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View Diary: I am a fundamentalist (278 comments)

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  •  The point is that (4+ / 0-)

    liberty is not an amorphous, imaginary construct that is a figment of our imagination. It is foundational to the very existence of this country.

    It cannot be negotiable; it must not be selective or exclusionary.

    This exchange from LOTR: The Two Towers sums up his point, IMO:

    Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.

    Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

    Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

    Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

    IMO, teacherken's 'fundamentalism' is part of that good in this world... And it is worth fighting for...

    •  All that glitters... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      Perfect response to a skeptic.

      After the horse has been led, will it take the water?

      Ah, free will, thou art a ...

      Well, I'll play nice...for now. :)

      How much further to the right can the republicans go before they circumnavigate themselves? - MKDANAHER

      by Qantumreflection on Wed May 05, 2010 at 06:51:09 AM PDT

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      •  Not all those who wander are lost. (0+ / 0-)

        which means absolutely nothing in this context.. but I couldn't resist.

        Interestingly enough, however.. Tolkien didn't use the traditional "All that glitters is not gold"..

        All that is gold does not glitter,
        Not all those who wander are lost;
        The old that is strong does not wither,
        Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
        From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
        A light from the shadows shall spring;
        Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
        The crownless again shall be king.

        Rather than warning about false riches, he (in Bilbo's word quoted by Gandalf) asks Frodo to look for the hidden richness in things not outwardly seeming rich when describing Aragorn.  Probably my favorite poem from the trilogy.

        "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

        by Skeptical Bastard on Wed May 05, 2010 at 07:45:52 AM PDT

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        •  Aye, one of mine as well... (0+ / 0-)

          But I used the ill qouted version because it fit a tad bit better to the conversation.

          I like your takeaway from it. Mine is this:

          Be more than what we appear on the outside. Take the less travelled paths because they give us a perspective and strength. For when we are tested, true beauty shows itself and without pride or design. When you are laid lo, seek what makes you great, take heart and strength from whats within because no one or nothing can take that away from you.

          How much further to the right can the republicans go before they circumnavigate themselves? - MKDANAHER

          by Qantumreflection on Thu May 06, 2010 at 07:35:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  libery is not granted (0+ / 0-)

      by our Constitution.  It is an unalienable right... granted by the Creator, and so acknowledged in that Constitution.

      Let me say this..  That is one of my favorite passages from LOTR.  When Sam and Frodo are at their darkest point, Sam's simple wisdom comes through.  And we are indeed in dark times.

      But a lot of the darkness we are experiencing right now is constructed and fabricated from nothing.  When one looks closely at it, there is nothing substantial there.

      I don't believe the challenges we are facing measure up to those struggles between good and evil of Middle Earth.  We are experiencing political machinations from all sides, to the point where some are seeing our current situation as a struggle for the very existence of our nation.

      I have always had faith in our Constitution...  faith that bad laws, bad policies would always get straightened out in the end.  That's the process our founders established and it has worked very well all these years.

      But we look to the Constitution for too much.  It was a limiting document.  A document insuring those unalienable rights were not usurped by a controlling, power hungry central government.  A document that guaranteed states (and its citizens) autonomy in most things.

      Equality does not mean equalness.  It does not guarantee we are the same.  We have equal rights to pursue happiness, not a guarantee of that happiness.

      And from teacherken's other writings, I think he is possibly alluding to that here.. but, it is difficult to tell, because I still don't fully understand what he is trying to say.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Wed May 05, 2010 at 07:26:05 AM PDT

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      •  The inalienable rights (4+ / 0-)

        to which you are referring are in the Declaration of Independence... the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution is an attempt to enumerate said rights in a practical manner primarily in how those rights are manifest in our interactions with governmental authority... hence the right of free speech, freedom of the press, habeus corpus, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to not be forced to incriminate oneself, etc... and where times and circumstances demonstrated that the enumeration omitted things, there were amendments that specified other rights... the right to equal protection under the law for instance...

        Why have all of this? The preamble makes it plain... we, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain  and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

        This union is still being formed and as a people we continue to strive to make it "more perfect"... sometimes that striving takes the form of protest; sometimes that striving takes the place of people like teacherken who remind us where the rubber meets the road when we take things for granted and, like the GOP, wear our liberty as a cloak of maliciousness...

        •  ok.. I'm over thinking, I guess.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          erush1345

          But don't dismiss the concerns of all on the right.. nor should you lump them in with the GOP.

          There are very real concerns that in striving to make the country "more perfect" we destroy the original intent.

          Those concerns should not be taken lightly.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Wed May 05, 2010 at 08:07:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KJC MD, erush1345, CuriousBoston

            There are very real concerns that in striving to make the country "more perfect" we destroy the original intent.

            and all points on the political spectrum can run afoul of this if we are not careful; none of us, no matter how well intentioned, is exempt.

            That is why, IMO, teacherken's declaration is spot on... as long as there is that line in the sand, we don't fall into the rut of rationalizing evil done int he name of good by saying that the end justifies the means...

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