With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

LeftofLarry
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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

Obama to Democrats: Woo evangelicals
Senator chatises party for failing to understand power of faith

Wednesday, June 28, 2006; Posted: 11:52 a.m. EDT (15:52 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people" and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.

"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,"' he said. "Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats."

Obama, the only black in the Senate, drew national notice even before arriving in Congress last year, and has occasionally used his visibility to scold members of his own party. Widely sought as a fundraiser for other Democrats, Obama responded with a noncommittal laugh this spring when asked whether he wants a spot on the national ticket in 2008.

His speech included unusually personal references to religion, the type of remarks that usually come more readily from Republicans than Democrats.

"Kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God's spirit beckoning me," he said of his walk down the aisle of the Trinity United Church of Christ. "I submitted myself to his will and dedicated myself to discovering his truth."

Obama said millions of Christians, Muslims and Jews have traveled similar religious paths, and that is why "we cannot abandon the field of religious discourse. ... In other words, if we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons will continue to hold sway."

Obama coupled his advice with a warning. "Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith: the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps -- off rhythm -- to the gospel choir."

At the same time, he said, "Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."

Obama mentioned leaders of the religious right briefly, saying they must "accept some ground rules for collaboration" and recognize the importance of the separation of church and state.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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jane_k_le
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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

I've been routing for Obama for several months now, and I'm afraid I must go against him. I shall make sure no one I know will vote for him in 2008. I am utterly shocked. It's not that I want an Atheist Democratic candidate, but I want one that can separate religion from government affairs. Although Kerry wasn't a superb candidate in 2004, he knew what was good for the government and what was good socially (without religion interfering his decisions). About 10,000 people will debate me about my views on Kerry, and yes, I know he flip-flopped and all, but I will leave my impression of him right where he already is in my mind.

This article is so disappointing! I'm going to mope now...


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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

I'll be mourning the loss of Obama tonight with a beer.

jane_k_le wrote:
I know he flip-flopped and all.

FWIW: Anyone incapable of flip-flopping isn't capable of working in government or any business, or anywhere for that matter. Additionally Kerry "flipped" as a result of dishonesty from the Bush team. What we should dislike Kerry for is being a complete puss bag who incompetently wasn't able to show people that he "flipped" as a direct result of a lie he was told from Bush. What's worse? Changing your stance after the facts come out, or lying about them in the first place? Yeah I voted for Kerry, but he sucked. But then again, they all do.

Man... where did that come from. I'm so bitter right now. Oh well. :smt017

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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

Meh, the last election was like choosing if you wanted to be shot in the ankle or stabbed in the knee. I really don't blame people for not voting when the candidates are so fucking shitty. Obama is an asswipe, there's always been something odd about that guy to me.


jane_k_le
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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

Sapient wrote:
I'll be mourning the loss of Obama tonight with a beer.

jane_k_le wrote:
I know he flip-flopped and all.

FWIW: Anyone incapable of flip-flopping isn't capable of working in government or any business, or anywhere for that matter. Additionally Kerry "flipped" as a result of dishonesty from the Bush team. What we should dislike Kerry for is being a complete puss bag who incompetently wasn't able to show people that he "flipped" as a direct result of a lie he was told from Bush. What's worse? Changing your stance after the facts come out, or lying about them in the first place? Yeah I voted for Kerry, but he sucked. But then again, they all do.

Man... where did that come from. I'm so bitter right now. Oh well. :smt017

You're right, they all do suck. What ever happened to good morals and ethics? Back then people were able to shake hands on things because a person's words were so powerful, but nowadays even contracts can't keep people from being corrupted.


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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

Sadly, both parties are mired with corruption. It is an elitist system, where the rich take care of the rich, use god to control, while progress as if people mattered is stymied. It is about power, control by the elite. Both parties have their special interests......a viable 3rd alternative is what we need. I tend to follow the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils. At least some of hte dems ideologies tend to be more in tune wiht mine.

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Nick
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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

You know what I want? A black, female, Atheist presidential candidate. I TOTALLY want that to happen in my lifetime. Hellz yeah.

Actually, just an Atheist candidate would be nice... Laughing out loud

Wilson: "We were afraid that if you found out you solved a case with absolutely no medical evidence you'd think you were God." House: "God doesn't limp."


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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

Guys, guys... you missed the point !

This guy merely outlined the obvious: that anyone running for office must seek the support of the blindly obedient sheep that the practising churchgoers are. That way, he / she would be able to pass laws, etc. while assured of the blind support of people.

So what this guy has pointed out is one of the greatest historical ruling plans... which happens to have become the most obvious as well...

Let the ale take the way down the throats of the worthy !

And Nick... I know you're Mathusalem's grandson, but still, even he didn't have such desires to happen during his lifetime !

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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

rigor, the point is taken..however, it outlines the bigger picture, the party that is supposed to be the champion of minority rights, the party that is supposed to stand up for the constituional clause of separation of church and state, is now saying to bow down to the worshippers. When the theists in this country dictate how our political parties behave, then the wall between church and state has been broken. What we need is more education to get people away from the church...a long shot goal? probably...but one worth the fight, which is why I support the RRS.

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Rigor_OMortis
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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

I don't know... perhaps you're not a minority. Perhaps the world is finally waking up...

Or perhaps I'm just imagining utopias...

Well, hit after hit, at least the Atheist community shows they are far more perseverent AND peaceful at the same time than the Christians...

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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

Rigor_OMortis wrote:
I don't know... perhaps you're not a minority. Perhaps the world is finally waking up...

Or perhaps I'm just imagining utopias...

Well, hit after hit, at least the Atheist community shows they are far more perseverent AND peaceful at the same time than the Christians...

When you live in the bible belt of the southeast united states..it is extremely hard to imagine...a world moving away from religion.

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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

I would still choose him over a conservative, but couldn't support him now.

Sad


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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

I dunno, maybe I'm too moderate or something. I don't see what the big deal is.

The facts:

(1) The majority of the country believes in a religion, and it is an important part of their lives.

(2) Political parties need the majority support if they win, with few exceptions.

(3) Political parties, therefore, must support religion.

And so what if they do?

No really. Saying that you support a person's right to have a religion and acknowledge that it's a major part of people's lives isn't anything bad. It's part of a democracy. The majority are theists, so why wouldn't politicians want the support of theists? Democrats are not the champions of minority groups, they're the champions (in theory) of an egalitarian government- this is inclusive of religion. Inclusive.

Most people get their morality from religion. They get their sense of right and wrong from religion. They get their life code from religion. It's absolutely silly to think that it wouldn't be part of the political process or life in general. Or as atheists should we seek to not include theists in whatever party we support (for the record, I'm not a supporter of the Democratic party, the Greens, the Republicans, or any dogma); great, we're hypocrites.

"Separation of Church and State" meant that there was to be no official American religion (like the Church of England), not that there shouldn't be support of people's right to believe in any divine entities, or shutting them out of the political process. It's right next to "Right to bear arms" for most misquoted line from the Founding Fathers.

-=Grim=-

Edit: PS: Because Obama is acting like we actually should consider everyone in our politics, I can't NOT support the guy.

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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

GrimJesta wrote:
I dunno, maybe I'm too moderate or something. I don't see what the big deal is.

The facts:

(1) The majority of the country believes in a religion, and it is an important part of their lives.

(2) Political parties need the majority support if they win, with few exceptions.

(3) Political parties, therefore, must support religion.

And so what if they do?

No really. Saying that you support a person's right to have a religion and acknowledge that it's a major part of people's lives isn't anything bad. It's part of a democracy. The majority are theists, so why wouldn't politicians want the support of theists? Democrats are not the champions of minority groups, they're the champions (in theory) of an egalitarian government- this is inclusive of religion. Inclusive.

Most people get their morality from religion. They get their sense of right and wrong from religion. They get their life code from religion. It's absolutely silly to think that it wouldn't be part of the political process or life in general. Or as atheists should we seek to not include theists in whatever party we support (for the record, I'm not a supporter of the Democratic party, the Greens, the Republicans, or any dogma); great, we're hypocrites.

"Separation of Church and State" meant that there was to be no official American religion (like the Church of England), not that there shouldn't be support of people's right to believe in any divine entities, or shutting them out of the political process. It's right next to "Right to bear arms" for most misquoted line from the Founding Fathers.

-=Grim=-

Edit: PS: Because Obama is acting like we actually should consider everyone in our politics, I can't NOT support the guy.

haha...I would agree, if I was tolerant of religion. I think most of us here stand on the notion that we are sick and tired of relgion in general. Most of use would like to see it END. If the democrats, who I lovingly call republicrats are starting to preach religion, then our government has already been turned to a semi-theocratic state. To embrace religion in a government is to disenfranchise a portion of the population, I believe our forefathers did not have that in mind when they wrote our constituion. If our political rhetoric turns to a embracing religion, then the wall of separation of church and state has been torn down and we let the theists take control. this is not about inclusiveness and tolerance, this is about embracing fundamentalists and their extreme views.

Here's the other problem, if we embrace religion, allow the ten commandments in public buildings...put crosses on our public schools. STart forcing prayer, subconciously doctrinating our kids, what will follow is the destruction of social rights: women's rights will go to shit, homosexuals will be persecuted and prosecuted, flag burning outlawed, etc...a massive force of nationalism spearheaded by the guise of religion will wreak havoc among this country.

If you think that the fundamentalists are just trying to be "included" in the discussion you are seriously wrong. No one has EVER in the history of this country...tried to stop the religious from practicing their religions. EVER. But now it seems as if the xtian right is not satisfied, because they are hungry with power and when they control BOTH parties....then they win.... The ultimate goal is a massive social and political shift to legalize religion in a sense where we would all be forced to follow it's doctrines...

History has shown what theocracy can do... I'm not going to remain apathetic for the sake of tolerance and I will not support political rhetoric or politicians that start to embrace evangelical fundamentalists...

And remember...politicians in this country are corrupt, they are liars..and as a matter of fact, I dont' really support either party. All the dems are trying to do is win support for the majority..yeah...that's dirty considering the supposed values of the democrats are completely against the xtians views.. Dems suppurt women's rights, fundies do not..if a dem is going to sit there and say I support evangelism, tehn by default he/she is saying they do not support women's rights..and if they are just saying it to win votes, then they are dirty politicians anyway and loose my support anyway. I guess this country is going to shit anyway politically because if we have to resort "embracing" evangelicals to win elections..then they have already won....and the voice of moderation and "tolerance" has allowed them to.

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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

Religion fucking sucks and is bullshit anyway! Sad


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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

LeftofLarry wrote:

haha...I would agree, if I was tolerant of religion. I think most of us here stand on the notion that we are sick and tired of relgion in general.

"Eye for an eye" only polarizes people, which is a kick in the groin to any democracy. I'm tired of zealots and fanatics, but those people make up a whopping 5% of theists. 55% of Americans say religion plays a part in their life, and the majority of those people aren't zealots or torch-bearers.

LeftofLarry wrote:
To embrace religion in a government is to disenfranchise a portion of the population, I believe our forefathers did not have that in mind when they wrote our constituion. If our political rhetoric turns to a embracing religion, then the wall of separation of church and state has been torn down and we let the theists take control.

Actually, most of the Founding Fathers were quite religious. As I said before, separation of Church and State only means that one religion won't be recognized above all others, like the Church of England, not that religion would play no part in government. Quite the opposite. Even Jefferson, a man who despised clergy almost as much as Paine, saw wisdom in the Bible (read the Jeffersonian Bible; it's a good read). Religion has always been a part of political rhetoric... always. Our inalienable Rights come from where as far as the Declaration of Independence is concerned. So when did religion not play a part if the DoI's political rhetoric is founded in theism? Every President we've had was a theist of some kind. Same for the judges. The House. When have the theists not been in control?

No, there's a big difference between the zealots in the GOP and the common theists that have run things since the beginning of this country. But let's not lay the blame at the feet of all theists, especially since most of the Women's Rights movement, Civil Rights Movement, etc. were championed by theists of some form or another.

LeftofLarry wrote:
Here's the other problem, if we embrace religion, allow the ten commandments in public buildings...put crosses on our public schools. STart forcing prayer, subconciously doctrinating our kids, what will follow is the destruction of social rights: women's rights will go to shit, homosexuals will be persecuted and prosecuted, flag burning outlawed, etc...a massive force of nationalism spearheaded by the guise of religion will wreak havoc among this country.

How? Again, you're taking one extreme of theism and making that a universal truth. I doubt that Hindus want the 10 Commandments in schools. Most Christians don't want prayers in schools because they don't want the State regulating their religion (Separation swings both ways).

LeftofLarry wrote:
If you think that the fundamentalists are just trying to be "included" in the discussion you are seriously wrong.

Actually I'm not. Two of my closest friends are Fundies and I used to hang out at the International of Jesus Christ meetings to learn about "the other side" so to speak. I used to attent Catholic Mass at Holy Child on Staten Island to chat it up with the theists. I know legions of Fundies, and most of them don't care if schools have prayer or not. You're using blanket statements based on the actions of men like Bush and Rumsfeld instead of blaming the fanatical minority for fanning the flames and the propaganda machine for spreading them.

LeftofLarry wrote:
History has shown what theocracy can do... I'm not going to remain apathetic for the sake of tolerance and I will not support political rhetoric or politicians that start to embrace evangelical fundamentalists...

History has also shown godless states out of control (Stalin anyone?). History has also shown us theocracies and non-theocracies that have worked. The biggest opponents against multiculturalism I've seen are Neo-Nazis; otherwise it isn't hard to point people out to civilizations that flourished under it... which is what a true democracy would be.

LeftofLarry wrote:
And remember...politicians in this country are corrupt, they are liars..and as a matter of fact, I dont' really support either party. All the dems are trying to do is win support for the majority..yeah...that's dirty considering the supposed values of the democrats are completely against the xtians views.

Most Democrats are Christian, so I think you're guessing here based on the following sort of logic:
[1] The Republicans are pro- School Prayer, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Gay Marraige.
[2] The Republicans are Judeo-Christians.
[3] The Democrats "oppose" most Republican views.
[4] Therefore the Democrats are against Christianity.

Most of the things the Right embrace aren't really Christian at all. Is Christ was real and alive and kicking today, he'd probably be head of the ACLU.

I have a problem with an official State-sanctioned religion, which is what you seem to have a problem with. The issue here is that you're claiming every single person who believes in God is Evangelical and a hate-mongering mental case. I joke that they are, but it's only a joke.

So, that being said, yes I think Theocratic Zealot States are dangerous. But so is a State that zealously oppresses deviant thought. And until either side can completely and irrefutably state their case and disprove the other, neither side has the right to oppress the other.

"Eye for an eye", "fire versus fire"... all they do is further destabilize an already fliundering form of government. And democracy isn't perfect, but it's the best we've got right now... :shock:

-=Grim=-

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LeftofLarry
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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

GrimJesta wrote:

"Eye for an eye" only polarizes people, which is a kick in the groin to any democracy. I'm tired of zealots and fanatics, but those people make up a whopping 5% of theists. 55% of Americans say religion plays a part in their life, and the majority of those people aren't zealots or torch-bearers.

It's not about "eye for an eye" it's about freedom AND democracy vs. totaliatrianism and theocracy.

most of those "moderates" also believe that we never evolved but have been created, and that the messiah will be arriving within their life time, therefore allowing the extremists to set their creationist/ID agenda possible. Moderates, as far as I'm concerned, do not make it ok, complacency is not ok, it facilitates the extremeists to advance. We've seen how half of the country votes as well in the last 2 elections.

GrimJesta wrote:

Actually, most of the Founding Fathers were quite religious. As I said before, separation of Church and State only means that one religion won't be recognized above all others, like the Church of England, not that religion would play no part in government. Quite the opposite. Even Jefferson, a man who despised clergy almost as much as Paine, saw wisdom in the Bible (read the Jeffersonian Bible; it's a good read). Religion has always been a part of political rhetoric... always. Our inalienable Rights come from where as far as the Declaration of Independence is concerned. So when did religion not play a part if the DoI's political rhetoric is founded in theism? Every President we've had was a theist of some kind. Same for the judges. The House. When have the theists not been in control?

Most of the founding fathers were deists...and understood that religion should, in no part, function within the paradigms of a political system. Which is why God has been specifically left out of the constituion.
The DOI is not a political document. It only express exactly what it says..a declaration of independence from england. It is the Constitution and the bill of rights...that's important here.

Separation of church and state means that government shall make no law, supporting or barring any religious beliefs. And the irony here is that you say that it means that ONE religion shall not be recognized over any other, but that is what's exactly happening today. The xtian religion is indeed being favored over all others. I would like to see the reaction if I try to place a quote from the qu'ran on the steps of the supreme court.

and as you said, when have the theists not been in control? It's just that the theists in control aren't true to their religion, because if they were...we'd already be screwed. HOwever, there are those in congress that are already trying to ammend the constitution (gay marriage etc..) to restrict freedom in favor of religious beliefs...these are the "moderates" you speak of. Tell me if THAT'S not a kick in the groin to democracy and freedom. And this is supported by moderates and fundies alike.

GrimJesta wrote:

No, there's a big difference between the zealots in the GOP and the common theists that have run things since the beginning of this country. But let's not lay the blame at the feet of all theists, especially since most of the Women's Rights movement, Civil Rights Movement, etc. were championed by theists of some form or another.

Perhaps there is a difference between GOP zealots and some theists..but it is those same theist moderates that vote fundamentally, and that is dangerous. I do not blame all theists, however, it is moderation that leads to extremism..and we are seeing that today.

GrimJesta wrote:

How? Again, you're taking one extreme of theism and making that a universal truth. I doubt that Hindus want the 10 Commandments in schools. Most Christians don't want prayers in schools because they don't want the State regulating their religion (Separation swings both ways).

Exactly the hindus wouldn't want the 10 commandments, but it's not stopping the xtians is it now? Which is exactly why, we should not have theism and politics mix. I think there is a small group of xtians out there that are pro separation of church and state. By far not the majority in congress.

GrimJesta wrote:

Actually I'm not. Two of my closest friends are Fundies and I used to hang out at the International of Jesus Christ meetings to learn about "the other side" so to speak. I used to attent Catholic Mass at Holy Child on Staten Island to chat it up with the theists. I know legions of Fundies, and most of them don't care if schools have prayer or not. You're using blanket statements based on the actions of men like Bush and Rumsfeld instead of blaming the fanatical minority for fanning the flames and the propaganda machine for spreading them.

and who exactly do you think voted Bush and Rumsfeld in power...surely as you say the fundies that are running the government are a small minority (5%) as you said, and how exactly, then did the fundies like Bush and Rumsfeld get into power? surely not by 5% of the vote. And I was born and raised a catholic, in Italy...and I agree not all xtians want prayer in school etc.. however, staten island is by far not the best representation fo the fundamentalist movement. Try living within the bible belt. Try seeing it every day here. I think we are all biased due to our sorroundings, I agree..but let me tell you something..come live in the deep south (a HUGE majority of the xtian vote). You will come scared of what's going on, I promise you that.

GrimJesta wrote:

History has also shown godless states out of control (Stalin anyone?).

Ok..but that was also a totalitarian attempt at socialism. Not quite a tolerant democracy.

GrimJesta wrote:
History has also shown us theocracies and non-theocracies that have worked.

Sure..like what Israel? or perhaps Iran, or maybe Afghanistan before we took over? Those countries are working wonderuflly.

GrimJesta wrote:
The biggest opponents against multiculturalism I've seen are Neo-Nazis; otherwise it isn't hard to point people out to civilizations that flourished under it... which is what a true democracy would be.

I don't think so...Israel, Afghanistan, Iran, theocracies and all enemies of multiculturalism. And all religious in nature.. and also.. the nazi's were very catholic by the way.

GrimJesta wrote:
Most Democrats are Christian, so I think you're guessing here based on the following sort of logic:
[1] The Republicans are pro- School Prayer, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Gay Marraige.
[2] The Republicans are Judeo-Christians.
[3] The Democrats "oppose" most Republican views.
[4] Therefore the Democrats are against Christianity.

You are now making assumptions about what I said. Trust me, my logic is not so simple.

I agree that most democrats are xtian, which is why I have a problem with both parties and why I said in the beginning I call democrats, republicrats...they are all snakes in the same basket. I would not necessarily have a problm if someone proclaims xtianity, it's when you start hearing things like, we have to appease the evangelical voters..try to get their vote..what exactly does that mean? and why then, if they are such a minority as you say should we even care? In order to acheive the evangelical vote, is to exactly fall in line with the PNAC, Straussian stratgey of governance, which is completely ant-thetical to democracy, but one that the neocons have conveniently been using in order to gain votes. Because they know that changing the social structure of this country and getting people dumbed down, keeps them occupied and not paying attention. Moderate have fallen to these mind traps as well.

GrimJesta wrote:
Most of the things the Right embrace aren't really Christian at all. Is Christ was real and alive and kicking today, he'd probably be head of the ACLU.

The problem is that you are interpreting it differently than a fundamentalist here. Which is exaclty why there is no room for theism in politics... interpretation of xtianity is much much much different down here in the south than the way you have described. Most people here think the ACLU is out to destroy xtianity and these people stop at nothing to destroy the ACLU, even though the ACLU protects their rights.

GrimJesta wrote:
I have a problem with an official State-sanctioned religion, which is what you seem to have a problem with.

agreed; and is exactly where we're headed unless we stop it now.

GrimJesta wrote:
The issue here is that you're claiming every single person who believes in God is Evangelical and a hate-mongering mental case. I joke that they are, but it's only a joke.

I am not claiming that at all, I am claiming that moderation leads to fundamentalism.

GrimJesta wrote:
So, that being said, yes I think Theocratic Zealot States are dangerous. But so is a State that zealously oppresses deviant thought. And until either side can completely and irrefutably state their case and disprove the other, neither side has the right to oppress the other.

no one in the history of this country has ever oppressed religious beliefs. But, who is it that is trying to force Creationism in science rooms?

GrimJesta wrote:
"Eye for an eye", "fire versus fire"... all they do is further destabilize an already fliundering form of government. And democracy isn't perfect, but it's the best we've got right now... :shock:

-=Grim=-

I've never discredited democracy..qutie the opposite. But to theocratic mind sets are completely anti-thetical to democracies. I fight to keep democracy free.

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GrimJesta
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With sadness and remorse, I no longer support Barrak Obama.

LeftofLarry wrote:

Most of the founding fathers were deists...and understood that religion should, in no part, function within the paradigms of a political system. Which is why God has been specifically left out of the constituion.
The DOI is not a political document. It only express exactly what it says..a declaration of independence from england. It is the Constitution and the bill of rights...that's important here.

The DOI still shows that the Founding Fathers, as deists, were aware of a divine being (deism is as varies as atheism as far as what people believe). You're mistaking my statements as some sort of defense of the GOP's "Christian" movement. I'm not. I'm pointing out that even the Founding Fathers believed in a Creator of some kind. Washington called it "the Great Author", where Madison was just as vague. I'm pointing out that religion has always existed in our government, even with the Founding Fathers: you can't be a Mason and be an atheist (I should know, it's why I wasn't allowed in).

LeftofLarry wrote:
And the irony here is that you say that it means that ONE religion shall not be recognized over any other, but that is what's exactly happening today. The xtian religion is indeed being favored over all others. I would like to see the reaction if I try to place a quote from the qu'ran on the steps of the supreme court.

Again, I'm not defending what's happening today. I'm defending Freedom of Religion. The Founding Fathers were very pro-freedom of religion:

"We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Virginia Baptists, 1808. ME 16:320

"Among the most inestimable of our blessings, also, is that... of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will; a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to John Thomas et al., 1807. ME 16:291

"In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State or Church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural Address, 1805. ME 3:378

"The constitutional freedom of religion [is] the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights." --Thomas Jefferson: Virginia Board of Visitors Minutes, 1819. ME 19:416

"I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Dowse, 1803. ME 10:378

"To suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:302, Papers 2: 546

As you can see, Jefferson (A.K.A. "The Man Himself"Eye-wink would have a problem with both Bush's and your viewpoints regarding government, freedom, and religion. Moderation can lead to fundamentalism when it isn't carried out properly, but Moderation can also lead to moderation and serve as a intermediary between the two polarities (which will exist with or without moderates).

LeftofLarry wrote:
HOwever, there are those in congress that are already trying to ammend the constitution (gay marriage etc..) to restrict freedom in favor of religious beliefs...these are the "moderates" you speak of. Tell me if THAT'S not a kick in the groin to democracy and freedom. And this is supported by moderates and fundies alike.

That has more to do with the propaganda machine than any persons right to practice a religion or acknowledgement that most people are religious. And no, those aren't the "moderates I speak of", because they aren't moderates. You are what you practice, not what you preach (which is true in the case of the GOP- they're about as Christian as I am).

Belief in god doesn't make you Christian, so saying that people in this country who believe in God are Christian is quite an exaggeration.

LeftofLarry wrote:
Exactly the hindus wouldn't want the 10 commandments, but it's not stopping the xtians is it now? Which is exactly why, we should not have theism and politics mix. I think there is a small group of xtians out there that are pro separation of church and state. By far not the majority in congress.

Christians aren't all theists, which are whom I'm talking about. Like I said, you're taking one version of theism and making it the universal truth amongst theists. The Children of Abraham aren't the only theists, they're just the one's that those in power are using as a political vehicle.

LeftofLarry wrote:
and who exactly do you think voted Bush and Rumsfeld in power...surely as you say the fundies that are running the government are a small minority (5%) as you said, and how exactly, then did the fundies like Bush and Rumsfeld get into power? surely not by 5% of the vote. And I was born and raised a catholic, in Italy...and I agree not all xtians want prayer in school etc.. however, staten island is by far not the best representation fo the fundamentalist movement. Try living within the bible belt. Try seeing it every day here.

My girlfriend is from the Bible Belt, so I know all about it. The people who voted Bush and Rumsfeld into power did so for various reasons, many of whom didn't do so for any religious reasons. Many Republicans feel that their party is better for the economy, or that the Democrats would ruin the economy, society, etc. Here we have a classic example of what polarity does to democracy: they feel that if they're opposed to one thing they absolutely have to vote for the other party. People didn't vote the GOP in for religious reasons! They voted them in because the GOP used 9/11 as a political platform. They were duped into believing that if you voted Democratic you were "against the war, against the troops, and against Freedom" (how many speeches did Bush say that in?). Fundies (that 5%) voted Bush, as did the other 50% of people that are pro-free market, pro-war in iraq, and all the other platforms the Republicans stood on. Religion was only a fraction of it.

When one small group of old men use a religion as a political vehicle, an attack as a cause, and the media as a propaganda machine you have what you see now. People being religious isn't the problem.

LeftofLarry wrote:

Sure..like what Israel? or perhaps Iran, or maybe Afghanistan before we took over? Those countries are working wonderuflly.

Pre-Crusades Islam. Aksum. Rome. Tibet. Egypt. The Holy Roman Empire [Edit: I don't know why I wrote in the HRE.]. Those are civilizations that flourished despite multiculturalism in regards to religion. They worked better than the extreme examples you used. Those aren't multicultural theocracies at all. They're extremes, and I've already addressed extremes.

You're trying to pass Dominionism as Theocracy, which is faulty.

LeftofLarry wrote:

I don't think so...Israel, Afghanistan, Iran, theocracies and all enemies of multiculturalism. And all religious in nature.. and also.. the nazi's were very catholic by the way.

I said the Nazi's were enemies of multiculturalism, so the fact that they were Catholic doesn't affect what I stated about them. Israel, Iran. Afghanistan... yes, they're all enemies of multiculturalism, just like what you seem to embrace (except that they embrace another extreme viewpoint).

LeftofLarry wrote:

You are now making assumptions about what I said. Trust me, my logic is not so simple.

What is it then? What's the point of this discussion if you aren't trying to enlighten me and vice-versa?

LeftofLarry wrote:
it's when you start hearing things like, we have to appease the evangelical voters..try to get their vote..what exactly does that mean? and why then, if they are such a minority as you say should we even care?

Evangelical voters is about as vague as "theist voters". If you ever talk to a real Fundie ask them about Evangelicals. They aren't Fundies since they seem to confuse the Gospels and Legalism. Evangelicals actually don't practice Fundamental Christianity, they only claim they do. Big difference.

As for why should the Democrats care about embracing Evangelical voters? Because it makes them look good to all theists that practice the Religions of the Book. It makes them look sympathetic to the plight of all theists, even the minorities like Fundies, so they look good. Do you think they really care about anything other than getting more votes and looking as good as they can to the most number of people? No. They're just trying to steal some of the Republican voter base.

Also remember, that 5% would be enough to nail a Presidency...

LeftofLarry wrote:
The problem is that you are interpreting it differently than a fundamentalist here. Which is exaclty why there is no room for theism in politics... interpretation of xtianity is much much much different down here in the south than the way you have described. Most people here think the ACLU is out to destroy xtianity and these people stop at nothing to destroy the ACLU, even though the ACLU protects their rights.

Which is proof of propaganda's power, not that theism is inherently bad for democracy. And yes, I am interpretting Fundamentalism differently. I'm talking about real Fundamentalism, you're talking about a bunch of people looking for a common identity, practice what they don't preach, and aren't really Fundies.

LeftofLarry wrote:

I am not claiming that at all, I am claiming that moderation leads to fundamentalism.

And I'm claiming that moderation is the only way a democracy can work, since democracy thrives on compromise and polarity doesn't compromise.

LeftofLarry wrote:

no one in the history of this country has ever oppressed religious beliefs. But, who is it that is trying to force Creationism in science rooms?

People who genuinely believe in it. My problem isn't Creationism, it's the people that want it taught in place of Evolution, or claim Evolution isn't plausible (I'd rather it be taught in classrooms so that people could question it openly rather than have it shoved under a rug). But that doesn't change the fact that those who are fighting for it genuinely believe in it. It's mind-blowing to them that our schools don't teach it. Does that make it right?

Nope, but it also doesn't justify excluding them from the democratic process, which is what this conversation is about. Creationism in classrooms is a whole other topic that could derail this one.

You're justifying exclusion from democracy and representation based on one group's ignorance and anothers misrepresentation? And if they shouldn't be represented, does that mean Christian civilians shouldn't have to pay taxes? No taxation without representation and all that jazz? And I'd ask the same question of the GOP regarding atheists and taxes.

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First let me state that I

First let me state that I don't know if I believe in a "Supreme Being".  But what could the harm be as long as you don't presume to "know his will".

 I have read all of the posts in this discussion and find a couple of basic flaws in some of the logic posted here.

First we do not live in a "Democracy", the United States is a Democratic Republic.  Which means that we are a representative government, each district has a representative elected by a majority vote.  These representatives are elected based on how well the people feel he or she represents the core values of the majority of the people in the given district. The end result being (ideally) that the government will make laws and govern within the constraints of how the majority of the public feels they should.  Hence to say, the group that is making policy is making it for the majority of the people, which is the basis for democracy.   

LeftofLarry seems to be under the mistaken impression that democracy means that everyone should be able to do whatever they want.  Sadly, That is simply not the case, I wish it was.  Democracy is not about everybody getting what they want, it's about the majority of the people getting what they want and the rest having to deal with it.

LeftofLarry also makes several references to he hell of living in the bible belt.  I lived in the socialist republic of California for 35 years.  I now live in the free state of Tennessee and let me tell you, I was alot more scared in California than I am in TN.  The people here are alot more accepting of everyone and everything than most everyone I knew in CA.  There are more Gay and Lesbians scattered through out the commuities here (as opposed to "strong holds" like in CA), there is less racial strife, and there is alot more tolerance than I ever experienced in the "liberal" cities of California.  So if you REALLY want to be scared live in California for a while and see how bad things can get where there is a lack of religious belief.

It is my firm belief that the removal of religion will not solve the problems of the world.  The only way to solve the problems is the removal of unintelligent individuals.  So instead of banning religion we should ban stupidity.  And whatever you do, DO NOT mistake education for intelligence.  There are many people in the world that hold diplomas touting their extensive education, yet they lack the intelligence to put that knowledge to use.  The average IQ in the U.S. as of 2000 was 96.8, I have an IQ of 148, that places me in the top 10% of Americans as far as intelligence goes, and let me tell you I don't think I'm all that bright.  But, be that as it may, think about how many people have the IQ of "Idiot" or less to drag our average that low.

Now let us address the point of "gay marriage" that was touched on in a post by LeftofLarry.  The idea that you feel that religious people are discriminating against gays by not wanting them to have marriage as an option is ludicrous.  Simply because "Marriage" is a religious establishment thats control was grabbed by government in order to generate income.  So if you want to keep church and state completely separate then remove all reference to marriage from any governement rules, regulations, laws, etc.  Of course, once you've done that then there will be no gay marriage because there will be no laws forcing the religious organizations to recognize it, and "marriage" will not be a recognized status by the state, so no matter how you slice it you can't have both "gay marriage" and a seperation of church and state. (notice that I am pointing out a basic flaw in the liberal logic.)

Next thought, why is it that it is okay for schools to endorse/embrace homosexual lifestyles, but not heterosexual lifestyles?  Why is it okay that the schools in the socialist republic of California FORCED my daughter to participate in a week long exercise in learning about Islam, including a day of dressing in Muslim clothing, (not participating would have caused a failing grade for the entire semester), but they ban any talk about Christianity?  If religion is to be banned from schools then ban ALL religion.  As far as science classes teaching evolution varsus creationism, I don't see what the problem is with teaching the premises behind both and letting each person decide which is right.  After all science could be wrong since it is based on "beliefs" of how things "may" have happened.  Science has repeatedly changed over the centuries as more "evidence" turns up.  I can tell you that the science of the world has change considerably since I was in grade school.  Hell, we found another planet Pluto, oh wait, they just decided that Pluto is not a planet after all. Go figure, they were wrong, how do you suppose that happened?  Could it be because scientists make assumptions and then prove their assumptions based on what they know (translated as "believe&quotEye-wink at the moment?

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The whole thing you put out

The whole thing you put out about Creationism ve Evolution and Pluto is misleading. Going from Evolution to Creationism/ID would be like if they found Pluto didn't actually exist, or was actually a star or black hole rather than a minor change in classification. Teaching ID in a Biology class is like teaching Alchemy in a Chemistry class or Phrenology in a Psychology class, or astrology in an astronomy class or "Maybe the stork brung it" as opposed to birthing babies in a medical school.

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LeftofLarry wrote:

LeftofLarry wrote:
haha...I would agree, if I was tolerant of religion. I think most of us here stand on the notion that we are sick and tired of relgion in general. Most of use would like to see it END. If the democrats, who I lovingly call republicrats are starting to preach religion, then our government has already been turned to a semi-theocratic state. To embrace religion in a government is to disenfranchise a portion of the population, I believe our forefathers did not have that in mind when they wrote our constituion. If our political rhetoric turns to a embracing religion, then the wall of separation of church and state has been torn down and we let the theists take control. this is not about inclusiveness and tolerance, this is about embracing fundamentalists and their extreme views. Here's the other problem, if we embrace religion, allow the ten commandments in public buildings...put crosses on our public schools. STart forcing prayer, subconciously doctrinating our kids, what will follow is the destruction of social rights: women's rights will go to shit, homosexuals will be persecuted and prosecuted, flag burning outlawed, etc...a massive force of nationalism spearheaded by the guise of religion will wreak havoc among this country. If you think that the fundamentalists are just trying to be "included" in the discussion you are seriously wrong. No one has EVER in the history of this country...tried to stop the religious from practicing their religions. EVER. But now it seems as if the xtian right is not satisfied, because they are hungry with power and when they control BOTH parties....then they win.... The ultimate goal is a massive social and political shift to legalize religion in a sense where we would all be forced to follow it's doctrines... History has shown what theocracy can do... I'm not going to remain apathetic for the sake of tolerance and I will not support political rhetoric or politicians that start to embrace evangelical fundamentalists... And remember...politicians in this country are corrupt, they are liars..and as a matter of fact, I dont' really support either party. All the dems are trying to do is win support for the majority..yeah...that's dirty considering the supposed values of the democrats are completely against the xtians views.. Dems suppurt women's rights, fundies do not..if a dem is going to sit there and say I support evangelism, tehn by default he/she is saying they do not support women's rights..and if they are just saying it to win votes, then they are dirty politicians anyway and loose my support anyway. I guess this country is going to shit anyway politically because if we have to resort "embracing" evangelicals to win elections..then they have already won....and the voice of moderation and "tolerance" has allowed them to.

Convincing points, man. I think you're right that we should not bow down to fundies even to get a friendly candidate in power. Doing this legitimizes the political power of fundies. It gives them undeserved respect. The only alternative I see in that case is to form our own political movement to compete directly against the christian right, so that politicians have to lobby for OUR votes. Let the politicians suck up to us... but we need to have a political voice before that can happen, which means we need to wake up the populace, just as RRS is trying to do. More activism is called for. Perhaps we will have a small influence on this election. But for the next one we can have a much larger influence if we start mobilizing now.

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I'm honestly torn ... one

I'm honestly torn ...

one side: I feel politicians should be taken to task for invoking God, the Creator, whatever ... like the Sam Harris quote, "When Bush says he wants to select for the Federal Bench common-sense judges who understand our rights are dervied from God he should be asked how that is different from saying our rights are derived from Zeus ..."

the other side: I know many evangelicals who, despite the fact that I think they're wrong theologically or religiously, do agree that there should exist a wall of seperation between religion/church and state on a local, state and federal level.  It would be wrong to not woo these people to vote Democratic - though I'd argue by showing our common-ground, not kowtowing to their mythology.  Granted, I live in New York City so all the evangelicals I know are liberals who vote Democratic anyway, but there are many evangelicals who are truly moderate and can be persuaded to vote for a candidate that wants to fight poverty, get health care for everyone, protect the environment and give tax cuts to working people not millionaires ...

I was turned off by Obama after his speech in 2004.  Yes, I know it was riveting and inspiring, but when he said, "We worship an awesome God in the blue states ..." he failed to ackwoledge the millions of godless atheists who fight for social and political equality and love this country and all of its citizens.  I'm moved by love and the knowledge of our common-humanity, and that means creating relationships with all people (keeping in mind that I'll never leave my atheism at the door anywhere anytime.)

Remember, there does exist some truth in the doctrines of religions ... its not all bullshit - it just happens that men and women came up with those ideas, not a god ... put another way:

The only truths that lie within the texts of the various religious faiths were plagiarized from the honest men and women who had the courage to challenge accepted dogmas.

 

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MattShizzle wrote:  "The

MattShizzle wrote: 

"The whole thing you put out about Creationism ve Evolution and Pluto is misleading. Going from Evolution to Creationism/ID would be like if they found Pluto didn't actually exist, or was actually a star or black hole rather than a minor change in classification."

You seem to be saying that science has absolutely proved that evolution is without a doubt exact and true.  The only problem with that is that it can't be absolutely proved in the way that you can say that the sky is blue.   It's a series of assumptions and conclusions that have incomplete evidence.  There is no definitive chain of proof, but there is enough to put a hypothesis together.  That's why it's known as the "theory of evolution".  So to say that one is right and the other is wrong is not a logical argument it is an emotional one stemming from ones own belief system.  You might be able to say that one theory is more likely than the other, and it is definitely fair to say that religious doctrine has been skewed by power hungry people for the entire history of mankind, it however, is also fair to say that about science.  You can't prove that either one is absolutely correct or incorrect as there is insufficient evidence either way.

 

Natural wrote about LeftofLarrys comments:

"I think you're  right that we should not bow down to fundies"

If we are going to take a hard stand against the beliefs of the people on the far right, then we must also take a hard stand against the beliefs of the people on the far left.  Any time a person has an extremist view point no matter to which extreme they are probably not interested in the people but in the power that they can grab from polarizing people against one another.

You all talk like anyone who holds any kind of spiritual or religious values is evil.  This is simply not true, anymore than saying that gays and lesbians are ALL a bunch of deviants, African Americans are ALL lazy, and Hispanics are ALL illegal aliens.  You don't seem to understand that you are guilty of the same intolerance that you are preaching (thats right preaching) against.  You have made your opposition to religion into a religion of it's own.  You all preach from the same book, spew all the same rhetoric, you're no better than the people you are seeking to oppress.

It's all hypocrisy, just like the NOW movement in the 70's and 80's. They claimed to be about womens rights, but anytime they came across a woman who WANTED to stay home and raise her children they told her how she was setting the womens rights movement back 20 years. 

Religion is not the root of all that is wrong with the world, people are!

You all need to understand that some people in this world are incapable of looking into the night sky, and seeing that there is so much more in the universe than the trivial B.S. that people bicker about on a daily basis.  Many people on this planet are incapable of getting through their day unless there is a greater purpose, something bigger than themselves and their daily problems.  Without a belief in God many of these people would be unable to function because they just wouldn't see the reason to go on.  You as a group have managed to justify your existence without the need of divine intervention, and I say good for you.  But, eliminating religion without raising the intelligence of the average human being inhabiting this planet would likely mean the destruction of all civilization.

  Remember that the types of people that tend to run for office are generally power hungry and not truly interested in bettering man kind or the lives of the average person.  They are the kinds of people that think they know better than everyone else, and are think they are smarter than everyone else.  For example, in California the government feels that they know better than parents on how to raise children, as made clear by my example in my last post, and the new law in San Francisco that outlaws spanking.  ANYTIME that a government decides that they can raise ALL the children better than ALL the parents there is going to be a problem.  The government will began to indoctrinate the children with ideals that perpetuate the government and not individual growth or free thought (just ask anyone living in 1930's Germany).  Keep in mind that California is a state that embraces the liberal left, yet individual rights in California are trampled more frequently than any other state (other than maybe New York).  Liberalism equals socialism, socialism equals suppression of individual thought and accomplishment.  Socialism can not succeed unless everyone is equal, but if everyone is equal then they also must all be alike, there can be no individuals who succeed any more than any other person.  The basic problem here is that human beings are instinctively selfish and self serving, if they can't glean additional rewards for themselves from their efforts then why would anyone put forth their best effort? 

Also in socialism the ruling class will always be elite, just like in any other system, the only difference is they publicly claim they are not, while behind closed doors they enjoy a regal lifestyle.

Don't fall for the Democrats claims that they will cut taxes for the lower incomes, because their idea of rich starts at about $80,000 per year for a two income family.  Let me tell you that is NOT rich.  If you want to own a house, a couple of decent cars, and have 2 or 3 children you will barely get by on that kind of money, especially with the Democrats idea of tax structures.  I don't have a problem with the people making $5 million a year paying 36 or 37% in taxes, but I do have a problem with taking that tax money and giving it to people who refuse to better themselves or just want to sit on their collective asses and do nothing for it.

I say that the ideal candidates are ones that want to eliminate income tax in favor of a federal sales tax on items other than food, and housing.  That way if I go out and spend $100,000 on a car I pay $10,000 or $15,000 in taxes, and if all I can spend on a car is $2500 then I pay $250 or so in taxes.  Now that would be a fair taxation system.  Further, Businesses should not have to pay income taxes either, instead everything a business buys should be taxed at the 10% or 15% rate, and their would be no write-offs, thereby there would be now way to "hide" money.  This is the only way to guarantee that everyone pays their "fair share".

 

Brad

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All these complaints,

All these complaints, already, and I'm willing to bet the majority of you still won't consider voting a third party. You reap what you sow.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Here we go again with

Here we go again with someone that doesn't get what the word "Theory" means in science...

Science HAS absolutely proven evolution is true. By the way, gravity is also "only" a theory, so if you don't believe evolution based on that, I suggest you go jump off a tall building.

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
All these complaints, already, and I'm willing to bet the majority of you still won't consider voting a third party. You reap what you sow.

I'd love to vote for a third party. Can you find me one that's truly independent and is interested in actually helping people?

From my research, that lets out Libertarians, Greens and whoever Nader wants to represent this year.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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Quote: The only problem

Quote:
The only problem with that is that it can't be absolutely proved in the way that you can say that the sky is blue.

It is? Hmm. I thought it was many colors (It depends on the time of day). And the greeks said it was bronze.

 

[joke]Voting third party?  I vote higher.

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
All these complaints, already, and I'm willing to bet the majority of you still won't consider voting a third party. You reap what you sow.

Third party votes are often wasted votes...

The people that have any chance of getting elected won't be able to do any real change. (and might to come to support the status quo even if they didn't originally). Hmm, this seems to support "if voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal"...

"What right have you to condemn a murderer if you assume him necessary to "God's plan"? What logic can command the return of stolen property, or the branding of a thief, if the Almighty decreed it?"
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Viking63 wrote: You seem

Viking63 wrote:

You seem to be saying that science has absolutely proved that evolution is without a doubt exact and true. The only problem with that is that it can't be absolutely proved in the way that you can say that the sky is blue. It's a series of assumptions and conclusions that have incomplete evidence. There is no definitive chain of proof, but there is enough to put a hypothesis together. That's why it's known as the "theory of evolution".

You are unclear as to the meaning of scientific theory. And as to what evolution theory is capable of explaining. Evolution doesnt have anything to do with the origins of life, thus making it an apples vs oranges comparison with creationism. Evolution has also been rigorously tested and retested and has proven to have passed all challenges thus far. Now, should some facts be discovered that would somehow cast doubts on the theory of evolution as we know it, science by definition has to re-evaluate previous claims and go on form there. The important obvious difference, insofar as teaching creationism vs. science is that science admits when it is wrong, and bases its claims on facts and evidence. Creationism has nothing; zero, absolutely NO evidence on which to make it's claims. And, as has they have shown, creationists show a complete disregard for the evidence we do have that proves their claims to be pure nonsense, i.e the idiots that built the creationist museum that shows adam and eve riding on dinosaurs.

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So to say that one is right and the other is wrong is not a logical argument it is an emotional one stemming from ones own belief system.

Wrong. One is a claim based on years of collecting evidence, testing hypotheses, retesting, intentionally TRYING to find flaws in the claim, and eventually coming to a(albeit an admitted short of 100% fail-safe) conclusion. The other is based on nothing more than a flawed philosophical argument about which not ONE piece of physical evidence has been found to support it. Which statement is better-- "We have 99% assurance, but we'll take another look at it if we find cause to," or, "We have 0% certainty, but we believe we're right anyways and we will not listen to anything to the contrary"?

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You might be able to say that one theory is more likely than the other, and it is definitely fair to say that religious doctrine has been skewed by power hungry people for the entire history of mankind, it however, is also fair to say that about science. You can't prove that either one is absolutely correct or incorrect as there is insufficient evidence either way.

No, but why are we putting 99%, and 0% on a level playing field?

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Religion is not the root of all that is wrong with the world, people are!

People fueled by dogmatic thinking are what's wrong with the world. And, without exception, religion is dogmatic thinking.

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Many people on this planet are incapable of getting through their day unless there is a greater purpose, something bigger than themselves and their daily problems. Without a belief in God many of these people would be unable to function because they just wouldn't see the reason to go on. You as a group have managed to justify your existence without the need of divine intervention, and I say good for you. But, eliminating religion without raising the intelligence of the average human being inhabiting this planet would likely mean the destruction of all civilization.

I tend to agree with you here, and if theists went about their business under the impression that god wants them to be good people, and that heaven awaits you if you are, then there wouldnt be any problem. However, I would argue that 99.9% of theists(yes, even moderate ones) hold some unfounded belief that would cause them to infringe upon the rights of others if given the opportunity. Whether they think homosexuality is wrong, or want to eradicate birth control, or think muslims are a false religion, if they believe in a religion, then they believe someone else is wrong simply for not enjoying the same folk tales. This is where the problem lies.

 

"The powerful have always created false images of the weak."


Viking63
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Quote: People fueled by

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People fueled by dogmatic thinking are what's wrong with the world. And, without exception, religion is dogmatic thinking.

 I have to disagree with you here. People who follow some sort of dogma are not the only ones that cause problems in the world. There are plenty of people that are non-theists that are just as bad as the theistic extremists.

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I tend to agree with you here, and if theists went about their business under the impression that god wants them to be good people, and that heaven awaits you if you are, then there wouldnt be any problem. However, I would argue that 99.9% of theists(yes, even moderate ones) hold some unfounded belief that would cause them to infringe upon the rights of others if given the opportunity. Whether they think homosexuality is wrong, or want to eradicate birth control, or think muslims are a false religion, if they believe in a religion, then they believe someone else is wrong simply for not enjoying the same folk tales. This is where the problem lies.

Actually, there are very few religions that require you to impose your beliefs on others.  Most religions want you to help enlighten others, but do it without forcing them.  Yes, even Christianity does not set down terms by which you are to force your will on your neighbors, it's just that most religious fanatics fail to read the fine print.  Now, if you can prove me wrong by finding a passage in the bible that says otherwise please feel free to educate me. 

 There is always opportunity to infringe on other peoples rights whether or not you are theistic, and there are plenty of non theists who infringe on the rights of others on a daily basis.  For instance, the ACLU says you can't fire an employee for being a lazy bastard if they are non-white, and you are white because that means you are a racist.  The state of California says a landlord can not evict a tenant simply because they haven't paid their rent, or they are trashing the rental property.  Because you would then be an "evil landlord" taking advantage of a "poor person".  So you see, even non-theists can manage to infringe on the rights of others and justify it away with some sort of erroneous BS.

The other thing I noticed is that everyone is so quick to support homosexual behavior.  If you homosexual I understand the viewpoint, but why is it bad to think that homosexuality is not a good thing, or to not want exposure to homosexuality in ones daily life?  Surely, strict homosexuality can't be natural, because if it were a natural occurrence then that would mean that nature wants homosexuals to become extinct or at least not reproduce.  Unless evolution has found a way for a male to get another male pregnant, or a female to get another female pregnant, then I don't understand the argument that the homosexual lifestyle is something that is created naturally.  of course I suppose you will all want to squash my right to free speech now that you know that I am not down with the homosexual lifestyle.

 

Brad

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It's my consitutional right to be an asshole, so get over it.


Danny Doomsayer
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Don't throw the towel in on Obama so quickly.

Hey everybody,

First on all I want to make a few things perfectly clear. I am an atheist, and in fact I'm quite proud of that fact and never hesitate to mention it whenever, or wherever the issue should arise. I recently read Dawkins' The GOD Delusion... twice in fact, and fully endorse every single word of it. I hate religion in politics as much as anyone here, and I'd assert probably more than most, and I fully support the complete separation of church and state... period.

Now then... Remember in The GOD Delusion Dawkins referred to certain individuals who claimed a belief in god to reconcile their lives, to feel a sense of purpose in their lives? Remember his reference to these people as having a belief in god in a Darwinian sense of the term, the sense that the church represented community, and the greater good of people helping one another, and that god was nature and all things unexplained? Dawkins asserted that while there was no reason to believe that these people didn't believe in god, it would stand to reason that the god they believed in was not the same prayer answering, miracle working, all knowing, all fearing, rapture god that most people believe in.

Ok, keep that in mind for a minute.

Now consider who in our society doesn't believe in god, or practice religion. I don't know all the facts and statistics off hand, but they were quoted extensively in both Dawkins' and Harris' book so I'll assume everyone here is familiar with the basics. The simple version basically says that the more intelligent a person is, the less likely it is that they really believe in an all powerful god character.

All of that said... let's talk about Obama.

Barack Obama was raised in a secular household. His father was an atheist, his mother was raised with a healthy dose of skepticism, and he says she raised him the same way. The point I'm making here is that we're not dealing with a kid who was brainwashed from childhood. He calls his mother the least religious, but most spiritual person he ever knew. In his second book he says something like... books like the Bible, the Qur'an, the Torah were on the same shelf as other books of mythology.

So he wasn't raised religious... religion was considered amongst other forms of mythology... he was casually instructed in several different religious texts as a form of general education, and became familiar with many religious books.

Consider those things in light of the fact that Barack Obama is a highly intelligent, and well-reasoned person. He received an intellectual education and went on to be a professor at a well-respected intellectual university.

Also in the second book he states in no uncertain terms that he believes in evolution, and the big bang. At another point in the book his daughter asks him what happens when we die, he tells her he doesn't know, but fortunately she has a long time before she has to worry about it.

I bring all of this up because the AP article posted by LeftofLarry gives the impression that Obama is some sort of god freak, and... well, I just don't think he is. Obama is going after the things that divide us as a nation, both in politics and in religion. He's not necessarily pandering to religious people, because as Dawkins said, there's no reason to believe that he doesn't believe in what he's saying. He's merely saying that we as a people need to come to terms with our differences, and find a way to "disagree without being disagreeable."

This is all in light of the fact that the US is painfully obsessed with religion. We all know this full and well. There's no way an honest atheist is getting elected to dogcatcher anywhere in the United States anytime soon. The only people in American society who are less trusted than Muslims are atheists. Again, we all know this... and if you're anything like me you probably hate it, but that doesn't make it less true. While there's significant progress being made by several notable advocates, just like right here on Rapid Responders, we still have a very…very long way to go.

So... now do me a favor. Go to Obama's website and watch the video of the speech he gave that the AP article above tragically misrepresents.

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/faith/

Listen to what he says in that speech... no, I mean really listen. Know that our nation under Obama's leadership will not chastise us for our non-belief. It will not tolerate breeches of the separation of church and state. It will not force intelligent design into our classrooms. It will not wage war based on religious ideology.

Check out this comment by E.J. Dionne.

"(Obama's speech on faith) may be the most important pronouncement by a Democrat on faith and politics since John F. Kennedy's Houston speech in 1960 declaring his independence from the Vatican...Obama offers the first faith testimony I have heard from any politician that speaks honestly about the uncertainties of belief."

-E.J. Dionne, Op-Ed., Washington Post, June 30, 2006

Barack Obama may very well believe in god, he may in fact be a religious person... but he fully understands that religion means different things to different people, and I for one don't find him to be a threat to atheists in the least. In fact, I believe a Barack Obama presidency could do the same thing for atheism that Bill Clinton did for porn... ignore it long enough for it to become popular and mainstream.

I don't think this guy is our enemy, and coupled with his policy positions and intellectual worldview... he may be our only hope.

Peace.