Religion and Politics

Story Links: Rocketboom field correspondent and The Uptake producer Chuck Olsen covers the religious, back-country vote of Tennessee.

Share Button


Posted to Humanwire
Tags: , , ,
February 6, 2008 • 1:35 am | Permalink


  • teda says:

    Watching this reminds me of the first line of H.L. Mencken's creed: "I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking>"

    • johncgaiser says:

      Study the great atheist of the 20th and 21st centuries.

      The Great Purge 1.2 Million Dead
      Great Leap Forward 30 million dead
      North Korea


      The Socialists that prescribe to the atheist ideology have got all the religions beat.

      • Ahlyssah says:

        Why is it atheists and Christians have to fight over who has the bigger body count? Shouldn't it be enough that innocent people have died in the name of doing good (and yes, all those events you named represent some crazy person or people fighting for what they believe to be right)?

        By the way, socialism has little or nothing to do with atheism; just because some socialists were atheists, it doesn't mean that the nonbelief in God caused their actions.

        • johncgaiser says:

          I did not realize christians and atheist were forwarding this argument.

          And yes, I believe philosophically, that the removal of consequence and accountability causes the death of tens of millions of lives.

          • K says:

            I did not realize that those who do not believe in religion can have no sense of consequence and accountability.

            And yes, i do know that there is a nuturing Creator. But that knowledge doesn't blind me to the fact that I would trust my life and kids with many people who do not believe in religion over countless numbers who consider themselves believers-- based on their ethics, behavior, judgement, sense of accountability, etc, etc.

          • johncgaiser says:

            " I did not realize that those who do not believe in religion can have no sense of consequence and accountability."

            That would be a huge generalization and I am not making that.
            Consider my post again. Think of it philosophically, not ideologically.

            As an atheist, I am accountable to my family. They bare the consequence of my actions.

            Now consider a self centered and ambitious atheist that has removed themselves from the realm of consequence.

            Kim Jong-il.


  • Johnm says:

    This is awesome! Someone's gotta post that clip, Q:"What did Bush not do?" A:"He didn't follow the word." Most persuasive. I'n not only won over, but also I'm inspired and got a new slogan: Yup, it's gotta be Huck!

  • djstrat says:

    Oh my Gawd!

    What a bunch of crap!

    I wish these people knew how uneducated they sound.

  • netster403 says:

    OMG. I live in the US and stuff like this makes me really disappointed in the human state.

    In this day and age it is amazing people can be so far off on the real world, its REALLY scary of you think about it.

  • AdamWho says:

    To think that the Republican party thought it was a good idea to combine the religious right and wall street under the same banner. These people don't even know basic facts about the country or the candidates.

  • Where the heck are these people getting their information? Obama isn't muslim, they're confusing him with that representative from Minnesota.

    The kind of Theocracy they want is no better than the kind Islamic Fundamentalists want to establish. America is a PLURALIST DEMOCRACY that is home to people of many faiths and nationalities. It really irks me when people want to impose their own particular cultural exclusivity on this country.

    Also somebody pointed this out to me:

    Article VI of the US Constitution:
    "The Senators and Representatives ... 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."

    I wonder if there is a similar provision for the Presidency.

  • sad american says:

    No wonder the rest of the world thinks we're idiots!

  • spayced says:

    I was laughing, until I saw that little girl talk. It really makes me sad/angry that people would indoctrinate their kids like that...

  • Drew says:

    This episode really burned a big memory in my brian. It will be very hard to forget this one.

    This kind of lifestyle is extreme but somewhat typical of very small towns that are isolated from larger cities and the rest of the country and world. These smaller towns just dont get outside information from the world. They dont read the New Your Times or look at information online. You could easily assume that the young girl in this case learns news from her mom who gets her news from her grandmother who gets her information from a friend who reads *some* things.

    As a result, obviously, they are moving through the world at a much slower pace. If they are unaware of current events, new technologies, contemporary cultrual practices and differences, they will not have much to put together into anything new. Same 'ol, same 'ol.

  • Scott says:

    Frankly I am disappointed in this interview. Why choose such a small town? Why choose such a place? Was it because there was a cross on the outside?

    Was the goal of this perspective to paint a picture of Southern small towns as hicks? Hicks for Huck? Seriously, this is so isolated and polarized to the far right religious voter that it doesn't even make sense to show that it was from Tennessee let alone a southern state. It could be any state people like this exist everywhere. Look in NYC I am sure you will find a couple of uneducated wackos.

    It was a crappy interview and the interviewer clearly had an agenda and I am disappointed that people like this were showcased.

    • Drew says:

      I feel this episode transcends most discussions of politics into more of a beautiful expose of rural American life, the kind you would find in a picture book on your coffee table in the city.

    • Flyboy says:

      The interviewer could've asked the same question anywhere and had any answer under the sun. The intriguing part is how opinions and answers take shape in a more insular part of our American society. Whether we're wired or not though, the majority of us choose the news we WANT to hear; seeking diverse viewpoints to turn over in our own minds is too hard and takes too much time. These good folk in Tennessee are just a more poignant example of what goes on nationwide...shaping the facts as we'd like them to be.

    • By the way, this video is part of a larger roadtrip through the South, gauging political opinions and deeper views behind them. So you're wrong about my motivations, etc. - I also have an interview with some Nashville Republicans who are wealthy and educated -- and also for Huckabee.

      I don't mind telling you this was not a crappy interview. I'm more an observer and documenter, though of course I'm asking questions and probing. Would you rather pretend people like this don't exist? Many people (on the youtube thread) are shocked at seeing this - esp. in NYC or other urban areas it's easy to be completely unaware of rural, fundamentalist Christian America.

      And as I tell other people - you want to see something different? You get a camera, hop in a car, and go film it. Nothing is stopping you.

      • Scott says:

        It is less of an interview and more of an opportunity to allow these people to show what they are like or rather what they are expected to be like.

        I guess it was just a bit stinging in the sense that these rather homely individuals are on the "big screen" and they are so vulnerable to attacks.

        Is it wrong to have theology? Is it wrong to mix political views and religious views? Is it wrong for a leader, in any situation, to have religious views?

        Look at me back peddle...

        Well I am looking forward to the next ep.

        • Jackiethedog says:

          Scott, not it is not wrong to have theology and it isn't wrong to mix political and religious views if you choose to. However, pandering to gossip and lies and basing your opinions on those lies is wrong. I am not voting for Senator Obama, but please, the man is a Christian, and took his oath on the Bible. He does say the Pledge of Allegiance and does honor the flag! I don't know of many political leaders who have not had religious views. However, personally, I am tired of the leader of the US shoving religious views at me. We are a free nation, free to choose. Let me do so, please.

    • leron says:

      I think you missed the point, Scott. These are not isolated hicks. This is what a third of Americans believe. Maybe down to 20 percent in NYC, but that'smillions, not "a couple."

      Chuck demonstrates nicely that they have been spoon-fed crap about Obama being some kind of radical Muslim, and they have lapped it up.

      Their world-view is based on misinformation and propaganda and if you tried to explain that to them, you might just get beat up.

      All I can say is, I hope they are indeed content to pray and wait for the Lord to do His will. Us commies will get out and organize and kick their sorry butts.

      BTW, this ep kinda got lost between the day before and the day after. Pity.

      • Scott says:

        Good point I suppose I did miss the point. I guess someone just pissed in my corn flakes and I took it out on the RB comments!

        You bring up an interesting point - are our views typically just recycled from someone else's?

        For instance these people are clearly regurgitating what their pastoral church members have taught them about religion and in a weird mix politics too. Now does the same hold for our views on politics?

        • leron says:

          everybody cribs from somebody. But we have a duty to check our facts, not just accept the word of "my friend who keeps up with stuff." Otherwise we believe crap like the BS Obama rumors.

  • Poe says:

    what a medieval country you have, Americans!!
    the sad side, is the rest of the world always is suffering the consequences of your stupid and sanguinary ideologies.
    Obama, please,
    protect the rest of the world of America!

  • JonT says:

    I grew up in a small town and there were certainly a lot of conservative people there but I don't recall ever meeting anyone who was as as conservative and religious as these people are. I think these people must be very extreme even for a small town in Tennessee.

  • ToddinHB says:

    There's one child who got left behind!

  • Terry Ann says:

    I know some of the you on this site are ridiculing these people because
    they want a theocracy (which of course is not right). However, I believe
    more and more Americans want a nanny state. Where the government is taking
    care of everyone needs. That is silly also.

    • leron says:

      like who?

      • johncgaiser says:

        Any politician that believes Hate Crime is a legitimate policy of prosecution in a free society.

        Any politician that believe Affirmative Action is not racist and sexist and has a legitimate place in a free market.

        Any politician that wants to extend native constitutional rights to non citizens that would also include, but not limited to, social security, extended education funds, or any social program.

        • Stentor says:

          Oh, so you want a society with Jesus compassion, just not secular compassion.

          • johncgaiser says:

            You make a great analogy.

            Religious compassion can be defined in general terms and can be understood/communicated universally.

            Secular compassion can not.

            Secular humanism seems to me to be a small club of arrogant pseudo intellectuals that complain of intolerance as they castigate people with faith as being ignorant.

  • you have GOT to be kidding me!
    If this happens in a country on the good side of the digital divide, where you have all the resources (internet, cellphones, digital tv, iptv) to be informed, I can't imagine whats going on in developing countries.
    I live in Colombia (south america), and this kind of videos makes people from the us look like idiots...
    remember her?

  • Jamez says:

    I keep getting quicktime errors when attempting to view the HD version of the show.

  • trenton weir says:

    The worst thing about people like this is that no amount of reasoned argument will ever persuade them they are wrong. They are unable to separate what they believe to be true from their identity as individuals, so challenging their beliefs challenges who they are.

    Loaded question: should people that make their decisions without thinking really be allowed to vote? :)

  • heidi says:

    Not only are these women completely false in their statements of Obama but if they really want to get into the word and let the word guide them...then I think they should take all of the word to heart. 2 timothy says women should remain silent in matters of the church. So how is that women a preacher?

  • John Mahoney says:

    Love the whiskey from down there. It's the brand Jesus drinks.

  • I love the simplicity of the production. This is great documentary making: the producer has made his point with an absolute minimum of padding. What is so brilliant is that he never need make his point explicitly; his subjects are doing that for him. The fact that all these comments have understood his point proves this was a valid piece of film-making with an important message not spoon-fed to its audience.

    I do feel sorry for America, both those of you who have been brought up to believe in miracles, judgement day and that a president should take his orders from an imaginary being; and those of you who have to live with the deluded and indoctrinated masses. It's like going back in history to see how it must have been to worship a pharaoh as a living god.

    The opinion about "Izrel" just boggled my mind though - there I was thinking that for Christians the New Testament had done away with that business of the promised land. Yeah, why bother trying to bring about peace? Let's just ignore it and wait until the second coming! Ha! This is what the most powerful mind-virus known to man can do to ordinary human beings, folks. I hesitate to put it down to plain stupidity, I fear it's poor education and religion getting there first. Know your memeplex, people, understand it and then get as far away from it as possible!

    • johncgaiser says:

      Imagine if I went to a peace rally and all I represented in my "documentary" was the obvious looney's to support my bias that the anti-war crowd are just bi polar women that are off their meds.

      I have sympathy for these people. They were honest about their beliefs and represented them the best they could. Do you honestly think they were told their views will be edited and posted on the web to discredit an apposing ideology based on how ignorant they will be represented?

      Do you make fun native peoples? American Indians? African Tribal Leaders? South Americans?

      They don't need your pity, But I assure you this. They would extend their blessings on to you.

      Please feel free to continue to feel sorry for us Americans as we enjoy a standard of living solely based on tolerance, and constitutional protections guaranteeing that arrogant suedo intellectualism will never squelch our right to worship, speak, and act as an individual.

      • Jimbo says:

        Their beliefs are gibberish John.

        They were barely articulate, unable to form complete sentences or express coherent thoughts. They obviously believe whatever they choose, regardless of the facts, for plainly emotional reasons. Theirs is a fantasy world driven by magical thinking. They have been rendered mentally ill by the environment they live in.

        I find it interesting that you don't rail against those who truly are exploiting these people, which is their "own" party, the Republicans. Do you think any of those elitist businessmen or Wall Street connected big-money politicians actually who run the party do anything but laugh at such people?

        • johncgaiser says:

          Faith is magical thinking, agreed.

          Magical thinking equating mental illness?

          Do you extend this to Human Global warming Alarmists?

          Why not mention that every Democratic presidential nominee campaigned for the last year in southern black Christian churches. In the churches!

          Your logic is irrational and ideological.

          You are emotive in your thinking. If it were not, you would have realized immediately the amount of religious pandering that the DNC does in the open without recourse.

          You obviously see them only in a prism of bigotry.

          "They are Christian, Republican, Conservative and they deserve to be ridiculed because they are different than I."

      • Stentor says:

        No, you can't make fun of minorities. But hillbillies are fair game. There's not a clause in the EEOC about making fun of people who are just downright ignorant. Unfortunately, stupidity is sometimes a genetic affliction. These women definitely got it from someplace. I will continue to poke fun at, and ridicule people who do nothing but drag the collective IQ of humanity towards the sewer of theocracy.

  • johncgaiser says:

    Wow. It's so EASY to do this kind of piece.

    Find participants that support your bias and represent them as the mainstream ideology.


    How about some nice balance and post the video of self identified liberals supporting their candidate solely on the basis of sex, race and hatred for a current president that cannot serve the office again?

    • Stentor says:

      I don't think a liberal could ever screw up a government and country quite so much as this president has. No, it takes a village idiot conservative corporate cronyist-anarchist to truly fuck up this bad.

  • Margeaggedon says:

    This level of deliberate ignorance isn't just frightening it should be punishable.
    Religion is for people too stupid to think for themselves.

  • Carl from L.A. says:

    I heard one of the ladies say that, if the government was only run their way, "everything would be all rot."

    Boy, she got that right.

  • Me says:

    Of course, the real irony is that this religious extremist view is coming from someone in Lynchburg, TN, home of Jack Daniels.

  • Posey says:

    There is one basic fact that should settle all this nonsense about what book senators and representative and senators use to get sworn in.

    THERE IS NO BOOK! They all stand in their respective chambers, raise their right hands and take the Oath of Office. Later, many have a private ceremony for family, friends and the home-town newspapers, and replay the oath. They can use the f-ing telephone book and no one needs to know.

  • Drew says:

    Here is an extra 96 comments on this topic from the community over on Bannination:

  • Drew says:

    And as of now, there are around 50 comments on the YouTube episode:

  • Drew says:

    Over on Crooks and Liars, there are 371 comments:

  • Drew says:

    18 comments over on Digg:

  • ChainBlue says:

    *sigh* I live in Mississippi and I am surrounded by these people.

  • Save the Pod people says:

    This is the Republican base. These are the people who took Bush from 50% approvals to 28% because he isn't a big enough freak for them.

  • Will Behnke says:

    I love this video. This is pure Americana. No phony staging,, and other than the one insertion of "False" and a couple of "??" - it was well done. I'd be terribly dissapointed to learn that these were actors.

    Like it or not - this IS part of our America.


  • Atheist in SB says:

    Talk about brainwashed kids, people unable to think for themselves and disseminating misinformation. What a shining example of what I fear is common in America today. How do we educate them? Politics is too confusing for them, life is too confusing, I suppose, so they turn to a belief system that requires no analysis, no questioning, just faith - ah, how easy and reassuring - God will solve all problems - how antiquated, how horrifying!

  • Dee says:

    Morons. These creatures should be swinging from trees. When are americans going to grasp the reality that making decisions based on lies and poorly considered but comfortable opinions hurt this country deeply. Obama has been a christian as long as any of these talking monkeys except maybe that senile dim-witted old hag.

  • nathanofthewest says:

    i'm ron burgandy???? OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT!!!! fuck hucklberry

  • dbwindhorst says:

    Actually, that might make a better movie than those remakes.

    "The Wicker Wives"

  • dancingnature says:

    "it was the majority of the american people that voted for bush"

    "No, that's not true at all. Bush STOLE both elections. Even many retards were smart enough not to vote for him."

    "its not often an american says something like that about america xD"

    you dont know many americans

  • Wupedz says:

    I guess we know why it is called "lynch" burg you stupid redneck relgious bigots.

  • Steveco says:

    Maybe they're confusing Obama with Osama?

  • jonathonbaker1234jon says:

    OMG these women are so misinformed.Huckabee is a crazy racist, he made a joke about Obama getting shot even. Don't even get me started on Christianity it is a false religion based on things that never even happened with a sole purpose to control the masses.

  • draculapw says:

    I think it is good that the white people in the world are the most accepting. But we must focus on equality. I also think it is more important to look at political policys rather than religious prefrence. I wouldnt vote for obama myself though if i was american. I think hillary would of been good. Show the world your not a sexist nation! :-) from Great Britain! (Female head of state for 50 years!)

  • rockawaychic says:

    These are the scariest, most ignorant people in the world. That poor young girl. To believe such lies.
    OBAMA '08

  • pokee033 says:

    and you call them ignorant

  • tysongeisler says:

    I'm sure the human race will be just fine without a belief in the supernatural. There is already so much out there that we don't know about that will take billions of years of our evolution to figure out, if we even make it that far.

  • AndyfromWrexham says:

    stupid ignorant fuckers.

  • ROCKETBOOM says:

    Note when the women say "End Time". It seems this is the same kind of thinking Sarah Palin has when she says "End of Days". See wikipedia. This is very extreme. - Andrew

  • dalamaarthedark says:

    I love all the talk about "religion was taken out of government", "we were based on the bible", "this country was founded on the bible" they have any idea about what this country was founded on? Does "religious freedom" ring a bell?? Separation of church and state??

  • dalamaarthedark says:

    (The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the United States Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the United States Congress from making laws "respecting an establishment of religion" or that prohibit the free exercise of religion, laws that infringe the freedom of speech, infringe the freedom of the press, limit the right to peaceably assemble, or limit the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.)

  • apks2004 says:

    Right On the money Video!

  • minksy0 says:

    my vagina is SO sore right now!! lol my bf just got done f*cking me! Q

  • asks2107 says:

    i jsut felt the need to tell you, everyone from not like that!!!!!

  • zackieboy says:

    "He's not gonna worship our flag..." Oops! LOL.

  • littlelordfauntleroy says:

    did she says she swears on bubbles???

  • 1Th1617 says:

    dalamaarthedark, "separation of church and state" was NEVER meant by our founding fathers to mean taking God out of our country. It was meant to stop the government from enforcing a state RELIGION (such as the Church of England did in the U.K.) on the people. It was meant to keep freedom of religion and worship safe, NOT to take it away.

  • dalamaarthedark says:

    I didn't say to "take God out of our country", I said to take it out of our Government. This country was founded on the belief that people should be free to follow any religion they choose. These fanatics believe that we need more Christianity in our Government. I believe no religion should be used as a basis for decision making in our Government.

  • 1Th1617 says:

    This country WAS founded on Judeo-Christian ethics. Which God are you talking about? There's only one God. We have kicked the Lord OUT of our government, everthing from taking the Ten Commandments off of city and state monuments, to taking prayer out of schools, etc., etc. Our country has gotten worse and worse, filled with violence and crime. We've taken a severe turn for the worse the more and more God is kicked-out. And people have the nerve to ask God to STILL bless us?

  • tableturns77 says:

    God and Politics have no business being partners. Thats a bad bad bad bad combination.

  • DanniJerrett says:

    Ok, so i guess god didn't listen to them.(lol) I thought christians weren't suppose to judge people but, the people within there church what hippo crits.

  • Leave a comment:

    Your email address will not be published.

    Stay informed. Sign-Up to be notified of news and new releases.

    video archives | about | chat | youtube