Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 3, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

I DO NOT THINK THAT WORD MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS....I generally don't post about New York Times columns from behind their paywall, but via Ann Althouse, Nick Kristof's column today contains one of the most astonishing paragraphs I've read in a long time. He's complaining about militant atheist Richard Dawkins and ends with this:

Now that the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars, lets hope that the Atheist Left doesnt revive them. Weve suffered enough from religious intolerance that the last thing the world needs is irreligious intolerance.

The Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars? What planet was this written from?

Kevin Drum 7:12 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (181)

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Comments

It came from the planet Transsexual, in the galaxy Trannsylvania? It's at least as believeable as anything else from there.

Posted by: Cap'n Phealy on December 3, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kristof is a fucking idiot.

Posted by: Econo Buzz on December 3, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I happen to have special insight on this topic. I am an advisor for many evangelical Christians.

The fact is, the United States has pursued a robust policy of de-Christianification ever since the days of FDR, and it accelerated in the 60's. The Christian Right had to fight back for their lives were at steak!

This can all be traced back with Darwin, who initiated the culture wars with his insane screeds. Richard Dawkins just happens to be the latest hier to the Darwin lunacy. Even his name has an eerie similarity to the Darwin's.

We wanted to live in peace. Its you on the Athiest Left that want to persecute us.

Posted by: egbert on December 3, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

The Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars? What planet was this written from?

Earth. What planet are you living on K-Drum? Krypton? Didn't you hear about the Christian Right inviting abortionist and gay marriage supporter Barak Hussein Obama for a speech?

Link

"Potential presidential candidate Barack Obama stood before one of the country's largest evangelical churches Friday for a frank discussion of sexuality and spirituality that included the declaration that condoms should be made more widely available to fight AIDS."

Liberals are always attacking the Christian Right. But the Christian Right was even willing to invite abortionist and gay marriage supporter Barak Hussein Obama, a relative of Saddam, to their conference.

Posted by: Al on December 3, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Just shoot me. It's all getting just too depressing, too exhausting.

Posted by: DNS on December 3, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

What planet was this written from?


Planet Kristof, where the (well meaning but misguided) left is to blame for all the flaws of the right.

Posted by: antiphone on December 3, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

The Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars? What planet was this written from?

It's true, actually. I hear that Ken Mehlman is planning to wed his partner in a public ceremony on the steps of the Capitol with James Dobson presiding. Ann Coulter is going to be Best Man. Karl Rove is a bridesmaid.

Posted by: Oregonian on December 3, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

Al wrote: Barak Hussein Obama, a relative of Saddam

Like I said, just shoot me.

Posted by: DNS on December 3, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Wonder which meaning of "irreligious" was intended -- "not religious" or "hostile to religion?" Some groups, such as the ACLU, are hostile to religion. They are working to minimize the impact of religion -- and they ar succeeding.

Whether the ACLU is right or wrong about meaning of the First Amendmen to the Constitution, there's no doubt that their efforts have reduced the impact of religion in schools and in public displays. This reduction has now been mirrored on the non-governmental side. Christmas is less mentioned in private businesses and in store. E.g. at their "holiday party", my former (noon-public) employer arranged a chorus, but prohibited them from singing songs that mentioned Christmas. Jingle Bells was OK; White Christmas was out.

I think Kristof is smart enough to realize how hopeless is his plea for the anti-religious folks to stop. They're winning. They're on a roll. Ii am convinced that they will continue to attack the use or mention of religion in public life.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 3, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

egbert --

If you reject the Darwin, then you should reject his legacy -- everything that has ever been discovered and invented as a result of the consistent application of the principles of natural selection that he articulated. So when the cures based on genetic research start to emerge from the labs, I expect you to refuse to let anyone in your family use them.

Posted by: DNS on December 3, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

The Christian Right had to fight back for their lives were at steak!
I believe the official godless secular lefty atheist position is to make it a porterhouse.

Posted by: SP on December 3, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK


And what were those cures, DNS? WHAT WERE THOSE CURES?

There were no cures, because Darwinism is not a science.

Posted by: egbert on December 3, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's safe to say that Nick Kristof would have been no H.L. Mencken during the Scopes "Monkey" Trial. Best to not castigate the rubes, and all that.

Posted by: David W. on December 3, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal --

I think we need to to distinguish between changes in atttitudes and behaviors that are driven by hostility to religion per se and those that are driven by a desire that everyone at, say, that company party feel included rather than marginalized because they're not a member of the dominant culture. These two impulses lead to the same observable patterns, but the motivations are quite different.

Many Christians want their religion and their rites to remain the dominant religion and the most openly celebrated rites in the country, and to subordinate all others if necessary. That's not only ill-mannered; it's often unconstitutional. Many other Christians, though, are perfectly happy to see "their" religion withdraw a little from the public sphere so that others with different beliefs can feel equal in that public sphere. Nothing wrong with that, as far as I'm concerned -- and it's not driven by an un-religious or irreligious impulse. If anything, it's just good manners.

Posted by: DNS on December 3, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

egbert --

Do you read the newspaper?

Posted by: DNS on December 3, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Dawkins is too strident and mean. He is always arguing facts and science -- what a Monster! Only Truthiness and Blind Faith to your parents' religion in the One True Jesus will save us!

Posted by: Al's Mommy on December 3, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Everything that has been learned in medicine and genetics has come about from True Christians, who have thought about The Creator's Intent! And we will scream down anyone who says anything otherwise!

Bow before our overwhelming logic!! And don't you dare question our Right to force our True Beliefs on the country -- that would be mean and bad manners and illiberal!

Posted by: Al's Mommy on December 3, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

egbert -
p.s. -- my reference to cures based on genetics was in the future tense, not the past tense. Still, there's a lot of literature coming out of the scientific community about advances in disease management and cures based on genetics - a hard-science discipline (yes, hard science, egbert) that would not have developed when it did and how it did without Darwin.

Posted by: DNS on December 3, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

DNS: I think we need to to distinguish between changes in atttitudes and behaviors that are driven by hostility to religion per se and those that are driven by a desire that everyone at, say, that company party feel included rather than marginalized because they're not a member of the dominant culture. These two impulses lead to the same observable patterns, but the motivations are quite different.

As you say, actions are observable; motives can only be guessed. You may be right about the motives of some of those who are seeking to weaken the force of religion. Still, having been a liberal, I know that there long has been a strain of anti-Christianity in liberalism.

Another possible motive is the desire to push people around. I think some liberals enjoy forcing people to change what they've been accustomed to doing. I think that's part of the motivation for demanding politically correct speech.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 3, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

DNS -

Your'e WRONG!

Genetics developed independantly of Darwinism, and does not rely on it at all. Darwinism has merely coopted a number of the principals from genetics to give their faith a veneer of science.

Posted by: egbert on December 3, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Even the Christian right has figured out that Egbert, Al and their beloved George W. Bush are dangerous, lying idiots.

I wish.

Ain't those guys prompt, though? Sitting right there by the computer waiting for the update.

Posted by: John Emerson on December 3, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal --

Fair enough. But then you wrote this: Another possible motive is the desire to push people around. I think some liberals enjoy forcing people to change what they've been accustomed to doing. I think that's part of the motivation for demanding politically correct speech.

ahem. Which of these two is more bullying, more demanding, more likely to push people around, more adamant that Christmas should be talked about in a particular way: Bill O'Reilly or Charles Schumer? And which of them is the pre-eminent self-appointed enemy of "secular progressives"? The self-appointed champion of Christmas?

Physician, heal thyself.

Posted by: DNS on December 3, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: This can all be traced back with Darwin, who initiated the culture wars with his insane screeds. Richard Dawkins just happens to be the latest hier to the Darwin lunacy. Even his name has an eerie similarity to the Darwin's.

egbert, you're entitled to your opinion, but not all conservatives agree with your disdain for Darwin and Darwinism.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 3, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Whether the ACLU is right or wrong about meaning of the First Amendmen to the Constitution, there's no doubt that their efforts have reduced the impact of religion in schools and in public displays. This reduction has now been mirrored on the non-governmental side.ex-liberal

So, do you want the government to push -your religion- or not? Would this make institutions like your former employer more likely to sponsor the singing of White Christmas at their "holiday party? Is this your measure of religious freedom?

Posted by: antiphone on December 3, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

I wish Drum would read his comments occasionally. They're a complete shithole. The only people who care anymore are the trolls.

Posted by: John Emerson on December 3, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

John Emerson --

Then enlighten us.

Posted by: DNS on December 3, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

I wish Drum would read his comments occasionally. They're a complete shithole. The only people who care anymore are the trolls.

Wow, thanks John Emerson. Thanks for doing your small part to make things better.

Posted by: antiphone on December 3, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

So, do you want the government to push -your religion- or not? Would this make institutions like your former employer more likely to sponsor the singing of White Christmas at their "holiday party? Is this your measure of religious freedom?

What I want is irrelevant. I have no power. Since you asked, FWIW, here's my 2 cents:

The 1st Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
My view is that "establishment" means establishing an official state religion, such as Greek Orthodox. The US has never had an official state religion. I disagree with the line of Court decisions limiting religion in the public sphere, because think they don't follow the Constitution.

Whether it's a good idea to limit religion is too deep a question for me. We're actually talking about limiting the Christian religion. Limiting the Christian religion may make non-Christians feel more acceptible. OTOH the Christian religion preaches many positive values. Limiting religion means putting less enphasis on those values.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 3, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Richard Dawkins is the most essential human on the planet right now.

Second place is way way way back there.

If I had the power of a God... and someone begged me to kill one Dawkins instead of 10,000 Kristofs...

I'd roll on my celestial floor and laugh my ass off...

Then slit 10,000 throats in pure old Teastament glee.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on December 3, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

John Emerson flew in, shat on us, and flew away.
Classy.

Posted by: DNS on December 3, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert: "The Christian Right had to fight back for their lives were at steak!"

Maybe they should have gone vegan.

Oh, and Al thinks Obama is an abortionist and relative of Saddam. Well, I happen to know for an absolute fact that Al is the bastard child of Ann B. Miller and Francis the Talking Mule, and has personally killed a number of black prostitutes in the tri-state area. The bitches had it coming.

I know all this because I just wrote it right here. Just like I know that the intolerant "democrat" party is responsible for all that corruption on K Street and for lying us into wars for (dubious) profit. Gosh, will we ever be rid of them?

Posted by: Kenji on December 3, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

"Now that the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars,..."

consider the source. it tells you all you need to know.
.

Posted by: justfred on December 3, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Behold the mighty power of the "Atheist Left." Wow.

Posted by: owenz on December 3, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Steak!

Manly men eat animals, like Kevin Drum!

Only wimps and Islamofascists eat based on "compassion."

Posted by: Al's Mommy on December 3, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

We're actually talking about limiting the Christian religion. Limiting the Christian religion may make non-Christians feel more acceptible. OTOH the Christian religion preaches many positive values. Limiting religion means putting less enphasis on those values.

Ex-liberal, I dont understand why the discussion is only about the Christian religion. I dont think other religions are getting preferential treatment. Do you?

I also dont like the way you project motivations on to liberals like:

Limiting the Christian religion may make non-Christians feel more acceptable or

Another possible motive is the desire to push people around. I think some liberals enjoy forcing people to change what they've been accustomed to doing. I think that's part of the motivation for demanding politically correct speech.

I dont think you would enjoy being treated the same way. Simply describing yourself as an ex-liberal does not give you the authority to speak for such a large group of people with diverse points of view.

Posted by: antiphone on December 3, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

egbert asked:
"And what were those cures, DNS? WHAT WERE THOSE CURES?"

One cure is bone-marrow transplantation, which cures many cancers, particularly leukemias in children.

egbert then wrote something incredibly idiotic:
"Genetics developed independantly of Darwinism,..."

Dude, "Darwinism" isn't a science. It's a bogus label used by liars to make scientists look like they follow a man instead of the data.

"... and does not rely on it at all."

That's odd, because as a geneticist most of my hypotheses involve modern evolutionary theory--assuming that's what you mean by the idiotic polemic term "Darwinism."

"Darwinism has merely coopted a number of the principals from genetics to give their faith a veneer of science."

Then how can I be a geneticist who employs natural selection and mutation in my work? Did I co-opt something from myself?

And why don't you know the difference between "principals" and "principles" if you're smarter and more principled than me, egbert?

Posted by: John on December 3, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

I'm reading Dawkins' new book on religion and atheism right now; though I think Dawkins can be needlessly confrontational right now, it's still better than the mush Dan Dennett wrote earlier this year.

Oh, Al's Mommy? Can you take your son Al and your grandson Egbert and go home?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on December 3, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal says: Christian religion preaches many positive values. Limiting religion means putting less enphasis on those values.

Actually, I don't think any of those "positive values" are unique to Christianity.

It like defending the Twinkie as a health food by pointing out that it contains many "natural ingredients".

Limiting religion does not mean limiting ethics, morals and values. It usually refers to what's you've got left over when you remove those from religion.

Posted by: Spinsterina on December 3, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

The Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars? What planet was this written from?

That would be the planet where we repeatedly praise evangelical Christians for their work with female sex workers, but refrain from criticizing them for discouraging people from using condoms. It would be the planet where attitudes like "The way to stop drug users from getting AIDS isn't to give them clean needles, it's to get them to stop using drugs", or "The way to help sex workers isn't to give them condoms and access to health care, it's to get them to stop selling their bodies" are acceptable convictions, rather than ideological otherworldly lunacy.

Kristof is in many ways a great columnist, in the sense that he has re-injected a sense of simple concrete morality into the world of opinion commentary, which is too much dominated by clever spin analysis; and he has raised the bar of expectations for other columnists, who are now expected to travel and report at least a bit, rather than sit in their armchairs. And he invented the op-ed column as multimedia nexus. But his weakness for evangelical Christians is sometimes crippling. Evangelical Christians are good people, he keeps saying, who are sincerely concerned for the poor. Which is true. The problem is that their ideas about how to relate to poor people are too often autocratic, deliberately and dangerously naive, and ultimately harmful.

Posted by: brooksfoe on December 3, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, you say the aclu is anti religion? i suspect if you look at the ledger, you'd see it has intervened about equally the instances where government has attempted to limit relgious freedom as it has the other way around. you may disagree with the positions the aclu has taken on particular issues but to say it's anti religious, anti christian or anti anything else is simply a display of ignorance.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on December 3, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK


Some groups, such as the ACLU, are hostile to religion.

After ACLU Intervention on Behalf of Christian Valedictorian, Michigan High School Agrees to Stop Censoring Religious Yearbook Entries (5/11/2004)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DETROIT - The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today announced an out-of-court settlement between the Utica Community School District and a local student over the censorship of her 2001 yearbook entry. The student's entry had been deleted from the yearbook because it contained a passage from the Bible.

"While it is true that the Constitution forbids public schools to promote religion, schools must be careful not to suppress the private religious expression of students," said ACLU of Michigan Legal Director Michael J. Steinberg, who represented the student. "In this case, a high school purported to create an open forum for student expression, yet censored a student's speech because it was religious in nature."

Next.

Posted by: trex on December 3, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with brooksfoe that Kristof is a sometimes excellent columnist. And he has a personal courage that is truly remarkable. His religious faith is part of what makes him great, and it is also sometimes a weakness.

On balance, Kristof is an example of Christianity as a force for justice and social progress. Sometimes he says silly stuff, but that's life.

Posted by: obscure on December 3, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Seems to me that Americans are just scrabbling around for a new excuse to bitch and moan at each other, now that the Iraq story has palyed itself out. Maybe it's something in the watrer that's making you all so irascible?

Posted by: billy on December 3, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "Some groups, such as the ACLU, are hostile to religion."

The ACLU is not "hostile to religion." The ACLU has sued local governments to compel them to allow religious groups to use public facilities, e.g. parks, for religious events, on an equal basis with non-religious groups who were permitted to use the same facilities for non-religious events.

The ACLU is "hostile" to state sponsorship of religion, in accordance with the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 3, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Once Catholics make up 50%+1 of the US population we will see if the Christians still want more religion in public life. My humble suggestion is that each classroom will have portraits of the current president, JFK and the current pope.

Posted by: I am all for more religion on December 3, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin quotes Kristof: "... Now that the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars ..."

What planet indeed.

Christian Coalition president-elect quits over agenda qualms
By Willoughby Mariano
The Orlando Sentinel
November 23, 2006

The Florida pastor recently tapped to lead the Christian Coalition of America resigned his position in a dispute about conservative philosophy, he said this week.

The Rev. Joel Hunter, of Northland Church, a nondenominational congregation in Longwood, Fla., said he quit as president-elect of the group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson because he realized he would be unable to broaden the organization's agenda beyond opposing abortion and gay marriage.

He hoped to include issues such as easing poverty and saving the environment. "These are issues that Jesus would want us to care about," Hunter said.

The resignation took place Tuesday during an organization board meeting.

Hunter said he was not asked to leave.

"They pretty much said, 'These issues are fine, but they're not our issues; that's not our base,' " Hunter said of his conversation with the group's leadership.

A statement issued by the coalition said Hunter resigned because of "differences in philosophy and vision." The board accepted his decision "unanimously," it states.

The organization, headed by President Roberta Combs, claims a mailing list of 2.5 million.

Hunter's move signals more tumult for a group that has fallen on hard times. Members have complained the coalition's agenda has become too liberal and diffuse.

State chapters in Georgia, Alabama and elsewhere left the organization this year, and its budget has shrunk from $26 million to less than $5 million.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 3, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

John Mercer wrote: And why don't you know the difference between "principals" and "principles" if you're smarter and more principled than me, egbert?

No one is smarter or more principled than you, John Mercer, as you have spent years posting comments on the Internet to prove to yourself, over and over and over and over again.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 3, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

My view is that New York Times columnists should only earn about 15k a year (isn't the prestige enough?), be required to live among real people earning unexceptional wages, and have to spend at least a quarter of every year in prison, and another quarter in a country under American occupation. In fact I feel this way about opinion columnists generally.

Posted by: Linus on December 3, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

I used to be a regular here, but the place now belongs to Al, Egbert, and ex-liberal. It's a troll debating society. If people want that, they're at the right place, but I don't. I check in once in awhile if there's an interesting topic up, but those guys suck up all the oxygen. This might have been a very interesting thread.

Posted by: John Emerson on December 3, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

John--Thank you for slapping down the idiot Egbert. However, do not expect him to either understand what you have said or accept it in any way. Arguing with creationists is useless. They are committed to their laughable mythology and nothing can shake them.

Posted by: Joe on December 3, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Hey cool Kev, your grrrlfriend Ann who you have said you read every day finally linked to you. Ah link love. Ann lurvs her some link love.

Posted by: jerry on December 3, 2006 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

I got some posts that are relevant on my blog so I thought I would post the link here, too:

http://blogs.starwars.com/tmplarchvgrl

Hope y'all like it.

Shoot, move, communicate.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Gotta agree with the last John Emerson post that the trolls suck up the oxygen. Isn't the rule not to feed the trolls? Debating them is a huge mistake.

Dawkins is awfully academic. To call him intolerant is totally ridiculous. In fact, when I saw him on TV, I thought a touch of intolerance would spice him up.

Kristof must be amazing spud to say what he said, but when I googled him, he had all sorts of columns on Darfur, so I salute him for those.

Posted by: Bob M on December 3, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

This is just more evidence that the "Times Select" wall is one of humanity's great blessings. Around these parts, Brooks and Tierney and Friedman get their (richly deserved) portions of abuse, but let's not forget that the nominal "liberals" in the Times' op-ed stable are shallow and trite, too (Krugman excepted, of course). Kristof, Rich and Dowd have been embarrassing lightweights since pretty much forever.

Posted by: sglover on December 3, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Well, John, I personally am getting tired of spanking Al and the other hydrocephallic casesmainly because I'm starting to sense that they go off into a corner and masturbate whenever their names are mentioned.

At least Mike Cook and ex-Liberal make an effort to respond to specific things that are said to them. A completely wrong-headed effort, most of the time, but they seem to be actual human beings who may even care, in some strange way, about where this country is going.

These other clowns, however, disappear whenever they are rebutted, and then eventually come back with some other moon-is-made-of-green-cheese bullshit which is what's leading me to suspect that they are off making sticky messes under the bridge.

Oh, and Egbert, you easily win the retard-of-the-week award for your line about Darwinism coopting genetics "to give their faith a veneer of science". LOL! Clearly, your mental contortions prove that it is no longer biologically impossible to go fuck yourself.

Posted by: Kenji on December 3, 2006 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

The troll 'nok' has hijacked my handle--sorry for the offtopic bullshit.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

These other clowns, however, disappear whenever they are rebutted, and then eventually come back with some other moon-is-made-of-green-cheese bullshit which is what's leading me to suspect that they are off making sticky messes under the bridge.

That would be "Jay" and sometimes "Will Allen."

"Jay" is the one who runs when you smack him around.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

I know I'm a long way behind the thread, but I did want to say that I enjoyed the Inigo Montoya reference in the entry title.

Posted by: justfrank on December 3, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kristof is an odd one. He doesn't exactly subscribe to the centrism worship that plagues the op-ed pages of the major dailies. I often read his columns before the rise of TimesSelect. He is clearly left of center in his point of view. But he has this weird habit of treating conservatives like weak underdogs. He absolutely MUST say that liberals are at least as nasty as Republicans. A few years ago, I recall, he published this odd piece excoriating liberals for "Bush bashing." Ugh.

Posted by: keptsimple on December 3, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'd been under the impression that Kevin had adopted a moratorium on religion posts. I must have been mistaken, but it's still a good idea. His moratorium on posts about material blockaded by the NYT's paywall was an even better idea. I'm sorry he's abandoned it.

Posted by: Zathras on December 3, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks SecularAnimist. Also, I would have highlighted this part:

The organization, headed by President Roberta Combs, claims a mailing list of 2.5 million.

"Claims a mailing list"? Uh huh. How many CONTRIBUTING MEMBERS does it claim? I could go on whitepages.com and soon claim a mailing list of 100 million.

Posted by: brooksfoe on December 3, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

their lives were at steak!

Do you want fries with that steak?

Posted by: tomeck on December 3, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. Pale Rider for example is definitely a troll.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on December 3, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, SA. That link up there was NOT my blog. It's someone posting maliciously about me. I don't know who but I have my suspicions. But I won't post here based on suspicions. Once I know, though, my justice will be meted out. SWIFTLY

Guaran-fuckin'-teed.

And, I am NOT a girl. Definitely not. Heh. Why would you think that? I mean my handle i Pale Rider. So. Just thought I would, you know, put the record straight. I am definitely a guy. Very masculine, in fact.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, looks like he's been posting over at Debbie Schlussel's blog...

This shouldn't take long...

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

And heterosexual. 100%. Definitely. Just thought I'd mention that, too.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 10:44 PM | PERMALINK

I mean, it shouldn't take long for me to figure out who this punk is. Then. Justice will be mine. Rough justice.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

who this punk is

You like that word 'punk' huh?

Thanks

Again, my apologies--just a harmless little berserker troll, nothing to worry about...

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

antiphone wrote: Ex-liberal, I dont understand why the discussion is only about the Christian religion. I dont think other religions are getting preferential treatment. Do you?

I think the anti-religion effort is mostly against Christianity. That makes sense from a Constitutional POV. One could allege that the country is effectively establishing Christianity as a state religion when they put up Christmas displays. But, nobody could argue that Islam, Buddhism, etc. was the official state religion. So, there's little or no Consitutional barrier to having government support for religions other than Christianity.

Also, from the POV of political correctness, it's not OK to hassle minorities, including minority religion.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 3, 2006 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

"Also, from the POV of political correctness, it's not OK to hassle minorities, including minority religion."

I strongly agree with that, ex-liberal. For example, there's lots of people on these blogs who are making fun of PaulB and me for being gay. That is very much not cool. Sexual minorities count, too, not just ethnic and religious.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

from the POV of political correctness, it's not OK to hassle minorities, including minority religion.

Ex-liberal ? I dont think so. Try -Rush Limbaugh listening dittohead in drag, it would more accurately describe your worldview.

Posted by: antiphone on December 3, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

antiphone: read this article

'Five pillars of Islam' taught in public school
'Education practice wouldn't last 10 seconds if kids told to dress as priests'

Here's a school that's encouraging the study of Islam, while libs have have been pushing the Christian religion out of schools, and pretty much succeeded. The attitude comes down to
Chistianity bad
Minority religion good

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 3, 2006 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

Now that the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars, lets hope that the Atheist Left doesnt revive them.

I think he's right that a segment of the Christian Right has retreated from pressing a culture war, but only because so many of their heroes have been revealed to have feet of clay and so many of their holy causes have ended in failure.

In short: their agenda has been self-repudiating.

When Iraq is a total clusterfuck and getting more fucked daily it becomes impossible to throw out the "our God is bigger than their god" talk anymore with a straight face.

When you can't turn on a television without seeing a Christian evangelist or politician engaged in adultery or sex or embezzlement, even the most ardent religious warrior has to step back in embarrassment and give the sanctimony a rest.

I think that like the trolls here, who, when proven wrong, disappear for a while in embarrassment to return later when they feel enough time has passed and it's "safe" again (or they just change handles like our sociopath) we should expect this same tactic with the culture warriors and fundamentalists. New voices will rise up in the future shouting that we should abandon reason in favor of tradition or myths or bigotry, only to be proven hypocrites or opportunists or just plain bad thinkers themselves in time.

Be that as it may, it's important to recognize the current lull in hostilities as a victory for a worldview based on reason and objectivity.

And as for the puerile name-stealers trying to disrupt the threads, I reprise my analogy from earlier today: you're nothing but flingers. You can't compete with the caliber of the average poster here so you screech and jump and fling your feces at the passersby like freakin' chimps.
Can you not see just how tragically pathetic that is? Get a life. Trying getting laid or kissing a girl for the first time.

It might not cure your tragic maladjustment but it sure can't hurt.

Posted by: trex on December 3, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

But, nobody could argue that Islam, Buddhism, etc. was the official state religion. So, there's little or no Consitutional barrier to having government support for religions other than Christianity.

Hey, that's the stupidest argument I've ever heard on this subject! Congratulations.

Posted by: brooksfoe on December 3, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Via Ann Althouse.

The most depressing three words in the English language.

Thanks a hell of a lot, Kevin.

Posted by: agum on December 3, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK
... I know that there long has been a strain of anti-Christianity in liberalism ex-liberal 7:44 PM
Yup, that concern for the poor and downtrodden is definitely anti-Christian.
I think the anti-religion effort is mostly against Christianity. That makes sense ... ex-liberal at 10:51 PM
Nope, ignorance such as yours makes no sense. Posted by: Mike on December 3, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, here's an interesting article by a Catholic who decided that he could no longer in good conscience engage in a culture war because he realized it was counter-productive to the aims of the Gospel:

After reading this, I could not pretend anymore in good conscience that I was on the right side of the culture war and that the others were on the wrong side. That kind of separative talk and divisive positioning is not what I should be doing as a member of the Body of Christ. In politics, I guess I can see the value of pigeon-holing the other side and continually attacking them for their shortcomings. But in real life (which is where most of us spend most of our times) I could not see the interest anymore and I felt compelled, as a Christian, to refrain from participating in this pseudo war.

http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=3822

Here's to hoping for more realizations like his.

Posted by: trex on December 3, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a school that's encouraging the study of Islam, while libs have have been pushing the Christian religion out of schools

You have clearly never read anything on this subject. The study of the Bible was pushed out of American public schools by CATHOLICS. Studying the Bible without proper supervision by clergy is very strongly opposed by the Catholic church; it leads to the spread of schismatic and incorrect beliefs. From a Catholic perspective, having students study the Christian Bible without a priest explaining it to them is essentially an attempt to convert Catholic kids to Protestantism.

The Bible is taught in religious studies classes in some public schools, but it's studied alongside many other religions' holy texts. Needless to say, in conservative Christian areas of the country, such classes don't fly. The liberal position is simple: teach 'em all, or don't teach any of 'em.

Posted by: brooksfoe on December 3, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Chistianity bad
Minority religion good

Get off the crack repug...
And quit wiping your snotty nose on your sleeve:

All religion is bad.

It is ALL a form of mental illness exhibited by socially maladjusted apes.

Yeah verily Virgina: There is no such thing as Santa Claus or a Jese-boo or a Yahblah...

God is not great.
He is a sick phantom that inhabits diseased minds.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on December 3, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

"The Bible is taught in religious studies classes in some public schools, but it's studied alongside many other religions' holy texts. Needless to say, in conservative Christian areas of the country, such classes don't fly. The liberal position is simple: teach 'em all, or don't teach any of 'em."

Why not teach Christianity first, in the earliest grades, then introduce "alternative" religions later, as the kids mature. It's good for them to learn what the default religion of the country is, no?

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

I'M WAITING FOR YOU REGRESSIVE-DEMOCRATS TO REFUSE . . . ABSOLUTELY REFUSE . . . TO TAKE TAX DOLLARS FROM CHRISTIANS OR BE PROTECTED MILITARILY BY CHRISTIANS (YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT) BECAUSE OF YOUR DISDAIN FOR THEIR HIGH-MINDED DISDAIN FOR THEIR CLEAN-LIVING, US-DEFENDING, FAITH-BASED WAYS.

The sad truth is that the Democratic Party and it's constituents have been riding on the back of faithful Christians for the last 40 years and more. And yet, as much as the disproportionately pay for all of the bacchanalian, anti-social, and derelict behavior of what are largely the Democratic rank-and-file, you have the gall to assert that they should keep out of politics.

In case you want to challenge the theme of this, how many Evangelicals are on welfare? How many are actually taxpaying and charity-giving? Compare that to those in the Democratic Party (realizing there is overlap).

Here's more to back this up: the overwhelming evidence is that Evangelicals and Republicans are vastly more charitable as a percentage of their income than Atheists/Secular Humanists and Democrats: http://philanthropy.com/free/articles/v19/i04/04001101.htm.

DNS: You wanted to be shot after Al's comments; there it is, right between the eyes.

I LIVE FOR THE DAY DEMOCRATS PUT THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS AND JUST PAY FOR WHATEVER PROGRAMS THEY WANT ON THEIR OWN INSTEAD OF THEIR GUN-TO-THE-HEAD OF TAXPAYER TACTICS. AND THESE REGRESSIVE-SURRENDER-PAYOLA-LIBERTINE-HYPOCRITE-DEMOCRATS GO ON ABOUT CIVIL LIBERTIES.

HAH.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Hiistorian on December 3, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

I used to be the live and let live kinda atheist: yeah, I don't believe in any God, but it's cool that you do, party on.

But Dawkins makes a very strong point supporting his view that organized religion needs to be actively resisted, which could be summarized thusly: There are many, many people in this country would describe themselves as faithful Catholics, for example, who disagree with many of the Church's official stances on various topics. They may use condoms or other birth control. They may be very tolerant of gays in their social or work circles. They may not personally oppose abortion.

However, the Catholic church as a whole has strong stances on many of these issues, some of which are actually criminal, in my mind (actively preaching abstinence as the only way to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic in parts of Africa instead of actively funding education & distributing condoms is condemning people to a death sentence, by my reckoning).

While the more tolerant individuals in the church may not support all of the church's views, their very presence in the church allows it to claim that it speaks with the authority of over a billion members. In fact, a sizable percentage of those members probably disagree with the church on any particular issue, but that never comes up. For that reason alone, I agree with Dawkins that people should be forced to consider that they're lending their voice to immoral acts via identifying with the Catholic church and should be actively dissuaded from doing so.

I've picked on the Catholics here, but I believe similar arguments can be made in greater or lesser strength for each of the major world religions.


Posted by: justsomeguy on December 3, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Mike questioned my assertion that there was a strain of anti-Christianity in liberalism.

Example 1. Tom Lehrer's song The vatican rag was popular with liberals some years back. This isn't particularly harsh mockery. However, you can't find a liberal mocking non-Christian religions at all.

Example 2. The New York Times didn't print the notorious Danish cartoons of Muhammed, out of sensitivity to Islam. But, in an article about these cartoons, the Times illustrated anti-religious art by printing a copy of the notorious picture of Mary covered with elephant dung.

The Times was ultra-sensitive to Islam and grossly insensitve to Christianity.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 3, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

Someone name of ex-liberal>

re: the article you linked to

His comments came after a new protest arose in Nyssa, Ore., where one parent raised objections when the Islamic teachings came to light. The district there, according to Supt. Don Grotting, is teaching a chapter in a history textbook "Journey Across Time" that talks about "how civilization has developed and some of the particular aspects of Islam."

"We teach out of the book, and there are some supplemental class activities," he told WND. "The kids do some skits, they could bring a food from the region, you could build a prop that would have depicted (something) maybe during that time period.

Captain Sensible notices this gem from the article that you linked to, and this is part and parcel of an attempt to radicalize Americans against Islam. Would you have the nation stop teaching children from textbooks and just homeschool them and leave them as ignorant as you are? Or do you want children to think for themselves? Captain Sensible remembers many, many conservatives who pushed to allow children to be allowed to pray in school and learn to not trust the government. Now when children are being taught to pray in school, you conservatives want to trust the government to make sure they are praying YOUR way and certainly not some other way.

America was founded as a nation that accepted people of many religions, some of which were considered heretical or reprehensible to the kings of Europe.

America was intended to be a tolerant experiment that would have man govern by laws, not rule by default of a successive bloodline.

Now, how do you continue to be a nation of laws when you won't tolerate Islam? Does it not indicate that there is a roadblock to the continuation of the American experiment that has emerged--that Islam is not the roadblock but ignorance and intolerance ARE this roadblock.

Captain Sensible notices that Islam is harmless. It truly is. Well, compared with fools who would have us believe that a religion is the source of evil in the world. Getting people to FEAR a religion, ah, that's more likely the source of evil in the world.

A little tolerance will take you a long way in this life.

Posted by: Captain Sensible on December 3, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

But what about our beautiful festivus traditions:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/12/taking-fest-out-of-festivus.html

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 3, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Captain Sensible asks: Would you have the nation stop teaching children from textbooks and just homeschool them and leave them as ignorant as you are?

I haven't said what I want or don't want. I'm just pointing out what's going on.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 3, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

The Objective Hiistorian Wow

The sad truth is that the Democratic Party and it's constituents have been riding on the back of faithful Christians for the last 40 years and more.

Thats some real boilerplate propaganda there. Did you study under Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels?

Posted by: antiphone on December 3, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Someone name of ex-liberal>

I haven't said what I want or don't want. I'm just pointing out what's going on.

And Captain Sensible notices you mention a "Tom Lehrer" song.

Do you understand anything at all about popular culture? Or satire? This is not evidence at all of anyone having an evil or suspicious agenda. It is just one artist writing one song a long time ago for a giggle and a laugh, nothing more.

The evidence you present is quite specious.

Posted by: Captain Sensible on December 3, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

re: Tom Lehrer>

Harvard-educated mathematician by trade and sociopolitical humorist and satirist by avocation, ivory tickler Tom Lehrer sang irreverent ditties that both outraged and delighted listeners during his on-again, off-again heyday of public performance in the late 1950s through the 1970s. Perhaps best known for his "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," Lehrer combined razor-sharp wit with dry delivery inspired by everything from vaudeville and ragtime to whimsical show tunes and faux folk. Though a tad dated, Lehrer's wickedly pointed That Was the Year That Was is as good a representation of the mid-'60s American social and political climate as any. Recorded live in 1965 and composed largely of songs from the contemporaneous NBC series That Was the Week That Was, the album takes on boho Americana ("The Folk Song Army"), censorship ("Smut"), and the atomic bomb ("Who's Next"). Devilishly funny as well are the outstanding "Vatican Rag" and the puzzle that is "New Math." --Paige La Grone

Someone name of ex-liberal>

You used a song written and performed in 1965 to try to make a point? And you linked that point to the recent publication of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed?

There is a gap in your thinking, one large enough to drive a mountain through. Captain Sensible wonders if you could come up with something a little more...plausible?

Posted by: Captain Sensible on December 3, 2006 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

I'M WAITING FOR YOU REGRESSIVE-DEMOCRATS TO REFUSE . . . ABSOLUTELY REFUSE . . . TO TAKE TAX DOLLARS FROM CHRISTIANS OR BE PROTECTED MILITARILY BY CHRISTIANS (YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT)

These are the words of a sick, bitter, angry mind. You dont seem to understand Christianity or the United States. What youve got is hatred. Thats all Objective Hiistorian

Posted by: antiphone on December 3, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Captain Sensible: This is not evidence at all of anyone having an evil or suspicious agenda. It is just one artist writing one song a long time ago for a giggle and a laugh, nothing more.

Yes and no. Yes, Tom Lehrer wrote songs for a laugh. But, he used targets like the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts, and he didn't use targets like the Islamid religion or the United Nations.

Here's example 3: Liberal universities want ROTC off the campus to protest Don't Ask Don't Tell. But, Yale went out of its way to bring a Taliban leader to its campus, even though the Taliban don't just keep gay people in the military from outing themselves. No, the Taliban kill gays. Similarly, colleges are happy to have Islamic students, speakers, organizations, etc.

IMHO this shows that the schools aren't just upset about the unequal treatment of gays in the miltary. No, they're happy to have an excuse to oppose having ROTC on campus. OTOH it's PC to support non-Christian religions, so colleges overlook Islam's truly horrendous treatment of gays.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 4, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

someone name of ex-liberal>

and he didn't use targets like the Islamid religion or the United Nations.

This is evidence the man had an agenda against Christianity?

The gap just widened. Do you know nothing of art?

Posted by: Captain Sensible on December 4, 2006 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal, could you explain where Barbara Streisand fits in with this whole default religion vs alternative religion thing.

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

"After reading this, I could not pretend anymore in good conscience that I was on the right side of the culture war and that the others were on the wrong side."

Spoken like a true looser, trex.

Posted by: Egberd on December 4, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, antiphone, I don't know what you're referring to.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 4, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Cultural differences. We've got to put an end to them. Lock and load. Shoot, move, communicate.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 4, 2006 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "Yes and no. Yes, Tom Lehrer wrote songs for a laugh. But, he used targets like the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts, and he didn't use targets like the Islamid religion or the United Nations."

Oh, good grief. Idiot, just how big of a story was Islam 40 years ago? How many people knew much of anything about it? How many people would have even recognized or understood a satirical song about it? In any case, the satire in "The Vatican Rag" is so gentle that one would have to be horrendously over-sensitive to be even remotely offended by it. Just give it up; you haven't got a case and you know it.

Posted by: PaulB on December 4, 2006 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, on these threads - there's a fake Pale Rider posting a bunch of stupid shit.

Don't feed the troll, people.

ex-liberal: Tom Lehrer is, like, so 1967 already.

Posted by: Give Blood Play Rugby on December 4, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

PaulB, if you don't like Islam as an example, try Judaism. Tom Lehrer wouldn't have mocked Judaism, even gently, in his songs the way he mocked Catholocism.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 4, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK
iberals are always attacking the Christian Right. But the Christian Right was even willing to invite abortionist and gay marriage supporter Barak Hussein Obama, a relative of Saddam, to their conference.

Far be it for me to feed a troll, but I think it bears pointing out that not all Evangelicals belong to the Christian Right. That's right, Al, there are even pro-choice Evangelicals. True, the majority of Evangelicals swing to the Right, but not all.

Posted by: idlemind on December 4, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

By extension, the logic of ex-liberal means that Weird Al Yankovic is the anti-christ.

Captain Sensible wonders if the accordion is an instrument of Satan himself--it certainly sounds like one, although there are a few songs where the intrusion of the accordion is not all that horrendous.

Anyone who satirizes anything is evil--and by further extension, when the evil ann kkkoulter satirizes something, she is just as wrong as Tom Lehrer, yes?

Captain Sensible cannot help but notice that in one post he covered Tom Lehrer, Weird Al and ann kkkoulter. Perhaps evening is slipping into morning and it is time to retire with grace?

Posted by: Captain Sensible on December 4, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

Tom Lehrer wouldn't have mocked Judaism

You would be quite wrong; "Judaism" is the source of most of the good comedy written in the 1960s, up to and including everything Woody Allen ever did.

Before he became insufferable...

Posted by: Captain Sensible on December 4, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

REGRESSIVE-DEMOCRATS, GET IT IN YOUR ADDLED HEADS:

You are beneath contempt (much less hatred) so I do not hate you. Like dumb bunnies, you don't warrant anything but concern for your welfare and caution that your infantile, bunny-like inanities are not permitted to destroy the USA. I wrote what I wrote to help you.

Goebbels? Quite the opposite! Read The Vision of the Anointed by Thomas Sowell to find out dedicated to reality-denying propaganda and likewise deluded by that same propaganda you Regressive-Democrats are . . . hence your devastation of minorities, the poor, and the children of the USA from 1964-1980, your dark reign on earth before Morning in America and Ronald Reagan.

Statistically speaking, Christians, especially evangelical Christians, and along with people of faith, pay for this country, both in taxes and in charity. Democrats free ride, statistically and cummulatively. And then, as in keeping with prodigals generally, the complain like ingrates in between shots, bong-hits, and squeezing out the yet additional child they cannot afford. The life of the Democratic Party constituent revolves around how to become more of a burden on the USA taxpayer.

Pious Christians and pious USA citizens care for others and don't burden others; Democrats take from others and create burdens for others.

As a matter of economics, anyone paying less then $15,000 per person in a household is freeriding. What percentage of Democrats pay that? Er, uh, if it's more than 5%, I'd be shocked. And Democrats are the ones who cost us.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on December 4, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

ANTIPONE . . .

THIS SHOULD BE CLASSIC; HOW DO I NOT UNDERSTAND CHRISTIANITY?

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on December 4, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Tom Lehrer wouldn't have mocked Judaism, even gently, in his songs the way he mocked Catholocism.

Wouldnt it be rather PC to insist that Tom Lehrer mock all religions equally?

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "Here's example 3: Liberal universities want ROTC off the campus to protest Don't Ask Don't Tell. But, Yale went out of its way to bring a Taliban leader to its campus"

Oh, good grief. Would you just give up, already? You're just embarrassing yourself with these idiotic examples. Let's go through all the ways this is stupid:

1. ROTC is not a religion, which means you're comparing apples to oranges. Yale was not keeping Christianity off of its campus; it was keeping ROTC off.

2. ROTC recruiters were actively trying to recruit Yale's students. Bringing in a member of the Taliban for a lecture or for whatever they hell they were bringing him in for is not even remotely the same thing. Again, it's an apples to oranges comparison.

3. Yale is not "all universities."

Give me a flipping break. Just give it up, because this is dumb.

Posted by: PaulB on December 4, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "PaulB, if you don't like Islam as an example, try Judaism. Tom Lehrer wouldn't have mocked Judaism, even gently, in his songs the way he mocked Catholocism."

Sigh.... Moron, Lehrer was Jewish. And we're still talking about something from forty fricking years ago! Give it up.

Posted by: PaulB on December 4, 2006 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

someone name of TOH>

And then, as in keeping with prodigals generally, the complain like ingrates in between shots, bong-hits

You and ex-liberal have been time-travelling back and forth to 1967, haven't you?

Nothing you have said resembles the truth as the American people know it; otherwise, the elections of last month would not have gone the way of the Democrats and Bush the junior would be at 70% popularity.

Posted by: Captain Sensible on December 4, 2006 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

Captain Sensible: You would be quite wrong; "Judaism" is the source of most of the good comedy written in the 1960s, up to and including everything Woody Allen ever did.

Before he became insufferable...

Woody Allen is Jewish. It's OK when he mocks Judaism, but wouldn't be OK if a gentile did so. Similarly, it's OK if a black singing group uses the N-word in its name.

However, I do agree with you that Wood Allen has lost his wonderful comic touch and become insufferable. I'm glad to know we agree on something.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 4, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Can I just ask a stupid question here?

What's wrong with a Christmas party?
I only ask as an old employer was jewish and as a nominal christian, I never had any problems attending any of the parties he invited his staff to.

His Hannukah parties were pretty damn good and no-one including the Sunni credit controller every saw fit to complain or avoid these parties. He was Jewish and held parties on Jewish festivals, he wasn't trying to proseletyse or anything.

So does being invited to a Christmas party as and by itself mean that there is a an attemtp to force you to become a Christian?

Surely it comes down to the intent of the person hosting the party?

Surely it comes down to the respect that your host has for you and you for your host?

Or am I just being naive?

Posted by: Bad Rabbit on December 4, 2006 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

The 1st Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

My view is that "establishment" means establishing an official state religion, such as Greek Orthodox. The US has never had an official state religion. I disagree with the line of Court decisions limiting religion in the public sphere, because think they don't follow the Constitution.

Whether it's a good idea to limit religion is too deep a question for me. We're actually talking about limiting the Christian religion. Limiting the Christian religion may make non-Christians feel more acceptible. OTOH the Christian religion preaches many positive values. Limiting religion means putting less enphasis on those values.

No, we're not talking about limiting the Christian religion, we're talking about keeping ANY AND ALL religion out of the "public square."

It means that your tax dollars won't go toward erecting the symbols of MY religion on my religion's holidays, and my taxes won't go toward erecting the symbols of your religion during your religion's holidays. You're free to put whatever symbols of your religion out on your own property, just as I am on my property. Nobody is talking about private property limitations. Nobody is talking about preventing churches from displaying creches, or anybody putting up religious symbols on their own property. We're just talking about on the property that we share - government buildings - you keep your religion out, I keep mine out, and Steve Martin is God believers keep their religion out. We're talking about government buildings, where business is conducted.

What's the problem with that? Is your faith so weak that you must have our government validate it for you?

The establishment clause is such an elementary concept that it's shocking to me that Christian fundamentalists don't get it. But then again, we're talking about people dedicated to destroying public schools because they're not crazy about their children being educated about facts, truths and science. They want their children to be as misinformed as they are, and if that means home schooling (which is the removal of their children from the national culture), they'll do it.

Words themselves, and the culture's agreement as to their meaning, become at issue. As a matter of fact, how the word 'establishment' was used and intended back in the 1700s was different from how and what you believe it to mean today. Like many words common in those times and still in use today, the meanings have changed. In school, we would all talk about it and understand the evolution of language. A teacher, a liberal arts teacher, would have you engaged in discussion with others, about the broader concept of "establishment" and its implications beyond someone actually declaring "America shall be Farnsworthians, and worship at the Church of Philo."

But Christian fundamentalists who don't see the merit in liberal arts education, or discussions with anyone who doesn't agree with them. As a consequence, they don't understand that the government's involvement in any way in the subject of religion is establishing religion in government. And once we go there, it isn't long before we hear Christian fundamentalists insisting that it's their religion that is the religion. I've already heard them say it.

For the government to consider religion in any way legitimizes religion, and that's establishment. If you have the right to be an atheist in America (and of course you do, since religion is about nothing tangible, but is an article of faith or belief, like believing in the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus) then surely the government involving itself in 'matters religious' leaves atheists high and dry.

Ex-Liberal: I've read your opinions here for some time and am curious: How were you ever a liberal? What was liberal about your beliefs? Is it possible that, like your not understanding what the founding fathers meant by the establishment clause, you also didn't understand liberalism?

Posted by: Phil on December 4, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Christians, especially evangelical Christians, and along with people of faith, pay for this country, both in taxes and in charity.

Righhht, ever since the continent was given to them by God as an act of Manifest Destiny.

Pious Christians and pious USA citizens care for others and don't burden others; Democrats take from others and create burdens for others.

Yeah, your version of Christianity is about money, the righteous have it (thanks to God) and the unrighteous are a bunch of ingrates looking for hand outs. After all, Jesus was a small business owner who paid lots of taxes, right?

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Captain Sensible:

FIRST OF ALL, NUMBERS WISE, THE DEMOCRATS WON 52% TO 46%. CONTRAST THIS 6% MARGIN WITH THE GENERALLY EVEN RESULT IN 2000 (CONGRESS & PRESIDENT), THE 5% MARGIN FOR THE REPUBLICANS IN 2002, AND THE 3% MARGIN FOR THE REPUBLICANS IN 2004. YOU PICKED UP SOME VOTES BECAUSE PROTECTING THE USA IS NOT EASY LIKE IN THE MOVIES AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE SHOCKED . . . SHOCKED! . . . TO FIND LOBBYING IN D.C. WE'LL SEE THEM TURN DOWN $$$ FOR TWO YEARS NOW THAT THEY CONTROL THE LEGISLATURE . . . RIGHT.

ALL THE DEMOCRAT VICTORY MEANS IS THAT THE USA HAS BECOME MORE PARASITIC; THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS THAT THE DEMOCRATS AND THE UNITED FEDERATION OF CHILDREN'S BLOOD DRINKING GHOULS, FORNICATING WITH BOY AND GIRL STUDENT PERVERTS, AND WALKING-DEAD ZOMBIES (SOMETIMES KNOWN AS THE UNITED FEDERATION OF TEACHERS) ARE TURNING OUT CHILDREN INTO WHAT YOU ARE: PARASITES. IN THE USA TODAY, ANY REASONABLY DILIGENT STUDENT AND WORKER CAN BECOME A MILLIONAIRE BY THE TIME THEY ARE 40. IN FACT 80% OF MILLIONAIRES ARE 100% SELF MADE.

DEMOCRATS ARE PARASITES ON REPUBLICANS; ATHEISTS ARE PARASITES ON PEOPLE OF FAITH. THAT IS EXACTLY THE TRUTH . . . THE TRUTH TO PARASITE POWER.

BUT, MEN OF FAITH, DON'T FEAR; WE'RE RIDING OUT.
POLITICAL DEATH TO ALL VAMPIRES; WE MUST DRIVE THEM BACK TO THE DARKNESS THAT IS THEIR WORLDVIEW!

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on December 4, 2006 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

I cna accept that there is a strian of liberalism that is opposed to religion. But so what? The strains of conservatism that are against liberalism are far more virulent. I

I mean I hate relgion, I really hate it. But I'm a liberal and that means I don't want to stop anyone having whatever belief system they want. I don't interfere with other people's lives but relgious conservatives are intent on interfering in my life.

Posted by: bobo the great on December 4, 2006 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

Woody Allen is Jewish. It's OK when he mocks Judaism, but wouldn't be OK if a gentile did so. Similarly, it's OK if a black singing group uses the N-word in its name.

So what would make you happy? Do you want to be more comfortable making fun of Jews and using the N-word or would you like to see making fun of Christians declared un-PC?

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Hey dumb-ass ex lib:

In his songs, "Who's Next" and "National Brotherhood Week", Mr. Lerher takes shots at Israel, and Egypt.

And further, you staggering stooge, The Vatican Rag was written in response to the infighting caused by the 2nd Vatican Council. It was not a shot at the Catholic Church itself. In fact, the Catholics in my family loved the song. It made them laugh.

You are quite the putz!!

Posted by: Keith G on December 4, 2006 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

IN FACT 80% OF MILLIONAIRES ARE 100% SELF MADE.

But are they happy?

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Keith G - fuck you and quit trolling here. You're wasting space and oxygen.

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

I am just Pale Rider's sock puppet.

Posted by: Keith G on December 4, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Keith G - fuck you and quit trolling here. You're wasting space and oxygen.

Name stealing conservatives cant win playing by the rules so they cheatand still loose.

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

ANTIPHONE:

Yeah, your version of Christianity is about money, the righteous have it (thanks to God) and the unrighteous are a bunch of ingrates looking for hand outs. After all, Jesus was a small business owner who paid lots of taxes, right?

In the USA, escaping poverty is EASY for the merely reasonably diligent, reasonably sober, and reasonably sexually responsible. It's you Regressive-Democrats who pay people to vote for you who subsidize the bacchanlian lifestyle that causes chronic poverty in the USA today. This is not 1250 France; opportunties earn in the 21st century USA are abundant as never before and as nowhere else on earth; moreover, the essential costs of living are nominal - one can afford food, clothing, shelter, and recreation for so little. But that is not good enough for you Democrats: you'll only be happy if a good living can be had drunk, drugged, derelict, and procreative-at-will.

People who have in the USA did not earn it from God; it was there blood, sweat, and tears; and between income, inheritance, real estate, sales, transfer, luxury taxes and misc. fees, those who have worked to earn wind up paying nearly 80% of their income in taxes and that is still not good enough for you ingrates; if you want to fix poverty, fix the poor! The rich are doing more than enough; it is their money after all, not yours, not society's, not the governments, and not the bacchanlian-parasites of the inner-city, the suburbs, or the ruralities in the USA.

AND FINALLY: THE NAZARENE'S KINGDOM WAS NOT OF THIS EARTH. IT'S NOT CHRISTIAN TO FORCE PEOPLE TO GIVE MONEY BY THE GOVERNMENTS POLICE POWER (TAXATION). THAT IS THE REGRESSIVE-DEMOCRATIC EXCUSE FOR THEIR OWN LACK OF CHARITY. AND, THE LEAST-CHRISTIAN IN THE USA ARE THE POOR WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE HOUSING, CLOTHES, MEDICAL, EDUCATION, INFRASTRUCTURE, POLICE PROTECTION, FIRE PROTECTION, CULTURAL SUBSIDIES, TO GO THROUGH SCHOOL AND LIFE DRUNKEN, DEBAUCHED, DERELICT AND HAVING CHILDREN THEY CANNOT AFFORD ADDING TO THE BURDEN THE USA TAXPAYER HAS TO BEAR.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on December 4, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Wow my first ID theft. I feel so special.

Posted by: Keith G on December 4, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Phil: No, we're not talking about limiting the Christian religion, we're talking about keeping ANY AND ALL religion out of the "public square."

Yes, that's pretty much the modern interpretation. But, I disagree with you about what the founding fathers meant by the establishment clause. They didn't mean Separation of Church and State. That's a relatively new interpretation.

I don't know whether we're better off or not with less religion in the Public Square. All I'm saying is that it's mostly in the last 50 years that the Establishment Clause was equated with SOCAS. That's not what the Framers intended.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 4, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

The rich are doing more than enough; it is their money after all, not yours, not society's, not the governments

How did the Bush family get their money?

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Can I just ask a stupid question here? What's wrong with a Christmas party?

Under the tradtional circumstances of office and other private Christmas parties, there isn't any problem. Further, there is no organized effort nationally to eliminate them. There is, however, a running streak of cowardice in certain circles, mainly among human resource bureaucrats. They fear that this non-existant campaign may come and sue them for a kajillion bucks. So they try to change company policy or rename events when no one has made any serious complaints, just to practice CYA.

Which is why both the ACLU and various religious groups and citizens sometimes sue schools and businesses who eliminate references to relgion in holiday celebrations, classes, student activities. It isn't the atheist activists causing the problems, its the weenies in the bureacracy, censoring religion and violating freedom of speech in the name of money.

Note that it is entirely possible for a traditional Christmas part to be hijacked by a religious activist, someone who uses the occassion or the power of being a host to inflict his personal views on other people. This was rarely a problem with past generations of Christians, because we were taught Christian humility and good Christian manners, including a respect for other people's personal opinions and privacy. The latest generations of activists tend towards arrogance, intolerance, and contempt for views other than their own.

There are pushy atheists like that, too, but the pushy evangelists have them outnumbered a hundred to one.

Posted by: berken on December 4, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, your site is getting hopelessly polluted here. The nutball haters are driving everyone away, and in a hurry. Apparently, they now have bazookas in the war against Christmas?

Posted by: Kenji on December 4, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

IT'S NOT CHRISTIAN TO FORCE PEOPLE TO GIVE MONEY BY THE GOVERNMENTS POLICE POWER (TAXATION).

So, I assume youre against all forms of government financed by taxes. Why then do you single out Democrats for your bile? What money do you think the Republicans are using? Your grandiose rhetoric is nothing but hypocrisy.

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

ANTIPHONE:

There is a difference between contributing to common charges and being forced to give money to people who did not provide services for it.

But, in fact, I'm not against taxes for welfare. I'm against Regressive-Democrats daring to impugn the piety of those who would protect their hard earnd income from the parasites that is the Democratic Party. Taxation has nothing to do with Christian charity. That is the point: Taxing and Spending is not Christian; it is public policy. Resisting Taxing and Spending is not un-Christian, it is public policy.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on December 4, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not against taxes for welfare. I'm against Regressive-Democrats daring to impugn the piety of those who would protect their hard earnd income from the parasites that is the Democratic Party.

What party has taken the Federal budget from surplus to deficit? Do you know who buys the dept they have run up to finance invading Iraq?

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

Well Im waiting for answers Objective Historian. All Ive seen so far is unsubstantiated class warfare (in capital letters).

THE LEAST-CHRISTIAN IN THE USA ARE THE POOR WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE HOUSING, CLOTHES, MEDICAL, EDUCATION, INFRASTRUCTURE, POLICE PROTECTION, FIRE PROTECTION, CULTURAL SUBSIDIES, TO GO THROUGH SCHOOL AND LIFE DRUNKEN, DEBAUCHED, DERELICT AND HAVING CHILDREN THEY CANNOT AFFORD ADDING TO THE BURDEN THE USA TAXPAYER HAS TO BEAR.

This is the kind of self righteous bullshit that passes for religious truth on too much of the right. No facts, just endless victim hood.

Posted by: antiphone on December 4, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Does litter bother you? It bothers us.

But how much? Can you take a walk and not have it drive you crazy? Because it's always there. Somebody tosses a half-finished Slurpee out the car window because they couldn't handle brain freeze. Or a fool thinks its OK to flick a still-burning ciggybutt without looking and it ends up in a baby carriage or in someone's trouser cuff.

Well, all right, I'm just talking about a crumpled-in-the-gutter mundane Whopper wrapper or somesuch. Left by an ignorant bastard minutes before. Do you make an unholy crimson-faced stink? Alert your fellow pedestrians? Demand immediate action? Would you do that?

The little moron could be hiding in the parking garage watching you, shivering with glee, and before long he'll be tipping over trash receptacles, drunk on recognition.

Best not to glorify bad citizens. An anonymous sanitation crew is what's needed.

Posted by: Dept. of Bad Analogies on December 4, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

The ACLU is not anti-religion, ex-liberal. Since I am actually a stereotypical "card-carrying member," I can say that with knowledge.

It's the same empirical knowledge that lets me identify you as anti-intellect, though.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on December 4, 2006 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

egbert:

your devolution is complete. You may now disappear.

W.J. Bryan

Posted by: zeke on December 4, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

A recent contvert to the teachings of Christ came to Him and asked what more he could do to serve Him. Jesus told the man to sell all of his possessions and to give the money to the poor. He turned sadly away, for he was a wealthy man.

Posted by: trublu on December 4, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

ANTIPHONE:

"Well Im waiting for answers Objective Historian. All Ive seen so far is unsubstantiated class warfare (in capital letters).

THE LEAST-CHRISTIAN IN THE USA ARE THE POOR WHO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE HOUSING, CLOTHES, MEDICAL, EDUCATION, INFRASTRUCTURE, POLICE PROTECTION, FIRE PROTECTION, CULTURAL SUBSIDIES, TO GO THROUGH SCHOOL AND LIFE DRUNKEN, DEBAUCHED, DERELICT AND HAVING CHILDREN THEY CANNOT AFFORD ADDING TO THE BURDEN THE USA TAXPAYER HAS TO BEAR.

This is the kind of self righteous bullshit that passes for religious truth on too much of the right. No facts, just endless victim hood."

----

Do you deny poor people TYPICALLY take advantage of taxpayer generosity to engage in selfish debauchery and dereliction (as students and citizens)? Do you need substantiation? If you do, you must be a recluse living in Barrow, Alaska. Read a typical urban newspaper; do the poor strike you as nobly disposed, pious, hard-working, selfless, dedicated to good and lawabiding citizenship (meaning no alcohol under 21 and never illegal drugs). Would they never have children while still in the care of the taxpaer? . . . . NOOOOOOO!

The Democrats don't need the government to care for the poor. Between them as individuals, Democrats have hundreds of billions of dollars in assets and billions of dollars in yearly income. They can provide health insurance for those without, charter schools, etc. The Democrats can be Christian without taxpayer coercion . . . why don't they?

See, when you actually look at what Democrats give quietly to charity, you see they are all BAH-BAH-BAH. I guarantee that is true for the die-hard libertine Regressive-Democrats on this website. Fascistically forcing others to give is their charity, somehow rendering concerns for privacy and civil liberties associated with tax assessment and acquisition not as important as it is for them when our nations security is the issue.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on December 4, 2006 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal: Yes, that's pretty much the modern interpretation. But, I disagree with you about what the founding fathers meant by the establishment clause. They didn't mean Separation of Church and State. That's a relatively new interpretation.

Far from being a "mordern" interpretation, the exact phrase "wall of separation of church and state" appears in reference to the First Amendment in an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson. James Madison, who was the major contributor to the bill of rights, also made numerous references to the concept including a letter in 1819 that refered to "total separation of the church from the state."

Next strawman please.

Posted by: tanj on December 4, 2006 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

Phil: No, we're not talking about limiting the Christian religion, we're talking about keeping ANY AND ALL religion out of the "public square."

Yes, that's pretty much the modern interpretation. But, I disagree with you about what the founding fathers meant by the establishment clause. They didn't mean Separation of Church and State. That's a relatively new interpretation.

I don't know whether we're better off or not with less religion in the Public Square. All I'm saying is that it's mostly in the last 50 years that the Establishment Clause was equated with SOCAS. That's not what the Framers intended.

Yes, it is what the founding fathers meant, and no, it's not a "relatively new interpretation."

This conflict has been ongoing since before the founding of the country. You can find accounts of America's earliest citizens arguing in their state's legislatures about, and rejecting, religious tests for representatives, for example.

The founding members found themselves having to repeat themselves over and over again, because then, like now, people telling others how to live were in abundance, unrelenting in their proselytizing, and insistent upon trying to remake the U.S. into a Christian nation. Because then, like now, it was all about power and control over others. If the early settlers in America understood one thing, it was the trouble caused when politics and religion mixed, when people sought power and control over others.

In the earliest days of European settlers in America, each settlement's minister was the 'law' and kept the order. As America developed and the population increased, more 'singles' came to America (not in religious groups or orders). Although it's not talked about as much as other reasons or benefits for breaking with England, one great outcome would be separating government and law-enforcement from religious life. By 1776, only 5% of Americans went to or belonged to a church. The founding fathers were mostly Deists, if they believed in God at all. Jefferson regularly referred to the bible as "dunghill."

You said that you weren't sure whether we're better off with less religion in the public square. I'm 58, and there's never been more religion in the public square than now in my lifetime. There's never been more talking about it, which brings it into the public square. For the last thirty years, obsessing over religion in the public square, in legislation, in media, has never been greater.

I recently learned that many evangelicals believe that unless you believe in God, you're not an ethical, law-abiding citizen. They believe that you have to believe in God in order to be a good citizen. Star Jones, and I'm sure there are others like her, would never vote for someone for President who didn't believe in God. I then have to ask evangelicals, "Is fear of God's wrath what keeps you from stealing or murdering?"

Is fear of God the reason evangelical Christians obey the rule of law?

Posted by: Phil on December 4, 2006 at 3:52 AM | PERMALINK

Ex-Liberal wrote:
"Example 1. ..However, you can't find a liberal mocking non-Christian religions at all."

I call bullshit dude! Very easy to refute...Robin Williams (think we can call him a liberal) provided the following:

"I have a plan for Jerusalem, An interesting plan. It's called The Timeshare like Miami. Jews will get Hanukah, Passover; Christians will have Christmas and Easter and the Moslems will have Ramadan and that other Holiday.....Kaboom !"

Posted by: Dazir on December 4, 2006 at 3:54 AM | PERMALINK

Why do you care what Ann Althouse has to say?

Posted by: Gregory on December 4, 2006 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

antiphone wrote: "Well Im waiting for answers Objective Historian."

antiphone, please stop playing with TOH. He's trolling and you're enabling him.

Posted by: PaulB on December 4, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth, "The Objective Historian" is better addressed as the noted troll known as "Alice" who did a stint as "Patton" for a while.

"Alice" was famously nailed by Global Citizen for impersonating a member of the Air Force.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 4, 2006 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

Don't also forget that PaulB has been trolling hard lately. He has about 300 posts on just one thread further down. Amazing. What are we going to do about these guys.

Don't worry, though, I have friends in the CIA and the NSA. We'll track these guys down and put them out of commission.

Posted by: Pale RIder on December 4, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Dude, you're not even remotely competent at this.

You can't even properly spell "Pale RIder?"

At least try not to make it so transparent and obvious. Oh, wait. That would take talent.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 4, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

>>The Christian Right had to fight back for their lives were at steak!

I'll have mine rare, please, with perhaps a bit of Bordelaise.

Posted by: CFShep - the real one on December 4, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

The Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars? What planet was this written from?
Kevin Drum 7:12 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (142)

Planet Washington DC home of deluded imaginary centrism that believes that centrism requires a contant forgiveness for republican special interest groups and constant blame for anyone who dares to vote for the democratic party.

Posted by: Nemesis on December 4, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Wait, I thought you'd left, Pale Rider?

Posted by: lick on December 4, 2006 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

tanj: Far from being a "mordern" interpretation, the exact phrase "wall of separation of church and state" appears in reference to the First Amendment in an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson.

Excuse me. Are we governed by the Constitution or some letter? The Constitution was adopted by a group of founders, not just by Jefferson. The Founders voted on the words of the Constitution, not something Jefferson later wrote.

If anything, the fact that the concept of "Wall of Separation" existed is evidence that the Framers didn't mean the Constitution to have that meaning. If they wanted a wall of separation, they could have said "Wall of Separation." They chose instead to ban "establishment", that is, a state religion.

Establishment was big issue at one time. When I was growing up, antidisestablishmentarianism was a well-known word, because it was supposedly the longest word. Look it up.

Posted by: ex-liberal on December 4, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

No, little trollie. I am just watching you guys. I will check in now and then throughout the day to see what you're doing.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 4, 2006 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal on December 4, 2006 at 10:20 AM |

You were the one who claimed that "separation of church and state" was a "relatively new interpretation" of the establishment clause. I suppose that if 1802, when then-President Jefferson wrote the letter to the Danbury (CT) Baptist) means that it is "relatively new," you might have a point. However, I doubt that most of us would agree that it is relatively new.

Regardless, Jefferson was the author of the colonial Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, which predated the 1st Amendment and even the Constitution, on which the 1st amendment's establishment and free-exercise clauses are based. I would take Jefferson's interpretation of the 1st amendment over yours any day.

Posted by: raj on December 4, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

The poster above is not me. He/she/it has been polluting this thread since day one.

Posted by: CFShep - the real one on December 4, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

HAH!

PROOF YOU ARE ARROGANCE, MISGUIDED, DELUDED, INANE IDIOTS:

I had one other name that closely resembled my own on the first time I visted this site about a year ago; then I might once have used another name as an obvious joke that was clear to all - at about the same time.

Other than that I have always been "The Objective Historian" and I have always served you clowns some righteous corrections to your deluded worldview. What you cannot handle is not trolls, but truth. If you are not in a group with everyone nodding ignorantly at your half-informed lunacy, you respond with denial of the facts.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on December 4, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Damn it all! Knock it off.

Puerile cretins.

Posted by: CFShep - the real real one on December 4, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

"IT'S NOT CHRISTIAN TO FORCE PEOPLE TO GIVE MONEY BY THE GOVERNMENTS POLICE POWER (TAXATION)."

Oh, really?

"Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?

"But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

"Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

"And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

"They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."

Posted by: rea on December 4, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

WASHINGTON - The facts pretty much speak for themselves.


An airline gate agent told the Minneapolis Police Department that six Muslim men began praying very loudly and repeatedly shouting Allah as passengers began boarding Flight 300 bound for Phoenix Nov. 20. The six imams refused to sit on their assigned seats, moving around the cabin and arranging themselves in a pattern reminiscent of the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackings. Three asked flight attendants for heavy seat belt extenders, but then didnt use them to buckle up. Witnesses overheard them talking about al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

Such obviously suspicious behavior was deliberately intended to trigger a response from the airline. The motivation became apparent Nov. 28 when members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations held a pray in at the U.S. Airways ticket counter at Reagan National Airport to protest the imams well-deserved removal from the flight, charging that their civil rights had somehow been violated. CAIR spokeswoman Rabia Ahmed complained that Muslims have to walk around on eggshells in public to avoid being misconstrued as suspicious.

And Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Falls Church-based Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, called the incident a gross example of blatant Islamophobia and the violation of the civil rights of Muslim passengers, characterizing the legitimate concerns of the flight crew and other passengers as irrational fears.

Thats obviously bunk and it needs to be debunked right now. The six imams were hardly walking on eggshells and their behavior was certainly not misconstrued by anybody familiar with what occurred Sept. 11.

There was no religious or racial profiling in Minneapolis. It was all behavior profiling, Douglas Hagmann, director of the Northeast Intelligence Network, told The Examiner. Hagmann believes the incident which he considers a watershed event for ideological jihad was a test run, and predicts more attempts to disarm our security apparatus through the legal system as Islamists create the aura of victimization and then threaten legal action for every supposed slight they encounter flying while Muslim.

It should be noted that Bray has a history of publicly supporting convicted terrorists, including Abdurrahman Alamoudi, Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafis hit man who was arrested in a plot to assassinate a Saudi prince; Ali al-Timimi, a Northern Virginia Muslim leader sentenced to life in prison for urging his followers to jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan; and Ahmed Abu-Ali, convicted last November in Alexandrias federal court for plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush.

At a rally in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington a few years back, Bray a self-proclaimed champion of civil rights reportedly told protesters, Lets all go into jihad, and throw stones at the face of the Jews. Or maybe we misconstrued that, too.

Airlines have the right and the duty to protect their passengers. The security protocols established as a direct result of Sept. 11 inconvenience and sometimes even humiliate everybody who flies. If you dont want to submit to the indignity, stay off airplanes.

And the only way to counter ideological jihad is to speak the truth: U.S. Airways did the right thing by removing these six provocateurs from the plane.

Posted by: nina on December 4, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Planet Kooky.

Posted by: Benefits on December 4, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

In addition to atheism being better than religion. . .

PCs are better than Macs. . .

Go!

Posted by: kevin on December 4, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Mac users can all suck my ass.

Posted by: CFShep - the real one on December 4, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

"We wanted to live in peace. Its you on the Athiest Left that want to persecute us."
Posted by: egbert


And we're always trying to be athier than thou.

And ex-liberal, as his handle would suggest, is an idiot.

Posted by: Ace Franze on December 4, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Hi, Indeed, What planet was Nicholas D. Kristof coming from with his outrageous statement --"Now that the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars. . . "? This very day Senator Brownback announced that he was taking the first stepts toward being the Christian Right's GOP[God's Own Party's] Candidate in 2008. Governor Romney now has a competitor for the mantle of the Christian Right & its un-American Agenda of a "Christian Nation", followed by a White Fundamentalist/Conservative Evangelical "American Theocracy", before the "colored ones" make everyone in America a Minority--White/Black & Brown.
The Christian Right has most definitely NOT "largely retreated from the culture wars", BUT they are moving their Christian Nation Crusade directly into the Presidental Campaign of 2008.
AND IN THIS IMPENDING NATIONAL DEBATE[2006-08] "ALL" CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENT MUST BE GRILLED ON THEIR PERSONAL FAITH/DOCTRINE,JUST AS JFK WAS IN HOUSTON TEXAS IN JAN. 1960, BY THE TEXAS PROTESTANT MINISTERS. IF NOT, THEN THERE'S A DOUBLE STANDARD: ONE FOR ROMAN CATHOLICS & ANOTHER FOR PROTESTANTS. Very concerned in Stuart, Florida, George E. Lowe

Posted by: George E. Lowe on December 4, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Oh the Hindus hate the Moslems
And the Moslems hate the Hindus

The Catholics hate the Protestants
--but everybody hates the Jews!

Oh it's, National Brotherhood Week
National Brotherhood Week
The New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans cuz it's *very* chic

So go and shake the hand
Of someone you can't stand
It only lasts a week so have no fear!

Be thankful that it doesn't last all year.

--Tom Lehrer

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 4, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Bob,

Charlie alert-he is posting as "Pale Rider" and has said some inflammatory things as a whole host of different handles and has been spoofing heavily.

Please use your good judgement and do not think it is really me, okay?

PR

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 4, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider:

I've been watching the sad, dysfunctional game over the last few threads. It's fairly easy to tell which posts are actually yours and which are rather un-clever spoofs (the 14-year-old's homophobia is a dead giveaway).

It's really wrecking the blog, though, now that Chuckles' new game is to spoof as many regulars as he can ...

But, of course, that's always been his intention.

As far as I'm concerned, there's no bad blood between us, Pale. I don't think you were primarily behind the attacks against me of a few weeks ago, and I accept your explanation when it was over that it was a practical joke that had gotten out of hand.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on December 4, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

No problem, Bob.

You should be able to pick things up as you go along--there is one troll in particular trying to tell us there's no difference between Sunni and Shia--right up your alley.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 4, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

...and I felt compelled, as a Christian, to refrain from participating in this pseudo war.
Posted by: trex on December 3, 2006 at 11:27 PM

I agree. But what do you do with the ones who WON'T refrain. Talk Radio spews opinion as fact and most of it hatemongering. Today it is the Liberals that are at fault for all ills, but take out the word Liberal and replace it with Jew, black, mexican, or woman. Liberal is just today's hate word. Bush says he is Christian but his actions say he is a rich oil man from Texas out to keep his coffers and those of his buddies as full as possible. And good ole Rush and O'Reilly and Dobson all screaming about how bad the liberals are, so that THEIR coffers aren't emptied either. It is all so double standard and religion is nothing more than a political tool for these people.

Posted by: Who Spew You on December 4, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider - "You should be able to pick things up as you go along"

Wow. That's pretty condescending to your old compadre. Yet optimistic at the same time ;)

Posted by: nina on December 4, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Nina, you suck big giant elephant dicks! That's right. I am mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore. Didn't I tell you I know people at Blogger? So, don't come here, toots. I'm here to eat shoots and leaves.

So take that, you deranged wingnut trool.

uh-huh. Do I own you or not? That was devastating, wasn't it?

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 4, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm.. the evangelical Christian right-wingers at work have now abandoned the likes of Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, say they are far too inflammatory & hateful, citing the talk show hosts'dysfunctional reactions to the disabled Michael J. Fox, and, interesting enough, they now worry that GM may lose even more in the stock market since Hannity had those "win a GM vehicle" on his show.
At work and in the local watering hole, I feel there is a new respect for the fact that... for the first time in history, no democratic incumbent lost, nor did the wretched republicans capture any open house, senate or gubanatorial seat that was previously held by a democrat...am I ecstatic and hopeful that this horrible era will soon end?? Try not to fall into despair--this long national nightmare will soon be over.


Posted by: sleep well after midterms... on December 4, 2006 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

nina is obviously Charlie.

Like that wasn't fucking obvious.

God, what an incompetent boob.

How's church, Charlie? Still living that purpose(less) driven life?

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 4, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone actually seen charlie lately? Where is he anyway?

Posted by: mook on December 4, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone actually seen charlie lately? Where is he anyway?

The delightful and talented Pale Rider has eaten him for lunch.

(Too bad it was rancid meat on the old man's bones--Pale Rider was last seen crapping himself down by the river and hurling up chunks.)

Posted by: Norman Rogers on December 4, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'M WAITING FOR YOU REGRESSIVE-DEMOCRATS TO REFUSE . . . ABSOLUTELY REFUSE . . . TO TAKE TAX DOLLARS FROM CHRISTIANS OR BE PROTECTED MILITARILY BY CHRISTIANS (YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT)

Why do the religiously insane pagan occult ritualists have to shout all the time? So that they can hear themselves over all the other voices in their vacuous melons?

I'm waiting for you bible thumping god squadders to refuse to take those unjustly given tax breaks, pay for your fair share, and stop violating your tax free status by engaging in partisan politics.

I'm waiting for those who abuse religion in order to try and claim that they know better than everyone else, and thus they should be the ones to make the rules, to be smacked down as the ignorant hucksters that they are.

And I'm really waiting for these sanctimonious holier than thou abominations to get what they deserve. Wouldn't it be a hoot if their superstitious nonsense has some sort of basis, and they get thrown into the Pit for their blasphemous abuse of their faith?

Other than that I have always been "The Objective Historian" and I have always served you clowns some righteous corrections to your deluded worldview. What you cannot handle is not trolls, but truth. If you are not in a group with everyone nodding ignorantly at your half-informed lunacy, you respond with denial of the facts.

TOH

This has got to be one of the best example of religiously insane Republican't projection I have seen in a while. It has all the best elements - a delusional Republican't ranting about others' deluded worldview, a pathological liar claiming to know the truth, a (being generous) half-informed lunatic babbling about others, and a non-fact-based god squadder who constantly denies the facts projecting his actions on those who do not share his religious insanity.

Can you imagine how sad and shrill this blasphemous anti-christian will be when the Democrats actually have power next year?

Finally (crowd screams with enjoyment), is it feeding the trolls when you rip their pathetic little screeds to shreds, and show everyone else what sad, projecting, irrational, non-reality-based demon spawn they are?

Posted by: (: Tom :) on December 5, 2006 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Paraphrased from "an annotated rant": http://www.annotatedrant.com/

This guy makes excellent points in each of his rants. Must read, wish there were more.

Nine of the ten states that get the most federal dollars and pay the least are red states.

Which state do you think has the lowest divorce rate? Its Massachusetts - center of the gay marriage universe.The lowest divorce rate in the nation.

9 of the 10 lowest divorce rates are blue states.

And where are the highest divorce rates? 10 of the top 10 are red states.

Posted by: smafdy on December 5, 2006 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

egbert,

There is no "Darwinism". That's sloganeering masking thought. A lot of biologists study of the way genes change over time, so if you believe in genes and believe they change over time, then you've given away the game because that's all there is. You can get your cash cows ... sorry ... your congregations in a lather over "Darwinism" but genes do change over time. You might fool them and you might fool yourself, but there's nothing in that but intestinal gas.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on December 5, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote:

"[The ACLU is] working to minimize the impact of religion -- and [it is] succeeding.

Whether the ACLU is right or wrong about meaning of the First Amendmen to the Constitution, there's no doubt that their efforts have reduced the impact of religion in schools and in public displays."

S/he then goes on to complain about Christmas being attacked/minimized a la Bill O'Lielly.

See, this equating of Christian stuff with "religion" is what the ACLU is fighting. There's a whole lot more religion in this world than Christianity. The ACLU is fighting for the idea enshrined in the Constitution that you can't use the government to push YOUR religion on ME.

Take your Christmas home, where it should be, and to church. And leave me ALONE for the Yule.

Thank you.

Posted by: Cal Gal on December 5, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

There has never been a culture war. Only idiots like Bill O'Rilly think that. We are supposed to be the land of the free and that should mean that we are free to worship,act(as long as it's within the law) how we choose.

Posted by: Erik on December 5, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

You know how sometimes a city or town will put a creche AND a menorah up and call it even-steven during the winter holidays?

Well I'm here to tell you the Christians and the Jews they grew out of were both wrong.

It's the Flying Spaghetti Monster who created the universe, and being spaghetti, it turns out that one thread was born each day (and they actually are STILL being born, one per day, but for ceremonial purposes we equate a year with eternity. Sort of like the People of the Book equate 7 days with the millions of years it took for the universe to form from the first string of spaghetti. But I digress...)

So we need to put spaghetti into the public square next to the menorah and the creche, but unlike those winter holiday symbols, we need to keep the spaghetti there all year. Cuz, you know, our holiest of holies, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, was born every day of the year...

And if we can't do that, neither can you. Nyah, nyah, nyah.

Posted by: Cal Gal on December 5, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

have to go some to top this one...

Michael Crowley said this in a piece about L. Ronn Hubbard in Slate:

Comparable crackpots-in-chief like Lyndon LaRouche and Sun Myung Moon have had almost no detectable national influence. [Michael Crowley Slate - Oct. 5, 2006]

Sun Myung Moon looking back over decades of funding and promoting hard right politics in America:

I influenced America through the Washington Times and so many different activities. [The Last Days are Coming to America - Sun Myung Moon - September 13, 2002]

Moon outspent Scaife funding a right wing governance in America. A couple billion for his money draining flagship, the Washington Times. Millions creating political front groups and funding key players during the rights rise to power in the 80s and 90s - making fertile the ground for the theocrats who, as Kevin points out, are not going away.

Moon works the big picture. Many don't want to admit that he has been successful in molding the larger political environment but he has.

Posted by: cw on December 5, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

egbert,

The following link is to a Doonesbury cartoon published July 2 2006. It offers the simplest and most complete explanation of Darwins theory of natural selection and its relevance in the use of the scientific method.

http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dailydose/index.html?uc_full_date=20060702

I could not have stated it any simpler or more completely then Gary Trudeau.

Posted by: Commander Ogg on December 5, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

The Christian right IS falling apart.
People of all religoius and political stripes are sick and tired of being either put down or manipulated by religious zelots who do not truly preach their faith because it might harm their political agenda. The Republicans keep talking about "The Base" , Did you know that Al Qaeda means "The base" in Arabic. Did you also know that Arabic is a semitic language. There are no semitic people, only people that speak a semitic language.That Anti-semitic can also mean Arab.

Posted by: Ron on December 5, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

It may just be me, but it seems like the Christian Right insists that persecution means, "why does no one take us seriously?!"

Are they allowed to worship? Are they allowed religious assembly? Are they allowed to vote their conscience?

Seems pretty non-oppressive to me.

Posted by: American in Osaka on December 6, 2006 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

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