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View Diary: Please leave Mental Illness out of your debates (49 comments)

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  •  These atheist debates (0+ / 0-)

    are getting worse than the I/P diaries. At least the latter had some relevance to political policy. I don't see the relevance, much less the necessity, of putting religious arguments into a political website.

    •  Because whether you like it or not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alexandra Lynch

      religion drives politics, at least in this country.  

      I used to be disgusted. Now I try to be amused. - Elvis Costello

      by gnbhull on Sat Jan 01, 2011 at 10:23:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is that there is a political cult (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilK, rubyr, mint julep, progdog, FiredUpInCA

      that has co-opted Christianity as a political project, instead of a matter of personal faith.
      They essentially want to force their religion on everyone else, (in violation of the Constitution), and they're engaging in an effort of political revisionism, led by some who have been inspired by the likes of RJ Rushdoony.

      Mental illness as a public health issue is a glaring example of the callous nature of our society. We are all too ready to stigmatize the person with the terrifying disease of mental illness. They are victims of the most extreme abuse. People should think twice before they bandy the claim of "mentally ill" around as an insult.

      People should try to understand the nature of Christian authoritarianism. Christians, as well as Muslims, facing the materialistic, technological, modern world, in which science is dominant, are torn, conflicted in spirit, by the realities which science has illuminated if not laid bare. An atomic bomb blows up because it is built properly according to scientific principles, as predicted by experiment and mathematical models, etc. Not because it was guided by Biblical scripture.
      A car starts because there's gas in the tank, and we turn the key on, not because we invoke a sacred epithet or prayer.
      The "Christians" who have re-defined Christianity to be a collection of shibboleths of identity and otherness, of politics, are finding their personal faith challenged,they have doubt, fear.
      Because they are hovering on the cusp of belief in everlasting life, and the abyss of oblivion, they're constantly in a state of subliminal if not overt panic.
      They externalize this lack of faith, this doubt. They blame it on the other;the gay, the pro-choice liberals, etc.
      This also influences their elevation of the Bible as the "infallible word of God", and demand a "literal" interpretation to the Bible to the point of absurdity.
      Atheists who insult Christians increase the paranoia of these "theocratic" Xtians. They're also pushing other Xtians into the camps of the theocrats, reinforcing the "us vs them" identification.
      I understand the frustration of atheists, but I can testify to the fact there are many fine, thinking, idealistic, Christians, who do a great deal in actual service to the poor and underprivileged, not just "opinion-eering" on progressive causes.
      We're better off peeling the layers back on the evangelical onion and isolate the true demagogues and racists and authoritarians on the religious right.

    •  Traditional authority-based mass religion (1+ / 0-)
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      with its magical materialisms is part of, and at stake in, the Culture War(s).

      Our Party presently consists of two parts.  One is the 42% (and growing) of the electorate that is culturally liberal, i.e. post-1968.  The other 10-12% (probably shrinking) is conflicted and under great psychological pressure probably almost entirely sides conservatively, with the culturally pre-1968 people.

      As a Party we lost the last, fast dwindling and increasingly aged, white conservative voter bloc- the Southern conservaDems- during the past three years.  They left us this past election, the politicians who represented them got voted out en masse.  There's no reason any of them will be back.

      Which has left one significant Democratic voter bloc that is in many ways and to a fairly large extent conservative- black voters.  Black Democrats are also probably the most uniformly religious set of Democrats as well.

      The closer we creep toward the tipping point in the electorate- the point where the post-'68ers clear 50%- the greater the psychological pressure exerted by and political effort mounted on the other side.  Demographically the tipping point happens in 2018 or so.

      At the same time, a lot of black voters are apparently questioning how much they really have in common with liberal Democrats.  (This takes the form of the "Obama wars" here on dKos.)  One of the fault lines is traditional religion and religiosity.

      We've seen this movie before with some variations, unfortunately.  The script says that about two or three or four years down the line we are looking at more "realignment", i.e. irresolvable internal disunity, then electoral defeat, and then a set of relatively conservative Democrats leaving for the GOP.

      It seems as a worst case scenario we might be looking at the twofer- fairly conservative black voters and pretty traditionally religious voters of all colors walking away at roughly the same time.

      (On the other hand, the Republicans are under the same societywide pressures and have internal differences that also mature into ideological schism.  Their leaders are going to be under severe pressure to squeeze remaining "liberals" out pretty much at the same time as Democrats shed their most conservative cohort.  I think the GOP will become highly hostile to its Latinos soon; the Religious Right will probably drive some vocal religious minority (or minorities) out of the GOP as well.)

      Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are unsure that we are doubly sure. -Reinhold Niebuhr

      by killjoy on Sun Jan 02, 2011 at 12:02:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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