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Michael Newdow rebuffed. Pledge of Allegiance stands.

By adimovk5 in Culture
Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 06:01:50 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

In an opinion that left the legal matter of "under God" undecided, the Supreme Court voted to reverse the decison of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision was based solely on the grounds that Michael Newdow had no legal right to bring the case to court. The Supreme Court chose not to render a decision on whether or not the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 was constitutional.

ELK GROVE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT and DAVID
W. GORDON, SUPERINTENDENT, PETITIONERS
v. MICHAEL A. NEWDOW et al.
[June 14, 2004]

The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed.

It is so ordered.

Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Rehnquist, C. J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which O'Connor, J., joined, and in which Thomas, J., joined as to Part I. O'Connor, J., and Thomas, J., filed opinions concurring in the judgment. Scalia, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

The Ninth Circuit is the largest of the 13 federal circuits and includes all federal courts in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. It is reversed more often by the Supreme Court than any other court of appeals.


The Pledge of Allegiance
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all."

------------------
------------------

There were two matters to be decided in the case:

  • Whether respondent has standing to challenge as unconstitutional a public school district policy that requires teachers to lead willing students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Whether a public school district policy that requires teachers to lead willing students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the words "under God," violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, as applicable through the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Supreme Court decided that Michael Newdow had no legal standing to sue on his daughter's behalf per California law. Newdow only had partial parental custudy (10 days each month). The Family Court had given the mother, Sandra Banning, exclusive full legal custody of the child. Banning did not add her petition to the case until after the ruling of the Ninth Circuit.

The court found that Newdow has the right to teach his daughter his religious beliefs, but he does not have the right to prevent his wife from teaching her beliefs. He also does not have the right to intervene legally on his daughter's behalf.

Upon making that decision the Supreme Court ended the case. It refused to judge the second part because the first part was not valid.

------------------
------------------

However, this did not prevent Justices Rehnquist, O'Connor, and Thomas from giving opinions on the constitutionality of the Pledge. Justice Rehnquist lists a long history of the historical references to God from the founding of the nation to the current day. He concludes with the following:

Chief Justice Rehnquist, with whom Justice O'Connor joins.....

I do not believe that the phrase "under God" in the Pledge converts its recital into a "religious exercise" of the sort described in Lee. Instead, it is a declaration of belief in allegiance and loyalty to the United States flag and the Republic that it represents. The phrase "under God" is in no sense a prayer, nor an endorsement of any religion, but a simple recognition of the fact noted in H. R. Rep. No. 1693, at 2: "From the time of our earliest history our peoples and our institutions have reflected the traditional concept that our Nation was founded on a fundamental belief in God." Reciting the Pledge, or listening to others recite it, is a patriotic exercise, not a religious one; participants promise fidelity to our flag and our Nation, not to any particular God, faith, or church.

There is no doubt that respondent is sincere in his atheism and rejection of a belief in God. But the mere fact that he disagrees with this part of the Pledge does not give him a veto power over the decision of the public schools that willing participants should pledge allegiance to the flag in the manner prescribed by Congress. There may be others who disagree, not with the phrase "under God," but with the phrase "with liberty and justice for all." But surely that would not give such objectors the right to veto the holding of such a ceremony by those willing to participate. Only if it can be said that the phrase "under God" somehow tends to the establishment of a religion in violation of the First Amendment can respondent's claim succeed, where one based on objections to "with liberty and justice for all" fails. Our cases have broadly interpreted this phrase, but none have gone anywhere near as far as the decision of the Court of Appeals in this case. The recital, in a patriotic ceremony pledging allegiance to the flag and to the Nation, of the descriptive phrase "under God" cannot possibly lead to the establishment of a religion, or anything like it.

When courts extend constitutional prohibitions beyond their previously recognized limit, they may restrict democratic choices made by public bodies. Here, Congress prescribed a Pledge of Allegiance, the State of California required patriotic observances in its schools, and the School District chose to comply by requiring teacher-led recital of the Pledge of Allegiance by willing students. Thus, we have three levels of popular government--the national, the state, and the local--collaborating to produce the Elk Grove ceremony. The Constitution only requires that schoolchildren be entitled to abstain from the ceremony if they chose to do so. To give the parent of such a child a sort of "heckler's veto" over a patriotic ceremony willingly participated in by other students, simply because the Pledge of Allegiance contains the descriptive phrase "under God," is an unwarranted extension of the Establishment Clause, an extension which would have the unfortunate effect of prohibiting a commendable patriotic observance.

Justice O'Connor wrote an additonal opinion emphasizing the importance of God in the traditions of the United States:

Justice O'Connor, concurring in the judgment.

Michael Newdow's challenge to petitioner school district's policy is a well-intentioned one, but his distaste for the reference to "one Nation under God," however sincere, cannot be the yardstick of our Establishment Clause inquiry. Certain ceremonial references to God and religion in our Nation are the inevitable consequence of the religious history that gave birth to our founding principles of liberty. It would be ironic indeed if this Court were to wield our constitutional commitment to religious freedom so as to sever our ties to the traditions developed to honor it.

Justice Thomas wrote an opinion emphasizing the nature of the first amendment in respect to religion. The first amendment prohibits Congress from establishing a religion. It does not forbid the mentioning of God.

Justice Thomas, concurring in the judgment.

The Establishment Clause provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Amdt. 1. As a textual matter, this Clause probably prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion. But see P. Hamburger, Separation of Church and State 106, n. 40 (2002) (citing sources). Perhaps more importantly, the Clause made clear that Congress could not interfere with state establishments, notwithstanding any argument that could be made based on Congress' power under the Necessary and Proper Clause. See A. Amar, The Bill of Rights 36-39 (1998).

Nothing in the text of the Clause suggests that it reaches any further. The Establishment Clause does not purport to protect individual rights. By contrast, the Free Exercise Clause plainly protects individuals against congressional interference with the right to exercise their religion, and the remaining Clauses within the First Amendment expressly disable Congress from "abridging [particular] freedom[s]." (Emphasis added.) This textual analysis is consistent with the prevailing view that the Constitution left religion to the States. See, e.g., 2 J. Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States §1873 (5th ed. 1891); see also Amar, The Bill of Rights, at 32-42; id., at 246-257. History also supports this understanding: At the founding, at least six States had established religions, see McConnell, The Origins and Historical Understanding of Free Exercise of Religion, 103 Harv. L. Rev. 1409, 1437 (1990). Nor has this federalism point escaped the notice of Members of this Court. See, e.g., Zelman, supra, at 677-680 (Thomas, J., concurring); Lee, supra, at 641 (Scalia, J., dissenting).

What does all this mean? The Pledge of Allegiance will contain the phrase "under God" for a few more years. With four Justices (Rehnquist, O'Connor, Thomas, and Scalia), believing in the constitutionality of mentioning God in the official government, there will probably be no more challenges for quite some time. The nation was founded by men who believed in God and has been led by men who believed in God. Fully 92 percent of Americans say they believe in God. As long as Americans continue to believe in God, God will continue to mentioned in the pledge, on money, and in government spaces.

certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit (decision)

Wednesday, March 24
Elk Grove Unified School District v. Michael A. Newdow, et al.
No. 02-1624
Supreme Court Docket (documents of the case)

------------------
------------------

k5 background material
US Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional
Wed Jun 26th, 2002 at 05:09:49 PM EST

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Poll
Should the Pledge include God?
o Yes. It's important to honor God. 4%
o Yes. God is part of our heritage. 3%
o Yes. It's harmless words. 2%
o Yes. (other) 0%
o No opinion. 7%
o No. (other) 28%
o No. It's harmful words. 7%
o No. It's offensive to atheists. 5%
o No. It advocates Christianity. 38%

Votes: 121
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Supreme Court
o Michael Newdow
o Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court
o Ninth Circuit
o The Pledge of Allegiance
o Chief Justice Rehnquist
o Justice O'Connor
o Justice Thomas
o Fully 92 percent of Americans say they believe in God
o certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit (decision)
o Supreme Court Docket (documents of the case)
o US Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional
o Also by adimovk5


Display: Sort:
Michael Newdow rebuffed. Pledge of Allegiance stands. | 383 comments (327 topical, 56 editorial, 1 hidden)
Uh, no. (2.50 / 4) (#8)
by wji on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 07:13:12 PM EST

It was found that Newdow did not have primary custody of his daughter, and was thus not empowered to sue on her behalf.

Anyway, so what if it says "under God"? Why is religious indoctrination verboten, but political indoctrination OK? Where's Jello Biafra when you need him?

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

Ummm (none / 1) (#10)
by curien on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 07:33:10 PM EST

Because one's illegal when practiced by the government, and the other's not?

--
All God's critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
[ Parent ]
Uh, what do you think I was getting at? [nt] (none / 1) (#11)
by wji on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 07:40:23 PM EST



In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
as a follower of Yahshua... (2.80 / 5) (#15)
by kpaul on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 07:50:58 PM EST

i've never understood the 'fight' to get the generic term 'God' in the pledge. He has a name! ;)

also, i'm pretty sure the bible tells us *not* to make oaths or pledges like this.

i pledge my allegiance to Yahshua and will follow his command to love Him and love others.

maybe i'm weird, though, in that i've never been very nationalistic.


2014 Halloween Costumes

bible vs oaths (none / 0) (#29)
by adimovk5 on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:47:57 PM EST

interesting..... I don't think I've ever seen an anti-oath quote from the bible.

Can anyone give me one?

[ Parent ]

here's what i am referring to... (2.85 / 7) (#33)
by kpaul on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 09:06:54 PM EST

But *I* say unto you, Do not swear at all; neither by the heaven, because it is [the] throne of God; nor by the earth, because it is [the] footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, because it is [the] city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your word be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; but what is more than these is from evil. [Matthew 5:34-37]

But before all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath; but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay, that ye do not fall under judgment. [James 5:12]

i'm also going by the Holy Spirit's leading on this one, fwiw...


2014 Halloween Costumes
[ Parent ]

Not only that, but... (none / 2) (#152)
by J'raxis on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:33:39 PM EST

A lot of the people who are Christian, and obsessed with keeping this phrase in the pledge, insist it doesn’t really mean anything but is merely descriptive.

Wouldn’t that be pretty close to taking God’s name “in vain”?

— J’raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

who? (none / 0) (#202)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:45:09 PM EST

I doubt they would say that it has little intrinsic value. Those who wish for it to stay on these grounds probably hold that it's the most minor of nuisances for those that don't believe but it has immense value to themselves. Who wouldn't want to believe that God blesses their homeland? Wanting to live in a land without God would be vanity both in the sense of excessive pride and in the sense of worthlessness (the intended definition of "in vain").

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
history instructs (none / 0) (#211)
by phred on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 04:44:28 PM EST

To believe that God blesses a particular country without fail is to ignore history, even Israel earned God's punishment on a few occasions.

One would rather hope that ones homeland could avoid angering God. Considering the varying quality of leadership in some countries, this is not always a given. Its hard enough for a government to balance a budget, much less get religion correct, so its probably best just to be religiously tolerant.

[ Parent ]

Arabs (none / 0) (#246)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:12:54 PM EST

I wonder how the Arabs view their failure to purge Israel from the Middle East. Both religions share the same God. Whose side is God on when they fight? Does it mean God favors Israel more than Egypt, Jordan, and Syria?

Does anyone know what the Arab religious view of this paradox is?

[ Parent ]

That getting nukes will negate it (nt) (none / 0) (#257)
by jeremyn on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 03:31:12 AM EST



[ Parent ]
*grin* (none / 0) (#319)
by ekj on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 06:32:30 AM EST

Apart from the obvious hypocrisy in the position stated aproximately as: "It doesn't really mean anything at all, but it's really important that we keep it." you mean ?

[ Parent ]
Good point, really (none / 1) (#203)
by epepke on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:45:54 PM EST

Objections to "under God" in the Pledge are not limited to atheist objections; there are many Christian sects who objected to it as well. A class action lawsuit would probably have been a better idea.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
I find the dissents worrying. (2.90 / 10) (#19)
by mcc on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:17:08 PM EST

The dissents seem to totally miss the point of the case. Admittedly, the case was never actually argued before them, so maybe things would have turned out different if it actually had, but the fact that three of the supreme court justices don't see the difference between an offhanded mention of God in a speech and an entire nation of schoolchildren being coerced to recite a pledge that the United States government is "under God"... what does this even say?

I begin to wonder if this actually just wasn't the right time to have brought this suit in the first place. I begin to fear that America just isn't ready, and the final results could have wound up being a step backward. Could we maybe wind up with a situation where someone brings a case with a child they actually have custody of, we wind up with a final ruling much like Mr. Renquist's above, and this case later becomes a precedent establishing that despite what the constitution says the state can, in fact, grant special priviliges to certain religions because the Supreme Court has shown that anyone who objects on first amendment grounds can be brushed off as trying to enforce a "heckler's veto"?

I also find it worrying Mr. Renquist seems to believe H. R. Rep. No. 1693 is crucial enough that the sentiment it expresses overrides the sentiment expressed by an amendment to the constitution. I had been under the conception he was one of those strict-constructionist kind of peoples. Does that only follow as far as it doesn't conflict with his desire to promote his religion and its currently priviliged position in the American state and society, then?

---
Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame

Just for the sake of arguing (none / 0) (#31)
by godix on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:57:43 PM EST

Would your opinion be any different if the pledge was not required in the state of California? If Congress made a law saying 'Here's the pledge of alligence as we'd like to hear it said but no one anywhere is actually forced to say it' would you consider that government establishing religion or would the option to not follow it make it kosher?

Personally I think if the pledge has all the legal bearing of 'nation whatever week', in other words a Congressional wish rather than an enforced law, I don't care what they put in it. The problem I have with this case is that California requires the pledge to be said each day in school. The fact that Californias law allows students the option to not say it does complicate matters somewhat.

I draw people smiling, dogs running and rainbows. They don't have meetings about rainbows.

[ Parent ]

For the sake of argument (none / 1) (#55)
by mcc on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:11:35 PM EST

Would your opinion be any different if the pledge was not required in the state of California [or, I assume should be inserted here, Colorado, Texas, etc --mcc]? If Congress made a law saying 'Here's the pledge of alligence as we'd like to hear it said but no one anywhere is actually forced to say it' would you consider that government establishing religion or would the option to not follow it make it kosher?

No, I'd be OK with that. I'd consider that to be an action unbecoming of a free state, but not something I would consider a constitutional violation. That would be like the "In God we Trust" on the penny, or perhaps somewhat more like the "under God" in the copy of the Gettysburg address carved into the wall of the lincoln memorial-- it would in that context represent a mention of God in a governmental document, but would not cross over the line into an endorsement made with the force of law (as the state-led pledge recitals in public schools are, or as the ten commandments monument in that alabama courthouse were).

Such a law as you hypothetically speak of would be silly, and to a certain degree degrading to the concept of America, but not worth bickering over and probably not something worth judicial intervention.

---
Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
[ Parent ]

Not to drag this out further than needed (none / 2) (#64)
by godix on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:38:34 PM EST

Such a law as you hypothetically speak of would be silly, and to a certain degree degrading to the concept of America, but not worth bickering over and probably not something worth judicial intervention.

Such a law as I hypothetically spoke of is pretty much exactly what the pledge of alligence is. Congress has stated what they'd like the pledge to be and that's all they've done. It's the states which have taken that extra step of requiring the pledge be said in certain situations. My issue isn't with the pledge itself or even the religion portion of the first ammendment. I feel the issue that should be argued is that requiring students to say the pledge violates the free speech portion of the first ammendment. I'm not really disagreeing with you on this situation being unconsitutional, I just see a totally different reason it's unconstitutional than you do.

I draw people smiling, dogs running and rainbows. They don't have meetings about rainbows.

[ Parent ]
actually it's not mandatory by California law (none / 3) (#73)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:53:31 AM EST

Congress made the pledge official. California law requires a patriotic start to the day and says the pledge can be used to meet the requirement. The school district requires the teachers to use the pledge.

[ Parent ]
Ah my mistake (none / 1) (#78)
by godix on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 03:09:02 AM EST

I was under the assumption that it was all of California. Thanks for the correction. It doesn't change my opinion but it's always nice to blame the right group.

Of course, that 'patriotic start of the day' could be questioned if someone felt inclined but having proved my ignorance once I'll decline to prove it again, at least on this issue.

I draw people smiling, dogs running and rainbows. They don't have meetings about rainbows.

[ Parent ]

I would still object (3.00 / 5) (#110)
by NoBeardPete on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 04:25:17 PM EST

The phrase "Under God", in the contect of the Pledge of Allegiance, makes several theological claims. It claims that there is a god. It suggests that there is either only one god, that there is one god of primary importance, or that there is one god with a special relationship to the US. It claims that the US is under this god. In context, being underneath this god can only be construed to mean that this god is generally good, and that either he is favorably inclined towards the US, or that the proper place of the US is to be subservient to said god.

Many people may be blind to the fact that these definite theological claims are inherent in the current pledge. It seems that just because people agree with these claims, they are unable to see that the claims are, indeed, there. Open your eyes, people.

It shouldn't matter whether most Americans agree with these claims, or indeed whether none or all Americans do. Our nation may be religious, but our government is secular, and it should not have any position on theology. It should not have a position on the existence of god, nor on the proper relationship between god and man, nor between god and our specific nation/government.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]
Differences (none / 1) (#131)
by godix on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:29:31 PM EST

There is a difference between endorsing a religion and making a 'law respecting an establishment of religion'. It's subtile but it is there. As long as it's not required to say the pledge then I view 'under god' much the same way I view all the national X weeks. It's a big deal to the people who care about that issue to begin with and for all the rest of us it's just something another stupid thing from Congress to ignore.

I draw people smiling, dogs running and rainbows. They don't have meetings about rainbows.

[ Parent ]
Don't get me wrong (none / 2) (#144)
by NoBeardPete on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 09:59:07 PM EST

The practical effect of the Pledge of Allegiance is not very large, and it gets most of that by virtue of being regularly recited in schools. As such, I'm not prepared to fight it too hard, the way I would be if Congress was really shitting on the first ammendment in a more significant way. Nonetheless, it's wrong.

It may be just one more stupid thing that Congress does, it may not really matter that much, but it is still wrong. It is not the place of Congress to make statements about the existence of god and the proper relationship between god and man. Just because this is a minor, trifling infraction does not somehow mean that it is not an infraction.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]
fun with parrots and grog (1.00 / 5) (#179)
by Phil San on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:58:36 AM EST

The phrase "Under God", in the contect of the Pledge of Allegiance, makes several theological claims.

And denying the use of such makes an equal set of claims which I must add are much, much, much less supported than you would mostlikely admit.

It claims that there is a god.

And people who are not includeing it want to feel that there isn't.

It suggests that there is either only one god,

Uhhhh skippy I don't think you realize that the whole pagans had a chance thing really fucking died out when christianity kicked everyone's asses back in the day.

This is self evident except to people whose parents were just beer swilling, trailer park individuals.

that there is one god of primary importance,

Again this is even more self evident. Even most archaic polytheistic religions don't have a problem of looking for a god who is of prime importance.

or that there is one god with a special relationship to the US.

You must be totally 100% stupid.

That is most certainly not a theological claim in the slightest. No real church really makes this absolute doctrine it's more of a statement of how we apply the thinking of how god operates into what we think we should do as part of the organization that has this certain type of thinking.

To put this another way it's just applying a certain type of philosophy.

National pride has nothing to do with theology.

In fact national pride is only connected with theology due to it's intersection with the lives of it's practioners.

It claims that the US is under this god.

That is the single most naive statement that you have yet provided.

Frankly I feel that you are most likely trying to make some kind of a joke.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you took that whole "..the unexamined life is not worth living" things a bit too far in this case.

In context, being underneath this god can only be construed to mean that this god is generally good,

I am suspecting that you are stuck into some kind of infinite loop. As a CS student I feel that this needs debugging now, schnell, schnell!

Pretending that God isn't good is just another act of stupidity that just screams "I'm disbelieving this for the benefit of looking smart"

Even if god were absolutely Hitleran who he is AGAINST is much, much, much worse. The Devil is absolutely 10,000x worse than that. So I guess you could say that the Pope is evil say compared to Tony Soprano by virtue of the fact that he will die and end up missing chances to help people.

Oh and by the way Satanist arguments don't work so try some real arguing to get around this one.

For an example two moronic examples of this type of misguided philosophy were the Cathars and the Lucifereans.

The Lucifereans figured that since imperfection existed that Satan created the world.

Completely mornic, and disproven by many thinkers since.

Then we have the Cathars, nice bunch and more or less believed that all material essence was sinful.

Their most wacky and completely wrong theory was that they needed to give some sort of dieing prayer was necessary to give the dieing just before they die.

The problem was that they tended to miscalculate and then they would have to force the people to commit suicide, or get murdered.

But I digress, onto making good arguments.

and that either he is favorably inclined towards the US,

We're making all the right calls, I can't see why not.

Of course this isn't part of doctrine per se so I have to call foul about this being part of standard Protestant theology.

I doubt you can.

or that the proper place of the US is to be subservient to said god.

Well I guess if your sense of dealing with challenging philosophical, psychological, physical, and mathmetical problems is to simply deal with them by challenging basic human ways of thinking I feel sorry for you.

You're great uncle Horace says that all you have to do to get 100 billion dollars is just straighten up and fly right and you get the money.

You are seriously the kind of guy who would challenge the deseriability of such an arrangement.

How is being privy to happiness for the small price of abstaining from self destructive behaviour a problem?

I mean come on even if you're some stupid homo reigning in all that gayness to have much more happiness forever is worth it right?

If you answer no to any of these statemnets you need to have your head checked.

Commander Checkov we have klingons surrounding us, what shall we do?

Something tells me that you are a fool who likes to question everything.

It also means that you probably feel that master thieves break into your house and steal everything and replace it all with identical stuff, have hysterical fits about the nature of gravity, and generally believe that Elvis is still alive.

Many people may be blind to the fact that these definite theological claims are inherent in the current pledge.

And many people things your fears are groundless and complaints moronic.

Frankly you are thinking in an algorithmic way. This is over common in CS and programming. Honestly I can understand I wasted a great deal of time doing pointless excercises like this with professors who extorted money from me and left me with a "portfolio" [if you can call it that] of projects that would make all but the stupidest people laugh.

However philosophical and more "esoteric" ways of thinking aren't like this.

These aren't claims, they are just retarded little nits that most people have not bothered becuase they don't worry about linguistics they way you seem to think that they do.

I also label you one of those people who feel they have no need for religion most likely because you like your little toys and wads of cash here and now and can't bear to part with them.

Maybe you don't live in a world in which rural Nepalese villagers have better living arrangements and entertainment choices than you but you should look at this. (PBS Frontline World presentation showing villagers getting more channels than I have even heared of, etc)

Maybe most people "haven't heard" of these claims or "don't think" about them is because they are just retarded things that most people don't think of.

It seems that just because people agree with these claims,

Hell yeah!

they are unable to see that the claims are, indeed, there.

And you think and write so much like a programmer/science major it hurts. Maybe you don't notice that?

Why do I harp on this? Because many of these people save some nobel laureats act like retarded Pee Wee's Playhouse cast members.

Physical reality isn't all that there is.

Science still has much to find and reccord.

We can only study what is in the physical universe and that we havn't missed (we missed a fucking "extinct" fish the Cealocanth(sp) a while back so anything in space and especially outside the universe is fair game).

You don't argue anything cogently.

You don't argue formally.

You are recycling arguments.

What's the difference between someone like Hume, Swinburne, Hicks, Wittgenstein, etc?

They can write about minutea.

You write from something that comes across as "gut level feelings" and what is "observable", frankly I read science papers/theses and you don't even approach that.

All the "intellectual" arguments against God sound like moronic appeals to some supposed obvious things.

This will not due.

Open your eyes, people.

I have, you suck. I can't get better than this.

It shouldn't matter whether most Americans agree with these claims, or indeed whether none or all Americans do.

Yes it fucking should.

I think I and most of the American people really hate a vocal minority trying to change the social fabric of our nation.

And you know what they have a point.

Most people aren't wealthy enough to create heaven on earth.

Most people aren't anti-religious bigots.

In the past whole eras which were colored by these idiots were not the majority or spoke for even half of all people.

The "communist" revolution in Russia in 1917 was a shitty little sham which was forced on a good 90% of people who didn't want that kind of totalitarianism.

The whole decade of the 60's was dominated by loud, retarded drug addled "revolutionaries" [look I can smoke pot and chant slogans incoherently at the same time dood!!] who were in the smallest minorities (like say less than 2% of all Americans)

This guy is the same kind of retard.

Our nation may be religious, but our government is secular, and it should not have any position on theology.

Secularity does not preclude being unfree to express a religious opinion

If you doubt this a more educated scholar than I can asist you if you can stop hitting the bong and programming, or posting to k5

"Over the Wall" by Fran Galuzzia

Should be found on bn.com or amazon

Basically the problem is that the supreme court is extremely fickle about how to define that "Wall of seperation" that we think we have and exactly what is against the wording of the first ammendment.

Religious opinion is still speech.

It should not have a position on the existence of god, nor on the proper relationship between god and man, nor between god and our specific nation/government.

In short anything but the most stolid de-culturation of the United States and it's right to religion is unacceptable huh?

Frankly I say fuck you.

Of course maybe you really wouldn't want that. Frankly you try and get people to admire how much they are screwed and you're going to get more unrest than the country of Afghanistan had since about '79.

Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!

I assume that this is you eh? Maybe a little artwork would be in order?

[ Parent ]
first amendment (none / 0) (#32)
by adimovk5 on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 09:00:02 PM EST

entire nation of schoolchildren being coerced

anyone who objects on first amendment grounds

The general idea I got from their writings is that the pledge is okay as long as no one is forced to say it. There can be no coercion. As long as it is made clear that people can remain silent during the pledge, the pledge does not violate the first amendment.

three of the supreme court justices don't see the difference

At least four justices are for "under God". Justice Scalia recused himself from the case.

the state can, in fact, grant special priviliges to certain religions

States can establish religions, unless forbidden by their constitutions. It's unlikely that it would ever happen. Congress cannot treat any religion specially.


[ Parent ]
Coercion; 9 (2.75 / 4) (#53)
by mcc on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:01:45 PM EST

There can be no coercion. As long as it is made clear that people can remain silent during the pledge, the pledge does not violate the first amendment.

First off, one of the absolutely crucial issues at hand here is that you simply cannot make it clear to a six year old child that he has the right to remain silent during the pledge. The teacher tells him to do something; the rest of the classmates are doing it. Understanding the somewhat complex nature of the rights and issues at hand here, or just understanding "this is optional", requires at least a certain degree of maturity, a degree of maturity that not everyone effected by the "optional" pledge law is going to hold. One could perhaps consider "informed consent" a relevant concept here, or is that taking things too far?

That said, it essentially comes down to what you consider "coercion". I think there is no question that pressure is placed on the child to follow along with the pledge; school social structures can tend to be unfriendly to nonconformity, and a problem arises in that any student that objects to this must directly identify themselves as such by their silence, thus opening them up to real or simply implied reprisals from teachers or other students. The degree to which this occurs would be impossible to measure (and in the average case it probably wouldn't happen at all), but this is definitely not a black and white "well they don't have to say anything" issue.

Second off even if the "right to remain silent" bit resolved the issues concerning the rights of the students, it does absolutely nothing to assuage the "no establishment of religion" complaints. Between the teacher's position and the backing in this case by a state-level law, the teacher can be considered to be effectively acting as an agent of the state insofar as the pledge is concerned. This, and the manner in which the pledge is performed, takes the pledge out of the realm of personal expression by private citizens who happen to be holding governmental positions (acceptable) and into the realm of the pledge being a statement being directly taken by the state (not acceptable since it unambiguously establishes a position on religion, even though the position itself may be vague). You may not agree with this whole bit, but it's not an argument which can be simply brushed off.

States can establish religions, unless forbidden by their constitutions. It's unlikely that it would ever happen. Congress cannot treat any religion specially.

From an ideological standpoint what you say is not the case. The bill of rights is in principle not meant to provide boundaries on the rights of the United States federal government, but to provide a position enumerating a subset of those actions that a government inherently lacks the right or authority to perform, and that the people lack the ability to grant their government. The authors of the Bill of Rights, and the prevailing nature of the debate about the Bill of Rights at the time it was adopted, make this rather unambiguous: the Bill of Rights describes inalienable rights of mankind which the state implicitly lacked the right to violate anyway, but which are being explicitly enumerated just to make things absolutely clear. This position is even written into the Bill of Rights, in the form of the ninth amendment. (You could perhaps gain some level of meaning from the fact that the ninth amendment comes before the tenth.)

From a legal standpoint what you say does not appear to be the case, at least not since the passage of the fourteenth amendment. My legal knowledge is, however, not great enough to definitely know what the exact standing case law on this subject is.

From a rules-lawyering standpoint what you say is complicated by the fact that states fourteen through fifty were technically all brought into being by acts of congress. This would seem to create the neat little catch-22 that if you're a state other than one of the original 13, you can grant yourself extra constitutional rights-- but if you do this then Congress lacked the authority to bring you into the union in the first place.

---
Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
[ Parent ]

rights and amendments (none / 1) (#72)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:48:01 AM EST

you simply cannot make it clear to a six year old child that he has the right to remain silent during the pledge

This argument would be valid if the teacher-child relationship existed in a vacuum. It doesn't. The parent is responsible for knowing what is going on in the classroom. The parent has the right to prevent a child from saying the pledge. It is the same right the parent exercises when excluding or including a child from sex ed or field trips.
From an ideological standpoint what you say is not the case. The bill of rights is in principle not meant to provide boundaries on the rights of the United States federal government

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

From a legal standpoint what you say does not appear to be the case, at least not since the passage of the fourteenth amendment.

You are correct in a sense. The Supreme Court has used the 14th Amendment to strip the meaning of the 1st Amendment. It has decided that the equal protection clauses override the 10th Amendmentment which reserves to the states those powers not denied to them.

At the time the 1st Amendment was passed there were six states with state churches. They continued to exist in the early years of the country. The 1st Amendment did not make them unconstitutional because that clause applied to Congress.

if you're a state other than one of the original 13, you can grant yourself extra constitutional rights

Under the Constitution all states are equal, regardless of when they are admitted. The Constitution does not make distinctions between the original states and those created later.


[ Parent ]
While I agree... (none / 1) (#76)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 02:14:51 AM EST

...with the bulk of your argument, I must take issue with the following statement:
The Supreme Court has used the 14th Amendment to strip the meaning of the 1st Amendment. It has decided that the equal protection clauses override the 10th Amendmentment which reserves to the states those powers not denied to them.

It is unfair and inaccurate to characterize SCOTUS as having "stripped" the meaning of the 1st Amendment (presumably meaning: subtracted meaning from?). The application of the 1st Amendment must necessarily have changed in response to fundamental change in the nature of the relationship between the federal government and the various state governments effected by the 14th Amendment; this was no act of "judcial activism," the 14th was quite explicitly designed to redefine--and in large part reverse--the relationship between the states and the federal republic. You may believe passage of the 14th Amendment to have been a mistake, but you can't really fault SCOTUS for having applied what was given them.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
14th Amendment , ex-slaves, rebels (none / 2) (#87)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 09:53:18 AM EST

the 14th was quite explicitly designed to redefine--and in large part reverse--the relationship between the states and the federal republic

  1. All people born in the US are citizens of the US and the State they live in. No state can take away the privileges or immunities of any citizen. Due process of law must be used to take life, liberty, or property. All people have equal protection of the law.

  2. All people count when distributing representatives. If any potential voters are denied the right to vote, the representation in Congress is reduced in proportion.

  3. Members of the government of the rebellion are forbidden from holding office without the permission of Congress.

  4. The debt incurred during the rebellion is valid except for debt incurrred by the rebels.
The 14th Amendment had many purposes. It made it clear that the ex-slaves were all citizens of the United States and of the State they lived in. Before that time, freed slaves were not able to obtain State citizenship and vote in State elections in some States even though they were granted federal citizenship. It gave ex-slaves all the protections of people who were not ex-slaves. Up until this point ex-slaves were treated as less than a person, 3/5 of a person in the Constitution. The second section forced the States to either let ex-slaves vote or lose representation in proprtion. The third and fourth sections punish the rebels and their supporters.

How does that reverse the relationship between the States and the federal government? The purpose of the Amendment was empowerment of ex-slaves and punshiment of the rebellion. If you can find any documentation showing the purpose was reversal of the relationship, I'll gladly read it.

Amendment XIV

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.



[ Parent ]
Do you doubt... (none / 0) (#108)
by cr8dle2grave on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 04:00:18 PM EST

...that those representing an explicitly anti-federalist agenda played a large part in crafting the 14th? If so, I suppose the documentation would be found in the Congressional  record (federal and the record of the states' ratification hearings), which I've admittedly never read, having just taken it on authority (so much so that I've never really considered the statement controversial).

The treatment of the 14th by SCOTUS is a bit of mixed bag as concerns furtherance of its anti-federalist provisions. Shortly after its passage, SCOTUS, having at the time a decidedly federalist bias, effectively neutered the "privileges and immunities" clause with the Slaughter House decision, but then came to reverse itself over the course of the next generation by finding in the "due process" clause the same federal authority it had originally denied to the "privileges and immunities clause."

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
agendas (none / 0) (#116)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:55:34 PM EST

I admit to not being an expert on the 14th Amendment.

However, I don't see any anti-federalist agenda in the wording of the 14th. What I do see is a very pro ex-slave stance. Rather than waiting to see if the States would come to their senses, the Union pushed through an Amendment forcing the issue. The 14th Amendment's purpose was to help the ex-slaves by giving them Constitutional protection while punishing the South and its supporters.

The SCOTUS is nothing more than a collection of educated men trying to render opinions. As such, its opinion varies over time as the men learn and it varies as the men themselves are replaced. I can understand the changes in opinion. I have a problem with SCOTUS reading intent where there was none. Of course, part of the problem is Congress not making itself clear when writing law.



[ Parent ]

anti-federalism (none / 1) (#198)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:25:24 PM EST

I don't see any anti-federalist agenda in the wording of the 14th

It extends the scope of federal jurisdiction to include the relationship between the various state governments and their respective citizenry. The immediate consequence of this is to make the constitutional amendments effective restraints on the power of the state governments in addition to restraining federal powers.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
dual restraint (none / 0) (#245)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:07:34 PM EST

I didn't see it that way, but I see your point. By that interpretation, all the restrictions imposed on Congress are also imposed on the states. Is that correct?

[ Parent ]
Pretty much (none / 1) (#274)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 11:46:37 AM EST

And with that, we're well on our way toward a theory of "substantive due process."

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
waaaait (none / 0) (#306)
by adimovk5 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 07:21:46 PM EST

Give me time to absorb the last lesson. I have one of the smaller, economy size brains. 8)

[ Parent ]
Congratulations (none / 0) (#133)
by mcc on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:32:25 PM EST

>> From an ideological standpoint what you say is not the case. The bill of rights is in principle not meant to provide boundaries on the rights of the United States federal government

> Clip of first amendment

Congratulations on your excellent demonstration on how you can completely change an argument by selective quoting.

The sentence you quote the first half of was not meant to say that the Bill of Rights does not place boundaries on the United States Federal government. The sentence was meant to say that placing boundaries on the Federal government is an implication of the Bill of Right's purpose rather than being its sole extent.

[ Parent ]

placing boundaries (none / 1) (#138)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 08:42:34 PM EST

The sentence was meant to say that placing boundaries on the Federal government is an implication of the Bill of Right's purpose rather than being its sole extent.

What part of the Bill of Rights does not place boundaries on the federal government? The whole purpose of the Constitution was to create a restricted federal government. It has enumerated powers and is expressly forbidden certain things.

The Bill of Rights carried the restrictions further by explicitly stating rights the federal government was forbidden. The ninth and tenth were added to make clear the idea that the people had rights not listed and the states and the people had every power not given to the federal government unless explicitly forbidden by the Constitution.

The purpose of every Amendment of the Bill of Rights was to restrict federal government.



[ Parent ]

You underestimate kids (none / 1) (#332)
by RadiantMatrix on Sat Jun 19, 2004 at 02:00:46 AM EST


you simply cannot make it clear to a six year old child that he has the right to remain silent during the pledge.

Bullshit.  You're simply underestimating kids.  My parents objected to the recitation of the pledge on the grounds that I should know more about the inner workings of politics before I pledged allegiance to any country.

When I went to school the first day (4 years old), my parents reminded me that I wasn't to say the pledge, why, and that if the teacher wouldn't take "no" for an answer to demand that they call my parents.

I may not have understood the complexity of their reasoning, but I certainly understood that it was my right to refuse, and that I could insist on my rights.  As a result, I never said the pledge in school.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

decision making (none / 0) (#352)
by adiffer on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 05:56:56 PM EST

You didn't make that decision.  Your parents did for you.
That is the real infraction here with the Pledge.  Michael Newdow's right to teach his child religion is being infringed.  The California Court stripped him of his right to intervene legally on behalf of his daughter, so now his right to educate her regarding religion (a right he still has) has been infringed.
-Dream Big. --Grow Up.
[ Parent ]
the mother (none / 0) (#383)
by adimovk5 on Sun Jun 27, 2004 at 06:00:40 PM EST

And what of the mother's rights? The mother is a Christian and has chosen to raise her daughter as a Christian. The daughter is a Christian and has no problem with the pledge. Michael Newdow is seeking to impose his views on a child and a woman over whom he has no legal right.

The root of the problem is Newdow's impregnantion of a woman who was not his wife. The mother and the father have never been married and have different religious and political views. The child is being used as a proxy for their battle.

[ Parent ]

Re: I find the dissents worrying. (none / 1) (#264)
by devon on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 09:36:57 AM EST

I had been under the conception he was one of those strict-constructionist kind of peoples.

There are no strict-constructionists on the Supreme Court, and I doubt there ever have been or ever will be. I've read a lot of cases. There are times when a justice's opinion reads like strict-construction, but that's just a coincidence. You know, reading it strictly just happens to give them the outcome the want anyway. Justices will all too easily jump through interpretive hoops to get the constitution to say what they want, when they have to.

A lot of people think conservative politics = strict-construction. That is not the case. Many conservatives will all too glady bend your knees before God, and claim the Constitution gives them the authority. Many conservatives think they're in favor of strict-construction, but when you confront them with what that really means, they fall away from it pretty quickly.



--
Call yourself a computer professional? Congratulations. You are responsible for the imminent collapse of civilization.
[ Parent ]
This is a Victory for all Americans. (1.12 / 33) (#22)
by rmg on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:22:44 PM EST

When I first heard this pencil-neck lawyer had taken God out of the pledge, I was stunned. I grew up saying that pledge everyday at school. Everyday it reminded me of the values our society stands for. Freedom, justice, and Truth.

It seems Mr. Nowdow has a problem with Truth. For whatever reason, he has chosen the path of darkness and he wants to use the law to entice my children to follow. Well, of course I see to it my children stay out of those evolution teaching, secular humanism preaching, revisionist history teaching public schools -- I send them to the local evangelical school where they'll be saying the pledge the right way no matter what the courts say.

The fact is, over ninety percent of Americans are Christians and most of the rest are Jews. It just doesn't make sense to try to accomidate some tiny minority like atheists or Scientologists or whatever this guy is. You just can't make everyone happy. There's always some malcontent complaining about something.

We are living in a time when our values are being attacked from all sides. We have Hollywood flooding our senses with sexual depravity, the media undermining our moral certainty with horrifying pictures from Iraq (many of them fake... who would have guessed?), and terrorists all over the world plotting the destruction of our way of life each and every waking hour. With all the single mothers, gay marriages, liberal cartoonists, and all the rest of the craziness going on today, do we really need one more twit questioning our society?

I think not.

-- Rich Gramercy

hey! (none / 0) (#210)
by phred on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 04:25:49 PM EST

its been two days and this post didn't get one bite, so I thought I'd help out.

[ Parent ]
ha (none / 0) (#266)
by davros4269 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 09:50:13 AM EST

The last time I replied to a post like this, I learned later that I was tricked ;)

It happened in the story about Reagan - the bit supporting "the death of an American hero" was actually written by someone who didn't much care for Reagan...

I'm too lazy to look the poster up to see what else he's written to decide if it's irony or the idioticy it seems to be...

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

donkey (none / 0) (#267)
by davros4269 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 09:52:50 AM EST

Wow am I an idiot - the poster above and the one I was talking about is the same guy - I should know better than to be up this early...

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]
This is idiotic. (2.65 / 20) (#23)
by kitten on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:24:57 PM EST

First, Michael Newdow was not "rebuffed" nor was anything decided on the pledge issue, so you can't say it "stands". All that the Court said was that Mr Newdow didn't have legal standing in this case and therefore couldn't sue.

Renquist is a moron for quoting this line:
"From the time of our earliest history our peoples and our institutions have reflected the traditional concept that our Nation was founded on a fundamental belief in God."
Any high school student who has taken US history can tell you that most of the founding fathers of America were not Christian. Some of them were as close to being atheist as you could get in those days without being lynched. Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin in particular wrote several vicious anti-theist essays. John Adams included a line in the treaty of Tripoli that outright declares false the notion that the US was founded on theistic principles of any kind.

In no sense was this nation founded on religion or a "fundamental belief in God". It was founded by We The People.

O'Conner is no better off when she states:
Certain ceremonial references to God and religion in our Nation are the inevitable consequence of the religious history that gave birth to our founding principles of liberty.
The references she is presumably referring to are things like the traditional prayer before opening a session of Congress, which has roots going back to before the Constitution was drafted. It has generally been accepted that the founding fathers had no problem with this, and at any rate, at this point in time, the prayer is less religious and more ceremonial or traditional than anything else. Not so with the phrase "under God" or "In God We Trust", both of which were added in the 1950s at the behest of the Knights of Columbus who petitioned Eisenhower to insert the phrase to distinguish our pledge from the similar indoctrination used by the Soviets, those damn godless Commies.

Putting window dressing on indoctrination doesn't make it any less indoctrination.

Some will say this is all irrelevent anyway. Didn't the courts decree in 1947 (?) that schools could not force students to recite the pledge against their will?

Well, yes, in fact, they did. But you'll find that schools of today go out of their way to hide that fact. When I refused to say the pledge in tenth grade, I was first told that I didnt' have to say it, but I at least had to stand. I argued that freedom of speech included the freedom to not speak, and covered symbolic speech as much as written or verbal, and standing was definitely symbolic speech. The assistant principal disagreed, saying that symbolic gestures like standing were not a form of expression and so would I just stand and quit actin' a fool? I replied by giving him the finger. After his yelling died down I asked him how he could get so angry over a simple gesture if the gesture didn't express anything.

I got in-school suspension for three days for that, but I like to think my point was made.

It probably wasn't, though, since the next week, I was informed that if I chose not to stand or say the pledge, I could do so only if I had written permission from my parents, which is also counter to what the actual decision says.

In short, schools do everything they can to make students feel like they must say the pledge, throwing obstacles in their way if they don't, and generally making them feel like subhuman outcasts for not falling in line with the status quo.

As an atheist myself, I have to say the phrase "under God" doesn't bother me all that much. I'd like to see it gone, but I really don't care either way. What bothers me more is how schools are used to indoctrinate students in such a ridiculous manner. Newdow's complaint should have been about how schools more or less force students to say the pledge in defiance of a decision made fiftysome years ago.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
Sorry, Kitten, but you shouldn't make stuff up. (2.44 / 9) (#26)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:44:58 PM EST

Any high school student who has taken US history can tell you that most of the founding fathers of America were not Christian. Some of them were as close to being atheist as you could get in those days without being lynched. Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin in particular wrote several vicious anti-theist essays. John Adams included a line in the treaty of Tripoli that outright declares false the notion that the US was founded on theistic principles of any kind.

Don't let your hostility cloud your reason and weaken your arguments.  The New England states were founded by the Puritans - you don't get much more fundamentalist than that. Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers, Maryland by Catholics, IIRC. But, okay - let's look at the signers themselves:

John Witherspoon was a minister. Sam Adams bragged that the country was founded on the principles of the new testament. John Adams was the one who insisted on using God as the basis for human rights.

Jefferson - frequently claimed as an athiest - once wrote "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

Yup. Clearly the writings of an athiest. But what about Franklin? Oh, yeah - in the minutes of the continential congress he is recorded saying:

"... I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."

That's odd. An athiest requesting that the Continental Congress begin it's meetings with a prayer.

So, first, yes - Newdow was rebuffed. He was told he had no business suing over something that was not his legal concern. The Court, rightly, refused to undermine family law to allow him to score points off his wife. Second, whether or not you were illegally forced to recite the pledge doesn't mean Newdow's daughter is being forced to (by all accounts, she doesn't mind it and is, in fact, a Christian).

Finally, for someone who claims it doesn't bother you much, you certainly seem awfully het up by all this.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

I didn't know they still made idiots like you. (2.43 / 16) (#35)
by kitten on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 09:08:33 PM EST

The New England states were founded by the Puritans - you don't get much more fundamentalist than that. Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers, Maryland by Catholics, IIRC.

Gee whiz, I was previously unaware that the individual states were actually what was meant by the overall umbrella of "The United States Of America". See, I've been living in this weird delusion that the United States of America was an entity distinct from the states themselves, and that each entity had powers that the other did not. Silly me.

Jefferson - frequently claimed as an athiest

I didn't say he was an atheist. He was probably more along the lines of a Deist.

Jefferon's personal theological views aren't really the issue, though. We are asking whether or not the nation was founded on theistic or religious principles. Here's what Jefferson had to say about that:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
As for his personal beliefs:
You say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely, June 25, 1819

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.

I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789
Then of course there's this, which pretty much shows Jefferson's rejection of the supernatural, and definitely his rejection of the traditional concept of religion and God.

But all that aside, the question is now and was then, is the US founded on religious principles? The actions and words of the founding fathers say no -- quite the opposite, in fact. Their personal views are largely irrelevent, although most of them were not religious anyway, which is what I said in the first place.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
LoL. (1.90 / 11) (#37)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 09:15:02 PM EST

Sorry, but if you make easily disprovable statements, don't be surprised if someone actually checks them.

You can keep asserting that they "weren't Christian" or "weren't religious" but both statements are pure BS as any scholar - or even user of Google - can show.

The United States was founded on the principle that no group should be able to boss other groups around - including religious groups. That's a far cry from arguing that the United States wasn't founded on religious prinicples.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

Dig yourself deeper there, moron. (none / 2) (#141)
by kitten on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 09:12:21 PM EST

You can keep asserting that they "weren't Christian" or "weren't religious"

Let's go back and look at what I actually said, hmm?
Any high school student who has taken US history can tell you that most of the founding fathers of America were not Christian. Some of them were as close to being atheist as you could get in those days without being lynched.
This is a true statement, and you've yet to bring up anything that shows otherwise. Most of them were not Christian -- religious, perhaps, but not Christians. And some of them were very close to being atheist. Again, a true statement.
Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin in particular wrote several vicious anti-theist essays.
True statements. I even linked you to one of Jefferson's books.
John Adams included a line in the treaty of Tripoli that outright declares false the notion that the US was founded on theistic principles of any kind.
Also a true statement. You could argue that he isn't a founding father, but then you'd really be grasping for something, and anyway the point was clear enough -- the early American leaders knew that religion had no place in government and vice versa.

So, exactly what's your problem here? Nobody seems to know, including you. You just seize on little words here and there and harp on them like a poodle yapping its fool head off at a doberman.


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
No, kitten, they aren't true statements. (none / 1) (#150)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:23:21 PM EST

As I myself noted, if you had actually read my post. In particular, the vast majority of the signers were Christian and were representitives of colonies that had actually state religions. Your yapping about the deist leanings of Jefferson and Franklin - only two out of what, 30? Won't change this.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]
Oh shut up already. (2.80 / 5) (#215)
by kitten on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 06:10:51 PM EST

In particular, the vast majority of the signers were Christian and were representitives of colonies that had actually state religions.

That's nice. I already acknowledged this and demonstrated, clearly enough for even you to understand, that it's utterly irrelevent to the topic at hand. The question is not, nor has it ever been, "What is the religious affiliation of the founding fathers?" The question was and is: "Was the US founded on religious principles?"

The answer to this question is, no, it was not founded on religious principles. Even your pious founders of the individual states often said so:
A Pagan or Antichristian Pilot may be as skillful to carry the Ship to its desired Port, as any Christian Mariner or Pilot in the World, and may perform that work with as much safety and speed... God requireth not an Uniformity of Religion to be inacted and inforced in any Civill State. Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island
Williams was a devout Baptist, by the way.
Religious though they might have been, most -- if not all -- of the founding fathers had zero interest in pushing their religion on anyone else. Most of them were intimately familiar with what happens when religion and government tangle with each other, and didn't want it to happen again.
Far more than "two or three" of the founding fathers rejected Christianity and called for an explicit seperation of church and state. Among them:
If Religion consist in voluntary acts of individuals, singly, or voluntarily associated, and it be proper that public functionaries, as well as their Constituents shd discharge their religious duties, let them like their Constituents, do so at their own expense. James Madison

I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta [Constitution] of our country. George Washington

When all men of all religions ... shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power ... we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society. John Adams

As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of government to protect all conscientious protesters thereof, and I know of no other business government has to do therewith. Thomas Paine

The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity. John Adams

I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it. Ben Franklin (Oops, there's that pesky Deism thing again, which I've mentioned several times now.)

One of the embarrassing problems for the early nineteenth-century champions of the Christian faith was that not one of the first six Presidents of the United States was an orthodox Christian.

Regarding your high-and-mighty trumpeting of how Franklin called for prayer, you somehow forgot to mention that it took him almost five weeks of deliberation, and that his proposal was voted down by your allegedly Christian founding fathers.

You seem to also have forgotten what Article VI, paragraph 3 says in the US Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Does this sound like a nation founded on religious principles to you?

So let me summarize once more: This nation was not founded on religious principles, and that is the only question that needs be addressed. As for the personal beliefs of the founding fathers, it's clear that many of them were spiritual, but most were not Christian per se, some were Deists, some were almost atheist, and almost all -- regardless of personal belief -- wanted church and state utterly seperate.

Now take my advice and quit while you're behind. You're only making a fool of yourself in front of everyone and frankly it's embarassing.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Uh hum.... (none / 1) (#222)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 07:07:36 PM EST

The question is not, nor has it ever been, "What is the religious affiliation of the founding fathers?"

The question of religious affiliation was raised in response to your erroneous assertion that:

Any high school student who has taken US history can tell you that most of the founding fathers of America were not Christian.

Which is plainly false. Unless of course you mean to introduce evidence that a simple majority of the participants in the Constitutional Congress did not self-identify as Christians? If so, we're all waiting with bated breath.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Yes? (2.25 / 4) (#226)
by kitten on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 07:59:28 PM EST

The question of religious affiliation was raised in response to your erroneous assertion that [most of the founding fathers weren't Christian]

I asserted that (I should have said "many" rather than "most" if you want to be pedantic) in response to Renquist's statement that
"From the time of our earliest history our peoples and our institutions have reflected the traditional concept that our Nation was founded on a fundamental belief in God."
I cited a few examples of very non-religious founding fathers, pointed out that others were spiritual but not Christian or any other particular religion.

These are important problems for Renquist for his argument makes no sense in light of the fact that many of the founding fathers did not have a fundamental belief in God, nor did the first six presidents or so (none were Orthodox Christian), and that the writings, both official and unofficial, of these people all point to the same conclusion -- they all believed that religion and government should have nothing to do with teach other. It's in the first amendment. It's in the Constitution. It's in many writings by many founding fathers including the Federalist Papers.

I finally concluded that
In no sense was this nation founded on religion or a "fundamental belief in God". It was founded by We The People.
It was about this time that Mr clown leapt like an obsessive upon one small portion of the overall point, filled with smug superiority in his argument that "YOU SAID THEY WEREN'T CHRISTIAN BUT SOME OF THEM WERE OMG".

I have never claimed otherwise. Yes, as I've said six or seven times now, some of them were. Some were not. Some were very pious, some were almost atheist, some were Deist, but all shared the common belief that religion and government should not entangle with each other -- which is the fundamental issue here, not the personal views of the founding fathers.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Bullshit. (none / 1) (#316)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 12:10:36 AM EST

Kitten,

Given that we can all read the entire thread there really isn't much point in claiming what you did or didn't say, is there?

As others besides me have pointed out - you made grand, unsupported assertions which were trivially refutable. Rather than defend your arguments rationally, you resorted to name calling and other insults. While such may make you feel better about yourself they do not, in fact, make you any more correct.

As for my "smug superiority" perhaps you need to upgrade your own methods of debating rather than whining that I should downgrade my own.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

Porky (none / 0) (#350)
by JohnnyCannuk on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 04:50:42 PM EST

brother, I HAVE read the entire thread and kitten has wiped the floor with you. Kitten made assertions and has, to the best of my knowledge, done a good job of proving them. The US was not founded based on a strong belief in God, it was founded on a strong belief in the total separation of Church and State. That the Founding Fathers were or were not Christian is irrelevant. They could have all worshiped the Tooth Fairy. They held fast to the belief that religion was entirely a personal pursuit not a public one and that the State or any instrument of the State should have nothing to do or say about religion. Just because you WANT them to be Christians to justify your own wishes to be part of a Christian state does not make it so.

More Christians in the US should follow the example of the Founding Fathers - religion is personal and one should not force their religious views on others and they should never try to use the power and instruments of the state to force their religion on the populace.

Kitten - you should really be arguing this infront of Renquist. Great Job!


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

I see. Which points did he prove? (none / 0) (#363)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:04:04 PM EST

Was it this one?

Any high school student who has taken US history can tell you that most of the founding fathers of America were not Christian.

Or this one?

But all that aside, the question is now and was then, is the US founded on religious principles? The actions and words of the founding fathers say no -- quite the opposite, in fact. Their personal views are largely irrelevent, although most of them were not religious anyway, which is what I said in the first place

I never found him offer any evidence of that claim at all. What did you see that I didn't?

Did he prove this one?

Most of them were not Christian -- religious, perhaps, but not Christians.

See, he kept saying that, over and over, in different ways, but he never showed any evidence to support this claim except for the case of Jefferson, and a generic claim that Franklin was also non-Christian and non-religious. That would be 2 in 30. Hardly "most". As a counter argument, I presented quotes from both Jefferson and Franklin endorsing religious expression in government, and I threw in Witherspoon and two Adams to boot.

So, again, bullshit. I doubt Kitten would get far in front of SCOTUS.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

separation of Church and State (none / 0) (#382)
by adimovk5 on Sun Jun 27, 2004 at 05:55:07 PM EST

The US was not founded based on a strong belief in God, it was founded on a strong belief in the total separation of Church and State.

There is no separation of church and state enshrined in the Constitution. The Founders forbid Congress the power to create a church. The state governments were implicitly allowed this power. Six of the states had official state religions and tax supported churches. They continued for many years after the adoption of the Constitution. Separation of church and state was not a major issue for the Founders. They opposed a NATIONAL religion.

Most of the Founders were not Christians. Most of them would probably have called themselves Deists. They belived in the possibility of God and the possibilty of Creation by God, but weren't so sure God had anything to do with modern life. Though they believed in God, submission to God in daily life and politics was unnecessary.

[ Parent ]

So many falsehoods... (none / 3) (#192)
by cestmoi on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 11:55:45 AM EST

Any high school student who has taken US history can tell you that most of the founding fathers of America were not Christian.

That's a very strong statement that's unsupportable. Very few high school students can tell you who the founding fathers were let alone what their background was.

Franklin wasn't an atheist - period. He wasn't a member of any church but if you read his biographies, you'll find plenty of essays he wrote that articulates his belief in some sort of divine spirit. He may not have been Christian but he certainly wasn't an atheist.

[ Parent ]

Look, you're wrong (2.75 / 4) (#45)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 09:57:18 PM EST

I agree with you about the court case but right now you're just perpetrating the mistaken notion that the founders were opposed to religion. While they were religious, luckily they recognized the value of the wall of separation that we enjoy today.

You're just assuming that if given the chance, a Christian would form a Christian nation and an atheist would form an atheist nation. The truth is, Christians formed a religiously neutral nation.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

actually (none / 1) (#46)
by Work on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 10:05:18 PM EST

i would say the founders didnt intend for a religiously *neutral* nation, but rather a religiously *tolerant* one.

Most of the first colonies formed in the US were a result of being driven out of europe by way of religious persecution. I don't think the founders wanted people in government, or government in policy, to forgo the spirit of religion.

Though I do think they wanted to make sure the very persecution that drove their ancestors here not be repeated.

[ Parent ]

religious tolerance (2.83 / 6) (#50)
by adimovk5 on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 10:21:37 PM EST

i would say the founders didnt intend for a religiously *neutral* nation, but rather a religiously *tolerant* one.

I disagree. Though they escaped from intolerance, most of the settlers set up very intolerant enclaves in America. Six of the states had state religions which collected taxes for the support of the state church. What the founders were against is a single national religion like that imposed by England (Anglican)or Spain (Catholic).

They did want a neutral "nation".

[ Parent ]

Actually (actually) (none / 0) (#57)
by Skywise on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:19:18 PM EST

I'd go so far as to say that they didn't want religion at all.. But instead wanted the ability for each man to find God on his own without interference from the state.

The belief in a Creator/God (sans religion) WAS a paramount drive in all of the founding fathers.  It's just that God had been obfuscated by all the power driven priests and kings.  Religious order and governing had its place but not as an official body of the state.

To wit:  The founding fathers were spiritual... not religious.

[ Parent ]

That would be incorrect. (3.00 / 4) (#86)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 09:33:47 AM EST

Many of the colonies had "official" religions which is what you would expect, given the times and the fact that each colony was founded by an ethnically and religiously homogonous group.

So, you had Puritans, Quakers, Catholics, Baptists as well as purely secular colonies, and each was seriously concerned that the others would attempt to impose their own religion on the others - thus the clause that prohibited the federal government from endorsing any religion at all.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

You left out Madison (none / 1) (#262)
by cam on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 07:13:25 AM EST

When I was at Montpelier the guide went to great pains to try and say that Madison believed in God. When I asked whether he was a Deist or not, she finally said yes. She wouldnt say it originally, rather prefering to give the impression Madison was a christian.

Since Deists see God as as the footballer that kicks the universe off and then takes part no longer, ie not omnipotent nor omniprescient, a "nation under god" is irrational and non-sensical to a Deist.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

Not necessarily. (none / 0) (#315)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 12:03:32 AM EST

The "watchmaker" idea - God wound up the universe then left it to run is one expression of Deism, but not the only one. Another expression is "I believe in God but I don't know what form He/She/It takes".

Still, I didn't know Madison was a Deist. Thanks.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

Straw men (none / 1) (#327)
by epepke on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 02:02:54 PM EST

Jefferson wasn't an atheist. He was mostly a Unitarian, with a bit of philosophical Christianity buit in. He produced his own version of the Gospels with the humanistic elements kept but the Son-of-God stuff omitted. I've never met an atheist who claimed other than this.

The assertion was that they were about as close as you could get to being an atheist without being lynched, and this is near enough true. I wouldn't assert that Jefferson was an atheist, or even that he'd be considered an atheist today, but his religious sensibilities were such that I doubt too many modern Christians would view him as theist if they knew the whole tale.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
you are correct, sir. (none / 0) (#337)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Jun 20, 2004 at 07:10:00 AM EST

However, I didn't say Jefferson was an athiest - I said he was frequently claimed as such - for example, by kitten, who proclaimed his "anti-theist" writings.

Jefferson seems to have been a hard-headed pragmatist, the sort of guy who doesn't believe anything he hasn't seen with his own eyes. Interesting side-note: just yesterday I ran into an argument over whether he really said (when informed that two Yale researchers had announced the existence of meteors) "I'd rather believe yankee scientists are liars than believe rocks fall from the sky."


Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

public schools (2.50 / 4) (#34)
by adimovk5 on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 09:07:09 PM EST

The main problem you faced was the tyrants in charge of public schools. They are unelected bureaucrats to whom an incredible amount of power has been given.

You should have had the right to remain silent. You should have had the right to remain seated. A bureaucrat should never have the power to force a citizen to do anything when to not do anything is legal. It should also not have the power to punish you for exercising your rights.

[ Parent ]

The title is fine. (none / 1) (#49)
by qpt on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 10:13:11 PM EST

Newdow was rebuffed. His attempt to prevent the school district's administration from encouraging students to recite the pledge was brought to an unsuccessful end.

Likewise, the pledge stands. The practice of its recitation in the school district has not changed because of Newdow's legal action. Nobody said the pledge was upheld, which was perhaps what you were thinking.

Really, though, you need to stop raving.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Why not protest something substantive? (2.20 / 5) (#103)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 01:56:44 PM EST

And use relevant arguments?

Jefferson and Franklin were great, but had little to do with the Constitution. Try reading Madison and Hamilton's writings in the Federalist papers.

Democratic government is created by the will of the people, and the power of man is derived from god or "the creator".

This is the fundamental concept that has empowered society for millenia. If you disagree, flip the bird at the sky.

[ Parent ]

This is good, but let us pray for Michael Newdow (1.18 / 11) (#40)
by Adam Rightmann on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 09:35:31 PM EST

and hope God enters his heart and rescues him from his God hating ways, and returns him to the True Church.

Or maybe the other true church. (none / 2) (#54)
by mjfgates on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:02:49 PM EST

I mean, really. A diverse selection of the important views of our times should be maintained.

[ Parent ]
i hope.. (none / 0) (#62)
by Work on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:26:04 PM EST

you realize landover baptist is satire.

[ Parent ]
Oh, my. (none / 2) (#163)
by mjfgates on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 11:29:50 PM EST

You mean they're not all satire?

[ Parent ]
Heh (2.50 / 4) (#65)
by godix on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:48:52 PM EST

Replace landover with godhatesfags. Landover is a satire site and not meant to be taken seriously. Of course godhatesfags is a satire site but they don't quite realize it and do it take it seriously. Which, IMNSHO, makes it oh so much funnier.

I draw people smiling, dogs running and rainbows. They don't have meetings about rainbows.

[ Parent ]
Long Winded, but +1 Section (2.15 / 19) (#42)
by thelizman on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 09:45:07 PM EST

Probably bears mentioning that Michael Newdow is a fucking lunatic. He did not have sole or joint custody of the young lady in question, but drove on with the case anyway. His daughter actually espouses her christian faith and favors saying the Pledge in school. This moron is nothing more than an activist, and he even said that he will revisit the issue as soon as he finds another candidate.

This is the kind of extreme leftist judicial activism that is pushing the buttons on the extreme right. The other 90% of us have to put up with this shit.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Agreed. (1.80 / 10) (#52)
by rmg on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 10:44:28 PM EST

Though I object to your use of the F-bomb, you're right. He's an activist.

There's nothing worse than someone who tries to change the world to fit his point of view. The fact is, things would be just right as they are if it weren't for these godless libbers always trying to advance their social engineering projects.

God created a working society and a virtuous way of life thousands of years ago. We just need to focus on living up to the standard He set rather than try to put these humanist innovations into practice.

A hard day's work and a daily prayer is the foundation of a good society.

[ Parent ]

Because lord knows, YOU never fucking curse, rmg. (none / 1) (#61)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:23:25 PM EST

:P
"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
That reminds me of a story... (2.66 / 6) (#66)
by Skywise on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:50:22 PM EST

I saw a stand-up comedian last week who was talking about fingering his girlfriend's ass during sex...  (bear with me, this has pertinence and isn't a diary...)

His routine eventually goes on to a large amount of cussing and taking the Lord's name in vain.  This upset one of the ladies in the audience.  So, of course, this leads to more cussing and asking her if she's a good Christian woman.

She replies yes.

So he asks why this upsets her.

She replies because it's written in the Bible that cussing is bad.

To which the comedian replies, so there's nothing in the Bible about talking about fingering a woman's ass so we can talk about that all day, but I shouldn't cuss?

...

Ye...yes?

At which poing much cussing from the comedian and the audience ensued...

[ Parent ]

bah, he was wrong (none / 0) (#90)
by Battle Troll on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:32:53 PM EST

If I was there, I would have busted him up. Comics' wit usually runs rather shallow.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
The guy sucked... (none / 1) (#97)
by Skywise on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 01:11:31 PM EST

That was about the only high point in an hour and a half of his show.  (He was only supposed to be on for 45 minutes, but thought he was so good that he let it run over...)

[ Parent ]
that seems typical (none / 1) (#191)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 11:06:17 AM EST

There's a low cost of effort to enter comedy, unlike professional sports or starting a rock band (which are some other ways to get rich without much education.) The result is a lot of stereo salesmen, dissatisfied with their lives, becoming fifth-rate comics.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
wow, Liz, you never think about it (1.60 / 5) (#114)
by Blarney on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:45:40 PM EST

His daughter actually espouses her christian faith and favors saying the Pledge in school.

It's amazing how your thoughts deftly slide around the issue here. Incredible how being a "conservative" is such an excuse never to think about anything! You eagerly conflate "christian faith" and the Pledge of allegiance, as if they just go together like peanut butter and bread, and you further seem to advocate that this is a good thing. Well, you know, that's kind of what this case was about. Are the Pledge and the Christian faith really part of the same belief system - you seem to think "yes", but many Pledge-defenders claim "no" so that they don't have to deal with the other issue - doesn't the First Amendment rigorously prohibit the teaching of Christianity in public schools? Many people think it does. But I guess you think it doesn't matter.

Well, a lot of people think that it does matter.

This moron is nothing more than an activist, and he even said that he will revisit the issue as soon as he finds another candidate.

Well, he's certainly a moron and a bad guy for thinking that this is an issue people need to think about. Why can't everyone agree with you, Liz, and just decide that none of this merits thinking about? You know, like the Supreme Court opines.

[ Parent ]

That's his objection... (none / 0) (#289)
by Boing on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 04:15:35 PM EST

His daughter actually espouses her christian faith and favors saying the Pledge in school.

Now, Newdow objects to "under God" in the pledge because it represents government support (and therefore, to some extent, establishment) of a religious institution, correct?  And he sued on behalf of his daughter because he didn't want her unduly influenced to a particular religious belief system (monotheism, in this case).

In that context, couldn't one validly (not necessarily truthfully) argue that "the government's establishment was effective"?  Couldn't one argue that because the government supported a monotheistic (Christianesque) belief system, the daughter consequently came to subscribe to that belief system?

Now, that issue is not proveable either way.  Raw statistical analysis of the religious makeup of this country would suggest that she would have been Christian anyway.  But one cannot necessarily dismiss the influence of the "under God" clause as a contributing variable to her beliefs.

[ Parent ]

Policing the police, courting the court (none / 1) (#334)
by A synx on Sat Jun 19, 2004 at 03:50:10 PM EST

Remember that Michael Newdow was denied custody of his daughter by a court.  And he was denied his right to have his children not indoctrinated into a foreign religion by a court.  They used their own ruling to justify their later ruling, not the mark of an objective system if you ask me.

"Under God" is dangerous not because it's required, but because it is demanded without an alternate choice.  They may claim in court that the kids are willing, but do they ever let kids know there is a choice in the classroom?  Nope!  It's "say the pledge like a nice little girl," and nobody mentions that they can choose not to live "Under God."  Ommission can be a form of deceit.

[ Parent ]

i used to resent the word "god" (2.23 / 13) (#56)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:14:40 PM EST

it seemed to me using the word "god" is an attempt to appeal to tribal voodoo rather than reason

than i realized that when people talk about "god", all they mean is the universe: omnipotent, omnipresent, faceless, nameless, etc.

then i started talking about god myself too, just substituting the word "god" whenever i meant to say the "universe," and it sounded sincere, and it worked: i don't avoid the word anymore, i embrace its usage

so i now see no conflict between atheism and theism, it's just semantics: god or universe, it's the same damn thing, just two different words for the same meaning

end of story, there is no debate after all, no reason to waste hours of your life and pounds of heated rhetoric in a debate that just boils down to semantics, synonymns

the real problem in the world anyway is spirituality: those who have none

and my that i don't mean atheists, they are just arrogant pricks, by people who don't have spirituality, i mean fundamentalist christians, fundamentalist jews, and fundamentalist muslims: fundamentalist organized religion sucks spirituality right out of people

for example, fundamentalist christians are some of the most hateful and intolerant people on this earth, with their stance on homosexuality and birth control/ abortion/ stem cell research, women/ married priests, etc... directly contradicting the tolerant and loving message of christ

that's what fundamentalism does: it warps the message of the prophets into that which the prophets stood against, it's absolutely nutty, and these fundamentalists will tell you the most hateful and intolerant bald faced lies, and tell you that this hateful and intolerant message comes straight from the prophets they presume to represent and understand: it's absolutely dumbfounding what spiritually blind, ignorant fools they are

there is no greater threat on this earth to peace and propserity in this world than fundamentalist christianity, fundamentalist judaism, and fundamentalist islam

if you are interested in peace and prosperity on this good earth, you will fight those without any spirituality in them, those whose minds have been sucked dry of reason and their hearts filled with hatred and intolerance by the bowels of organized religion, until they are nothing but bile-filled vessels of intolerance and hatred, who eat like acid at the creeds they arrogantly assume to represent, and indoctrinate their children into automatons readily to be warped, whose spirituality has been drained dry

"Those who can make you believe absurdities
can make you commit atrocities."
                                           --Voltaire


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Or... Spirituality good, religion bad. (n/t) (2.75 / 4) (#58)
by Skywise on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:20:28 PM EST



[ Parent ]
well said, better than me ;-) (nt) (none / 0) (#60)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:22:37 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
yeah, that's a profound thought (none / 3) (#93)
by Battle Troll on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:38:42 PM EST

And I'll bet it gives you a warm, soft, comfortable feeling, much like a two-year-old crapping his pants.

Face it, these 'spirituality' people want the consolations of religion without the challenges. Damn their arrogant asses, says I.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

New-Ager I am not... (none / 2) (#96)
by Skywise on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 01:03:21 PM EST

There's a difference between zealotrous devotion to a religion, being spiritual and being moon-puppy wet nose with 15 crystals around the neck.

Besides, there are plenty of people out there who think warm squishy pants are akin to spirituality.  They would be wrong.

[ Parent ]

I doubt it (none / 0) (#190)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 11:03:04 AM EST

There's a difference between zealotrous devotion to a religion, being spiritual and being moon-puppy wet nose with 15 crystals around the neck.

Both he and you make a religion of your feelings; his is just more obviously silly.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

"make a religion of your feelings" (none / 0) (#213)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 05:27:27 PM EST

wow: your so far afield of the roots of what religion really is, you don't even know what it really means anymore

that is exactly what spirituality is: "make a religion of your feelings"

and it certainly is silly too!

look at those silly muslims touching their heads to the ground, look at those silly catholics chewing on bits of paper and wine, look at those silly buddhists moaning away, look at those silly sikhs with their long hair: silly, silly, silly feelings, silly, silly, silly spirituality

Spirituality

Spirituality may include belief in supernatural powers, as in religion, but the emphasis is on experience. What is referred to as "religion" and what is referred to as "spirituality" are often the same. In recent years, "spirituality" has often carried connotations of the believer's faith being more personal, less dogmatic, more open to new ideas and myriad influences, and more pluralistic than the faiths of established religions. Those given to speaking of "spirituality" rather than "religion" are apt to believe that there are many "spiritual paths" and that there is no objective truth about which is the best path to follow.

Others hold that spirituality is not religion, per se, but the active and vital connection to a force, power, or sense of the deep self.

Some proponents of spirituality believe that the goal of 'being spiritual' is to simultaneously improve one's wisdom, willpower and communion with God/universe, which necessitates the removal of illusions at the sensory, feeling and thinking aspectes of a person. The 'Plato's cave' analogy in book VII of The Republic is one of the most well known descriptions of the spiritual development process.

Other spiritual proponents point out that that spirituality is a two-stroke process. The upward stroke relates to inner growth and the downward stroke relates towards manifesting improvements in the world/reality around us as a result of the inward change.

The rule of thumb when evaluating any spiritual approach is that six months of diligent, proper practice should manifest noticeable improvement in one's life. If not, then the usual advice is to pick an approach that is more likely to assist you in achieving your specific goals.

to say something completely transcendental, spiritual about you: when it comes to religion, you see the trees, but you don't see the forest

;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

this is stupid, even for you (none / 0) (#227)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:01:54 PM EST

ook at those silly muslims touching their heads to the ground, look at those silly catholics chewing on bits of paper and wine, look at those silly buddhists moaning away, look at those silly sikhs with their long hair: silly, silly, silly feelings, silly, silly, silly spirituality

Look at those Muslims arguing texts; look at those Catholics, venerating academic theologians; look at those Sikhs reading their entire final Guru every weekend aloud; look at those Buddhists getting smacked in the faces by their teachers.

I didn't say that emotion has no place in religion, I said that making your feelings the basis for your religion almost ensures that it won't ask anything of you, that it'll become a vehicle for you to praise yourself, that it'll explain away your sins and sorrows while congratulating you on your self-absorption. In any case, this isn't really a question about the role of emotion in religion, it's a question of the efficacy of following your emotions in finding religious truth.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

are you trolling me? (none / 0) (#228)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:12:15 PM EST

following their own emotions is the only way anyone who has ever lived has found religion

spirituality is simply a healthy sense of humility and wonder at the vastness of time and space

religion is simply the social structure around which this basic emotional pull is channeled and directed

your whole pov is like supposing that we can have a river without any water in it

there is no substance to your pov, you're simply lost in your own inability to perceive the true nature of religion, how it works, how it evolved, and how it continues to be reborn in the hearts and mind of every generation

religion is not a dead thing, it is a living institution

by separating religion from emotion you are trying to suck the blood out of it and say it is still alive

have fun with that failure of understanding some very basic things there troll dude


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

ugh (none / 0) (#230)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:26:36 PM EST

following their own emotions is the only way anyone who has ever lived has found religion

There's a rather substantial difference between 'following your emotions,' (which is general it could mean almost anything, hence useless,) and allowing yourself the license to believe anything that comes into your head.

Let's look at your spirituality; [it's] is simply a healthy sense of humility and wonder at the vastness of time and space

This reminds me of something quoted by the controversial figure Fr. Seraphim Rose:

The contradiction may be seen, on a less abstract level, in the altruistic and idealistic practice of, for example, the Russian Nihilists of the last century, a practice in flagrant contradiction of their purely materialistic and egoistic theory; Vladimir Solovyov cleverly pointed out this discrepancy by ascribing to them the syllogism, "Man is descended from. monkey, consequently we shall love one another."
I mean, you seem to think that man's natural sense of wonder, untrammeled by burdensome duties and restrictive false consciousness, is in itself adequate to save him from his sinfulness, much less to organize a stable society. I should think that a simple rereading of Lord of the Flies would be enough to cure that delusion: while you may well believe yourself to be a fountain of charity, I doubt this is really a trait that you would ascribe to all your fellow men, even those not corrupted by fundamentalist religious practices. If man is not perfectly good in himself, the only thing that will answer is that he be saved, a question to which Christianity and, in its own way, Buddhism[1] have the only really satisfactory answers.

[1] The problem with Buddhism is that you really have to bite a bullet in order to make use of its answer.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

arguing with a deaf dumb and blind person (none / 0) (#233)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:46:20 PM EST

you seem to suffer form some pretty glaring communication issues

me: "i hate fundamentalism"

you: "why are you defending nihilism!"

me: "emotion is a part of religion"

you: "why are you saying all you need is emotion"

dude, maybe i can have a conversation with you someday, but you have to work on your communication disorders

i do not defend what you think i am defending, nor does it seem you are capable of understanding my message very well


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

ugh, II (none / 0) (#236)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:55:45 PM EST

you: "why are you saying all you need is emotion"

Maybe because of this: that is exactly what spirituality is: "make a religion of your feelings"..."Those given to speaking of "spirituality" rather than "religion" are apt to believe that there are many "spiritual paths" and that there is no objective truth about which is the best path to follow."
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

your mind is closed, the lights are off (none / 0) (#249)
by circletimessquare on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 12:25:16 AM EST

so there is no communication possible with you

i say one thing, you do not see it, so i underline it a number of times to get your attention

but you're still over there, talking to a figment of your imagination

it's pathetic really

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 0) (#111)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 04:42:33 PM EST

i want to live my life in a world without fundies

for that, i must be as crazy?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

you take the bad with the good (none / 0) (#189)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 11:02:16 AM EST

Might as well say that you want capitalism without exploitation, freedom without the power to defend it, privileges and rights without ensuing responsibilities and consequences.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
your allegories are grasping at straws (none / 2) (#195)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:09:57 PM EST

you could have said, i might as well want a world without slavery, women with a right to vote, a world without child trafficking

all of these things still go on today, just as fundamentalism will never really go away (or hard drug use, or pedophilia, or a whole host of other eternal evils)

but slavery was once defended publicly as you defend fundamentalism now, now it only lurks in the shadows, utterly rejected

so it will be with fundamentalist christianity, fundamentalist judaism, fundamentalist islam

it's called progress: do you believe in it? do you think humanity can better itself?

"freedom without the power to defend it, privileges and rights without ensuing responsibilities and consequences"

yeah, you know me, that's exactly what i want (!?)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

he's talking consequences (none / 1) (#205)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:34:01 PM EST

You're asking for spirituality without guidance. The moment you get guidance for your spirituality, this is the beginning of religion. The subject of your concern is closer to orthodoxy and even a tyranny of orthodoxy is an illusion.

Your mistake is in thinking that religion requires lock-step agreement to a single line of thought whether it's practical or real. Further, you call this fundamentalist. If that's the case, fundamentalism ain't that bad--it's just another word for idealism. But that's not the case. Gay priests do exist and priests have lobbied for marriage. Some clergymen believe in contraception, some do not. They all have their reasons and it seldom comes down to the simple fact that it's written in the Bible. So, for example, homosexuality may be condemned in the Bible but that's just the starting point. Why would God condemn it? So then, we look to the world and reconcile God's law with the world as it is. This process often leads to greater insight.

It turns out that religions condemn many everyday activities that we'll commit anyway. These actions often affront our own sense of spirituality. I may believe that lying is bad but when my girlfriend gets obsessed about her weight (she's average to thin) I exaggerate and tell her that she's thin as a rail so that she won't worry as much. Meanwhile, the church will condemn this action. Good! I want to be corrected! I should strive to find better ways to calm my life's love than to take this simpleton's way out. I should be inspired to help her find whatever complex makes her want to be anorexic and work on that.

So really, religion is not the imposing monolithic edifice you make it out to be. It's a diverse community of relatively like minded believers who want the same things that I want and help me to improve. How is that so bad?

But then you can look at the world around us and point to fundamentalist communities that take a dim view to those who rebel. Well, that has less to do with religion and fundamentalism than the character of the community in the first place. The community chooses the religion and their degrees of tolerance, not the other way around. The Greeks were intolerant of Socrates on the pretext of introducing false gods and corrupting the youth, but really he was just an asshole who wouldn't even leave Athens when offered the option.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
your points are valid except for one small detail: (none / 0) (#212)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 05:18:09 PM EST

9/11

you seem to view fundamentalism as the normal part of a pluralistic society, as just another community, part of the social ecosystem that will never go away

i agree with you: i don't think fundamentalism will ever truly go away, much as slavery will never truly go away

but, at one time in history, slavery saw the full light of day... now, it only lurks in the shadows- is that not progress?

so it should be with all abominations, including islamic, christian, and jewish fundamentalism

you forgot one crucial element in your description and characterization of fundamentalism above, an element which is completely inseparable from its existence: it is a community that is working very hard at converting the entire world to its creed, violent means perfectly acceptable

do you refute this characterization?

you seem to be awfully lackadaisical about a cult which desires your allegiance, by any means necessary

fundamentalism is a monstrosity of the mind, a social disease: it's goal is to infect and lock every one in line to an absolutely conformist creed

it can never succeed, but it will happily burn through many lives in the process of trying

does it not deserve to be fought and censured on those grounds alone?

in some respect, fundamentalism is like other social diseases like hard core drug use that threaten the social environment in which they reside: the hardcore heroin addict does not live in stasis with his environment, he becomes unable to contribute to society and turns to crime to support a habit... so hard core drug use, despite what libertarians would suggest, does not exist in a vaccuum, it is a direct threat to the social environment in which the hard core drug user resides

likewise, fundamentalism cannot exist without exerting an outward pressure on its social environment, stasis for fundamentalism implies that their belief system is not the end-all be-all creed of the world... this is unacceptable for any fundamentalist to make peace with: a fundamentalist is insulted by the existence of other creeds, other belief systems- it is completely unseparable from their mode of thinking of the world to accept the existence of a pluralistic society, since the foundation of their creed insists that their creed is the only way

fundamentalism is at war, and will always be at war, with peaceful, prosperous, tolerant pluralistic society- fundamentalism is the very antithesis, it represents the very death of the notion of tolerance itself

fundamentalism cannot exist in stasis with its social environment, it will always exert an outward pressure

fundamentalism is a cancer... do you dispute the idea that fundamentalism's desire is to grow and spread and actively seeks to do so?

i agree with you that fundamentalism will never go away... but neither will hardcore drug use... does either fact mean we shouldn't continue to fight both for the sake of society and civilization, peace and prosperity?

i don't see how you can sit there and yawn when you clearly accept and recognize fundamentalism's true nature- it doesn't frighten or anger you?

9/11: do you honestly think fundamentalism poses no threat to your life or limb?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

get a grip (none / 0) (#229)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:15:07 PM EST

I'm a Christian and I argue with you and suddenly I'm an apologist for Wahhabism?

fundamentalism is at war, and will always be at war, with peaceful, prosperous, tolerant pluralistic society

I disagree. A cursory survey of history will tell you that Biblical literalists were in the front lines of the struggle against slavery in America; that the only effective social services (schools, hospitals) in Middle Eastern countries are provided by organizations like Gama'a Islamiya and Hamas; that the Church was the only check on the power of the state in Western Europe during the Middle Ages; that the Catholic Church has a bad record with Fascism but a good one against the USSR.

Your libelling me as a fundamentalist in an attempt to discredit me says more about you than about me. It shows that you consider anyone a fundamentalist who has sincere religious beliefs that affect his public comportment and his politics. The truth is, sincere religious belief has led to both good and evil, but your insistence on its evil blinds you to the evils of secular society. Take a look at torture in medieval China, or at aristocratic repression of peasants in 16th-century Japan, or at the legions of dead in the wars of Napoleon, the two World Wars, and the Cold War and get a grip on yourself. Sincere religious conviction seems no less likely to me to bring about a tolerant, prosperous state than does secular society; on the contrary, when a secular state falls into evil, there's no moral basis for resistance, because citizenship compels collaboration.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

you forgot the amish too, they're fundamentalists (none / 0) (#231)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:37:59 PM EST

you also supposed that i link you to fundamentalism

i didn't attack you, i attacked fundamentalism, and then you made the error that you were in the subset of whom i was attacking

are you saying that i somehow don't understand what i am attacking?

i think it is closer to the truth that you lack the understanding here

don't make assumptions there kiddo, all of your words above, no matter how correct or not, are said the context of some pretty basic failures of communication and understanding with me

maybe i can have a discussion with you someday, but i can't have a discussion with someone who doesn't listen

i'll simply say this: fundamentalism is exactly as i defined it

the catholic church, for example, does absolutely wonderful things, like feeding and caring for the poor, that is beyond reproach or criticism

i don't want to destroy that

i want to destroy that part of the catholic church which is intolerant: the part that creates the very poverty it fights!

for example, by being against contraception and abortion, the church feeds the cycle of poverty it fights

so i don't want the good works to go away, i want the intolerant ignorance to go away

am i entitled to that wish?

or are you- who it seems to me is arguing for the status quo "this is the way it is and you useless lefties just want to fuck it all up", completely content with the way the world is today?

do you like the world the way it is today? does it need no improvements whatsover?

so why are you fighting me? when i am on your side?

conservatives fear liberal change because they fear that liberals will take away what is good

liberals hate conservatives because they think conservatives want to protect from change what is bad

the truth is, liberals only want to change what is bad, and convservatives only want to protect what is good

so stop assuming and attacking me, when we both want the same thing: a better world

otherwise, if we were transported to the year 1850, it seems to me you would be telling me i am an idiot to fight slavery, just give it up, its the status quo

of course i wouldn't be an idiot to fight slavery, but by arguing for the status quo as it is today, that is exactly what you are doing if it were 1850: you would be saying that the the good can't exist without the bad

a world can exist without slavery! so why do you insist on defending the status quo today!

do not condemn me today for seeing a world without al qaeda and fundies blwoing up abortion clinics

we can have all that is good about religion, and none of the bad: no intolerant asshole fundies thinking that they speak for the voice and center of their religions

they don't, they speak for the fringe, and that is all i am trying to establish

let the fundies skulk in the shadows in the future like slavery does today

they do not deserve the sunshine they enjoy now for making abominations of their religions, and going against the basic message of tolerance of the prophets they profess (wrongly) to represent

know a seething pit of intolerance when you see it, and fight it with me


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

ugh (none / 0) (#234)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:46:47 PM EST

the catholic church, for example, does absolutely wonderful things, like feeding and caring for the poor, that is beyond reproach or criticism; i don't want to destroy that; i want to destroy that part of the catholic church which is intolerant: the part that creates the very poverty it fights!

You can't have it. The Catholic Church fights poverty precisely because of what they believe - the same reason that they (and I) fight prenatal abortion with the same zeal as postnatal abortion (still a common practice in a number of countries, I might add.) If they didn't believe so in the sanctity of life, they wouldn't feel obligated to fight poverty as they do.

we both want the same thing: a better world

Well, hey, who doesn't want that? Therefore, you're right and I'm wrong! What a masterpiece of logic!
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

logic 101 (none / 0) (#235)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:53:20 PM EST

i believe good thing a

i also believe bad thing b

i cannot believe in a, without also believing in b

i cannot change

that is basically what you are telling me

you are telling me that the catholic church never changes (it does) and that it cannot feed the poor without also embracing contraception (it can, plenty of people do exactly that)

why are you so ossified in your thinking? why is your mind so closed? why do you not percieve the capacity for change?

do you want a better world? you don't have to argue with me, i have my solution... if you have a better solution, then propose it, otherwise i say to you: it is easy to criticize, it is hard to actually believe in something and work for it

i see me believing

i see you criticizing

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

more ugh (none / 0) (#237)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 09:04:04 PM EST

you are telling me that the catholic church never changes (it does) and that it cannot feed the poor without also embracing contraception (it can, plenty of people do exactly that)

It develops within itself and in response to external events. That's not the same thing as changing in accord with political fashions.

As for the contraception part, that's far less relevant to me; it's abortion which most churches oppose. It's not impossible to feed hungry people while tolerating or encouraging abortion; Mao did it. But it is impossible for Catholicism.

do you want a better world? you don't have to argue with me, i have my solution...

You're assuming what you need to prove, namely that accepting abortions is what we need to do in order to have a better world. My answer to poverty is to call for repentance, in the hopes that it will prick the consciences of those in power in the rich countries so that they do something effective for the poor.

Our selfishness over here is really bottomless. I see almost no-one really giving of their substance in the sense that Christ demanded. Doing that would really be a step towards peace and justice. But most people are happier to give just enough to salve their consciences, while preaching birth control and abortion for the lower classes, just like the 19th century robber barons, or even blaming the poor for their poverty; after all, if they didn't have so many kids, they wouldn't be so poor!
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

what about china (none / 0) (#248)
by circletimessquare on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 12:22:52 AM EST

they preached 2 kids per family, and now they are rich

it works

end to poverty in poor countries: less children

but the religions have them in a vise, and won't let go, won't let prudent contraception and abortion raise the people out of poverty, pakistan is in demographic time bomb, nigeria, indonesia, philippines

so you go right on with your bad self, but know this: your "compassion" keeps people poor


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

sorry, circletimessquare, (none / 0) (#254)
by rmg on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 01:13:39 AM EST

you're an idiot. but that's alright. i like idiots.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

can you feel the love tonight? (nt) (none / 0) (#255)
by circletimessquare on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 01:26:13 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
You've not defined your terms... (none / 1) (#342)
by WilliamTanksley on Sun Jun 20, 2004 at 02:17:33 PM EST

Please explain what you mean by "fundamentalism". To me it refers to a belief that certain elements of a creed are more central, foundational than the rest. To you it seems to equate to a need for virulent expansion at any cost (but I'm not sure if I'm reading you right).

fundamentalism is a cancer... do you dispute the idea that fundamentalism's desire is to grow and spread and actively seeks to do so?

I dispute that fundamentalism has desires; I dispute that fundamentalism is a single thing, or in any way unified. I could identify mormon fundamentalism or pietistic christian fundamentalism or islamic fundamentalism and agree that each one could have 'desires' (based on their stated policies and such), but I can't lump them together and see anything coherent about the result (except the common element of fundamentalism, as defined above).

There are two opposing forces for fundamentalism: one is disbelief, and the other is orthodoxy. One believes nothing; the other one believes, but states that the entire belief system is important, not just certain issues within it.

That's my definition, and I can't apply it to help me understand your fear. Explain your definition so that I can understand your fear.

-Billy


[ Parent ]

why i fear fundamentalism (none / 0) (#356)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:51:25 PM EST

"Those who can make you believe absurdities
can make you commit atrocities."
                                           --Voltaire

in no way do i say that all fundamentalist flavors in the world are the same

what i say is their OUTCOME is the same: violence in defense of a belief system which is out of equilibrium with human nature

what the voltaire quote posits is that if you believe in something that is not based in reason, if you turn off your brain's ability to resolve a conflict through thought and logic, and instead substitute a strict blind adherence to a creed, then you will INEVITABLY commit atrocities

here is my thesis for you: human reason is the ONLY path that one can take to avoid committing atrocites, and fundamentalist creeds of any flavor INEVITABLY lead one to commit atrocities in defense of the creed

so as long as fundamentalism sees the light of day, that wherever human beings unquestioningly believe and blindly adhere to a code of conduct, without any appeal to reason, then violent, avoidable, regretable atrocities are the inevitable outcome

only through REASON can one avoid injustice

morality is an aspect of REASON, not some dusty words in a book

there are cultures in east asia that are untouched by the torah, the bible, the quran, and they are very moral

because morality, unlike what defenders of fundamentalism will lie to you about, is a natural outcome of common sense and simple reason that all human beings are equipped with

so in fact, morality and justice are actuaslly AT ODDS with fundamentalism! morality and justice will inevitably clash with and oppose fundamentalism

fundamentalism is inherently ugly, amoral, and injust

the only way to have a just, moral, beautiful, prosperous, happy, peaceful society is to JETTISON FUNDAMENTALIST BELIEFS

fundamentalism is, in effect, idealism: adherence to simplisitic naive and ignorant understandings of human nature that are at odds with true human nature... ugly and beautiful things that fundametalism will not accept about human nature (aspects of human sexuality, aspects of human creativity)

human nature is complex: forcing into into the mold of simplistic fundamentalist dictates on human behavior inevitably leads to injustice and immorality, on the part of the creed, not the humans who are forced into it

so fundamentalism creates tension with human nature and this tension will resolve itself in flashpoints where the fundamentalist creed must be defended against human nature itself

so there is a NATURAL TENDENCY FOR FUNDAMENTALISM TO DECAY OVER TIME

this is important and crucial: human nature and logic and reason always wins over fundamentalism in the end... so how does fundamentalism retain its hold on existence?

BY EXERTING OUTWARD VIOLENT AGGRESSIVE PRESSURE, and excusing the atrocities committed in the name of prosyletizing and converting and conquest and jihad and zionism as holy acts, as moral acts, as just acts WHEN THEY ARE THE EXACT OPPOSITE

a fundamentalist creed that does not exert violent outward pressure will die: look at the amish, look at chrsitianity in europe where it is fading away amongst the youth because it no longer has any bite there... fundamentalist islam is going strong... why? BECAUSE IT IS VIOLENT

you cannot have a strong fundamentalist religion that is also a peaceful fundamentalist religion, simply because fundamentalism, by its inseperable nature, is at odds with human nature itself, and over time, human nature wins... UNLESS THE RELIGION EXERTS A VIOLENT OUTWARD PRESSURE


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Let me clarify... (none / 1) (#225)
by Skywise on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 07:44:26 PM EST

Contrary to my flippant remark, I'm not against religion.  But religion taken to its extremes (and not necessarily in a "fundamentalist" manner) can be  very bad, (IE Heaven's Gate.)

Jesus himself preaches against certain aspects of zealotry and the upholding of religious laws over fundamental necessities of life.

To wit:  You should be religious in spite of the religion.  Not because of it.

[ Parent ]

well said (none / 0) (#252)
by circletimessquare on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 12:41:17 AM EST

sometimes when i bash fundamentalism, people think i am bashing religion

far from it

the vast majority of religious folk are good tolerant giving people

i am talking about the idiot fringe, the fundamentalists who hijack the religions the good folk turn to

unfortunately, the vast majority of good tolerant folk are too busy actually working and living good lives to fight the fundies

that's why i'm here, i don't have anything better to do LOL

i know true evil when i see it, and fundamentalist islam, fundamentalist christianity, fundamentalist judaism: this is true evil on this earth

if civilization falls, if another 9/11 occurs with a nuclear, chemical, or biological signature, you can rest assured that the people behind the atrocity will be spouting warped, misunderstood words from the koran, the bible, or the torah

that is something worth fighting, for the sake of all of our peace and prosperity

if you love this earth and its people, you will stand against and fight fundamentalism

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

IAWTP (none / 1) (#59)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:22:23 PM EST

Though I find using the word "god" confuses the norms, because they would think I meant what they mean. So I don't use it.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
you can use that to your advantage (none / 0) (#63)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 11:28:32 PM EST

do this: talk about god, when you mean the universe... they will think at first that you mean exactly what they mean (their definition is, after all, a subset of your definition), then when your definition shifts slightly, their initial impulse will be to try to stay with you, and then you have given them, at the very least, some insight into a better, more spiritual way ;-)

persuasion works far better than force, and this is the subtle carrot, rather than the obvious stick, to use when talking about god and religion and the universe

there are plenty of assholes out there who employ violence and hatred in the name of religion (the fundamentalists)

you don't need to be like them, you don't need to operate their way

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

the 'norms'? (2.00 / 5) (#92)
by Battle Troll on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:37:16 PM EST

You cockmaster.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
please stop encouraging the nerds' worldview. (2.00 / 8) (#67)
by rmg on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:15:29 AM EST

your arrogant, simplistic view of spirituality does none of us any good, least of all the nerds around here who think being atheists makes them profound thinkers. your denunciations of religion only make them feel more secure in their intellectual spider holes.

fundamentalism is a remarkably clear and admirable approach to any of the major religions. it is far superior, in my view, to the more popular nominalism. it requires requires one to cope with the tension between modern society and religious piety (something your childish neopagan universalism neatly sidesteps) rather than hide behind excuses and rationalizations.

though i certainly don't think fundamentalism is the only way, it is certainly one that ought to be accorded its due respect.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

Fundies are the height of Ignorance (none / 2) (#84)
by stilch on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 08:36:22 AM EST

I have known a few fundies in my time, and in my view they can be dangerously ignorant, racism and are little better than Jihadists and Salafis. That said, it is heartening to see this crap overturned as it may just have been seen for what it is. The attempt by a dipshit atheist to force HIS beliefs on 280 million people under the guise of protecting his daughter, who also has a right to find religion if she chooses to. Denying that is not his right.

[ Parent ]
the fundamentalists i've known (2.25 / 4) (#89)
by rmg on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 11:23:13 AM EST

have had unfortunate views on science, but they were people of real faith and conviction, which is far more admirable in my view than this atheism crap you see everywhere on the internet.

your daily shot of schadenfreude

dave dean
[ Parent ]

exactly (2.50 / 4) (#91)
by Battle Troll on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:36:56 PM EST

How much have card-carrying atheists done for their fellow man? Generally, fuck-all. But virtually every church pays into huge charitable organizations like Lutheran World Relief or Catholic Charities USA. Most Christian churches require their members to donate 10% of their income, and about half of that goes straight to the Third World or to charitable projects in the USA, such as the resettlement of refugees.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
That's bad too (none / 3) (#101)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 01:42:47 PM EST

Lefties have a problem with everything.

Our local "alternative" newsweekly recently featured an expose where homeless people and drunks were bitterly complaining over the fact that they needed to sit through a church service to receive a free shower, meal and clothing from the city mission.

[ Parent ]

Can I ask.. (none / 2) (#146)
by The Solitaire on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:06:18 PM EST

...why you think faith and conviction is admirable? I'm not sure that I agree.

I need a new sig.
[ Parent ]

i'll field this one rmg (none / 1) (#159)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:54:38 PM EST

i think you are famliar with the concept that action without thought is blind, and leads to atrocities, preventable mistakes, etc.

well i submit to you that thought withot action is equally dubious

in other words, in this world, of human beings with limited potency of thought, and filled with problems of imminently pending due dates, those who act on good faith are infiniitely superior to those who do nothing, except sit on the sidelines and criticize those who do, those with conviction and faith

it is one thing to criticize those who believe in something, ANYTHING

it is another thing entirely to actually do something yourself, to actually believe in something, ANYTHING, to have faith and conviction in a framework and act within it

it's proof positive versus proof negative:

proof negative: "bush's energy policies suck"

ok: do you have any superior alternatives?

proof positive: "biodiesel is the way to go, let's roll up our sleaves and make it work"

that's faith and conviction at work right there

even worse are those who deny there are problems that require faith and conviction!: "the war on terror is stupid and pointless" hello??? 9/11???!!!

having no faith, having no conviction, is merely code words for having no passion, for having no life, to have dropped out of society and civilization and the web of social existence that makes you human: a perfectly acceptable thing to do, but not one worthy of respect by those within the struggle of life, and not a position from which one may criticize anyone else, period

so in other words, i hate, but i have respect for, al qaeda, because they believe in something, however misguided that belief is

but i do not hate, nor respect, antiwar protestors, for antiwar protestors believe in nothing, and will not fight for anything

in other words, they deserve no attention, for they have willing advertised their fact that they will not fight for anything

fine, then do not be surprised if you are utterly worth none of my attention or interest or respect whatsoever... if you will not fight for a belief, you will not fight for anything, then you are devoid of a position worthy of my consideration, for you have willingly stated that your ideology is not worth fighting for!

war is nothing more than human passion taken to deadly extremes, and i do not see superiority in antiwar protestors, i see merely a lack of human passion

in this world we live in, in our short human lives, you must believe in SOMETHING, and act upon it, for a world where no one fights for anything, is a world devoid of passion, a world without civilization, a world without life


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Anti-war protestors (none / 1) (#324)
by tap dancing lenin puppet on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 01:41:32 PM EST

but i do not hate, nor respect, antiwar protestors, for antiwar protestors believe in nothing, and will not fight for anything

Pardon the interruption, but don't anti-war protestors believe in peaceful resolutions to international conflicts?  And aren't they willing to fight (non-violently) and die for their beliefs?

(Or at least, that's the ideal.  Admittedly, alot of them are just confused, selfish cowards.)

[ Parent ]

gandhi, mlk (none / 0) (#354)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:32:49 PM EST

gandhi, mlk won wars of the mind, not of geopolitics

but not all wars can be fought and won on the battlefields they chose

why aren't the palestinians, for example, fighting their war the way mlk or gandhi did?

answer that question and you can only come to one of two conclusions: they should have a palenstinian mlk or gandhi, and their current tactics are not of maximum efficiency in their war, or you must accept that gandhi and mlk's tactics do not work for their predicament


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

*Cuts through pretentiousness with a knife* (none / 0) (#357)
by tap dancing lenin puppet on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:14:17 PM EST

Pardon me, but that really was not the question.

You stated that anti-war protestors believed in, and fought for, nothing.  My point was that they do in fact have beliefs and their own unique tactics and definition of "fighting", which includes non-violent protest.

I made no statement as to the effectiveness of those tactics, nor the applicability of their beliefs to modern geo-politics.

But thank you for the preachy sermon none the less.

[ Parent ]

where is the preachy sermon? (none / 0) (#358)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 07:30:34 PM EST

here are my words:

gandhi, mlk won wars of the mind, not of geopolitics
but not all wars can be fought and won on the battlefields they chose

why aren't the palestinians, for example, fighting their war the way mlk or gandhi did?

answer that question and you can only come to one of two conclusions: they should have a palenstinian mlk or gandhi, and their current tactics are not of maximum efficiency in their war, or you must accept that gandhi and mlk's tactics do not work for their predicament

apparently, you have a problem with me being pretentious

ok, fine: point out my pretentiousness, show me in my words where i am being preachy... and instruct me as to be able to communicate my words without turning you off with preachy sermons

because i believe in my words honestly, and i honestly do not want to appear to be patronzing or to be engaging in demagoguery, i am earnest enough to take your accusation seriously, and await your positive criticism, as all i see is negative at this point

otherwise, i call your bluff: unless you can separate the concepts in the words i am trying to communicate from this so called phantom "pretentiousness" in my words, then i accuse you of slandering me because you don't want to debate me on my ideas

you don't have to debate me on my ideas, that is fine, but if you are going to accuse me of something, i am completely open and willing to accept the accusation: BUT ONLY IF YOU CAN SUPPORT YOUR ACCUSATION WITH PROOF, otherwise, i utterly reject it, as i do not see it

i see no proof, i only see baseless charge... therefore, i see in you only a ruse, a bluff, and i do not take it... all you have is a personal attack on me without substance

therefore, the failure in communication here is yours, not mine


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

IHBT... (none / 0) (#362)
by tap dancing lenin puppet on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:03:34 PM EST

But you are not debating what was intended.  I did not intend to engage you in a debate over the usefulness of pacifist philosophy, because I do not believe in it's applicability myself.

My point was merely that, contrary to your initial statement "antiwar protestors believe in nothing, and will not fight for anything", such an underlying philosophy does exist, and that pacifists do, by their own unique definition, "fight" to further acceptance of that philosophy.

As for your pretentiousness, you have assumed (wrongly) that I am a pacifist or pacifist sympathizer who requires refutation, tangential to the original argument.  I do not wish to debate you on your opinion of pacifist ideology because I do not necessarily disagree with you.  But your ideas are also entirely irrelevant to the discussion I was attempting to have.  Perhaps I was overly eager in using the word pretentious.  However, the comments were at best, entirely irrelevant to the discussion.

It's somewhat as though you had said that automobiles have no purpose in a modern society, and I had subsequently pointed out that they do.  Then you had retorted that they do not serve their purpose efficiently.  Efficiency or effectiveness is entirely irrelevant to the original point, which is that cars do serve a purpose, even if they serve it inefficiently.

In short, up yours.

[ Parent ]

"In short, up yours." (none / 0) (#364)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 10:50:27 PM EST

so i get through your post, and am willing to respond, until i get to this statement: "In short, up yours."

you chastise me for bad behavior, and yet you yourself indulge in it

if you want to have an honest discussion someday, don't be hypocritical

i'm all for bad behavior, but i am very much opposed to those who chastise me for bad behavior, and then proceed to indulge in it

that means that whatever you consider my failings to be, yours are worse, because i at least admit to your charges against me, while you, who are pressing the charges, are immune to the same standards you hold me to

so, in short, up yours


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yes, up yours indeed. (none / 0) (#366)
by tap dancing lenin puppet on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 10:00:03 AM EST

i at least admit to your charges against me

No you didn't.  In fact, you explicitly denied them.  Flat out.  Then you demanded proof.

And of course, none of this relates back to the originally intended discussion.  In fact, you completely ignored the point of my original reply in all of your responses.  Does that mean you concede the point?  Or that you are ill-equipped to defend your logic?

Just wondering.

[ Parent ]

i bite (none / 0) (#369)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 04:51:17 PM EST

My point was merely that, contrary to your initial statement "antiwar protestors believe in nothing, and will not fight for anything", such an underlying philosophy does exist, and that pacifists do, by their own unique definition, "fight" to further acceptance of that philosophy.

my defense of my logic:

i am a pacifist, i live in north korea

show me how this pacifist "fights" kim il jong in such a way that is effective... it is impossible

i mean sure, the exact phrasing of mine was dubious, and you were right to take umbrage with it: "antiwar protestors believe in nothing, and will not fight for anything"

but a more exact meaning of my words should be thus:

"antiwar protestors believe in nothing that effectively promotes their belief, and will not fight for even the existence of being antiwar and pacifist"

do you see?

in other words, in this world, passion for a belief will inevitably and eventually lead to violence in defense of that belief, and only through that violent defense of the belief can your belief be taken seriously, and continue to exist

now you can attack me for making that cynical point, but then, you are only shooting the messenger

if you have a peaceful pacifist society in perfect existence, and along comes one violent asshole, and proceeds to rob people, then make a group of former pacifists who are impressed by him into a posse, which eventually grows to take over the formerly pacifist land, then you see my ugly, albeit insurmountable facet of human nature: passion leads to force, and if a belief does not have enough passion behind it, it will not go to force to defend itself, and therefore will fade into history

so it seems to be me that pacifism is doomed to be amongst the malcontents of civilization.... pacifism is simply background noise to human existence, not an actual important force... and this was always true, and probably always will be true: pacifism is as old as time, it is not a recent invention, there were roman legionnaires who would not fight... but pacifism never went anywhere, simply because the only way, in this world, and i concede it is an ugly fact, but you have to conced it is an ugly truth, is by forceful violent defense of its existence

so to me, pacifism will always be background noise, like the usual malconents of civilization in any age of history, and will never organize itself to be a significant threat to any dominant ideology of the time, simply because those dominant ideologies will defend themselves violently in order to exist, and only fall to ideologies which are more effective or violent or larger in members in their violent struggle to take the reigns of command... i don't LIKE this, but i think my analysis is dead on

witness the predicament of your pacifist in north korea

in other words, don't read into my words "MAN! I LOVE THE SMELL OF IRAQI CHILDREN'S FLESH IN THE MORNING" when i say that, unfortunately, only violent passion allows for an ideology to defend its existence and to spread... i constantly run into people who say i am a warmongerer when i begrudingly and unfortunately admit to war's inevitable and permanent place in human existence... i am no warmongerer, i am only looking at the evidence of human nature and coming to the honest, albeit unfortunate conclusion of human nature

human nature has good and bad sides, war seems to me to be a permanent ugly side- UNFORTUNATELY

and therefore, to me, UNFORTUNATELY, pacifism will always remain in the background noise of civilization, never a major force to reckon with, simply because it will not fight for its existence, ever (for should it ever fight, it will become a logical paradox and instantly go "poof" as an important social phenomenon)

and maybe this is good after all: human beings should always be ready to defend themselves against encroaching evil, and all of the abuses that go with war are perhaps the price we pay for being ready to defend ourselves against the very death of civilization and humanity itself

(but i have to be careful here, because here comes the "you warmongerer!" screams from the peanut gallery)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Gah! Are you deliberately trying not to get it?? (none / 0) (#370)
by tap dancing lenin puppet on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:17:27 PM EST

but a more exact meaning of my words should be thus:

"antiwar protestors believe in nothing that effectively promotes their belief, and will not fight for even the existence of being antiwar and pacifist"

do you see?

Yes.  So in other words, if you change what you said to something that's true... it becomes true.

Bravo.

I hold no particular judgement on the relative uselessness of pacifist ideology.  My argument is simply that there is such an ideology, and pacifists do indeed fight for their ideology.  I made no statements regarding effectiveness or probability of success using pacifist methodology, precisely because I have nothing to say on the subject.  I am not well enough schooled in the subject.

To borrow your own analogy, my point was precisely that pacifists do rise to the level of "background noise", as you have quaintly described them.  There is a marked difference between background noise and total silence; what you initially accused pacifists of.

As well, some antiwar demonstrators are not pacifists.  Some simply disagree with the effectiveness of a particular war, some have relatives in the country who they are worried about, some wish to pursue another, more hostile nation first.  Just a note, as I had noticed that we had shifted initially from anti-war demonstrators to a discussion of the effectiveness of pacifism (still having another argument, instead of simply conceding the point).

[ Parent ]

well that's pyrrhic victory for you (none / 0) (#371)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 05:58:11 PM EST

To borrow your own analogy, my point was precisely that pacifists do rise to the level of "background noise", as you have quaintly described them.  There is a marked difference between background noise and total silence; what you initially accused pacifists of.

um, ok, whatever... there are also ufo cultists and abortion clinic bombers in the backgorund noise of civilization's malcontents, so if this is the amazingly forceful point you want to make, um... bravo, you win LOL ;-P

I hold no particular judgement on the relative uselessness of pacifist ideology.  My argument is simply that there is such an ideology, and pacifists do indeed fight for their ideology.

there is also an ideology that postulates that the devil is trying to control humanity by putting 666 on rfid tags and the government implants them in us... luckily we have brave believers who are "fighting" for us against this devilish (lol) plot

silly me for thinking we were talking about movements that mattered in this world

so uh... you win (?)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

W00t! (none / 0) (#372)
by tap dancing lenin puppet on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:04:11 PM EST

silly me for thinking we were talking about movements that mattered in this world

so uh... you win (?)

Silly, I doubt it.  Presumptious ass, perhaps.

And yes, I do win.  Which was really the only point of my interjection.  I did not mean to engage you in a debate, so much as correct an error in your initial post.  I did not really even expect a response, as my post did not particularly call for one.

You are the one who has made me zealously demand a concession; I was quite satisfied with silence or disgruntled acceptance.

[ Parent ]

let me ask you something (none / 0) (#373)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:09:30 PM EST

if i say 1000 things of importance, and you find a problem with minor subsection 23, subchapter a, paragraph 6, and then drag me through the mud attacking me to correct an incredibly minor and stupid point, what exactly did you win?

as for me being a pompous ass, well if in your book a pompous ass is someone who gets the important stuff right but "arrogantly" glosses over the minor crap, and then brave you comes along and valiantly corrects him on the minor unimportant crap, well then sir, i'd rather be the most annoying flaming pompous arrogant ass in the world than be a little snivling anal retentive autistic creep in the shadows obsessing over the tiny stupid unimportant shit like you


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

The W00t Continues! (none / 1) (#374)
by tap dancing lenin puppet on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:30:14 PM EST

Gee, you're an angry person.

Maybe you should see a doctor about that.

I been seeing one, and my autism has been coming along nicely.  In fact, so nicely I now have a girlfriend, can attend parties, work in groups at the office and yes, even talk on the phone.

[ Parent ]

i am an angry person (nt) (none / 0) (#375)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 06:45:07 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
IAWTP too (none / 1) (#68)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:17:03 AM EST

I extend the same feeling to extremists of all stripes. I think the world is a little more complicated than they would like to believe. Pure socialism, pure libertarianism, and pure capitalism all fall into the same big hole too.

I wish more people would think.

[ Parent ]

good point: (none / 3) (#69)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:22:28 AM EST

hardcore marxists, capitalists, libertarians...

fundamentalists one and all

the world cannot be reduced to one philosophy, one pov

the attempt to do so (which is just human anal retentive thinking at work) causes more harm than good

it is in our nature to simplify, to find patterns

but this instinct can reduce the beauty of the world if applied too harshly

you lose way more than you gain by making things "simple"

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

hey buddy! (2.25 / 4) (#94)
by bankind on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:52:51 PM EST

take your trans-gender advocacy speech elsewhere.

Save the trannies for yo mammy.

But if you are advocating some man-on-man action you should at least reference Vin Deisel, the Chronicles of Riddick.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

OMFG! (none / 0) (#145)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:02:54 PM EST

uninvited attention to other people's sexuality indicates you are a virgin teenager?!?! no way!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
the magic is gone. (none / 1) (#160)
by undermyne on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 11:13:10 PM EST

Your getting trolled AND using the same tired responses in multiple threads. Tisk.

"You're an asshole. You are the greatest troll on this site." Some nullo

[ Parent ]
lol stalker ;-) (nt) (none / 0) (#161)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 11:18:03 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I was mod bombing you.. (2.50 / 6) (#162)
by undermyne on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 11:20:09 PM EST

and I came across this. It (the dup post) was so pathetic that I had to stop. I am now reversing all of my mod bombs to sympathy 3's.

Beating up on "the special kids" is never any fun.

"You're an asshole. You are the greatest troll on this site." Some nullo

[ Parent ]
well... (2.00 / 3) (#178)
by bankind on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:58:13 AM EST

normally I play the slick headed, space adventurer, ya know 'el lobo uno.' Just me the baddies, my wits, and constant stream of one liners in those types of role-playing games.

But I have played the virgin teenager, as when I stared in the TV pilot for vision quest the series, and could fill your desire... If rusty would stop thwarting my puppet account making.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman
[ Parent ]

OK, let's try it (none / 0) (#81)
by epepke on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:45:41 AM EST

Go to Alabama and tell people that the best evidence is that God came into existence as the result of a Big Bang somewhere between 10 and 20 billion years ago. See how many friends you make.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
i actually don't believe in the big bang (none / 2) (#82)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 06:05:28 AM EST

i think the expansion we see is a localized effect, like being on a small wave on the surface of an ocean, and that the universe is infinite in time and space, contracting and expanding at different points

the background radiation is simply an effect of being unable to resolve beyond a certain distance due to a physical effect we are not familiar with

and i'm not a lunatic crackpot for thinking this, a lot of other astrophysicists think so too:

it's called the steady-state theory

btw, the big bang theory was originally proposed by the head of a catholic monastry:

Initially, scientists found the big bang's miraculous implications off-putting. When, in 1927, Catholic abbé and astronomer Georges Lemaître first hypothesized that existence began with the detonation of a "primordial atom" of infinite density, the idea was ridiculed as a transparent ploy to place Genesis on technical grounding. But Lemaître enclosed a testable prediction -- that if there had been a bang, the galaxies would be rushing away from one another. This idea, too, was ridiculed, until Edwin Hubble stunned the scientific world by presenting evidence of cosmic expansion. From Hubble's 1929 discovery on, science has taken big bang thinking seriously.

so the big bang? it's not what you think it is: science triumphing over religion

the big bang is the OPPOSITE: it's religion creeping into science... it does not refute the creation myth, it IS the creation myth

so those southern baptists in alabama? they would agree wholeheartedly with the creation myth

in addition to the fact that i wouldn't be telling them what you think i would be telling them i assert that they would still agree with my alternative message: i would be telling them that god was infinite in time and space, which is what i believe about the universe

god=universe, interchangeable words, devoid of separate meaning

simple semantics, my friend, simple semantics

there is no debate between atheism and theism in the end, it's just a petty argument over word definitions ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

your belief has a dearth of supporting evidence (none / 2) (#148)
by rpresser on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:17:39 PM EST

while the Standard Model, including inflation, has a large amount of it.

Can Steady State explain COBE's recent anisotropy measurements of the cosmic background radiation, which appear to show actual sound wave crests and troughs frozen from the second the universe went transparent to photons?

No.

Can Steady State explain any observations at all made in the last twenty years? or even thirty?

Doubt it.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

questions: (none / 1) (#156)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:41:59 PM EST

why do these sound wave observations have to support only the big bang theory?

could they not also support the steady state theory, with modifications allowing for a localized event: a bubble that we are inside in the middle of an infinite sea?

because we cannot see past the cosmic background radiation right now, does not mean there is nothing beyond it

the history of astronomy, of science, has moved man away from an anthropomorphic universe: the universe is not centered on the earth, not centered on the sun, the earth is not flat, our galaxy is not the only one, we are but evolved from apes, etc.

i personally believe that the big bang is but another anthropomorphism that will be shattered as our empirical data grows

i am willing to admit that the current status quo and the current critical mass of research and the current fashion among cosmologists points towards support for the big bang theory

but i am personally not willing to give up my rule of thumb: anthropomorphism always loses in the end

the history of science support innumerable cases where the status quo has shifted, often dramatically

i also know that for every one of those shifts, there were a thousand crackpot theories as well

it just seems to me that the big bang theory is just a stop gap measure to explain what we know now, for only the past 70 years, and that with more empirical evidence, it will be rendered unworkable, and the steady state theory, with modifications, will gain renewed vigor

that's my prejudice, and i freely admit it: anthropomorphism always loses in the end, and the big bang speaks to me of anthropomorphic creation myth


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Is it national missing-the-point day? [n/t] (none / 0) (#182)
by epepke on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 05:57:20 AM EST


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
i think i got the point (none / 0) (#197)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:15:16 PM EST

but enlighten me, oh omnipotent one

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Yea verily, I say unto you (none / 0) (#325)
by epepke on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 01:47:59 PM EST

I did.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
i understand what you are saying (none / 0) (#353)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:29:34 PM EST

but i am saying that my analysis of the two words leads me to believe, with a level head and a clear heart, that the words have the same meaning

and i say to you that my take on the two words and their essentially being synonymns for one another is the only responsible position to take

since we have in this world people who die and fight by the hundreds of thousands over nuances in the differences between the two terms

so i understand what you are communicating to me: that people don't see the two words are the same

but i am establishing my reading of the two words as superior to what their understanding is, because my understanding leads to more peace and less senseless deaths

and no, that is not irony: i am not the spanish inquisition, you can't ascribe to me the same desire to unify the world under one creed, because there is no compulsion in my words to go out and crusade for my reading... while meanwhile, those who you identify as having separate readings ARE and HAVE killed hundreds of thousands for the sake of word definitions

so don't punish me for the sins of others

you should be with me, chastising those who kill because of word defintions


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

<shrug> (none / 1) (#359)
by epepke on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:23:01 PM EST

but i am saying that my analysis of the two words leads me to believe, with a level head and a clear heart, that the words have the same meaning

and i say to you that my take on the two words and their essentially being synonymns for one another is the only responsible position to take

I see what you're saying. And, not getting into whether it's "the only responsible position" or not, I say this. I live in a world full of people, and for good or ill, I have to talk with them sometimes. This leads to a lot of unpleasantness, like having to spell something "knight" when there is no "k" or "gh" sounds.

but i am establishing my reading of the two words as superior to what their understanding is, because my understanding leads to more peace and less senseless deaths

So you imagine. It's a nice imagining, and it would be nice if it were true, but I don't see it happening now. I grew up during the 1960s. There were a lot of nice things about the time. For example, as far as I could tell, there was no perceived conflict between teaching evolution and religion. People, basically, just didn't care and didn't seek to find conflicts.

Times are different now. The recrudescence of fundamentalism, both Christian and Islamic, I date from the middle 1970s. What that says to me is that a lot of people were silently unhappy with an essentially old-fashioned liberal world. They wanted to pick fights. As Frank Zappa once said, there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.

As far as I can tell, an essentially ultimately ecumenical view of God that you are espousing, while it might work just great if everyone were to get on board, deeply offends some people. They kill because of their offense. This does not make me want to offend them any less, but it does make me think that the old-fashioned liberal ideas, nice as they were, basically do not work.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
i agree (none / 1) (#360)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 08:27:57 PM EST

it's a subtle balance

for example, the war on terrorism:

conservatives take it too far, and declare war on islam as well

liberals take it to far, and find reason to stop fighting the terrorists

both tendencies are fraught with danger and are utlimately self-defeating

the simple trurth is, you fight the terrrorists, you hunt them down, you kill them

but you don't kill muslims, and you don't stop fighting the terrrorists

and it is hard to keep that balance, without straying into giving up, or getting too aggressive

but that is life. no one said it was easy


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

The abstraction ladder and friends.... (none / 1) (#368)
by Gluke on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 03:45:00 PM EST

First off, like you say, circletimessquare, it's all in the semantics. It's nothing new, but I couldn't keep silent.

This thread reminded me of what I read somewhere. I remembered it because it seemed like the right thing to agree with, at the time. It said that no word means (i.e. stands for) the same "thing" to all humans, or even the same human at different times...

It gets worse the higher up on the "abstraction ladder" the word seems to be. For example, words like "water", "blood" and "animal" are pretty low and words like "libertarian", "war", "freedom" and "property" (and "god") are relatively high on the abstraction scale, away from manifest reality (whatever that may be).

I think that while being human, we happen to arrive at abstractions in our own special individual ways, and at our own pace, attaching sometimes unpredictable or maybe seemingly unreasonable (to someone else) affective connotations to symbols and the things they symbolize.

We also tend to get carried away and forget that symbols aren't things they symbolize.

There you have it. Semantics. I always have to keep that in mind while confronted with someone else's high level abstractions, and then it's easier to get along and simply love. I love all yall. We are all one, after all.

[ Parent ]

Ok, let's try again (none / 1) (#100)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 01:39:34 PM EST

Go to Washington and tell some pseudo-intellectual that the biblical creation story is literal truth. See how many friends you make.

Big Bang, God, whatever. Nobody knows what happened billions of years ago. If people could accept the fact that they don't know everything, we'd all be better off.

[ Parent ]

Way to miss the point (none / 1) (#181)
by epepke on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 05:56:21 AM EST

The point is that, effectively, people do use the words "God" and "universe" to mean different things. You can claim they don't, but you can also claim that white is black and get killed on the next zebra crossing (apologies to Douglas Adams).


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Thanks (none / 2) (#99)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 01:36:20 PM EST

For an incredibly insightful post. That was one of the best summations of these sorts of issues that I have read.

[ Parent ]
thanks ;-) (nt) (none / 0) (#106)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 03:22:56 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
You're a silly person. (2.83 / 6) (#168)
by WorkingEmail on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 01:14:40 AM EST

than[sic] i realized that when people talk about "god", all they mean is the universe: omnipotent, omnipresent, faceless, nameless, etc.
You realized wrong. This does not apply to all people.

so i now see no conflict between atheism and theism, it's just semantics: god or universe, it's the same damn thing, just two different words for the same meaning
One method of propaganda and brainwashing is redefining words to twist the meaning of accepted knowledge. Your internal redefining of 'god' does not change the minds of other people. It just makes you more ignorant of their thought process. Sorry.

I don't understand why you worship 'spirituality' so relentlessly. Perhaps you have redefined this word to mean "all dat stuf dat i likes"? Go ahead and look up 'spiritual' and 'spirituality' in the dictionary. What does this word mean to you? Just because you like spirituality and you like something else, doesn't mean they're the same thing, or even related.


[ Parent ]

i am a silly person (none / 0) (#169)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:31:59 AM EST

i guess it is a far better world where people kill each other by the thousands because of subtle nuances in the interpretation of meanings and words

i'm just a silly propaganda-spewing, brainwashing word-twister to promote the idea that we all love the same thing in the end

silly me

oh yes, i forgot, to me spirituality is simply a healthy sense of humility and wonder in the bastness of time and space that we all need to survive and grow as human beings

i'm so silly that way


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

yes, that's quite silly (none / 2) (#171)
by WorkingEmail on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:07:03 AM EST

I can understand why you admire those qualities, but I cannot see why you call it spirituality. That just confuses people.


[ Parent ]
it is easy to criticize my definitions (none / 1) (#172)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:14:29 AM EST

but without offering any of your own, my definitions stand unchallenged


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
go to dictionary.com (none / 1) (#174)
by WorkingEmail on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:32:21 AM EST

I understand that spirituality has something to do with spirits or other supernatural shit.


[ Parent ]
are you just trying to troll me? (none / 0) (#176)
by circletimessquare on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:43:19 AM EST

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality

Spirituality may include belief in supernatural powers, as in religion, but the emphasis is on experience. What is referred to as "religion" and what is referred to as "spirituality" are often the same. In recent years, "spirituality" has often carried connotations of the believer's faith being more personal, less dogmatic, more open to new ideas and myriad influences, and more pluralistic than the faiths of established religions. Those given to speaking of "spirituality" rather than "religion" are apt to believe that there are many "spiritual paths" and that there is no objective truth about which is the best path to follow.

Others hold that spirituality is not religion, per se, but the active and vital connection to a force, power, or sense of the deep self.

Some proponents of spirituality believe that the goal of 'being spiritual' is to simultaneously improve one's wisdom, willpower and communion with God/universe, which necessitates the removal of illusions at the sensory, feeling and thinking aspectes of a person. The 'Plato's cave' analogy in book VII of The Republic is one of the most well known descriptions of the spiritual development process.

Other spiritual proponents point out that that spirituality is a two-stroke process. The upward stroke relates to inner growth and the downward stroke relates towards manifesting improvements in the world/reality around us as a result of the inward change.

The rule of thumb when evaluating any spiritual approach is that six months of diligent, proper practice should manifest noticeable improvement in one's life. If not, then the usual advice is to pick an approach that is more likely to assist you in achieving your specific goals.

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I love you, cts (none / 1) (#367)
by Gluke on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 11:16:24 AM EST

You said it very well.

[ Parent ]
Someone should sue to remove (2.62 / 16) (#71)
by V on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:37:29 AM EST

"with liberty and justice for all".

It makes USians look like liars.

V.
---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens

+1 Section, a bit dry. (1.87 / 8) (#79)
by Arvedui on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 04:39:18 AM EST

Personally, I'm disappointed this little bit of 1950's propaganda will remain in the Pledge, but the story was pretty well-written and should generate some discussion. The long unbroken blocks of judicial opinion were a bit dry, however I'd vote it up to FP if you put in a link to the Pledge in Powerpoint Edition somewhere early on. :) I tend to agree the little op-ed at the end is out-of-place, but that's a minor gripe.

lies, damn lies.... (2.75 / 4) (#88)
by codejack on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:17:22 AM EST

and statistics, and someone less biased than faux news, to boot, say 79% of americans believe in god (but only 66% are "sure"!).

What does all this mean? The Pledge of Allegiance will contain the phrase "under God" for a few more years. With four Justices (Rehnquist, O'Connor, Thomas, and Scalia), believing in the constitutionality of mentioning God in the official government, there will probably be no more challenges for quite some time. The nation was founded by men who believed in God and has been led by men who believed in God. Fully 92 percent of Americans say they believe in God. As long as Americans continue to believe in God, God will continue to mentioned in the pledge, on money, and in government spaces.

Well, that's kind of depressing. Pessimistic, also (or is that "optimistic" on your part?), but based on bad facts and bad logic. It is often and lovingly mentioned by those of the hypocritical religious persuasion that Benjamin Franklin, at the first meeting of the constitutional convention suggested that they open the meeting with a prayer, and that this proves we are a "christian" nation (Yea, Ben Franklin, the one who liked to dress up like a priest and hire whores dressed like nuns and, you get the picture). They never mention, however, that the prayer never happened. I have heard 3 different reasons for this:
  1. They did not have the funds to hire a clergyman (This coming from a disproportionate number of protestants, one of whose primary disparities from the catholic church was the "personal" relationship with god, and so did not need a clergyman to pray!)

  2. The suggestion was made too late, and it would be unseemly to start praying halfway through the convention (my ex-girlfriend likes to pull this one "I'm mad at you because you've been doing x for months, so I'm leaving!" "Why didn't you mention this before?" "I forgot" and then it's my fault? At the very least, it would seem that god wasn't the first thing on their minds)

  3. That George Washington struck the idea down for being silly.


More fun! The case against school prayer.


Please read before posting.

neither pessimist nor optimist (2.25 / 4) (#98)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 01:35:28 PM EST

Pessimistic, also (or is that "optimistic" on your part?)

Acually neither. I'm for not coercing people into saying the pledge. I'm just stating the facts as I see them. The way I see it, the leaders of this country have either believed in God or claimed to believe in God. It is more of a ritual in the US than a confession of faith.

They never mention, however, that the prayer never happened.

Can you give me a source for this? A real source not an internet page. Something that is traceable. I'm constantly amazed at how much of American history is myth not fact.
The case against school prayer.

The core of the problem is government controlled education. Instead of restricting what teachers and schools can teach, it would be more sensible to take schools away from the government.

Schools should be private and small. Parents should have a wide range of choices among schools. Most of the problems would disappear. Schools would be dependent on parents for funding. They would be responsive to individual parents not large school districts or State legislatures or Congress.



[ Parent ]
You are sooooo high (3.00 / 6) (#104)
by Bill Melater on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 02:22:11 PM EST

Schools should be private and small. Parents should have a wide range of choices among schools.

Public education has numerous faults, but their solution is not to make education a function of wealth.

This is a recipe for disaster: addle-pated, sophmoric nonsense promoting a large, semi-literate underclass.

You've been reading Ayn Rand, haven't you?

[ Parent ]

public education (none / 1) (#120)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 06:06:36 PM EST

Public education has numerous faults, but their solution is not to make education a function of wealth.

How would ending public education make education a function of wealth? Must we have government run schools to have a well educated public?

[ Parent ]

public schools (3.00 / 4) (#121)
by eudas on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 06:48:17 PM EST

pretty much.
i shudder to think of how many people would fail to send their children to school if it wasn't mandatory and/or state-funded.

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

vouchers? (none / 0) (#127)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:07:38 PM EST

Why couldn't we use vouchers?

I see no reason why we can't have mandatory school, plus vouchers, plus testing in a private system.

[ Parent ]

sorry took so long to respond (none / 0) (#217)
by eudas on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 06:23:52 PM EST

the way i see it, with public schools the quality may be low but even if it is, there's a consistent minimum level that you can be sure of getting. with private schools + vouchers, i'm afraid that things would be totally hit-and-miss with regard to quality; you'd find some very rich, very good schools and a whole assload of very poor, crappy schools.

i figure at least with a bit of socialism in education you at least know what you're getting.

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

not happy with a consistent crappy minimum (none / 0) (#242)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 09:46:39 PM EST

you'd find some very rich, very good schools and a whole assload of very poor, crappy schools.

I think the major malfunction of public schools is lack of competition for the hearts and minds of parents and teachers. I don't advocate a total free market system. What I want is enough competition in the system to spark change and innovation.

The rich versus poor angle can be reduced somewhat by making vouchers statewide. Voucher money should be collected from statewide taxes, preferably sales taxes. Then you distribute the vouchers on an equal basis. Each child receives the same amount of money via voucher. The parents take the voucher to any school in the state.

Schools which are oversaturated with applications would enroll by lottery. The schools would also be allowed to add temporary buildings and have unlimited class size (restricted only by fire codes). Schools without enough applicants will wither and die. They will be bought out or wiped out.

Now the reason for collection by sales tax. If the amount of the voucher is too low, the people of the state can vote to RAISE TAXES ON THEMSELVES to fund the vouchers. At some point, people will be satisified with the amount of the vouchers.

As a side benefit, teachers will begin to get paid what they are worth. Unleashed from government funding and quasi-government control, schools will have to fight to attract parents and students. To accomplish this, schools will have to attract good teachers. The only way to keep good teachers will be through pay and benefits. Teacher pay will start to respond to market demands.

Eventually subpar teachers will be unable to command the same salaries as good teachers. It won't be perfect. Some sub-par teachers will be overpaid. Some good teachers will be underpaid. However, the system will be better.

i figure at least with a bit of socialism in education you at least know what you're getting.

So, you see, my idea has a bit of socialism and a bit of economic darwinism. I want to collect money from everyone. I want to redistribute that money equally. I want the amount to be equal statewide to reduce the gaps between rural and urban, rich and poor.

I want to do it within each state to yield 50 experiments in voucher levels. I want 50 states to experiment with supervision and testing. I want schools in 50 states to tamper with teacher salaries. I want parents in 50 states to vote with vouchers.

Maybe I should have started by saying. I have a dream......

[ Parent ]
vouchers (none / 0) (#269)
by eudas on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 10:10:42 AM EST

why would you need to collect voucher money from sales tax? i thought that monies for public schools were collected from property taxes, and vouchers were just those monies given back to the people who send their kids to private schools or home-school. is this incorrect?

i guess some more internet research is in order to really get a better picture of it all.

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

property taxes (none / 0) (#305)
by adimovk5 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 07:15:02 PM EST

In the current system, property taxes are collected in each school district. The rate varies from district to district because the economy varies. Some districts have large commercial enterprises. Some have only farms. Some are residential communities. Some are inner city. Most are mixed areas. Property taxes are a very unstable form of taxation when used for revenue. They depend too much on the assessed value of property.

When a parent chooses home school or private school in a non-voucher area, there is no rebate. The parent must pay taxes and still pay the bill for non-public education. In a voucher area, funds are collected from property taxes and then distributed in the form of vouchers. There is still no rebate. There is no voucher or rebate for home schooling.

Shifting to a statewide sales tax would stabilize the funding source. The tax base would not rely on how wealthy a district's residents are. It would also make adjusting the amount of the individual vouchers easier. If the voucher is too high, lower the education tax. If it's too low, raise the tax. Allow voters to vote on changes.

I'm not advocating eliminating the property tax, just moving the education funding from property tax to sales tax.

I wonder. How do non-Americans feel about education in their countries?

[ Parent ]

As unfair as it is ... (none / 1) (#309)
by cdguru on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 10:19:07 PM EST

One of the basic tenents of the US today is the property tax support for public schools. I am not sure how this originated, but it is how things work in nearly all places in the US.

The effect of this is that real estate is divided geographically into low-tax and high-tax areas. In general, the parents in a high-tax area believe (without much real foundation I might add) that they are purchasing a higher quality education for their children with their higher taxes. This belief and the accompanying greater involvement the parents have with their children's education probably has far more to do with the real quality of education the children receive than the higher tax base of where they live. However, any and all attempts to change this would be met with serious opposition from the parents in the high tax areas - they believe they have everything to lose and nothing to gain from any sort of equalization of school funding. They are currently paying more and believe they are getting more. In low tax areas the parents know they aren't paying for much, have lower expectations and less involvement and end up getting measurably less results from their children's education. Besides, if they could afford to pay more and education was important to them, they would move to a high tax area. Therefore, the people in low tax areas are either uninterested or have no financial way to move to a higher tax area.

The problem with any proposal that intends to pay schools from a common state-wide fund is that it ignores this current division and the reasons why it exists today. While you may consider it unfair, the folks with the ability to change it are going to fight losing the apparent advantage they have. Similarly, trying to infuse distant high tax area schools with low income students can be expected to fail a majority of the time. The reason for this is simple - the greater financial resources of the high tax area school is not the key to the students success. It is instead the involvement of the parents in the educational process.

This is not something that can be fixed by simply rearranging the finances, no matter how that would appear to help the situation.

[ Parent ]

Hmm (3.00 / 5) (#124)
by Bill Melater on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:00:05 PM EST

If we took away all government involvement, we'd see something like the current situation with colleges. Rich people can afford to send their kids to Ivy League schools. The middle class can manage a 2 or 4 years school somewhere. Poor kids either go to work or demonstrate the ability to consistently catch footballs while running a slant pattern. Generally, the quality of your college education is roughly proportional to the amount of money Dad is willing to cough up.

We have experienced "no government involvement" in education for thousands of years all over the world. There's a "greater good" case to be made that compulsory education is beneficial to society at large. If so, either the government provides the education or mandates that it be provided. In the latter case, presumably that means private schools accredited by the state in some way but that gets into the whole "voucher/school choice" thing. Either way, the goverment is playing a major role in education.



[ Parent ]

Not an either/or scenario (2.75 / 4) (#129)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:20:41 PM EST

I believe it should be possible to construct a school system that is fully funded by vouchers controlled by parents. That system could be made compulsory and statewide testing could ensure the basics are being taught.

A private system doesn't mean an unregulated system. Take vehicle insurance for instance. The state doesn't issue the insurance but it requires it to operate a vehicle. You must go to a private carrier. It also regulates the industry.

Yes, the government still plays a role but it changes from the delivery of education and employment of teachers to the monitoring of education. Instead of being employees of the government, teachers become employees of the school and more under the influence of parents.

[ Parent ]

Yes, it is (3.00 / 5) (#188)
by codejack on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:59:05 AM EST

Or, as you would have it, show me an instance where school vouchers have worked. It's just another tax cut for the wealthy; Or, show me a private school that costs $5000/year. And one of the problems we're already facing is that standardized testing is the worst possible barometer of a school's success.

And insurance?!?! You're actually holding the insurance company up as an example for our schools? Those people have all the scruples of a toilet full of piranha, and the "regulation" is a joke; One of the political hot-potatoes right now is "tort reform," or it would be if anyone running for office weren't taking money from insurance companies and HMO's. Basically, they want to make sure that, in the event that your life is ruined beyond repair by a doctor, HMO's decision, car wreck, etc, that any suit you bring against them won't cause them to lay off workers. What they don't tell you is that the only reason they would have to lay off workers is so the CEO and his pals can still get their seven figure bonus' that year. What's that I hear? It's the sound of another tax cut for the rich.

Yes, the government still plays a role but it changes from the delivery of education and employment of teachers to the monitoring of education.

So, rather than make sure that education gets delivered and teachers get employed, they'll write a report on how many schools don't and stick it in a filing cabinet somewhere.

Instead of being employees of the government, teachers become employees of the school and more under the influence of parents.

Let me get this straight, you feel that you have more influence over an insurance company than over a public school teacher?!?! Dude, give it up.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
better voucher system (none / 0) (#244)
by adimovk5 on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:02:41 PM EST

show me an instance where school vouchers have worked. It's just another tax cut for the wealthy

There are vouchers now that allow parents to escape underperforming schools. That isn't the same as a system based on vouchers. I have an idea for a system that might work. Please see this post.
insurance

You're taking the example too far. I was only pointing out that insurance is government mandated but not government issued. By the same token, one could point to wretched abuses in government and declare that there should be no government control of anything. The extreme positions are faulty. There must be a middle road.
rather than make sure that education gets delivered and teachers get employed, they'll write a report on how many schools don't and stick it in a filing cabinet somewhere.

The proper role of government would then be to audit or require auditing. Reports would be published and made available to parents. Parents control the vouchers. Parents would decide what to do.
  • Abandon the school
  • Change the school
  • Accept the school
All the power and control would belong to the parents. In case of fraud, parents could sue the school. In case of illegal wrong doing, the state could sue the school. (In which case the state would not be suing the state as is the case now.)


[ Parent ]
great... (none / 1) (#307)
by codejack on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 08:37:35 PM EST

So now we're having to raise (or institute!) a sales tax to pay for it all. Once again, you're proposing to tax the poor more heavily. As for the distribution of resources you proposed in your other post, that's pretty much the way it works now; States get money based on the number of students enrolled, which is then broken down into districts, which is where it gets all screwed up because the superintendant will dump all the money into one or two areas where all his contributors live (i.e. the wealthy) and screw everywhere else.

Another problem arises when you mention teachers' salaries: Profits. A few private schools may pay better than the others, but it works that way now. The rest will be purely commodity based, paying the least amount poossible while cramming the maximum number of students into each clasroom, and they'll get away with it due to a lack of parental involvement, skewed government oversight brought about by lobbying, assuming you can find a copy of the report anyway, and limited numbers of schools. I imagine that one or two companies will quickly buy up 90% of the schools and decide not to compete (price-fix), as well as not build more schools, etc, to limit the options available to parents. The nice schools will either have insane lotteries to get in (fixed, naturally, for "friends") or charge more than the voucher will cover.

This brings up the issue of how the voucher is delivered. My understanding of the current proposals is to issue a voucher in the form of a tax credit, which will be wonderful for people who can afford to pay that money out in the first place; However, if you're one of the millions (tens of millions? hundreds?) of families who don't have that kind of cash laying around, you'll just be shit-outta-luck. You can propose changing it so it works for those people, too, but I believe you'll find that the political obstacles to such a move will be insurmountable.

So, now we have an increased sales tax, which affects poor people more, to pay for schools with fewer teachers, less money, and no standards, that they'll have to mortgage their homes to get their kids into at all! We've seen this movie before.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Fundamental misunderstanding (none / 1) (#310)
by cdguru on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 10:32:43 PM EST

You misunderstand the function of public schools in the US. If you think the main function is for an educated population, you are very wrong.

The primary function of public education is to keep young workers out of the labor pool where the would compete with older workers. This competition was previously a significant threat, although today it may not be as significant today as it was.

A secondary purpose of public education is to provide for literate voters. It was previously believed that illiterate people could not read information about candidates and therefore could not make informed choices between candidates. Just like the competition in the labor pool, this isn't as significant today as nearly all of the information voters receive today comes from television sound bites, televised debates and televised commentaries. No reading required.

I would say that based on this it is far less important that people actually receive a formal education unless that is something the parents are prepared to participate in and support their children in. It isn't going to do the children any good to force them to attend a school whos main objective is to deliver test scores and bodies in attendence.

[ Parent ]

Not quite... (none / 1) (#318)
by Shajenko on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 04:32:36 AM EST

This page allows you to read about the real purpose behind institutionalized, compulsory education. Essentially, it was to mold people into good little factory workers, people who would not question authority and who would do as they were told.

[ Parent ]
I doubt it was George (none / 0) (#270)
by haydentech on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 10:17:34 AM EST

#3 That George Washington struck the idea down for being silly.

Well, I can certainly rule that one out. In Washington's farewell address, he cautioned the nation in two specific areas that he said would be the downfall of the country. These are the two areas: the two-party political system, and trying to remove God from government. Talk about prescient! He predicted what are, in my opinion, the two biggest things wrong with the country today, and he did it over 200 years ago.



[ Parent ]
Remove god?) (none / 0) (#329)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 04:03:30 PM EST

How can I vote God out of office, he's never been elected! (Despite Dubya's messianic delusions

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
the US wouldn't have these problems (2.66 / 6) (#95)
by bankind on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 12:58:01 PM EST

if Arron Burr, MY founding father, would have won more than just that duel.

"Insurgents are blowing up pipelines and police stations, geysers of sewage are erupting from the streets, and the electricity is off most of the time -- but we've given Iraq the gift of supply-side economics." -Krugman

+3, Gore Vidal /nt (none / 1) (#243)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 09:47:49 PM EST


--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Fully 92 percent of Americans... (2.87 / 8) (#107)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 03:58:31 PM EST

Say they believe in God.

WTF is that supposed to mean? Forgive me if I'm slightly confused, I simply do not understand "believe" in this context. Does that mean "they consider themselves on God's side"? Does that mean they believe in his existence? (Which satanists also likely believe, which could easily mean they also reject this stupid "under God" clause..) Does it mean they suspect he exists, but have their doubts? It's a worthless survey that could use such emotionally charged and meaningless words.

What if some muslims answered yes, meaning that they believe in Allah, but they're quite adamant that Allah isn't the deity that Zoroastrians or Sikhs "believe" in? What if Zoroastrians said yes, under the belief that "God" isn't Allah? What if some wiccan answered yes, because the only other option was atheism, and they considered "God" close enough to their goddess or whoever in the hell they worship?

If the decision that was narrowly avoided would have depended on grabass statistics like these, even in the smallest degree, then I am glad it was denied.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

belief (none / 1) (#123)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 06:56:33 PM EST

Interestingly enough most Americans seem to believe there is a God and that they have a personal relationship with God. In poll after poll this rings true. Although Americans believe in different religions and are divided by sects, they hold this belief in common.

Church attendance doesn't match these numbers. Americans don't seem to think church is a necessary part of religion. Most of them can't even name the core tenets of their chosen faith. Most claim a particular faith because it is the faith of their parents.

Even so the belief in God is strong.

Minnesota poll 78% yes, 13% probably yes

Gallup International Millenium Poll

Washington Post story



[ Parent ]
what makes me laugh (2.25 / 4) (#128)
by livus on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:10:58 PM EST

is tht considerably more Americans believe in god than the number who also believe in hell or in the devil.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
What makes me laugh (none / 2) (#134)
by godix on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:35:00 PM EST

Is that a small, but sizable, portion of the people I know believe there is Satan but aren't sure if God exists. I had always assumed they were a package deal but at least I can semi-understand those who believe in God but not the devil. The reverse of that just strikes me as stupid.

I draw people smiling, dogs running and rainbows. They don't have meetings about rainbows.

[ Parent ]
are you sue theyre not satanists? (none / 0) (#135)
by livus on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:52:11 PM EST

this is crazy! Those poor, tormented creatures!

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
I'm not at all religious or even spiritual. (none / 1) (#139)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 08:53:07 PM EST

But I can at least admit that there would seem to be more evidence for the existence of Satan than God.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
Well, (none / 2) (#165)
by sonovel on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 11:46:53 PM EST

Well, Satan in particular is a part of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim family of religions. But the idea of an evil god is not. So someone might say "satan" when they mean "evil principle". Or something like that.

But then, I'm sure there are some Jewish/Christian/Muslim heratics who believe in Satan but not Jehovah/Yahwah/Allah. But these must be a small minority.

[ Parent ]

Temple of Set, perhaps? (none / 0) (#322)
by epepke on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 09:05:39 AM EST

They're a moderately sizable group that believe in and worship an entity that they sometimes identify with Satan.

Gnostic Christians didn't really have a Satan per se but often thought in terms of a demiurge, a mad god who created the universe, while Jesus was a manifestation of a good god trying to break in and set things right.

The Church of Satan, by the way, does not have beliefs in Satan in any traditional sense. It's more libertarian, and they use the concept of Satan as a metaphor: non serviam.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Allah is an arab word for God. (none / 2) (#175)
by jeremyn on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:41:50 AM EST

So stop wasting time talking about Allah, we're speaking English here. The word is God.

[ Parent ]
Proper Names. (none / 1) (#186)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:20:23 AM EST

God is a generic word for super-being/deity. Only christians are arrogant enough to think to co-opt that word, by refusing to name theirs. Or maybe they're worshipping Satan, and are carefully avoiding names because of it.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
God's proper name *is* given (none / 1) (#187)
by haydentech on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:41:05 AM EST

God's proper name is YHWH.  It's unclear from the Hebrew how that should be pronounced (though almost certainly not Jehovah).  "Yahweh" is probably a good guess.

And BTW, it has nothing to do with Christians "refusing" to give Him a name.  You make it sound like Christians just invented all this from thin air.  Of course, given the tone of your remarks, you probably really do believe this.

[ Parent ]

Hmmm. (none / 0) (#206)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:36:33 PM EST

And BTW, it has nothing to do with Christians "refusing" to give Him a name

If that is so, why do they never use the name of their deity? Why is "goddammit" taking the name of their lord in vain?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

G-d (3.00 / 6) (#207)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:53:36 PM EST

God never really gave his name in the Bible. The closest that it comes is when Moses asks the burning bush who it is and he responds with "I am that which is". This is the tetragrammaton: YHWH, which is sometimes rendered as Yahweh or Jehovah. If we renamed Popeye to "Iyamwhatiyam", this is about the same. In other places, he is referred to as Adonai which translates to Lord. As a result, we call him simply God for lack of a proper name and use any references to God in the same way we would any other name, but all this time we should remember that we don't know his name.

In many early cultures, knowing a name allowed power over someone or something. You can only hex a person if you knew their name, for example. Further, writing someone's name was part of invocations of power. Well, the Big Guy never gave us his name so we can't call on him to perform magic for us or to do our bidding. As a result, Cabbalists seized on this notion that God's name is expressed somewhere somehow in the Bible. To this day, you can find people who are looking for the name of God. For possibly similar reasons, Jewish folk erase the vowel even from the word God as a sign of respect.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Correcting more fallacies (none / 1) (#268)
by haydentech on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 10:08:47 AM EST

If that is so, why do they never use the name of their deity? Why is "goddammit" taking the name of their lord in vain?

Actually, we do. I'm not sure where you got that idea. In my congregation, it's quite common for someone to read "Yahweh" when "LORD" is given in the text.

On point two, actually the phrase you give is not taking the Lord's name is vain. The example you give would be asking God to remove the person/thing to hell. To take His name is vain would be to say the name of God (or Jesus) alone as a curse word.

So far, everything you've mentioned about Christianity in this post and your previous one has been wrong. I don't say that to be rude, just sad commentary on today's society I guess. There is currently such a misconception about what Christianity is, made moreso by millions of people claiming to be Christians when in fact it's just their way of saying "I'm a moral person" and Christ really has no bearing on their day-to-day life.



[ Parent ]
Not necessarily inaccurate. (none / 0) (#288)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 04:01:26 PM EST

How many "christians" don't bother to substitute "YHWH" or "Jehovah" for plain old god, when speaking on the subject? How many would assume, that anyone talking about 'god' must be talking about their own?

Of all those I have known, you (and even your congregation) would easily be a minority.


--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Not a proper name, necessarily (none / 0) (#326)
by epepke on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 01:52:44 PM EST

YHWH, or JHVH, or Yahweh, or whatever you want to call it, is not necessarily a proper name. It means "I am what I am" or "I am that I am."

What it was, Biblically, was a response to the question, "What is your name?" The answer was YHWH, or whatever variant you want to pick. Now, this can be interpreted in one of two ways:

  1. YHWH. That's my name. Don't wear it out.
  2. There's only one of me, and I'm it. Why the fuck would I need a name, you annoying heeb? Names are for distinguishing things from other things that would otherwise be considered similar. Like that's gonna happen.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
no (none / 0) (#241)
by Battle Troll on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 09:40:19 PM EST

The word God has completely different connotations and meaning than its root-word and homonym, god.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
"God" is a job description (none / 0) (#199)
by epepke on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:29:22 PM EST

"Allah" is a name. "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Yahoo Wahoo" is a sort of non-name.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
It's easy (2.75 / 4) (#221)
by Estanislao Martínez on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 07:05:30 PM EST

WTF is that supposed to mean?

Presumably, that 92% in a representative sample of the population answered "yes" to the question "Do you believe in God?"

--em
[ Parent ]

not a useful number (none / 0) (#265)
by davros4269 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 09:43:23 AM EST

I agree, that's a meaningless number. The number of "regular Christian church goers", for example, is lower. I mention this group because they seem to take an increasing political interest in relation to their religion. Lets not forget that the president of Americans for the Seperation of Church and State is a Christian.

I know many folk who show their crosses only when abortion is mentioned (or issues like this).

The number of pro-life, Republican-voting Christian-church goers is a much better statistic to worry about.

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

93% of all statistics are fabricated (n/t) (none / 0) (#317)
by amike on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 04:08:54 AM EST



----------
In a mad world, only the mad are sane. -Akira Kurosawa
[ Parent ]
Does Anybody Have To Recite The Pledge? (2.75 / 4) (#112)
by freestylefiend on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:02:52 PM EST

If not, then it doesn't matter. People could use their own words (e.g. those of the original pledge) or none at all.

actually yes (none / 3) (#115)
by ajaxx on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 05:55:03 PM EST

maybe you haven't been to an elementary school recently, but they get a little pissy when you refuse.

[ Parent ]
I Have Never Been To An Elementary School (none / 0) (#177)
by freestylefiend on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:44:17 AM EST

I have never been to an american elementary school. I went to a British primary school instead, which never asked me to pledge allegiance to anything. We were required to listen to prays and sing hymns. I think that all state schools did this.

Meanwhile, I was a member of the Beaver Scouts, a religious organisation, which required me to pledge allegience to the state! Of course, Beavers membership was optional.

[ Parent ]

Religious assembly (none / 0) (#184)
by squigly on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 09:52:55 AM EST

A legal requirement, I believe.  Not quite sure what the rule is in very mixed areas though.  Thre must be quite a few places with a roughly 50/50 split between christian and Muslim.

[ Parent ]
Snicker (none / 1) (#232)
by frankwork on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 08:44:46 PM EST

Beaver Scouts?

There goes my mojo...

[ Parent ]

control (none / 1) (#119)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 06:02:39 PM EST

Legally no one is required to say the pledge. However, in many public schools the teachers and principals seem to have trouble understanding the law. They are too used to having control over the students.

[ Parent ]
It's an official pledge, as approved by the gov/nt (none / 0) (#158)
by handslikesnakes on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:52:42 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Eigth grade (none / 0) (#277)
by enderbean on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 01:19:28 PM EST

I was given a detention in eigth grade for refusing to state the pledge of allegiance I wish I knew half of what I know now, I would have swept up the legal floor with that idiot teacher.


----------
"No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." - James Madison
[ Parent ]
8th grade (none / 0) (#301)
by mcgrew on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 06:27:23 PM EST

I was punished for asking a math teacher why pi didn't end. I wasn't satisfied with "it just does."

I almost got expelled for bringing a balloon full of hydrogen to science class. The poor teacher almost had a heart attack. It was an interesting day.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Pledge Recitation is Optional (none / 1) (#311)
by amike on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 10:35:18 PM EST

In 1943, The West Virginia Board of Education decided that, as part of its new civics curriculum, students would be required to salute the flag each day or face expulsion until they were prepared to comply. That didn't sit well with the Jehovah's Witnesses, and they sued. The case made it to the Supreme Court in Barnette v. West Virginia. The Supreme Court declared that nobody should be forced to salute the flag:

Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good as well as by evil men. Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon but at other times and places the ends have been racial or territorial security, support of a dynasty or regime, and particular plans for saving souls. As first and moderate methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on its accomplishment must resort to an ever-increasing severity. As governmental pressure toward unity becomes greater, so strife becomes more bitter as to whose unity it shall be. Probably no deeper division of our people could proceed from any provocation than from finding it necessary to choose what doctrine and whose program public educational officials shall compel youth to unite in embracing. Ultimate futility of such attempts to compel coherence is the lesson of every such effort from the Roman drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of its pagan unity, the Inquisition, as a means to religious and dynastic unity, the Siberian exiles as a means to Russian unity, down to the fast failing efforts of our present totalitarian enemies. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

It seems trite but necessary to say that the First Amendment to our Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings. There is no mysticism in the American concept of the State or of the nature or origin of its authority. We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal opportunity to coerce that consent. Authority here is to be controlled by public opinion, not public opinion by authority.

The case is made difficult not because the principles of its decision are obscure but because the flag involved is our own. Nevertheless, we apply the limitations of the Constitution with no fear that freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse or even contrary will disintegrate the social organization. To believe that patriotism will not flourish if patriotic ceremonies are voluntary and spontaneous instead of a compulsory routine is to make an unflattering estimate of the appeal of our institutions to free minds. We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes. When they are so harmless to others or to the State as those we deal with here, the price is not too great. But freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be a mere shadow of freedom. The test of its substance is the right to differ as to things that touch the heart of the existing order.

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

We think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on their power and invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control.



----------
In a mad world, only the mad are sane. -Akira Kurosawa
[ Parent ]
Important poll option missing. (2.54 / 11) (#122)
by aralin on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 06:54:54 PM EST

There is an important poll option missing, which would be relevant to this article. And that is: No, its unconstitutional. That the whole point of this debate. The constitution guarantees separation of state and religion and this is a clear case of breaking that separation. There are other cases in our law, but this one is pretty clear cut.

separation (none / 1) (#125)
by adimovk5 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:04:24 PM EST

The constitution guarantees separation of state and religion

Where does the Constitution guarantee separation of state and religion?

(I wish I had thought to add that poll option.)

[ Parent ]

1st amendment (none / 0) (#140)
by cronian on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 08:59:00 PM EST

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

Clearly, any reference to god respects certain religions.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Clearly?? (none / 2) (#142)
by NaCh0 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 09:39:46 PM EST

Clearly, any attempts to remove God from the public arena are prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

Clearly you don't understand that God is a generic term in this instance.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

Clearly you don't understand... (2.25 / 4) (#157)
by handslikesnakes on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:51:38 PM EST

...that even as a generic term it alienates a significant portion of the population.

Nobody's advocating removing God from public view (OK, there are probably a few but even atheists think they're loony), they just want it removed from government sanctioned view.



[ Parent ]
I propose (2.14 / 7) (#164)
by kjb on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 11:34:20 PM EST

we change the word from 'God' to 'Allah'.

As a generic term, of course.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

Brilliant Idea [nt] (none / 0) (#167)
by D Jade on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 12:57:12 AM EST



You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
Bluntly... (none / 1) (#284)
by DDS3 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 03:44:20 PM EST

....your assertion is dumb.  The use of "Allah" has specific Islamic overtones associated with it, especially in Western culture.

If you meant it as a joke, then fine.  If you're sincere, well, you might want to see if you can do some more reading to increase your knowledge on the subject.


[ Parent ]

overtones 'n shit (none / 0) (#286)
by LocalH on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 03:47:20 PM EST

    The use of "Allah" has specific Islamic overtones associated with it, especially in Western culture.
So does the word 'God', except those overtones are Christian. And *especially* when it's a capital G.

[ Parent ]
Except that... (none / 0) (#292)
by DDS3 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 04:23:34 PM EST

So does the word 'God', except those overtones are Christian. And especially when it's a capital G.

...many (most in fact) cultures and religions believe in a monotheistic entity.  As such, it generically can be used.  Regardless which "god" it refers to, I suspect that anyone of any faith is going to consider their "god" to be of proper noun distinction, thusly allowing it to be elevated to, "God".

When I was a child, I was taught that "A" god was spelled with lower case whereas, "THE" one and only god was spelled with uppper case.  Oddly enough, when I was taught that, no one ever asked me my religion, if I believed in god or if I believed in multiple gods.  Thusly, I guess I was never taught that "God" must only ever mean, the Christian God, rather, just whatever "THE" god, if any, that is significant to me.

[ Parent ]

Bzzt (none / 1) (#297)
by kjb on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 05:11:51 PM EST

Nice try.

Do you really believe that the people who had the word 'God' inserted into the pledge were using it as a generic term?  If you do, you're deluding yourself.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

Nope (none / 1) (#299)
by DDS3 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 05:15:41 PM EST

I understand why it was put in then.  But now is not then.  There is a huge difference in society, religion, and what's considered part of the common collective vernacular and culture.

Or are you insisting that society is exactly now as it was then?  If so, you're deluding yourself.


[ Parent ]

PS (none / 1) (#298)
by kjb on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 05:13:35 PM EST

Of course it was a joke.  DUH.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

Generic for what? (none / 0) (#275)
by ethereal on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 12:53:12 PM EST

Do you mean "generic" as "just any random god"? Because some people don't believe in gods at all.

Can we change it to "under the Sun" without loss of genericity? How about "under Humanity", or "under Gaea"? That might be generic enough for me.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Generic for the Creator (none / 0) (#281)
by NaCh0 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 02:50:24 PM EST

some people don't believe in gods at all.

I might fall into that category. To those making a fuss I say: Fuck those whiny twats. Go fight a real battle.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

I noticed that you hopped right over that word (none / 2) (#149)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:18:25 PM EST

"establishment" - awkward the way it changes the entire meaning of the clause, isn't it?

That clause, known as the "establishment" clause, refers to Congress passing laws giving preferential treatment to, or banning, organized religions - it has nothing to do with individual religious expression.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

individual? (none / 0) (#219)
by Happy Monkey on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 06:42:20 PM EST

Mentioning God in the official Pledge of Alleigance of the United States has nothing to do with individual religious expression either.
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
That's true. (none / 0) (#224)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 07:26:38 PM EST

But it doesn't follow that it is therefore banned by the establishment clause.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]
Origins of the phrase... (none / 1) (#278)
by pangmaster on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 01:30:16 PM EST

I often chuckle that people tend to use the phrase "separation of church and state" when they refer to the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. Where that really comes from is an interpretation of said amendment by President Thomas Jefferson, in a letter he wrote:
... I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.
With that said, the Constitution does not guarantee a separation of church and state—rather, it has generally been interpreted that way. But interpretations change...

Anyway, the point is that it can be argued that the mention of god in the pledge isn't establishing or endorsing of any particular religion. I understand "god" to be a generic term in this context.
--
I don't do Windows...
[ Parent ]

I disagree (none / 2) (#209)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 04:03:42 PM EST

I don't buy in to this whole business of making the constitution sacred. The constitution is not an end but a means.

If I ask you whether we should permit drug use, it's invalid to say, "No, it's against the law." That doesn't really answer the question.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
That's irrelevent (2.75 / 4) (#220)
by kitten on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 06:45:43 PM EST

The question before the Court is not "Should the phrase 'under god' be in the pledge?"

The question they must answer is "Is the phrase 'under god' in the pledge Constitutional or not?"

"No, it is not Constitutional" is one of only two valid answers to the question before the Court.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
well, other than the answer they gave: (none / 0) (#276)
by ethereal on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 12:54:38 PM EST

"He's not sufficiently her daddy."

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

that's not the question in the poll (none / 0) (#280)
by SocratesGhost on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 02:30:56 PM EST

Didn't you say it was a missing poll option? We're not talking about constitutionality, we're talking about preference. If our constitution banned something that we want, then we should change the constitution. That's why the part of the constitution that "under God" supposedly offends is called an "amendment", because the constitution can be amended to reflect our desires.

Again, the constitution is a means, not an end.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Who cares about the poll? (none / 0) (#291)
by kitten on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 04:17:39 PM EST

The Court isn't looking at K5 polls. The Court has one mission and one mission only: To determine the Constitutionality of a given case or controversy.

If our constitution banned something that we want, then we should change the constitution.

That's fine, but it also isn't the job of the Court to do so. Their goal is to look at the Constitution as currently written, not to change it if they (or anyone else) doesn't like what it says.

That's why the part of the constitution that "under God" supposedly offends is called an "amendment", because the constitution can be amended to reflect our desires.

Actually, the fact that the Bill of Rights are listed as amendments and not part of the actual document is more of a historical fluke than anything else. I forget exactly which state was involved (New Jersey?), but one of them refused to ratify the Constitution unless it provided a specific guarantee of rights. At that time, the Constitution had already been ratified by many other states and rather than go through the hassle of re-writing the entire thing and making everyone sign off on it again, they just tacked on the Bill as a list of amendments. It was still understood (and should be understood today) that the Bill of Rights is part anr parcel of the original Constitution.

Again, the constitution is a means, not an end.

As far as the jurisdiction of the Court is concerned, it is not only an end, but it is the end.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
The Bill of Rights was not left off as a fluke. (none / 0) (#302)
by adimovk5 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 06:53:27 PM EST

Actually, the fact that the Bill of Rights are listed as amendments and not part of the actual document is more of a historical fluke than anything else. I forget exactly which state was involved (New Jersey?), but one of them refused to ratify the Constitution unless it provided a specific guarantee of rights. At that time, the Constitution had already been ratified by many other states and rather than go through the hassle of re-writing the entire thing and making everyone sign off on it again, they just tacked on the Bill as a list of amendments.

The Constitutional Convention started on May 25, 1787. The delegates debated for four long months during the hot Philadelphia summer in absolute secrecy. The vast majority were unwilling to continue the convention. They had no desire to argue any longer over the merits of individual rights. Some even argued that enumerating rights might lead to the government attempting to limit people to those enumerated rights. Besides, the Constitution contained procedures for adding Amendments later.

It was during the ratification debates in each state between the Federalists and Anti-federalists that a general concensus was reached that the one of the first acts of Congress would be the addition of rights amendments. These debates all occurred after the signing of the Constitution by the delegates.

By June 1788, the required 9 of 13 states had ratified the Constitution. However, no action was taken. The new government required the support of three states - Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia. Massachusetts had ratified in February. In late June, Virginia became the 10th state. Finally New York ratified in July and became the 11th state. The following March, the United States came into being with 11 states.

New Jersey could never have held up the process. It was too small.

James Madison was urged to write a Bill of Rights to prevent the formation of another convention. He studied the constitutions of the various states and suggestions made by the state ratifying conventions. He submitted a list to Congress which was condensced to 12 Amendments, 10 of which became the Bill of Rights.

Good summary of events

Good wiki on the Constitutional Convention



[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#304)
by SocratesGhost on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 07:10:08 PM EST

I care about the poll. I'd like to know what are various reasons for people to take their stance. Your answer is not a valid answer for the reasons I've already mentioned. We are a nation of laws, not men, but men direct the laws and I'd like to hear what bias people have for reading the constitution one way or the other.

The poll, after all, does not ask which way should the court decide. May I suggest you answer the question that the poll does ask and not the question you wish it asked?

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
And the judges (none / 0) (#283)
by DDS3 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 03:39:08 PM EST

clearly addressed that question, as opinion.

The opinions not only make sense, but I completely agree with.  Adding the phrase simply does not suddenly convert the pledge into a religious player.  No more so than saying, "oh my god", in shock and disbelief means you just prayed for divine intervention.

I guess there will be those that understand and can reason and then there will be zealots.

Best of all, I like the part where they highlighted that our government actually worked at three levels, with the general populas, which is what government is supposed to do.  Long story short, not only is it constitional, but it's certainly not a prayer AND, it's what the majority of the populas wants.

Lastly, the part I especially like, is that I've been vendicated in my position on this, the last time it came up.  Hehehe.


[ Parent ]

Thought experiment for you: (none / 0) (#287)
by magney on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 03:49:56 PM EST

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag, and to the government for which it stands, one nation, under the gods, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The constitutionality of asking students to recite the above in school is pretty much exactly the same as for the pledge as it stands. Constitutional?

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

I think that might be... (none / 0) (#290)
by DDS3 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 04:16:05 PM EST

...a different ball of wax.  Please allow me to explain.  In America, and this is where we are talking about, as I understand it, polytheism is not embraced by the populas.  Thusly, such a reference may infer an actual intent to indoctrinate into a religion.  Which, in turn, could be considered unconstitutional.

If, we can assume that, legally, such a phrase holds the same standing as the former, then I would have to say it's constitutional.

I honestly don't know enough about polytheism to believe I have an accurate accounting of the facts and general American perception of them to be able to offer up a strong standing on your question.

I do believe you ask a good question and certainly understand the point.  Personally, when I think of polytheism, I think of the Greek and Roman gods rather than a more generic reference (which I think you're shooting for), meaning, whatever god, if any, you believe in.

Now then, let's look at it just slight diffent to put your words into another context.  "Oh my the gods", or, "oh my gods", or other such references which are clearly not intended as pray (and therefore would be constitutional), are not part of the common vernacular.  This is why I'm uncertain as to it's standing, were it to take its place in the pledge.

On the other hand, common, none religious, none prayer use allows for invocation of the word, "god" in the day to day vernacular.  Thusly, I believe it's footing in the pledge to be well supported and completely constitutional.

I know it sounds like I wimping out here, but I'm being as honest as I can.  How often do you hear people state this?  I honestly don't know enough about the aspect of the subject which you're bringing up to have an informed opinion on it.  Therefore, I'm left attempting to declare a gray spot with a question mark.  ;)

[ Parent ]

The point is (none / 0) (#293)
by kitten on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 04:24:32 PM EST

The point he was making is that the very people who are all gung-ho about having "under God" in the pledge, full of their high-and-mighty arguments that "it's just tradition" and "America is founded on religion" would shit themselves with rage if the phrase "under God" were changed to "under the gods" or "under Allah" or "under Zeus" or "under Oden" or "under L. Ron Hubbard".

The only reason they're supporting it is because it happens to agree with their religion -- not because they find it acceptable in principle -- for if they did, they'd have no problem whatsoever with people saying "One nation, under Oden".

The other point is that the government has an explicit mandate not to endorse religion of any kind. If the student wants to say "under God", he's at liberty to do so, but the schools cannot force him to say it (or, as they more often do, coerce him), and the official pledge as sanctioned by the government should not include the phrase, as it alienates a significant percentage of the population that do not subscribe to monotheism.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
not the same (none / 0) (#294)
by DDS3 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 04:35:13 PM EST

The point he was making is that the very people who are all gung-ho about having "under God"

I completely understand the point that he was attempting to make.

changed to "under the gods" or "under Allah" or "under Zeus" or "under Oden" or "under L. Ron Hubbard".

You're right, because it's meaningless and offensive to those of faith.  I have to roll my eyes every time I see that ultra lame example brought it.  The "under gods", I feel does have some validity, as I previously offered, but the others are just insanely stupid and moronic.  No one of reason can honestly argue that they will be percieved as having any good or proper meaning.  Therefore, it's just best to ignore the bulk of that argument.  You want to argue the "under gods" point, fine.  I'll have to defer as I originally stated.  Want to run with any of the others and you just disqualified your self from attempting to make any form of reasonable debate and squarely moved into the insane zealot category.

The other point is that the government has an explicit mandate not to endorse religion of any kind.

But since it's not endorsing religion, in the least, we don't have to consider such an argument.  Unless, that is, you're willing to jump onto a zealot bandwagon.

[ Parent ]

So... (none / 0) (#308)
by kitten on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 09:17:10 PM EST

You're right, because it's [replacing it with "Oden" or "the gods"] meaningless and offensive to those of faith.

So because a religion is followed by a minority, it's "meaningless and offensive"? (Yes, there are people who still follow the Norse mythology or Greek mythology, etc, as faithfully as a Christian follows the Christian mythology.)

Frankly, I think the word "God" is meaningless as well, especially since no one can seem to define it.

No one of reason can honestly argue that they will be percieved as having any good or proper meaning.

They have every bit as much meaning as the Christian concept of God and invokations thereof. I don't see how you can argue otherwise, except that you personally don't believe in Greek gods, or have been steeped by culture to regard them as "myths" while regarind the equally-implausible Biblical beliefs as "holy" and something to be respected even if you disagree with them.

You want to argue the "under gods" point, fine.

No one ignored it. The same people in this country who are pushing for keeping "under God" would shit themselves if it were changed to "under the gods", crying that there's only one God, it's offensive, blah blah blah. Again: They support "under God" because it happens to coincide with their own personal beliefs, not because they think the government endorsing religion in general is okay.

But since it's not endorsing religion, in the least, we don't have to consider such an argument.

Says you. Clearly, others disagree, arguing that it advocates religion over nonreligion (which is unconstitutional according to SCOTUS), or monotheism over polytheism. Saying "Anyone who disagrees with me is a zealot" doesn't change that fact and makes you look like the reactionary who can't handle criticism.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Not to burden this debate with facts... (none / 0) (#328)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 03:59:32 PM EST

But I'm fairly certain that there are no serious, surviving worhsippers of any of the Greek/Roman pantheon. The last worshipper of Zeus died somewhere around AD 400, if I remember.

Norse mythology is slightly different. It's rumored that in Iceland, maybe in parts of Norway, that there are those that worship Odin in secret. Even then, there couldn't be many of them.

Hinduism, as far as I'm aware, is the only polytheistic religion that is widespread, or that has a name that most would recognize.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Shinto, anyone? /nt (none / 0) (#335)
by i on Sat Jun 19, 2004 at 06:18:12 PM EST



and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]
I said no such thing (none / 0) (#340)
by DDS3 on Sun Jun 20, 2004 at 12:12:08 PM EST

So because a religion is followed by a minority, it's "meaningless and offensive"?

I didn't say this at all.

Frankly, I think the word "God" is meaningless as well,

Great!  Then since it has no meaning to you, won't don't need to hear you pipe in again on the subject at hand.

They have every bit as much meaning as the Christian concept of God and invokations thereof.

Except that I have argued otherwise, successfully, I might add.  You just ignore it and keep moving on.  Thusly, making it easy to ignore these ramblings.  Just because you restate something over and over again, does not suddenly make it true.

They support "under God" because it happens to coincide with their own personal beliefs, not because they think the government endorsing religion in general is okay.

So you don't believe in domocracy.  Nuff said.

Saying "Anyone who disagrees with me is a zealot" doesn't change that fact and makes you look like the reactionary who can't handle criticism.

Thankfully, I said no such thing.  I did, however, point out that zealots tend to use completely irrational and obtuse examples to "prove" their point.  In this case, of the long list of counter examples given, only one was a reasonable argument.  I adressed it.  The rest are illogical and bluntly, stupid arguments made by zealots because they are so caught up in the debate, they forget that logic and reason has to play a part too.  It's not about disagreeing with me, it's about making a reasoned argument which actually makes sense.  The vast majority of the given arguments make no sense at all and thusly, are the irrational compaints of zealots and fools.

[ Parent ]

Hinduism is a modern polytheism (none / 1) (#295)
by magney on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 04:49:35 PM EST

but that's not really my point.

The majority of the population of the US is monotheist, but in my opinion that does not make "under god" any less of an indoctrination into a religion than "under gods", or even "under no god".

I derive this opinion from the belief that a crucial feature of the United States model of government in general, and the Constitution in particular, is that it protects the rights of all citizens, not just the majority.  And thus if "under the gods" is a specific statement of religion, then so is "under god" - the fact that more people disagree with the former than the latter does not matter.

By the way, there are some very crucial limitations of the scope of the Newdow case  - it's about children in school being asked to recite the Pledge.  Asking adults to recite the Pledge would not be against the Constitution, because adults are considered to understand that they can legally refuse; and the fact that it's in school makes it a question of a government establishment of religion, in a way that it wouldn't be for, say, a Little League baseball game.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Then answer this: (none / 1) (#296)
by DDS3 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 05:09:43 PM EST

If you sneeze and someone says, "bless you", does that really mean they prayed for your soul from the demon(s) that just "exited your body"?  Do you believe that it was part of a formal prayer in hopes to indoctrinate you into their religion?

If someones says, "goddamn you", do you believe that you've just been cursed by god, requesting your immediately destruction or is it that someone simply stated a "dirty word" in an effort to express their anger and contempt?  Do you believe that someone stating this is making an effort to force you into their religion?

Has anyone ever said, "oh god!", near you?  Even during sex?  Do you really think they are praying for you, right then and there, attempting to pull your soul into their religion by bringing themselves and you to God's attention?

Or, perhaps, someone simply used words which have historical meaning because they are part of our collective culture, whereby, no one was attempting to change your religion, no one was attempting to pray for your soul, and their uses have a collective acceptance and implied meaning, regardless of which faith, if any, you practice?

I know which option seems obvious to me.  Therefore, I pick the obvious one.


[ Parent ]

And so... (none / 0) (#312)
by magney on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 11:28:36 PM EST

If "under God" in the pledge has no more significance than the examples you cited, then it's trivial enough that removing it shouldn't be a big deal.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

thus far... (none / 0) (#339)
by DDS3 on Sun Jun 20, 2004 at 12:03:30 PM EST

Why?

Thus far, you've only making the argument that you're a crazy zealot.  Answer the questions I asked then support your argument.


[ Parent ]

How about this: (none / 1) (#348)
by JohnnyCannuk on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 04:07:58 PM EST

In the early 1950's the term "Under God" was placed in the US Pledge of Allegience by an Act of Congress at the behest of the US Council of Catholic Bishops. It was specifically put in for both religious and political reasons - to show that the US was different than the "Godless Commies" (since without the "Under God" bit, which had been used for over 75 years and through 2 World Wars, it sounded similar to what a "commie" would get you to say) and to show that the "God" the US was under was the right god - You can be sure that the US Council of Catholic Bishops didn't mean this to imply Vishnu or Baal or even Alah. It most certainly implies monotheism and you can be certain it was intended to mean the Xtian Bible-God.

Thus from a purely historical perspective, you have an action of the state (US Congress) incorporating the elements of a specific religious doctorine (Monoitheism) at the behest of a very specific religious order (Catholic Bishops). the effect is to give state suppport to the idea that there is only one God and that it is all powerful (over the state). And since it's the Catholic Bishops, we all know who that God is (wink, wink). The Pledge was changed to promote Monothesim in general and Xtianity in particular becasue that is what the people that changed it wanted it to do.

As a result, Agents of the State (teacher) are forcing students (if you really think it's 'Voluntary' you haven't been in a primary school classroom lately) to vocalize the states admission, acceptance and subservience to a Monotheistic religion. Sure sounds like the State promoting one brand of religion over the others to me.

I believe about 49% of the US claims it is Xtian. that means the rest is not. The term "Under God" runs counter to the religious beliefs (and non-beliefs) of a large section of the US population. That it is being said by children without the capacity to refuse is appalling.

If you don't pray in my school, I won't think in your church.


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

Ok.... (none / 0) (#378)
by DDS3 on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 01:08:37 AM EST

In the early 1950's the term "Under God" was placed in the US Pledge of Allegience by an Act of Congress at the behest of the US Council of Catholic Bishops.

What's today's date?  Are you prepared to argue that our social structure, norms, behaviors and vocabularies are still that of the 1950's?  I assume you're responsible and will not make such a foolish effort.  Accordingly, the reason it was placed can easily be argued that it has no bearing today; aside from historical reference and/or significance.

The Pledge was changed to promote Monothesim in general and Xtianity in particular becasue that is what the people that changed it wanted it to do.

Well, I won't foolishly argue that there is a strong monotheistic overtone there.  Regardless, monotheistic words are part of our venacular, even those without a faith or religion.  Which is exactly the point I raised several messages up in this thread.  In other words, if it means something to YOU, then so be it.  If it does not mean anything to YOU, then so be it.  Is'nt fredom of choice a great thing?!  ;)

As a result, Agents of the State (teacher) are forcing students (if you really think it's 'Voluntary' you haven't been in a primary school classroom lately) to vocalize the states admission, acceptance and subservience to a Monotheistic religion. Sure sounds like the State promoting one brand of religion over the others to me.

That, I disagree with on many points.  I think it states that the government recognizes the fact that the majority of the worlds population do believe in a great entity of some type.  Furthermore, the majority believe in a monotheistic manner.  Thusly, I do not believe it supporting "A" religion.  Rather, I believe that it's saying, if you have faith, the US, by majority, is too.  It clearly is not plugging "A" religion, or declaring "THE" religion.  It's stating, as you pointed out, that historically, our nation believes in a monotheistic creator.  It does not push such a belief.  It does not indoctrinate one into any religion, anymore than the examples I've previously offered.

I believe about 49% of the US claims it is Xtian.

What?  I even quickly tried to look that up and couldn't find it.  What?  Finally found a reference.  Okay.  I don't think you've come close to making a point.  Use a dictionary and I think you'll find that the word "god" extends FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR, FAR beyond "Xtian".

that means the rest is not. The term "Under God" runs counter to the religious beliefs (and non-beliefs) of a large section of the US population.

Thankfully, we live in a domocracy so things known as a majority are what matter.

That it is being said by children without the capacity to refuse is appalling.

That's 100% false.  Children are not only not forced to do it, but they are specifically allowed omission or to completely obstain.  So, the only thing one could possibly find appalling here is, freedom of choice.

[ Parent ]

not bad (none / 2) (#126)
by dtothek on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 07:06:20 PM EST

although i usually don't jump into the political arena, this article was actually interesting to me.
-d
Wierdly (2.81 / 16) (#136)
by melia on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 08:12:09 PM EST

The idea that school children all over the US profess submission to the state every day has always struck me as very disturbing.

I really don't feel i'm being unjustifiably provocative if I say it's the sort of thing that would be done in Soviet Russia, or Nazi Germany. I have a vague feeling French children have the same sort of thing imposed upon them but that might be just my natural anti-Frenchness.
Disclaimer: All of the above is probably wrong

Loyalty pledges are common (2.33 / 6) (#147)
by rpresser on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:12:32 PM EST

wherever there is a State, those under its domain will be required to profess loyalty (feigned or not). The Pledge is about as meaningful, important, and hard to get rid of as the fact that a large proportion of flush toilets have the flush lever on the right side (meaning to the right of one sitting on the toilet).
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
Not in my country... (none / 1) (#261)
by trezor on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 07:06:42 AM EST

...or any other country I've been to. At least not last time I checked.

In fact, I think this is mostly the US and onlt the US, but please prove me wrong.

Pledges should be given volentarely. Forcing people to pledge to anything is about as useful as trying to turture icecream out of a man in the desert.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
Lol much? (none / 0) (#273)
by jmzero on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 11:23:42 AM EST

The Pledge of Allegiance is "voluntary" (discounting peer pressure).  But perhaps "volentarely" means something different, or perhaps has special meaning when italicized.  "Vol" means "flight" in some languages - I don't remember the etymology - and I think voler is "to steal" in French.  It's clear to me that you're a plane-thiefing terrorist.

Also: when I was in Grade 1 (in Canada), we recited a pledge as well as the Lord's Prayer.  And I am not that old.  I'm pretty sure they don't do either anymore.  I think these things have natural cycles - and I don't think they're worth getting too exercised over.

.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#303)
by ghjm on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 06:56:59 PM EST

My imagination is greatly stirred by this. What was the wording of the Canadian Pledge? I'd really like to know.

Here's the Pledge of Allegiance to Ontario:

I pledge allegiance to the Beer,
And to the Beer Store from which it comes.
One outlet, provincially run,
With taxes and alcohol for all.
Just not on Sundays,
Because that would be wrong.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

There's apparently a few versions (none / 0) (#323)
by jmzero on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 10:25:53 AM EST

But I believe this may have been the one we did:

To my Flag and to the country it represents,
I pledge RESPECT and LOYALTY.
Wave with PRIDE from sea to sea and within your folds,
keep us ever UNITED.
Be for all a symbol of LOVE, FREEDOM, and JUSTICE.
God keep our FLAG.
God protect our CANADA.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

We'll I'm from Canada (none / 0) (#347)
by JohnnyCannuk on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:41:40 PM EST

And I've never heard of this.

Are you from Alberta?

;)

Seriously, when did you have to say this and where? Being from Ontario, we have to start off with "God Save the Queen", followed by "Oh Canada" and then the Lords Prayer and a Bible reading. Around 1980-82 they smartened up and dumped everything except "Oh Canada".

Considering our more ethnicly diverse nation now, I think this was a good move.


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#355)
by jmzero on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 06:39:27 PM EST

We did the Lord's Prayer, Oh Canada, and a pledge.  I was in the first grade in 1982 - fits your timeline.  I don't remember doing anything but Oh Canada from the second grade on - although memory that far back isn't too reliable.

And yes, actually, I am from Alberta.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

In The UK (none / 1) (#263)
by alby on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 07:47:21 AM EST

Can you remind me when it was that I was "required to profess loyalty" to the State? I can't seem to remember it.

Oh, and insert obligatory "In Soviet Russia The State Pledges Loyalty To You" gag here.

--
Alby
[ Parent ]

Heh. I've recited loyalty pledges that would make (2.75 / 4) (#153)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 10:34:36 PM EST

your hair curl.

The US Pledge of Allegience is nothing. You should join a fraternity. Then you'll get to hear some serious pledges.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

I'm trying to picture (3.00 / 8) (#185)
by Bill Melater on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:06:13 AM EST

a fraternity initiation at a clown college.

[ Parent ]
Different kind of fraternity. (none / 0) (#314)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 11:58:54 PM EST

"Shrine Clowns" are part of the Shriners - who are, in fact, a piece of the world's oldest fraternity - the Masons.

It all sounds like ridiculous frippery, till you realize that the shrine hospitals need over $1 million per day to operate, and all that money comes from donations. The Philly hospital specializes in bone repair.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

or (none / 2) (#208)
by SocratesGhost on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:57:18 PM EST

check out the oath given by freemasons. Here's a sample from one of them:

All this I most solemnly, sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steady resolution to perform the same, without any hesitation, myself, under no less penalty than that of having my body severed in two, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven, that no more remembrance might be had of so vile and wicked a wretch as I would be, should I ever, knowingly, violate this my Master Mason's obligation.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Sorry, but now I have to kill you. (none / 0) (#313)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 11:54:28 PM EST

I know that oath quite well, but thanks.


Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]
Actually (3.00 / 6) (#216)
by kitten on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 06:14:21 PM EST

I really don't feel i'm being unjustifiably provocative if I say it's the sort of thing that would be done in Soviet Russia, or Nazi Germany.

Actually, that's exactly the reason the phrase "under God" was added in the early 1950s to the pledge (which did not originally include the phrase) -- there were major concerns that the pledge sounded far too much like the indoctrination used by the "godless Communists" and we wanted a way to distinguish our indoctrination from theirs. Other than the reference to God, the pledge is almost indistinguishable from the pledges and oaths taken daily by Soviet children.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
The Pledge is an American peculiarity (none / 0) (#345)
by bob6 on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 04:58:42 AM EST

In France children are not even required to learn to sing the national anthem. As a matter of fact they are not even supposed to be French at all.

Cheers.
[ Parent ]
Should expand the Establishment Clause (1.50 / 6) (#143)
by NaCh0 on Tue Jun 15, 2004 at 09:49:26 PM EST

Not only should the state not establish a religion, it shouldn't entertain these hypersensitive anti-religion nuts.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
Yes, oh yes (none / 3) (#259)
by trezor on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 06:58:44 AM EST

    hypersensitive anti-religion nuts.

Well... These hypersensitive anti-religion nuts are mainly fed up with hypersensitive religious nuts trying to make their religion into state politics. Aka, no longer a personal matter as religion should be.

When freedom of religion has been a repsected rights for centuries, isn't it about time the state stops favoring one?

If those fundy us-christians had been fed islam down their throat, you'd see fucking riots, and not a political case as this one. You'd maybe even think "it's justified" because, after all they are nice, good, honest, christian christians. "They shouldn't have their faith questioned by the state" and all... Believe me, you'd have fucking riots and a new "spanish" inqisition.

So exactly how is this different? We don't have a right to react, is that it?

Religious people don't respect my right not to believe in superstitous crap? Fine. I simply won't respect their belief either. Actually, I might consider mocking them. That's what they get for showeling their fundy crap down my throat the political way.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
I have a new vision for the country (none / 1) (#166)
by Amsterdam Vallon on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 12:33:34 AM EST

My vision
___________________________________________
Read my recent comments and reply to/rate them as you see fit.
ה‮
Doesn't work (none / 1) (#204)
by epepke on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:57:11 PM EST

For one thing, you'd need a lot more stars.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
I would like to say (1.00 / 19) (#170)
by Phil San on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 02:52:52 AM EST

Suck it you atheist pieces of shit.

You don't count.

You're totally deluded

You just want things you way

You want things to change.

You lost

You're just lucky I don't get convinced of your shit or I would kill you fucks like the Punisher.

Of course you don't realize that without God things like Hitler's little crusade seem to be quite justifiable.

He did what he wanted, for his own group to transcend him and his ideals, and dealt with people he hated.

Think about *THAT* some time.

Of course you probably know better than several millenia of philosphers and thinkers, and feel that a crappy science degree in buttfuckology makes you an expert in everything and smarter than these people.

I doubt it.

Take your Godwin Point (2.00 / 4) (#173)
by Alias on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 03:20:48 AM EST

... and go play on the interstate.

Stéphane "Alias" Gallay -- Damn! My .sig is too lon
[ Parent ]
and to that I say (1.71 / 7) (#180)
by Phil San on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 04:00:30 AM EST

Take your Godwin Point ... and go play on the interstate.

I don't subscribe to internet social engineering.

Of course if you're too stupid to really out argue me then I guess you can fuck yourself.

[ Parent ]

Why don't you (none / 0) (#285)
by magney on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 03:45:15 PM EST

Why don't you respond to someone who can out-argue you? Or do you know you can't refute kitten's point, and so only respond to the posts that flame you back? *sigh* IHBT.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Hitler was a theist. (none / 2) (#218)
by kitten on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 06:42:18 PM EST

He most definitely believed in God, and was possibly a Christian, though that's hard to say.

We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession... Point 24 of the German Workers' Party Programme

My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. April 12 1922

Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward, let us never forget the duty which we have taken upon us.... We are all proud that through God's powerful aid we have become once more true Germans. March 1933

The struggle against materialistic views and for a real national community is just as much in the interest of the German nation as in that of the welfare of our Christian faith. The Government of the Reich, who regard Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attach the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See and are endeavouring to develop them. Reichstag speech, March 23 1933

The fact that the Vatican is concluding a treaty with the new Germany means the acknowledgement of the National Socialist state by the Catholic Church. This treaty shows the whole world clearly and unequivocally that the assertion that National Socialism [Nazism] is hostile to religion is a lie. July 22 1933
Please sir may I have some more?

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
watch the Hitler channel some more (none / 2) (#240)
by Blarney on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 09:25:58 PM EST

You should get cable tv. There's a whole channel dedicated to all Hitler, all the time! It's logo is a big letter H, so you'll know which one.

Anyway, you can see on that channel that American craft in WW2 were labeled with stars, and British craft were labeled with circles. It was the Nazi stuff that had crosses on it. Interesting, isn't it?

[ Parent ]

dear sir (3.00 / 4) (#250)
by circletimessquare on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 12:32:00 AM EST

i hold the patent

on kuro5hin

for saying stupid shit

in annoying doublespace

you owe me money fucktwit

thank you very much


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

1-1 (1.00 / 15) (#193)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 01:42:26 PM EST

If just one more fetching greek fellow puts the ball in the net, I'm rich. Is that asking for so much? I don't think so. Oh Christ that was close. Spain is pressing hard, playing very well. Goddamnit everyone talks about saving the world, but no one wants to let SIGNOR SPAGHETTI win $20. WTF, man, WTF.

OK I'll keep everyone posted.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.

should have taken 1-1 at 9 to 1 (1.00 / 6) (#194)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 01:58:48 PM EST

oh well. OK so you eggheads can resume your God talk. I have to go beg for money to buy milk and diapers for the baby. I'll catch up with you later.

--
Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.
[ Parent ]

Christian cunts (1.23 / 13) (#239)
by Magnetic North on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 09:22:38 PM EST

The only persons I've encountered that I would ever call evil, have all been christians.

They are the fucking scum of the earth. Their "religion" has nothing to do with religion. Their lifes have got nothing in common with their Jesus. They are incapable of seeeing this.

If you are a christian, then god bless you and know in your heart that you can change.



--
<33333
Your post offends me (none / 2) (#247)
by Orion Blastar on Wed Jun 16, 2004 at 10:40:51 PM EST

it has nothing to do with the story, and it is pure Christian-bashing.

The man who filed the lawsuit did not have legal custody of his daughter, and used the incident as a political statement to express his views on the pledge of alligence. A frivilous lawsuit if I ever saw one, and he should be punished for it!

It says under God, but does not say which God, it could be Loki for all we know. :)

If you do not like it, do not say it.

Our founding fathers were Freemasons, the concept of God to them was a bit different than the concept of God to Christians.
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
[ Parent ]

Religion(s) have no place in government. (none / 0) (#333)
by Zabe on Sat Jun 19, 2004 at 09:37:13 AM EST

>It says under God, but does not say which God,
>it could be Loki for all we know. :)

First of all it is an attack against people who believe in more then one god, or do not believe in any gods.

>If you do not like it, do not say it.

I am sure the little kids that are brain washed into saying that since the age of 5 will speak up at the time.

Badassed Hotrod


[ Parent ]
Without religion(s) (none / 0) (#338)
by Orion Blastar on Sun Jun 20, 2004 at 09:22:43 AM EST

there are no morals or ethics to teach. Just take a look at schools since prayer was removed from them. Look at the crime statistics after the children grew up.

You took away morals and ethics from school, which was there in the form of prayer, yet did not replace it with something else. Morals and ethics should be taught in schools, even if no religion is tied to it.

Like it or not, God is a part of our heritage, or the concept of God, as our founding fathers believed in it. If you hate that, then you must be in the wrong country then. I strongly suggest you pick another country that does not have God or a God in their heritage to live in.
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***
[ Parent ]

Odd (none / 1) (#346)
by JohnnyCannuk on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 03:30:25 PM EST

In the East, morals and ethics have been tought for centuries without reference to religion, at least not a theistic religion. Buddhism, Taoism and Confusionism have very high moral and ethical standards without any belief in a God whatsoever.

As for morals and ethics, I have a hard time accepting that 'religion' is responsible for these when history is full of atrocities and horrors committed by religious people, following their religious doctorines, done in the name of their God(s). More death and desparity has been caused by religion than any other human creation

And don't try the old "they weren't true ${your-religion-almost-always-Xtian-here) " routine. These are powerful, historical Cardinals, Popes, Kings, Sultans, Shiekhs and Rabbis as well as people that simply believed and followed their holy books verbatim. Just because you are embarrased by their actions does not mean they weren't 'true believers.' Perhaps you should actually read the bible.

I, personally, have learned more ethics and morals from simple interaction with my fellow humans than I ever did by being forced to listen to Xtian propaganda as a child.

BTW, Perhaps you should re-learn a little of your history, most specifically Thomas Jefferson. Your idea of 'God' and those of the your Founding Fathers is vastly different. They may have been deists but they were most certainly not Xtians and would have been appalled to think that any one religion was the 'one true path' (and thus, meaning all others are false). That is why you have the 'make no laws concerning the free exercise of religion' clause in your constitution.

I will support your school prayer initiative when you can prove that God exists (and, if you are a Xtian, that Jesus ever existed), that this God is the God of your Bible (as opposed to the Koran or the Bhagvagita or Vedic scriptures) and that any of his actions and teachings (as outlined in the Bible) are in any way moral and/or ethical.

You have your challenge. I await your reply....

I believe it was Voltaire that said religion was invented when the first liar met the first fool. which are you?


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

your post is clever (none / 0) (#379)
by chro57 on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 04:48:38 AM EST

I rememeber a muslim friend who said to me:
"religion is just a big sack of customs, and old knowledge, most still valid, but not all, considering the general advance in knowledge"
Then he joked saying Coran was just version 3 of the holy texts.

Then I had another one who was beliving litteraly, for lack of modern scientific education. (like many "Christian"). It was possible to have him evoluate, but well, you cannot transmit years of education in a couple of sentences. It took years. Then I guess that by enough work and respect you may be able to reconciliate any view that seems diverging.
But it take so much time ! And you too, have to learn their culture to be able to dialogue with them.

I looked at the Coran, there are specific place when it explains that you shall not use the letter of the law against its spirit, which is of justice, cooperation and love. But then it propose laws to really micromanage every aspect of life, and it forbid modifications of the text. (just like the bible, then)
It explains to respect Christian and Jews if they are really correct in their intention, but criticise those who use the letter of their laws against the spirit ;-) And is contentious of their outdated way of thinking of God ;-)
I guess Mohamed was very modern at its time and place :-)

And well, the story of JC is also the one of a man who didn't go to the temple as required by religious law, doing animal sacrifices in the old way, and preferred to hang out with friends under the sun, and share some foods, and get friend even whith the prostitutes, the sick and the poors.

Unfortunatly for him he got too much popular and disturbed the political and religious leaders.

I thing study of religion, preferably all religions, in an historical perspective, cannot be a bad thing. Rejecting it in block is dangerous and just too hard.

But preventing young to have access to the idea of modern scientists (the modern prophets !) is also bad. (And scientists that destroy everything that existed before them without caution are stupid arrogants.)

God is complex :-) sharing all our various understanding is an interesting challenge.

I would have no problem swearing "under God". This is so globally unprecise !
But I would go mad if someone tryed to force its interpretation of God in me or anyone other using violence.

(this post is just my modest current view. Please don't go hunting and burning me :-( Peace and love.)

[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#349)
by epepke on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 04:43:29 PM EST

There are no morals or ethics to teach. Just take a look at schools since prayer was removed from them. Look at the crime statistics after the children grew up.

I disagree that, without religion, there are no morals or ethics to teach. Also, if you look at the violent crime statistics, on a per-capita basis there is less of it than there were in those halcyon days. Just to take a small example, when a black person is lynched these days, it is rare enough to make national headlines. This used to be a common form of recreation in the ueber-Christian south.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Go to Iran then (nt) (none / 1) (#256)
by jeremyn on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 03:22:22 AM EST



[ Parent ]
True Christians (none / 1) (#271)
by haydentech on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 10:22:01 AM EST

Their lifes have got nothing in common with their Jesus. They are incapable of seeeing this.

Then they probably weren't Christians... Not everyone that calls himself a Christian really is. The state of the church today is appalling due to this. The answer isn't to abandon Christ, it's to actually follow Him as He says to instead of being a pseudo-moral Christian in name only.



[ Parent ]
You've lived a sheltered life in a good place /nt (none / 0) (#336)
by topynate on Sun Jun 20, 2004 at 01:25:25 AM EST




"...identifying authors with their works is a feckless game. Simply to go by their books, Agatha Christie is a mass murderess, while William Buckley is a practicing Christian." --Gore Vidal
[ Parent ]
It's all in the spelling. (2.00 / 4) (#260)
by jettero on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 07:05:52 AM EST

If they really meant for 'under God' to be a generic term than they would have put 'under god(s)'. They meant the christian deity, fact.

There is, in fact, no other Diety. nt (none / 1) (#300)
by mcgrew on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 06:17:31 PM EST


"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

In 'fact', there is no deity at all (NT) (none / 1) (#321)
by edo on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 08:21:18 AM EST


-- 
Sentimentality is merely the Bank Holiday of cynicism.
 - Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]
is this really surprising? (2.83 / 6) (#272)
by davros4269 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 10:24:03 AM EST

Did anyone actually think the man would win?

I agree with his position. There are positive side effects:

  • Others will challenge this, of course
  • More people know when the 'God' bit was added and perhaps even why

Most people I talk to think that the pledge was as it is now - that the Founding Fathers wrote it in the late 1700's.

Ironic that we can argue that during their time, more people were Christian and a much higher percentage of those were actual active members, church goers and the like. Yet, they chose, "Out of many, one" as their national motto, not, "One nation, under God"...

India has, "In Truth we Trust" - much better, much more inclusive.

This notion is something that really bothers me:

Certain ceremonial references to God and religion in our Nation are the inevitable consequence of the religious history that gave birth to our founding principles of liberty.

Jefferson (I'm almost sure) said that common law is not to come from any specific religion. Do people actually believe that we have Freedom of Speech or Assembly, say, because of Christianity? Or was it the case that most people happened to be Christian at the time our country was founded?

Both point to historical Christian roots, yes, but the difference to me is extremely important. Pre-Christian societies had morals. India and Japan, are not broken or incomplete without a Christian element...

I doubt anyone can make the link from the dictators of the Bible to democracy; True Christians - Biblical literalists, ought to be opposed to Freedom of speech and democracy and indeed, some are - Bob Enyart, for example.

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.

Same thing to some (2.75 / 4) (#279)
by trezor on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 02:00:36 PM EST

    Do people actually believe that we have Freedom of Speech or Assembly, say, because of Christianity? Or was it the case that most people happened to be Christian at the time our country was founded?

My impression is that christian people believe these two things to be the same. At least any I've seen talk of the subject.

How arrogant is that? No, really. That is sheer arrogance when you look at it.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
arrogance (2.75 / 4) (#282)
by davros4269 on Thu Jun 17, 2004 at 03:05:38 PM EST

Yeah, I agree...and it's nothing new! I caught part of a documentary a few weeks ago on the History Channel about Japan, around the time that some missionaries came there from Europe.

The Japanese wrote that the visitors were "barbarians who never bathed".

And the monks wrote that the Japanese were oddly "civilized" for being non-Christian! It amazed them that they had a highly ordered and functional society, with a rich culture, tradition, etc.

Amazing that non-Christians can function at all!

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Post hoc ergo propter hoc (none / 0) (#341)
by WilliamTanksley on Sun Jun 20, 2004 at 12:52:52 PM EST

Fallacies are easy to fall for, of course, so I'm sure many people believe the fallacy you mention. But if you read historians discussing the issue, you'll see intelligent debate that generally avoids such a simple confusion.

There are two major reasons that your fallacy confuses: first, that our freedoms can be efficiently justified by reference to Christianity; and second, that many/most of the people who helped establish our freedoms actually DID justify those freedoms in that way.

The first assertion is hard for a historian to estabilsh; it's a question for philosophy and to a certain extent theology. The second question is historical.

Your example of arrogance is actually a confusion of the two distinct assertions, and has to be addressed as a simple fallacy, not as a universal condemnation of arrogance. That would be a fallacy in and of itself.

-Billy


[ Parent ]

What's amazing is that he got this far (none / 1) (#320)
by epepke on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 08:11:05 AM EST

The weak part of the claim was that Newdow did not have custody of his child, and his child didn't support his actions. With a weakness like that, the case usually gets slapped down long before it gets to the Supremes. Furthermore, if the Supremes get it, they usually decline to take it on that basis. It seems that the Supremes only took it because they wanted to keep "Under God" in the Pledge but had to resort to the technicality to do it. The time might be ripe for a stronger case.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
maybe so (none / 0) (#330)
by davros4269 on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 06:10:11 PM EST

Much now depends on 'Bush or Kerry'. If Bush gets back into office, he will further set the stage to pre-load ultra-conservative judges.

This leads to a good plug for Kerry - the Supreme Court is the single good reason why those liberals which dislike Kerry or are pro-Nader NEED to vote for Kerry this time.

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

I think you're overlooking a basic point. (none / 1) (#331)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Jun 18, 2004 at 07:24:52 PM EST

Western religion, first Catholicism and later Protestantism did have a profound effect on western philosophy - just as Islam has had a profound effect on Middle Eastern thought and Bhuddism and Confucism has had on Far Eastern thought.

Two points, in particular: First, if the Catholics hadn't been obsessed with preserving the wisdom of the Greeks and Romans, we wouldn't have any knowledge of them and their science and philosophy today. Second, the Catholics also effected the first "united europe" and made possible the first transfers and exchange of scientific knowledge. (See James Burke's Connections for an excellent discussion of how a single priest acted as a scientific clearing house for most of Europe).

Finally, and most importantly - the idea that all men are created equal does directly derive from Christianity. By emphasizing that all men are the children of God and loved by God equally - which is quite different from Islam (which teaches that men are God's slaves) or Judaism (you have to a member of a special ethnic group) or eastern religions which generally say you deserve whatever you get.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

not really (none / 0) (#343)
by davros4269 on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 04:29:10 PM EST

I don't doubt that Christianity had effects on our culture, tradition, etc.

As for keeping the wisdom of the ancients, that's a mixed bag - only if it served their political purpose.

We have freedoms for political reasons. Romans had democracy of a sort for about 500 years and under Egyptian law, for part of their long history, women had equal rights. As to how they actually followed this in practice and enforced it, I have no clue, and would readily admit that most likely, they actually did not have equal rights at any time. That's not an entirely useless statement - the USSR also had provisions for civil freedoms - check it out at WikiPedia - their system, however, didn't have the proper checks and balances (and had a corrupt political structure), to enforce and protect those rights.

Christians were at the helm of the Western world for the last 2000 years, give or take a few hundred, and it took them almost 1800 to 'give' us these rights.

What changed was politics. The time was ripe for Democracy and, human rights - those two work well together, but are not always one in the same.

If the Romans had not adopted Christianity at their end, I doubt, first of all, that the West would be dominated by Christianity. I also do not doubt that somewhere, Democracy would have popped up again and spread.

Do you doubt that Christianity would be less popular, by far, if the Romans had not taken it on?

The Romans still have 300 years on us - when they became Christian they were long removed from their own democratic roots...

From my understanding of history, it was quite the opposite of your implications, I actually think that the two main factors KEEPING people from both rights and Democracy are aristocracy and religion, in our history, Christianity specifically.

The Bible claims that people are equal under God - you MAY interpret this to mean equal rights in a political sense - Christendom didn't for 1800 years or so - there is also no evidence of democracy or political enforcement of these rights in the Bible.

The Bible is more about benevolent Dictators, keeping people in line for their own good. An Earthly kingdom (not Republic) until the Heavenly kingdom. You could argue that the Bible would have preferred we remain under the control of the King of England - and that is of course part of my issue with this, you can argue almost any point, including conflicting points, in a similar way.

Like I said in my original post - there are Biblical literalists even today that basically think democracy and rights, especially freedom of speech, are not the way to go...

I do find it quite arrogant that Christians think that their religion is responsible for, for example women's rights and so forth. There is a disconnect between "Christendom" and good folk who happen to be Christian, fighting for something considered positive.

Besides, if I accepted that Christians are responsible for the modern things which we consider positive, can I also blame them for those things historically, and modern, which are quite negative?

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Compare it to the alternatives. (none / 0) (#344)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jun 21, 2004 at 09:50:49 PM EST

Ignoring the (in)accuracy of Christian beliefs for a moment - name another culture that developed the same belief in human equality. The Athenians had it - in one small city, for a few centuries. I don't know of another example.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]
tricky (none / 0) (#351)
by davros4269 on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 05:07:56 PM EST

That's a tricky one. I've heard it said that Christianity is right, to keep it simple, because of this belief and the "love your neighbor..." stuff. Yet, if you search around for other religions, including Hindu as just one example, you will find the same concept, although perhaps worded less strongly. Even understanding that India has a caste system of sorts, all mainstream world religions currently claim that they also view all folks as equal. Seriously, look it up. As a matter of fact, one religion, (Islam perhaps?), has the leader sit on a very SLIGHTLY raised platform, just enough to show that's the leader, but not enough to suggest he's somehow better - perhaps in Turkey? I forget...

What's funny is that even governments which clearly do not allow for equal rights, say, the former USSR, "claim" that they in fact do/did! It's become political taboo to suggest that people are not equal and not entitled to certain rights.

Contrast this with the middle ages, where the wisdom was clearly the opposite, and in the West, Christianity was at the helm...

So I ask ya, is it politics, religion or genuine supernatural influence?

My opinion: there are no supernatural deities and politics uses religion, when handy, to affect policy. Lucky for us it's the way it is currently.

But for the sake of argument, lets imagine that Rome was Hindu during it's final days.

First, do you doubt that Christianity would not be nearly as prevalent, and, second, do you doubt that some country somewhere, for some reason, wouldn't have implemented democracy and/or "rights"?

I'd bet that it would have popped up somewhere and, further, would, given the religiosity of mankind, give credit to whatever religion the local geography inherited over the ages.

Btw, your Greek example is enough, is it not? I mean, what was another example before the USA? We can agree that these uprisings of humanity and such are rare.

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Well, keep in mind I'm not considering (none / 0) (#361)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jun 22, 2004 at 09:45:21 PM EST

whether or not the Christians are right, just the historical impact they've had on western culture. Christianity supplanted the older polytheistic religion of Greece and Rome at least partly because it set higher ideals than Roman religion did. Consider - who would you rather respect, a god who saves his people from slavery and later from sin or a god who screws other mens wives when ever he can?  The lower classes of the Empire saw the hedonism and corruption of the ruling class reflected in its religion and chose something that promised more. Once entrenched, it tended to undermine that class/caste system even as the ruling classes tried to use it to their advantage (claiming divine right and such). I would argue that, ultimately, this meme infected western culture so effectively that even the most tyrannical of governments (the USSR) had to pay at least lip service to it.

Other religions didn't have the same impact. Hinduism, for example, reinforces the caste system with it's emphasis on karma (if you have a sucky life, it's because you were a sucky person in your last incarnation. Be good and things will be better next time.) Buddhism is similar in that aspect. I will admit I know extremely little about Islam, but my understanding is that it does not emphasize equality but rather absolute obedience to God - and to the religious authorities put over you.

As for other modern examples than the USA - sure, all of the western countries are, by historical standards, incredibly free and equality based. Sure, they all have their problems, but compared to even a century ago we're head and shoulders above our ancestors. And because the idea is so wide-spread and because it has been accepted even in the absence of religion (going back to the idea of "natural rights" here) I think it will last as long as this civilization does.

Now where did I put that clue? I know I had one just a minute ago!
[ Parent ]

myth (none / 0) (#365)
by davros4269 on Wed Jun 23, 2004 at 12:47:31 AM EST

I hear what you're saying, and I won't deny their impact on culture and tradition either: sexuality, marriage ceremonies, holidays, etc.

But, given that it took 1800 years for the positive aspects, as you see them, of the faith to become established in any meaningful way, I have to disagree with you as a matter of option (facts, however, are below)

The spread of Christianity changed nothing. Kings and Queen used the faith as justification of their own existence; the Bible is full of precedents for dictators, "equality" or not - this is the comparison I was trying to make to other cultures. Although Hindu is big on caste, they do believe that "all men are created equal" - yes, I know this is a contradiction, but so is a King as an absolute ruler of Christians...

I'm sure in both cases they can argue that to have a functioning society, some people need to be artificially elevated, for whatever reason, while their souls are equal or something...

As for the idea that your life can be shit but this is ok, it's part of a plan, and you will get what's coming in the next life - well, this is the sentiment of Christians still today - not all of them, but some. Actually, that is New Testament stuff, as Jews have issues with the notion of an after-life I hear, and they feel that life is it's own reward, etc.

From what I know about the founding of Christianity, it was just a big power struggle. Most people, honestly, wanted to keep their pagan faiths. The early Church knew this, so they merged a form of neo-Judaism with paganism to make Christianity. It's no coincidence that the birth-date of many pagan gods is also December 25th.

Simply put, the fact that pagans converted because of the virtues of the Christian faith is a myth, mostly perpetuated by the Christian faith.

In all cases, it's politics. Take Denmark - the Vikings converted so they could be unified for war - it was, again, just another form of power consolidation.

Now, in modern times, that we already have rights, etc., it's easy to say we have them because the New Testament says we are entitled from above, but I still see no link as historical fact.

It would have happened again, sooner or later, somewhere. Both democracy and humanity/civil rights, most likely, but necessarily, as a pair.

Any other example, pre-USA, that we can come up for democracy, rights, etc., are non-Christian. Greeks, Egyptians, early Romans, etc. You could also argue that rights of different types were quite repressed by Christians, pre-USA. For example, women's reproductive rights. Egyptians, Chinese and many other ancient cultures had birth control that was quite successful, did you know? Sexual freedoms in general - take the Karma Sutra (sp?) of the Hindu, for example. While not rights in a polical/equality sense, it was a right of a sort to the most basic of human biological functioning, and that has to count for something.

I hate to bring it up, but the variety in Christendom and the vagueness of the Bible allows anything to be credited and "supported". Kings, sure! Slavery, sure! Freedom of speech, sure! Like Prego, "It's in there!"

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

I hate to say this (none / 0) (#376)
by epepke on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 02:12:16 AM EST

Since I mostly agree with you, but...

Egyptians, Chinese and many other ancient cultures had birth control that was quite successful, did you know?

The standards for judging birth control in pre-sterile-procedure societies where childbirth had a pretty high chance of killing the mother and when you were extremely lucky if 75% of children survived childhood diseases, which maintained everywhere until about a century ago, are quite different from the ones we must employ today. A lot of the old methods of birth control were rather hideously dangerous by modern standards and can only be called successes because the alternatives were worse.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
I honestly don't know (none / 0) (#377)
by davros4269 on Thu Jun 24, 2004 at 07:06:21 PM EST

I know of course that childbirth was rather dangerous "back in the day", but I also know that they've tested the medicinal aspect of those methods, and they work rather well.

Dried crocodile dung for Egyptians and actual pills, made from large amounts of dried male urine, for the Chinese.

How well this worked in their relevant societies I don't know, but it's interesting that they at least had SOME options.

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Yes, it is interesting (none / 0) (#380)
by epepke on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 06:29:29 PM EST

How well this worked in their relevant societies I don't know, but it's interesting that they at least had SOME options.

Yes, it is interesting that they had some options. Actually, quite a lot of fairly effective medicine has been around for a while. Hippocrates mentioned willow bark, which has salicylic acid, as an analgesic. Of course, aspirin is better, as the acetyl group allows it to pass through the stomach with less danger. With respect to birth control, lots of old societies used stones as primitive IUDs, and they worked pretty well.

However, the vast majority of chemical birth control measures were actually abortifacients, which worked by the rather unfortunate mechanism of being just toxic enough to kill an embryo. When used after a pregnancy started, these would kill a fetus (and, with any luck, not kill the mother.) Unfortunately, the body would only expel the fetus after a while, by which time it was well macerated and fairly septic, with a good chance of a uterine infection.

Ancient medicine was neither as primitive as some people used to modern medicine believe, but nor was it as good a deal as some people with "naturalistic" tendencies believe. The truth lies betwen the two.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
those were the days! (none / 0) (#381)
by davros4269 on Fri Jun 25, 2004 at 07:51:57 PM EST

Yup, interesting stuff. It still fascinates me though that medicinal birth control methods were available at all, even given the other brutal methods you mentioned.

Maybe some Christian women were spared some of what you mentioned - I read that abortion up a week after birth for a woman, and two weeks for a male, was honky-dory at one point.

I'd much rather be sick in 2004 than at any other time, don't get me wrong, we've surpased ancient medicine in all areas, even if we happen to discover that some primitive group someplace sucks on slugs that gives better heartburn relief than Tums...

Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Michael Newdow rebuffed. Pledge of Allegiance stands. | 383 comments (327 topical, 56 editorial, 1 hidden)
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