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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » The Coming of the Christofascist Dictatorship
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…or something. At least, that seems pretty clearly to be what this worthless hack is babbling about (thanks to LC IT for sending it to us):

The influence of religious faith on the American political process cannot be underestimated.

Either English isn’t your first language or the “top tier” law school you graduated from didn’t have basic language skills on its list of requirements. Or, we suppose, you really are saying that the influence of religious faith is zero, in which case we fail to see what the point of your screed is.

“Cannot be underestimated.” One sentence into it, and you’ve already shown yourself to be an idiot.

According to a Newsweek poll conducted in March, 73 per cent of Evangelical Protestants said that they believed that God created men and women in their present form within the past 10,000 years.

In other words, 73 percent, according to this study, of Evangelical Protestants actually believe in the book that is the foundation of their faith!

Shocking!!!

In recent debates, four of the ten Republican candidates for President took the position that they do not subscribe to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, preferring the biblical creation narrative that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.

See the above. Also, we fail to see the outrage here, even though you breathlessly proclaim that four out of ten Republican candidates aren’t members of the Church of Darwin. Whatever happened to “no religious test?” Or don’t they teach that at your top tier law school either?

It is not surprising, therefore, to learn that many people are beginning to wonder whether America is on a downward slope towards its own form of Sharia, where secular matters are governed by religious law,

Not if you’re an idiot, that’s right. Because if 73% of Christians being, you know, Christians proves that Christofascist godbag Shariah is almost upon us, then we can only wonder what the fuck those totalitarians were doing during the hundreds of years where the number was closer to 100%. Sitting on their Bibles, perhaps?

especially when an increasing number of legal posts are being filled by students from one poorly regarded faith-based law school.

Poorly regarded by elitist, liberal snobs who cannot abide the fact that their profession is being “tainted” by the presence of people who don’t agree with them. Elitist, liberal snobs who are no doubt annoyed that all of those fat government sinecures are being denied to them, forcing them to write barely literate screeds for the London Times instead.

Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has roughly 500 students and is ranked at the rock bottom as a “fourth tier” law school in an authoritative survey published by U.S. News & World Report.

“Authoritative” because you happen to agree with it, of course. Or do you actually have some substantiation that you don’t want to provide your readers with? If so, why?

One of its prominent graduates is Monica Goodling, a lawyer with scant prosecutorial experience, who resigned under fire last April after a five-year stint as a top aide to Alberto Gonzales, the US Attorney-General. She wrote her besieged boss a letter: “May God bless you richly,” she said, “as you continue your service to America.”

She asked G-d to bless her boss in a private letter? Lock up the women and children! Stonings, amputations and genital mutilation are but a day or two away!!!

Goodling received her legal and religious training at Regent, which was established by Pat Robertson, the televangelist, himself a Yale Law School graduate, in 1986 to provide “Christian leadership to change the world”.

Would Yale qualify as a “top tier” law school in your book?

Up until 2001, it was exceedingly rare for Regent graduates to take governmental positions;

From the time the first graduates of Regent would be appearing until 2001, the country was plagued with a liberal, faith-hating Administration who would be extremely unlikely to hire a conservative Christian, for obvious reasons.

So, apart from the rather prominent one on top of your head, what exactly is your point?

since it took office, the Bush Administration has hired 150 Regent graduates and with most of these lawyers are employed by the Department of Justice.

Not very surprising, since those “top tier” law schools that you’re so enamored with are, by and large, bastions of secular, socialist, liberal idiocy and, as they apparently also failed to teach you at your Alma Mater, those hires and appointments are political. Nobody screeches or whines about it when it’s a liberal President exercising his Constitutional prerogative to hire people he can work with, but let a conservative, or at least to the right of Pol Pot President do the same, and verily the floodgates of sanctimonious whining shall be opened immediately.

In a recent Regent newsletter, a 2004 graduate provided a revealing snapshot of how the Church-State divide may have been crossed.

Your “top tier” law school also failed to point out to you that the divide, or “wall”, that you’re talking about, doesn’t exist anywhere in the Constitution. You really ought to ask for at least a partial refund of your tuition.

Describing his interview for a position with the Civil Rights Division, the student was asked which Supreme Court decision of the past 20 years he found most objectionable. He cited Lawrence v Kansas, the gay civil rights case in which the Justices decided to invalidate the Kansas sodomy statute.

They don’t teach Lawrence v Texas at your “top tier” law schools either?

The interviewer readily agreed, and said he found the decision “maddening”.

And anybody who has actually read the Constitution would agree. Since you obviously haven’t (what did you learn at that school of yours, by the way?), I’ll be happy to send you one of the spare copies I have lying around the house. It’s not that long, so you ought to be able to work your way through it in a couple of weeks, even with your lips moving all the time.

When you’re done, perhaps you can enlighten me and point to the part of the Constitution making laws regarding sexual activity a Federal issue? The Texas sodomy law was, no doubt if you ask me, an ancient, obsolete relic in dire need of being repealed along with the equally obsolete laws regarding keeping horses on the upper story of your house, and I most assuredly would have supported its repealing if the people of Texas had started the process of doing so. Note “the people of Texas.” Because it’s a State issue. Read the 10th, you overeducated titweasel.

Thereupon, the correct-thinking Regent alumnus received an appointment to the housing section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, the only job offer he received on graduation.

The applicant demonstrated a clear understanding of the separation of jurisdictions in our nation, a cornerstone of conservative philosophy, so it’s hardly surprising that a conservative Administration would be willing to hire him. Not to mention that we doubt that it was the only question being asked at the interview.

To the dismay of her alma mater, Goodling took the Fifth Amendment before the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating her role in firing eight federal prosecutors.

Considering what happened in the Scooter Libby witch hunt where an innocent man was punished for having poor memory about something that wasn’t a crime to begin with (much like firing US Attorneys. Just ask Slick Willie about that), we can’t say that we blame her. We’d have taken the Fifth too.

One third-year student criticized the decision: “You should not be in a situation where you have to plead the Fifth,” as though there would be something immoral about invoking a constitutional right.

Or maybe the student was expressing the opinion that there’s something wrong about witnesses having to plead the Fifth to protect themselves from becoming casualties in a nutroot/Dem Cong witch hunt? Not that we’re questioning your Mad Mind-Reading Skillz or anything.

Goodling, who was granted Congressional immunity, later testified that she may have gone “too far” in the course of her official duties and inadvertently “crossed the line” by asking “political” questions of applicants for non-political jobs in the Department of Justice. It was at Goodling’s insistence that one of the coveted “jobs” - United States Attorney for Arkansas - went to Timothy Griffin, a close political aide to Karl Rove in the White House.

Do we need to repeat that US Attys are political appointments and, therefore, subject to political considerations? It would appear that we do, which is hardly a surprise now that we’ve conclusively demonstrated that the author of this article is a mouth-breathing, ignorant buffoon.

Griffin resigned the post after it appeared that he could not survive the scrutiny of Senate confirmation hearings.

Taking political factors into consideration during a political appointment — BAD!

Having to resign to avoid being savaged by a bunch of politically motivated Senators — GOOD! (Unless it’s a Dem Cong appointee, we’re sure).

The infiltration by mediocre graduates of a poorly rated faith-based law school into key positions in the Department of Justice is just plain scary.

Long on opinion, short on facts, are we? Not that we blame you, since facts are something that you obviously have only the most precarious of familiarities with.

The New Republic website, referring to the Goodling affair, observed with uncharacteristic understatement: “That a recent graduate of one of the worst (and sketchiest) law schools with virtually no relevant experience could ascend to this position is a sure sign that there is something seriously wrong at the [Department of Justice].”

Well that settles it, right there. After all, if you can’t trust The New People’s Republik to be unbiased and objective when writing about a Republican Administration, who can you trust?

The collision course between fundamentalist religious values and the operation of the Justice Department was set in 2002 when the much-maligned John Ashcroft served as the Bush Administration’s first Attorney-General. Ashcroft was criticised for bridging the divide between Church and State by “inviting” his subordinates to attend daily morning prayer devotionals in his office.

Key word: “Invite.” Exhibit number G-d only knows what that the author is as biased as Josef Stalin, and for the same reasons: The sneer quotes around that word. Exhibit #275 that the “top tier” author is ignorant of the law: Repeated referral to the non-existent “wall of separation” and complete ignorance of the prohibition against religious tests.

It was Ashcroft who had to backpedal from a statement he made in a press interview that: “Islam is a religion in which God requires you to send your son to die for Him. Christianity is a faith in which God sends his son to die for you.” A clever turn of phrase, perhaps, but not when you are the Attorney-General of the United States.

Point us to the part of the Constitution that says that Attorney Generals of the United States aren’t allowed to hold religious opinions or state religious facts, please?

Small wonder that, after his resignation in February 2005, Ashcroft decided to teach a law school course on “Human Rights, Civil Liberties, and National Security” — at Regent Law School.

Small wonder indeed. We’re beginning to think that, should one or more of the Heirs decide to study law, we’ll have to find out a way of sending them to Regent. Apparently the law is still being taught there.

In 1952, the Supreme Court - in approving a New York “released time” school programme that permitted student absences from state-supported schools for off-premises religious observance and instruction - stated that Americans “are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being”, but that there “cannot be the slightest doubt that . . . Church and State should be separated”.

Who voted for those Supreme Court justices? After all, isn’t that how we’re supposed to choose our legislators and aren’t our legislators the only ones supposedly allowed to create laws or, as it’s also called (something they probably failed to teach you at your “top tier” law school as well), legislate?

Again: Point us to the exact chapter and verse of the Constitution “leaving not the slightest doubt that Church and State should be separated.” As soon as you get a hold of a copy and manage to mumble your way through it, of course. We’re trying not to be unreasonable here.

Justice Black, dissenting from the result, emphasised the history of constitutional separation between Church and State: “It was precisely because 18th-century Americans were a religious people divided into many fighting sects that we were given the constitutional mandate to keep Church and State completely separate.

You have a mandate to not establish a religion, and that’s the end of it, you daft piece of activist crap.

Colonial history had already shown that, here as elsewhere, zealous sectarians entrusted with governmental power to further their causes would sometimes torture, maim and kill those they branded ‘heretics’, ‘atheists’ or ‘agnostics’.” In other words: meritocracy, yes; theocracy, no.

Recent history has already shown that, here as elsewhere, zealous seculars entrusted with governmental power to further their causes will sometimes maim and kill those they brand “haters”, “anti-social elements” etc. etc. Elian, Waco, Ruby Ridge… How many examples do you need? So are you saying that the sectarian faith of socialist liberalism should be forever banned from government? Hey, we might be willing to back that!

We are, of course, kidding. Abuse of power is by no means limited to “sectarians” in the religious sense. As a matter of fact the notoriously secular faith of socialism has murdered well in excess of 100 million people, yet you don’t have Supreme Court “Justices” using that as an argument for abolishing the offending party or forever banishing them from government. Should we banish the Republican Party for the abuses committed by Nixon? Should be banish the Democrat Party for the abuses committed by the Clintons? People on both sides might be tempted to shout “YES!” emphatically to either of those questions, but upon sane reflection most of us wouldn’t actually work to make it happen, since it’s incompatible with the idea of democracy.

Yet, for some obscure reason, abuses committed by unnamed sectarians of the past is the definitive argument in favor of denying Christians the right to exercise power at all?

Only if you’re a fascist or just plain stupid.

It is uncomfortable to see something so personal as religion worn on anyone’s sleeve.

Uncomfortable to you, perhaps, but that doesn’t give you a Constitutional mandate to outlaw it. Reading ignorant tripe like yours gives me an uncomfortable feeling, albeit mainly due to my sides hurting. Does that give me a Constitutional mandate to forever shut you up?

The issue is really whether faith is an unwelcome intruder in political discourse and governmental business or whether there must be some legitimate place for an intersection between the tenets of faith and the ethical ideals of justice and humanity that are instinct in the United States Constitution.

What???

We’re almost at the end of one of the most boneheadedly bumfuckedly Idiotarian screeds it has ever been my displeasure to read, and all of a sudden you ask a legitimate question? Did you fall asleep and hit your head on the table before writing those last few paragraphs?

Let’s face it, America is a faith-based country. Although seldom sung, there endures the closing verse of the fourth stanza of the National Anthem:

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And quite a few columnists with multiple personality disorders, it would appear.

Thatisall.

107 Responses to “The Coming of the Christofascist Dictatorship”
  1. SoldierInGodsArmy Comment by SoldierInGodsArmy

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    If a person seriously believes in his or her heart they are descendants of monkeys, then why should I try to convince that monkey, that they are not really a monkey?

    Damn monkeys

  2. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    Oh please, let’s not turn this into one of Those Threads™, shall we? ;) No, I’m not saying that you’re trying to do that, I’m just doing a bit of pre-emptive maintenance here :)

    My central argument here is that the whole “no Christians need apply” approach to government is offensive, bigoted and plain un-American, not that one set of beliefs or non-beliefs is “better” than the others.

    I’d consider a “wall of separation between atheists and State” equally offensive. You are what you are and your belief system is a central part of that. They cannot be separated. What we can and should do, and the only thing that we have an actual Constitutional mandate for on this issue, is to make sure that no one set of beliefs becomes the “official one”, be it a religious or a-religious set.

  3. SoldierInGodsArmy Comment by SoldierInGodsArmy

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    I was only talking about Monkeys :)

  4. LC JackBoot IC/A-OBR Comment by LC JackBoot IC/A-OBR

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    Oh nosies !!!

    If a person seriously believes in his or her heart they are descendants of monkeys, then why should I try to convince that monkey, that they are not really a monkey?

    And the Boss is on the case:

    Oh please, let’s not turn this into one of Those Threads™

    Puhhhleeese, let’s not go there. Pretty Please even?

    Stay on Topic folks and that is:

    My central argument here is that the whole “no Christians need apply” approach to government is offensive, bigoted and plain un-American,

  5. WayneB Comment by WayneB

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    Along with pushing back on the whole “Separation of Church and State” thing, I would seriously like to try to make some inroads in reducing the encroachment of the Fed Gov in State affairs.

    I had the thought that it might be done from the ground up, if enough people became interested. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

  6. LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech Comment by LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Just as no-one should be disparaged for their belief, (well earned exeption for moooslimbs) BUT. If their campaign platform is even slightly oriented toward,,”I am a devout name your faith and my opponent is not,,,so vote for me!”,, then it’s time to hit the trapdoor, lead character exit’s stage-rear.

    What we can and should do, and the only thing that we have an actual Constitutional mandate for on this issue, is to make sure that no one set of beliefs becomes the “official one”

    Swoon

    That’s what I’ve been screamin’, no more obstacles to national unity.
    So long as we’re marooned on this teeny air-pocket in the middle of eternity, the reasoned thoughts of others should be welcomed and explored.
    We treated science as heresy for 400 years, and have some makin’ up to do.

    the sectarian faith of socialist liberalism should be forever banned from government?

    Liberalism is a mental disorder,, until it turns a persuasive profit, then it becomes a cause, which goes on to perpetuate the disorder.
    Kill the profit!

  7. LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech Comment by LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

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    I was only talking about Monkeys

    ‘Saw a cartoon in a Playboy 2 decades ago:
    One gorilla flares his nostrils in another gorilla’s face, and bellow’s “YOU might be descended from a lemur, but I wasn’t descended from any lemur!”

  8. Unregistered Comment by Lord Spatula I, King & Tyrant

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Oh please, let’s not turn this into one of Those Threads™, shall we?

    Oh, that’s right - spoil my fun.

    Killjoy. 

  9. atlas shrugs Comment by atlas shrugs

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    What a bunch of useful idiots….Sorry wankers couldnt save there own ass in a hurricane and yet, think a crappy concert series will change the planet ..
    Hogwash

  10. Spartan24 Comment by Spartan24

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    This kind of thinking is the first step in making Christians into some sort of mental case like they did in Soviet Russia. Notice how Islamic beliefs are always treated with kid gloves but a church going Christian who runs for office has his beliefs ridiculed constantly.

  11. LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech Comment by LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

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    Spartan24

    This kind of thinking is the first step in making Christians into some sort of mental case

    benny hinn and his ilk are doin’ ya the most damage in that arena.

  12. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    The entire fourth stanza:

    Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

    Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”.
    And the Star-Spangled Banner forever shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    (In the Mariah Carey version “free” has 87 syllables.)

    Isaac Asimov tells the story of how that song came to be. He says of those eight lines:

    The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three and with even deeper feeling.

    Some people get paranoid about seeing conquest and trusting in God being juxtaposed so closely together. But not Asimov. He knew the history of the song, and thus knew that the verse referred to the conquest of invading enemies. Evidently Asimov (an atheist) understood American culture enough to find no cause for alarm in the line “In God is our trust.” Since he associated the stanza with hope, he must have interpreted the phrase as a simple expression of faith in divine providence - a hope that God will protect us and build us.

    Read the whole thing. Ans as Asimov says in closing:

    I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes. Listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears.

    And don’t let them ever take it away.

  13. theliberalfuckhead Comment by theliberalfuckhead

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    Saying that I’m a product of a trick is an insult to hookers everywhere.

    [Fixed.  -The Management™]

  14. LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech Comment by LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Evidently Asimov (an atheist) understood American culture enough to find no cause for alarm in the line “In God is our trust.”

    That line never confronted me.
    Now, the folks who try to lever a bend in my knee with it,,

  15. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Saying that anyone posting here descended from monkeys is an insult to monkeys everywhere.

    No. We claim decent from Adam, Created in the image of God Almighty. You wanna be a monkey, please don’t Let Lil’ ol’ ME stand in your way. Help Yerself.

  16. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    ALRIGHT - WHO’S BEEN PLAYING WITH OUR MONKEY?

  17. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Evidently Asimov (an atheist)

    And an immigrant, let us note.

    He got it, Misha gets it, Kim du Toit gets it, Hell, the people HERE get it. Why don’t the rest of our fellow citizens get it?

  18. Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P. Comment by Sir Guido Cabrone, LC, M.o.P.

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Saying that I’m a product of a trick is an insult to hookers everywhere.

    Awright, so she forgot to flush, perhaps?

  19. psychochick Comment by psychochick

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Part of that reason for the poor rating of that law school is that something like 50-60% of the graduates fail the bar on their first try.

    Cheapshot
    “Liberalism is a mental disorder,, until it turns a persuasive profit”

    wouldn’t the profit make it a capitalist thing, which would be good?

  20. Unregistered Comment by JonB

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    It is uncomfortable to see something so personal as religion worn on anyone’s sleeve.

    Yet that is exactly what the liberals want. They want to say what a person can and can’t do based on their religious belief. Ask Jewish people what that sort of thing leads to.

  21. SoCalOilMan, LC Comment by SoCalOilMan, LC

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    My study has been painstakingly slow determining original intent. Reading the Constitution, The Federalist et al, means read, stop, think about it for a day or two, go back re-read or on to the next section.

    So far what I’ve pulled out of it is that secular or pious, the Founders felt that with a loose, hands off government, the basic tenets of religion would compel the people to abide by law and what was right.

    No Church of England or our country is Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, etc.

  22. Unregistered Comment by dixiekraut

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    did he say anything about Keith Ellison or his religion?

  23. tvfoh Comment by tvfoh

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    This kind of thinking is the first step in making Christians into some sort of mental case like they did in Soviet Russia. Notice how Islamic beliefs are always treated with kid gloves but a church going Christian who runs for office has his beliefs ridiculed constantly.

    This is what drives me nuts. Come after us christians because we say you should live this way. The Muzzys get a free pass and they will MAKE you live the way they say!

    If your a Christian you will understand the following statement, They hate us because we’re right and it scares them!

    TVFOH
    The View From Out Here

  24. Spartan24 Comment by Spartan24

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    Benny Hinn is a joke and a fraud. 99% of Christians will agree with me on this one, not sure who actually watches shows like his anyway.

  25. theliberalmedia Comment by theliberalmedia

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    [Fixed. -The Management™]

    Wow. This Management sucks.

    Big time.

  26. DJ Allyn,  ITW Comment by DJ Allyn, ITW

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Wow. This Management sucks.

    Big time.

    You get what you paid for.

  27. theliberalmedia Comment by theliberalmedia

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    You get what you paid for.

    LOL! I would not pay one cent to listen to the pathetic r-tards that post here. Hey Mish-tard, why don’t you edit my post, you fuckin f-tard bitch?

  28. theliberalmedia Comment by theliberalmedia

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Oh Yeah, and to anyone that posts here that descended from monkeys. I apologize to you, monkeys, your geneality has descended into this mish-tard goulash of r-tard fuckwash.

  29. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Awww… Isn’t it cute? I mean, at least the pathetic attempts at insult are more productive than petulantly voting “1″ for the rating on every post it can find.

    What? You think I didn’t know?

    Anyway. What’s next? Stomping your feet?

  30. theliberalmedia Comment by theliberalmedia

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Anyway. What’s next? Stomping your feet?

    No. Voting “1″ on every one of your posts mish-tard.

    Fuckwad bitch.

  31. Unregistered Comment by leoni2

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Misha,

    Awww… Isn’t it cute? I mean, at least the pathetic attempts at insult are more productive than petulantly voting “1″ for the rating on every post it can find.

    What? You think I didn’t know?

    Anyway. What’s next? Stomping your feet?

    Hmmmm, I don’t know. Maybe trying to be even more insulting? :D

  32. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    f a person seriously believes in his or her heart they are descendants of monkeys, then why should I try to convince that monkey, that they are not really a monkey?

    Damn monkeys

    This amused me. I don’t have much to be amused about these days so leave the guy alone.

    My Godmother’s great neice drowned a few days ago. Kid was only 3.

  33. LC Mrs. M-ITT™ Comment by LC Mrs. M-ITT™

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    No. Voting “1″ on every one of your posts mish-tard.

    *snicker* Oh that’s soooo first grade dude. What are you going to do for an encore? Steal the blackboard erasers?

  34. LC Mrs. M-ITT™ Comment by LC Mrs. M-ITT™

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    So Sorry to hear that Deathknyte. Prayers for the family. It’s always so terrible to lose a young one.

  35. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Awww… Isn’t it cute? I mean, at least the pathetic attempts at insult are more productive than petulantly voting “1″ for the rating on every post it can find.

    What? You think I didn’t know?

    Anyway. What’s next? Stomping your feet?

    Considering that I voted one on all of them for awhile as a form of protest for even instituting the practice, I would say he is protesting the rating system.

    Or like all monkeys he just likes to push buttons.

    Could go either way.

  36. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    *snicker* Oh that’s soooo first grade dude. What are you going to do for an encore? Steal the blackboard erasers?

    He is going to eat the chalk!

    That will show us evil reich-wingers!

  37. Unregistered Comment by leoni2

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Deathknyte,

    He is going to eat the chalk!

    That will show us evil reich-wingers!

    What? I hope he has a good hospital plan if that stuff make him sick. :)

  38. theliberalasscrust Comment by theliberalasscrust

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    He is going to eat the chalk!

    Yeah, I cannot wait. I am so fucking scared.

    Look at me shoving my finger up my nose! or is that my needledick?

  39. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Calling us morons? Bub, your the one who is screaming like a spoiled three year old.

    But then, you’re just a monkey.

    What? I hope he has a good hospital plan if that stuff make him sick.

    The main ingredient of tums is chalk, so it cant be too bad for you.

  40. Unregistered Comment by leoni2

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Yeah, I cannot wait. I am so fucking scared.

    Little fucking morons.

    Awwwww, sounds like we got someone’s knickers up in a bunch. And, oh, what language. Mother must be real proud!!!

  41. Unregistered Comment by leoni2

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Deathknyte,

    Calling us morons? Bub, your the one who is screaming like a spoiled three year old.

    You’d said it. Nice way to make friends, isn’t it? Although I get the feeling he doesn’t want to make friends around here.

    The main ingredient of tums is chalk, so it cant be too bad for you.

    Is that so. Well, I guess he won’t be having any upset stomach, hmmm? ;)

  42. psychochick Comment by psychochick

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    The initial article was not anti-Christian. It started out about lawyers hired from Pat Robertson’s law school. This is a guy that demonizes other Christian religions–Methodists, Presbyterians, etc and compares them to the Anti-christ. To me, to criticize him (or his law school) is not at all a blanket indictment of Christianity. He is the one criticizing mainstream Christianity. This is a predominantly Christian country–of course most of the lawyers hired by the government would be Christian–the question is where to hire them from. And I don’t hear people making fun of Christians (except once with something that wasn’t mean); I hear people making fun of ragheads or being afraid of them.

    I consider myself descended from an ape/humanoid precursor (not a monkey)

    Misha
    Can’t you beckon a better class of troll?

  43. psychochick Comment by psychochick

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    Deathknyte
    So sorry–not much comforting you can say about the death of little ones.

    Sorry I didn’t send condolences sooner–it takes me a long time to compose serious posts, and I missed the fur flying.

    LiberalMedia
    Shouldn’t you be under a bridge somewhere extorting money from passersby?

  44. Unregistered Comment by leoni2

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    PC,

    Misha
    Can’t you beckon a better class of troll?

    He can beckons then, PC. It depends on whether they want to show up. ;)

  45. Unregistered Comment by leoni2

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    PC,

    LiberalMedia
    Shouldn’t you be under a bridge somewhere extorting money from passersby?

    Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! ROTFLMFAO!!! Good one!!!!

  46. Xystus Comment by Xystus

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    27.

    I would not pay one cent to listen to the pathetic r-tards that post here.

    Look who posted that here.

  47. Unregistered Comment by Lord Spatula I, King & Tyrant

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Moving on to the meat of the subject, I still have not gotten a straight answer out of anyone as to why anyone sane would want a Christian administration.

    That’s okay, dumbass.  I  still haven’t gotten any type of answer from you  on what you think a Christian is.

    And even skipping over evolution, how do you guys account for the fact that humans, in their modern form, have been around for at least 40,000 years?

    How about you go proving it before you go bleating about it as being a “fact”, moron?

    You deny a theory that is about as solid as the atomic theory or the cupernican, and even more so than, say, general relativity or quantum mechanics - and then wonder why the left can paint itself as ‘reality oriented’ with no problems?

    How about you try proving it first?  Where’s that species that transformed itself into another completely different species?

    C’mon, scientist  - I’m waiting. 

  48. WayneB Comment by WayneB

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Imagine that a genetic engineer goes insane and combines genetic material from wet noodles and blowfish and creates the Clinton Administration Mk 2.

    Oh, come on, where was the spew alert on that one? :-)

    Regarding Evolution vs. Creation, Fanusi, since there are archaeologists/paleontologists who have lost their minds and claimed that radioisotope dating is a fraud and/or that dating things is a circular reference (Why do you say the rocks are x years old? Because we found that fossil in them. Why is that fossil x years old? Because we found it in these rocks.), you’re probably not going to be able to convince hard-core Creationists that the Earth is any particular age, because they will point to those people as “proof” that we are kooks and can be brushed off.

    On the Regents Law School, though, do you have a link to a statement that their agenda is to alter America according to their ideology? I realize it’s not going to be stated in those words, but I’m pretty sure I can read the implication unless it’s too tortured.

  49. Spartan24 Comment by Spartan24

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Pat Robertson is a sick bastard that only gets worse with age. When I was a kid my parents would watch him for hours and he would have some of the scariest crap on that would give me nightmares. I was’nt some sort of nervous, wet my pants freaked out kid but when they talked about stuff like nuclear war and how we would all be starving I was really scared. My parents really bought into it and started hoarding food and stuff, and telling me that I should be ready if something happened. I got so scared that I was begging to sleep in the bed with them at night. They finally realized what was happening and we stopped watching the garbage, at least while I was there. It did’nt help that we were going to a church that reinforced this sort of thinking. They even had a guest speaker that talked about demons moving his car while he was drunk and had stabbed his girlfriend.

  50. WayneB Comment by WayneB

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    I still have not gotten a straight answer out of anyone as to why anyone sane would want a Christian administration.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I wouldn’t want an actual Christian administration, but I would like one with what I would consider more mainstream Christian values.

    I mean look at Bush: he ‘turns the other cheek’ and ‘loves his enemy’ with respect to the Islamic totalitarians, and is more than happy to forgive the illegal immigration business, and apparently likes giving away coats and cloaks with your tax money. For once, I am not being sarcastic - what’s the benefit here?

    Coming from a moderately strong Christian background, I would say that those examples show areas where Bush strays from the mainstream Christian values. Let’s see: “Turn the other cheek”, if I am not mistaken, doesn’t apply to the kinds of things the Islamofascists do. It kind of presumes that the person is more or less a peer who you are arguing with. I really cannot see where illegal immigration is a Christian/non-Christian issue - I honestly believe that this was a case of Bush and others being influenced by business to push an agenda to allow as many illegals to remain here as possible. And for the “Coats and Cloaks”, I assume that this is an allegorical reference to something (probably relating to some welfare-related issue), but I don’t do well at interpreting those.

  51. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean letting people get away with murder.

  52. Deathknyte Comment by Deathknyte

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    You’d said it. Nice way to make friends, isn’t it? Although I get the feeling he doesn’t want to make friends around here.

    He is not here to make friends, only to throw a tantrum and proclaim himself brave.

    Misha
    Can’t you beckon a better class of troll?

    We used to have semi-sentient trolls back before 2004, but as they screamed and whined as election day closed in thier collective intelligence evaporated.

    Why are we supposed to give a pass to ghastly little oiks who say that 9/11 was America’s punishment for gays and pagans and the ACLU, when we don’t give a pass to the likes of Chomsky who says America deserves it because of its foreign policy?

    WTF is an oik? If you are referring to fucking fred phelps and his inbreds, nobody gives them a pass.

    and make a note of this MISHA SAID AT THE TOP OF THE THREAD IT WAS NOT TO BE ANOTHER CREATION VS EVOLUTION WASTE OF TIME!

    The lot of you need to stop acting like children and keep your opinons to yourselves. None of us were at the beginning so nobody really knows what happend and how.

    And if you want a scary administration, try an islamic one.

    BTW Fanusi, stop acting like a snotty englishman.

  53. WayneB Comment by WayneB

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Oh, Fanusi, I haven’t abandoned this thread, but to respond will take more thought than I can spare at work.

  54. LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech Comment by LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    Fanusi,
    ‘Reckon you missed the previous monkey-trial threads of past head-butt fest’s, where many of the same folks here still re-hash many of the same points, ad nauseum.

    I believe Majesty had wanted to flatten the notion that a person is incompetent for a having a religious bent in their background.
    He also noted that vice versa is just as unreasonable.

    So, Fanusi,,instead of forcing specific acknowledgements of natural forces from the devout, or finessing revelations of spirit from the heathens,, just enjoy the monkey jokes!

    Psychochick

    wouldn’t the profit make it a capitalist thing, which would be good?

    Not if it perpetuate’s the disorder!
    Kill tha Profit!

  55. Vergeltung Comment by Vergeltung

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    to try to stay on topic (as tempted as I am to join into the Evo/Creat debate!), the law school mentioned is rated low because it is fairly new in the scheme of things. Law schools get “acredited” and “rated” on all kinds of criteria that vary from state to state.

    A new school starts out as completley unaccredited! students there attend it at their own risk when it has that status. they go there because its easier to get into, and often less tuition/more scholarships. as the school ages and produces graduates, and law review articles & papers, it slowly develops. it can then be accredited by it’s home state if it meets that state’s criteria.

    remember, also, the accrediting agencies are usually that particular state’s Bar Associations. these are notoriously liberal & activist organizations (I refuse to join the New York State Bar Assoc for that very reason; it’s a liberal shit-bag’s paradise).

    so, put these factors together; a new(er) law school, with religious and conservative foundings, being subject to achieving “legitimacy” through the vehicle of usually hyper-liberal screening organizations. Yikes!

    and finally, as is no surprise with the left, they are bathing in hypocrisy. political appointments are there for the victor. happens everywhere. in every state, and in the Fed Gov. it’s fine when the Dems make the appointments. but, not when the GOP makes them. it’s that simple, unfortunately. :|

  56. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

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    Fanusi:

    I realize that you do not share my beliefs. I will not debate the existence or non-existence of God with you, nor will I attempt to debate evolution, as there are others much more qualified to do both, and as Misha says, this is not the thread to do so.

    I trust, however, that you will not complain if I pray for you occasionally. The Peace of the Lord be with you.

  57. Unregistered Comment by leoni2

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    Deathknyte,

    He is not here to make friends, only to throw a tantrum and proclaim himself brave.

    Yeah, I’d noticed the temper tantrum. Doesn’t show me that he’s brave. Only shows me that he’s a three year old who’s not getting what he want. Most of us to shut up and disappear. Nope, I just do not see that happening. Too bad for him.

    We used to have semi-sentient trolls back before 2004, but as they screamed and whined as election day closed in thier collective intelligence evaporated.

    Evaporated? I’m guessing they dissapeared after seeing Kerry lose? Guess they just couldn’t take the lost.

  58. Nanashi Comment by Nanashi

    Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method emotions::filter_text() should not be called statically in /home/misha/public_html/2007/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 59

    But…but…what about those of us who have come to the conclusion that evolutionary science needs an update liek whoa? It’s like the rest of the world is on Vista and evolutionary science is stuck on Windows 3.0. Seriously, folks…theory does not override the data. Let’s just say that I’m a pure sceptic vice an unbeliever.

    As for Sam Harris…he got pwned by one of his own. If the fundie atheists are going on and on about “pseudoscientists” when someone interprets raw data differently, by applying the same yardstick to them, it would make them “pseudophilosophers”, i.e., amateurs. I’ll stick to my Hume, kthx.

  59. WayneB Comment by WayneB

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    Could you explain what those (more mainstream Christian values) are?

    I’m going to try. One disclaimer: I’m not a Bible scholar, nor do I play one on TV or Radio. I’m more well-read in the sciences than anything, but I was raised in a fringe-Bible-Belt rural area, and I’m taking most of my thoughts on the subject from that. However, I did also download a copy of the King James Bible from The Gutenberg Project.

    So here’s what I understand as Christian values, based on where I grew up:

    Deal with people honorably - Speak truth, make good on your word, don’t shirk your duties.

    Be charitable towards your fellow man - Help others out when they need it. This does not mean that you should make yourself destitute in the process, nor does it mean that it should be forced on people by the Government. It is supposed to be a personal decision to live as Jesus commanded. Likewise, you are not expected to give to someone who is ungrateful - “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

    Be forgiving of sins against you - This injunction is only intended for those who are penitent. You forgive the person if they realize their wrong towards you and ask for your forgiveness. There is no expectation of forgiving someone who has no remorse. Conversely, even if the person is a total jerk on a regular basis, as long as he is sincere in his apologies, forgive him again and again. Note that this does not require us to forgive illegal aliens, unless they apologize, then GO HOME and come back via a legal route.

    Defend yourself and others against Evil - yes, this seems at odds with some of the things in the New Testament, and I can’t specifically quote supporting text, but it’s still one of the values I learned in my youth and associated with Christians. The doctrine of “turn the other cheek” still confuses me, even after I just re-read it. I can’t believe, however, that Jesus would have been teaching a suicide pact. There’s got to be some context or translation that I’m missing.

    I certainly can’t reconcile any of the Government’s Wealth Redistribution schemes with what I know of Christian belief, because all the calls to be charitable are for the individual (as is most everything else) to do so, not for a collective to be formed which pressures or forces others to “donate”.

    Remember, this is what I gathered in my community, though a number of writings by others convince me that the basic things I have outlined here are reasonably common.

  60. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    Some unique things about Christianity (and Jewish, where stated):

    1. Every other religion that has a Golden Rule speaks it in negative terms: don’t do things to other people that you don’t want done to yourself. Christianity alone speaks it in positive terms: proactively do good things for others that you wouls want done for yourself.

    2. Jesus extols followers to love enemies (Matthew 5:44). This is an extension of the Golden Rule.

    3. Christianity was the first movement in history to engage in grassroots charity done for the benefit of people outside of the local community, and in a great many cases outside of the faith. This phenomenon became a pillar of Western civilization, from which all charity-for-strangers enterprises got their influence. (Note that Muslim charities all the benefit Muslims only.)

    4. Polytheists didn’t worship the gods because they were just but because they were powerful. Religion was essentially appeasement politics directed at cruel menacing deities instead of cruel menacing empires. (Which is why all polytheistic religion was state religion.) All worship activities involved some concept of “hey, let’s give the gods some presents.”

    Judaism introduced the concept of God as a moral authority. Worship wasn’t some extravaganza designed to merely stoke a deity’s ego; it was an acknowledgement that God is morally perfect and we piffly humans are morally broken and need to be fixed.

    Sorry, that’s all I have time for. Time to get ready for work.

  61. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    Time enough, Alan K. Henderson, time enough. Well done and well said……..

  62. WayneB Comment by WayneB

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    However, my concern is that I do not see what is particularly Christian about these.

    Well, I think I understand your point. In fact, I generally agree with it. I personally believe that those values logically follow from a combination personal/tribal/racial (usually in that order) survival mechanism. However, except for the concept of returning good for evil, I believe that if the teachings are looked at in the larger context, you tend to find that most of them are made with an expectation that both parties involved are more or less coming from the same religious underpinnings, and therefore a lot is assumed that would not be assumed in today’s society, and would not be applied to, say, a fight with an Islamic terrorist.

    The reason I mentioned the values as being Christian, I suppose, is because they are associated with the people I grew up with, and also because I was being sloppy with words. I was more implying that the so-called “Compassionate Conservatism”, as well as people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are outside the mainstream of what I viewed as Christian due to my background, and that even their values were a bit on the extreme side. I look back and see how I miscommunicated, but I didn’t mean to imply that others would not necessarily hold contradictory values.

    Now, some things which are specifically mentioned, such as returning good for evil, as well as “thought crimes” (Just because you look at a woman while you’re married and want to get some means you’re an adulterer?) - those really confuse me, and I just can’t see how those would apply to actual human beings.

  63. psychochick Comment by psychochick

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    Wayne and Alan
    really interesting–it’s great to get a better grip on theology, and you two are so pleasant and good at describing your views

    Fanusi
    Boy, I miss the days when Christopher Hitchens used to write for “The Nation” before he converted to the darkside. Although I must say, he was prone to rants and contentiousness.

    It’s a pretty scary video, but if everyone has been indoctrinated into death cults in Iran, why is there such a substantial reform movement with some of the press making positive statements about Israel? Evil leader definitely has to go. That is seriously creepy that his religion was too extreme for the Ayatollah Khomeni, but don’t forget this is the Islamic country that had pro-American rallies after 9/11.

    I

  64. WayneB Comment by WayneB

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    Oh, damn, someone using me as a learning resource on theology? Now that is just too freakin’ scary.

    Psychochick, I tend to find myself defending Christianity and some others (not that it has actually been under attack in this thread) because my observations of the practical application of it, for the most part, fall in line with my own beliefs in how to behave in “polite society” and what constitutes dealing honorably with others. I generally find myself at odds with Priests and Ministers, even though I have two cousins who are Baptist Ministers.

    Now, I say “practical application,” because as Fanusi has shown, there are some statements in the Bible about how a person should live which just don’t make any sense, especially in the context of terrorism. I suspect part of the problem is with either translation or context (much like the Kill vs. Murder translation of the 6th commandment), but I don’t have the background to resolve that. The friends and neighbors I grew up with didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about such items that don’t really make much sense, they just tried to live right and not sweat the small stuff.

  65. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    psychochick I’m going to leave aside any comments about ‘the dark side’, and point out very simply that Hitchens hasn’t ‘converted’ or changed at all. Even at his most Trotskyite, he stood staunchly for human rights, for the advancement of humanity.

    Nailed it in one, Fanusi.

    Hitchens hasn’t changed. He was and remains a leftist, and that’s why I continue to fundamentally disagree with him on a large number of issues.

    However, what I respect him for and what makes him different from your average leftard howling moonbat is that he’s consistent. He doesn’t let ideology/political expediency get in the way of his opinions, and that’s why I continue to agree with him on the issues where we do agree, such as the threat and inhumanity of Islamism.

  66. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    Alan K. Henderson, be that as it may - and I am very dubious about, e.g., point 4, given the apalling Oger of the Old Testament - none of this still addresses my concerns about the utility of Christianity in forming a bulwark against this insanity.

    Wow, three issues in one sentence. I’m gonna have to do some rereading to get a handle on the “bulwark” issue. That leaves clarification of Point 4, and (ahem) the Shrek issue.

    In polytheism, the gods really didn’t give a damn about people’s morals. All they want is for humans to suck up to their pet hobbies (the hunt, war, et cetera) and to not diss da god(dess). The Biblical God is different in that he cares about a human’s entire moral makeup.

    People have a lot of problems with certain actions by God in the Bible - especially the conscripting the Hebrews to carry out divine wrath against the Amorite tribes. We’re really not in a position to argue with God about those decisions; if God created everything God owns everything, and thus has full authority to do whatever extreme makeover to creation that he desires.

    Furthermore, an omniscient God knows all the consequences throughout time that will result from any particular act of divine intervention (or restraint from said act). Christians must have faith that divine punishments are not as harsh as the miseries they ultimately prevented.

    The statement about God being a moral authority was leading to an important legacy of Judeo-Christian philosophy: rule of law with equality under the law. “Rule of law” means that law outranks government, not the reverse. The concept assumes that there is a transcendant Monarch who outranks the earthly monarch. Polytheism had no such monarch; the gods were not a governing body but an alien empire, a looming threat that had to be appeased. Judaism introduced rule of law, Jesus reinforced it, that “divine right of kings” heresy dealt a severe severe blow to it, and the Anglosphere led the way to bringing it back through centuries of political reform from the Magna Charta to the Declaration of Independence. Some non-Christian countries like Japan have rule of law today, but they got it through Western influence.

    Here’s something else that Christianity introduced that at that time appears to have happened in only in India: private-sector religion. Christianity and Buddhism were quite radical in promoting a religion that didn’t require a state to run it. Buddhism is more of a self-help course than what Westerners think of as religion, so this feat wasn’t quite as difficult for them (although they did have their share of clashes with Hindus).

    Christianity encompassed all issues of ethics and meaning, and thus challenged other religions on many more fronts. On top of that, Christianity said that people could commune with and get right with God without the mediation of the State - one of the biggest heresies to virtually all religions of the time.

    Unfortunately, Constantine ruined that legacy when he nationalized the church - and it shoudl be no surprise that once he did that the church started picking up the vices of authoritatian governments.

  67. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    I don’t believe I need to make my point any further that we have an unacknowledged, but very real and very powerful ally in the Old Left.

    On some issues we certainly do, and I’m enough of a pragmatist to not throw that away simply because we fundamentally disagree on others.

    Sadly, too many people (on both sides) believe that if you work with somebody on one issue, you automatically endorse everything else he says to at least some degree.

    Needless to say, I don’t hold to that, and neither does Hitchens, which is one thing I unequivocally like about him. On other issues, such as economics and religion (and don’t get me started on his hysterics when it comes to the latter), I find him ridiculous, but at least I know where I have him.

  68. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    People have a lot of problems with certain actions by God in the Bible - especially the conscripting the Hebrews to carry out divine wrath against the Amorite tribes. We’re really not in a position to argue with God about those decisions; if God created everything God owns everything, and thus has full authority to do whatever extreme makeover to creation that he desires.

    *rolls his eyes* You are aware, right, that this is the justification given by Islam for absolutely anything that it gets up to, from the enslaving of East Timor to the bloody massacres in Kashmere?

    No comparison. The Bible speaks of Hebrews’ marching orders being notarized by miracles witnessed by the entire nation. (The Hebrews were so scared of entering Canaan that only miracles would have kept them going forward.) Mohammed had no such authentication whatsoever. No pillars of flame guiding his path, no seas parting ahead of him. Not even a card trick by David Copperfield.

    I also have to disagree with the idea that the concept of God as moral authority originates exclusively with Christianity. China had Confucianism and Taoism long before Christ. Japan had Buddhism, and above all bushido long before the West met it.

    Taoism doesn’t believe in a God - it believes in an impersonal force that has a good side and an evil side, both coeternal and equally powerful. (Sound familiar?) Confucianism is more of a philosophy than a religion; to the best of my knowledge Confucius did not challenge the polytheism of his contemporaries. Shinto is an animistic religion, meaning that involves the worship of spirits (kami) which inhabit objects, creatures, forms of weather, etc.

    Classical (original) Buddhism is a self-help religion, as your illustration of the founder’s basic philosophy demonstrates. (It would appear that the Eightfold Path inspired Star Trek’s Vulcans.) Buddha was a non-theist; the concept of God was irrelevant to his philosophy. (I am talking solely about original Buddhism, not the offshoots.) I did not address the offshoots, especially not Tibetan Buddhism which barely resembles the original.

    Christianity is ghastly

    This may sound nit-picky, but it isn’t: Christianity is not ghastly, but some of Christendom is. Christianity is the philosophy as defined by Jesus and his prophets (the Apostles). “Christendom” means the nominal Christian institutions. Some of its corners became quite nasty because, like the Tibetan Buddhists, they added a bunch of bad stuff to the faith that the founder never intended.

    On that topic, I’ve noticed that there are those who will condemn Islamofascist suicide bombings as a hijacking of true Islam, but consider (say) the Inquisition as an example of what Christianity is really about even though Jesus never preached such a thing.

  69. WayneB Comment by WayneB

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    It determines, when push comes to shove, which way you’ll swing. Most of us operate on a subconcious level of morality most times (which is what we’d call ‘good upbringing’ or ‘good character’). But when we are in the maw of what is called a ‘moral dilemma’, when we need every scrap of honesty, decency, and integrity we have - that’s when the letter of the doctrine is very important.

    I see where you’re coming from, now. Sometimes I have a hard time understanding where people are going with their statements. It’s certainly been demonstrated to me over many years that I don’t understand people as well as many others do. Thanks for taking the time to clear things up for me.

    I still think that understanding context is very important in a lot of the writings, just as it would be today. As an example, one of my favorite Sci-Fi writers used what I gather are British terms when mentioning large numbers. He used “Thousand Million” for numbers I would call “Billion”, and used “Billion” for what I would call “Trillion”. This confused me for a long time, and I suspect Religions suffer from such issues much more over a gulf of over a thousand or two thousand years as opposed to a mere couple of hundred between the US and Britain.

    It is that the nature of Islam is such that a majority, I’m sorry to say, have been brough to the point where they do not seem to have the confidence to say “No!” to tyrranny, to theocracy.

    Sadly, that seems to be true. The extremists have taken control of much of the education in the Muslim world, and it looks like the moderates are afraid to gainsay them, either because of fear of retribution, or merely because they aren’t completely certain that they are in the right.

  70. Emperor Misha I Comment by Emperor Misha I

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    No comparison. The Bible speaks of Hebrews’ marching orders being notarized by miracles witnessed by the entire nation. (The Hebrews were so scared of entering Canaan that only miracles would have kept them going forward.) Mohammed had no such authentication whatsoever. No pillars of flame guiding his path, no seas parting ahead of him. Not even a card trick by David Copperfield.

    Very important point, right there.

    For me to go along with, say, genocide “because G-d said so”, He would have to manifest Himself in a credible fashion and bloody well convince me and He’d have to do so to a lot of other people simultaneously in order to convince me that I wasn’t hearing voices in my head. And that is an important distinction, because Islamism obviously doesn’t have such an inhibition.

    Let me be more specific: If the Pope (I may not be Catholic, but I still consider him an authority, even if it’s an authority with whom I occasionally disagree) were to say “we must slay the infidels wherever they are, whoever they are, and by whatever means necessary to unite the entire world under G-d, for He wills it so”, it wouldn’t be good enough for me. G-d may indeed will it so, but He’d have to tell me, and I’m sure He wouldn’t just send an errand boy for such an important message. The only entity I trust completely is G-d, everybody else will have to prove themselves, and I don’t take somebody else’s word for what G-d wants me to do.

    Now look at the Islamists, where any head honcho with the title of imam can screech “Allah wills us to kill all the infidels” and the savage beasts that will unquestioningly follow him on his say-so.

    Compare and contrast.

  71. SoldierInGodsArmy Comment by SoldierInGodsArmy

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    Fanusi Khiyal

    Why are you so pissed at God?

  72. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    And please donâ??t bring the argument about miracles here - Ramses the Great claimed that he was granted victory by the Sun god physically manifesting and there were plenty of attestations of this. Ahmadinedjad says he was surrounded by a â??green lightâ??. And so on.

    Did their entire nations witness these alleged events?

    You\’re not quite grasping my point. Imagine the scene in the Bible where Nathan rebukes David for the Bathsheba/Uriah incident (eloquently summarized here). What if the conversation had gone a bit differently? Nathan tells David he did an injustice, and David retorts, \”Who says?\” Nathan has an answer: God says.

    What if Israel were a classical Buddhist kingdom? nathan could start quoting the Eightfold Path, and David could interrupt, \”I asked WHO.\” Buddhism doesn\’t have a divine Supreme Court to appeal to.

    And under polytheism? Imagine a Hindu Israel. Nathan might ask if Ganesh would do something like that, and David could reply, \”No, but Kali would. Let me quote the Vedas: \’Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL.\’\” (Okay, so that isn\’t quite the Vedas, but it does a pretty good job to capturing her essence.) My point: under polytheism the gods don\’t have a perfect consensus on ethics. For that mater, the gods are often at war with each other, particularly within the Egyptian and Greco-Roman pantheons.

    Then in ancient Greece, the gods were hardly tyrranical despots

    Beg to differ. They were essentially what you get if the casts of Dallas and Dynasty wake up one morning and find out that they have godlike powers.

    and they developed a very rich and life-affirming form of ethics.

    Greek philosophy really wasn\’t a product of Greek religion; it was pretty much secular in its methodology. Basic assumptions appealed to observations (and biases) about human nature, not to divine revelation. (For the record, theistic philosophy appeals to both.)

    Now, Plato and Aristotle did embrace the idea of rule of law (mentioned in the Overview section here). But they did not live in a society where such a philosophy could take root. People in power tend to not feel obliged to do something or refrain from doing something unless they have an answer to the \”Who says?\” question. Plato and Aristotle didn\’t have a Who. Christians had that missing ingredient, they already had a scripture that preached rule of law directly and indirectly, so they were the ones who gave Plato\’s and Aristotle\’s ruminations on the concept their big break.

    Just discovered something - a color-coded map illustrating the 2006 Rule of Law Index. Look at all the countries in green. Note that all the dark green nations are historically Christian, and of the light green ones only in Japan and Taiwan are Christians a minority (and a tiny one at that). They have something that ancient Greece and Rome didn\’t: a world where freedom actually thrived and its benefits can be seen. Japan in particular had a rule-of-law forced on it by MacArthur, and has the added benefit of a high-cooperation culture.)

    Precisely because there were so many gods, pluralism was the norm.

    Paul of Tarsus would have had fewer problems if that were true :-)

    The Greeks grooved on philosophical syncretism - they loved to import new (and often contradictory) ideas and work them somehow into their worldview. They were the forerunners of the modern moonbats who say that there\’s more than one truth. The Greeks drew a line at Christianity and Judaism for the same reason that the modern multiculturalist Left does - because those religions teach that there is an absolute truth. (The Jooos and Christians also had unkind things to say about their sexual mores.)

    (Actually, people who say they don\’t believe in absolute truths are not being honest with you and/or themselves. It just takes some digging. Talk politics and you\’ll hit paydirt - you can\’t have a political philosophy without assuming stuff to be absolutely true.)

  73. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    Hey Misha, I noticed you haven’t filled the Imperial Theologian position…

  74. SoldierInGodsArmy Comment by SoldierInGodsArmy

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    Alan K. Henderson

    (Actually, people who say they don\’t believe in absolute truths are not being honest with you and/or themselves. It just takes some digging. Talk politics and you\’ll hit paydirt - you can\’t have a political philosophy without assuming stuff to be absolutely true.)

    and

    Hey Misha, I noticed you haven’t filled the Imperial Theologian position…

    Emperor

    He has my vote.

    Any other jobs open? I can deliver a Dominoes pizza in under 30 minutes, without fail…

  75. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952

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    During my years of college, studying creative writing as a minor, I once selected C.S. Lewis for study. I have many of his books here and have read his biography. A fascinating story. I do know many not believing in God either hated or feared him. I myself paid little attention to such matters, but I do know this…The Screwtape Letters is one of the finest demonstrations I have ever read concerning the power of evil to twist human nature. Religions of all sorts have a long history of employing such tactics as well. So while it can all twist and turn in the wind, what I am seeing is the desire of the better qualities of human nature being ascribed to what we inherently are, rather than aspirations presented to us from a higher power some call God. The apparent result is the same if we all behave………however, I prefer to maintain a belief in a Creator…for once it saved my life and no, I won’t go into it. In any event, I prefer to live and let live where possible.

  76. Unregistered Comment by wrbones

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    Were the truth but known? There isn’t much of anything that we were ever taught that is true…except for our 1, 2, 3’s …and mebbe our A, B, C’s. Quite frankly, I often have my doubts about the latter.

    Whether the battle be political, doctrinal, secular, scientific, martial or philosophical, history has always been written, or should I say, re-written, by the victors. That should give you pause. Whatever your nationality or religion, what you think you know to be true is the direct result of all of those “victories.” One of the few exceptions to the rule, relatively speaking, were the founders of The United States of America. (Please note that many theologians and evolutionary ‘believers’ have rather nasty things to say about them.)

    Were we to anthropomorphise - quite a lot - and then rather freely use a metaphor - we could accurately and even irrefutably state that the universe was “sung” into existence, rather than “spoken” or “blown up” into existence. That’s not a new religion or even a ‘new’ science, although it is scientificly valid. Just stuff that all of those past “victors” didn’t want anyone else to know.

    Herein lies a riddle: Modern interpretations of evolution and cosmology are tautologies at heart. Modern versions of most religions and spiritual practices are no less tautological. Each uses the same arguments while subscribing to differing terminologies. Which ideology carries truth? The religion? or the science? (Atheism is no less such an ideology than any other.)

    The riddle lies in properly defining truth. in order to do that, you must first…examine yourself. A practice that religion and the scientific method call for…but which is seldom - if at all - practiced by either of their adherents.

    Whether atheist or theologian or evolutionary scientist, most of us live and function solely on the basis of a large number of assumptions. For example…we begin our human experience with the assumption that the authority figures in our lives actually new what they hell they were all a goin’ on about. After a few years under their tender tutelage and ministrations, the very real science of neuroplasticity kicks in… and we’re stuck …living under a false paradigm. We can change and learn new things thereafter, but it becomes ever more difficult with age. Lenin rightly said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Such phrases as that are often heard from both evolutionary educators as well as from theologians.

    In the meantime, whatever your ideology or belief, believe whatever you will, and allow myself and others to do the same.

    No. They don’t have a name for what I know and believe.* I’ve checked.

    *(”Pagan” and “Heretic” don’t count. “Heretic” was a neologism and “pagan” simply referred to people in their version of ‘flyover country.’ Both were used as logical fallacies in order to promote the “victor’s” versions of history.)

  77. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    It was onyl when the Protestant movement produced so many competing sects that Europe had to accept religious toleration under the threat of total Hobbesian civil war.

    This statement really doesn’t give a sense of what happened. The reason why religious tolerance suffered was not because there was only one Christianity - such was the case in the Apostles’ lifetimes - but because the church was an arm of the state.

    The Protestants resent being ruled by a foreign political power, which is exactly what the Papal States was, and the Catholics resented the Protestants’ political treason. It was the privatization of the church (or at least some of it) that allowed religious tolerance. This began in Great Britain parts of northern Europe, particularly the United Provinces (modern-day Netherlands) where ecclesiastical rule was not so oppressive. The Church of England certainly did level its share of persecution against the Dissenting faiths, but it allowed enough freedom so that those churches could exist in the first place. Toleration grew in the UK because the threat of being forced into a particular church was on the decline.

    It’s interesting that while the antislavery crusade was uniting various denominations in the UK, at the same time the French Revolution and its aftermath were doing the opposite. The people resented clerical rule, and rightfully so, but many of the movers and shakers of both the Revolution and the French Enlightenment went to the extreme of wishing seeking the destruction of religion in general. (Chris Hitchens would have been proud.) Most priests and nuns were not part of the ruling establishment, but they were victimized by the Terror in droves. My knowledge of French history ends with Napoleon at St. Helena, so I don’t know when (or if) religious tolerance took root in France.

    Multiple religions don’t guarantee tolerance. Asks the Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus who share the same country. Such tolerance happens when a culture doesn’t regard religion as a political issue. Baptists and Mormons can get along nonviolently because they don’t require the government to settle their differences.

    As for the ancient Greeks…they were relativists, and like all other relativists, their “tolerance” is just a surface thing. They groove on “multicultural” stuff until the new ideas threaten their ideological foundations. Socrates got killed for it:

    Rather than upholding a status quo and accepting the development of immorality within his region, Socrates worked to undermine the collective notion of “might makes right” so common to Greece during this period.

    Early Christianity met many violent reactions from the Greeks. He was attacking the very core of their culutre by insisting that there was only one true religious reality, for preaching a faith that didn’t require enriching idol manufacturers (see Acts 19 for the idolmakers’ response).

  78. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    Morality far predates Judaism

    I did not address morality in general - only some very specific moralities such as charity-for-outsiders and rule of law.

    There are so may quibbles with the OT that each one could get its own comment thread.

  79. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    Augustine and Aquinas weren’t prophets. My saying that every denomination is wrong about something applies to Christian thinkers as well.

    I’m not all that surprised that Aquinas would take such a position, considering the time he lived. At that time, the church made the error of assuming that the political powers authorized to theocratic Israel were also delegated to Christian governments. On top of that, the medieval church prosecuted a much wider array of heresies than those enumerated in the Law of Moses.

    As for Augustine, he did not favor killing heretics but he did favor prosecuting them. See here.

    One mistake people make when judging a religion is failure to control for the State. For most of human history, governments were by and large nasty and brutish. They nationalized the church, which meant that it was the master of the church, thus church picked up a lot of the boss’ nasty and brutish habits. Free a religion from State control, and then you get an idea of that religion’s character.

    Faith does not lead to force. Covetousness does. faith is judged by the object of that faith; it is not a homogeneous product. One faith liberated slaves of the British Empire, some murder civilians in the name of Allah or Quetzalcoatl or Molech or whomever (actually, Molech’s sacrifices were infants), one condemns charity as a violation of karmic debt, a few promote asceticism, some promote hippie-dippie feel-good-ism.

  80. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    Note that the state religions in Europe are wussified institutions, little more than pretty ornaments that are put on display for special occasions. Behaving like their governments, indeed. Our resident Euro-Americans can tell us more about that.

  81. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    The term is persecute, not prosecute.

    It’s both, if the persecution is carried out through the courts.

    There are two and only two ways in which you can influence anothers behaviour. You can reason with him or you can threaten. Faith, by definition, rules out the former.

    You must have absolutely no idea what faith is. Faith involves phenomena that do not exist in the physical universe - meaning, ethics, the spiritual realm, etc. Philosophy (as contrasted to blind faith) applies reason to issues of faith. All attempts to influence behavior involve those issues of faith; they can appeal to philosophical argument, or they can appeal to blind faith, parroting assumptions without offering any evidence.

    The philosophy vs. blind faith conflict is irrelevant to the force vs. voluntarism conflict. The Commies were philosophical and forceful. The Apostles were philosophical and nonforceful. Wiccans are blind-faithers and generally nonforceful. Many political activists are blind-faithers and forceful as hell.

    Now for your concerns:

    1. There is no single body of Enlightenment standards. For starters, Locke and Voltaire preached religious toleration, while much of the French Enlightenment wanted to destroy not just clerical rule but religion itself. Marxism has its roots in some French Enlightenment thinking. I’m vaguely aware that Locke and Hume disagreed on a bunch of stuff.

    I’m not sure what your first worry is - you’ve got several ideas jumbled together. Christianity was the biggest enemy of Communism, and wasn’t much of a fan of Fascism, so I don’t know what you’re talking about there. The positive side of the Enlightenment has roots in Christianity; refer to Henderson Prize laureate Samuel Rutherford, whose book Lex Rex prefigured, and possibly influenced, Locke’s Two Treatises of Government. Christianity is prominent in the history of staving off tyranny - such episodes as the political evolution of England, the American Revolution, the antislavery crusade, and the Cold War.

    2. All ideologies are divisive, not just religious ones. Ideologies can also be unifying.

    Atheists can be moral, but they can’t prove it from their base suppositions. If they can prove whether such-and-such behavior is beneficial or detrimental for someone, they still can’t prove that we are obligated to value that someone’s welfare. That is an assumption of faith.

    Liberty-minded atheists support liberty because they simply want to. Liberty-minded Christians support liberty because Jesus teaches that God values all humans equally. Despite the fact that these two groups disagree on where morality comes from, they do have a lot of common agreement on what is and isn’t moral. Unity is possible where that overlap occurs.

    3. I read this several times, and I can’t make sense of your argument. The biggest institution involved in the cultural war against Islamic radicalism is the blogosphere and blog-friendly types like Spencer. The church isn’t the most vocal player in this war - maybe it’s a hindrance in that respect. I’m not familiar with Sam Harris, and Wikipedia doesn’t give me a reason to be leery of him. Neither Ali nor Shoebat are household names, so I don’t know why you contrast those two. (Ali is amazingly cute, but that’s another issue…)

    4. The Bible doesn’t teach suicidal pacifism or genocidal intolerance. The “turn the other cheek” teaching didn’t advocate letting people kill you. (One wonders how the Good Samaritan parable would have gone if the Samaritan and a few muscular friends had been at the scene when the assault against the victim began.) The Israelites were ordered to wage wars against certain tribes, and were given miracles to prove to them that they really were getting orders from God and not just some dude. God never gave anyone else such standing orders after the only government to receive such orders was permanently dissolved, so that’s a dead issue.

    5. You write, “There is only one type of Christianity capable of posing a real threat to Islam and that is the Dark Ages variety the Enlightenment stamped out.” As Johnny Carson might say in that famous nasal falsetto of his, you are wrong, falafel breath. Peaceful and voluntary Christianity - in the spirit of Jesus and the Apostles - is the biggest religious threat that can ever be posed against Islam. It threatens to appeal to needs that Islam refuses to meet - such as women’s desire to be treated with dignity, people who hate the legalism of their faith, people who hate the constant calls for jihad and just want to go to their jobs and spend time with friends and family. Christianity threatens to attract people away from Islam.

    Dark Ages Christianity FAILED against Islam. Charles Martel and the defenders of Vienna won because of good military tactics, not becuase of good religion. The Crusades were a horrible mistake - they should have fought to restore the Byzantine Empire FIRST and THEN liberate the Holy Lands; having a Crusader kingdom toally surrounded by Islamic enemies was a colossal strategic error. But in a Europe where every nation is looking for opportunity to invade the other nations, as is the case for all autocratic governments, nobody was gonna be all that interested in a strong Byzantium. (In fact, one of Italian city-states hijacked a Crusade to sack Constantinople.)

    You say nothing to support the notion that there is any threat of Christian theocracy.

  82. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    Color is a purely physiological phenomenon that requires a simple physical sense (with all the required color receptors) to perceive. Everybody without color blindness sees colors the same way. Discerning ethics is not a simple exercise of the physical senses.

    We share a trait with all other warm-blooded animals: emotion. Bird emotion is quite primitive, and probably doesn’t go much further than the most primitive of emotions - fear. Some animals exhibit an emotional response to certain stuff that happens to other animals. But just a creature is emotionally repulsed by something doesn’t mean that the something is objectively bad.

    Ethics is not merely saying that you feel a certain way about something; it is saying that EVERYBODY is obligated to share that attitude. Ethics, to use your term, is a dictatorship. There is only one right and wrong. Atheists believe this, but don’t believe as the theists do that there is a personal monarch who instituted right and wrong. If people are free to make up their own right and wrong, ther really is no right and wrong, only personal likes and dislikes that conflict with everybody else’s likes and dislikes.

    Animals have built-in structural flaws, the human lumbar system being one example. How do we know that the desire for freedom isn’t such a flaw? You can’t prove or disprove that idea through reason alone.

    And given that Christians believe in a permanent celestial dictatorship, your point is pretty ironic.

    No irony whatsoever. Earth is no place for autocracies because among humans there is no candidate for a single ruler who perfectly desires or understands what is right, or who perfectly understands all human needs. Representative government is a means of risk management; rule is decentralized so that when breakdowns occur their scope will be limited and thus more fixable. Chriatians believe in an infallibel God, so that issue is moot in Heaven.

  83. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    I was referring to the overall strategy of the Crusades in general. Pope Innocent III authorized the Fourth Crusade to invade the Holy Lands through Egypt, but alas popes can’t control Crusader armies - the Venetians hijacked the crusade to attack Zara and Constantinople.

    This demonstrates why the Crusades were doomed to failure. To be effective Europe had present a unified front on a permanent basis. But you can’t expect such international unity among nations whose governments coveted each others’ lands - including Byzantine lands. The Venetians are case in point. Absolute monarchies are like that, whether in Christian Europe, the Islamosphere, or any place else on the planet.

    Gotta get ready for work - will respond to the rest later.

  84. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    I should clarify my original statement on Byzantium - strengthening that kingdom should have been a goal of the Crusades, but it wasn’t. The Crusades were fought to liberate all of the Levant, especially the Holy Lands. The wars should have been fought for an additional reason: for the defense of Europe. If the Crusades had such a defense in mind, their strategy was idiotic. Europe obviously needed a powerful buffer state in Asia Minor, where Byzantium happened to be.

    But that kind of strategy requires something that never happened in human history: permanent peace between absolute monarchies, in this case, between the European powers and Byzantium. It had always been the case that today’s friend would be tomorrow’s enemy when that friend was strong enough to be a threat; European powers would not take the chance that a strong Byzantium might use its increased strength to expand into Europe.

    (And try posing the argument to a pope that a Catholic Europe should fortify an Orthodox kingdom. I’d say to him “Better Orthodox than Muslim, pal.”)

    Only a Europe filled with representative governments could have pulled off the Crusades. So far that glass is only half full…

    Now for other business.

    The point is that values such as Justice, Honesty, Productiveness and Rationality are essential to human life. No human being can violate these without inviting self-destruction.

    I did read your post. I was discussing ethics. Your points address human needs. Every form of ethics, whether Christian or Marxist oir whatever, proposes that there are certain things in this world that are sacred - that is, things that humans are obligated to value as absolute good. Jesus says that the will of God and the welfare of humans is an absolute good. Marx said that abolition of property, religion and the state are absolute goods. Buddha (and Surak of Vulcan) said the suppression of desire is an absolute good. WHY? Why are we obligated to value something other than ourselves, or even the continued existence of our species? It wouldn’t benefit me if Earth was demolished to install a hyperspace bypass, but why do I matter? My point is that all ethics begin with value judgments, and are thus rooted in faith. From that point reason can, in most cases, determine what is good or bad for whatever it is that is valued.

    The “turn the other cheek” teaching didn’t advocate letting people kill you.

    Well, the example of Christ doesn’t exactly prove that.

    The Bible teaches the Crucifixion not as an illustration of how we should respond when lynch mobs pursue us (Jesus didn’t leave specific instructions for that circumstance), but as the ultimate atonal sacrifice for sins.

    And as for genocidal intolerance, I refer you to Exodus, Leviticus and so on.

    That would be the divine wrath both delegated and delivered personally, and the harsh punishments in the Law of Moses. The short answer is: a) God owns everything and thus has authority to unmake and remake everything, and b) we’re not omniscient beings, so we don’t know what events God is preventing or causing when he dishes out punishment (or refrains from dishing it out, as his allowing 70+ years of Communism illustrate).

    Isn’t it strange that you are apparently right where men like Augustine and Aquinas were wrong, two of the greatest thinkers of Christendom?

    No, because the Bible proves that I’m right on the issue in question. JESUS FOUNDED THE CHURCH AS A VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATION, and the Apostles built that institution under that premise.

  85. LC Wil Comment by LC Wil

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    (and Surak of Vulcan)

    Now, I’m used to “Star Wars” being used as source material here, but Surak of Vulcan? and later, “The Hitchhikers Guide?”

  86. Alan K. Henderson Comment by Alan K. Henderson

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    Ah, I skipped over a previous comment.

    Hitler was Christian, and made many speaches invoke Christ.

    Hitler was a heretic.

    Please remember that I do not use “Christianity” synonously with Christian institutions. Christianity is the philosophy taught by Jesus and the Apostles. The Christians who influenced the downfall of Communism were better exemplars of Christianity than those who did not. (I had mainly Poland and Czechoslovakia in mind - definitely not the Russian Orthodox.)

    And, as I said, the likes of Pat Robertson and Falwell have done incomparable damage

    Falwell was far less the cartoon character that Robertson is, but his bad PR moments stand out.

    [C]an you name a single moral action that can be taken by a religious person that cannot be taken by an atheist?

    Yes - worshipping God. Atheists cannot worship someone they don’t believe to exist.

    Can you name a single moral action that isn’t immediately cheapened by a religious motive?

    No. As if a religionist or even an (consistent) agnostic coudl answer “yes.”

    Given the track record of religion, and of figures such as the frickin’ Archbishop of Canterbury saying “The worst a nuclear war could do is bring millions to paradise rather sooner than otherwise” I would keep very quiet about claiming religious moral superiority.

    That doesn’t sound like the current soft-on-war Archbishop of Canterbury. It’s also pretty dang presumptuous for a non-omniscient being to profess to know how a nuclear war will turn out.

    The fatal flaw in your analysis of religion is that when looking at religious persons and institutions you do not discern between the ideas they got from the faith’s founder and the ideas they got from elsewhere. Also, you make a sweeping generalization that religion is more bad than good without producing any evidence that the overall ledger is skewed that way - a few anecdotes does nto suggest a trend.