03 December 2007

Brainwashing by the media

There are times when I wonder if Conservatives and Republicans can even bother to read the history of the Nation or the Republican Party. It existed long before Reagan, Nixon and Eisenhower, and yet the post-WWII disease of blithely forgetting the past has gotten in so deeply that there are some statements that are just absolutely not only factually inaccurate but absolutely *wrong* that Conservatives and Republicans hold, along with the rest of America, apparently.

Here is the lead-in paragraph to an article at National Review Online:

One non-Protestant has been elected president in our history. Mitt Romney is being urged to follow John F. Kennedy’s example and make a speech taking the “Mormon issue” head on. It is bad advice. Kennedy sought to defuse anti-Catholicism by essentially saying that for purposes of public life he wouldn’t be a Catholic. If Romney follows suit, he will be calling his integrity into question. A man so frequently accused of flip-flopping cannot flip-flop about his religion.

-The Editors, National Review, 16 NOV 2007
Sounds great, doesn't it? All backed by research and history and such, right? Take a gander at this:
"The Methodist Episcopal Church has been agitating the proposition in many quarters that no man who considers himself a Christian could vote for Mr. Taft. The Evangelical Alliance of Cincinnati, with which all bu the Episcopal and liberal churches are connected, has been the means of promulgating like doctrine. The Presbyterian Alliance is emphasizing the line of demarcation between the orthodox church people and those who are liberal in their views.

"Now all of this would be very amusing were it not so serious. We are living in the twentieth century, but the flames of religious bigotry have not been extinguished, and toleration to-day is for those on the inside and not for those on the outside of the orthodox church."
That is referring to a candidate who would go on to become President, and the Methodist Episcopal Church of that era was actually counseling to not vote for someone due to religion. And if memory serves, and it can be quite faulty, but I do remember something about Methodists being an off-shoot of the Protestant form of Christianity, as are the Episcopalians coming from the C of E. So who is the author of that quote? Rev. John Haynes Holmes, Unitarian Church of the Messiah, at Easth 34th St. and Park Ave., 26 OCT 1908, NYT.

And the man being targeted is the Unitarian William Howard Taft who would go on to become President of the United States.

President Taft was a Republican.

I have some news for the NRO: if they can't remember this stuff, and complain that CNN just can't google things, then how am I supposed to take the Editorial staff of NRO seriously?

Want ANOTHER non-Protestant President?

John Adams.

John Quincy Adams.

Heard of those?

Both Unitarians.

Want another?

Thomas Jefferson.

Unitarian, also.

Have we been so brainwashed by the MSM and 'Camelot' and trying to give such high place to President Kennedy that even Conservatives have forgotten the religious diversity of this Nation since the founding? If the Editors at NRO can spout that opening paragraph with a straight face and NOT remember some of the bitterness between churches in the 20th century, then, really, what kind of conservatives are they? Amnesiacs, mayhap?

I really, and for true, do wonder about those that put 'christian' down for America and assume 'orthodox' for all of them: that is not the case at all. And don't even get me started on the Deists and others around at the founding...

I have zero problems with Mitt Romney's religion: zilch.

Problems with him as an executive and governor of Taxechussettes? Yup.

If Republicans can't remember that Teddy Roosevelt would attend church with William Taft to show his support of him, then, really, the Republican Party needs to start remembering their history of supporting the multitude of beliefs that have come to them and *stop* the idiotic litmus testing via religion. Not even all social conservatives are orthodox christian, and it is time to get over that, or face being no longer considered conservative, but archaic and spiteful towards other religions seeking to make common cause with you... or are we going to be hearing about the Monophysite Heresy next?


Reliapundit said...

yes: the solution is to have all the GOP candidates attend church with mitt - his church.

i think i will blog this. and link to you of course!

A Jacksonian said...

You are most welcome!

This is a 'media issue' not a 'real issue': if the Republican candidates would live up to their predecessors standards, this would soon be a 'non-issue'.

A week of church going where they *all* show up at each other's congregations for service would be of benefit. Or a week in a large metro area that has houses of worship according to each of their views, and then going from one to the next during the week.

That would be a potent message in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan... do that and the story ends *dead*. Show respect and *mean it* to each other's religious beliefs, not just mouth the words.

We would all learn something about belief if that happened... as it is... they play politics with religion along with the media and that is contemptible in a land of religious tolerance.

Suzina said...

All those unitarians were protestant.

Protestants believe in biblical scripture (new and old testament) and a personal relationship with god as the path to heaven.

Unitarians believe that god is one person (as opposed to a trinity of persons).

Clearly, nothing about being unitarian means you are not protestant. At the time of their election, all those unitarian presidents named were considered protestant. It's only been recently that the rejection of the trinity by unitarians has been deemed divergent enough to be considered non-protestant.

A Jacksonian said...

Apparently some Protestants felt that was not the case for Taft. Reading articles from that time, for that election points to a slightly different feeling going on amongst the larger Protestant organizations.

The lack of the Orthodox view separated Unitarians from the Protestant churches that broke with the RC Church, and put additional separation between themselves and other Protestants. Reading Jefferson's views does point to such differences, not to speak of those a century later with Taft. If Protestants viewed Unitarians that benignly for the Taft election, Theodore Roosevelt would not have had to do anything to address the attacks on Taft for his beliefs.