"I'm not running to be minister of Illinois"

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Barack Obama tossed that at Alan Keyes when the two squared off in a TV debate last night. Keyes shot back that Obama's support for clear police announcments of search warrants means that criminals will "shoot the police to death."

The debate format allowed the candidates to actually debate each other, so it strayed into all kinds of juicy areas, like blackness, sin, and ignorance. The next debate will feature straight-razors.

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  1. Personally, I think the straight-razor comment is a bit bizzaro.

    Keyes said this: ” When I look at where Christ stands and I look at where Sen. Obama stands based upon that record of Christ’s understanding which we acknowledge as Christians to be the true record, I say well, Christ is over here, Sen. Obama is over there.”

    And part of Obama’s reply was this: “I’m not running to be the minister of Illinois, I’m running to be its United States Senator.”

    I don’t know, putting aside Obama’s dyed in the wool liberalism (which is still less offensive to me than Keyes “selfish-hedonism” conservativism, even if only marginally so)…I kinda liked that comeback.

    I don’t want a minister as senator here in Illinois. And to quote Keyes himself, as he called H. Clinton, I certianly don’t want any “carpet-baggers”.

    My only disappointment is that the LP candidate is just as scary as keyes.

  2. I liked the exchange, and Keyes response to the minister of Illinios line illustrates how out of touch with reality the guy really is.

    Obama: “That’s why I have my pastor. That’s why I have my Bible. That’s why I have my own prayers. . . . I’m not running to be minister of Illinois. I’m running to be its U.S. senator.”

    Keyes: “That answer is typical. When it really comes down to it, though, Senator Obama professes faith when it’s convenient to get votes.”

    So you attack him openly on faith, that he isnt religious enough and that christ wouldnt vote for Obama. Yet when he defends himself by saying his faith is a private matter, he is suddenly using religion for personal partisan gain?

    I am very very uncomfortable with the religious conservatism that is starting to dominate the republican party. They are no longer the party of less government when it comes to spending, now I have another reason to turn away from them; the overt mixing of religion and politics.

  3. Let’s just say it out loud: religion and religious people suck. There. I said it.

  4. Religion doesnt “suck”, it just shouldnt be mixed with politics. Corrupts not only our public policy, but the religious institutions themselves.

  5. Randy-

    For what it’s worth, not all of us Christians believe in mixing politics and religion. We tried it once upon a time, and the result was a corrupt church meddling in temporal affairs, owning huge tracts of land, selling indulgences, and burning heretics. It didn’t work so well. Some of us have no desire to repeat that history, hence we look down on Keyes.

    (Yes, I know, Keyes doesn’t actually want to recreate the horrors of the past. He has good intentions and believes that if we just do things right then mixing religion and government won’t cause any problems. Except that the people back then also started off with good intentions. Keyes forgets that all of the good intentions in the world won’t prevent explosive consequences when you mix things that are best kept separate.)

  6. By the way, some might interpret my criticism of mixing politics and religion as an implicit criticism of George W. Bush. Since many people on this forum are quite sensitive about that sort of thing, I’d just like to issue my standard caveat that John Kerry would obviously be much worse.

  7. Let’s just say it out loud: religion and religious people suck. There. I said it.

    Nice over generalization. I suspect you don’t know too many religious folk. Personally, I’m a big, fat atheist, but I’ve met just as many kind, considerate, genuinely awesome folks who also happened to be as I have non-religious. I’ve also met my fair share of intolerant, non-believing assholes in my time.

  8. Crap. Must repeat: “preview is my friend… preview is my friend…”

    Personally, I’m a big, fat atheist, but I’ve met just as many kind, considerate, genuinely awesome folks who also happened to be deeply religious as I have non-religious. I’ve also met my fair share of intolerant, non-believing assholes in my time.

  9. thoreau,

    So if she weights the same as a duck…um…

    Sorry, wrong thread.

    On topic, modern-day mixers are much worse. In pre-modern times, people didn’t even recognize that there was a difference between religion and politics. Kings were appointed by God, people’s station in life was assigned by God, etc. They were not considered two different realms, so it’s understandable that the best minds of the time wouldn’t support a separation.

    Today, those who want to taint our churches with politics, and impose religious teaching at gunpoint, don’t have that excuse.

  10. I think the message here is that if you allow candidates to hack at one another, debates become, well, more like debates.

  11. Keyes is nutty, but is there a more articulate public speaker in the world?

  12. The funny thing is, I really do like Alan Keyes. The guy is a great speaker and very good on the core libertarian values.

  13. but I’ve met just as many kind, considerate, genuinely awesome folks who also happened to be deeply religious as I have non-religious

    *Kind* religious people know when to shut up about it; and they don’t compare you to their savior and find you lacking. Keyes is an asshole.

  14. I take it Randy, that you find force-feeding us Religon to be a core Libertarian value?

    I find that a tad bit confusing. I’ve been listening to him here in Illinois, and I suspect that(well, untill he goes home that is) he stands as one of the leading anti-libertarian in Illinois. Amost every stand he supports is anti-personal liberty.

  15. “I take it Randy, that you find force-feeding us Religon to be a core Libertarian value?”

    10 points to whoever can name this fallacy.

  16. I can see why some might discern a libertarian streak in Keyes. On taxes, guns, and federalism he certainly seems to agree with libertarians to a large extent. Probably on a number of other economic issues besides taxes as well. As to foreign policy, well, libertarians can’t even agree amongst themselves on that, so let’s just slowly walk away, everybody stay frosty.

    But on social issues, well, I don’t think anything needs to be said.

    The thing with Keyes is that he takes very strong positions on issues, just as many libertarians do. When he agrees with us he REALLY agrees with us, and when he disagrees with us he REALLY disagrees with us. There is very little in-between with this guy. So I can totally see why one person would think “Wow, what an amazingly libertarian guy!” and another would think “Wow, what a scary theocrat!” It all depends on which issues he’s addressing.

  17. I also think that it’s unfair to throw out the baby with the bath water and say that all religious people suck. But it definitely seems that the ultra-rightwing religious nutzos get all the media coverage. I think that rational christians need to start sticking their necks out and start criticising shithead hatemongers like Keyes.

    p.s. I love this…

    When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!

    But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!

    – George Carlin

  18. “But it definitely seems that the ultra-rightwing religious nutzos get all the media coverage.”

    I am not suprised that quietly going about your pious life doesn’t really qualify as news. Likewise, on the left, puppet-wielders get a disproportionate share of attention.

    “shithead hatemongers like Keyes”

    If you could provide some sort of evidence of Keyes monging some hate somewhere I would appreciate it. I’ve seen him speak on the teler-vision a bit and he mostly seems a like an incredibly articulate harmless nut. Yes, he’s very, very right wing. That doesn’t make him a “shithead hatemonger.”

  19. JDM,

    Is the answer ‘strawman’? If not, I’ve got plenty more.

  20. Yes, he’s very, very right wing. That doesn’t make him a “shithead hatemonger.”

    But he’s still an asshole, right?

    Here he is on gays:
    “Sexual orientation, however, involves behavior, especially in response to passion. If we equate sexual orientation and race, we are saying that sexual behavior is beyond the individual’s control and moral will. We cannot embrace such an understanding of civil rights without denying the human moral capacity, and with it the fitness of human beings for life in a free society.”

    In other words, it’s OK for straights to fuck, yet immoral for gays, because (I’m guesssing) the Bible says so. This may not qualify as “hatemongering”, but it’s damn close.

  21. How about calling Mary Cheney a “selfish hedonists” because she’s gay – does that count as hatemongering?

  22. Keyes is very libertarian on the drug war.

    He belives drugs are a personal problem.

    And the government should do something about it.

    Like punish drug users more severely.

    A very libertarian stance no doubt.

  23. He’s very good on taxes
    http://www.keyes2004.com/more_issues.php#taxation

    But for the most part he’s “Libertarian” in the same sense that a broken clock is right twice a day.

  24. “How about calling Mary Cheney a “selfish hedonists” because she’s gay – does that count as hatemongering?”

    It doesn’t sound very nice (or grammatical), but hatemongering is a rather hysterical description for that statement, or really any of his talkin’.

  25. In other words, it’s OK for straights to fuck, yet immoral for gays, because (I’m guesssing) the Bible says so. This may not qualify as “hatemongering”, but it’s damn close.

    Ok, could you explain why it is “damn close to hatemongering” to say that it’s ok to have sex in a moral way, but wrong to have sex in an immoral way?

    Now it could be that you don’t think homosexual activity is immoral. As it so happens I agree with you, but it’s not important what we believe — what’s relevant is that Keyes thinks gay sex is immoral. Why is it “hateful” for him to believe that? Just because he thinks it because the Bible says so?

  26. Dan-
    What *I* find hateful is that Keyes would be more likely to try and force his Bible-based faith on those who do not believe in the Bible. There are plenty of valid, non-faith-based reasons to legislate against theft or murder, but what such reasons exist to legislate against private consensual adult sexual activities?

  27. “Ok, could you explain why it is “damn close to hatemongering” to say that it’s ok to have sex in a moral way, but wrong to have sex in an immoral way?”

    Because he’s defining the entirety of the gay population as immoral.

  28. Jennifer, I consider people who’s lips sneer in disgust at the thought of gay people to be hateful, even if they didn’t base their policies on it.

    If a gaybasher hates in the forest, does he still hate gay people?

  29. You’re such a good boy, joe.

  30. 10 points to whoever can name this fallacy.

    Scotsman Fallacy.

  31. What *I* find hateful is that Keyes would be more likely to try and force his Bible-based faith on those who do not believe in the Bible. There are plenty of valid, non-faith-based reasons to legislate against theft or murder, but what such reasons exist to legislate against private consensual adult sexual activities?

    There is no valid, non-faith-based reason for making it illegal for sterile adult men to have sex with their adult daughters. Yet most Americans, for non-valid reasons, feel such activity should be illegal. Are all of those people “hateful”?

    Also, why is it any more “hateful” for Keyes to try to force the Bible into law than it is for (for example) left-wingers to try to force into law their equally nonsensical faith-based beliefs that higher taxes on the wealthy, combined with a larger government, will improve the lives of Americans? Is there some reason I should prefer one group of ignoramuses to the other?

  32. Obama’s comeback was good.

    Keyes is not a libertarian:

    On Homosexuality:

    The effort to equate homosexual and lesbian relations with legal marriage represents a destructive assault on the heterosexual, marriage-based family.

    http://www.keyes2004.com/more_issues.php#homosexual_rights

    On Pornography:

    I’m fond of reminding people that the meaning of the word “pornography” in its Greek root, pornos graphein, means to describe the harlot’s work, to describe the business of the harlot. And what is it that the harlot does? The harlot uses or abuses human sexual formation for pleasure only, making that the objective of everything.

    It is that understanding of human sexual relations that I think we ought to know is now at the bottom of the assault that is taking place on the traditional family. We are in a debate right now over what marriage will be, and some folks want us to accept an understanding of the marriage relationship in which that sexual relationship is defined as being between two people who have no possibility, in principle, of ever producing a child. And that means that the whole connection between human sexuality and God’s plan of procreation is destroyed if we embrace this understanding of human sexuality.

    But what is that understanding, at the end of the day? It is a pornographic understanding of human sexual relations–an understanding that sees, in those relations, not what God intended for a man and a woman, not the family, not the transcendent obligations of parenting and the mutual relationship of parent and child, and the formation of families that then become the basis for decent society. None of that is there. The only thing that is there is selfish pleasure and gratification and self-fulfillment, an understanding of human sexuality that, at the end of the day, severs it not only from its natural foundation but from its God-given function and purpose.

    I think that one of the reasons we are seeing this understanding on the march–people think that it’s about homosexuals, but it’s not. It’s about the fact that many people in our country have embraced that pornographic understanding as their own. In their heterosexual relations, they are pursuing only pleasure and self-fulfillment and self-gratification. And that means that we’ve become a fertile field, a fertile ground, for an understanding of human sexuality that destroys the very possibility of family life.

    That means that, in effect, the war against pornography is a war against that mentality which is creating the fertile ground for the whole crisis of the family, which in the end is the crisis of our whole society.

    http://www.keyes2004.com/more_issues.php#pornography

  33. Dan,

    No one asked you to perfer one over the other.

  34. there’s lots of things you can say about alan keyes.

    http://images.somethingawful.com/news/2004/10/22-keyes2.jpg

    that says it better than anything else.

  35. To paraphrase Triumph:

    If you’re going to be angainst gay rights, then you’d better take that big stick out of your ass.

  36. It’s this simple: the straight-razor comment is racist.

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