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For Palin, It’s a (Christian) Man’s World

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Posted on Sep 14, 2008
AP photo / Al Grillo

The Wasilla Assembly of God church in Alaska. In June, Gov. Sarah Palin, now the vice presidential nominee on the Republican ticket, told ministry students at her former church that the U.S. had sent troops to fight in Iraq on a “task that is from God.”

By Chris Hedges

Sarah Palin may be a governor and a vice presidential candidate, but in the hyper-masculine world of the Christian right, she is subservient to a male hierarchy that claims to speak for God.

A cult of masculinity defines the Wasilla Assembly of God church and the Juneau Christian Centre where she worshipped. This cult propagates a vision of the world where believers are warriors. They are taught to ready themselves to engage in a final cataclysmic clash with the forces of Satan. This cosmic struggle, infused with the language of war, death and violence, leads inevitably to the slaughter by the righteous of all non-Christians. The photos of Palin hunched over dead animals she has shot are not simply images of a woman who is a member of the National Rifle Association. They are images of a woman who believes violence against nonbelievers is ultimately part of her religious life.

The cult of masculinity is used to banish ambiguity, especially sexual ambiguity. It fosters a world of binary opposites: God and man, the saved and the unsaved, the church and the world, Christianity and secular humanism, and male and female. All in life is rigidly defined. Disorder and chaos are banished. Reality, when it is defined in these absolutes, is predictable and understandable, something deeply comforting to believers who have often had trouble coping with the messiness of human existence.

All configurations of human life that do not conform to the rigid Christian model, such as homosexuality, are forms of disorder, tools of Satan, and must be abolished. This is why Palin opposes gay marriage and calls for gays to be cured. A world that can be predicted and understood, a world that has clear markers, can be made rational. It can be managed and controlled. The petrified, binary world of fixed, immutable and established roles is a world where people, many of them damaged by bouts with failure and despair, can bury their chaotic and fragmented personalities. They can live with the illusion that they are strong, whole and protected. Those who do not fit into these narrow definitions must be proselytized and converted.

The decline of America is ascribed to the decline of male prowess. This decline has led to weakness and moral decay. It has resulted in a bewildering human and social complexity that, often seen as feminine, is the work of Satan. This is why Palin consistently celebrates "male" values.

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James Dobson, one of Palin's most ardent supporters, has built his career on perpetuating these rigid male stereotypes. On his Family.org Web site he discusses "the countless physiological and emotional differences between the sexes." The article "Gender Gap?" on the Web site lists the physical distinctions between man and woman, including strength, size, red blood cell count and metabolism. For a woman, Dobson writes, love is her most important experience: Love gives woman her "zest," it makes up her "life-blood," it is her primary "psychological need." Love holds less meaning in a man's life than a woman's -- though a man can appreciate love, he does not "need" it.

"Genesis tells us that the Creator made two sexes, not one, and that He designed each gender for a specific purpose," Dobson goes on. And these differences mean different roles: They mean the man is the master and the woman must obey.

"One masculine need comes to mind that wives should not fail to heed. It reflects what men want most in their homes. A survey was taken a few years ago to determine what men care about most and what they hope their wives will understand. The results were surprising. ... What [men] wanted most was tranquility at home. Competition is so fierce in the workplace today, and the stresses of pleasing a boss and surviving professionally are so severe, that the home needs to be a haven to which a man can return. It is a smart woman who tries to make her home what her husband needs it to be."

Dobson says that to achieve this tranquility wives have to be submissive. He instructs the husband in how he "should handle his wife's submission" and goes on in Family.org to insist that " ... submission is a choice we make. It's something each one of us must decide to do. And this decision happens first in the heart. If we don't decide in our hearts that we are going to willingly submit to whomever it is we need to be submitting to, then we are not truly submitting." The choice not to submit to the male head of the household, Dobson makes clear, is a violation of God's law.

By disempowering women, by returning them to their "proper" place as a subservient partner in the male-dominated home, the movement creates the larger paradigm of the Christian state. The men's movement Promise Keepers, which at its height a decade ago drew tens of thousands of men into football stadiums, called on men to "take back" their role as the head of the household. The movement used the verse from Ephesians that calls on wives to "be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord" (5:22). Women were not allowed to attend the events, although some could volunteer at concession stands outside. The founder of the group, former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, called the movement's battle against abortion the "Second Civil War" and lambasted gays and lesbians as "stark raving mad." He dismissed gays and lesbians as "a group of people who don't reproduce, yet want to be compared to people who do reproduce, and that lifestyle doesn't entitle anyone to special rights." The organization mounted campaigns such as "Real Men Matter," in which men were instructed to recover their maleness in a "morally-bankrupt, godless society." The goal of the movement, strongly supported by Dobson, was to help men regain their place in society. And while Promise Keepers is on the wane, its agenda is embedded in the Christian right.


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By LetsGetHonest, December 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How is you have all this time to TALK? 

I’m a double-degreed reader, musician, and mother, and I know too much
about Dobson, Promise-Keepers, et. al.  I went through the “christian marriage”
(beat in the superiority deal) but it was as many liberal progressives (and some
in my own family) who put up with this right along with everyone else. 

I got out, and then the games began.  .. in the “Family Law” system.
I appreciate (though read it fairly quickly) Chris Hedges’ article on Sarah Palin,
and it’s very well written (and true).

There are some religious groups that are known to be ultra-controlling
(Assemblies of God being one of several), but what we need to watch is the
para-church, web-based (etc.) megachurch ministries, and the U.S. Gov’t (via
HHS and faith-based collaboratives) funding some of these.  It’s one horror
story…

This is not theory—this is reality, the backlash against feminism on the basis
that” it ain’t, well, it just ain’t, gol’ darn, it just ain’t RIGHT! “

As a woman who attended one of the first co-ed and intergrated schools in the
US (Oberlin College, OHIO, and I was Conservatory) and then worked on
Chicago’s South Side with a multicultural children’s choir (and its founder), I did
not expect to come out to, of all places, Berkeley, and be beaten, slapped,
strangled, threatened (etc.) into submission in front of “God” and everyone. 
Then I finally got OUT, with a restraining order, and that was just round one.

Family Law, it turns out, is undermined (as to due process) with Federally-based
theory that it’s about the FAMILY, and i call it Designer Families (and blog on
it).  I am in the 10th years post-restraining order; seven years post-restraining
order (and three years into the family law system), my daughters, in an
escalating battle for personal control of them, and me were taken OVERNIGHT
(and at a law enforcement substation I’d resorted to, so this wouldn’t happen ,
and for my protection).  They are now, for all intents and purposes, gone, along
with the profession I rebuilt after separation. 

As far as I can tell, this is because the world (at least this neck of the world) is
just not ready for an independent, single, domestic-violence-reporting , and
not backing up on that, Christian mother.  No one seemed to have the
vocabulary to do anything but “empathize.” 

I found out that the Palin mentality is entrenched in the federal grants system,
and (with other mothers in this situation), I blog on this.  I married with two
degrees and professional experience, so “go figure.”  Now we are pushing 60
(for me) and starting over again—in what field, remains to be seen.

Readers need to take a serious look at “fatherhood.gov” (please), at for example
NAFCJ.net, and understand that from a woman’s point of view, whether it’s
violence from religious beliefs, or from plain old misogyny, it works out about
the same.  Also, we need to stop tossing aside mature women in favor of nubile
adolescents in the court system, and some concept of the welfare state that’s
closer to feudalism.

My blog at http://familycourtmatters.wordpress.com, while not too
professional, digs out some real data, including that this “religious right” has
some disturbing connections with the Unification Church.  I know this because I
tracked the grants.

It’s beyond talk time, it’s wake-up time.  Track your federal grants to states, to
the courts, and demand some accountability.  There are family “wipe-outs”
(murders) over this, and it’s not a theoretical reality for me, or others.  I’ve had
to work through my own theology also, but we are going theocracy in the U.S.
here, too fast! 

I never thought I’d spend a third of my own life struggling with this one issue.  .
.. Unbelievable . . .. !!

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By Shenonymous, September 27, 2008 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment

cann4ing:  I have not read Hedges American Fascist and I will purchase it this evening on Amazon and I will read it with an open mind, at least I will consciously try to keep an open mind.  I haven’t offered a critical analysis of Hedges yet, but have only taken pot shots at him, I admit, from reading and thinking about the articles on these forums and in which I have had occasion to participate. 

The brief history of Wallace is fascinating and worthy to notice.  My thanks to you for that.I wonder too then if Wallace were alive today what he would suggest we do?  I have suspected for years that Prescott Bush and Family was completely involved in the oil cartels as I had heard years ago that he owned the oil trucking industry that was traveling around China and probably America too.  Now I don’t remember precisely where I read it, so I cannot really quote anything but it always stuck in my mind and I think and wonder about that when I view the oil crises that have occurred over the decades.

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By cann4ing, September 27, 2008 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

S—more years ago than I care to remember, one of my college profs suggested that when tackling a writer with whom you are inclined to disagree, start by reading what they have to say with a sympathetic eye “before” you undertake a critical analysis.  One needs to understand fully what the individual is seeking to convey, lest you miss it because of an inclination to reject it.

In the case of Chris Hedges, you are right about his religious background, but, if you haven’t done so, I would strongly urge reading his “American Fascists.”

One individual whom Hedges quotes in the book was former Vice President Henry Wallace, who, on April 9, 1944, while our nation was engaged in a life-and-death struggle with fascism in Europe, published an op-ed in the NY Times:

“The American fascist,” Wallace wrote, “would prefer not to use violence.  His method is to poison the channels of information.  With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money and more power.”

“They claim to be superpatriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution.  They demand free enterprise but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest.  Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjugation.”

Wallace was exceedingly prescient for he appears to have anticipated the Bush regime more than 60 years ago, but then, if Wallace were alive today, I doubt he would be surprised.  George W. Bush’s paternal grandfather, Prescott Bush, was recently implicated in a fascist plot to overthrow FDR in the early 30s.

Per Joseph Trento, Prelude to Terror, Prescott and Brown Brothers Harriman were intimately linked to Nazi pre-war financier, Fritz Thyssen, via the American controlled Union Banking Corporation (UBC).  Under President Roosevelt’s directive, the Alien Property Custodian issued a Vesting Order which detailed how the Walker, Bush and Harriman families had helped the Nazi war effort.

In 2003 the New Hampshire Gazette discovered in the National Archives documents which revealed that Prescott “failed to divest himself of more than a dozen ‘enemy national’ relationships that continued until as late as 1951…Furthermore, the records show that Bush and his colleagues routinely attempted to conceal their activities from government investigators.”

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By Shenonymous, September 27, 2008 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

I am on the edge of agreeing with you cann4ing.  A remaining question is that while there are fascistic elements within American society, doesn’t there exist a huge population that even though they seem unconcerned and uninvolved in the undercurrents of politics, are conscious and fastened with dogmatic superglue to their own local doctrinaire societies?  There are a myriad of social units that are ready to defend their lifestyles and there are competing fascistic organizations.  So I have a suspicion that a large enough fascistic order could not ever sustain itself to “take over” the country even though it may look as if for instance the conservative right and corporate America conspire to do so.

I am a fan of Chomsky, not Hedges.  One I feel thinks brilliantly, dispassionately and rightly (the former), the other I think often has reactive and clouded views influenced by deep religious teachings that, I think obvious and shown in his writings, have not been excavated out.

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By cann4ing, September 27, 2008 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

S—my post was intended to expand upon rather than critique the point you made to OM.  Your last observation as to my being one of those “rational atheists signing in” is accurate.

I’m not certain whether either Mao’s China or Stalin’s U.S.S.R. would qualify as “fascist” states as opposed to Marxist/Leninist totalitarian states which just happened to have rejected all religion beyond worship of “the leader.”

What I am relatively certain of is that whereas religion has often served as a vanguard of progressive and democratic movements, e.g. Quaker opposition to slavery and war, Ghandi, MLK, there is a common thread between the perverted versions of religion, such as the radical right form of Christianity which Hedges focuses upon in this article, and more extensively in “American Fascists:  The Christian Right and the War on America” and the “pseudo-religious transformation” described by Noam Chomsky and Fritz Stern with respect to Hitler’s Germany. 

Hedge’s describes a rally by Pastor Russell Johnson:

“A fusion of Christian and national symbols marks a completion for those at the rally of America’s new state religion, a Christo-fascism.  A choir sings rousing patriotic and Christian hymns while pictures of American troops fighting in Iraq….Looming above it all is a huge American flag with the Christian cross superimposed on it….

“In rallies like those…friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members who do not conform to the ideology are gradually dehumanized.  They are tainted with the despised characteristics inherent in the godless.  The attack is waged in highly abstract terms, to negate the reality of concrete, specific and unique human characteristics, to deny the possibility of goodness in those who do not conform…This new, exclusive community fosters rigidity, conformity and intolerance.”

Religion becomes a tool to create a fascist America.

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By Shenonymous, September 27, 2008 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, if to be a freethinker means one does not accept nor reject ideas proposed as truth without option to knowledge and reason, then a world without religion would be one where that kind of oppression to thinking would be missing, but a totalitarian authority would still attempt to forcibly inhibit the thinking of the subjugated.  So to answer your question, there may be freethinkers, but still have brains and bodies hammered and severely assaulted to believe what is the doctrines of the state.

Oppressive regimes that do that today under the guise of atheism, bans not only religious practice, also forces other kinds of thinking that glorifies and seemingly justifies the regime.

If you hypothesize a world completely without totalitarian states or slave-masters of any kind, then seems the answer to your question is already given.

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By Leefeller, September 27, 2008 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael

Stated:
“well said. lets both put our viewpoints (without prejudice against either atheism or Christianity) under the category, “Worldview”. Let us then allow that normal human passions can bring out good and bad in both. Let worldviews compete fairly from there as much as possible.”

“What would be the implications of this?”

“Would it contradict the original intent of US founding fathers? Or the current understandings of the Bill of Rights?”

Normal human passions, you state can bring out the good and bad of both. Me suspects one would have arguments defining in agreement the good and bad even harder or impossible without prejudice? 

People would have to be in agreement what is,the good and the bad before they could speculate on the implications.  If they do not agree on the good and bad, discussing what are the implications would never be in the ball park.

Again, intent of the founding fathers is open to debate with hypothetical conclusions, I feel you asked the question because you have an opinion?  If I am not mistaking, are you referring the separation of Church and State?

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By Leefeller, September 27, 2008 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

She,

“Freethinking is a more appropriate descriptive term of atheists”. 

If there were no religions in the world as if they never existed and all the people in the land were atheists but did not know it, would they still be freethinkers?

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By Shenonymous, September 27, 2008 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

Not precisely sure what you are presenting here cann4ing.  Your point #1 that notes atheists and agnostics are adherents to the scientific method elaborates somewhat on what I said. 

And, #2 doesn’t really negate the distinction I made about fascist totalitarian regimes.  The fact that Italian Fascist and Spanish Fascists profanely exploited Christianity says nothing of that religion, nor says anything about the essence of atheism for that matter, but only amplifies the degree to which those dictatorial systems and any other similar systems of force debased anything for their own degenerate purposes. 

I did not suggest any particular manifestation of fascism that misused atheism.  If I were to do that, I would offer the Chinese and Soviet Communist states, et al, as profiting from disallowing any religion to have a place in their society since religion, any religion, would take even an iota of allegiance away from the sovereign government, hence their exploiting atheism as a concept to preserve their power.  Once again, atheism is an attitude and an attitude by definition is a mental state that is skeptical of all supernatural beings because of the lack of empirical evidence.  One further point I should like to make is that there are those other than atheists who are devoted to the scientific method.  Deists and even many theists engage in scientific proof, while atheists tend to accept scientific proofs and methods, they also remain skeptics of final conclusions.  Freethinking is a more appropriate descriptive term of atheists.

I should thank you for helping me to clarify my thoughts and expect you are one of the rational atheists signing in.

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By cann4ing, September 26, 2008 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

By Shenonymous, September 26 at 4:58 pm #

You also claimed that atheists exert some kind of power to force agreement using blind faith, peer pressure, and something you really unspecify, and vaguely offer as “worse” to capture agreement (capture? what could that mean?) There is not a shred of truth in that.  The fascist states that prostitute atheism are exercising that position because they do not want any competing system to their authoritarian rule, which religions by their very nature do.  They demand allegiance as much as any government.

______________

1.  Both atheists and agnostics are adherents to the scientific method.  Belief, blind or otherwise, plays no role.  There are theories, but these are subject to testing, verification, modification and, if necessary, rejection where compelled by scientific evidence.

2.  The Christian religion played a core role in both the Italian and Spanish fascist states.  In “Failed States,” Noam Chomsky observes, “Fritz Stern, a scholar of German history, noted ‘Hitler’s…appeal to his ‘divine mission’ as ‘Germany’s savior’ in a ‘pseudoreligious transfiguration of politics’ adapted to ‘traditional Christian forms’…with ‘Christianity as the foundation of our national morality and the family as the basis of national life.’  Hitler’s hostility toward the ‘liberal secular state,’ shared by much of the Protestant clergy, drove forward ‘a historic process in which resentment against a disenchanted secular world found deliverance in the ecstatic escape of unreason.’”

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By Shenonymous, September 26, 2008 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

OM:  Not mind-altering implants, mind-enhancing and body-assist implants.  There is a huge difference.  One takes mind away, the other gives mind better thinking skills and a better working body.  It is a fait accompli for the future.  No question it will come to pass.  I would want more than some federal regulatory agency to make sure no megalomaniac commandeers humans and the technology to create such detached creatures as the Borg.  There are sure to be if private industry gets to be in charge.  No, I don’t envision humans as becoming a collective Borg.  Individuality will remain. 

Some might suggest promotion of enhanced superhumans has some inverse relation to the abortion issue and that regulating the creation of artificial life has the same vigor as regulating and even prohibiting abortion.  I would have to disagree completely.  In one case, a being already in existence could be made so bionic that their own ownership of their life can be stolen.  In the other case, there is no being other than the pregnant female who would be forced by biased and idiosyncratically religious morals to carry to term an embryo not wanted for any number of good humanistic reasons. 

I cannot keep a distance when a shallow understanding of atheism is presented as accurate and definitive without some attempt to give a distinguishing and essential characterization. The number of times this has had to be repeated on several Truthdig forums and within forums only testifies to the utter lack of common knowledge about what atheism is.  To even ask if it is a religion also testifies to a certain ignorance.  It compels those who claim it is a religion to describe or define what is a religion and to be careful that their own system of beliefs and practices are included. 

The kind of atheism prostituted by totalitarian regimes does not show the force of atheism but does show the force of a militant totalitarian system.  Atheism has no force at all!  It merely defends its right to not believe nor engage in any formal practice secular, cultist, or religious.  It has no soldiers with guns as religions do.  For want of a better word, atheism as used in these kinds of fascist states, means only that the practice of a religion is forbidden. There are not even any creeds.  This is a purely political posture that has nothing in fact to do with atheism which in fact is and only is the lack of a belief in supernatural creator of all things associated with the earth and the universe.  This is a bi-conditional description of atheism that it is the lack of belief and only is the lack of belief.  Anything else ascribed to it is false and peculiar (specific) to individuals and groups who wish to add different political flavors to their forced government.  Unfortunate mistakes are made thinking one is the other by those unable to either make distinctions or wish to use such mistakes to their own doctrinal advantage. 

You also claimed that atheists exert some kind of power to force agreement using blind faith, peer pressure, and something you really unspecify, and vaguely offer as “worse” to capture agreement (capture? what could that mean?) There is not a shred of truth in that.  The fascist states that prostitute atheism are exercising that position because they do not want any competing system to their authoritarian rule, which religions by their very nature do.  They demand allegiance as much as any government.

Leefeller puts it well and succinctly.  We are indebted and give him our thanks.

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By Leefeller, September 26, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

Om

Believers and nonbelievers, may be more accurate, then “Worldview” which sounds like a Travel Agency. Being fair and balanced sounds like Fox news, not sure what are are suggesting?

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By OzarkMichael, September 26, 2008 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

per Leefeller: For sake of argument, atheism is not a religion, especially using the text book definition of “religion”.

Of course you are right. perhaps instead of religion we should use the more encompassing phrase, “Worldview”.

per Leefeller: Capability is not only beholding to religion or atheism, it would seem capability can be propagated by many other things.

well said. lets both put our viewpoints (without prejudice against either atheism or Christianity) under the catagory, “Worldview”. Let us then allow that normal human passions can bring out good and bad in both. Let worldviews compete fairly from there as much as possible.

What would be the implications of this? 

Would it contradict the original intent of US founding fathers? Or the current understandings of the Bill of Rights?

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By Leefeller, September 26, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

You ask a question, then you answer the question and finish with a surmise, then in-conclusion atheism is a religion in your your mind. You have made your own definition of the word religion and not only a religion but now a most dangerous religion. You make it seem like a math problem with danger? 

Capability is not only beholding to religion or atheism,  it would seem capability can be propagated by many other things. 

For sake of argument, atheism is not a religion, especially using the text book definition of “religion”.

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By OzarkMichael, September 26, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

per Shenonymous: When the chips get smaller and smaller into nano size and they are even embedded into the human as cyborgs which will happen because we have already thought of it, this generation of ours will be history and thought to be as ancient as we now think the Greeks were.

Maybe Star Trek the Next Generation really could happen. We get to be the Borg.

As to the rest of your post Shenonymous, it grants me a picture of your life and vocation. Which you are suited to. Your appreciation of the children is a good thing, and you have much to offer them.  The kids only need people… like you. Its not going to get better than that.

So dont allow anyone to put mind altering implants in them! Even if they are government approved. Ah, especially if they are government approved!

per Leefeller :Personal choices should be respected, though in religion some feel the need to force their ideas on others,

You do know that atheists are just as capable of such force. Does that mean that atheism is a religion?

per Leefeller :Add the fact blind faith uses fear, peer pressure and worse to capture agreement.

Yes, that describes how some atheists capture agreement too. ‘and worse’, historically via the power of the state. Having forgotten their prior fiascos, some leading atheists are already looking forward to using the state power again to capture agreement. Atheism seems to be one of the most dangerous religions.

Religion seems to propagate a feeling of resentment towards those who do not agree and follow suite, why is it so important to demand servitude or else back to the us or them mentality.

Truthdig has a massive foundation of resentment. Its thought leaders(like Gore Vidal) seem to have resentment as their principle motivation. This does lead to a heavy ‘us vs them’ mentality.  Again one can only surmise that atheism is a religion.

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By Leefeller, September 25, 2008 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

Personal choices should be respected, though in religion some feel the need to force their ideas on others, why is it when people believe something to be, whether proven or not, must feel that others should accept their blind faith as they do?  Add the fact blind faith uses fear,  peer pressure and worse to capture agreement. 

Palin’s preacher, forced a women from her home and town by calling her a witch.  This kind of practice is what I am talking about.

Religion seems to propagate a feeling of resentment towards those who do not agree and follow suite, why is it so important to demand servitude or else back to the us or them mentality. 

Religion is fine for those who need it, but reminds me of alcoholics demanding someone drink with them.

Seems religion is about control and power add money we can add good old greed.

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By Shenonymous, September 25, 2008 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael:  I love the beating heart simile and attempt at isomorphism with processing information.  It is truly wonderful.  Well you should know better than to say I am wrong!  Nevah!  See I think that while technology is ahead of human assimilation at the moment, humans will evolve to absorb information at a faster rate.  I see evidence of it in my work.  As I watch the youngsters at their computers, I get to do that in the classroom for hours, and they are playing their games of war, their dexterity and reaction with small muscle coordination is incredible. But even more incredible than that is the speed with which they must think and react mentally for their small muscle coordination to function.  It is brain/body cooperation. This is training for the future.  The excitement that is on their faces as they play is a site to behold.  The competition is at its zenith in human development.  This new generation will be light years ahead of anything we can imagine now.  I think there is a tendency to underestimate the capacity for the human to evolve and evolve quickly.  Given the stimulus they are always making the grade.  Maybe not in huge numbers and maybe not the older folks right now, but two-year olds are on computers these days.  When the chips get smaller and smaller into nano size and they are even embedded into the human as cyborgs which will happen because we have already thought of it, this generation of ours will be history and thought to be as ancient as we now think the Greeks were.  I say there is no limit.  You are thinking about humans as they are right now.  Think ahead instead.  It maybe that the body and its heart cannot change or evolve so that speeding up the heartrate doesn’t wind up in a messy quiver, but the mind will be able to organize more and more information as its learning capacity increases.  Why I can even detect a difference in my own ability to absorb more information that I did as a kid and I was considered a bright child.  I think you are wrong and I am left keeping my heart left where it was.

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By OzarkMichael, September 25, 2008 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

per Shenonymous: humans are evolving rapidly particularly with the superspeedy transportation of information provided by technology and a factor of 10 to the minus 9 second speed and even faster instantaneously reacting instruments.

With all due respect(and much respect is due to Shenonymous) this speeding up of information is solid and useful but only externally for humans. Internally, it has a strange effect.

Imagine your heart. Each heartbeat starts with an electrical impulse. Increase the frequency of impulses and yes for awhile the heartrate and useful work done by the heart goes up. Increase the rate some more and you begin to get less output from the heart even though it is beating so fast. Why? Because the heart cannot fill during the brief pauses between beats.

Increase the rate a little more and the person faints. More speed yet and the heart begins to quiver chaotically.

per Shenonymous Humans have the first opportunity since their evolution as a species to learn introspection as a species trait

Now, forget the heart and think of a typical person, who hears news, opinions, and events at a rapid rate. Instead of thinking more they dont have time to meditate about what any of it means. And i offer my opinion that during our own generation we witnessed the tipping point where the speed of new events outpaced out ability to ‘fill’(like the heart in between beats)... where we meditate on what it means. So that paradoxically we are learning less now than before, despite(no, because of!) the frantic pace.

Yes, yes, the person ‘knows so much’ these days. But it doesnt effect him/her at all. Or if it does it is only superficially. There was a time when knowing one thing, (only one thing!) could last a person a month or two as it was pondered and it soaked deep down. One major event(just one!) was enough to meditate about for years. But now, bombarded by major events and ideas every day, I ask, is anything sinking in? Instead do you not percieve less introspection around you as the years go by, which is spiritual collapse akin to what happens in the the body if the heart beats too fast?

Shenonymous, I know it is a little dangerous to cross swords with you,(I do admire you more than I can write here) but you are wrong on this one. In your heart you know that I am right.

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By Shenonymous, September 25, 2008 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

Nice rational post OzarkMichael…Others may joke but I take atheism seriously, (with some levity thrown in) as you well know.  Ergo your post here.  There’s no such thing as eavesdropping on Truthdig.  It is a wide-open forum.

I invite the rational atheists to sign in please.

My perspective is that Next Generation is far too much a fantasy to be the future even in a hundred years.  But my reason for thinking so is that it is hard to imagine a universe populated by the kinds of beings they run into.  Even Carl Sagan was skeptical.  If no bogeymen, no melodrama. 

The reason atheism may be the complexion of the future is that humans are evolving rapidly particularly with the superspeedy transportation of information provided by technology and a factor of 10 to the minus 9 second speed and even faster instantaneously reacting instruments. Humans have the first opportunity since their evolution as a species to learn introspection as a species trait.  This means to me that they will seek and receive adequate and sufficient answers about existence from within the human heart and soul (meaning mind) and will not need to search for extraterrestrials (supernaturals) to explain what life is all about.  And they will come to terms with their mortality.  Hopefully the one virtue of the Next Generation is that humankind will learn to stop killing each other (although on the scifi tv show they did run into bloodthirsty otherworlders. It seems every conscious species has to learn the same lessons.)

In your investigation of the contemporary atheists, what have you found is their prediction of the next evolutionary step?  Perhaps we can get some group speculation going here.

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By OzarkMichael, September 25, 2008 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

per Shenonymous: Are you saying to wildflower on one hand you shouldn’t take atheists so seriously as if they are a negligible tribe and so are not really worthy of giving the respect that seriousness would give?  But then in an odd way you are saying almost in the same breath that maybe you are taking atheists seriously.

wildflower seemed to want me to not take atheists seriously, as a joke i gave in.

In fact I have and still do take atheists seriously. I also take the people who support atheism seriously.

And I did read several comments from others such as cyrena but there is too much to respond to so i picked the wildflower. If cann4ing posted something I figured it wasnt meant to be read by me. Wouldnt want to eavesdrop.

I meant to accept as a given what atheist bestselling(and that is itself a new phenomenon) writers believe is the next step in evolution for mankind. Now I am trying to figure out what that means for the future if its true. And I suspect it might be true, there are trends.

As said before, it does no damage to my American Christian fundamentalism to at least postulate that atheism is the wave of the future.

If it is true that atheism is the wave of the future, will that result in advancements leading to Star Trek the Next Generation or instead to an ultra modern gulag? My guess: Based on the history of states that have used the same sort of rhetoric, and based on my understanding of human nature, based on the policies advocated by some of the best selling atheist authors, and based on what I have read here over the last year, we are not headed for the Next Generation.

I hope I am wrong, I keep looking for evidence that I am wrong. I find a little hope here and there. Perhaps this is a bad time to search, this being the political season. No, political rhetoric matters.

Perhaps Truthdig is a bad place to look for rational atheists? I wont touch that question, but I invite you to handle it, Shenonymous.

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By Shenonymous, September 25, 2008 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

You are light on your feet OzarkMichael.  Are you saying to wildflower on one hand you shouldn’t take atheists so seriously as if they are a negligible tribe and so are not really worthy of giving the respect that seriousness would give?  But then in an odd way you are saying almost in the same breath that maybe you are taking atheists seriously.  Wouldn’t you be doing just that if you were to understand them better?  And if you are taking atheists seriously, what does that mean?

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By OzarkMichael, September 24, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

per wildflower: It just seems rather odd to me to be so concerned about what atheists’ authors are saying about the future

You are probably right, I shouldnt take them so seriously. It is, how shall i say it… a thought experiment. I have my reasons, one of which is to understand atheists better. Taking them seriously is also a mark of respect.

I’m not sure what you’re referencing, but if you’re talking about our founders’ intent to separate church from state, I agree with Cann4ing’s views.  I would add, however, the clergymen of that time period very much wanted to separate church from state.  According to Tocqueville, who had interviewed a lot of clergymen in that time period, they felt: “. . . allying itself with a political power, religion increases its power over some and loses the hope of reigning over all.”

my comment: Wow! those were two great quotes. The first one(not included above) seems to support what you say, the second one seems to support what i say. A neat trick. You may agree with cann4ing, but you are beginning to expose what cann4ing would rather keep hidden. If he really is so clever you might want to follow his lead and dont go there.(I am mostly kidding) 

but seriously, wildflower, thanks for a very fine effort at both taking a stand yourself, but also respectfully discussing an aspect of my argument. Putting two edges on the sword by using two quotes from one author that cut opposite ways(all in one post) is just too excellent. If you want to keep discussing this I would be most pleased to do so.

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By wildflower, September 22, 2008 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

Re:OzarkMichael

Per OzMich: “It isn’t my idea. I am allowing that prominent sociologist and atheist authors are correct in their predictions for the future. . .”

In all due respect, OzarkMichael, you’re thinking on this sounds like something a person of little faith might say. It just seems rather odd to me to be so concerned about what atheists’ authors are saying about the future – talk about bogeyman. 

Per OzMich: “Europe is ahead of us in the evolution away from faith and towards atheism.”

I tend to agree with an analysis that Tocqueville made early on about Europe and religion.  As you may recall, he greatly admired our founders’ wisdom for separating church from state and said: “In Europe, Christianity has permitted itself to be intimately united with the powers of the earth. . . today these powers are falling and it is almost buried under their debris.”

Per OzMich: “it is laughable when a . . . player counts the score of the game only for the last few minutes when the game has been going on for awhile(a la cann4ing, the retiring lawyer).”

I’m not sure what you’re referencing, but if you’re talking about our founders’ intent to separate church from state, I agree with Cann4ing’s views.  I would add, however, the clergymen of that time period very much wanted to separate church from state.  According to Tocqueville, who had interviewed a lot of clergymen in that time period, they felt: “. . . allying itself with a political power, religion increases its power over some and loses the hope of reigning over all.”

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By Leefeller, September 22, 2008 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

“Truth is not a popularity contest”  Very profound and seems even pious, good job, now we know what truth is not.  Unsound assumptions of other peoples feelings and opinions, seem presumptuous to me, but of course I am not capable of understanding your verbiage as most do not understand McCains.

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By OzarkMichael, September 22, 2008 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

per wildflower: So why are you anticipating a leap among atheists?

It isnt my idea. I am allowing that prominant sociologist and atheist authors are correct in their predictions for the future, namely that the number of and political influence of Christians will decrease, and a new age is coming. I can discuss those theories if you like, but basically Europe is ahead of us in the evolution away from faith and towards atheism.

It doesnt hurt me to postulate that their theory could be correct. Truth is not a popularity contest, so the prediction does not shake my own convictions in any way. 

Accepting the atheist prediction allows me to speak to Truthdiggers here with some seriousness about their own causes and how they attain them, since what they represent will someday be in control. It makes their rhetoric most relevent and worth examining. I think they have taken on characteristics of the bogeyman they are so afraid of. That does not bode well.

per wildflower: In regard to freedom, the only sector actively working to undermine our Constitution, Bill of Rights and the principles involving separation of church & state are from the Christian sector.

one group’s ‘undermining’ is another group’s upholding. As one side ‘upholds’ and succeeds the other side pushes back for the opposite direction, what they call ‘upholding’. To percieve that there is only one side working and pressuring for an outcome is like watching a soccer game and percieving that there is only one team out there.

There are some people here who cherish our freedoms, and want to talk about how to preserve them. We can disagree about how. We can even call each other names. Its all right.

But i think its a mistake to pretend that that there is only one team out there. And it is laughable when a supposedly smart player counts the score of the game only for the last few minutes when the game has been going on for awhile(a la cann4ing, the retiring lawyer).

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By wildflower, September 21, 2008 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

Re: OzarkMichael

OzM says: “I do not have confidence that population of mostly atheists will be able to support freedom.”

Are you suggesting the number of Christians in the U.S. will be declining in the near future, OzarkMichael? As I recall, only 1% of America’s citizenry are currently atheists; Christians on the other hand comprise almost 72% of our Nation’s citizenry.  So why are you anticipating a leap among atheists?

In regard to freedom, the only sector actively working to undermine our Constitution, Bill of Rights and the principles involving separation of church & state are from the Christian sector.  The other sectors appear to be satisfied with our way of government, and will most likely continue to do so in the future.

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By Sodium, September 21, 2008 at 5:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Subject:Elmer Gantry and Present-Day Zealous Evangelicals.

Although I have a profound aversion to making comments about religion-any religion.But it seems to me that I am going to overrole my aversion and make the following comments,in order to call the attention of those who care about their evangelism to clean their own backyard before claiming what is NOT theirs to claim in the first place:

It has been stated time and time again by many expert in the field of social sciences that a genuine artistic expression can be considered the mirror image of a particular aspect of life in a particular
human society.If such statements are correct,and I believe they are correct),then one needs just to see
an artistically made movie titled “Elmer Gantry” to
comprehend,and perhaps seven appreciate,what is going on in SOME evangelical circles.

“Elmer Gantry” is an old movie,the leading roles of which was played by the late actor Burt Lancuster and
and actress Jean Simmons.Although it is old,it is one of the best movie I have ever seen in my life time.That is so because it is the mirror image of what is going on in some evangelical circles.In it the hypocrisy and fraud of some zealous evangelical preachers shine so vividly for the whole world to see…......

Just watch “Elmer Gantry” and then reach your own conclusion about the realm of evangelism.I have reached mine a long time ago.

That does NOT mean that I am against all evangelicals.NOT AT ALL.All what I am trying to say,here,is that some real bad “apples” do exist in the world of evangelism and must be exposed as one cares to expose corruption in high places,whether in the public sector or the private one.The sector of religious activities must be treated by the same standard of scrutiny.No difference.

Enjoy the movie.It is highly entertaining.

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By shemp333, September 21, 2008 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

Thanks a lot for the lookout Sodium!  I have already bought American Fascists, but haven’t made time to read it yet.  I’ll take your advice and get the other book and read it first.  Thanks again!

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By Leefeller, September 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

Stolen emails are like stolen moments, so special when life and death hangs on the balance. Emails taken from a Christian of ill repute is a major crime which sould have grave consistences to the thieves. Unlike the rest of us, who can have the feds going through our garbage whenever they want, high five accepted by the same person. 

Since hearing is believing,  Her, mistress of extraordinary profoundness, just happens to be a Christian, and is having her emails stolen,(how do you steal emails?) I ask of what importance are they, and how would one know if the emails were real lies or untruths?

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By Leefeller, September 21, 2008 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

I have a pasture which I grow hay on.

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By Shenonymous, September 21, 2008 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

Descartes might have said something about the reliability of mathematics to emphasize the folly of making the same mistake over and over in some other system of logic (viz., tripping over the same pig), but I doubt (one of Descartes’ favorite words) he did say that one and it is, OM, one of your own creative versions of a carteseanism.  Neatly done but won’t stand even the delicates wash cycle.

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By Leefeller, September 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

Wolf killer Palin, has a pasture who believes in witch doctors, so this means my belief in the Wizard of Oz is in the running? Ronald Reagan and wifie made national decisions using astronomy or was it they cleansed their minds by having a high colonic?

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By cyrena, September 21, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Ozark Michael writes:

•  “This is true. When the supreme court decided Roe vs Wade it was certainly DICTATED to the population”

OM, you’re wrong on this of course. That decision is the polar opposite of a dictation. Roe v. Wade was decided on privacy. It’s that simple. It was decided based on the recognition that any individual’s decision about their own bodies is not a political matter. In other words, the population cannot decide what is best for me or you in terms of our bodies, unless we’ve committed a crime, at which point society can decide to lock us up, or otherwise execute us. In fact, we are the only so-called civilized county on the planet that still believes in state sanctioned murder via execution, or people that are in fact already ALIVE, (as opposed to embryos which are not).

But Roe v Wade is POSITIVE law, not negative law, and jurisprudence makes a clear distinction. Consequently, Roe v. Wade is under no circumstances a dictation to the population, because it can’t be. Roe v Wade only applies to those people who happen to be pregnant who, for whatever their PRIVATE reasons might be, choose not to complete that pregnancy. It doesn’t apply to anyone else. It doesn’t say that you, or your wife, or your daughters, or your mother has to have an abortion. It simply gives them the right to decide that, based on their own needs, without being made a criminal if it is their choice. If someone doesn’t want to terminate a pregnancy there is NOTHING that can force them to terminate that pregnancy, unless of course we’re talking about God. For believers, God is the greatest abortionist. Ask the hundreds of thousands of women who suffer miscarriages and still births.

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By OzarkMichael, September 20, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

shenonymous: And Ozark where did you get the “at most 5%” for your fringe group. Throwing out such guesses is so lame in arguments.

As often happens Shenonymous, you got me red handed. But there is a method to it. To be a lunatic fringe element, I figure it must be at least 2 standard deviations out of center so i said ‘5% at most’. As happens occasionally, you are laughing at me but saying, ‘by golly the boy has a point!’  I hope.

“mathmatics is reliable even when everyone keeps tripping over the same pig.”

Descartes said that.


Outraged and I have gone over this percentage thing before. ‘Fundamentalist Christian’ is a vague term, it can expand to the many millions. But some athiests tip their hand when they fret over theocracy(a la our retiring lawyer) so we are talking about a bogeyman known as the Dominionist.

My actual opinion is that Dominionists make up about 1 part per million of the electorate, which is statistically speaking 0% of the population. Isnt there something like McCarthyism about atheist attempts to keep lists and try to identify more Christians with the Dominionist movement? They use the 0% Dominionist to denigrate(someday eliminate?) the civic participation of many millions of Christians. That will ensure freedom from religion!

I have seen here on Truthdig amongst our company of ‘enlightened’ writers, approval of a crime since it was commited against a Christian. Should I go there and tally the posts? I do not consider these writers on Truthdig to be lunatics. or a fringe. And one more thing, I called them pigs but I take that back. I am sorry I said it. We are human, all too human.

But what was the first Truthdigger response to the stolen emails? “Palin is linked to the Dominionists.”  So that made the crime a virtuous act.

Unless our earnstwhile lawyer will come out of retirement and show how stealing mail wasnt breaking the law, I rest my case. 

Evolution(Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens/Dennett version) in America isnt happening fast enough for some atheists I guess. It becomes a good thing to speed the process up. ‘Lets give the poisonous Christian faith a little push to hurry its exit.’ But then follows the inevitable conclusion: ‘since its for the advancement of the human race, anything goes to make the dream finally happen.’

What restrains them? Nothing. So crime committed for the dream deserves a medal, as one Truthdigger proposed.

But how we achieve a dream is what determines its nature. The perfection within the dream does not enter the equation. Its all about how you get there.  That is the utter downfall of atheist states in the past and i do not see any evolution in human nature to reassure me it wont happen again. It predictably ruins everything for everybody, including the atheists. 

shenonymous: It takes time for things to happen, and one of my favorite physical laws is water seeks its own level.  Even that takes time.  Human ignorance disappears on a daily basis.

The physical law of flowing water suites the situation. Except the metaphor takes on a truer meaning if we remember that water always seeks the lowest level.

“Flowing water gets lifted up by a Will above its own, but otherwise the natural course of things is downhill.” 

I said that.

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By cann4ing, September 20, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

S—your post is solid but wasted on an empty-headed religious fanatic like OM whose ignorance of the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in our federal system is exceeded only by his ignorance of the meaning of the First Amendment.

Like most uneducated and religiously indoctrinated individuals, OM uses the word “dictated” to imply that the Supreme Court acts arbitrarily like a dictator.  Nothing could be further from the truth. What the Court does is in fact a reflection of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. constitution combined with a ruling made in 1803 that the court is the ultimate arbiter of the meaning of the constitution and of our laws.  That case, Marbury vs. Madison, furnishes the cornerstone of our jurisprudence.

The U.S. Constitution provides the minimal protections that apply to all citizens regardless of the particular state in which they reside.  The Fourteenth Amendment extends rights of due process and equal protection not just as applied in federal courts but in all our courts.  The U.S. Supreme Court had the right and the responsibility to determine in Brown vs. Bd. of Education that separate was not equal, a ruling that, while it took a great deal of time, eventually led to the end of Jim Crow laws by which states discriminated against African Americans. 

You are right.  Roe did not materialize out of thin air.  It’s predecessor, Griswold, held that a state law seeking to prevent married couples from using contraceptives violated their constitutional right to privacy.  That right was derived at by examining multiple constitutional provisions, including the Fourth & Fourteenth Amendments.  The right recognized in Griswold was then extended to a woman’s decision whether to terminate a pregnancy during the first two trimesters.  It was a carefully reasoned decision that weighed individual rights against state interests—a far cry from the arbitrary actions of a dictator.

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By Shenonymous, September 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment

“Filthy and stinky as a pig, but looking at the bright side, the sausages smell great!”

Intruding once again, I am.  Amazing?  Yes, indeedy.  I’m always amazed at what I call ‘forced’ logic, others call it fallacy.  What religious fringe are we talking about exactly, thebeerdoctor and OzarkMichael?  Seems to me you are both talking about some fictitious excuse for ranting your own respective myopic opinion, thinking we all know what you are talking about.  Please name names and don’t assume anything.  Or would you just like to keep us ignorant for your own purpose?  And Ozark where did you get the “at most 5%” for your fringe group. Throwing out such guesses is so lame in arguments.  Isn’t it thought that using percentages makes the argument look as if based on fact, when in fact it is based on nothing?  Why couldn’t it just as likely be 4.9% or 3.8% or 12.7%?  Yes, I know your point is if that is all fringies there are, then why is McCain so close to Obama in the polls. Now that could be a good question if framed properly.  Fact is that today Gallup has Obama leading by 6%.  Why?  Well we have to take in the race factor. Obama is half black and it might be that America is blackblind, they only see white.  It might also be that although Obama clearly has better ideas, McCain’s demagoguery is better. It might also be that the conservative-slanted news media cleverly manipulates the news to sympathize with McCain.  I have started to watch the news, that is how it appears to me. I time the minutes given each candidate, and what exactly is allowed to be shown and what is said by the corporate owned news commentators.  It is truly amazing how slick it is done.  If you think Fox News is the only McCain sympathizer, think again. Given that McCain is the white guy, I’m amazed at Obama’s lead.  There’s more freethinking backbone in America than might be thought.

The problem with your argument OM against outraged is that while all of the Supreme court decisions you referenced were DICTATED laws to the states, THEY ALL HAD A LONG COURT-ARGUED HISTORY.  The decisions did not come out of thin judicial air.  Another fact you leave out is we have a federal system, and that federal system dictates that all states must conform to rulings by a Supreme Court and, AND all the states ratified the power of the Supreme Court.  Half truths are just as good as lies.  The other huge fact is that the Supreme Court is a conservative-weighted court. 

While he may not have had the complete answer, we cannot dismiss Skinner’s theories.  Conditioning does happen and the advertising industry knows this in spades, especially political advertising.  Pavlovian drooling dogs rules politics.  To what political smell do you drool?  It will happen even if you are not conscious of it.  Do try some introspection to see what it is you drool at. 

The thing is, nothing happens before its time.  Things happen for a reason, not for any occult reason, but for a reasonable and explainable reason.  If we don’t know the answer now, we will.  We all live in the phenomenon known as time.  It takes time for things to happen, and one of my favorite physical laws is water seeks its own level.  Even that takes time.  Human ignorance disappears on a daily basis.  Given a healthy mental and physical condition, once we know something we cannot not know it. 

The problem that faces us humans is there are those who would prevent knowledge, keeping those ignorant who would challenge them and their authority, blaming some made up, 6,000 year-old mythological god for withholding knowledge from some mythological and fictional parents in a mythological garden.  And that the select are their descendents.  Bull crap.  The authors of those stories knew exactly what they were doing.  And all the children of Abraham, Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike are fools.

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By OzarkMichael, September 20, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

I review the flow of our chat:

per thebeerdoctor: Is it not amazing Big B, that the kind of religious fringe that has always been with us, quite often in the form of revival tents, and later, the gold mine known as religious broadcasting, was once considered an acquired taste, like wrestling or putt-putt golf. But now it has taken on this enormous mainstream significance…

It is amazing. So I attempted to explain why the fringe acquired this enormous mainstream significance: Either way, all of them expect/hope that a leader who exemplifies those old ways will supply what we lack and that will make a better America.


Then Outraged tries to show I am wrong:  They were NOT looking for leaders to “fix” a supposed “moral state of decline” as you imply.  In fact, the opposite is true..

so i will try again. The ‘fundamentalist fringe’ equals at most 5% of the population. In order for Palin’s beliefs to take on ‘enormous mainstream significance’(as thebeerdoctor says) there has to be some mechanism which expands 5% of the electorate to 50%.

With all the bad economic news, and the unpopular war, and unpopular 8 years of Bush, one must wonder why 50% of the electorate would vote against their own interests, ie for McCain.  McCain should be getting creamed right now. This is a mystery. It is ‘amazing’.

My post offered an explanation of the mystery. A reasonable explanation which does not cut into atheist beliefs at all. I do not see how Outraged’s post explains the phenomenon, except for this part-

per outraged: Remember, much of what you are claiming was DICTATED to the population, who at first were flabbergasted in their response.

This is true. When the supreme court decided Roe vs Wade it was certainly DICTATED to the population. Another example, religion was not removed from schools by the people, it was DICTATED. No matter what your views are of the issues, you must agree with the fact that they were DICTATED, since the very few elite took it upon themselves to shred the normal evolution of laws in every state in order to impose their will upon us.

Yes, people were “flabbergasted”, so it took awhile to figure out what had to be done to prevent even worse from happening in the future. And so the Reagan election, etc.  Resulting in Justices like Scalia, who is rather strict about keeping the DICTATING to a minimum.

The more lawyers like the retiring cann4ing(I mean ‘retiring’ as a technique of dealing with me)  the more they tried to push the ‘fringe’ out of the public square, the more we found ordinary people voting to empower the old ‘lunatic fringe’. Again, here is my explanation- the ‘lunatic fringe’ seems to exemplify the beliefs which founded this free nation. Ordinary people who never read a page of the Bible come flocking to us as if that preserves the old ways. Whether it is wise to do this or not is another question. 

As he enters his retirement(this time I mean from the job), you can all thank Mr Canning for empowering us religious zealots. Its people like him through the long years of toil in dedication to atheistic ideals, with their imperious rulings and their ‘you dont even deserve an explanation’ silences, they are the ones who have helped the lunatic fringe acquire enormous significance. Enough to win presidential elections. Maybe, against all odds, even this one!

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By cann4ing, September 20, 2008 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

By Stauffer, September 20 at 8:29 am #

Heard the latest?  Sarah’s pastor believes witches exist.

_____________________

Check it out on Olbermann.  The guy doesn’t just believe witches exist, he got his start on Kenya by claiming that a woman was a witch responsible for local traffic accidents; drove her out of town.

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By Shenonymous, September 20, 2008 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

Stauffer, maybe someone ought to make a cartoon poster of this and plaster it all over the country?  You know, like the one about Muhammad and his burning turban.  But first don’t you think it ought to be checked out for truth?  We wouldn’t want to be duped into believing rumors, right?  I mean Halloween is coming up isn’t it?  Do you think this is all true?  If so, why?

“Stay away from the pigsty if you don’t want to stink.”

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By Stauffer, September 20, 2008 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

Heard the latest?  Sarah’s pastor believes witches exist.  Yes indeed, he has traveled hither and yon (on one of those goofy missions they’re always taking) searching for demons (witch hunting), and yea, he hath cast them out of some hapless man in Africa.  Welcome to Salem revisited.  Then, he came back and proudly told his dewy-eyed congregation all about it, Sarah listening enraptured.  Afterwards (two months ago), he laid his hands (casting inward probably) on her head and convinced her of her mission.  Isn’t faith wonderful?  So simple (minded).  You believe and feel comforted.  You don’t believe and Satan (whoever that is, Bram Stoker’s Dracula maybe) drags you into a mythical place (deep down, maybe near the earth’s mantle, but hot anyway) and bakes you (smell the roast).  Therefore, be fearful.  Keep scared.  The Bushies understand that and will save you.  Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that Sarah has submitted to McCain?

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By Sodium, September 20, 2008 at 6:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:Shemp333 September 16

“Chris Hedges just perplexes the hell outa me.He writes great articles;surely trashing the cult of Christianity ;and then debates Sam Harris defending Christianity.My flabber is completely gasted.Anyone with some kind of explanation? please?”

Shemp333,

The following two books may help in lessening
your perplexity and help you develop more appreciation of the brilliant and eloquent writings of Chris Hedges:

The first book:

“When Religion Becomes Evil”
By
Charles Kimball,Professor and Director of Religious
Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

The second book:

“American Fascists”
By
Chris Hedges

Please read “When Religion Becomes Evil” first and then read “American Fascists”.As you do that,you will realize that Chris Hedges has really never been against the true teachings of Christianity,but rather against the abusers of such great religion.Those abusers whose agenda includes,among other evil things,the total and absolute control of the masses.
Thus,their daily absolutism has become,intentionally
or unintentionally,the incremental shift towards
fascism.

Shemp333:I do hope that you will find those two books in your local library and will prove helpful in getting rid of your perplexity about the writings of
Chris Hedges.Good Luck.

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By Nikia, September 19, 2008 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is an interesting article and I’m elated to see the discussions occuring here have remained on-topic and respectful! This is what the internet was made for!

I didn’t have time to review all of the comments but based on some “freedom of religion” comments I’m compelled to point out the the USSR and other communist countries did not have freedom of religion. The practice of any religion is banned and punishable by law in communist countries.

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By cann4ing, September 18, 2008 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

By OzarkMichael, September 18 at 10:20 am #

Don’t post a reply or i will tell your accountant.

__________________________

I find the time to post at TD because (1) I am semi-retired, and (2) I enjoy an intellectual exchange with intelligent posters.

If I had found anything in your post, OzarkMichael, which I deemed worthy of a repost, you can rest assured I would have provided a reply, free of charge.

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By cyrena, September 18, 2008 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

I received this via email, with a bunch of really great photos, and I’m sorry there’s no way to post them. If I find a way, I’ll let you know.

“The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men. I had no idea what to expect.

The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It’s probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally ‘a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots,’ and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received some nasty, harassing and threatening messages..

I felt a bit apprehensive. I’d been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it’s a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren’t sent by Eddie Burke, we’ll be doing good. A real statement will have been made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing ‘socialist baby-killing maggot’ haters.

It’s a good thing I wasn’t tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody’s trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.

Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn’t happen here.

Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up. He tried to talk to the media, and was instantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud he couldn’t be heard. Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3, like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high.

So, if you’ve been doing the math… Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin’s rally that got all the national media coverage! So take heart, sit back, and enjoy the photo gallery. Feel free to spread the pictures around to anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans. The citizens of Alaska, who know her best, have things to say.”

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By Shenonymous, September 18, 2008 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

For all those with a religious persuasion as Ambrose Bierce said (with just a little bit of variation provided by Shenonymous):  There is a pig inside every human (representing all sin and dirt), but the Great Sky God has the cure!  Yes, it only takes 2 things: realizing that you can’t get rid of the pig by yourself; and secondly, you have to let the Guy with the long white beard intervene. He will transform the pig into a sheep.  Yes, only that big Guy can make such an operation!  The price?  Yes, the price for such an operation is very high.  The good news is that it has already been paid for!  jeezus paid for it with Massacard!  Ask jeezus for help in all your battles with all “pigs.”

and a bit of the biblical…
“Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6   What do you suppose dogs and pearls mean here?

On a more serious note:  Yes, foolish pigs call forth exercising the Patriot Act by hacking into emails then publishing their plunder on the Internet!  Not good, not good for the good liberals.

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By OzarkMichael, September 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

FENWICK, even if i have a spankin comin my way, I can not tell a lie. I wrote that post and i enjoyed doin’ it.

thebeerdoctor, you wrote:  Well now Robert Kennedy Jr. has posted a piece about Governor Palin’s use of the American fascist writer’s words, pointing out what Pegler said about his father, Robert Kennedy, back in 1965. Pegler hoped that “some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies.”

I have to admit thats pretty bad. And sad. I bow to you on this Pegler being a nasty guy. But nothing else. You have to earn it. Distant association does not prove anything, or does it? Do you want to go that route?

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By thebeerdoctor, September 18, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

cann4ing’s post of 9/17 8:47 gets to the heart of how I feel as citizen of a secular democratic republic where freedom of religion also includes freedom from religion.

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By OzarkMichael, September 18, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

per cann4ing: OzarkMichael—are you asking me for a dissertation on the “original intent” of the First Amendment.  Sorry but that type of legal minutae is far too esoteric and time consuming for me to formulate a response—as an attorney I usually get paid a great deal of time for that kind of work. 

You were the one who brought up history, citing Washington’s statement as if original intent matters.

It wouldnt take that long to sketch out the the process that brought about the Bill of Rights. Funny that you would clam up when asked to do so.

I think we all know what that means. It means you already know i am right, and you are smart enough not to go there. I respect that.

As an attorney you make a great deal of money. I believe that.

My question to you: Why are you wasting any time posting here at all? Its all ‘esoteric and time consuming.’

Think of every letter you typed in your last post. each keystroke took up to 1 second to type. That means each keystroke is worth, what? $20 at at least.

You are practically hemorrhaging money onto these pages.

So dont sit here reading this and certainly dont try to teach or learn anything. Just march out there and make the world a better place by earning a great deal of money.

Don’t post a reply or i will tell your accountant.

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By Leefeller, September 18, 2008 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

Marshall,

“But choice of religion is not a qualification for veep.” For what is worth I agree with this part of your statement.  When the veep is perceived to believe in a set of principals from her religion and may want to institute them as deciding factors in our government, I feel very uncomfortable.  From what I have read, her religious dogma is very real and she has no qualms about letting her supporters know this.  Maybe this does not bother you, but it does worry me.  Separation of church and state should be followed. 

After the last four years of Bush slowly picking apart the constitution, I see Palin finishing the job with glee.

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By cyrena, September 17, 2008 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

Marshall writes:

•  But choice of religion is not a qualification for veep, and veep doesn’t make laws or overturn court rulings.

Marshall, the PRIMARY qualification for veep is that he/she be able to resume the responsibilities of the President. And while choice of religion is not a qualification for president either, let’s not make the claim that the president doesn’t make laws or overturn court rulings. Presidents DO appoint Supreme Court justices, which is exactly how we got stuck with Dick Bush 8 years ago.

And yes, laws and court rulings have been and can be overturned by various means under the influence of a president. We’ve already seen laws made and later overturned based on ideology, and religious affiliation is an IDEOLOGY.

Be that as it may, that is not the only reason why Sarah Palin is not qualified to be a veep. She’s not qualified to be a president, and that would be the case regardless of her religious affiliation.

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By wildflower, September 17, 2008 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

Re: Marshall

Since America has been dealing with fanatical religious organizations trying to undermine our way of government, one can expect to read informational articles about these fanatical religious organizations.  I agree a candidate’s choice of religion should be a private matter, but if the candidate is working to impose their religion on their fellow Americans it is no longer a private matter – it is a public matter. And I believe that Palin has proven to be this kind of candidate.

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By cann4ing, September 17, 2008 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael—are you asking me for a dissertation on the “original intent” of the First Amendment.  Sorry but that type of legal minutae is far too esoteric and time consuming for me to formulate a response—as an attorney I usually get paid a great deal of time for that kind of work. 

Suffice it to say, that you are stumbling around on an issue of settled law.  Our Supreme Court has clearly ruled on both clauses.  The cases in which they made their rulings, and there are many, contain a detailed discussion of the historical interpretation of both.  And their rulings on both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause are precisely as I have stated in my earlier post.

But I am sure you religious zealots will keep at it—trying to transform what was always intended to be a secular government into a theocracy.

Interesting you make comparisons to the former Soviet Union when thinking of atheism.  When I think of theocracy, the current regime in Iran comes to mind.  I would not want to live in a Muslim theocracy, but I would also not want to live in a Christian theocracy or a Jewish theocracy.

You want to believe, that’s your business.  But you have no business forcing your religious beliefs upon me.  And when you do, you violate my First Amendment rights.

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By Simon, September 17, 2008 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment

“Can’t we all just get along” were the simple words of one Rodney King, attacked by the police and certainly no saint, on the streets of LA. Since those surprisingly simple and strong words, the answer has become ever more emphatically “no.” Why? And what will be the result? Much of these comments, and Chris’s original piece, all point to growing intolerance of dissent, including (especially) any citation of inconvenient, inconsistent or damaging data, which is either ignored or mercilessly hounded. Am I alone in feeling that there is something increasingly mean within the spirit of our age?

It’s as though the same intolerance of women’s rights (the fewer rights women enjoy, the more men can reserve)at work in Islamic society increasingly knocks on the collective door of Western democracies. Chris is right to reference Fascism. If a leader doesn’t appear soon to do something simple like poll populations for policy positions and find what I believe Buddha called the middle path, I wonder if we in the West will be doomed to extremism, instead of simply living, debating issues, and respecting our differences.

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By Shenonymous, September 17, 2008 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

It took the Bill of Rights to provide the freedoms as spelled out in the First Amendment.
Information on the original Constitution and the First Amendment see
http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html#original

Inasmuch as today was Constitution Day, how many of you knew that?  Have you ever read the Constitution in its entirety?  Yes, it would be more than interesting if it would be taught in public schools.  I think a new one will be written for the Intergalactical Federation.

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Proposed 9/25/1789, Ratified 12/15/1791

For those interested more in what the Constitution is about, I suggest visiting the site:
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/

It must be time for a new pig poem.

The Pigfoot Rebellion
by Charles O. Hartman

  * When the hair is carefully trimmed away
  * You find in the pig’s forefoot a little hole
  * Through which the legion of devils bow in and out.
  * 
  * Say they enter on a summer morning,
  * Leaving the marks of their tiny claws as six
  * Small rings. Then, ‘please the pigs,’
  * 
  * As the Saxons say, those trotters flash
  * In as fiddle a jig as you who listen
  * Candidly will hear from any warm
  * 
  * Sly singer in the mud: “Oh the mud is good,
  * There’s plenty of good to be found in slops,
  * And the best of the good is a beast in shade.
  * 
  * They’ll slit my ear and cast me out
  * Unfit for human consumption. Bub,
  * I’ll follow anyone home who feeds me, yes,
  * 
  * And live to a hundred and five or ten.” Oh trim
  * The hair from a pig’s forefoot; I’ll show you why
  * A poke is best from the inside. And a sty.

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By OzarkMichael, September 17, 2008 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

per wildflower: But our society is not based on atheism, OzarkMichael.

I did not mean to say it was. But eventually it will be. I do not have confidence that population of mostly atheists will be able to support freedom.

per wildflower: I believe much of the hatred and intolerance you mention stems from our failure as a Nation to teach our children that respect and tolerance is the American way.  We teach our children to pledge allegiance to the flag, but how much do we teach them about respect, tolerance, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights?

You speak of good things. i agree with what you said.

per cann4ing: The first, the Establishment Clause, insures separation of church and state—that is “freedom from religion”

the actual First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Notice that the words ‘separation of church and state’ do not appear, although it is possible that the phrase is an accurate description. However, it does appear in the Soviet Constittion, “In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the USSR is separated from the State, and the school from the church.”

Now for cann4ing’s “Freedom from religion”. this phrase also found its fulfillment in the atheist Soviet Union.

I dont think the Soviet Union experienced a great freedom, just the opposite occurred. ‘Freedom from religion’ has a very poor track record, in addition to the fact that the blood of a few million Christians was shed by the atheist state at the altar of ‘Freedom from religion’. Today I am afraid that I see the term being used more and more often in relation to the First Amendment. 

cann4ing, if you want to go into this, would you briefly explain the circumstances that brought the 1st Amendment into existance? What sort of folks were pushing for it and why?

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By Marshall, September 17, 2008 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

I assume this article is meant to explain why Palin is unfit to assume the position of VP.  But choice of religion is not a qualification for veep, and veep doesn’t make laws or overturn court rulings.  All current candidates profess some form of religion, but apparently only Palin is disqualified as a result.

This whole approach seems disingenuous in its double standard.

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By wildflower, September 17, 2008 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

Hi Cann4ing,

No, I was responding to a specific statement made by OzarkMichael.  I brought up America’s “separation of church and state” principle in an earlier post.

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By Leefeller, September 17, 2008 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

OM,

Thanks for the amendment, now I feel better.

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By James M. Martin, September 17, 2008 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges, I have followed your debates with those who make up the “New Atheism,” and I have one question for you after reading this Truthdig posting: Don’t you think it’s about time people quit placing faith in the notion that earth came into existence about 6,000 years ago and that man walked with dinosaurs?  These are Gov. Palin’s beliefs. Assuming you’re a Christer, surely you know you can’t git right with Jebus if you don’t think Genesis is the literal word of God.

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By OzarkMichael, September 17, 2008 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

I must amend my most recent post when i said, “Instead we see for the most part a searing hatred and an inability to be objective,”

I would like to amend that by adding, “excluding certain posters on this forum”

Wasnt meaning to ‘dis’ the proud and the few.

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By cann4ing, September 17, 2008 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

By wildflower, September 17 at 12:26 pm #

Re: OzarkMichael

But our society is not based on atheism, OzarkMichael.  It’s based on religious freedom.
__________________

I’m not certain, wildflower, whether by “society” you are referring to the U.S. Constitution, but if you are, you are only half right.

The First Amendment contains two clauses pertaining to religion.  The first, the Establishment Clause, insures separation of church and state—that is “freedom from religion”—a right backed up by a separate provision within the constitution barring any religious test for holding public office.  The second clause protects “freedom of religion” which means that each individual has a constitutional right to believe in a deity as he or she sees fit, or not to believe at all.

Because the Establishment Clause insures freedom from religion, it bars religious nut jobs like Sarah Palin from teaching creationism (religion) to public school children as a counter-measure to evolution (science).

The U.S. Constitution thus produced a secular state where both the freedom to practice one’s religion (or atheism) and the freedom not to be subjected to someone else’s religious beliefs in the public square are guaranteed.  President Washington made clear, early on, that the U.S. was by no means founded upon the Christian religion.

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By DNR, September 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems to me that all Christians; Liberal, Moderate, Fundamentalist and literalist cherry pick the Bible. Each group “interprets” the scripture to reflect their world view. Not all fundamentalist/literalist “interpret” the scriptures promoting male dominance. If the scripture doesn’t fit, they simply ignore it.

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By wildflower, September 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Re: OzarkMichael

But our society is not based on atheism, OzarkMichael.  It’s based on religious freedom, which is something quite different. As JFK has said America is a country “where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice.”

I believe much of the hatred and intolerance you mention stems from our failure as a Nation to teach our children that respect and tolerance is the American way.  We teach our children to pledge allegiance to the flag, but how much do we teach them about respect, tolerance, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights?

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By hippy pam, September 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

About this ROWE V WADE…....I was talking to my friend and…...HOW ABOUT THIS…If a man makes 2 children and does not take care of the responsibilities…..HE gets a reversible vasectomy….It can be reversed if/when he becomes “responsible”...And ALL children in orphanages MUST BE ADOPTED BEFORE another baby is born to a woman who does not want to bear said child…AND ALL RELIGIOUS DO-GOODIES WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN ABORTION MUST ADOPT A CHILD WITH DISABILITIES OR ADDICTIONS and BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL MEDICAL/SCHOOL/CARE…without STATE HELP…..[hey guys-I know many many GREAT DADS-I’m not talking about you]...THE BAD ONES KNOW WHO I’M TALKING ABOUT….......

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By annelieseessig, September 17, 2008 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Bush years were very far to the right, including Bush’s ties to the Christian right.  I think it’s clear to the electorate that form of religion has no place in the federal gov’t.  Palin is free to believe what she wants, however, has no right to force it onto anyone. I believe there is an amendment to the Constitution on this one. With any luck, she won’t end up in the White House.

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By OzarkMichael, September 17, 2008 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

At times a vista opens for a very different sort of discussion, possibly a very different way of looking at things, and when that occurs one must take the opportunity. This happens when sometimes when I read a post by shenonymous.

Thanks to several of you for many responses. The quality of these responses is pretty good but for now I am going to pick up on what shenonymous posted.

per shenonymous:  Perhaps instead of having passed its moral zenith, civilization is just at its mid point of a new evolution in ascending a moral zenith without religion.  You know, like that kind as found on Star Trek, The Next Generation and Captain Picard.  Even though fictional, they the Earthworld and exploratory spaceship as peopled by non-religious having moved beyond the need for an invention of a supernatural creator and discovered the inhabitants of the universe were so vastly diverse.  Realizing some of the other worlds had gods and others did not and of the various gods that showed up it was impossible to decide if one of them was The God.  A congruent problem we have right here on Earth today similar to your simile of Rome and current United States.

my observation: I do not see that a society based on the present atheism could even come close to what is hoped for in Star Trek. The equanimity exhibited by the Next Generation does not exist in the atheist ranks presently. Instead we see for the most part a searing hatred and an inability to be objective, which is not much of an improvement over the most radical and crazed christian fundamentalist, even if the atheist worldview is correct. This does not bode well for anyone who falls under their future power.

So even if the Star Trek dream is realizable in the future we are in for some rocky times till then. How do we propose to get to that Next Generation? It isnt going to just happen on its own. And it would need to happen soon or it will be overrun by something else.

It was so strange to me how similar all the characters were on Next Generation. Instead of a diversity of thought they only had diversity of leisure/cultural preferences. Maybe they all had some sort of conditioning at childhood to ensure conformity? Do we need BF Skinner to create the conditions for us? Is that how we leap to the Next Generation?

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By wildflower, September 17, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Re: mike roloff

Yes, when you listen to their message, one does wonder if Palin’s Bible warriors have even read the Bible they’re touting . . . specifically, Luke 18:9-14:

“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

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By wildflower, September 17, 2008 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Re: Outraged

You might right, Outraged. There is the tanning bed factor to consider.  But the bottom line is Palin does not support the principle of separation of church and state; therefore, she is an unworthy candidate for this country’s VP position.

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By Leefeller, September 17, 2008 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

Outraged,

Are you suggesting Palin has over 15,000 taste buds?

Sounds hateful and bigoted toward pigs, they are similar to Republicans, but much smarter. Ever see pig’s run to the feed trough, reminds me of Bulls running to a bailout.

I know Rus, hateful and bigoted.

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By iamjmbb, September 17, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

WELL, here’s a small piece addressing who would actually be ruling Palin, and calling the shots—but, still doesn’t really address that she is immediately subservient to her husband—-as head of the household. Unlike Hillary & Bill, who seem to always battle for supremacy, this groups creed is based on woman being directed by men. So, who would be doing the directing? ..Would it be Todd Palin, James Hagee, Pat Robertson, her own son[since he is of age,  he should be the dominate to her subservient position], or, would it be all of the above…..or, in reality would it be any alpha male within the movement?? So, who would actually be being elected as Vice President? Yeah, that’s some feminism….to believe ALL MEN ARE YOUR MASTERS!
To those of you who say that Sarah Palin is not like that, I posit that you are suggesting that she lies about her religious convictions…as well as everything else!!

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By mike roloff, September 17, 2008 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

would seem to be accurate.
i am puzzled why with all the lice combing going on, no one has checked on sarah’s status as a “born again”.
why? when? 6 diff colleges in five years, most of them community and two year jobs, and then she graduates from idaho. there is that photo of her wearing a sweatshirt saying “i may be flat broke, but i am not flat chested” wearing ultra short jean shorts. looks like a funky college girl to me, a fun girl not of the sophisticated kind of course, but the kind of fun girl that gets knocked up at a young age in alaska and alabama. “born again” means precisely what? say in the case of george w. bush? turning against alcohol, the pleasures of drugs, etc. and with the same energy that they once supplied; it’s a 180 degree turn, and done with righteousness, that’s the worst of it. there’s a lot of paranoia about backsliding. a lot of phobias. it knocks out a lot of intelligence. Why does letting Jesus enter you heart mean that you have to lose your mind? how much does all this warrior business have to do with Christianity?  specifically with christ?
http://palin-presidency-comedy.blogspot.com/

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By moineau, September 17, 2008 at 3:18 am Link to this comment

given that this subject is your bailywick, chris, when you go into the voting booth, who are you going to vote for? of course, it’s between you and your god…

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By Outraged, September 17, 2008 at 12:22 am Link to this comment

Re: wildflower

Your comment: “I think he’s wrong about Palin, especially his thoughts about her being “blindly obedient to the male hierarchy.” While there is no question there are lots of women in the Christian right who are “blindly obedient,” Palin appears to be a control freak to me.”

>> I can see your frustration with understanding the premise Hedges has made.  However, things are not at times as they appear.  I agree with you that Palin IS “a control freak”, but don’t take that as she doesn’t BELIEVE that she answers to a “higher authority”.  She does.  It is a BASIC premise of fundamentalism.

She will do that which she “is allowed” under the headship of authority.  To make it easier, consider this;  If your boss tells you to “go ahead, no holds barred”, do you have his “blessing” to do “as you please” until he/she admonishes you otherwise?  Of course you do…..UNTIL, he/she redirects you.

You see, many of us are curtailed by authority in this regard, the DIFFERENCE is that Palin’s is sanctioned by God.  Therefore, it IS “absolutely” right and correct, and that which is sanctioned by male “headship” is just as legitimate as the bible itself.  Male “headship” not only relieves women of ANY responsibility for their actions, it is considered a thing of glory “to God”.

Whereas…in the case of a boss, we can quit and go elsewhere.  Believers don’t “quit” God, it is unacceptable and blasphemous.

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By wildflower, September 16, 2008 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

Re: Chris Hedges

Although I agree with most of what Hedges says about the right’s Christian extremists, I think he’s wrong about Palin, especially his thoughts about her being “blindly obedient to the male hierarchy.”  While there is no question there are lots of women in the Christian right who are “blindly obedient,” Palin appears to be a control freak to me.  She also seems very different from Danuta Pfeiffermore.

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By thebeerdoctor, September 16, 2008 at 11:18 pm Link to this comment

re: Rus7355

In response to your response, I agree that Reagan’s pander to the fundamentalist crowd was in fact, the basis for the term “Reagan democrats”. But it might also be worth pointing out that those electoral landslides, held in such high regard in GOP circles, were in fact the decision of only half the eligible voters. In fact, it is that other non-voting half of the population that the political parties worry about. The republicans do their damn best to discourage their participation. The democrats give some lip service to this non-voting block, but they too are very cautious about arousing their dissatisfaction, which could clearly explain why the democrats are no longer the champions of the poor and instead, extol the virtues of the middle class.
But perhaps, at least rhetorically, this is starting to change. The economic melt down crisis has prompted both Senators McCain and Obama to strangely start talking about regulating capital markets. This works better for Obama, since he has already been branded by the republicans as “the most liberal senator in the Senate”. For John McCain, a long time “maverick” for deregulation, this talk sounds downright bizarre.

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By Shenonymous, September 16, 2008 at 10:41 pm Link to this comment

OM:  It could be you are like a D’Artagnan with coup de taille, esquive, feintes, and engagements as so many are at the attaque and you must parry against the troupe.  I offer an atheist’s empathy. You said “Rome had some period where they longed for the old ways far out of proportion to how much people actually lived the old Roman ways. Really its a sign of a civilization that has become aware that it has passed its moral zenith.”

There are different ways of looking at things.

Perhaps instead of having passed its moral zenith, civilization is just at its mid point of a new evolution in ascending a moral zenith without religion.  You know, like that kind as found on Star Trek, The Next Generation and Captain Picard.  Even though fictional, they the Earthworld and exploratory spaceship as peopled by non-religious having moved beyond the need for an invention of a supernatural creator and discovered the inhabitants of the universe were so vastly diverse.  Realizing some of the other worlds had gods and others did not and of the various gods that showed up it was impossible to decide if one of them was The God.  A congruent problem we have right here on Earth today similar to your simile of Rome and current United States.  Granted that the television show was a mental construction of scriptwriters, but those scriptwriters were human minds at work with human logic not unlike what you or I have. 

Seems to me that a finer state of human mentality is to discover morality naturally rather than be frightened into it by a belief in a fictitious supernatural being that was invented by men with agendas having a whole passel of rules and laws also invented by general agreement to control the damaging primitive self-interest tendencies of individuals in a social structure (community).  Seems that kind of morality is much more stable and permanent since it would have been intuited in the human mind as the best way to survive as a species.

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By Shenonymous, September 16, 2008 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

Outraged, Those 15,000 taste buds probably cause all that drooling, could we say one good turn at the spit deserves another?  Oh I love double-entendres.


My thanks to you!  I promise another pig poem soon.  Timing is everything.

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By Outraged, September 16, 2008 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Re: Chris Hedges

Your article quote: “All configurations of human life that do not conform to the rigid Christian model, such as homosexuality, are forms of disorder, tools of Satan, and must be abolished. This is why Palin opposes gay marriage and calls for gays to be cured. A world that can be predicted and understood, a world that has clear markers, can be made rational. It can be managed and controlled. The petrified, binary world of fixed, immutable and established roles is a world where people, many of them damaged by bouts with failure and despair, can bury their chaotic and fragmented personalities. They can live with the illusion that they are strong, whole and protected. Those who do not fit into these narrow definitions must be proselytized and converted.

Wow.  I have to say it was hard to know which quote to choose, as so much of your article is more intuitive than maybe most realize.  Thank you.

But I guess I’ll elaborate on this particular comment.  What everyone needs to understand is that to “a believer” these things are as REAL as the sun in the morning.  They do not question it, as questioning “God” is blasphemy.  You DO NOT question God.  This is the indoctrinated premise of a believer.

The are NOT required to give critical analysis to their premise, IT IS FROM GOD.  In addition,  they themselves should not QUESTION God.  God knows all and IS all one needs to understand. 

Therefore quote, their “binary world of fixed, immutable and established roles is a world where people, many of them damaged by bouts with failure and despair, can bury their chaotic and fragmented personalities” is a solace.

To a fundamentalist, things are black and white.  When confronted with issues which ARE NOT “black and white” they regress again to “black and white” and let their leaders decide that.  For this reason, they harbor no guilt.

But real life isn’t so simple.  So many do FEEL guilt, this then creates a conundrum.  This conundrum results then in an inner struggle.  In other words, their “lack of faith” and “the true God’s will”.  They suffer tremendously in this regard.  They cannot seek out help “in Satan’s established world”, and for them it is a catch-22.  Damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.  I do not mean this in any facetious manner, since this is extremely REAL to the believer.

The most basic thing anyone can do is gain “a believers” trust.  This is everything.  However, be very careful.  Because believers KNOW, you can’t be trusted and that as an outsider, you don’t understand.  They also KNOW that Satan, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, is on their tail….and as legitimate as you may appear, more than likely you are Satan, deceiving them.

Oh yeah, as far as Palin goes… she’s a leader/manipulator.  She is still subject, to the “headship”, authority.  This would be a man. Yet, this shouldn’t be interpreted as illogical.  Even men are subject to the authority of Christ…and Christ in turn is subject to the authority of God.  (specific cults not withstanding)

Another revealing article:

“The phenomenon of the rapid spread within the United States since the 1980’s of evangelical Pentecostalism is a political phenomenon which has become so influential that the two elections of George W. Bush as well as countless races for Senate or Congress often depend on the backing or lack of it from the organized Religious Right.

The spawning of some Christian Right sects also creates an ideology to drive the shock troops willing to literally ‘die for Christ’ in places such as Iraq or Afghanistan, Iran or elsewhere that the Pentagon needs their services. That ideology has been used to build a fanatical activist base within the Republican Party which backs a right-wing domestic agenda and a military foreign policy that sees Islam or other suitable opponents of the US power elite as Satanism incarnate.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10167

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By wildflower, September 16, 2008 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

Re: OzarkMichael

What “old ways” are you addressing?  Are you talking about the kind JFK is addressing in this speech?  Separation of church and state?

“. . . I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; . . .

. . . I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice; where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind; and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.

That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of presidency in which I believe — a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group, nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. . . .

. . . I would not look with favor upon a president working to subvert the First Amendment’s guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test — even by indirection — for it. . . .

. . . this is the kind of America for which our forefathers died, when they fled here to escape religious test oaths that denied office to members of less favored churches; when they fought for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom; and when they fought at the shrine I visited today, the Alamo. For side by side with Bowie and Crockett died McCafferty and Bailey and Carey. But no one knows whether they were Catholic or not, for there was no religious test at the Alamo.. . . “

Transcript courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16920600

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By Outraged, September 16, 2008 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Re: Shenonymous

Thank you for the wonderful pig poem.  As the old adage goes, one good turn deserves another.  Here’s mine.

Interesting pig facts:

“A domesticated pig has approximately 15,000 taste buds, which is more than any other mammal, including humans.”

ENJOY.

http://www.kritterfacts.com/pig/taste-841.htm

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By Outraged, September 16, 2008 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Re: OzarkMichael

This is in response to YOUR response to beerdoctor’s comment, this I have reposted.

“per thebeerdoctor: Is it not amazing Big B, that the kind of religious fringe that has always been with us, quite often in the form of revival tents, and later, the gold mine known as religious broadcasting, was once considered an acquired taste, like wrestling or putt-putt golf. But now it has taken on this enormous mainstream significance, so that now it is considered an essential part of the Republican base. This appeal to religious extremism started with Reagan and appears to be culminated, with the capitulation of Senator McCain.

If it is amazing that means you dont understand why it happened. I will give my explanation:

People know that as a nation we are slipping, and they know we have abandoned the old ways. They suspect the two events are linked but may not even be aware of this link consciously. So even people who arent very religious may feel this way but they dont know why. Either way, all of them expect/hope that a leader who exemplifies those old ways will supply what we lack and that will make a better America.”

>>  Please correct me if I’m wrong in what you’re asserting here.  I interpret your response to mean that supposedly everyone senses how “bad” things are unconsciously or not, and are “hoping” for someone like Palin or McCain to set things aright.  And that, whether they are religious or not, they still supposedly “sense” this need.

If something in my understanding of what your claiming is incorrect, please respond accordingly.  As it is, I am responding assuming that what I have interpreted is your premise.

To whit, to this I am in agreement, however, I feel NOT in the way that you assert.  People WERE upset regarding this “morality police state” which did rear its ugly head during the Reagan admin. and culminated during the “reign” of G.W. Bush.

Remember, much of what you are claiming was DICTATED to the population, who at first were flabbergasted in their response.  They began to look for leaders/answers to this abominable condition.  But they were NOT looking for leaders to give them MORE of the same BS, they looking for ways to stop the assault they felt was taking place regarding their individual rights and freedoms.  They were NOT looking for leaders to “fix” a supposed “moral state of decline” as you imply.  In fact, the opposite is true.

This assault upon their social and civil freedoms BEGAN (and I agree with beerdoctor here) during the Reagan admin.  This assault may have been planned and inwardly incorporated much earlier, however this is when I feel it’s outward presence was inflicted upon an unsuspecting public.  Thereby, a huge response was inevitible, NOT because the public felt some “moral decay”, but because their freedoms were under assault.  Yes they felt it, and they responded, but NOT by initiating more of the same!  But by word of mouth and small group activity IN DIRECT DEFIANCE of the “morality police” and “big” government control of private affairs and big business corruption.  Something that I can agree was FELT, however at that point was not yet REVEALED in it’s totality.  For that matter, may not yet be revealed in it’s TOTALITY.

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By Leefeller, September 16, 2008 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

She,

For Palin the equal rights amendment, is somewhere between the Bush Doctrine and her tanning room.

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By Shenonymous, September 16, 2008 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Seems to be time for a pig poem on this forum

Pigs are playful. Pigs are pink.
Pigs are farters and they stink.

Pigs are pudgy. Pigs are plump.
Pigs can run but never jump.

Pigs are royal. Pigs are blue.
Pigs don’t really care what you do.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 16, 2008 at 7:58 pm Link to this comment

Russ7355,

Most TDers have long ago caught on to the fact that I’m a lazy SOB who isn’t much into searching the internet for confirmation of my beliefs.

I am well aware and have acknowledged here that there are many politically astute contributors, people who have great brains and are good researchers.  That’s why I hang out here.  Im a sycophant, a fawner.

You have to admit this has been rich, watching the Repugs lie to make up for their abject lack of any justification for seeking re-election to the WH.  In fact, all they have going for them is Sarah Barbie Doll Palin and 8 years of ineptness and bungling. They have to lie.  They lie, they know they lie, everyone else knows they lie, and they keep lying.  Now I ask you, what does the lord say about “bearing false witness?  Mind you, I didn’t look that up.  I learned it back in my church days.  Do you think the lord approves of the Repug campaign strategy of lying?  I seriously doubt it.

I remember when my good buddy Charleton Heston, erstwhile president of the NRA, came down out of the mountain carrying the lord’s commandments, and how pissed he was that the Israelites were not behaving very well.  Don’t you think the Repugs are sort of like the Israelites, out of control and behaving with reckless disregard and a take-no-prisoners abandon?  Maybe desperate?

Bottom line, I don’t think the presidency of the US or any country is worth all the lying and anyone who does that probably lacks the moral fiber necessary to make a virtuous leader of the Free World.

I didn’t get that out of the internet, either.  I made it up.  I got real good at making stuff up from listening to my preacher for so many years.

I trust that Sarah Palin, if she finds her brain’s “on” switch someday, will also get good at making stuff up, I mean so that we can’t tell she’s making it up.  Right now, she’s a little high schoolish. 

Well, enough of this.  Don’t take me too seriously, Russ.  You’re a good guy—or girl.

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By OzarkMichael, September 16, 2008 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

per dale Headley: 400+ years ago, the Calvinists began leaving Europe for America, not because of religious persecution as American textbooks claim, but because Europe was outgrowing medieval Christianity and entering the scientific age.

Wow! Europe must have become so great and so free after all the radical Christians left. They could enjoy the warm glow of the enlightenment without any pesky Christians limiting their greatness. While the American colonies had tent revivals and got worse and worse. Imagine how awful it must have been in America. And unscientific. And a fascist atmosphere to be sure.

Oh for the purity of european society! To this day they rejoice that they arent as religious as the Americans. And the atheists here can only wring their hands over it.  Because good europe never had any problems once the Christians left, while bad America always was and stubbornly remains too Christian.  Frenchmen even during Napolean’s day wrote books about that. Europe, as we all know, would go from glory to glory.

Contrasted to poor America! It became a veritable devil’s island of all sorts of fundamentalist type Christians and that could only guarantee the most unfree possible place in the whole world. 

Hey, wait a minute. America was so heavily sunk into Christianity, with even more fundamentalists running around back then than we have today… but it gave birth to a promise of freedom unmatched in the world before or since. The American Constitution had to be developed and approved and sustained by a nest of the most overly-Christian-influenced people in the world.

Strange. Inexplicable.

Oh well, I’m sure one of you can sort this out for me.

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By OzarkMichael, September 16, 2008 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

per thebeerdoctor: Is it not amazing Big B, that the kind of religious fringe that has always been with us, quite often in the form of revival tents, and later, the gold mine known as religious broadcasting, was once considered an acquired taste, like wrestling or putt-putt golf. But now it has taken on this enormous mainstream significance, so that now it is considered an essential part of the Republican base. This appeal to religious extremism started with Reagan and appears to be culminated, with the capitulation of Senator McCain.

If it is amazing that means you dont understand why it happened. I will give my explanation:

People know that as a nation we are slipping, and they know we have abandoned the old ways. They suspect the two events are linked but may not even be aware of this link consciously. So even people who arent very religious may feel this way but they dont know why. Either way, all of them expect/hope that a leader who exemplifies those old ways will supply what we lack and that will make a better America.

Rome had some period where they longed for the old ways far out of proportion to how much people actually lived the old Roman ways. Really its a sign of a civilization that has become aware that it has passed its moral zenith.

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By OzarkMichael, September 16, 2008 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Frank Cajon writes: ...Radical, fundamentalist Moslems have overrun the secular governments of the Palistinians and Iran, and run the Taliban. Palin goes nearly as far with an unrealistically dogmatic Christian fundamentalism...

My response: oh my that does sound scary. She goes nearly as far as radical fundamentalist muslims? but not quite as far, maybe 90% as far? 95%? 99%?Give me a rough estimate, Frank,  if you have any way of measuring the similarities.

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By Frank Cajon, September 16, 2008 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

I rarely post in discussions of religion because I think religious tolerance is very important; even after the Neocon Right members of Moral Majority bought the GOP at the beginning of this century I bit my lip for most of it. The problem I have with Palin is that the world is already screwed up enough because of a bunch of religious extremists. Radical, fundamentalist Moslems have overrun the secular governments of the Palistinians and Iran, and run the Taliban. Palin goes nearly as far with an unrealistically dogmatic Christian fundamentalism, and her wording in a recent prayer, quoted in an AP article, sounded like a Holy War rallying cry. She should be free to believe whatever arcane teachings she wants, but that should be it-there should be no carryover into the public policy arena, as is Bush/Cheney/McCain Reichstag standard practice. Kennedy was a Roman Catholic before Vatican II, and we didn’t as a nation have to start eating fish on Friday, but with this shallow woman, I have a feeling that it’s a whole new ballgame.

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By Shenonymous, September 16, 2008 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

wildflower – “Wonder if Palin is a supporter of an Equal Rights Amendment?”  I think cyrena is right.  Also, if as she indicates and supports submission of women as per her religious doctrine, then it is reasonable to assume she does not support ERA.

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By cyrena, September 16, 2008 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

By wildflower, September 15 at 7:15 am

•  “Somehow I can’t see Palin and women like Abigail Adams getting along, but I could be wrong. Wonder if Palin is a supporter of an Equal Rights Amendment?’

I doubt it wildflower. Remember Phyllis Schafley was just singing her (Palin’s) praises. Schafely was against it, and may have been part of the reason it was never ratified.

~~~

By cann4ing, September 15 at 7:06 am

•  “Palin is to women’s rights what Clarence Thomas was to racial equality.  She is the anti-woman, female candidate.”
WOW Ernest. This is an absolutely PERFECT analogy!!!

~~~~
By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 15 at 8:01 am

•  “Russ7355, you may be right.  I don’t condone name-calling.  Certainly not that directed toward mis-guided, idiotic, superstitious, god-fearing Neanderthals who parrot neocon bullshit.

I apologize.”

~~~~~
Dr Know..

I LOVE this. I don’t condone name-calling either, UNLESS it’s directed at the asshole SOB’s that frequent this forum to twist the truth to the point of turning it into a shitty tattered rag.
No apologies.

~~~~~
Kath Cantrella,

I was thinking that your idea about commenting on the Reich Wing blogs might be useful. I’m not sure how, though. The ones that infiltrate this supposedly PROGRESSIVE site don’t seem to have progressed much.
But, it might be fun just to annoy them.

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By Shenonymous, September 16, 2008 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

It is quite pathological, BruSays, that there are those who find ghastly human behavior warm, comforting, and safe to believe a lie when millions of lives are lost for their cozy feeling.

WendyWV There is one religion where apostasy is practiced (those who are not blindly obedient or attempt to abandon the religion are executed), Islam.  Since I am not a believer, I do not know for sure what is done in the various Christian churches but I think one can easily move from one denomination to another or even leave Christianity and go to say Judiasm, such as Sammy Davis Junior or Elizabeth Taylor did.  without being ostracized or murdered.  I’ sure it goes the other direction too.  Islamists will take in converts but will not let anybody out.

AustinMike, if you had a good platform, I’m one atheist transplant to Texas that would vote for you.  Like likes like so I’ve been told.

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By cann4ing, September 16, 2008 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 16 at 11:47 am #

cann4ing,

You’re arguably the premiere TDer here but, as I see it, we all live in fear that, if they’re elected, the McCain/Palin bridge will take us deeper into Hell.  But I get your point.

____________________

Thanks for the compliment.  I don’t disagree with your “Hell” description—though, as an atheist, I would see it as a Hell on Earth.  I was simply trying out a bit of levity with Palin’s patently false claim.  But the truly scary thing is that Palin is part of a radical end-times sect that believes we have to accelerate Armageddon to bring about the Rapture.  The idea that this nut case could get anywhere near the red button should scare the wits out of every living soul on the planet.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 16, 2008 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

Russ7355,

I tried to honor your request and pass over your comments but I couldn’t help myself. 

What is “centrist” about Trickledown economics, busting unions and running the country into debt?

Reagan was a dunderhead B movie actor who beguiled a star-struck electorate with his boyish smile, kind of a Sarah Palin male counterpart, except she made it big in beauty queen contests because, apparently, she got no movie offers.

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By Realitycheck, September 16, 2008 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

So Sarah is really just another Dick, as in Nixon and Cheney.  What I’m sick and tired of is Cheney and Addington running the White House, while W is busy making verbal blunders.
Too, if the mainstream media after all its hysteria over Rev. Wright doesn’t expose Palin’s Morningstar/Joel’s Army bent then they should be flogged (correction, stoned as in Old Testament, pre-merciful Jesus times).

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By Leefeller, September 16, 2008 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

dale Headley,

Nice piece on history,  explains why some of us feel the heat of the inquisition breathing down our necks.

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By shelle, September 16, 2008 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

sara palin and her beliefs are disgusting and medieval…she is just WRONG.  She is more of a dinosaur than mccain and that is saying something.

what would be really fantastic is if they found a vid of her speaking in tongues and it was broadcast.

as an agnostic who finds chritianity with all its judgement of anything sexual, its bias towards women, its bloody, bloody history. a cruel religion, i am horrified to see this woman held up as any sort of paragon.

however, one must note that if she was a good fundamentalist, she would be home with the kids and daddy palin would be supporting them all at his job with the oil company.

i can’t believe the us has come to the point where it is running two fools and the media in not laughing at them as they would have a few decades ago.  sorry, when i reread that statement i CAN believe it, unfortunately.

i do however disregard the polls, they can’t be that close. i wish someone would do some poll research. no one has polled me or anyone i know.  are they polling churchmembers or southerners only??

OBAMA 08

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By shemp333, September 16, 2008 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges just perplexes the hell outta me.  He writes great articles;  surely trashing the cult of Christianity;  and then debates Sam Harris defending Christianity.  My flabber is completely gasted.  Anyone with some kind of explanation?  Please?

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, September 16, 2008 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

cann4ing,

You’re arguably the premiere TDer here but, as I see it, we all live in fear that, if they’re elected, the McCain/Palin bridge will take us deeper into Hell.  But I get your point.

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By Big B, September 16, 2008 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Beerdoc,

I’ve been telling people for years that we will someday look back and try to pinpoint that moment in time when the american empire began to unravel, and that moment will most likely coincide with the rise in popularity of pro-wrestling, NASCAR, and televangalism.(I was a big fan of “superstar” Billy Graham, the wrestler, not the evangelist. But then again, I was 12 at the time).
The rise of fundamentalist christianity has also led us down the path of selfishness that I think(not beileve) is the root social problem in america. It seems now that, no matter how big an asshole you have been in your life, your wrongdoings can be whiped clean by being born again! This social caveaught takes away, all at once, the gulity feelings and culpability associated with being an asshole. All without having to apologize to anyone or make amends. Just put 7-10% of your salary in the plate, and you’re forgiven.

My grandma used to say that God will forgive us our sins, but unless the person you’ve wronged gives you absolution, it really doesn’t matter.
Of course, she also used to say that all the catholics are going to hell for worshipping false idols.
and so it goes.

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By ed_tru_lib, September 16, 2008 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well said Hedges. Amazing how much sense you can make when you stay away from anti-Israel venom and stick to intelligent, progressive reporting and analysis. By the way, do you still wish Nader was in the race in a serious way, and especially with your pick of Cynthia McKinney as his running mate. Geez that would really bring out the “women’s vote” nationally—for Palin; the men’s too. Will we ever be free of the ghosts of 2000 and their endless haunting of us??
Let’s face it-as true liberals AKA the left with brains felt, and many said then, but probably won’t now-a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush, AND for Palin.

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