Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Romney’s Remark Conflicts With Mormon Religion

“Should God speak to you… how would you handle that?” asked reporter Natalie Jacobsen.

According to the Tribune, Romney laughed and replied, “I don’t recall God speaking to anyone since the time of Moses and the burning bush.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — which Romney is a practicing member of — believes that God has spoken to many who followed Moses.  For example, the church believes God spoke to LDS founder Joseph Smith which allowed him to find the brass plates — which became the Book of Mormon.

Romney’s Remark Conflicts With Mormon Religion

Anything to keep people distracted from the REAL issues: war, the economy, the poor, health care…


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Religion and Politics: It’s OK to Be Worried

The complete third paragraph of the sixth amendment is “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

The clear and simple meaning is that government cannot impose religious qualifications to be a candidate. An atheist is entitled to be a candidate, but you don’t have to vote for him if a Christian candidate is important to you.

Religion and Politics: It’s OK to Be Worried – WSJ.com


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Mormons aren’t Christians … and other thoughts on religion and politics sure to get your blood boiling

There are plenty of good reasons for conservative Christians not to vote for Romney, but his religious beliefs are not among them. Do Christians want to be in the position of rejecting a candidate whose political views and moral values they agree with, solely because they don’t like his religion?

Salt Lake Tribune – Mormons aren’t Christians … and other thoughts on religion and politics sure to get your blood boiling


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I was just thinking… by Bill

There’s a lot of stuff going around the Web, the conservative talk shows and blogs, and the Christian right-wing press about how Christianity and The Church are being badmouthed, demonized and otherwise mistreated by those terrible atheists and other unbelievers of whatever stripe. To hear them tell it, they’re beleaguered on every side, and unless all True Christians stand up and be counted — hopefully at the polls — the Will Of The Lord is in danger of being contravened, all that is Good toppled, and the Reign Of The Serpent will be upon us.

What’s that all about, anyway? Continue reading


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Joseph who?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney
dropped a distinguished roster of names during his speech titled “Faith
in America” Thursday: Abraham Lincoln, Brigham Young, John Adams and,
of course, John F. Kennedy. But there was one name he did not invoke.
Where was Joseph Smith?

Just as John F. Kennedy was not the first Roman Catholic to run for
the White House, Romney is not the first Mormon to do so. Prophet
Joseph Smith Jr. announced his candidacy in January 1844. As mayor of
the Nauvoo City Council, Smith ran on a platform of the gradual
abolition of slavery, a reduction in the size of Congress, a national
bank, territorial expansion that included the annexation of Texas and
Oregon and radical prison reform that would have converted all prison
sentences into community service. …

[Be sure to read the comments at the site.]

The Seeker – A personal and professional quest for truth | Chicago Tribune | Blog

[Personal commentary:

The idea that we can learn what Mitt Romney believes by studying the Mormon faith is disingenuous to an incredible degree. That’s like saying that we can know what Hillary Clinton (a reputed Methodist) believes by studying the Bible and the teachings of John Wesley.

Romney believes whatever Romney believes, not what he has been told to believe by the teachings of his youth. If he were that simple, inflexible and — yes — gullible he would never have risen to national prominence. George W. Bush purports to follow the teachings of Jesus, yet he starts and prosecutes wars, and believes in torture.

Romney is Romney. We need to look at his record, his demonstrated positions on a wide variety of issues, and stop pretending that his religion is important. It’s what a man has done that’s important, not the label he chooses to wear — or that others choose for him. ]


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An Atheist Reponds to Mitt Romney’s Speech on Religion

As an atheist and a father of three young children, the speech Mitt Romney delivered at the George H. W. Bush presidential library today shocked me to my core.

If this is the drift of this country, towards a politics that explicitly excludes my standing as a worthy citizen because I do not believe in one of the major monotheistic religions, Christianity, Judaism or Islam, then I seriously do not know what I will do to sustain for myself, and instill in my children, the strong sense of belonging that I currently feel as a citizen.   An Atheist Reponds


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Environment — The Christian Science Monitor

The politics of ethanol outshine its costs
Despite higher food prices and environmental damage, it’s warmly embraced in Congress.
Read More …

In Maryland, sea slowly claims a historic island
With
water levels in the Chesapeake Bay rising an inch per decade, Smith
Island has lost more than 3,200 of its 11,000 acres over the past 150
years.
Read More …

How to fight a rising sea
What the Netherlands has done – and is urgently planning to do
Read More …

Climate summary fuels worry
With
the pending release of a new global-warming report, environmentalists,
politicians, and scientists wrangle in Spain for consensus.
Read More …

A melting Alaska draws visitors
Warming five times faster than the rest of the world, the state is seeing ecotourism change with the climate.
Read More …

Oil-spill helpers galore, but limits on their use
When
58,000 gallons of oil spilled into the San Francisco Bay last Wednesday
volunteers came out of the woodwork, but officials were unprepared for
their help.
Read More …


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Clinton’s gender poses challenge in Iowa

Iowa remains the only state besides Mississippi never to have elected a woman to the governor’s office or to Congress. A bedeviling question is how that legacy will play for Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is seeking to become the first woman president and is in a far tighter race for the Democratic presidential nomination in Iowa than she is in other early-primary states.

Clinton’s gender poses challenge in Iowa


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AMA, Pediatricians Condemn Bush’s Lack Of Understanding and Compassion

The legislation, said Jay E. Berkelhamer, M.D., of Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, president of the AAP, “specifically targets America’s lowest income children.” President Bush and other critics of the legislation alleged that it would expand coverage to include middle class children whose parents could afford private health insurance.

With this position, they “demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of the bill,” he said.

Show no hesitation, never look back, and for goodness’ sake, don’t ever get caught changing your mind! The Windshield Cowboy rides again!

And, time after time, people say they like that about him.

Medical News: AMA and Pediatricians Condemn Failure to Override SCHIP Veto – in Public Health & Policy, Health Policy from MedPage Today


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Gore as peacemaker in Congress — CS Monitor

The Nobel Peace Prize is often bestowed for a job well done but unfinished. It heartens the winner against the odds. Al Gore is such a recipient. His holy war against global warming needs help, especially to nudge a US Congress still immune to the Nobel Committee’s big hint.

Mr. Gore’s well-rewarded insight is in knowing that leaders will not force costly changes in lifestyle unless people are first convinced of the need to curb carbon use. Even he, in a well-organized crusade, has been low-key about the exact level of taxes and other burdens to impose on industry and consumers. It’s easier to sound the alarm about a disaster than to show how to prevent it.

With an Oscar (for his role in “An Inconvenient Truth”) and now a Nobel in his hip-pocket, Gore has more political cachet to act. Rather than run for president, however, he should enter the fray on Capitol Hill over energy policy.   Gore as peacemaker in Congress


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Remarks on a Gore Candidacy

Well, Albert A. Gore Jr. has copped what most folks would consider the highest honor on the planet — problematically, the greatest in history. Not taking anything away from his co-laureates, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the fact is that Al will be the face of the Nobel Peace Prize from now until someone as well-known is named a winner. That may be a while, even though Mr. Gates is definitely in the wings. Given Bill’s privacy preferences, Gore may remain the star even then.

The big question now is what, if any, political plans he may have for the future. Although the logistics at such a late date would be considerable, it is quite probable that — should he choose to do so — Gore could mount a credible bid for the Presidency. From a personal point of view, I think it would be delicious to watch him succeed, with highest accolades, the man who stole the presidency from him and put him in a position to become, not a politician, but an elder statesman (sort of “Bend over, rhinestone cowboy, the Man from Tennessee is back!).

But that is why I think Continue reading


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The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.

Press Release – Nobel Peace Prize 2007


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In Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley, peace and a woman rule

Bamiyan, Afghanistan – There is a check post at the entrance to the Bamiyan Valley – one of the scores of shacks set along the earthen roads of Afghanistan designed to provide some appearance of security or, at least, a quiet place for policemen to sip their green tea.

But this one is different. It’s not merely that the building marks the blessed end to an eight-hour ride over unpaved roads that shake the body like a box of matchsticks. It is that this shack seems to mark the entrance into an Afghanistan of which the world has never dreamed.

Beyond it, flowering fields stretch between stark gray mountainsides like a green carpet interspersed with the gold of wheat ready for harvest.

In an unpretentious governor’s residence sits the only female governor in Afghanistan’s history – appointed to rule over a province where 52 percent of the registered voters are women, 10 percent higher than the national average.

And on a rocky plateau, behind knots of barbed wire, stand international soldiers who say they’ve drawn the long straw in the Afghan war. The area is so safe, they haven’t needed to fire a shot since they arrived in 2003.

In Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley, peace and a woman rule | csmonitor.com