Democrats & Liberals Archives

Freedom of Hate

Visualize this scenario. An American Muslim named Osama takes a gun and shoots his neighbor. Osama is arrested and brought to trial, where he pleads “innocent” since he was only exercising his freedom of religion. According to Osama, his neighbor was an unbeliever, and the holy Koran says (according to him) that an infidel must be killed.

Visualize another scenario. An American Christian named Joe discovers that his neighbor is a homosexual and tries to stone him. Joe does not succeed and is arrested and brought to trial, where he too pleads "innocent" since he was exercising his freedom of religion. According to Joe, he was only following the Bible, which says that homosexuals should be stoned.

These scenarios are not so hypothetical. We've already had an American Muslim - Moussaoui - who wanted to kill a lot more than one American. We've also had an American Christian - Paul Hill - who shot an abortion doctor and his bodyguard in Pensacola in 1994; he said:

''If I were put in similar circumstances, I believe I would act similarly."

Today, I read about a case where a religious Christian extremist working for HP posted hate-filled messages against homosexuals where fellow workers could see them. HP fired him because it said it wanted to maintain a diversified workforce. The guy sued and claimed that the company did not allow him his freedom of religion.

Religious right extremists have a victimization complex. They yell and scream about indignities they have to face at the same time that they are trying to impose their values on everyone else. They have no idea what freedom means. Freedom means that a person is free to do as he pleases as long as he does not hurt others.

In the religious realm it means that a person can exercise the tenets of his religion - as long as he does not hurt others in the process. The HP worker has the gall to say he is in favor of freedom of religion when he is imposing his (wrongly perceived) religious ideas upon others. He is so filled with hate towards homosexuals that he does not even realize he's hurting them, or perhaps he does not care.

Religious extremists on the right are consumed with hate against all those who disagree with them: Homosexuals, abortion doctors and "liberal atheists." Theirs is not a religion of love - "Love they neighbor as thyself" - but of hate. They don't believe in the freedom of religion but in the freedom of hate.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 10, 2006 5:15 PM
Comments
Comment #139654

Paul
Where does freedom of religion end?
Does hurting another persons feelings qualify as “hurting others?”
Should gays have to worry about offending others with their actions?
I don’t think so.

Posted by: kctim at April 10, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #139655

Using this one ignorant, and probably closeted homosexual individual to represent the entire religious right would be the equivalent of equating all atheists with Stalin or Hitler. Every barrel has its bad apples, and I’m sure you don’t want to go down the road of what happens when people stop believing that all humans are created in the image of God and that it’s simply nature, you know, survival of the fittest. Holocaust comes to mind. The company had every right to fire that guy, and I resent his using Christianity as a defense. However, offending people is a far cry from murdering them, so comparing this guy to the first two is a stretch, at best.

Posted by: Duano at April 10, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #139661

Paul

Both guys should go to jail for a long time and get the death penalty if appropriate laws are in place.

We have a difference between deed and thought. You can think whatever you want. You can say much of what you think, but you can’t break laws in deed. It is illegal to kill, your motivation (with the exception of clear and present self defense) should not matter. It is the deed that is a crime, not the thought.

I don’t think you will find many Americans liberal or conservatives who support the violence you describe. But you would find many Americans, liberal and conservative, that might have trouble with limiting speech, even if it was offensive.

So we all agree, right?

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #139664

Jack-

No, we don’t all agree. Extemists on both sides of the spectrum are all in favor of free speech as long as it agrees with what they think. Dissenting opinions are not welcome. It takes a real American to believe in and practice freedom of speech. It means protecting the right of someone to espouse a cause that we absolutely and totally disagree with, and perhaps even hate.

However, in today’s society, we have ways of making sure that freedom of speech is abridged without resorting to censorship per se.

All we have to do is label someone a racist, fascist, communist, homophobe, neo-con, or any other pejorative from our private hate locker, and we have effectively shut them down. It makes no difference what the truth of the speech may be, if we don’t want to hear it, we just shout louder.

Was it Disraeli or Voltaire who said: “I may hate what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it”? In today’s society, we don’t want to hear any voices but our own, and we are much the less a society for that.

Posted by: John Back at April 10, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #139666

And where’s the Lunatic Fringe left story to realte to us?

What if a Lunatic Fringe leftie shoots his neighbor because his house is made of wood and they had to chop down trees to make his house?

He goes to court and argues that he is saving the planet for the greater good of humanity.

Don’t try to convince me that hate is the sole province of the extreme right.

The extreme left has enough for all of us and then some.

Posted by: Jim T at April 10, 2006 6:07 PM
Comment #139669

One problem with your little comparison: Jesus said don’t stone people.

Mohammed stoned the prostitute himself.

There is no comparison.

Posted by: Jesus at April 10, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #139687

Paul, your writing only reflects human nature. Golleeee, what an enlightenment that some humans display unwarranted hatred of other humans. Most of the human race employs some form of morality to control their baser nature. Some credit religion with this desire to control unloving actions. I have witnessed love and hate from both religious and atheist, conservative and liberal. What is lacking when hatred is displayed is self-will. Unless we are mentally deficient, we all have the ability to control our thoughts, mouth and our actions.
Unfortunately, I read very little loving prose in these columns. The hatred is evidenced by the lies, half-truths and name-calling that is abundant in many of the posts. Jim

Posted by: Jim Martin at April 10, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #139689

The HP worker scenario is not even in the same class as the first two, it wasn’t even worth mentioning. So the guy doesn’t like homosexuals. He is not any different from someone that hates people that hate homosexuals. Hate is Hate.

Paul Said: Religious extremists on the right are consumed with hate against all those who disagree with them: Homosexuals, abortion doctors and “liberal atheists.” Theirs is not a religion of love - “Love they neighbor as thyself” - but of hate. They don’t believe in the freedom of religion but in the freedom of hate.

That statement is just false. There are extremists on both sides. I personally think that overall the left is far less tolerant than most. The left displays far more hate for those that disagree with them. The left is where all the hate speech, hate crime and the like come from. The left is far more likely to institute what you speak of than the right is.

Posted by: Nunya at April 10, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #139690
Paul

Both guys should go to jail for a long time and get the death penalty if appropriate laws are in place.

We have a difference between deed and thought. You can think whatever you want. You can say much of what you think, but you can’t break laws in deed. It is illegal to kill, your motivation (with the exception of clear and present self defense) should not matter. It is the deed that is a crime, not the thought.

I don’t think you will find many Americans liberal or conservatives who support the violence you describe. But you would find many Americans, liberal and conservative, that might have trouble with limiting speech, even if it was offensive.

So we all agree, right?
Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2006 05:55 PM

Ah so there is still some sanity around here.

Jack, would you say HP was justified in firing the guy then, on the grounds that his actions at the workplace were impeding business, or not?

Posted by: Amani at April 10, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #139694

Nunya,

Are there some “liberals” who exhibit hatred and foolish extremism? Of course. But what you view as hatred is probably not exactly as such. You see, there is a difference between rational loathing and irrational hatred.

To assert that any liberal would institute such a regime is simply ridiculous. No self-respecting true liberal would attempt to silence dissent, shout down opponents without provocation, or attempt to institutionalize his beliefs. It is the liberals very nature to tolerate, at least legally (and I would argue that it should often stop there) dissent, difference of opinion, and even dire enemies who would institute the opposite, from fascists (like the Skokie Nazis) to neocons to communists. I’m sure people who call themselves liberal want to institute such things that KcTim wanted to avoid, the PC bullshit that is so often attributed to liberals when no real liberal would argue to restrict speech.

No, people that seek to institutionalize constraints upon speech and non-harmful action can never be a liberal. They are, by definition, conservative in some sense of the word (please see John Stuart Mill). Of course, many “conservatives” in the United States are simply liberals who differ on economic issues, but once irrational constraints of religion, morality, and one way of looking at things are institutionalized, the rational wrath of liberals has been provoked. No true liberal would ever suffer the institutionalization of public discrimination, but must, by definition, tolerate that of private citizens.

Posted by: Libertyman13 at April 10, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #139696

On the HP worker. For starters the guy was just stupid to do that. But, as for getting fired, that was all about HP being P.C. and that’s all it was about. If they truly wanted a diversified work force they would be compelled to keep him so they retain that specific opinion. Now it is possible the “we don’t like the homosexuals” crowd is under represented or maybe not even represented at all. So much for diversified!

Posted by: Nunya at April 10, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #139697

Nunya,
I don’t disagree that it was done by people trying to be P.C., although there could certainly be some value economically to preventing that kind of strife within the workplace. My only point was that P.C. behavior is inherently non-liberal.

Posted by: Libertyman13 at April 10, 2006 7:52 PM
Comment #139703

Not all speech is protected by the constitution (fire in a crowded theater). Likewise, freedom of religion is not a blanket for doing whatever you please. Satanism, and some of its specific rituals are illegal.

Your examples ARE off base in that you make the (non-logical) leap that the idiots you mentioned as examples did what they did in the interest of freedom of religion. Not so - these wacko’s clearly had other agendas (you kill an abortion doctor cause you are against abortion, not because you see some need to espouse the tenets of christianity or some sort of need out of victimization.

Oh - not all religious wacko’s can be attributed to the right (read conservative). That is the picture you are trying to paint right? Remember those nuts (Heavens gate) that all killed themselves in a mass suicide during the hail bopp comet? Hardly the neocon, shaved head, right wing, fascist, religious, zealot you love to wave around.

Posted by: b0mbay at April 10, 2006 8:20 PM
Comment #139704

HP had every right to fire that individual and it has nothing to do with being politically correct or trying to appease to one agenda or another. HP probably has a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment, as most US companies do now. According to the writen policies of every comapany I’ve worked for; Posting offensive or hatefull messages in the place of busines is a violation of the policy and warranst immediate dismissal.
It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about eco-terrorist or religious fanatics. Extremism is very dangerous wherever it may come. It clouds the mind, numbs the heart and turn reasonable people into absolute monsters (Rwanda anyone?).
The one thing we can all be very proud in this country is that there are blogs like this one, where we can toss flame at each other freely without fear that our neighbor is going to go to the Ministry of Truth and Faith, or some other Orwellian-type of institution, and have us arrested for being of different faith or persuasion. Hasn’t always been like this, but so far so good….

Posted by: Genaro Blake at April 10, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #139705

So let me see if I got this right.

A liberal, by definition, is incapable of hateful thoughts or deeds because they are incapable of intolerance.

A conservative, by definition, is capable of both hateful thoughts and hateful deeds because they are not only capable of intolerance, but actually embrace it.

I’ve heard this argument before in a different forum: Race relations.

We were told that a black person, by definition, cannot be a racist. Therefore, the natural extension of that is that a black person is incapable of committing a hate crime.

But, can a liberal hate? Can a conservative love? Can a black person be a racist? Are they capable of committing a hate crime?

Perhaps I am inferring something in the previous posts that isn’t there, but I am led to believe that a true liberal would answer no to all these questions.

Isn’t that, by definition, hateful?

Posted by: ulysses at April 10, 2006 8:45 PM
Comment #139706

Many Christians in America don’t see that Jesus is New Testament while a Petty God of Vengance is the Old Testament. Jesus was a Bleeding Heart Liberal. God his father, is petty and smites man for being man.

Religious texts were written by men to enforce the mores of the days when they were written. God is not the hateful man ‘many’ modern Christians believe he is.

God is infused with all that is living. God is the spark of life in all things. God does not hate or condemn the same beings he lovingly created. I’m so tired of Christians and Muslims pushing their idea of God on the rest of us. If they want to wallow in shame let them…leave the rest of us alone and create a community where EVERYONE belongs!!!

Today’s Religious Zealots with closed minds have no way to comprehend God and what that entails…Union!!!

Posted by: Peter at April 10, 2006 8:47 PM
Comment #139709
But, can a liberal hate? Can a conservative love? Can a black person be a racist? Are they capable of committing a hate crime?

ulysses,

Most here would consider me a liberal, some would say extreme. My answer to all 4 questions is yes. Not because I am a liberal or conservative, but because that is simply the reality. Everything is a duality.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 10, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #139711

Amani

People have no expectation of privacy on their work computers. HP’s action is none of our business. In the absence of a specific contract, firms should be able to fire anyone they want.

Libertyman

Your definition of liberal is wide enough to include Bush supporting, Reagan loving Republicans like me, so I don’t suppose it really creates much distinction. People who we call liberals are responsible for most speech codes on campuses and they are the ones who shout down and throw pies at conservative speakers. They are also behind most hate crime legislation. JS Mill has been dead for a while. His legacy is now spread on both side of the spectrum and on neither.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #139712

Hey, I know this is a little off topic, but since we’re talking about religion anyway, did anyone watch the special on the Gospel of Judas on the National Geographic Channel last night? Just curious what your opinions were about the idea that a 10th century bishop named Iranious (sorry if the spelling’s wrong) took only 4 of the books written about Jesus at time (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and put them in the New Testament when over 30 books were written in the years after Christ’s death and the rest were declared heresy.

Posted by: Lisa C. at April 10, 2006 9:26 PM
Comment #139713

Peter,

The things you write sound very Gnostic. This world would be very different today if the Gnostic tradition had survived the attack of the Pauline Christians.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 10, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #139714

Lisa C.,

I watched that special with much interest. It was mostly the Gnostic texts that were labeled heresy and destroyed. The Pauline Church thought they had destroyed all the Gnostic texts, and indeed they had for almost 2000 years. Those texts were found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945. The Gospel of Judas was found near the site of the Nag Hammadi discovery.

Nag Hammadi Library

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 10, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #139715

Peter,

Jesus was absolutely not a liberal! It’s true He changed some Old Testament Laws that were rather harsh (Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone), He actually made some laws MORE STRICT(Whosoever looketh upon a woman, to lust after her, hath commited adultery with her already in his heart. Whosoever shall put away his wife, save for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery. Whosoever marrieth her that is divorced committeth adultery) You also might be surprised to learn he was a divider, not a uniter “Think not that I have come to bring peace on earth, I am come not to bring peace, but a sword. I have come to put enmity between father and son, between mother and daughter”
Jesus Christ transcends liberal and conservative. To brand him with one of our petty little political labels is the epitomy of arrogance, and frankly, just plain ignorant. I don’t know why God did the things we read about in the Old Testament, and it’s not meant for us to know, yet. All I know is there are haters in every religion, non-religion, political persuasion, race, color, and nationality. I myself am a hater. I hate the haters, but I would fight any attempt to silence them, even haters of Christians.

Posted by: Duano at April 10, 2006 9:47 PM
Comment #139716
People have no expectation of privacy on their work computers. HP�€™s action is none of our business. In the absence of a specific contract, firms should be able to fire anyone they want.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2006 09:22 PM

I wasn’t aware it was on computers, but I agree with you about firing (excepting firings that really are based on race, sex, creed, etc. I can see good reason for regulating these). Thanks for the reply.

-Amani

Posted by: Amani at April 10, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #139719

There are harrassment laws and work-environment laws. The HP asshole broke the rules of our society, i.e. tolerence of differences doesn’t apply to those who are agressively intolerent. Tough sh!t, good riddence.

Posted by: Dave at April 10, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #139721

I saw the “Gospel of Judas” last night as well. As with all the Gnostic texts, it has Jesus spouting random abstractions. This text was written in the third century, hundreds of years after the life of Christ. I trust the members of the early Church (Matthew and John, actual disciples of Jesus, John being a member of Jesus’ inner circle. And Mark and Luke were very early members of the flock after He ascended), to some misguided people who thought they were each a “christ”, and that everyone was divine. Another exception I take with that documentary was that it implied that Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was not written about in Mark’s Gospel, the earliest Gospel written. This is just a flat out lie! Mark tells us how Judas made a deal with the priests and “Sought how he might conveniently betray Him”. My question is this. What makes the four Gospels in the New Testament inferior to some really old texts found in a cave in crappy condition, written in a language that neither Jesus nor any of his disciples spoke? The effort to discredit Jesus and His divinity will continue, because that is exactly what He predicted would happen. People with all these “Gnostic” texts trying to take away from who Jesus was are in fact proving His divinity!!! That’s the way Jesus works. He takes your argument and turns it on it’s head.

P.S. The Gnostics believe the snake in the Garden of Eden was the GOOD GUY in that story. WTF?

Posted by: Duano at April 10, 2006 10:06 PM
Comment #139723

“The left is where all the hate speech, hate crime and the like come from.
Posted by: Nunya at April 10, 2006 07:17 PM”

Nunya,

That’s just nonsense.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the hate group Council of Conservative Citizens in some detail here:

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=487

Quote: “Though the vast majority of these politicians are Republicans ý 23 of the 26 current state lawmakers, to be exact ý the Republican National Committee, so forthright five years ago, now declines to condemn the CCC. No member of either party has been sanctioned or reprimanded for maintaining ties to the Council.”

There is a detailed roster here:

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?sid=315

*********

Also the recent events surrounding the immigration debate show that there is plenty of hate to go around on both ends of the political spectrum and everywhere in between. You might find this SPL article on Lou Dobbs’ daily ‘Broken Borders’ CNN segment interesting:
http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=589

KansasDem


Posted by: KansasDem at April 10, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #139724

Amani

You know, I am not sure. When I saw the word “posted” I just assumed it was on computers.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2006 10:25 PM
Comment #139727

Kansas,

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a far left organization. They have no credibility on this issue. Though they have done good work exposing the KKK, it’s not too crazy to assume that if the Black Panthers carried out some act of violence, killing random white people, the victims families would have to look somewhere besides the SPLC to get justice.

Posted by: Duano at April 10, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #139729

Jack,

Well, to be a liberal in my sense of the word you’d be a little less likely to support Bush (Reagan is a little more palatable, but let us not forget that he began this “religious” revival that actually does threaten liberal society). Bush has often refused, at least publicly, to approach issues with an open mind, and to see the complexities of these issues for what they are. To divide the world into polar opposites, black and white, good and evil, Christian vs. Muslim, rich vs. poor, is to misunderstand the very nature of all these phenomena which lies in their quite fluid qualities. Very few things can be divided so harshly. Liberalism, in essence, requires the acceptance that you will never know all the answers except one: that perhaps it is best to let people seek their own.

Someone else butchered my first post into me trying to say that only conservatives are capable of hate. Not true, of course. Everyone can hate. But the institution of hate is a conservative notion, for it requires the irrational belief in one’s own righteousness and infallibility. In this sense, both of our political parties embody these conservative principles, as well as any other political party that relies on authority instead of rationality. Also, I took care to distinguish American conservatives, which in many ways are a branch of liberal thought, from conservatism in general. Neoconservatives, on the other hand, are often lacking in this basic acceptance of their own fallibility…

Posted by: Libertyman13 at April 10, 2006 10:52 PM
Comment #139731
My question is this. What makes the four Gospels in the New Testament inferior to some really old texts found in a cave in crappy condition, written in a language that neither Jesus nor any of his disciples spoke?

Duano,

The real question is what makes the other Gospels that did not make the New Testament inferior to the four Gospels, esp. Luke?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 10, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #139733

“The Southern Poverty Law Center is a far left organization. They have no credibility on this issue.”

Duano,

I hope you’ll allow me the right to find them far more credible than I find you. But, by all means, never let yourself be confused by the facts.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at April 10, 2006 11:09 PM
Comment #139736
P.S. The Gnostics believe the snake in the Garden of Eden was the GOOD GUY in that story. WTF? Posted by: Duano at April 10, 2006 10:06 PM

Duano,

WTF is that the Gnostics believe that there are two Gods. An evil Creator God that created this world and man in his own flawed image, who keeps his followers as slaves to his laws. The Supreme God who is more powerful than the Creator God is a good and loving God. The Creator God has authority over this world, while the Supreme God reigns over the Kingdom of Heaven. Gnostics beleive that Jesus was sent with his message, by the Supreme God, not the Creator God of the OT.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 10, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #139738

Sorry, accidentally posted before I was done. The serpent in the garden is working for the Supreme God to give Adam and Eve the knowledge they will gain by eating the fruit from the tree (of Knowledge). Something that the Creator God does not want to happen, because Adam and Eve would then have more knowedge than the Creator God has (the reason for forbidding Adam and Eve from eating from the tree.) When Adam and Eve partake of the fruit of Knowledge, the Creator God becomes angry and jealous, banishing them from the garden.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 10, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #139743

Everybody believes in free speech just as long as the other person says the things we want to hear. Free speech is not easy. It is even allowing people like Fred Phelps and his merry band of bigots protest at military funerals and even military hospitals. His “God hates fags” makes my blood boil but he has the right to express his opinions.

Posted by: C.T. Rich at April 10, 2006 11:33 PM
Comment #139746

C.T. Rich,

Right on. Everyone’s got the right to speak their mind, as small as we might personally feel their minds are. The worst are the “No Tolerance for Intolerance” signs. Those holding them are blind to their own hypocrisy.

Posted by: Libertyman13 at April 10, 2006 11:37 PM
Comment #139748

Libertyman

I don’t think you are being fair to George Bush. Dividing the world into Muslim-Christian. You mean when he calls Islam a relgion of peace or when he says that most Muslims are not terrorists. Rich-Poor, do you mean when he talks about the soft bigotry of low expectations or when he says that everyone in the U.S. should be part of the ownership society. Good-evil, do you not believe there is evil in this world? Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden are evil, IMO. Maybe that is not liberal, but it is true. Black-white, maybe you mean that the Bush cabinet has been the most diverse in U.S. history and that there are blacks and whites.

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #139749

Religious right extremists have a victimization complex. They yell and scream about indignities they have to face at the same time that they are trying to impose their values on everyone else. They have no idea what freedom means. Freedom means that a person is free to do as he pleases as long as he does not hurt others.

I you didn’t put the word right in there Paul I would have thought you were talking about the extreme left. You know the fathers of the victimization complex.


kctim
The only ones that have to worry about hurting someones feelings don’t belong to a ‘protected class’. If you belong to one of them you can hurt any ones feeling you want. If you don’t you better watch what you say or do.


Posted by: Ron Brown at April 10, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #139756
It is even allowing people like Fred Phelps and his merry band of bigots protest at military funerals and even military hospitals.

A little courtesy would go a long way. To protest like that at a funeral or at a hospital is disgusting, and not likely to do anything but alienate the very folks they are trying to persuade. There is a time and place for everything.

Can they do it? Yes, certainly. But what a disgusing thing to do to those people.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 11, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #139760

KCTim,

“Meet the new boss… Same as the old boss…”

I think that perhaps until we have divorced government from letting people suckle at its proverbial teat, as well as enforcing moral codes, that there will always be somebody who thinks he is victimized. Whether its the “religious” nuts who scream that Christianity (the religion of an overwhelming majority of our citizens) is “under attack,” or the feminazis who call sex rape, or Jerry Falwell talking about some mythical “moral fiber” of the nation that doesn’t exist and doesn’t affect him anyhow, or the shrill attorneys charging every employment termination as discrimination (I can say this as a prospective attorney that a lot of these cases are BS, but you’d also be interested to find that a lot of personal injury cases actually aren’t), or the so-called “liberal” marches meant to shut up people who are often ignorant but no more so than they themselves, or the rural white poor who decry the welfare system while benefitting the most from it, we have a serious problem. People think that government should do what they think is right. I guess, in some ways, I fall into that trap myself. The only difference is, I want people to be forced to decide for themselves and to go out and accomplish things themselves. Government is not a tool with which to cut out moral decay or to bend society into a desired shape: it is there to keep us from killing each other, to provide some essential services, and to prevent outside enemies from coming in and taking it all away.

Posted by: Libertyman13 at April 11, 2006 12:17 AM
Comment #139772
Good and evil are continuums with significant overlap. Who gets to decide what evil is? What good is? Sure, individual acts out of context are good and evil, but how can we even begin to draw a line where one quality begins and the other ends?

Posted by: Libertyman13 at April 11, 2006 12:06 AM

Believe me- the moral relativism road, it leads to nowhere. Good and evil are useful concepts, and if I were you, I’d seek them not just in deeds, but in motivations. Look at the common themes in religion and philosophy: good is usually closely tied to unity, evil with division. You must sense where Osama fits into this?

I think that perhaps until we have divorced government from letting people suckle at its proverbial teat, as well as enforcing moral codes, that there will always be somebody who thinks he is victimized…People think that government should do what they think is right…Government is not a tool with which to cut out moral decay or to bend society into a desired shape: it is there to keep us from killing each other, to provide some essential services, and to prevent outside enemies from coming in and taking it all away.

Posted by: Libertyman13 at April 11, 2006 12:17 AM

Actually our country is based on a moral code, just not one that we hear very much about. It’s called Social Contract Theory. The purpose of democratic government is to maintain that code for our benefit, which is sort of what you are alluding to at the end there.

Posted by: Amani at April 11, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #139784

John Lennon said it best, in my opinion: “Imagine no religion.”

Posted by: gergle at April 11, 2006 2:32 AM
Comment #139785

In reference to this somewhat stilted set-up about Osama and our man Bob, the anti-gay extremist, can’t we just agree that Bob must have been something of an asshole to work with. I think that being extremely unpleasant is sufficient justification for termination. After all, you’ll spend as much time with your co-workers than you will with your spouse.

If Bob was quietly bigoted, then I would not support his termination. Because he seemed to be trying to be disruptive, I don’t see any problem with discharging him. But I’ve always felt that employees work at the discretion of the employer and that employment was a privilege, not a right.

I think the American workplace was lessened when the firing process became so regimented and monitored by the government. The creation of lists of government sanctioned reasons for dismissal and the necessity of providing conclusive documentation to employment commission grievance boards in the event of complaints by the terminated employee resulted in a system in which employers are continually preparing negative documentation in the event that they decide to fire you.

I’m not saying there aren’t employee grievances that should be redressed through regulation and court action, however we have gone so far to protect the employee that we have removed too many rights from the employer. One only needs to look at the labor situation in France to see where this path of government intervention can go.

Another pernicious development from the failure of middle management is the proliferation of drug testing. Because it is so difficult to fire someone for simply not performing up to a set standard, drug testing allows easy dismissal of all persons with even mild recreational drug habits. This development removed a large number of overqualified underachievers from the job market which is why the quality of customer service has deteriorated so severely in recent years. The slightly high cashier with more experience and education than necessary to ring up the sale of your bag of chips and cigarettes has now been replaced with the mentally challenged overachiever who is really pushing the limits of their abilities to complete the same transaction.

Aside from my goodkingned moment above, I want to ask why this discussion is framed as in terms of right wing extremists. The litany of character flaws attributed to conservative extremists can be applied to extremists of all sorts. Extremism is the problem and it’s just as potentially objectionable in a liberal as a conservative. Americans have the right to hold extreme views but they do not have a right to be employed.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 11, 2006 2:50 AM
Comment #139794

Duano, hate to burst your bubble but the texts of Mark, Luke, John and Paul were all taken from manuscripts written at least two generations after Jesus died and from transcribed texts as well. Nothing in the new testament is from original writings. In fact, the gospels included in the New Testament were taken from anonymous texts, and the names applied by the publishers.

Reality bites, don’t it. Now before you take off, please begin with a reference to an original manuscript written between 0000 and 0070AD in the hand of the person named in the New Testament gospel. Give me a credible reference, and I will research it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 11, 2006 3:55 AM
Comment #139797

Iandanger posted a lot of good articles on this.

Posted by: Aldous at April 11, 2006 4:20 AM
Comment #139810

I believe in free speech, but the speech that has been coming out of some people on both sides of the isle should be at least toned down. On the left side, you have enviromental,and other extremists. On the right you have religous zealots, second amendment zealots and others. I would love to see a world where we can live in harmony with nature and each other. I will never see that because there is too much hate in the world. While I am not a religous person, the overwhelming message of Jesus was and is unconditional love. I think what is most missing today is respect. You don’t have to agree with someone’s opinion to let them have it. A person should not be harmed for just words that he says. But by the same token a person should not be harmed for who they chose to love. HP was right in firing that person, that person was wrong for putting speech like that at work.

Posted by: jimmy at April 11, 2006 6:15 AM
Comment #139836

goodkingned said:

“The slightly high cashier with more experience and education than necessary to ring up the sale of your bag of chips and cigarettes has now been replaced with the mentally challenged overachiever who is really pushing the limits of their abilities to complete the same transaction.”

The anesthesiologist preparing to put you under for surgery is just a little high, but she has more training than necessary.

The airline pilot is a little high as he prepares to fly you and you 300 fellow passengers home for the holidays, but he has more training than necessary.

The over-the-road trucker is a little high as he speeds down the crowded freeway, but he has more training than necessary.

The pharmacist preparing your prescriptions is a little high, but has more experience than necessary.

Well, you get the picture. Does your comment mean that you favor the legalization of marijuana and perhaps other currently illegal drugs?

BTW, I have worked with some of those mentally challenged overachievers you apparently disdain. I would rather wait a couple of minutes longer to have one of them ring up my purcase of chips and soda (I don’t smoke) than a drug addict.

Words can be hurtful, goodkingned. Perhaps your majesty could be more careful in the future in your choice of words.


Posted by: ulysses at April 11, 2006 10:35 AM
Comment #139838

“John Lennon said it best, in my opinion: “Imagine no religion.””

Thanks gergle, that proves a great point.
You quote that from Lennon and nobody thinks twice.
Any idea what the reaction would have been if you had said “Imagine no gays?”
Again, different rules for different players.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2006 10:43 AM
Comment #139870

kctim,

That makes no sense. Why would someone quote “Imagine no gays” from the John Lennon song Imagine? That is nowhere in the song. “Imagine there’s no heaven” is.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 11, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #139872

“No religion too”

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 11, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #139878

Gays are a reality, religion is mythology, kctim. I don’t hate people for who they are anymore than I hate an animal for homosexual behavior. I don’t categorically hate 10% of any population.

What I do dislike is creeds that promote hatred.

Posted by: gergle at April 11, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #139879

Libertyman
“it is there to keep us from killing each other, to provide some essential services, and to prevent outside enemies from coming in and taking it all away”

I agree.

JayJay
Funny. I didn’t say “Imagine no gays” was a quote from a lennon song.
Simply saying that it is now PC to promote life without religion, Christians here in the US and it is hatred if you were to promote life without gays.
Both instances are nothing but personal opinions and beliefs about another persons way of life.

Ron Brown
Protected class people are also automatically considered to be racists, homophobes etc… for even questioning what others believe.
Well said my friend.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #139885

“I don’t hate people for who they are anymore than I hate an animal for homosexual behavior”

But yet, you dislike and mock people for their religious beliefs.
What is wrong with somebody not approving of the gay lifestyle? Nothing.
What is wrong with somebody not respecting the gay lifestyle? Nothing.

Allowing somebody to live their life as they see fit does not apply only to sexual orientation, it also applies to those with differing opinions on the matter.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #139897

“What is wrong with someone not approving the gay lifestyle? Nothing. What is wrong with somebody not respecting the gay lifestyle? Nothing.”

You are a fool. I agree that no one should have to approve anything that is not in their hearts. But to not RESPECT another, who has hurt no one? To not respect a people who just want civil rights? Kctim, you are the basis of what is wrong with this country and world.

And to those who hold one group fighting for the rights of a people equivalent in speech (and the freedoms thereof) to a group promoting their oppression and destruction: More fools. It is not the same to say “No tolerance for the intolerant” as it is to say “God hates fags”. Sorry, but its not. I’m sure it makes people like kctim and his/her allies feel better about themselves- but it is just a rationalization for ignorant bigotry. It is not the same for a human rights campaign to march as it is for the KKK to march. It’s just not. Your talking about one group fighting for equality and another fighting for inequality.

As far as the HP story goes, the guy deserved being fired and should be slapped with a hate crime. If he had posted anti christian messages, the christians would say the same.

Posted by: freedomrules at April 11, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #139899

And also:

“Allowing somebody to live their life as they see fit does not apply only to sexual orientation, it also applies to those with differing opinions on the matter.” - kctim

You can’t have your cake and eat it too, friend. If you want your freedom to express your opinions you need to give the freedom for others to live as they see fit. So put your money where your mouth is: Being harassed at a place of employment is not “living as they see fit” and not have equal rights is not “living as they see fit”.

Posted by: freedomrules at April 11, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #139946

Some people really miss the point. The original poster did not say the jerk with the anti-gay hate mail should go to jail. Free speech is allowed and not punishable by jail time, but there is no right to free speech in the workplace. The only result of your speech is losing your job. Losing your job for what you say is not against the constitution. Hate speech does not have to be tolerated, it just can’t result in criminal prosecution.

Posted by: Tom at April 11, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #139950

Funny how things are freedomrules.

“But to not RESPECT another, who has hurt no one? To not respect a people who just want civil rights?”

Who others “respect,” should be of no concern to you.
Isn’t the right to believe as you wish not important?

“Kctim, you are the basis of what is wrong with this country and world”

Freedom for every American to believe how they want, even the ones you disagree with, is what I believe in. Why don’t you?
Does disagreeing with the war mean you are unAmerican? No.
So why does disagreeing with a lifestyle choice make you wrong?

I don’t care whats wrong with the rest of the world. They can kiss my ass.

“If he had posted anti christian messages, the christians would say the same”

Yes, they would, but you would not be. That is where the hypocrisy is.

“And to those who hold one group fighting for the rights of a people equivalent in speech (and the freedoms thereof) to a group promoting their oppression and destruction: More fools.”

Disagreeing with sexual orientation does not automatically mean one wishes to oppress and destroy.
Do you wish to oppress and destroy all religious people who do not believe homosexuality is natural?
Fools are many aren’t they.

“It is not the same to say “No tolerance for the intolerant” as it is to say “God hates fags””

Why should it matter if a God hates whatever? I thought he had no business being part or govt?

“I’m sure it makes people like kctim and his/her allies feel better about themselves”

Hey, nice to see you on WatchBlog. If your new, welcome. For future ref. I’m a guy.

“Your talking about one group fighting for equality and another fighting for inequality”

Uh, no. The very fact that BOTH groups are allowed to march IS equality. A major Constitutional right.

“You can’t have your cake and eat it too, friend. If you want your freedom to express your opinions you need to give the freedom for others to live as they see fit”

Shouldn’t “live as they see fit” also include those with differing views?

“So put your money where your mouth is”

I have and continue to do so daily. I am a very active supporter of gay rights.
I just see them as Americans and don’t degrade their cause by thinking of them as victims.

http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/002686.html


Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #139971

How about this?

Anyone who exhibits violent impulses probably isn’t stable. These are the people we want to separate from society, because they cannot function. Whether or not you think they can be reformed is a whole other issue, but nobody makes the claim that we shouldn’t incarcerate dangerous people.

So who cares who they hate, the hate is the problem. Are there extreme christians? Hell yes, and they scare me and other non-christians a lot. Are there extreme anarchists? Sure as hell used to be, they used to be extremely active. How about the weather underground, or the order, both branches on the extreme side of two different ideologies.

there are dangerous people who belong in jail, thats just how things are, so stop pointing fingers.

The line between free speech and a crime is a real line, so when someone says, “I hate gay people” they dont do anything wrong, but when they say to a group, “Lets go have a fag drag,” thats incitement. You can’t coerce someone into a fight (in most states saying “fuck you” is considered fighting words, meaning if you say it to someone else, then you’re the aggressor in a fight), you cant yell fire in a crowded building, etc.

The lines are there for a reason.

There is only one condition where violence is permisible, and that is when the government encroaches on your inalienable rights, and even then it is a last resort. Anyone who tries to take your liberty is in a state of war against you, and therefor you can do as much violence back to them as necessary to defend yourself. At least, according to John Locke and Thomas Jefferson.

Posted by: iandanger at April 11, 2006 5:20 PM
Comment #139980

Well said ian

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2006 5:54 PM
Comment #140001

Duano

Your arguments are the reason I left Jesus behind and discovered a deeper relationship with my Creator than I ever thought possible.

The Gospels were written by men who were trying to save their religion. They knew the key to doing that was the divinity of Christ. Without that, the Protestant Christian church would collapse, just as the Catholic church could not exist without the Immaculate Conception.

Thomas Paine, author of “The Age of Reason,” had it right when he said that the only true, undeniable evidence for the existance of the Creator is in the Creation.

Posted by: ulysses at April 11, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #140013

Ulysses:

Sorry if I offended you. My comment was largely intended to be taken with a grain (or two) of salt. I do however favor the legalization of grass since it’s deleterious effects are no worse than beer. As to other drugs, let’s leave that for another day.

Having apologized I would like to say a few things to you.

First, I agree that many professions require a clear head but being a clerk in a convenience store is not one of them. Furthermore, drug testing, unlike alcohol testing, is not time sensitive enough, usually indicating drug usage in a period from 3 days to 3 months prior to the admission of the test. If they develop a test that more accurately indicates that someone is currently intoxicated then I would have less of a problem with the practice of testing.

Second, you seem to have believed that I was criticizing the mentally handicapped. Not so. I was referring to the merely stupid. As far as I know being stupid is not a protected status in the US.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 11, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #140055

Ulysses,

The Protestant church did not exist until CENTURIES after the gospels were written. Don’t act like an expert on religion and say something so blatantly false. My arguments, no matter how wrong you think they may be, are no excuse for you to “leave Jesus behind”. To discover a deeper relationship with your Creator is to find a closer walk with Jesus, who IS your Creator.

JayJay,
It sounds to me like the Gnostics were the very first Satanists. They believe everything about God backwards, just like Anton LeVay taught his followers. If the ancient Hebrews worshipped the inferior “Creator God”, and Jesus was sent by the One True God, why did the prophets of the “Creator God” foretell of Jesus’ arrival as a glorious event?

David,
All experts agree that the four New Testament Gospels were written between 60 and 90 A.D. John and Matthew were the only members of the original twelve Apostles not to be executed by the Romans, so they would have still been alive when their Gospels were written. The Gospel of John’s author claims to be “the Disciple whom Jesus loved”. Revisionists would had to have added more than just an author’s name to the texts to pull that one off. Much is said about the fact that John’s gospel is so different from the other three. There is a simple explanation. John was a member of Jesus’ inner circle with Peter and James. He would have been privy to sayings and deeds of Jesus that no one else would have. People tend to discredit John’s Gospel because it was written later than the rest. I disagree, because I would believe an eyewitness to an event fifty years after the fact more than someone who heard about it two weeks afterward.

The One True God came to this earth as the Son of poor Jewish peasants. He fought all the struggles of being human. He gave us an exemplary life to try to follow, and suffered the most horrific torture and death ever devised. He did all this for us, because He loves us. Is it too much to ask that we love Him back? Not for me. You are all in my prayers.

Posted by: Duano at April 11, 2006 10:10 PM
Comment #140061

One more thing. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. The One True God who is able to part the sea, bring Jericho down, give sight to the blind, and raise the dead is certainly strong enough to keep His message from being tampered with by people with a certain agenda. The Bible we have is the Bible He intended us to have. These latest attempts to discredit His Word are the “Spirit of antichrist” spoken of in 1st John. The fact that a document written 2000 years ago can tell us what is happening now is pretty astonishing, even if you don’t believe it. “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but for yourselves, and your children. For the days are coming when they shall say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs which never bore’”
“You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars” “There shall be storms, and earthquakes in diverse places”

Posted by: Duano at April 11, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #140112
The fact that a document written 2000 years ago can tell us what is happening now is pretty astonishing, even if you don’t believe it.

Duano,

People have been predicting the Second Coming of Christ since the resurrection. Signs of the end have been pointed to for centuries, yet we are still here waiting today. Yeshua’s return will be like a thief in the night.

I realize that conservatives don’t believe in global warming, but man has more to do with the strange weather patterns we see today than God does.

I believe that God did indeed protect his word, he just didn’t do it with the Bible. He used something much more spiritual and Godlike.

It sounds to me like the Gnostics were the very first Satanists. They believe everything about God backwards, just like Anton LeVay taught his followers.

Anton Lavey wasn’t around during the time of Yeshua and never walked or talked with him, the Gnostics did. In fact some of his closest followers where Gnostics including Mary Magdalene.

If the ancient Hebrews worshipped the inferior “Creator God”, and Jesus was sent by the One True God, why did the prophets of the “Creator God” foretell of Jesus’ arrival as a glorious event?

Because the Hebrews and the Gnostics were two different groups. The Gnostics pre-date Christ, and pre-date any other Christians. They did not follow the Hebrew Bible, but had their own texts and teachings. One of those teachings also predicted the coming of a messiah who would bring secret knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Gnostics believe that Yeshua was that messiah.

In my own opinion, modern Christians should be called Paulines, because they do not follow the teachings of Christ, they follow the teachings of Paul. Paul wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, yet Paul never even met Jesus and was in fact an enemy of Christianity, until he converted 12 years after the death of Jesus. The funny thing is that all of the resurrection visions had long stopped by the time that Paul received his vision.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 12, 2006 1:26 AM
Comment #140114

BTW, John’s Gospel is probably the last one I would call into question for many of the same reasons you give. The one I have great doubt about is Luke’s Gospel. Luke was a disciple of Paul, not Jesus.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 12, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #140116
The One True God who is able to part the sea, bring Jericho down, give sight to the blind, and raise the dead is certainly strong enough to keep His message from being tampered with by people with a certain agenda. The Bible we have is the Bible He intended us to have.

Duano,

You claim that God was strong enough to keep His message from being tampered with, but the Bible was really never under that much pressure. The other Books were. The Church labeled them heresy and was nearly successful at destroying them. However, miraculously one set survived almost 2000 years to be discoverd in 1945. Followed closely in 1947 with the Dead Sea Scrolls and now with the Gospel of Judas. If God was strong enough to protect his words then certainly he was strong enough to destroy all heresy. Yet, here we are today with the Nag Hammadi Library. Gnostic Texts. Maybe these were the texts that God has been protecting all along.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 12, 2006 2:17 AM
Comment #140117

kctim: lmfao

It is not a constitutional right to post hate mail at a place of employment. Your a supporter? I doubt that very much, but am happy to eat crow in this particular situation if I am wrong about you.

However you cannot argue that there is not a fundamental difference between marching for oppression (yeah, I know, you say that its not oppression, blah, blah, blah). The difference is as clear as the comparison between a loving embrace and a punch in the face.

“What other should respect should be of no concern to you” RIGHT dude. Come on, really? I don’t even know where to start on THAT one…..

Oh, and I really wanna give you 4 stars for your “what does it matter what God thinks…” circular diversionary argument. This is not a conversation about ‘what God thinks”. This is a conversation about what PEOPLE spout out against others. Nice try though.

And please do not assume you know a damn about my faith and what I would or would not say against people condemning Christianity. I am a Christian, friend, and you have no right to cry hypocrisy to me.

There is a big difference between disagreeing with homosexuality and posting it at a place of employment. And just to be clear there is also a difference between disagreeing with it and acting against it. If you would have read my post a little closer, you would have saw that I said it was okay to have an opinion on the matter.

I don’t victimize them as a people either, but you gotta step back and look at the comings and goings of the world today. You gotta look at the culture war going on. We aren’t just philosophizing here…. These are peoples lives. Do you know what it is like to walk in their shoes? With people making arguments about how they are an abomination? How they will, as james dobson puts it, “destroy marriage”.

No, you can rationalize the hatred any way you want. That is your right. I just beg you to understand that while you try to make fair, ethical, unbiased, whatever arguments and proselytize about fairness, these people have to live the life. Conservative christians can go about their lives and marriages with social acceptance and government blessing. It’s great they have opinions. It’s great they can speak out against others. But at the end of the day they can go about their safe little lives none the worse. Homosexuals do not have that luxury because they LIVE IT.

And until the day when people that support as well as do not support gay rights stand up and say “You know, that person has no right to post hate speech at his employment and hurt people when they are just trying to make a living” there is no fairness. There is no philosophical argument. There are just people getting hurt.

Posted by: freedomrules at April 12, 2006 2:29 AM
Comment #140121

kctim, would you please site to me the wars led by the gays that killed millions?

Perhaps you can site the totalitarian regimes based on gay principles?

There is a history to the quote of John Lennon. Extremists of all types are problematic. I read these God says this, God says that arguments here and wonder how many fairies dance on the head of a pin.

I don’t recall gays involved in too many purges throughout history, do you?

You say I mock your faith, where exactly did I do that?

Posted by: gergle at April 12, 2006 4:00 AM
Comment #140139

I can sum up today’s ‘Pro-Life,’ Pro-War, Pro-Gun, Pro-Death-‘Penalty’ “Christians” in Two Words:

Jesus Wept.”

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 6:46 AM
Comment #140157

Freedomrules
“I doubt that very much, but am happy to eat crow”

I am not asking you to eat crow. Alot of us are come here to learn as well as speak our minds.
I’m one of those who don’t believe civil unions is good enough, I believe full marriage rights are a right for all.

“And until the day when people that support as well as do not support gay rights stand up and say “You know, that person has no right to post hate speech at his employment and hurt people when they are just trying to make a living” there is no fairness. There is no philosophical argument. There are just people getting hurt.”

Mentally hurt. Creating legislation to keep people from hurting anothers feelings, is wrong.

“This is not a conversation about ‘what God thinks”. This is a conversation about what PEOPLE spout out against others”

Yes it is. So why care about what others say?

“With people making arguments about how they are an abomination? How they will, as james dobson puts it, “destroy marriage”

It doesn’t matter what Dobson says, it matters what the people say. And right now, 70 some percent of the voters do not approve of gay marriage.
Only by understanding BOTH sides of the issue, will progress be made.

Posted by: kctim at April 12, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #140158

gergle
“Perhaps you can site the totalitarian regimes based on gay principles?”

Are gays not just like you and I? What “principles” do they have that differ from that of us?

“I don’t recall gays involved in too many purges throughout history, do you?”

I really don’t know. Sexual orientation is of no concern to me.

“You say I mock your faith, where exactly did I do that?”

I am not religious.
I say you mocked their faith when you called it mythology.
Calling a persons faith “mythology” is no different than calling a persons sexual orientation a “perversion.”

Posted by: kctim at April 12, 2006 9:28 AM
Comment #140173

kctim:

I agree that it is a slur to characterize faith as just belief in mythology, implying that religiousity is indicative of little more than ignorant superstition. Apparently, it is acceptable to dismiss the deeply held beliefs of others if you don’t agree with them. So much for tolerance.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 12, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #140208

Faith is exactly that, belief in mythology. That is what makes it faith. Mythology is defined as

A traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs, or ideals of society

Such stories considered as a group: the realm of myth.

A popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence, especially one considered to illustrate a cultural ideal

A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology

IMO, it is perfectly ok to dismiss someones deeply held beliefs when those beliefs are acted upon and causes harm to others. It isn’t simply about hurting someones feelings in the case of homosexuality, it is about oppression at the hands of someone else’s religious beliefs. That is wrong any way you slice it.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 12, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #140236

JayJay:

I don’t support being rude or unfeeling, but I think the term oppression is too strong. By framing the discussion in that dramatic manner you are emotionally charging the situation thereby hindering logical discussion.

Nuts and bolts, it breaks down like this for me. Actions can be subject to legislative or societal control. Opinions should not be subject to control by society or government. Statements fall somewhere in the middle with societal and/or legislative control being appropriate for some and not for others.

I’ve already stated that I believe the employee in question should be fired, not simply because he doesn’t like gay people but because he is unnecessarily disruptive in the workplace. His actions justify termination in my opinion.

I stand by previous posting that your dismissal of religiousity is a slur. I do not dispute that the definition of mythology you provided is an accurate representation of the meaning of the word mythology as used by social scientists. As someone with some knowledge of the elder religions, I belief that faith is much more than acceptance of cultural stories. I won’t try to convince you for two reasons. First, I don’t want to start another round of christian/antichristian postings. Second, religious belief is largely a matter of faith which is usually ineffable by nature.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 12, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #140252

Someone else’s freedom of religion ENDS where my civil rights begin.
I am a gay woman. But I don’t go around trying to convert other women to be gay. And I don’t go around spewing hatred at those who are not just like me. The Christian/Muslim/Jewish extremists do just that.
They want to smash any and all who are not just like them. That goes waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond the pale of freedom of religion.

As for offensive to others, we are all free to look the other way. Tolerance is the price we must all pay for a free society. Intolerance is the road to a society that is anything but free.

So basically, if I have to put up with their narrow-minded hate filled crap spewing out over the airwaves, and flyers on my car, and their words of ugliness ringing in my ears, then they have to put up with the fact that I love someone of the same sex. If they don’t like it…too bad. I really don’t care.
I am a citizen of this country. I am entitled to the same rights as every other citizen. And I really don’t care of the haters don’t like it.

The fact that they are so worried about what someone else is doing, and are so insecure about who they are that they have to beat others into submission to feel good about themselves is not my problem.

I am sick of all this hatred, and I am not going to take it lying down. If I get pushed. I am pushing back….three times as hard.

Freedom of religion is NOT carte blanche to run ramshod over other people. Period.

Freedom of religion is just that. You can pray to whatever god you want, however you want to do it, as long as it affects only YOU. This crap, affects more than just one person….and that is NOT freedom of religion. They are seeking the freedom to victimize minorities. I’m sure Jesus would be appauled.

BC

Posted by: black Cherry at April 12, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #140258

Jay Jay and Duano - thanks for your replies. Just curious to see what others thought of the special.

Jay Jay - also thanks for the link. I was looking for a good one to do a little reading on the subject of the library and the Gnostics themselves! I very much enjoy reading about others beliefs on the subject of religion - it’s kind of a little hobby of mine.

Posted by: Lisa C. at April 12, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #140260

Kctim and Goodkingned,

You are the ones who have used religion as some political position here. If you take that as a smear, so be it. All i have suggested is that perhaps we should not consider religion as some position of superiority.


If your religion isn’t based on mythology then I apologize. If that is true, then what is your religion based upon? However, most mainstream religions are. There is a difference between morals and religion.

That you cannot define a purge conducted by gays makes my point. You’re comment that I may as well have said gays was totally a non-sequiter. Organized religion has a strong hisory of violence and repression, throughout history and still does today. That was what Lennon was speaking to in the song Imagine.

I have no problem with someone using religion to find strength or meaning in their lives. It is a natural behavior of man to want some power above him to help him in times of trouble. The psycology of that is probably rooted in childhood. I accept that. What I don’t accept is people who equate their personal mythology to moral behavior. The Bible(Quran, Torah, etc.) is filled with parables of morality. Unfortunatrely it’s also filled with nonsense and violent hatred.

Equating natural sexual behavior with a political idea based upon religious zealotry is nonsense.

Posted by: gergle at April 12, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #140261

“Religious right extremists have a victimization complex. They yell and scream about indignities they have to face at the same time that they are trying to impose their values on everyone else. They have no idea what freedom means. Freedom means that a person is free to do as he pleases as long as he does not hurt others.”

These ‘religious right extremeists’ exist in every crowd of ‘religious’ people. There are always those people who will take the basic principles of any religion and twist the application of those principles to align with their own fears or strange ideas. The fact is that if a “Christian” says he is prompted by the Bible to kill those who don’t align with his/her beliefs, then this shows a lack of understanding of the Bible and it’s principles. The Bible, as a whole book, in context with the central theme of salvation by grace, does not dictate killing people who are sinful. Homosexual sin is no different than heterosexual sin, according to the Bible. The Bible says that God loves all people. When the Bible points out people in a specific sin such as murder, it calls them murderers, but murderers can be forgiven, just as any other sinner can be forgiven. One of the Bibles greatest figures and author of many of it’s books, Paul the Apostle, was a murderer, yet, he was forgiven and became a proponent of the Bible, of the gospel and of Christianity.

Christians who read and live by the Bible do not kill abortion doctors, do not stone homosexuals and do not stone those caught in the act of adultery. True Christians love God and love people and they live out their faith by loving people in a tangible way.

Freedom is not a right, it is a responsibility. Biblical freedom says that we will not do anything that will harm a brother or hurt his chance to live out his faith. Long live freedom, and long live faith!

Posted by: Pastor Mike at April 12, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #140293

Pastor Mike,

Well spoken, Pastor, and may God bless your ministry.

Whoever posted that organized religion is responsible for atrocities,

Religion has been abused to facilitate certain individuals’ insane urges to oppress people, but then again, what about atheist regimes? Stalin, anyone? What about the fact that Hitler’s psycotic killing was based on an abuse of the theory of evolution? Humans are inherently evil, and will continue to come up with religious and non-religious reasons to kill other humans. Christianity has been responsible for some horrible things done by people who didn’t have one iota of understanding of who Jesus is, and of those things I am truly ashamed. However, Christianity has been responsible for more help for the poor, hope for the downtrodden, second chances for people who have made mistakes, and generally more joy on this miserable planet than any other force in history, and of this I am very proud.

Lisa C.’

I am also intersted in other religions, and have studied Judaism and Islam, along with some ancient forgotten religions like Zoroastracism. I must admit, I only have an elementary knowledge of Gnosticism, but I will be sudying up on it very soon. I have to keep in mind not to take National Geographic’s description of Gnosticism without a little salt, because watching many of their specials about Jesus, I could see how a novice in Christianity could come away from one of those shows with a completely wrong view of Jesus. I’ll have to look into Gnosticism as unbiased as a Bible thumper can possibly be, and maybe I’ll get a different picture.

Posted by: Duano at April 12, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #140313

Organised Religion has been the greatest enemy of Human Spirituality since the first shaman had the first Victim burned at the campfire outside the communal Cave.

Jesus warned about both Zealotry and Organised Religion in his Sermon On The Mount.

Neither Pope Backwards XVI nor Patry Falwellson nor Mullah Osama Bin-Rubbish have the best interests of Human Spirituality in mind: they seek only to wield Power and enhance Wealth.

Religion kills Spirituality and Spirituality makes Religion superfluous: which would you rather have? I’ll stick with Spirituality, thank you, just as the great philosopher Ieshua of Nazareth* suggested I do.


*[Nitpickers: how many Angels can sit on it and Spin? I invite you to do the same.]

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #140314

Thanks, Betty, for that insightful and articulate comment. You’ve convinced me now. How do I become so hateful? Please, please show me.

Posted by: Duano at April 12, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #140316

Betty,

Since you chose to insult me beforehand, I may as well take advantage.

The Aramaic is Yeshua al Nozri. Nazareth is the English name. Jesus of Nazareth, or Yeshua al Nozri. No one goes around talking about Yohann McCain’s Presidential bid or Ja’akov Sensenbrenner’s immigration bill.

Posted by: Duano at April 12, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #140318

I’m pretty sure Gnosticism is not a separate religion…pretty sure it is Christianity…pretty sure those folks just don’t agree with the Conference at Nicia. Much like Eastern Orthodox don’t agree with Pope Greggory about Easter.

Posted by: Marysdude at April 12, 2006 10:49 PM
Comment #140328

To one and all, whatever. I don’t know how many times I must say that the guy should be fired. I’ll say it again. The gay bashing guy should be fired.

I don’t care if you are Moonies, Jews, Catholics, Pagans or Secular Humanists. I don’t proselytize. None of you know what my religious beliefs are; perhaps that is why I keep getting grouped with fundamentalist christians. Anyone who objects to kneejerk criticism of religious persons is automatically categoried and labeled. We are guaranteed freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 12, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #140329

BTW Marysdude:

The gnostics were a sect of early christianity until they were deem heretical and slaughtered.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 12, 2006 11:27 PM
Comment #140340

Goodkingned,
I agree with you on the booting the gay basher, although I think a warning should’ve come first. Words are words, not action. Even nuts have a right to their opinions.

Duano,
You make a good point about Hitler and Stalin, except Hitler did use mythology, the Aryan race was his mythology. Stalin and Genghis Khan used Nationalism or tribalism rather than religion as their Machiavellian tools. I don’t think anyone attributes mainstream Darwinian Theory to Nazism. Perhaps Nietszcheism and Marxism were rooted in the revolution of Darwinian Theory, but it was not the rallying cry for the masses.


Christianity’s mainstream IS responsible for and the rallying cry for the crusades and other atrocities.

I don’t believe Humans are evil, they are amoral unless socialized with moral values. Much like a Pit Bull that isn’t socialized becomes a threat.

You can argue that religon has helped many and I do believe that the teachings of Jesus ( I am most familiar with this since I was raised in a Christian culture) are good and moral. Most people, I believe are good and not zealots, but most political leaders (which is what I believe most organized religions really are led by) use religion as organized political fronts.

I think there may be some validity to the argument that Christian lessons of equality and humility and justice helped lead to democratic ideals.

Posted by: gergle at April 13, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #140347

gergle:

I’m right there with you on the distinction between actions and opinions. This is what I said above:


Nuts and bolts, it breaks down like this for me.

Actions can be subject to legislative or societal control.

Opinions should not be subject to control by society or government.

Statements fall somewhere in the middle with societal and/or legislative control being appropriate for some and not for others.


The distinction I was trying to make is that the basher is subject to termination because he was being disruptive, not because of the vehicle he used to be disruptive, i.e. being a religious fundamentalist. I agree that if it was standard company policy to issue a warning prior to termination, that is what they should have done. This incident is no different from any other incident which results in disruption in the workplace, such as sexual harrassment and racial bigotry.

Blessings and salutations from whatever higher authority you recognize for your reasonable response.

Posted by: goodkingned at April 13, 2006 1:13 AM
Comment #140392

“Christianity has been responsible for some horrible things done by people who didn’t have one iota of understanding of who Jesus is”

My point is that Christianity isn’t to blame. The inherently evil person(s) who claim to be a Christian (or claim to be acting for Christians) that do these atrocoties are using Christianity as their platform, but the act itself denies their claim to Christianity.

I believe we are at a point in this country where politics has become about associations and ideals and we have lost the application aspect. We talk about immigration and call people “illegals”, when in fact we don’t apply the law to people who are in this country without the proper authorization. So the battle in the streets is a sign of people who are caught in the middle of a country that does not apply the law.

The Bible is useless as a history book, as a moral compass, and as a guide to daily living if it isn’t absolute truth. Absolute truth with proper application makes the Bible the authority that it claims to be, and misapplication of it’s truth does not dampen it’s authority, it simply makes it’s application obscure to those who do not have faith to believe in it’s Author.

If this country was founded on biblical priniciples, and history agrees that it was, then just because we operate outside of those principles doesn’t mean that those principles are wrong or useless, it means that we as a country have forgotten our roots and the basic tenets of our core mission and purpose as a country.

I am not a politician, I am a pastor who believes that every issue should be decided upon it’s facts and the course of action that we take should adhere to a moral law (truth) not someone’s tolerance of sinful behavior.

God Bless the USA. Happy resurrection Day!

Posted by: Pastor Mike at April 13, 2006 9:00 AM
Comment #140395

“Equating natural sexual behavior with a political idea based upon religious zealotry is nonsense”

Of course its nonsense. Doing so requires one to respect BOTH sides of the issue.
Its much easier to just shut down the other side.

Posted by: kctim at April 13, 2006 9:12 AM
Comment #140415

I thought you didn’t care about respect?

Shutting them down? Hell yeah! If someone continually attacked the basis of your existence would you respect them for it? Would you really CARE about what they had to say? Try answering that honestly.

Posted by: freedomrules at April 13, 2006 11:26 AM
Comment #140417

I totally realize this is an extreme example, but the meaning persists:

Would you tell a Jew to try to UNDERSTAND the Nazi’s side of the holocaust? Would you expect them to CARE about the Nazi’s opinions?

The answer is yes… understand and care just enough so they can be stopped and never return to power.

Posted by: freedomrules at April 13, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #140419

And just so that I don’t have to go over what I’ve already posted:

Opinions are good and everyone should have them. Everyone has the right and responsibility to think critically of our world. But opinions turn into something far more devious when we use them to try to control other peoples lives.

And really, the Nazi example isn’t so extreme, when I think about it. Gays have been beaten, burned, dragged, pulled apart, mocked, harassed, threatened, and controlled through out history.

Posted by: freedomrules at April 13, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #140434

“Gays have been beaten, burned, dragged, pulled apart, mocked, harassed, threatened, and controlled through out history.”

Listen, gays have not been beaten, burned, harassed, threatened, and controlled through out history… People have been beaten, burned, dragged, pulled apart, mocked, harassed, threatened, and controlled through out history. When we categorize people by their behavior, then we set them up to be mocked for that behavior. What if the network news tried just for one newscast to stop labeling people and just report what happened.

It might look like this: ” A man was beaten to death this morning outside a local business. Police are investigating.”

Unfortunately, what is reported is: “John Doe, a gay, athiest, democrat from the wrong side of the tracks was savagely beaten this morning outside a biker bar on the lower east side…”

Our labeling and opinionated reporting only leads to more of these attacks and encourages similar acts.

Posted by: Pastor Mike at April 13, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #140448
Listen, gays have not been beaten, burned, harassed, threatened, and controlled through out history… People have been beaten, burned, dragged, pulled apart, mocked, harassed, threatened, and controlled through out history.

Pastor Mike,

Sorry PM, but gays have been beaten, burned, harassed, threatened and controlled throughout history, for no other reason than they lived their lives truthfully and openly. Let’s not forget that thousands of homosexual men were tourtured and/or killed during the holocaust too, for no other reason than because they were gay. Ever hear of the pink triangle?

An excellent movie set against the backdrop of Nazi Germany is called Bent. I highly recommend it.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at April 13, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #140494

“I thought you didn’t care about respect?”

I don’t care about what YOU respect. In order for myself to be openminded enough to see both sides of an issue though, I care about what and who I respect.

“Shutting them down? Hell yeah! If someone continually attacked the basis of your existence would you respect them for it? Would you really CARE about what they had to say? Try answering that honestly.”

Honestly? Ok. No, I do not care what others say. If I did, then I would have the white or male guilt you guys suffer from.

“Opinions are good and everyone should have them. Everyone has the right and responsibility to think critically of our world.”

Agreed.

“But opinions turn into something far more devious when we use them to try to control other peoples lives.”

How is telling a very religious person that they must accept and respect something that goes against their personal beliefs, NOT controlling their lives?
If gays want everybody to accept and respect their lifestyle choice, the gays need to accept and respect the fact that others think its sick.

“And really, the Nazi example isn’t so extreme, when I think about it. Gays have been beaten, burned, dragged, pulled apart, mocked, harassed, threatened, and controlled through out history.”

So have religous people.
What makes one better than the other?

Posted by: kctim at April 13, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #140536

Pastor Mike, you seem to have some issues with history. Gays have been persecuted at various times in history and in some cultures.

If the pope or other heads of the Christian Church don’t represent Christianity to you, then are you really a Christian? I think the crusades, witch burnings and excommunication of Galileo were the direct results of mainstream church activity. I believe in some of the teachings of Christ, but consider myself an atheist.

KcTim,
If you wish to believe that fiery sworded angels are telling you to smite gays,you may stand on a street corner and pronounce that. You may however have to take responsibility for the accolytes that act out under your hate speech.

Giving that belief, however, the same weight as the biological fact that 10% of mammals exhibit homosexual behavior as a natural variation in the range of sexual prediliction is to equate mythology with science.

We all have our realities, but most of us live in the real world. It may be philosophically correctt to say that everything is relative, but I think sanity requires us to agree on some facts.

By the way, I’m not implying in any way that you see fiery sworded angels, or that you believe in them.

Posted by: gergle at April 13, 2006 8:52 PM
Comment #140559

gergle,

You need to go back and take a second look at Pastor Mike’s post. He didn’t say gays haven’t been persecuted, he just objected to the labeling of people by their behavior. I think your 10% figure is highly exagerrated, to say the least. And another thing, Christianity states that man is a different creature than animals and should be much more highly respected. Science makes mankind of no more worth than a fly in the broad scheme of things, which leads to the slippery slope of swatting certain pesky humans you might not agree with. The Catholic Church does not have a monopoly on Christianity. Once again, should we lump all atheists in with Stalin? Didn’t think so.

Posted by: Duano at April 13, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #140580

Duano,

Yes, he objected to their classification as victims and them blamed those that point that out as their victimizers. With that kind of convoluted thinking no wonder he’s so confused. Some people don’t believe the Jews were victimized either.

Why do you think that 10% is a high number? Is that just based on a feeling?

Science doesn’t evaluate worth. Some people don’t understand that. Science isn’t a religion of a different color. The intelligent design people have been demonstrated in court to be charlatans who try to dress up the same old arguments from the Scopes trials.

If you don’t value Human life you are a sociopath. If you go around killing animals for fun you probably are, too

I’m an atheist, not a Stalinist. I don’t subscribe to cultism.

I did not say that Catholicism was a monoply.

Posted by: gergle at April 14, 2006 12:37 AM
Comment #140824

Duano asked:


How do I become so hateful? Please, please show me.


Hmmmmm…


Don’t tell the American Communist Lawyers Union, they won’t know who to sue anyway.
Posted by: Duano at February 16, 2006 07:58 PM

Atheism is a religion that is adhered to by fanatics who will stop at nothing to impose an “atheocracy” on the rest of America! This secular jihad is no less dangerous than Islamic jihad and should be dealt with in the same manner, preemption. Posted by: Duano at February 20, 2006 07:41 PM
Simple solution: Minefield all along our southern border and national guard backing up the border patrol for any lucky ones who get past it. Problem solved. Posted by: Duano at March 3, 2006 01:34 PM
I’m tired of hearing about the poor, quite honestly. This is the only country in the world where the poor are fat. Posted by: Duano at March 3, 2006 02:40 PM
I will pray for all those who have blasphemed the name of the Almighty on this thread.Posted by: Duano at March 16, 2006 10:20 AM
I usually don’t wear my religion on my sleeve, but if I don’t tell you the truth, God will ask me to account for your life. My job here is done. It’s up to you to decide. CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE. I’m done with this conversation. AND WHOSOEVER SHALL NOT RECEIVE YOU, NOR HEAR YOUR WORDS, WHEN YE DEPART OUT OF THAT HOUSE OR CITY, SHAKE OFF THE DUST OF YOUR FEET. VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, IT SHALL BE MORE TOLERABLE FOR THE LAND OF SODOM AND GOMORRHA IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT THAN FOR THAT CITY. Posted by: Duano at March 16, 2006 12:46 PM
I thought the Democrats are the Socialist PartyUSA. Or was that Communist PartyUSA? Posted by: Duano at March 17, 2006 09:08 PM
Cindy Sheehan is glad her son died. It has given her the celebrity she has lusted after her whole life. Casey didn’t even communicate with his mom. Posted by: Duano at March 20, 2006 07:53 PM


[Wrings Hands] Satan! Get behind me!


I’d say you’ve pretty well got it covered, HolyRoller. Just keep pounding away…

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 15, 2006 5:13 AM
Comment #140825

P.S.: The proper name “Jesus” was transliterated via Greek from “Iesous” (pronounced EE-AY-SOOS). The English word “Jesus” comes from the Latin transliteration from the Greek. “Nazareth” is a word meaning “branch” or “shoot” (specifically, the nature of Branching or Separating as a Brach does). Your “Nosri” is not recognised by Church fathers, and flies in the face of Eusibius, historian of the early Church. “Nosri,” as you insist on repeating, meaning “guardian” or “watcher,” is considered apocryphal.

Hence, since Nazareth is a City which still stands today, and “Jesus” is a mis-transliteration of an original Name not spellable in Hebrew on my keyboard at least (and, I rather suspect, not on yours as well), I use the original (first spellable in English) translation: “Ieshua.”

But thanks for playing, anyway.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 15, 2006 5:44 AM
Comment #140831

Ooooops! Here’s another great one for the “Tell me how to be Hateful” post from Duan-O:

How about keeping your ignorant, mentally retarded religion of atheism out of our(90%of Americans) lives and go have a liberal socialist European circle jerk with George Sauros and Michael Moore.

“THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART ‘THERE IS NO GOD’”

Posted by: Duano at April 14, 2006 10:33 PM

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 15, 2006 6:45 AM
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