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Tilting at Windmills

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November 7, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE EVANGELICAL CRACKUP....I missed this when it came out a couple of weeks ago, but David Kirkpatrick, who covered evangelicals for the New York Times in 2004, went back to take another look at the evangelical community earlier this year to see where they stood now. Answer: on the verge of a crackup:

The backlash on the right against Bush and the war has emboldened some previously circumspect evangelical leaders to criticize the leadership of the Christian conservative political movement. "The quickness to arms, the quickness to invade, I think that caused a kind of desertion of what has been known as the Christian right," [Bill] Hybels, whose Willow Creek Association now includes 12,000 churches, told me over the summer. "People who might be called progressive evangelicals or centrist evangelicals are one stirring away from a real awakening."

....Today the president's support among evangelicals, still among his most loyal constituents, has crumbled. Once close to 90 percent, the president's approval rating among white evangelicals has fallen to a recent low below 45 percent, according to polls by the Pew Research Center. White evangelicals under 30 — the future of the church — were once Bush's biggest fans; now they are less supportive than their elders. And the dissatisfaction extends beyond Bush. For the first time in many years, white evangelical identification with the Republican Party has dipped below 50 percent, with the sharpest falloff again among the young, according to John C. Green, a senior fellow at Pew and an expert on religion and politics.

I've posted about this in passing several times in the past, and it continues to look like a real phenomenon. To a surprising extent, a considerable chunk of the evangelical community is rebelling against both the movement's obsessive focus solely on abortion and gay marriage as well as its exclusive association with the Republican Party. Kirkpatrick's piece is a nice look at where the fault lines of this crackup up are, and the near impossibility of any current GOP candidate inspiring the kind of devotion that George Bush got from evangelicals for the first few years of his presidency. It's worth reading the whole thing.

Kevin Drum 1:13 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (130)

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We know an older evangelical Christian couple -- former missionaries, passionately pro-life, Republican as the day is long; it's tough talking to them if anything remotely political comes up -- who went on this rant the other day during a casual conversation about how much Bush has disappointed them and they can't wait to see him gone.

After picking my jaw up off the floor, I half expected to glance out the window and see a squadron of pigs flying over a sparkling, frozen hellscape. If Bush and the GOP have lost these people, they're finished. End of story.

Posted by: jonas on November 7, 2007 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

It had to happen. No one can keep cruising along on the same tank of gas for half a century. The fear gambit (of Commies, hippies, blacks, feminists, crime, gays, islamofascists,) eventually lost its potency. It took more time than most of us would have liked, but the people have finally begun to recognize the Republican strategy for what it is.

At the moment, the Republicans are suffering from victory disease. It is the same affliction that caused Lee to send Picket’s men to certain slaughter at Gettysburg. When something has worked again and again, it is very difficult for the beneficiaries to drop it, even when it is obvious to everyone else that it no longer has any power.

Posted by: James of DC on November 7, 2007 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

James wrote: "The fear gambit (of Commies, hippies, blacks, feminists, crime, gays, islamofascists,) eventually lost its potency"

I don't think fearmongering will ever go out of style, unfortunately, and the GOP will always hold that card. I think it's just general incompetency fatigue, brought about primarily by the war and secondly by the crappy economy and thirdly, by all the little scandals, screwups and just general malaise Bush has enabled and even authored over the years. Even people who thought he was practically the Second Coming six years ago have serious buyer's remorse.

Posted by: jonas on November 7, 2007 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

OT, sry Kevin, just for reminding you that it looks more and more like Peak Oil has arrived:
"Oil rises to record above $98 a barrel"
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071107/ap_on_bi_ge/oil_prices;_ylt=AvnURckXoXaty3LUItG.jm2yBhIF

You used to have great stories on this topic. Why not anymore, now that the shit hits the fan???
(or did I miss that posting?)

Posted by: Gray on November 7, 2007 at 4:14 AM | PERMALINK

They might be pissed off with the GOP, but it'll still take a long time before the fundie freaks can bring themselves to vote for the party they've been told to think of as the "gay abortion" party.

Posted by: SJ on November 7, 2007 at 6:10 AM | PERMALINK

SJ--
You're right, but if they just sit on their well-padded asses and stay home that's functionally the same as voting for the Dems. God bless 'em. Have some more Doritos, I hear AMC is running The Ten Commandments later on. Charlton Heston was SUCH a man's man, wasn't he?

Posted by: jprichva on November 7, 2007 at 6:59 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP's coalition was doomed. The principles of business are fundamentally incompatible with the principles of Christ.

I'm liberal because he was.

Posted by: An Anonymous American Patriot on November 7, 2007 at 7:25 AM | PERMALINK

So where does this leave Rudy?

Somewhere between a rock and hard place, I think.

I don't know but you have the Dobson vs loyal Bushism vs Ron Paulism.

To bad the RNC defined conservative politics via whatever Bush said it was, as in torture=conservative, War=conservative, wiretapeing=conservative, loyalism=conservative, unbid contracts=conservative, better paid security firms that actually US army members=conservative. As if somehow Bush was the soul of conservative voters, instead of you know, letting conservative voters define their own party.

Cheney pretty much summed it up: We didn't get elected to worry just about the fate of the Republican Party

And Rudy is courting the Cheney doctrine.

Posted by: Me_again on November 7, 2007 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

story is odd in tiger don't change stripes way: they loved W at first and now they don't, why? The answer is much more perverse than simply W being such a fuck up that even the wackos are backing away. You liberals really want God on your side? Cause that [strike ironic diminished chord here] would be a deal with the devil. On the other hand it may be a deal that can't be avoided seeing how America is so sick with religious idiocy. You have guys running for president that don't believe in evolution, one of them a legitimate contender!! In every other civilized country this would be a cause for great concern - but you guys just look the other way. Why? Cause more than half your nutsy country agrees with him!! A country cannot abide an absurdity like that without eventually some monstrosity being engendered out of the goo [Darwin says it's payback time! Time to kick some creationist ass]

Posted by: he do d'goose step on November 7, 2007 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

Not exactly the heart of the article, but an interesting quote mainly for the metaphor.

“I think the Gospel is offensive, and I think the cross is offensive,” Wright continued. “I think Jesus loved everybody and I think he loved the Pharisees, but he certainly told them how the cow eats the cabbage.”

I'm pretty sure Rev Wright was trying to say Christianity is on the offense, ie. moving forward, not that it offends people. Yet, I could be wrong. But, cows eating cabbage, what amazing thing will I know when someone tells me how that happens? Still can't figure that one out, unless they eat it with mayonaise and a little vinegar, dash of sugar, shredded carrots; then I'd be stunned. Guess I'm that removed from rural because that line left me scratching my elbow.

Posted by: dennisS on November 7, 2007 at 7:45 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure that evangelicals are "rebelling against both the movement's obsessive focus solely on abortion and gay marriage." I suspect they're souring on Bush because of 1) a slow economy and 2) Iraq. Evangelicals signed up for a quick win in Iraq, not a long slog. The romance is going out of a two-fisted foreign policy.

Posted by: Alan Vanneman on November 7, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

Follow the money. Brownback dropped out of the race after being unable to raise much money. Huckabee is running in the first tier except he doesn't have much jack. Romney is courting the evangelicals hard, he has to largely self fund his campaign. The evangelicals are just not dropping much jack in the collection plate. They are sitting this election out.

Posted by: corpus juris on November 7, 2007 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

"how the cow eats the cabbage" is a Southernism for telling it like it is.

It's the opposite of what politics entails, cuz sooner or later folks aiming at political results wind up in coalitions with people who don't agree on everything, so for the sake of the coalition you don't emphasize the issues you DISagree on.

Wright was talking about how evangelicals who supported Bush for various reasons (like how Jesus loved everybody, including Pharisees), have to emulate Christ in being direct about what they DON'T agree with.

Bush has lost the benefit of that doubt.

The thing progressives oughta do is GAIN that benefit -- and one way to help do it is to stop the reflex to bash people of faith, e.g., "kick some creationist ass", insisting that evangelicals fear "Commies, hippies, blacks, feminists, crime, gays, islamofascists", etc.

For one thing, fundamentalism and evangelism don't refer to the same habits of belief. Not all evangelicals are fundamentalists.

For another, there is a substantial movement within evangelicals that IS progressive -- not just Jim Wallis, but folks like anonymous Patriot upthread, who believe that the "principles of business are fundamentally incompatible with the principles of Christ."

Reach out to these folks with respect, and you may actually get both respect AND support in return.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

Well, before so many on the left think that they can shout Hallalujah and throw Religion under the bus, it certainly didn't hurt the new Governor-elect in Kentucky to show his religious roots.

Brownback, also ran afoul of his immigration stance - This was sorta taking one step forward and two back with the Southern and Heartland evangelical crowd. The "Brown Menace" fear trumped any Pro-Life support.

Posted by: bert on November 7, 2007 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

To a surprising extent, a considerable chunk of the evangelical community is rebelling against both the movement's obsessive focus solely on abortion and gay marriage as well as its exclusive association with the Republican Party.

Bullshit. They just don't want to be associated with a loser.

Posted by: Brautigan on November 7, 2007 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

As someone who grew up Southern Babptist and Southern Methodist (and now a Lutheran), I continually remind my liberal friends about one point about evangelicals. They really believe in the Bible, the whole Bible.

That might sound obvious, but one should distinguish between the rank and file members of these religions and the few front men of the Religious Right. I grew up listening to Medicare, Medicaid and "Welfare" being justified in these churches as a means of caring for the poor and helpless.

I think that the Left too often misses opportunities to appeal to (thank you Mr. Lincoln) "their better angels". Evangelicals want to be Chirst-like in their care of the helpless and their stewardship of the Earth (environment). I wish we would focus on making that connection rather than hurling invectives regarding those issues that we disagree.

Posted by: Catfish on November 7, 2007 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.faithoftheabomination.com/

The documentary should be finished by March...

Posted by: elmo on November 7, 2007 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

A Democratic joy ride:

Crooks and Liars has this post.

House Democrats on Tuesday narrowly managed to avert a bruising debate on a proposal to impeach Dick Cheney after Republicans, in a surprise maneuver, voted in favor of taking up the measure.

Republicans, changing course midway through a vote, tried to force Democrats into a debate on the resolution sponsored by longshot presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich…

It all ends with Pelosi croaking "impeachment is off the table".

It leaves the only option that the GOP has which would be deposing of Bushism itself or facing a party crisis via a split party vote in 2008 if Ron Paul goes Indy.

And because even Ron Paul cannot save the GOP, thus why hang out with Repugs, there isn't anything to salvage from a total loss, because the Dems will ride this vehicle until it completely totalled. And the Repugs don't have any insurance.

Posted by: Me_again on November 7, 2007 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Jesus doesn't like lying, hypocritical, incompetent, purveyors of torture who murder innocents, squander the lives of American soldiers, and cause countless unnecessary deaths of foreign civilians and soldiers alike in the service of an arrogant and self-centered philosophy.

Those who truly love Jesus will abandon a GOP that embraces and promotes all of the preceding.

Posted by: anonymous on November 7, 2007 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

I read somewhere that Clinton got a majority of the evangelical vote in '96. Their association with the GOP is perhaps exagerrated?

Posted by: Joe on November 7, 2007 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

I suspect the only thing about Bush that has really disappointed evangelicals, and the far right in general, is how deeply unpopular he's become. If he were still riding high, they'd be right there with him, flanking the shoulder pads on his phony flightsuit.

Ditto for the Iraq war. If it had been a cakewalk, no matter how many Iraqis were killed in the process, these people wouldn't have any qualms of "conscience," and I use that word really loosely where these folks are concerned. I don't remember
ANY of them speaking out against the war before it started.

Reagan also violated pretty much every tenet of what the conservatives claim to hold so dear, but to this day, they revere him because he remained popular, both personally and, for the most part, politically. These hypocrites aren't disappointed in Bush for violating any of their "principles," but for being so alienating, ham-handed and obviously incompetent, which reflects badly on his supporters. None of these folks were howling when Bush's approval ratings were double what they are currently.

Posted by: sullijan on November 7, 2007 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

"the Left too often misses opportunities to appeal to (thank you Mr. Lincoln) "their better angels"... I wish we would focus on making that connection"

And we can do it by telling 'em how the cow eats the cabbage, instead of dissing 'em for seeing the light.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist:"The thing progressives oughta do is GAIN that benefit -- and one way to help do it is to stop the reflex to bash people of faith, e.g., "kick some creationist ass", insisting that evangelicals fear "Commies, hippies, blacks, feminists, crime, gays, islamofascists", etc".

Agree 100%. I know the temptation to ridicule and mock is great for the non-religious, but, as my (Midwestern) Mother taught me, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." We shoud be welcoming them into the fold, and listening to their concerns with respect.

My other thought is to marvel at George Bush, the man who broke everything he ever touched. If I hear that the uber-billionaires are bickering about tax cuts, then I will know that Bush has finally struck out.

Posted by: PTate in MN on November 7, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

The Bush legacy: first fatality of the crazies.

Posted by: Ya Know.... on November 7, 2007 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Politico reports, "Pat Robertson, the nation’s best-known televangelist, offered his blessing to New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani."

WaPo reports the same: "Pat Robertson, one of the most influential figures in the social conservative movement, announced his support for Rudy Giuliani's presidential bid this morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C."

Last night I read a Michael Scherer piece about televangelist Bill Keller who says, "A vote for Romney is a vote for Satan."

Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 7, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Americanist, you couldn't wait to bash a grunt, but will throw yourself in front of the bus to cut some evangelicals some slack?

Posted by: elmo on November 7, 2007 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

We shoud be welcoming them into the fold, and listening to their concerns with respect. Posted by: PTate in MN

Why? Their concerns are not our concerns. They are small-minded and essentially afraid of the world beyond their, typical, 20 mile comfort zone. These are the people who don't like a place like Des Moines because it's sin city. Many of these people are creationist and Bible literalists. These people are largely racist. For the good of the nation, these people must either change or be politically marginalized. Otherwise, they will be electing more Shrubs.

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

JeffII, it's a balancing act. It's not necessary to give in to the lies of anti-science creationism or the racism that is found in many of these churches, but we musn't automatically generally all Evangelicals as small-minded, ignorance-worshipping bigots, either.

Posted by: freelunch on November 7, 2007 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

And the Repugs don't have any insurance.

I take that back, Hillary is the un-Bush insurance.

Hillary is going to waltz into office with all the new legal tatics of waterboarding, wiretapping and unbid contracts completely intact and ready for her usage, and no way she'll give that kind of power up. Then we'll see Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, Duncan and Daily Kos tell us all how Dems need this stuff to fight terrorism with usual partisan zeal.

Dems will never stand up to Bush, because he's way too much of political fun ride.

Certainly Bush was right about one thing, Dems politicize everything and actually care about nothing. Why else just let Senators Dianne Feinstein and Charles E. Schumer embrace waterboarding and another "do whatever Bush wants" attorney, Mr. Mukasey. Congressional Dems didn't really care what Gonzales was doing, they only loved that Josh Marshall made a fun political tool out of the ex-AG.

Because of this, Ron Paul is looking better and better all the time.

Posted by: Me_again on November 7, 2007 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

freelunch: Sorry, but I'm with JeffII. Given the humongous damage that these people have done to our country -- supporting destructive, divisive and just-plain-wrong policies and people -- they are guilty till proven otherwise. They need to prove that they care about something other than their own narrow-minded fears and bigotries. So far, the only other thing they're demonstrating that they care about is political viability, in light of their incongruous support of Giuliani. And that's not a principle or a value -- it's just the same old craven power play that they've always made in support of their agenda.

They have lost any benefit of the doubt until they demonstrate that they deserve it.

Posted by: sullijan on November 7, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

One of the great shibboleths of the pseudo-enlightened left has been its tendency to dismiss going after the white-male, NASCAR/evangelical vote on the grounds that they're just a bunch of irredeemably bigoted stupes who are simply incapable of seeing where their true self interest lies. Well, lookee here.

And, the great Krugman notwithstanding, race is a far less important issue than it used to be. In fact, one of the newest things among the great multitude of things that annoy me, is when conservative evangelical Christains start lecturing me on the evils of racism, as if they're the ones who invented tolerance. Jesus, but I hate that even if it is a positive sign.

Posted by: Hieronymus Braintree on November 7, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

. . . race is a far less important issue than it used to be. Posted by: Hieronymus Braintree

Not to racist redneck evangelical NASCAR fans.

You seem to be confused. You're not going to start posting about Ru Paul are you?

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

(snicker) Ah, more proof that while the GOP may be 'the stupid party' (I forget who said that first, maybe JS Mill about British conservatives), but a plurality of progressives are just... stooopid.

Sullijan: "until they demonstrate that they deserve..." to support US, we don't want their support.

Yeah, THAT will get us to a majority.

The mighty (psychotic) Elmo: "you couldn't wait to bash a grunt, but will throw yourself in front of the bus to cut some evangelicals some slack?"

The grunt you mentioned is a self-professed liar. Who did he lie about? His COMRADES IN ARMS.

Most of what I post 'round here boils down to political advice: when folks who HAD been strong supporters of your opponents begin to weaken in that support, don't dis 'em. Encourage them to move your way.

And fercryinoutloud, catch on when any public discussion draws a bright line between a majority and a minority: nobody with integrity ALWAYS wants to be on the majority side, but anybody with sense always wants to know which side they're leaping on, and why.

Beauchamp lied about his comrades, making up a series of bullshit stories about how cruel and callous HE (and his comrades, but his stories were all about him, doubtless why the mighty Elmo identifies so strongly with this asshole) is, cuz Combat Makes Us That Way. (Except the best example happened BEFORE he saw combat, if it happened at all... and the whole sorry litany of his lies).

The point HERE, besides that the mighty Elmo is a knucklehead, is that if you're gonna identify yourselves with a mighty unpopular, morally dubious and substantively hallucinatory position cuz of some sort of PRINCIPLE, it'd help to know 1) when you're doing it, and 2) what the principle is.

Evangelicals who are pulling away from the famous agenda of the "religious right" are motivated by the war in Iraq, the unfair and immoral way America treats its poor, exemplified by the Bush administration's failures regarding Katrina and the Republicans' failures in Congress regarding immigration, and so on.

Politics is about addition, before anything else: when these folks want to add their votes to our side, progressives oughta thank 'em.

Now and then, politics is ALSO about division -- this is where the mighty Elmo is flat out wrong, not to mention dumb as a bag of hammers: cuz when you say "this is the side I'M on, and I don't care if I lose", in a democracy you generally want to be sure it happens to be the side that has the most votes.

Beauchamp? The guy who claimed that Americans in Iraq wear dead children's body parts on their heads? (UNDER THEIR HELMETS, no less.) Who bragged about how he mocked a wounded veteran?

Yeah, there are what, eleven people in the country who're on that side? The mighty Elmo, three other posters here, and seven people at the New Republic. Hell, even Kevin has given up, albeit quietly.

Do tell us, folks: what's the principle that disses evangelicals, that makes 'em unworthy to support our side?

Much less the principle that the mighty Elmo thinks Beauchamp represents -- cuz mocking a woman scarred in combat sure as hell ain't respect for grunts.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Hieronymus, a much more enlightened take on the issue is to point out that the white-male, NASCAR/evangelical vote is a shrinking portion of the electorate and thus less important that it was in the past. Thus, investing resources in chasing after their votes is a much less effective proposition than investing in growing segments of the electorate (single women, latinos, etc.).

Which isn't to say that the evangelical crack-up isn't a good thing, only that there are fewer gains to be made than one might think. Evangelicals are notorious non-voters. Rove's strategy was to get them to vote. I suspect they're going to revert to type again and simply no longer be of help to republicans, rather than helping democrats.

Posted by: Tyro on November 7, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

The Religious Right likes to rant on about "Hostility to Religion." Well sure: now! People like myself who used to consider religious belief incomprehensible but harmless are very hostile. If evangelicals don't want to be viewed as power-hungry, mischief-making busybodies they better get hopping.

Posted by: mandycat on November 7, 2007 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Remeber folks, today is national Do Not Feed The Trolls (or deranged posters) Day.

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

I doubt this is a real phenomenon. Even though W. Bush has been recognized as no longer being a prophet by the evangelical community, their big box churches are still growing. The amount of money that has been siphoned off public revenues to ultra conservative activists, mostly through defesnse spending and tax cuts, has allowed them to amass a war chest of incredible proportions. The evangelical community and the traditional conservative American block are highly susceptible to repetitive mass media messages that the wealth that has been amassed by conservative activists will be able to deliver. The conservative evangelical movement may not be able to prevent a Democratic victory in 2008, but their wealth will provide for a continuous propaganda assault on the weak minded for a very long time. Sooner or later they will find another 'prophet' the dumbfounded will be able to support, and the evangelical community will once again be fooled into supporting a demon, placing it in political power to use the military the Democrats want to rebuild.

Posted by: Brojo on November 7, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Related to the evangelical crackup, how many of our top liberal bloggers were saying Giuliani could never be nominated because of his viewpoints on abortion....

A lot of us were saying the entire time that the fundies, when push came to shove, would back whoever looked like the could beat the Dem.

Hey! Look who's endorsed Rudy today!

Posted by: jerry on November 7, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, more examples of the inclusive, optimistic impulse that characterizes progressives: "People like myself who used to consider religious belief incomprehensible but harmless are very hostile...."
and "The evangelical community and the traditional conservative American block are highly susceptible to repetitive mass media messages... wealth will provide for a continuous propaganda assault on the weak minded for a very long time."

Bigots.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

A lot of us were saying the entire time that the fundies, when push came to shove, would back whoever looked like the could beat the Dem.

Hey! Look who's endorsed Rudy today! Posted by: jerry

Painful and annoying, ain't it. However, it may also reflect Robertson's increasing irrelevancy in national politics (he's spent most of the Bush years looking stupid and hateful - 9/11, Katrina, Chavez), and his fear of being "scooped" or undercut by Dobson's increased notoriety. I mean, who the hell had even heard of Dobson before the middle of the first Bush administration?

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Evangelicals who are pulling away from the famous agenda of the "religious right"...

So, who's the dumb ass? Evolution baby!

Posted by: the mighty elmo! on November 7, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

wait a minute, reverend pat endorses rudy, but agreed with the late rev. jerry who sid it was the gays and abortionist who caused 9/11. pat robertson is objectively pro-9/11!

Posted by: benjoya on November 7, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

and agreed, it speaks more to robertson's blessed irrelevance than anything else. suck up to the papist baby killer, reverend, and maybe you can get him to say "strict constructionist" a few times.

Posted by: benjoya on November 7, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

It is interesting that the young seem to be changing directions but they don't vote in large numbers so it may not affect this election much. It is how their elders vote that counts.

On the lighter side, if the wackos now think Bush is wacko that has to be proof positive. Case closed. You've got to go with your strengths.

It's like if Michael Jackson says something is crazy. You gotta know that is true.

Posted by: JohnK on November 7, 2007 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII"Why? Their concerns are not our concerns. They are small-minded and essentially afraid of the world beyond their, typical, 20 mile comfort zone. These are the people who don't like a place like Des Moines because it's sin city. Many of these people are creationist and Bible literalists. These people are largely racist. For the good of the nation, these people must either change or be politically marginalized. Otherwise, they will be electing more Shrubs.

So I guess your mom didn't train you that "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?"

Let me give you some good reasons.

1) Because they are small-minded and essentially afraid of the world. Even ignorant, shallow people feel the lure of the big world. We need to make sure that they can feel safe and full members of that big world.

2) Because we want ALL Americans to to be treated fairly, to feel that their children can grow up in a safe way, to respect government and to share in the blessings of our prosperity. When liberals attack them and claim that they need to "change or be politically marginalized", how do you suppose they will respond:
(a) "Oh, gosh, yes! Good idea! I'm going to roll over and play dead" or
(b) "I'm going to vote for Bush-clone because he will politically marginalize those damn liberals?"

3) Because, when the evangelicals join the environmental movement, seeing environmental degradation as a sin, as the destruction of what God created, they will be a force to be reckoned with. We need them on our side.

Posted by: PTate in MN on November 7, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Amen.

(I had neglected to include "stewardship".)

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, dummies! Listen up! Do you want to win an election this year, or would you rather preach to the non-thinking, knee jerk choir? Do you want to live in a better country, or would you rather be bigots who slander all who do not believe exactly the same way you do? I'm talking to both the Wingnuts & the Libtards here.

I don't know about anyone else, but it makes sense to me to talk with people whose beliefs are different than mine in the hope they just might possibly see some of the light. (And sometimes I see a little light from their side also.) That will never happen when the first word out of your mouth is a personal insult. To me, someone who labels all evangelicals, pro lifers, conservatives, etc. as evil or stupid are exactly the same kind of person who labels gays, blacks,
liberals, etc. the same. All are bigots, with the only difference between them is their belief systems.

If what I said pisses you off, I suggest you take a long, deep look within yourself.

Posted by: bob in fla on November 7, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

So I guess your mom didn't train you that "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?"

Yes. We've all heard that cliche. I don't want to catch any flies, which prefer shit to honey in any case, and which your metaphorical flies obviously prefer in political leaders. I want to save the Republic from self-destruction. As many people tend to become more conservative as they grow older, playing nice with Creationist Bible-thumbing xenophobes is not likely to net any Dem votes in the "heartland."

As others have pointed out, hatred of gay marriage and abortion have been replaced with an equally irrational fear of being attacked by Muslims. If we're dealing in cliches and squishy aphorisms, if it's not one thing with these people it's another. There are too many Americans who fit in the category of "all the people all the time." Add to them the high numbers of politically apathetic, and . . .

I never said that we need to go out of our way to piss them off further. But, again, they need to change, not us. So benign neglect is all the effort we need to expend on them. We're not going to successfully "re-educate" them by being reasonable and honest. I think the Democrats have proved this point quite convincingly for most of the last six years.

3) Because, when the evangelicals join the environmental movement, seeing environmental degradation as a sin, as the destruction of what God created, they will be a force to be reckoned with. We need them on our side. Posted by: PTate in MN

Hardcore evangels, which you seem to be rolling into a group with fundis, don't give a shit about the environment of the here and now as they are waiting for the ever after. I have no idea what portion of the "deeply religious" believe this and neither do you. But enough of them have spent the three decades since environmental consciousness became more common refuting the idea of stewardship (ironic as this concept is so strong in Christianity in general as it applies to mankind) because God gave man dominion over the Earth.

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

"hatred of gay marriage and abortion have been replaced with an equally irrational fear of being attacked by Muslims...."

Well, good thing we have well-informed, reasonable, tolerant and understanding folks like Jeff who "want to save the Republic from self-destruction..."

Jeff, you couldn't be dumber if you ate stupid the way cows eat cabbage.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Accountability has become an enormous issue in American politics, along with dishonesty. And, it's not just GOP operatives that should be held accountable for the mess we're in. Their enablers deserve some blame and should be held accountable too. Bush and the modern GOP were known quantities in 2000. The electorate should not have allowed them to get close enough for the five conservatives on the Supreme Court to intervene. The even deeper denial in 2004 was obviously a huge failing that can't be forgotten easily.

But, no need to get juvenile about it. We can tell it like it is, and accept their apologies at the same time. A few at the top can't apoligize enough though and deserve a much bigger penalty than being turned out of office.

With the breakup of their reliable religious right base, used so efficiently by Rove et al, we might eventually see that kind of accountability.

PS. Thanks for the learning on cows & cabbage. "How" threw me, though I should've seen it as a legitimate replacement for "that."

Posted by: dennisS on November 7, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK
To me, someone who labels all evangelicals, pro lifers, conservatives, etc. as evil or stupid are exactly the same kind of person who labels gays, blacks, liberals, etc. the same. All are bigots, with the only difference between them is their belief systems.

You hit that one on the head.
Noam Chomsky? Just like Timothy McVeigh!
Eric Rudolph? Separated at birth from Gloria Steinem.
James Earl Ray? He got hooked up on e-harmony.com with Coretta Scott King, they're so much alike.
And it's well known that Medea Benjamin has advocated water-boarding to convert people to pacifism, just like her BFF Ann Coulter.

Posted by: kenga on November 7, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Americanist, why do you throw out tripe like that?
It doesn't even rise to the level of being wrong, and obfuscates what legitimacy your point had.

I suppose you're going to tell me that the Pope had nothing to do with all those altar boys getting sexually abused. For FORTY FUCKING YEARS.
And then criticize us for calling those priests pedophiles, and the Church hierarchy enablers?
No? Pray tell, why not?

Posted by: kenga on November 7, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Is Creationist an epithet?

The difference between my prejudice of evangelicals and their prejudice of me, is I have no desire to make any laws forbidding them from believing or worshipping orliving or reproducing in any way they choose. There are no consequences from my prejudices for evangelicals, but I do not think I am free of the consequences they wish to impose. This is the source of hostility many of us have to the religious right. Insisting the religious right unequivocally accept the separation of church and state before we can find common ground, may seem too rigid, but it prevents them from imposing religious tests upon us that have no legitimacy within the social contract.

Posted by: Brojo on November 7, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I respect what you're saying PTate in MN. It's just not me. I'm more of a fight fire with fire kind of guy. Wrong or right, there it is. When you get the "moderates" to shun their radicals and meet you guys in the middle, then I'll just fade away...

Posted by: the mighty elmo! on November 7, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

The difference between my prejudice of evangelicals and their prejudice of me, is I have no desire to make any laws forbidding them from believing or worshipping orliving or reproducing in any way they choose. There are no consequences from my prejudices for evangelicals, but I do not think I am free of the consequences they wish to impose. This is the source of hostility many of us have to the religious right. Insisting the religious right unequivocally accept the separation of church and state before we can find common ground, may seem too rigid, but it prevents them from imposing religious tests upon us that have no legitimacy within the social contract.Posted by: Brojo

Well put. But this has always been the case with "true believers."

I'd add one point about the heretofore tolerance of the separation of church and state. This has been bought, if you will, for decades in this country by the preferential tax rates given churches. Just how powerful do you think an organization like Dobson's or Roberts' would be without this?

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK
I'm pretty sure Rev Wright was trying to say Christianity is on the offense, ie. moving forward, not that it offends people.

No, he is saying that it offends people—his specific example of Christ and the Pharisees couldn't be much more clear on this (well, to anyone with even a vague, passing acquaintance with the Gospels, at any rate.)

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK
This has been bought, if you will, for decades in this country by the preferential tax rates given churches.

The same place the every other nonprofit would be without the benefit of the exact same "preferential tax rates". If anything, because their political activities are more tightly constrained (since they don't have options in that area that are available to other 501(c)(3)'s), churches have the exact opposite of preferential treatment compared to other organizations that don't return profits to shareholders.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK
Given the humongous damage that these people have done to our country -- supporting destructive, divisive and just-plain-wrong policies and people -- they are guilty till proven otherwise.

Which people? Popular media narratives aside, evangelicals aren't the same thing as right-wing extremists, even if right-wing extremists are disproportionately likely to be evangelicals.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK
Hardcore evangels, which you seem to be rolling into a group with fundis,

Christian Fundamentalism is a particular, and arguably "extreme" comparatively, subset of the Protestant Evangelical movement (which, properly speaking, includes much of mainline Protestantism aside from Low Church Anglicanism.)

So its not improper to roll "hardcore evangels" into a group with "fundis". The latter are the former.

don't give a shit about the environment of the here and now as they are waiting for the ever after.

That's true, perhaps for most of the so-called "Christian Right", but there's quite a lot of Evangelical, and even Fundamentalist, Christianity outside of the political Christian Right.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

The same place the every other nonprofit would be without the benefit of the exact same "preferential tax rates". If anything, because their political activities are more tightly constrained (since they don't have options in that area that are available to other 501(c)(3)'s), churches have the exact opposite of preferential treatment compared to other organizations that don't return profits to shareholders.Posted by: cmdicely

Wrong. Disclosure for churches vs. non-profits is considerably less onerous. In short, large cash-cow organizations like Dobson's and Robertson's have a lot more latitude as to how they use their money.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2007/01/turning_a_blind.html

And

Exemption Requirements

To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

The political campaign activity prohibition is not intended to restrict free expression on political matters by leaders of organizations speaking for themselves, as individuals. Nor are leaders prohibited from speaking about important issues of public policy. However, for their organizations to remain tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3), leaders cannot make partisan comments in official organization publications or at official functions.

To avoid potential attribution of their comments outside of organization functions and publications, organization leaders who speak or write in their individual capacity are encouraged to indicate clearly that their comments are personal and not intended to represent the views of the organization.

Every time someone like Dobson or Robertson use their media outlets for political discourse, they have violated these stipulations. It can be disingenously explained away that they are acting as private agents, but that's not the reality of the situation.

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Yet another reason to welcome "reformed" religious types with welcoming AA meeting outstretched arms is that some of the folks you are blithely slapping a label on are actually people who are in the process of "leaving the fold" in a moment of great shift within the evangelical movement and via their own personal epiphanies. Sometimes in ways that are very painful.

Our world is in a time of great change and so too is American Churchianity.

But if you are not intimately aware of all of the variations, shades of gray and doctrinal differences of factions, and the causes and ramifications of the shifts, splits in worldviews among the players-- and the resulting disquiet not only with politics but of one's religion itself in this 21st century, then you are totally and hopelessly clueless. So maybe it is best to refrain from namecalling.

All of this tea leaf reading is about as pointless as the old 70s era "Kremlin watchers" doing their best Gladys Kravitz imitation. Loads of speculation based on not much good intell. Why no good intell? You run off those who could tell you loads of good dishy insider information on a daily basis.

Shia? Sunni? Hey, what's the difference? "They" are look alike!

Fundies? Evangelicals? Calvinists? Holiness types? Mennonites? Moravians? Evangelical Lutherans? Robertsons, Jonesers, Dobsons, Jakes? Hey, "They" all look alike.

Do you have any idea how there is a huge generational shift with the evangelicals as far as people who were raised that way--maybe even raised Fundie-- but have had the opportunity of more education, a wider world view and thus are moving away and on towards a more progressive outlook on a whole host of things? Churchy baby boomers don't hold the same attitudes as their parents and for sure the younger ones much much less so. yes, it is Evolution, baby! Imagine that!

Then there is the entire Bush situation which forced a lot of issues much faster than otherwise woulda happened IMHO. I could go into a long litany of details and analysis but I will not bore you.

But even some who are totally gone from the fold still have one foot in the community with family members. I find myself in that spot. And I can say, despite risking being called out here as merely speaking to "anecdotal" bits of personal experience rather than hard data (irrefutable truth no doubt from some think tank memo), that it really, really is a jab to the gut to hear the kinds of crap some of the more strident left comes up with if one finds oneself in this situation.

Because if one happens to be in that "stuck in the middle" position, the right wingers and your former churchy acquaintances think you are on your way to hell and hold you in various levels of contempt as a backslidden, turncoat, apostate...whatever, all the while the progressive types are typecasting you as an ignorant rube because of where you came from not where you are NOW. They fixate on certain bits of your CV and don't look at the ways you rose above it all. And certainly don't bother considering all of the in-coming mortaring you weathered to get you where you are NOW. Change can be difficult. Profound change can be almost impossible.

Given that standard measurement of judging solely based on whence one starts and not seeing the present circumstances, Frederick Douglass would have never been given a hearing. Funny how sometimes it seems like we aren't any more enlightened today than way back then. In some ways, maybe less?

I made some huge changes in my life...finally. One of them was registering as a Democrat. Initially it was to torque off certain people to show them my little card with a D on it but I am more and more of the mindset of a pretty average D--maybe even hard left on some issues. I know plenty of other very disaffected people from the churchy right who are no longer a part of any of it either. They don't speak up much. They learn not to. To many life-time card carrying, activist Ds I and those of my ilk will always be suspect. It seems changing hearts and minds is a global issue.

If I offer my often slightly different view of things (from my different life experiences) within a group of people in my left-leaning current community or a discussion forum, I am a "concern troll" or a "closet shill" or god knows what. I made the mistake with some people to explain my experiences and why I feel a certain way thinking they would better understand and allow me into the discussion. Bad idea. That is the quickest way to sit alone at the leper's table. Once a fundie, always one even though I have been moving away one step at a time since before I was legal.

Participatory gummint? Right. We'll need to see your credentials and your papers at the door, please.

I often now view the Democrats as I do the Republicans and sometimes now I think maybe I should change my registration to an Independent except that I like the right to vote in our primaries. Maybe none of it really matters anyway.

In my family's case, we very publicly stood up to a lot of very angry and vocal right wingers (some of em religious folks) on principle about something very nasty and hurtful. We participated in what we thought was our democracy. It was the beginning of the end to our tenure not only as self identifying with the Rs but with our attendance in church (actually a mainline denom but in a red state so it was full to the gills with right wingers). We moved hundreds of miles away, quit church altogether, changed many affiliations, almost just blew off the 04 elections but hated Bush so much we just became Democrats instead. There is more than one way to give someone the finger.

I have run off campaigning door-knockers from my doorstep-- D and R-- giving them a large piece of my anger and telling them to never come back here with their smiles and bs. Want to really hear what I think? Want to really discuss issues and solutions? Or get elected to do some work and really make a change? Fine. You are always welcome here but if you are going to BS me to win a slot to sit on your ass, then *please leave now.*

I am still extremely bitter at the right, the GOP and the church but I am also very angry at some of the things said about me and my family by the huffing left while we were in the very act of standing up to rightwing stupidity, bigotry and hatefulness. Don't talk to me about "Stand up and be counted". I see how well that worked out. The horse heads were the really fun part.

Damned if you do and damned if you don't. You do the right thing as even as a private citizen, albeit one who tries to be informed and thoughtful, and you will get tarred and feathered by the self-righteous blowviators on BOTH sides. You are either too silly or are suspiciously too well spoken. Don't even get me started about the media.

So I want someone to SHOW me what is the difference? Please! Don't tell me. Don't blow smoke at me. Don't promise me jack. Don't insult me. Don't accuse me. Don't pander to what you think you want me to hear. Have some backbone. Have some core values. Stand up like a mensch and Just DO IT. That is what leadership is about. The rest is churlish, childish and wholly not worth my time. Sort of akin to Rudy mocking Hillary in his best sixth grade fashion. (And I don't really care for Hillary but his attitude deeply offends me.)

This is America. We are *suppose* to assess people as to the content of their character and not the color of their skin or the stripe of their upbringing's religiosity -- or other superficialities-- such as the situation of their birth and what their family's income granted them in opportunities/educational credentials or what hair-do they have or if they have an odd laugh or nasal Midwestern twang. But unfortunately, that American "virtue" Dr King espoused of our nation finding its virute as a meritocracy and granting full equality is a myth. We are still just as selfish as we were when he was doing his best to bring out our better angels.

I will forever be labeled by the way I was brought up and some of the places I was sent to school while under my parent's roof. It is on my permanent record, you see. Despite the fact I think much of that milieu is totally nuts now. And I know this in a way much more profoundly than any of you can begin to understand. I got a very good, albeit, unintended education because of it. Doesn't matter. There are no second acts in American life. It does not help on job applications.

I must be a threat to America. I must also be a "turrorist" too? Maybe we can turn Baptist dunking tanks into "advanced interrogation" chambers too? Let's round em all up and waterboard em ...or hell, let's just nuke em all back to the stoneages. You most strident here can take care of the fundies and Glenn Beck can take care of the "Islamofascists" as he opined to be his idea of a good strategy.


Don't tell me about what "They" say and what "They" think and what "They" do. And how dangerous "They" are to America.

It sounds so much like what "They" said about you too. I came to the conclusion what they were saying was/is profoundly wrong --but who know? Maybe it was all a lot of wasted motion. Maybe I should I have stayed in fundie land? Have I gone to great lengths to escape and become a better person just to find that the rest of America is pretty much the secular version of that same idiotic game?

"Same song, different verse; a little bit louder, a little bit worse."

Depressing does not even begin to describe it.

Posted by: Groundhog Day... again on November 7, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Best way to fight evil, Groundhog, is to do some good. Gets you past the kind of alienation you describe, too.

I expect that most religious folks who break with (as opposed to fall away from) the faith they were raised in, have it happen more or less the way you describe it happening to you: you discover that the folks who were all about everything being or wrong... are wrong about something.

I dunno WHAT on earth Kenga is thinking, but I actually initiated "theAmericanist" on a Catholic blog (to their great chagrin, Shea could give shortstop lessons on being a whackamole) at the height of the revelations, with a question to the faithful: if the role of the Church in the Situation (the pedophilia scandal) isn't enough to shake your faith in Rome's Authority, well: what COULD?

I got interesting answers, the most orthodox of which was: nothing, that's why we're Roman Catholics.

I actually think that is an entirely legitimate and self-explanatory answer. It's just not mine.

Evangelicals, who are after all protestants, don't have that Authority thing. They're born schismatics. The kind of experience Groundhog describes is a GOOD thing.

It's also, Groundhog, just about the most American sort of experience. Hemingway said that when Huck Finn had a version of it in the novel, it began American culture: "All right then, I'll GO to hell!"

That's why progressives, to be true to what we believe, ought to welcome you, Groundhog, and it's also why "Americanism" was condemned as a heresy -- it's the idea that civics has a moral value in itself.

It's okay to believe that abortion is a mortal sin. But it's very different to insist that it must be legally identical to murder.

It's legit to believe that two men or two women cannot marry each other in the eyes of God, that being of the same sex means they cannot confer on each other the sacrament of matrimony (the only sacrament, btw, that Catholics believe is delivered by lay people).

But that's DIFFERENT from civil unions. That is a secular matter, not a religious one.

What drives people of faith, AS people of faith, in politics are values like family, stewardship, inclusiveness, responsibility, and charity.

Those shouldn't divide progressives, much less exclude folks like you.

Speaking as somebody with some credentials, welcome. I couldn't care less if you grew up handling snakes or God knows what. SPEAK UP for what you believe, and maybe we can convince some of the bigots of the left that America is a bigger and more fun place than they've let themselves experience.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

My stepdad was a racist and a member of the John Birch Society. I grew up knowing first hand what bigotry looks like. I want JeffII and Elmo to know that bigotry on the left is no more attractive than bigotry on the right.

Americanist and PTate are offering spot on political advice. Republicans have not been slow to exploit rifts among liberals. I can't see why we should not give them a bit of their own therapy.

By the way, that doesn't have to entail selling out. It does mean working with people on issues on which you happen to agree and not alienating them by calling them names. Snark may be fun, but it doesn't translate into good politics.

Posted by: AK Liberal on November 7, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Americanist. Thanks for reminding me of the Huck Finn line--one I always thoroughly enjoyed.

Maybe I am still an idealistic fool but I think America is way better than any of this. McCain's line about our engaging in torture being more about displaying our values (or lack thereof) than the terrorist's is a good analogy to the way we behave towards one another as fellow citizens as well. What is our government saying in our name by their deeds in the world? No wonder they are saying "No thanks" to our exporting to them our "values".

I have very close friends who were brought up deeply engaged Catholics and we have had many a discussion about all the things they are distressed about in the church as you describe--and how they have left that behind as well. If anything, Protestants are surely highly skilled at schisms so the great evangelical crackup was preordained...or would that be predestined? Just wait a week or two and the entire lot will be at one another throats, splitting a church and no longer talking. Why the nonreligious left gets in a hissy fit about that voting bloc eludes me. They are pathologically driven to split. The more fundie they are, the more so. Just wait awhile and they will be feuding again. Hatfield v. McCoy style. Oh well,...Whatever.

Posted by: Groundhog on November 7, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

My stepdad was a racist and a member of the John Birch Society. I grew up knowing first hand what bigotry looks like. I want JeffII and Elmo to know that bigotry on the left is no more attractive than bigotry on the right. Posted by: AK Liberal

Oh really? So hating someone for what he stands for and supports politically and religiously (the same sphere with regards to this discussion) is the same thing as hating someone for the color of his skin or what country they come from?

By the way, that doesn't have to entail selling out. It does mean working with people on issues on which you happen to agree and not alienating them by calling them names. Posted by: AK Liberal

I guess you're new to all this reading and political discussion stuff. See, we don't on the whole agree with anything the religious right believes. That's why most of us wouldn't bother walking across the street to pee on Pat Robertson if he was on fire.

As Brojo wrote, I don't give a shit about someone's religion as long as it remains his religion, his dogma. That, however, is not how the religious right thinks.

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff ANNOUNCES that he's a bigot: "So hating someone for what he stands for and supports politically and religiously (the same sphere with regards to this discussion) is the same thing as hating someone for the color of his skin or what country they come from?"

Oddly enough, it is. Curious it took you so long to even recognize it.

Catholics are probably the best example of this in American history -- James G. Blaine was the author of the 14th amendment, establishing birthright citizenship without regard to race, AND he was the leader of opposition to public support for Catholic education, with the "Blaine Amendments" that are still part of several state constitutions.

The argument against Catholics included the proposition that it was not possible to be both a good Catholic AND a good American -- which was endorsed by no less than the Pope, Pius IX, whose Syllabus of Errors in 1854 detailed all the things that folks could not believe in, and still be good Catholics: religious liberty, the separation of church and state, free speech, and so on.

So anti-Catholic bigots in the US understandably resolved that the Pope must be right: it was NOT possible to be both Catholic and an American. The explanation was precisely Jeff's rationalization: 'it's not their RELIGION (which of course is nonsensical superstition, but hey, we aren't prejudiced EXCEPT..), it's their POLITICS, the way they try to cram it down our throats..."

Riiight.

So you're in solid Know-Nothing territory there, Jeff. I trust everyone who engages you in discussion here will preface anything directed at you: to KNJeff...

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

So I want someone to SHOW me what is the difference? Please!

There is no difference, GHD. Never will be. Your rage is refreshing, however. But as long as there is a vocal far right wing it will be confronted with viscous force, till enough get fed up and kick both wingnuts and moonbats to the curb in humiliation. I long for that day.

But I will not be part of that compromise. You'd be right to hold me in contempt for that, but at least I'm transparent. You'll get no smoke up your ass from me...

Posted by: elmo on November 7, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK
It's legit to believe that two men or two women cannot marry each other in the eyes of God, that being of the same sex means they cannot confer on each other the sacrament of matrimony (the only sacrament, btw, that Catholics believe is delivered by lay people).

Wrong. Any person with the requisite intention to baptise may validly (and, in cases of necessity, even licitly—as in many other areas of Catholic practice, there is a distinction between an act being "valid" and "licit") confer the Sacrament of Baptism. Indeed, unlike Matrimony, a non-Catholic or even non-Christian (though, in the latter case, it would be odd though not impossible for the requisite intent to arise) may validly and licitly confer the Sacrament without any special dispensation in certain circumstances. In the case of Matrimony, a non-Catholic may not do so licitly—and a non-Christian may not do so validly—without dispensation from competent authority.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK
Wrong.

No, its not.

Disclosure for churches vs. non-profits is considerably less onerous.

Perhaps, but I wasn't talking about disclosure, I was talking about the rules on substantive activity. Other 501(c)(3)'s can opt in to a limited-amount system that is essentially an alternative to the no-substantive-part test, but churches are singled out as excluded from that allowance.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

The mighty Elmo: " viscous force"

And liquid rage?

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK
Every time someone like Dobson or Robertson use their media outlets for political discourse, they have violated these stipulations.

Um, no, they aren't. First, because what you point to aren't "stipulations", but rules of thumb as to how to avoid getting into the gray area around the actual legal rules. (There is a difference between public guidance from an administrative agency and actual law or regulation.)

Second, because, AFAIK, Dobson, at least, is careful to do political activism through various organizations and outlets associated with FoF that are not 501(c)(3)'s; Robertson, IIRC, does quite a lot through the 700 Club produced by CBN, which is a 501(c)(3), though.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps, but I wasn't talking about disclosure, I was talking about the rules on substantive activity. Posted by: cmdicely

How a "religious" organization spends its "tithe" is part and parcel of it "substantive activity." In other words, facing less rigorous scrutiny than a non-religious non-profit organization gives them greater latitude.

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK
It's okay to believe that abortion is a mortal sin. But it's very different to insist that it must be legally identical to murder.

Its actually really not all that different. Sure, its possible to have an internally consistent for believing the first but not the second, but its the kind of thing that rightly raises suspicion of doubletalk when raised without explanation (as Kerry's fumbling around about the issue did), since it demands some explanation when you say something is wrongful killing done with premeditation and shouldn't be treated, in law, as wrongful killing done with premeditation.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK
How a "religious" organization spends its "tithe" is part and parcel of it "substantive activity." In other words, facing less rigorous scrutiny than a non-religious non-profit organization gives them greater latitude.


It doesn't give them greater legal latitude, it just makes it easier for them to avoid being caught breaking the no-substantive-part rule that they, uniquely, are forbidden to opt out of in favor of alternative treatment.

But being prohibited from opting into the more generous alternative treatment means that they have less latitude within the law.

The law really seems to be set up to make it easier to selectively enforce the law against churches, since it narrows what they legally can do, but makes it easier for them to conceal illegality from any but a focussed investigation fo what they are doing.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

So I want someone to SHOW me what is the difference? ...Have some backbone. Have some core values. Stand up like a mensch and Just DO IT. That is what leadership is about.

Groundhog Day... again, everyone here at PA, like much of America, has to suffer for making their opinions known. Do not wait for any leader to show you any core values or exhibit a backbone. There is no leadership like that anymore, if there ever was. It is up to each of us to DO IT, whatever it is, and do it with the knowledge it might not conform to well worn platitudes, or be popular and elicit negative responses, but that it is the right thing for you to do regardless of the burden it creates.

Posted by: Brojo on November 7, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Dice, honest: when you get the impulse to 'reason' in public, lie down.

A "mortal sin" denotes a threat to someone's SOUL. That's why it is a "sin".

"Murder" is a crime. It denotes an act that is characterized by its relationship to the LAW.

There are lots of things that are wrong, which ar bad for your soul, but which are nevertheless legal. For many religious people, abortion is one of them.

It's not double-talk to say that infidelity is wrong -- but it shouldn't be a crime. Likewise, it is entirely consistent for someone to believe the abortion is a mortal sin (and worse than that you can't get for people of faith who believe in the possible loss of salvation), but it should not be a crime, in fact should remain legal, for all kinds of reasons that are independent of theology.

LOL -- dayum, dood, you never cease to amaze me with your utter stoooopidity.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII: "I guess you're new to all this reading and political discussion stuff. See, we don't on the whole agree with anything the religious right believes. That's why most of us wouldn't bother walking across the street to pee on Pat Robertson if he was on fire."

Actually, I've been reading this blog for well over a year and the comments long enough to get feel for who the commenters are and what they stand for.

Now, Pat Robertson is on the record for saying some pretty offensive things. So if you say he's a bigotted loon I would agree. But, that's way different than making undifferentiated attacks against a group of people that may represent a wide spectrum of beliefs. Are you saying you wouldn't work someone on environmental issues because you don't agree with their stance on abortion? That doesn't make much sense to me.

"So hating someone for what he stands for and supports politically and religiously (the same sphere with regards to this discussion) is the same thing as hating someone for the color of his skin or what country they come from?"

Yeah, hating people for any reason is still hate. That's what the wingnuts have been promoting and it isn't any prettier when practised by "progressives." Furthermore, as evidenced by Groundhog Days's posts, its not good politics.

Posted by: Ak Liberal on November 7, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

The mighty Elmo: " viscous force"

And liquid rage?

LOL, good one! You know what I mean shithead.

I'm still waiting for that knock on the door from the FBI, Paul...

Posted by: the mighty elmo(man of action) on November 7, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

A "mortal sin" denotes a threat to someone's SOUL. That's why it is a "sin".

Duh. Nothing I said is inconsistent with that.

"Murder" is a crime. It denotes an act that is characterized by its relationship to the LAW.

Duh, again. Nothing I said is inconsistent with that, either.

There are lots of things that are wrong, which ar bad for your soul, but which are nevertheless legal.

And, duh, for the fourth time. Nothing I said is inconsistent with that, either.

For many religious people, abortion is one of them.

This is equivalent to saying that many religious people think abortion is a sin, since whether or not abortion is legal is not subjective. But whether abortion is legal and is a sin is not the issue, the issue is the consistency of the view that abortion is a mortal sin and yet should be legal. And, as I said before, it is quite possible to believe that, but it demands an explanation, since most people understand that something that is wrongful, and
killing, and deliberate, ought, therefore, to be punished as murder, and the normal justification for painting abortion as a serious sin is that it is wrongful, and killing, and deliberate. Therefore, when you say you view abortion as a mortal sin, without further explanation, you imply that you accept it as something which is very much like murder, at least enough so that many people—particularly religious voters—are going to want an explanation, at least, if you say it nevertheless ought to be legal.

Note, again, that I said the first time, as well as in this post, that it is possible to have perfectly good reasons for believing both that abortion is a mortal sin and that abortion ought to remain legal.

It's not double-talk to say that infidelity is wrong -- but it shouldn't be a crime.

Nor did I say it was.

I said it was raised a warranted suspicion of political doubletalk when a candidate appears to agree that something is deliberate and wrongful killing but states that it should not be treated in the law as the law generally treats deliberate and wrongful killing. Since the usual explanation of the serious moral wrongness of abortion by those who paint it as a serious moral wrong is that it is deliberate and wrongful killing, simply agreeing that abortion is a mortal sin without further explanation appears to agree that it is deliberate and wrongful killing, and moving on then to endorse its legality has the appearance of doubletalk.

There are certainly other grounds on which one might see abortion as a serious sin (for instance, one might take the view that the Catholic Church held for most of its history on early-term abortion, and view it as a serious sexual sin denying the proper purpose of sex similar to adultery), and certainly on many of those grounds it would make sense not to see it as being within the scope of what ought to be the subject of civil law. I expressly stated that in the first place. But those things require explanation.

Likewise, it is entirely consistent for someone to believe the abortion is a mortal sin (and worse than that you can't get for people of faith who believe in the possible loss of salvation), but it should not be a crime, in fact should remain legal, for all kinds of reasons that are independent of theology.

It is not inherently consistent, but it certainly is, as I stated in the post you are responding to, possible to have self-consistent reasons for believing that (though whether or not they are consistent is not independent of theology.)

You have mastered the schoolyard insult, now please work on mastering the skill of reading.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, theAmerican'tist, still arguing that 3 equals 4?

You attacking someone's intellect is like Bush attacking someone else about their alleged fiscal irresponsibility.

Posted by: anonymous on November 7, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

You know, there is in this country very often a disconnect between what people espouse politically and how they actually behave. I know it sounds like the worst of clichés, but many of my friends are Republicans and even a few are diehard right-wingers. And I personally am pretty much as far left as you can get without actually having a candle-lit shrine to Stalin in my home.

But the point is, these people, these friends, babble a right-wing line because on some level what they hear and absorb appeals to them, yet in their personal lives act in ways that would suggest them to be at worst social libertarians and at best actual Democrats. They are kind, smart, loyal people--if they hadn't a lot of great qualities they wouldn't BE my friends--and, here's the thing, only nominally political. When something large happens--either a personal or political crisis of really large proportions--I predict some of them are finally going to have to really seriously look at their "beliefs" and some brand-new baby Democrats are going to be born.

I think this is already happening, even among evangelicals. Read what Groundhog wrote, and listen to it carefully.

Engage, don't insult. We are on the verge of a new millenium, only seven years late.

Posted by: jprichva on November 7, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

You have mastered the schoolyard insult, now please work on mastering the skill of reading.

posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 5:55 PM

OHHHH SNAP!

I think theAmeritoad enjoys having his ass handed to him...

Posted by: elmo on November 7, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Dice, quotes me, then states his views: "It's okay to believe that abortion is a mortal sin. But it's very different to insist that it must be legally identical to murder.
Its actually really not all that different."

QED.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 7, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

I take it, from your uncharacteristically "short" comment, that you had no idea who you were fucking with in "dice"...

Posted by: elmo on November 7, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

QED? Quad Erat Demonstrandum? LOL! I had no idea what that acronym meant till I just google'd it. You are one big fucking dork, Paul...

Posted by: elmo on November 7, 2007 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Paul. If you can't stand the jungle-gym, stay off the playground(TM)...

Posted by: elmo on November 7, 2007 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

You know, there is in this country very often a disconnect between what people espouse politically and how they actually behave.

I think this is true. If they'd just stay away on election day all would be fine.

I know it sounds like the worst of clichés, but many of my friends are Republicans and even a few are diehard right-wingers. And I personally am pretty much as far left as you can get without actually having a candle-lit shrine to Stalin in my home.

Stalin wasn't a leftist of any sort. He was, as were all the "communist" leaders of the Soviet Union and PRC, a blood thirsty tyrant, second only to Hitler in the last century.

When something large happens--either a personal or political crisis of really large proportions--I predict some of them are finally going to have to really seriously look at their "beliefs" and some brand-new baby Democrats are going to be born.Posted by: jprichva

Gee, what's it going to take for these folks, martial law and tanks in Union Square? The politics of this country are the worst they have been since the 1960s, and the people were reacting then - marching in the streets and burning things.

The overwhelming majority of Americans know that everything cooked-up in the aftermath of 9/11 to justify the war was a lie. The economy has been mismanaged worse than any time since about 1931. But what have they done about it?

In short, if people don't get it now, and don't demand a change, they probably never will. So, pass the Doritos and hand me the remote, there's a football game or reality show on somewhere!

Posted by: JeffII on November 7, 2007 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Look, "Americanist", I don't see what you think you are acheiving by leaving out of the quote the part of the post that shows that you didn't read it the first time; its not like anyone reading the thread can't see the whole original.

There are times and places where selective misleading quoting, dishonest though it may be, may be an understandable propaganda tactic, but I've never understood what people who do it in comment threads like this and think their tricks can convince anyone, when the original is just a short scroll up the page.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2007 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

It's very telling that you're pussn' out on this one, theAmericantaloupe.

Posted by: elmo(man of action) on November 7, 2007 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII, I love to protest in my "dress greens" but to no avail. There are only 1 or 2 hundred at ever giving time that show up. Fucking pathetic.

I can't see anything standing in front of the next revolution. The so called "intellectuals" like theAmeriscum blame us, "the radicals" for not fixing this mess! HELLO? We are radicals!~ Easily disseminated if the so called "realists" DO THEIR FUCKING JOB!

Posted by: elmo(must be stupid) on November 8, 2007 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:Note, again, that I said the first time, as well as in this post, that it is possible to have perfectly good reasons for believing both that abortion is a mortal sin and that abortion ought(emphasis mine) to remain legal.

The distinction rests on that word ought. I don't think that abortion ought to be legal but the fact that it is within the civil law, as decided, isn't troubling. For a Christian, in my case Roman Catholic, it is irrelevant if the society in which I live calls an immoral act legal. Legal doesn't mean required nor does it mean condoned.

Further, while the duty of the Christian is to proselytize, in this case the immorality of abortion, and to demonstrate if that's what one thinks is required, the difficulty arises in trying to legislate that moral position. I think you're right to be skeptical of a position that argues that there ought to be a law forcing nonbelievers to follow all of the prescriptions (and proscriptions) of the Christian moral ethic.

To a believer, God's punishment is far worse than anything the law can deliver. I have listened, on occasion, to our local right wing talk radio "personality" and whenever he (and/or his familiar) rant about abortion, they invariably step all over themselves when they then advocate for capital punishment. That's the troubling and inconsistent point the Dobsons and Falwells make. Killing, in any form, is a moral wrong (yes, yes, there are just wars but if that's the case, why weren't all the Catholics, like the crazy guy who shows up on MSNBC all the time, against the Iraq war?-but I digress)but forgiveness is attainable.

Posted by: TJM on November 8, 2007 at 6:50 AM | PERMALINK

TJM gets it. Obviously, neither Dice nor the mighty Elmo do.

Ya see, Dice, this is why I concluded long ago that you're simply stoooopid: the distinction I made isn't complex. It's clear.

You bitched that Kerry wasn't clear.

And then you got it wrong, cuz I was.

Sophistry doesn't explain an error like that. Only stupidity does.

You're NOT doing (as you doubtless brag to yourself) what I do about a third to half the time I post here, provoking some argument to see if it has any life in it. Your method is to grab secondary and even tertiary points, making a distinction without a difference, and then say: Ah-HA! like you've proven a thing.

As a matter of logic (which you obviously have never mastered, but you have so much trouble with words...), you redefined on a false premise.

One more time: "the Americanist" refers to the officially-condemned Catholic heresy of believing that civics has a moral value in itself.

That is how a faithful Catholic (or evangelical, etc.) can acknowledge, accept and even participate in (by voting for a pro-choice candidate) the lawfulness of abortion, without endangering their immortal soul, but can NOT, for example, have or perform an abortion, because THAT is a mortal sin.

Face it, Dice (and the mighty Elmo): you're basically just too dumb to know when you've made fools of yourselves in public. Again.

QED.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Pleeeease! Mortal sins can be confessed and absolved you serial masturbator you!

Posted by: elmo on November 8, 2007 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Uh-huh. Careful now, mighty Elmo, cuz you might actually learn something.

"Mortal sins can be confessed and absolved..." but a crime CANNOT.

When someone confesses to what's known as "murder", which Dice (being a fucking idiot) defined as LIKE abortion a "deliberate and wrongful killing", they don't get "absolution".

What part of this distinction between a mortal sin and a crime is unclear to you, Elmo?

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

Groundhog Day...again at 3:28: I was most interested to read about your experiences. Admired, too, that you presented them in a such a thoughtful and engaging tone, resisting the (wholly understandable) urge to veer into lecturing, deep aggrievement or self-pity. Thanks for posting that.

Posted by: shortstop on November 8, 2007 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK
The distinction rests on that word ought. I don't think that abortion ought to be legal but the fact that it is within the civil law, as decided, isn't troubling. For a Christian, in my case Roman Catholic, it is irrelevant if the society in which I live calls an immoral act legal.

This is self-contradictory. If you don't believe its relevant, than you have no belief in either direction on whether or not it ought to be legal. If you believe it ought not be legal, and that is in some way connected to its moral status, you do believe it is relevant, though perhaps not important in the light of other policy outcomes you prefer.

Either of those can be a perfectly reasonable position (I'm a Roman Catholic, and there are plenty of things that I think should be illegal for reasons overlapping or even essentially precisely coextensive to those for which they are sinful, things that I think should not be illegal even though they are sinful, and, even things that I think should be illegal even though they aren't necessarily sinful in and of themselves.)

Ya see, Dice, this is why I concluded long ago that you're simply stoooopid: the distinction I made isn't complex. It's clear.

The distinction is clear in the abstract. The distinction on particular issues is not often not clear unless explained. What I was pointing to was that fact. I wasn't, as you would have noticed if you read more than the first sentence of my response, saying that you were wrong, I was saying that there is an important political consideration which your overly simplistic generality obscured, and which has been a problem for actual Democratic candidates dealing with actual issues in the recent past.

You bitched that Kerry wasn't clear.

Actually, I didn't. I bitched that Kerry fumbled didn't provide an explanation for his position that inspired trust. I did not say that what he put out there didn't communicate something clearly, I said that what it communicated was counterproductive. Whether because it did not accurately portray the position he intended to portray or because it accurately portrayed what he intended, I don't know.

You're NOT doing (as you doubtless brag to yourself) what I do about a third to half the time I post here, provoking some argument to see if it has any life in it. Your method is to grab secondary and even tertiary points, making a distinction without a difference, and then say: Ah-HA! like you've proven a thing.

I do sometimes launch off from side-points in others comments to illustrate points that I think are interesting and relevant that relate to the issue being discussed in some way, even if they aren't directly relevant to the main point of the other poster's comment. So what? This isn't academic debate where there is a narrowly defined single topic, its a conversation in a blog comments thread. As for "making a distinction without a difference", well, other people often seem to see the differences you miss in the distinctions I make; your inability to do so is not, really, something I am overly concerned with.

As for pretending I've proven something when I've done nothing of the sort, I'm not the one whose made generalized insults with no specific support and then posted "QED" after them in this thread. Twice, now.

One more time: "the Americanist" refers to the officially-condemned Catholic heresy of believing that civics has a moral value in itself.

That's actually a pretty gross mistatement of what "Americanism" actually is that is, as far as I can tell, detached entirely from any of the original or modern sources relating to the issue.

That is how a faithful Catholic (or evangelical, etc.) can acknowledge, accept and even participate in (by voting for a pro-choice candidate) the lawfulness of abortion, without endangering their immortal soul, but can NOT, for example, have or perform an abortion, because THAT is a mortal sin.

That doesn't make any sense even assuming the correctness of your description of the condemned heresy in the case of Catholics, and of course a Catholic condemnation of a set of beliefs as heretical can't explain anything about the consistency of any action with Protestant Evangelical faith.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, cuz your insights into what is "an important political consideration" are demonstrated time and again, as when you spoke up against false attacks on our troops (Beauchamp), and bigotry against Pakistani immigrants (KNJeff and others calling 'em "jihadists"), and in this thread, when you promptly welcomed Groundhog.

Oh, wait. My bad.

Yeah, that's Dice: a political seer.

BTW, my sources on the Americanist heresy include Leo XIII's letter to Cardinal Gibbon, the Hecker biography, the letters of Gibbon, Bishop Ireland, and Orestes Brownson, as well as all the secondary sources in English that exist, so far as I know, although I'm still looking for Monsignor what's his name's speech at Fribourg, which isn't in the Catholic University archives cuz I think somebody destroyed it so the bullshit cover story you obviously believe about the heresy can be sustained.

What are YOUR sources, Dice?

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK
Yeah, cuz your insights into what is "an important political consideration" are demonstrated time and again, as when you spoke up against false attacks on our troops (Beauchamp), and bigotry against Pakistani immigrants (KNJeff and others calling 'em "jihadists"), and in this thread, when you promptly welcomed Groundhog.

You keep making this mistake of assuming that I am running a election campaign in the Political Animal comment threads.

BTW, my sources on the Americanist heresy include Leo XIII's letter to Cardinal Gibbon, the Hecker biography, the letters of Gibbon, Bishop Ireland, and Orestes Brownson, as well as all the secondary sources in English that exist

Claiming that those are your sources does not magically transform your one-sentence summary into a fair summary of the content of those sources. In fact, your one-sentence summary in this thread isn't really a fair summary of your longer articulation of the heresy in the past, which is also erroneous; but we've been through all this before, in January of 2006, and I don't see much likelihood of anything useful being added now.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

I can't see anything standing in front of the next revolution. The so called "intellectuals" like theAmeriscum blame us, . . . Posted by: elmo(must be stupid)

The last couple of threads that he/she/it has posted to ad nauseum (Diceman, don't feed the trolls!) have reveal Americanist as a "concern troll". I suspected as much when he/she/it was mentally masturbating about what a all-American hero John McCain is.

Posted by: JeffII on November 8, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Ya gotta be impressed with a guy who is both so dumb, and so arrogant, as to brag about his political acumen (raising what he describes as "an important political consideration") before promptly disclaiming when challenged that he is actually offering political insight, then (yegodsandlittlefishes) explaining to me how to articulate my views.

I asked what your sources were, asshole. You don't HAVE any.

For once, have the grace to 1) admit you're wrong, and 2) point out to anybody stooopid enough to miss that, e.g., the mighty Elmo, that in your incomparably stupid way, Dice, you were AGREEING with that you, er, dissented from?

Many people of faith believe abortion to be wrong, even a mortal sin, but they do NOT believe that it should be a crime.

THAT is a truly "important political consideration", cuz you were wrong, Dice: "It's actually really not all that different," is false, ignorant and misleading, to boot. You changed the premise to the notion that abortion and murder are ALIKE, out of the ignorant arrogance that is your SOP.

I'm sure the mighty Elmo, at least, awaits your public apology for having misled him.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Fabulous! You Catholic guys can bitch-slap one another about as skillfully as the BJU & Co. folks going after the "heresies" of the likes of Billy Graham & Co. And all of this time you just thought they tore into Catholics and Mormons? Stop whining about that. You should see what they do to their own who they deem "heretics". Probably about what you guys do to one another...

Maybe we can abort the heresy trials here and just use those well stoked bonfires for one "hell" of a wienie roast, eh? Seems like we have loads of wood here, plenty of heat and fire (very little light however)....and we sure have loads of wienies just dying to get roasted.

This is why so many (me included) today think that the totality of religion is nothing but crap. I have listened to this sort of crap all of my life. The Jesuits are just Baptists who can read.

Did to. Did not. Oh yeah? Yeah! Well, you're a witch. Because you float ...just like wood. You turned me into a newt too... but I got better. But you are still a witch. Then this stuff migrates to politics--as if the body politic needed any more bitch-slapping boys to enliven it more?

The world will know you are children of God by your love for one another... if you don't beat the crap out of one another first.

Posted by: Groundhog on November 8, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK
Ya gotta be impressed with a guy who is both so dumb, and so arrogant, as to brag about his political acumen (raising what he describes as "an important political consideration")

Stating an opinion as to the importance of a political consideration is not bragging about political acumen.

before promptly disclaiming when challenged that he is actually offering political insight,

I nowhere disclaimed that I was offering political insight, either. I pointed out that your challenging of certain of my statements on this blog as bad political practice as a means of questioning the political judgement behind my suggestion of what might be important in an electoral campaign was misplaced as it failed to recognize the difference in context between me making a post in a discussion on a blog comment thread and a political candidate making a statement in the course of a campaign.

then (yegodsandlittlefishes) explaining to me how to articulate my views.

I haven't explained to you how to articulate your views. I did state that two different articulations you've made of your characterization of the Americanist heresy are inconsistent, but I've offered no advice on how you ought to articulate your views. The only advice I remember ever having offered you (and repeatedly!) is to work on developing your deficient reading comprehension skills, which—presuming arguendo you aren't constantly dishonest—appear to be rather seriously deficient.

I asked what your sources were, asshole. You don't HAVE any.

As we covered back in January 2006, the disagreement we have isn't a battle between different sources, its about your misinterpretation of the sources you claim to base your interpretation on.

For once, have the grace to 1) admit you're wrong,

I've admitted that I've been wrong numerous times on this blog. But only when I've actually been wrong.

and 2) point out to anybody stooopid enough to miss that, e.g., the mighty Elmo, that in your incomparably stupid way, Dice, you were AGREEING with that you, er, dissented from?

I was neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the post of yours that my first response to you in this thread was in response to, I was making a point related to the portion of your post that I quoted and responded to. Not every response is either agreement or simple contradiction.

The: "It's actually really not all that different," is false, ignorant and misleading, to boot.

If that had stood alone as the response, it certainly would admit, as the most natural interpretation, one which would be fairly characterized that way. In context, thoughm that's not the case. Perhaps you should have read the other sentence of that two-sentence post, instead of just the first:

Sure, its possible to have an internally consistent for believing the first but not the second, but its the kind of thing that rightly raises suspicion of doubletalk when raised without explanation (as Kerry's fumbling around about the issue did), since it demands some explanation when you say something is wrongful killing done with premeditation and shouldn't be treated, in law, as wrongful killing done with premeditation.

Moving on...

You changed the premise to the notion that abortion and murder are ALIKE

The grounds on which most religious opposition to abortion is based is that abortion is murder (in the moral sense of "deliberate, wrongful taking of human life"); there are other possible grounds for religious objection (such as the ancient Catholic view on early-term abortion), but they have little currency in the modern political dialogue. So when a modern politician—particularly one who is a member of a Church whose opposition to abortion is expressly due to its view that it is morally indistinguishable from other forms of homicide and—states a religious opposition to abortion without further elaboration, the clear (even if unintended) message received by the electorate is that abortion is, to that politician, morally equivalent to murder.

When that politician also states that, despite that stated religious opposition, abortion should not be treated in law as murder, without a compelling explanation as to why not, this creates a dissonance which does not inspire trust.

That's what I said at the outset. That's what I meant. And no one seems to have failed to grasp it except, perhaps, theAmericanist.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Dice finally gets around to explaining why he's stooopid -- an impressive intellectual feat, sorta like assembling a pitching staff to increase home runs.

""It's actually really not all that different," is false, ignorant and misleading, to boot."

Misleading is the word ya might have paid attention, if you had managed to deal with that whole literacy thing before now. Cuz then you go on, as noted repeatedly, in the WRONG direction.

Which is what "to mislead" means. Ya with me on this use of words thing, Dice?

"when a modern politician—particularly one who is a member of a Church whose opposition to abortion is expressly due to its view that it is morally indistinguishable from other forms of homicide and—states a religious opposition to abortion without further elaboration, the clear (even if unintended) message received by the electorate is that abortion is, to that politician, morally equivalent to murder...."

And yet, somehow, in responding with this crap to what I had noted in the first place, you somehow missed... what I had noted in the first place.

A "mortal sin" denotes a threat to someone's SOUL. That's why it is a "sin".

"Murder" is a crime. It denotes an act that is characterized by its relationship to the LAW.

You're assuming that (for Catholics) the mortal sin of abortion is the SAME AS the crime of murder.

It's not. Abortion is not a crime. (Going too fast for you, asshole?) That's why I made the distinction. In your two sentences you keep bitching that I discarded, you changed the premise.

For a smarter guy than you, that'd have been dishonest.

But we keep coming back to your impenetrable stooopidity, Dice: the heretical notion that civics has a moral value in itself evidently escapes you.

We've been through this before, and you're simply wrong, and either too dumb to see or too proud to admit it, but it's not complex.

There is CIVIC progress in the legalization of divorce, contraception, abortion, of being gay and civil unions. That civic progress has a profound moral foundation.

Many people of faith, even millions who are morally opposed to all of those things, can recognize that PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH THEM about the morality of these things -- but we can still get along.

In some cases, pro-choice progressives who believe in divorce and gay rights, etc., may make common cause with evangelicals and orthodox Catholics about stewardship of the environment, or opposing torture, or the war in Iraq.

In other cases, folks may make common cause with people they disagree with about abortion, but agree on the death penaltiy.

In still other cases, you may find folks who passionately believe that abortion should be outlawed because it is infanticide -- but who will work with doctors and nurses and child advocates on issues like spina bifida or Down syndrome.

The point is, you CANNOT reliably do these things if you ape KNJeff, who happily waves bigotry around as if it is a progressive principle.

And you can't reliably do these things if you encourage the likes of the mighty Elmo to dis our military as the sorta people who mock wounded and wear a child's skull for a joke.

You're a pitiful specimen, Dice, in what you choose to argue about -- and what you don't.


Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

What part of this distinction between a mortal sin and a crime is unclear to you, Elmo?


Don't you get a beatitude with me, shit for brains!

Posted by: elmo, the mighty on November 8, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

That is how a faithful Catholic (or evangelical, etc.) can acknowledge, accept and even participate in (by voting for a pro-choice candidate) the lawfulness of abortion, without endangering their immortal soul, but can NOT, for example, have or perform an abortion, because THAT is a mortal sin.

Where is the word "crime" in that statement, dork?

Posted by: elmo all mighty on November 8, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

This is self-contradictory. If you don't believe its relevant, than you have no belief in either

No, it isn't but I didn't come here for an argument nor to be in a Monty Python skit. I do agree, though, with your parenthetical completely.

Posted by: TJM on November 8, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK
A "mortal sin" denotes a threat to someone's SOUL. That's why it is a "sin".

"Murder" is a crime. It denotes an act that is characterized by its relationship to the LAW.

This is not in dispute. No on is arguing that one must believe something is a crime if they believe that it is a sin, or even that someone must believe that something ought to be a crime if they believe that it is a sin.

You're assuming that (for Catholics) the mortal sin of abortion is the SAME AS the crime of murder.

No, I'm not assuming that. Nor am I arguing, concluding, stating, or claiming, or implying that.

What I am stating is that (and we'll focus on the Catholic case, though the same thing works for the Catholic Church teaches, as rather firm doctrine, that abortion (or, more precisely, direct abortion, but the distinction is tangential to the immediate discussion) is the wrongful deliberate killing of a human being, and that consequently it morally ought to be treated in the law no differently than other things which are wrongful killing of a human being. And that, consequently, a politician who embraces (explicitly or implicitly) the first part of this teaching, i.e., by stating that they are morally opposed to abortion as a consequence of their Catholic faith, does not inspire trust when they reject the second part without some substantial explanation, because the position appears unprincipled and inconsistent, whether or not it is possible for a consistent and principled justification for such a combination of beliefs to exist.

But we keep coming back to your impenetrable stooopidity, Dice: the heretical notion that civics has a moral value in itself evidently escapes you.

Neither the content of Americanism or related "errors" as originally understood in the 19th century, nor the content of Americanism as still understood as problematic in the Church after Vatican II, escape me.

There is CIVIC progress in the legalization of divorce, contraception, abortion, of being gay and civil unions. That civic progress has a profound moral foundation.

I don't see anyone here, myself included, arguing against this point.

Many people of faith, even millions who are morally opposed to all of those things, can recognize that PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH THEM about the morality of these things -- but we can still get along.

Nor have I said anything inconsistent with that. Many people accept, to some degree, the general proposition that there are some things that are immoral that ought not be prohibited, either for reasons of an independent moral value in tolerance of disagreement or for any of a number of other possible reasons, however, that does not imply that those people will not view with distrust someone who articulates or implies a belief in a grave moral wrong but articulates that government should not prohibit it without an explanation of the particular reason that that particular moral wrong is within the scope of things that should be tolerated, particularly if the express content or the context of the statement about the immorality of the act suggest a close moral parallel to an act that those same voters believe strongly should be illegal for precisely the reasons for which it is held to be immoral. Which is what my comment was about. Your problem seems to be the fact that you cannot grasp that a response to one of your comments can be something other than praise or contradiction.

The point is, you CANNOT reliably do these things if you ape KNJeff, who happily waves bigotry around as if it is a progressive principle.

I don't know who "KNJeff" is—as far as I can tell, its just another of your childish invented-names for a WM poster.

If you are referring to JeffII, who it seems you are when you refer to KNJeff, you'll note that I've taken issue with some of his specific generalizations here (and in previous threads) where you've resorted to grandious rants and insults rather than specific responses. You don't get people to recognize ideological blindspots, and deal with them—if you can at all, which is difficult at best—by schoolyard taunts. You do it, if at all, by correcting them, even if forcefully, with respect. You don't do it by reading one or two things they write and then writing them off categorically as being in a hated class as using that to label them from then on without listening to and addressing their specific points. You might drive them out of a forum that way, if they are sensitive to that kind of thing, but you aren't going to acheive anything productive.

I'm not particularly concerned if you think that I've failed some kind of moral litmus test because I've not been as abusive to JeffII (or anyone else) as you have been in this thread and elsewhere.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

The GHD says:This is why so many (me included) today think that the totality of religion is nothing but crap. I have listened to this sort of crap all of my life. The Jesuits are just Baptists who can read.

Too bad you've given up, it's almost unamerican. Here's James Madison:

A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts...

Federalist 10

I try to keep this snippet in mind when I read the comments here.

Posted by: TJM on November 8, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

(patiently) Serious question, mighty Elmo: are you really this dumb?

When a Catholic, or anyone else who believes abortion is morally wrong, nevertheless participates in its lawful character by voting for a pro-choice candidate, that is in a significant way HOW it is not a crime. Folks who vote for pro-choice candidates help keep abortion legal.

Did you really miss that?

Dice is arguing (or trying to, he's kinda snarled in his own paragraphs) that because Catholics (and others) believe abortion is morally wrong, they must ALSO want it outlawed -- or else, he stumbles about a bit, have a really really good, ya know, reason or an explanation or something.

This is a somewhat obscure form of the same myopia that plagues you, and KNJeff, and lots of others on this thread and throughout the progressive 'movement'.

It's not enough for somebody to agree on WHAT. They also have to agree on WHY they agree, or the agreement is somehow invalid, as some idjit said upthread "they don't deserve" to support our side.

Dice did a switch. I noted that for many people of faith, abortion (and lots of other stuff) are wrong: they're SINS. But being a sin and being a crime are two different things.

Dice replied, no, they're not so different... cuz they're MORALLY the same, therefore (he tried to argue, like a blind man doing paint by numbers), somebody who thinks that abortion is a wrongful killing LIKE murder, must ALSO be presumed to insist that abortion be outlawed (like murder).

That ain't so, but more to the point, Dice defined with a false premise.

I had noted that a mortal sin concerns a person's soul, but a crime is a matter of the law. Dice argued that these are similar, but they're not.

Infidelity is a sin. It is not a crime. Someone who understands that infidelity should oughta be legal (and grounds for divorce, which the Catholic Church was also passionately against legalizing, along with contraception), still isn't necessarily condoning infidelity as a moral matter. Not every sin is a crime. See?

Progressives need to beware of committing the same mistake they accuse evangelicals of doing, namely requiring that their VALUES be accepted by folks who don't agree with 'em.

In the end, that's what Dice is doing in this, as in other threads where we have this sorta silly argument -- cuz I know the subject, and he doesn't. When somebody like Groundhog or AK Liberal comes from a different background, and seeks to find a political home among progressives, WELCOME THEM.

Greeting 'em with KNJeff's religious bigotry or Dice's idea that cuz you think abortion (or divorce, or homosexuality) is wrong you MUST also insist that these things be outlawed, or come up with an explanation based on his false premises: well, there's a reason why Dice's political insights ain't worth shit.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I don't give a fuck what you and Dice are arguing about. It's just loads of fun to play with you! You don't know how hard it is to find someone as childish as me/you around here to play with...

Posted by: elmo, the mighty shithead slayer! on November 8, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Then get better at it. You can do more than miss free throws, right?

Learn some defense. We can do zone until you can handle man on man. Just stand around here and hold your arms up facing the ball at all times. Then when somebody else on our team gets it, you run down there.

Okay?

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Here is Americanist, all high and mighty:

The point is, you CANNOT reliably do these things if you ape KNJeff, who happily waves bigotry around as if it is a progressive principle.
And you can't reliably do these things if you encourage the likes of the mighty Elmo to dis our military as the sorta people who mock wounded and wear a child's skull for a joke.
You're a pitiful specimen, Dice, in what you choose to argue about -- and what you don't.

But on another thread, after I posted an item exposing Nutjob Ron Paul's racist past, he jumped on me and said:

Oh, Pale... HUSH.
LOL -- a reading from the experiences of that bugaboo of the blogosphere, Tim Russert: when Russert was Pat Moynihan's chief of staff, there was a Republican primary to choose the nominee to run against him. One of the Republican candidates had served in the Army, but not in Vietnam, somewhere in the late 60s to early 70s. His original campaign biography said that in a paragraph or so, which Russert noted when, as a diligent political aide, he read the opponent's material, along with all the other Republican primary candidates.

[snip - he gives an example of what Russert did to help sink someone's candidacy]

Dr. Paul's actual views are documented out the wazoo -- but NOW is not the time to expose 'em.
Wait at least until he wins New Hampshire, willya?

So, lemme see if I have this straight--Americanist will lecture people and try to hold them accountable for their beliefs, and even accuse them of bigotry, but when it comes to exposing the racist beliefs of a candidate for President, he wants people to "hush" about it "until he wins New Hampshire."

Am I detecting a little shakiness in the absolute certitude and rectitude of Americanist? When is it okay to take out a bigot and when should we just "hush" so that Americanist can be the man behind the curtain, pulling levers he has no business trying to pull? Is he a little bit of a hypocrite when it comes to what you can and can't speak out about?

It sure looks to me like he doesn't have an ethical or moral compass that's worth a damn, but I'll just let that one go.

Hypocrite? Sociopath? Pain in the Ass?

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 8, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Pale, you're priceless.

This ain't complex: KnowNothing Jeff (that's what the KN stands for) was bragging about his religious prejudices upthread. Since the point of THIS thread is how evangelicals are pulling away from the GOP, I noted that this isn't the most astute political strategy, and cuz I have a scruple or two, I say that bigots are bigots around here.

I was TEASING you, with the "HUSH", but the Russert story was to illustrate a couple things.

First, since folks like you often hallucinate that Russert is a bad guy, it seemed useful to tell a true story about his past political work.

Second, it's a useful story about political tactics in its own right. It's generally better to face a weak opponent than a strong one: like war, only fools expect an election to be a fair fight.

So when you know that one of your potential rivals, competing for a chance to go up against you, has a glass jaw: don't tell his rivals, who DON'T have that glass jaw. If they find it on their own, fine. But if they don't, and he winds up as your final opponent: he STILL has a glass jaw. It's a matter of timing.

You have such difficulty with simple stuff, but I figure even you can't confuse words of one syllable like that.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

We can do zone until you can handle man on man

Please, bitch. I can shake a screen with the best of 'em...

Posted by: elmo, hoopmeister on November 8, 2007 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

I doubt it, being as how I was advising you, as a longtime coach, to learn how to play DEFENSE.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

How is everything at the 'ol YWCA, coach?

Posted by: elmo (box-in-one) on November 8, 2007 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

CYO -- and I'm done.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK
Dice is arguing (or trying to, he's kinda snarled in his own paragraphs) that because Catholics (and others) believe abortion is morally wrong, they must ALSO want it outlawed -- or else, he stumbles about a bit, have a really really good, ya know, reason or an explanation or something.

Wrong. I've never said Catholics (or anyone else) who believe abortion is morally wrong must believe it should be outlawed. I'm saying that any politician who explicitly or implicitly endorses the idea that abortion is morally wrong because it is wrongful, deliberate homicide engenders distrust and the appearance of lacking consistent principles if they then turn around and say they want it to remain legal without some kind of explanation, and that merely registering a religious objection to abortion with no further explanation can, in and of itself, be enough to suggest that reason, especially if the person making the statement is a member of Church whose own objection is based on those grounds.

This is a somewhat obscure form of the same myopia that plagues you, and KNJeff, and lots of others on this thread and throughout the progressive 'movement'.

Well, except that none of those people have embraced it. On this forum, at least, it appears to exist entirely in your mind.

It's not enough for somebody to agree on WHAT. They also have to agree on WHY they agree, or the agreement is somehow invalid, as some idjit said upthread "they don't deserve" to support our side.

I've never said anything like that. Anyhow, there is no "our" side, as we agree on neither why nor what.


Dice did a switch.

No, I didn't do a "switch".

I noted that for many people of faith, abortion (and lots of other stuff) are wrong: they're SINS. But being a sin and being a crime are two different things.

Actually, you did note note that being a sin and being a crime are two different things, in the piece I responded to, you argued that believing that something is a sin and insisting it be treated as a crime are two different things. The distinction is important to my response.

Dice replied, no, they're not so different... cuz they're MORALLY the same, therefore (he tried to argue, like a blind man doing paint by numbers), somebody who thinks that abortion is a wrongful killing LIKE murder, must ALSO be presumed to insist that abortion be outlawed (like murder).

If that description was accurate, I would have simply disagreed with you, there is no "switch" involved. Of course, your description is misleading. What I did was note that while (as you said) believing something is a sin and insisting it be treated as a crime are not "so" different, that is, that there is an extent to which they are related and similar, and then I went on to explain the sense in which they were related in terms of how claiming the former belief without the latter insistence could in certain contexts, appear unprincipled. This was never a disagreement with your point, but I side comment. I did not argue that someone who believes that abortion is morally similar to murder must be presumed to want to treat it legally like murder, I said that a politician who states (or implied) a belief that abortion is morally similar to murder but at the same time argues that it should be legal puts themselves into a position which will provoke distrust from many voters who might agree with them on either the moral and the legal belief, if they fail to reconcile those beliefs. I explicitly said that those beliefs are not necessarily inconsistent, only that they provoke demands for explanation which, if not satisfied, may make the politician appear unprincipled or dishonest.

I had noted that a mortal sin concerns a person's soul, but a crime is a matter of the law. Dice argued that these are similar, but they're not.

No, I have not argued that they are similar. You are confusing my statements about relationships between beliefs about what the former is and those about what the latter ought to be with statements about intrinsic similarity between what the former is and what the latter is, which is pretty sloppy.

In the end, that's what Dice is doing in this, as in other threads where we have this sorta silly argument -- cuz I know the subject, and he doesn't.


I can't think of any possible interpretation of "the subject" (and there are several at issue here) for which that is true. Its certainly not true on the subject of the particular point I raised in this thread, which you continue to fail to correctly identify, much less rebut.

When somebody like Groundhog or AK Liberal comes from a different background, and seeks to find a political home among progressives, WELCOME THEM.

"Different background" in what way? Anyway, the only reason I haven't said much to them in this thread is that I thought they were doing a good job of, in slightly different ways, arguing the same points I have against JeffII and others with similar views in previous threads. I may respect JeffII and recognize that we have common cause on many points, but really, we disagree on this forum more than we agree—on the very points where you are trying to lump as together, amusingly.

Greeting 'em with KNJeff's religious bigotry or Dice's idea that cuz you think abortion (or divorce, or homosexuality) is wrong you MUST also insist that these things be outlawed

I wouldn't describe JeffII's antireligiosity as bigotry, but certainly its a point I've clashed with him on before. OTOH, the idea you ascribe to me is not one I have embraced, in fact, I've embraced quite the opposite position in my time on this forum. You mistake a claim about the apparent inconsistency of inadequately explained positions that provokes mistrust with a claim about the necessary inconsistency of particular positions. Read more carefully.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK
First, since folks like you often hallucinate that Russert is a bad guy, it seemed useful to tell a true story about his past political work.

Having a good moment (or several decades, for that matter) in the past doesn't stop you from being a bad guy now.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Dice 1:"What I did was note that while (as you said) believing something is a sin and insisting it be treated as a crime are not "so" different, that is, that there is an extent to which they are related and similar..."

Dice 2: "I have not argued that they are similar."

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 8, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Again, with the out of context quotes. The "they" in the second quote doesn't refer to the same two things as are referred to in the first quote. The first refers to a statement of belief about sin, and a preference about crime, the second to something being a sin and the same thing being a crime (not a thing that should be a crime). I said the first pair of things are (while distinct) similar and related. You have, repeatedly, misrepresented that as the latter pair being similar and repeated.

Despite the error being repeatedly pointed out, you continue making it. This is a sign of either not reading, not being able to comprehend basic English, or gross dishonesty.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2007 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Fuck him Dice, he'll never admit his faults. What a piss-poor Catholic he is.

Life is simple, I think this sums it up perfectly...

Love thy neighbor as thy self.

Posted by: hayzeus on November 8, 30 AD at 12:07 AM

A phrase so simple it makes geniuses like theAmeritch act like a retard...


Posted by: elmo (ummmm) on November 8, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

(snort!) It's not an error. It's an insight into what you still think of as "reasoning" or "logic", but is in fact, just typing.

I noted that your method is to seize on secondary or even tertiary points, making a distinction without a difference. This is an example.

The PRIMARY discussion in the thread was evangelicals moving away from the GOP. So your whole distraction was secondary at best, and has long since gone way past tertiary. You've literally nothing useful to add at great length -- again.

The distinction I made in passing (which you keep mumbling that you accept, except...) is between a mortal sin, and a crime.

The DIFFERENCE you keep trying to draw is between "a statement of belief about sin, and a preference about crime ... (with)... being a sin ... (AND) ... a crime".

(The ellipsis is an editing tool so that even someone as educated into illiteracy as you can understand the meaning of what you wrote, which you keep burying in verbiage like cheap camouflage.)

The distinction you are trying to make does not amount to a difference, SINCE THE FUCKING POINT WAS VOTING.

In this country, it is voting which (more or less) will ultimately determine whether abortion remains legal.

That is a core issue for many people of faith. That is why the distinction I noted was directly related to the primary theme of the thread.

You changed a valid premise to a false one, then insisted on a distinction that makes no difference: secondary, to tertiary, to useless.

The pitiful "insight" you tried to offer, like pulling last year's dead squirrel out of the verbiage and claiming it as a hunting trophy (note how the mighty Elmo admires the wall in your den), is the idea that pro-choice candidates who talk of their faith can be less than compelling.

No kidding? Next perhaps you can share with us more of your politicial insights, like how insulting folks makes it difficult to persuade 'em. Gee, what WILL you discover next?

Your writing, not to mention your thinking, is too dense to figure out if you assumed or "concluded" (but I'm inclined to doubt the latter, since it'd require some intellectual structure that can support any weight) that when a person of faith believes abortion is a mortal sin IT MUST BE FOR THE SAME REASON that they believe murder must be a crime.

But that was your premise for the notion that someone like Kerry was not persuasive, reconciling Catholic doctrine (which, to be a Catholic, he must accept) with his pro-choice voting.

The premise is false. Hell, even you wouldn't defend it when I rubbed your nose in it -- so you went back to to your distinction-without-a-difference: "I did not argue that someone who believes that abortion is morally similar to murder must be presumed to want to treat it legally like murder, I said that a politician who states (or implied) a belief that abortion is morally similar to murder but at the same time argues that it should be legal puts themselves into a position which will provoke distrust..."

Face it, asshole: you're not only buying into, you're PROPOSING a religious test for judges. You're stating as a blithe matter of fact that being a faithful Catholic is incompatible with the US Constitution as interpreted by Griswold and Roe: "will provoke distrust..."

And you brag that you understand the Syllabus of Errors, the Americanist heresy, and Vatican II. My ass, you do.

That's why I noted your method is to grab at secondary and even tertiary points to make a distinction with a difference and then say ah-HA! like you've proved something.

Take your pick, Dice: you're either too stooopid to know what you're doing when you changed (and INSISTED on the change) from a valid premise (mortal sin does not equal crime) to a false one (this mortal sin MUST be like that crime), or you're dishonest.

Cuz if the general principle (mortal sin does not equal crime) has a specific exception (THIS mortal sin does equal THAT crime -- morally), then you would have defended it when challenged.

You didn't, cuz you lack the brains or the guts. Fuck off.


Posted by: theAmericanist on November 9, 2007 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

I love when Catholics pretend to be know-it-alls like they wrote the damn Catechism. I've witnessed some very heated debates, at Knights of Columbus meetings no less, where everyone is the expert and if you don't share their views of Catholicism then you're going straight to hell. Funny as hell to watch...

SSDD.

Posted by: elmo on November 9, 2007 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

(grin) In point of fact, the Baltimore Catechism was written under the authority of Cardinal Gibbon, who received the letter condemning the Americanist heresy.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 9, 2007 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK
What a piss-poor Catholic he is.

I don't recall theAmericanist every claiming to be a Catholic, I remember him claiming to have engaged in discussion on a Catholic forum, where his only stated participation was (1) to adopt a handle based on the name of a heresy, and (2) to challenge people to abandon Rome. Judging from that, I assumed he was a dedicated anti-Catholic troll on that forum, not a Catholic himself.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 9, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Dice is learning something in law school: statements of fact are always "claims".

Note, too, that he has already adopted the baby lawyer technique of churning the file -- when (if) he gets to claim his time and advice for pay, his clients will wind up paying for lots of 'reasoning', like you see above.

But, ya know what? Better lawyers don't play 'dat. Dice has evidently never settled a case, nor actually negotiated matters that are roughly intellectually parallel to these disputes.

Cuz when you DO that, folks with responsibility have no patience with grasping at secondary, much less tertiary points, and distinctions without a difference waste money, not just time.

Do tell us, Dice: do you "claim" to have any relevant experience or knowledge? Ever settled a case, negotiated a deal?

Cuz your capacities from aptitude and education are lacking.

Posted by: theAmericanist on November 9, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

You're not an angler, are ya Paul? Let me tell you how it works...

Fishing is fun, but fuck getting up early when the fish are feeding. Lazy rules. Besides, you catch the biggest fish in the middle of the afternoon...

Just drop the boat, find a nice cove, and sit. Drink a few beers and smoke and joke. Then, finally, slap on a worm and start casting. You hit that sweet spot over and over, knowing the big one is there. But ya know why he ain't biting? Of course you do, he's already full.

But I keep casting, because I need therapy.

The fish ain't hungry, and is tired, but eventually gets frustrated. You see, that fake ass bright colored lure keeps plopping in and it gets fucking annoying.

So finally, the big-bad-ass-bass gets pissed off and strikes. And gets hooked. How's that working out for you?

Oh yeah, your mom called...she wants her arrogance back...

Posted by: The MIGHTY elmo on November 10, 2007 at 2:39 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: eispzgotl htvkq on January 14, 2008 at 6:01 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: kbupd rpvs on January 14, 2008 at 6:02 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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