Democrats & Liberals Archives

Religion of Hate vs. Religion of Love

The activist base of today’s Republican Party is the Christian Right. Though they call themselves people of God, they spew invective against those, religious or not, who disagree with them. Theirs is a religion of hate. There are, however, true followers of Jesus who believe in the power of love. An exponent of the religion of hate is Jerry Falwell. An outstanding examplar of the religion of love is John Danforth.

Jerry Falwell made a little speech in which he said:

I certainly hope that Hillary is the candidate.... Because nothing will energize my [constituency] like Hillary Clinton. If Lucifer ran, he wouldn't.

His followers laughed. They thought this was funny. Clinton is worse than the devil.

Pure hatred. What did Hillary Clinton do to deserve such talk? Is she a criminal? What has she done wrong? And who gave Falwell the right to make such pronouncements? Has power gone to his head? Does he really believe he is God?

Clinton's only "crime" is that she disagrees with Falwell on political issues. There are many people who disagree with Falwell. I do. Does that make me worse than the devil?

Contrast Falwell's religion of hate with John Danforth's religion of love. I heard Danforth on Meet the Press yesterday. Danforth has been a Republican for decades. He served 3 terms in the U.S. Senate and he was also our ambassador to the UN. He has recently written a book, "Faith and Politics: How the 'Moral Values' Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together."

I have not read the book, though I plan to. During the Meet the Press interview, I could not believe what I was hearing. At one point, I said to my wife that he sounds like a Democrat. Danforth explained how he thought about religion:

To me, one of the messages of religion, in fact the meaning of the word religion, has to do with holding people together - it's the same root as "ligament" that serves to connect.... Religion has the capacity to divide us. So if religion is presented as my way is God's way and your way is not, you're against God. There can be no more divisive factor in politics than that.

Danforth has also said previously:

The error of the Christian right is that in its attempt to codify the requirements of faith in a legislative program, it crowds out the demands of the Love Commandment. The Love Commandment states, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they might. ... Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself.”

What a difference between Falwell and Danforth. They are both religious, but very differently so. Falwell has no humility; he is positive he is right. Danforth is not sure and is willing to listen to others. Falwell has no tolerance for people with other views. Danforth is ready to listen. Falwell spits fire to consume those he considers to be enemies. Danforth believes "we are all in this together." Falwell burns with a religion of hate. Danforth encompasses everybody in his religion of love.

If you believe, as Danforth does, that the Christian Right is hurting the Republican Party and tearing our society apart, vote against Christian Right candidates in the fall elections.

Don't vote for hate. Vote for love.

Posted by Paul Siegel at September 25, 2006 6:13 PM
Comments
Comment #183797

I am a christian and I agree with this view and will go a step farther to say that I vote green because I want to connect with people instead of supporting the political extreemism that exists in todays politics! Why are there no other voices heard except for the 2 parties?

Posted by: Michael Carpenter at September 25, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #183800

Paul,

The problem with your argument is that you frame it in much the same way that Falwell does. If you disagree with me, then “you are hater and not following the true message of God”.

While I disagree with much the Christian Right stands for, I would not make being a Christian Right candidate the sole reason for voting against them. There are many other issues and viewpoints that deserve consideration.

I am often purturbed that the Christian Right has hijacked the Republican Party; however, my frustration is more with Falwell and Reed than with those that seek to curry favor with them. Reed and his ilk have fahioned themselves into such a powerful entity that to reject them, especially in the South, as a Republican takes the same kind of political will power that rejecting the UAW in Michigan or the Teacher’s Union anywhere does for Democrats. I don’t like it, but that’s the way it goes.

Until the Republican base has enough moderates to drown out the right, then it will remain that way. Unfortunately, the moderates are leaving the party in droves because of the religious right and the mistakes of the Bush administration. Simply rejecting candidates because they are cozing up to a major component of the base of the party is recipie for pushing the party further to the right. The end result is fewer Republican representatives (which works for your strategy). But it also means less chance for moderates like Danforth to get their chance and gain enough recognition to become moderates that can free themseleves from that oppresive base.

Posted by: rob at September 25, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #183802

Falwell has said plenty of stupid things in his time, and doesn’t enjoy as much support on the right as some seem to believe. I’ve never had any use for him.

But come on. Have a sense of humor. He was not saying that Hillary was worse the devil or anything close to it. That’s clearly a joking and even slightly self-deprecating remark—suggesting that Christians would REACT more strongly to Hillary than they even would Lucifer.

And actually, he has a point. Nothing would bring the right together as strongly as the prospect of seeing Bill Clinton as First Lady.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 25, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #183804

It never ceases to amaze me how so many men , and women for that matter, are so afraid of a strong brilliant woman. Why are they so afraid of Hillary? Do they really believe women should go back to to keeping their mouths shut when they know the world is being ruined by inept men in office? The religious right still believes women should obey men no matter what. Of course we all know the religious right are neither.

Posted by: imagine at September 25, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #183808

Image, there are plenty of Republican women who are strong and brilliant career women. Just as there are plenty of strong and brilliant Democratic, Republican, and Independent women who choose to stay home and raise families.

This has a lot more to do with Hillary herself, and plenty of people who would never vote for her would vote for Condy Rice in a second.

Thing is that I don’t actually think that Hillary is that strong or brilliant. There’s nothing that strong or independent IMO about staying in a marriage with a philandering husband out of political ambition.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 25, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #183809

“Do they really believe women should go back to keeping their mouths shut…”

No, I really don’t have anything against strong women speaking out in public(Go Condi ‘08), but the unrelenting cawing sound of crows(Hillary, Pelosi, Boxer) really does get annoying. Does anyone know if they have a crow season in D.C.?

Posted by: Duane-o at September 25, 2006 7:58 PM
Comment #183811

Religious right or religious left. this baffles me because religion should be no part of the political landscape.When religious leaders crossed from to the pulpit to the political arena thet corrupted thier objectivity and the messages that Jesus and His disiples tried to teach us so many centuries ago. “Teacher should we pay taxes to Ceasre? Who’s picture is on the coin? Ceasre’s, then render to Ceasre what’s Ceasre’s and God what is God’s.” this of course is paraphrased. The point is that Religious leaders are supposed to save souls not corrupt them. There is a place for both let your beliefs form your OPINION not force it on others. Falwell needs to reread his Bible and do some soul searching of his own, and any religious leader who wants to practice politics from the pulpit.Our purpose as a unique brotherhood is to heal peoples heart not destroy them. Let’s teach what the greatest teacher taught us, “love your neighbor as yourself”.
I can debate politics and religon all day here but if I do won’t I be just as guilty? Bottom line Politics has its place Religion has its place as long as we treat them as seperate we maintain our objectivity,cross that line and we corrupt both.

Posted by: Rev Bob Vince Jr at September 25, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #183814

Love cannot exist without justice. Malfactors will win every time against lovers. You seem to confuse lovers of justice, those who create an environment for love to thrive, with hatred. The purest form of hate is selfishness or the attitude that if we are ok, to hell with everyone else. George Bush is holding diobolical people to account so the innocents can have an environment where love and freedom can thrive. This is also the goal of the non-celebrity so called christian right.

Posted by: Kruser at September 25, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #183816

Michael:

The reason why most people do not vote for independent party candidates is that it is not possible for them to win so that a vote for them is a vote wasted. That is not to say that they are bad people or have bad ideas just that it is impossible for them to win and put their ideas into practice.

The textbook example was Nader in the 2000 election in Florida where he received @ 90,000 votes. Most of those vots would have gone to Gore rather than Bush. Gore lost the Presidency by 500 odd votes in Florida hence Bush was elected. As Nader had absolutely no chance of being elected every one of those votes was wasted and Bush, a man, whose philosopy, ideology, and politics was an anathema to most Nader voters was elected. Does Nader or any other independent have a right to run: ABSOLUTELY. Does anyone have the right to vote whomever is on the ballot: ASBSOLUTELY. Is a vote for an Independent Party candidate an effective protest vote; VIRTUALLY NEVER unless the independent candidate wins, otherwise: ABSOLUTELY NOT.

For whatever it is worth, experience in grass roots politics has taught me that it is virtually always easier and more effective to bring about political change by getting involved with the Party that most meets your needs, and none will ever do so completely, and work to affect change from within. The classic recent examples of this strategy were the victories by Regan and Clinton both of which greatly changed the nature of their respective Parties because of the involment of people working through established Party mechanisms.

In the final analysis it is the intelligent personal involvement of individual citizens that that make the American political process work. Concomitantly, when a significant amount of citizens do not get so involved then the kind of current political chaos in the present American political process is the predictable result.

As for Christianity and politics, whenever fervor falls lto the level of zelotry any connection to honest Faith in a belief structure is immediately lost. Instead zelotry is a LACK OF FAITH in a belief structure. It is a almost universal truth that “all paragons have feet of clay”. Therefore whenever “Christian Leaders” of whatever flavor pronounce that their way or understanding is the ONLY WAY or GOD’S ONLY WAY what they are really saying is: God, unless you’re exactly like me and/or agree completely with me you are not legitimate and I cannot believe in you or have FAITH IN YOU. Afterall How dare God be so presuptuous to disagree with me. It is also an almost virtual universal truth and coincidence that God always tells these self-proclaimed zealots exactly what they want to hear whether tey be Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, or a radical Islamic cleric. In the end they are all alike!

For the American system to work properly and effectively tolerance and compromise are the two absolutely required elements. That’s the way the Founders deliberately constructed it. Zelotry, however, does not allow for either tolerance or compromise and therefore has no legitimate role or place in the public governance and that is the precise reason in their collective wisdom they separated Church and State.

Posted by: Richard at September 25, 2006 8:18 PM
Comment #183818

For many people, religion is the source of their values, ethics and morals.

Everyone has the right to try and see their values, ethics and morals reflected in the political landscape, but not their religions. On a personal level, they’re inseperable, but on a political level they can and often should be.

If someone is against abortion for religious reasons, for example, some try to say that they are “trying to force their religion on others.”

But this is not the case any more that being pro-choice is the same as being against religion or persecuting the religious.

If being religious defines your values, you have every right to champion those values in politics so long as you’re not actually trying to establish an official religion.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 25, 2006 8:23 PM
Comment #183819

Falwell is peddling dope to the vunerable.

Posted by: expatUSA_Indonesia at September 25, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #183826

John Danforth, former senator and clergyman of some order, is one of my favorite Republicans. I liked him when I lived in Missouri, and I respect him immensely today. He is a very wise man on many issues. One of his recent utterances was that religion divides people, hence, a United States is anthema to government that permits various religions to vie for national religion status, dividing Americans and even states along religious lines. Hence, his respect for the 1st Amendment and the wisdom of the founding father’s separation of church and state phiolosophy of government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 25, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #183827

Richard, your entire argument is false a priori. There is an independent Senator in the Senate today.

Ergo, independents can win. Best go back to the drawing board for a new argument.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 25, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #183831

“Religious right or religious left. this baffles me because religion should be no part of the political landscape.”

Thank you Rev Bob! I can understand someones vote being swayed by their own beliefs, but politics should never be preached from the pulpit, and religious ideology should never be preached as part of a political platform. Quite simply one is based on a belief, or lack of belief, in their perception of a higher power, while the other is truly “earthbound” and based only on another human beings abilities to produce what we see as the greater good for our nation.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at September 25, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #183834

David, YOUR entire argument is false. A priori, de facto, and any other way an argument can be false.

There is no one in the Senate today who was elected as an Independent. You say “Ergo, Independents can win,” but no Independent HAS won.

Jim Jeffords, the single Independent in the Senatat was a Repubican whose candidacy was funded, in part, by the Republican National Committee. In 2000, whe he was elected, Jeffords was actively campaigning for the candidacy of George W Bush!!!!

He switched parties. He won as a Republican. He never won as an independent, and he never will as he’s already announced that he’s going to retire after his current term.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 25, 2006 10:07 PM
Comment #183839

True Christianity cannot be a religion of hate, because Jesus’ message had only to do with love.
Millionaires who preach narrow views full of hate and intolerance like Falwell, Robertson, Dobson et al, aren’t really Christians. They’re power-mad businessmen selling their narrow views and their hate and intolerance to whoever will listen in order to get rich, and to wield control (both over the people who follow them who believe their narrow view is Christianity, and over all the people they target with their hate and intolerance).
These men are Charlatans.

Jesus said:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 25, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #183842

Pilsner stole my thunder. David, your response?

Posted by: Duane-o at September 25, 2006 10:42 PM
Comment #183844

Why do we have to find the answers in the existing political landscape? We have 2 partys that are short on beliefs and always looking at the next election to decide how to behave. If we would risk 1 true outsider to the system we might find the powerful beginning to listen to the average non insured, short on college $ single parent. The main examples of our out of touch political parties is the idea that we have no universal insurance and no universal higher education. The electorate is distracted by the us & them bickering as is an example in most of what I read in these comments. Jesus spent his time with the marginalized people and showed them they were valualable. I believe were should be standing up for those same people now!

Posted by: Michael Carpenter at September 25, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #183846

Just out of curiosity, did PS make the same objections to the dictator of Venezuela, when he spoke at the UN or the church in Harlem? What was it he called President Bush?

BP

Posted by: BP at September 25, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #183847

“They’re power-mad businessmen selling their narrow views and their hate and intolerance to whoever will listen in order to get rich, and to wield control (both over the people who follow them who believe their narrow view is Christianity, and over all the people they target with their hate and intolerance).” By Adrienne

(Queue the “Twilight Zone” music.)

Posted by: Duane-o at September 25, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #183850

BP:
“did PS make the same objections to the dictator of Venezuela, when he spoke at the UN or the church in Harlem?”

You must be thinking of Robertson:

We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

Duane-o:
“(Queue the “Twilight Zone” music.)”

No Sh*t Sherlock, these guys are scary! And they call themselves Christians…

Posted by: Adrienne at September 25, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #183853

By necessity, those who try and govern by religion legalize it. Or to put it another way, they codify and rationalize it into something that can be applied into a human society.

The trick to all this, really, is that there has to be some redemptive element to things that a legalistic approach lacks. Most religions have a kind of tension relief built in, since people are never going to get it utterly right.

If you base a government on a religion, orthodoxy becomes high on the list of priorities, and it’s an unforgiving master. It defeats that side of religion’s purpose for which there are the fewest substitutes in secular society.

Without grace, without love, few governments can be just or humble enough to operate well.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 25, 2006 11:16 PM
Comment #183863

Well of course there’s a difference between Senator Danforth’s statement and Jerry Falwell, one is an elected POLITICIAN, the other an acknowledged fundamentalist of the Christian faith.

On one hand, Sen Danforth HAD to keep a church vs state kinda of statement on Meet the Press and make it sound kinda middle of the road (and he probably is Presbyterian, Episcoplian or Methodist—not generally regarded as the kind of Christians speaking “fire and brimstone”, but…

Jerry Falwell is, and does, and SO! He’s not an elected official of government, and if he made this kind of political statement outside the pulpit, isn’t he entitled to the 1st Ammendment speech? Isn’t the Religious Right able to vote on and for legislation and legislators who hold similar values, outside the pulpit that is???

Posted by: Centaur at September 26, 2006 12:09 AM
Comment #183864

“No Sh*t Sherlock, these guys are scary! And they call themselves Christians…”

Adrienne,

And they want to rule America and the world! They may not do public beheadings but they’ll certainly do everything possible to control our every move. I do believe “stonings” were legal under old testament law.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at September 26, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #183868

Paul

As one of those rare breeds of Jewish conservatives, I have to tell you that the secular left in this country scares me more than the religous right ever will. Because a couple of “leaders” make some bonehead comments, you demonize (pardon the pun) a large segment of the population. We listen to the likes of Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan spew hate and venom constantly, yet we don’t say that all African-Americans are evil. We listen to Boxer and Pelosi and don’t think that all women in California are idiots

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #183875

“There’s nothing that strong or independent IMO about staying in a marriage with a philandering husband out of political ambition.”
Politician who happen to be male get married and stay in unhappy marriages all the time for poltiical reasons and no one has a problem with it. Isn’t this kind of dedication to ones marriage and family values what the right preaches. I agree with imagine, Hillary scares them because women they control with “women be subject to your husband” might actually follow Hillary’s lead and get involved in political life. Women, a majority of the vote in this country, involved in the process. What a scary thought for these devout men.

Posted by: Meemunk at September 26, 2006 2:50 AM
Comment #183891

I find it amazing that Falwell’s comments (I do not like him) caused such a ruckus having been made to his base. I have attended speeches by Dems where the vitriol really came out (mentions of assassination) and nothing was said.

Religion is a belief in the eyes of the beholder. Being a strongly held belief, there are no prescriptions for tempering views.

I support Falwell’s right to say what he said, in the way he said it. Those who take offense have the right to. I think Hillary is a joke. A very dangerous joke who will say anything to be elected.

The left and far right are both hazardous to freedom. The left more so.

JohnL

Posted by: johnl at September 26, 2006 6:02 AM
Comment #183892

Keith-
You scare yourself silly about us, and its not really necessary at all. What should scare you is the fact that people no longer believe your party capable of governing correctly, because that, in the end, is something you can actually do, in the real world, to make your party more attractive to voters.

So much of Republican rhetoric about the left has amounted to a negative statement about the left that implicitly suggests the superiority of the right. Liberals are this and that kind of evil and foolishness, so on and so forth. But you can make such claims without actually acheiving things.

You folks have been given broad political power, the mandate of the nation, and somehow you’ve managed to screw up so much. You’re deficit spending, creating new, expensive and unwieldy programs, failing to execute a war properly, have indulged bureaucracy and corruption at the expense of the common man. You’re bringing the federal government to intrude where it doesn’t belong… Are you seeing a pattern here? You should. These are the charges you’ve been using on us for the past few decades.

You folks have literally become your own worst enemies, the realization of your own rhetoric’s picture of dysfunctional government. How did this happen? Simply put, you stopped watching what you were doing. You started caring more about removing the liberal threat and maintaining your party’s power than in policing your own.

Within the last twenty years, voters have twice taught folks like us the lessong that be you Republican or Democrat, if you don’t govern well, if you threaten the welfare of the country, you will be turned out of power. Democracy works, even when folks like us would rather our parties remain in power. Now we can sooth people’s anger for a short time by making promises of improvements, but by all that is sacred, we have to make good on such promises at some point. We can’t perpetually defer reform and a return to responsbility. The American public will not forgive us unless we trully are seen to repent of our sins.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 26, 2006 6:14 AM
Comment #183893

The only thing Falwell mentioned lately was that HC was for abortion, which is a lie(isn’t that a sin?). Many on the right try to paint her as some kind of crazy commie. Name one position she has taken that makes her an extremist. On abortion, she’s about as centrist as you can be, yet that seems to be all Falwell’s got. BTW, being for state supported health insurance is the normal stance for every politician in the world, except for here.

Posted by: Liberal Patriot at September 26, 2006 6:22 AM
Comment #183894

Keith,

please explain why Boxer and Pelosi scare you so much

Posted by: Liberal Patriot at September 26, 2006 6:25 AM
Comment #183899

David Remer,

I think you’re a bit off about Jeffords. He is an independent, but he was elected to office as a Republican, then declared himself an independent. This is not to say that an independent can’t win, but it has not yet happened in modern politics and Jeffords isn’t a valid example. Of course, Lieberman may just prove this wrong, I guess we’ll have to wait for November.

As far as the content of this post goes, it proceeds from a false assumption. The attempts of the Christian right to change the laws is nothing less than a reaction to the assault upon Christian values from the left. Beginning in the 50s with the removal of prayer from schools, Christians have watched as the foundations of our moral framework have been destroyed by moral relativism. Beyond this, the bulk of these changes, such as the removal of prayer from schools, the legalization of abortion, and the attempts to redefine marriage are coming not from the people in referendums but from activist courts. At the same time, there is a concerted effort from the left to run Christianity out of the public sphere and re-write history to exclude our Christian roots.

From a Christian perspective, this country has been in a state of moral decay for the last 4 or 5 decades. Our entertainment industry not only depicts but glorifies violence, mysogeny and promiscuity, drug abuse, and every other form of anti-social behavor. Hillary Clinton says that it takes a village to raise a child, but to a Christian, the village is a cesspool of vice that a child should be protected from, not interacting with.

Based on this, it is only natural that Christians should want to ensure that this country returns to its roots, not just for them but for their children. The left’s constant assault on Christianity is the impetus behind this, not any sense of hate.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 7:25 AM
Comment #183911

1 LT B,

The attempts of the Christian right to change the laws is nothing less than a reaction to the assault upon Christian values from the left.

Contrary to what you may believe, there is no “assault” on “Christian values” going on here. When people champion causes such as gay marriage, they are not thinking of “Christian values” (I thought love and tolerance were “Christian values”). They are thinking of equality and the ability to marry the person they love, something most of us take for granted. How does that hurt you? Removal of prayer from school was likewise not an “assault,” it was to remove the inherent injustice of some people being forced to say or do things that they did not believe in. Anyone can pray inside a school during any free time they have, why do we need to set aside time for that? How does that help children learn and why should tax dollars go toward funding it?

The world (or, more specifically, this country) does not revolve around Christianity, but unfortunately many people really seem to think it does. Every time someone tries to live the way they see fit (even when it harms no one else), if their behavior contradicts the words contained in a certain book (or at least some people’s interpretations of those words), then their actions are perceived as an “assault” on Christian values.

I’m sorry, but we do not live in a Christian nation. As evidenced by the Treaty of Tripoli signed into law all the way back in 1797, which states in Article 11 that: “As the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian Religion…” [emphasis added]

Activist Courts

Read: court that makes a decision which is consistent with precedence and established law, but is not in line with a person’s previously held beliefs.

From a Christian perspective, this country has been in a state of moral decay for the last 4 or 5 decades.

Even not being a Christian, I would agree here, but I think the decay I see around me is quite different from the decay you see. I see corporations being given carte blanche to maim, torture and kill human beings around the world and I think that is decay (I can proffer many examples of this over the last fifty years if you wish, comprising the destruction of millions of lives). I see corrupt, bought and paid for politicians running rampant in our legislature and I see decay. You see two people of the same sex who love each other and wish to devote their lives to each other, or entertainment which depicts behavior you disagree with and you see decay.

Our entertainment industry not only depicts but glorifies violence, mysogeny and promiscuity, drug abuse, and every other form of anti-social behavor.

I find it really strange (and telling) that two of your biggest examples of “anti-social” behavior consist of nothing more than a person’s personal choices: promiscuity and drug abuse. The other two I would whole-heartedly agree with, but I find them much more repugnant in practice than in the media (words and/or images on a screen or in print can’t hurt you or anyone else, sorry). I find it much more anti-social to be taking hundreds of thousands of people every year and throwing them in jail for nothing more than smoking a benign weed, overloading our justice system, our prisons and our police force and wasting billions of our tax dollars in the process. Promiscuity: if you don’t like sex with multiple people, don’t do it; I have never heard a coherent, non-religious based argument on how sex is anything but good as long as proper precautions are taken to reduce risk of disease.

I understand that this is your perspective and you are, of course, entitled to it. But why then are others not entitled to theirs? Why are others not entitled to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they are harming no one else? It seems that most of the policies that would result from your line of thinking would only serve to control others into behaving the way you wish they would and think they should. From my perspective, as long it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg (to steal a phrase), then I have neither the time nor the inclination to worry unduly over it. I really wish that those who claim to follow the religion of Christ would worry less about sex and other perceived “moral failings” and more on helping the poor and promoting love, which I think were much larger focuses in that particular book, although not nearly as titillating (don’t worry, that word may sound dirty, but it’s really not).

Posted by: Liberal Demon at September 26, 2006 8:51 AM
Comment #183921

LD,

So has the religious right picked your pocket? Broken you leg? To use your own standard, I have to wonder why you care so much.

Steven,

Your criticisms of the Republicans in power for the last 5 years are apt, we can haggle over details, but there are problems not being addressed sufficiently and problems being created by some of the solutions. However, you completely rejected Keith’s argument without considering that their may be any validity to it only to answer with a huge lecture about the failings of the Republican’s. Not exactly the rational discourse you have been promoting here over the past year or so.

Adrienne, et al. Don’t worry about the religious right. They are having their momenent in the sun. However, like most political “movements,” there is no better antidote for the extremism than a little sunshine.

In my personal opinion, the religious right began their decline by reaching their apex in 2004 with the ballot initiatives against gay marriage. There is not enough uniform agreement in America on abortion for the religious right to make a difference. So they took on a topic where they knew the could engage many moderates and some liberals by taking exception to gay marriage.

Something that I have to consistently remind people of is that the initiatives passed in most states by much wider margins than Bush beat Kerry. Assuming that some minority of Bush voters voted against the initiatives, there was at least a substantial minority of Kerry voters that voted for the initiatives. That’s actually the good news. Those of us that believe that it is discrimination can now reach to the middle to make that case. It may take a few years, but the middle will get there and the religious right will be back to their 20% or so of the electorate and wield much less power having fought on this issue and lost.

Posted by: Rob at September 26, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #183925

Rob,

In a metaphorical sense, yes, which was the original impetus behind that phrase and the way I intended it; if you thought that I meant only those two specific actions, I apologize for not being clearer. I believe that so-called religious morality has caused grave harm around the world; and good as well of course, but I think that the bad should be illuminated and mitigated whenever and wherever possible. Although I should say that much of what some people are working towards that would truly harm this country has not been (and hopefully will not be) enacted, hence the debate.

I actually don’t care much about the “Religious Right” all that much and I really don’t buy into generalizing terms like that most of the time. I have known religious people who do not believe the same way that term would portray them; both from the left and the right. We are all individuals, not merely members of a group. My post was directed at the views of 1 LT B, with some very specific questions and in hopes the he (she?) would see my view as well.

Dialogue is both necessary and sorely lacking in this country as we tend to talk past each other so much and assume what others believe simply by their affiliations.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at September 26, 2006 9:49 AM
Comment #183929

Liberal Patriot

I never said they scared me. I said that just because they are idiots does not mean that all woman in California are idiots. Actually they really don’t scare me, they amuse me quite often. Truly there are some 300 million people in this country if Barbara Boxer is one of the best and the brightest, we are seriously in trouble.

I’m still waiting to hear exactly what it is that the “religous right” is doing to this country that is so evil and dangerous.

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2006 10:10 AM
Comment #183933

Liberal Demon,
I think that most of our disagreement is a matter of perspective. I would assume that as a liberal you are against most of the Patriot Act and see it as an assault on various rights. I do not see it as such, but common sense steps to take in a dangerous world. In the same fashion, you may not see something like the promotion of gay rights as an assault on Christianity, but I do.
In my opinion, the trend in this country for the last 60 years has been to denigrate Christian beliefs. Love and tolerance are Christian values, but along with loving the sinner (something I admit that many Christians don’t remember well enough) it says to hate the sin. For the example of gay marriage, practicing homosexual acts is, in both my opinion and the opinion of every serious Biblical scholar, a grave sin. Giving carte blanche to this type of behavior is encouraging sin. Part of Christians’ duty is to bring people to a faith in Christ, and supporting laws that encourage sinful behavior is a shirking of that duty.
Furthermore, Christianity is subject to gross hypocrisy in terms of public expression. No major US newspaper or network carried the cartoons of Muhammad for fear of offending Muslims, yet not a word is said about censoring Madonna when she hangs on a cross with a crown of “thorns” in a concert. That’s patently offensive to Christians, where’s liberals’ sensitivity there? Example after example abounds.
I further have to disagree about the concept of the US being a Christian nation. While the US has no official religion, the nation was founded upon the bedrock of Christian moral principles. Many laws against homosexuality, for example, date back to the founding of this country, if not before, and were based almost exclusively on Christian moral principles. It was only in the 60s when “the worst generation” decided to throw away everything for which their parents had fought, did this change. We had prayer in public schools from the Founding, the same Jefferson who wrote about a wall of separation also included the Bible amongst the books students studied in Virginia public schools.

As far as activist courts go, there is very little consistency from the left on this issue. Roe v Wade was a disgrace, a radical expansion of a right that exists only in the minds of unaccountable judges. Also, where is the precedent for California students to be forced to say Islamic prayers as part of a “diversity” class.
You may be surprised to know that I actually support the legalization of marijuana, not because I think it should be smoked, but because we’re doing more harm trying to keep it out. This falls in line with another inconsistency of the left. You don’t want your children taught Christianity in public schools, I don’t want my children taught that homosexuality is an ok behavior in public schools. At the same time you want us to exclude everything you believe in from the public sphere, you (not you in particular, but the left in general) try to force secular humanism and moral relativism down our throats. I’m not one of these snake-handling guys who wants my child taught that creationism is the sole truth, but at the same time the constant mockery of Christianity I’ve seen in the schools I’ve attended is ridiculous.
As far as sex goes, let me give you an explanation of my viewpoint. I’m Roman Catholic and interpret the Bible in the following manner. It is immoral to have sex with any person who is not your spouse, marriage being strictly being between a man and a woman. If this was what actually happened, there would be none of the STDs you speak of, no illegitimate children, no cheating on a spouse, with all of the attendant pain for the couple and any children they have, none of the mental scars of negative sexual experiences, no rape. Studies have shown that monogamous married people report having the most satisfied sex lives as well.
You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. The problem I see is that as Christianity is excluded more and more from the public sphere, secular humanism and moral relativism reign and corrupt the values I hold dear and rend asunder the fabric of our society. Even if I were to accept that there is no divine inspiration in the Bible at all, the rules it espouses (the broad general ones, not the stone people who eat shellfish ones out of Leviticus etc) are designed to create a well-ordered society that is safe for its members. I see nothing to suggest that secular humanism or moral relativism is doing this.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #183957

“Why are others not entitled to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they are harming no one else? It seems that most of the policies that would result from your line of thinking would only serve to control others into behaving the way you wish they would and think they should”

Do you feel this way about taxes and the 2nd Amendment too?
If so, I must say its nice to finally meet an American with liberal views rather than the typical: liberal who happens to live in America view.
Good, thought provoking posts.

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 11:56 AM
Comment #183988

I also seen the interview on “Meet the press” and was quite impressed with Mr. Danforths perspective. The christian right is all about throwing stones. I am a liberal, although I don’t vote strictly dem, I would vote for this sane man. I am not gay, but I don’t care if gays can marry, we live in the home of the free, someone should remind the republicans that.They seem fixated on the abortion issue, worrying about mircoscopic eggs and stem cells while their man Bush is responsible for the death of tens of thousands of living and breathing innocent human beings, and they remain silent on that issue! My best advice to those religous nuts is if you are soo against abortion, don,t get one.

Posted by: allen at September 26, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #184018

Keith:

Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan are Democrats, but they do not exercise the control that the Christian Right exercises over the Republican Party. The Christian Right is the base of the Republican Party.

What’s so dangerous? The Christian Right (you’re confused if you think it is the Religious Right) wants to impose their religious values upon the rest of us. They want to convert this country into a theocracy.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at September 26, 2006 2:37 PM
Comment #184023

Hillary vs Condi in 08.

As a democrat I’m all for that. If you want to keep the far right people home and not vote, put a Black female up as the person to represent the republican party.
I have lots of family members who are so called christians who I know for a fact won’t vote for any black person. Lots of these people reside in the republican party. So go ahead and run Condi against Hillary. Hillary wins hands down.
Now with that said, I think Condi would also make a good president. Even though I disagree with many of her positions. She is bright and intelligent. It is too bad her party will talk the talk, but won’t walk the walk.

Posted by: Rusty at September 26, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #184025

The right wing are not against Hillary because she is a woman
They are against her merely for her “Sin” of being an intelligent woman who is a Democrat
The right wing complains about “Bush Haters” however that is like the pot calling the kettle black.
I was thinking that this was only against Bill and Hillary, but then I got mulling it over
any Democrat (unless, like Liberman, they kneel and bow to the “omnipotent” idiot-in-chief.)
I recall all the hatred, not just disagreement, outright HATRED, that is directed, not only to any and all democrats — but then there is also the hatred aimed at those of their own party that stray from the True Path — McCain etc
This party has been taken over by a minority of hate-mongers (and they complain about Bush haters???)
and it is coming from the “Religious Right” (Compasionate Conservatives??? can you say oxy-moron??)

Posted by: Russ at September 26, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #184026

allen,

There’s a reason why some people are fixated on the abortion issue. I believe that we are created by God and given free will and soul. I further believe that life begins at the moment of conception. In all of the wars that America has fought from the Revolution onwards, we’ve lost about 1 million people on the battlefield. Since Roe v. Wade, well over 40 million unborn have been butchered, or about 40 times our total war dead, about 4 times the numbers that were murdered in the Holocaust. Liberal hypocrisy on this issue is stunning. They don’t support the death penalty for rapists, but have no qualm with executing a child whose only “crime” was to be concieved. You claim to support the mentally and physically handicapped, but if this condition is discovered prior to birth, get an abortion as the child “won’t enjoy a good quality of life” and “will be a burden.” You claim to support the dignity of seniors, yet don’t find it at all problematic for them to kill themselves because someone doesn’t want to pony up for the pain medications to allow them to live their last days in relative comfort. They say they support womens’ rights, but God forbid if anyone tries to make abortion based on sex selection illegal, which almost always results in the death of an unborn girl. Like almost everything else in the liberal agenda, their stance on abortion is more about dodging responsibility and feeling good than any sort of principle.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #184036

I almost forgot, what about the same vitriolic, hate filled, foaming at the mouth speech, veiled as tributes, eulogies and memoriums by the Democrats at Coretta Scott King’s funeral??? OMG!!! And, with President Bush, the former President Bush, and President Clinton, right there on the dais!!!. It was an ugly event to say the least.

But, Lord forbid any conservative Republican religious leader have the slightest hint of disagreement about Hiliary’s potential run for president.

Posted by: Centaur at September 26, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #184039

Great post 1LT B !

Posted by: Centaur at September 26, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #184050

I’m in agreement with all the lefties here (as usual).

When you really boil down what 1LT B and others in the Christian Right are saying, it means that they don’t really think their faith and their churches are strong enough to stand on their own merits and messages. To make these things strong, and keep them alive, the Christian Right feels they must control the actions of others (stamp out abortion and stem cell research, keep people on life support alive regardless of their stated wishes), and deny their fellow citizens who pay equally in taxes their equal civil liberties (gay marriage). In other words, they don’t really believe in Freedom because they see it as a threat to their faith.
It’s strange, in the blink of an eye, these folks will (rightfully) condemn Islamic fundamentalists for religious coercion, but they can’t acknowledge that what they’re doing is rather similar. They may not be using threats and violence, but they’re still trying to take over our government and legislate (force) their religious morality on all of us. Whether we agree with them or not, whether we’re religious or not.

“Now with that said, I think Condi would also make a good president. Even though I disagree with many of her positions. She is bright and intelligent. It is too bad her party will talk the talk, but won’t walk the walk.”

I think she seems very intelligent, but I don’t believe she’d make a good president. She ignored the memo “Bin Laden determined to strike in US.” She went shoe shopping, played tennis and took in a Broadway show while Americans on the Gulf Coast were dying and going through total hell. I just don’t think we need any more clueless or callous Neocon leaders after suffering under Bush all these years.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 26, 2006 3:37 PM
Comment #184057

WHY IS THE I.R.S NOT LOOKING IN TO THESE CHURCHES?


The I.R.S seem to have issue with churches who support DEMOCRATIC canadates.

Yet we are not calling them and throwing a fit
about Churches that use the pulpet to support
Republicans.


Sorry but sometimes being meek don’t work
Its time to make sure things are fair.
WHY?????? WHY?????? WHY?????

According to the I. R. S if a church becomes political they no longer get to keep TAX EXEMPT
status. But yet there is a religious right.

Hello NO NO NO this is not at all being inforced
with Republicans. Seems the right makes sure the
I.R.S knows if a church is leaning Left or for that matter holding the middle.

CALL THE I.R.S again and again and again
e-mail them over and over and over.
Be sure you include the Name of the right
wing church and the right wing preacher.
Don’t forget the address.

Posted by: Honey P at September 26, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #184058

LD,

I appreciate your response, and I actually agree with parts of it. However, it seems inconsistent to say that it is ok for you to point out the moral shortcomings of the Christian right while saying that they are not given the same lattitude to do the same with those they disagree.

Paul,

Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakan have seats that the table of the Democratic Party for the same reason that Falwell does at the Republican Party. They both represent big chunks of the base for their respective parties. Blacks have voted for Democratic candidates historically than members of the religious right have for Republican candidates. Their overall sizes are not that different 12% of the population is black according to the 2000 census (http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/QTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-qr_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_DP1&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U)
and 23% of the voters in 2004 were born again or evangelical Christians (http://www.alternet.org/election04/20464.) To suggest that the bigotry expressed by these two as not being representative of the Democratic Party while trying to lump the entire Republican Party in with Falwell is disingenous.

Posted by: Rob at September 26, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #184068

1LT B,

As a gun carring christian democrat I have to wonder about my fellow christians who think abortion is such a big issue.

I believe I will go to heaven if I have excepted the lord Jesus Christ as my lord and personal savior. That I try to live my life they way that Jesus would live his. And that I truley believe.

Luckly I won’t go to hell for any crimes or sins you have committed in your day, as you won’t for mine. I pray for every young lady that has to make the decision to give life or choose death. It must be a horrific position to be in. I pray that the lord will comfort them with any decision that they make.

But most importantly I am glad that people have the ability in this country to make the decision for themselves. I can’t take anyone to heaven with me, only they can do that for themselves. I will love them and pray for them regardless.

In the end we will all be judged by our actions, not the actions of others…

Posted by: Rusty at September 26, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #184071

On Hugo Chavez:

This is exactly why the democratic party is wack…they are aligning themselves with republicans and conservatives on Hugo Chavez when he has positioned what they SHOULD HAVE BEEN saying all along.

This is why African Americans will never give full support to Jesse Jackson or Charles Rangel.

These hustler “leaders” have aligned with the white supremacist in the democratic party and again have turned their backs to the people and real leaders like Hugo Chavez. A leader that the whole world has given support and a standing ovation to.

African Americans must ditch both parties and help develop a real party with other poor and working class people.

Posted by: Lando at September 26, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #184129

Paul,

Unbelievable. You say the Christian right is trying to make this a theocracy. What a load. where do you guys get this stuff. Show me one piece of leglislation they have passed that even implies that.

Posted by: Keith at September 26, 2006 7:35 PM
Comment #184130

“(Compasionate Conservatives??? can you say oxy-moron??)”

No, but I can say moron and it’s spelled L-I-B-E-R-A-L.

Posted by: Duane-o at September 26, 2006 7:35 PM
Comment #184131

What’s so dangerous? The Christian RightThe Atheist Left (you’re confused if you think it is the Religious RightSecular Left) wants to impose their religious values upon the rest of us. They want to convert this country into a theocracyantichristocracy.

Posted by: Duane-o at September 26, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #184133

To make these things strong, and keep them alive, the Christian Right Atheist Left feels they must control the actions of others (stamp out abortion and stem cell research, keep people on life support alive regardless of their stated wishes stamp out Christianity altogether, end the free market and impose a communist system,), and deny their fellow citizens who pay equally in taxes their equal civil liberties (gay marriage affirmative action). In other words, they don’t really believe in Freedom because they see it as a threat to their faith.

Posted by: Duane-o at September 26, 2006 7:49 PM
Comment #184181

1 LT B,

Thank you for your well-reasoned response. Yes, perspective is the key here and I really think that in this country we need to try and do more to seek out perspectives other than our own and bring them into the debate.

Regarding the Patriot Act, I do disagree with some of the provisions: so called ‘sneak and peak’ searches and the retrieval of library records for example, which only serve to expand governmental power and not legitimately create safety. The biggest threat to Americans will always come from within our own government, not from outsiders. The main problem I have with that piece of legislation is the fact that the vast majority of our legislators did not even read it before passing it, which is an insult to those who elected them. I’m not sure if you know this, but many of the provisions were nothing new (do you really think that the entire humongous act was written between 9/11 and the day it was passed?), they were powers that some of our leaders had been trying to acquire for decades but were thought to be too broad and over-reaching and sometimes obviously unconstitutional. I find it revolting for any leader to use a national tragedy as an excuse to gain something that they were already seeking prior to that tragedy.

For the example of gay marriage, practicing homosexual acts is, in both my opinion and the opinion of every serious Biblical scholar, a grave sin.

This then forces me to ask why you cannot then adopt a live-and-let-live attitude; not everyone views sin the same, and many don’t believe in it at all. Is their no line between toleration and encouragement? Further, is it not possible to disagree with their choices (“hate the sin”) but still allow them the freedom to act as they feel is right for them? Their pursuit of happiness does not in any way detract from your own, however your view, if codified into law, does detract from theirs. I would view the anti-gay marriage amendment as the true “assault” here, as it is the one which limits freedom. You and I are both able to marry those we love; I would hazard a guess here and say that if you did not have this right, you would be willing to fight for it.

I would totally agree with you (I think) on the public expression aspect of religion. I think all religions, beliefs and points of view are fair game for mockery, satire and the like. If a person’s beliefs can’t stand up to even mild assaults such as those, maybe it’s time they reexamined those beliefs. Caving in to fear should never be an excuse to limit freedom of speech (or any other right for that matter); doing so dishonors all those who fought and died for those rights.

While the US has no official religion, the nation was founded upon the bedrock of Christian moral principles.

I would disagree. The nation was founded upon variations of English common law, many of the observed forms of government within local tribes of Native Americans, basic common sense and a yearning for both freedom and justice; an amalgamation which did in fact also have Christianity as a component. The laws against homosexuality you cited are, in my opinion, proof that Christians were members of government and therefore injected their views into individual laws at the time, but not proof of an overall Christian foundation.

As far as sex goes, let me give you an explanation of my viewpoint. I’m Roman Catholic and interpret the Bible in the following manner.

Thank you for sharing your viewpoint with me, but at the same time I hope you realize that this is your viewpoint, which is great if it works for you and makes your life better and more fulfilling, but may not be desired or followed by others.

If this was what actually happened, there would be none of the STDs you speak of, no illegitimate children, no cheating on a spouse, with all of the attendant pain for the couple and any children they have, none of the mental scars of negative sexual experiences, no rape.

I mean no offense when I say this, but if wishes were horses beggars would ride as well. Human nature is a savage beast and will not ever be tamed fully; there is a very fine line between laws which legitimately restrict behavior and those which merely oppress. I think it best to err on the side of caution in this regard, leaving it up to the individual to forge his or her own path. This is not to say that ideals should not be formed or aspired to, but the individual and internal conflict between dog and God in man is eternal and government has no place in much of that struggle.

You may be surprised to know that I actually support the legalization of marijuana, not because I think it should be smoked, but because we’re doing more harm trying to keep it out.

Exactly!

I would touch on your other points, but this is really getting too long as it is; my apologies.

Kctim,

2nd amendment? Damn right. It gets somewhat sticky when the topic turns to high-powered weapons and such (no one wants citizens to have tanks, nuclear weapons, etc…), but overall I think that with proper background checks, every law-abiding American should be able to fill up their garage with guns if they want to.

Taxes are a really broad subject depending on what they are going to pay for. Overall, I believe that they are a necessary evil; however the waste, fraud, unaccountability and abuse that are going on should be all over the news every day and on the minds of all Americans. Once we take care of that, then we can focus on matters of individual policy and righting the system.

Rob,

The difference between what I am doing and those you refer to as the “Christian Right” is that I am not trying to pass laws or amend the Constitution restricting their behavior. Being the majority, Christians hold the reins of power in this country (maybe one day they’ll even have a Christian president to express their views, lol); the powerful majority, getting upset at the mostly powerless minority for perceived assaults is, in my opinion, rather facetious. I have no animosity toward their beliefs or them sharing those beliefs, but when those beliefs turn to the government in an attempt to foment changes in law through restrictive measures and therefore override my own, I will cry foul.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at September 26, 2006 10:19 PM
Comment #184225

1LT B

Hillary Clinton is not responsible for any of the abortions that have occurred in the last 25 years. Stop blaming her. There are many ways to stop abortion. Your way won’t work because it doesn’t address the cause. Scream all you want and throw your daily tantrums. People who do that will accomplish nothing, just like all of you who have voted GOP to stop abortion. That’s worked real well for you so far hasn’t it? Oh, that’s right. GW banned all abortions, closed all the clinics and sent all the obgyns to gitmo.

Help people so that they never have to have an abortion. Provide education, support and love. Isn’t that what Christians SHOULD do? Stop being a one issue christian.

(If it helps you to sleep, continue to believe the the B is the only 1 LT. Your brain is likely to spontaneously combust if you reflect otherwise for 1/1000000000th of a second)

Posted by: Loren at September 26, 2006 11:32 PM
Comment #184320

Rusty,
You say that you try to live as Jesus would, which is all that can be asked of any Christian. While you are correct that you won’t go to hell for crimes you did not commit, what about the crime of neglect? Do you believe that Jesus would approve of abortion? If not, do you think he might do something about it? We will be judged not only on our faith and what we do, but what we fail to do as well.
Liberal Demon,
I’ll go even further than perspective. I generally feel that liberals and conservatives want the same ends, but they drastically disagree on the means to those ends. A great example is abortion. I don’t think that all liberals want every pregnancy to in an abortion, but the sex ed that liberals contend will curb this I think do nothing more than encourage pre-marital sex. Inevitably, a condom will fail or someone will just forget or refuse to wear one, and then abortion becomes a sort of birth control strategy.
I tend to disagree about the Patriot Act. As you point out, this was long in the works, but I don’t think that it is about the government turning into Big Brother. Rather, it is a logical extension of existing surveillance law. When these laws were first made, there was no internet, nor cell phones. If someone wanted to communicate with someone else, short of seeing them face to face, they had to use either their home phone or a pay phone. From what I’ve seen, all the Patriot Act does is modify the law to cover all the avenues of communication a person might use if they are to be monitored in a blanket provision rather than requiring separate warrants for their home phone, cell phone, Hotmail account, Yahoo! account, etc.
The gay issue is hardly a live and let live situation. I don’t think homosexuality is moral, but I don’t go out of my way looking for gays to bash or condemn. I have a cousin who is gay and he and his partner are far better examples of what married life should look like than many heterosexual couples I’ve met. However, the homosexual rights agenda is not content to let Christians live and let live. If I oppose any part of the homosexual agenda, I get labeled a homophobe and a bigot. Furthermore, they are attempting to fundamentally change an institution that has been one of the keystones of our culture, I think the onus is on them to show why we should do this.
I think we’re bound to just disagree about the idea of the foundations of our laws. While English common law was one of the bases of our own law, I think even you would be hard pressed to argue that Christian moral principles had no influence on the English common law system. Further, why is it that, if the nation has no Christian foundation, that these laws weren’t struck down or modified years ago?
You do not offend when you point out that the standards of behavior are difficult, I’ll freely admit that I’ve not been able to follow them 100% in my life. However, I take more comfort in having a standard and failing to meet it than to lower the standard to the point that there really aren’t any anymore. Thanks for your posts, its nice to actually have a civilized debate with respect for both parties than the shouting matches so much more common.
Loren,
I don’t recall blaming Hillary Clinton for all the abortions that have occurred in the last 25 years, so I fail to see what your problem is. No, Bush has not banned abortion, but I would still prefer to see a Republican in power in regards to that issue than someone like Clinton, with whom abortion was the only constant, even to the point of supporting barbarism such as the partial birth abortion.
While abortion is an important issue to me, it isn’t the only one. I’m sorry that I’m not as clairvoyant as you to completely understand your anger as you are with me to apparently be able to know everything about me without ever having met me, perhaps you can tell me how you were able to pull off this miracle? A Christian should indeed help people so that they never have an abortion, I tend to think that seeing to it that they are raised as Christians and limiting their exposure to the cesspool of vice and criminality that is our national village is a great place to start.
Your last paragraph really confuses me. I hate to break this to you, but I’m more than aware that I’m not the only 1LT in the Army, not even the only one whose last name begins with a B. If you choose to insult me, which is what I think you’re trying to do, please do me the courtesy of at least framing it in such a manner that it can be understood. Otherwise, I’ll just thank you not to put words in my mouth or arrogate yourself into the belief that you know everything about me and my faith based on a few posts.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 27, 2006 5:16 AM
Comment #184326

Seriously would you vote for someone who believed exactly as you do on almost everything, and was against abortion, but didn’t feel the govt should step in? I’m clairvoyant, so I’ll guess the answer is no… That’s why you are a one issue christian.

You totally DO blame the liberals for the evils of this world. There are plenty of christian liberals, and if that doesn’t go along with your idea of Christianity, think again.

Hillary Clinton doesn’t support partial birth abortion. No one does. It’s a partisan issue put into play to make religeous folk who aren’t self-reflective think that the dems are evil. And you bought it.

Do you believe that Jesus taught, performed miracles, showed his followers how to live a spiritual life ONLY to convert them to Christianity? That would make him extremely shallow, which he wasn’t. I believe he did it because it was the right thing to do.

You’ve never noticed the 1 Literal Truth Bible aspect of your name? Ironic, ain’t it?

Posted by: Loren at September 27, 2006 6:30 AM
Comment #184333

1 LT B,

I’ll go even further than perspective. I generally feel that liberals and conservatives want the same ends, but they drastically disagree on the means to those ends.

Yes, I would agree that both liberals and conservatives, for the most part, simply want what they perceive to be the best for our country. I do not, however, apply that statement to Democrats and Republicans who are in office, as they generally want what is best for themselves. This is what I wish more people would see, that the people of this country aren’t supposed to be bickering amongst ourselves and accusing each other of traitorous intentions while our leaders fuel this partisan warfare and pillage our liberties and our finances to quell their respective bases. We, the people, are meant to stand together, no matter our differences, and make damn sure that our leaders are doing their jobs and are held accountable for their actions. “Us vs. Them” not “You vs. Me.”

A great example is abortion. I don’t think that all liberals want every pregnancy to in an abortion, but the sex ed that liberals contend will curb this I think do nothing more than encourage pre-marital sex.

I really think this goes back to what I was saying about the nature of man. No external influences, in my opinion, will affect the rates of pre-marital sex to any significant degree. To believe otherwise is to hold a higher opinion of one’s power over others than is truly reasonable. To think that words or images can fight hormones and biology is to continue a losing battle that has been fought for millennia. I feel that your views, in a way, aspire to a sort of Utopia (but still, remember that one man’s Utopia is another’s Gehenna), which is noble but at the same time a bit misguided given the world we find ourselves in. It is the never-ending quest for purity in the face of adversity; the key here, I believe, is balancing one’s beliefs with reality as best they can and accepting the shortcomings of others as well as ourselves.

Rather, it is a logical extension of existing surveillance law…From what I’ve seen, all the Patriot Act does is modify the law to cover all the avenues of communication a person might use if they are to be monitored in a blanket provision rather than requiring separate warrants for their home phone, cell phone, Hotmail account, Yahoo! account, etc.

Would that this were the whole truth. What of the provisions I mentioned above? Do you feel comfortable knowing that the FBI can come into your home when you are not there, rifle through your belongings, leave, and then not tell you that they did so?

But again, if this is the direction the country wanted to go, then I think the proper public debates (and Constitutional checks) should have ensued before it was originally passed. Voting in haste and ignorance is not what I elect my representatives to do.

However, the homosexual rights agenda is not content to let Christians live and let live. If I oppose any part of the homosexual agenda, I get labeled a homophobe and a bigot.

This is a two way street, and I am personally saddened that it has gone this far. I understand that you feel that these people are doing something immoral, but at the same time I think it is far too easy for some to get lost in their own stigmatizations and forget that the “homosexual agenda” involves real people, with real problems, who simply want the same things that they see others as having. Empathy is key here, to place yourself in the shoes of a person who seeks love and acceptance throughout their lives, but instead finds revulsion, discrimination or even exile again and again.

I would be willing to bet that you see homosexuality as a choice, but I may be wrong about this given that your cousin is such a person. For the sake of argument, let me ask you this: did you choose to be straight? I didn’t and could not choose to be gay if I wanted to (why would anyone choose to be a vilified minority with substandard rights?). Therefore, I can only assume that when gay people say they were born that way, just as I was born straight, then I have no choice but to believe them. This viewpoint alone alleviates all fears of coercion or indoctrination through the tolerance of such behavior.

Basically, by opposing homosexuals in their quest for what they perceive to be equal treatment (under the law), some Christians (and members of other groups) have only created a situation where these people feel even further oppressed than they already did. Oppression and the denial of equal rights will always result in a backlash and a condemnation from and toward both sides. In the end, we get two sides both saying that the other person is vilifying them and that “they” started it; cyclical arguments like this lead nowhere unless one side concedes, which is exceedingly rare. I will, in most cases, side with those who are the minority as long as they are pushing for equality or liberty.

I think we’re bound to just disagree about the idea of the foundations of our laws.

It would seem that way wouldn’t it? Such is the realm of politics. You can argue certain laws; I can argue documents like the Treaty of Tripoli. I think it is mostly an argument on the matter of degrees of influence which at times descend to the level of semantics, as I would claim that the religious views of certain lawmakers influenced the laws they passed, while you would claim a greater degree of influence to the point of being the foundation of those decisions. It is also dependant on whether we are talking about specific laws or the founding documents themselves. The degree of import these long-dead people placed on religion in their own lives and whether or not they saw government as a tool to enforce those beliefs, components which are, in a very real sense, unknowable for most of them, are also key factors that mankind will debate for centuries to come.

Thanks for your posts, its nice to actually have a civilized debate with respect for both parties than the shouting matches so much more common.

Thank you as well. I really get disheartened seeing so much vitriol being spouted all the time. True conversations and debate are things which I feel are sorely lacking in this day and age. There is never any shame is agreeing to disagree, as long as the end result is civility.

(For anyone wondering, yes, I am vying for position as the most verbose commenter on this site today, lol)

Posted by: Liberal Demon at September 27, 2006 7:06 AM
Comment #184363

Loren,
There you go putting words in my mouth and thoughts in my head again. And I even asked you nicely not to do that. Apparently you missed the sarcasm in that last post. You are not clairvoyant. I will not vote against someone I agree with on other issues strictly based on abortion. It is an important issue to me, but not the only one. Generally, however, politicians that support abortion also support a wide variety of other liberal programs I do not support, so it becomes easier for me on election day.

You say that no one supports partial birth abortion when Bill Clinton vetoed a measure to ban that procedure. That bill would never have come to him if this procedure was never performed, so obviously more people than just ole Slick Willy support this procedure. As far as what Jesus taught, one of those things was that He came not to destroy the Law of Moses but to fulfill it. The Bible states that God knows us within the womb before we were born. If you think that Jesus wouldn’t be concerned that the most helpless members of our society are butchered at a daily rate that exceeds 9/11, I suggest you’re wrong.

As far as the ironic part of my name, 1LT is the Army abbreviation for my rank, First Lieutenant. B is the first letter of my last name. Furthermore, I’m a Catholic, so don’t try to pin that Biblical literalism on me, that’s not what I believe. So, I “totally” do blame liberals? Not all of them, just the ones who let their mouths or fingers outrun their brains, such as yourself. Your arguments are as devoid of logic as they are of maturity. Learn how to conduct yourself in a civilized dialogue, and people probably won’t hold your opinions is such low regard.

Liberal Demon,

Sadly, I have a few meetings this evening, but I’ll try and address your excellent post ASAP.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 27, 2006 9:36 AM
Comment #184427

LD,

I saw your well worded on gay rights to 1LTB above. It asked for empathy in order to understand their plight.

However, on the othr hand, you seem incapable of having the slightest bit of empathy for the Religious Right. I disagree with nearly everything they stand for, but I am willing to have some empathy for their believes and what they feel is their plight, and I respect their right to participate in the political discourse. You and others above do not seem to believe that they should have that right or that empathy. That was the root of my post to you.

Btw, see my post to Paul above. The religious right is not a majority. They were about 22% of the voters in the 2004 election. They do however have a seat at the table with the Republicans because they deliver a consistent voting block on election day. They voted 97% for Bush in 2004. Blacks have a similar seat in the Democratic Party because they deliver 80% + in every election.

Btw, on the marriage ammendments, it is worth considering that Republican voters did not pass these ammendments Democratic and Independent voters did. While Republicans were the driving force, they only voted for Bush between 40 and 50% of the vote in most states. Assuming that some of those voters voted against the ammendment (even a measely 2%), to get to 50%, voters had to split ticket on the issue. In addition, these measures were passed in most states by fairly high margins often exceeding 60% +. So why it is fair to take on Republicans for putting the issues on the ballot in the first place. You have to look inside your tent for those that passed it.

Posted by: Rob at September 27, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #184468

Liberal Demon,

Another great post. I, for one, would love to see a truly conservative third party emerge. The Republicans seemed like that party in the 90s, but control of both elected branches of government seems to have corrupted them absolutely, as absolute power tends to do. I do think that a civil debate is healthy, but the partisan vitriol of the last 10 years is truly destructive. I doubt that I’ll ever be a Democrat or a liberal, but I at least respect your opinion. I hope you don’t take this as offensive, but you’re like Bill Maher, only far more palatable.

With regards to the abortion issue and the argument you make, I think that you are generally correct in your assessment of the state of human nature. I see two things adding to this today. One is the fact that we are generally marrying much later in life than in the past, which of course leads to a longer time for a person to have to try to fight off the temptation to have sex. I think that the other is the near constant inundation of sexually suggestive and explicit material available nowadays. Its bad enough to try to remain pure, if you’re interested in doing so, without all of this, when one is bombarded with it I think its much worse.

The provisions of the Patriot Act you mention are true. I don’t see them as a big issue for a few reasons. The first is that I’m in the military, so my phone and electronic communications through the bases I work at have always been monitored. Also, my office and room are subject to any number of inspections at any time and without any announcement. I think this expectation of a lower level of privacy would tend to make me far less concerned about that type of thing than a civilian. In defense of your argument, the same might be said for prison inmates without making the argument right. Second, and I doubt you’ll like this, but I view innocence as its own shield. I would like to see stronger and independent oversight of this program, but call me naïve, I tend to trust the people in the position to conduct these searches to do the right thing. You are completely correct about the need for debate, or at least actually reading the damned bill before signing it.

You are partially right about my seeing homosexuality as a choice. I’m willing to concede that being attracted to a person of the opposite sex is possibly, in fact probably, a born trait. That being said, however, actually having sex is a choice. Again, I refer to my moral beliefs as a Catholic. To me, any sex outside of marriage is a sin. It is just as sinful in a heterosexual context as a homosexual one. To me, if a person feels that the cannot love a person of the opposite sex in the context of a married relationship, than they should remain celibate in the same manner as an unmarried heterosexual.

I fully realize that this is a hard standard and one to which I have not successfully lived up. I further agree that empathy is needed in this case. While I doubt, based on anti-sodomy laws some of which at the state level predate the Constitution, that the Founders had any notion of homosexuality being a protected right, I do think that we can and should modify the Constitution if the people are truly behind it. Sometimes, such as the Brown v. Board decision, unpopular things must be done to ensure the fair and equal treatment of our fellow citizens. My main concern with accepting homosexuality is that it starts us on that famous slippery slope. I’m just waiting for a polygamist to cite the striking down of the sodomy laws as a basis for the acceptance of polygamy etc. That being said, I think Christians should be far more concerned with the staggering rate of divorce, pre-marital heterosexual sex, spousal abuse, and a variety of other ills in the heterosexual community before preaching to homosexuals about living in sin.

It is nice to have a civilized debate isn’t it? No offense, but I would not have expected such from your name, but I suppose we all have our little prejudices to get over. In any case, I hope to continue this and other debates in the future, hopefully in the same respectful and cordial manner. I wouldn’t say this to many liberals, but in your case I’ll make an exception and quote (paraphrase) Voltaire; “I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Far too often, I’ve felt that I’m wasting my time in Iraq defending idiots (again no offense, but often liberals and idiots were synonymous) who could give a shit less about me and my fellow Soldiers and were too stupid to see past their own rhetoric. Thanks for proving me wrong.

P.S. I think you’ll take the verbosity title. Do yourself a favor and don’t join the Army, the bosses would kill you if they had to read your reports, however well written they might be.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 27, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #184483
That bill would never have come to him if this procedure was never performed, so obviously more people than just ole Slick Willy support this procedure
So you are as naive as I suggested before. There is no obviously when it somes to politics. That ban was a wedge issue created by the GOP based on nothing. It was meant as a way to move toward outlawing all abortions.
one of those things was that He came not to destroy the Law of Moses but to fulfill it
Yes I’ve heard that quote thousands of times before. It has zero meaning in this context. It’s usually used by Falwell types when they want to say something antisemitic. It has no logical place in this discussion.
If you think that Jesus wouldn�€™t be concerned that the most helpless members of our society are butchered at a daily rate that exceeds 9/11, I suggest you�€™re wrong.
He probably would be, but I’m sure torture and war would be above it on that list. And being concerned can call one to take actions. Jesus wouldn’t kill any doctors who performed abortions, or bomb family planning centers, or forbid people from using condoms.
So, I �€œtotally�€ do blame liberals? Not all of them, just the ones who let their mouths or fingers outrun their brains, such as yourself
So I’m to blame for the evils of the world now? Let me know which ones so I can find the error of my ways. Posted by: Loren at September 27, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #184488

1LT B,

Thank you for your post. I too agree that for us to communicate in a manner such as this is far better than what we are getting from our government.
Your question to me about if I thought Jesus would just let people have abortions and do anything about it? Well, they did have abortions back in his day. The bible doesn’t speak about it. Also, STD’s were around in those day’s. Jesus didn’t make a law passed by man to stop SEX. He told us his wish for man kind, but left us with the ability to follow or not follow his wishes.
In short, God gave man Free Will. He wanted us to chose to follow him, not be forced to follow him. That is a sign of true love.
As for abortion, is isn’t that I don’t do anything about it. I of course would advise any women who asked for my opinion, not to get an abortion. I would tell her why I felt that way and would hope it made a difference in her decision. However, I would not want to force her to follow my opinion. Free Will, I advised her and have let my fellow man know how I feel. From thier we have to let them fend for themselves.
I will get a little personal here on my own life. I was born and raised in chruch. But it wasn’t until I was 22 years old that I gave my life to Christ. Before I was 22 like most young people who attend church, I walked the walk on Sunday and did my own thing the other 6 day’s of the week. I can tell you for a fact, that the girls at my church, and the private high school in our area, were just as sexually active as all the rest of the kids. We acted like we weren’t, which is where the hollier-than-thou attitude came to pass. I know lots of so called christian girls who have gotten abortions. In fact the head of our Right to Life movement here had to resign his position after it became public that his 14 year old daughter got pregnant and her mother took her out of town to have an abortion.
What I’m saying 1LT B, is that we who live in glass houses can’t throw stones. We christians have gone through the same trials and tribulations that most Americans go through. Luckly for us, we found God. Hopefully we all will.
Jesus had the abiltiy when he walked this earth to stop anything he wanted. The fact that he didn’t in my opinion speaks volumes.
Keep writing 1LT B

Posted by: Rusty at September 27, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #184497

I went a Baptist College. There was just as much premarital sex going on there as any other college, just more weeping and gnashing of teeth about it.

To be against premarital sex is a belief. To believe that girls who do it should have to have babies as punishment is an authoritarian political stance. Abortion has always been illegal in totalitarian states.

I’m quite certain that if Jesus did say anything about sex, the editors of the bible would have deleted it. There is the let he who is without sin speech, when a woman was to be stoned for adultery, but strangely enough no man around to face the same consequence. We haven’t moved far from that aparently.

Posted by: Loren at September 27, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #184576

Rob,

I find it quite strange that you seem to be taking more offense at my posts than the member of the “Religious Right” with whom I have been discussing these issues. I would retort by saying that you seem to have less empathy by the manner in which you group them all together under one convenient label, therefore homogenizing their points of view and eliminating all individuality.

If I didn’t feel that they had the right to public discourse (I believe I’ve said repeatedly that debate is something we need more of) then I would have simply told 1 LT B to please shut up and go away, not attempt to open up dialogue with him. If, by disagreeing with his points of view in as civil a manner as possible, I am somehow belittling him or trying to shut him out of public life, please explain how. He has disagreed with me as well; I take no offense at that whatsoever.

I never said that the “Religious Right” is a majority, I said that Christians are a majority; a distinction which you yourself then go on prove by showing that people of all political affiliations are in favor of many of these issues.

You have to look inside your tent for those that passed it.

My tent?!? If I gave you the impression above that I am Democrat (what I think you were alluding to here), then, well, I suggest you should go back and reread what I said at the beginning of my last post. I believe that political parties are one of the worst things to ever happen to this country. If you would like to pigeonhole me as some partisan shill here, be my guest; I make mistakes sometimes as well.

1 LT B,

It will take me slightly longer to craft my response to you; I ask that you please be patient.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at September 27, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #184582

1 LT B,

I, for one, would love to see a truly conservative third party emerge. The Republicans seemed like that party in the 90s, but control of both elected branches of government seems to have corrupted them absolutely, as absolute power tends to do.

I would love to see the dissolution of parties and the creation of multiple nationally televised (thorough) debates where each candidate is allowed to share their views as an individual. More discourse, less partisanship, better country. There are a lot of logistics involved in this, but nothing that I don’t think Americans working together could overcome.

I do think that a civil debate is healthy, but the partisan vitriol of the last 10 years is truly destructive.

Agreed, but I think it’s been going on much longer than that; it’s just that, when allowed to continue unchecked, these types of things will grow and grow, festering like a scab on the ass of our nation.

I hope you don’t take this as offensive, but you’re like Bill Maher, only far more palatable.

No offense taken at all. I highly respect Bill Maher; he is one of the few political commentators who espouse my views; maybe not all the time, but enough to where I almost feel like I have a voice in the media.

Second, and I doubt you’ll like this, but I view innocence as its own shield.

You’re right, I absolutely don’t like it. You mention a “slippery-slope” argument later in your post; there are very few slopes which are slipperier than “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” What then, if this is the standard we should adhere to, prevents the government from simply placing video cameras in our homes? Few places are as safe as solitary confinement in a maximum security prison, but no one wants to go there. The tragic case of Maher Arar illuminates this.

When you joined the military you willingly (thanks, by the way; my father is retired Air Force so I know how tough that life can be, both for the member and for their families) gave up your right to privacy and autonomy. But you did so, I would assume, to guarantee those rights to others. What, as a nation, should we fight for if not our freedoms?

That being said, however, actually having sex is a choice.

Congratulations, you have just made an argument for gay marriage. Wedding rings, as many will be quick to point out, contain mystical properties which slowly but surely drain all sexual desire out the wearers.

But seriously, I feel that as a society we place far too much emphasis on the sexual aspects of homosexual (and other) relationships when discussing them. Rarely do these conversations revolve around the love, loyalty and trust these people have for each other. The shared laughs, the knowing smiles and the tender moments which truly define all human romantic relationships. I think that is why I could never prevent such people from devoting themselves to each other, because no matter my thoughts or feelings on what else they may do, I do not believe it my place to stand in the way of love. Precious few things in this world are worth dying for; love, freedom and justice top that list.

That being said, I think Christians should be far more concerned with the staggering rate of divorce, pre-marital heterosexual sex, spousal abuse, and a variety of other ills in the heterosexual community before preaching to homosexuals about living in sin.

Something about a mote and a log comes to mind here. I touched on this in my first post to you; there are so many ills in the world today that I really question the focus on trying to prevent love from being recognized. I could name dozens of what I consider to be far more pressing issues that affect millions of people lives and are receiving no attention at all from anyone except those who are suffering the consequences of them.

It is nice to have a civilized debate isn’t it?

Yes it truly is.

No offense, but I would not have expected such from your name, but I suppose we all have our little prejudices to get over.

My moniker is simply a play on words. The word ‘liberal’ is really quite positive and I simply hate how it has been ‘demonized.’ I embrace it instead.

In any case, I hope to continue this and other debates in the future, hopefully in the same respectful and cordial manner.

Same here.

I wouldn’t say this to many liberals, but in your case I’ll make an exception and quote (paraphrase) Voltaire; I disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it. Far too often, I’ve felt that I’m wasting my time in Iraq defending idiots (again no offense, but often liberals and idiots were synonymous) who could give a shit less about me and my fellow Soldiers and were too stupid to see past their own rhetoric. Thanks for proving me wrong.

Thanks again, but like I said to Rob above, the labels we brand each other with will only divide us further. Most liberals believe that by bringing you home, out of harms way and back into the arms of your family, that will show how much they care. Same goal, different timeline and perspective, stemming from opposing views on this particular war. While I can’t speak for them, I would bet that the motivation of the liberals you mention was positive; I’ve never met anyone would did not care for the troops themselves. How their words are received (obviously negatively by you) should take a back seat to the aspirations and intent behind those words. A lack of maliciousness in intent should lead to the same lack in reception, but this is not always the case.

Partisanship often clouds these positions though, by neglecting inent and descending noble ideals into endless bickering and vitriol where meaning is overlooked in favor of blind loyalty and the dehumanization of the opposing side.

P.S. I think you’ll take the verbosity title. Do yourself a favor and don’t join the Army, the bosses would kill you if they had to read your reports, however well written they might be.

Hurray! Shall I expect my trophy in the mail?

You don’t have to worry about me joining the Army, I am completely (and possibly permanently) disabled thanks to a prescription drug I took for 20 days nearly two years ago.

Thanks again.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at September 27, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #184713

LD,

I feel I touched a nerve, I apologize if I misinterpreted your comments.

You said, “I find it quite strange that you seem to be taking more offense at my posts than the member of the “Religious Right” with whom I have been discussing these issues. I would retort by saying that you seem to have less empathy by the manner in which you group them all together under one convenient label, therefore homogenizing their points of view and eliminating all individuality.”

I think that this is a bit of stretch. To believe that I was the first to do this, and that the public discourse does not contain many references to the “Religious Right” is nothing more than a debating tactic. I fully recognize that their is a diversity of beliefs and viewpoints in that sector; however, what they share is much condemnation by those that perceive the group as their political opposition. Look to the top of the post to find the first mention and read down, and you will see that there is a variety of means by which people choose to oppose them. Some of the more popular are questioning their intelligence, the validity of their religious beliefs, and their understanding of the Bible. From there go to Honey P.’s post that basically says that they should not be able to organize and participate in the political process as a group.

I accept your response on debate and apologize. I was lumping you in with the others mentioned above. That was unfair of me.

Re: The religious right as a majority. I reread your post that you I was reacting to, and you did indeed say Christians not just the conservative christians. However, the sentence before was referred to the “Christian Right,” and I assumed that you were continuing that with Christians in the next sentence. If that is not the case, I’m not sure what the point is because the sheer diversity of Christians in the U.S. kinda makes the point about being a majority a bit moot. Women are a majority, whites are a majority, people with dark hair may be a majority, and brown eyes too. Unless the issue is framed specificly enough that it actually matters that they are a majority, it doesn’t.

I think the tent I was referring to was slightly larger than the Democratic Party it was all others not in the Republican Party. Liberals, independents, etc. However, if you want to take it as just Democrats, you can escape the responsibility. The reality though is that it took more than conservatives to get the measures past. Something that those whom are currently and continuously castigating conservatives, forget all to easily.

I believe that we really believe very much similarly what is good for the country. I side with you on the gay marriage issue. However, as you said above, side with the minority where possible. I see the Religious Right as a minority who has a voice that should get equal treatment in the public discourse. It doesn’t among educated people. It is routinely mocked and denigrated before it is listned to. You didn’t do that (at least not that not listening part), and I apologize for lumping you in with the others.

Posted by: Rob at September 28, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #185012

Rob,

Apology accepted, and I do admit that you touched a nerve; however, the offense I perceived was something that is really common on this site and sometimes hard to avoid.

To believe that I was the first to do this, and that the public discourse does not contain many references to the “Religious Right” is nothing more than a debating tactic.

I don’t think you were first to do this, not at all. I just get overly frustrated at times seeing how people label the other side and then debate those labels (strawmen) rather than what the person actually said. I merely singled you out on the use of these labels because of your responses to me.

I accept your response on debate and apologize. I was lumping you in with the others mentioned above. That was unfair of me.

Yes, that was what I reacted to; I do admit that I probably overreacted though. The way these boards are set up (not denigrating them or anything; I love this site and probably spend way too much time reading here) makes this whole altercation an inevitability; reading through dozens of posts on the same topic has a tendency to congeal everyone’s replies into a sort of mental mash after awhile. That’s why you’ll always see me doing this whole ‘block quote’ thing and responding piece by piece. It forces me to repeat myself at times, but I do my best to debate the person’s actual words and not any preconceived notions; that you thought I was doing otherwise was why your responses began irking me.

I reread your post that you I was reacting to, and you did indeed say Christians not just the conservative christians. However, the sentence before was referred to the “Christian Right,” and I assumed that you were continuing that with Christians in the next sentence. If that is not the case, I’m not sure what the point is because the sheer diversity of Christians in the U.S. kinda makes the point about being a majority a bit moot.

I checked this to make sure, and I did indeed say “Christian Right”, however the apostrophes I used were meant to separate that label from the reference after it. The point I was after was that there are many Christians of all political persuasions. I think a lot of this is what you were trying to say to me actually, and therefore we agree. Basically, that there are many factors which contribute to a person’s views, a plethora of influential components and beliefs that, when separated and examined individually, can shatter the preconceived notions that we thrust upon them through virtue of their affiliations.

The reason I dislike suffixing the term Christian with “Right” is because it serves dual purposes, neither of which is universally true. One of these is by the Right’s own design in an attempt to equate their side with being Christian; the opposing reaction by the left has been to denigrate the term through applying negative connotation. The war of language continues on while, sadly, the true debate of ideas gets lost in it at times.

I see the Religious Right as a minority who has a voice that should get equal treatment in the public discourse.

The only problem I see with this argument is one of power. We could also argue that the rich are a minority or even that our leaders are a minority. That is why I included the caveat of goals (equality, etc…) in the post where I mentioned siding with the minority.

You didn’t do that (at least not that not listening part), and I apologize for lumping you in with the others.

Thanks again, although I am somewhat confused here about the portion in parentheses. If I mocked or denigrated (to the point of offense, I know I poke fun occasionally), then it wasn’t my intent.

I hope that there are no hard feelings here.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at September 29, 2006 2:36 AM
Comment #196291

People should be able to have their own believes without being told that their the devil. Thats why we live in the United States because of the fact that we can be from any religion based on the first amendment freedom of religion, press, speech, etc. If it truly is a religion than they should be spreading the idea of love not of hate. Clinton has done nothing to be characterized as the devil she has her own believes just like any other person has. Politically speaking people think differently and have different ideas on how they think the government should work or be run so someone cant say your bad things because of the fact that they think differently.

Posted by: Angiet at November 23, 2006 2:36 AM
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