One huckster down

It’s good to hear that God has retracted his endorsement of Mike Huckabee. That’s one pious fraud out of the race.

There’s still one more servant of theLord in the running, though, and I’m still conflicted about it. I’ll vote for him, alright, but contrary to the assertions in that link, his pious musings have elicited a peep or two of protest from this nonbeliever.


  1. says

    So, um, is God on our side now?

    Considering god’s supposed judgments on liars, well, at the least he could hardly be on the creationists’ side. I wish they could at least see that, but you know it has to be evolution’s fault in some way or other, in league with Satan.

    The trouble with them is that to believe their fantasies they simply cannot learn how to take evidence into account properly (the theists who put god beyond evidence can, though, however superfluous that god is). That is, if god is on the side of Huckabee no matter what, why wouldn’t “creation be true,” no matter what?

    Glen D

  2. Rick Schauer says

    Maybe Huckabee needed some of the psychedelic drugs that Moses allegedly ingested as this article suggests. I think Huck simply failed to realize how important the hippy vote was at Burning Man this year.

  3. Myql says

    This is getting UGLY folks. Once again, I feel like I’m living on the Planet of the Apes.

  4. says

    …I feel like I’m living on the Planet of the Apes.

    Sticking strictly to the macrocritters, I’m more inclined to think it’s still the Planet of the Beetles.

    Inordinately fondly,

  5. raven says

    Huckster still has one god card to play and it is a high value card.

    McCain is 72, has had melanoma twice, and could drop dead any time. McCain picks Huckster as VP to corral the very large moron vote. God “calls” McCain to heaven. World war 111 breaks out an hour later as The Huckster immolates all Fake Xians and Heathens, approximately 99% of the world’s population.

    Oh well, at least we won’t have to worry about peak oil or funding social security.

  6. Christianjb says

    Are the results in on the elections to the Texas education board? Will we know tonight?

  7. Ichthyic says

    meh, sounds a bit too much like Rodney King for my tastes.

    others might react more positively.

    still, it’s gotta be a step in the right direction compared to Bushco and Huckleberry.

  8. Ichthyic says

    … btw, much of what Obama has included in his speeches is almost directly ripped from things Jimmy Carter has said.

    gotta be his campaign manager. Who, btw, was also John Edward’s campaign manager once upon a time, in case things Obama says have a familiar ring to things Edwards has said.

    I keep wondering if, once it becomes clear he will be the nominee, he will announce Edwards as his running mate.

  9. prettyinpink says

    Think about it this way:

    Obama is a believer, but how much of that will he act on? Most of his beliefs, stooped in Jesus or not, are pretty much in line with the Democratic party. Unlike Huckabee he has not advocated conservative policy like the nutjob Huckabee.

    Belief is personal, action is universal. Let’s figure out what actions these guys are going to take..and vote on that.

  10. prettyinpink says

    wow. I know it’s late but you’d think I’d be able to put a sentence together.

    I meant to say:
    ….like that nutjob.*

  11. Christianjb says

    Obama is a puzzle. He talks about secularism, but also wants to bring faith into the government. It seems he’s trying to please everyone at once, but he ignores the fact that people hold conflicting views.

  12. says

    I don’t think that Obama’s doing it because he’s any more or less Christian than the other Candidates, I think he’s doing it because he needs to prove that he’s as christian as the other candidates, because of the disputes about him being Muslim.

    I’ll be honest, I don’t support any of the guys we’re talking about (and I include Hillary in that group). The fact is, they’re all nut jobs, on policy and on religion, as far as I’m concerned.

  13. Ichthyic says

    Let’s figure out what actions these guys are going to take..and vote on that.

    good luck; been trying for years now myself, and very rarely could predict based on their speeches what these nutters would end up doing once they actually got elected.

    If politicians were ALL honest about what their actual intentions are, there wouldn’t be a problem.

    However, because playing the role of cheater in this system is entirely prosperous (mostly because there are a buttload of morons that will eat up whatever they say, so long as it sounds good). There is little hope in weeding out the cheaters to begin with in order to ascertain their actual intent.

    you could go on Obama’s voting record, I suppose, but even that wouldn’t tell you what he would decide to invest his time in once in the white house.

    It’s even hard to predict what he might do by looking at his own website.

    well, at least he was born in Hawaii. probably why he comes off so laid back.

  14. James F says

    Thanks, Christianjb!

    “Campaign finance reports filed last week indicated that Dr. Maddox had a decided financial edge, with his report indicating expenditures of $61,203 in the last month and $70,000 in loans to his campaign including $55,000 of his own money. Ms. Hardy’s report indicated expenditures of just $4,017 and $5,850 in campaign contributions.”

  15. Christianjb says

    James F: Thanks.

    Y’know, one of these days I’m going to learn HTML tags so my links don’t run so far off the borders that they end up in the Atlantic.

  16. says

    I’ll be honest, I don’t support any of the guys we’re talking about (and I include Hillary in that group). The fact is, they’re all nut jobs, on policy and on religion, as far as I’m concerned.

    That reminds me of the only vote I ever garnered in a student council election. I overheard the guy next to me muttering about not knowing who to vote for, so I told him to vote for me. He asked which candidate I was, to which I replied, “Oh, none of those. You have to write my name in.” He did. I briefly nursed a faint hope that if everyone else in the university spoiled their ballots it would come down to a tie between me and whomever I voted for, then went to the pub and got drunk.

    University was good times.

  17. James F says


    It’s easy, just do this, but use the “is less than” and “is greater than” brackets instead of [ and ] and put quotation marks around the URL like so:

    My link to Homer is [a href=””]here.[/a]

    And you’ll get this:

    My link to Homer is here.

  18. says

    “Regarding Obama, religion, and politics, What do you think of this?”

    Not thinking about it is what cherry picking is all about.

  19. says

    Yes, okay. I’m not thrilled about Obama’s sky-fairy proclivities either.

    BUT consider: we had a similar situation over here in Australia. Kevin Rudd wrote several things about faith and government (not nearly as egregious though). He made it clear that he was a believer.

    And what did he do as soon as he got in power? Ratified Kyoto, apologised to the Stolen Generation of Aboriginal Australians, and has started dismantling Workplace Agreements (which undercut fair pay standards and pit workers against each other).

    He ‘picked and choosed’ from the Bible like everyone does, but since he’s not a moral cretin, he picked and chose the parts that happened to correspond with actually not being a dick.

    Obama talks about god, but also advocates separation between church and state. I get the feeling (nothing more, mind) that he’d be the kind of guy to emphasise the Sermon on the Mount over Leviticus, you know what I mean?

    I can live with that, at least until the coming Glorious Age of Rationalism bursts upon us.

  20. Eric says

    The difference is that Obama’s religious speak is inspirational and Huckabee’s religious speak is about social engineering.

  21. Peter says

    Yes, an American friend of mine, who’s a Democrat, says Obama talks about God almost as often as Huckabee, Obama speaks and sounds like a combination of a TV preacher, a new Bagwan, or a scientologist, but what’s worse, at least Huckabee admits to it.
    You may guess, the friend is for Hillary.

  22. baley says

    If I were American I would vote anyone who doesn’t actually believe or say that God speaks to him, or that he is doing god’s wish, or anything else to that effect.

    I guess I would be forced to vote blank :s

  23. Ashley Moore says

    I guess God just changed his mind. Just like he did with shellfish being an abomination. Apparently, these days he can’t get enough of the stuff.

  24. Molly, NYC says

    I know this is the minority view here, but given the level of religious bias among the voting public, I don’t see it as all that awful that a candidate who’s been the target of a whispering campaign that he’s some sort of closet Muslim makes a point of mentioning that his religious affiliation is in the same ballpark as most voters’. If he were debating the validity of evolution, or proposing a “Life starts at conception” amendment to the Constitution, I’d be with you. But he’s not pandering to that crowd.

    That said, do you know of any atheists/agnostics–hell, just someone without Abrahamic religious beliefs–who’s running for public office? The conventional wisdom is that such candidates would save a lot of time and expense by just flushing a few grand down the toilet.

    However, one rather sensible thing Romney said a few months back (w/r/t how his Mormonism affected his chances) was that people vote for the man and not the religion (which he proceeded to prove by losing [IMO], not because he’s a Mormon, but because he’s a little too slick, and that creepy, over-privileged, orthodontia-enhanced, white-bread, Stepford Candidate vibe hangs on him, and all around him, like some form of communicable zombieism). By the same token, I’d love to see a well-run campaign by a nonreligious candidate test the aforementioned CW. But if they never run, (a) we’ll never know; and (b) all this kvetching about how candidates don’t represent y’all in this regard is a lot of cheap talk.

  25. Aaron Whitby says

    I find it interesting the level of support Obama has on the boards here and I think it demonstrates the historically bad political judgement of the highly educated. That anyone finds Obama inspirational is remarkable to me and shows a willingness to believe in feel-good aphorisms that one would think had been extinguished by a decent education.
    Personally I find his religious conversion as an adult highly disturbing, he had the great benefit of an agnostic upbringing and still managed to throw it away! Talk about bad judgement.

    For the record I’m not a shill for Clinton, though I think that she has a far better chance of beating McCain in November. The only candidates who actually talks in terms that make any sense in the real world were/are Kucinich and Nader. Shame the educated classes treat these truth speakers as madmen on the lunatic fringe, while Limbaugh and Kristol are virtually mainstream. It’s truly Bizzaro world at times.

  26. Meg says

    I’ll vote for him, alright, but contrary to the assertions in that link, his pious musings have elicited a peep or two of protest from this nonbeliever

    I’ve been peeping about his religious chatter ever since he claimed that my blue state self worships an awesome god during the ’04 convention. I’ll vote for him too, but I’ve found it incredibly strange how willing the atheist blogosphere is to give him a pass on the religious crap.

  27. bill r says

    #33: If you have never been exposed to an expert inspirational speaker/preacher, you don’t really develop the intellectual antibodies that allows you to resist the appeal of a well-done preacher. I watched George Wallace work a crowd in Milwaukee during the 68 campaign and he was electrifying, if you didn’t listen to closely to what he said.

    I recently read a comment to the effect that Obama wasn’t praying, he was studying Wright.

  28. Steve_C says

    I guess the reason it doesn’t bother me terribly is because (other than the faith is a virtue meme, which is really irritating) he uses his faith as a reason to do good things, to be responsible and to be undivisive. It’s the opposite of how republican’s use religion. That’s fine with me. Other than bragging about his faith, it’s what you’d hope people do if they’re so damn pious.

  29. says

    PZ you’ve been shown time and time again that every candidate here is a “servant of the lord” as much or more than Obama, and yet you keep treating him as if he were the only religious candidate, despite the fact that a far as I can tell, he rates far far better than the other two still in the race a far as understanding SoCaS and the proper place of religious beliefs in politics. He’s not been hobnobing with guys that thank God for wiping out gays in Katrina, or joining with Sam Brownback to lead Bible study. That’s not to say there’s nothing to criticize there, but to criticize him in a way that suggests that he’s the only religious person running, let alone the worst of them, is silly.

  30. Stevie_C says

    PZ hasn’t suggested that. He’s suggested that Obama acts the most pious and righteous (among democrats).

  31. says

    is about social engineering.

    I hate this term.

    Welcome to public education and renewing an emphasis on science and math education. Why? Because we want to produce a certain type of population. Wow, trying to engineer a particular outcome within a population. No one’s ever done anything like that with vaccines or anything.

  32. Rey Fox says

    “though I think that she has a far better chance of beating McCain in November”

    My impression is that the polls had Clinton losing, and Obama winning, aganst McCain. Never forget the irrational hatred that the Right has for Hillary, and how they can spread that hate to more moderate voters.

  33. DocAmazing says

    There’s no escape. Hillary’s part of a DC prayer group that includes a bunch of high-ranking Republicans (Mother Jones had a piece on it two or three months ago; I don’t have time to rack it down), and McCain salivated mightily upon receiving the Pastor Hagee endorsement.

    There is no rationalist candidate. Find some other metric for picking one, ‘cuz absence of religious mania just ain’t available.

  34. JJR says

    My vote for Obama in the Texas primary was definitely more of an anti-Hillary act in my mind than a rah-rah Obama act; It seems as of this morning that St. Hill won Texas after all in the popular vote, but it was a very close race, and that the state’s super-delegates were still up for grabs, though it’s been several hours since I last checked the local headlines.

    Yeah, I’d love to see an Obama/Edwards ticket, but Edwards has already put it out there that he’s not interested in yet another VP slot.

    In the general election I may pull for McKinney (Green Party) or Nader, if they make it onto the ballot here.
    Though if McCain taps Huck as his Veep, then I would vote for the big O if he’s the Dem. If it’s St. Hill, I’m definitely going for McKinney or Nader. No way am I voting for Hillary. Ever.

    I simply find her pro-war vote unforgivable.

  35. charley says

    A fundy co-worker just said he thought Obama might actually be the antichrist. A quick Google search reveals he is not alone. I thought I was getting closer to understanding these people, but no, I’m still not there.

  36. Lilly de Lure says

    A fundy co-worker just said he thought Obama might actually be the antichrist.

    Cool – I was wondering who they’d pick next after Saddam Hussein’s execution.

    Funny, considering that the Anti-Christ is supposed to be the opposite of Christ you’d think the smart money would be on it being a woman but yet, all the recent candidates have been men (actually come to think of it, all the candidates I can think of have been men).

    Does Satan really have so little imagination?

  37. Greg Peterson says

    A quick plug for Jacques Berlinerblau’s book, “The Secular Bible,” which is very good.

  38. says

    My impression is that the polls had Clinton losing, and Obama winning, aganst McCain.

    If I’m McCain I want to run against Hillary in the worst way.

    I’ve thought all along that the Democrats would have to be beyond stupid to lose this election, but they still just might. McCain won twice yesterday. He clinced the nomination and gets to rest, shore up and unite the party while moving toward the center (as required for the general election) leading up to the convention. It takes him off the front page for a while but I don’t think that’s a big deal and he can script and package the entire convention.

    On the other hand, Hillary is perceived as still alive (and she’s obviously staying in — with seven more weeks ’til the PA primary) even though the math makes it extremely hard for her ultimately to win. That means weeks more of the candidates picking at each other (doing McCain’s work for them). It’s especially problematic since Hillary went negative quite effectively this past week. Look for much more of that and look for Obama to respond in kind. If the nomination isn’t decided before the convention, its effectiveness as a PR vehicle is greatly diminished (although at least somebody might actually care about watching it).

    Yesterday wasn’t a good day for the Dems….

  39. mothra says

    There is a subtle up-side for the Dems here. With two targets, the party that is lower on resources (Rethugs) must make general attacks or pay twice as much for well honed negativity. Contrawise, the Dems can offhandedly, even while going at each other, cuff the Rethug with a ‘Bush lite’ association- their work is cheap, easy and they have more money.

  40. Andrew says

    I just don’t get this “Obama is too religious thing” PZ has got going. As others have mentioned, all of the candidates are religious to some degree. No atheist is going to win the presidential election for some time to come, if ever.

    IMHO, Obama is pandering to the religous vote. The article with the quotes that was linked here was at a conference for Catholic leaders. He was pandering to them. Pandering is what politicians do, and if Obama panders to the religious more than Hillary, well, good for him. He’ll be more likely to get the religious votes in the general election. Atheists aren’t a big voting block, so Obama can afford to alienate us. It’s smart politics. Plus, there’s the whole stealth Muslim thing, as others have mentioned, and Obama does need to fight that. I don’t see how he can do that besides playing up his Christianity.

    Keep in mind that Obama goes to a UCC church. UCC Christianity is as far away as you can get from the Christianity that Huckabee espouses. Is Obama sincerely deeply religous, or is it a calculated facade to make him appeal to the mainstream American voter? For that matter, I’m pretty convinced that Bush’s private religious beliefs, while by no means rationalist, are vastly overstated in public so that he could appeal to the religous yahoo types who’ve been voting for Huckabee in this cycle. Bush doesn’t seem to be somebody who has deep sincerely held beliefs/principles about anything.

  41. says

    The fact that we have nothing but theists to vote for does not mean we should sit back quietly and accept the fact that we have no alternatives — it is a reason to stand up and holler all the more loudly.

  42. Ichthyic says

    No atheist is going to win the presidential election for some time to come, if ever.

    meh, that doesn’t mean we can’t complain about it.

    It’s hardly going to affect whether or not Obama gets the nod.

  43. travc says

    I’ve been pretty annoyed by several things Obama has said and done. However, I finally got around to watching his talk/interview/Q&A at Google, and am quite a bit more impressed by him now. Not 100% by any means, but I’m pretty convinced he would be not only acceptable, but actually a big step in the proper direction.

    If you haven’t seen that video, do give it a watch. It is long, but quite good IMO; not only in the sense of Obama being a true master of rhetoric, but also in content.