Republicans are asked: 'What would Jesus do?': The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted November 29, 2007 8:15 AM
The Swamp

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (centrer) sparred with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (right) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the CNN/YouTube Republican presidential debate in St. Petersburg, Fla. Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images


by Mark Silva

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- For a presidential contest in which religion – and indeed the religious faith of at least one candidate – will play a certain role in the choices which many voters make, two questions loom large here: Is every word in the Bible true, and “what would Jesus do’’ about capital punishment.

For Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister who had a career in Christian broadcasting before election as governor of Arkansas – a "pro-life'' governor who has executed the death penalty – these questions set up a couple of quick hits over the fences in last night’s televised debate of the Republican candidates for president.

“Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office,’’ Huckabee said. “That's what Jesus would do.’’

But the ones who are running for the Republican nomination in 2008 confront a political fact: One in four of the potential voters in their primaries and caucuses this winter consider themselves Christian conservatives, though religion will play a greater role for some than for others. And in the campaign of Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts who is a Mormon, the choice which many Evangelical Christians make in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond may have as much to with who he is as what he says.

“I believe in the Bible,’’ Romney declared here.

And in the context of this campaign for the votes of those who care deeply about “the culture of life,’’ how might one square support for capital punishment with his opposition to abortion?

In came “Joseph,’’ from Dallas, Texas, holding a big Bible for the camera of the video-question which he submitted to YouTube – one of some 5,000 questions screened by the producers of the CNN-YouTube debate that ran for two hours last night and exposed the tension within the GOP’s contest just five weeks from the first caucuses in Iowa and primaries in New Hampshire.

“How you answer this question will tell us everything we need to know about you,’’ Joseph told the candidates assembled on stage in a bay-front theater here. “Do you believe every word of this book? Specifically, this book that I am holding in my hand.

“Do you believe this book?’’

The moderator tossed it right to Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and front-runner in his party’s polls.

“Well….’’ Giuliani started.

“Do I need to help you out, Mayor, on this one?’’ Huckabee asked to laughter in the hall of the Mahaffey Theater.

“Wait a second, you're the minister,’’ Giuliani said, wrily. “You're going to help me out on this one.

“I'm trying to help you out,’’ Huckabee said.

“OK,’’ Giuliani said. “The reality is, I believe it, but I don't believe it's necessarily literally true in every single respect.

“I think there are parts of the Bible that are Interpretive,’’ he said. “I think there are parts of the Bible that are allegorical. I think there are parts of the Bible that are meant to be interpreted in a modern context.

“So, yes, I believe it,’’ he said. “I think it's the great book ever written. I read it frequently. I read it very frequently when I've gone through the bigger crises in my life, and I find great wisdom in it, and it does define to a very large extent my faith.

“But I don't believe every single thing in the literal sense of Jonah being in the belly of the whale, or, you know, there are some things in it that I think were put there as allegorical.’’

Romney delivered the straightest answer possible, something that a lot of Evangelicals may be looking for in his words:

“I believe the Bible is the word of God, absolutely. And I try to live by it as well as I can, but I miss in a lot of ways,’’ said Romney. “But it's a guide for my life and for hundreds of millions, billions of people around the world. I believe in the Bible.’’

Every word, moderator Anderson Cooper asked?

“You know -- yes, I believe it's the word of God, the Bible is the word of God,’’ Romney said. “The Bible is the word of God. I mean, I might interpret the word differently than you interpret the word, but I read the Bible, and I believe the Bible is the word of God. I don't disagree with the Bible. I try to live by it.’’

Huckabee, the ordained Southern Baptist: “Sure. I believe the Bible is exactly what it is. It's the word of revelation to us from God himself.

“And the fact is that when people ask do we believe all of it, you either believe it or you don't believe it. But in the greater sense, I think what the question tried to make us feel like was that, well, if you believe the part that says "Go and pluck out your eye," well, none of us believe that we ought to go pluck out our eye. That obviously is allegorical.

“But the Bible has some messages that nobody really can confuse and really not left up to interpretation. "Love your neighbor as yourself…

“As the only person here on the stage with a theology degree, there are parts of it I don't fully comprehend and understand, because the Bible is a revelation of an infinite God, and no finite person is ever going to fully understand it. If they do, their god is too small.’’

Huckabee was particularly well-suited to handle the other question as well, from “Tyler,’’ in Memphis: “I have a quick question for those of you who would call yourselves Christian conservatives. The death penalty, what would Jesus do?’’

“You know, one of the toughest challenges that I ever faced as a governor was carrying out the death penalty,’’ said Huckabee. “I did it more than any other governor ever had to do it in my state. As I look on this stage, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only person on this stage that's ever had to actually do it.

“Let me tell you, it was the toughest decision I ever made as a human being,’’ he said. “I read every page of every document of every case that ever came before me, because it was the one decision that came to my desk that, once I made it, was irrevocable. Every other decision, somebody else could go back and overturn, could fix if it was a mistake. That was one that was irrevocable.

“I believe there is a place for a death penalty,’’ Huckabee said. “Some crimes are so heinous, so horrible that the only response that we, as a civilized nation, have for a most uncivil action is not only to try to deter that person from ever committing that crime again, but also as a warning to others that some crimes truly are beyond any other capacity for us to fix.

“Having said that, there are those who say, "How can you be pro-life and believe in the death penalty?’ Huckabee asked himself. “Because there's a real difference between the process of adjudication, where a person is deemed guilty after a thorough judicial process and is put to death by all of us, as citizens, under a law, as opposed to an individual making a decision to terminate a life that has never been deemed guilty because the life never was given a chance to even exist… That’s the fundamental difference.’’

Cooper couldn’t let him go without asking, though: “What would Jesus do? Would Jesus support the death penalty?’’

“Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office,’’ Huckabee replied. “That's what Jesus would do.’’

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Comments

Jesus would vote Democratic.


What would Jesus do? He sure couldn't be a Republican. He ain't pure enough, not righteous enough, not White enough. What would Jesus do? He'd probably be ducking from the rocks the religious right would through at him as they tried to beat his butt back into the stone age. That's what Jesus would do.


For the last 6 years the one of the thing Republican's were asking was, WWJT, Who Would Jesus Torture or Who Would Jesus Cheat.
I am glad they are examining their souls, since they need to find some guiding light to save their hateful, spiteful, souls.


Whatever happened to the separation of church and state? The republicans are becoming the christian version of the Taliban!

Keep religion out of our government!


This scares me. Debating religon at a political debate? What happend to the seperation between church and state. Do we really want to model our government after Iran and have our own Ayatollah?


Re: 'because the life never was given a chance to even exist…'

Hummm...if it doesn't exist, you can't destroy it.


As usual, Mr. Silva hides the debate story that was on CNN last night, is all over the media elsewhere, and dominates the Republican blogosphere.

And that's how phony the CNN debate was.

CNN announced these questions were coming from undecided or Republican voters, but at least 4, and possibly 6, of the questioners were Dem Party activists.

Included in the list was a "retired general" and "undecided voter" who was the only questioner allowed by Anderson Cooper to give a rebuttal. Turns out this general is on Hillary Clinton's "gay and lesbian" steering committee, and before that on "veterans for Kerry"--and CNN actually paid to have him flown in for the debate.

One of the CNN panel detected this guy, and a 10-second internet search found out his background. CNN's Anderson Cooper claimed he didn't know of the plant (Yeah....) and said these facts should have been disclosed prior to the man's question.

No wonder they call CNN the "Clinton News Network".

And no wonder the DNC Swamp would try and cover this story up.


Anyone looking for a different take on the GOP YouTube debate should
try:
http://goupstate.us/index.php/lanefiller/2007/11/28/youtube_madness


What makes you think he would do anything? What makes you think he ever did anything? No one who was alive during the time Jesus supposedly lived ever wrote about him. Everything we have ever heard or read about him is hearsay. You'd be as well off believing in Socrates as Jesus. Another one of whom there is no proof that he ever lived. Have fun daydreaming y'all.


to borrow a phrase from Tony Campolo's book "If God is Republican, Jesus is a Democrat"


What would Jesus do? Are you serious? When did we become a theocratic state? Theology has no place in our government, maybe our own personal, everyday lives... but not our government. These questions should never have gone to the candidates because the constitution separates church and state, so while they may have views on this topic, those views should not be posted on the campaign trail!

The religious right would love to have us be the Christian version of the middle east!


And Obama is asking, "What would Allah do?"


Brucie:

Do we know that every person at the Democratic debate was a Democrat?? 100% sure not GOP plants???

Why didn't the Dems complain about that?? Maybe because they did not care who the questions came from. I guess that shows that Republicans cannot handle questions from non-selected audiences. Just like W speaks before hand picked groups that all love him.

Oh and Brucie??? When the real debates start next year in September, there will be both Democrats AND Republicans asking questions. Will you be complaing then?


Jesus would weep - again. He'd see the injustice of the current administration, Bush and his cloven-hooved minions.

But he would be kind and understanding to that whore Ann Coulter, because he was that kind of guy. Every time Ann opens her mouth and speaks, an angel gets raped by an illegal alien.


Robert-

You're an idiot.

Everyone else-

Jesus was the biggest liberal of all. How ironic that the die hard Goopers consistently vote against the teachings of their lord.

Helping the poor? Throwing the money changers out of the temple? Healing the sick? Those are the teachings of Jesus, and the bane of the GOP.


I think religion needs to stay out of politics. More wars have been started over religion and it has no place in our government. We will become no different than the religious states overseas.


You sir/madame area very lost soul. I find it ironic to read how much you know what Jesus would do as if you have religious conviction/faith then turn around and say angels are raped by illegal aliens.

Jesus would weep - again. He'd see the injustice of the current administration, Bush and his cloven-hooved minions.

""But he would be kind and understanding to that whore Ann Coulter, because he was that kind of guy. Every time Ann opens her mouth and speaks, an angel gets raped by an illegal alien.""


"This scares me. Debating religon at a political debate? What happend to the seperation between church and state. Do we really want to model our government after Iran and have our own Ayatollah?"

and how was this country come to be and governtment made? Oyea Christians....


(1) not allow 47,000,000 to go without health insurance and another 20,000,000 to be underinsured

(2) not allow people to be homeless because they are ill, disabled or poor

(3) not allow the households that are the top 20% in income to controll 92.5% of the wealth (earnings, property, and assets.) All that stuff about a rich man, and camel and heaven would apply.

(4) Not cut food assistance or housing assistance to the poorest citizens

(5) No death penalty

(6) On abortion where people's beliefs differ it would be the 'judge not least ye be judged'

And that is just for starters on policy so guess he wouldn't be a Republican


WWJD?

1. Make a profit regardless of the cost

2. Bomb his enemy regardless of the collateral damage

3. Support mountain top removal mining

4. Cram his religion down everyones throat

5. Put no other God before $$

6. Accuse opponents of moral relativism while being morally relative.

At least this seems to be the platform of God's Own Party....


What a disappointment that debate was. The first one was so fresh and real, inventive pointed questions delivered in smart funny ways. This one was so dry. Stupid softball questions from cool aid drinking zombies gently lobbed to pasty old men that most of the time didn’t even bother to answer. They just snarled at each other and poked at Hillary. It’s sad that these dried up old farts are what passes for leadership for the GOP.


I notice that you sarcastically say "a pro life governor who has executed the death penalty" w/out even mentioning the long answer Huckabee gave on that very question - are you also employed by CNN (Clinton News Network)?


Some of these guys really scare me. Most are no different from any other religious extremists in that they believe the bible, a book created by men, to be the literal word of god. These people have no place in the modern world or the oval office. They belong with the people of the middle ages: buried under centuries of earth. Religion is a crutch for the weak, and most of these 'candidates' are spineless.


WWJD?
Not be a Republican or a Christian!


About that guy holding up the Bible and demanding to know if the candidates believed every word of it was true:

I'd like to get his take on Exodus 35:2, which clearlky states that if you work on the Sabbath you should be put to death. Wonder if the guy walks into Walgreens on a Sunday with a semiautomatic rifle?

Maybe he could also give us some guidance on Leviticus 21:20, which states that you may not approach the altar of God if you have a defect in your vision. I wear contact lenses. Does this mean I'm not allowed to go to the altar call at the Billy Graham crusades? Darn, guess I can't give my soul to Jesus.

I could go on and on. I truly wonder about people who need absolute martial-law direction in their lives. Were they locked in a closet as children, or something?


Many of you are missing the larger point. Since all candidates have a worldview, some of which are based on a known religion, it is should be of interest to all voters how the candidate will make decisions. That is not putting religion into politics, it is simply acknowledging that candidates have a point of view which is often religious and should be disclosed before they are elected. You atheists have a worldview that steers your decisions, just like Christians do.


When faced with religious questions, why couldn't these guys say something like, "my religious beliefs are between me and my god, that is the beauty of religious freedom, my beliefs can be different from yours and we can both celebrate the freedom that we enjoy."


Seriously...can we PLEASE get religion out of our politics? It doesn't belong...let people worship how they won't, don't bring it into the govt. debates. Didn't we settle this separation thing a long time ago?


"And Obama is asking, "What would Allah do?" "

Since both Allah and the Christian God are just two versions of the same myth, I don't see why that question would make any difference...

In all seriousness, there are better issues to talk about than what some 2,000-year-old person whose existence we don't even have any proof of would do. Separation of church and state...worship whatever you want, but don't bring your religion into politics


We are the most amazing country that ever existed populated by some of the smartest people that ever lived. Why isn't running for the hightest office something that is aspired to by every smart kid in America?


The reason nobody asks the Demo candidates, "What would Jesus do?" is that the answer they would get would be,
"Who?"


A person's beliefs about God are as pertinent as his color, education, wealth and other factors that determine his makeup and influence his decisions. For example, an atheist could never be elected because who can vote for someone w/out any moral foundation. Ultimately, theology is more important than a person's philosophy as it comes down to who/what can you trust.


I'm incensed that people would presume to know the mind of someone who's been dead for nearly 2,000 years. You might as well wonder what aliens would think if they came down and looked at us from the planet Xexobon-9, or what Santa is thinking as he's making his list and checking it twice.

I do continue to be amazed at how -- WHATEVER someone's leanings might be politically, religiously, or socially -- somehow Jesus manages to agree 100% with their point of view!!


Jesus also repeatedly called for people – all people – to repent. He never said that people were fine just the way they were. He called the elites hypocrites. But he never refuted the charge that those who the elites shunned were "sinners," either. In fact, he said he came to "seek and to save those that were lost." He called all people, regardless of station, to repent. And Jesus also made it very clear in the Gospels that He is the only way to God. You cannot beat people over the head with saying they must follow the example of Jesus' social ministry, while rejecting his claims to be "Son of Man" and "Son of God." If you do, you are calling him a lunatic. And what reasonable person would follow a lunatic? On the flip side, you cannot accept his claims to divinity while rejecting his social ministry. If you do, you show yourself to be an unbeliever, because if one claims to believe in God, they cannot choose to simply ignore his mandates.


Anybody that does NOT believe that Adam and Eve rode a tyrannosaurus rex bareback through the Garden of Eden will spend eternity having their tongues torn out by rabid hyenas.


http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html
"...an insight from at a little known but legal document written in the late 1700s explicitly reveals the secular nature of the United States to a foreign nation. Officially called the "Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary," most refer to it as simply the Treaty of Tripoli. In Article 11, it states:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

The preliminary treaty began with a signing on 4 November, 1796 (the end of George Washington's last term as president).


No wonder they call CNN the "Clinton News Network".
-
By "they", of course, you mean "I", and other right wing extremists. This is the network that refused to ask submitted questions about Bush's impeachment at the Dem debate.

Bruce seems to think that only softballs should be asked, and only by Kool-aid drinkers. That's neither democracy or journalism. Instead, it's Pravdaism, and anyone who has ever donated so much as a dime to a Democrat is a Marxist operative.


When you read this stuff, it's hard to believe America is a country with satellites in orbit and nuclear-powered fleets roaming the oceans.

Isn't it about time - in the 21st century - to accept that religious comments like these have nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with anyone's ability to serve as leader?

You want a preacher instead of a politician, elect one of those Religious Right frauds that get caught regularly cheating, lying, saying absurd things, hating, or generally being as immoral and unethical as they can get away with.

We all know what Jesus would do. He'd whip the money changers out of the temple. He'd ask the person without sin to cast the first stone. He'd say to pray in your secret closet, not in public like a phony official. And he's say you must care for the least of these.

And then Jesus would be crucified once again by a new generation that actually believes in nothing he said and embraces almost the opposite in all things.


Republicans are asked. "How might one square support for capital punishment with his opposition to abortion?" Why are Democrats never asked how one squares their opposition to capital punishment with their pro-aborton stance? It seems as simple as the balance of the life of one guilty of heinous crimes versus the life of an innocent, but I guess more money is made by(and contributed from) abortionists to ease the Democrats' stance.


Jesus would be embarrassed.

It sure sounds like the questioner was establishing a religious test of the candidates qualifications to be president; and the candidates fell right into the religious right's trap of continuing to bring this nation closer to a Christian theocracy.

P.S. Robert, you are an idiot.


Why must people try to take the bible out of context, with specific quotes? The bible is a book of wisdom and has an answer to every problem facing mankind today. Thats what JESU would say and do to those who are truly interested in TRUTH> CHECK IT OUT AND SEE THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD.


These guys don't get it at all. It isn't about whether or not you believe the bible is the ultimate word, it is whether you unbderstand it. Many of these men, and most conservative right wing evangelicals, do not understand the book at all.


This scares me. Debating religon at a political debate? What happend to the seperation between church and state. Do we really want to model our government after Iran and have our own Ayatollah?

Posted by: Ed | November 29, 2007 8:58 AM

Ed, I hear you, but its the candidates themselves who do it in response to a voting bloc. I think candidates you campaign under a righteous banner need to get called on this stuff more often -- "Regarding the Iraq war, or any pre-emptive war, WWJD?" "Children's healthcare, WWJD?" I totally understand someone's religious beliefs driving them to be anti-abortion, but for (pun intended) Godsakes, be consistent. Jesus was an outsider, he lived with the poor, the outcasts. He taught us in times of conflict to reason first (you know, diplomacy).


You atheists have a worldview that steers your decisions, just like Christians do.

Posted by: CAI | November 29, 2007 10:42 AM

Yeah, like we atheists genuinely treat others fairly because that's how we would like to be treated unlike theists who only act in selfish reasons so that they might be rewarded when they die.


OK, lets try to understand this once and for all. The constitution says that the government cannot establish or deny any particular religion. It does NOT mean that a person can't ask a candidate a question about religion. It does NOT mean that a candidate can't answer a question about religion. It does NOT mean that a candidate can't talk about his or her religious views. It does NOT mean that a candidate can't attend or speak at a religious gathering. It does NOT mean that a religious leader can't endorse a candidate or criticize one. Most Americans believe in God, and their religious beliefs have an impact on thier values. Most people vote for the candidates that share those values. What could possibly be wrong with that?


The question that should be asked of pResident Shrub is this "Who Would Jesus Bomb?"
Jesus is a liberal. Think about it. From a bad place, Nazareth. Born in a stable. Spoke to children, covorted with prostitutes and lepers. Spoke highly of a good person from a despised place, Mexico err um Samaria.

The Religious Right is driving the Republican Party somewhere between the Taliban and the Pharisees. And I have heard them say there's no such thing as Separation of Church and State. Shame on them.


David, you have conflated two quite different issues:

One is the right of a woman to decide what happens to her body.

The other is the failed practice of trying to deter crime by killing others in our names.

One would wish that neither abortion nor execution would ever occur ever again.


Here we go. Instead of dealing with substantive issues that affect people on a daily basis, the candidates are once again trying to "out-Jesus" each other. As much as I truly love this country, I envy those in other democracies whose politicians debate issues of substance instead of trying to see whose faith is supposedly the strongest. It's foolhardy to look to politicians as shining examples of faith and morality. The sooner we learn that as a country, the better off we'll be.


If anyone who has donated a dime to a Democrat is a Marxist operative then it only follows that anyone who has donated anything to a Republican is a Nazi storm trooper. Naturally this won't see print cause you can not call yourselves that.


The Bible clearly speaks of man being able to enact judgment toward those who commit crimes. And, we are not Jesus. Jesus can forgive all sins, meaning all crimes, but only if that person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Under this scenario, no one should be punished no matter what they did. Everyone should be forgiven by man. So, under the Left's Loony desires, John Gacy should never have been in jail, much less killed. Sames for Richard Speck. Same for any rapist, any child molestor (well we know from many judicial decisions and the failure of many Democratic states to enact minimum sentencing laws for child rapists that the Left believes child rapists should be free and allowed to harm any child anytime they want).
So, I'll ask again: Why does the Left hate Americans and hate America? Why does the Left hate children and hate them so much that you folks think child rapists should be free to harm any child they desire?


Asking a stage full of politician's what Jesus would do does not really inform us about what each of those men intends to do.

Many of us have our own interpretations of how Jesus may view capital punishment, but, alas, He is often just a tissue-thin veil politicians use to promote their own less altruistic ambitions.

The question was sadly typical of many in the debate -- some shock value & hyperbole with little substance needed to let voters know the true values of those who are asking to represent them.


If Jesus were real I think He would be really mad at how everyone relies on Him for everything instead of using their own brains He supposedly gave them.


Jesus would be ashamed!!


John D,

As usual, your logic only makes sense to yourself. First you say "Jesus forgives" and then you say "Under this scenario, no one should be punished, and child molesters should be free."

Then you blame it all on the left wing.

I think there are some gaps in your synapses.

For the record, it's BECAUSE OF the "counterculture types" that child abuse was ever challenged and brought to light to begin with. Back in YOUR favorite decade, the 1950s, it was all swept under the rug. Including child rape.

Can't upset the status quo, after all. Isn't that what conservatism is all about?


Jesus wasn't a hippie or a Liberal, but Liberals don't know jack about much, well...they think they know about Martin Luther King, a minor a best figure in 20th century history.


Religion is a lifestyle choice. People are NOT born THAT way. It is ALL learned behavior. I'm tired of having the "xtian" lifestyle choice forced on everyone. Please...if you have religious tendencies...keep them to yourself.


For example, an atheist could never be elected because who can vote for someone w/out any moral foundation.

Posted by: Bradley | November 29, 2007 10:48 AM

You do realize that christians don't have exclusive rights to determine morality, don't you? Every atheist I've known is far superior in the morals department than most of the judgemental, hypocritical christians in this country.

George Bush is a born-again christian. How's his moral foundation work for you?


Wow...so many differing views and interesting concepts about who God's Son is--have you all read the historical and biblical text? In the end, Jesus will get the final Word.

Matthew 24:35
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

Mark 10:24
The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

Acts 13:27
The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.

2 Timothy 3:16
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.."

2 Peter 1:20,21
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.


I'm sorry, but one's religious beliefs are spirititul in nature and is personal within that person and that person alone. The subject has no business in our political process or our government. Let us not forget that this country was founded by those seeking religious freedom.


“WWJD?” For those of you who have posted the question what would Jesus do? Let me tell you this, "Not be a Republican or a Christian!" and "Jesus would vote democrat", are completely biased opinions. This government is a government that is separated from the church. Remember separation of church and state? You should know that, it is clearly written in the Declaration of Independence! Another thing, the first amendment to the constitution of the United States is the freedom of speech, press, petition, assembly, and RELIGION! Since when has our country focused on one or more religions and made laws? Maybe in the early days of our country but we have evolved. PEOPLE NEED TO STOP BEING BIASED! THEY NEED TO LISTEN, READ, AND LEARN WITH A CLEAR MIND! The best thing said at that time during the debate was the following by Mr. Huckabee, “I believe there is a place for a death penalty...Some crimes are so heinous, so horrible that the only response that we, as a civilized nation, have for a most uncivil action is not only to try to deter that person from ever committing that crime again, but also as a warning to others that some crimes truly are beyond any other capacity for us to fix.” We should not mix religion into our government, imagine how our country would be like if we did! In America, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect that but these are absurd and biased opinions. You know, what would Jesus do? He was our “savior” from sin and he would not want a divided nation. He said to not hate but turn the other cheek. The old and new testament describes the government and the death penalty. Genesis 9:6, states how capital punishment is based upon a belief in the purity of life. Also, Romans 13:1-7 specifically teaches that human government is ordained by God and that we are to obey government because government does not bear the sword in vain. Human governments are given the responsibility to punish wrongdoers, and this includes murderers who are to be given the death penalty. The only thing (unfortunately) that I have learned from democrats is…nothing! All they do is point the finger, say they will change things (but have no plan), and most of all go back on their word! President Bush stayed strong in times of crises and I believe that he has done the right things so far. Do I agree with everything? No, not all but most. I still am open minded but, democrats right now need to do what the republican party does best, stop pointing fingers, and most of all support and protect our country! The rest of the world would thing the United States was afraid and stupid of going to war or leaving to early! The President has done what is best for our nation. Is it his fault that an evil jihadist, Osama Bin Laden was brought into this world and has remained? NO! It was “THE FABULOUS” former president, Bill Clinton! He has the ability to capture Osama, did he? No, he was a weak president who feared consequences. I believe our strategy in the Middle East is working and we are beyond lucky to have such willing strong men and women stand side by side fighting the war on terror, and protecting us and our future here at home. We have always been there for other countries around the world during crises and now in Iraq, we are doing the same. We need to stay longer to ensure stability to turn over to the Iraqis, not forever and eliminate Osama and other leading terrorists in our world. Osama says he is indestructible, his downfall would greatly devastate the “indestructible” evil jihadists and lower moral, eventually leading to their downfall. Well then, tell the following message to Mr. Osama Bin Laden, from me, a proud American: “OSAMA, I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU! WE ARE AMERICA! WE ARE A UNITED NATION, TOGETHER WE STAND! YOU WILL FALL, YOU ARE NOT INDESTRUCTABLE. YOUR REIGN OF TERROR IS OVER”. The world wants peace and the United States will help insure it. What we as a country need to do is, forget this Republican vs. Democrat hypocrisy and come together to revive our old principles as a united nation. Remember United We Stand, Un-united We Will Fall. Thank you.


Republicans vote for Jesus - No possible way, he was Jewish.


If CNN is going to host separate debates for the Dem and GOP presidential candidates, the questions should be the same in each. Being fully aware of CNN's liberal slant, I wonder if the Jesus/Bible question was thrown in to trip up the GOP candidates. No answer is a good answer. If you say yes, you please the Religious Right and make everyone else a little leery. If you say anything other than yes, you look like a weasel to the RR and many others.


Huckabee seems to be the person I've waited for long. Wish you the best and may you show the world what Jesus would do if he ever elected to be the president. Sure Jesus would not cut the throat of people from other religion, nor helplessly watch people who do the illegal acts, nor encourage to kill the innocent life before they see the light, nor play the political games for the glory. Jesus loved the sinners but hated the sin. Man...that is a cool definition of who he is.


Jesus might not vote for a political party but he would vote for:

Feeding the poor and hungry
Fighting discrimination
Healthcare for those that can't afford it
Separation of church and state

He either did these things or advocated them his words.

Who's values are more in line with that???


The Bible clearly speaks of man being able to enact judgment toward those who commit crimes. And, we are not Jesus. Jesus can forgive all sins, meaning all crimes, but only if that person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Under this scenario, no one should be punished no matter what they did. Everyone should be forgiven by man. So, under the Left's Loony desires, John Gacy should never have been in jail, much less killed. Sames for Richard Speck. Same for any rapist, any child molestor (well we know from many judicial decisions and the failure of many Democratic states to enact minimum sentencing laws for child rapists that the Left believes child rapists should be free and allowed to harm any child anytime they want).
So, I'll ask again: Why does the Left hate Americans and hate America? Why does the Left hate children and hate them so much that you folks think child rapists should be free to harm any child they desire?


Idiot. That would be the "republican states" you are referring to. And it is the preachers and priests that go into the religious field to be around children that they then molest and rape.

It is the republican senators and congressmen who are constantly playing "footise" in the bathrooms of airports.

It is the republicans who constantly give a pass to these same people.

Being a democrat does not mean we do not want criminals punished or incarcerated.

If you believe that, you are the epitome of an idiot.


Huckabee seems to be the person i've waited for long. I cannot stand anymore to watch homosexuality, adultery, beautification of sexual contents in daily dramas, as well as justification of the equal rights of those who already have equal rights under the law not to mention about those who want the animal rights when humans die of hunger and crimes. Well, I got off the track a little bit. But Go Huckabee. I think you can make the difference and bring this contry back to what it was when it was built. I am sick and tired of seeing this contry going down the hill.


The purpose of separation of Church and State is to prevent the State from imposing religion on the people, not to prevent politians from answering probing moral questions that relate to the way they will decide on major issues. Christians are just forming questions from their own perspective. Despite the fact that I am Jewish, I have an interest in the candidates answers to such a question. It is a real shame that so many people are so threatened by a religion. Perhaps asking :What Would Jesus (Or which ever deity or moral leader you so choose) Do? would inspire a new breed of politians who make better decisions. Of course there will always be differing interpretations of What Jesus (or whoever) would do in regards to abortion, gun control, the death penalty, etc. but I doubt you can ever find someone who would say Jesus would support corruption, accepting brides, our using a position of authority to further your own interests without any consideration of your constituents. Whether you call it religion, Christianity or simply having a set of moral beliefs, doesn't it all boil down to them same question. If Jesus offends you so, then simply change the question to 'What would a morally perfect person do?'. It's the same thing, it just doesn't have quite the same ring to it.


Jesus also said, "Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and give unto God that which is God's." He's already made a clear separation of church and state in that context. For those of us who are Christians, if we were doing our jobs in evangelizing non-believers, as Christ expects us to, there'd be no debate because we'd all have Christian morals and it would be a moot point.

So WWJD? He'd be glad the debate's not in his temple, otherwise he'd have to bust some a**... like he's been known to do.


As is typical of leftists like Silva, he ignores the sermons of Barack Obama, where he called for building God's Kingdom.

I guess his bigotry is reserved for conservatives.


"For example, an atheist could never be elected because who can vote for someone w/out any moral foundation."


I can't believe someone said this up there. Why is god the only moral foundation someone can have? Please, get lost.


Jesus would say, "Seek first the Kingdom of God." It seems that political people would have like to have used Jesus for their own political agenda, and in our day there are still those who would like too. What we cannot afford as a nation, is to have moral-less people running our government. That is what is destroying our country. If you can be moral with out God ( I don't see what the basis is for being moral without a belief in God), then you may be worthy of office. If you aren't moral, then you will never get my vote. Because I believe a moral person will run a better government than a person who is immoral. That's why religion enters here. Nobody is talking about enforcing all to accept one religion or another( well maybe some are), but the issue of religion is key. When has a pagan or atheist society raised up a moral generation? To my knowledge, never. The Founding Fathers just didn't want one denomination over another. That's why you have them talking about the US being a Christian nation, and yet a separation of church and state. To acknowledge God, like our constitution and money and senate and president do, is not to enforce one religion over another. Let's not get carried away.....


Frank said:Jesus might not vote for a political party but he would vote for:

Feeding the poor and hungry
Fighting discrimination
Healthcare for those that can't afford it
Separation of church and state

He either did these things or advocated them his words.

Who's values are more in line with that???

The difference is that Jesus would actually DO these things, not set up a hugh bureaucracy filled with family and friends to dole out lucrative contracts to political supporters.


What would Jesus do about the death penalty? Look at the Bible, Gov. Huckabee!

Jesus was confronted with the death penalty twice. The first time is when a woman caught in the act of committing adultery was brought before Jesus. The penalty for this, according to the Laws of Moses in the Old Testament, was that she should be stoned to death. Jesus began writing something in the dust and said, “Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone.” As he continued writing all of her accusers walked away. Jesus then forgave her for the sin that Scriptures said required death by stoning and let her leave.

The other time Jesus was confronted by the death penalty was when He, Himself, was subjected to capital punishment by the government in power.

Real Christians look at these two facts to form our view on the death penalty. We follow the teachings of someone who suffered the death penalty and pardoned others who would likewise become victims of capital punishment.

Huckabee’s degree in theology apparently didn’t include reading the New Testament.


UNITED States of America? Right vs. Left, Democrat vs. Republican, atheist vs. theist. Where is the unity? Where is the love?


"Most Americans believe in God, and their religious beliefs have an impact on thier values. Most people vote for the candidates that share those values. What could possibly be wrong with that?"

What's wrong with that? Treating every other view as inferior, instead of an equal footing.


WWJD?
What would Jesus do?

He would tell the nutty Republicans to leave their religion at home and in the church because this country was founded on a seperation of church and state for a very good reason (to keep the crazy Republicans from using religion as a wedge issue that divides America).


On to the debate:
The pasty white man on the stage definitely won tonights Republic Party debate.


*Here's an average question and answer from the CNN "debate":

CNN: Do you like Kittens or Puppies?

Republican Candidate Answer: Whichever one isn't a Muslim. But we should leave nuclear weapons and torture on the table. I am not gay.


"The Bible clearly speaks of man being able to enact judgment toward those who commit crimes. And, we are not Jesus. Jesus can forgive all sins, meaning all crimes, but only if that person accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Under this scenario, no one should be punished no matter what they did. Everyone should be forgiven by man. So, under the Left's Loony desires, John Gacy should never have been in jail, much less killed. Sames for Richard Speck. Same for any rapist, any child molestor (well we know from many judicial decisions and the failure of many Democratic states to enact minimum sentencing laws for child rapists that the Left believes child rapists should be free and allowed to harm any child anytime they want).
So, I'll ask again: Why does the Left hate Americans and hate America? Why does the Left hate children and hate them so much that you folks think child rapists should be free to harm any child they desire?

Posted by: John D | November 29, 2007 11:27 AM"

Okay, so the logical choice comes down to this. Either you're lying through your teeth to come up with the maximum "nasty-factor" for your mortal enemies the liberals or you're loonier than anyone you've ever called loony. Either way, your argument sucks.

I believe that we're called on to forgive, according to that worthless hunk of toilet paper you guys call the bible. Forgiving a sinner -- btw, for absolutely ANY SIN WHATSOEVER -- does under NO CIRCUMSTANCE equate to not punishing him under courts of law. Jesus, as I recall, supposedly ministered to criminals regularly, but I never read anything about him busting them out of jail.

So -- yes, Gacy and Speck and the child molesters and the rapists and the thieves and the murderers and the Republicans SHOULD be forgiven. But they should be held accountable legally for all their actions. NO ONE believes that criminals ought to be free to roam around.

And for someone who "claims" to be a "christian" I'd think if the claim were true, you'd understand the distinction.

Shame on you for this one, John D. It's even beneath YOU, which is pretty low indeed.

But I forgive you anyway.


Of course, had the Romans not believed in the death penalty, Christ would not have been crucified and the prophecies not fulfilled.

Oh, the irony of it all.

Well, let's just remember to "Always look on the bright side of life".

O.K., alltogether now, everyone WHISTLE. You know the tune.


For example, an atheist could never be elected because who can vote for someone w/out any moral foundation.

Posted by: Bradley | November 29, 2007 10:48 AM

Good to know, Bradley, that the only thing keeping you from a murderous, rapacious rampage is your personal self-interest in keeping favor with God.

The rest of us non-phsychopaths out here understand that morality stems from a basic respect for humanity (God or not).

If that's how deep your morality runs, then please, find help. You're only one small epiphany or personal crisis away from becoming the next Charles Manson.


I think the question is relevant on this political stage, and that does not mean Church and State aren't separate. A political leaders decisions can be a product of his faith provided they are elected through the Democratic process. I am baffled by the ignorance of the possible next "most powerful person" in the world. The problem is they are all selling their own integrity to get elected, making them all liars. Why not simply say I am against capital punishment, but in a democratic society the majority rules. If the people want CP, be it so. To think that CP as a deterrent would make Jesus weep, and so sad that a Minister of the word of God has put more people to death than a serial killer has.


What's funny is I once heard Romney discuss in a religious service the differences between the English versions of the Bible. He said he believed the 1611 KJV was the most accurate, and his knowledge of the differences was profound. I'm surprised he didn't discuss the fact that you can't interpret the English Bible to the letter, because there are so many versions of it.


"Love thy neighbor as thyself."

The Golden Rule.

Karma.

Its really all you need to know, and "Christians" are hardly the most faithful followers of that ideology- the fundamental basis for morality on this Earth.

Do unto others as you would have done to you.


I think it is time for americans to elect leaders for all the people all the time. Get the church out of the state! America used to be the land of the free, the proud, the brave, religion needs to be personal and not a factor in the political arena. Look at history and the problems caused when religion runs the state. KEEP CHURCH AND STATE SEPARATE! WE NEED LEADERS WHO WORK IN THE BEST INTEREST OF ALL THE PEOPLE NOT THE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS, AND REALLY NOT THE OVER THE TOP RELIGIOUS GROUPS.

GEORGE NONAS


Trying to use or misuse God to win elections is a favorite tactic of the Republicans. Trouble is, it always divides the community of faith and that in itself is immoral.

Is using God for personal gain blasphemy?


"When faced with religious questions, why couldn't these guys say something like, "my religious beliefs are between me and my god, that is the beauty of religious freedom, my beliefs can be different from yours and we can both celebrate the freedom that we enjoy."
Posted by: Jim | November 29, 2007 10:44 AM"

Jim,
That is so mid-twentieth century!

***************

"Can't upset the status quo, after all. Isn't that what conservatism is all about?
Posted by: Jennifer M | November 29, 2007 11:43 AM"

JM.

Nice Crazy John D. smack-down. I always look forward to his next 'fantasmicgoricalistic' posting.


I like about half of what Mike Huckabee says. That’s because half of what he says contradicts the other half.

Mike, if you want to run a campaign of hate, fear, death, and name-calling, that’s your business, but quit using Christ’s name in vain to promote your violent, blood-soaked, authoritarian agenda. You’re trying to build yourself up, but you’re doing it at the expense of bringing Christ down. Stop. Christ is not an endorsement. “Christo-Fascism” is no better than “Islamo-Fascism”. Either start promoting a Christ-like agenda, or disassociate yourself from those of us who actually believe that Christ’s teachings are good, pragmatic policies that should be followed.


The last 'Anonymous' post was. I left the name field blank.


Mike Huckabee seems genuine, intelligent, straight-talking, compassionate, thoughtful, eloquent and sincere to me. He in no way appears to be the fascist authoritarian hateful charlatan you critics (non-Christians?) accuse him to be. He's not an infomercial spokesperson, he's real. Why are you so scared, upset, worked up and threatened? Maybe it's because you're truly the ones with the hate in your hearts? After all, the Bible says that people's hearts are desparately wicked. I don't see in Huckabee the awful qualities you're attributing to him.


Huckabee completely dodged the WWJD question. The answer is easily obtained in John 8:7.

Let he among you that is without sin, cast the first stone.

Why would Huckabee refuse to give that answer? Oh yeah, that's right, he's wanting to lead the war-monger ticket.


They all are Christians but nobody would say what Jesus would do?

'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.'
Revalations


Tom wrote: "No one who was alive during the time Jesus supposedly lived ever wrote about him. Everything we have ever heard or read about him is hearsay. You'd be as well off believing in Socrates as Jesus. Another one of whom there is no proof that he ever lived."

I don't know where you got this information, but it's 100% incorrect. The 4 books of the New Testament that document Jesus' life were written by people who lived during that time. Three of them were written by eyewitnesses. There is more indisputable historical documentation and evidence, including some outside of the Bible, that Jesus lived and was resurrected than for anything else from that era.
For a good introduction to this evidence, I recommend the book "The Case for Christ".


The correct answer for any candidate would be:

"I am a (insert religious belief here) - It is a privilege to live in a country that allows me to choose what religion, if any, I may follow. What I profess to believe is important, but not as important as what I do - do I act as I profess? All morality follows this rule "Do Unto Others as You would have them do unto you". Most, if not all religions incorporate that concept into their belief structure. The world would be a much better place if we all followed that. I know that we all fall far short of that goal.

For that person who asked "Do I believe in the Bible?" - I tell you, the office of the President is a political office, not one of a religious nature. I cannot and should not force my moraland religious beliefs on the nation - this is the reason for the separation of church and state.


For all those who continue proclaiming the "Separation of Church and State" as fact, here is the actual 1st Amendment text:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Nowhere is separation between state and church mentioned. What IS spelled out is that our Government cannot make a LAW in favor of a religion. It then goes on to make clear that religious expression gets first class protection... which means that it is acceptable in all walks of life, including government.
To say that religion, or the expression of one’s religious convictions, should be barred from government – say in the way that President Lincoln called upon God and referenced the Bible in his second inaugural address as he explained the necessity to continue the civil war to end slavery or in the way that our Founding Fathers called upon God in justifying our young nation’s decision to break from the oppression of England – is actually unconstitutionally prohibiting the free expression thereof.
I have never found a person who would label the above leveraging of God as unconstitutional, nor can I imagine anyone taking offense at such righteous endeavors.
If you do not want God referenced government, then simply vote for someone who won’t include Him. And for those of us who prefer to have God leveraged by our leaders, please allow us, and those leaders, the same Constitutional freedom.


There are 2 parts to the 1st amendment. It states: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' Our forefathers lived under the rule of the Church of England. They wanted to ensure a government mandated religion was not enacted. This is the separation of church & state they were referring to. They also wanted to protect our right to speak about & practice our religious beliefs. I think it's not only fair, but wise, to question our leaders about their moral convictions.


Huckabee stated, "Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office...That's what Jesus would do."

If the definition of a Christian is one who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ, then should any self-proclaiming Christian involve themselves in politics? Re: John 6:15, John 18:36


One reason religion has be raised is that Bush constantly draws on his personal religious beliefs in making public, non-religious decisions. He is NOT separating church and state. No doubt questioners expect the same from the next president.


Matthew 18:6 "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

Is that a death penalty approval by Jesus in at least one case?


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