm not Catholic, but even so...), and I probably would have told you exactly where you could shove that rosary. But then, that's one of the many reasons why I'll never be a politician. biggrin.gif

On another note, I agree with what Ravein and others said...his religion should play no part in how fit he is to be President. As I have said numerous times before, I would vote for whoever I thought would do the best job, regardless of what religion they were.
MistressAlti
QUOTE (candice @ Aug 14 2004, 08:37 PM)
I'm sure you honestly made very little difference in Kerry's day.
*


Seriously. If you did what you did because you felt some heavy religious fanaticism coming on, well, I can only imagine that you're very satisfied with Kerry's reaction at your outbursts.

I find this thread fascinating. Seeing as angry religious fanaticism in regards to government and patriotism is usually regarded as a negative idea, particularly so in that it is an idea that our country is currently trying (failing?) to fight around the world, isn't it ironic that all the while we are apparently breeding similar religious-fueled hatred of our own from the other side? Hmm.

In any case. Other than that your personal satisfaction, I do have to ask, what is it that were you trying to prove or accomplish? And why do you wish, or even expect, for the media to take notice of a verbally abusive teenager belittling a high-profile candidate over his religious beliefs? Attention, possibly? Surely you must realize that there are hundred of Catholics that have ridiculed Kerry publically by now, all of which possessing more media visability than you, shouting and waving or not.

There's got to be better ways to make a point than that.
Phyllis
QUOTE (MistressAlti @ Aug 14 2004, 07:31 PM)
Other than that your personal satisfaction, I do have to ask, what is it that were you trying to prove or accomplish? And why do you wish, or even expect, for the media to take notice of a verbally abusive teenager belittling a high-profile candidate over his religious beliefs? Attention, possibly? Surely you must realize that there are hundred of Catholics that have ridiculed Kerry publically by now, all of which possessing more media visability than you, shouting and waving or not.

There's got to be better ways to make a point than that.
*


Agreed. I'm in Oregon too, and Kerry and Bush's respective visits were both the main stories on the news here that day (they were both in Portland at the same time). They did show one protestor at Kerry's little speech dealie...he was an older man who held up posters of Michael Moore (insulting to Moore...not so much to Kerry. I don't know why he bothered with that) and something else about Kerry's military history. He accomplished nothing, other than 2 seconds of media attention and several arguments with Kerry supporters. I don't really see the point. I mean, sure, you're free to make a stand against whatever you like. But like Missy said...there must be a better way than waving and shouting. Especially when you are absolutely surrounded by people who are so supportive of Kerry that they bothered to show up at Waterfront Park to hear him speak. What difference would that make, other than possibly starting an argument? blink.gif
Righteous
Has yelling, screaming and harassing ever really worked to do anything? To me, that's a case of talking without saying anything. If anything, crap like holding a rosary and calling someone a pseudo-Catholic is pointless and futile if your trying to make a point. Often, such things could end up being counter-productive more than anything, unless your attempt is to get the person or organization your protesting to detest you.
Mata
I think I agree with many of the above points.

Church and state should be distinct, but a person with a stated religious faith (which in an election can become part of their appeal) can also prove more predicatable and trustworthy.

Missy makes a good point (albeit it a bit bluntly!); what reaction were you expecting Baron? Mr Kerry could have said 'yes', but would you have believed him? What then, would you have asked him to demonstrate? But then, even if he did that (and with his schedule he would not, and really why should he?) how would you know that he hadn't just learnt what to do with them as a performance?

No man can prove his faith to another, therefore it is always a good policy to avoid confrontation on matters of religion. This becomes even more of the case when the person appears to value the acts of the faith in a fanatical manner, because who knows what other ideas such a person may deem right or wrong.

From the perspective of Mr Kerry and his protective gurads you most likely appeared to be a religious fanatic, and I can imagine that a very sound policy during an election campaign would be to avoid such people. The agent was probably appearing to be friendly and sympathetic because that's a more effective way of confronting a fanatic than directly forcing them to stop their actions. He did his job and you appear to have fallen 100% for this tactic.

If you did cause him embarassment, then surely that is to his credit? He is not so isolated from the average person and their emotions that he never feels embarassed that he is compelled by his political position to ignore those who appear to be of a confrontational nature on religious topics. To be embarassed shows an understanding of how sensitive issues of faith can be. I'd really like a man like that in the presidential office at times when links need to be created between states of differing beliefs.

I wouldn't be in too much of a rush to try and get your story out, really Mr Kerry comes out of it better than you. Of course, if your intention is to make yourself look inconsiderate of him, and for him to appear human but professional under pressure then maybe you should go ahead.
Baron
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Aug 14 2004, 02:02 PM)
It's the Scotsman fallacy:

A: No true Scotsman puts sugar in his oatmeal.
B: But my friend Angus is a Scotsman, and he always puts sugar in his oatmeal!
A: Then Angus isn't a true Scotsman.


Catholicism is a belief, not a race. A belief in Christ and in the Church. Catholic is the complete opposite of race. The word means, "universal". No Catholic believes exactly what every man in the Vatican says. Everyone has to think for themeselves, analyze there beliefs...because something one of those guys in the Vatican says might be mistaken sometimes. Because humans are fallible.

As a Catholic, I truly believe in this:


Jesus said to Peter, "You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church." (Matthew 16: 18)


That's the Constitution of the Church, right there.

Just like how I'm not an American because I was born an American.

I am an American because I believe in the Constitution of the United States. I would uphold and protect this document with my life. To die for an idea. Yes, that is radical. I am a radical. I am a radical. Radical: to have roots. I certainly have roots. Christ. Church. Constitution. Take those things out of me, and I'm dead, because those are my roots.

QUOTE
I think the best one can do is following your own heart


So, your roots are in your heart, huh? Wow. You base your beliefs, your life, and who you are, on feelings. Feelings come and go. You feel different in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night. Feelings last for hours, minutes, seconds...how can you build anything on those? You can't build a life on your heart.

Christ and Church. Those two show the fact that there is a moral absolute. We were all born with one moral absolute to our knowledge: Right and wrong. Good and evil. Constructive and destructive. Build. Do not destroy.

The Constitution is the document of a government where it is possible to live this way. Where people have freedoms, and should use their freedoms. Where right will eventually win.

QUOTE
George Bush wouldn't make a model Catholic, either, if he was one.


Did I ever say I supported Bush?


If I can get a thousand more people do the same thing I did, I will make a difference.

What I did was create a symbol.

I created an idea.

And ideas are the most powerful things in the world.
CommieBastard
QUOTE (Baron @ Aug 15 2004, 11:01 PM)
QUOTE (CommieBastard @ Aug 14 2004, 02:02 PM)
It's the Scotsman fallacy:

A: No true Scotsman puts sugar in his oatmeal.
B: But my friend Angus is a Scotsman, and he always puts sugar in his oatmeal!
A: Then Angus isn't a true Scotsman.


Catholicism is a belief, not a race. A belief in Christ and in the Church. Catholic is the complete opposite of race. The word means, "universal". No Catholic believes exactly what every man in the Vatican says. Everyone has to think for themeselves, analyze there beliefs...because something one of those guys in the Vatican says might be mistaken sometimes. Because humans are fallible.
*



I know it's not a race, dude, I never said it was a race. As I explained later on in my post, it's an analogy. The point of the fallacy is, you appear to have excluded Kerry from Catholicism because he disagrees with official Vatican policy. I don't think that's valid. And if you weren't doing that, why did you question whether or not Kerry is a real Catholic?

QUOTE
What I did was create a symbol.

I created an idea.

And ideas are the most powerful things in the world.


You shouted at a politician. I'm sure that'll get you written up in the history books.
gothictheysay
Not that I want to turn this into a theological discussion, but one point that I really disagree with:

QUOTE
We were all born with one moral absolute to our knowledge: Right and wrong. Good and evil. Constructive and destructive. Build. Do not destroy.


The reason I don't agree with this is usually when you're born, you have no idea what right or wrong is. This might just be a technicality issue, so I apologize if it is, but usually you have to be instructed on rights and wrongs when you're younger. Also, right, good, and constructive and their opposites are ideas and are not concrete, therefore one person's right is almost bound to be another person's wrong, one's good another's evil, and one's constructivism (making up a word there; and I will say that constructive is more concrete) the other's deconstructive.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Baron @ Aug 15 2004, 03:01 PM)
So, your roots are in your heart, huh? Wow. You base your beliefs, your life, and who you are, on feelings. Feelings come and go. You feel different in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night. Feelings last for hours, minutes, seconds...how can you build anything on those? You can't build a life on your heart.
*

I'd rather base my beliefs on what I feel is best in my heart, rather than something I was simply raised to believe. I refuse to follow my parents' religion blindly. I base my life on what I feel is correct. I personally can't understand basing it on anything other than my heart (that isn't to say that people who are raised a certain religion and choose to follow it in their adult life are doing so blindly...far from it. All I mean is that I refuse to accept something just because I was raised with it...and in my opinion neither should anyone else. If, after serious thought on the subject, they feel that it's right...then that's great. But they should seriously take some time to contemplate their feelings on the matter...blah, I'm babbling now. I'll stop).

Sorry, got off-topic for a second there. Aaanyway. You may think that you made a statement, but I disagree. You were surrounded by Kerry supporters. You were, in effect, preaching to the choir, because there were a few other protestors aside from you at the event...being just as loud. I don't think anything will come of it other than you looking like a religious fanatic, which isn't the most flattering image you can paint of yourself. But...if you feel that it wasn't in vain, then more power to you, I suppose. I still just think there could have been a better way to go about it.
Jonman
QUOTE (Baron @ Aug 15 2004, 04:01 PM)
QUOTE
I think the best one can do is following your own heart


So, your roots are in your heart, huh? Wow. You base your beliefs, your life, and who you are, on feelings. Feelings come and go. You feel different in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night. Feelings last for hours, minutes, seconds...how can you build anything on those? You can't build a life on your heart.

Christ and Church. Those two show the fact that there is a moral absolute. We were all born with one moral absolute to our knowledge: Right and wrong. Good and evil. Constructive and destructive. Build. Do not destroy.

The Constitution is the document of a government where it is possible to live this way. Where people have freedoms, and should use their freedoms. Where right will eventually win.


Of course you can build a life on your heart.

What about me, huh? I am religion-less. Partly through choice (I've never sought out a religion to join), and partly through upbringing (I was raised in a religion-less family). Yet, I have a highly evolved moral model of the world. I know, pretty much as well as anybody, what's right and wrong. I may not always do what is right, but I damn well know that it's morally wrong when I'm doing it. That's free will for you.
My moral absolutes have nothing to do with God, Christ, the Bible, or for that matter, Moses, Buddha, Kali or Gaea. Indirectly maybe, in that my moral compass has been guided by the society I've grown up and lived in, and it's a society that's heavily indebted to the Christian way of thought. Is it better or worse that I define my own morality, based on my experience, my perception of the world and yes, the feelings that I have, instead of simply accepting a morality that's handed to me wholesale, flawed or not?
And what drives religion if not feelings? Feelings of faith, loyalty to once's deity/church/pontiff? Or negative feelings for that matter: desperation, guilt, and neediness.

On the subject of Church and State though, it sickens me to see religion used in an election campaign. The question I'd like to ask those who push their religion onto the ballot is this - how would they feel if 2 Moslem candidates (or Sikh, or Buddhist, or Jewish for that matter) were both in the running, invoking the blessings of Allah (or respective deity) on the whole country? 'Cos that's how at least some of us feel.
Pab
QUOTE (Jonman @ Aug 16 2004, 01:02 PM)
On the subject of Church and State though, it sickens me to see religion used in an election campaign. The question I'd like to ask those who push their religion onto the ballot is this - how would they feel if 2 Moslem candidates (or Sikh, or Buddhist, or Jewish for that matter) were both in the running, invoking the blessings of Allah (or respective deity) on the whole country? 'Cos that's how at least some of us feel.
*


Ha! ... Good point. Come to think of it, has there ever been a person of , ooh .. let's say .. Jewish faith in the presidential race? Or would that not be considered .. ermm .. Kosha? I would welcome some enlightenment on that theme, and I can think of one rodent who is likely to be happy to answer ...

*sets out some cheese*
Mr Fuzzy
QUOTE (Baron @ Aug 16 2004, 12:01 AM)
I am an American because I believe in the Constitution of the United States. I would uphold and protect this document with my life. To die for an idea. Yes, that is radical. I am a radical. I am a radical. Radical: to have roots. I certainly have roots. Christ. Church. Constitution. Take those things out of me, and I'm dead, because those are my roots.
*


I must admit that this paragraph makes me a bit uneasy. For a start I'm pretty certain that the reason you're an American is because you were born there, and live there. To suggest that a belief in your constitution is required to be an American is tantamount to saying that those with completely different political beliefs cannot be citizens.

Die for an idea? Now that's just damn fool. Live for ideas. It's much more useful that way. I'm very suspicious of martyrdom. All you really accomplish by dying for an idea is being dead. It rather limits your options in continuing to promote an idea.

As for the whole roots thing: I'm an atheist. I'm also not a subscriber to your constitution. Does this mean that I'm nothing but a husk of a man? I don't think so.

All in all your point throughout this thread seems to be that a person is not valid if their beliefs differ from yours. I think the world at large has had quite enough of that from the current administration.
Jonman
QUOTE (Mr Fuzzy @ Aug 16 2004, 04:53 AM)
I must admit that this paragraph makes me a bit uneasy. For a start I'm pretty certain that the reason you're an American is because you were born there, and live there. To suggest that a belief in your constitution is required to be an American is tantamount to saying that those with completely different political beliefs cannot be citizens.

*

Umm, not strictly true, Fuzzla.

If I wanted to become an American, after filling out a billion forms in squillionate (like triplicate, but lots more), I would eventually have to pledge allegance to the country, the flag, and the constitution.

So yes, technically, it is in fact the belief in the constitution that makes him an American.
Mr Fuzzy
No no no, I don't mean if you want to become one having been something else before. I still say that being born and living there qualifies him as an American by default.
Jonman
QUOTE (Mr Fuzzy @ Aug 16 2004, 06:03 AM)
No no no, I don't mean if you want to become one having been something else before.  I still say that being born and living there qualifies him as an American by default.
*

Nah, still gotta swear allegiance to the flag every day at school as a kid though, innit?
gerbilfromhell
QUOTE (Pab @ Aug 16 2004, 11:16 AM)
Ha! ... Good point. Come to think of it, has there ever been a person of , ooh .. let's say .. Jewish faith in the presidential race? Or would that not be considered .. ermm .. Kosha? I would welcome some enlightenment on that theme, and I can think of one rodent who is likely to be happy to answer ...

*sets out some cheese*

*snatches cheese*

I really don't know if there's been any Jewish presidential candidates, but there sure haven't been any Jewish presidents. No matter how much people say they're unbiased, people tend to vote for a candidate that they can identify with, so Jewish politicians tend not to get near the top in US (or, with the exception of Israel, world) politics. Maybe there's one or two Jewish people in the House of Representatives (or at least maybe there have been), it's *very* doubtful that there's ever been anyone Jewish in the senate, and definitelly no Jewish Presidents or Vice-Presidents (or cabinet members, most likely). That's not to say that there aren't any Jews in politics; they're just generally kept to the lower levels of it, in many cases (though certainly not all) because of their religion.

It's actually an old joke where I live (don't know about the rest of you, as I don't live where you do) about the chances of having a black, Jewish, and openly lesbian woman as president are around the same as winning the New York lotto. For all the reasons people make up, people vote with who they identify with. Whether it be by political party (e.x. the people who just vote for all the democrats or republicans without knowing who they are, because they're of the same politicial party), race, religion, or whatever.

Anyways, about the rest of this thread....

Ok, you're saying that, "What I did was create a symbol.

I created an idea.

And ideas are the most powerful things in the world. "

Yet at the same time you said, "I was screaming angrily at him at the time, and he was trying to ignore me."

Exactly what symbol are you trying to create here? What idea? Because, if you got *any* media attention at all (which is unlikely, really), a rather large portion of the US will simply label you "a religious nut" (I'm not saying this to insult you; it's just what many people would label you as after seeing what you did on TV. If it got there. Which I doubt.) and get on with their lives without paying more than one second's extra attention to your stunt. In fact, the relatively small amount of the rest of the population who would agree with what you were saying (or, rather, the point behind what you were saying) certainly would've had that opinion before anyways.

Ok, so you said, "If I can get a thousand more people do the same thing I did, I will make a difference."

Imagine this scenario: You're sitting down on your couch/bed/chair, watching the evening news. During a one or two minute segment on John Kerry stopping at some town/city and giving a speech, you see, for two seconds, a man being dragged off by secret service agents, waving a rosary around and screaming something about not knowing what it's used for (because even *if*, beyond all odds, the cameras caught some of what you were doing on tape, totally ignoring the man they're *supposed* to be filming as part of their job, they'd probably only've managed to catch the end of your protest, when you're being dragged away by secret servicemen).

I don't know about you, but I certainly wouldn't get the sudden idea that, "Hey, John Kerry's a bad Catholic," let alone, "Hey, I think I should go yell at John Kerry about *being* a bad Catholic in the middle of a crowd of supporters, to get dragged away by secret servicemen, so I can get two seconds on the news like that guy did!" And I'd be willing to bet that the only absolutely, infinitessimally tiny amount of Americans who would think of the second idea would've been thinking of it already for a long time and planning on it. You won't convince anyone of anything by screaming your head off and getting dragged away like a criminal being arrested.



"So, now I've been advised by other online friends to call up a national talk radio show and tell them the story...get a bit of notariety and face time with a real reporter."

D'you *honestly* think that you're the first person to do something like this to get yourselves some notoriety and press-attention so that you can make a specific point? Not only has that been done, but the same message that you were yelling about was protested by groups of people various times and got a somewhat significant amount of press-attention, as well as by many people in much higher positions of power than you (i.e. the Catholic Church).



I have to go now, but I'm going to add much more when I get back tonight.
Righteous
QUOTE (Jonman @ Aug 16 2004, 08:04 AM)
Nah, still gotta swear allegiance to the flag every day at school as a kid though, innit?

I swore allegence to the flag for thirteen years of my educational life (well, twelve and a half). I never really meant it. I just did it because if not, I'd end up in the principal's office. I finally got sick of it in twelfth grade and stopped. I'm against the Constitution on several grounds. Am I not an American or am I only one by default because I was born here?

Fuzz is right. Dying for an idea is pointless unless one lives for said idea. The most famous martyr in history is Jesus Christ, which you, Baron, have said you believe in. Discounting the Ressurection bit (which is a-whole-nother debate), he lived his teachings, helped people out, was compassionate and lived a life steadfast in his beliefs. He died for said beliefs which just goes to show how dear his beliefs were and serves as an example for the rest of us who believe. I think that martyrdom can be powerful, but you can't just randomly die for something you don't live for.

Though I agree with thinking what happened was a little on the cooky side, I wouldn't go so far as to say Baron is a regigious fanatic. When I think of religious fanaticism, I think of the people who protest otside of abortion clinics (like in Dogma) or those assholes who run GodHatesFags.com (grrrrrrrr!). Those are fanatics. Shouting obscenities at some random politician doesn't qualify.

And as for politics and religion, they hae no place together. One can be religious and follow the virtues of said religion, but making the world into a wonderful Christian wonderland (which a lot of religious/political folks want) is futile not to mention evil (forcing morality onto the masses, to me, is taking the place of God and therefore blasphemy; though maybe I'm just nuts).

And Baron, I'm a Christian. The reason I'm a Christian is because 1) it makes sense to my head and 2) it makes sense to my heart (or you could also say my gut). I listen to my heart because it's usually right. Often when I haven't listened to it, I've been wrong. So, my heart led me to the Lord and I followed. Is my faith any less potent because I came to it via my heart instead of my church lady mom?
Mata
Actually I'm not sure if people vote for the person that they can most identify with, considering that since television became popular 10 of the 12 US presidential elections have been won by the taller candidate. Kerry is 6'5" and so stands a good chance... That said though, Bush is one of the two that got into office while being shorter. However, he also appears to have got less votes than his opponent, so the only blip in this trend is Jimmy Carter.

I'm still not clear what point Baron was trying to make, or what response he was expecting. Even if he was a devout Catholic it's incredibly unlikely that he would take a moment of private prayer in front of a whole crowd. The US is a multi-cultural society, so any such act would be political suicide for voters with other faiths, and more to the point, why should he do it? I doubt Baron prays on command, so why should John Kerry be expected to do so?

Even if Kerry does not use a rosary, what does this matter? Baron himself states that no-one agrees with absolutely everything taught by the Catholic Church (although I suspect the pope might disagree with this) so what does it matter if acts with the rosary are not among those subscribed to by John Kerry?

"I created an idea."

What idea? That politicians should pray when a random guy in the crowd shouts at them to do so? I'm still at a complete loss to work out what point Baron was trying to make with all this. I just really don't get it. Baron, please explain what you were trying to prove, and especialy please explain why your point should matter to the world when we think about John Kerry.
CommieBastard
QUOTE (gerbilfromhell @ Aug 16 2004, 01:04 PM)
Maybe there's one or two Jewish people in the House of Representatives (or at least maybe there have been), it's *very* doubtful that there's ever been anyone Jewish in the senate, and definitelly no Jewish Presidents or Vice-Presidents (or cabinet members, most likely).
*


What about Wolfowitz?
ravein
QUOTE
So, your roots are in your heart, huh? Wow. You base your beliefs, your life, and who you are, on feelings. Feelings come and go. You feel different in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night. Feelings last for hours, minutes, seconds...how can you build anything on those? You can't build a life on your heart.

Christ and Church. Those two show the fact that there is a moral absolute. We were all born with one moral absolute to our knowledge: Right and wrong. Good and evil. Constructive and destructive. Build. Do not destroy.

The Constitution is the document of a government where it is possible to live this way. Where people have freedoms, and should use their freedoms. Where right will eventually win.


yes I do and I have... my beliefs are based on my personal feelings and my own ideals. My heart rules me and I am thankful for it. I have lived this way since day one.. I have built a amazing life by following my heart, one that has lead me to a awesome career, beautiful friends, a woman I plan on spending the rest of my life with, and real happiness. The choices I made that lead me here where not based on a book full of someone else’s ideas. It was based on my experience, my feelings, and the morals that I developed through something called living. If you need a religion to tell you how to live and what to believe, what is the use in living? You are blindly following someone else’s principles and never taking into consideration your own truths and understanding. Religion is a guide not an absolute.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Pab @ Aug 16 2004, 03:16 AM)
Come to think of it, has there ever been a person of , ooh .. let's say .. Jewish faith in the presidential race?
*


Correct me if I'm wrong...but isn't Lieberman Jewish? He was Al Gore's running mate in 2000. And he's a senator. I could be wrong on the Jewish thing, though...I just vaguely remember hearing something about it on the news in 2000.

And swearing allegiance to the flag...no, you don't have to do that every day in school. You do, however, have to stand up to show respect while the other kids are doing it. But they don't force anyone to say it. At least, not where I live. They'd get a hefty lawsuit if they tried, because it's against the religion of Jehova's Witnesses to do so.
ravein
Lieberman is jewish..
and no you dont have to pledge to the flag, I belive there was a recent supreme court ruling as to that.
gerbilfromhell
Ah, right, I forgot about Lieberman and Wolfowitz..... I stand corrected.

Anyways, "Then there's what that secret service agent said..."You've made you point." I got the distinct impression he was smiling at that point. These guys travel the road with Kerry. Maybe he was inadvertantly dropping a hint that Kerry is a hypocrite?"

You got the distinct impression that he was smiling? huh.gif You couldn't tell whether he was smiling or not? Y'know, I *really* think you're reading *way* too much into this. 'Specially if you couldn't *tell* if he was smiling or not....

"He's pulled stunts...like the rosary and prayer book thing."
I just had to point out the irony in that statement, seeing as you pulled a stunt involving a rosary....

"He got rather uncomfortable for just the split of a second."
How could you tell he was uncomfortable, anyways? Maybe (in fact, probably) you just startled him and he dismissed you as an overly-loud protester and ignored you. Or not. But how'd you notice the *one* second when he was 'uncomfortable', and how can you have any idea that he wasn't actually just startled (which would make anyone uncomfortable) by a man four feet away from him jumping, waving a rosary around, and yelling something about being a true Catholic? Especially when you've got a secret serviceman "coaching you off the fence."


I'm not saying you're lying. Not at all. I just think you're reading *way* too much into this.


"And yet, Kerry got uncomfortable and tried to ignore me."
What? You mean he got uncomfortable when, out of the blue, a guy waving a rosary is jumping and yelling something about being a true Catholic while he was at a political rally, surrounded by supporters? *gasps*


"He's pulled stunts...like the rosary and prayer book thing."
So have you, apparently. Isn't that what this thread is about?


"And then recieving communion in a church...after bringing cameras into the church."
Cameras in a church?! Wow, that's absolutely *never* happened before! *gasps*
(excuse the sarcasm, by the way. Or don't. But it'd be nice if you did.)


"Catholicism is a belief, not a race. A belief in Christ and in the Church. Catholic is the complete opposite of race. The word means, "universal". No Catholic believes exactly what every man in the Vatican says. Everyone has to think for themeselves, analyze there beliefs...because something one of those guys in the Vatican says might be mistaken sometimes. Because humans are fallible."

Erm..... a *big* part of Catholicism, one that's caused a number of wars, is the spiritual infallibility of the Pope. I mean, I assume you know this, but, technically, if you disagree with the Pope, you aren't being a 'real Catholic,' as you accuse John Kerry of not being.

"Just like how I'm not an American because I was born an American."
Being born an American makes you an American unless you decide to leave. You might *like* being an American because you believe in the constitution, but the reason you are a citizen of the US is that you were born here.

"If I can get a thousand more people do the same thing I did, I will make a difference."
You expect, or even think it's possible, to get a thousand more people to do what you did? Course more people will do similar things; I doubt what they do and what you did will in any way be related.

"So, your roots are in your heart, huh? Wow. You base your beliefs, your life, and who you are, on feelings. Feelings come and go. You feel different in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night. Feelings last for hours, minutes, seconds...how can you build anything on those? You can't build a life on your heart."

Heart and feelings are *completely* different things. Soul and heart are used in the same manner very, very often. Whether or not you believe in a soul, if you think of your heart as your core, you essence, your whatever, you're using the word in the same way as people use the word soul, though you may be talking about two different things. Feelings are the surface of the heart. What guides those feelings *is* your heart. *That*, you can base your beliefs, life, and who you are on.
Righteous
QUOTE
If you need a religion to tell you how to live and what to believe, what is the use in living? You are blindly following someone else’s principles and never taking into consideration your own truths and understanding. Religion is a guide not an absolute.


Not to get too off-topic Rav, but you don't feel like that toward all religious folks, do you? I believe in God and Christ and I go to church, but I don't ahere to a specific doctrine (doctrinism can lead to evil things). You wouldn't automatically deem my life unlivable, would you? I'll admit, there are people whose lives are miserable because they refuse to explore and question, but mine's not automatically like that because I'm a Christian, is it? I'm not saying you are. I'm just saying that does one's beliefs make his/her life miserable.

I will have to disagree with you on the last part, though. Religion is whatever you want it to be, be it a guide or an absolute. For me, it's a combination of both, however I don't dig it when folks use it as an excuse to yell at people for differing beliefs.
ravein
no, I feel that people can believe whatever brings them comfort. I don’t think you should take a book and make it your complete guide to life without listening to your own experiences. I think to do so is wasting what was given to you. Would god have given you intelligence, reason and feelings if he did not want you to use them?

Religion is a guide not an absolute is my outlook on religion. You can make religion whatever you need it to be as long as you don’t use your perception of that religion to diminish someone else’s perception of religion.

You know, Kat and me where talking about this at lunch today.. it is ironic that America was founded on two basic principles A. freedom to practice whatever religion you wanted, however you wanted to practice..if you wanted to practice a religion.. and B. taxes.. yet here we are debating the validity of a candidate for president of the US due to the way he holds a rosary..
Righteous
QUOTE
I don’t think you should take a book and make it your complete guide to life without listening to your own experiences. I think to do so is wasting what was given to you. Would god have given you intelligence, reason and feelings if he did not want you to use them?

I'm down with that. I've noticed that a lot of those psychotic, crazy people who make the news are force-fed their religious beliefs from day one. I see it everyday (and it pisses me off a good bit).

QUOTE
You know, Kat and me where talking about this at lunch today.. it is ironic that America was founded on two basic principles A. freedom to practice whatever religion you wanted, however you wanted to practice..if you wanted to practice a religion.. and B. taxes.. yet here we are debating the validity of a candidate for president of the US due to the way he holds a rosary..

You know, when you put it like that, it is kinda silly.
Tigersong
QUOTE
Die for an idea? Now that's just damn fool. Live for ideas. It's much more useful that way. I'm very suspicious of martyrdom. All you really accomplish by dying for an idea is being dead. It rather limits your options in continuing to promote an idea.


Sorry about getting off topic, but I just wanted to say...

I would disagree on this point. Not that I'd want to be a martyr, but I think it's a pretty effective way of spreading your message. Take Jesus, for example. The Martyr Archetype, if you will. As Tim Rice once put it, in that oh so famous musical Jesus Christ Superstar, "And then I saw thousands of millions crying for this man..." Or the Bab, who was martyred and whose death influenced the birth of the Ba'hai faith.

I'm not saying it's as good an option, but it works sometimes.

But then, this is a topic that's been debated on and off in Western Christendom for the last 2000 years (with the pro-martyrdom-folks being the ones who wrote the history books).

---

Sorry about spamming this thread up. I really have nothing original to add to this. Ditto to what everyone else said. Oh, and WB gerbster! smile.gif At least for the time being.
Mata
Thinking about it, martyrdom is probably a lot harder to come by these days. Jesus went into the temple and upset the tables of the money lenders. Try doing that today in the US and the security guard will probably shoot you, in the UK you'd probably be arrested and put in a mental health institution.
artist.unknown
QUOTE
And swearing allegiance to the flag...no, you don't have to do that every day in school. You do, however, have to stand up to show respect while the other kids are doing it. But they don't force anyone to say it. At least, not where I live. They'd get a hefty lawsuit if they tried, because it's against the religion of Jehova's Witnesses to do so.

A year ago I stopped standing up for the pledge. I was taken out of class once my teacher noticed and told that at the very least I had to stand because--and I find this outrageous--in my area's version of the patriot act, it's illegal not to. Pitched-into-jail-with-no-trial illegal. In fact, unless you have religious objections (as with Jahovah's Witness, for example), they strongly "prefer" you say it as well. I was made to explain myself at great length. Fortunately my teacher told me if I agreed to read Civil Disobediance I would not be reported. Now I stand and turn my face, but the thought of that kind of legislation really angers me.

QUOTE
Thinking about it, martyrdom is probably a lot harder to come by these days.

I guess the example quickest to come to mind is Martin Luther King.

Here's the root of the church/state issue, as I see it: If the seperation of church and state is so incredibly important, then commit to it completely, not halfway. If the church is to have anything to do with government at all, then it should be taxed. If it wants to remain exempt from taxes (and living so closely with one all my life, I say rather confidently it is not economically viable for most churches to pay them), then religious arguments should be kept out of government.
gothictheysay
QUOTE
was made to explain myself at great length.


wants to know what you ended up saying!

As for the flag thing, the only thing I can remember about that is when my friend from the Netherlands was living here. Since she was not a U.S.-born citizen (I forget if she were registered as one), she did not have to say the pledge. I don't remember if she even had to stand.

Man, if I stopped saying the pledge in my school...I would be called disrespectful. Extremely disrespectful. And taken aside for a long, long lecture. I usually just repeat it zombie-like with everyone else, but there's something wront with that, isn't there? Hey, maybe I'll give it a shot. All I do now is not say the "under God" part, and I've only gotten a few glares from students.
Tigersong
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Aug 17 2004, 09:32 AM)
QUOTE
was made to explain myself at great length.

Man, if I stopped saying the pledge in my school...I would be called disrespectful. Extremely disrespectful. And taken aside for a long, long lecture. I usually just repeat it zombie-like with everyone else, but there's something wront with that, isn't there? Hey, maybe I'll give it a shot. All I do now is not say the "under God" part, and I've only gotten a few glares from students.
*



Good Lord, I had no idea that America was so... militant... in enforcing nationalism. Well, I suppose I realized it, but it still shocks me. You get glared at because you are exercising your right to not say "under God?"

*blinks*

Is this a phenomenon peculiar to the US -- at least in the developed world -- or does this occur in other countries, as well?
MistressAlti
QUOTE (Tigersong @ Aug 17 2004, 11:38 AM)
Good Lord, I had no idea that America was so... militant... in enforcing nationalism.  Well, I suppose I realized it, but it still shocks me.  You get glared at because you are exercising your right to not say "under God?"
*


Untrue. It's not like that everywhere. I had to say the pledge when I was in elementary school, but I haven't said it since. That's eight years ago. I barely remember how it goes now. And even back in elementary school they expected you to be quiet and stand up, but no-one forced you to say it. I quit, after thinking it a bit stupid to be "pledging allegiance" to a flag.

The only place I've seen any other sort of "forced nationalism" is at sporting events, where they play the anthem and expect everyone to stand up and take their hats off and put their hands over their hearts and whatnot. Again, not required to do any of the above except stand up and be quiet.

Maybe I just live in an odd part of the country so it's just me that's been exempt from "militant" patriotism, but I live in a highly-Christian, tradition-minded state, so I truly doubt it.
artist.unknown
QUOTE
QUOTE
was made to explain myself at great length.


wants to know what you ended up saying!

To be brief: The pledge of allegiance is just that--swearing to stand by your country. I do not believe in what the American government is doing, and I refuse to accept what it is doing. Knowing this, wouldn't it be dishonest to say the pledge anyway? I cannot guarentee that I would comply with it, and I don't want to be bound to. I won't make a promise that I can't come through on, or that could be held against me later. I'd rather honestly disobey. I also don't believe in loyality to the people within certain imaginary lines instead of worldwide, but that's another rant.

And yes, Tigersong, it is. In my school students are quite literally stalked by army recruiters with free pencils. Our footballers are "The Patriots". It's rather creepy if you ask me and I'm seriously concidering expatting to Germany. If I had been caught by a less understanding teacher, I would have been kicked out of class, given detention or suspended. Furthermore, because there are now laws in place, legal action could even have been taken. This may be area-specific. I live in a rather conservative pocket, so maybe that effects the attitudes; also, we're quite close to New York City, which makes people twice as touchy, especially since everyone knows someone who was killed. I can say, though, that a lack of patriotism where I live is nigh-unto treason.
Phyllis
Pledge-saying where I live is pretty much the same as where Missy lives.

Kids in school are required to stand up and be quiet while other kids say the pledge if they don't want to say it themselves, just as a sign of respect. No one where I lived ever questioned your motives for not saying it or glared at you at all. Well, maybe some kids might have...but I didn't pay them any mind. They're the same ones who would come up to me and say "Do you know where you're going to go when you die?" and try to give me the heaven/hell talk and get me to repent my sins or go to church or whatever it is that they do in order to get into the pearly gates. I was less than interested in what they thought of me, so I paid little attention to their reactions to what I did.

Aaanyway..hehe...sorry, got sidetracked. But then, so did we all by getting on this topic in the first place. But that's okay, because I think there's little more to say on the whole Kerry thing. But anyway...

QUOTE
The pledge of allegiance is just that--swearing to stand by your country.

A teacher of mine mentioned that to us in high school. This was before 9/11, so the raging patriotism you still sometimes see wasn't around as much then. She'd still have said it after that, though. They started saying the pledge of allegiance over the intercom in the mornings, after not having said it at my high school for at least 10 years. The teacher said to us one morning, after they'd finished, that we should think about what we're saying before we said the pledge...and whether we really mean it or not. And if not, we should just stand in silence. Only, she put it better than I just did..heh.

Anyway, it is not that militant in America when it comes to patriotism. Not where I live, anyway...and I live in a very rural, conservative area where a lot of the residents are extremely patriotic. They would certainly say something if a student didn't at least stand and be quiet while others were saying the pledge...because that is a sign of respect. Not necessarily for the flag or the country itself, but for what the others are choosing to do. It's just a matter of good manners. But no one can force you to say the pledge...no matter where in America you are.
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