Friday, August 27, 2010

Is Louisiana Congressman Fleming the Taliban That Needs To Replaced By A Democrat Louisiana Methodist Pastor?

Tip of the Hat to the Progressive Louisiana blog The Daily Kingfish for alerting to me this. That is this KOS post Another proud member of the American Taliban .

OK before I do this partial defense of Fleming let me say up front I am not a big fan of his. He has always rubbed me the wrong way though we agree on most issues except for some crucial disagreements on a few. I think most of unease with him relates to style and tone.

Now the person that will be running against him David Melville. David Melville is a Methodist Pastor that also has been involved in politics and other civil affairs. He is also my marriage closely linked the political Roemer family.

Looking back at my political votes it appears I often have a default religious preference for politicos here in the protestant dirty South. That is vote for the METHODIST.

In fact it appears there are a lot of people like that down here . The congressmen before Fleming were both pretty conservative. We had then Democrat Buddy Roemer and the very conservative Republican Jim McCrery. They were also Methodists. In fact looking at my voting patterns of the year I could fill up a nice part of a small Methodist congregation with the politicos I have pulled the lever for it seems. One would think looking at my voting habits I was praying the Rosary while reading the The Upper Room

Republican or Democrat on the whole it seems their Methodist Faith is a good thing on the whole that tones them down. They might hold conservative positions but they do so without inflaming the entire world and thus you don't having to defend them nonstop.

In fact Methodist are just likable. Look at George Bush that I think had a likable quality about him. As to Bush I can recall some hairdresser's comments about why she voted for him. He just seemed to be the type you could sit down and talk your problems out too she said.

This might come as a shock to my GOP readership but I might just vote for Melville though there is no likely chance he will win. I would vote for him if :

(1)I was confident the GOP would take back the House without Fleming


(2) That he met my list of the Catholic non negotiable in voting as outlined here by the Pope.

Now the problem is Melville's web site sucks.

What does he believe as to abortion? What does he believe as certain forms of stem sell research? What does he believe about gay marriage? What does he believe about certain forms of stem cell research? What does he believe about school vouchers? WHO KNOWS!!

Now I suspect he is the kind of conservative Methodist Pastor we find down here that most likely meets my Five Catholic non negotiable on voting. However I don't know looking at his web site.

Beyond those Catholic non negotiables I have what are his views on defense (we have two major bases in the District) , or Free Trade? What is his plan for prevent coastal erosion? What is his view on the earned income tax credit? What about social security ?

So I am open to Melville if the above concerns are mine are met.

Further if he is truly a PRO LIFE DEMOCRAT I think it is important to reward that.

Which now leads us to John Fleming and recent controversial comments he made where he threw some red meat.

See at the Daily Kos Another proud member of the American Taliban . Now right there the title of that post leaves me cold and wants to go back into full embrace of Fleming. In fact what the Kos folks don't get they are just as bad as he is in their rhetoric. They are two sides of the same coin.

If I was dictator for a day I would exile all liberals that call social conservatives "Theocrats' and all conservatives that call liberals "Communist". It is apparent neither of these groups knows what in the hell they are talking about.

Returning to Flemings comments:
We are either going to go down the socialist road and become like western Europe and create, I guess really a godless society, an atheist society. Or we're going to continue down the other pathway where we believe in freedom of speech, individual liberties and that we remain a Christian nation. So we're going to have to win that battle, we're going to have to solve that argument before we can once again reach across and work together on things.

Daily Kos comes back with some rather unhelpful comments
It is precisely this sort of freakshow that Markos is talking about in his new book, American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right. The big difference -- as he argues -- is that the American Taliban do not have the same sort of control over this country as their radical brethren do in fundamentalist nations. But that doesn't mean they aren't pursuing it, and John Fleming is a perfect example of just how serious they are about their goals.

Oh the irony. Both Kos and Fleming are using the same stupid counterproductive talk. First the right is nothing like the TALIBAN and to call them that is a insult to your fellow countrymen. All social conservatives would balk at some theocrat system down here.

Now as to Fleming, first off this is where that helpful Methodist gene might kick in if he had it. Regarding everything but the last sentence he is largely correct in my view. In fact suspect that former Congressmen Roemer and McCrery would agree. But they would have been a lot more sophisticated about how they put that argument forth.

In fact what Fleming is saying is really not that different from what Pope John Paul the II and Pope Benedict have been saying. Yet they say it in a much more Catholic way or Methodist way.

Pope Benedict said at the White House in part:

From the dawn of the Republic, America’s quest for freedom has been guided by the conviction that the principles governing political and social life are intimately linked to a moral order based on the dominion of God the Creator. The framers of this nation’s founding documents drew upon this conviction when they proclaimed the “self-evident truth” that all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights grounded in the laws of nature and of nature’s God. The course of American history demonstrates the difficulties, the struggles, and the great intellectual and moral resolve which were demanded to shape a society which faithfully embodied these noble principles. In that process, which forged the soul of the nation, religious beliefs were a constant inspiration and driving force, as for example in the struggle against slavery and in the civil rights movement. In our time too, particularly in moments of crisis, Americans continue to find their strength in a commitment to this patrimony of shared ideals and aspirations....
In the next few days, I look forward to meeting not only with America’s Catholic community, but with other Christian communities and representatives of the many religious traditions present in this country. Historically, not only Catholics, but all believers have found here the freedom to worship God in accordance with the dictates of their conscience, while at the same time being accepted as part of a commonwealth in which each individual and group can make its voice heard. As the nation faces the increasingly complex political and ethical issues of our time, I am confident that the American people will find in their religious beliefs a precious source of insight and an inspiration to pursue reasoned, responsible and respectful dialogue in the effort to build a more humane and free society.

Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility. Americans know this from experience – almost every town in this country has its monuments honoring those who sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom, both at home and abroad. The preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good and a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one’s deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate. In a word, freedom is ever new. It is a challenge held out to each generation, and it must constantly be won over for the cause of good (cf. Spe Salvi, 24). Few have understood this as clearly as the late Pope John Paul II. In reflecting on the spiritual victory of freedom over totalitarianism in his native Poland and in eastern Europe, he reminded us that history shows, time and again, that “in a world without truth, freedom loses its foundation”, and a democracy without values can lose its very soul (cf. Centesimus Annus, 46). Those prophetic words in some sense echo the conviction of President Washington, expressed in his Farewell Address, that religion and morality represent “indispensable supports” of political prosperity.....

Faith also gives us the strength to respond to our high calling, and the hope that inspires us to work for an ever more just and fraternal society. Democracy can only flourish, as your founding fathers realized, when political leaders and those whom they represent are guided by truth and bring the wisdom born of firm moral principle to decisions affecting the life and future of the nation.

President Bush the Methodist responded:
This is your first trip to the United States since you ascended to the chair of St. Peter. You will visit two of our greatest cities and meet countless Americans, including many who have traveled from across the country to see with you and to share in the joy of this visit.
Here in America you'll find a nation of prayer. Each day millions of our citizens approach our Maker on bended knee, seeking his grace and giving thanks for the many blessings he bestows upon us. Millions of Americans have been praying for your visit, and millions look forward to praying with you this week. ......

Here in America you'll find a nation that welcomes the role of faith in the public square. When our founders declared our nation's independence, they rested their case on an appeal to the "laws of nature, and of nature's God." We believe in religious liberty. We also believe that a love for freedom and a common moral law are written into every human heart and that these constitute the firm foundation on which any successful free society must be built.....

In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred and that "each of us is willed, each of us is loved" -- and your message that "each of us is willed, each of us is loved, and each of us is necessary."
In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this "dictatorship of relativism" and embrace a culture of justice and truth.
In a world where some see freedom as simply the right to do as they wish, we need your message that true liberty requires us to live our freedom not just for ourselves, but "in a spirit of mutual support."

See the difference? These three men at root are saying the same thing but Fleming comes off like he about to douse those that disagree with him in napalm. A counterproductive approach.

For a insightful review of how in many ways Fleming is believing the right thing but saying it wrong see Britain Can Benefit from Benedict . In fact if there is one thing to read in my entire rant read that.!! Fleming needs to make the argument that way because what the UK is facing is what we hope to avoid!!

Now as to that last line of Flemings that is pretty much nonsense. It is very Daily Kos like. Not every democrat is some Godless creature from the pit. Also he needs to be careful here because he is running against a Methodist pastor here. Further with a Louisiana delegation that is getting less powerful he better damn well reach across the aisle on some things or we are going to get screwed.

Fleming no doubt will win. Louisiana ,with cause ,is fearful of the Liberal Democrat and Obama agenda and it's effect on Louisiana. So the race is nationalized. However Fleming needs to be careful. Right now Obama and Pelosi are in a way his best friends in this election. In the future this act might wear thin and we might be looking for another good Southern Methodist to put in.

In other words there are a lot of folks like me that will vote for Fleming this time. However in the future if an acceptable Melville came our way hmmmm.

Update-Please don't take this as a put down of all Baptist politicos since Fleming is Baptist. I have voted for a good many of them too. Heck Huckabee should have put me in charge of Catholic outreach for the amount of verbiage I gave him.

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