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Warren Is Worth the Headache

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Posted on Dec 23, 2008

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

    By inviting Pastor Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation, President-elect Barack Obama has alienated some of his friends on the left. By accepting, Warren has enraged some of his allies on the right.

    Obama and Warren have helped each other in the past, and both know exactly what they’re doing.

    If you’re on the left, how you view Obama’s move depends upon who you think Warren is, where you think he’s going, and what you think Obama is up to.

    Liberals who see Warren as a garden-variety conservative evangelical defined primarily by his opposition to gay marriage accuse Obama of selling them out. Gays and lesbians enraged by Warren’s strong opposition to gay marriage in last month’s California referendum charge Obama with pandering to white evangelicals and fear the president-elect has gone out of his way to offend them in order to curry favor with straight conservatives.

    But a more benign view on parts of the religious left casts Warren as the evangelical best positioned to lead moderately conservative white Protestants toward a greater engagement with the issues of poverty and social justice, and away from a relentless focus on abortion and gay marriage.

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    Recall Warren’s 2006 invitation to Obama to come to his Saddleback Church in California for a discussion on the AIDS crisis. The right came down hard on the idea of giving an evangelical platform to this up-and-coming supporter of abortion rights.

    Warren wouldn’t back down and offered ABC News a delightful explanation for his political apostasy. “I’m a pastor, not a politician,” Warren said. “People always say, ‘Rick, are you right wing or left wing?’ I say ‘I’m for the whole bird.’ ”

    Many liberals hope—and a lot of conservatives fear—that the rise of “whole bird” Christianity will break up right-wing dominance in the white evangelical community.

    Obama never forgot what Warren did for him and brought the episode up last week in explaining why he had asked the pastor to pray at his inauguration. “A couple of years ago,” Obama recalled, “I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion.”

    One need not be too pious about any of this. Both Warren and Obama are shrewd leaders who sense where the political winds are blowing.

    Warren understands that a new generation of evangelicals has tired of an excessively partisan approach to religion. Evangelical Christianity’s reach will be limited if the tradition is seen as little more than an extension of the politics of George Bush, Karl Rove and Sarah Palin.

    An opening to Obama is the right move for this moment, and Warren appears to be genuinely interested in broadening evangelical Christianity’s public agenda. In a recent interview with Steve Waldman of Beliefnet.com, Warren compared gay marriage to “an older guy marrying a child,” and to “one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.” But he also called upon evangelicals to be “the social change leaders in our society” engaged with “poverty and disease and charity and social justice and racial justice.”

    Obama wants to encourage this move, which would be good for him and good for progressive politics. Fear that Obama’s analysis is exactly right is why so many conservatives are so angry with Warren for blessing the new president’s inaugural.

    Although I support gay marriage, I think that liberals should welcome Obama’s success in causing so much consternation on the right. On balance, inviting Warren opens more doors than it closes.

    Warren has some decisions to make, too. He would do well to apologize for comparing gays to pedophiles, and also for comments to Beliefnet deriding mainline Protestants for not caring much “about redemption, the cross, repentance.”

    It would be especially powerful if Warren stood up for Rich Cizik, who had to step down as chief lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals after daring to make supportive comments about homosexual civil unions. Cizik was pushed out by conservative forces opposed to precisely the social evangelicalism that Warren wants to preach. Cizik deserves a little Christian charity right about now.

    Yet liberals also need to come to terms with what it means to build a durable majority. Doing so requires not just easy gestures but hard ones. Here’s a prayer that by calling in his friend Rick Warren, Obama took a risk worth taking.
   
    E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is postchat(at)aol.com.
   
    © 2008, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Skruff, January 1, 2009 at 10:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Maani, December 31, 2008 at 4:53 pm #


Skruff:

“You are changing the parameters of the situation.”

No I’m not. I said “well” is subjective, and asked for clarification. “Well” in relation to what. Then you go on to insult Britney Spears while admitting she makes millions while saying she’s not (in your opinion?) very good, again subjective. obviously SOMEONE thinks Britney is “good” or she wouldn’t have all those fans.

Personally I liked Janis Joplin but I’m not sure she was “good” I’m just sure she was singing my kind of music.

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By Maani, December 31, 2008 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Skruff:

You are changing the parameters of the situation. Obviously, if Rick Wakeman asked me if I play well, I might have to consider a different answer. LOL. But that was clearly not what I was saying.

As for “playing well enough to charge money and go on tour,” I know plenty of pianists who charge money and go on tour - and are NOT very good; indeed, some of whom I am honestly better than.

Being able to charge and tour does not necessarily make one “good” at what they do (i.e., better than an “amateur.”)  It simply makes one “successful.” Britney Spears tours and charges millions, but not only does she not compare vocally even to many of her “peers” - and does not hold even a WET candle to some of the best out there - but I have heard dozens of “amateurs” and unknowns who are WAY better than her vocally.

Would you still use this yardstick to make your point?

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 31, 2008 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

Hitchens has finally spoken:  It looks like the jews may want to join the gays in protest. 

http://www.slate.com/id/2207554/

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By Skruff, December 31, 2008 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maani

“If someone asks me if I play the piano well, I could say, “yes,” because it is a fact that I play the piano well.  That is not a lack of humility.”

Well, Maybe. this kind of stuff is subjective. Do you play “well” enough to charge money and go on tour?  Do you play well enough to challenge the greats?

I golf “well” too, but not as “well as the Tiger, So if Mr. Woods asked me about my game, I’d have to say:

“Not well at all” although with the folks I play with, I am OK.

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By Fellowdigger, December 31, 2008 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

Click off!  Forgot to do it - now no more e-mail notifications -

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By Maani, December 30, 2008 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger (assumign you are still out there…LOL):

“I had no idea that I was in the presence of such an great man as yourself.”

The life I’ve lived, the things I’ve done, the things I’ve learned, etc. do not make me “great.” Nor did I suggest that.  I only pointed out those things because your ongoing attitude was so preumptuous that I felt it best to show you just how wrong you were about me; i.e., that when you threw out sarcastic comments like “But I guess you’ve read everything there is on (xxx),” you didn’t stop to think that maybe I HAD read…well, not “everything there is,” but enough (and often “then some”) to give me a solid foundation for my positions.

“You certainly do have the humility of a Christian.”

Actually, making an observation about oneself is not “arrogance” (which is the opposite of humility).  If someone asks me if I play the piano well, I could say, “yes,” because it is a fact that I play the piano well.  That is not a lack of humility.  However, if someone asked me if I play the piano well, and I said, “Yes, I’m amazing” or “Yes, and I’m better than most people,” THAT would be an unhumble statement.

Peace.  And humility.  And whatever else floats your boat.

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By KDelphi, December 30, 2008 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

maani—I know this. But, I would never do it—I’m not the “watcher” type…

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By Fellowdigger, December 30, 2008 at 3:56 am Link to this comment

Maani:

I had no idea that I was in the presence of such an great man as yourself.  Obviously there is really nothing that can be said that you do not have a rebuttal of somekind.  Even when your words are presented back to you in quotes, attached to your contradiction - you still don’t seem to budge.

Beside that - the only other comment I’d like to make on the last entry is regarding what you said about my not caring.  I don’t know you.  I don’t know how old you are, what you look like, what part of the world you, what kind of degree you have or if anything you say on this website is true or “not so true.  I would be a complete hypocrit if after all that I said, in not believing anything without proof, I completely believed everything you said without this proof.  I will take you at your word with some skeptism.  So what?  Of course I care how other people feel - but I think you must ask yourself that question first. Remember the plank and the cinder - but you know the rest.  And I would take your own advice - don’t have such a thin skin (maybe your weren’t as well trained as you thought.)  Personally, I don’t really care what you have said about me.  It hasn’t changed one iota of my life - just helped me to understand my own committment to my ideas.  I regret the time I have spent but I certainly don’t regret the things I said -

I’ve clicked of my notify button on thsi website so taht I will try again not to keep looking at this mess.  I will try to overcome my natural curosity.

You certainly do have the humility of a Christian.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 10:32 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

My “role” as “watcher” is informal.  And no, I do not (and would) report someone simply for disagreeing with me.  Geez.

Rather, the site has certain limited “rules” (including re profanity, vulgarity, personal attack, and trolling).  If I see such activity (which is rare), I report it to my admin rep.

In fact, ANYONE can report something if they wish by simply clicking the “report this” button at the bottom left of each post.  But if you do so, make sure that what you are reporting is truly egregious in nature, and not just objectionable from a personal standpoint.

Peace.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 10:28 pm Link to this comment

(Part I)

Fellowdigger:

“The point I am trying to make…is that religion has no influence over people…”

Despite being a minister, I disagree with you on this.  I think religion HAS had, and continues to have, quite a significant influence on people, one that has not always been “positive.”  Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that religion has an influence on people’s human nature. 

“Regarding homosexuality - are you a homosexual or just an expert on that also?  Did you study biology and genetics in your spare time or just read everything ever written about it.”

Fellowdigger, do you have any idea how old I am?  Have you asked?  Or have you simply presumed?  Do you have any idea what subjects I’ve studied, how deeply, what degrees I may have, whether I have published books, etc., or do you simply ASSUME things about people?

You say things in a sarcastic tone, yet never consider that maybe - just maybe - those things may be TRUE of the person.  How would you expect that makes them feel?  Or do you even care?  Maybe I HAVE studied biology and genetics, have degrees in both, and written a book on the subject.  But you wouldn’t know, because you don’t ASK - you simply PRESUME.

In fact, I have NOT written books and have no degrees in science.  But I HAVE read - VERY extensively - in biology and genetics (among MANY other subjects).  Enough to possibly EARN a degree, though I choose not to go back to college.

My knowledge and study do not make me an “expert,” as that term is usually defined.  But they DO make me knowledgeable about the subject in a way that most people are not, and give me a foundation - a solid foundation - from which to debate.

“I am a homosexual and I believe I was born that way - and if you are one also we can debate it - otherwise, I think I’m in a better space to talk about it.”

Really?  Does that mean I have to Black to debate race?  A woman to debate feminism?  Your position doesn’t leave alot of room for anyone to debate ANYTHING.

(See Part II)

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

(To Fellowdigger - Part II)

“When you say ‘it may or may not be controllable’ sent a chill up my spine.  If homosexuality is not inate and we can’t control it - maybe there is a pill we can take or maybe we can get enough therapy to control it?”

Nothing so nefarious.  There are theories - supported by studies - that homosexuality may be caused by a variety of factors and/or influences; i.e., that not all gay people are gay for the same reason.  For example, if a gay person became gay as a result of factors/influences over which s/he had no control (particularly if those factors/influences occurred extremely early in life), then no amount of “behavioral modification” would work - EVEN ASSUMING the person wanted to change themselves. However, if the factors/influences occur later in life, there is a greater possibility for undoing or modifying the behavior - AGAIN, ASSUMING the person wants to change themselves.

“Another point - if things aren’t controllable, like the color of one’s skin, then they are usually born that way.”

Your comparison of skin color and homosexuality remains scientifically invalid.  As well, from a psychological standpoint, many things about us - likes and dislikes, fears, behaviors, etc. - can be “ingrained” in us even in the first few years of life, and APPEAR to be “innate,” when in actuality that is not the case.

“I guess you…have studied physics or maybe you have read every book on that subject also…”

Again with the presumptions.  In fact, physics (and hard science in general) is (and has been for over four decades) my secondary field of interest.  I studied for two years with Michio Kaku (look him up - you will be amazed), and have debated such eminent physicists as Victor Stenger (whom I left almost speechless - unable to provide a rejoinder to my question - at a conference of “skeptics”).  However, my comment about the big bang etc. was really meant just to needle you…LOL.

“Maybe you can start on evolution next - I’m sure you…have read every book about this subject.”

Actually, evolution (including Darwinian theory) is my PRIMARY field of study (along with history vis-a-vis religion), since it bears directly on my faith and ministry.  And I have debated Darwinian theory with eminent scientists as well.

I don’t say all this to be self-aggrandizing; I say it because you simply make SO many presumptions, and don’t stop to think whether some people may just be older and more highly educated in more subjects than you are.

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 29, 2008 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

Maani—This is silly. And time consuming. We dont know the genetic of the universe, yet. We might not have “all” of DNA—maybe “god” will add some more.

But, your post about being considerred a good “watcher” on this site—that’s a little scary! What, are you going to turn people in for disagreeing with you?

YOu are an expert in all things—genetics, psychology, religion—where on earth did you find the time .

BTW—even a train wreck gets old after awhile. Bye.

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By Hesperion, December 29, 2008 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

Maani: “I’m just curious: are you referring to Warren or to me? “

I will leave you to ponder that. You all smell the same to me.

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By KDelphi, December 29, 2008 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

Hesprion—Thank you..I was starting to feel all alone.

Fellowdigger—Dont leave! (It is like a train wreck—you cant! LOL I am teasing) Seriously, we need some fresh voices here, and, like I said before, it is not always like this. I would hazard a guess that most peopel who frequent this td—do not feel that way about others civil rights.. I , too, worry about PE obama’s “choices” , and, think that 8 yrs of the so-called christian right is PLENTY! We have to catch up to the rest of the free world sometime, and, some being so primitivistic.

I wish you well.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“Once again, you must have read every single paper on the subject and can see into the future to know they will never find one. Maani says, “there is no gene.” If there is no gay gene, as you wrote here - maybe you should contact all the reseachers trying to find it.”

As usual, you are putting words in my mouth.  I made it very clear that I was talking about NOW: “What happens in the future [i.e., the POSSIBLE discovery of a “gay gene”] is irrevelant,” and that we can only discuss what we know NOW.  I did NOT say or suggest that it was IMPOSSIBLE that a “gay gene” exists.  You seem to LOVE putting words in my mouth.

Peace.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Hesperion:

You say, “This is another extremely preoccupied “straight guy” who has clearly devoted a hell of a lot of time and thought to this question. Of course it does take a great quantity of time to be certain of finding conclusions he already had decided on in the first place. A Vidal says: “Neocons never have any ideas they didn’t already have.”. At least this one admits to being a dominionist/religionist.”

I’m just curious: are you referring to Warren or to me?

Peace.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 9:45 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

You said, “Maani—“Paranoid” is a diagnosis, and I am not just referring to that—you say things like that about people all of the time.”

Forgive me for “parsing” again, but you are throwing accusations around, and I will not simply sit back and do nothing.

“Paranoid” simply means “characterized by suspiciousness, persecutory trends, or megalomania.”  It is simply a WORD, defined in a dictionary.  It is NOT a “diganosis.”  Now, if I had suggested you suffer from “paranoid schizophrenia,” you would have a point.

As well, to state that “you say things like that about people all the time” is an even more egregious generalization for which you provide ZERO support. Unlike either you or fellowdigger, I actually READ what you each write, so I am able to QUOTE BACK what you each say - and I do.  Why don’t you try doing the same - especially if you feel that I am so hard on you?

“There is no more basis for genes for skin color, any more than race, if you read the article. it is all very mixed.”

I don’t even know what to say to this.  It is simply DEAD WRONG from a scientific standpoint.  Do you even understand the concept of “genetics?”  Do you understand DNA, genes and inheritance?  Did you study any of this in school?  I’m sorry to be “harsh,” but this shows an ASTOUNDING lack of education.  Skin color is an inherited genetic trait.  That is INDISPUTABLE from a scientific standpoint.

“You have no basis for saying that you know that homosexuality is not genetic—it is not proven.”

And I admitted that by saying, “What happens in the future is irrelevant,” and that, as far as discussing a “gay gene,” we can only go on what we know NOW.  That is true of ANY scientific theory.

As for Warren, I continue to believe that all the hubbub is much ado about…well, maybe not “nothing,” but less than is being made a case of.  I have already said that I would have supported Obama’s choice of someone else, particularly, for example, a Native American or “interfaith” cleric.  But even though I may disagree with Warren’s position on some issues, I simply don’t see the “intensity” of the backlash.

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

By Hesperion, December 29 at 5:09 pm #

That was a very thoughtout and important response. Prepare youself.  You are about to see your entry taken apart and inserted with a running commentary.  I picked that habit up pretty quickly but am trying now to just let my thoughts flow, like you just did so beautifully.

As I watch the talking heads, it is so obvious that if we do not suck it up and deal with the contempt we have had to deal with forever, then we will be ridiculed and dismissed by most of the commentators and writers such as this one.

When I got onto the blog at first, I was really taken by surpirse at the attitude of those I read and have had to deal with for the last few days.  I completey overreacted to the entries and got caught up in a silly religious argument.  I then started to use my own brand of humor and found that it worked better for me. I have since been accused of racism, intolerance, hypocrisy, childish behavior and being ignorant and stupid about almost everything that I have tried to respond to -

I have since decided that I would use links to the websites as proof that if I wasn’t correct about something than at least there was another view to consider.  Not even that works with this guy.

The energy I am dealing with is the same arrogance that states that these folks know not only that there is a god - but they know the mind of god.  They certainly know it better than the non-beleiver, obviously, but they also know it better than all the other believers.  All the billions and billions of other people on the earth could not possible be right about their belief in their own god.  The only thing you can do is walk away from the arguement.  The much harded thing to walk away from is the political influence that these people have had in our country, and all over hte world, for the last so many thousands of years.  The shock of seeing a militant protestant preacher on the dais with Obama only says that we are in for more of the Bush love fest with the right.

Maybe things will change. I certainly hope so.  The good news is that with all the money the right poured into the Prop 8 support, it only won by 2% of the Ca. population.

If you are a minorty in this country right now, and it has been like this for awhile, trying to respond to this incredible bigotry just doesn’t seem to work very well without being told to stop whining and get over it.

The idea that the majority can take the rights from the minority by simply casting a vote should unite us all in the fight.  So far it is only working to be more divisive.

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By Hesperion, December 29, 2008 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

This has been interesting to read. KDelphi et al has been valiantly attempting to teach the uneducable just like you did in the Prop 8 thread. This is another extremely preoccupied “straight guy” who has clearly devoted a hell of a lot of time and thought to this question. Of course it does take a great quantity of time to be certain of finding conclusions he already had decided on in the first place. A Vidal says: “Neocons never have any ideas they didn’t already have.”. At least this one admits to being a dominionist/religionist.

It seems to boil down to justification. For a long, long, long time these people had unquestioned license to abuse and even kill us so they are in shock now that consideration of others is being demanded of them. So now the in-depth analysis commences to justify their hatreds and prejudices. If they can de-humanize us sufficiently they can justify all sorts of things. They have done this to many groups of people in history and they are running out of groups that will put up with it. For instance, the elaborate excuse that ‘gay’ is not genetic therefore not a choice. This is to simplify the question to attain a black and white answer. They like those.

If you take this to its illogical conclusion you get: “gays are just rebellious, refusing to conform presumably just to be a pain in the ass of the “real-normal-righteous people””. The next step is to brand them as some sort of dangerous threat to everything from family dynamics to being a well-known cause of earthquakes. Now the Grand Pooba Pope himself, by blaming us for environmental degradation and the eventual destruction of the planet, has re-kindled that Ancient Roman justification for abuses of marginalized groups. The Nazis did it, the Cuban revolutionaries did it, etc.; long precedent for this. Scapegoats have taken many forms but gays have been used for this purpose a great many times. We are always convenient, always available.

Once this propaganda succeeds it authorizes many atrocities.  Denial of civil rights, abuse and even incarceration and execution become feasible. All means to exclude the fashionable hated group according to the trendy political expediency of the day become the norm. Elite ruling classes do this to distract the populace from identifying the real enemy which the people readily would if there weren’t fed these divisions along the most convenient lines. They exploit the fear of the unfamiliar, prejudicial tendencies that they know people unnaturally have.  No scary red Communists to frighten people with now so….

Some soft-headed ones actually fall for this and some even incorporate these into their religions. They are usually not members of the threatened groups so they do not know what it is to feel threatened with in their lives so they can’t imagine life under threat. I can’t think of anything more selfish and callous but then I myself can’t imagine life NOT under threat.

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/assault/genetics/

I contacted Frontline and asked them to please do another episode on the fact that Maani has just solved the mystery of the gay gene - there isn’t one.

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

From Maani

“As for a “gay gene,” there is not even any serious scientific or medical study that has come close to identifying it.  Thus, as far as we know, homosexuality is NOT genetic.  Period.  What may or may not happen in the future is irrelevant.  We are discussing the issue NOW, so we must work with what we have.”


Maani again from an eariler entry:
“However, there is no “gay” gene, so no matter how much they may want it to be so, homosexuality is NOT genetic.

Once again, you must have read every single paper on the subject and can see into the future to know they will never find one. Maani says, “there is no gene.”  If there is no gay gene, as you wrote here - maybe you should contact all the reseachers trying to find it - I’m sure they would love to get the time off for the holidays and stop wasting the money funded to them - you know what, don’t bother, I know you are very busy.  I’ll try to find them and tell them for you - okay -Okay

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By KDelphi, December 29, 2008 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

It’s easy, Maani—“black holes” are a “miracle”!

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

You are like watching a bad accident - you don’t want to keep looking but you just can’t turn away.

I am presenting the websites - I didn’t write them and I said no one has to believe any of it - the genocide of all people is a disgrace of course. No one is trying to excuse what Stalin did as being a good idea.  The point I am trying to make - and I have made several times on this blog - is that religion has no influence over people - people are basically following their human nature - you can try to overcome it - and some religious people do and some secular people do - so what- IN MY OPINION OF COURSE - 

Humanity is at least 100,000 years old - your religion is 2000 years old - a drop in the bucket and man as lasted a very long time before it…and if it disappeared tomorrow the world would surely go on.  So far, science has proved many things people believe 2000 years ago is just not true - this will continue.

Regarding homosexuality - are you a homosexual or just an expert on that also?  Did you study biology and genetics in your spare time or just read everything ever written about it - I am a homosexual and I believe I was born that way - and if you are one also we can debate it - otherwise, I think I’m in a better space to talk about it - however, I think you just showed how close you are to the Warren way of looking at things.  I do believe I heard him say the very same thing the other day.  Would you like the video?

Now Maani, the main difference between the pleasure of debating someone and the experience of talking to you is that when you disagree - you don’t say - “I have read” or “I believe”  it is always as if you have absolute proof that your side of the argument is absolutley correct without any room for debate going on among the real experts.

When you say “it may or may not be controllable” sent a chill up my spine.  If homosexuality is not inate and we can’t control it - maybe there is a pill we can take or maybe we can get enough therapy to control it?  Or are we not able to control it as say, hmmm I don’t know, sexual child abusers? I do believe I am starting to think that the impression I got from you when you first came out swinging at me was the right one…...

Another point - if things aren’t controllable, like the color of one’s skin, then they are usually born that way. 

Okay - regarding the black holes.  I understand what you are saying and that makes it all the more odd.  Are you trying to equate the amount of scientific information they have on Jesus with the amount they are gathering on black holes? I guess you are studying or have studied physics or maybe you have read every book on that subject also…. wow - is there any subject that someone can bring up that you are not an expert on? Maybe you can start on evolution next - I’m sure you are a biologist/archaelogists or have read every book about this subject.

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By KDelphi, December 29, 2008 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Maani—“Paranoid” is a diagnosis, and , I am not just referring to that—you say things like that about people all of the time. You are a very angry and nitpicking person, and, you need to figure out why. Or not.

Why dont you say something about Warren? You havent for days…are you still defending him? There is no more basis for genes for skin color, any more than race, if you read the article. it is all very mixed.

You have no basis for saying that you know that homosexuality is not genetic—it is not proven. But, like Warren said, it “doesnt matter” He would still like to have sex sith every bearutiful woman he sees.

Mosts people like to get to know someone a little better first—oh, sorry, I didnt mean to bring up “pastor” Warrren…

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

Where did I “diagnose” anyone?  If you mean that I suggested you were “paranoid,” that is not a “diagnosis,” it is an opinion.  (And, BTW, how do you know that I DON’T have a license to analyze?  This just proves my point that both you and fellowdigger make CONSTANT assumptions about people).

As for a “gay gene,” there is not even any serious scientific or medical study that has come close to identifying it.  Thus, as far as we know, homosexuality is NOT genetic.  Period.  What may or may not happen in the future is irrelevant.  We are discussing the issue NOW, so we must work with what we have.

Re your position on “race,” I was not discussing the issue of “race” per se: I was responding to fellowdigger’s SPECIFIC comparison of SKIN COLOR (NOT race) - which is genetic - and homosexuality, which is not.

Peace.

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By KDelphi, December 29, 2008 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

Maani—Stop diagnosing people online! It is inappropriate, and, you dont have a license to do it. I do, but I wouldnt abuse it that way. (No one has a license to do so through a word processor)

They have not found a genetic basis for gays YET! What is the “genetic basis” for Africans? Dont we all have Af genes, since the human race was started there?

Here is what a geneticist has to say about it:
May 20, 2003—The notion of race in humans is completely a social concept without any biological basis, according to a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis.


In the 50th year since the discovery of DNA, Washington University evolutionary and population biologist Alan Templeton says that there are not enough genetic differences between groups of people to say that there are sub-lineages (races) of humans.
Download
There are not enough genetic differences between groups of people to say that there are sub-lineages (races) of humans, said Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. On the other hand, there are different races in many other species, including chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary relatives.


I am sure that you can find someone who will say otherwise, and, even Rev, Wright, saying that the “differences are right brain and left brain”. That is so much horse hocky, and, if I laid a brain from a “white” man in front of you, alongside, the brain of a “black” man, given similar environements, you would never be able to tell me the difference.

I said “he/she” because I didnt know what your sex was. I dont care.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

You say, “Warren is a man who states that he loves gays but he disagrees with there innate nature. That is like saying that I love blacks, I just don’t “agree” with the color of their skin.  See the absurdity.”

What I see is not absurdity, but the complete fallacy of your argument.  People are not responsible for the color of their skin; it is genetic.  However, there is no “gay” gene, so no matter how much they may want it to be so, homosexuality is NOT genetic.  It may or may not be “controllable” by the individual; i.e., there may be more than one “cause” of homosexuality, some of which may be alterable, and others of which may not.  But it is NOT the same as skin color.

Nice try.

Peace.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

I checked out the two sites you posted.

Re the first (nobeliefs), they state at the outset that “No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. All claims about Jesus derive from writings of other people.”

I could just as easily say that “No one has the slightestd physical evidence to prove the Big Bang, black holes or many other astrophysical phenomena.  All claims regarding these things derive from unprovable theories and speculation.”

Re the second site you posted (religioustolerance), how “intellectually honest” of them to provide “A list of atrocities from 1450 CE until the end of World War II,” and all but ignore or understate the atrocities perpetrated by committed atheists like Lenin, Stalin and Mao - who, together, murdered, had murdered, or caused the calculated deaths of between 80 million and 100 million people!

In fact, using the sites OWN numbers - and the HIGHEST numbers, at that - their total for what they CLAIM as religious-based atrocities since 1450 comes to ~60 million.

Yet they claim only 20 million for communist Russia during the period 1928 to 1953.  This is historically incorrect.  The figure for Lenin and Stalin is closer to 50 million, and possibly more.  And this does not even include the site COMPLETELY ignoring the regime of Mao Tse-Tung, who was responsible for another 25 million to 35 million deaths, bringing the “atheist” total - FOR JUST A 60-YEAR PERIOD - to well over 80 million.

And you want to be given a “free pass” to provide this kind of factually bogus - and PROVABLY bogus - claim?!

You really do have some nerve.

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

http://www.religioustolerance.org/genocide2.htm

The really interesting thing about this Christian site is that they never even mention the 400 year genocide of Africans and the horrible genocide of American natives of every stripe.

And to bring all this back to the article.  We can no longer afford to tolerate bigotry at any time when it comes to people such as Warren.  Warren is a man who states that he loves gays but he disagrees with there innate nature. That is like saying that I love blacks, I just don’t “agree” with the color of their skin.  See the absurdity. As a wise man once said - if we don’t understand history we are forced to repeat it - (I’m paraphrasing)

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“This is not about debate - this is about a couple of people that are getting off on being complete antagonist…”  Since when is “disagreeing” with someone “antagonistic?”

KDelphi:

“Once he/she knows you don’t agree, the tag team will follow you around all threads for awhile.”

First, I am a “he” (last time I checked).  Second, nobody here “follows” anyone around; many of us have diverse interests and find a variety of threads (and debates) interesting, so we participate.  You seem to be REALLY paranoid…

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/schoolprayer.html

Perhaps this website can shed some light on how the Constitution is living breathing document (unlike the Christian bible) - with intense debate on-going in the Supreme Court.  Even those who study consitutional law all their lives still have to stand before the supreme court and argue their case.  I see on this website, when you suggest that an individual’s reading of the first amendment is up for interpretation - duck and cover….LOL

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

The links I put in were for the reading enjoyment of others on this site.  I, of course, don’t expect anyone to read these site as if they are fact - as I stated before. Actually, I don’t expect anyone to read these sites at all.  It is not hard to click a button on the computer now and not have your views validated by many websites and Youtube videos.  Some of the deabte that I offered was from some of the most brillaint writers and scientist of our time. One can argue science, politics and current day events - but it is hard to argue faith.

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By KDelphi, December 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger—Thanks for links. I will check them out.

Links are nearly always useful, if one keeps an open mind.

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/jesus5.htm

No KDelphi:  My friend was not referring to you.  They were referring to the fact that no matter how something is written down - in black and white - some people can not accept it. 

I have pasted a couple of sites that I found enlightening.  I can not say that all this information is totally correct but there are two ways of using “facts” to win an argument or debate.  As long as you deal with things that can not possible be proven, a fact can become a very disposable thing.

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By KDelphi, December 29, 2008 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Maani—You should do whatever you like.

Fellowdigger—I was trying to agree with you. I tried the “maybe I reacted too quickly, because I do not like evangelism” with Maani. Once he/she knows you dont agree, the tag team will follow you around all threads for awhile (once, even to other sites!!—that was particularly unbelievable—not you, maani)), arguing with you.

If you ignore them for awhile they let up. If they dont, it is no matter.

I dont know if you were referring to me, but, yes, many of these threads begin to sound like asylums—-but others open up. Stick around, ok?

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

In my attempt to make sure that I am not totally going insane - i e-mailed the last 5 entries to a friend for an opinion of this discussion.  He wrote to me to tell me that it seems to be that I have entered an insane asylum and the best thing to do is find another blog.  I agree. 


By KDelphi, December 29 at 10:35 am #

Fellowdigger—LOL! Sorry…I tried that with Maani—oddly, he/she doesnt seem to want peace. Maani is still parsing every phrase…

I agree with cann4ing, though, I am just going to scroll past it. I cant seem to read past the first sentence anymore. It is just argument for argument;s sake. I dont know why—but that is not others’ problems…


By cann4ing, December 29 at 9:37 am #


Fellowdigger, I wholeheartedly agree that responding to, or even reading, Maani’s illogical rants is a real drag.  But instead of asking him for rules of debate, you can simply choose to ignore what he has to say and not respond.

And then From Maani writes this:

“As they have both said, they may not like my particular style.  However, they have both engaged with me (and Cyrena, and other “aggressive” debaters) in other threads, apparently without feeling “put upon,” and without ignoring me, Cyrena or others.”

“There are NOT “two camps” here.  There never were. In fact, cann4ing has been here for some time, and I doubt seriously that he would agree with you on this point.”

This is not about debate - this is about a couple of people that are getting off on being complete antagonist….

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“Two camps?”  You’ve GOT to be kidding!  If there is a separate “camp” that includes you, it is a very small camp indeed, and consists of you…and you alone.  Because even KDelphi and cann4ing have participated in what I have referred to as “aggressive” debates, without claiming harm or making accusations of “gagging” their opinions.

As they have both said, they may not like my particular style.  However, they have both engaged with me (and Cyrena, and other “aggressive” debaters) in other threads, apparently without feeling “put upon,” and without ignoring me, Cyrena or others.

There are NOT “two camps” here.  There never were. In fact, cann4ing has been here for some time, and I doubt seriously that he would agree with you on this point.

So unless you are attempting to CREATE a separate camp, you may find yourself ignoring quite a few people here (if not a majority), and ending up in a VERY small discussion circle.

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 29, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

It seems to me that the blogs are split into two camps.  I guess I have never really been in “serious debate” and I made a big mistake when I first started by joining in on debating things that can’t be proven.  Of course, when at a party or talking for the first time with people, they have never expected me to sit quietly and see how they debate before I join in the discussion.  It has made me very uncomfortable and I did not like spending my energy in that negative direction. I have had many debates without the feeling as if I have been attending an incredibly boring class.  I totally agree that the best option is to simply keep scrolling when I see the names - or only connect when my e-mail has another name of a person making an entry.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

cann4ing/KDelphi:

Why should I NOT parse someone’s comments when each sentence or phrase is a self-contained lie, evasion or insupportable accusation?  That is hardly “argument for argument’s sake.”

“Illogical rants?”  I think not, unless you do not understand logic, or are simply trying to avoid REAL debate on anything.  Indeed, if you knew my background (instead of ASSUMING what it MIGHT be), your accusation in this regard would be amusing if it were not so presumptive.

And if you can’t understand why “peace” (as a central belief and lifestyle) is not mutually exclusive from passionate (even aggressive) debate, then there is nothing I can say.

Peace.  (Yup…)

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By KDelphi, December 29, 2008 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Fellowdigger—LOL! Sorry…I tried that with Maani—oddly, he/she doesnt seem to want peace. Maani is still parsing every phrase…

I agree with cann4ing, though, I am just going to scroll past it. I cant seem to read past the first sentence anymore. It is just argument for argument;s sake. I dont know why—but that is not others’ problems…

Warrren is a fat, bigoted, lying, hypocritical basterd, who is getting rich off of hate. Period.

What that says about the president he is helping inaugarate, I will let others decide for themselves, if they can.

Honorable to try to make peace, though. Honorable, and, as useless as trying to compromise with neo-cons….lol.

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By cann4ing, December 29, 2008 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

Fellowdigger, I wholeheartedly agree that responding to, or even reading, Maani’s illogical rants is a real drag.  But instead of asking him for rules of debate, you can simply choose to ignore what he has to say and not respond.

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By Maani, December 29, 2008 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“I’ll write around your entries and I would like you to please write around mine.”

I can make no such promise.  You are essentially asking for a “free pass” to say anything you like, no matter how inaccurate or bogus it may be, without being challenged.  You are free to ignore my responses to your posts, but I am not going to “write around” you.

Further, are you planning to offer this same arrangement to every poster you feel is similarly “difficult” with you?  Are you looking to create your own little “discussion group” who are “like you” so that you never have to answer for phony facts, bad logic and denigration of others?  Sorry, FD, it’s not gonna happen.

“If you can’t understand what is being expressed to you than that is basically your issue.”

Oh, I understand all too well.  But you seem to think you can simply say whatever you want, and no one is going to challenge you - yes, sometimes aggressively.  If you cannot handle that, there is little I can say beyond what I (and Cyrena) have already said: grow a thicker skin, don’t take challenges (even aggressive ones) personally, and think before you “speak.”

“You have even been asked by another blogger why you were being so grouchy and intolerable.”

ONE other blogger?!  On a site with DOZENS of them? Doesn’t that say something to you?  And that “other” blogger (who can only be KDelphi) and I have a much better understanding of each other - despite her comments about by “grouchiness” - and she, at least, is willing to accept things AS THEY ARE and continue in that spirit, while YOU are trying to change things.

In fact, Cyrena put it in a nutshell when she spoke of how you came here as a “newbie” (your word) and did not bother to get the “lay of the land” before you started swaggering, “spouting shit,” and getting all “sensitive” whenever anyone dared to challenge you.

Did it ever occur to you that those of us who have been here for YEARS have been “doing what we do” for quite some time, and that it might seem a little presumptive to us on your part that you would “walk” in here out of the blue and attempt to change the dynamics here unilaterally?  Give that some thought.

Indeed, you admitted to that you came here for “some fun” and to “meet people.”  Did it ever occur to you to spend some time here BEFORE you piped in, to see whether this was such a site?

It is not (although we can and do have fun, and all of us have met people here).  It is an “adult” site on which politics and other SERIOUS issues are discussed SERIOUSLY, often leading to SERIOUS - and yes, occasionally aggressive - debate.  And while everyone is welcome here (including you), if “change” IS required, it is not for US to “change” to accommodate YOU, but the other way around.

“I don’t want to be spoken about as an idiot any longer.”

Again, you take things far too personally.  Yes, I (and others) have occasionally been “harsh” in our language.  But I repeat that it was YOU who started that cycle, through your presumptions and assumptions of the site and the people here, and the way you chose to engage.

You need to step back and give all of this some serious thought.

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 28, 2008 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

Hey Listen Maani - let’s have a peace offer - I’ll write around your entries and I would like you to please write around mine - you are not a pleasant person to debate with and if you can’t understand what is being expressed to you than that is basically your issue - you have even been asked by another blogger why you were being so grouchy and intolerable - I don’t want to be spoken about as an idiot any longer - okay - great

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By Maani, December 28, 2008 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

“Maani—“debating” is typically seen as arguing the general message of someone’s statements, not picking it apart, phrase by phrase, and correcting grammar, and saying things like, ‘That’s not true.’ That’s just NOT ‘debate.’ It’s being contrary and argumentative.”

I beg to differ.  (May I do that?)  Here is Webster:

“Debate: to discuss a question by considering opposed arguments; to argue about.”

I see nothing in there about not parsing a position or argument.  In fact, parsing is a CRITICAL aspect of true debate - especially here - since, as Cyrena has pointed out, Fellowdigger tends to confuse fact and opinion, and to dig himself holes from which he desperately attempts to dig himself out, but usually fails to do so because he gets flustered and angry (instead of actually ENGAGING anyone), which only leads him to put his foot even further down his throat when he resorts to wild accusations, snide remarks, and denigration of others.

Re correcting grammar, I do it sparingly and only when it seems appropriate to clarify something, and I do not believe I have done it with you or fellowdigger except in a very rare instance.

As well, in those cases in which I said anything like “That’s not true,” it would be wrong to do so and simply leave it there.  However, when I HAVE said it, I have always provided facts and/or support for my position.  That is another aspect of debate.

You and Fellowdigger can complain all you want.  However, no one has been “mean” to either of you (since that is perception rather than fact), no one has “gagged” anyone’s opinion, no one has requested that you stop discussing or debating anything, no one has asked you to leave the site.

Yes, some of us engage in a more “aggressive” form of debate - and that is completely within our rights here.  If you do not like “aggressive” debate, you are free to ignore us, or to discuss and/or debate “around” us (though we have every right to attempt to engage you).

What you apparently fail to understand is that those you accuse of “gagging” you (which we have not) - including Cyrena and myself - have JUST AS MUCH RIGHT TO BE HERE AS YOU DO.  In this regard, it is not WE who are attempting to “gag” you or alter your methods of discussion/debate (though we may have suggested it would be helpful to you), but rather it is YOU who are attempting “stifle” the type of debate that has existed on this site for many years.

Maybe you should keep that in mind the next time you want to throw around accusations.

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, December 28 at 12:40 pm #


Thnaks for you words of support.  I see that you and I share a wall in the hall of disdain by the elders.

I thought I was going to leave the site - but I decided that today I would post my final comments to my critics, which I did on another article blog,  and I will try to respond to the post that I feel can discuss things without lecturing or trying to gag me of my opinion.

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By KDelphi, December 28, 2008 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger—Yes, this is boring. But, it isnt always like this.

Warren admits that “the only difference between Dobson and he is tone”. It is from Amy Goodman, DN. You know where it is.

Maani—“debating” is typically seen as, arguing the general message of someone’s statements, not picking it apart, phrase by phasse, and, correcting , grammar, and saying things like, “That’s not true”. That’s just NOT “debate”. It’s being contrary and argumentative. YOure allowed to do that if you wish, But, it is boring. To many.

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By Fellowdigger, December 28, 2008 at 1:34 am Link to this comment

I’m out of here - like I said on the other blogs - this is so boring - how do you people sit here doing htis all the time -

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By Maani, December 28, 2008 at 12:34 am Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“You are a religious fanatic…”

No, I am not.  Indeed, you are the first person in over three years of my posting here who has made that particular accusation.  Yes, others know me as one not afraid to discuss or debate faith and religion, but not ONCE in all that time has anyone suggested I am a “fanatic.”

“I will push against and discuss and educate anyone I can on the dangers of dogma.”

By all means, discuss and debate the dangers of dogma.  But don’t debate people on the fine points OF their dogmas.

“Lenin and Stalin walked into a country where religion was deeply embedded in the population - they were primed for another god figure and they got one…”

I see: it was religious people who caused an atheist leader to attempt to exterminate them?  Either you have a very tenuous grasp of history, or you are (as Cyrena so wonderfully put it) just “spouting shit.”

“I will never ignore a gorup of people who want to take my rights away from me…”

Nor should you.

“I have even heard religious people say they think gay people should be murdered.”

And I was at a party the other night with mostly gay people, and heard a serious discussion about “eliminating” straight people.  Does that mean I should assume that this is true of ALL gay people?  The question is rhetorical.

“...your institutions suck up money like it’s no one business and are totally tax exempt - your are all over people’s business…”

Actually, they are not “my” instutitions; I don’t support the mainstream, organized, heirarchical capital-C Church.  Nor am I, personally, all over ANYONE’s business.

“...it is your intolerance of people ideas that is so obvious to so many people on this blog…”

You made this accusation on another thread as well, yet, as I noted, I am posting to most of the same threads and have not noticed this.

“...the people who leave short and pointed comments are so much more enlightening than your long lectures on religion, history and the law…”

Might I suggest that this is a sad comment about our society - that all you have time for is “sound bites” rather than serious and erudite discussion and debate?

“You want to change everything in it to fit your philosophy…”

Never said that, never suggested it, and don’t agree with it.

“The leaders of the churches are worse than the people they are trying to preach to…”

As I said, I don’t support the capital-C Church, and haven’t for at least two decades.  And although you overstate your case a bit (as you tend to do), many church leaders ARE much “worse” than most of the people in their congregations.

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 28, 2008 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

By Maani to me

“Once again, I am going to try to get it through your thick skull”

And then again a little later

“Once again, I am going to try to get it through your thick skull”

and then awhile later Maani wrote to me
“I never called you thick-headed, nor implied it”

And then again a little later

Maani are you drunk!  Enough said

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By Fellowdigger, December 28, 2008 at 12:17 am Link to this comment

Maani

“But if you don’t “care to,” why do you argue so tenaciously for your position on it?  Indeed, if you don’t believe Jesus even existed, and you have such a disdain for the entire concept of religion (and particularly Christianity), why do you engage in ANY debate on it at all?  THAT is what makes you a hypocrite.  If you were honest about it, you would not even engage in discussions or debates about faith and religion, but rather ignore them and stick to the issues you believe in and have the knowledge and background to debate.”

you are a religious fanatic - I will push against and discuss and educate anyone I can on the dangers of dogma - Lenin and Stalin walked into a country where religion was deeply embedded in the population - they were primed for another god figure and they got one - it’s all dogma.  I will never ignore a gorup of people who want to take my rights away from me - I have even heard religious people say they think gay people should be murdered - you think I’m gonna listen to that crap and not say anything about it - me and my friends pay taxes like everyone else - and your institutions suck up money like it’s no one business and are totally tax exempt - your are all over people’s business - it is your intolerance of people ideas that is so obvious to so many people on this blog - and as I said to the other one, the people who leave short and pointed comments are so much more enlightening than your long lectures on religion, history and the law - sorry I came along and called it bullshit - I calls it as I see it. I have plenty of knowledge about religion and the bible - it’s a book, you open it up and read it - that’s all - it doesn’t take a genius like yourself.  You want to change everything in it to fit your philosophy - like your savior said - the leaders of the churches are worse than the people they are trying to preach to - and we all know after the scandals that have hit the preachers from the megachurchs - Jesus was certainly right about that—-

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By Maani, December 28, 2008 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“I can not make sense, nor do I care to, of a book written 2000 to 3000 years ago.”

But if you don’t “care to,” why do you argue so tenaciously for your position on it?  Indeed, if you don’t believe Jesus even existed, and you have such a disdain for the entire concept of religion (and particularly Christianity), why do you engage in ANY debate on it at all?  THAT is what makes you a hypocrite.  If you were honest about it, you would not even engage in discussions or debates about faith and religion, but rather ignore them and stick to the issues you believe in and have the knowledge and background to debate.

“Dogma and the bible did not give the world morals.”

Nor did I ever suggest that.  And this is a perfect example of how you set up straw men in order to knock them down.  You are so intent on proving you are right - so intent on debasing and denigrating faith and religion - that you have no other way to make your point except by doing this.

“I will end with the great question that Hitchens ask the religious ‘Name me one moral action or word that has been done or spoken by a religious person that can not be done or spoken by a secular humanist.’ I paraphrase - but you get the message.”

I do not question whether they “can be done” by a secular person.  What I question is to what degree they ARE done by secular people.  History - including recent history, and virtually every poll and study ever done on the subject - shows that “religious” people engage in more charity, more volunteerism, more sacrifice and selfless action, etc. than secular people, including secular humanists.  Indeed, I have even seen and heard discussions and debates in the secular community wondering why secular people do not do more, and are not more active.  So apparently even your own “people” know that they fall far short of what they “can do.”

“You have called me or implied that I am thick headed, a hypocrite, stupid and if I go through the blog I’m sure I could find more.”

I never called you thick-headed, nor implied it.  I called you a hypocrite more than once, and meant it.  I never called you stupid; I only questioned the accuracy and support of some of your statements and positions.  As Cyrena said, if you can’t stand the heat…

“I don’t believe in your philosophy and I don’t need you to believe in mine…”

Well, hallelujah!

“I need you people to get out of my business and out of the political process in this country.”

If by “you people” you mean fundamentalist Christians, I fully support your position.

“Religion is divisive and can be incredible cruel.”

Again with the broad-brush generalizations.  Religion CAN BE divisive and incredibly cruel.  Yet as I have pointed out, so can atheism (see Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot et al).

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 27, 2008 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Maani - we can discuss the policies of Obama, the stock market crisis, higher education needs, SS funding, health care for all and many other things.  I can not make sense, nor do I care to, of a book written 2000 to 3000 years ago.  A book that has stolen everything from Greek and roman philosophy and mythology. You are offensive in the way you speak to people - how in the world are we hypocrites? Since I have taken god out of the dogma box and expanded my secular thinking - I have become a much better person - getting active in helping the world in many ways - there is nothing that separates me any more from others.  I wish no one harm, believe me. I want the best for everyone. But I will not sit back and let the Abrahamic trio destroy this world any longer without a fight.  When I go to my volunteering jobs - the room is full of secular humanist and religious people.  Dogma and the bible did not give the world morals.  People existed at least 97,000 years before the jews declared that there is only one god - a mean, pissed off one at that - People learned morals and love for each other from evolution - from protecting each other from extinction - our ancestors lived on the razor’s edge many times.  Your faith is new to this world and since it has come into existence it has jumped head first into the human madness. But it may not survive - Europe is quickly converting to Islam - how will that all end?

Also on the thing you said earlier regarding black holes - it is true they have not seen them yet. But every indication is that they are there - if the scientist are wrong then they will be the first to be delighted to look for something else - your ideas are stagnant - written for jews in the middle-east many, many years ago when they were facing the roman army on a daily basis - Pilate and Nero cast large shadow on those poor people. Only out of the dark Jewish experience could the idea of Jesus come forward and then result in Islam. Only if Hagar was not thrown from the tent.  This love and brotherhood has seldom been practiced by these people. The good works that are done by the religious come from the same place that it does for me - a need to help others survive in order for me to survive - it is called evolution - and I will end with the great question that Hitchens ask the religious “Name me one moral action or word that has been done or spoken by a religious person that can not be done or spoken by a secular humanist” I paraphrase - but you get the message.

You have called or implied that I am thick headed, a hypocrite, stupid and if I go through the blog I’m sure I could find more. I don’t believe in your philosophy and I don’t need you to believe in mine - I need you people to get out of my business and out of the political process in this country. Religion is divisive and can be incredible cruel - religious’ war are being fought all over the world - and maybe soon we will see the hindu and the muslims drop a couple of nuclear bombs on each other - how horrible it has become -

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

(Part I)

Fellowdigger:

“I have many Christian friends but they never try to shove there beliefs down my throat and they don’t quote scripture they can not prove.”

I have not attempted to “shove my beliefs fown your throat.”  In fact, I don’t much care WHAT you do or don’t believe.  What matters to me here is accuracy of facts.  You are simply angry because I proved, more than once, that your facts do not back up your positions.

“Your skill of dissection almost everything people say, insulting them while you are doing it, confirms even more to me that you are not worth discussing things with - because after all, if we don’t agree with you using facts - you will quickly twist the facts into pretzel or basically make things up.”

I have insulted no one; indeed, please show me where I did so.  Rather, it is me who has been insulted, over and over throughout this thread, particularly by you and KDelphi.  Nor do I “twist” anything.  My historical (as opposed to theological) facts come from reliable sources, including multiple historians.

“Your tripe about religion is expected - but I guess you are also a constitutional lawyer along with being a person of the cloth.”

Actually, not constitutional, but I do have a background in law (both contract and litigation), and have, in fact, studied the Constitution and the law surrounding it.

“This is definitely a person that does not let the majority of facts stand in the way of their rhetoric.”

You have yet to show where this is the case.

“But be careful - he knows most of the scholars who study the bible, the constitution and WWII history.  You would think he would have been an award winning writer with all the knowledge he had retained.”

How do you know I am not?  Indeed, how do you know how old I am, or what I have studied, or how deeply?  Instead of making snide comments like you do, you might consider that maybe I HAVE studied as deeply and broadly as I claim.

“And Maani whatever you are doing with those right-wing freak brethren of yours - it is obviously not enough.”

Well, I’m terribly sorry.  I will try to do better.

“Hitler was one person - he did not force an entire nation of Christians to do these horrible deeds - that was a group effort.”

Nor did I suggest this anywhere.

“Still, Maani, you have not shown me several things I have asked for - but I am really curious about the 5 million blacks that Hitler killed in the war - how about the millions and millions of atheist in Russia?”

I did not say that hitler Killed 5 million blacks; that is the way you selectively read things.  I said that in addition to almost 6 million Jews, Hitler murdered over 2 million Christians, and 5 million others, INCLUDING blacks, homosexuals, communists, the elderly, and the physically and mentally handicapped.  Try reading more carefully next time.

As for the “millions and millions of atheists in Russia,” if you do not know your history of Lenin and Stalin, I am not going to do your reading and researching for you.

(See Part II)

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

(Part II)

“Jesus was also for condemning billions of people to the fires of hell if they did not convert to his message…”

No, Jesus Himself never said that; it was Paul and others who later suggested that not believing in Jesus would lead to eternal damnation.

“...he told people to hate their bothers and sisters(read Luke)...”

Nope again.  You are deliberately reading literally what is CLEARLY a metaphor.

...he abused both animals (the poor pigs) and vegetation (the poor fig tree…”

Now you are just being silly…

“...approved of war, murder, rape, torture and incest…by accepting the teaching of his bloodline…”

You REALLY do not understand why Jesus came and what His ministry was about!  It was to UNDO many of the “laws” that had caused the Jews to “fall away” from the “spirit” of their faith.  Tell me, have you taken even a SINGLE serious course in Christology or even Judeo-Christian history?

“You certainly don’t turn the other cheek…”

Actually, you are wrong on two counts.  First, I end every post with “Peace” to show that, despite the “tensions” in the debate, I remain “peaceable” - i.e., were I to meet you in a bar, I would not only be pleasant, but I would buy the first round.  Second, I think you are confusing “passion” with “anger.”  I may be “passionate” about how I debate and present my positions, but I am never angry in the first place, so no “cheek-turning” is necessary.

“...the idea of loving your enemies has never been practiced by any Christian government and it never will - it is an immoral concept and a stupid one…”

First, although no “Christian government” ever has, some (perhaps many) individual Christians do.  And why do you consider it “immoral” and “stupid?”

“...I have heard people cherry-picking the bible before but you have taken it to an art form.”

Actually, it is you and KDelphi (and others) who have “cherry-picked” Scriptural passages.  As I have said (and done) ad nauseam, Scripture must be taken “in context”; i.e., by reading a number of passages PRIOR to the passage provided, and a number of passages AFTER the passage provided, in order to understand what was being said, and why.

As you have proven even within this very post (re your Luke cite), you engage in the same “bad theology” as the Christian Right, by taking passages OUT of context in order to support your extremely narrow views.

Peace.

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi:

“If the christians did not participate…why did Pope John Paul apologize for it.”

Please show me where I suggested, much less stated, that Christians “did not participate” in Hitler’s atrocities.

“Maybe you don’t ‘bring it up every time’ - but its like clockwork - if I go a thread, you are there, you are adamantly “dressing someone down” about, of all things, christianity!”

Please give me a SINGLE example other than this thread - and please make sure that if I DID end up discussing (or debating) faith or Christianity, it was not in RESPONSE to someone else’s post.

“But you don’t have a right to just keep yelling your opinions at everyone…”

Then neither do you, or fellowdigger, or anyone else.  Oh for goodness’ sake, what do you think DEBATE is?  And yes, both of you (and others) do just as much “yelling” (if that’s the word you choose to use) as I do.

“Your answers, like, ‘That is simply not true! I know—I studied it!’ just help people understand your view not at all!”

Please show me a single place where I stated, “That is simply not true.”  If I believe someone is wrong about their history or their theology, I have every right to provide alternative facts, theories or other information.  That is ALSO called “debating.”

“Of course, if you are evangelical, you already know exactly what is true…”

You really DO need a Dale Carnegie course; this type of accusation is not simply incorrect, it is inappropriate and uncalled for.

Ultimately, you and fellowdigger are the biggest hypocrites here.  You have both consistently either misquoted me, set up straw men, and/or changed the subject to fit your own facts and theories.

You have both been unbelievably intellectually dishonest, and apparently think that that is okay since I am just an unreasoning, Bible-thumping, flat-earth, homophobic, Adam-and-Eve Christian.  (Of course, I am none of those things.)  Your own angers about faith and religion apparently give you zero room to move, seeing even moderate Christians who might be your allies as “the enemy.”  You give “no quarter” because you have ZERO tolerance.  And you accuse CHRISTIANS of being intolerant?!?!

You both show an amazing inability to debate without getting personal.  And again, you apparently believe that that is fine, since, being a Christian, I am not worth talking to or debating anyway.

I feel very sorry for both of you.

Peace.  (?)

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By KDelphi, December 27, 2008 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

Maani—Are you angry about something or in a bad mood? You are becoming almost intolerable.

If the christians did not participate (see cann4ing’s excellent post), why did Pope JOhn Paul apoligzie for it. When wil they apollgize for pedophilia? (Which Waaren equates with homosexuality)

I was raised christian, and, most of my friends are, I guess, christians. But, none are fundamentalist. Dubya is who made them really intelerable to me. I always thought that “born again” was kindve silly. But, maani—the overwhelming majority of people who are “christian” in the US are NOT evangelicals.

I dont want to know any more about religion. I studied catechism for years. Maybe you dont “bring it up every time”—but , its like clockwork—if I go a thread, you are there, you are adamently “dressing someone down” about, of al things, christianity!. Now, this was about Warren (we can agree to disagree as to whether he practices christianity). If you enjoy constasntly discussing religion, good. But, you dont have a right to just keep yelling your opinions at everyone (All these caps and exclamation points—it looks stupid)

Your answers, like, “That is simply not true! I know—I studied it!” just help people understand your view not at all!

Of course, if you are evangelical, you already know exactly what is true, what is the right thing to do, etc. If someon disagres, you can just smile and shake your head, a nd “prayfor them”. Did you ever stop to think that it might be things like that that makes people have such a low opinion of the evangelical churches?

I, for one, have had quite enough of them, for a lifetime…

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By Fellowdigger, December 27, 2008 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

by Maani:

“You know, if part of the goal here is to create allies within the Christian community, you are doing a VERY poor job of it.  You have apparently never read Dale Carnegie…LOL.”

I have no intention whatsoever in creating allies with the Christian community - especially it’s spoke people as yourself.  I have many Christian friends but they never try to shove there beliefs down my throat and they don’t quote scripture they can not prove. Where in this entire blog did you ever see me write such a thing. Or did you do one of your magical states of revelation - are you interpreting my meaning also. Your skill of dissection almost everything people say insulting them while you are doing it, confirms even more to me that you are not worth discussing things with - because after all, if we don’t agree with you using facts - you will quickly twist the facts into pretzel or basically make things up.  Your tripe about religion is expected - but I guess you are also a constitutional lawyer along with being a person of the cloth. You should call Obama and see if he will consider you for the supreme court if an opening arises.  Also,  Dale Carnegie was an atheist/agnostic….

To Skuff:

You assessment of Maani’s comment were excellent.  This is definitely a person that does not let the majority of facts stand in the way of their rhetoric. But be careful - he knows most of the scholars who study the bible, the constitution and WWII history.  You would think he would have been an award winning writer with all the knowledge he had retained.

And Maani whatever you are doing with those right-wing freak brethren of yours - it is obviously not enough.

By Skuff
“The German soldiers (and the SS) had “Gott Mitt Uns” written on their uniforms. (For you non-Germans “GOD WITH US”)”

And they also carried a copy of the new testament throughout the war.  and as I said, Hitler was one person - he did not force an entire nation of Christians to do these horrible deeds - that was a group effort.  Still, Maani, you have not shown me several things I have asked for - but I am really curious about the 5 million blacks that Hitler killed in the war - how about the millions and millions of atheist in Russia?

I was watching a show last night on the story that Jesus traveled into India during the “missing years.”
The person on the show actually said that there is plenty of proof that Jesus was in the Kashmir section for many years- where in the world is that evidence - please someone show me evidence!!!! This is what we need to deal in now - facts, facts, facts - not hearsay from two thousand years ago.

by Manni
“What matters is not what the Catholic Church did or didn’t do, or what role it played.  What matters was what HITLER did or didn’t do.  Jesus’ ministry is based on love, peace, forgiveness, compassion, humility, patience, selflessness, charity, service, justice and truth.”

Jesus was also for condemning billions of people to the fires of hell if they did not convert to his message, he told people to hate their bothers and sister(read Luke), he abused both animals (the poor pigs) and vegetation (the poor fig tree.) Approved of war, murder, rape, torture and incest (to name a few things) by accepting the teaching of his bloodline - which is really not a bloodline since he had no earthly father.  If you accept all the kind, loving aspects of the man - you also have to accept the dark side of the story. Of course, I could write you endless examples of Jesus’ split personality.

Also, judging by the endless responses to the other people on this blog - you certainly don’t turn the other cheek - but Christians never do - the idea of loving your enemies has never been practiced by any Christian government and it never will - it is an immoral concept and a stupid one - I have heard people cherry-picking the bible before but you have taken it to an art form.

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

KDelphi:

To your comment that “We are a secular nation,” I said, “This is naive in the extreme.  We are (or are supposed to be) a secular nation POLITICALLY.  But the PEOPLE of the nation are OVERWHELMINGLY believers, and the majority of THOSE are Christian. You simply cannot gloss over this as though it does not exist and has no impact on ‘the nation.’”

Your response to this was, “Maani—YOU are absurd, in the extreme! We are most certainly a non-christian, secular nation. You’re a preacher!! Of course you feel the way you say you do.”

First, my being a preacher has ZERO to do with this; I felt this way even before I believed in God.  Nice try.

Second, I reiterate that we are “most certainly a non-Christian, secular nation” POLITICALLY, and ONLY politically.  The make-up of the people in the U.S. is predominantly Christian and, I repeat, to suggest that this does not (or even should not) have an effect on politics is what is naive.

You say, “You talk about the constitution—but did you read Jefferons’s letters? It was as much for the churches’ protection as the states.”

Firstly, Jefferson’s letters are not law; only the Constitution is.  So his letters have little or no bearing on this, no matter what they say or how eloquently they say it.  Secondly, I already stated quite clearly (on 12/24) that “Indeed, their intent in creating the language of the First Amendment regarding religion was not so much to protect “politics” from “religion” as the other way around.  And this is as clear as can be from all of the various documents by Adams, Jefferson, Monroe and others that undergird that language.” Apparently, you missed this…

“If the evanglicals do not stop trying to push evangelism down the nation’s collective throats, people will become more intolerant…”

I totally agree.

“Every site you blog on, the discussion becomes about religious fundamentalism.”

Sorry, Charlie, not so.  I NEVER bring up faith or religion until someone else does so first.  In fact, setting aside that this ENTIRE THREAD is based on faith and religion (since it deals with Rick Warren - or didn’t you notice that?), my first post here did not mention religion at all.  And my second post, which did mention religion, was in response to YOUR post, and only noted what Jesus’ ministry consisted of.  It was my THIRD post here that delved further into religion - and THAT post was in direct response to comments made by YOU and DVEV.

Again, nice try.

Peace.

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

Skruff:

Correction.  My last paragraph should obviously read “It is by THIS measure that I claim - and dare anyone to prove otherwise - that Hitler was NOT a “Christian” in any relevant, meaningful sense of the term, no matter how much he claimed otherwise, whether verbally or in writing.”

Peace.

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By Maani, December 27, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“Which basically translates Maani to you just talking about it…”

How do you get THAT from what I said?

“...go picket the churches that are giving money to Israel with the goal to sustain the holy land for the coming of the messiah…”

How do you know that I don’t?

“...go on their web site and try to convert them to your imagine of a loving Jesus…”

Again, how do you know that I don’t?

In your justified anger at a particular group of Christians, you seem to find it necessary to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” by denigrating ALL Christians, and even “assuming” things that do not follow from what I said.  You know, if part of the goal here is to create allies within the Christian community, you are doing a VERY poor job of it.  You have apparently never read Dale Carnegie…LOL.

Skruff:

Of my contention that “Simply because one professes a certain faith…does not make them of that faith, especially if their actions do not match their words, much less the tenets of the faith they claim,” you say, “This contention is ridiculous to the extreme.”

You misunderstood my intention here.  What matters is not what the Catholic Church did or didn’t do, or what role it played.  What matters was what HITLER did or didn’t do.  Jesus’ ministry is based on love, peace, forgiveness, compassion, humility, patience, selflessness, charity, service, justice and truth.

Hitler was the ANTITHESIS of EVERY SINGLE ONE of these tenets.  He was unloving, warlike, unforgiving, lacking in compassion, arrogant, impatient, self-centered, uncharitable, lacking in service (as that is defined), unjust and a liar.

It is by THIS measure that I claim - and dare anyone to prove otherwise - that Hitler was a “Christian” in any relevant, meaningful sense of the term, no matter how much he claimed otherwise, whether verbally or in writing.

Peace.

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By cann4ing, December 27, 2008 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Hi Skruff!  Haven’t seen your posts for quite awhile.  Excellent rejoinder to Maani.  I concur.

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By Skruff, December 27, 2008 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maani

“simply because one professes a certain faith - and may even write about it and “speak” it - does not make them of that faith, especially if their actions do not match their words, much less the tenets of the faith they claim.”


This contention is ridiculous to the extreme. Last time I checked, there was no “proclomation” from the Catholic Church excommunicating Hitler. He was free to take the sacriments till the end of his life. The truth is that the “Church” conspired with Hitler to insure their own survival. Hitler’s bud, Benito, even showed up regularly at mass in St. Peter’s.

The German soldiers (and the SS) had “Gott Mitt Uns” written on their uniforms. (For you non-Germans “GOD WITH US”)

Funny story, when I was protesting the actions of the Nixon administratioin specifically their actions in Cambodia, a group of Quakers were attempting to have Friends United Meetings” read Nixon out of the Society.  First Friends Church,  (Whittier Calif. Meeting)declined saying the Nixon’s were in good standing as they had paid their tythe for 1969. 

Xtians and capitalism go together like bread and butter.

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By KDelphi, December 26, 2008 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Warren is NOT a moderate. To support him, is to support religious fundamentalism—again. We need, as a nation, to be DONE with that.

There are theocracies. Move to one.

Maani—You simply have to consider that INTELLIGENCE is not the only issue! We have had plenty of intelligent presidents—in fact, none of them were , what,? “stupid”?, in the traditional sense. Intelligence is not necessarily judgement, nor integrity.

“Tolerance: Sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s ..”

So you think that people who are asking for human dignity want “synpathy” and “indulgence”? It is, like I said another term for hate or resetnment. But, you have to “tolerate” them, because of “god “.


“We are a secular nation.”

“This is naive in the extreme.  We are (or are supposed to be) a secular nation POLITICALLY.  But the PEOPLE of the nation are OVERWHELMINGLY believers, and the majority of THOSE are Christian. You simply cannot gloss over this as though it does not exist and has no impact on “the nation.”

Maani—YOU are absurd, in the extreme! We are most certainly a non-christian, secular nation. Youre a preacher!! Of course you feel the way you say you do. I can guarantee you that people of other-than-fundamentalist religons, (the majority ) do not feel that way. You talk about he constitution—but did you read Jefferons’s letters? It was as much for the churches’ protection as the states. If the evanglicals do not stop trying to push evangelism down the nation’s collective throats, people will become more intolerant—like they have of Bush, If you want Obama to go the way of Bush—keep it up.

Every site you blog on , the discussion becomes about religious fundamentalism. This is actually a discussion about civil rights, to me. “Lenin, Mao, Stalin”—you just bring them up (as well as Hitler) every discussion—-are those the only people who can be made to sound so terrible that our crappy leaders will look good?

Ths US is 76% “some type of christian”. Only 7% of those are self-described “evangelicals”. Even fewer (about .3%) are “born again”.The next largest gorup are “non-religious/secular” at 13.2%. (next, are Jews at 1.3%) (Atheists are .4 and agnostics .5—I can give you a link if you want the criteria) I checked four studies—-the num bers are roughly the same.

That being said, , from 1990-2000, (2006 shows it mostly unchanged), Christianity was + 5%, while secularism was +110%.

Of those identifeid as Christians, 50,873,000 were Catholics, and 33,830,000 identified as Baptist.


In any case, if 90% of USAns all became followers of Scientology tomorrow (???), I guess we should elect Tom Cruise president. Or maybe Rev.Sun Myung Moon, whom the Bushes gave plenty of out tax money to…if he gave the inaugeration and, everyone (or 76%) decided he was the Messaiah, would you support it??

The majority may (skating on thin ice , here) choose our “leaderw”. You cannot choose our religion, and, we just look silly and primitivistic to the rest of the civilized world. I hope to hell, Warren doesnt go on an evangelical rant! If you think he cant, watch more of his videos…

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By Fellowdigger, December 26, 2008 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Which basically translates Maani to you just talking about it - go picket the churches that are giving money to Israel with the goal to sustain the holy land for the coming of the messiah - when the Dome of the Rock blows everyone should take cover - go on their web site and try to convert them to your imagine of a loving Jesus - and good luck with that -we are not the ones who are waiting for god to come and wipe out most of civilization -  THEY ARE - go find them - tell them your pretty story - I don’t think anyone here is preparing for Armaggedon - except maybe you - by the way my head is no harder than the average homosapien - I know you referred to that a couple of times - but I do have on a helmet to keep the angel of death from knocking me out

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By Maani, December 26, 2008 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“All I know is that the fundamentalists are a danger to the future of humanity - why don’t you moderate religious people start doing something about it instead of writing your thoughts down here.”

Actually, you will be happy to know (LOL) that I (and other moderate Christians) have been doing that for some time.  (And I can do that AND participate in TD debates.)  But it takes time, and it will take more of us to do it.  Thankfully, though, the moderate Christian community is growing as the fundamentalist community is fractionalizing and (albeit all too slowly) shrinking.  But we ARE working to promote a more loving, forgiving, humble version of Christianity (more in keeping with Jesus’ actual ministry than with overly strict doctrine and dogma), one that is “inclusive” in the political sphere, but less “intrusive” in politics.

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 26, 2008 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

by the way =- the catholic church is also somewhat responsible for the horrible AIDS epidemic in Africa - folks like Mother Theresa going in there and telling those people not to use birth control is a crime - and those poor people are expected to not enjoy sex without contracting that horrible disease because they listen to those horrible stories - there is no shame - there is only denial - horrible horrible -  but the poor Africans have always been the victim of these terrible tragedies because of western influence - if there is such a thing as sin - that is it

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By Fellowdigger, December 26, 2008 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

All I know is that the fundamentalist are a danger to the future of humanity - why don’t you moderate religious people start doing something about it instead of writing your thoughts down here - go, go, go march on Christian Soldiers - save the world form your breathern - stop the madness!  AAAAAAGGGHHHHHH - what are they gonna do next - it is just to awful to comprehend

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By Maani, December 26, 2008 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

cann4ing:

“Odd, Maani, that you would pull out the Hitler card in exalting Christianity over atheism…”

I was not “exalting Christianity over atheism.” I was merely pointing out that Hitler was not, as most people believe, a “Christian” in any relevant sense of the word.

Folktruther:

“Power systems have hijacked religious ideologies to impose their perverted and barbaric values, and the historical actions of religious leaders are later justified by religious truthers.  Who, like Maani, maintain that people like myself are liars and that they are telling the truth.”

I have never suggested that you are a liar and that I am telling the truth.  What we have been doing is usually referred to as “debating.”  We can agree to disagree, but that does not make one of us a liar and the other a truth-teller.

As for “Power systems have hijacked religious ideologies to impose their perverted and barbaric values,” how do you explain Lenin, Stalin, Mao et al?  Did they “hijack” atheism “to impose their perverted and barbaric values?”  After all, to them the entire CONCEPT of religion was not simply ludicrous, but, as Marx stated, the “opium of the masses.”

Now, if you want to accept that ANY ideology - be it religious, economic, political or otherwise - can be “hijacked…to impose…perverted and barbaric values,” then we are in agreement.

Fellowdigger:

“Here’s a family photo album for you - sad but true - but the headline says it all - pictures speak alot more than nonsense from Maani.”

Actually, I did not say that the Pope and most Catholic churches were NOT in cahoots with Hitler (whether voluntarily or otherwise), nor did I suggest that the Protestant church was entirely “blameless.”

What I DID say - and what is supported by every major historian of that era - is that (i) the Pope turned a blind eye to those Catholic churches that WERE helping the Jews, (ii) that Hitler KNEW this, and had every intention of overthrowing the Pope, had he gotten the chance, (iii) that many Protestant churches WERE helping the Jews, (iv) that Hitler was systematically destroying the Protestant church, and (v) that Hitler’s “Third Reich” had NOTHING to do with “religion” (other than its ability to be used temporarily to achieve certain goals) and EVERYTHING to do with the Aryan bloodline.

Peace.

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By Fellowdigger, December 26, 2008 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, December 26 at 12:08 pm #

“Most of the Protestant churches in Nazi germany arddently supported Hitler, just as most in the US supported Bush.  And the Catholic churches population registary was turned over to the Nazi authorities to select Jews for extermination.”

Just wait til they all get their hands on some nuclear weapons - you ain’t seen nothing yet.  At least Jerry Falwell will miss the rapture - once again doubled over with hysterical laughter.

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By Fellowdigger, December 26, 2008 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, December 26 at 11:08 am #

“Odd, Maani, that you would pull out the Hitler card in exalting Christianity over atheism given the pact with the Devil made by the Pope at the time and the fact that the current Pope was, at one time, a member of the Hitler Youth.”

You know Cann4ing:  I just spent a lot of time I will never get back discussing something with one of the most ignorant peolpe I have ever had this religious discussion with - a person obviously suffering from a narcissitic personality disorder

Here’s a family photo album for you - sad but true - but the headline says it all - pictures speak alot more than nonsense from Maani

http://www.alamoministries.com/content/english/Antichrist/nazigallery/photogallery.html

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By Folktruther, December 26, 2008 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Most of the Protestant churches in Nazi germany arddently supported Hitler, just as most in the US supported Bush.  And the Catholic churches population registary was turned over to the Nazi authorities to select Jews for extermination.

Just as Pretestant churches supported slavery in the US and apartheid in South Africa, while religious enthusiasts point historically to the few sincere religious abolitionists, such as John Brown. Religious history is a tissue of fabrication from beginning to end.

Power systems have hijacked religious ideologies to impose their perverted and barbaric values, and the historical actions of religious leaders are later justified by religious truthers.  Who, like Maani, maintain that people like myself are liars and that they are telling the truth.

Although, in my opinion, spiritual values are essential for people to create a livable and civilized world, religous truthers have amply demonstrated that simply can’t be trusted to tell the truth.  Nothing demonstrates the perverted values of religion historically than the religious extolling of Zionism after the Holocaust.  Religion doesn’t change because oppression doesn’t change and traditional religion justifies and diverts attention from power oppression.

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By Fellowdigger, December 26, 2008 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

By Maani:

“Having studied this at some length, I can tell you that there remains an open debate between most RESPECTED Biblical scholars as to whether Jesus was born in March/April or September/October.  Of course, either date would belie the December one, which, as you note, was actually “forced” upon Christians by Rome so as to “subsume” the celebration of Jesus’ birth into the Roman holiday of Saturnalia.”

I’m falling over laughing at this point.  What a ridiculous discussion this is - and Maani you are just strange - I’m not sure why I ever spent anytime discussing this with you -

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By Tony Wicher, December 26, 2008 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

I come from a whole line of uncompromising atheists. According to family tradition, my great grandfather, Henry Wicher, used to stand outside his community church, leaning on his cane, and as the congregation emerged he would ask them, “What kind of poppycock have they been feeding you this time?” My father was a strict atheist. He taught me when I was a young boy that the idea that “morality comes from God” is bullshit. He said that the origin of morality is the fact that humans are social animals, and social morality is necessary for society to exist.
I remember scoffing at a little playmate when he repeated what he had been told about the Ten Commandments coming from God and that no human mind could possibly have devised such a wonderful set of rules. My reply was that they sounded pretty stupid to me and I could easily do better myself. I think he was aghast.

But this atheism was largely a reaction to the dogmas of the Judeo-Christian tradition. In college I got into Oriental philosophy and religion which did not seem to me to be dogmatic in the same way that the Abrahamic religions are. At least I was not, let us say, prejudiced against them by my upbringing. As I studied Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism, and listened to many talks given by J.Krishnamurti, I began to believe that there is concealed in religion some truth beyond the scientific humanism my father espoused. These days I call myself a pagan, for I have come to suspect that civilization itself and all modern religion descends from a world-wide pagan natural religion that goes back more than ten thousand years.

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By cann4ing, December 26, 2008 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Odd, Maani, that you would pull out the Hitler card in exalting Christianity over atheism given the pact with the Devil made by the Pope at the time and the fact that the current Pope was, at one time, a member of the Hitler Youth.

In Failed States, Noam Chomsky quoted Fritz Stern, a scholar of German history, who wrote “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,’ was 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 Maani, December 26, 2008 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

LSL:

“No [Jesus] wasn’t [born on December 25th.]...[M]ost thoughtful Biblical historians believe he was born in March (as stated in the Jewish book of records) son of Mary and an unnamed Roman Soldier.”

Although you are correct that the December date is faulty, I’m not sure what you mean by “thoughtful” Biblical historians.

Having studied this at some length, I can tell you that there remains an open debate between most RESPECTED Biblical scholars as to whether Jesus was born in March/April or September/October.  Of course, either date would belie the December one, which, as you note, was actually “forced” upon Christians by Rome so as to “subsume” the celebration of Jesus’ birth into the Roman holiday of Saturnalia.

Peace.

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By Maani, December 26, 2008 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“My two favorite atheists/agnostics:  Madame Curie and Thomas Edison…”

Sorry, Charlie, Curie was NOT an atheist; she was a nominal Catholic.  Besides, I think you know very well that scientific achievement was NOT what I meant by my comment.  However, since you bring it up, you might want to consider that Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, Leeuwenhoek, Pasteur, Kepler, Brahe, Bacon, Faraday, Maxwell, Mendel, Kelvin, Planck, and many other MAJOR scientists were believers - some of them deep Catholics or Protestants.

“The poor Christians should be given a pass because another group of nuts killed more people in a shorter amount of time?”

I did not say they should be given a pass; I acknowledged their atrocities.

“You throw the concept of Hitler being Catholic or not aside as if were a second thought…He used the pope.”

Hitler was no more Catholic than I am Zoroastrian (and I’m not): simply because one professes a certain faith - and may even write about it and “speak” it - does not make them of that faith, especially if their actions do not match their words, much less the tenets of the faith they claim.

It was not the Pope that Hitler used (more in a moment), but Chrisitanity itself.  In fact, in a speech to the party faithful as early as 1933, Hitler stated that “It is through the peasantry that we will finally destroy Christianity.”  Thus, once he got rid of the “Jewish problem,” the Christians were next.

Indeed, his relationship with the Pope was extremely strained, because although the Pope did not actively help the Jews, there were many Catholic churches that WERE doing so, and the Pope turned a blind eye to it.  Hitler knew this, and had every intention of overthrowing the Pope given the chance.  As well, Hitler was not only actively destroying the Protestant church at the time, he attempted to take control of it in order to dismantle it permanently. This is why Karl Barth left Germany.

Hitler was an equal opportunity murderer; in addition to almost 6 million Jews, he murdered over 2 million Christians, plus amother 5 million blacks, homosexuals, communists, trade unionists, the elderly, and the physicall and mentally handicapped - a total of 11 million.  Tell me what part of this is “Catholic” in your opinion.

Since your history is rusty, let me remind you that Hitler’s stated goal was the creation of a “master race” of “Aryans.”  But “Aryan” is not a religion; it is a bloodline.  And this meant that ANYONE not of the Aryan bloodline would eventually have been eliminated - regardless of race, religion, etc.

As for, “But the Abrahamic craziness does not end there…,” once again you attempt to change the subject in midstream: I was not dicscussing the “Abrahamic religions,” but ONLY Christianity.

If you want to learn more about this, let me recommend (among others) Michael Burleigh’s “Sacred Causes.”  Burleigh is an agnostic who is among the most respected historians of that period.

Peace.

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By cann4ing, December 26, 2008 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Fellowdigger, Thanks for the link to the site listing those who describe themselves as atheists, which includes Yip Harburg, the lyricist who wrote “Over the Rainbow” for the Wizard of Oz and was later blacklisted during the McCarthy witch hunt, Bertrand Russel and Arundhati Roy.  The one name I was surprised to read was Rabbi Sherwin T. Wine.  “Rabbi” seems a bit odd an occupational choice for an atheist.

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By cann4ing, December 26, 2008 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, December 25 at 6:46 pm #

Check out the Warren video in the A/V section, “Pastor Rick Loves Gays”.  In spite of believing that gay sex is against the word of God, he says he loves gays anyway because Christians are supposed to love everybody.
_______________________

I am surprised you could be so easily swayed by a piece of propaganda like the Warren video, Tony—or is it that you actually think like Warren.  Warren claims he “loves gays” but excludes them from membership in his church.  He was a key backer of Proposition H8.  He has compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality—even after being confronted with the fact that sexual orientation is physiologically pre-determined and not a matter of choice.

I’m a heterosexual.  In July my wife and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  The fact that gay and lesbian couples choose to marry in no way diminishes the sanctity of my marriage.  I see no difference between the homophobic Proposition H8 and Jim Crow laws that banned inter-racial marriage.  Both entail efforts by right-wing religious hypocrites to imposed their narrow concepts of morality on other people.

Saying that Warren “loves gays” is like saying that the master loved his slaves.

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By Leisure Suit Larry, December 26, 2008 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Tony Wicher, December 25 at 7:26 pm #


Re Maani, December 25 at 5:37 pm #

“It seems to me that what one believes, atheist or Christian, is less important than how one treats one’s fellow man. So happy Winter Solstice to you, for the Son of God is born this day.”


NO he wasn’t (assuming you are speaking of Jesus) most thoughtful Biblical historians believe he was born in March (as stated in the Jewish book of records) son of Mary and an unnamed Roman Soldier.

The December date was chosen because it was easy to take the celebration of the Sun God and change it into a xtian Feast day.  Those Romans loved their feasts!

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By Fellowdigger, December 26, 2008 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

By Tony Wicher, December 25 at 1:49 pm #

“I’m a one-world humanist myself, so we agree there. So is Obama, for that matter. I just don’t see how all the rage you are constantly constantly spewing on this blog is helping matters.”

Obama is a one-world humanist? - when has he ever made such a claim - you people just make things up and becasue you put it into words it is supposedly true. I’m sure you would have told the Revolutionist to cool it when they were sick of the money-grabbing church of england

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By Fellowdigger, December 26, 2008 at 5:52 am Link to this comment

Some of those horrible atheists that have done nothing for mankind

http://www.celebatheists.com/?title=Category:Atheist

My two favorite atheists/agnostics:  Madame Currie and Thomas Edison - YIKEs - what have they done lately?

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By Fellowdigger, December 26, 2008 at 3:52 am Link to this comment

Are you serious Maani:

The poor Christians should be given a pass because another group of nuts killed more people in a shorter amount of time?  Christians haven’t been involved in mass murder in 500 years with few exceptions?  Some exceptions - Have you ever heard of Serbia - was not the Catholic Church in bed with the Nazis and the fascists - what about Rwanda or the horrible and endless death and torture of natives of North and South America,  DAMN!  You throw the concept of Hitler being Catholic or not aside as if were a second thought.  He was actually more in love with Luther - he used the pope.  Luther, ah yes,  another deranged murderer.  What church wasn’t started by a kook - Luther, King Henry, Joseph Smith…enough said. 

But the Abrahamic craziness does not end there - Do we not have thousands of dead Americans due to another group of religious nuts which I haven’t even started on.  And of course once we go down that rode we could spend days and days. The Islamic people are known for their ways of hospitality and social network programs.  The Jews are some of the greatest philanthropist in the world - does it relieve them of their moral responsibility for the horror they are putting the Palestinians through - no, it does not.  And of course, the jews of the middle-east helped the Christian west get arms to the Iranians to fight the Iraqis (who we also armed.) A million people died in that war - a war that took place in the 1980s.  We are currently in a war that has killed at least 90,000 men, women and children.  Try to convince me that is not a religious war run by a born-again Christian. 500 YEARS AGO RIGHT? Because Christians at times can be on the right side of an issue does relinguish them they have been behind so much murder and mayhem in the past.  I am not an atheist - I can not possible be.  It would be as arrogant as you claiming without a shadow of a doubt that something can be proved when it can be not. However, you can not be serious to say that there are not atheist who have done great things in this world, have written incredible moral documents and have changed medicine and science all again for the incredible benefits of mankind.  ONCE AGAIN - IT IS HARD TO TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY.  I do not believe in Jesus, I have no reason to. I can not trust the only document that recorded his life when it is such an immoral document.  I use the words of the bible to show your own hypocrisy, not mine.  I have no need for an immoral death cult.  And I do stand corrected - Jesus did not say the stupid line about hot nor cold - it was in the book of revelations.  Another charming and loving part of the bible which will probably be the reason for millions to be killed when all the religious fools gather together in Jerusalem to have their ridiculuos final battle (will reason save us!!??)  The Christians aren’t done yet.  Back to Jesus - even if Jesus was a real person, that only begins your moral dilemma - AS C.S. Lewis said - if you don’t believe that Jesus was the son of god than you would have to believe he was a lunatic - I believe neither but I certainly believe that the writers of the bible - from cover to cover -  would have done themselves a favor by making the “word of god” consistent throughout.

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By tony smith, December 26, 2008 at 1:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I see that EJ will continue his “no problem” approach to Obama at least until the new year.  But some of us still have the capacity for critical thinking - even where it concerns Obama.

As others have stated, the entire discourse surrounding Warren would differ if instead of making homophobic comments, he had said something racially offensive.  I will even flip the script a bit more.  Imagine that Obama had invited somfeone to speak who makes whites uncomfortable—say Farrakhan, Wright, Jackson or Sharpton.  I am certain that all of the liberal commentators who have defended the move, would take a different approach.

Obama can get away with this because glbt people are a small minority and because the vast majority of Americans—including Democrats—oppose same-sex marriage.  Even Obama opposes same-sex marriage.  He does not stray from popular opinion.

Finally, I find it odd that the media have not compared Obama’s take on Warren with his approach to Don Imus.  While he has encouraged tolerance for a man who likens gay relationships to pedophilia, he insisted that Imus lose his job and said that he would never have someone like him working on his staff. He also said Imus made “degrading” comments.  Can someone explain who Warren’s pedophilia reference was not degrading to gays and lesbians and why firing Imus is consistent with keeping Warren around? I have only seen this important story on one blog:  http://dissentingjustice.blogspot.com/2008/12/rick-warren-versus-don-imus-obamas.html

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By Maani, December 25, 2008 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Tony:

Hear, hear!  Best wishes to you and yours as well.

Peace!

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By Tony Wicher, December 25, 2008 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

Re Maani, December 25 at 5:37 pm #

It seems to me that what one believes, atheist or Christian, is less important than how one treats one’s fellow man. So happy Winter Solstice to you, for the Son of God is born this day.

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By Tony Wicher, December 25, 2008 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, December 25 at 12:29 pm #

It isn’t often you and I disagree, Tony, but we do on this.  Would you have considered it a “brilliant move” if Obama had reached out to an anti-Semite to give the benediction?  A racist?  If not, then why is a homophobic minister acceptable?
——————————————————————————-
c,

Check out the Warren video in the A/V section, “Pastor Rick Loves Gays”.  In spite of believing that gay sex is against the word of God, he says he loves gays anyway because Christians are supposed to love everybody. Well, I hope he means it. He says civil unions are fine with him; he just does not want to change the definition of the word “marriage”. This is a position we should be able to live with, even if we don’t agree with it. I think gays and their supporters will contribute much more to gay rights in this situation be being as tolerant of evangelicals as as they would have evangelicals be of them - which is a very Christian principle, by the way.

Merry Christmas!

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By Maani, December 25, 2008 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Fellowdigger:

“Not only do we see Christmas decorations, everywhere - listen to Xmas carols about the lord savior, everywhere - it is not enough for Christians - not until you shove every concept you have down our throats, you won’t be satisified.”

It might interest you to know that I am as much or more against all of this than you are.  And I have been vocally so since I became a Christian at 19, and even moreso since becoming a minister six years ago.  And there are many, many like me.  So we are on the same side on this.

“To the religious out there - get out of our personal lives.”

Again, we are in complete agreement here.

“And Maani regarding your signature of Peace to me after every blog - spare me.  You are one of the most arrogant people I have every encountered during this discussion - how does that gel with Jesus’ philosophy?”

I honestly don’t know what you are referring to.  I present my positions and argument with passion, as do you.  Jesus was not against passion.

As for “peace,” it is more than just a word; it is a lifestyle, one which I have lived (or at least made sincere efforts toward living) in every possible regard.  I can be passionate - indeed, I can even be righteously indignant - and yet that is not mutually exclusive from living one’s life in, for, with and practicing “peace.”

“Jesus said - be hot or cold regarding God - but if you are lukewarm he will spit you out.”

You need to make up your mind.  Either Jesus existed, or He did not.  If He did not exist (as you have stated), then under what rubric do you bring in His alleged statements, even out of context?

“The Christian faith has proved itself, with the bible as a basis, to be Racist, homophobic, child abusing, misogynistic, narrow minded theives who have plundered the riches of the world and caused undue heartache by helping to throw the world into endless wars and genocide.”

This is simply not true.  Yes, Christianity has had its share of atrocities, including the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch burnings, etc.  Yet with few exceptions, it has been the world’s most peaceful religion since all of that ended almost 500 years ago.

As well, the rabidly atheist regimes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were responsible for the murder and/or calculated deaths of FAR more people than all the religious wars, etc. in history.  By some counts, these four men are responsible for over 100 million murders/deaths IN ONLY 60 YEARS.  (And I am not including Hitler only because I know what arguments I will get that he was a “Christian,” despite the fact that this is untrue.)  The highest estimate I have ever seen for all deaths caused by religion IN ALL OF RECORDED HISTORY is ~50-75 million.  So don’t tell me that religion is responsible for more “wars and genocide” than atheism: it is demonstrably untrue.

As well, you seem to dismiss all of the good that religion (and particularly Christianity) has done.  As noted, Christians either founded or were at the forefront of the abolition movement, the child labor movement, the suffrage movement, and the civil rights movement.  Christians in America founded more schools, universities, orphanages, hospitals, community centers, etc. than any other group - INCLUDING the government.  And Christian-based organizations - including the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Medicin Sans Frontieres (which was founded by Christians but has become secular over time) - have been the “first in and last out” providers of disaster and emergency relief throughout the world on a completely non-sectarian basis: they provide their services to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, gays, straights, every color, ethnic background, age, etc.

What have all you ATHEISTS done lately?

Peace.  (And yes, even in my righteous indignation, I wish you peace - even if you choose not to accept it.)

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By dihey, December 25, 2008 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Dionne writes “Warren is worth the headache”. Perhaps, but you Mr. Dionne are not. I have not the slightest intention of ever reading any of your future migraine-generating excuses for Mr. Obama.

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By Tony Wicher, December 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

FT,

I’m a one-world humanist myself, so we agree there. So is Obama, for that matter. I just don’t see how all the rage you are constantly constantly spewing on this blog is helping matters.

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By Fellowdigger, December 25, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

My final blog entry on this particular article on the end of this Xmas Day 2008:

Maani:  I’m very glad that the Supreme Court is not as convinced as you are to your interpretation of the Constitution and have argued for years over the place of Christian acknowledgment in the public area - see Engel v. Vitale.
Jefferson’s letter on Separation of Church and State was actually his efforts to defend the rights of one Christian Sect against another - not even you guys can get along. 

Not only do we see Christmas decorations, everywhere - listen to Xmas carols about the lord savior, everywhere - it is not enough for Christians - not until you shove every concept you have down our throats, you won’t be satisified.  To all the religious out there - get out of our personal lives.  Believe anything you want but save us the diatribes of faith that we have no use for.  And Maani regarding your signature of Peace to me after every blog - spare me.  You are one of the most arrogant people I have every encountered during this discussion - how does that gel with Jesus’ philosophy?  I see you are a minister - figures

Regarding the religious right - they have the intellectual upper hand folks - sorry.  Jesus said -be hot or cold regarding God - but if you are lukewarm he will spit you out. Yes, Maani, you are quite correct that you know a lot more about religious scholarship than I- I only have the very words of the Bible that I can refer to.  I have heard many writers’ words to be interpreted as something they never meant - and they laugh at such literary interpretations.  We can not assume, without knowing the actual writers, what they meant by what they wrote.  All other interpretation is speculative and someone can come along very easily and dispute it.  But here is something you can dispute if you like - only the crazy pagans and religious nuts of bronze age Palestine could start with a story with a precious innocent babe in a manger bringing world peace and end with a human sacrifice blessed by god, who created the universe, and couldn’t come up with a better way to save mankind.  Only could these folk come up with a philosophy where the leader preaches goodwill and love of fellow man to condemn a good many of them to eternal hell fire and damnation.  As Christopher Hitchens states, at least when it comes to secular dictatorships, when you die you actually get away from them.  But not so with the religious - they are gonna chase you into the netherworld to keep punishing you after you are dead.  The Christian faith has proved itself, with the bible as a basis, to be Racist, homophobic, child abusing, misogynistic, narrow minded theives who have plundered the riches of the world and caused undue heartache by helping to throw the world into endless wars and genocide.  Great concepts - is there any other reason why we should shun these ideas than the ones I have given….

Rev. Warren is now calling us Christaphobes - we are actually Rev Warrenaphobes - but the other term works fine for me.  The inaugaration, I believe, is a federally funded events and should not be promoting any faith on the dais. Obama is free to go to any church he likes and worship in any way he likes - just not at a federally funded event.  Get god off the money, out of the court houses and out of the branches of government - go worship where you like - you have enough representations of your faith -

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By Ann, December 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This week an out lesbian was attacked as she got out of her car, raped, then brutally beaten, then raped again by four men. The attack was meant to demean, terrorize, and destroy this woman. The men taunted her, knowing she was a lesbian, and they probably destroyed any chance that she would live normally ever again.

When sick, sadistic pieces of shit hear a steady chorus of how lesbians are the same as pedophiles and incest perpetrators, it’s ever easier to see lesbians as worthy of violent assault.

Here are Warren’s actual recorded words:
  RICK WARREN: But the issue to me is, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

  STEVEN WALDMAN: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?

  RICK WARREN: Oh I do.

People like Dionne and the oh so, very noble pundit class (which includes most bloggers and their commenters) can sit back and have their veddy, veddy important discussions while real live human beings pay the cost for the cynical triangulations of the power elites. The knuckle-dragging mouth breathers on the streets don’t understand the finer points of the philosophical discussion - they predictably act out what their overlords signal with their dog whistles.

And screw you, Barack. I didn’t believe your rhetoric in the first place, but when you ran a sexist campaign against Hillary, your true colors started to show, and it’s all the more clear now who you really are.

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By Maani, December 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

cann4ing:

Separate and apart from our ongoing debate re the First Amendment, I want to say a sincere “bravo” on your response to Folktruther.  It was extremely well-written and on the money.  Superb.

Peace.

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By Folktruther, December 25, 2008 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Cann4ing- By American political science I meant polical science taught in American schools, universities and other learned bureaucracies.  In 1979, the new president of the Amereican Political Science Association, Easton, acknowledged and deplored the identification of American political science with the American power system. He hoped a revolution was occurring that would change that.  It didn’t.

Poltitical scientists like Michael Paenenti and Finklestein have been blacklisted from American universities for deviating from the offical truth of political science, this despite their large body of scholarly work, innovative theory and honesty and courage.  Parenti lists many others whoss work was restricted or repressed.

A study of political science conducted in the 1960’s indicated that the chief criteria for promotion was the QUANTITY OF WORK, the quality of work ranking much lower.  Quantity was right up there with connections in getting promoted.

But you are quite right about my ignorance of political science, which I try to maintain as much as possible.  So naturally I look up to Educated truthers like yourself.  Since, as both you and Madison agree, Knwoledge will always govern Ignorance.  Or at least I suppose Madison would agree.  You, as an Educated representative of the legal profession, would, instead,  concur.

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By cann4ing, December 25, 2008 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

It isn’t often you and I disagree, Tony, but we do on this.  Would you have considered it a “brilliant move” if Obama had reached out to an anti-Semite to give the benediction?  A racist?  If not, then why is a homophobic minister acceptable?

Could you imagine the furor if President Carter had invited George Wallace to address the crowd at his inauguration?

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By Tony Wicher, December 25, 2008 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, December 25 at 10:14 am #

Sorry, E. J. Dionne, but as they say in the South, that dog won’t hunt.

So, why do we have either an invocation or a benediction at an inaugural address?  Why is each session of Congress opened by a member of the clergy?
——————————————————————————-
c,

I think Dionne’s article is right on the mark. Obama is trying to heal a division that has been created and exploited by Republicans for forty years, a division that got Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II elected. Let the Folktruthers of the world yell and scream. Who cares? Hit the mute button.

Why do we have an invocation and a benediction? No good reason, as far as I’m concerned. I would like to get rid of them, along with “under God” in the Pledge and “In God We Trust” on our currency (the ultimate irony: it should say “In money we trust”, since that is what most Americans, especially Republicans, sincerely and deeply believe in, not God or the damn Bible.) But as long as we are having these ceremonies, I don’t see any problem with Warren doing the invocation. It’s a brilliant move by Obama.

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By Tony Wicher, December 25, 2008 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

By cann4ing, December 25 at 10:14 am #

Sorry, E. J. Dionne, but as they say in the South, that dog won’t hunt.

So, why do we have either an invocation or a benediction at an inaugural address?  Why is each session of Congress opened by a member of the clergy?

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By cann4ing, December 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

Maani, whether it was Tao or your friend, I don’t think we could label such an opening discourse on what Tao refers to as “The Way” as a “benediction.”  I do think it would be far more refreshing, educational, and useful than whatever Warren will have to say.

Also, I did not say that the Supreme Court or any court has ever addressed the issue of whether the benediction or the invocation amounted to a violation of the Establishment Clause.  But I believe the conclusion that they do logically flows from past decisions mandating separation of church and state.

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By cann4ing, December 25, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, December 25 at 10:33 am #

Except for Anarcissie, who started out with a holistic worldview, everyone is stuck fast in the morass of American ideolgy, even relatively honest Obamanites like Cann4ing.

His indoctriantion in American political science, pounded in deeply by American law, has produced a regidity that can’t be bent by mere reason.  He shall not be moved.
___________________________

Careful, Folktruther, your ignorance is showing.  If you had any knowledge of the curriculum of undergraduate and graduate work in political science you would know that it is not limited to “American political science.”

Your label, Obamanite, presumes that simply because one makes the practical decision during the general election to support Obama in order to put an end to rule by fascists like Bush/Cheney that this translates to blind support for every policy position that the new president-elect will take. 

The fact that I have found many of your arguments less than persuasive and short on facts does not mean that I am rigid in my beliefs, though I do concede that my legal training makes me inclined to place more weight on evidence than opinion. 

With all due respect, Folktruther, I believe it is your own ideological blinders that prevent you from acknowledging fundamental differences between Obama and the Bush regime on a wide variety of issues.  Yours is a Manichean world view of all or nothing, which is why anyone who does not agree with every flimsy argument you make is seen by you as rigid.  In reality, you are simply projecting your own rigidity onto others.

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