Bloggers on the religious Democratic candidates for president.

Bloggers on the religious Democratic candidates for president.

Bloggers on the religious Democratic candidates for president.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
July 13 2007 5:30 PM

Are You There, God? It's Me, Hillary.

Christian bloggers think the savior will sooner return to earth than a religious Democrat will win the White House. Also, killer badgers terrorize Basra.

Are you there, God? It's me, Hillary: Time magazine this week ran a story explaining how the three leading Democratic presidential candidates—Clinton, Obama, and Edwards—are all rather outspoken about their religion. Metaphysics have been of greater service to some than to others, but all this liberal God talk has got Christians in cyberspace either doubtful of the candidates' sincerity or pissed at their cynical manipulation of faith-based politics.

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The snark precedeth the piety: "Of course, these voters think George W. Bush's religious beliefs are twice as strong as any of these other nuts," writes Pareene at Wonkette, "and now everyone hates him, so Hillary's dismal showing (75% of voters think she is the antichrist) should be a good sign! Especially now that the two candidates considered to be the most religious are a crazy magic pajama-wearing Mormon and a Secret Closet Muslim, which is a sure sign of the end times."

Christian conservative Terry F. at The Endtime Observer sees nothing but cynicism and calculation in the Dems' divine tilt: "I'm sure they'll fool many people with this newfound emphasis on faith and values. But to me its a cynical attempt to appeal to people of faith by pretending to share similar values with them. They realize that the faith and values issue was a key to them losing to the Republicans in the 2004 presidential elections (according to to exit polling), so they've decided to have a more inclusive faith strategy going forward."

The conservative psychotherapist behind Sigmund, Carl & Alfred also isn't buying the left's conversion: "The real disappointment today is that middle Americans aren't as stupid and pliable as liberal leadership would like. They still haven't figured out that they have to offer something other than hatred as an option to conservative voices. … It is now conservatives that offer up social programs and it is now liberals that deride them. The legacy of the war on poverty has been passed on to conservatives. ... If the Democrats really want to appeal to people of faith, that appeal will have to be more than window dressing."

Texan pastor Rob at It's Just Me … Rob writes: "I'm not claiming that every Republican who uses God's name is sincere, but this blatant attempt to make God politically correct so as not to 'alarm members of minority religions or secular voters' is nothing like the Jesus I read about in the New Testament who said, 'I am THE way, THE truth and THE life. No one comes to the Father except through Me' (John 14:6)."

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Another righty Christian, Uncle Tim at Uncle Tim's Bargain Basement, explains why he doesn't vote Democrat: "[S]peaking as a person of faith and as someone who knows many devout people of faith, we vote against them not because they do not appear religious, but because they have no Christian walk to speak of. … No 'faith steering groups', 'faith-outreach-advisor's', or 'faith forums' are going to replace a simple statement of your faith as it relates to the important issues like abortion, gay marriage, poverty, immigration and education that face our nation evidenced in ... wait for it ... your voting record."

John B. Chilton, a commenter at Episcopal Café's The Lead, says: "I believe that if a politician tells herself she can compartmentalize her faith from her politics she does both a disservice. And if she can, then she really doesn't have core values to start with. … Jimmy Carter—hardly my favorite politician—won largely because speaking of his faith resonated with voters. Democrats learned the wrong lesson from the two Carter elections. … The actionable lesson from the Carter elections was that to win a Democrat needs to talk sincerely about faith."

Liberal Frank James at The Swamp responds to the article's point about Hillary Clinton having to work overtime to prove her religious bona fides: "Not sure what Clinton can do to change the perceptions about her. Maybe that shouldn't be her emphasis in any event since it would likely only harden suspicions and create new ones that when she speaks of her faith, she's being politically calculating. Perhaps, she can take comfort from the words of Jesus who said in the Gospel of John 16:33 (KJV), to be exact: 'In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.' "

Read more about Democratic churchgoing.

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Furry but deadly: This is not a line from P.G. Wodehouse: "We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area." This is how military spokesmen must quell rumors that a bunch of feral, man-eating, cow-gnawing badgers in Basra have been released by the British to … eat men and gnaw cows, I guess. (The nasty little critter's been around since at least 1986, say local veterinarians.)

Noting that one eyewitness of the critter claimed it tore through a live cow, Jesse Walker at the libertarian magazine Reason's Hit & Run writes: "I have to admit, that's a lot more sensible than some of our stateside stories about cattle mutilations. Next time someone tries to tell you that aliens or Satanists are chopping up our cows, just sneer and say, 'Don't be naive. It's the giant British badgers.' "

Also, apparently Iran has now arrested enemy spy squirrels. Jamie K and Blood and Treasure is psyched: "You just wait, Ahmedinejad—wait until we release the hamsters!"

Marc Lynch at Abu Aardvark shows how the great badger counterinsurgency has been undone: "[I]n order to fuel this baseless and irresponsible conspiracy mongering, here is actual cell-phone video footage, courtesy of al-Jazeera, of what appears to be a giant man-eating badger who has been strung up from a lightpost ... exactly the fate of which Condi Rice reportedly warned Nuri al-Maliki. Make of that what you will!"

Read more badger tales.

Michael Weiss is the director of communications at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank that promotes democratic geopolitics. He is also the spokesman for Just Journalism, which examines how Israel and the Middle East are portrayed in the U.K. media.