Billy Graham Purchases Ads

Discussion in 'Election Forums' started by PoliticalChic, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Jimmy_Jam
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    Jimmy_Jam Senior Member

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    Yes, I'm pretty sure.

    Mainstream Christians in the U.S. tend to be Republicans. Romney is, for the most part, winning the support of many mainstream Christians. Billy Graham is helping to sway some of the Christians that do not for religious reasons by simultaneously removing Mormonism from his "cult" list and endorsing Romney. This is fairly academic, yes?

    While religion is a factor to the individual voter who votes with Bible in hand, for the GOP it is overtly political, since mainstream Christians are little more than a demographic consideration. If you gain Graham's endorsement, you gain a great number of Christians that may otherwise have objected to you for religious reasons. So, because Graham is a well-established icon to mainstream Christians, Romney is, through him, charming the socks off of mainstream Christianity. It was a potentially enormous political cementing job.

    I'm sure there will be a few radical Christians who will still view Romney as the Antichrist, but Graham's endorsement is pretty big. Now, I am a Republican, but not a Christian. Despite this, I think it is a legitimate concern to question the integrity of somebody who is a major spiritual leader, and who is identified primarily by that role, if he would overturn a decades-old religious conviction in favor of his political party. Is his change of heart based upon his spiritual convictions or his party? It could be a combination of the two, but ultimately it is clear that his religious convictions have taken a backseat to party affiliation.

    Allow me to use a hypothetical comparison. Bill Maher has repeatedly and consistently bashed Scientology. He is also a liberal. Suppose for a moment that a Scientologist won the Democratic nomination for Presidency. Suppose that the next day, Bill Maher suddenly stopped bashing Scientology and promoted it as a legitimate religious belief. Would you not question his integrity? I suspect you would, and it would be for political, not religious, reasons.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  2. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    "Allow me to use a hypothetical comparison. Bill Maher has repeatedly and consistently bashed Scientology. He is also a liberal. Suppose for a moment that a Scientologist won the Democratic nomination for Presidency. Suppose that the next day, Bill Maher suddenly stopped bashing Scientology and promoted it as a legitimate religious belief. Would you not question his integrity? I suspect you would, and it would be for political, not religious, reasons."

    No, no, no, JJ....


    Very poor comparison.

    An accuratate one would be the following: we regularly use Arabic numerals. Would we stop doing so as a result of 9/11?


    You see, the numbers retain their validity, as does the message delivered by Graham.
    Who the messenger is has no bearing.
     
  3. Jimmy_Jam
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    Jimmy_Jam Senior Member

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    I didn't mind much your questioning. I thought we were on to a very nice and productive debate there for a minute. I do not in any way get your comparison. Please explain.

    My comparison is valid in that it demonstrates a long-held moral or ideological position that is changed in support of a political candidate. It really is as simple as that.

    It's not the end of the world. Ultimately it doesn't bother me much that he did it. He can do whatever he wants, and for whatever reasons he wants. It is a political move, and I am calling it such, just as you seem to be calling it such. People do it all the time, whether they admit to it or not. I am a Republican, but not a Christian. I am at odds with the predominant Republican who IS Christian. I'm okay with that. I am still going to predominantly support Republican candidates despite that because of a larger political picture. That is essentially what Graham is doing. I don't have a problem with that, per se.

    The integrity issue comes in when he coincidentally changes his posture on a belief that Mormonism is a cult. Suddenly it is not. That makes his integrity questionable. Had he simply endorsed Romney with the position of "I don't agree with Mormonism but I am endorsing Romney for the bigger political picture," then fine, but by also changing his position on something he has been pretty serious about for decades calls his integrity into question. That's really all I am saying.

    Hey, this is my issue with the man, and I'm simply offering my perspective. It doesn't have to be yours or anybody else's. I don't mind you questioning me at all. However, if my hypothetical comparison is not appropriate, how so?
     
  4. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Maher would be responding to policies, not religious doctrines.

    In my example, we would consider Arabic numerals as retaining their usefulness, no matter the actions of members of the group.


    Graham has nothing to do with the validity of his message....
    You may claim that those who respect him will vote as he suggests because of Graham, without reference to the validity of the message, but that is only tangentially connected to the question.


    Consider this as his message: 45+20=65.
    Does the rectitude depend on the messenger?
     
  5. Jimmy_Jam
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    Jimmy_Jam Senior Member

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    Since this thread is largely op-ed in nature, I will say that I believe Graham has quite a bit to do with it.

    There are numbers of people who will vote based on his endorsement. If it were simply the message, then I could deliver the same message, and nobody would be swayed by it, because who am I? I'm just a schmoe with no popular or political clout who posts on a website along with a bunch of other schmoes. But Graham, he's practically God's right hand man, right?

    I don't lose respect for him because he endorses Romney, I lose respect for his character because he is reversing a religious belief in support of a political candidate, in an effort to sway Christian voters who up to that point would have said "hey, Graham says Mormonism is a cult, so I'm not too sure about this guy."

    I'll use myself as an example instead of Maher. I tend to support Republican candidates more so than Democratic ones because of a fundamental political approach. There are some issues that many Republicans pin their religious convictions on, and I simply don't share that with them. For example, the lack of Christian representation in public schools doesn't really bother me. I think the Supreme Court has ruled pretty well in most respects of state endorsement of religion, and I don't care much about the perceived "attack on Christianity" that the far religious right believe is going on, and even if there is somewhat of an attack, I don't believe anything tragic has happened.

    If I vote for Romney, that doesn't suddenly make me start advocating school prayer, now does it? I would be doing so out of interest for a bigger political picture, but I'm not changing anything about myself, and I am being very honest about it. Now, if I simultaneously start saying that I believe in mandatory school prayer even though I have said for decades that I don't, then I have an integrity issue. I may have changed my stance for personal reasons, but I would be a rightful target for anybody who would want to give me flack over it.

    If the message were all that mattered, then Graham would not have had to worry about removing Mormonism from his list of cults. The political maneuver demanded that he do it. The moment he did it, he transitioned from "religious figure with political ties" to a firmly political figure. Ultimately it's a speck on the radar. When Vatican II happened, there was some stink, but the Catholic Church made the transition. The same will happen here if Romney wins. A religion that has been considered a religious cult for many decades among mainstream Christians will find themselves suddenly in the club.

    Essentially, Graham has conceded a position long held.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  6. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    1. Do you have an opinion of the message?

    2.I'd like to take you up on this tangent:
    "If I vote for Romney, that doesn't suddenly make me start advocating school prayer, now does it? I would be doing so out of interest for a bigger political picture, but I'm not changing anything about myself, and I am being very honest about it. Now, if I simultaneously start saying that I believe in mandatory school prayer even though I have said for decades that I don't, then I have an integrity issue. I may have changed my stance for personal reasons, but I would be a rightful target for anybody who would want to give me flack over it.

    Are you conflating 'school prayer,' which I endorse, with 'mandatory school prayer,' which no one endorses?
    Was that by accident?
     
  7. Jimmy_Jam
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    Jimmy_Jam Senior Member

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    If you're meaning his message as you put forth in the OP, then yes. I don't vote based on Biblical principles, and that is exactly what he is calling Americans to do. So, this message is not meant for me, but for those that do. It is meant for Christians. It is also meant to persuade Christians who would be apprehensive about Romney because of his Mormon beliefs to cast them aside. He has simultaneously embraced Mormonism into the mainstream Christian fold, which is pretty precedent-setting considering how long he has considered Mormonism a cult. Otherwise his message would mean nothing. Is there something about the message that I am missing?

    I'm sorry, but I'm not going to take up the tangent. It was not meant as a tangent, merely an example. I can use any number of examples.

    Let's make it completely outside of religion altogether. My wife is pretty moderate, as I am, but she tends to lean a little to the left, as I lean a little to the right. She is a Democrat, but she holds some notable views that are in stark contrast to the Democratic rank and file. For example, she firmly supports the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. She may not be a card-carrying NRA member, but her views certainly don't mirror the Dem rank and file in any way. If she were to have some sort of political influence through some sort of Democratic group, and she endorsed that group, and as part of that endorsement she also took up the call and started campaigning for stricter gun control, then she has forsaken an individual cause she formerly embraced for the sake of the party line. That is exactly what Graham has done in this case. Now, we can attempt to go off on a tangent about the right to bear arms, but that's not the issue. I just don't see how you can disagree with the corollary.

    This is a largely philosophical debate. I am bringing to issue the question of integrity. Integrity is the consistency of a person's words and beliefs with his or her actions. I see some integrity issues here. Is it earth-shattering? No. It's an interesting discussion nonetheless.
     
  8. The VOR
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    The VOR Gold Member

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    I guess now that the election is over, and mittens lost, that crazy old fuck graham will put mormonism back on the cult list.
     

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