Andrew Sullivan, 11:41 am today:
I’m particularly worried that the blogosphere has become far more knee-jerk, shrill and partisan since the days when I first started blogging. Some of that’s healthy and inevitable; but too much is damaging.
Several hours later, Coy Andy reads this quote from President:
President Bush said yesterday that he doesn’t “see how you can be president without a relationship with the Lord,” but that he is always mindful to protect the right of others to worship or not worship.
Mr. Bush told editors and reporters of The Washington Times yesterday in an interview in the Oval Office that many in the public misunderstand the role of faith in his life and his view of the proper relationship between religion and the government.
“I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you’re not equally as patriotic if you’re not a religious person,” Mr. Bush said. “I’ve never said that. I’ve never acted like that. I think that’s just the way it is.
“On the other hand, I think more and more people understand the importance of faith in their life,” he said. “America is a remarkable place when it comes to religion and faith. We had people come to our rallies who were there specifically to say, ‘I’m here to pray for you, let you know I’m praying for you.’ And I was very grateful about that.”
Andy’s response, 2:54 pm:
So, out of his beneficence, he won’t trample on others’ religious freedom. But the White House? That’s for Christians only. No Jews? Or atheists? Notice also the evangelical notion of a personal “relationship” with the Lord. That also indicates suspicion of those Christians with different approaches to the divine. I must say this is a new level of religio-political fusion in this administration. To restrict the presidency to a particular religious faith is anathema to this country’s traditions and to the task of toleration. The president surely needs to retract the statement.
What an asshole. Where did the President says no jews or atheists need apply? What suggests suspicion? Where is he restricting the office to those of a specific faith? All he said was that he does not understand how someone could be president without having a strong reliance on faith and concomitant belief in God.
I am pretty areligious (a helluva lot closer to atheist than Andy is), and I understood his damned remarks. Do anti-retro virals make you nuts, or has Andy been this big of an asshole all along and his true colors are finally showing? All he does anymore is willfully distort what other people say.
And what kills me is he makes 100k a year through tips and donations. Maybe I should go insane publicly- might sell some blogads or get me tips.
I don’t understand it, either. I was never an avid reader of his, and I am just dumbfounded that people keep giving him money after that platinum-plated-bandwidth scam.
Ah, he’s just mad, like so many others.
Mad because they lost November 2nd.
“Where did the President says no jews or atheists need apply?”
The part where he says he [doesn’t] “see how you can be president without a relationship with the Lord”. Only someone dumb on purpose can’t see that. Praise jeebus!
That means he doesn’t understand how it could be done- probably because he relies pretty heavily on his religious faith and relationship with the Lord. I can respect that- it works ofor him, and all he was saying is that he doesn;t understand how others could be president without such a relationship. That doesn’t he thinks the white house is for christans only.
Christ, you people will spin anything anyway you can to make this man sound mean or divisive.
Dude… what’s up with your spelling these days? Are you on pain killers or something?
Jews don’t pray to their Lord?
Oh, I guess they are atheists in Andy’s book.
Another non-religious person who thinks people get too worked up over this stuff.
He’s been that big of an asshole all along. He just kept it hidden for a while.
John, “spin” is too kind a word.
“Where is he restricting the office to those of a specific faith? All he said was that he does not understand how someone could be president without having a strong reliance on faith and concomitant belief in God.”
I have no trouble believing the the President was honestly stating that couldn’t understand how such a person could be President, but is it really terrible difficult to understand that this implies that he doesn’t understand how, for instance, an American Hindu could be President, how a Japanese-American who believes in Shinto could be President, or that he doesn’t understand how an atheist could be President, and thus some people might be disturbed by the implication from the President of the United States, speaking publically and for the record, that such people couldn’t, in his understanding, become President? Do you find it, yourself, impossible that anyone could see such an implication in this statement, without simply being a crazed partisan, John?
Do you find it, yourself, impossible that anyone could see such an implication in this statement, without simply being a crazed partisan, John?
Sure, there are several possible reasons for completely misinterpreting the President’s quote and viewing it in the most negative way possible, to include an interpretation that defies the actual words used in the statement.
One reason is being a crazed partisan. The other is being a total idiot.
“One reason is being a crazed partisan. The other is being a total idiot.”
We’ll likely have to disagree those are the only two reasons possible, and that no reasonable, non-idiot, person might conceivably interpet the formulation “I don’t see how you can be X without Y” as suggesting the possibility that one can’t be X without being Y.
Let’s try some substitutes. We start with: “”On the other hand, I don’t see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord….”
If someone posted “I don’t see how one can be a sane political commentator without being a Democrat,” (a statement I would utterly disagree with, in case that is not clear), you would be upset, then, with anyone who questioned that?
“On the other hand, I don’t see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without being a member of the white race” No problem?
“On the other hand, I don’t see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without being a Methodist.”
“On the other hand, I don’t see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without eating ice cream every day.”
As I said, I don’t doubt that the President was speaking truthfully of his subjective feelings. I’m simply not persuaded that only someone who rabidly hates the President could feel any unease or question in regard to his statement that — “on the other hand” — he can’t understand how someone who doesn’t specifically worship the Lord in the way he understands how to could be President. Is this truly the message the President of the U.S. should give to the nation and the world? Is it really impossible to understand how a Hindu, a Muslim, a Jew, an atheist, a Deist, could be President? (Did Thomas Jefferson have a personal relationship with the Lord? This is not well-supported by his writings, is it? Is it impossible to understand how Jefferson managed to be President?)
But if we must agree to disagree, it will, of course, be for the very first time.
Gary- You are not arguing what Andrew is arguing.
Andrew is arguing that the President said that you shouldn’t be allowed to President if you do not have that personal relationship, and thatthe PResidency should be reserved for those who do.
The President clearly did not say that, he merely stated that in his opinion, he doesn’t see how someone can be President without such a relationship. Not that they shouldn;t be allowed, but that he doesn’t understand how they could do it.
I am not sure why this is confusing you, but it sure as hell confused Andy, who immediately launched charges of bigotry.