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Barry "Mr. Conservative" Goldwater talking about the religious right.

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    So while nerding out and combining history and politics I stumbled upon a few cool quotes from the guy nicknamed "Mr. Conservative" by his supporters.

    "On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
    I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism."
    ~Barry Goldwater 1981

    "Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them." ~Barry Goldwater 1994

    I know these are fairly long quotes but I feel like they continue to illustrate the how the Republican Party has made a massive, uncompromising shift to the right. Those who were once considered champions of the conservative movement, like Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, would be completely marginalized by both the GOP and the Tea Party. The classic argument right now is how Reagan often raised taxes to get the economy up and running again, but now, even discussion of raising taxes is heresy.

    I know I'm probably beating a dead horse here, but it seems that the uncompromising position that often comes with religious beliefs has taken the reins of the Republican Party.

    I also just felt like ranting a little.
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    Zach,

    You told me that "This site usually focuses on the current political environment."

    Goldwater has been dead MUCH longer that Senator Robert Byrd.

    Several members seemed to object when I brought up some facts about Byrd who served as recently as 2010. 

    Yet Goldwater is OK?
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    Missed the bus. Zach highlighted how the Republican party has changed into something prior conservative heros would not like. AUH2O is not the subject but the narrator.
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    Have you ever had someone sit behind you in a movie theater eating popcorn and making repeated cryptic comments about the show while the rest of us try to concentrate on the story line?

    That's how I feel about some of the people that write into this website with nothing meaningful to contribute to an otherwise intellectual discussion. 
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    In 1981, when the “religious right” was on the rise, even the conservative Republican elder, Barry Goldwater, said:  “The great decisions of government cannot be dictated by the concerns of religious factions. We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups, and we mustn’t stop now. To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic.”

    Senator Warren Rudman, a moderate Republican,  has said:  “The millions of Christians in this country reflect just about every conceivable political point of view. For one highly conservative group to proclaim itself ‘the Christian Coalition’ strikes me as decidedly un-Christian arrogance. We reflect countless races, religions and lifestyles, and we often differ on questions of morality and behavior. The only way so diverse a nation can survive is by all of us practicing a high degree of tolerance. But tolerance is not the way of the Christian Right. Its leaders want to impose their one-size-fits-all morality on everyone. It won’t work. When any group tries to impose its values on everyone else, the result will inevitably be resentment, hatred, and violence.

    Senator Mark Hatfield, another moderate Republican, said: “As a Christian, there is no other part of the New Right ideology that concerns me more than its self-serving misuse of religious faith. What is at stake here is the very integrity of biblical truth. The New Right, in many cases, is doing nothing less than placing a heretical claim on Christian faith that distorts, confuses, and destroys the opportunity for a biblical understanding of Jesus Christ and of his gospel for millions of people.

    Rev. John Shelby Spong, a retired Episcopal Bishop, said:  “When the dust settles and the pages of history are written, it will not be the angry defenders of intolerance who have made the difference. The reward will go to those who dared to step outside the safety of their privacy in order to expose and rout the prevailing prejudices.

    Walter Cronkite said:  “I consider myself a person of faith. I work very hard at being a Christian. And certainly, the Christian Coalition does not speak for me. What’s more, I am absolutely sure that the Christian Coalition does not speak for the great majority of men and women of faith in this country. And I, for one, am not prepared to stand by and permit Mr. (Pat) Robertson and his friends to get away with wrapping their harsh right wing views in the banner of religious faith.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote: “I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect (or religion) over another.” And in his autobiography he even wrote that the name Jesus Christ should not be added to any legal government document, because we must protect “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Muslim, the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination.”

    Of course, today you have to be very brave to say such things, because the leaders of the “religious right” are quick to accuse critics of being “anti-religion” and of “persecuting Christians.” And even though that is not true, most real Christians are simply too polite and politically correct to voice their criticism any more.

    (I copied and pasted that from Why the "Religious Right" Is Wrong.)
    .
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    Schmidt,

    Yeah, I know how that feels.

    And does that person behind you have a cell phone which always keeps going off?

    Yeah.  I know EXACTLY how that feels, and "some of the people that write into this website" are kinda like that.

    Actually I was pointing out that Zach tells me that this forum usually keeps things current then he posts about Barry Goldwater.

    Zach seems like one of the more respectful members but I wonder if there's a double standard.

    You know, how old stuff is OK when used against R's but not OK when used against Dems? 

    Ya think?
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    I find it ironic that it was the Moral Majority that campaigned so hard for Jimmy Carter, because they wanted to elect more "Christians" and bring morality back to the United States. Yet four years later they went for Ronald Reagan who was anything but "Christian".
    Let's not forget what Sinclair Lewis said, "When Fascist comes to America it will come draped in a Flag and baring a Cross." For thirty years we have been headed towards Fascism in this nation, and we have dummied down the public to the point that they are either blind to that fact or too dumb to know what it is. We have about half the population voting in favor of things that do them harm, and that is really difficult for me to understand.
    I can remember when the Churches were involved in civil rights activity and not only that they were Pro-Union. I remember how they started getting involved in politics and had to defend themselves for doing so, because it was believed that if they became involved they could no longer be tax exempt.
    As for talking about past politicians, every time I see or hear about something a Republican is doing the right brings up something Clinton or Carter did so as to try and justify what this Republican has done.
    As for Reagan raising taxes trying to save the economy, he was trying to save the economy he created. The very first recession in my lifetime was when Reagan was President. Carter had run away inflation because of the oil embargo due to Iran. Most of the Reagan tax increases were on the working people. He did increase corporate taxes but he cut the Marginal tax rate from 70% to eventually 35%. He increased the Withholding tax from $350 per year to $5500 per year and then started using that money so it wouldn't show up on his deficit.

    Lockett
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    Lockett,

    That's a very good point.

    The problem was that the "Moral Majority" loved Ronald Reagan far more than they liked Jimmy Carter (a self-professed "born-again Christian").

    Remember, Reagan said "God bless you, and God bless America" at the end of every speech, and he welcomed the support of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and other leaders of the "religious right," and gave them a key to the White House.

    The "religious right" also enabled Reagan to come up with the Reaganite "Gospel of Prosperity" that turned Christianity up-side-down, claiming that great wealth is a reward from God and that the poor deserve to be poor because they are just "lazy" and not "self-reliant."

    Out task now it to expose Reaganism for what it is, and expose the "religious right" for what it is.

    Read the message at http://messenger.cjcmp.org.
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    fenway Wrote: Zach, You told me that "This site usually focuses on the current political environment." Goldwater has been dead MUCH longer that Senator Robert Byrd. Several members seemed to object when I brought up some facts about Byrd who served as recently as 2010.  Yet Goldwater is OK?


    You are comparing apples and oranges. This thread is addressing the current political theater and comparing it to the warnings of a former ideal conservative. How the religious right has grabbed a hold of the GOP and is uncompromising in all of its positions. 

    The other thread you were comparing a racist from today to a racist from 30+ years ago. Byrd had not run on any sort of racist platform in over 3 decades, he was a changed man.  It was a terrible comparison. If a democrat ran on a racist platform today I would be equally outraged.

    There isn't a double standard. There is a huge difference between the two.
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    "terrible comparison"

    I disagree.

    The title of the thread where Byrd was first mentioned was "Not sure how you elect a White Supremacist to represent you"  And, Byrd was, at one time, a White Supremicist.  He was elected and reelected and reelected...

    Byrd is much more relevant than Goldwater.  Long after Goldwater died, Byrd was still serving as US Senator.

    You call Goldwater a "former ideal conservative".

    According to who?  And from 50 years ago?  His political power peaked in the 60's.

    John Edwards was also a US Senator and ran for president, although he did not recieve his parties nomination as Goldwater did.  But, he's much more recent.  Does that make Edwards a "former ideal liberal"?

    Or a "semi former ideal liberal"?

    Who decides who is a "former ideal con/lib"?  Is there a committee?  I hear lots of Republicans refer to Reagan, but almost no references to Goldwater.

    Yes, Byrd seemed to be a changed man.  And good for him, but no one knows what was really in his heart.

    In the "current political environment" or "current politial theater" Byrd is much more relevent than Goldwater.
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    Mr. Byrd's former stances were irrelevant. He was no longer a white supremacist. Hadn't been for a VERY long time. Electing Byrd in 2000 would not be electing a white supremacist.  The comparison is no where close to applicable. Had he run on a white supremacy platform in any recent election, then yes, fire away.

    Goldwater was nicknamed "Mr. Conservative." He championed the GOP for a long time. He warned of an uncompromising religious right and how they should not be allowed to gain control of the party, something that is happening right now. Today. Currently.

    I have never heard anyone call Edwards "Mr. Liberal" or in any other term to try and make him the face of the Democratic Party. Off the top of my head, I really can't think of anyone that Democrats have readily referred to, except for FDR.

    I tend to think that the party picks it's own champions. GOP picked Goldwater and now Reagan. Both who would not fit well in the current GOP atmosphere.

    No one could really say what Byrd has thought over the last 30 years. But you can't judge a man on his thoughts, just on his actions. So what was in his heart is really of no concern. Just his behavior.

    "Political theater" or "political environment" or "political stage" all names for the same thing. Using the same phrase over and over again can seem monotonous.

    Goldwater, as a person, may not be very relevant right now, but his words, his warnings, are exactly what is currently happening. So that is what makes it relevant to the current situation. If you find something Byrd did or said 50 years ago that is having an impact or is relevant now, and you want to discuss it, then start up a post. But comparing election platforms that are separated by half a century is a HUGE stretch.
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    Zach,

    You make some good points, and I can agree with you on some of them.  Pretty much right about Byrd.  I can believe him on his racial views "over the last 30 years", but can never forget the terrible things he said and did before that.  Forgive?  Absolutely.  Forget?  No.

    But, I still think that in 2012, if there is a person identified as "Mr Conservative" it is Ronald Reagan.

    If someone nicknamed Goldwater as "Mr Conservative" at one time, half a century or more ago,  I think the crown has long since passed.

    If we took a poll today, in 2012, and asked who is "Mr Conservative", Reagan would finish far ahead of Goldwater.  Lots of average, uninterested, uninformed, voting age Americans have never even heard the name Goldwater.  Mention the name Goldwater and many would think of Austin Powers rather than the politician.

    Time moves on.  Reagan, too, will lose his relevency, as Goldwater already has.

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    Fenway,

    Sorry, but I just have to remind you, as I have in other threads, that now, more than ever before we need to learn the lessons of history. Only with sufficient knowledge of history can we avoid making the same mistakes over and over --- and we HAVE been making the same mistakes over and over because too many politicians either ignore or deny the lessons of history.

    As for Goldwater and Reagan, Reagan campaigned for Goldwater and said he epitomized conservatism. And Goldwater's comments about the "religious right" were very appropriate and called for, and very relevant today.

    In fact, even though the "religious right" would LIKE Americans to forget about it or not know about it, the American people need to be reminded of what Goldwater said about the "religious right," and of what many others also said about them. That's why I already posted the following in a previous comment, which you apparently did not read -- perhaps because you don't want to.

    In 1981, when the “religious right” was on the rise, even the conservative Republican elder, Barry Goldwater, said:  “The great decisions of government cannot be dictated by the concerns of religious factions. We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups, and we mustn’t stop now. To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic.

    Senator Warren Rudman, a moderate Republican,  has said:  “The millions of Christians in this country reflect just about every conceivable political point of view. For one highly conservative group to proclaim itself ‘the Christian Coalition’ strikes me as decidedly un-Christian arrogance. We reflect countless races, religions and lifestyles, and we often differ on questions of morality and behavior. The only way so diverse a nation can survive is by all of us practicing a high degree of tolerance. But tolerance is not the way of the Christian Right. Its leaders want to impose their one-size-fits-all morality on everyone. It won’t work. When any group tries to impose its values on everyone else, the result will inevitably be resentment, hatred, and violence.

    Senator Mark Hatfield, another moderate Republican, said: “As a Christian, there is no other part of the New Right ideology that concerns me more than its self-serving misuse of religious faith. What is at stake here is the very integrity of biblical truth. The New Right, in many cases, is doing nothing less than placing a heretical claim on Christian faith that distorts, confuses, and destroys the opportunity for a biblical understanding of Jesus Christ and of his gospel for millions of people.”

    Rev. John Shelby Spong, a retired Episcopal Bishop, said:  “When the dust settles and the pages of history are written, it will not be the angry defenders of intolerance who have made the difference. The reward will go to those who dared to step outside the safety of their privacy in order to expose and rout the prevailing prejudices.”

    Walter Cronkite said:  “I consider myself a person of faith. I work very hard at being a Christian. And certainly, the Christian Coalition does not speak for me. What’s more, I am absolutely sure that the Christian Coalition does not speak for the great majority of men and women of faith in this country. And I, for one, am not prepared to stand by and permit Mr. (Pat) Robertson and his friends to get away with wrapping their harsh right wing views in the banner of religious faith.”

    Thomas Jefferson wrote: “I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect (or religion) over another.” And in his autobiography he even wrote that the name Jesus Christ should not be added to any legal government document, because we must protect “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Muslim, the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination.”

    Of course, today you have to be very brave to say such things, because the leaders of the “religious right” are quick to accuse critics of being “anti-religion” and of “persecuting Christians.” And even though that is not true, most real Christians are simply too polite and politically correct to voice their criticism any more.

    (I copied and pasted that from Why the "Religious Right" Is Wrong.)
    .
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    Well said
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    Guy,

    You are right about history, of course.

    History should be studied, and we should learn from the mistakes made and not repeat them.

    We are NOT very good at that.

    I just think that in Goldwater's case, he is too far in the rear view mirror to be relevent to many Americans.  To political junkies, and political historians...maybe not.

    The titles of "Mr Conservative" or "ideal conservative" seem to apply to Reagan more than Goldwater because Republicans seem to refer to Reagan much more than Goldwater.  That's my own personal opinion, but I think many would agree with me.  Maybe none on THIS forum, though.

    People of the "anti-religious" persuasion have and do rant on about the "religious right".

    People of the "religious right" persuasion have and do rant on about the "anti-religious".