Bill Keller’s Beclowning Achievement

posted at 10:05 am on August 30, 2011 by Karl

Plenty of people — Ed Morrissey and Mollie Hemingway among them — have neatly dissected New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller’s perfect storm of ignorance and bias when it comes to the religious beliefs of those running for the GOP presidential nominee. Keller identified Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum as “all affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity,” when Santorum is Catholic, Bachmann is Lutheran, and Perry is a Methodist. Keller hauls out the boogeyman of “dominionism,” when none of his targets are dominionists, and so on. The response (such as it is) to this criticism by Keller and the rest of the establishment media is nearly as telling as the original smears.

On Twitter, Keller had two responses to his critics. First, Keller noted that he was not seeing any quarrel with the basic point that we should ask candidates about their faith. I certainly have no quarrel with that point. In 2008, I wrote about Barack Obama’s decades-long membership in a church based on black liberation theology and his decades-long relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and criticized the establishment media for not treating Obama the way JFK or Mitt Romney were treated on faith issues.

However, this merely underscores the major criticism lodged against Keller, which was that the New York Times avoided giving Obama scrutiny on faith issues. Keller’s second response was that the NYT was “late to Rev. Wright in ’08, but we got there, and did it well.” This response is dishonest or delusional, possibly both. When a political controversy erupts in March 2008 and the NYT does not give it proper news coverage until September 2008, getting there late is bad coverage. Would Keller defend covering a hurricane six months late? Please. Nor was the quality of the NYT coverage good, by the standards Keller now thinks should be applied, asking none of the sort of questions Keller now thinks should be asked. Indeed, Keller’s response on this point is particularly embarrassing once you learn that the NYT actually covered Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright in April 2007, reporting:

It is hard to imagine, though, how Mr. Obama can truly distance himself from Mr. Wright. The Christianity that Mr. Obama adopted at Trinity has infused not only his life, but also his campaign. He began his presidential announcement with the phrase “Giving all praise and honor to God,” a salutation common in the black church. He titled his second book, “The Audacity of Hope,” after one of Mr. Wright’s sermons, and often talks about biblical underdogs, the mutual interests of religious and secular America, and the centrality of faith in public life.

With hindsight, it is easy to imagine how Obama could distance himself: by relying on the establishment media generally, and the NYT in particular, to mostly look the other way at the crucial moment.

It is worth noting — as Ed Morrissey and Lisa Miller did — that the NYT’s Keller is hardly alone in falsely playing the “Crazy Christian” card. Similarly erroneous, x-degrees-of-separation journalism has been committed by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, NPR’s Fresh Air, Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker and Michelle Goldberg, a senior contributing writer for Newsweek/The Daily Beast. From there, the bogus story gets treated as a serious topic of discussion at forums including the WaPo, CNN and USA Today.

Thus does the establishment media function the way Hillary Clinton once claimed the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy operated. Thus does the establishment media again operate with the sort of “epistemic closure” that the Julian Sanchezes, Conor Friedersdorfs and Andrew Sullivans of the world are so quick to condemn in the conservative media (when they aren’t busy ignoring Sullivan’s obsession with the status of Sarah Palin’s uterus). Ironically, Sullivan has been foaming at the mouth about “Christianism” for years.

Indeed, almost all of those soooo concerned about bogus memes circulating in a conservative echo chamber will never treat Rachel Maddow the way they treat Glenn Beck. (Indeed, they won’t blink over the fact that a religious left activist — the Rev. Al Sharpton — now hosts a show on MSNBC.) They will never view NewsBeast the way they view WorldNetDaily. They will never compare Bill Keller to Sean Hannity — and rightly so. After all, Hannity correctly identified the theology of Obama’s longtime church and interviewed Rev. Wright. Hannity committed more actual journalism on this subject than Keller did. More self-aware lefties in the media, like TNR’s Jonathan Chait, should take note that this is another example of the magical thinking of liberals.

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Keller still mattes?

abobo on August 30, 2011 at 10:07 AM

D’oh!
**matters**

abobo on August 30, 2011 at 10:08 AM

The are anti-Christs and bigots and moral imbeciles.

Your expectations for them cannot be too low.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Santorum sure is a dominionist:

Jesus said “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s” and that huge piece of wisdom has really set the course for western civilization where you have civil laws and have civil penalties – we exact justice in a civil fashion – and then we have higher laws, we have God’s law. Now our civil laws are supposed to comport with God’s laws but sometimes they don’t, and so it is always the obligation of those, for example, the issue of abortion – the civil law does not comport with God’s law, in my opinion and I think the opinion of many people in this country and it is our obligation to continue to try and change that law. We have to live under the civil law, we have to obey that law because it is the civil law but we need to continue to try to change it to make sure that these laws, the laws our country, comport.

No thank you Rick. You can keep your god’s laws all to yourself. I prefer the one’s based on rational thought.

Bachmann is just nutty.

Perry is largely a Federalist, although he does tend to bring his religion in to the business of governing far more than is healthy.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Where those “crazy Christians” are really overrepresented, statistically, is in recent military-cemetery interments. That’s because their “crazy” patriotism makes them overrepresented in the military.

RBMN on August 30, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Let’s just say that Keller’s article is “highly nuanced”. Liberals are good at that. What everyone else would call HYPOCRISY.

GarandFan on August 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

So what, that leaves Ron Paul as your choice?
Listen, your disparaging of those who are religious is kind of ironic, since you live and partake in a society that the religious has built…because of others faith, you get to criticize…

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Bill O. said it very well. They have an anti-west, anti-Christian agenda and they know what they can get away with.

And they know what they can get away with. Christians haven’t been stabbing writers on the street or firebombing offices lately. Except in liberals’ dreams. And don’t mention Okla City. Those were gov’t offices, Chrissy.

IlikedAUH2O on August 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

because of others faith, you get to criticize whine…

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 10:21 AM

I’d like to know what Santorum thinks about a few doctrinal decrees from over the centuries, but he’s never responded to my email requests (not that he is obligated to, but he also can’t say he hasn’t been asked).

mankai on August 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM

And don’t mention Okla City. Those were gov’t offices, Chrissy.

IlikedAUH2O on August 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Don’t mention it, because he was an avowed atheist when he decided to bomb…

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 10:23 AM

IlikedAUH2O on August 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

And more to the point, McVeigh was an agnostic.

mankai on August 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 10:20 AM

No, my favorite is Perry at this point. I am allowed to criticize him though, aren’t I? I am allowed to favor him even if I find his religion to be too intrusive in to his politics, right?

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Bachmann is Lutheran

Yeah, but probably one of those Wisconsin Synod extremists that call it “hot dish” instead of casserole.

Buddahpundit on August 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

I think he looks like Bob McDonnell, Virginia’s governor. Weird.

SouthernGent on August 30, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Buddahpundit on August 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

She’s a pitchfork away fro being a Westboro type.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Joe Biden is a Catholic does that make him a “dominionist” ???? Nancy Pelosi is also a Catholic is she a “dominionist” ????
Barack H Obama is self identified Christian, is he a fanatic for taking Jesus Christ as his personal savior? Or does Obama belong in the delusional category? Is Obama’s faith based belief in Jesus Christ just superstitious nonsense going by Keller’s standards?

Where’s is the majic line being drawn in regards to Obama’s Christian belief, and everyone else?

Black Liberation Theology – Does Keller think that this is a mainstream religious movement? He doesn’t think it’s not an extreme Christian belief system?

Does Keller really believe that Obama should denounce his Christian belief, and announce he’s an atheist?

What demographic votes for atheist in large enough numbers to get a candidate elected?

When Keller attacks Christian candidates, does he understand he’s attacking all Christians by extension? Does he think this helps Obama with the voting Christian demographic? The largest in the country?

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

BOR covered this last night, and while the man angers me a lot with his show, and opinions, he was dead on with this. In my opinion.

He basically said, you’d never see Keller go after the Jewish community, or Muslim community with this trash. He’s right. Keller wouldn’t dare, because he knows the outrage. Christians, by virtue of their tolerance, or agreement via ideology with Keller, stay quiet, and don’t make waves to often.

It’s time to make waves over this kind of biased, and unfair treatment.

capejasmine on August 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Since everyone now knows that the NYT,WaPo, LAT, etc are the Hatefilled Left’s propaganda machine they have very little credibility beyond their hateful little choir of true believer lefty liberal losers.

CCRWM on August 30, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Bachmann is Lutheran

Yeah, but probably one of those Wisconsin Synod extremists that call it “hot dish” instead of casserole.

Buddahpundit on August 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

She and her husband recently switched to a non-denominational Evangelical Christian church. I read that somewhere. I doubt it was for political reasons, but you never know.

RBMN on August 30, 2011 at 10:39 AM

And more to the point, McVeigh was an agnostic.

mankai on August 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM

McVeigh met with a Priest before he was executed and received last rites. CNN.

CNN
McVeigh took last rites before execution
LETHAL INJECTION

June 11, 2001

Strapped to a gurney, awaiting the lethal injection Monday that would punish him for the Oklahoma City bombing, Timothy McVeigh asked to see a priest.

Bureau of Prisons officials said McVeigh, a self-described agnostic, received the Catholic sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick by an unidentified prison chaplain.

“McVeigh did see last rites which were provided by a BOP chaplain,” said Jeff Grondolsky, a spokesman with the Bureau of Prisons.

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Keller and al New York Times still matter because Republicans continue to support them. We seem to want them to change and be more balanced, yet are not willing to actually do anything to that end.

Until Republicans refuse to deal with the liberal media in any way, they have no incentive to change.

slickwillie2001 on August 30, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Bill Keller’s perfect storm of ignorance and bias when it comes to the religious beliefs

Why are continually so stupid when describing their war on middle class morals as mere “bias”?

organizers must be entirely unpredictable and unmistakably willing — for the sake of the moral principles in whose name they claim to act — to watch society descend into utter chaos and anarchy.

He stated that they must be prepared, if necessary, to “go into a state of complete confusion and draw [their] opponent into the vortex of the same confusion.”

faraway on August 30, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Yeah, but probably one of those Wisconsin Synod extremists that call it “hot dish” instead of casserole.

Buddahpundit on August 30, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Hot dish is the correct term heathen.

strictnein on August 30, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

The joke is on him. Only atheists get in to heaven :-)

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Joe Biden is a Catholic does that make him a “dominionist” ???? Nancy Pelosi is also a Catholic is she a “dominionist” ????

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Correction…Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi claim to be Catholics. They’re not.

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 10:56 AM

I am guessing Keller is considered a moderate in New Left circles. There is a movement by the far left to primary Obama with someone running to the Left of him LOL! Keller is still carrying Obama’s water, that actually makes him moderate going by Leftist’s standards.

The professional left – the firebaggers, would consider Keller’s attack on republican candidates christian beliefs, tame.

Keller’s attack does leave Obama in a bad position. Now Obama has to defend being a Christian, that attended an extreme fringe Christian church for 20 years. That’s the problem when you point fingers at someone else, 3 are pointing back at you, and Keller is nothing more than an Obama propaganda proxy. Good job Bill, you brought Obama’s affiliation with Trinity Church, and Rev Jeremiah Wright, back front and center.

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 10:56 AM

No true Scotsmen, they.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:57 AM

I await a follow up on the activities of Trinity Church now that Wright is gone. BTW, where is Wright and what is he saying now?

faraway on August 30, 2011 at 10:59 AM

We must all acknowledge that the left are shrewd, conniving slime and cannot be assessed and countered using contemporary logic. Instead, they must be diffused, debunked and rendered inert.

rplat on August 30, 2011 at 10:59 AM

He’s right. Keller wouldn’t dare, because he knows the outrage. Christians, by virtue of their tolerance, or agreement via ideology with Keller, stay quiet, and don’t make waves to often.

It’s time to make waves over this kind of biased, and unfair treatment.

capejasmine on August 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

The waves you or I make in the Atlantic Ocean won’t be felt by Bill Keller in Lake Superior.

VibrioCocci on August 30, 2011 at 11:01 AM

No true Scotsmen, they.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:57 AM

They have been baptized into the Catholic church and have not been excommunicated but they regularly piss on the doctrines of the Catholic church all the while trying to use Catholic doctrines as a shield.

I’m not a Catholic though so maybe they’ve decided lying and abortions are ok now.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

So what? He was facing death and decided to act a little superstitious about it. That hardly amounts to “he killed those people in the name of his religion.” Agnostic =/= atheist

Correction…Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi claim to be Catholics. They’re not.

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Correction… according to their bishops they are Catholics in good standing.

mankai on August 30, 2011 at 11:09 AM

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Neither of them are in favor of abortion. They do not want to impose their religion on the rest of us by force of law. I wish that those on our side were so restrained by the spirit of our founders in this regard.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a shower after speaking up in favor of those scum.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Correction…Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi claim to be Catholics. They’re not.

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 10:56 AM

\

If they claim it- they have to defend it. If Keller is attacking Christians, and Santorum for being Catholic, he’s attacking all Christians, and Catholics by extension.

It’s like when you are spraying bullets from a machine gun, you aren’t just hitting your desired target the republican candidates religious belief system, you are also creating collateral damage, Christians are the largest religious group in this country, and Catholics are still the largest denomination. I am thinking there are a lot of Catholics, and other Christians suffering buyers remorse after voting for Obama. Obama’s proxy Keller just sprayed them with a nasty commentary, he was aiming for the republican candidates, but he hit everyone in this country who identify Christian . Keller isn’t helping Obama, who needs to recover the Independent vote. Keller is just making it more difficult for Obama to appeal to average Americans aka the majority. No one thinks that Keller isn’t an Obama supporter, and taking shots at republicans, who he thinks belong to a small religious minority is going to backfire. It all goes back to Keller’s premise of who the candidates associate with, well Obama is now going to be associated with Keller’s attack on Christians. Christians the largest religious group in the U.S.A.

People are going to start asking questions if Obama doesn’t make a statement about Keller’s premise – Is Obama really an atheist pretending to be a Christian, you know like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi? Keller seems to feel confident that he’s not attacking them, by attacking Christians.

Keller really is a bigot, he really does despise religious people. He’s just a coward he won’t attack Jewish or Muslims he’s afraid of the backlash.

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM

She’s a pitchfork away fro being a Westboro type.
MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Shocking, that idle libel is coming from you.

Fred Phelps is a Democrat, BTW.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Keller really is a bigot, he really does despise religious people. He’s just a coward he won’t attack Jewish or Muslims he’s afraid of the backlash.

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Excellent summation.

mankai on August 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Neither of them are in favor of abortion. They do not want to impose their religion on the rest of us by force of law. I wish that those on our side were so restrained by the spirit of our founders in this regard.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to take a shower after speaking up in favor of those scum.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:11 AM

They’re against it but they want me to pay for it? They’re against it – and the moral code which they supposedly follow tells them it’s murder – but they don’t oppose it?

Why is murder illegal then? Is that imposing religion on the people too?

I’m a small government conservative/libertarian type but abortion is an issue of murder.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM

I’m not a Catholic though so maybe they’ve decided lying and abortions are ok now.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I have asked a priest before if a Catholic is still a Catholic, if they are not following church doctrine. The answer was, yes they are Catholics just not very good Catholics.

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 11:18 AM

“McVeigh did see last rites which were provided by a BOP chaplain,” said Jeff Grondolsky, a spokesman with the Bureau of Prisons.

Dr Evil

Just hedging his bets.

honsy on August 30, 2011 at 11:19 AM

“McVeigh did see last rites which were provided by a BOP chaplain,” said Jeff Grondolsky, a spokesman with the Bureau of Prisons. Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM

That was ten years after his atrocity. He was in no sense a Christian when he lit off that bomb, unless nominally i.e. he was baptized. Nothing whatsoever inherent in Christianity excuses, let alone encourages, what he did.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Referring to Michelle Bachmann;

She’s a pitchfork away fro being a Westboro type.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Um, no.

See, here’s how this works. The things you post need to have some basis in reality. Diving straight into “Christian, with beliefs different from mine = westoboro Baptist,” is the religious version of a violation of Godwin’s law.

Different =/= extreme, unless your a progressive.

massrighty on August 30, 2011 at 11:23 AM

As to the imposing of religion on people we should remember these wise words from our founding fathers:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
– Declaration of Independence

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for our moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government than any other.

The government should not be a theocracy but to claim the laws of the land should not be influenced by the religious morality of the people is ridiculous.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Neither of them are in favor of abortion. They do not want to impose their religion on the rest of us by force of law.

Oh please. They want Harry Blackmun’s irreligion imposed on the states and the unborn.

I wish that those on our side were so restrained by the spirit of our founders in this regard. MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:11 AM

You mean the founders would have approved of abortion being recognized as a constitutional right so that the laws of forty states could be struck down? Is that what the founders would enjoy?

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 11:27 AM

They have been baptized into the Catholic church and have not been excommunicated but they regularly piss on the doctrines of the Catholic church all the while trying to use Catholic doctrines as a shield.

I’m not a Catholic though so maybe they’ve decided lying and abortions are ok now.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 11:06 AM

I have asked a priest before if a Catholic is still a Catholic, if they are not following church doctrine. The answer was, yes they are Catholics just not very good Catholics.

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 11:18 AM

I’ve addressed this issue in other posts, so not to belabour the point for those who’ve read what I’ve written in the past. Biden and Pelosi, as politicians and legislators, have pushed an agenda which is pro-death and advocates abortion. The Catholic Church has specifically stated that politicians who push a pro-death agenda are committing sin by their actions and particularly because they hold positions of influence. Politicians who continue to push a pro-death, pro-abortion agenda have excommunicated themselves ‘latae sententiae’. There is no official action required by the church to “officially” excommunicate them, they have already excommunicated themselves. Any bishop or priest who allows them to receive communion is neither a very good priest nor a very good Catholic.

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I await a follow up on the activities of Trinity Church now that Wright is gone. BTW, where is Wright and what is he saying now?

faraway on August 30, 2011 at 10:59 AM

A question well asked.

Mason on August 30, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM

McVeigh received last rites we will never no if he repented because whatever a person tells a Priest in confession can’t be revealed.

When McVeigh cased the Murrah building, there is no way he missed where the daycare was located, he murdered children, toddlers. I walked the fence that was put up around where the building was torn down, it was turned into a shrine, the photos, teddy bears, prayers baby pacifiers etc….by the time I was finished going around the whole fence, I was in tears.

I really want to believe McVeigh repented before his death, and asked God’s forgiveness, but he never did show any remorse when he was alive for the mass murder he committed.

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 11:29 AM

There’s One who knows.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 11:35 AM

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Our laws are based on God’s law, “thou shall not kill, steal…” Those who oppose abortion believe it violates God’s and man’s law (murder), and is doubly worse because the victims are helpless. There are things a whole lot worse than somebody who believes unborn babies should not be murdered.

One thing much worse is the confidence in man’s ability to use “rational” thought to come up with laws that seem to make sense. History is filled with atrocities easily rationalized by man. The whole of liberal/progressive doctrine is based on man’s rational thought, and we know where their reasoning will take us.

If you wish to disqualify candidates because they believe there is a God and a natural law based on God’s truth, then you should also consider disqualifying candidates who believe there is no God. For laws made by “rational” man apart from God have a well documented history of ending in incredible evil.

ClanDerson on August 30, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Keller hauls out the boogeyman of “dominionism,” when none of his targets are dominionists, and so on.

“Dominionism” is not a doctrine that has any serious support in the Christian community. It’s ludicrous. The first time I heard the term, I seriously assumed they were talking about the bad guys on Star Trek: DS9. (Of course, the Dominion leaders were called “The Founders,” and it is true that conservatives like the Founding Fathers…)

Outlander on August 30, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Any bishop or priest who allows them to receive communion is neither a very good priest nor a very good Catholic.

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 11:28 AM

It’s a good thing we have you as a reliable private interpreter of scripture and tradition to set us straight over these ordained bishops and priests.

SOLA ECCLESIA!

shick on August 30, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Why is murder illegal then? Is that imposing religion on the people too?

I’m a small government conservative/libertarian type but abortion is an issue of murder.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Umm, murder is the unlawful taking of a human right. Therefore, it is illegal by definition. If you want to know why the taking of human life is illegal you needn’t refer to your bible to find out. Many perfectly sound secular reasons exist.

The anti-abortion crowd bases their opinion on religion, at heart. It’s tied up with the religious idea of a soul. Many of those who don’t believe in souls do not see a reason to extend the protections of person-hood to a blastocyst.

The funny thing is, to my knowledge the Christian bible doesn’t even declare abortion to be a no-no. I’m not sure when it became part of their dogma although I know that it came centuries after the supposed birth of Christ.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

If you wish to disqualify candidates because they believe there is a God and a natural law based on God’s truth, then you should also consider disqualifying candidates who believe there is no God.

ClanDerson on August 30, 2011 at 11:36 AM

I won’t bother with the early part of your argument. It’s been done to death. As for this part, you made it up out of whole cloth. I stated quite clearly that I am in favor of Perry, despite my objections to him bringing his religion too far in to his governing philosophy. I will thank you to not invent opinions for me and especially not to do so when I clearly stated quite the opposite of what you fabricated.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:44 AM

I am allowed to favor him even if I find his religion to be too intrusive in to his politics, right?

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM

Of course, and I am allowed to point out that you listed a group of candidates with strong religious (but not overtly) views as not your cup of tea…I am just stating that often when people attack someone of their religious strength, it’s that strength that has built this country, and defended this country. It’s just curious why someone complains about a gift that has been given them…the faithful, the outspoken faithful, have given us great country. You can not separate a persons faith from their lives, they are intertwined, that is where they get their strength. Take that from them and they are just another political hack…

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 11:46 AM

“Dominionism” is not a doctrine that has any serious support in the Christian community. It’s ludicrous. Outlander on August 30, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Gen. 1:26 & 28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Matthew 28:19-20
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.

Habakkuk 2:14
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 11:46 AM

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 11:46 AM

The answer to your quandary is simply that this country was made great, no thanks to religion. It is founded on a clear exclusion of religion from government. That has been essential to our liberty and liberty is why we are great.

You feel that if religious people do good things it is because they are religions. You feel that if irreligious people do bad things it is because they are irreligious. I say that you are wrong on both counts.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM

It’s a good thing we have you as a reliable private interpreter of scripture and tradition to set us straight over these ordained bishops and priests.

shick on August 30, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I’m not interpreting scripture or Catholic tradition, merely pointing to the writing of Pope John Paul II:

Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, n. 57: “Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”

And on the canons of the Church:

Promoting Abortion:

Those Catholics who publicly announce their denial that abortion is always gravely immoral, or who publicly promote abortion, or who publicly argue in favor of legalized abortion, also commit a mortal sin and also incur a sentence of automatic excommunication.

This sentence of excommunication applies to Catholics who are politicians, as well as to those Catholics who are political commentators, or public speakers, or who write or otherwise publicly communicate their erroneous view that abortion can be morally-acceptable or that abortion should be legal. This sentence of excommunication also certainly applies to those Catholics who claim to be theologians or Biblical scholars, but who believe or teach that abortion is not always gravely immoral.

Those Catholics who promote abortion are automatically excommunicated for two reasons. First, they have fallen into the sin of heresy by believing that abortion is not always gravely immoral (canons 751 and 1364). Second, these Catholics are providing substantial assistance for women to obtain abortions by influencing public policy to make abortions legal, and to keep abortions legal, and to broaden access to abortion. Those who provide such substantial assistance commit a mortal sin and incur a sentence of automatic excommunication (canon 1398).

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Great. So at the same time we’re fighting off Shari’a law, now we have a bunch of fellow Christians running around trying to restore the Holy Roman Empire and holding Inquisitions to impose Biblical order on the planet? (You never expect the inquisition!)

Outlander on August 30, 2011 at 11:53 AM

The answer to your quandary is simply that this country was made great, no thanks to religion. It is founded on a clear exclusion of religion from government. MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM

That’s a far cry from having a state church:

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” -John Jay, First Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and co-author of the Federalist Papers, letter to Jedidiah Morse, 28 Feb 1797.

“The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.” -John Marshall, in a letter to Jasper Adams, May 9, 1833, JSAC, p. 139. Marshall was Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801-1835.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 11:55 AM

The funny thing is, to my knowledge the Christian bible doesn’t even declare abortion to be a no-no. I’m not sure when it became part of their dogma although I know that it came centuries after the supposed birth of Christ.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Interesting, you don’t believe in the birth of Christ, I would think that is a pretty archaic argument. That has been settled for hundreds of years.
Taking a life is lawful, both from the state perspective and Biblically, when the person has done extreme wrong.
Abortion is the taking of the life, since God states “I knew you in the womb”, biblically that goes back to the old testament, not centuries after…nice try though.
It is always interesting to watch a “atheist” try and argue something they know so little about.
…many anti abortionists think that it is unclear of when life begins, so better to be on the safe side and not take a life. And many of us do not like the idea of a child being killed with forceps, or their brains sucked out in the womb…I don’t know it is just something barbaric about it. But I suppose it doesn’t bother you…

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Interesting, you don’t believe in the birth of Christ, I would think that is a pretty archaic argument. That has been settled for hundreds of years.

I never said I didn’t. I find the evidence inconclusive.

Taking a life is lawful, both from the state perspective and Biblically, when the person has done extreme wrong.
Abortion is the taking of the life, since God states “I knew you in the womb”, biblically that goes back to the old testament, not centuries after…nice try though.

Terminating a pregnancy is lawful. Jews do not prohibit abortion. Nor did the Christians for centuries.

It is always interesting to watch a “atheist” try and argue something they know so little about.

Such self-congratulating asides only make you look lame.

…many anti abortionists think that it is unclear of when life begins, so better to be on the safe side and not take a life. And many of us do not like the idea of a child being killed with forceps, or their brains sucked out in the womb…I don’t know it is just something barbaric about it. But I suppose it doesn’t bother you…

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Early term abortions don’t bother me. If it were up to me, I would set the standard based upon the neural development of the fetus, not on some religious standard and not on viability.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Outlander on August 30, 2011 at 11:53 AM

That’s rational.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Umm, murder is the unlawful taking of a human right. Therefore, it is illegal by definition. If you want to know why the taking of human life is illegal you needn’t refer to your bible to find out. Many perfectly sound secular reasons exist.

The anti-abortion crowd bases their opinion on religion, at heart. It’s tied up with the religious idea of a soul. Many of those who don’t believe in souls do not see a reason to extend the protections of person-hood to a blastocyst.

The funny thing is, to my knowledge the Christian bible doesn’t even declare abortion to be a no-no. I’m not sure when it became part of their dogma although I know that it came centuries after the supposed birth of Christ.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

You can arrive at the conclusion that murder is wrong on “rational thought” alone – you can also conclude using “rational thought” alone that abortion is murder. You don’t need to believe in a soul. All you need is biology – one moment there is a human life and the next moment there isn’t.

This is one of the fallacies often made by strict proponents of “rational thought alone”: that rational though invariably leads to a single conclusion. Rational thought can lead to many conclusions – even contradictory ones.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:03 PM

the supposed birth of Christ.
MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Huh. So you doubt there was a Mohammed too? Plato?

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:03 PM

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Please, show me an irrational thought from God’s word. I wish to know where you draw such a line. I’ve seen so many thoughts from you that I deem irrational, I might as well be aware of the terms by which you think.

Freelancer on August 30, 2011 at 12:04 PM

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

It’s always great when people at the opposite pole tell me why I believe what I believe, then tell me that those are poor reasons.

Win/win for you, Dr. Strawman.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:04 PM

The funny thing is, to my knowledge the Christian bible doesn’t even declare abortion to be a no-no. I’m not sure when it became part of their dogma although I know that it came centuries after the supposed birth of Christ.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Perhaps you should read the Bible then (it’s not the Christian Bible, just the Bible). It is replete with admonitions against the killing of the innocent and with references to God knowing his children “in the womb”. The dogma of the Cathplice Church isn’t something that was just made up several hundred years after the death of Christ. The Catholic Church has always upheld the sanctity of human life.

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 12:05 PM

That’s rational.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

That’s basically what the doctrine teaches, no? That civil law should be based on the Bible and that the state should enforce Biblical law on all within its jurisdiction?

Outlander on August 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

You can arrive at the conclusion that murder is wrong on “rational thought” alone – you can also conclude using “rational thought” alone that abortion is murder. You don’t need to believe in a soul. All you need is biology – one moment there is a human life and the next moment there isn’t.

One can reach more than one conclusion about abortion using secular reasoning. I find that the question of when a embryo matures enough to be called human is dependent on the standard one chooses.

This is one of the fallacies often made by strict proponents of “rational thought alone”: that rational though invariably leads to a single conclusion. Rational thought can lead to many conclusions – even contradictory ones.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:03 PM

It would be a fallacy if I had made the statement that rational thought can reach only a single conclusion. I didn’t. If you want to argue with what I said, cool. If you want to argue with I did not say, go find another play mate.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

That’s basically what the doctrine teaches, no? That civil law should be based on the Bible and that the state should enforce Biblical law on all within its jurisdiction?

Outlander on August 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

What or who are you talking about?

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:10 PM

That’s basically what the doctrine teaches, no? That civil law should be based on the Bible and that the state should enforce Biblical law on all within its jurisdiction? Outlander on August 30, 2011 at 12:06 PM

I was responding to a post that said there’s no basis for “dominion theology” in Christian thought. I offered the verses I did to show that there certainly is biblical justification for believing that the God who made the world wants it under control of His people.

This doesn’t mean we take over by chopping off the hands of thieves or burning witches which, upon hearing the foregoing, a fervid mind concludes.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Terminating a pregnancy is lawful. Jews do not prohibit abortion. Nor did the Christians for centuries.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

THE DIDACHE APOSTOLORUM 90 A.D. :

You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born.

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 12:11 PM

It would be a fallacy if I had made the statement that rational thought can reach only a single conclusion. I didn’t. If you want to argue with what I said, cool. If you want to argue with I did not say, go find another play mate.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

It seemed to me you were the one saying that the only way I could oppose abortion was on religious grounds:

The anti-abortion crowd bases their opinion on religion, at heart. It’s tied up with the religious idea of a soul.
MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Terminating a pregnancy is lawful. Jews do not prohibit abortion. Nor did the Christians for centuries.
MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Keep on making it up as you go along. You’ll get away with it half the time.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

The answer to your quandary is simply that this country was made great, no thanks to religion. It is founded on a clear exclusion of religion from government. That has been essential to our liberty and liberty is why we are great.

You feel that if religious people do good things it is because they are religions. You feel that if irreligious people do bad things it is because they are irreligious. I say that you are wrong on both counts.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Don’t rewrite history, it is clear that out country was founded by religious unions.
Schools, hospitals, all created by the religious “zealots”…that is why we have schools, each of our highest institutions of learning was built by religious orders, and every hospital was originally a built by a religious order…
The “exclusion” was for a religion not to run the government, but most all the signers were very religious, and carried that through into our constitution…

Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.

—Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775

And this little gem:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Certainly a religion should not control, but also acknowledgment that God has endowed us…I am sure you know this.
No where did the signers of the constitution not express their religious views…and the hundreds of years since, the faithful has continued to build.
Now tell me again, what institution has the atheists created? Besides the ACLU?

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Freelancer on August 30, 2011 at 12:04 PM

I was raised as a Jew. My departure from my religious upbringing began with my consideration of the story of Abraham and Isaac. The more I thought about it, the more immoral I though it was for a man to take his son to a mountain to kill him because of a voice he thought he heard. And even if he believed such a voice the idea that he would think that his “loving god” would ask him to kill his child and for him to think it right to go along with that program disgusted me. What moral person would follow a voice that gave him such depraved instructions?

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Oh there’s, lessee… the USSR, Red China, Castro’s Cuba, Zimbabwe, North Korea… Nazi Germany persecuted Christians and Jews…

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Now you’ve gone and done it! Screaming from the uninformed that “Hitler was a Catholic” to begin in 5…4…3…2…

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Our founders were religious men who were wise enough to understand that religious government is anathema to freedom. Thus they did their best to ensure that we could practice it or not freely and that means. They understood that freedom to practice religion can only be maintained when religion is not a part of government.

And yes, some of influential patriots of that time were atheist (Thomas Paine to name just one very outspoken atheist).

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:19 PM

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

If you thing the birth of Christ is suspect, so you must thing Caesar, Napoleon, any number of historical people born before computers were “inconclusive”.
You are actually the first person I have ever been in contact with who does not believe Jesus was born…the only person ever I have known to raise that issue. I mean it is more than established…about the most extremist view I have ever encountered.
I understand not accepting Him as God, or a deity, but not understanding that their is irrefutable proof he was born?
Not too great on history are you? Kind of like people not believing the holocaust happened…if you didn’t see it, it must not be true.
Unbelievable in this day and age…you threw me for a loop with that one. Public school educated huh?

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Oh there’s, lessee… the USSR, Red China, Castro’s Cuba, Zimbabwe, North Korea… Nazi Germany persecuted Christians and Jews…

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:16 PM

I stand corrected…those were atheist inspired…

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 12:21 PM

If you thing the birth of Christ is suspect, so you must thing Caesar, Napoleon, any number of historical people born before computers were “inconclusive”.

No.

You are actually the first person I have ever been in contact with who does not believe Jesus was born…the only person ever I have known to raise that issue. I mean it is more than established…about the most extremist view I have ever encountered.
I understand not accepting Him as God, or a deity, but not understanding that their is irrefutable proof he was born?
Not too great on history are you? Kind of like people not believing the holocaust happened…if you didn’t see it, it must not be true.
Unbelievable in this day and age…you threw me for a loop with that one. Public school educated huh?

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

His birth, if he existed was extremely obscure, as was his life. His life, real or not, was later mythologized and separating fact from fiction is impossible for us. We have very little evidence that the words attributed to Christ were spoken by a single individual or under the circumstances that you take for granted.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:23 PM

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Here’s the answer. Now don’t blow this off, consider it. It’s worth it.

Abraham knew God. God led him from his homeland and was constantly with him in recognizable form and voice.

God predicted to Abraham that he and his wife, being very old, would have a son, and they did. God showed Abraham the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and allowed Abraham to beg for Lot & co. to be spared, and they were.

With me so far? God had been very good to Abraham, and treated him like a friend. Others Abraham knew, like Sarah, knew God and His voice.

Abraham, we may speculate, knew that at worse God would raise Isaac from the dead. He did even better, and provided a sacrifice to take Isaac’s – the ram in the thicket.

So given that God didn’t just appear to Abraham one day and ask him to kill his son, it seems a bit more understandable now I hope.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

right2bright on August 30, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Nonsense. Nothing about atheism inspires anything. That is like saying that not believing in Thor inspired you to climb a mountain. Pure hog wash.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Our founders were religious men who were wise enough to understand that religious government is anathema to freedom. Thus they did their best to ensure that we could practice it or not freely and that means. They understood that freedom to practice religion can only be maintained when religion is not a part of government.

And yes, some of influential patriots of that time were atheist (Thomas Paine to name just one very outspoken atheist).

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Sure but they would also support the notion that a person could support a law based on religious grounds. Just because you believe a law should exist that can co-exist with the rules laid down by the Constitution but is based on your religious views is not grounds to dismiss it. To do so would turn “secularism” into the state religion.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 12:18 PM

It’s safe to say that he was not a practicing Catholic…

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Nope. Not a bit of it. The fact that Abe supposedly had some history with his voice changes nothing. Imagine that your neighbor told you that he was taking his kid on a camping trip from which only he would return (wink, wink). The voices in his head told hi to do it.

I would hope that you would call 911 and do what you can to see that he never gets the chance to harm anyone. Why do you find Abe so appealing? Because his story is from so long ago? I say he should have been committed.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Nonsense. Nothing about atheism inspires anything. That is like saying that not believing in Thor inspired you to climb a mountain. Pure hog wash. MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Thor inspired many people to do many things.

Atheism inspired great cruelty, since there’s no penalty for inhumanity after this life so why not take what you want if you have the power? Why not enslave nations and peoples? Why not kill millions?

If the jurisprudence of Christian nations is based on the Bible, well then, chuck it! Let’s some up with our own, and our own economics, and medical ethics etc, based on there being no God and hence, no consequences for our actions in eternity.

There’s no arguing this.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Nonsense. Nothing about atheism inspires anything. That is like saying that not believing in Thor inspired you to climb a mountain. Pure hog wash.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Uh, many communists regimes have done horrible things to their people using their own “rational thought” and explicitly eschewed religion and the notion that morals come from God. They placed their own morality derived from their “rational thought” as enough justification to do what they did. I’m not saying that in every case (or even most) atheism leads to this but the most horrific regimes in modern history have purposely opposed religion as part of justifying their actions.

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for our moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government than any other.

– John Adams

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

If they claim it- they have to defend it. If Keller is attacking Christians, and Santorum for being Catholic, he’s attacking all Christians, and Catholics by extension.

Keller really is a bigot, he really does despise religious people.

Dr Evil on August 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Of course he is attacking all Christians. Same as if someone attacks or criticizes a family member. You’ve stated it clearly.

I’m not sure if he despises religious people or just those of the Christian faith.

Personally, I discount anything the NYT et al have to say since I consider them to just be one of the many tools of the left.

bluefox on August 30, 2011 at 12:32 PM

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM

I would say that a politician who supports a law purely on religious grounds or to promote a religion is being unfaithful to the establishment clause. I think that the SCOTUS got it about right with the Lemon test:

1. The government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose;
2. The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
3. The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

I never even heard of “dominionism” until the left trotted it out as a talking point. They must have found that word when they were rooting through the Republican Party’s trash bin, looking for dirt.

RebeccaH on August 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Certainly, from 911 to the Spanish Inquisition to the British Civil Wars to religion has not prevented atrocious behavior. In some cases it has even been the cause. I don’t think the religion is a barrier to people behaving atrociously.

IMHO, in most cases people tend to ascribe far, far too much influence to religion (good and bad) WRT human behavior.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Not what our founders had in mind.

“The real object of the [First] Amendment was not to countenance, much less advance, Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects.” -Joseph Story, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court 1811-1845, founder of Harvard Law School, Commentaries on the Constitution, Vol. II, 1871 (1833).

“Christianity becomes not merely an auxiliary, but a guide, to the law of nature; establishing its conclusions, removing its doubts, and evaluating its precepts.” -Joseph Story, “The Value and Importance of Legal Studies,” a lecture delivered August 25, 1829 at his inauguration as Dane Professor of Law in Harvard University, cited in James McClellan, Joseph Story and the American Constitution (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma, 1971), p. 66.

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I would say that a politician who supports a law purely on religious grounds or to promote a religion is being unfaithful to the establishment clause. I think that the SCOTUS got it about right with the Lemon test:

1. The government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose;
2. The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
3. The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

What’s a “secular legislative purpose”?

My larger point is that the it’s often the case that a religious person will oppose something and wish it to be enacted in law and they will be dismissed just because they are religious and some of their reasoning for wanting the law is religious. The opposition is based purely on the fact that a religious person wants it and has religious motives for doing so. You did this to me in regards to my opposition to abortion. Do I have “secular legislative purpose” in opposing abortion? Yes I do but you automatically opposed me based on religious grounds. Also, just because something is religiously based does not mean it is unreasonable or irrational or does not fit into the secular framework set up by the founding fathers.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I’m not going to play the battling citations game with you. If you have something to say, then say it. Filling up pages with cherry-picked quotes without context is a waste of time.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Certainly, from 911 to the Spanish Inquisition to the British Civil Wars to religion has not prevented atrocious behavior. In some cases it has even been the cause. I don’t think the religion is a barrier to people behaving atrociously.

IMHO, in most cases people tend to ascribe far, far too much influence to religion (good and bad) WRT human behavior.

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I agree it comes down to human nature/behavior. I happen to believe that religion tends to improve human behavior and shape it towards better ends and that it is an essential element of a just and good society. I don’t think atheists are defacto evil but I think that a society made up of wholly or mostly of atheists will trend towards the lowest common denominator of human behavior (see the French Revolution). It’s theoretically possible that an atheist society would trend towards the high ideals of the Enlightenment but it hasn’t happened so far and it would require all the same institutions and organizations that religion uses in order to maintain the belief system in the particular set of ideals and morals etc. It would just a religion that puts a particular set of ideals and morals as inviolate without the claim they came from God.

gwelf on August 30, 2011 at 12:46 PM

It’s safe to say that he was not a practicing Catholic…

Akzed on August 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM

FIFY

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Certainly, from 911 to the Spanish Inquisition to the British Civil Wars

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:38 PM

What are these British Civil Wars of which you speak?

Trafalgar on August 30, 2011 at 12:52 PM

MJBrutus on August 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Of course the Lemon test has proven completely unworkable as the USSC admited in the last “10 Commandment monument” cases. (both came out on the same day). One was the McCreary case. Even Justice Roberts acknowledged that one cannot hamonize current establishment clause precedent. Roberts ended up saying that sometime you just have to use good old fashioned Judicial discretion – which is just another way of saying he’s making it up as he goes along.

tommyboy on August 30, 2011 at 12:57 PM

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