Oklahoma’s Little Dixie Rains on Obama’s Parade

by Joel on December 9, 2008

Prior to the U.S. presidential election last month, I confidently told several people that Barack Obama, while losing Oklahoma to John McCain, would run a few points ahead of John Kerry when he challenged George Bush’s run for a second term. I was completely wrong, even though there were sound reasons for me to believe I was right. President Bush’s Oklahoma popularlity (approval), while still considerably higher than in many parts of the nation, had fallen to 50% or below. John McCain had not stirred up a lot of monetary contributions from Oklahoma conservatives and he wasn’t fully trusted by many affiliated with the religious right. On the Democratic side, Obama seemed to be attracting the support of a lot of younger Oklahoma registered voters. He had done very well with his fundraising in the state. And, although not scientific, I was sure that I was seeing far more yard signs for Obama than I had for Kerry. I also expected that Obama would do better, and he did, among Oklahoma’s African-American voters and that he would gain a lot of ground among Oklahoma’s Hispanic voters, which also appears to have been the case.

Worse

However, come election day, McCain carried all 77 of Oklahoma’s counties, as had Bush before him. And based on results published in the World Almanac and Book of Facts, Obama actually did a smidgen worse in the state-wide popular vote than Kerry’s 2004 performance, with Bush winning 65.57% in 2004 and McCain winning 65.65% this year. The constituencies that made up each camp’s total did change — and to a large extent in some areas. In the two major metropolitan areas of greater Oklahoma City and Tulsa, McCain led Obama by 21 points, down from the 29 points by which Bush had prevailed four years earlier. On the other hand, in the 14 Oklahoma counties (Atoka, Bryan, Choctaw, Coal, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, Latimer, LeFlore, Marshall, McCurtain, Pittsburg, Pontotoc and Pushmataha)commonly and collectively known as “Little Dixie” because they were largely settled by white southerners who had met with harsh and frequently unjust treatment as a result of misguided and counter-productive post-Civil War “Reconstruction” efforts, McCain bested Obama by 38 points, compared to Bush’s dusting of Kerry by just over 21 points.

In many regions, both urban and rural, of the country, Obama did as well as, and frequently better than Kerry had done in 2004. But not in Oklahoma, generally. The easy conclusion would be that a great many Oklahomans have a particularly difficult time abiding the notion of a Black president. There is significant merit in that. However, I’ve concluded that Obama was hurt the most in Oklahoma because it was almost entirely uncontested except at some basic grassroots levels. For Obama to have avoided a 38-point loss in “Little Dixie” he would have needed to be in Oklahoma long enough to dampen the suspicions — for folks to verify that there really are no potruding horns. What about 2012, assuming Obama runs for re-election? On the one hand, a Democratic presidential candidate last carried Oklahoma 44 years ago. On the other hand, Oklahoma’s statehood movement was rooted in progressive thought. If Obama can help guide the nation and world through difficult economic and political times, I expect more Oklahomans will cast racial considerations aside and sing “You Are My Sunshine.” Such is not to imply that most McCain voters were motivated by race, only that many voters were not open to considering Obama from a distance.

UPDATE: It might be noteworthy to some that Bryan County in “Little Dixie” is the only county in the United States named for populist, three-time Democratic nominee and three time “loser” William Jennings Bryan, who was possessed of broad visions dampened by sometimes narrow perspectives.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1

dh 12.09.08 at 5:27 pm

I’m sorry Joel, while Obama being black maybe a little bit of the issue, the main reason Obama didn’t do as well as Kerry is how liberal Obama is with regard to his votes in the Senate. While there can be debate as to what extent Obama is liberal in relation to Kerry (IMHO both are equally), the success of the report by a third party group stating their conclusions was a major success in Oklahoma and many other states as well as a reason McCain got 47-48% of the popular vote. That seems pretty high.

Also, the Rev. Wright thing in a state where patriotism is a very big deal, Rezko connection, Ayers and Obama meeting in the same house, etc. all make people who happen to be center right to right cringe. Combine that like you mentioned a state which hasn’t voted for a Democrat in 44 years and you find out race is kind of down the list. Not that it doesn’t have some play but not to the extent you mention.

2

dh 12.09.08 at 5:37 pm

I happen to find this interesting. It seems the Gov. of Ilinois attempt to sell the Senate appointment to the highest bidder. He happened to have an extremely close relationship with Obama. It is a fact that Rezko, the Gov. and Obama had extremely close relationships with each other.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081209/ap_on_re_us/blagojevich_corruption_probe

Remember Rezko helped Obama get a million dollar house.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/03/16/obama_haunted_by_friends_help_securing_dream_house/?page=1

3

Joel 12.09.08 at 6:33 pm

dh,

The fact is that in states without a long history of lopsided Republican wins, or in states where Obama could identify a way to build a strong campaign organization, he contested in those areas and made great strides, albeit with often stronger gains in metro areas than rural areas. In fairly conservative Indiana Bush bested Kerry by 20 points in 2004, while Obama carried the state this year. In conservative Montana, Bush prevailed over Kerry by 21 points four years ago, while Obama lost to McCain there by around four points. In South Dakota, Bush had prevailed by 21 points; McCain finished on top by nine. Obama pushed hard in these states, whereas Kerry and his advisors felt they were far beyond their reach and didn’t. There are other examples, but I feel I have made my point.

Barack Obama’s time in the U.S. Senate was not long enough to make precise comparisons to John Kerry’s voting record. Obama’s Rezko relationship was unfortunate, but by the standards of Chicago politics, Obama is considered to be of pretty high integrity. Besides, the dealings between Obama and Rezko seem rather insignifcant to me in light of Bush’s stance on torture and economic justice matters.

4

Joel 12.09.08 at 7:04 pm

dh,

The fact is that Obama, while having some mutual supporters with the Illinois governor, some of them in turn corrupt as is the case with all high-profile national ticket candidates, has not had a close relationship to the governor and Obama’s name has not been linked in any way to the office-selling indictment against the governor.

5

dh 12.09.08 at 7:43 pm

Joel, however, you got more than just Rezko. You have Rezko, Rev. Wright (going to the church for over 20 years and well after the sermon), Ayers (having meetings with him in his house), etc.

To me doing something illegal intentionally is very much worse than during a time of terrorism trying to obtain information which will potentially save lives. Also, economic justice, should we all get paid the same? That to me doesn’t seem “fair” or “just”. Also you mustn’t forget all of the help he has done on that subject in Africa and other third world nations on fair trade. Many people more “progressive” than myself have stated that while they disagree with Bush have stated his agreements with third world nations are second to none in the area of free trade. With regard to helping businesses, we mustn’t forget that businesses hire people. If businesses are successful then they will hire more workers. In the area of taxes, we mustn’t forget that people who are on the edge of being poor are not paying taxes in a higher amount than ever before. People making less than $20,000.00 per household member are in lower and lower tax brackets and even in the 0% tax bracket. To me people making that less who originally paid taxes who don’t now is definitely something that helps the poor. Moving from the 15% bracket to the 0% bracket is a dramatic help to people.

Just because some states Obama did well compared with other states doesn’t mean that we should conclude the way do. Many of the states you referenced are not as conservative as you are letting on. You do the classic “lump all of the together” as opposed to seeing that there are shades of people within that group. The fact remains that Oklahoma is much more conservative than other states and it has little to do with race. In fact one mustn’t forget that it was the Republican party who support wouldn’t have resulted in the Civil Rights bill of 64 and who resulted in the Emancipation Proclamation. I know people bring up the parties didn’t stand for the same thing as they do now. That is totally false. If that were the case then Manifest Destiny would not be supported by the Republicans which was supported as early as the 1870’s-80′. That would make the change within 10 years and that to me is way to short to support this “change in philosophy” that the left quickly brings up when brought to the realization of these facts.

6

dh 12.09.08 at 7:58 pm

Joel, I never said that Obama is tied to the office-selling indictment. It is just that to have multiple associates who do intentionally illegal things begs the question. Also, if one looks at the high profile candidates McCain didn’t have as much of these and to the extent as Obama. To me one needs to look at the number and how close of a personal relationship. Rezko, Obama and the Gov. were very close friends; the connections I have referenced begs the question but that doesn’t mean that I disagree with you. I’m not going to say Obama did anything wrong or suggest it. However, the close connects clearly beg the question or give the appearance even though it doesn’t mean he did anything wrong. Does that make sense?

7

Joel 12.09.08 at 9:42 pm

dh,

BTW, McCain received 45.7% of the popular vote; good effort trying to notch it up to 47 or 48% . ;-) Which states among the “red” ones that might be more conservative is not easy to peg because some of them are libertarian-leaning and others are rooted more in the religious right. No Democratic presidential candidate had carried Indiana since 1964. Most people would see that as an indication of political conservatism. Yes, Oklahoma is one of the reddest of the red states. And why not, since the name comes from two Choctaw words, “ukla” — people, and “humma” — red. :-) Oklahoma’s conservatism is somewhat more rooted in cultural and religious conservatism than is Indiana. Montana is a mixture of libertarianism and populism, not as affected as many other red states by the influence of the religious right.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on private gun ownership with respect to the Constitution probably helped Obama in many rural areas by taking away a so-called wedge issue.

I think I made it clear in my post that I don’t consider race to be the main factor resulting in Obama faring slightly worse in Oklahoma than John Kerry. I might add, though, that Obama did finish ten points ahead of George McGovern’s 24% 1972 showing in the state.

8

dh 12.09.08 at 10:04 pm

Joel, why nitpick me on 45.7% compared with 47-48%. The point is that still is very much a strong minority of amount of people.

With regard to the types of conservativism, I believe your latest post really proves my point. I took what you said that the main reason Oklahoma voted the way it did was race using the comparisons between Kerry and Obama. For me my response really put aside that argument. Did it have some part to play? yes as did every state but clearly not to the extent you mentioned in the original post.

Maybe Obama finished a little better than McGovern because McGovern was even more liberal to the point of “Communist” as compared with Obama who is not Communist at all? :) Big difference between Communist and Socialist. Just having fun. :)

9

Joel 12.09.08 at 10:54 pm

dh,

It might have been good for me to place a little more emphasis on my fascination with how winning coalitions are put together and how they affect governing. By a small margin, Senator John F. Kennedy prevailed in 1960 over Vice-president Nixon in “Little Dixie” but fared worse in the metro areas than Obama did this year.

10

Joel 12.10.08 at 12:04 am

dh,

I think the difference between 45.7% and 47% would be nitpicking, but not as to 48% because it might confuse some into believing that the popular percentage spread between Obama and McCain was similar to that between Kerry and Bush, when Obama’s winning popular margin over McCain in points was more than three times that of Bush’s over Kerry. McCain’s popular vote perentage was virtually equal to that of Michael Dukakis, for whom I voted in 1988. Moreover, since one should cast their vote for reasons to include conscience and principle, I find it no denigration of McCain to share his actual numbers. I’ve voted for losing presidential candidates who fared far worse than McCain, but win or lose we have to honestly accept when a nation may have chosen to go in a direction at variance from our preference. And then, as the loyal opposition, to continue to make the case of our stand.

11

David 12.10.08 at 1:41 am

I live in Oklahoma, near Tulsa. I defy the general rule since I voted for Obama. And, I must tell you—I believe race was a huge issue here as well as the overall mentality of Oklahoma leaning heavily “conservative.” I am a pastor and my wife is a school teacher in a bedroom community of Oklahoma. In both of our areas of public service, I cannot tell you how many times we heard something like, “It’s not that I am prejudiced–but I just don’t think the country is ready for a black president. I personally could handle it, but much of the country is just not ready.”

Furthermore, the day after the election, ignorant high school students in my wife’s classes were suggesting that Obama should be assasinated.

Why the hate language? Young people often just espouse what they hear at their homes. Statistics support this theory. Racist? Yes. Republican to a fault? Yes. That’s the state I live in. I love Oklahoma–but hate many of the worldviews and political agendas represented in my home state. I could certainly leave. But I choose to stay and try to make a difference by modeling an open mind and heart.

12

dh 12.10.08 at 3:47 pm

Joel, I don’t believe the popular vote for McCain was virtually equal to Dukakis. Also, I stated 47-48% which if one isn’t nitpicking is less than 48%. If that is not nitpicking I don’t know what is. Please refrain.

I also didn’t find any denegration for you to show McCains actual numbers. The fact is while a majority of the country wanted to go in a difference direction the fact remains an extremely high minority did not. For people to downgrade this strong minority I believe is where I take issue. If the results were far worse then I would agree with you but the results are closer than people really understand because people are blinded by their own hyperuphoria (spelling). That hyperuphoria is one one thing that concerns me because just about the time people get overly emotional for a candidate winning unfulfilled expectation results and even disillusionment. People have placed so many expectations on Obama. I believe they are way too many. I also believe that Obama has promised way too many things that the majority of the things expected or promised cannot be fulfilled. Another concern is that people might begin to lower their expectations and Obama might reduce the number of fulfilled promises to the point that it is accepted just because people are enthusiastic about having the first black President. You will be surprised to know that is one thing that I’m excited about too. However, the philosophy and voting record of Obama is something that prevented me from “wrapping my arms” around the concept of Obama as President.

Remember, we are a Republic not a pure Democracy. The Republic protects the minority from the majority especially when the results were are high perecentage minority. When I see this “over-uphoria” for Obama and the statements made by many supporters for Obama (not you Joel) my protective shield comes up when I hear them because they sound like “steamroll over the minority” comments.

I still don’t buy the Oklahoma being racist line. I also don’t believe it is to a fault that people support Republican candidates. The fact remains Obama supports abortion, homosexual marriage, talking face to face with terrorist leaders without any preconditions, has connections to “questionable” figures over decades of time, etc. If one wants to call Oklahoma racist then why did Congressman JC Watts (black) get elected in Oklahoma for multiple terms? If one wants to call me racist then one should totally rethink it in light of the many black leaders and minority leaders that I support: Condi Rice, JC Watts, Colin Powell before his support for Obama, Mr. Innis, Alan Keyes (who many Oklahoman’s voted for when he ran for President), Ward Connerly, Larry Elder, Armstrong Williams, etc.

13

David 12.10.08 at 9:19 pm

To say that Obama “supports” abortion is a crock, dh. He supports not allowing the government to make the choice for a woman. That is not the same as being “pro-abortion.”

If Roe Vs. Wade were overturned, it would go back to the states’ courts. It is estimated that only 16 would make abortions illegal at that point in the game. The number of abortions would not change in any drastic manner as folks would drive to a neighboring state to get one.

Obama opposes birth control type abortions. I voted for him because his policies, I believe stand a far greater chance to greatly reduce the total number of abortions than those of John McCain.

And, dh–I did not call you racist. I do not know you. But I will tell you as a pastor who works with hundreds of Oklahomans–racism is alive and well in Oklahoma. Period.

I stood in line at my local donut shop with my 8 year old son a few months ago. 5 feet from us, a man probably in his 60’s exclaimed about the presidential race, “Well, what a fine couple of choices we have this time around. On one hand a nig… and on the other hand a mouthy b-word for vice president.” OK–I was wrong—racism and sexism are alive and well in Oklahoma.

14

dh 12.10.08 at 10:16 pm

It is not a crock. He is against making abortion illegal. Making abortion legal IS being pro-abortion. It should not be a choice because abortion is murder. The purpose of laws while partly to decrease the number of bad things is also to state the standard for society of what is bad. Also, I don’t know if overturning Roe vs. Wade, while it might go back to state courts, doesn’t mean that it would go back to the Supreme Court to determine if it should be illegal everywhere. Your assumption might not be correct if it is determined by the Supreme Court to be a Federal issue and thus they would make the State laws allowing for abortion unconstitutional under Federal law aka “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” under the Declaration of Independence.

David we have laws saying murder is illegal, the same should for abortion since life begins at conception.

15

dh 12.10.08 at 10:18 pm

There are some wonderful adoption services to me what is so wrong in allowing the child to have a life as opposed to denying them life in the first place.

16

dh 12.10.08 at 10:19 pm

What is a crock is that you indirectly suggest that women should have a choice to murder their child.

17

David 12.10.08 at 11:02 pm

DH,

I think it is unfortunate that you misintepret my words. I believe the government should not decide this for women. I am absolutely against abortion personally and realize that it is such a complex matter that I do not want our government involved in it.

What is ironic is that so many Christians who proudly label themselves “anti-abortion” and “conservative” advocate for small government and scream loudly for the government to stay out of their lives in so many areas. But then, they turn around and say, “well, except for when I want them involved.” That’s what it sounds to me like you are doing here on this issue (though I don’t know how you feel on other matters–but I can probably guess judging from your tone here).

I would not advise my own daughter (if I had one–I have two sons) to ever get an abortion for any reason. I would do exactly as you suggest by promoting adoption. But I do not feel comfortable making this same decision for everyone else in my country or state.

I am just guessing, but something tells me DH, that you might not have a problem with Capital punishment? If you didn’t, would that make you “pro-murder?” Food for thought.

Check out my posting on my blog today for thoughts that this conversation has inspired. davidwheeler.wordpress.com

18

David 12.10.08 at 11:04 pm

DH, sincere believing Christians also disagree with your statement that life begins at conception and have “scriptural evidence” to support their thoughts on this matter.

I am not one of them. I happen to believe that life does begin at conception, but am sympathetic to their views as well.

Oh that I wish life were as simple as black and white on every single issue.

19

Kim 12.10.08 at 11:26 pm

Nice thread, David. Thanks.

20

Joel 12.11.08 at 3:17 am

David,

Race did play a large role and things did get nasty. On the other hand, Oklahoma whites voted for Obama in significantly greater numbers in terms of percentage than did whites in virtually any of the southern states, and particularly the states of the deep south.

I was the recipient of some very hateful, race-based email against Obama. The fact is, though, that in most parts of Oklahoma, particularly “Little Dixie” Democratic presidential candidates have largely fared worse and worse there since 1968. One reason, I think, is that many state and local elected Democrats have looked only to their own election concerns and not helped to build (re-build) a mature party in the state.

Although there is the difference of many years, I actually encountered more hostility when I campaigned for McGovern as opposed to supporting Obama.

My argument is not that Obama could have won Oklahoma. But he could have broken 40% if more had been at stake, particularly in the primaries. Democrats reward states that vote for Democrats for president and punish those that don’t with respect to representation at the nominating committee. To a certain degree, that is a nice incentive. But with 44 years gone by without Oklahoma favoring a Democratic presidential candidate, our representation is much smaller than similarly sized states such as Connecticut.

Again race is a big factor, but Democrats ceding Oklahoma early on to McCain helped to draw down Obama’s support just as much. Most Oklahomans knew Obama is Black when McCain was leading him by 12-16 points in the state, versus the final 30-point margin. There is significant racial polarization in many of the northern states that voted for Obama. The difference in outcome has to do with party organization, attitudes about “states’ rights” and often the ability to find common ground and interest despite racial divisions. There are so many factors (and I don’t know them all) such as the relative lack of progressive media in the state that has hurt Democrats.

Thanks for sharing.

21

Joel 12.11.08 at 3:19 am

dh,

You are wrong about my McCain/Dukakis comparison of respective shares of the popular vote. With due respect, I urge you to look it up.

22

dh 12.11.08 at 4:14 am

David if you and I believe that abortion is murder then is it wrong for the government to be involved in making homicide illegal? The world IS as black and white as I have suggested and God’s Word states.

With regard to small government big government, Scripture shows so much where leaders of the Israelites WERE involved in having laws that were involved in moral issues. However, Scripture does not advocate bigger government in other areas where protperty rights are clearly stated aka parable of the talents, etc.

I also don’t believe one can come up with Scriptural evidence that life doesn;t begin at conception: “Before you were in your mothers womb I knew you.” The Faith of people who state they are Christians but believe that abortion should be legal (not referring to you because we seem to agre) “begs the question about their particular Faith.

How can we be sypathetic or relativistic when Scripture is clear on the subject? This seems very much like the “people of Cornith”.

Murder is the intentional killing of innocent people. Killing as in capital punishment is the killing of people who have murdered innocent people many many times. There is clearlt a difference and Scripture supports that.

23

dh 12.11.08 at 4:16 am

Joel have you looked at the number of states? It appears that McCain carried more states suggesting less polorization in this election than the one during the Dukakis campaign.

24

dh 12.11.08 at 4:18 am

Abortion is murder because babies in the womb are clearly innocent. Capital punishment of people who have been convicted multiple times of murder is killing but not murder because they are clearly not innocent.

25

dh 12.11.08 at 4:20 am

Support of abotion and supprot of capital punishment beased on the proper definitions of murder and killing IS consistent no matter what you are trying to phrase it.

Joel, maybe you faced hostility for supporting McGovern because he was so liberal that one could clearly classify him as close to being Communist without being a Communist.

26

David 12.11.08 at 4:56 am

DH,

I respect your passion for your views. You and I are worlds apart on our views and that is OK with me. I will see you in heaven.

Let us remember, it is our response to Jesus Christ and not these issues that determine our relationship to God. It is not our interpretation of Bible verses that relate to abortion or any other side issue that make or break our salvation. So when you call some other Christians’ faiths into question for beliefs or scriptural interpretations on these types of issues just because they are different than your “correct, black and white” beliefs—please be careful.

I do not have the desire to expend the energy providing scriptural arguments for views I may not share with someone like you, DH that I do not agree with completely either. If you want a very good presentation of these views, read Tony Campolo’s book “Red Letter Christians” where he lays out how it is that sincere believing Christians arrive at different conclusions. He will also highlight for you the gaping holes in your defense of capital punishment.

Killing, murder—murder, killing. Hmm…sounds like a play on words to me, DH.

Thanks for believing something strongly, DH. We’re miles apart. I do not doubt your faith, only your scholarship and reason on these issues.

Sincerely,

David Wheeler
Pastor, Oologah United Methdist Church
Oologah, Oklahoma
davidwheelermail@yahoo.com
blog: http://www.davidwheeler.wordpress.com

27

Joel 12.11.08 at 3:15 pm

dh,

McGovern as “close to being Communist.” Maybe a little additional reading on Communism would be in order for you.

For years Republican nominees for president have won large numbers of individual states, with the exception of the Johnson landslide of 1964. Democrats have long drawn greater support among big city dwellers and most of the smaller states don’t have really large cities. I don’t see the number of states won or lost as much of a polarization issue. Often, huge differences can be seen within a state. While Ronald Reagan was carrying New York State in 1980, New York City, making up more than 40% of the state total, was voting 3-1 for Carter — so if one would want to call it polarization it was intra-state not inter-state.

One of the things I notice when you disagree with someone in your comments and they challenge you to back up your claim, you sometimes just change the question. You could have just acknowledged outright that I was correct in claiming that Dukakis and McCain got the same share of the popular vote and THEN gone on to make a point about the differences in the the number of states won by each. I might not have agreed with your conclusion, but I would consider your argument rational and logical.

28

dh 12.11.08 at 3:21 pm

It isn’t a play on words when the definitions are totally different. How can they be a play on words when you are talking about different definitions?

David, I apprecitate your admonishment to “be careful”. I want you to understand that I’m not saying definitely that they are not Christians only that if a person believes that abortion is okay or any number of very serious things that are sin it “begs the question” as to the Faith they claim to have. I understand that Faith in Christ alone for Salvation (as long as people are not preaching “another Gospel” or don’t have a wrong understanding of the nature of Christ) and that belief that certain things like we are discussing doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t Christians. However, I do believe that it “begs the question” which is far different than saying they aren’t.

I will say the bigger context of the praxis of these issues we are talking about is how this discussion brings out how much the church and even the world is becoming more like the people and/or church in Corinth. When I readin Corinthians and the Epistles from the Apostle Paul I see an admonishment to refrain from the things that you and I are talking about that seem to be supported by you.

I have read Tony Compolo and I consider him to part of the “church of Corinth” that the Apostle Paul admonished in a loving way to change their attitudes on. I have heard his testimony and I believe he is a Christian. However, he is clearly supporting false doctrine, false teaching and things that the Apostle Paul said to refrain from.

29

dh 12.11.08 at 3:30 pm

45.6% for dukakis yet only 111 electoral votes and only 10 states, 45.7% for McCain yet 173 electoral votes with 22 states. To me it clearly shows that Dukakis had much more of a super majority in those few 11 states and that among the remaining states Bush had an overwhelming majority. As opposed to now where the differences between Obama and McCain in terms of the difference was not as great.

Since I was nitpicked in the first place (maybe not by you originally)then I will nitpick McCain had more popular vote percentage than Dukakis and Bush I had more popular vote percentage than Obama.

30

dh 12.11.08 at 3:30 pm

Maybe 45.6% is the same as 45.7% to you but not to me.

31

dh 12.11.08 at 3:34 pm

Also to dicredit the number of electoral votes and number of states seems rather odd to me Dukakis had only 11 states and only 111 electoral votes compared with McCain having 22 states and 173 electroal votes. It seems to me that one can clearly conclude that Bush I was a landslide as opposed to McCain where it was not. When one looks state by state at the difference it is even more close in the 2008 election than some people want to make it out to be.

32

Richard 12.11.08 at 3:43 pm

Hey DH. You’re right of course that 45.6 is not the ’same’ as 45.7. But it’s pretty dam’ close by any reckoning.

33

Joel 12.11.08 at 3:55 pm

dh,

45.7% is similar to 48% but 45.6% is not similar to 45.7%?

34

David 12.11.08 at 3:57 pm

DH,

It seems you give yourself an awful lot of authority to judge both “the nature of Christ,” a person’s faith, what the Bible “clearly” says, what “another gosepel” might look or sound like, and the rest.

What are your credentials, just out of curiousity? I have several degrees in theology and 15 years in the pastoral ministry and still don’t feel comfortable making these types of generalizations and judgments. I wonder why you do?

David

35

dh 12.11.08 at 4:46 pm

I don’t claim to know much about theology but when Scripture states things specifically I believe I have no choice to take it for what it says. When I read Romans 1 and 1 Cor 6 when it says homosexuality it means homosexuality not some covuluded thing to attempt to change it to something than what it says. When it says in reference to abortion “Before you were in your mothers womb I knew you.” To me it would very strange not to take for what it says that life begins at conception and any killing of that life is murder. That isn’t a judgement or generalization but what Scripture is saying.

Joel I’ll admit to what you say if you agree that you are spinning the argument as opposed to looking at the facts. Also, I never brought up Dukakis you did. I should have just said “not part of the argument” and moved on. My 3:34pm comment really needs to be looked at more seriously than you are stating. The fact remains the US is a Democratic Republic not a Democracy. THe fact is a pure Democracy is not good and a pure Monarchy is not good. I love the American system in that the rights of the monirity are protected. I love the electoral college in that it forces candidates to not focus solely on the superbig, 5 or 6 states but campaign to more of the people than otherwise. I’m so glad that this country has “checks and balances” to protect those same rights.

36

dh 12.11.08 at 4:50 pm

I guess we really should look at popular vote as so important as it really is. Electoral college and number of states as part of that is important. I guess why all of the focus on popular vote when that doesn’t dictate directly who is president of the US?

37

David 12.11.08 at 6:22 pm

DH,

So now you speak for Scripture? Or, as you say, “That isn’t a judgement or generalization but what Scripture is saying.”

Why don’t we practice slavery, DH? After all, the Bible “says we should.” Paul suggested slaves should be obedient to their masters: Col. 3:22, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. (NRSV)” If you want, I can give you at least 10 other scriptures that suggest a similar message “in black and white.”

Deut. 21 and 22 seem to “say clearly” that we should feel completely justified in stoning to death our disobedient children and unfaithful wives? Why don’t we practice that, DH?

I could go on to list “scriptural justifications” like this for racism, polygamy, more child abuse, and a host of things that I think we could both agree were absolutely wrong and evil.

Why don’t we practice these things, DH? After all the “Bible says so.”

I submit to you that it’s because there is, at some place a leap that we must make as human beings to interpret Scriptures in light of our reason, tradition, and experience–and not just in some vacuum, void of any human culture or its implication.

These practices were “culturally acceptable.” Somewhere we decided they were not “culturally acceptable” for us. I am not advocating that there are no objective principles from the Scriptures to which we can indeed cling. What I am suggesting is that there is much more nuance to interpretation of these Scriptures than you are allowing for…even in your own interpretation of Scriptures, there is more nuance than I believe you realize. You’re just not willing to bring this same approach or nuance to bear on your own pet ideals.

“The Bible tells me so.” Come on, DH. No one loves Scripture more than I do. But your approach to it doesn’t cut it for me.

David

38

dh 12.11.08 at 9:44 pm

Dave, I want to step back and say that your post on 4:56am was a very gracious one that I failed to acknowledge and for that I offer my sincere apologies. I appreciate you having respect for my opinion even though we disagree as well as I do to you. It seems we agree to a point but it is the applying it to everybody that you have a problem with and I understand though I disagree. Let me address some of the issues you mentioned on your latest statement:

1) some things mentioned have to be looked at with proper Godly context. Slavery/master relationship was used for the enire society at that time and Slavery was looked at as more of an employer/employee relationship. Did slaves get abused? yes Did master abuse this? yes I personally believe that since the employee/employer realtionship was outside of anyones paradigm during biblical times that when slavery is mentioned the intent is one of employee/employer. I would be interested in the Greek for the NT, and Hebrew for the OT in reference to slaves to see if the nuance is there like I think it is.

Also in relation to that as well as wives, children and stoning; one needs to understand we are talking about passages within the Mosaic Law which Jesus fulfilled the NT talks specifically about the proper way to handle these groups of people and those NT passages are the fulfillment of the OT passage you reference. So one cannot use Scripture to support stoning.

With polygamy there is a difference between condoning and allow. God allowed polygamy but I personally believe He didn’t condone it. Polygamy was not part of God’s perfect will but part of His permissive will at that time that doesn’t mean He supported it. There is a difference.

I personally do not believe that racism is condoned in the Bible. God looked at the Israelites as “His chosen people” because the rest of the races worshiped false gods and/or didn’t believe in the One True God. Therefore God used the Israelites as judgement for those people. Ultimately it was God’s goal (even though He knew due to His ominpotence) to have the other races to believe in the one true God and be adopted into the Jewish race. With Christ by Faith in Him the offer for the other races to be part of His Kingdom OT and NT as well as for the Jews who rejected the Messiah in the NT to be adopted in His Kingdom as well.

39

Kim 12.11.08 at 10:05 pm

I didn’t just read that last big comment, did I? Please, someone tell me I’m hallucinating.

40

David 12.11.08 at 10:28 pm

DH,

It is at this point that I must bid you farewell. I do appreciate your willingness to dialogue.

Kim, I think we both read the same thing. And DH, I wish you well in your endeavors to grow and seek God. I am sure we will have more opportunity to dialogue around the internet world. I welcome it.

I am just not sure where to go with the conversation from here.

David

41

dh 12.12.08 at 3:40 pm

David, I feel the same way and appreciate the dialogue. I still don’t understand the problem you and Kim have with my previous reply but if you don’t know what to say I understand there are many times with Kim I feel he’s “over the top” to that point as well. Especially when he posts quotes by people where I reply with a Scripture reference that seems to specifically contradict the statement posted.

Still I have the upmost respect for both you Kim and you David.

P.S. Kim, my wife and I are “crossing the lake”. You and your cohorts need to beware because I’ll be bringing my tracts with me. :) just kidding. I won’t I just thought you would enjoy some humor at my own expense. :)

42

dh 12.12.08 at 3:47 pm

I will say (being serious) that I do keep some copies of the “4 Spiritual Laws” in the car. If I see someone multiple times or if I “hit it off” with someone multiple times I ask the question “If I were to give you something would you read it?”. I have found that the response to this has been wonderful and very special to both me and the person receiving the tract.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>