by Andrew Walden
Three weeks after Daily Kos blogger “Raatz” enthusiastically endorsed Mazie Hirono on the basis that she “would be the first non-theist to serve in the Senate” the Hirono camp and her supporters at Civil Beat have been forced to publicly rebuke him for his blithering self-absorbed ignorance.
Unlike Neil Abercrombie, who for years in Congress declared himself to be “non-affiliated”, Hirono has always indicated her religion as Buddhist on Congressional surveys and in media interviews. So it was rather odd to see Raatz’ August 15 Daily Kos blog touting Hirono as a candidate who could be “the first non-theist to serve in the Senate.” As part of our profound commitment to protect leftists’ free speech against their own self-censorship, we at Hawai`i Free Press cross-posted Raatz’ Daily Kos posting in our August 20 edition. Unlike Kos, people actually read Hawai`i Free Press, hence the response.
Flashback to last September: Hawaii media operatives, desperately afraid that their boy Abercrombie might lose the election to a follower of the hated Christian religion, started falling all over themselves to proclaim Abercrombie as an Episcopalian. Their effort was anchored entirely on the Abercrombie campaign’s cowardly claim that Abercrombie was “confirmed as an Episcopalian” -- which actually meant “(About 60 years ago in Buffalo, NY, Neil Abercrombie was) confirmed as an Episcopalian."
Abercrombie’s weasel words contrast sharply with Hirono’s long record of stating that she is a Buddhist on Congressional surveys and the straightforward response from Hirono’s Congressional office: “Congresswoman Hirono is Buddhist.”
Is that refreshing or what? Too bad the Governor is less of a man than Mazie Hirono. Is it so difficult for Abercrombie to say “I am spiritual, not religious” or even more honest, “I like to compare myself to Bonheoffer and the Dalai Lama but mostly I make it up as I go along in order to justify my sorry existence.”
But none of this matters to the “conscious, enlightened, and progressive” social climbers for whom burnishing their politically correct credentials remains a substitute for having a life. Typifying their ilk, “Raatz”, was so full of himself that he imposed his own ignorance on Hirono in his August 15 Kos posting. To knock him down, billionaire Pierre Omidyar’s Civil Beat sent a reporter to one of the oracles whose word must be accepted unquestioningly by all secular humanists—a Harvard Professor:
Can Buddhists — even non-practicing ones — really be described as non-theistic?
We checked with Janet Gyatso, a professor in Buddhist studies at the Harvard Divinity School. Gyatso said she sees a number of problems with such a designation, first because of how wide-ranging a term “theism” can be…. Gyatso described assigning a label to someone else’s religious beliefs as “dangerous.”
In other words, Gyatso implicitly threatened Raatz with banishment to a reeducation camp for his “dangerous” ideas. Labels can only be applied to Christians. Duh!
This drew an obsequious response from the pseudonymous rodent:
“Mahalo to Civil Beat's DC808 blog for expanding my understanding of Buddhism….”
Perhaps overcome with the horror of enduring more UH “diversity training” sessions, Raatz has not only publicly recanted his heresies but now claims to have been possessed by demons, writing:
“A couple of right-wing bigots are trying to generate controversy over Mazie's belief system, just as when she was first sworn into Congress.”
“Raatz” then turns State’s evidence, and uh … rats … out his source, which turns out to be another progressive blogger, BooMan, who on May 26 wrote: “Hirono describes herself as a non-practicing Jodo Shinshu Buddhist. If elected, she'd be the only self-described non-theist in the Senate.”
(At this point, you may wish to pause to consider the fact that a Congresswoman and a billionaire are tangling with two anonymous bloggers. Then continue ... )
Even sources drenched with credibility such as BooMan and Raatz need to have a primary source underlying their claims. And BooMan’s original source is a 2007 article in the Honolulu Advertiser which states:
…Rep. Mazie Hirono was sworn in yesterday with no book at all.
Hirono, who was raised in the Buddhist tradition but doesn't actively practice the religion, said, "I don't have a book. ... But I certainly believe in the precepts of Buddhism and that of tolerance of other religions and integrity and honesty….”
So in the malleable world of progressive truth, Hirono, who says “I certainly believe in the precepts of Buddhism” is converted into a “non-theist” as part of an effort to round up money from well-heeled Mainland progressives. And Abercrombie who claimed to be non-affiliated for years, is suddenly “a confirmed Episcopalian” in an effort to prevent a practitioner of the reviled Christian religion from getting elected.
Does this seem contradictory? It isn’t. The one unchanging article of faith in the progressive religion is that you, dear reader, are a bigot. Beginning with that article of faith, their delusional world suddenly becomes logical--but not reasonable.