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« Looking for a few good men and women | Main | Re: Virtual Reality »

July 26, 2007

Re: Representing the constituency

Commenters Sy and Beth have been debating what my point was in this post -- specifically, whether I thought John Edwards came off looking good or bad -- and have asked me to weigh in. Glad to oblige. :-)

In fact, my point had very little to do with Edwards, unless he was the one that chose the questions that were asked of him. (I'm not very clear on how they were chosen, actually.) It had more to do with Reverend Longcrier, who forbore to mention that besides being a pastor of a church, he's a member of this advocacy group

What interested me was the blatant PR move. How do you publicly undermine your opponents? When a member of one of the groups most opposed to your cause (as my link to the Pew Forum showed, black Protestants have a higher rate of opposition to same-sex marriage than almost any other group in the nation) speaks for you in a national forum. Brilliant. It would be like a Catholic bishop asking a self-professed Christian candidate to support abortion in the name of religion.

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Thanks Gina! Makes perfect sense to me. I wasn't so much concerned about Edwards in particular as I was about how the decision to air that particular pastor's question (and opinion; which were obviously, as you say, in opposition to a marority of his constituency) allowed any candidate who chose to answer the question "cater" to their constituencies. Again, thanks for clearing things up. I appreciate it.

Sy Hoekstra

Yeah, that's what I thought you meant, and I still don't get it. He opposes John Edwards' views on gay marriage. Why does it matter if other members of his race do or not? If an Ivy league professor challenges Rudy on his pro gay marriage stance in the debate in a couple months, I doubt any Christians will be complaining about how CNN misrepresented Ivy League Professors. So 1. race of questioners shouldn't matter, and 2. the complaint Ms. Dalfonzo is making wouldn't go both ways.


Abortion terminates unborn fetuses, marriage equality recognizes and supports loving, committed, stable, relationships. It also conveys equal rights to all American citizens.

I would respectfully ask you to reconsider your use of analogies.


Brian, I think the analogy between same sex marriage and abortion works when you look at the biblical ideloogy surrounding both. Again, as I've said a number of times, since we don't even agree about what the Bible says the point is pretty much moot, but the analogy does have some merit.

Sy, Reverend Longcrier's opinion matters because he was chosen to ask a question during a nationally televised Democratic debate rather than someone else. As well, most of us tend to look at members of the clergy as authority figures, role models, or at the very least someone we should treat with some modicum of respect. His title gives weight to his words, and might cause viewers to generalize to a larger population(very naturally) beyond Longcrier's personal opinion.

Sy Hoekstra

I really doubt that anyone watching the debate saw that question and thought that many other Christian clergy are for gay marriage. The church has made it more than clear that that is not the case. And really, by your logic, noone should go on the air as saying anything for fear that viewers might think others of their race or gender or religion all think the same. It was a guy, who is both a pastor and black, asking a question about something he feels strongly about. I can't believe that there was some CNN conspiracy to manipulate public opinion through these facts about the questionre. To me, and I'm not trying to be disrespectful here, the complaint sounds like something that doesn't matter, but that Christians will throw in the face of those whom they disagree just to have something to throw.

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