The Hypocrisy of Herman Cain

According to Cain, abortion should be illegal. Unless the decision to abort is one that needs to be made by his grandchildren. In that case, it’s up to them to decide:

“I believe that life begins at conception and abortion, under no circumstances,” Cain told Morgan.  Pressed on if he would apply this same directive to his grandchildren, Cain candidly responded.

“It comes down to, it’s not the government’s role or anybody’s role to make that decision. Secondly, if you look at the statistical incidents, you’re not talking about that number. What I’m saying is it ultimately gets down to a choice that the family or that mother has to make. Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide. I shouldn’t have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue.”

I’m glad to see that he switches to such a firmly pro-choice stance the moment his grand-kids are mentioned. As we always say in  progressive circles, one can only remain anti-abortion until one has had a daughter. After that, love of one’s children usually defeats anti-abortion bigotry. At least, for most people it does.

42 thoughts on “The Hypocrisy of Herman Cain

  1. What a coward Mr. Cain appears to be. First, he says life begins at conception and abortion should never be an option. Then, I guess he decides that murder is a choice each family must decide upon…What a loser. I’d find it more acceptable for him to be a typical spineless politician…with his story straight. But apparently, this guy never even thought about how he would answer the pro-life/pro-death question. I think we need a leader who puts his brain into gear and knows how to use it. This guy sounds just like a teenager sounds…

    Like

  2. “As we always say in progressive circles, one can only remain anti-abortion until one has had a daughter. After that, love of one’s children usually defeats anti-abortion bigotry. At least, for most people it does.”

    Is that supposed to a smug remark? If your politics is based on what would be good for your children, your political views are by definition narrow and self-interested.

    Like

    1. I agree that this would be a very sensible position for anybody to take. We would all gain hugely if more politicians managed to keep their religious beliefs out of their politics.

      Like

      1. It can be a sin because within a certain system of beliefs there is a consensus to consider it as such. People should feel free to practice their religions in any way they see fit, as long as they don’t begin to impose it on others.

        Like

  3. bloggerclarissa :
    It can be a sin because within a certain system of beliefs there is a consensus to consider it as such.

    And those people believe it is a sin because they believe it is an unjust killing. And if you believe abortion is an unjust killing, it makes no sense to believe it ought to be legal.

    Like

    1. ‘And those people believe it is a sin because they believe it is an unjust killing.”

      -It isn’t up to me or up to anybody to question what people believe in the privacy of their own souls. Some people believe it’s wrong to eat pork and drink alcohol. Others avoid shellfish for religious reasons. What’s the point of analyzing these beliefs and extrapolating them onto the political arena?

      It makes absolutely no sense to analyze religious beliefs outside of the framework of each particular religion.

      Like

      1. bloggerclarissa :
        ‘And those people believe it is a sin because they believe it is an unjust killing.”
        -It isn’t up to me or up to anybody to question what people believe in the privacy of their own souls. Some people believe it’s wrong to eat pork and drink alcohol. Others avoid shellfish for religious reasons. What’s the point of analyzing these beliefs and extrapolating them onto the political arena?
        It makes absolutely no sense to analyze religious beliefs outside of the framework of each particular religion.

        The people who believe that eating pork/alcohol/shellfish is wrong do not believe that eating these things infringes on the rights of others, only that it personally degrades your soul. From that perspective, eating pork/alcohol/shellfish should be legal because it is a victimless act.

        But when your religious beliefs inform you that an action is a crime with a victim, it makes sense to want to ban it. But consider Hindus. The Hindu religion says that cows are the reincarnations of good people. Every time you slaughter a cow, you are slaughtering Gandhi or Mother Theresa. How could you believe such a thing without it affecting your political views? If cows are worthy of as much respect as human beings, shouldn’t we have laws protecting them the way we have laws protecting people. And that is why in India no one is allowed to harm a cow.

        If you were Hindu and believed that your ancestors have been reincarnated as cows, would you be in favor of laws protecting cows? Or would you say “My Hindu beliefs have no place in politics. I will let my ancestors be treated like inhumanely before imposing my beliefs on others.”

        Like

        1. “Or would you say “My Hindu beliefs have no place in politics. I will let my ancestors be treated like inhumanely before imposing my beliefs on others.””

          -That’s the price of living in a society that guarantees freedom of religion. Those who want to live in a fundamentalist religious state should move to one instead of subverting the very foundations of this country which rests on the separation of church and state.

          Like

        2. If cows are worthy of as much respect as human beings, shouldn’t we have laws protecting them the way we have laws protecting people. And that is why in India no one is allowed to harm a cow.

          So it’s a question of who’s in the majority. So it goes with morality politics. Everywhere Christians are a minority group, Christians (God bless them) are advocates of secular government.

          Like

  4. bloggerclarissa :
    “Or would you say “My Hindu beliefs have no place in politics. I will let my ancestors be treated like inhumanely before imposing my beliefs on others.””
    -That’s the price of living in a society that guarantees freedom of religion. Those who want to live in a fundamentalist religious state should move to one instead of subverting the very foundations of this country which rests on the separation of church and state.

    Moving to another country won’t stop my grandmother from being slaughtered in an American factory farm.

    You are advocating an extreme version of separation of church and state. There’s a huge difference between saying that the government shouldn’t favor or discourage any religious practice or lack thereof, and your belief that all politicians should pretend they are secular humanists. If there is a human rights violation in progress, it needs to stopped. Doesn’t matter if I found out about the human rights violation from a philosophy book or a sacred book, I still have a duty to end it.

    Like

    1. I expect politicians (and voters) to have political views informed by doctrines they believe in. But I also expect public policy debate to be undertaken without appeals to authority. Religious beliefs should be no different than other ideas in the marketplace of ideas.

      Like

      1. You and Helana are begging the question.

        You may disagree with the Hindus, who believe that cows are the reincarnations of our ancestors. But if you are going to criticize their beliefs, you have to present rational arguments to explain why the Hindu belief is false. You can’t just say “Your belief that cows are reincarnated ancestors comes from religion, therefore we should ignore it.” You actually have to show why cows are reincarnated ancestors.

        If Hindu belief is false, politicians should ignore it for being false. But if it is true, politicians should pay attention and give cows human rights.

        Like

        1. GudEnuf, religious belief cannot be universally “true” or “false.” The very word “belief” indicates that we are talking about something that can be neither proved nor disproved. What is true for one religious believer is completely untrue for another. This is why the complete and total separation between religion and state is the only reasonable way to organize life in a country.

          Like

    2. “You are advocating an extreme version of separation of church and state.”

      -I advocate that we follow the Constitution of the US. What’s so extreme about that?

      ” If there is a human rights violation in progress, it needs to stopped. Doesn’t matter if I found out about the human rights violation from a philosophy book or a sacred”

      -Do I need to explain why the expression “human rights violation” cannot appear in any sacred text by definition?

      Like

      1. bloggerclarissa :
        “You are advocating an extreme version of separation of church and state.”
        -I advocate that we follow the Constitution of the US. What’s so extreme about that?

        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

        That’s what the constitution says. It is your extreme interpretation of those words that says we cannot let religion influence our political views in any way.

        There is a huge difference between a politician whose Catholic beliefs inspire her to make the death penalty illegal, and a politician who declares Catholicism the official US religion.

        bloggerclarissa :
        ” If there is a human rights violation in progress, it needs to stopped. Doesn’t matter if I found out about the human rights violation from a philosophy book or a sacred”
        -Do I need to explain why the expression “human rights violation” cannot appear in any sacred text by definition?

        If you actually believe the Hindu traditions, you cannot be okay with the subhuman treatment of cows without engaging massive doublethink. So how is it by definition impossible for there to be no link between reading a sacred text and believing in a mass human rights violation?

        Like

        1. ‘That’s what the constitution says. It is your extreme interpretation of those words that says we cannot let religion influence our political views in any way.”

          -Read what the founding fathers had to say about the separation of church and state. And that’s where you’ll find that compared to them, I’m extremely moderate in my views. 🙂

          ‘There is a huge difference between a politician whose Catholic beliefs inspire her to make the death penalty illegal, and a politician who declares Catholicism the official US religion.”

          -The only difference is that the former is still a little afraid of doing what the latter already has. They are both zealots, fanatics, and ignorant jerks. I would not vote for this kind of a bigoted ignoramus. She wants to be inspired by her Catholic beliefs in her job? Why not join a convent? Why impose her beliefs on people who don’t share them and have no interest in them?

          “If you actually believe the Hindu traditions, you cannot be okay with the subhuman treatment of cows without engaging massive doublethink. So how is it by definition impossible for there to be no link between reading a sacred text and believing in a mass human rights violation?”

          -I’m sorry, i don’t understand these sentences at all. What are you trying to ask?

          Like

  5. bloggerclarissa :
    GudEnuf, religious belief cannot be universally “true” or “false.” The very word “belief” indicates that we are talking about something that can be neither proved nor disproved.

    If you die and find yourself reincarnated as a cow, you know the Hindu belief in reincarnation is true. Hinduism has been proved. Just because most of the world doesn’t believe something, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    There are lots of things people disagree about, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t suitable for Congress. Should Congress wait until absolutely everyone agrees that higher taxes are necessary before raising taxes?

    Like

  6. bloggerclarissa :
    ‘That’s what the constitution says. It is your extreme interpretation of those words that says we cannot let religion influence our political views in any way.”
    -Read what the founding fathers had to say about the separation of church and state. And that’s where you’ll find that compared to them, I’m extremely moderate in my views.

    You may be moderate compared to Jefferson, but Washington and Adams were actually in favor of using public funds to promote religious participation.The founding fathers did not have the same views.

    “Why impose her beliefs on people who don’t share them and have no interest in them?”

    Because the death penalty is barbaric practice that brutalizes our country and kills people who deserve to live. Sure, she might have gotten that belief from the Catholic Church, but so what? From her perspective the death penalty is a still a barbaric practice that brutalizes our country and kills people who deserve to live.

    “I’m sorry, i don’t understand these sentences at all. What are you trying to ask?”

    You claimed that a sacred text cannot (by definition!) contain the words “human rights violation”.How? What’s to stop me from starting my own religion, and writing “The death penalty is a human rights violation” in my new sacred text?

    Like

    1. You’ve sailed over a few steps in your stairway of making sense from “eating cows” to “death penalty,” bub. And “Hindus think cows are grandparents” won’t cut it for the non-Hindus here. Which is the whole point, obviously.

      Why is it whenever the Constitution comes up in an internet argument someone inevitably appeals to an override from the “founding fathers” like they were the infallible gods of Olympus? First amendment, law of the land: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof.” Doesn’t matter what some guy in a lard-stained wig wrote to his attache. “Free exercise” means you can call beef people all you want and not eat it all you want and find it gross that other people eat it all you want, but “shall make no law” means the equation beef = ancestors can never be legally mandated in the United States.

      “Should Congress wait until absolutely everyone agrees that higher taxes are necessary before raising taxes?”

      Unlike religion, Congress is given authority by the Constitution “to levy and collect taxes” (Art. 1 Sec. 8). The Constitution is free to read online so maybe you could take a look at it before you go making absolutely no sense again.

      Like

      1. “It bores me a lot to discuss useless hypotheticals”

        You said that the expression “human rights violation” cannot appear in a sacred text by definition. When you use the phrase “by definition”, you are making a statement about all self-consistent hypothetical worlds.

        Like

    2. ” What’s to stop me from starting my own religion, and writing “The death penalty is a human rights violation” in my new sacred text?”

      -It bores me a lot to discuss useless hypotheticals.

      ‘Because the death penalty is barbaric practice that brutalizes our country and kills people who deserve to live. Sure, she might have gotten that belief from the Catholic Church, but so what? From her perspective the death penalty is a still a barbaric practice that brutalizes our country and kills people who deserve to live.”

      -Her “perspective” is of no interest to anybody. Politicians are people we, the voters, hire to work for us. If a judge, for example, presides a case where death penalty is mandated by the law, that judge is obligated to impose it, no matter what his religious beliefs, sexual traumas, psychological issues, or indigestion tell him to do at any given time. In the same way, a doctor is required to operate on all patients and not judge them from her religious standpoint.

      If I somehow manage to come into the classroom every day and keep my religion to myself, I don’t understand why a politician, a judge, a doctor, anybody else cannot do the same.

      Like

  7. gudenuf :

    bloggerclarissa :
    The Hindu religion says that cows are the reincarnations of good people. Every time you slaughter a cow, you are slaughtering Gandhi or Mother Theresa. How could you believe such a thing without it affecting your political views? If cows are worthy of as much respect as human beings, shouldn’t we have laws protecting them the way we have laws protecting people. And that is why in India no one is allowed to harm a cow.

    Bollocks, my good man. There are no laws at all against butchering and eating cows in India, and beef is butchered, sold, and eaten all over. It forms part of the cuisines of most religious groups (including some Hindus), but is culturally associated with Muslims community, of which India has the third largest in the world.

    Fact-checking is your guardian angel, my friend. Especially if you wanted to be guarded against feeling red-faced and foolish in public.

    Oh, and, since your argument hinges on missing Clarissa’s point: she pointed out how this chap Cain insisted abortion was a sin AND should be made illegal, and then abandoned that position when it became personal. There is no room for a convoluted ‘a sin but not a crime’ debate in his politics re. abortion, unless the wombs of his family are involved. Which I think makes his real position on abortion clear enough.

    For further reference, reading skills are *also* your friend.

    Like

    1. Cow-slaughter is banned in a majority of states except Kerala, West Bengal and the seven-north-eastern states.

      Priyanka :

      gudenuf :

      Bollocks, my good man. There are no laws at all against butchering and eating cows in India, and beef is butchered, sold, and eaten all over.

      “Cow-slaughter is banned in a majority of [Indian] states except Kerala, West Bengal and the seven-north-eastern states.”

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2945020.stm

      I know what the original post was about, but the comments went off on several tangents. All I’m saying is that I think our moral beliefs (which are often derived from our religious views) can shape our political views, without violating the separation of church state.

      I never commented on whether Cain’s first comment referred to his political or moral beliefs. That was David Bellamy’s contribution.

      Like

  8. Also, try stop treating Hinduism like a religion fashioned after Abrahamic divine absolutism. Hinduism includes an atheist order, for god’s sake. The only thing sacrosanct in early, ‘pure’ Hinduism is the pursuit of knowledge and performing one’s duties to the best of one’s abilities.

    Also, the Vedas include recipes and recommendations for beef and veal, which makes perhaps a stronger case than I can for the importance of knowledge in religious belief. Neo-Hindus, please note. Thank you.

    Like

  9. Thank you all for being so patient talking to me. I do not think this conversation can yield any more insight. You are all very smart, and I appreciate your critiques of my views.

    Like

  10. “I think he needs to get off the symbolic crack pipe.” –Cornell West, Princeton University philosopher, regarding Herman Cain

    “Cain is Southern, black, no interracial parents, and I wouldn’t support Cain if he was running against a white guy.” –Rev. Al Sharpton

    “We’re gonna replace the tax code with oranges.” –Herman Cain, 2011 Republican Presidential Candidate Debate

    (p.s. sry 4 thread necromancy thx bbye!)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.