Unfair question on CNN Republican Debate

cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/06/05/nh.gop.debate/index.html
The debate ended just a few minutes ago. Although there were some moments of humor, the trouble started when they asked the Republican Candidates about evolution. One of the main problems that exist with this is that it goes against the idea of religious freedom. The fact that a candidate believes a certain metaphysical idea is not a good standard to adjudicate his presidential competency, especially if it has nothing to do with public policy. The belief of when life begins relates to policy, the philosophy of utilitarianism relates to policy, but the belief of how or why we are on this planet does no service or disservice to the role of presidency. I found this question to be of great disservice to the debate and I hope others in the main media will agree.

The evolution question is a great way of identifying the idiots who don’t deserve our votes. I’ve had enough of this anti-science nonsense over the past few years.

You didn’t see them ask the Dems that kind of question. The MSM is out to make the Republicans look as bad as they can. Heaven forbid there be a sensible GOP candidate.

I didn’t have a chance to watch this debate but the question of evolution came up in a previous debate and the respondents were just allowed to indicate “yes” or “no” if they believed in evolution. There was no opportunity to nuance their answers - for example, I’d be willing to bet that some of the candidates that signalled that they didn’t believe in evolution actually meant that they didn’t believe in a strictly materialist view of Darwinian evolution which attributes life and the transformations seen over millions of years as attributed to chance alone. Some of those dissenters may believe in a theistic form of evolution - the problem is, they didn’t get a chance to clarify their position in detail. Did they have that chance during this latest debate? Does anyone have a transcript of this latest debate? Thanks.

Well in this debate, some of the candidates got to explain their position on evolution. One argued a completely fundamentalist view of creation saying that he doesn’t believe we came from “chimpanzees“”. However, another beautifully argued for faith and reason by using the example of the Saint which the college where they were debating at was named after- Saint Anselm.
I know some of the videos are on the CNN website but i have not found the transcript

There are states where the teaching of creationism versus evolutionism is an issue. So I can see why the question would come up.

From plumber to President to Priest, might it not?

Sort of off topic, but it is interesting that CNN had their “experts” rank the winners of the debate last night, it also had the viewers watch vote on who won the various topics.

Not one “expert” suggested that Congressman Ron Paul won anything. However when asked by the viewers, Congressman Paul had the best answers for the majority of the issues.

Here are the winning results for each of the issues/questions:
[LIST]
*]54% said Ron Paul won the debate
*]53% said Ron Paul knew the most about the issues
*]37% said Ron Paul had the best on-liner or comeback
*]28% said Rudi Guliani had the most disappointing performance
*]34% said Ron Paul had the most surprising performance
*]49% said Ron Paul’s campaign will get the biggest boost
*]49% said Mitt Romney was the “snappiest dresser”[/LIST]

Funny, I think it will help them instead of hurting them! Those questions would never be asked to the dems! Its ridiculous.

Mark Lavin made a good comment, does anyone know any of the dems religion off hand?

Given that, why do they not ask the same question of Dems?

Really, what else would anyone expect from CNN or MSNBC? Those two networks actually campaign for libs through their biased newscasts. Certainly, when they host a Democratic debate they are going to toss them softballs. Why else would the Dems refuse to let FoxNews hold their debate? They know that they will be asked the tough questions.

The Republicans have shown no such political cowardice or hypocrisy.

An utterly irrelevant and inappropriate question.

I don’t think that it would be considered much of an issue among the Democratic candidates. Within the republican offerings and constituency, it is a matter of more serious debate and there may be differences of opinions as to how such matters ought to be addressed.

Why not? You said there are some states where Creationism versus Evolution is being taught so it is an issue. Why is it only an issue with Republican candidates? Are there no Christians in the Democratic party?

I think the assumption is that among Democratic Presidential candidates there would be no difference of opinion on the matter, whereas in Republican circles there mighht be. It’s not an issue of “Christianity”, necessarily (what’s the position of the Mormon candidate, for instance?), but perhaps one more of what is perceievd, at least, as a certain sense of fundamentalism at play.

You assume but you don’t know. Why not ask? It seems fair to ask both parties the same questions in the same tone. To defend otherwise is to presume that there is no difference between the candidates.

It is like assuming that all Democrats are pro-abortion and all Republicans are pro-life.

Interestingly in Illinois right now there is a Democratic revolt on the Governor’s proposed health care proposal. An amendment that was approved is now under scrutiny by the very Democrats who supported its passage because, if allowed to remain in the bill, and if the bill passes, will use public funds to pay for abortions. The vast majority of Republicans oppose it and now several Democrats, who initially voted for it not knowing the details of the bill, are opposing the amendment they already voted for. There are now not enough votes to pass the bill and Governor Blogo is strong arming everyone he can to get the bill and the budget passed quickly. So it is clear that “party lines” on issues do not mean unanimity.

So again, why not ask the same questions of both parties?

Can one not believe in a hybrid version? God created the world through an evolutionary process?

You may be right. But it could also be a little like asking Democratic Presidential candidates about their position on abortion. I mean, like we don’t already know?

It is like assuming that all Democrats are pro-abortion and all Republicans are pro-life.

Well, you’re getting right at it, now aren’t you? At the Presidential level, the Democratic candidates ARE all pro-abortion. There’s likely little difference between them. But the Republican candidates may be varying degrees of who knows what which could differ widely.

So, when it comes to the issue of creationism versus evolutionist thought and teaching in schools, it is probably more of a Republican issue for the Presidential campaign than a Democratic one. While is why it makes more sense to ask it in the one place but less so in the other.

Interestingly in Illinois right now there is a Democratic revolt on the Governor’s proposed health care proposal. An amendment that was approved is now under scrutiny by the very Democrats who supported its passage because, if allowed to remain in the bill, and if the bill passes, will use public funds to pay for abortions. The vast majority of Republicans oppose it and now several Democrats, who initially voted for it not knowing the details of the bill, are opposing the amendment they already voted for. There are now not enough votes to pass the bill and Governor Blogo is strong arming everyone he can to get the bill and the budget passed quickly. So it is clear that “party lines” on issues do not mean unanimity.

Yes, I agree. Especially in Illinois where many Democrats are still more moderate to conservative on certain issues. But these debates aren’t being held for the Illinois legislative races. They are for President. Entirely different context, therefore.

(Plus the reality that Illinois politics is all about last minute horse trading. Ultimately the bills and budgets which get passed will have been fully read and understood by few. Each pol will only know what he’s getting out of the deal and how the general consensus fell within their caucuses.)

So again, why not ask the same questions of both parties?

I have no inherant problem with asking the same question for both parties. But seeing as how each party and it’s candidates is unique in outlook and issues of greatest concern, I also find it appropriate to tailor the questions in order to suit the context. If you’re just going to ask everyone all the same questions, then don’t bother with a debate (especially separate debates for each party). Just hand them all a questionairre.

I can buy that. When I was in high school (in the Dark Ages) we had a young priest who taught sociology. We discussed this at length and he told us that it was okey to believe in evolution as long as we believed that Adam and Eve were the first man and women and all the other things we learned from the Bible. It makes sense to me.

There was nothing “unfair” about asking that question, precisely because many republicans – and especially conservatives – have themselves already made it an issue. And they haven’t simply made it a religious issue, they’ve made it a political issue. So, the question was both fair and germain. As others point out, asking the Democrats a similar question would be irrelevant, since they have not made it an issue.

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