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Osborne Russell
01-07-2007, 06:11 PM
Is this Virgil Goode from the same part of Virginia as Mr. Macaca?


http://www.wdcmedia.com/newsArticle.php?ID=2579

WDC MEDIA NEWS
Christian News and Media Agency

Journalist Says Rep Goode Wants to Preserve Nations Christian Heritage

2007-01-05 --

WASHINGTON, DC (AgapePress) - A former GOP official says a Virginia congressman is being unfairly criticized for his comments regarding the first Muslim elected to Congress.

- - -

Goode, who represents the Fifth District in northern Virginia, has since been called a "bigot" and a "racist," and has even received condemnation from some within his own party -- Senators Lindsey Graham (SC) and John Warner (VA) among them. But John Lofton, a self-described "recovering Republican" who is editor of TheAmericanView.com, says Goode merely wants to preserve the Christian heritage of the United States.
- - -

Continuing in his defense of the Virginia congressman, the journalist says: "You've got to be careful who you let into your country or who you elect, because if they have different religions, then they have different gods -- and different gods mean that you can change a country, you [can] change its law."

In contrast, Lofton feels that critics who claim Goode is bigoted for making the remarks apparently are not overly concerned about protecting the nation's heritage. Senator Graham, he says, "eagerly attacked" Goode -- and Graham is "supposed to be a conservative, supposed to be a Christian," adds Lofton.

"He attacked Goode, saying that this is terrible, that what America is about is freedom and pluralism and diversity and all that stuff," claims Lofton. "Well, that's nonsense when it comes to religion [and] to gods. God Almighty says Himself in His Word, 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."

BrianW
01-07-2007, 08:52 PM
I prefer a Christian nation that accepts other religions as well.

About diversity... if it's so good, why is it so hard to achieve?

Gonzalo
01-07-2007, 10:01 PM
About diversity... if it's so good, why is it so hard to achieve?Diversity is good because not everyone is the same, not everyone comes from the same background, not everyone makes the same choices. Another word for that is freedom.

Why is it hard to achieve? Because it is in human nature to be suspicious of people who are different than you are and to feel superior. We need to work against human nature to be tolerant. We need to ask ourselves, how does it hurt me if someone worships a different God or the same God in a different way? Why shouldn't I tolerate diversity? What is the harm?

The reason most people practice the religion they do is that their parents did. Excepting denominational shifts and a few who fall away from religion altogether, how many people actually convert from the religion of their parents to a different faith? A few, but not many. Nearly everyone thinks the religion of their parents is right, and that all the others are wrong. But the reason most people believe in the religion of their parents is simply an accident of birth.

Osborne Russell
01-07-2007, 10:54 PM
I prefer a Christian nation that accepts other religions as well.

Find one and move there.

ishmael
01-07-2007, 11:05 PM
Hm. A post a bit ago, by Pat, got me churning. He said, basically, that the southwest US was originally Indian land and that they were taking it back, little by slow.

I don't have much sympathy for such. This is the United States of America. Full of triumph, power, also tragedy and weakness. But if you want to come here, because of our economic power, learn to be American. I don't want to give Arizona back to the Indians. Arizona is part of the US. We fought, you lost, get over it. Learn bloody English.

glenallen
01-07-2007, 11:14 PM
"We fought, you lost, get over it." Ishmael

That doesn't sound like you.
Would you feel the same way if the Chinese came and whipped our arse and made us learn Chinese?
I didn't think so. Me neither

ishmael
01-07-2007, 11:28 PM
Ya know, I spent some time down that way. There was a grand mix of cultures. Spanish, Spanglish, was a fine thing to know. But dammit, part of the reason it was a fine place was because it was US territory, subject to our rules. People don't realize just how corrupt it is when you step across that border. Do you want Mexico in Arizona? Any sane person says no, I want the US constitution, not the Mexican.

ljb5
01-07-2007, 11:31 PM
I prefer a Christian nation that accepts other religions as well.

A nation of first-class citizens graciously tolerating the presence of second-class citizens.


About diversity... if it's so good, why is it so hard to achieve?

It's easy to achieve. The problem is that some people won't tolerate it.

BrianW
01-08-2007, 06:14 AM
Diversity is good because not everyone is the same, not everyone comes from the same background, not everyone makes the same choices. Another word for that is freedom.

Sound like good reasons, but it's still not easy to achieve. Not without some sort of coercion. Without coercion, our society tends to divide itself along the lines of race, religion, and economics.

BrianW
01-08-2007, 06:38 AM
It's easy to achieve. The problem is that some people won't tolerate it.

Gonna disagree with you there ljb5. Our military spends hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars annually teaching it's members about diversity. Even private corporations are spending money trying to encourage more diversity.

It's especially strange in the military, as on most bases they separate their employees housing areas based on rank.

Take any major city and look how people live in different areas based on income and race. Even low income neighborhoods, where the economic situation is equal, people naturally separate themselves based on race.

As for those who won't tolerate it, they would be at the extreme end of the scale. Even tolerant people find themselves living and socializing with their peers based on factors such a economics, religion, and race.

There's nothing wrong with diversity. My question about why it's so hard, given that we all agree that it's so good, is based on simple observations of the world we live in.

BrianW
01-08-2007, 06:46 AM
Find one and move there.

This seems to be the closest one I can find, that meets my personal desires.

If current birth rates keep steady, there will be a lot more Catholics in the USA as well. Bonus for me, but not such good news for you I guess.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-08-2007, 06:48 AM
Take any major city and look how people live in different areas based on income and race. Even low income neighborhoods, where the economic situation is equal, people naturally separate themselves based on race.

Not always - see Tiger Bay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_Bay)

cats..paw
01-08-2007, 06:55 AM
I have to ask.
How many here have made their observations from LIVING in a low income neighborhood........within the last 20 years?

cats..paw
01-08-2007, 07:04 AM
My point being that it's hard to judge how people choose to live without knowing them.
How do you test what you will choose?
.
:)
.

Tylerdurden
01-08-2007, 07:11 AM
I have to ask.
How many here have made their observations from LIVING in a low income neighborhood........within the last 20 years?

Hit it on the head, When I divorced about 14 years ago I went kinda nuts and began an adventure of living in different places than the norm.
Not out of neccesity but being sick of little boxes. For 9 months I stayed with a good friend with MS who lived in the projects. He needed a little help until a new roomate was placed with him.
I got to live with all those people you lock the doors when you drive by. Once your down there you begin to understand there are one hundred people there to take adavantage of the lowest classes to one who may give a helping hand. I learned alot and it opened my eyes to how ignorant Americans are to the plight of the poor.

BrianW
01-08-2007, 07:11 AM
I have to ask.
How many here have made their observations from LIVING in a low income neighborhood........within the last 20 years?

For me, I just visited my father who lives very near south central Los Angeles. Personally I haven't lived in the area since the late '70's.

Still the same though... blacks, whites, browns, all sort of low income yet separated sometimes down the middle of a street.

cats..paw
01-08-2007, 07:30 AM
Brian and Tyler, you know what you've seen or lived.

I've just an empiricist here, trying to put snapshots of experience into some sort of motion. A progression which could offer more clues as to what persons choose, where they go given the opportunity, how they really want to live.

How many of us in the burbs and in rural areas come from people who started low income?

Life is organic, it's about growing. How do we measure that?
:)
.

BrianW
01-08-2007, 07:35 AM
Presuming Christianity does hold some sort of priveleged status, what is the basis of this in law?

Don't know, that's not a presumption of mine.

ishmael
01-08-2007, 09:03 AM
Nine times out of ten when I hear a speaker of Hispanic origin talk about these issues they talk for assimilation. There are a few firebrands on the other side who talk about taking the SW back, but mostly the people who know, know that the barrio is a dead end.

You've come to the states because the economics in Mexico suck. Fine, welcome, I'm glad you are here. Now make the most of it and become American, assimilate.

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 09:40 AM
Not without some sort of coercion. Without coercion, our society tends to divide itself along the lines of race, religion, and economics.Yep. coercion like this:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.and like this
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. One type of coercion is called "law". If you do not follow the dictates of the law, armed representatives of the state will come and take you away. If that isn't coercion, I don't know what is

Sam F
01-08-2007, 10:04 AM
Diversity is good because not everyone is the same, not everyone comes from the same background, not everyone makes the same choices. Another word for that is freedom.

I suspect that people aren't thinking this through.
Diversity for it's own sake is not sensible.
Here's why:
Suppose someone thinks armed robbery is OK because anything taken through one's "Strong Hand" is acceptable.
Suppose someone thinks that punishment for a sneak thief should be chopping a hand off and insists on it be implemented in the courts.
Those and many other beliefs are certainly "diversity" in action, aren't they?

Are those things acceptable forms of "diversity"?
I hope not!

Since those views are most certainly diverse and since they are (I hope) not acceptable, diversity in and of itself can not possibly be a worthy goal.



The reason most people practice the religion they do is that their parents did...
Is there any data to support that? In the US, Canada and Europe I rather doubt that's so.
I don't practice the same religion as my mother did.
She didn't practice what her parents did.
The same is true of my wife and her parents.
You don't either Gonzalo!
Come to think of it, I don't know anyone from my old high-school days who still practices the religion of their parents.

Now none of that is a scientific representative sample, but it is highly suggestive.


But the reason most people believe in the religion of their parents is simply an accident of birth.

The circumstances of one's birth are certainly accidental but that has no bearing on the validity, or lack thereof, of one's parent's beliefs.

Bruce Hooke
01-08-2007, 10:20 AM
I have to ask.
How many here have made their observations from LIVING in a low income neighborhood........within the last 20 years?

Demographics of the neighborhood I've lived in for the last 10 years (percent figures are for my neighborhood, figures in parenthesis are for the entire city of Providence):

Race:
45.3% White (54.5)
10.6% Black or African American (14.5)
33.6% Non-Hispanic White (45.8)
48.4% Hispanic (30.0)
5.1% Asian or Pacific Islander (6.2)
1.9% Native American (1.1)
30.8% Other (17.6)
6.3% Claimed 2 or more races (6.1)

Language:
64% of Public school children with...
Primary Language Other than English (54)

Income:
MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME $28,065 ($32,058)
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME $28,406 ($26,867)
FAMILIES BELOW POVERTY 40.4% (23.9)
HOUSEHOLDS ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE 18.2% (10.2)

Mine is certainly not the poorest neighborhood in the city, but it is a lot closer to the low end than it is to the high end. As white, native speaker of English I am definitely in the minority in my neighborhood...

Scott Rosen
01-08-2007, 10:58 AM
I'm glad you are here. Now make the most of it and become American, assimilate.
Do you feel the same way about the Amish?

Diversity is on the opposite end of the spectrum from assimilation. In promoting diversity, you seek to preserve certain differences among people. Assimilation erases those differences. Diversity works as long as everyone shares certain common values. They don't have to share the same religion or race or language.

Lots of folks contribute to the greater good of this country without giving up their native language, religion, foods, customs, etc.

I hope I never see the day when I'm served a Christma-Kwaza-nukah dinner of hummos taco with bagel chips, corned beef and ham, coated in a tempura-fried curry batter.

Why would anyone care if people assimilate or not?

Kaa
01-08-2007, 11:27 AM
It simply points out one of the biggest challenges we face ,as a nation: are we a Christian nation, or are we a nation where all religions are respected, and we simply happen to have many Christians?

We -- that is, the United States -- is definitely NOT a Christian nation. Read the Constitution, for crying out loud.

Kaa

Kaa
01-08-2007, 11:31 AM
Fine, welcome, I'm glad you are here. Now make the most of it and become American, assimilate.

LOL. Become WHICH American? Do you want me to look like California hippies? Kansas farmers? New York Jews? New England WASPs? Florida retirees?

Or are you actually saing "BE LIKE ME"? :D

Kaa

Osborne Russell
01-08-2007, 11:50 AM
Whether diversity is good or bad is irrelevant, just as whether liberty is good or bad is irrelevant. It's a matter of right.

ljb5
01-08-2007, 11:54 AM
Brian, you are confusing diversity with homogeneity.

Osborne Russell
01-08-2007, 11:54 AM
This seems to be the closest one I can find, that meets my personal desires.

If current birth rates keep steady, there will be a lot more Catholics in the USA as well. Bonus for me, but not such good news for you I guess.

Assimilate this: surrender the idea of bringing America closer to your personal desires, or surrender your oath of loyalty to America. This has never been and never will be a Christian Nation.

As for Catholics, or anybody, the same. The hope that you can do it by out-fornicating is kind of primitive, don't you think?

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 12:43 PM
If current birth rates keep steady, there will be a lot more Catholics in the USA as well. Well, birth and immigration rates. And most of them will be Hispanic.

Gonzalo
01-08-2007, 12:54 PM
Sam, you are right that I haven't seen statistical data to demonstrate that most people stay with their parents' religion. Still, here is what I have observed, and you are free to argue with the conclusion I reached. (I know you will anyway, and welcome!)

I know a few people who have fallen away from their parent's religion. Like myself, they may fall into the "no religion" category, when asked. (about 16% of Americans, according to the 2001 Religious Idently Survey.) Or they may have adopted an intermediate practice, by which I mean something like some forms of Unitarianism, that use worship practices that closely resemble Protestant Christian worship while being vague about what spiritual beliefs they appeal to.

I have also observed that a few people convert from one religion to another. I know one Unitarian who became a rabbi, a couple of Methodists who became Baha'i. I also know that Christians convert people who grew up in other faiths. Even still, I believe (but can't prove) that those numbers are small compared to the 1.1 billion or so Christians, a like number of Muslims, and 4 billion or so people who practice other faiths.

Now, a great many people change from one denomination of Christianity to others while still remaining Christians. I know one former Methodist who is now Greek Orthodox. I don't consider denominational changes to be leaving the religion of their parents, and I said so in my original post, though perhaps not clearly. The reason for that is that the fundamental beliefs of Christians are very similar across denominations even where specific practices differ.

I suggest it would be hard to find more than a relative handful of people born into a Christian family who now practice Islam or any other faith, and or vice-versa. All the Hindus I know were born into Hindu families, all the Jains, all but one Muslim, all the Sikhs. I know a few, but only a few, Christians who were not born into Christian family.

I conclude, therefore, that of the people who practice religion, most of them practice the religion of their parents or a variation of it.

Bruce Hooke
01-08-2007, 01:04 PM
While I don't think it is large enough to affect the overal trend you are discussing, Gonzalo, there are quite a few African-Americans who have converted to Islam in recent years. I'd bet that almost all of them were raised as Christians.

glenallen
01-08-2007, 01:09 PM
"I conclude, therefore, that of the people who practice religion, most of them practice the religion of their parents or a variation of it." Gonzalo

Of course they do! Hardly anyone would argue.
SamF has argued before that it's not true, since he himself did not follow his parent's religion, or lack of religion. Neither did I, but that does not disprove the fact that MOST people do.
In Islamic countries it's almost 100%.

geeman
01-08-2007, 01:11 PM
Here again I can only comment about this area.Most people I know HERE, tend to practice the same religion their parents did.We are seeing more immigrants bringing other religions in but still , based on parentage religion, its the main way the young here learn their religion.
I DONT practice the same religion my parents did,but that has nothing to do with what I see in this area that other people are doing.

Sam F
01-08-2007, 01:18 PM
In Islamic countries it's almost 100%.

I wonder why? ;)
And is it in the service of diversity to have a large percentage who believe as Muslims do?

glenallen
01-08-2007, 01:24 PM
I wonder why? ;)
And is it in the service of diversity to have a large percentage who believe as Muslims do?

I don't think diversity needs to be cultivated for diversity's sake.
We already have diversity.
Personally, as you know, I'd prefer that nobody anywhere believed as Muslims do.

Kaa
01-08-2007, 01:25 PM
And is it in the service of diversity to have a large percentage who believe as Muslims do?

Who believe in WHAT as Muslims do?

Bonus points for knowing which country is the home to most Muslims.

Kaa

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 01:25 PM
Indonesia

Kaa
01-08-2007, 01:28 PM
Yep, Indonesia.

It's a good factoid for people who think that all Muslims are dirty camel-loving Ay-rab ragheads.

Kaa

Gonzalo
01-08-2007, 01:49 PM
Come to think of it, I don't know anyone from my old high-school days who still practices the religion of their parents. Do you mean that most of people from high school now profess a different religion than the one they grew up in or that they stopped actively practicing religion?

According to the Religious Identification Survey, a huge proportion of people who identify as Christians don't practice their religion in any way, but still call themselves Christian (about 40% IIRC.) I know a fair number of people in this category. My wife's siblings fall into this category as does my sister.


The circumstances of one's birth are certainly accidental but that has no bearing on the validity, or lack thereof, of one's parent's beliefs. Absolutely! The point I was making was that most people consider the religion they were raised in to be true and the others to be false. This doesn't show whether any religion is true or false, but it suggests that most people's belief has less to do with any evidence than with their family background.

BrianW
01-08-2007, 02:32 PM
Assimilate this: surrender the idea of bringing America closer to your personal desires, or surrender your oath of loyalty to America. This has never been and never will be a Christian Nation.

First off, you need to calm down. Secondly, I've never done anything to change this country other than vote. Thirdly, I kept my oath to this country for 20 years on active-duty, so I don't need your help or opinion on that topic.


As for Catholics, or anybody, the same. The hope that you can do it by out-fornicating is kind of primitive, don't you think?

It's not my hope, it's a reality. Actually, it's a very non-Christian, non-creation type idea. Evolutionist should embrace such a natural evolutionary process. It's quite primitive and quite effective. All my opinions expressed on this thread are based on easily observable conditions that exist right now in this world. Many have existed since humanoids started to live in communities.

Sam F
01-08-2007, 02:36 PM
I suggest it would be hard to find more than a relative handful of people born into a Christian family who now practice Islam or any other faith, and or vice-versa.

Not hard at all Gonzalo. As I already stated, I know scads of such people in the US. I have no idea of the percentages, but it’s clearly more than a handful.
Ironically, while what you said is true for most of humanity – it is not true for “advanced” societies like North America and Europe. In a degenerating society, with elements that continually attack the foundations of its culture, it is no surprise to find deracinated folk who feel empowered to pick and chose “values” in the main based on, as far as I can tell, hormonal imperatives.

But to expand on your larger point…
I conclude, therefore, that of the people who practice religion, most of them practice the religion of their parents or a variation of it.
I suggest you might want to consider the concept of “the accident of birth” more fully to see if it’s of any practical use. For example:
If a fellow is born (accidentally of course) in Botswana to Botswanan parents, it is reasonable to conclude that a Botswanan he'll be - so I’m not sure what value the conclusion is. It’s quite true, but it isn’t a more useful concept than noting that given human parents, there’s a pretty good chance the kids will be human too.

But by including “variation” you’ve muddied the water rather too much and made the concept of less use. It is fact that people have killed each other over what may seem to an outsider, minor differences. The shattered unity of Christendom resulted from “minor” differences that weren’t minor at all and which have had major effects on history. These differences are only trivial in relation to some other faith that’s completely alien to Christian concepts.

None of which addresses the silly doctrine of “diversity” and it’s supposed beneficial effects on society. I see absolutely no evidence that diversity is in and of itself a worthwhile goal. The fact remains that many so-called diverse concepts violate “moral principles” that you say “transcend human laws”.
That can’t be good for society, can it?

WillW
01-08-2007, 02:39 PM
"In a degenerating society, with elements that continually attack the foundations of its culture, it is no surprise to find deracinated folk who feel empowered to pick and chose “values” in the main based on, as far as I can tell, hormonal imperatives."

-- sort of like how the degenerate Romans chose Christianity, thereby leading to the decline of the Roman empire.

Sam F
01-08-2007, 03:04 PM
...As for Catholics, or anybody, the same. The hope that you can do it by out-fornicating is kind of primitive, don't you think?

No Jim, It's just Evolution. Survival of the fittest and all that... If you don't reproduce you aren't fit - by definition.
Sorry! ;)



Assimilate this: surrender the idea of bringing America closer to your personal desires, or surrender your oath of loyalty to America. This has never been and never will be a Christian Nation.

Assimilate this: If you're outvoted, the US will be what ever the voters want it to be.
If you're concerned about the majority running roughshod over the minority, your sort should have thought of that before you succeeded in establishing the precedent that the State and US Constitutions could be interpreted contrary to their words’ meanings to suit your own agenda.
You’ll pay a high price for that some day.

PatCox
01-08-2007, 03:07 PM
Will your dreamed-of jackbooted christian inquisitors hang us from the trees, or burn us, SamF?

What kind of boat ya got?

Sam F
01-08-2007, 03:16 PM
All of the above presumes that there's a definable common 'culture' in America. ...I thought the remarkable thing about America... and one of it's biggest strengths, is that there really is no common 'culture', at least not in the same sense as most other nations.

It is a commonplace observation that the fish is unaware of the water that supports it.

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 03:20 PM
Oh, let us all weep for "The shattered unity of Christendom" (And tell those pesky Arians and Monophysites to shut up, OK?) Got a match?

Sam F
01-08-2007, 03:24 PM
Will your dreamed-of jackbooted christian inquisitors hang us from the trees, or burn us, SamF?

Just checked my shoe supply and nary a jackboot in the lot! Looks like I need to go shopping! ;)
That’s so typical of Secularists... always frightening themselves about non-existent threats - while ignoring the real risks. Reminds me of the way some Fundamentalists used to act :D


What kind of boat ya got?

3 wooden canoes, one wooden rowing scow, one wooden centerboard/sailing dinghy, 2 fiberglass sloops.
Is that enough to suit you?

Sam F
01-08-2007, 03:26 PM
Oh, let us all weep for "The shattered unity of Christendom" (And tell those pesky Arians and Monophysites to shut up, OK?) Got a match?

I expect you to jump for joy Keith.
So what's your problem with unity?
Or do you wish the Confederacy has been successful?

PatCox
01-08-2007, 03:30 PM
We have a common culture, I see it in pickup truck and beer commercials all the time. Its dominated by anti-intellectualism, racism, and xenophobia. Its all about the guns and violence and public piety on Sunday balanced with molesting your daughters the rest of the week, but assuaging your guilt by hatin on homos and harrassing women in front of the abortion clinic with pictures of fetuses.

PatCox
01-08-2007, 03:34 PM
So this is not a threat? "You’ll pay a high price for that some day."

What is it SamF, a prediction? How are you going to lie that threat away?

Tell me just exactly what price, how it will be extracted, come on boy, tell me what will happen to me for attacking the roots of my culture and twisting the constitution (I know what you really mean, legalizing abortion and birth control and tolerating homosexuals, but I will use your euphemisms because it amuses me). What will happen to us, when we pay this "high price?"

And don't worry, I never thought you'd put the Jackboots on, you'd just be a cheerleader for them.

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 03:44 PM
. . . your sort should have thought of that before you succeeded in establishing the precedent that the State and US Constitutions could be interpreted contrary to their words’ meanings to suit your own agenda.Yeah, it would be interesting to know where you think that the constitution has been "interpreted contrary to the words' meanings". I presume you'd include Roe v Wade, but what else?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-08-2007, 03:48 PM
National Brotherhood Week (http://sounds1.neilrogers.com/sounds/dat001/073.mp3)

One week of every year is designated National Brotherhood Week. This is just one of many such weeks honoring various worthy causes. One of my favorites is National Make-Fun-Of-The-Handicapped Week, which Frank Fontaine and Jerry Lewis are in charge of as you know. During National Brotherhood Week various special events are arranged to drive home the message of brotherhood - this year, for example, on the first day of the week, Malcolm X was killed,* which gives you an idea of how effective the whole thing is.

I'm sure we all agree that we ought to love one another, and I know there are people in the world who do not love their fellow human beings, and I hate people like that! Here's a song about National Brotherhood Week.

Oh, the white folks hate the black folks,
And the black folks hate the white folks;
To hate all but the right folks
Is an old established rule.

But during National Brotherhood Week,
National Brotherhood Week,
Lena Horne** and Sheriff Clark*** are dancing cheek to cheek.
It's fun to eulogize
The people you despise
As long as you don't let 'em in your school.

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It's American as apple pie.

But during National Brotherhood Week,
National Brotherhood Week,
New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans 'cause it's very chic.
Step up and shake the hand
Of someone you can't stand,
You can tolerate him if you try!

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
And everybody hates the Jews.

But during National Brotherhood Week,
National Brotherhood Week,
It's National Everyone-Smile-At-One-Another-Hood Week.
Be nice to people who
Are inferior to you.
It's only for a week, so have no fear;
Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!

PatCox
01-08-2007, 03:55 PM
There's mass culture and elite culture. When we look back at a culture in the past, we tend only to observe the elite, upper class culture, whereas what we see around us most obviously is our mass culture.

Thats why people like SamF always make the mistake of believing we are fallen, its because they are comparing the mass culture of today and the high culture of yesterday.

Mass culture is probably always crude and immoral. Ours, here in the US, is also markedly anti-intellectual, thats why our cutlure has stereotypes such as the nutty professor, the mad sicentist, and the spinster librarian, why you hear words like "elite" uttered with hatred and contempt, along with "egghead" and "ivory tower." Our masses do resent the educated, thats for sure. Our mass culture is also very martial, violent, and we have a cult of firearms, they are literally worshipped and obsessed upon by many. We worship our gladiators, of course, whether they drive a nascar chariot or engage in hand to hand football.

Our mass culture is amazingly immoral; pornography is a multi-billion dollar business, and not just in blue states, Larry Flynt is from the heartland. The long haul truckers which are the modern cowboy, the american ideal, independant, tobacco chewing, country music listenin, themselves support an industry of truckstop porn shops and rest-area prostitutes. Strip clubs, teen pregnancy, and rampant adultery and divorce are the banes of the trailer-park-dwellers across the bible belt. Just watch "my name is Earl." The religion of our mass culture is primitive, literalist, and often involves ululating miracle cures, and handling snakes.

Then there is our high culture, which like all high-culture tends to be hypocritical, appearances are important. Its "sophisticated" which seems to mean blase',sarcastic and cool. Probably just like the ancient romans.

But one of the most amazing things to me is the extent to which our mass culture despises our high culture, blaming it for the masses' own faults. The churchgoing yodelers loves their porn, for example, its because them cultural elites done got them addicted.

Kaa
01-08-2007, 03:58 PM
Yeah, it would be interesting to know where you think that the constitution has been "interpreted contrary to the words' meanings". I presume you'd include Roe v Wade, but what else?
Roe vs Wade is usually objected to not on the grounds that it wrongly interpreted the constitution, but rather on the grounds that it created a new right out of thin air (and the thin air was called the plenumbra :-) ).

But if you want an example of creative (re-)interpretation, try limits on federal powers :D

Kaa

Sam F
01-08-2007, 03:58 PM
So this is not a threat? "You’ll pay a high price for that some day."

What is it SamF, a prediction? How are you going to lie that threat away?

No it's not a threat. It's not even a prediction - if by that you mean some sort of prophecy. It's just an observation of an inexorable process. One day you'll get a judiciary you disagree with. And it'll bite you using the same reasoning you've justified to legislate from the bench.
I would hope you're aware enough to realize that such a judiciary may well hurt me as badly, if not worse, than it does you. Try taking off those ideological blinders and you might see it.

Osborne Russell
01-08-2007, 04:02 PM
I prefer a Christian nation that accepts other religions as well.

How about Italy?

Sam F
01-08-2007, 04:03 PM
Yeah, it would be interesting to know where you think that the constitution has been "interpreted contrary to the words' meanings". I presume you'd include Roe v Wade, but what else?


What else could be more important that life and death?
Looking into a document and finding a right that isn't there is a very disturbing development. Once one does that there's no reason to not find other "rights" that you might not like so well.
Even in my pro-abortion days I knew that was a very dangerous strategy for wining... it presupposes that you always will win - and only a fool belives that.

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 04:06 PM
Is Roe v Wade the only example?

Sam F
01-08-2007, 04:07 PM
...Thats why people like SamF always make the mistake of believing we are fallen, its because they are comparing the mass culture of today and the high culture of yesterday...

Still stuck on your "golden age" myth?
As I've told you before - Sorry I don't believe in one.

Sam F
01-08-2007, 04:08 PM
Is Roe v Wade the only example?

Tell me Keith - what need have you of any other?

TomF
01-08-2007, 04:09 PM
Tell me Keith - what need have you of any other?Variety?

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 04:11 PM
Just asking; I wanted to know specifically what you meant. So Roe v Wade is the only one?

PatCox
01-08-2007, 04:13 PM
There's nothing new under the son, SamF. The Lochner court of the 19teens and 20s was more activist than the Warren court, but used its activism in the cause of conservatism. Ever hear of "substantive due process?" Its a nonexistent standard under which conservative judges simply overturned laws they disagreed with.

PatCox
01-08-2007, 04:15 PM
"In a degenerating society, with elements that continually attack the foundations of its culture, it is no surprise to find deracinated folk who feel empowered to pick and chose “values” in the main based on, as far as I can tell, hormonal imperatives."

That is not a picture of decline, SamF? If you believe we are in decline, then you must believe in a prior, higher state of culture.

Kaa
01-08-2007, 04:18 PM
Arguing with SamF, while providing some modicum of exercise, is entirely lacking in sporting aspects....

Kaa

TomF
01-08-2007, 04:20 PM
Arguing with SamF, while providing some modicum of exercise, is entirely lacking in sporting aspects....

KaaDunno Kaa. My experience is that he's got a helluva strong chin.

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 04:22 PM
As Mussolini supposedly said about governing Italians, it's not impossible, merely useless. :D

PatCox
01-08-2007, 04:24 PM
He can take a punch, but he swings wildly and rarely makes contact.

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 04:32 PM
My goodness, I just looked up Lochner v. New York and "substantive due process". It makes Roe v. Wade seem a case of judicial moderation! Thanks, Pat. That was well worth the time spent on the WBF.

Kaa
01-08-2007, 04:33 PM
Dunno Kaa. My experience is that he's got a helluva strong chin.

Oh, not that he lacks resiliency or staying power :-)

The problem is that for a sporting fight the other side must have a chance of winning...

Kaa

Scott Rosen
01-08-2007, 04:38 PM
Is Roe v Wade the only example?
SamF should know--Roe is not an example at all.

Roe does not contradict any express language of the US Constitution.

The Constitution does not, by its terms, extend any protections to the unborn. Nor does it prohibit the extension of privacy to include a woman's reproductive system.

You may not like it, Sam. But the most conservative Supreme Court in our history has allowed Roe to remain on the books.

C'mon, there's some sport in yanking SamF's chain. It's a good way to pass an otherwise slow coffee break.

Sam F
01-08-2007, 04:42 PM
Just asking; I wanted to know specifically what you meant. So Roe v Wade is the only one?


Then you have not been reading carefully.
On several occasions I have also called your attention to Plessy vs Ferguson of 1982 and Buck vs Bell of 1927 - but of all the judicial abuses none equals Roe vs Wade of 1973

ishmael
01-08-2007, 04:47 PM
Scott, the Amish are fine with me. If they were twenty or thirty million strong and making noise about being other than American I would feel differently. As near as I can figure their assimilation has worked out fine.

Look, assimilating is not a racist concept, and is really pretty simple. Learn English and follow our constitution. Nothing more. If you want to maintain your cultural heritage, that's fine with me, so long as you do those two things.

I don't get how it's a problem. If I picked up and moved to Lithuania I'd study hard to learn Lithuanian, and figure out their rules.

People come here, in part, BECAUSE of our rules. Economics drives it, but in the back of people's minds are our rules, and how different they are from most places.

Sam F
01-08-2007, 04:48 PM
My goodness, I just looked up Lochner v. New York and "substantive due process". It makes Roe v. Wade seem a case of judicial moderation! Thanks, Pat. That was well worth the time spent on the WBF.

You've got an interesting concept of "moderation", don't you?

Sam F
01-08-2007, 04:50 PM
...You may not like it, Sam. But the most conservative Supreme Court in our history has allowed Roe to remain on the books...

You may not like it, but since when am I a conservative?

Once again he storms that hill only to find his opponent isn't there!
Gee you boys have got some nerve talking about swinging and missing! :D :D

(corrected spelling)

Sam F
01-08-2007, 04:55 PM
... Learn English and follow our constitution. Nothing more. If you want to maintain your cultural heritage, that's fine with me, so long as you do those two things...

That's a pretty good basic definition of what it means to be a US citizen.
Now, assuming that's correct, what does that make someone who refuses to respect the Constitution and who misinterprets it to suit his own ideological preferences?

PatCox
01-08-2007, 04:58 PM
Like presidents who think that they can interpret the law through signing statements, SamF?

Fact is, SamF, private citizens are free to hold whatever opinions they want on the meaning of the Constitution. Noone has a duty as a citizen to adhere to any orthodoxy.

The really important thing is that our public servants in charged with interpreting and implementing te Constitution do so appropriately.

The thing is, if they don't, there is a constitutional remedy, impeachment. Seems that the overhwelming majority of people in the US do not and never have felt that recognizing an inherent "right of privacy" or "right of personal autonomy" in the Constitution is so treasonous as you seem to suggest, for if they did, impeachment was and remains an option.

The widespread disrespect for the judiciary in general which now holds sway, largely in the South, and promoted by demagogic politicians like that ten comandments idiot, is far more dangerous to society than anything the Court ever did.

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 04:59 PM
Sam, I was referring to this quote:
. . . your sort should have thought of that before you succeeded in establishing the precedent that the State and US Constitutions could be interpreted contrary to their words’ meanings to suit your own agenda. The only case you mentioned that could remotely be connected to "my sort" is Roe V. Wade. Are there others?

Plessy v Ferguson and involuntary sterilization laws were overturned 50-odd years ago.

PatCox
01-08-2007, 05:06 PM
You know that referring to Plessy is one of the new code words for conservatives? The President mentions it in speaches every so often, you'd think apropo of nothing, but its actually a code word meant to whip up the anti-abortion crowd.

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 05:11 PM
Yeah, I suppose using Lochner v. New York as an example of judicial overreaching wouldn't fly, would it? ;) We should be able to make our employees work more than 60 hours a week if we want, and it's an unconstitutional denial of due process and the freedom of contracts if the damn gummint tries to tell us otherwise.

peb
01-08-2007, 05:22 PM
Nor does it (the constitution) prohibit the extension of privacy to include a woman's reproductive system.

Your logic is horribly flawed.

This is correct, Any state legislature could extend a privacy provision to a women's reproductive system under the constitution.

But this is not the same as the Supreme Court saying that the consitution mandates this extention.




The only case you mentioned that could remotely be connected to "my sort" is Roe V. Wade. Are there others?

I would put forth the Supreme Court upholding the provisions of McCain-Fiengold which limit our abililt to assemble and to speak during critical portions of an election cycle as an example.

Osborne Russell
01-08-2007, 05:25 PM
What I want is a Supreme Court that interprets words correctly.


what America is about is freedom and pluralism and diversity and all that stuff," claims Lofton. "Well, that's nonsense when it comes to religion [and] to gods. God Almighty says Himself in His Word, 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."

Kaa
01-08-2007, 05:30 PM
God Almighty says Himself in His Word, 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."

Reminds me very much of: "Three thousand years ago God chose the Jewish nation as his own people. Nothing bad has happened to Jews ever since."

:D

Kaa

BrianW
01-08-2007, 05:43 PM
Brian, you are confusing diversity with homogeneity.

Strange. I was having a 'conversation' here with several members about the topic of diversity. We knew what we were talking about, even if we didn't agree.

Then suddenly, ljb5 says I'm confused about the topic, throws another slightly different subject out there, complete with a new fancy word, and apparently feels as if he's made some valid point.

Guess that's one way to win a debate.

ishmael
01-08-2007, 05:52 PM
Norm, I used "and" not "because." The constitution doesn't mandate any language, but if you want to make this your home, learn English. Simple. I really don't understand the fight.

BrianW
01-08-2007, 05:53 PM
One type of coercion is called "law". If you do not follow the dictates of the law, armed representatives of the state will come and take you away. If that isn't coercion, I don't know what is

Keith,

The coercion I was talking about, concerning diversity, were laws such as the Equal Opportunity Act. Laws which force us (for better or worse) to diversify or be punished.

I remember going to high school in Los Angeles. The powers that be would bus in black kids from hours away in order to diversify our school. Again, another kind of coercion.

Again, before I get labeled here, I don't see anything wrong with diversity. But it doesn't come naturally or easily. Not in humans or nature.

So far nobody has been able to answer the basic question I posed...

If diversity is so good, why is it so hard?

Keith Wilson
01-08-2007, 05:55 PM
I would put forth the Supreme Court upholding the provisions of McCain-Fiengold which limit our ability to assemble and to speak during critical portions of an election cycle as an example.Hmmm . . .That's another issue, deserving of another thread. The problem arises when the most effective form of political "speech", meaning TV ads, is very expensive. We then have a conflict between the first amendment right to "speak" - or at least the right to buy as many TV ads as one wishes - with the public benefit of not having elections go to the highest bidder all the time. It's a difficult issue, but I don't think one can reasonably claim that the court has inverted the clear meaning of the constitution.

peb
01-08-2007, 06:13 PM
Hmmm . . .That's another issue, deserving of another thread. The problem arises when the most effective form of political "speech", meaning TV ads, is very expensive. We then have a conflict between the first amendment right to "speak" - or at least the right to buy as many TV ads as one wishes - with the public benefit of not having elections go to the highest bidder all the time. It's a difficult issue, but I don't think one can reasonably claim that the court has inverted the clear meaning of the constitution.

It seems obvious it has, especially with speech being so expensive these days. The expense is what makes it all the more important that we can "assemble" in groups such as the NRA, NRL, ACLU (I think all hese groups who agree with my point) and pool our resources to "speak" at the most important time of the democratic process.

Bruce Hooke
01-08-2007, 06:19 PM
If diversity is so good, why is it so hard?

Why does this question even matter? Many things that are good are hard. It is not easy to build a beautiful boat. Many things are in part deemed to be good precisely because they are hard.

peb
01-08-2007, 06:31 PM
There's mass culture and elite culture. When we look back at a culture in the past, we tend only to observe the elite, upper class culture, whereas what we see around us most obviously is our mass culture.

Thats why people like SamF always make the mistake of believing we are fallen, its because they are comparing the mass culture of today and the high culture of yesterday.

Mass culture is probably always crude and immoral. Ours, here in the US, is also markedly anti-intellectual, thats why our cutlure has stereotypes such as the nutty professor, the mad sicentist, and the spinster librarian, why you hear words like "elite" uttered with hatred and contempt, along with "egghead" and "ivory tower." Our masses do resent the educated, thats for sure. Our mass culture is also very martial, violent, and we have a cult of firearms, they are literally worshipped and obsessed upon by many. We worship our gladiators, of course, whether they drive a nascar chariot or engage in hand to hand football.

Our mass culture is amazingly immoral; pornography is a multi-billion dollar business, and not just in blue states, Larry Flynt is from the heartland. The long haul truckers which are the modern cowboy, the american ideal, independant, tobacco chewing, country music listenin, themselves support an industry of truckstop porn shops and rest-area prostitutes. Strip clubs, teen pregnancy, and rampant adultery and divorce are the banes of the trailer-park-dwellers across the bible belt. Just watch "my name is Earl." The religion of our mass culture is primitive, literalist, and often involves ululating miracle cures, and handling snakes.

Then there is our high culture, which like all high-culture tends to be hypocritical, appearances are important. Its "sophisticated" which seems to mean blase',sarcastic and cool. Probably just like the ancient romans.

But one of the most amazing things to me is the extent to which our mass culture despises our high culture, blaming it for the masses' own faults. The churchgoing yodelers loves their porn, for example, its because them cultural elites done got them addicted.

My gosh, where to start??

No one is more critical of our modern societie's abuse of women than I. But I will ignore these issues for now. That is not what comes to mind with your post. Actually, quite the opposite.

How can you stand to go through life being so cynical of everyone at all levels of society?

Mass culture is always crude and immoral? We have baseball, perhaps the greatest game ever invented. Other sports (as far as the games are concerned) are nothing to be ashamed of. I went to see "The Good Shepherd" the other night, what a great movie. Yea lots of movies are crap, but the whole "event" of going to a theater and watching a movie is a lot of fun.

Have you ever spent a vacation visiting one of our national parks? Definitely part of our mass culture, and something to enjoy and be proud of.

Have you ever spent July 4th in the country, having a picnic, letting the kids set off their own fireworks, enjoying a few cold ones. Nothing crude or immoral about it at all.

High culture is only hypocritical? I went to see the opera "Mary, Queen of Scots" yesterday, what a wonderful experience. How is this hypocritical?

You dwell on the seedy and underside of society, and that always needs worked on and we should always seek to improve on it. But this seedy underside of our society does not define our culture.

OTH, I see how the abuse of women has been steadily moving from this seedy underside of our society into our culture, and I am alarmed to say the least.

But your cynicism is sad. Not everyone despises everyone else. Most people actually quite like others.

George Roberts
01-08-2007, 07:03 PM
Noone wants diversity. we all want it our way.

The founders found it necessary to write words like "all men are created equal." Noone blieved it then. Noone should believe it now.

The courts force a lack of diversity. I know women are different than men, Jews different than Catholics, blacks different than whites. I have no objection to the differences. The courts and many individuals seem to.

---

I suspect most people here if given the choice would not work, live or recreate with most of the people here. Noone wants diversity.

Milo Christensen
01-08-2007, 07:44 PM
There's mass culture and elite culture...

No, I think it's much more along the lines of there's a debased culture and there's a culture of decency. Both of your cultures, mass and elite, can be debased or they can be decent. The debased mass culture and the debased elite culture you write so scathingly of is very, very different from the mass and elite cultures of decency I'm familiar with from the vast majority of my contacts with cultures.

I suspect that the same vast majority of the immigrants being urged to assimilate by others here actually practice a culture of decency. I suspect that within their economic levels immigrants are more decent than "Americans" within that same economic level. However, since they aren't assimilating, since they don't speak English, most of us WASP's don't have a clue what they're up to.

Nicholas Carey
01-08-2007, 08:23 PM
Looking into a document and finding a right that isn't there is a very disturbing development. Once one does that there's no reason to not find other "rights" that you might not like so well.Amendment IX practically invites the Courts to participate in the discovery of non-enumerated rights:
Amendment IX. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.The Constitution, Sam, was (and is) designed to be a living document, growing organically through the Common Law to meet the needs of society as it changes over time.

Osborne Russell
01-08-2007, 08:35 PM
Why does this question even matter? Many things that are good are hard. It is not easy to build a beautiful boat. Many things are in part deemed to be good precisely because they are hard.

It doesn't matter. It's a shuck. We don't have liberty to promote diversity. But the Chimp and the chimp tribe hate liberty, so they attack it by conflating it with diversity, and then arguing the value (discounted for its "diffculty") of diversity.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-08-2007, 08:46 PM
I think the USA is predominantly a christian nation.
I also believe it is a nation where the "American dream" does not translate well in to reality
Capitalism is king, and as such a substantive class structure in in place. The poor, for the most part, remain poor, and uneducated.
It's much the same in Canada, except we have social programs that buffer the poor somewhat. Most really progressive societies have moved to socialism. The US chooses not to.

Bruce Taylor
01-08-2007, 08:52 PM
http://www.wondermark.com/comics/003.gif

Osborne Russell
01-08-2007, 08:53 PM
I suspect that the same vast majority of the immigrants being urged to assimilate by others here actually practice a culture of decency. I suspect that within their economic levels immigrants are more decent than "Americans" within that same economic level. However, since they aren't assimilating, since they don't speak English, most of us WASP's don't have a clue what they're up to.

In my experience, that is certainly true of Latin Americans and Filipinos, at least the immigrant generation. If they weren't staunch Catholics when they left, they become more Catholic in the US, in self-defense. They are socially conservative like American WASPS nowadays can only be in their myths. But -- their children are another story.

geeman
01-08-2007, 08:59 PM
Hmmm ,interesting comments,"mass culture,"elite culture,
The MAss culture is defined just now as immoral.I come from that MAss culture talked about.I had never heard the word "sex" until I was about 10.It was never uddered in my house in any fashion.
Firearms,My mother owned one firearm ,a 22 rifle that was a gift from her brother( he traded a chicken for it back in '43 I think).Other then that there were no firearms in our house when I was growing up.
I Live with the Mass culture, I dont know anybody that handles snakes,or subcribes to miracle cures.
Mass culture hating the elite,
Some of that could be attributed to the fact that the "mass culture watches the elite break law after law with a slap on the wrist, while the MAss culture" KNOWS if THEY break the same law they will go UNDER the jail.
Porn,, right,WE "mass culture members also see the reports about the members of the elite busted for porn,kiddie ,prostitutes,both male AND female,and go to "resort hotel jails or into "rehab"
I have never heard one of our lower "mass culture" blame their porn addiction on being addicted by the elite, what nonsense.
My son is a truck driver, owns his own rig , getting ready to buy 2 more rigs.He doesnt smoke at all,THo I have no proof,I doubt my son uses truck stop prostitutes,I do know he loves his family and spends a lot of hours on the road making sure he brings home as much money as possible for them.He also doesnt listen to country music.
Strip Clubs,Teen pregnancy,around here I see no difference in the teen pregnancy rate between the "2 Cultures"I Do know several teen girls from very well to do families locally that got pregnant.They must have gotten mixed up with a member of the "Mass culture" OF course THAT MUST BE it.
Anti -intellectual,In our "mass culture around here I havent run into anybody that bothers to give the elites much thought.Their much too busy making an honest living, while they know the elites are just as busy thinking up ways to get rich without having to do it the honest way.
Interesting take on life you have there friend,while you pretended to ridicule the elites I noticed it was very gently done,interesting .

glenallen
01-08-2007, 09:14 PM
That's a pretty good basic definition of what it means to be a US citizen.
Now, assuming that's correct, what does that make someone who refuses to respect the Constitution and who misinterprets it to suit his own ideological preferences?

A thinker....a patriot.....a woodenboat maker !!!

Osborne Russell
01-08-2007, 09:18 PM
First off, you need to calm down. Secondly, I've never done anything to change this country other than vote. Thirdly, I kept my oath to this country for 20 years on active-duty, so I don't need your help or opinion on that topic.

America is not, has never been, and never will be a Christian nation. To the extent your oath wasn't in recognition and defense of this, it was falsely given.

Osborne Russell
01-08-2007, 09:20 PM
How is victory by procreation different from victory by violence?

ishmael
01-08-2007, 09:30 PM
"America is not, has never been, and never will be a Christian nation."

Patently untrue. The framers were very chary of theocracy, and wrote that liberalism into the constitution, but the vast majority of them were conventional Christians. Something like 85% of the current populace identifies as Christian. We are the most religious nation in the modern west, and mostly Christian.

It's not codified, on purpose, because those smart fellows didn't want a state religion, but anyone who denies the strong Christian root in this country is either deluded, or lying.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-08-2007, 09:35 PM
Yes, and it's that very religious basis that contributes to the violent foreign policy, and class structure that is so prevalent.

BrianW
01-08-2007, 09:52 PM
To the extent your oath wasn't in recognition and defense of this, it was falsely given.

Here's is the oath we're discussing Osborne...


Assimilate this: surrender the idea of bringing America closer to your personal desires, or surrender your oath of loyalty to America.

I've been completely loyal to America. I've never asked her to change to meet my wants, but was willing to defend the Constitution as required. I carried that oath to an honorable discharge for over 20 years.

Therefore your suggestion that my oath was falsely given is blatantly wrong and an obvious attempt to discredit me and my opinions. As such, assimilate that if you want to debate with lies and misleading statements, I'll have to consider the source from now on wherever you are concerned.

Basically, you full of it, and now that you've proven it, I don't hold much respect for your ideals

glenallen
01-08-2007, 09:55 PM
....."but anyone who denies the strong Christain root in this country is either deluded, or lying."

But the Christian roots were not planted by our government. In fact, our original government tried to insure that no religion would grow up and choke out the government or the rights of individuals.

The right of a woman to have an abortion, just for an obvious example, cannot be ignored because of another person's religious beliefs that claim a fetus is a person. A fetus has never been a person and never will be a person, regardless what one believes.
Sam and others cannot stand that fact and would take all our rights away if they could. But they can't!
It leaves them frustrated and angry and argumentative.

ishmael
01-08-2007, 10:13 PM
Glen,

I'm a religious whore monger, and clearly a heretic. I know something underlies this physical mystery, but I don't know what it is. So I'm very glad for the religious freedom guarenteed by our constitution. In a differerent culture I might be at the stake tomorrow.

But to deny this is a Christian nation is sophistry. The most radical of the founders, Jefferson, who was in Paris when the constitution was drafted, wrote a New Testament translation, with all the miracles removed. He admired Christ, yet renounced his exclusive divinity. None of which made him other than deeply Christian.

geeman
01-08-2007, 10:17 PM
OK, this may be considered a dumb question by some.But, what other religions would the founders be informed about at that time?What experience with other religions did they have to base thir opinions on?

glenallen
01-08-2007, 10:23 PM
"I'm a religious whoremonger, and clearly a heretic." Ishmael

Bless you, my son! lol
What underlies this physical mystery is more physical mystery.

ishmael
01-08-2007, 10:32 PM
Gee, probably not many other. As men of the enlightenment they would have been familiar with other religions, but given the state of things very peripherally.

I think of Sir Richard Burton, a Welshman who made the first western pilgrimage to Mecca, circa 1880. He took his life in his hands, but from what I've read that was him.

Jefferson didn't know about this stuff, nor Franklin or Washington or any of those guys.

Bruce Hooke
01-08-2007, 11:19 PM
OK, this may be considered a dumb question by some.But, what other religions would the founders be informed about at that time?What experience with other religions did they have to base thir opinions on?

For whatever it is worth, the Touro Synagogue was built in Newport, RI in 1758-63. By that time, Jews had been living in Newport for around 100 years. So, it is certainly possible that some of the founders might have encountered Jews in person.

However, I think it is likely that the founders learned most of what they knew about other religions via books rather than via direct contact. It has been widely reported recently that there was a copy of the quran in Jefferson's library, and I think it is unlikely that he would have owned a quran and not owned other books about religions other than his own.

As an aside, we take some pride here in Rhode Island in the fact that this was one of the first places in what would become the United States where freedom of religion was truly put into practice. The Baptists, the Quakers, and, as noted above, the Jews, all found a home here were they could follow their own beliefs. We did some things rather wrong around here (a large number of slave ships were based in Rhode Island, to take one example), but on religion I think we showed the way...

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 12:36 AM
"America is not, has never been, and never will be a Christian nation."

Patently untrue. The framers were very chary of theocracy, and wrote that liberalism into the constitution, but the vast majority of them were conventional Christians. Something like 85% of the current populace identifies as Christian. We are the most religious nation in the modern west, and mostly Christian.

It's not codified, on purpose, because those smart fellows didn't want a state religion, but anyone who denies the strong Christian root in this country is either deluded, or lying.

You might as well say America is an English nation because the framers spoke English.

It's not about roots. The United States is a self-declared nation, and Christianity forms no part of that declaration. The declaration of independence is a severance of roots.

The crypto-fascist Christian right wants to bamboozle the world into believing that their interest is strictly the interpretation of history. That's why they invented the propaganda concept of "Christian Nation". Because that's what they want, and the reason they want it is because they don't have it, because America is not, has never been, and never will be a "Christian Nation." The framers knew what a Christian state was, and forbade it.



Indeed, as late as the time of the Revolutionary War, there were established churches in at least eight of the thirteen former colonies and established religions in at least four of the other five. 10 But the successful Revolution against English political domination was shortly followed by intense opposition to the practice of establishing religion by law. This opposition crystallized rapidly into an effective political force in Virginia where the minority religious groups such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Quakers and Baptists had gained such strength that the adherents to the established Episcopal Church were actually a minority themselves. In 1785-1786, those opposed to the established Church, led by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, who, though themselves not members of any of these dissenting religious groups, opposed all religious establishments by law on grounds of principle, obtained the enactment of the famous "Virginia Bill for Religious Liberty" by which all religious groups were placed on an equal footing so far as the State was concerned.

ENGEL v. VITALE, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)

The people can be religious as they see fit, in fact that's the idea. But the nation is not a religious nation, period. By design, not coincidence.


Probably no deeper division of our people could proceed from any provocation than from finding it necessary to choose what doctrine and whose program public educational officials shall compel youth to unite in embracing. Ultimate futility of such attempts to compel coherence is the lesson of every such effort from the Roman drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of its pagan unity, the Inquisition, as a means to religious and dynastic unity, the Siberian exiles as a means to Russian unity, down to the fast failing efforts of our present totalitarian enemies. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

It seems trite but necessary to say that the First Amendment to our Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings. There is no mysticism in the American concept of the State or of the nature or origin of its authority.

(emphasis added)


West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943)

"No" as in "none".

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 12:44 AM
Here's is the oath we're discussing Osborne...



I've been completely loyal to America. I've never asked her to change to meet my wants, but was willing to defend the Constitution as required.

OK, so you were willing to defend the Constitution "as required" (you could have refused) but you wanted it to be different. In what respect?

BrianW
01-09-2007, 12:59 AM
OK, so you were willing to defend the Constitution "as required" (you could have refused) but you wanted it to be different. In what respect?

What are you rambling about now? 'Refused'? Maybe that works for you, as your also into moving countries when not happy. I get the impression you've never taken a serious oath.

It's obvious your working up some kind of spin here, just spit it out.

Keith Wilson
01-09-2007, 07:04 AM
The people can be religious as they see fit, in fact that's the idea. But the nation is not a religious nation, period. By design, not coincidence.This is precisely true. The constitution mentions religion only twice: once in the first amendment and once specifying that thaere shall never be a religious test for any public office. It is also explicitly spelled out in the language of a friendship treaty signed with the North African government of Tripoli, unanimously approved by the Senate on June 10, 1797. (emphasis mine)
Article 11:
As the government of the United States of America is not founded in any sense on the Christian religion — as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Mussalmen and as the said states have never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. Denying the obvious fact that most citizens of the US have historiclly been Christians, or that there is a great deal of Christian influence in out culture and laws would be false, as well as silly. However, Osborne is completely correct in that the nation, the government, was explicitly designed by the founders to be non-religious.

ishmael
01-09-2007, 07:37 AM
I think we're arguing at cross purposes, for no good reason. The US constitution, one of the finest instruments ever writ by man, goes out of its way to avoid sectarian foible. That doesn't mean the root of the country isn't Christian. Both are true. Those men were Christians, period. They saw how dangerous it was when the state got involved with religion, and dodged the bullet. It's a silly argument.

Learn English, follow the constitution. The only two requirements to live here. No one with half a brain cares two whits if you pay obeisance to Mecca five times a day, or pray to your Yawhe on a Saturday night. That's America.

TomF
01-09-2007, 08:19 AM
...Again, before I get labeled here, I don't see anything wrong with diversity. But it doesn't come naturally or easily. Not in humans or nature.

So far nobody has been able to answer the basic question I posed...

If diversity is so good, why is it so hard?Hmmm, it is an interesting question. Maybe I can take a crack at it - I'm not going to wade in on what American culture might be.

I'd break down the comment into its two parts.

Is diversity good?
Why is diversity hard?1. Is diversity good?
I've talked before about Benedict Anderson's concept that communities are really imagined. That is, communities are real - but exist because the individuals who make them up understand themselves to share some attributes that they understand to be fundamental to their identity.

Anderson talked about how "nation states" arose at the same time as the printing press - and the concept of "nation" extended as far as the same written language could be understood. People at that time took language to be that fundamental bit to their identity. Places like Alsace were constantly embattled, because they were at the border between two linguistic groups ... and could be claimed by both.

Diversity, within a state, is good only insofar as the citizens continue to agree on (a) which concepts should be foundational and shared within that community (e.g. language, rights, ethnicity, religion, whatever), and (b) they actually share them.

Or rather, diversity's good for communities only insofar as the things which promote Anderson's collective imagining of the community aren't what's being made diverse. We all like boats here - wooden ones in particular. And participation in this community depends on having that trait. More than that, membership in the WBF community really comes from having other community members recognize that trait in us - and see something that mirrors that aspect of themselves. We can be as diverse as we like on other topics ... but the WBF community will fall apart if the i-like-wooden-boats aspect of our identity is dropped.

So, as far as the longevity of a community's concerned, the "it's a good thing" bit about diversity has limits. It's up to the community to define where those limits are. Within those limits, diversity contributes to a lively and innovative civic culture - but always runs the risk of developing new traits that at least some members of the community think should be "foundational." When others fundamentally and hotly disagree, it frequently leads to community breakdown.

2. Why is diversity hard?
It's hard because neither ideas nor communities stay still. Communities must adapt, or they are superceded as individuals choose to participate in others which better reflect their changed opinions. What if the Boys' and Girls' Club had remained just The Boys' Club? What if the YMCA had remained exclusively a physical activity and christian education/evangelism focused organization for men? As view in civil society changed, fewer and fewer people would self-identify with those communities ... and they'd shrivel and die.

But welcoming diversity - accepting girls not just into a girls-only stream of the Scouting movement but into co-ed Cub and Scout troops, for instance - does challenge what many have felt are the underlying beliefs of the community. Diversity's hard, because what this or that individual took to be a critical aspect of Benedict Anderson's collective imagining might be discarded, as diversity is welcomed.

Popeye
01-09-2007, 08:55 AM
how come you guys can't elect a catholic president? or a black one , or a woman who is black and a feminist catholic tree hugger president?

cats..paw
01-09-2007, 09:06 AM
At the risk of over simplification, let me put this forward.

If you're a Darwinian, diversity is good for the survival of the species.
If you're a pragmatist, people differ. Its better to be on good terms with others around us.

Why so hard?
We begin wanting to trust those like us who take care of us.
It takes a real effort to learn enough about someone different, to understand the reasons for the differences.
It's especially hard to look for good in another if you feel that your good can and will somehow be diminished.

It takes courage to get out of the safe box and make the effort.
.
.

ishmael
01-09-2007, 09:08 AM
Popeye,

We elected a Catholic in 1960.

Popeye
01-09-2007, 09:16 AM
i know ..

it turned out to be sad commentary

glenallen
01-09-2007, 10:30 AM
i know ..

it turned out to be sad commentary

Our presidential politics in general are a sad commentary.
Why haven't we elected a red-headed blind Chinese midget?

geeman
01-09-2007, 10:37 AM
most redheaded chinese midgits dont have the bucks to get elected????????

Sam F
01-09-2007, 10:51 AM
No, I think it's much more along the lines of there's a debased culture and there's a culture of decency. Both of your cultures, mass and elite, can be debased or they can be decent. The debased mass culture and the debased elite culture you write so scathingly of is very, very different from the mass and elite cultures of decency I'm familiar with from the vast majority of my contacts with cultures.

Well put! I used the term degenerate though debased is perhaps better since it's not quite as loaded with connotations for most people... Maybe decadent would work as well. The point being of course that people can hold to a standard of high morals (decency as you term it) or they can fall from that standard with the inevitable personal and social consequences following along behind. Pat and company desperately cling to a belief that everyone has always been as debased as they are. Historical evidence proves quite the contrary. Debasement/decadence ends fairly promptly in a social crash. Anyone doubting that can observe any number of historical and present day communities where "decency" has collapsed and see what the results are.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 11:00 AM
SamF should know--Roe is not an example at all. That's proved, isn't it?


Roe does not contradict any express language of the US Constitution.

That's an absurd "standard". Putting balsamic vinegar into my truck's crankcase does not contradict any express language in Nissan's manual.
The manual does not, by its terms, extend any prohibitions of the use on any sort of vinegar. Nor does it prohibit the extension of vinegar use to any of the truck's systems.

Frankly, the court’s "reasoning" is idiotic. By "discovering" "rights" not found in the document, the court invalidates its own raison d'être.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 12:15 PM
All well and good, as long as there's one absolute standard for 'decency' or 'debasement' or whatever else you want to call it.

I'm presuming, SamF, that the standard to be used is yours, not anyone else's.

Debased:"Turned upside down from its proper position; inverted; reversed. " or "to reduce in quality or value"
Decadence: "a lowering of standards in a society; social decay" or "Decaying; deteriorating"
Degenerate: adj: " Having declined, as in function or nature, from a former or original state... 2. Having fallen to an inferior or undesirable state, especially in mental or moral qualities". Noun "1. A depraved, corrupt, or vicious person. 2. A person lacking or having progressively lost normative biological or psychological characteristics."

None of those words actually mean anything. I just made them up out of thin air.
So when you buy a food product that's been debased, or are faced with a degenerate person in a dark alley, don't you worry one bit! That's only defined by "my standard".

Naturally, in your Nihilistic vision of reality ("Nihilism: Rejection of all distinctions in moral or religious value and a willingness to repudiate all previous theories of morality or religious belief. "). In this there are no objective standards at all - only relative personal standards.
Such a view is of course self-refuting. My standards being mine and yours being yours alone... which leaves us on exactly the same footing and leaves you with nothing of value to say to anyone except yourself. ;)

peb
01-09-2007, 12:19 PM
....

Such a view is of course self-refuting. My standards being mine and yours being yours alone... which leaves us on exactly the same footing and leaves you with nothing of value to say to anyone except yourself. ;)

Don't know why you put a smiley face on that last paragraph. It is one of the best points that has been made on this forum in quite a while, and very important.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-09-2007, 12:22 PM
Sam, do you believe that degenerate, debased, or decadent behaviour is directly connected to a failure to observe a christian based set of values?.... or more specifically, a set of values set out in catholicism?

I'm trying to understand whether you believe that a society that does not observe capital punishment, legalizes gay marriage and abortion, and decriminalizes drug possession would be a 'degenerate society' that is in decline.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 12:30 PM
Sam, I was referring to this quote:The only case you mentioned that could remotely be connected to "my sort" is Roe V. Wade. Are there others?

Don’t you wish it were remote.
Either one supports today’s activist court decision and therefore the rationale behind all such decisions or one doesn’t. Your sort does support that rationale so you may as well choke down the consequences when it’s been done before.



Plessy v Ferguson and involuntary sterilization laws were overturned 50-odd years ago.

In case you hadn't noticed I was explicitly drawing a comparison between today's activist court and past activist court's decisions – that’s why I included the decisions dates.

If you like being in such company that's your choice - I wouldn't find that very comforting. For example one can notice disturbing similarities between Scott vs Sanford (1857) slavery case and Roe vs Wade.
You can find lots more on recent judicial decisions both pro and con at:
http://www.pregnantpause.org/court/

peb
01-09-2007, 12:44 PM
Sam, do you believe that degenerate, debased, or decadent behaviour is directly connected to a failure to observe a christian based set of values?.... or more specifically, a set of values set out in catholicism?

I'm trying to understand whether you believe that a society that does not observe capital punishment, legalizes gay marriage and abortion, and decriminalizes drug possession would be a 'degenerate society' that is in decline.

I am not answering for SamF, but these are interesting questions so I will throw out my opinions.

1s question: Much more due to a failure to observe natural law. We all know that the rampant pornography in our society is wrong. The abuse of women in such a way is awful. Does my Catholic faith teach me this? yes. But it is apparent regardless of religion or faith.


2nd question :
Difficult to answer since your wording is so weird (at least to me).
Your wording is very interesting. You seem to equate the concept of society with the idea of state (governement). I always hate this. The government is not the same as our society.


For example:
If abortion is widespread, society has problems. We can all agree on this. If in some utopia, if no one ever had nor would ever consider having an abortion, it would probably be legal (the society never needed to make it illegal). That utopia would not be debased.

If society hgas widespread drug abuse, it is a sign of debasement. But the government laws on drug possession do not directly lead to this conclusion. Actually government laws against drug posseision would indicate this debasement simply becase of the need of such laws.

Capital punishment (I am not even for sure of your meaning of "observing"): but it falls ito a slightly different answer than above. It totally depends. If a state actually has a just need for capital punishment, that indicates some level of degeneracy. If a state has no capital punishment, but actually needs it, that would indicate some type of moral weakness. And finally, most appropriate to our times) if state is utilizes capital punishment when it is not needed, that definitely indicates a problem with the state (and in a democracy, probably a problem with society).

Gay marraige: according to my dictionary there is no such thing, so difficult to answer.

Scott Rosen
01-09-2007, 12:46 PM
That's proved, isn't it?



That's an absurd "standard".

Frankly, the court’s "reasoning" is idiotic. By "discovering" "rights" not found in the document, the court invalidates its own raison d'être.
Sam, my post was not arguing any position. It merely stated a fact in response to a comment disparaging the judiciary for deciding cases in a manner directly contrary to the language of the Constitution.

Roe went beyond, but did not contradict, the language of the Constitution.

Roe recognized two important classes of rights, not previously acknowledged by the Court.

First. It recognized the rights of a fetus, specifically the right of the State to protect the fetus from destruction. In this regard, Roe is the first pro-life decision rendered by the Court.

Second. It recognized that a woman's right to privacy extends to her womb, and in some cases trumps the State's interest in protecting the fetus.

None of these issues are dealt with by the direct language of the Constitution. Nothing in the case contradicts the language.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 12:50 PM
Don't know why you put a smiley face on that last paragraph. It is one of the best points that has been made on this forum in quite a while, and very important.

It's in the nature of a "gotcha" ;)
But I agree that it is important. All such moral relativist views are, when taken to their logical conclusion, equally vulnerable and contain that self-refuting failing.

Scott Rosen
01-09-2007, 12:58 PM
Putting balsamic vinegar into my truck's crankcase does not contradict any express language in Nissan's manual.
Better check your manual. Having worked in a Nissan auto repair shop, I'm pretty sure the manual tells the owner exactly what to put in the crankcase.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 01:04 PM
Sam, my post was not arguing any position. It merely stated a fact in response to a comment disparaging the judiciary for deciding cases in a manner directly contrary to the language of the Constitution.

Roe went beyond, but did not contradict, the language of the Constitution.

Making oil and vinegar salad dressing in my Nissan's crancase goes beyond, but did not contradict the owner's manual.


Roe recognized two important classes of rights, not previously acknowledged by the Court.

First. It recognized the rights of a fetus, specifically the right of the State to protect the fetus from destruction. In this regard, Roe is the first pro-life decision rendered by the Court.

HA HA HA HA HA HA! Fetal rights?
More than 46,000,000 aborted babies refute you.

Come on Scott, who are you trying to fool? Me or yourself?


Second. It recognized that a woman's right to privacy extends to her womb, and in some cases trumps the State's interest in protecting the fetus.

None of these issues are dealt with by the direct language of the Constitution. Nothing in the case contradicts the language.

Forgot Doe vs Bolton, did you?
I think salad dressing is the appropriate response.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 01:07 PM
Better check your manual. Having worked in a Nissan auto repair shop, I'm pretty sure the manual tells the owner exactly what to put in the crankcase.

Better check your reasoning Scott. Use a dipstick. :D
If the court can "discover" "rights" not in a document, one can "discover" permissible fluids not in the manual.

TomF
01-09-2007, 01:09 PM
Clearly I shouldn't have bothered trying to address Brian's question.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 01:13 PM
Sam, do you believe that degenerate, debased, or decadent behaviour is directly connected to a failure to observe a christian based set of values?.... or more specifically, a set of values set out in catholicism?

peb has covered this pretty well, but I add one observation vis-a-vis the topic of "diversity".
I gave two examples earlier of diverse views of stealing and challenged anyone to accept them under the perfectly valid category of diversity. No one did so.
Those two contrary views of justice came from Islam and the reason no one accepted their validity is that we come from a Christian society. True it's a degenerated and debased Christian society, but it remains one just the same. So yes, I think it proved by the example here on this Forum that "degenerate, debased, or decadent behaviour is directly connected to a failure to observe a christian based set of values".

Sam F
01-09-2007, 01:42 PM
...just bear in mind that your cause has no more rightful place than mine does.

In the interest of diversity, hand amputation is the appropriate punishment for a sneak thief... just bear that in mind. OK?

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 01:52 PM
It's not just diversity that's nonsense, it's also freedom and pluralism and all that stuff, when it comes to religion.

TomF
01-09-2007, 01:57 PM
In this community - no.

Transportation to the colonies used to be the punishment too - not anymore. Clipping ears, or branding, or putting in the stocks in the town square had some high approval ratings once also.

Sam, when we're talking about the processes of law, it's all about what the civil society in question itself defines as appropriate. Now, whether your (or my) identity community agrees with what broader civil society determines ... is open for discussion. If we don't like it, we can effect a revolution, or go someplace else.

Kaa
01-09-2007, 01:59 PM
In the interest of diversity, hand amputation is the appropriate punishment for a sneak thief... just bear that in mind. OK?
For quite a long time Christianity considered burning at the stake the appropriate punishment for an unrepentant sinner...

Kaa

Sam F
01-09-2007, 02:02 PM
It's not just diversity that's nonsense, it's also freedom and pluralism and all that stuff, when it comes to religion.

We've already demonstrated that diversity as a goal, in and of itself, is untenable - unless you are prepared to allow hand amputations for petty theft. Presumably since "pluralism" is always mentioned hand in hand with "diversity", it too falls in the same category - though you have neither defined the term nor supported that assertion.

In contrast, it has not been demonstrated that freedom is also untenable.
If you persist in claiming that to be so, I suggest you attempt to support the assertion. Please start by defining your terms and avoid unnecessary vagueness like "all that stuff".

peb
01-09-2007, 02:04 PM
Another metaphor? I haven't got the slightest friggin' clue as to what this has to do with anything being discussed here. Are you erster in disguise?


Let a third party help you out a little. SamF is simply trying to prove by example that the following statement:

"...just bear in mind that your cause has no more rightful place than mine does"

is not morally sound. It may be legally sound, but not morally correct. The majority does not have some unlimited right to effect tyranny on a society. The German people were properly within their legal bounds when they elected Hitler, but they had absolutely no moral justification or right to elect him.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 02:04 PM
For quite a long time Christianity considered burning at the stake the appropriate punishment for an unrepentant sinner... [by "sinner" I assume you mean "heretic"]

Kaa

And that was quite a long time ago.
May I remind you that participants in the various self-described Enlightenment movements also considered death an appropriate punishment for non-believers.
And that was not nearly so long ago.

Kaa
01-09-2007, 02:08 PM
And that was quite a long time ago.

Oooh, but isn't the Christian Truth eternal?

If all the good Christians of those time were so much in error about the proper ways of dealing with umm... alternate points of view, what makes you think the contemporary Christians have correct ideas about it?

Kaa

Sam F
01-09-2007, 02:14 PM
That's right peb. Norman's view is not morally sound. In fact it's debased and he knows it.
If he were consistent he'd acknowledge that "my view", "his view" and the "Islamic view" were all equally valid and either embrace them or reject all but his own on the grounds that it wasn't his own... there being no other option possible.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 02:16 PM
Oooh, but isn't the Christian Truth eternal?

Oooh, but isn't that a complete misunderstanding of both the nature of orthodoxy and history?
Yes it is.

PatCox
01-09-2007, 02:17 PM
SamF, explain to me why we cannot have diversity without hand amputation?

glenallen
01-09-2007, 02:31 PM
SamF, explain to me why we cannot have diversity without hand amputation?

Slippery slope, don't you know!
Deviate a fraction of an inch from Sam's Way and anthing can happen....all Bad!

Kaa
01-09-2007, 02:31 PM
Oooh, but isn't that a complete misunderstanding of both the nature of orthodoxy and history?
Yes it is.

Do enlighten me.

Kaa

BrianW
01-09-2007, 02:32 PM
TomF,

Thanks for the honest effort you put forth in answering my question. Quite refreshing, that's for sure!

BrianW
01-09-2007, 02:35 PM
cats...paw,

Thanks to you too.

ishmael
01-09-2007, 02:47 PM
Hm. Diversity is an idiot word. How many black or chicano friends, real friends, do you have? I can count mine, over fifty years, on one hand. It's not because I'm racist, I don't think I am, at least not in my overt actions or desires. I'll admit to some xenephobia, but not much. People of different skins simply don't mix often. I don't know why, but it must be sociological. Those folks are differerent, I think I'll stay with my own folks... like that. And it's not a white phenomenon, it crosses all racial boundaries.

When I was a white boy with a ponytail in Baltimore, working for a Puerto Rican with more than a few negro genes, I had occasion to go into the black neighborhoods. I felt afraid there, not without reason. I was not welcome. There was a fire of racism alight there, just as strong as at a KKK meeting. The same racism was not so bright in the white neigborhoods. As a black, you were welcome in Roland Park, the middle-class white enclave.

The America of the founders, and King, Bobby Kennedy, and others ultimately hopes to transcend these divides. I'm not sure how to do it, but I hope we can. The folks of other skin color I have been friends with were just folks, like me.

Scott Rosen
01-09-2007, 02:49 PM
Better check your reasoning Scott. Use a dipstick. :D
If the court can "discover" "rights" not in a document, one can "discover" permissible fluids not in the manual.
If you think your owner's manual allows you to put vinegar in your crankcase . . . well be my guest. And let us know what happens when you try to get the repair covered by warranty.

I would say that your hyperbole regarding the Constitution is equalled only by your misunderstanding of your owner's manual. :)

Sam F
01-09-2007, 02:55 PM
SamF, explain to me why we cannot have diversity without hand amputation?

I didn't say that.
One can have quite a bit of diversity without amputation. I know because I've lived in such a society all my life. But if one demands diversity for its own sake, there's no reason to stop - at anything.
Thus, to stop amputation-as-punishment you must first demonstrate that the application of Islamic law wouldn't increase diversity.
Of course you can't - because it does.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 02:59 PM
If you think your owner's manual allows you to put vinegar in your crankcase . . . well be my guest. And let us know what happens when you try to get the repair covered by warranty.

The Nissan, like this country, is long out of warranty. You break it - you pay for it.
The owner's manual never intended that I make salad dressing with the oil pump. I'm glad you and I can agree on that.
That's my whole point, you know.
If you think abortion on demand was intended or would be condoned by the Constitution's authors... be my guest. But...
It wasn't
It isn't
It couldn't
It even ain't.


I would say that your hyperbole regarding the Constitution is equalled only by your misunderstanding of your owner's manual.

Sadly it isn't hyperbole. I just demonstrated by analogy the utter folly of the Supreme Court's "reasoning".

Popeye
01-09-2007, 03:00 PM
and remember , don't do what donny don't does

Sam F
01-09-2007, 03:04 PM
I'm not arguing the merits of the views at all... just the notion that one view is somehow by some 'divine' or historical or traditional definition correct, and all others are therefore false... specifically as it applies to law.

Then you think hand amputation is OK. Right?
If not, why not?
Be specific please.
You must not, as you yourself state, have recourse to "the traditional or historical or religious view."
Remember, as you yourself state, when you're done it's only your view after all.
Good luck!

PatCox
01-09-2007, 03:08 PM
Is diversity in and of itself a good thing? I think unequivocally yes. What does it mean to say "diversity for its own sake?" I don't know what you mean, SamF. Diversity is either good or bad. How does "diversity for its own sake" different from "diversity?" And how does that difference lead to hand amputation?

TomF
01-09-2007, 03:19 PM
I don't believe in diversity for its own sake - I believe in diversity within community-set boundaries.

So, it would seem, does SamF, and does Norman. But different boundaries.

PatCox
01-09-2007, 03:31 PM
By the way, would it not be useful to look at the reverse of "diversity," which I will call 'homogeneity," although most proponents of homogeneity for its own sake like to call it "purity." The desire of for homogeneity has, throughout history, led to things like pogroms, albigensian crusades, ethnic cleansing, and Hitler's gas chambers and ovens.

I think homogeneity for its own sake has a much worse track record than diversity, Mr. SamF. Unfortunately, we might have to exclude more than Muslims; some Catholics, especially those who think the Albigensian crusades were justified, might also need to be excluded.

What SamF is really arguing for is barring muslims from our society. he should be more direct. There are good arguments for doing so; the short version is, a diverse culture cannot tolerate intolerance, and should only welcome people who also value diversity.

Unfortunately, we might have to exclude more than just muslims. The kind of Catholic who would defend the Albigensian crusade as justified doesn't really fit either.

Its funny watching SamF get all twisted up as he indicts the Muslims for essentially the reason that they share his values; i.e., they believe their religion is the one true religion, that people who do not believe in it are to be tolerated at best, and that the government should adopt as law their religious beliefs. Pot, meet Kettle.

Scott Rosen
01-09-2007, 03:32 PM
You know, Sam; sometimes it all boils down to the ability to read the English language.

You're trying to use the oldest lawyer's trick in the book--argument by false analogy.

Your owners manual says something like, "Use only the recommended lubricant. The use of anything else will void your warranty and may cause serious damage to your engine."

There are (at least) two ways to say don't use vinegar.

"Don't put vinegar in your crankcase" or

"Use only SAE 5-30 lubricant in your crankcase."

The differences are obvious. It is clear why an owner's manual would say the second, not the first.

The Constitution extends its protection to "persons", which is not defined.

The Constitution doesn't say, "Use only post-natal human beings in your definition of persons." Nor does it say, "Do not use fetuses in your definition of persons." The words of the Consitution neither preclude nor require the inclusion of fetus. We'll never know what the Framers would have done if presented with the question. They couldn't even agree on whether "person" included Negroes. One thing we do know about the Framers intent with respect to fetuses--they didn't even give it a thought; it wasn't important enough to them to mention it once in all of the writings of the period.

Roe v. Wade is not the Constitutional equivalent of putting vinegar in your crankcase.

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 03:32 PM
We've already demonstrated that diversity as a goal, in and of itself, is untenable - unless you are prepared to allow hand amputations for petty theft. Presumably since "pluralism" is always mentioned hand in hand with "diversity", it too falls in the same category - though you have neither defined the term nor supported that assertion.

Don't look at me, I'm not the one who equated diversity with freedom and pluralism and all that stuff.

I only know what they tell me. See post #1.


In contrast, Lofton feels that critics who claim Goode is bigoted for making the remarks apparently are not overly concerned about protecting the nation's heritage. Senator Graham, he says, "eagerly attacked" Goode -- and Graham is "supposed to be a conservative, supposed to be a Christian," adds Lofton.

"He attacked Goode, saying that this is terrible, that what America is about is freedom and pluralism and diversity and all that stuff," claims Lofton. "Well, that's nonsense when it comes to religion [and] to gods. God Almighty says Himself in His Word, 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 03:42 PM
On the question of a "legally" Christian Nation as opposed to a "culturally" Christian Nation:

Can it really be supposed that so emphatic a legal enactment could have no cultural impact, or that the impact was not emphatically intended?

America chose its roots when it enacted the Constitution, and it didn't choose Christianity, though it easily could have, and though many urged it. It didn't. Dig? I got you cultural roots right here, pal.

PatCox
01-09-2007, 04:25 PM
Where does the bible ban gay marriage? Why do you read the bible in such a way as to find things in it that are not there, SamF, such that you twist it to comport with your agenda?

peb
01-09-2007, 04:41 PM
Where does the bible ban gay marriage? Why do you read the bible in such a way as to find things in it that are not there, SamF, such that you twist it to comport with your agenda?

The bible condemns homosexual activity, "Corithians, I chapter 6.".

Sam F
01-09-2007, 04:44 PM
You know, Sam; sometimes it all boils down to the ability to read the English language.

I agree.


You're trying to use the oldest lawyer's trick in the book--argument by false analogy.

That might work except I'm not a lawyer and simply by declaring something false you still have to prove it. Have you?



Your owners manual says something like, "Use only the recommended lubricant. The use of anything else will void your warranty and may cause serious damage to your engine."

There are (at least) two ways to say don't use vinegar.

"Don't put vinegar in your crankcase" or

"Use only SAE 5-30 lubricant in your crankcase."

The differences are obvious. It is clear why an owner's manual would say the second, not the first.

Sure. we agree on that.
ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD PUT VINEGAR IN HIS CRANKCASE!
Right?
But it's clear but that reading the manual is not the judicial "method" being used.
The manual states clearly what oil to use.
In the same way the Declaration of Independence (the source document for the constitution) states:
"...Laws of Nature [Natural Law] and of Nature's God [The Christian God] entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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

So a right to Life is explicit.
Sure it is.
That right predates all others and is required to implement all other rights - dead people have limited benefits from any rights.
Of course - right?
So the task at hand for the court was to find some way around that little problem and do what it wanted to do despite what the Constitution and its source document says.
So how was it done?
Simple!
The manual says: "Use only SAE 5-30 lubricant in your crankcase."
Ok we'll use 5-30. No problem. But that only counts as a requirement for oil not for vinegar.
Nowhere does it state you can't use vinegar - just as the constitution does not state that you can't declare one class of humanity non-persons.
Neat!
And utterly, contemptibly corrupt.

Sam F
01-09-2007, 04:47 PM
Suggesting that my logic is flawed, to your way of thinking, is reasonable; suggesting that I endorse hand amputation is not. I don't.

I asked you why not Norm.
Why not?


Change it, if you can. There are constitutional ways to do so.

I know how it's supposed to be done.
Was it changed by the amendment process in discovering a right that had escaped everyone's notice for 184 years?

PatCox
01-09-2007, 04:56 PM
SamF, here you are reading things into the Constitution which are not there. The Declaration of independence is not a "source document" of the Constitution, you ninny. Did you make that expression up, "source document?" (as if it has some recognized meaning that lets you claim that its part of the Constitution). Or is it something right to lifers use all the time to bolster their spurious arguments?

What were the framers opinions with regard to "life" and conception, anyway, SamF? What do you think their original intent was? Was every sperm sacred, as to the Catholic church, or only every zygote? Is implantation a necessary step in personhood? Just owndering.

Scott Rosen
01-09-2007, 05:27 PM
Pat's right. The Declaration of Independence is not the law.

The Constitution doesn't guaranty the right to life. To the contrary, it contemplates that the government may take it away. Read the Fifth Amendment: No person shall "be deprived of life ... without due process of law."

So . . . does this have anything to do with diversity?

ishmael
01-09-2007, 05:29 PM
Hm. Interesting how these discussions always devolve to the hot buttons.

Abortion, before it was decided by the Supreme Court to be a hands-off issue, which opened the door to doing it on every street corner, was practiced. My mother had an abortion, with a doctor, in 1943. She was middle-class, and the same option wasn't available to the poor. But people with the means have always found a reputable person willing and able. The poor, if they decide not to carry to term, find a crone with a splintered twig.

If we passed a constitutional amendment tomorrow outlawing abortion it would just go back underground. That said, the entire cultural ethic around sex and pregnancy could use some adjustment. My mother's abortion was selfish. She was a junior in college, her lover a tennis player playboy who had no intention of making good on his sexual run with her. But, if she'd chosen so, she could have carried that baby to term. It's a little weird talking about it, because if she had I, likely, wouldn't be here.

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 05:49 PM
So . . . does this have anything to do with diversity?

Not with diversty per se but with its use as a propaganda term.

1. Equate diversity with liberty. Most people too stupid to know the difference, many more confused by propaganda.
2. Point out difficulty, inadvisibility, expense, general silliness involved in diversity.
3. Thereby discredit liberty.
4. Take away liberty before they figure out what you're doing.

Why do you suppose these threads wind up in chasing someone into a corner and forcing them to say what they mean forthrightly, which they refuse to do?

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 05:50 PM
Hm. Interesting how these discussions always devolve to the hot buttons.

That's the idea. Shuck and jive, divide and conquer. Throw sand in their faces and run. A preview of what life would be like without the separation of church and state.

You start out talking about a Muslim Congressman and quickly return to gay marriage, abortion, etc etc.

Kind of like starting out with The Jewish Question and devolving to the threat of Bolshevism.

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 06:04 PM
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/4453594.html

Jan. 7, 2007, 10:27PM
LEONARD PITTS JR.
I swear, what kind of country is this?

- - - - -

In the fourth place, this isn't the first time a politician has declined to take his oath on a Bible. Presidents John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover opted not to use Bibles. Jewish lawmakers have used Jewish holy books. President Franklin Pierce declined an oath altogether.

In the fifth place, it's stupid to require a man to take an oath on a book that has no meaning for him. In the sixth place, what does it tell you that we're even having this conversation?

It tells me that there has always been a strain of intolerance in the American character, a reactionary streak that denies American values under the guise of defending them . . . Some people claim to defend American values they're too fainthearted to even understand.

The Christian Roots of which you speak are the old time religion of intolerance and oppression. After 200 years they're not only not dead, they're ready to grab the nation by the throat. Oh well, I guess eternal vigilance means like, eternal vigilance. If it takes another 200 years, or 2,000, so be it.

These people lost the battle to make America a Christian Nation the first time, and now they want to fight it again. Bring it on. The first battle is being fought right here and now with their lying propaganda.

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 06:25 PM
OK, would you settle for the Christian God after Jefferson did a cut and paste on Him?

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-09-2007, 06:39 PM
I am not answering for SamF, but these are interesting questions so I will throw out my opinions.

1s question: Much more due to a failure to observe natural law. We all know that the rampant pornography in our society is wrong. The abuse of women in such a way is awful. Does my Catholic faith teach me this? yes. But it is apparent regardless of religion or faith.


2nd question :
Difficult to answer since your wording is so weird (at least to me).
Your wording is very interesting. You seem to equate the concept of society with the idea of state (governement). I always hate this. The government is not the same as our society.


For example:
If abortion is widespread, society has problems. We can all agree on this. If in some utopia, if no one ever had nor would ever consider having an abortion, it would probably be legal (the society never needed to make it illegal). That utopia would not be debased.

On what basis do we all agree that abortion, if widespread, means the society has problems? Abortion is legal in Canada, is available free across the country, and nobody really thinks of whether it is widespread. So I don't agree with this statement, and neither does most of my countrymen is my guess.

If society hgas widespread drug abuse, it is a sign of debasement. But the government laws on drug possession do not directly lead to this conclusion. Actually government laws against drug posseision would indicate this debasement simply becase of the need of such laws.

The Dutch have treatment for their drug addicts, such as methadone clinics, as do other nations. Your nation has some of the toughest drug laws in the developed world, and it hasn't made any difference whatsoever to drug abuse.

Capital punishment (I am not even for sure of your meaning of "observing"): but it falls ito a slightly different answer than above. It totally depends. If a state actually has a just need for capital punishment, that indicates some level of degeneracy. If a state has no capital punishment, but actually needs it, that would indicate some type of moral weakness. And finally, most appropriate to our times) if state is utilizes capital punishment when it is not needed, that definitely indicates a problem with the state (and in a democracy, probably a problem with society).

Where do you rate your own country? Your state executed 76 people (I think?) in 2006. Your nation is one of the only developed nations in the world that used capital punishment.

A just need for capital punishment? I couldn't even phrase that statement.

Gay marraige: according to my dictionary there is no such thing, so difficult to answer.

Your dictionary is out of date. It exists, and just north of your borders, among other places.

Osborne Russell
01-09-2007, 08:46 PM
If they mean "America is a Christian culture", why do they insist that "America is a Christian Nation? Is someone forcing them to use the wrong word?

peb
01-09-2007, 10:18 PM
PMJ,

On what basis do we all agree that widespread abortion is a bad thing? Well a few months ago we had a multi-page thread on abortion, and I seem to remember the pro-abort side saying again and again, "listen, none of us like abortion, but ..." That is the basis. I could be wrong. the pro-aborts or canadians may think widespread abortion is a good thing.


As to my dictionay being out of date. Try this. Go to www.dictionary.com. Type the word marriage in the search box. The very first definition that pops up is "the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.".


As to my stance on capital punishment in my state, I have been very clear on this forum, I am adamantly opposed to it. As to the possibility of a just need for capital punishment: yes I believe that the state has the right to execute criminals if and only if it is necesary for the protection of society.

Now, why did you ignore my main point? Why is it you equate the state and society?

peb
01-09-2007, 10:44 PM
I'm not arguing the merits of the views at all... just the notion that one view is somehow by some 'divine' or historical or traditional definition correct, and all others are therefore false... specifically as it applies to law.





Norman, here is the problem. I see this quite often with secular progressives. It is a worship of "the law". Man's law that is. This is followed with an absolute denial of natural law. Part of this denial of natural law always entails equating it with some ''divine' or historical or traditional definition". The boogey man to make the idea go away.

But man's law is absolutley worshiped.

For example, we have PMJ equating the state (i.e. law maker) with society. We have you actually arguing the Declaration of Independance is not pertinant to this discussion about culture, because it is not the law. Can you believe it, the Declaration of Independance is not law, so don't bring it up when we discuss our country's culture?

Why do I care that there is this worship of man's law? Let me give another example from previous experience on this forum and it illustrates it perfectly.

Keith Wilson has more than once praised the French Revolution's "Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen". He has equated it with our Bill of Rights as an important and enlightened document which have formed our modern society. Yet it is a HORRIFIC document. 15 of 17 articales in the document allows for the law to supercede any right. Our Bill of Rights is written explicitly to limit our laws. The French document was written to empower the state, the law can do anything.

Where does this empowerment of the law lead us? Well with the French it lead to The Terror. And not one horrific act committed by the revolution ever opposed the "Declaration of the Rights of Man".

And even today, people praise "the Declaration of the Rights of Man" when they should be horrified by both its wording and by where it lead.

So elevating man's law, however arrived at, or equating the concept of the state with the concept of society (btw article 3 of the French document does this) is extremely dangerous.


We may have rights granted to us by the state. But they are not the same as the rights described by DoI: "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights". Hopefully the set of rights granted to us by the state and the set of our unalienable rights intersect quite a bit. But they are not the same.

The laws which are "written in our hearts" are not the same as the laws which the state gives us.

Keith Wilson
01-09-2007, 10:47 PM
May I remind you that participants in the various self-described Enlightenment movements also considered death an appropriate punishment for non-believers. Yep, I was certainly horrified to read about the mass executions of thousands of Catholics and Presbyterians on Thomas Jefferson's estate, and the raging mobs of philosophes garroting archbishops right and left. Voltaire himself used to light the pyres when they burned Catholics and Muslims during Saturday afternoon barbecues in Ferney. And the hideous bloodshed of the thirteen combined Unitarian-Deist crusades against the Calvinists and Anglicans will, of course, forever have a place in the annals of infamy. :rolleyes:

So Sam, since you haven't mentioned any others, is the only recent case you think was decided "contary to the clear menaing of the constitution" Roe v. Wade? Yes or no, please.

And a minor point - I'm not a big fan of pornography, but I seem to recall that most of it involves both men and women (or men only, sometimes). Are only the women being exploited?

Keith Wilson
01-09-2007, 11:26 PM
Not only is the Declaration of Independence not the "source document" for the constitution (it has no legal standing at all ) – Sam completely misinterprets Jefferson’s words.
Laws of Nature [Natural Law] "Natural law" has a specific Aristotelian/Thomist meaning ; there’s a long tradition here, and that is NOT what Jefferson said or meant.
and of Nature's God [The Christian God] Again, no. "Nature’s God" is a characteristically Deist wording, although it is vague enough to allow the more orthodox to not object. Jefferson was no sort of Christian, at least not in the conventional sense of believing in the divinity of Jesus.
Debased: "Turned upside down from its proper position; inverted; reversed. " or "to reduce in quality or value"There are significant differences of opinion as to what the "proper position" of many things and many people are – women, African-Americans, Asians, American Indians, to give a few examples where general opinion has changed and is still changing. If Sam says something is "debased" he must argue for his particular, and far from universal, standard of propriety, quality, or value.
Decadence: "a lowering of standards in a society; social decay" or "Decaying; deteriorating"Again there are significant differences of opinion here. Some regard interracial marriages as decadence. Some thought that a republic rather than a monarchy was contrary to God’s law. Some thought that allowing blacks or women to vote lowered standards in society.
Degenerate: adj: " Having declined, as in function or nature, from a former or original state... 2. Having fallen to an inferior or undesirable state, especially in mental or moral qualities". Noun "1. A depraved, corrupt, or vicious person. 2. A person lacking or having progressively lost normative biological or psychological characteristics."Again, reasonable people may differ about what is "inferior or undesirable", or what is "depraved, corrupt or vicious".There are things almost everyone would agree fit that description, and others about which there is vehement disagreement.
None of those words actually mean anything. I just made them up out of thin air.Oh, come now . . . they certainly mean something. However, they do not of themselves describe any particular specific behavior.
So when you buy a food product that's been debased, or are faced with a degenerate person in a dark alley, don't you worry one bit! That's only defined by "my standard". Completely false dichotomy. Sam once again paints with his customary two colors, papal white and nihilist black. If one doesn’t accept his allegedly God-given standards, he claims one is a nihilist. This is, of course, nonsense. Pat and Norm and TomF and Kaa and I are not nihilists by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, we would probably agree with Sam about 80% of morality. Given that we have no clear universally-accepted messages from God, the other 20% we’ll just have to muddle out as best we can.

If we value freedom, this not mean we must tolerate anarchy.
If we value order, this not mean we must have a police state.
If we value friendliness, this does not mean public floggings of grumpy people.
If we value good food, this does not mean eating ourselves sick every chance we get.
If we value politeness, this does not require beheading for using the wrong fork.
If we value diversity, this does not mean diversity at all costs, or that we have to tolerate Sharia because it's "diverse".

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-09-2007, 11:44 PM
PMJ,

On what basis do we all agree that widespread abortion is a bad thing? Well a few months ago we had a multi-page thread on abortion, and I seem to remember the pro-abort side saying again and again, "listen, none of us like abortion, but ..." That is the basis. I could be wrong. the pro-aborts or canadians may think widespread abortion is a good thing.


I don't think that abortion is a good or bad thing in the context of societal importance. It is an individual issue and right. It being widespread or not is irrelevant. It would never be widespread because it is an inconvenient and painful medical procedure, which is all it is.

As to my dictionay being out of date. Try this. Go to www.dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com). Type the word marriage in the search box. The very first definition that pops up is "the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.".

You think because a website has it listed as a definition that this is somehow proof positive that gay marriage isn't a fact? Come on, you can do better than that. It is a fact.


As to my stance on capital punishment in my state, I have been very clear on this forum, I am adamantly opposed to it. As to the possibility of a just need for capital punishment: yes I believe that the state has the right to execute criminals if and only if it is necesary for the protection of society.

So you do believe in capital punishment? Now I'm confused. I don't believe the state has the right to execute criminals because I am against capital punishment. Look at your statement.

Now, why did you ignore my main point? Why is it you equate the state and society?

The State, in a democracy is some indication of the moral stance of its citizens. As for equating them, you just did, in the paragraph above. To protect society, the state has the right to execute criminals. Surely in a democratic state, the society determines what the state legislates?

peb
01-09-2007, 11:53 PM
I did not equate them. I placed the state in service to society. A big difference.

As to my stance on capital punishment, it seems pretty reasonable and I looked at my statement and it seemed pretty clear, but I will try again.


I believe that the state has the right to execute criminals if and only if it is necesary for the protection of society. You disagree with this? Are you an absolute pacifist? Do you deny the possibility of a just war also? What about a police officer using deadly force to protect the life of an innocent person?


I oppose the capital punishment as it is used in the US, ince it is not necessary for the protection of our society. Or to be more clear, if I were govenor of Texas, I would do my best to halt executions.

peb
01-10-2007, 07:58 AM
Norman,

you proved one of my points. You changed a discussion about the concept of law into a discussion about the fear of religion.

You don't worship the law, yea, well I used that word and it is obviously hyerbole.

But you have a way elevated view of it. The concept of government and law is the same as the concept of society in your mind. That is my point.

I gave my three examples of you, Keith, and PMJ.

peb
01-10-2007, 08:07 AM
Not only is the Declaration of Independence not the "source document" for the constitution (it has no legal standing at all ) – Sam completely misinterprets Jefferson’s words. "Natural law" has a specific Aristotelian/Thomist meaning ; there’s a long tradition here, and that is NOT what Jefferson said or meant.


I have got to have clarification on this one. Just because you shout the word NOT does not give your statment any more legitimacy. Yes the concept of natural law was a well defined and widely accepted in the late 18th century. So beyond a doubt, Jefferson new what the phrase natural law meant and he used an idendical phrase, laws of nature, for something that he definitely did NOT mean.

Sorry, this is beyond all belief. If Jeffersion opposed the idea of natural law, and I know of nothing which indicates he did, he would have never used that phrase, or for that matter the phrase "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights".

Reference something, provide sometype of backup, some explanatino, anything for your strange claim that Jefferson did not mean "natural law" when he said "laws of nature".

peb
01-10-2007, 08:18 AM
Not only is the Declaration of Independence not the "source document" for the constitution (it has no legal standing at all ) – Sam completely misinterprets Jefferson’s words. "Natural law" has a specific Aristotelian/Thomist meaning ; there’s a long tradition here, and that is NOT what Jefferson said or meant.


I have got to have clarification on this one. Just because you shout the word NOT does not give your statment any more legitimacy. Yes the concept of natural law was a well defined and widely accepted in the late 18th century. So beyond a doubt, Jefferson new what the phrase natural law meant and he used an idendical phrase, laws of nature, for something that he definitely did NOT mean.

Sorry, this is beyond all belief. If Jeffersion opposed the idea of natural law, and I know of nothing which indicates he did, he would have never used that phrase, or for that matter the phrase "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights".

Reference something, provide sometype of backup, some explanatino, anything for your strange claim that Jefferson did not mean "natural law" when he said "laws of nature".

Popeye
01-10-2007, 09:06 AM
man is a legislator and a regulator , Natural Law comes from God

peb
01-10-2007, 09:22 AM
Norman,

You have not been reading my posts very carefully. I am not trying to form some alternative to our current consitution. I happen to like it quite a bit. You are the one who keeps going back to discussing laws and legal rights to speak, etc. I am simply pointing out that what I read in total by the secularist on this forum indicates a over reliance on the concept of government's lawmaking authority.

Keith's inflatuation with the Declaration of Rights of Men is an example.

Your (and I can now count two others) statements considering the Declaration of Independance to not be pertinent to a discussion on culture (not lawmaking) is another example. Even if you say it has no legal weight, it is of paramount importance when discussing out country's culture. And that document clearly talks about these natural laws and inalienable rights. Yet you don't want to talk about them because the are not carved in stone somewhere. Don't you think Jefferson knew that they were no where enumerated, yet the concept and the need to discuss it seemed to be pretty important to him.


When we start discussing anything about morality or religion around here, everytime, without fail, it is the secularist who go directly to the "any one view is as good as the others" stance and who go directly to the fearmongering about making Catholic moral positions part of American law.


Because with ya'll, it is all about the law (ie government). My French revolution example shows why this is so dangerous.


When SamF posts about degenerate behavior and social consecquences about, PMJ response is to question him about viewpoints on laws.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 09:39 AM
Peb, sorry for "shouting", I should have used italics for emphasis. My point was that Jefferson was undoubtedly familiar with the concept and long tradition of "natural law", and did not use that phrase. I doubt that was accidental. "Natural law" in the sense that Aristotle and Aquinas use it is a very useful concept, but it is not at all the same thing at all as "the laws of nature" in the commonly-understood sense. OTOH, I'll have to do more research about Jefferson's specific attitude toward the concept of "natural law"; I'll get back to you about that.

"Nature's God", OTOH, is and Deist a phrase as one can find. Because this was obviously a political document, his intent IMO was to be as inclusive (and vague) in the language as possible so that everybody involved could sign on, whether skeptics, deists, or several varieties of Christians. It does not, as Sam claimed, refer specifically to the Christian God.

peb
01-10-2007, 09:50 AM
Keith you have got to be kidding. You actually think that the terms "Natural Law" and Laws of Nature" are not synonymous? Please tell me I am misreading your argument.

If he didn't mean natural law, nay if he was opposed to it (which is what you implie with the word not in italics), then he would never have been that ambiguous.

Furthermore, the wording natural law verses laws of nature is quite arbitrary. For example, through the century Church documents have always been originally in latin, and you can find translations that use "laws of nature" as opposed to "natural law" quite often.


Finally, putting the phrase "laws of nature" in the context of first two paragraph's of the DoI seems to fit precisly with Aquina's concept of natural law.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 09:54 AM
Peb, I have no sort of "infatuation with the Rights of Man." I have posted it a couple of times as a rebuttal to Sam's absurd claims about what he calls the "endarkenment", and his completely ahistorical denial of the Enlightenment roots of the US constitution.
Because with y'all, it is all about the law (ie government). Again, I think this is incorrect. None of us (certainly not Norm or Pat or me) are in favor of an all-powerful state. This appears to be a variation of one of the cleverest pieces of propaganda of the 20th century: the claim that "liberals are in favor of Big Government; conservatives are in favor of Small Government" which, like all really effective lies, contains a bit of truth. On the contrary, I am very skeptical about attempts to expand state power, and consider the legal limits on that power one of the greatest achievements of Western civilization.

I am concerned with human laws because they are the ones human beings have to live under. For better or worse, God does not intervene to impose his laws on human affairs. Because there is no clear evidence or agreement about just what those divine laws are, we have to run our affairs here on earth as best we can, treating claims of divine authority in the affairs of human communities as just another opinion.

peb
01-10-2007, 10:16 AM
Keith, I am not saying that ya'll are infavor of an all-powerful state or even big government. Not at all. I am pointing out that your way of thinking can easily lead us down the path to an tyranny. It is dangerous. Yes, our written laws are important. I agree we live under them. But when we consider them a defense to everything, we have a problem. And that is how many conversations around here go.


I remember you a couple of times bringing up the Declaration of Rights of Man as an example of enlightened thinking. Now knowing about you very positive opinion of the enlightenment, I feel justified in my use of the word infatuation.

At least once I have pointed out to you why this document is horrible. I don't remember you ever responding directly to my point, althought I may not always have been clear. Now I know I come and go around here quite a bit, sometimes to the point of leaving in mid-conversation, so I may have missed something. If so, I am sorry.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 10:29 AM
Re: the Declaration Of The Rights of Man; The reason I brought it up was not as any sort of an ideal, but because of its great similarity to portions of our own Constitution, to show very clearly that both have common roots in the Enightenment. Why do you think it's so awful? I'd be interested if you'd elaborate.

And yes, not surprisingly, I have a much higher opinion of the Enlightenment than most orthodox Catholics. The British and Scottish (and the Americans, for that matter) did a better job of it than the French FWIW.

Here it is if anyone wants to read it: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/rightsof.htm

peb
01-10-2007, 10:40 AM
I elaborated above, I will do so again. It bears no resemblance to our Bill of Rights.

I counted 14 out of 17 articles in the Declaration of Rights of Men specifically grants "the law" power to stomp on all our rights. The whole document is about that. Where as the Bill of Rights is all about "congress shall pass no law" type wording. One document is a definitive limitation on law, the other document is a definitive statemen that the law can do anything. And it led directly to the Terror. The French Government in the 1790's never once violated the Declaration of Rights of man.

Think about it. If a government is going to issue a pronouncement protecting rights, it is only logical it is protecting the people from the government itself (from whom else?). So when the French said that the law could be used to preclude all of these rights, it was explicitly establishing a tyranny with the document.

IIRC, Edmund Burke pointed all of this out in 1789 (maybe in was 1790), but I am sure you don't read him since he is a reactionary, not an enlightened individual. ;)

I don't know about the British doing a better job with the enlightenment. They have done a better job than almost any country at government in general. They were well on their way to doing so before the enlightenment.

Sam F
01-10-2007, 10:44 AM
Do enlighten me.

Kaa

Sorry Kaa, but that would take a book-length effort and I simply don't have time enough.
I could however suggest a reading list, if you'd like that.

Sam F
01-10-2007, 10:52 AM
Is diversity in and of itself a good thing? I think unequivocally yes. What does it mean to say "diversity for its own sake?" I don't know what you mean, SamF. Diversity is either good or bad. How does "diversity for its own sake" different from "diversity?" And how does that difference lead to hand amputation?

Now Pat, of course you know what I mean.
If something is "good" is is worth pursuing for its own sake, isn't it?
I have already demonstrated that "diversity" can't possibly be "good" in the sense that all diverse views are good. The notion is quite obvviously stupid.
If your neighbors were: an Aztec revivalist behind you, a neo-Nazi on your right, a Baader-Meinhof member on your left and an ELF terrorist in front of you - the neighborhood would certainly be diverse! But you certainly wouldn't be in a good situation. :D

PatCox
01-10-2007, 10:54 AM
One of the most important of the "natural laws" is freedom of conscience," if I recall correctly. That would be freedom of religion. Diversity and tolerance, in other words. At that time, Catholicism was viewed by our protestant forbears pretty much the way SamF views muslims, as a threat to our society.

peb
01-10-2007, 10:54 AM
and when we start discussing morality or religion, every time, without fail, it is the religious ones who argue that their view is the only correct and supportable one... and that the superiority of their view ought to be the dominant basis of law.

Norman, the first part of this sentence is correct and only logical. If you believe in your religion and morality and you are discussing it, you should argue that it is correct and supportable.

The second part is wrong!!! Both sides take the view that some of their positions should be made law. And on many issues, both sides should be able to debate morality without bring up law. I recall having a pretty frank and positive discussion with TomF about the Catholic posistion of birth control one time. Others (not TomF) immediately chimed in and accused me of wanting to force my morality on them by making it law.

PatCox
01-10-2007, 10:56 AM
So then I assume you approve of "purity," of homogeneity, SamF?

peb
01-10-2007, 10:56 AM
Sorry guys, got to go. Interesting discussion but I am simple too busy.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 10:56 AM
Article 2. The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression. Well, if the reign of terror didn't violate this, I don't know what would.

You are quite right about the tilt toward state power as opposed to the limitations on it in the US Constitution; that's always been a feature of France, before and after the revolution, and not one I like at all. The situation in France was very different from the US - revolution against an absolute monarch with essentially arbitrary power, rather than separation from a moderate constitutional monarchy. Obviously our revolution worked out a lot better than theirs did. Again, I never proposed this as an ideal, but only an example of the common Enlightenment roots of both documents and both revolutions.

Sam F
01-10-2007, 11:00 AM
SamF, here you are reading things into the Constitution which are not there.

That's rich! By Scott's admission (that you profess to agree with)...
"Roe went beyond, but did not contradict, the language of the Constitution."

By "going beyond" one is, by definition "reading things into the Constitution which are not there."
I suggest you either revise your point or concede that you agree with mine – that the Court has in fact made up stuff that isn't in the Constitution.


The Declaration of independence is not a "source document" of the Constitution, you ninny.

Sure it isn't Pat. It's only the source of the entire country and its government... not that that’s relevant or anything. :D

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 11:02 AM
If something is "good" it is worth pursuing for its own sake, isn't it?
I have already demonstrated that "diversity" can't possibly be "good" in the sense that all diverse views are good. The notion is quite obviously stupid.
If your neighbors were: an Aztec revivalist behind you, a neo-Nazi on your right, a Baader-Meinhof member on your left and an ELF terrorist in front of you - the neighborhood would certainly be diverse! But you certainly wouldn't be in a good situation. Once again:
If we value freedom, this not mean we must tolerate anarchy.
If we value order, this not mean we must have a police state.
If we value friendliness, this does not mean public floggings of grumpy people.
If we value good food, this does not mean eating ourselves sick every chance we get.
If we value politeness, this does not require beheading for using the wrong fork.
If we value diversity, this does not mean diversity at all costs, or that we have to tolerate Sharia, human sacrifice, Nazis, or terrorism because they are "diverse".

Sam F
01-10-2007, 11:03 AM
And yes, not surprisingly, I have a much higher opinion of the Enlightenment than most orthodox Catholics.

Not surprisingly, you have a much higher opinion of the crusade the "enlightenment" spawned than does any orthodox Catholic.

PatCox
01-10-2007, 11:11 AM
Here you go, SamF, here's the Treaty of Tripoli, ratified unanimously by the US Senate, many of the members of which at the time had been delegates to the Constitutional Convention. They have something to say about whether this is a christian nation:

"Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Annals of Congress, 5th Congress
Article 1. There is a firm and perpetual peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary, made by the free consent of both parties, and guarantied by the most potent Dey and Regency of Algiers.

. . .

Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

PatCox
01-10-2007, 11:12 AM
What crusade did the enlightenment spawn, SamF?

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 11:17 AM
Pat, He's talking about the civil war between the revolutionary government of France and the citizens of the Vendee, who were devoutly Catholic and opposed to the revolution. It was very nasty, but it wasn't much different from any civil war between supporters of a revolution and supporters of the old regime. Sam likes to use it as an example of the allegedly inevitable murderousness of "atheist" government.

Here is a picture of the insignia of the Vendee royalists; you can see why Sam likes them so much:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/Coeur-chouan.jpeg

PatCox
01-10-2007, 11:24 AM
Naw, Keith, the Catholics believe that the whole French revolution was a masonic anti-catholic conspiracy, just watch, he's gonna start going on about the reign of terror being a religious war, and the dissolution of religious orders and such.

Sam F
01-10-2007, 11:36 AM
Pat's right. The Declaration of Independence is not the law.

The Constitution doesn't guaranty the right to life....

Golly! By my count the Declaration mentions law 9 times. For so brief a document, one might be excused for concluding that The Law was of some importance in it's creation. ;)

What I find amazing among Secularists is the ability to literally toss out the baby with the bathwater.
To insure this one corrupt made up "right", everything else must be jettisoned as needed. Even up to and including tossing out the Declaration of Independence the source/foundational document of the entire nation.
Simply amazing!


First. It recognized the rights of a fetus, specifically the right of the State to protect the fetus from destruction. In this regard, Roe is the first pro-life decision rendered by the Court.

Second. It recognized that a woman's right to privacy extends to her womb, and in some cases trumps the State's interest in protecting the fetus.

There is a a distressing commonality when people start making up laws from scratch with no consideration given to Natural and Divine Law. Using Scott's identical reasoning, one could easily say that the laws quoted below "went beyond, but did not contradict, the language of the Constitution":


Law for the Protection of Hereditary Health:
The Attempt to Improve the German
Aryan Breed, July 14, 1933

Article I. (1.) Anyone who suffers from an inheritable
disease may be surgically sterilized if, in
the judgement of medical science, it could be
expected that his decendants will suffer from
serious inherited mental or physical defects.
(2.) Anyone who suffers from one of the following
is to be regarded as inheritably diseased
within the meaning of this law:
1. congenital feeble-mindedness
2. schizophrenia
3. manic-depression
4. congenital epilepsy
5. inheritable St. Vitus dance
(Huntington's Chorea)
6. hereditary blindness
7. hereditary deafness
8. serious inheritable malformations
(3.) In addition, anyone suffering from chronic
alcoholism may also be sterilized.

Now Scott, you should know that these laws mirror the same reasoning present in Buck vs Bell of 1927, so don't whine about this being somehow different. It isn't.

With this sort of corruption rampant, I expect anyday now a repetition of this...


The Nuremberg Laws on Citizenship and Race:
September 15, 1935

ARTICLE 2. (1) A citizen of the Reich may be only one who is of
German or kindred blood, and who, through his behavior, shows
that he is both desirous and personally fit to serve loyally the
German people and the Reich.
(2) The right to citizenship is obtained by the grant of Reich
citizenship papers.
(3) Only the citizen of the Reich may enjoy full political
rights in consonance with the provisions of the laws.
ARTICLE 4. (1) A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. He
cannot exercise the right to vote; he cannot hold public office.

Which laws of course end in this:


From the Protocols of the Wannsee Conference:
Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes.
The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival (see the experience of history.)

In the course of the practical execution of the final solution, Europe will be combed through from west to east. Germany proper, including the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, will have to be handled first due to the housing problem and additional social and political necessities.

The evacuated Jews will first be sent, group by group, to so-called transit ghettos, from which they will be transported to the East...


Schweet! That's even got that fine ol' Darwinian reasoning so useful in tyrannical decision making.

Scott Rosen
01-10-2007, 11:37 AM
Sam, we all understand that you will never concede a centimeter of ground from your staked-out positions. That's a given in any "discussion" with you.

It gives the impression that your ethos is built upon a house of cards. That losing the weakest of the bunch will cause the whole edifice to come tumbling down.

But I have to admit, it's sometimes fun to argue with a guy who's never heard the phrase, "quit while you're ahead."

PatCox
01-10-2007, 11:38 AM
I think its deeper than that, Kieth; the whacky catholic conspiracy therorists believe that the entire revolution was an anti-catholic masonic conspiracy. They dissolved all the monasteries, don't you know.

Osborne Russell
01-10-2007, 11:41 AM
Four pages, yikes! I guess swearing on the Koran really is a big deal.

PatCox
01-10-2007, 11:42 AM
The declaration of independence is still not the law, SamF. It is not cited by courts nor considered authoritative in Constitutional interpretation. The declaration of Independance is a diplomatic document intended to garner international support for the cause of rebellion by setting forth the casus belli. It garnered the support of the french and inspired the french revolution, of all things, could you believe that?

The Constitution is a document setting forth the form of government that the federal government would take. It was the second try, the first constitution having failed.

Throw around vague platitudes and generalities all you like, the one has nothing to do with the other when it comes to analyzing the purpose and intent of the words of the Constitution.

Sam F
01-10-2007, 11:54 AM
Pat, He's talking about the civil war between the revolutionary government of France and the citizens of the Vendee,...

Nope. Only part of the story.
The Vendee massacre is only one phase of Revolutionary crusade. It had it's internal crusade by purging the insufficiently revolutionary, then the provencial crusade via genocide in the Vendee followed by
the export of Revolution by means of the French Army. This latter phase resulted in global war.
See not all crusades are bad, eh? :D

I suggest you familarize yourself with the theme song of that Revolutionary crusade:


La Marseillaise -


Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts


To arms citizens
Form your battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows


What do they want this horde of slaves
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings?
For whom these vile chains
These long-prepared irons?
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What methods must be taken?
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!


What! These foreign cohorts!
They would make laws in our courts!
What! These mercenary phalanxes
Would cut down our warrior sons
Good Lord! By chained hands
Our brow would yield under the yoke
The vile despots would have themselves be
The masters of destiny


Tremble, tyrants and traitors
The shame of all good men
Tremble! Your parricidal schemes
Will receive their just reward
Against you we are all soldiers
If they fall, our young heros
France will bear new ones
Ready to join the fight against you


Frenchmen, as magnanimous warriors
Bear or hold back your blows
Spare these sad victims
That they regret taking up arms against us
But not these bloody despots
These accomplices of Bouillé
All these tigers who pitilessly
Ripped out their mothers' wombs


We shall enter into the pit
When our elders will no longer be there
There we shall find their ashes
And the mark of their virtues
We are much less jealous of surviving them
Than of sharing their coffins
We shall have the sublime pride
Of avenging or joining them


Drive on sacred patriotism
Support our avenging arms
Liberty, cherished liberty
Join the struggle with your defenders
Under our flags, let victory
Hurry to your manly tone
So that in death your enemies
See your triumph and our glory.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 11:56 AM
There is a a distressing commonality when people start making up laws from scratch with no consideration given to Natural and Divine Law. Barring a clear and unambiguous divine revelation, since human beings do not agree on the nature of "Divine Law", the only thing we can do is make up laws from scratch. Or we can use a two step process: we can make up alleged Divine Law from scratch, and then use it as a basis for other laws.
I expect any day now a repetition of this . . . (and he quotes the Nuremberg racial laws of 1935)Sure, Roe v Wade will no doubt lead "any day now" to a repetition of Nazi atrocities. And Sam wonders why we don't take him seriously.

Sam F
01-10-2007, 11:58 AM
Once again:
If we value freedom, this not mean we must tolerate anarchy.

Then you agree with me that "diversity" is not a good, in an of itself.
It can't possibly be. Duh!
Really Keith! This is highy dysfunctional. Why expend the effort in attacking someone you agree with?

Sam F
01-10-2007, 12:01 PM
Sorry guys, got to go. Interesting discussion but I am simple too busy.


Me too.
Once again it's been interesting to delve into the tortured reasoning of the modern secularist, however fruitless and sterile an endeavor that may be... but I too have stuff to do.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 12:10 PM
Then you agree with me that "diversity" is not a good, in and of itself.Certainly I do. By that definition, nothing is good "in and of itself". Freedom is good, but it must be restricted by responsibility. Order is good, but it must be restricted by justice and freedom. Honesty is good, but it must be restricted by mercy and sometimes by the need for privacy or even secrecy. The idea the somebody out there supports diversity at all costs, that we must tolerate human sacrifice or Sharia in the name of "diversity" is a classic straw man argument. It appears you are trying to make it seem as if diversity is not a desirable thing because it is bad when taken to absurd extremes. We could have a genuine discussion about the limits of acceptance of diversity, if you like, but the straw man has to stay out of it.

Anyway, I probably should go do someting useful too. It's been fun, guys.

ishmael
01-10-2007, 12:13 PM
Learn English, follow our constitution. It's not perfect, but has mechanisms to correct it. It's worked pretty well for over 200 years(with a bit of a mess here and there.)

People still fight and wrestle to come here. I imagine people fight and wrestle to get into China today. It will be our main adversary in this ideological war of the coming decades. But we're right and they are wrong. People want to be left alone to find their own way. That's, obviously, not the whole picture. Sometimes people want to be told what to do. But I remain positive about the American experiment.

PatCox
01-10-2007, 12:26 PM
"Learn English, follow our Constitution (and laws)." Thats reasonable diversity. Far better than "Convert or Die," the long time favorite Catholic motto.

But nothing is simple. What of the veil? The French have outlawed it as "un-french." I agree with them, they are asking no more than Ishmael is. If you are going to live here, you may practice your religion, but we will not tolerate abhorrent practices that run counter to our basic and shared values (the things we can all agree on, which for simplicity we could define as the things we get into the Constitution, since that process requires near-consensus.) Thus the french will not allow the subjegation of women.

But where to draw the line, and specifically, what to do about Muslims who think we are all infidels and are religiously intolerant, well, I don't know. Are they really intent on coming here and breeding until they can take over? Lets watch France for a while, and England, there we have our laboratories.

Note the fact that a constitutional amendment banning abortion is a complete non-starter. Thats because contrary to SamF's assertion, the belief that abortion is the taking of a human life is not a belief about which there is anything close to consensus.

TomF
01-10-2007, 12:39 PM
...Whats the alternative, though? An immutable Constitution? Obviously not, since the world is a changable place, and at least some precepts change over time.... Precisely the argument I have against literalist readings of scripture, btw. Not that Sam's a fundamentalist in that sense.

Kaa
01-10-2007, 12:49 PM
But nothing is simple. What of the veil? The French have outlawed it as "un-french." I agree with them, they are asking no more than Ishmael is. If you are going to live here, you may practice your religion, but we will not tolerate abhorrent practices that run counter to our basic and shared values (the things we can all agree on, which for simplicity we could define as the things we get into the Constitution, since that process requires near-consensus.) Thus the french will not allow the subjegation of women.

Interesting. I have exactly the opposite reaction to the anti-veil French law -- it's ridiculous, stupid, likely to achieve results opposite from the ones intended, and is a gross overreaching on the part of the state.

The law does not protect Muslim women living in France -- it protects the native Frenchmen from the sights of a different culture in their midst. It's a perfect example of xenophobia. How dare they not look like us?

As to "abhorrent practices", since when choosing some specific clothing to wear is an abhorrent practice that must have a special law to prevent it?

Kaa

Osborne Russell
01-10-2007, 12:52 PM
And how bout them pig races, huh?

Popeye
01-10-2007, 12:54 PM
is there a woman really heading up the catholic church ..

Scott Rosen
01-10-2007, 01:03 PM
what to do about Muslims who think we are all infidels and are religiously intolerant, well, I don't know. Are they really intent on coming here and breeding until they can take over? Lets watch France for a while, and England, there we have our laboratories.
There's another laboratory that's further along. Israel.

One of the primary justifications Israelis cite for leaving the West Bank and Gaza is this: The Arab population reproduces at a much faster rate than the Jewish population. If Israel is to try to incorporate large Arab population centers, Israel risks no longer being a Jewish state.

Israel is different from the US in that it is officially, by law, a Jewish state. It's not my intent to argue whether it's ever a good thing to have state endorse one religion. Whether the US is "officially" Christian is irrelevant to this issue. What is relevant is that some Americans (and some Europeans) are genuinely fearful of losing their liberties to a culture that values conformance to the Koran over everything else and is plagued by infighting and internal strife.

For my own part, I think the possibility of the US being overwhelmed by Muslim fundementalists and Islamists is too remote to take seriously.

TomF
01-10-2007, 01:05 PM
Kaa,

As I understand it, the idea of France as a nation state was not built so much on diversity, as on laying aside one's diversity and embracing a new political homogeneity. The nation state was, as Clausewitz noted in "On War," an entirely new political phenomenon - built on the premise that anyone from anywhere in the world could become French - on the condition that they learned the Parisian dialect, and pledged allegiance to the Republic. In that, the political divisions between Normandy and Gascony and Burgundy and .... were undercut. And France became a unified nation in a way which had not previously been seen.

One of the aspects of the French experiment which made it work was the adoption of a ferociously rigid division of state and religion. Like it or not, that division is one of the core values of French public life, and undergird pretty much every public expression - including participation in education. Given the history of religous war, one can understand this rigid new component of public life.

The headscarf affairs illustrate that a substantial minority will not subscribe to one of the core elements of French life, which has been a core element for over 200 years. And the French, understandably, respond by saying "accept our fundamental values if you want to live here. Do what you like in private."

Sounds rather like some talking about immigrants to the US needing to learn English, no?

Osborne Russell
01-10-2007, 01:48 PM
Are they really intent on coming here and breeding until they can take over?

Yes, and Congressman Virgil Goode (R-VA) is trying to do something about it, but gets nothing but grief abut diversity and all that stuff.


http://goodeblessamerica.com/


Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-4605


Dec. 7, 2006

I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States.

/s Hon. Virgil Goode

ishmael
01-10-2007, 01:49 PM
Scott said,

"There's another laboratory that's further along. Israel."

I'm gonna have to quibble with this. An egalitarian, yet religious state, founded out of western idealism, that is still very sectarian. I'd rather be an Arab in Israel than in Egypt, but just a little.

It's easy to just throw up your hands. There's a mix of religious and secular going on there that as the Christian Apocalyptics say, is never going to settle down, and is likely to blow the lid off.

I don't think Israel is "further along." I think it's backward.

Kaa
01-10-2007, 01:51 PM
As I understand it, the idea of France as a nation state was not built so much on diversity, as on laying aside one's diversity and embracing a new political homogeneity.... anyone from anywhere in the world could become French - on the condition that they learned the Parisian dialect, and pledged allegiance to the Republic.

Do note that we are talking POLITICAL homogeneity, speaking the language, and pledging allegiance. I fail to see how clothing became part of this.


The headscarf affairs illustrate that a substantial minority will not subscribe to one of the core elements of French life, which has been a core element for over 200 years.

Ahem. And how exactly does it do this?

You understand that Jews in France are perfectly free to wear yarmulkas, talits, tzitzits and other purely religious articles of clothing? Or that nobody objects to Buddhist monks in their traditional orange robes?

Why is an Islamic headscarf forbidden, but married orthodox Jewish women are still allowed to cover their hair?

Kaa

Scott Rosen
01-10-2007, 01:52 PM
The description of Israel as a 'freedom-loving democracy' is a cynical joke.
I wouldn't go quite that far, Norman. From the perspective of a homeless person in Chicago, the description of the US as a freedom loving democracy is also a joke. In the past, many people of many different perspectives would have had cause to be cynical about America's freedoms: slaves, Native Americans, Japanese Americans during WWII, African Americans, even today. That doesn't make our freedoms a joke. It simply makes us imperfect.

Now, there's nothing per se wrong with a Muslim majority, except that the Muslims living in and near Israel are, to a dangerous extent, hostile to their Jewish neighbors and could be expected to change the laws to be unfavorable to the Jews. The original partition plan envisioned a Jewish state and an Arab state, and the borders were drawn roughly to reflect that. It was an imperfect solution. But it was the only workable solution. It may still be the only workable solution. It would be nice if one day Israel and Palestine could become like the US and Canada, but I'm not going to hold my breath. It would be nice if one day the world didn't need a country where Jews are guaranteed refuge. But that day isn't here yet.

What does this have to do with diversity?

Kaa
01-10-2007, 02:04 PM
Yes, and Congressman Virgil Goode (R-VA) is trying to do something about it, but gets nothing but grief abut diversity and all that stuff.
That's because he's a flaming retard who's pandering to xenophobic rednecks in his constituency.

Which part of "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." he does not understand? That's US Constitution, Article VI, by the way.

Kaa

TomF
01-10-2007, 02:05 PM
...You understand that Jews in France are perfectly free to wear yarmulkas, talits, tzitzits and other purely religious articles of clothing? Or that nobody objects to Buddhist monks in their traditional orange robes?

Why is an Islamic headscarf forbidden, but married orthodox Jewish women are still allowed to cover their hair?

KaaNo, my understanding differs from yours.

When my mother-in-law studied at the Sorbonne, the prohibition in public-life settings was on all religious clothing/jewellery/ornaments etc. The prohibition applied to Jews, Christians, Moslems, etc.

IIRC, not so long ago in France the issue came up not only with headscarves, but with what were considered to be overly-large and obvious crucifixes. Presumably, a small object worn under the clothes would be permitted.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 02:07 PM
"Goodeblessamerica.com"??? God, save us from your followers. :rolleyes:

Kaa
01-10-2007, 02:08 PM
No, my understanding differs from yours.

Perhaps you could find some sources?

Are you saying that it's illegal for a Jew to wear a skull cap in public? I find it hard to believe.

Kaa

TomF
01-10-2007, 02:22 PM
Perhaps you could find some sources?

Are you saying that it's illegal for a Jew to wear a skull cap in public? I find it hard to believe.

KaaThe issue isn't whether anyone can wear religious symbols in public. It's whether one can wear religous symbols while engaged in certain public activities. Like working as a civil servant, or attending public schools. Wikipedia has a rather good page focusing on the recent law banning "ostentatious" religious clothing or objects in schools, which was passed two years ago. It draws on existing French law from 1904 or 1905 regarding the civil service etc., and "corrects" the previous laxness that there'd been, where crucifixes/skull caps had previously been "overlooked" in schools. Not anymore.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_law_on_secularity_and_conspicuous_religious _symbols_in_schools (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_law_on_secularity_and_conspicuous_religious _symbols_in_schools)


On February 10 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_10), 2004 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004) the lower house (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_National_Assembly) voted by a large majority (494 for, 36 against, 31 abstentions) in support of the ban, which includes the caveat that the ban will be reviewed after it has operated for one year.....


The French law on secularity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secularism) and conspicuous religious symbols (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_symbolism) in schools bans students from wearing conspicuous religious symbols in French (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France) public (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_France) (i.e. government-operated) primary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_school) and secondary schools (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_education_in_France). The law is an amendment to the French Code of Education that expands principles founded in existing French law, especially the constitutional requirement of laïcité (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La%C3%AFcit%C3%A9): the separation of state and religious activities. …..

...it seems that large crosses, full hijabs or yarmulkes would be banned, while small symbols such as small Stars of David (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_David) or crosses in pendants would not be...People can wear what they like in private, or even in public when engaged in activities that aren't associated with the state.

To put it in perspective, it would be unthinkable and distasteful in the extreme in French public life for the President to say something in a speech like "God Bless France." Or to wear a cross, or skull cap, or Buddhist robe while engaged in any public duties. Whatever he might feel/say in private to his spouse or kids.

Osborne Russell
01-10-2007, 02:33 PM
That's because he's a flaming retard who's pandering to xenophobic rednecks in his constituency.

I thought he was (R-Va).

How does he resist adopting the middle intial "B"?

Kaa
01-10-2007, 02:42 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_law_on_secularity_and_conspicuous_religious _symbols_in_schools (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_law_on_secularity_and_conspicuous_religious _symbols_in_schools)

People can wear what they like in private, or even in public when engaged in activities that aren't associated with the state.

Ah, thank you. I didn't realize the ban on headscarves only affected the public schools.

My basic opposition to this law remains unchanged, though. It's a totalitarian law and is expressly aimed at Muslims.

Kaa

Scott Rosen
01-10-2007, 02:42 PM
I don't think Israel is "further along." I think it's backward.
What I meant was that Israel has been grappling with the demographic issues a lot longer than England, France and Germany.

Why don't we look at the facts:

There is no demographic threat to the US's Christian culture. In 2001, 79.8% identified themselves as Christian. 15% had no religion. That means only 5.2% of Americans were of a non-Christian religion. Of that 5.2% of non-Christians, only 0.6% were Muslim. Nor does the US have massive immigrant communities that are hostile to the culture. Unless you count the Amish, who are hostile, but not aggressive.

Looking around the world, there are five ways countries are dealing with a perceived demographic threat to the culture:

1. Keep the "others" out.

2. Separate the others, physically and legally.

3. Kill the others (genocide).

4. Outlaw the differences.

5. Give the others equal rights and protections, regardless of the consequences and hope they assimilate the key cultural values.

If your goal is to preserve the cultural status quo, then only 1, 2 and 3 are assured to work. 4 won't work in the long run if the "others" ever become a large enough political force to change the laws. Israel has tried and is trying 1 and 2. France is trying 1 and 4. The US uses 5. Nazi Germany used 1, 2, 3 and 4. I'm not sure what England and Germany are doing.

If you find 1, 2, 3 and 4 morally offensive, then you have to rely on 5 and believe that the best values and ideals will win out in the free market of ideas. As an American, I'm comfortable with relying on 5. If I were French or Israeli, I'm not sure how I would feel.

It's hard to imagine that 1, 2, 3 and 4 could produce a peaceful solution in the long run. But what do I know?

Kaa
01-10-2007, 02:46 PM
...
3. Kill the others (genocide).
...

It's hard to imagine that 1, 2, 3 and 4 could produce a peaceful solution in the long run. But what do I know?

Genocide surely can. The US is a peaceful country, no Indian problems, right?

Kaa

TomF
01-10-2007, 02:49 PM
...My basic opposition to this law remains unchanged, though. It's a totalitarian law and is expressly aimed at Muslims.

KaaIt's a law which is in keeping with France's history of a strict separation of religion and state. And while it was certainly prompted by Muslims wearing headscarves, the law takes clear aim at other religious symbols too.

It raises the question about diversity that I addressed way back in post 125: who gets to determine what fundamental ideas or concepts will be at the centre of a community? A community defines this for themselves - and welcomes diversity only within the bounds it sets.

France settled on the separation of religion/state at the dawn of its Republic. Is it totalitarian to enforce the precepts they'd set out for all French citizens over 200 years ago?

Scott Rosen
01-10-2007, 02:57 PM
Genocide surely can. The US is a peaceful country, no Indian problems, right?

Kaa
Sadly, I stand corrected.

In today's world it's a lot harder to get away with total genocide because communication is fast and world-wide.

Kaa
01-10-2007, 02:59 PM
It raises the question about diversity that I addressed way back in post 125: who gets to determine what fundamental ideas or concepts will be at the centre of a community? A community defines this for themselves - and welcomes diversity only within the bounds it sets.

Of course a community can do this. And different communities will set different bounds. We're not talking about the rights of communities here, we're talking about the wisdom and consequencs of setting these bounds in a particular way.


France settled on the separation of religion/state at the dawn of its Republic. Is it totalitarian to enforce the precepts they'd set out for all French citizens over 200 years ago?

It's not a question of the separation of church and state. It's a question of liberty. In my opinion people's -- individuals' -- rights to express themselves and wear whatever they want take precedence over the discomfort of some school administrators.

Besides, the issue isn't the intermingling of religion and state anyway. It's not like the law prohibits the French government from giving preferential treatment to a certain religion. This law prohibits what ordinary people -- not state employees or state agents -- can wear. That's what makes it totalitarian.

Kaa

TomF
01-10-2007, 03:13 PM
It is a restriction of liberty, sure. Lots of things are - laws are frequently about the restriction of individual liberty. Speed limits, legal drinking age, conscription, expropriation, etc. All put something ahead of individual liberty.

The French apparently see maintaining a strictly secular public life as not only justified, but a civic virtue. One to be protected, and promoted - based on their history and experience. One which is intrinsic to their sense of identity as a nation.

And to be honest, public education at the elementary and secondary level has always been at least as much about socialization as about learning facts or skills. My kids still stand up for the National Anthem at the start of every day ... and when I was a kid, we said the Lord's Prayer too. Now that wouldn't have happened in France! My Jewish grade 3 teacher was forced to stand with her head bowed when we said "Our Father" ... and perhaps felt it as much an infringement of her liberty as French muslim girls who can't wear the hijab to class.

Scott Rosen
01-10-2007, 03:36 PM
Tom,

I wonder if the French model actually breeds more contempt and fear of minorities than our "diversity" model in the US.

My kids' schools always had "holiday" concerts at Christmas. Unlike when I was a kid and only sang Christmas songs--and religious ones at that--my kids sing songs from different cultures and religions. The school uses this as an opportunity to teach the kids about these differences and make them less fearful and mistrustful of people who are different.

Kaa
01-10-2007, 03:52 PM
The French apparently see maintaining a strictly secular public life as not only justified, but a civic virtue. One to be protected, and promoted - based on their history and experience. One which is intrinsic to their sense of identity as a nation.

I'm too lazy to do it at the moment, but it's clearly possible to build a good argument about how this law is an example of misuse of power by a majority that wishes to suppress a minority, and in particular this minority's sense of identity, both cultural and religious.

It's like saying "even though you can't be white and Christian, at least PRETEND you are". With the snicker under the breath "...but you are not and never will be, and we both know it".

Kaa

PatCox
01-10-2007, 03:57 PM
They could have just excluded the muslims from their country completely. Instead they allowed immigration, asking only that they respect the French ideal of public secularism.

People who move into a foreign country where they will be a minority and where their ways will be considered shocking and loathsome, yet who are determined to persist in their ways and instead regard their new compatriots with contempt and intolerance, to me should be considered as "coming to the nuisance."

PatCox
01-10-2007, 04:10 PM
Israel is not a good model, because we are mostly speaking of immigration into an established culture of people who are different in ways beyond the previous range of acceptable differences.

Isreal, on the other hand, is a conquering force invading a settled culture and dealing with resistance from the native dwellers there. The immigration problem in Israel is similar to the immigration problem faced by the Algonquin in 1620.

Scott Rosen
01-10-2007, 04:11 PM
They could have just excluded the muslims from their country completely. Instead they allowed immigration, asking only that they respect the French ideal of public secularism.
I think you're giving the French too much credit. They promoted immigration to fill a need in their labor market for low-paid, low-skilled workers. The French didn't seem to give much, if any, thought to how this group of immigrants might meld with French society. They wanted cheap labor and they got it.

When the riots, fires, murders and terror cells began, the French began to recognize a problem.

If France had been clear about the rules of the game before the immigrants arrived, things might have turned out differently.

Kaa
01-10-2007, 04:21 PM
People who move into a foreign country where they will be a minority and where their ways will be considered shocking and loathsome, yet who are determined to persist in their ways and instead regard their new compatriots with contempt and intolerance, to me should be considered as "coming to the nuisance."

Ahem. So wearing a head scarf is "shocking and loathsome" and Muslim schoolgirls regard the French with "contempt and intolerance", right?

You might also take a moment to consider the European history of the Jewish people.

Kaa

Scott Rosen
01-10-2007, 04:26 PM
Israel is not a good model, because we are mostly speaking of immigration into an established culture of people who are different in ways beyond the previous range of acceptable differences.

Isreal, on the other hand, is a conquering force invading a settled culture and dealing with resistance from the native dwellers there. The immigration problem in Israel is similar to the immigration problem faced by the Algonquin in 1620.

Israel may not be a good model, but it's not analogous to the US and Native Americans. Israel's problems are not the result of its Arab citizens living within its borders. It's the result of Arabs who are not citizens and are living in disputed territory. The Arabs who stayed after 1948 have been, as I understand it, a peaceful minority. The question for Israel is whether to expand the borders to include large and hostile Arab populations which are multiplying faster than the Jews. To understand this basic fact of Israeli life is to understand why Israel has relinquished Gaza and has dismantled settlements in the West Bank. However, it's not so easy to separate, as many Palestinians depend on jobs in Israel, and the Israeli economy depends on Palestinian labor.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2007, 04:34 PM
The argument over headscarves is mainly symbolic, for all it's so divisive. The traditional Muslim attitude toward women, symbolized by the traditional women's clothing, is definitely "shocking and loathsome" to many modern French women and men. Some French Muslims (although probably not many shoolgirls) do indeed regard infidels of all types with "contempt and intolerance".