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Posted by on Dec 27, 2007 in Religion | 8 comments

Ron Paul Plays Religion Card In New Ad

First he said this…

“It reminds me of what Sinclair Lewis once said. He says, ‘when fascism comes to this country, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.’ Now I don’t know whether that’s a fair assessment or not, but you wonder about using a cross, like he is the only Christian or implying that subtly. So, I don’t think I would ever use anything like that.”

But at the same time, he was creating the following ad which just started running in Iowa and New Hampshire…

One thing in that ad sticks out for me and it’s the line at the end: “protecting our God-given freedom.”

Normally I would have no problem with that statement. In fact, I didn’t have a problem with Huckabee’s X-mas ad. If a candidate wants to talk about God or Jesus or Whatever™, so be it. But this ad was literally being crafted around the same time Paul was hinting at the idea of religious fascism and saying he wouldn’t emulate Huckabee’s strategy.

Long story short, the ad makes Paul look hypocritical. There was no reason to put “God-given” in there. He could’ve simply said “protecting our freedom” and the ad would have been just as powerful.

Color me disappointed…

(Cross-posted from Donklephant)

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • I don’t see how it is especially hypocritical… He referenced “God-given rights,” true, but he did so without any specific references to his religion or Christianity. He was simply exploiting the cultural significance of the idea that our rights are given to us by God (aka: not the government). He wasn’t necessarily justifying his policy ideas through scripture, nor was he saying that God was on his side. He simply used a culturally significant phrase to try and attract voters. It was stupid, yes, but not hypocritical…

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not a Ron Paul supporter (I personally think he’s a bit of a nutter), but I don’t think that this particular charge leveled at him is appropriate.

  • Your attempt to morally equate Ron Paul’s direct 3-word quote from the Declaration of Independence with Mike Huckabee’s commercial-long pandering to Evangelical Christians is ludicrous! The whole THEME of Huckabee’s commerical was an attempt to ‘softly’ push a ‘Christians First’ agenda, while Ron Paul merely mentions a phrase that is neither Christian specifically, nor is advocating a specific religion in the document quoted from. If you want to attack the ad, you’ll need more basis in fact for your argument.

    THere si no hypocrisy by Ron Paul in this ad, because there is no equivalency of his statement with Mike Huckabee’s commerical. Of course, if you really want to justify ANY position, you can see shapes in clouds any day. That doesn’t mean there is evidence other than your opinion that they are really there.


  • DLS

    ‘Christians First’ agenda

    Nonsense. He’s simply appealing to a large fraction of the electorate here in Iowa, the Religious Right, with that cross. To the rest of us, who aren’t Religious Right, he’s trying to push what accompanies the Religious Right that is positive, while the opposition to it is not necessarily satanic, but repellent: he’s appealing more broadly to so-called “family values” and to common decency — any broader scope claim about Huckabee is that he is trying a populist approach. That encompasses many more people than the stereotypical Religious Right “Dominionists” that are largely the product of hype and hatred from the Left. (The truly radical right of any kind, the true far right, has next to no influence in the GOP and and more importantly, has next to no support among the electorate overall.)

    The common-decency, class-act approach was even better demonstrated by the Obama Christmas ad here.

  • mw

    I think you completely missed the intent of that line in Ron Paul’s ad. The line is not pandering to the Religious right, except as a side effect. It is a direct appeal to a core concept in libertarian thought, which was explicitly stated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, co-signed by the founders and architects of our government and constitution.

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    There is no difference between this line in the Declaration of Independence and the ad’s less elegant reference to “God-given rights.

    I see no hypocrisy in that statement. The only way any Republican candidate ever has or ever will get elected President is to garner votes by appealing to both the evangelical and libertarian (using Ryan Sager’s “Elephant in the Room” labels) factions in the GOP. This is a simple fact of political reality. This phrasing speaks to both factions.

    Actually, It’s brilliant.

  • gulmargha

    Ron Paul’s been saying the same thing about our rights all throughout the campaign.

    Look 1 minute into this video:

    At the NH debate, “we get our rights *from our creator* as individuals*

  • DLS

    It would have helped Paul if he had said “our American liberty” instead of “our God-given freedom,” I suppose.

  • casualobserver

    Yeah, agree, put me down as ditto to the comments above.

    If we need to be so secularist in this country that someone can no longer even refer to God without it automatically being assumed to be a manipulative ploy, then someone please send me directions to the island that Gilligan lived on.

  • Idiosyncrat

    Here ya go, Casual:

    Shame someone just bought it… 🙂

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