HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » rrneck » Journal
Page: 1 2 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Sat Nov 29, 2008, 02:55 PM
Number of posts: 17,671

Journal Archives

How do you feel about

religions that practice human sacrifice? Are they protected?

The establishment clause is a wall between religion and the exercise of power. When a government claims the right to tell people what to believe, it is abusing its power of leadership. When a religion tells people how to run the country, even if the issues involved are legitimate and the methods for progress wise and prudent, religion is abusing its power to lead its believers.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."


The separation of church and state was noted as one of major issues with the Faith- Based Initiatives laws. Critics have claimed that millions in government grants have gone to ministries operated by politica supporters of the Bush administration, or have been given to minority pastors who recently committed their[ 7][ 8][ 9][ 10][ 11] support.[ 7][ 8][ 9][ 10][ 11] support.

Established by executive order, which has the force of law. Surely no more controversial or potentially dangerous than the codification of corporate personhood using the fourteenth amendment. Which, in the true spirit of corporate synergy, would benefit large religious organizations as well.

This office was renamed and maintained by Barack Obama. Why? For political support from organizations representing people of faith. And in return for that support they get to attach themselves to the government teat.

According to ABC News, the office would seek "to expand the role of this office as it relates to policy ssues where religious and local leaders can be effective. DuBois will coordinate with faith-based and community organizations on social service outreach and will work to utilize these organizations' efforts to advance the administration's policies, with a primary focus on poverty."

It's just another example of the privatization of public services to the aggrandizement of organizations that have the right to call themselves people. And in a country where a great many citizens, especially poor undereducated citizens, can't name their congressional representatives, where do you think their loyalties will go when they see religious organizations contributing to their daily survival with their own eyes? Getting credit for food and shelter, not to mention emotional support - that's power.

If I could guarantee Barack Obama a million votes on election day I could sleep in the Lincoln bedroom tonight - and get rich doing it. That's because I will have established myself as a provider of aid to the poor on the one hand and a bundler of votes on the other.


You can't tell me how I feel either. I'm being nice, but I don't have to continue to do so.

I feel impelled to speak out against religious involvement in government. Like I said I dont have a problem with religion or its adherents. In fact, as I've said before religion is unavoidable if not indispensable to human survival. Some religions, most notably Christianity, are much too powerful and given its history and current role in society I don't see how it can survive as a viable faith. I expect we are in for another axial age and when that happens the Abrahamic religions will go the way of the dodo.

Ease up with the accusations before this gets ugly.

No society can last for long

without compassion. Certainly no society that calls itself civilized.

Did you know that you can patent an idea? In this culture ideas - thoughts - are property. We can, and do, profit from the production if ideas. That profit comes from consumers and investors. Those ideas are distributed through various forms of media. It is the oldest and easiest way to get rich. There is very little capital investment and the unlimited market of human desire for self validation as the source of a revenue stream. And all you have to do is tell people what they want to hear. It kept preists in a good living a thousand years ago and it keeps scholars, pundits, preachers and publishers in air conditioning and iced Scotch today.

Those kids, the value of their work notwithstanding, got their religious convictions from someone who made a living producing and distributing them in a very competitive marketplace of ideas. They bought books, listened to presentations, and paid tuition for those ideas and did so because they liked them. They made an emotional investment in them.

There is no difference between Christian compassion and Muslim compassion. The difference to the believers is who gets credit for fostering those feelings. I think civic duty, which includes compassion and justice for every member of society, should be nationalist inspired compassion. Because when we share, on that most basic and human emotional level, compassion for one another from a common source we will be able to exercise political power to make this a better country in which to live.

Religions gain power by bundling votes. If a religious organization can command enough followers to impact society any politician with half a brain will court the organization rather than the voters it represents. That gives the religion political power, and that relationship always ends badly.

Sorry, nope.

Somebody made a living generating and promulgating those ideas. They have university chairmanships, publish books, and speak at conferences.

If those kids want to make a difference they should be doing it as red, white, and blue United States citizens. That is the only acceptable religion to associate with one's civic duty.

There is a saying in psychology circles that goes, "you can't tell people how they feel". Any number of studies seem to indicate that the more strongly someone feels about something the more they dig in their heels to defend their beliefs then presented with contrary evidence. Faith and religion are emotional experiences and any organization that becomes the facilitator of that experience has considerable control over its followers. It's very difficult to separate oneself from that control - and that dynamic is the same for religious belief and simple brand loyalty. The most unscrupulous religions are those who most exploit the latter, and in a capitalist society any organization has to depend on the profit motive at least a little. The emotional bonds we create with shared ideas, including the profit motive, are at the root of all human civilization and has ensured the survival - and tragedy - of our species.

The latest and best effort to foster cooperation and support among groups of people has been a nationalist form of government, which replaced religion in that role. The transition has been a barbaric and bloody one. And it will never be complete if we allow civic activity defined by faith in anything other than ourselves.

Having said all that, I'm sure those kids will do just fine. There is a big difference between a specific situation and an overall cultural trend. I'm the first to admit that I don't know how to parse the role of religion in government - because I can't tell people how they feel. But I know people are only human and I don't think there's any reason to believe any religious organization or leader will judiciously exercise the considerable power that the faith of believers will give them. I haven't seen one succeed yet.

I feel i should add...

I'm not "anti religion" and I don't think religious people are crazy because they believe. It's just that there is no justice in politics. Kindness and compassion have nothing to do with it. Politics is the art of who gets what. Make no mistake, it's about resources, plain and simple. When it comes to politics working people cannot afford to divide our loyalties or lose sight of our objective. I'm not trying to pick on you or TMO but I see no reason to sub contract my understanding of civic duty to an organization that exists to produce ideology for profit. And they all do or they won't last long.

How so?

Is there a difference between a Mega church and a media empire? Is there a difference between Thomas Nelson publishing and McGraw Hill? Don't they all have marketshare and capital investments to protect?

How do we distinguish between a commercial lobbying organization and a religious lobbying organization? And if we cannot, what will happen? Exactly what has happened. Liberal religious organizations are going to lose in the marketplace of ideas because they are playing conservative game on a regressive field. They cannot compete unless they profit, and to succeed they must become what they are fighting against. Never play another man's game, he's better at it and he'll win every time.

When what most people consider religion is seen as the guardian of civic virtue it establishes itself as a conduit through which people relate to government. That's what the establishment clause is all about.

The First Amendment.

The civil rights of citizens are the purview of government, elected by the citizenry. Religious organizations are not people. Most of them, certainly the worst, most powerful and most dangerous, are little more than corporations. A religious organization that motivates and organizes public action for the homeless is no different from an organization that organizes for the right to keep and bear arms like the NRA (a Tea Party favorite).

The big difference is that most advocacy groups weren't founded on a sort of ideology that ripped cultures to pieces with sectarian bloodbaths for thousands of years. Religion deserves special attention in that regard.

Actually, you didn't answer anything.

I asked four a causal relationship, a unit of measure, and a justification. I got an etymology.

I don't think anyone can argue with a straight face that the emotional response to an insult delivered specifically and personally compares with the knowledge that the same word was uttered somewhere in reference to an inanimate object. Any such claim of equivalence is simply absurd and whoever makes such a claim is overreacting. Period.

The difference between a personal insult and a general expression of frustration is the context in which the term is used. Different words have different meanings under different circumstances. That's how language works.

I fail to understand how so many literate, intelligent, educated people can so easily be seduced by such absurd pedantry claiming so many ridiculous false equivalences and causalities.

I, and the bulk of the English speaking world, will remain unconvinced of your claim until you produce evidence. Or at least a cogent explanation that bears some relation to reality.

Can You do that?

What a simple formula.

So elegant. So pure. So wholly dependent on your understanding of semantics and insight into the intent if others based on the use of a single word.

You've still got nothin'.

You know, the internet didn't invent trolls. It just gave them something else to do. There have always been people willing to inflame the passions of others for their own aggrandizement. The good ones are smart enough the work both sides of the street, creating a following while attracting the ire of others. Then they hover between the combatants profiting as they will.

We can't spot the smart trolls by flagging a few words. We have to do what people have always had to do - evaluate how fairly we are treated. When someone proves to take more than they give they may be subjected to a measure of redirection. If they continue to feed off of the group, they might even get banished. Regardless of the outcome, the process is lengthy and requires considerable deliberation. It should on no account be based on semantics alone or even in any significant way.

Go to Page: 1 2 Next »