Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Jun/09

26

Not the usual political prayer venue

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Mark Sanford occasionally visited a secretive Christian boarding house for politicians  in Washington, reports the Washington Post.   Coincidentally, no doubt, fellow adulterer Nevada Senator John Ensign also lived there with a few other politicians. 

A rival minister now charges that the house was too secretive, and thus perhaps not demanding enough of its residents and visitors.   Is he kidding?  Such avoidance of the public spotlight is a refreshing and admirable change from the usual display of public piety that became one of the Republicans’ most annoying traits during the Bush years (naive foreign adventurism being another, related to the first).   If more politicians showed the religious modesty of attendees at the nick-named “Prayer House,”* Secular Right would be much less exercised.

*Update: Sanford’s likely successor, South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, does not follow this model of unobtrusive faith, if his campaign for “I Believe” license plates, tagged by Mickey Kaus, is any indication.

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11 comments

  • sg · June 26, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    If there is one thing I don’t want to know, it is what other people do in private. I want their public policy positions in all their glorious or tawdry detail. I want all their dirty business deals trumpeted in the media. But please, spare me the accounts of their personal lives and private moments.

  • OneSTDV · June 27, 2009 at 4:07 am

    “But please, spare me the accounts of their personal lives and private moments.”

    Agreed, but it gets ratings. The media is no longer an impartial truth conduit from the elites to the public. They not only have a vested interest in shifting public opinion (Obama election is prime example), but they have a vested interest in making money. I don’t know if this has arisen recently due to increased competition from independent outlets like the Internet. Nonetheless, the base and tawdry seem to sell best and the media is willing to provide us with it.

  • Art · June 27, 2009 at 7:02 am

    “… the usual display of public piety that became one of the Republicans’ most annoying traits during the Bush years (naive foreign adventurism being another, related to the first).”

    Let’s see, 25 million freed from Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Thirty million freed from fascist rule in Iraq. Democracy restored in Lebanon. Libya surrenders it’s nuclear program. And now, the people of Iran openly protesting for democracy.

    Of course, you might have been referring to the response to the earthquakes in Iran and Pakistan, or to the tsunami in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Maybe his efforts to fight AIDS in Africa, or his consistent appeal for free and open trade.

    Yeah, that Bush and his “naive foreign adventurism”.

  • Mark in Spokane · June 27, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I find things like “I believe” license plates to be pretty tacky. I can think of hardly any worse affirmation of one’s faith than to have it displayed across a government licensing document. Ick.

    That said, if environmentalists, dog-groomers, hunters, and others are allowed to have personalized plates or some kind of special license plate that displays their interests to the world, I think that religious believers should have the same right — however tacky that might be. In a world of tackiness, religionists shouldn’t be singled out to show mandatory decorum.

    Public piety is part and parcel of life in our republic though. It is mostly harmless. And I don’t see how Bush really engaged in any more public piety than say, Reagan did, or FDR did, or Truman did. And as for religion being incorporated into government policy, take a look at this study of Truman’s policies during the early Cold War: http://www.gvsu.edu/hauenstein/?id=668AF325-BF21-A12F-4780BA8FC51A923A&CFID=9282716&CFTOKEN=68294622.

  • Kevembuangga · June 27, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Art
    Yeah, that Bush and his “naive foreign adventurism”.

    Yeah, yeah, right, “mission accomplished”, ROFLMAO
    (religion makes you really THAT dumb?)

  • John · June 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I agree that it’s silly to allow certain groups to have special licence plates but not others. Maybe I want a licence plate that says “I like steak”.

  • Ken_K · June 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    John :

    John

    I agree that it’s silly to allow certain groups to have special licence plates but not others. Maybe I want a licence plate that says “I like steak”.

    Sheesh. How about just the numbers and letters and leave it at that? If you wanna express opinions buy some bumper stickers. Making license plates or any other government mandated item a billboard for paid adverts is just obnoxious.

  • John · June 28, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    If the goverment can raise revenue with it, allowing for the reduction of other taxes, I don’t see much of a problem. I always liked the idea of auctioning off the space on the back of our coins. How much could we get to have “Coca Cola” on our nickels for a year?

  • Ken_K · June 28, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    @ John
    How about this then? We can sell your family’s autopsy photos to death freaks who are willing to pay. We can sell tickets to witness state executions too. How about banner ads for for funeral services instead of a flag over dead soldier’s coffins? We could sell police evidence items after the courts are done with them also.(California could make some serious coin selling Charles Manson’s knife collection, eh?) And given government’s insatiability for cash I’m sure many, many more ideas for “revenue enhancement” will occur to them as well.

  • sg · June 29, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Ken_K,

    Hilarious. The banality of it. Just hilarious. It is a like the lottery, a stupid tax. It is just made for those stupid enough to pay it. It only taxes the willing. How much can we get? The absurdity of the ‘we’. We aren’t going to get anything. These stupid taxes would redistribute wealth from the stupid/poor right back to the stupid/poor plus a little for the lottery/brokering company.

  • Ken_K · July 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    @ sg
    “Banal”? It’s more like humiliating. Imagine driving all over the west coast as a manufacturer’s rep with a license plate the says “Famous Potatoes” on it. By law.

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