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Old 08-29-2011, 04:52 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,434,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCSTroop View Post
Well, first of all, the argument against abortion is actually more vague than a dead, slave-owning white guy founder. The abortion argument is often rooted in the re-hashed words of a 2000 year old zombie who never actually addressed the issue, may have never even existed, and to whom millions of people expect is forcing natural disasters our way because of his dislike of our "morality." Compared with that, the writings of a dead, white-guy, slave owner actually seem quite ostensible.

Second of all, a separation of church and state, or if you prefer, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and Article VI of the Constitution (my personal favorite):
"no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States" are the two most commonly referred to Articles in our Constitution when speaking of the separation of church and state.

But, the actual phrase, "separation of church and state," comes from Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association which reads as such:
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State".

So, that's enough of the dead white guy quotes, but I felt it necessary to just give enough of a background into it so that I could then go into the reasons WHY this is important. Most people forget what was going on in Europe at the time the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written, as well as the religiously motivated political atmosphere that brought some of America's early founders here as well. It's also important to recognize that whether you're tired of hearing about the Founding Fathers or not, they did know their history and they did take into account many facets of history while writing the Constitution.


At that time in Europe, and for most of European history, the prosecutorial lens of religion had been alive and well. Whether it was the Papacy being thrown out of England (and those believers in the papacy beheaded) or the Inquisition in Spain, the dark shadow of the Dark Ages still lingering over parts of Europe, or to speak more locally, the indemnities of events like the Salem Witch Trials hanging over young America's head, it was not uncommon to find a good number of atrocities hanging over the head of religion when it was mixed with public policy. Hell, even while the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were being written, Christian missionaries were leading the charge to Native American holdings, slaughtering those who didn't become Christians and brainwashing those who did. In short, when religion becomes a centralized focal point of policy-making, it doesn't often take long for it to become dangerous.


Today's candidates, specifically those of the Bachmann and Perry type, are so heavily involved with touting their religion that they could nearly be in violation of Article VI of the Constitution. The mere fact that Bachmann signed "The Marriage Vow," should tell us one thing: She is running on a platform that comes dangerously close to appealing to Conservative Christians and not Conservatively minded people. Her faith is what she's built her platform on and everything else that follows (economics, policies, etc...) become mutually agreed upon by her followers because of her religious similarities to them.


So, back to a Separation of Church and State.... Let's assume that Michelle Bachmann suddenly excels in the primaries, becomes the leading candidate against Obama, and then somehow wins the Presidency. Now it becomes her turn to lead and she is reminded of her "Marriage Vow" pledge, she pushes Congress to write a law that does the following:


1. Bans Sharia-Law


2. Outlaws Pornography


3. Outlaws Infidelity


4. Outlaws Abortion


And also takes into consideration the following quote:
"Over the long run, Sharia polygamy, multi-partner childbearing, demographic jihad and the persecution of Jews, Christians, blacks, artists, feminists, gays, freethinkers and other non-conformists poses a threat to Western human rights in general, and to American liberty in particular."

In essence, the very pledge Bachmann signs acknowledges that American LIBERTY is being threatened by "NON-CONFORMISTS" and that it should be dealt with as such.


In other words, the very purpose behind it is either "Conform or go to jail." Sound familiar through the hallowed halls of history?


In practical reality, such a bill would probably never make it through Congress, and especially not the Supreme Court, but the push for such policy-making would be backed by nothing other than religious ideology. Remember, her voting base is largely comprised of religious nuts who do feel that taking people's basic freedoms of non-conformity as a threat to American liberty is of utmost importance to this country. So, what next? What if a wartime decision comes about?


I succinctly remember being in the military shortly before the invasion of Iraq and hearing George W. Bush tell me over the TV (in a message to all members of the military) that he had prayed about this, considered our involvement in this as part of God's work, and that we were doing what was "right." Less than 24 hours later, we were bombarding Iraq in a show of "Shock and Awe." I had one question in my mind, though...


He prayed about this, received an answer from God, and that's why we're now invading this country? I mean, yeah, we were told about WMD's and all this other stuff but the decision maker was a prayer and a whisper in the ear from the man upstairs himself that this was all good? No... I call B-S on that. An entire war that has now dragged on for almost a decade was initiated because of something "God Wanted." Well, I'm glad that's the first and only time in history one country has invaded another because of something God wanted... I mean, could you imagine what history would look like if people went to war over religious beliefs???? Oh wait.....


So, a separation of church and state, should be as follows, in my opinion:


No policy, decision, or law should be made with a particular religious agenda in mind. If a candidate wishes to pray about something before turning himself or herself to the public's mercy about the decision, they mustn't advertise their prayer, the faith, or their religion as the reason behind such a decision. To do so pulls people away from a mindset critical of a policy and into a mindset that concurs with the religious concept.


No religion should be seen as preferential over one another by the public. This means that no government entities, to include schools, courthouses, etc... should have the inscriptions of a specific religion's beliefs emblazoned on them.


In my opinion, the mere talk of religious belief by candidates should be considered a campaign violation. A leader should not be making decisions on a religious basis but rather on a basis consistent with the facts, ideas, and merits of the situation itself. Nor should that candidate be trying to sway a part of the general populace by professing their belief in the nutty, zany, and delusional world of religion.
You've obviously spent a good deal of time on an answer - while I'm not quite sure how much, if any, is cut and paste.

Anyway, before I respond I have one more question that I've asked repeatedly and is almost always ignored:

Going by your definition cited last in your post, the only views permitted in government would be a so called "secular" i.e., non God view. What makes the 'secular view' superior to the God view?

...and I do appreciate the time you spent in your response. I'm eager to provide a more in-depth response as soon as I can.

Thank you.

 
Old 08-29-2011, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,280,584 times
Reputation: 4279
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
You've obviously spent a good deal of time on an answer - while I'm not quite sure how much, if any, is cut and paste.
None of it was copied and pasted save for quotes which I appropriately entered in nothing less than quotations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Going by your definition cited last in your post, the only views permitted in government would be a so called "secular" i.e., non God view. What makes the 'secular view' superior to the God view?
What makes the secular view superior to the God view? To really answer that question, let's posit that 90% of the people in this country held a belief in Allah, and the Greek and Roman Gods in some sort of twisted schema of religiosity. Imagine, if you will, that come voting time, a certain political party always pandered to the most religious by professing their faith in Allah, Zeus, or Mars.

Now imagine that when these people are elected you hear them say things like "Pray to Mars that the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan remain alive and well." Or, for that matter, "Praise Allah that the infidels have perished!"

It sounds kind of stupid, right? At the very least, it sounds foreign and unabashedly self-righteous to be mired in such stupidity while trying to run a country. Now imagine that our foreign policy, domestic policy, and many other things of a political nature could be traced back to any particular candidate's faith in Zeus or Mars or Allah.

Only, now it seems that everywhere you look in this country of fable and mythology, there seems to be government sponsorship of the Greek Gods, the Roman Gods and Allah. In our schools, every morning our children say the Pledge of Allegiance and leave IN the part that says "Under God." Only, in this fictional country, they say "One Nation Under Allah, Mars, and Zeus." Our government courthouses have the Seven Pillars of Islam etched into stones setting on the front lawn while taxpayer dollars etched a trident out of marble to pay honor to Poseidon.

During the tough times of drought, we hear our candidates pray to Zeus, the god of the heavens and rain, to quench the thirst of our crops. When the honeybee population begins to die off, rather than fund a study to examine why, we simply call upon the citizens to pray to Mellona, the Goddess of bees.

If this sounds ridiculous to you, it's because it is. But, to someone such as myself, I see literally no difference in asking the Christian God for advice over whether to go to war than I do the Roman God - Mars. To me, they're both equally errant in their responsibility of actually doing something. To post the texts of the Bible in a publicly funded courthouse or other government building is equally as inane and stupid as posting the Pillars of Islam or quotes from The Egyptian Book of the Dead.

It should go without saying that a government backed by religion often becomes a religion backed by a government. It has happened throughout so much of history and continues to happen to this day. The entire Dark Ages was nothing short of a meddling of religion and politics whereby the Papacy controlled the governments. The Spanish Inquisition was a sanctioned witch hunt initiated by the Church and allowed to happen by the monarchy. In the modern Middle East, Wahhabism has become renowned for its abusive treatment of women.

Even the religious-free governments such as North Korea have turned their "Dear Leaders" into nothing short of deities themselves. In countries where religion is outlawed, the ruler becomes the deity of the people. Watching the marching processions of North Korean soldiers, one gets a distinct taste of obedience based on the fear of failure to worship.

Religious beliefs should be a matter of personal opinion. It should not creep its way into our policy-making or our politics. To say that it's fine and decent to inject Christianity into our politics is not just rubbish on the same parallel as injecting Islam and the ancient mythologies into the mix but it's also grossly irresponsible and negligent of our society to ignore the fact that the term "Christian" has far wider and broader implications than believing in Christ.

Those who most strongly wish to inject Christianity into our government are also those who often hold the most polarizing and condemnatory views of those different than them. In fact, it's most probable that the majority of Christian themselves would be somewhat disgusted by many of the extreme religious views of these people. But, we live in a country where the word "Christian" is somehow automatically associated with "good" despite the Warren Jeffs, Fred Phelps, and Pope Benedict's of the world. Those who wish religion into our government should be careful of what they ask for lest they themselves become the target of a tyranny against "dissenters."

Finally, I will say this:

Though our arrangement as a country could be considered "secular," it is far from it. From the very beginning, Christianity has weaseled itself into virtually every aspect of our government. It is never content with damage control, limiting itself to certain aspects of government, or with suggesting more restrictions of people in the land of the free. Yet, in a truly secular government, one I believe can and should happen, we needn't worry about policy grown in the sickness of religious beliefs. Want to squelch a group of people from their rights? You're going to have to reach beyond the grasp of something religious to do so. You're going to need to find good, justifiable cause to stop someone from doing what they please as individuals. How one can possibly say that religion in our government is a positive thing shows their true ignorance in the face of history - our own and throughout the world. They are truly ignorant of the atrocities of religion in the hands of government and fastidiously stupid to the concept that subjugation and forced worship can never happen if religion never gets a foothold inside government. All of the things religion is responsible for... It can never happen if it can't get a grasp on the politics of a people. It is truly sad to see that people cannot recognize that and must act ignorant of the true face of religion as an evil entity hellbent on the destruction of freedom.
 
Old 08-29-2011, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Rivendell
1,387 posts, read 2,167,244 times
Reputation: 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizzly Friddle View Post
So... post number 57 and nobody is committing to a republican.
Interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by laysayfair View Post
You missed at least one post- #27.
I didn't overlook your post.

You are going to vote republican. But you haven't committed to a specific republican.

Sorry I wasn't clearer.
 
Old 08-30-2011, 12:33 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,982,118 times
Reputation: 6687
Quote:
Originally Posted by GCSTroop View Post
Well, first of all, the argument against abortion is actually more vague than a dead, slave-owning white guy founder.
Not really. I'm pretty certain if I was atheist I'd still be against abortion in most circumstances. Nat Hentoff is against abortion and he's not theist. I think there are others, particularly if we mean abortions performed after the first trimester.

Abortion has a tendency to allow a pretty strong eugenic component. Sterilization or contraception can keep one from pregnancy much/most of the time, but keeping "the wrong kind of people" from being born is something abortion generally does best. Sure "genetic counseling" can do that some, but there's still a chance for a de-novo mutation, like myself. So with abortion you can abort-away children of alcoholics or abort-away dwarfs or other "freaks." When you add in artificial reproduction abortion can allow one to "reduce" to the "kind of" child you "really want." Abortion pretty much does end up saying my life is less valuable than yours. I'm very aware that if I got a woman pregnant she could abort the fetus, possibly even in the third trimester in many states and certainly in the second, because it's like me. Also that there's nothing I could do about it, even if I were her husband. Some of that might be true of men here too, but probably a woman could get it done later in the pregnancy than she could with any of you. And she would be more encouraged to do it in general.

US abortion law tends to mean that a fetal human's rights are somewhat less than that of a condor or whale. You can kill a fetus, even at the point it has a primitive brain, for pretty much any reason or no reason at all. I admit there might not be a purely non-theist justification for it, but I'd like to think an atheist could believe human life has more value than even a rare bird.

And I could likely think of others.
 
Old 08-30-2011, 06:10 AM
 
39,202 posts, read 10,880,280 times
Reputation: 5093
I'm no expert in this are but I'm pretty sure your mental leap from 'genetic counselling' to eugenics - eliminating the children of drunks, dwarfs, freaks and other 'wrong kind of people' is a slippery slope argument if not a biased one.

Having said that, as an atheist, I don't much like abortion - who does? I just like men (under whatever pretext) telling women what they can and can't do with their own bodies even less.

What I'd like to see is is no pregnancies rather than abortions. That's probably a pipe - dream, whether one hopes to accomplish through sex - education, contraception or preaching chastity. So the best alternative is to try to catch it as soon as possible and then one is more doing a sort of belated contraception than the kind of baby -killing that might upset even a Eugenics - loving baby - eating Darwinist atheist like myself.
 
Old 08-30-2011, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Pflugerville
2,211 posts, read 4,129,023 times
Reputation: 2228
Quote:
Originally Posted by nep321 View Post
Do you (if you are an atheist) plan to vote Republican in 2012? I am just curious. I am an atheist and strongly disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president, except for a few relatively minor issues. But I just can't get myself to vote for any of the Republican candidates, because they are way too aligned with Christianity in such a way that they want to push their beliefs into public policy. Ron Paul is the exception, however.

How do you plan to vote, as an atheist?

I don't see how I could answer this without knowing whom the Repulican candidate is going to be.
 
Old 08-30-2011, 10:28 AM
 
2,447 posts, read 2,681,536 times
Reputation: 2203
I will never support social conservatives. I completely understand fiscal conservation, but we apparently can't have one without the other.
 
Old 08-30-2011, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,715 posts, read 12,280,584 times
Reputation: 4279
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
Not really. I'm pretty certain if I was atheist I'd still be against abortion in most circumstances. Nat Hentoff is against abortion and he's not theist. I think there are others, particularly if we mean abortions performed after the first trimester.

Abortion has a tendency to allow a pretty strong eugenic component. Sterilization or contraception can keep one from pregnancy much/most of the time, but keeping "the wrong kind of people" from being born is something abortion generally does best. Sure "genetic counseling" can do that some, but there's still a chance for a de-novo mutation, like myself. So with abortion you can abort-away children of alcoholics or abort-away dwarfs or other "freaks." When you add in artificial reproduction abortion can allow one to "reduce" to the "kind of" child you "really want." Abortion pretty much does end up saying my life is less valuable than yours. I'm very aware that if I got a woman pregnant she could abort the fetus, possibly even in the third trimester in many states and certainly in the second, because it's like me. Also that there's nothing I could do about it, even if I were her husband. Some of that might be true of men here too, but probably a woman could get it done later in the pregnancy than she could with any of you. And she would be more encouraged to do it in general.

US abortion law tends to mean that a fetal human's rights are somewhat less than that of a condor or whale. You can kill a fetus, even at the point it has a primitive brain, for pretty much any reason or no reason at all. I admit there might not be a purely non-theist justification for it, but I'd like to think an atheist could believe human life has more value than even a rare bird.

And I could likely think of others.
What the hell kind of crack pipe has the Catholic Church been giving you now, Thomas? Do you have any evidence for anything you've mentioned in terms of the "strong eugenic component" of abortions today?

The vast majority of abortions performed today are in the first trimester. In fact, the CDC (as of 2007) reports that over 92% of abortions are done before the first thirteen weeks.

I'm really struggling to see how a eugenics component fits into this. I mean, yeah, I could actually see a woman saying to herself "I was raped. I don't want to have the rapist's baby." That is hardly eugenics, though. That is more of a personal decision based on an already traumatic event in someone's life.

If you can find some statistics (from a reliable source) for me where the majority of abortion mothers are performing abortions because they don't like the color of their babies hair or their sex or their overall physical appearance then I'm all eyes and ears. But, frankly, I think you fall into the same trap that most people against abortion fall into: That the mother is recklessly carrying on with her life, has no regard for the thing growing inside of her, and that this decision is on the same level as what bikini to wear to the beach next weekend.
 
Old 08-30-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 13,051,388 times
Reputation: 3984
Do any atheists plan to vote Republican in 2012?

I suspect the only thing we do as a group is equally disbelieve in any of the gods.
 
Old 08-30-2011, 05:37 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,434,175 times
Reputation: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by GCSTroop View Post
None of it was copied and pasted save for quotes which I appropriately entered in nothing less than quotations.



What makes the secular view superior to the God view? To really answer that question, let's posit that 90% of the people in this country held a belief in Allah, and the Greek and Roman Gods in some sort of twisted schema of religiosity. Imagine, if you will, that come voting time, a certain political party always pandered to the most religious by professing their faith in Allah, Zeus, or Mars.


Now imagine that when these people are elected you hear them say things like "Pray to Mars that the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan remain alive and well." Or, for that matter, "Praise Allah that the infidels have perished!"


It sounds kind of stupid, right? At the very least, it sounds foreign and unabashedly self-righteous to be mired in such stupidity while trying to run a country. Now imagine that our foreign policy, domestic policy, and many other things of a political nature could be traced back to any particular candidate's faith in Zeus or Mars or Allah.


Only, now it seems that everywhere you look in this country of fable and mythology, there seems to be government sponsorship of the Greek Gods, the Roman Gods and Allah. In our schools, every morning our children say the Pledge of Allegiance and leave IN the part that says "Under God." Only, in this fictional country, they say "One Nation Under Allah, Mars, and Zeus." Our government courthouses have the Seven Pillars of Islam etched into stones setting on the front lawn while taxpayer dollars etched a trident out of marble to pay honor to Poseidon.


During the tough times of drought, we hear our candidates pray to Zeus, the god of the heavens and rain, to quench the thirst of our crops. When the honeybee population begins to die off, rather than fund a study to examine why, we simply call upon the citizens to pray to Mellona, the Goddess of bees.


If this sounds ridiculous to you, it's because it is. But, to someone such as myself, I see literally no difference in asking the Christian God for advice over whether to go to war than I do the Roman God - Mars. To me, they're both equally errant in their responsibility of actually doing something. To post the texts of the Bible in a publicly funded courthouse or other government building is equally as inane and stupid as posting the Pillars of Islam or quotes from The Egyptian Book of the Dead.


It should go without saying that a government backed by religion often becomes a religion backed by a government. It has happened throughout so much of history and continues to happen to this day. The entire Dark Ages was nothing short of a meddling of religion and politics whereby the Papacy controlled the governments. The Spanish Inquisition was a sanctioned witch hunt initiated by the Church and allowed to happen by the monarchy. In the modern Middle East, Wahhabism has become renowned for its abusive treatment of women.


Even the religious-free governments such as North Korea have turned their "Dear Leaders" into nothing short of deities themselves. In countries where religion is outlawed, the ruler becomes the deity of the people. Watching the marching processions of North Korean soldiers, one gets a distinct taste of obedience based on the fear of failure to worship.


Religious beliefs should be a matter of personal opinion. It should not creep its way into our policy-making or our politics. To say that it's fine and decent to inject Christianity into our politics is not just rubbish on the same parallel as injecting Islam and the ancient mythologies into the mix but it's also grossly irresponsible and negligent of our society to ignore the fact that the term "Christian" has far wider and broader implications than believing in Christ.


Those who most strongly wish to inject Christianity into our government are also those who often hold the most polarizing and condemnatory views of those different than them. In fact, it's most probable that the majority of Christian themselves would be somewhat disgusted by many of the extreme religious views of these people. But, we live in a country where the word "Christian" is somehow automatically associated with "good" despite the Warren Jeffs, Fred Phelps, and Pope Benedict's of the world. Those who wish religion into our government should be careful of what they ask for lest they themselves become the target of a tyranny against "dissenters."


Finally, I will say this:


Though our arrangement as a country could be considered "secular," it is far from it. From the very beginning, Christianity has weaseled itself into virtually every aspect of our government. It is never content with damage control, limiting itself to certain aspects of government, or with suggesting more restrictions of people in the land of the free. Yet, in a truly secular government, one I believe can and should happen, we needn't worry about policy grown in the sickness of religious beliefs. Want to squelch a group of people from their rights? You're going to have to reach beyond the grasp of something religious to do so. You're going to need to find good, justifiable cause to stop someone from doing what they please as individuals. How one can possibly say that religion in our government is a positive thing shows their true ignorance in the face of history - our own and throughout the world. They are truly ignorant of the atrocities of religion in the hands of government and fastidiously stupid to the concept that subjugation and forced worship can never happen if religion never gets a foothold inside government. All of the things religion is responsible for... It can never happen if it can't get a grasp on the politics of a people. It is truly sad to see that people cannot recognize that and must act ignorant of the true face of religion as an evil entity hellbent on the destruction of freedom.
So let me sum this up. You used all that space just to say in round-about fashion that you don't like Christianity. Apparently, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the so called "separation of church and state" and everything to do with Christophobia.

Apparently, you would rather "impose" the secular non-God view simply because of personal preference. How is this strategy any different from those who would seek to "impose" Christianity? At the very least, you come across as a complete hypocrite.

Here's a dose of reality: Our Government is made up of individuals - each one having, to one extent or another, their own world view. Just how in the world are you realistically going to police these views when they are interjected into the decision making progress? Are you going to bring in the "thought" police? Who gets to decide whether or not certain decisions appear to be "secular" or when they appear to be influenced by "religion?"

You can't possibly be silly enough to believe that such a thing is even conceivable...no matter how much you seek to twist the Constitution in order to inject your warped (demented?) view of church and state separation.
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