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PhotobucketBy now almost anyone who watches cable news has heard about this week's Research 2000/Daily Kos poll about the beliefs of the modern Republican Party. Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas said the responses show Republicans are "insane," and variations on that theme seem to dominate the progressive media. On the conservative side, Bill O'Reilly called the poll, and DKos, "a fraud," and Brad Blakeman said R2K/DK haven't "divulged" the questions or sampling data. In fact, both the questions and complete crosstabs are here.

I don't think the poll shows the Tea Party GOP are "insane." It shows that what's left of the GOP are more a religious movement than a political party.

More below the fold....

Tea Party GOP - A Religious Movement

The results of the R2K/DK poll on Republican beliefs were provocative, if not always surprising. Former Republican Bruce Bartlett compiled this table showing some of the results:

R2K/DK Poll Table

In a blog post titled Why I'm Not a Republican, Bartlett added: "I can only conclude from this new poll ... that between 20% and 50% of the party is either insane or mind-numbingly stupid." Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein hints that the results show "a substantial portion of the Republican base is completely divorced from reality." Mother Jones' Kevin Drum offers a "Cliff Notes version: Republicans are nuts." Yesterday's Abbreviated Pundit Round-up offered some other comments as well. As noted above, DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas said the results show Republicans are "insane."

But "insane" misses the key to what remains of the Republican Party, and in so doing underestimates the political power of a movement that Gallup polling says represents only 28% of voters. Having purged their moderates, the Tea Party GOP are now as much a religious movement as a political party.

Two revealing questions

QUESTION: Should public school students be taught that the book of Genesis in the Bible explains how God created the world? YES 77%; NO 15%; NOT SURE 8%.

QUESTION: Do you believe that the only way for an individual to go to heaven is though Jesus Christ, or can one make it to heaven through another faith? CHRIST 67%; OTHER 15%; NOT SURE 18%.

These questions and their responses explain both the rest of the poll and the surprising power that remains in the Tea Party GOP. With only two exceptions - whether marriage is an equal partnership and whether women should be allowed to work outside the home - the other responses mirror the teachings of contemporary American Christian fundamentalism. Simply, while Democrats worry whether government is doing enough to help Fred, our archetypal average American ...

... the Tea Party GOP worry whether government is doing enough to please God as they imagine Him. That is grounded in their view of our nation's history and our present conditions.

A self-contained historical narrative

I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home. My father was a Southern Baptist lay minister, and I attended Southern Baptist churches into early adulthood. If you listen past the pious anger, the narrative of modern fundamentalist Christianity runs like this:

America used to be great. We had prayer in public schools, nativity scenes on public property, the Ten Commandments on class and courtroom walls, and we taught God's creation rather than godless evolution. Abortion and homosexuality were crimes, no one cursed on TV or in movies ... and our nation enjoyed God's blessing: social order and prosperity.

Then secular humanism and liberalism took over. Those people replaced God with science, sin with psychology, and prayerful devotion with prideful reason.

The problem is not capitalism; that's the natural economic order created by God. The problem isn't rich people; a handful are crooks but most are rich because they enjoy God's favor. The problem is that liberals and secular humanists stole our government, broke our founding covenant, and turned our nation away from God ... and our nation is being punished for it.

The solution is right there in II Chronicles: "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land." God will return prosperity to average Americans, but not until we return America to Him.

We progressive Democrats discuss economic stagnation in terms of the drying up of natural resources like oil, the rebuilding and emergence of other industrial economies after World War II, the wealth-concentrating force of unbridled capitalism, and the unleashing of that force through the deregulation movement starting in the Reagan administration.

But the Tea Party GOP have a separate, self-contained narrative grounded in prosperity theology, the belief that "people who are favored by God will be materially successful, and also that materially successful people are successful because God favored them." In their narrative, the hardships now facing average Americans are God's punishment for what they see as moral decay.

Fervor and funding: force multipliers

Recognizing the Tea Party GOP as a religious movement is important, because it is key to understanding their continuing political force. Most progressive Democrats don't become politically aware until their teen or early adult years. We pick up political concepts listening to parents or in school civics and history classes, but they come in bits and pieces and not as part of a coherent, unified package. Most of us are political autodidacts - self-educated - and that's one reason we're so prone to disagree on the priorities of issues and solutions.

Not so the Tea Party GOP. Many were taught a comprehensive worldview that purports to explain everything about the world, our economy, our history, our law, and our politics, starting in church nurseries and often continuing all the way through Christian graduate schools. That teaching is reinforced not only in churches, but also in church-based business, civic, and recreation groups and a separate media that includes both news and entertainment TV networks, radio stations, magazines, music, websites, and books.

A person can live wholly within that self-contained subculture, looking out at the broader culture only to criticize and condemn it. I was raised that way, and that was before many elements of today's fundamentalist Christian subculture were in place. The comprehensiveness of that worldview, coupled with the intensity of religious fervor, create a unity and energy you don't find in a secular political movement with the exception of the union movement of the early-to-mid 20th century.

Moreover, prosperity theology makes that religious movement an ideal fit for wealthy interests who want even more wealth for themselves. The wealthy needn't worry about those followers demanding a bigger share of the pie if those followers believe the pie was baked, cut, and served by God. Thus those wealthy interests are only too happy to fund the teaching of prosperity theology and so-called populist movements like the Tea Party.

The fervor and funding are what the military call force multipliers. They enable a small minority - only about 28% of voters - to field mass rallies and drive the national dialogue, as we saw last year in the health care protests, and again this weekend with the coverage of the Tea Party Convention.

A serious and powerful challenge

This is the challenge we face. Whether we think the Tea Party GOP is "insane," "nuts," or "completely divorced from reality" misses the point. Because their core is now a religious movement - grounded in prosperity theology and thus able to attract funding from wealthy interests - their visible activism and hence their political weight is greater than their raw numbers.

We'll talk more tomorrow about how we Democrats should respond, but one thing we should not do is dismiss religious people generally and Christians in particular as "insane" or "nuts." First, the Tea Party GOP are not representative of all American Christians. Second and more important, almost 80% of Americans identify as "Christian." If they feel excluded from the Democratic Party we'll only swell the numbers of the Tea Party GOP.

We must recognize the significance of this poll. But we must not overreact.

+++++

Happy Thursday!

Originally posted to NCrissieB on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:12 AM PST.

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  •  Tips for recognizing the challenge. :) (353+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike S, deminva, Magenta, wozzle, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Sylv, DeminNewJ, chrississippi, Odysseus, Savage, ogre, abarefootboy, Gooserock, tin woodswoman, phastphil40, BigOkie, DebtorsPrison, Psyche, Fishgrease, simaramis, Sherri in TX, LynChi, Wintermute, tacet, Jim W, OLinda, Byron from Denver, Stein, eeff, frsbdg, azale, prfb, Creosote, ssgbryan, sardonyx, Dumbo, scribe, Gustogirl, opinionated, missLotus, 88kathy, Wee Mama, elveta, MD patriot, CoolOnion, Haole in Hawaii, mkfarkus, wishingwell, larryrant, VA Gal, fumie, semiot, ctsteve, high uintas, OldYellerDog, Wamsutta, wader, lulusbackintown, emmasnacker, grannyhelen, Hawksana, flatford39, GN1927, Steveningen, Catte Nappe, whyvee, lcrp, riverlover, alizard, AllisonInSeattle, djtyg, zerelda, ybruti, McJulie, hayden, ScienceMom, American in Kathmandu, vacantlook, boran2, Sybil Liberty, Gowrie Gal, Julie Gulden, rapala, A Citizen, ExStr8, radarlady, boji, DianeNYS, greycat, wmc418, SherwoodB, irate, PBen, KnotIookin, one of 8, dewtx, ChemBob, Hugo Estrada, drewfromct, susanw, EJP in Maine, Jfriday, devadatta, the chuck, HugoDog, JSW from WA, Kayakbiker, Donutd1967, mozlover, blue jersey mom, Sandino, ord avg guy, joy221, The Raven, mph2005, Dunvegan, Blue Intrigue, Detroit Mark, JanL, JanF, begone, buddabelly, gwilson, Orinoco, myboo, Kingsmeg, Clytemnestra, BlueInARedState, Kimball Cross, HoundDog, mr crabby, Yellow Canary, seefleur, deha, Junior Bug, Alexandra Lynch, NBBooks, Aly, wild hair, erratic, Ashaman, nonnie9999, gatorcog, Libby Shaw, Doctor Frog, mithra, armadillo, bleeding heart, MarciaJ720, myrealname, hlsmlane, kpeddicord, profh, Mae, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Jbearlaw, means are the ends, MadMs, revgerry, louavul, Temmoku, AllanTBG, Pandoras Box, dov12348, marykk, turn Virginia blue, Steven wonders, dotsright, JFinNe, blue armadillo, Cottagerose, linkage, liberality, karmsy, LillithMc, Jimdotz, terabytes, DWG, mbh1023, sabishi, ubertar, mamafooce, JnLouisville, millwood, Moderation, jhop7, OIL GUY, pioneer111, yella dawg, leonard145b, fallina7, zorp, cacamp, 2manychefs, TomP, jwinIL14, MKinTN, JayC, wyvern, Blackacre, Tchrldy, Mr Stagger Lee, skohayes, CDH in Brooklyn, lineatus, Akonitum, monkeybrainpolitics, jobu, pamelabrown, Jake Williams, pademocrat, MsWings, Gemina13, glendaw271, winterbanyan, luckylizard, BlueStateRedhead, GoracleFan, MinervainNH, BYw, stillwaters, Athenocles, cactusflinthead, Diogenes2008, statsone, GrouchoKossak, satanicpanic, Ellid, SciMathGuy, 1BQ, in2mixin, aufklaerer, litoralis, greengemini, lostinamerica, Magick Maven, An Affirming Flame, Boudicia Dark, cantelow, maryabein, RandomActsOfReason, pvlb, velvet blasphemy, imperturb, Daily Activist, mHainds, virginwoolf, MooseHB, Deoliver47, TheUrbanRevolution, RadioGirl, pruple, notksanymore, Nonconformist, Integrity is fundamental, carmenjones, Just Bob, ZAP210, political junquie, confitesprit, MariaWr, drache, flitedocnm, veracityus, Vacationland, estreya, 1000 Points of Fright, amk for obama, Interceptor7, stunzeed, AZphilosopher, plankbob, BonnieSchlitz, Garfnobl, gulfgal98, pixxer, ItsSimpleSimon, SoCalHobbit, Benintn, juturna, AJ in Camden, ThirtyFiveUp, nickrud, addisnana, renior, sniperfire, ericlewis0, Otteray Scribe, Floande, petesmom, science nerd, rasfrome, EyeStreetMom, theKgirls, kktlaw, gobears2000, Front Toward Enemy, MidwestTreeHugger, Bluefin, SkylarkingTomFoolery, soholady, sfcouple, CaliKitty, msmacgyver, Mr MadAsHell, Amayi, BlueJessamine, fishboots, QuestionAuthority, Mistral Wind, kevin k, deeproots, Aranfell, marleycat, MissMimi, Liberal Lass, majii, Hoghead99, tardis10, createpeace, vzfk3s, EdgedInBlue, healthy, corvaire, pensivelady, Strange New World, stevie avebury, Dbug, SoCalSal, SteelerGrrl, Book of Hearts, zenox, MikeBoyScout, StepLeftStepForward, DRo, googie, glower, No one gets out alive, rtcfrtc, livingthedream, Ralpheelou, GenXangster, nominalize, Caractacus, sjterrid, Liberal Granny, sow hat, OHknighty, janl1776, foucaultspendulum, halful, ahumbleopinion

    As always, ::smooooochies:: to Kula, and ::hugggggs:: to the Kula Krew! I'm off to drive Springoff the Fourth to carpool. Back in a half-hour. :)

  •  Tuna Can. :) (29+ / 0-)

    Please gather greetings and off-topic social banter here. It's starting to spread throughout the diary again, and that makes it more difficult to find and follow the on-topic comments. Thank you. :)

    Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  I've been saying for years that we are headed the (42+ / 0-)

    way of the Taliban... a few religious zealots who are going to tell us how to live our lives. MrKgirls thinks I'm crazy because no one would stand for it, but I think they are taking over slowly and if we don't wake up soon, it will be too late. They are making decisions about our textbooks (look at Texas) and curriculum (abstinence only in health class, etc.)

    It's way past time to start pushing back. Another 1960 style revolution is called for!

    Huggggs and good morning... And now back to my regularly scheduled morning of getting food on the table and kids out to the bus.

    There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action ~ Goethe

    by theKgirls on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:20:20 AM PST

    •  I thought the revolution began... (11+ / 0-)

      In November 2008?

      The purpose of live is to live a life of purpose...and serve your neighbors with joy and love and make a positive difference in their lives.

      by MinervainNH on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:39:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree but (26+ / 0-)

      will take it further.  I believe that it is a merging of corporatism and theocracy.  I believe the theocrats (Tea Baggers) are the foot soldiers for the corporacrats (sp?). The real control is in the hands of the corporations who are using the zealotry of the theocrats to achieve their goals.  This is why there is a purging going on in the Republican Party right now.  

      "in the wake of Sept. 11, a frightened nation betrayed one of its core principles -- the rule of law -- for the fool's gold of security." Leonard Pitts

      by gulfgal98 on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:13:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The 60's Movements Had Liberal Institutional Powr (26+ / 0-)

      Unions were twice as large and they had far more power in the economy to organize, bargain, strike and mobilize voters.

      Blacks had churches and civil rights groups forcibly exercising denied rights and conducting strikes & denials of service.

      The nation had journalistic broadcast and print media, much much more democratically owned, with firewalls insulating broadcast news from profit and requiring broadcast to offer public service programming. The journalistic competition from broadcast helped spur in-depth journalism by print media who couldn't compete on speed any more.

      There was no rightwing fundamentalism nor rightwing political radio. Lying in broadcast was grounds for license revocation as I recall.

      Today all the real-world institutional power is conservative. There's nothing natural to build a movement around. I'm not sure the nation ever had a mass movement founded to push generalized progressive governance, which is what some of us on the left are feeling is needed.

      I don't see what progressives have to work with, but if we're to get a movement going, it's going to need more than intellectuals debating on blogs, it's going to require some formal organizing across minority, labor and other demographic interests.

      While the entire global economy is colloborating on organizing the opposition.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:19:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is very true, Gooserock: (16+ / 0-)

        I don't see what progressives have to work with, but if we're to get a movement going, it's going to need more than intellectuals debating on blogs, it's going to require some formal organizing across minority, labor and other demographic interests.

        That's why I spent the last few weeks saying we progressives must get active in our local Democratic Party groups, and build face-to-face movements in our communities. Blogging is useful, but it is not enough to counter the religious fervor and corporate funding that act as force multipliers for conservatism.

        Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  Strengthening unions (10+ / 0-)

        is a good starting point.

        Frankly, I think the time is ripe for American unions to go global.  Globalization is inevitable, but leveling the playing field for workers between nations will only come from the workers themselves.

        I wholly agree with Chrissie and appreciate this diary.  It is never useful to belittle even one's enemies - it smacks of the kind of "elitism" the left is often accused of practicing.  Politics is ultimately a game of persuasion, and calling someone "insane" does not do the job.

        The GOP has done this to itself.  They've been dancing with the Christian fundamentalist sector for decades; and having done little to nothing for them in reality, their option was to whip the froth a bit higher to keep them.  I hope the implosion of the party can spread to its propaganda wing ;p.

        The problem remains:  how can we possibly persuade these people who were indoctrinated as a bloc, who act as a bloc and who self-reinforce their notions as  bloc?  Can it be done, or do we count them as lost and move on?

        The only constant is change - Heraclitus

        by Gustogirl on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:20:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The idea from the Fred diaries (8+ / 0-)

          is that we court Fred, the middle of the road voter, rather than try to win arguments with GOP Tea Party adherents.

          They are polar opposites to the liberal/progressives in this country, and, while individuals may come to see they are in the grip of a cult-like mindset and free themselves, perhaps with the help of trusted individuals, we will not persuade them.

          But we still have a democracy, and, while it lasts, we don't need to persuade them if we can persuade Fred.

          Good morning, and ::huggggggggggggggggggggs::

          "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

          by Orinoco on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:56:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  On the other hand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        the complete control of institutions by conservatives means they should be stalemating all or even winning.

        I like to think that the Supreme Court reflects the overall pattern in American life.  Nixon harnessed all the backlash against Modernity into the Republican Party and flipped the Court as well.  Under Rehnquist it focussed on keeping poor, weak, unestablished, and unpopular groups legally disadvantaged to the maximal extent possible.  

        That began to unravel sometime in the Nineties and the Court began to embarrassingly reverse itself.  Remember Scalia's behavior at the Lawrence v. Texas decision....

        Under John Roberts that tack has pretty much been given up because The People is becoming increasingly unwilling to put up with it.  The game under Roberts is really all about the other half of the field: maximizing the privileges of the powerful, wealthy, established, and popular.  It's become obvious in Citizens United, but the conservative five on the Court operated under the public radar for nearly five years expanding economic power/privilege of corporations, e.g. weakening consumer and client rights, paring down liability.  Every wealthy person these days knows to maximize and wield the power of his wealth by putting it into corporation form- a legally increasingly invulnerable and cruel zombie.  

        Totalitarianism, theocracy, aristocracy, kleptocracy etc. are proscribed in American public life and dying in American private life.  But within the walls of the corporation (and every wealth wielding and church group is a corporation these days) they've found a fortress.

        In the end it's all about trying to maximize and sustain the slow fading and fading power of the colonialist and religionist elements of the (white) Founding.  But the opposition to those is resilient too- it's slow, unceasing, asymmetrical warfare.  The real decision comes by generational attrition, by the Right side being unable to recruit enough replacements to some particular cause.

    •  We'll discuss responses more tomorrow, but ... (15+ / 0-)

      ... the two big things we progressive Democrats need to do are the things we've been talking about for the past month here on Morning Feature:

      1. More face-to-face local activism, so Fred doesn't only see and hear about the Tea Party GOP active in his community.
      1. Help create effective government that produces real solutions that help Fred and people Fred knows.

      We rank-and-file Democrats must provide #1. That will help our leaders, who must provide #2. Fred is afraid - and for good reason - and if we don't offer help he will turn for help elsewhere. Right now the most visible (if illusory) promise of help elsewhere is the Tea Party GOP. We must provide an alternative.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  This is what Obama has been saying over and (14+ / 0-)

        over.  If we don't help the working/middle class people, then it is business as usual and only a continuation of the Bush no-seeim policies.  In time, his message will trickle down when he accomplishes some of the goals he advocates.  Yesterday in his meeting with the Democrats, he borrowed from The Village Voice, the line Mass. gave the Republicans 40+ majority victory over the Democrats 59.  

      •  You know, this is similar to what (6+ / 0-)

        inspired a right-wing radio host in Springfield, Missouri to start his own group.  He felt that face-to-face local activism, under the banner of "The Young Conservatives", would take back the conservative heart of the GOP.  They started meeting once a week and hammering out a "platform", plank by plank.  These rw'ers were not impressed with local GOP (he called out Roy Blunt in an interview with Steele) and actually felt that Obama was going to inspire a civil war.  The group has a heavily Christian base and your diary is spot-on when it describes them as following the "prosperity theology".  I listened to them for a year and even diaried one particularly heinous interchange I listened to about an armed insurrection.  

        The only difference between what you are encouraging and what he was encouraging was the political ideology of the approach.  I wondered at the time why more Democrats were not on the ground in the same manner.  I've always been active in my local Dem scene, but in an area such as Southwest Missouri, it was quickly growing older and less active.  It wasn't until OFA moved into the area that any real activism was inspired and I saw the participation of youth increase to overshadow the aged members in the party.  It was my surmise, when I heard the rw radio guy, that the grassroots efforts to elect Obama actually gave the Teabaggers a roadmap to organize.

        Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

        by EdgedInBlue on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:47:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey EdgediInBlue (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco, NCrissieB, EdgedInBlue

          I lived there for 10 years.
          Who is that right-wing radio host? If you don't want to post the name, my e-mail addy is in my profile.

          "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

          by QuestionAuthority on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:05:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Vincent David Jericho (4+ / 0-)

            the diary I wrote about him is here.  Scary, scary man!

            Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

            by EdgedInBlue on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:15:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you remember Mark Wright? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NCrissieB, EdgedInBlue

              I used to work with him. He's frighteningly ignorant...

              "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

              by QuestionAuthority on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:16:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                terrypinder, NCrissieB

                I lived there for almost 30 years, or in the general area.  It is a lil pond with lots of big fish (or, at least, big in their own minds) and the ignorance there is astounding.  I still remember going to the local post office after Obama's election and listening to the postal worker and a farmer talking about how the nation was going down in flames and how they could save themselves by stocking up on boxed foods and ammunition. Or the QT, where a local police officer and a clerk were discussing, 2 months after the election, how he hadn't done anything for the country and that it was likely he was not only Muslim, but that his mission was to destroy America.  I had to reply to this, got in an argument, and never returned to the store.

                The only pockets of sanity are Drury and MSU.  The other colleges are all bible-based... and no wonder, with the international headquarters of AofG there!

                Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

                by EdgedInBlue on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 10:55:40 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Top of the Morning (Hack...Hack) (17+ / 0-)

    (TotM is a featurette of Morning Feature – a meta recap of the previous day’s blogging and a stopping off point for catching your first breath. Feel free to join in or hang out.)

    ---

    Coffee Spew Award™
    joanneleon:
    "It reminds me of a story J tells me about when he grew up in England.  During a "heat wave" he remembers a weather report saying "72 degrees.  No relief in sight.""  

    .

    Benintn:
    "Marsha Blackburn pulled out because she realized more people will be at the event protesting against her than will be in the auditorium supporting her."

    ---

    BPI Vocabulary Alert!

    Creating a new verbo-noun: burrow owl: "I've been nitpicked! Curses!"

    ---

    TotM Top Comment Digest
    From the Top Comments team.
    (right-click link, choose open new tab to view without disturbing your browser window)

    From the Top Mojo jars (combined):

    1. And, Eventually, it All Catches Up by JekyllnHyde — 76
    1. "Screw it, what's the difference" was exactly by blue jersey mom — 58 (on primarying Blanche Lincoln)
    1. The little weasel wants to be Karl Rove by Dallasdoc — 57 (referring to O’Keefe)

    * Top Mojo (cskendrick/sardonyx-style) excluding search-identifiable tip jars, first diary comments, Cheers and Jeers, and various pooties
    ** Top Mojo with No Exclusions

    ---

    From High Impact Diaries
    h/t jotter :

    Note: From the period of time 1/22 to 1/29, there were only 4 diarists who wrote 4 or more diaries and who had a perfect score on the jotter Author chart:

    - All diaries had an impact > 0.30

    - All diaries ended up on rec list (fprec score)

    Turkana, TexMex (doing ShelterBox), TomP and NCrissieB

    .

    2010-02-02 00:00:51 - 2010-02-02 23:58:27
    DailyKos diaries = 226;  226 per day;  9.4 per hour
    Active Kogs: 3731 (writes a diary, recommends a diary, or comments on a diary)
    Lurkers: 4185 (only view diaries)

    Tuesday on DKos: 7,916
    Monday on DKos: 8,184
    Sunday on DKos: 7,838
    Saturday on DKos: 7,691
    Friday on DKos: 8,753
    Thursday on DKos: 9,078 (Post SOTU)
    Wednesday on DKos: 8,898

    ---
    *TotM (JanF version) schedule: Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. For lifting purposes only. Choking hazard: This toy is a small ball.
    .
    "Warning! This is not underwear! Do not attempt to put in pants." -- On the packaging for a wristwatch.

    Much of life is knowing what to Google

    by JanF on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:21:19 AM PST

  •  G'morning all. (24+ / 0-)

    Interesting analysis today, Chrissie.  I agree that it's time to move beyond viewing the Tea Party folks as "insane" or "nuts".  Sure, we see lots of crazies when their events are shown on TV.  But I liken that to the dozens of gay pride events I've attended in my lifetime where the media has focused on the most outrageous drag queens, fetishists, etc.  Just as media executives view the gay communities more colorful and flamboyent member to make for the most entertaining TV for nightly news viewers, so do they view the Tea Partiers with the outrageous signs with racists spelling errors.

    But just because a movement has flamboyant, colorful members, doesn't mean that the core of the movement can't be very sincere in their beliefs, and made more committed by mockery and the feeling that their concerns aren't being taken seriously.

    Ben McGrath has an interesting perspective on the Tea Party in this week's New Yorker.  It's still on the active on-line edition so check it out before it rolls over to the subscription only archives.

    The Movement - The Rise of Tea Party activism

    I think you'll find a lot of "Freds" interviewed and discussed, as well as the kind of personal activism we've been discussing here over the past couple of weeks.

    Cheers - g'morning - hugs all around!

  •  spot on, thanks n/t (8+ / 0-)

    Dream, that's the thing to do (Johnny Mercer)

    by plankbob on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:33:14 AM PST

  •  80% of the country Christians (20+ / 0-)

    is true, but not all Christians hold the same views of Christianity.  The youthful voters in the last election are probably most likely would identify themselves as Christians, but we know they favor same-sex marriages, aren't troubled with sex out of wedlock, and are much more tolerant on social issues than their parents and elders are.

    What I find so odd about the poll results is how many people 'aren't sure.'  In the circles I run in, I don't think I've ever met someone who wasn't sure about anything.  

  •  Darn. There goes that hope. (21+ / 0-)

    I had this unreasonable hope that the Wall Street GOP would back away from the Religious Right GOP/Tea Party GOP because they would not want to be associated with such nut cases.

    However this clearly shows that when the end result is MORE WEALTH, the wing-tip crowd will be unlikely to recoil in horror from what we see:

    Moreover, prosperity theology makes that religious movement an ideal fit for wealthy interests who want even more wealth for themselves. The wealthy needn't worry about those followers demanding a bigger share of the pie if those followers believe the pie was baked, cut, and served by God. Thus those wealthy interests are only too happy to fund the teaching of prosperity theology and so-called populist movements like the Tea Party.

    I am looking forward to hearing what we can do to counteract this.

    Good morning and ::(watch out! I have a cold) hugggs::

    Much of life is knowing what to Google

    by JanF on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:35:11 AM PST

  •  Ah, this topic is near and dear to my heart (26+ / 0-)

    Although this fundamental view can be traced to the settling of this country, IMO it was the gathering of this cloud of greed and the twisting of Christianity by some very clever politicos in the 70's and 80's that made this work as a political philosophy.  As long as Fred could picture himself as winning the Lottery, getting in on the "ground floor" of some scheme, finding the "right" investments (including real estate), get to that first $million$, he would "win".  By extension it became the clarion call of the television evangelists to enlist their followers on the idea of the gospel of wealth, and in doing so, use that advantage to cement radical conservatism.  I keep harping on this, but until you have sat through one of these television "hours of prayer" you will have a hard time comprehending the hold they have on these people.

  •  If the Gop God believer fails, it is his fault. (10+ / 0-)

    If he succeeds, it is Gop God's will.  They are the ones with the better parking spaces.  

    There is a Gop God.  And they do believe.

    Is there any way to tell them that selling their soul for a better parking place isn't a good deal?

    Corporations are the immortals that are sucking our blood. We have to invite them in.

    by 88kathy on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:38:50 AM PST

    •  I prefer Republi-Jesus (7+ / 0-)

      It really drives the point home.

      •  I imagine a golden sign that says God (7+ / 0-)

        but as you get closer to it you notice it isn't golden, it is gilded with guilt
        some of the lights are burnt out
        it looks very carnival like
        it sputters and pops
        the d comes loosened
        and falls down
        Gop

        Corporations are the immortals that are sucking our blood. We have to invite them in.

        by 88kathy on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:03:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I try to explain to them that In Jesus We Trust (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Orinoco, NCrissieB, theKgirls, SoCalSal

        is not the same as In God We Trust.  That, in fact, it might be against the 2nd Commandment.  That they have confused the Father and the Son.  

        That painting from Utah showing Jesus presenting the Constitution to the "Founding Fathers" got my dander up.  They really do believe that, bye the way.

        They mutter how hard it is to discuss religion and get real angry.  But pretend they are not angry.

        Corporations are the immortals that are sucking our blood. We have to invite them in.

        by 88kathy on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:08:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Prosperity theology teaches and encourages ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... a much higher power distance, in Geert Hofstede's terms. Power distance "measures how much the less powerful members of institutions and organizations expect and accept that power is distributed unequally." More simply, it expresses whether those at the bottom believe those at the top deserve to be "up there."

      That dynamic enables the alliance between theocracy and corporatism that is the Tea Party GOP. Poor Republicans don't blame the wealthy for their plight. They object to bank bailouts, but they didn't march on Wall Street. Instead they marched on D.C., blaming President Obama and Democrats, saying we're "socialists" (trans: breaking America's covenant with God).

      Once we "get" that and stop dismissing their religious concerns as "wedge issues," we'll start to understand how the Tea Party GOP remain a potent force despite their smaller numbers.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  I found another link for his theories (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Orinoco, NCrissieB

        Geert Hofstede cultural dimensions

        These ideas were first based on a large research project into national culture differences across subsidiaries of a multinational corporation (IBM) in 64 countries.

        These corporations have been studying us.  Now they are ready.  How much could it cost to buy every vote in a key district?

        Corporations are the immortals that are sucking our blood. We have to invite them in.

        by 88kathy on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:23:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree that (9+ / 0-)

    not all Republicans are crazy, just as not all of us on dailykos (that's kos pronounced kohs, as in "OH noes you didn't!", not kauhs, Karl), are insane and profane.  I wonder if anyone will bother to count all the LOL speak on blogs and see which political persuasion has the most.
    That would be interesting, too.  Anyway, as I said yesterday, I find it pretty easy to engage in civil conversations with most Republicans I know and have them nodding in agreement in very short order.  

    Well, off to the gym.  Have a wonderful weekend.

    •  And we need those face-to-face conversations. (9+ / 0-)

      Like you, myrealname, I can usually have a civil discussion with Republicans. If they're Christians, as most are, I can discuss progressive values based on their familiar teachings, e.g.: "caring for the least of these." When they say we need more devoutly religious leaders, I cite Christ's admonition against "those who pray on the street corners where everyone will hear and admire them, for they have already received their rewards."

      But those are not conversations we can have remotely through the media or the internet. They must happen one-to-one and face-to-face, or they will turn ugly and only harden each others' resistance.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  Somebody should confront those guys.... (6+ / 0-)

    ...with the question: Why aren't you also out killing Wiccans, as you're also ordered to do by the Bible?  Isn't it sinful to ignore that?

    Don't do vibrato. There'll be plenty of that naturally later when you're old and shaky. (Miles Davis, quoting his music instructor)

    by dov12348 on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:50:57 AM PST

  •  Pushiness carried too far? (10+ / 0-)

    The group of religious activists from Idaho who tried to take the 33 'orphan' children into the D.R., are giving Religionists a bad name.  Accusations of bribery, going around the law despite being told that if they were to continue in their current activies, they would be charged with child trafficing.  Now in jail, when questioned, they launch into hymn singing.  

  •  Huggggggs & mornin'! (5+ / 0-)

    Don't do vibrato. There'll be plenty of that naturally later when you're old and shaky. (Miles Davis, quoting his music instructor)

    by dov12348 on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:51:33 AM PST

  •  I simply cannot recommend Thomas Frank's (10+ / 0-)

    What's the Matter With Kansas enough.

    I have commented that Sarah Palin's potential for nomination to high office would be stymied by a lack of money and seasoned national level political operatives. But...

    What if her teabag run for the Presidency is well funded by those people willing to have the pseudo populists demand that the rich pay less taxes?

    What we learn from History: History repeats itself. History never repeats itself. Histories lessons are always ignored.

    by Hector Gonzalez on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:56:12 AM PST

    •  How about a 3rd party... (7+ / 0-)

      Most teabaggers don't think either party is good enough for them.  They just don't want to vote (and, that, in conversations from several teabaggers individually...).

      So, let Sarah run with the teabaggers, and let Glenn Beck be her running mate.  

      The purpose of live is to live a life of purpose...and serve your neighbors with joy and love and make a positive difference in their lives.

      by MinervainNH on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:01:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That movement is run by the GOP and (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Orinoco, winterbanyan, NCrissieB

        will go where the GOP wants them to go. There is no chance for a substantial number of them to bolt -- the bulk of tea-baggers are authoritarians who are followers. Life is rigidly hierarchal and that makes them comfortable. Everything has a place and following orders is essential to inner peace.

    •  Frank wrote a good book, however ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... I think it steps dangerously close to the Marxian "false consciousness" argument, and that invites a kind of arrogant dismissal that is not helpful. We need to recognize that the Tea Party GOP worldview is as complete and comprehensive as our own. It doesn't work by our values, but that won't always help us reach Fred (who shares some of their values). In order to reach Fred, we must frame arguments that work within their values, and that means we must understand those values and their origins.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  I do think Th Frank steps close to the edge as (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssgbryan, Orinoco, NCrissieB

        well. I don't think he goes over the edge. My take on the book is not one of arrogant dismissal (or contempt). Although one could read that into some of how he reports the phenomena he encounters in Kansas social behavior and politics I thought he was very careful not to just dismiss them as crazy or incapable of reasoned behavior - just that their reasoned behavior lacked what he (and I as well) think of as a rational approach to what serves the individual best interest and the public good.

        There are probably very few people in the public at large or, for that matter, here at KOS that don't share some of the values of the teabaggers. "Some" being the operative word. Their expressed statements and their actions, however, lend themselves to dismissal by someone like myself who likes a statement of cause and effect to have gone through the fire of rational analysis.

        I feel I'm more patriotic than all of the teabaggers and their leaders/exploiters combined. I actually served voluntarily in the military. I actually can name the three branches of government and how they provide checks and balances, etc.

        I'm doubtful, however, that I could convince any of them that I was patriotic in the least. Not least among the reasons they would dismiss my patriotism is that I don't believe in a god or gods.

        It's easy to manipulate the teabaggers. They react viscerally to percieved threat. Hitler made a lot of progress by preaching threats and hate. I look at today's christianity and see that Jesus made no progress by preaching love and tolerance.

        What we learn from History: History repeats itself. History never repeats itself. Histories lessons are always ignored.

        by Hector Gonzalez on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:57:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not "Isiah" or Isaiah, for that matter. (10+ / 0-)

    "If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land."

    II Chronicles 7:14

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard -6.88, -5.33

    by illinifan17 on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:57:36 AM PST

  •  I watched part of the Rove O'Reilly video (13+ / 0-)

    They talked for about 5 minutes about Dkos posters being crazy and that they are obsessed about demonizing the right.  O'Reilly told Rove he traffics in some of that himself, but Rove agreed, but added that "you don't obsess about it."

    Since demonizing the left is the topic of his show, what would be considered obsessing about it?  Is it not obsessing because the show is interrupted by commercials?  

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 04:58:04 AM PST

  •  Excellent piece here, NCrissieB. (13+ / 0-)

    Thank you for writing it.  

  •  Yep, as a Musician Who Often Participates In (24+ / 0-)

    these churches for weddings, funerals and some special programs, I've seen this up close and personal. I think all progressives should attend a few evangelical / megachurch services and observe carefully.

    But the tea party did not "become" religious it started that way. Thom Hartman points out that the abortion clinic protest network for example was involved in organizing from the outset.

    The root problem to my mind, which outsiders often think they're exaggerating by snarking about Jesus talking to them, is that Jesus/God/Spirit does talk to them. Literally for some and many of their clergy, and in obvious easily seen guidance for most if not all.

    Prosperity theology and their utter imperviousness to reason and input are almost a given from such a  relationship with the supernatural.

    The other thing the left doesn't understand is that this is a more successful approach to the world than rationality is, for tens of millions of people. Our society is becoming more fertile for this and more hostile to reason all the time as complexity evolves beyond the easy common sense understanding of the days of our framers, and power concentrates such that ordinary people have little influence over society and their own circumstances.

    This can easily be America's future.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:06:49 AM PST

    •  I went to one, once. (11+ / 0-)

      I couldn't listen because of all the theatrics presented: very loud music (a "rock" band, of sorts), and watching the enraptured people.  I was there for a child dedication, or I would have walked out.  I almost felt like the door was locked behind me when I walked in.  

      The purpose of live is to live a life of purpose...and serve your neighbors with joy and love and make a positive difference in their lives.

      by MinervainNH on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:38:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My uncle died (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        right after Christmas and my sister went to the funeral service.  She described that very same feeling; really, really wanting to walk out but not wanting to be disrespectful.  I guess that's why its easier for me to see that stuff on television in my own time and not have that emotion.  Once that emotional pull is taken away it is like dissecting a frog.

    •  Well-put and very insightful (11+ / 0-)

      I've known fundamentalists of many stripes and enjoyed their company and have attended several church services. The important point to understand is that this form of religion works. It changes lives, it connects people it gives them a mythological framework within which they can build a coherent life. Those of us who approach life through reason don't offer anything that can fulfill those needs. Perhaps it's time to think about that a little as we see the massive failure of progressive politics.

      I saw a parallel universe with the Communist Party in Italy (where I lived for awhile in the 70's). The Party provided all that churches provided except they did believe in reason and usually governed the localities they were in charge of fairly well. How they fell is another story that had more to do with the Cold War than anything else.

      •  So did EST (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        and Lifespring, and Insight, and The Forum, and Silva Mind Control

        It changes lives, it connects people it gives them a mythological framework within which they can build a coherent life.

        and all the other secular Large Group Awareness Training organizations who use similar techniques as the fundamentalist religious right to connect people with something larger than themselves.

        These are well known psychological techniques, that have definite effects on many people.  

        "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

        by Orinoco on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:27:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  there is a difference (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco, NCrissieB

          EST (which I did do) really were only temporary frameworks and were rather "weak" as frameworks. It takes a long time to make these frameworks robust in people's lives. Community is particularly important and community was not really emphasized in those secular programs. What underlay these programs was the notions associated with self-actualization psychology wherein we are independent agents who mus find our own truth and life.

          Modern life lacks committed relationships and emphasizes temporary alliances that are convenient at the time.

          •  You're absolutely right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JanF, NCrissieB

            the big difference is in community and time passing. The secular programs generally designed their temporary communities around marketing the programs, while the religious fundamentalists both recruit and try to build long term communities. Nowadays, religious fundamentalism is cradle to grave, with schooling, marriage, recreation, employment and consumption thrown into the mix.

            My point was, though, that the experiences that convince fundamentalists that they've been born again in Jesus Christ, and make them so impervious to outside influences, are equally available in a non-religious setting. It does make a difference whether the person leading you through the experience tells you, in the moment, that you have discovered "your center" or that you have been "touched by your Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen."

            And, as Leftie Gunner points out below, some people going through the secular experiences can come across just as batshit crazy as fundamentalists do, when the conversation touches on the program.

            "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

            by Orinoco on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 01:54:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Another difference (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Orinoco, NCrissieB

              I'm glad you mentioned the born-again experience. I've talked to few people about it and it is an experience that is very concrete rather than an experience that you can be talked into (though I've no doubt many do imagine that they have the experience). I've actually had that experience at various times in my life sometimes spontaneously and almost miraculously and sometimes as a result of meditation practices. Researchers are beginning to think these feelings and sensation connected to awe and similar powerful feelings are linked to the vagus nerve and reflect our evolutionary ability to connect, to lose ego, to feel compassion and transecendent love, that enhances social bonding and cohesion. Humans were, they say, made for social groups because as individuals they are relatively weak -- particularly the young.

              I think secular people need to work at this aspect through dance, music, meditation in order to replicate the grand oceanic feelings that the fundamentalists are able to provide or we're all fucked.

              •  It's called enlightenment (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JanF, banger, NCrissieB

                and the secular programs do use dance, music and meditation (rather than "just talk") to produce the same internal effect. The spontaneous versions are more common in the very young, and often are forgotten since they are difficult to talk about.

                "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

                by Orinoco on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 07:20:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  +1 for The Forum reference. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Orinoco, NCrissieB

          My cousin was fostered by some Forumites back in the 1980s.

          Nice enough people... but if you got them talking about Forum stuff, it was immediately obvious just how fuckin' nuts they really were. As far as I was ever able to tell, the only reason they didn't go out Jonestown-style was that Warner Erhardt was smarter than Jim Jones... Warner knew that dead marks don't cough up much dough. But if he'd given the word, they'd have done it.

          --Shannon

          "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
          "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

          by Leftie Gunner on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 01:36:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  One of the techniques (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JanF, NCrissieB

            is to teach initiates a new language, mostly by redefining ordinary words. "I hear you" may mean "I'm paying attention," or it may mean "Oh, there's some random noise in the room! And it's coming from you!" This certainly comes across as odd and confusing to an outsider. (Crissie says no more calling these folks fuckin' nuts...)

            A fairly common side effect is veneration of the teacher. In the case of The Forum, that would be Werner Erhardt. In the case of fundamentalism, the side effect is actively sought out so the recruit can be redirected from the actual human being doing the training to Jesus Christ. I think that's one reason they have so little regard for the actual teachings of JC as documented in the Bible -- they know Jesus Christ from personal experience as mediated by their preacher.

            Some of the secular programs are designed to minimize the personality cult aspects and focus on the personal actualization, apparently Erhardt either didn't realize this veneration was a problem, or he thought he should encourage it to maximize his revenue.

            "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

            by Orinoco on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 02:08:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It was all about the Benjamins. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Orinoco, NCrissieB

              Werner Erhardt knew exactly what he was doing, and exactly why he was doing it.

              If he'd bothered to pay his taxes, he'd probably still be doing it... the scam itself wasn't, and isn't, illegal.

              --Shannon

              "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
              "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

              by Leftie Gunner on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 02:11:44 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  This is a key insight: (7+ / 0-)

      The other thing the left doesn't understand is that this is a more successful approach to the world than rationality is, for tens of millions of people.

      I don't have time to dig up the cite right now, but a few years ago a study showed that conservatives are, on average, happier than progressives. That held true even when the study controlled for income and other life circumstances. One component was that conservatives are less likely to be distressed by the plight of others, which they are more likely see as either deserved or "just God's will." But the researchers also found conservatives are more likely to believe that about their own misfortunes, and thus less prone to despair.

      To dismiss that as "insane" is a serious mistake.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  I guess with anything you can be (13+ / 0-)

    selective, but religious folks must take a class on how to use this part of the bible but not that part of the bible. What pol philosophy is most in tune with this reading from Acts

    Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed privsate ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common...There was not a needy person between them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 4:32, 34-35)

    Me, Ive been saving up my prayers for his Sunday's super bowl. Prayer always works in sports.

  •  Tipped and recced (9+ / 0-)

    Well-written and well-reasoned. They're not simply insane; they're operating from a certain set of beliefs that can be examined.

    Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

    by Dbug on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:07:52 AM PST

  •  I've always wondered when a person decides to (18+ / 0-)

    become a liberal or conservative.

    When I turned 18, I was eligible to vote in the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election. I didn't know or care very much about taxes, social security, abortion, trade, health care, etc... at the time. I didn't bother watching the debates or following the election. My one issue was global warming/sustainable energy because I was a bit of a science geek. So Gore it was. Then because I had voted for Gore, I might as well vote for the other Dems down the ticket, too.

    My first disgust with Bush was when he threw away the chance after 9/11 to lead America to energy independence/sustainability. It was all downhill after that as Bush's lies and incompetence came into sight. I moved further and further left on issue after issue. The Democratic side just seemed more rational to me. I've heard sometimes that maybe it all boils down to neuroscience, with liberals relying on rational deduction, while conservatives making decisions based on gut reactions. However, this second method really allows unconscious prejudices free reign over the decision-making process.

    Thus even if single-payer health care would be more efficient for everyone, Republican brains recoil in horror at the thought that undeserving ne'er-do-wells would get access to the same health care they themselves enjoy.

    •  I don't think there's any one answer ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Orinoco

      ... for when we form our political views. Some form them in childhood and stay with the same views their whole lives. Others don't form any until their teens or early twenties. Others change, depending on what policies best seem to fit their personal experience and what they see of the larger world.

      And some, like Fred, don't have any overarching ideological vision. They take issues one at a time, and are more prone to align with whatever side seems most popular or likely to win ("bandwagoning"). That isn't as unreasonable as it seems; it's based on our impulse, as members of a social species, to align with the dominant subgroup.

      That means we need to remain open-minded about what Fred believes, when he formed those beliefs, and how committed he is to those beliefs. That's why those conversations must happen one-to-one and face-to-face.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  Mind boggling. (8+ / 0-)

    The problem is not capitalism; that's the natural economic order created by God. The problem isn't rich people; a handful are crooks but most are rich because they enjoy God's favor.

    I think I will pray now.

    Between birthers, deathers and mouth-breathers, the gop has got 'teh crazy' and 'teh stoopid' covered.

    by amk for obama on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:17:56 AM PST

  •  More of a religion than a political party? (16+ / 0-)

    That's funny.  I've been thinking lately that christianity is more of a political party than a religion.

    Guess it just depends on where you stand.

  •  Rant. hateful, intolerant, dangerous bigots (23+ / 0-)

    I disagree. Violently.

    "we should not do is dismiss religious people generally and Christians in particular as "insane" or "nuts."

    These religious people should not be dismissed, true.

    They should be denounced as un-American. Which is Kos's American Jihad point.

    There are many ways of being Christian without taking up quasi-treasonous positions, like believing in the right of your state to cede. To believe Palin more qualified than Obama is not Christian, it's idolatry--- not a very Christian value that one!

    To believe someone who like yourself, as
    Potus has, recognized Christ to be all the things they say about the President is to disregard the tenets of your own salvation-oriented religion--not a very Christian value that one!

    Being religious does not give them cover for hate. Being Baptist for example does not make kidnapping Hatiain kids for adoption for profit an act of charity.

    If your point is their insularity and the self-fulfilling prophecy satisfaction makes their positions reasonable from their point of view, they are not nuts, they are worse. They are the willing tools of a propagandistic exercise not only opposed to reason, education, and tolerance but devoted to the uprooting of the institutions of our society and government that foster these things.

    As such they are therefore enemies of the working a civil society and its values of free speech, rights of all.

    They likely feel that I am worse than insane, and that given my religious background, I am beyond salvation and will rot in hell. So as they condemn me to eternal damnation, why can't I call them out for what they are.

    At least in the 1990s, starting in 1996 the Southern Baptists made the conversion of Jews and prayers to that effect on Yom Kippur a church program.*

    not nuts. arrogant. hateful. intolerant. evil. dangerous. disloyal. and above all anti-American.

    Denying gays the right to teach in public schools sounds eerily to me like a play taken from the playbook called the Nuremberg Laws.  Believing duly elected leaders to be Socialists is what motivated the Brown Shirt Assassinations of labor leaders and leaders of industry like Walter Rathenau before Hitler  came to power. It is one easy step in a period of economic suffering to the motivating belief that allowed Hitler's rise --Die X [liberals, gays, supports of stare decisis on abortion] sind unser umgluck.

    When the students marched to the barricades in Paris in Mai '68 they invented a chant, we are all German Jews. This was a time when the Shoah and Vichy were not spoken about in France. *

    So I revive their chant. Where these people are concerned we are all German Jews.**

    *

    But it signaled a new and dangerous era to many in the Jewish community when the largest Protestant denomination in America then adopted a resolution singling out the Jewish people as a target for Christian evangelism.
    .... The resolution adopted by the 14,000 Southern Baptists attending the group's annual convention, held last week in New Orleans, said, in part: "Our evangelism efforts have largely neglected the Jewish people, both at home and abroad."

    http://www.jweekly.com/...
    **

    Artists displayed their internationalist credentials in support of student leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit, whom Communist Party leader Georges Marchais had at first denounced as a German anarchist, while sections of the media played on his Jewish origins; the government later banned him from the country. At first the poster reply proclaimed ‘We are all German Jews’ lifted from the chant in solidarity with Cohn-Bendit on student demos

    http://www.1968andallthat.net/...

    "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

    by BlueStateRedhead on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:20:01 AM PST

    •  Ending on a positive :anniversary of greensboro (8+ / 0-)

      Feburary 1-5:

      On February 1, 1960, four African American students – Ezell A. Blair Jr. (also known as Jibreel Khazan), David Leinhail Richmond, Joseph Alfred McNeil, and Franklin Eugene McCain – from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College, a historically black college, sat at a segregated lunch counter in the Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth's store. This lunch counter only had chairs/stools for whites, while blacks had to stand and eat. Although they were refused service, they were allowed to stay at the counter. The four students were aware that Woolworth’s would not serve blacks at their lunch counter but they sat down anyway, engaging themselves in a plan they had been discussing for a month prior to the sit-in...........The sit-in that had begun with only four students had sparked a massive movement throughout the Southern states as more and more protesters engaged in this type of demonstration.[2] This protest sparked sit-ins and economic boycotts that became a hallmark of the American civil rights movement.

      "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

      by BlueStateRedhead on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:29:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Most excellent rant, BlueStateRedhead (10+ / 0-)

      Being religious does not give them cover for hate

      If your point is their insularity and the self-fulfilling prophecy satisfaction makes their positions reasonable from their point of view, they are not nuts, they are worse. They are the willing tools of a propagandistic exercise not only opposed to reason, education, and tolerance but devoted to the uprooting of the institutions of our society and government that foster these things.

      ::applause::

      Much of life is knowing what to Google

      by JanF on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:49:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Use Zealotry against them (8+ / 0-)

      Turning their unhinged zealotry against them is essential, IMHO.

      Lew Daly has a great article on this: what would Thomas Jefferson do?

      It has more to do with the decoupling of the very egalitarian ends of our Founding Fathers (and Adam Smith, IMHO) from their small government and free market means.  It is a great essay on how they have successfully perverted these great thinkers.

      This is the soft underbelly of TeaParty Republicanism and should be exploited to the hilt.

      •  Thanks for that link (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Magenta, wishingwell, jobu, kktlaw

        The damage that Reaganism and the Government is Bad crowd has done is what we are still trying to undo 35 years later.

        There must be something enormously appealing about the whole construct for it to have captured a generation and gotten so deeply rooted in people's psyches that it is what passes for "reality".

        Maybe the religious component is an explanation for some of why it seems impossible to undo.

        Much of life is knowing what to Google

        by JanF on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:08:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  John Dewey on TeaParty Republicanism (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JanF

          This quote from Democracy and Education says it all regarding the TeaParty Republicans, IMHO:

          It may be said, however, that the activities appealed to are themselves unworthy and degrading -- that such a government calls into functioning activity simply capacity for fear. In a way, this statement is true. But it overlooks the fact that fear need not be an undesirable factor in experience. Caution, circumspection, prudence, desire to foresee future events so as to avert what is harmful, these desirable traits are as much a product of calling the impulse of fear into play as is cowardice and abject submission. The real difficulty is that the appeal to fear is isolated. In evoking dread and hope of specific tangible reward -- say comfort and ease -- many other capacities are left untouched. Or rather, they are affected, but in such a way as to pervert them. Instead of operating on their own account they are reduced to mere servants of attaining pleasure and avoiding pain.

          The full chapter here:
          Democracy and Education Ch. 7

    •  I agree with your rant (surprised?) ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanF, winterbanyan, kktlaw, DRo

      ... but I don't think ranting is the most useful way to understand their worldview, or to argue against it when we're talking with Fred.

      I can describe the characteristics and behaviors of a rattlesnake without saying you should have one as a pet. And in fact, that's a good metaphor for what I think of the Tea Party GOP.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    •  These people share too many traits (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, 207wickedgood

      with you know who.

      "Jews were responsible for the loss of WWI and have stabbed the good people of this nation in the back, leading to decay, loss of values...They control the media..." - Replace Jews with Liberals and WWI with Vietnam, etc.

      They share the same set of enemies: Communists, Leftists, Liberals, Unions, Immigrants, Bohemians (Gypsies - Hippies), gays, and a domestically small religious and ethnic minority that they want wiped out and are convinced must be...

      They support torture.

      They support mass detention and profiling based upon one's ethnicity and/or religion.

      They believe "their" women must reproduce and have few purposes beyond that and sex. (But, yeah, they can get out of the house every now and then to get some money...)

      The culture they reside in is obsessed with crime and punishment.

      They question your loyalty if you don't show sufficient patriotism (like wearing a flag pin, for example).

      They believe in the myth of a utopian past.

      They support a world-wide war to spread their version of utopia - which happens to involve the master race of white, Christian, straight, conservative, ruling men who kill with the support of, and on behalf of, God. God is with them.

      Add in tough economic conditions. Add in a socially and politically broken system, due to the very philosophy they would die for. Add in a certain populist, racist strain of politics, mixed with religion, and that utopian past, and people to blame for destroying it.

      They support an invasion based upon a lie, where the small aforementioned ethnic and religious minority is found in abundance and is then subjected to being forced into walled up ghettos, prison camps, tortured to death, and slaughtered by the thousands.

      All in the name of "freedom" and "God" and their identity politics (only one identity is acceptable).

      They celebrate and demand torture domestically for their own prison population - the largest in the world.

      Their entire political philosophy is based on fear. As for their religion, just look at the end result of their beliefs - they, sitting with Jesus, looking down at those they hated in life, burning in agony, FOR ETERNITY. Why? Because they thought they were better, smarter, more important, and they didn't listen.

      They want vengeance. Nothing else matters. And we are among their enemies.  

      ...the alternative is revolution

      by 1000 Points of Fright on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 09:31:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They may share many traits ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kktlaw

        ... but I still disclaim the "Republicans are Nazis" meme. It doesn't advance the discussion toward any positive, progressive; it only hypes the threat and anger ...

        ... which is exactly what you're accusing them of doing.

        Good morning! ::hugggggs::

        •  I am not (0+ / 0-)

          hyping the threat and anger. First, there is plenty to be angry about. And I do not hate them, nor fear them. I hate those who would take advantage of them. Who would manipulate and lie to them for profit or political gain.

          While this group may share far too many similar traits for comfort, it is not them at whom I throw my hatred. Nothing I stated was false. Yet nothing I stated is a conscious choice made by informed and mentally stable people. They have been manipulated and lied to. They are true believers, closer to a disorganized Jonestown cult than true Nazis. They do, however, share quite similar traits. Denying this helps no one. One needn't shout "Nazi!" at someone to understand the similarities. I made an accurate comparison.

          And lest we forget, some members of their base actually ARE neo-nazis. Some of their leaders intermingle. It is an incestuous relationship with hate groups of all stripes. That's what they call themselves. Don't forget that. You can't have a "positive, progressive" discussion with such people. You keep them out of power and improve their conditions whether they want it or not, without loss of freedom. For everyone's sake. They can hate, but when their situations improve, that hate will diminish.

          And my argument was hardly as simple as "Republican's are Nazi's".

          ...the alternative is revolution

          by 1000 Points of Fright on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 11:49:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  wow, as a recovering missionary kid (29+ / 0-)

    I can attest that you really have hit the nail on the head.  It's an entire culture and worldview and growing up in it, I was surrounded by it 24/7.  It's not just science, economics, social studies, history and religion in separate fields to be studied and thought about critically.  Everything is infused with this God-talk and theology of sin and the way the U.S. "used to be" (before it got tainted by the evil godless humanists).  I swam around in that stew until about age 19 when I had a huge awakening.  The upshot was that I ended up over here on the left.  The downside is that I can't have any conversations of substance with my family or my childhood friends.  It's like speaking a different language.

    •  Thank you. As to this part ... (5+ / 0-)

      The downside is that I can't have any conversations of substance with my family or my childhood friends. It's like speaking a different language.

      ... however, I respectfully disagree. If you and I don't have those conversations, and help to teach others how to have those conversations, how can we reach Fred (and Fred is reachable!) or even some in the Tea Party GOP (and some are reachable!) ... and how can we expect other progressive Democrats to do that?

      We may not speak that language anymore, but we still know that language ...

      ... and our party needs us as translators.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  yeah - "love the sinner; hate the sin" (4+ / 0-)

        It's uncomfortable, but I continue to have these discussions with my family.  I have to be more gentle than I'm inclined to be--'who would Jesus bomb' is kind of a conversation ender--but it's worthwhile.

        I just keep gently asking them to square what they say about politics with what they say about religion.  

        Love thy neighbor as thyself.  Matthew 19:19

        He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'  Matthew 25:45

        Tell me again about your position on 'illegals' and HCR?

        "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

        by Mosquito Pilot on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:34:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  one incident... (5+ / 0-)

        my dad and I had long since agreed not to talk politics - it isn't pretty when we do.  ;0  

        but when Obama quoted Niebuhr in a speech fairly recently, it was a quote I really liked.  I sent it to my folks, and my dad instantly teed off on some anti-Obama rant that had nothing to do with what I sent.  I was mad initially, but when I calmed down, I wrote him back, saying that I really wasn't writing about Obama, nor did I want to talk about him, but about a passage by a Christian theologian that really touched me, and that it seemed to be a huge part of what I am and what I believe, that I found it beautiful, and I wanted to share it, and me, with my parents.

        The reaction was instantaneous and very sweet.  An apology, an appreciation of who I am, of the values that I always wanted them to see and value in me - even without religion as the basis for them - compassion, understanding, hope, idealism.  Anyway, it made me teary.  And it ended in a discussion about core values that we shared instead of a quarrel about the evil liberals or the stupid republicans.  I will remember this moment the next time (and I'm sure there will be one!) we start to get sidetracked into something less than productive.

        (Sadly, in Kathmandu no longer.)

        by American in Kathmandu on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:57:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Tea Partiers/Teabaggers are not right.... (11+ / 0-)

    I work with all men, all of which are apparently TeaBaggers.  They do not want to know anything even remotely true.  Only Fox News viewers, that's all they watch.  Obama's a socialist, vote incumbents, vote Republican.  This is a sour, delusional batch of people.  And yes, they are stupid about politics.  They follow the leader.

  •  Good morning, all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, NCrissieB, theKgirls

    Here's hoping that your day is going well so far, and that it will only get better from here.  We have clear skies and 30 degrees here, and are bracing ourselves for snow tomorrow and Saturday.  There are some big "Ifs" with this storm that make it questionable whether we'll get a foot or so, or not.

    Crissie, I have a question about the term "Tea Party GOP."

    But "insane" misses the key to what remains of the Republican Party, and in so doing underestimates the political power of a movement that Gallup polling says represents only 28% of voters. Having purged their moderates, the Tea Party GOP are now as much a religious movement as a political party.

    I'm not sure if you are saying that what remains of the Republican party, that "backwash" last third, as Colbert would say, is the Tea Party that we're seeing out there today.  My impression is that the Tea Party people are not just self-identified Republicans, but in fact many of them identify themselves as Independents.

    I haven't seen any polling that describes the make up of the Tea Party movement, so I'm not entirely sure.

    But is it accurate to call them the Tea Party GOP?

    It's possible that I'm misinterpreting your point.

    •  Yes, I chose that purposefully. (4+ / 0-)

      It's a mistake to let Republicans play the Overton Window game, where they point to the Tea Party and say "See, they're crazy. We're moderates!" In terms of their beliefs and attitudes, there is no distinction between the Tea Party and the GOP, and that's why I'm calling what's left of Republicans "the Tea Party GOP."

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  from my observations here on dkos (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lockewasright, gsenski, drache, peregrinus

    a lot of democrats are also skirting loonyville when it comes to their own "christianity".

    collectively, maybe not as far out there as republicans...but still pretty far out there.

  •  Those same questions (7+ / 0-)

    need to be publicly asked of every Republican running for every office in America.  Make them choose to either show themselves as nuts or face the wrath of nuts everywhere.

    An honest man in the White House is a threat to crooks and liars

    by AppleP on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:28:55 AM PST

  •  Well, yes, and the belief that people (5+ / 0-)

    are responsible for their own deprivation lets the deprivators/crooks off the hook.

    When the actor and acted upon are perceived as one and the same, then the bad actors not only escape blame but the retribution they so richly deserve.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:35:05 AM PST

    •  Exactly, that's why the wealthy interests ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, ssgbryan, kktlaw

      ... are happy to fund the Tea Party GOP version of Christian teachings. As noted in the diary, you don't worry about followers demanding a bigger slice of the pie if they believe the pie was baked, cut, and served by God. Prosperity theology is very good for the ba(n)kers.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  I think you've given us a gift here (13+ / 0-)

    in understanding what is going on. We need to always view enemies with compassion and then we can understand them and work to minimize the damage they do to us.

    We lack a way to have a dialogue with fundamentalists who have learned to close their minds to anything "not Biblican". Fortunately, most fundamentalists I've known are stunningly ignorant of what the Bible says -- they don't recognize the stunning contradictions (it is after all a compendium of work by very different traditions who say very different things). Unfortunately logic and reason seems to be almost sacriligous so if you point out contradictions they just figure you're the voice of the Devil. However, if we are patient and engage more and learn that fundies are often decent and trustworthy people relationship and therefore even a hidden dialectic can work.

    •  Thank you, and we can have a dialogue ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, winterbanyan, sjterrid

      ... if we begin based on fundamental values that most of us share, e.g.: "Love your neighbor as yourself," and "As you cared for the least of these...." Again, we worry whether our government does enough to help Fred. They worry whether government does enough to please God as they imagine Him. Until we recognize that and build narrative bridges between those very different ideas of "what government should do," there is no hope for dialogue.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  Our country has been hijacked by religion. (8+ / 0-)

    Yes, I have been saying it almost my whole life.  
    Religion has hijacked our country.  It's a sad fact.
    Brainwashed is the only explanation.  Really?  Sex Education is a bad thing?  Condoms are bad?  And now the reality of where we stand with how we run our country.  The Jesus people have succeeded in taking over the Republican party.  This is new.  It was not as successful 30 years ago.  There was "Separation of Church and State"  Not any more.  

    If I were king, I would end the tax free status of Religion.  It's a business. It's brainwashed a large percentage of our people.   The fight with Climate Change will be up against the Jesus people.

    The GOP will send it's talking points and messages to the Jesus people, and they will deliver their message to the people who go to the Jesus buildings.

    So sad.    

    Hero's : George Carlin.  Julia Sweeney  ( Letting go of God.)

    "Hey, with religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:38:32 AM PST

    •  Do you think contemptuous terms ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, winterbanyan, pvlb, kktlaw

      ... like "the Jesus people" make it any easier for progressive Democrats to talk to Fred? Such phrases play well here on DailyKos, but while Fred is not devoutly religious he does identify as a Christian and would very likely be offended by phrases like "the Jesus people."

      And since we must have Fred - the median American voter - to claim a statistical majority, we don't think we gain anything by offending Fred.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  We Must Work To Remove The Tax Exemption (11+ / 0-)

    from these so called churches.  They are little more than political cells that meet at tax payers' expense once a week to recruit and indoctrinate their members in politics.

    •  Do you think that will solve the problem? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winterbanyan

      Most corporations are not tax exempt, yet they still exert huge influence over our politics. Rather than complaining that this challenge shouldn't exist - and that's the essence of your argument - I think we can do better by acknowledging and understanding its existence and discussing we progressive Democrats can work to bring Fred, the median voter, over to us.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  It certainly will help. I'm not complaining (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        about the challenge, I'm complaining that I have to fund them.  Do you want to fund the Republican party with tax exemptions?  I don't and I don't want to fund churches who are really political parties in disguise either.

  •  As a recovering Xtian myself, (23+ / 0-)

    I will "testify" that NCrissie has it absolutely right. My relatives and friends--the few that I'm still speaking to--often try to connect people's misery with their so-called sins. You know, as in: "Poor people have no business buying houses they never intended to pay for." When I bring up the story of Job, which is clearly meant to disrupt the idea that sin and poverty are connected, they are always startled and forced to concede that I am right. Of course, that effect lasts for about 5 minutes, until the next narrative comes up: "If you can't afford health care, you should just get a better job."

    --Free thinkers shouldn't go around thinking just anything. (Terry Pratchett)

    by HPrefugee on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:44:12 AM PST

  •  Only 28% were Nazis (7+ / 0-)

    Hate bring up the Nazi thing but we should all remember that only about 28 to 30% of Germans ever voted for the Nazis and only a tiny % were ever party members. It didn't make any difference did it?

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:57:52 AM PST

    •  acutally i live in germany (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim W, addisnana, Caractacus

      it was about 38% of the vote in late 1932. that was all it took. also the weimar republic had similar sytems to the filibuster system, basically meaning that the minority could control the majority simply by blocking and stonewalling what they didnt like, and there are strong similarities between so called mainstream weimar parties like the SPD ( at the time) and the democrats vis a vis never having the balls to stand up to the extreme right wing and say you people are full of shit. if america does turn into a right wing populist dictatorship, which i expect to happen eventually, you can thank the vapid, timid mealy leadership like reid, pelosi etc... they are cut from the exact same cut of cloth as the mainstream pols in germany in the 20s and early thrities.

      hey nothing like peace in our time eh mr chamberlain???

      Welcome to the empire. now run away if you can... life is not a dress rehearsal

      by johnfire on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:11:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Been once 25 yrs. ago (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssgbryan, NCrissieB

        Beautiful country. I was in Munich for the Octoberfest that yr. I was siting at the long tables in the big tents drinking beer all afternoon with a group of local farmers and when they realized I was American they went on and on in a very scary way about how they wished Germany had a President like Ronald Reagan etc. It was the look in their eyes that sent a chill down my back. I think its the leadership cult in German culture that was the key to the craziness that rampaged through that society in the 20's - 40's. In that one respect Americans are I think somewhat different and its my hope that this anti-authoritarian streak in our culture that will save us. I 'm not totally sure of that however,  since we have had two Presidents of late FDR and Ronald Reagan that fit the bill for becoming Dictators if they'd wanted to be.  

        "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

        by Blutodog on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 09:08:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'd rather avoid the Godwin Law violation. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blutodog

      You didn't directly equate the Tea Party GOP with the German Nazi Party, but you came close enough that I'll skip on by.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssgbryan, NCrissieB

        I really try avoiding such references, but I felt this had to be said. It could happen here. The irrational side of some people is very very strong and when enough people reach a certain critical mass in a group watch out its like a nuclear chain reaction. Its a kind of collective madness or a massive lynch mob. We've seen examples of this in many other societies as well and recently. Germany's twist was the application of Industrial processes to its murderous rampage. That the Nazis would even rather lose the war then stop the mass murdering was proof of just how deep this sickness can penetrate an entire society.

        "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

        by Blutodog on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 09:00:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The thing is, making that comparison ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... does nothing to advance the discussion toward any positive, progressive solution. It simply raises the threat level. That's why I don't think it's useful.

          Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  Using Christian tools to carry a progressive (29+ / 0-)

    message for me is a way to counteract some of the things that are hard for those who are atheists, or those who bash religion in general to understand.  

    Martin Luther King, Sojourner Truth... most African-American leaders have been Christians.  When we examine Aristide in Haiti and other powerful voices in Latin America, they preached a doctrine of "liberation theology" in predominantly Catholic nations.  

    Back in the ant-Vietnam war days - who could forget the Berrigan's or the Maryknoll nuns?

    We will make a strategic and tactical error if we simply dismiss (or bash) those people who are church-goers.  We need to find better ways to bridge into these communities, speaking a language they understand but carrying our message - not one of hate and bigotry.  

    I'm not a Christian; but having been confirmed a Lutheran as a youth, studied comparative religions for some time, and with years of grassroots organizing behind me in two communities - one predominantly Protestant and the other Catholic...I certainly think we can bridge the communication gap..and begin to isolate those who use their religions as a carrier of hate.

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:08:36 AM PST

    •  Thanks Deo for ur thoughtful words nt (6+ / 0-)
    •  Agree Deoliver (11+ / 0-)

      I'm on the steering committee of a pro immigrant group, Neighbors In Support of Immigrants. Our group is an eclectic mish mash of all kinds of religious and non-religious folks. We have two ministers, a couple of nuns, our founding member is a Buddhist (ne Jewish) a few universalists, some atheists and a couple of us, like me in varying relations with the catholic church.  

      I guess we all believe in the golden rule:

      So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the Law and the prophets

      Some of the teabaggers in their anger and apoplexy have called some of the nuns in our group -- whores.

      They're pretty religious, these teabaggers, until they actually have to act in the spirit in which religion is intended.

      •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indres

        They're pretty religious, these teabaggers, until they actually have to act in the spirit in which religion is intended.

        Exactly how does calling nuns "whores" render someone non-religious?

        Do you realize that pretending that "religious" and "ethical" are synonyms degrades those of us who are not religious?


        A very large proportion of teabaggers are indeed religious. Many of them have done some awful things. They're still religious. Religion does not imply goodness, nor vice versa.

    •  Agree, Dee. (11+ / 0-)

      And while the Catholic Church seems hell-bent on marching back to the Middle Ages, at least among the hierarchy, you can still go to Sunday Mass and get a homily from your priest about caring for the poor, not judging others, and welcoming all.

      At least in some parishes.  Can't speak for all.

      Catholic social doctrine as taught in the Catechism (official rules for those who don't know) is extremely progressive.

      There is a good conversation to be had with plenty of Christians.  Not all are uncomfortable with prosperity theology (mainly because it makes them comfortable with their own material comfort) but there are plenty out there who have progressive values and are looking for somewhere to park them.

      Hugggs and good morning!

      "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

      by winterbanyan on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:02:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree, Dee. We'll discuss that more ... (6+ / 0-)

      ... tomorrow, but one of the things we progressive Democrats - even non-Christians - need to be able to do is discuss these appeals to Fred's religion. Fred is not devout, but he does identify as Christian, and we need to be able to talk with him about this.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    •  ALWAYS (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winterbanyan, Deoliver47, NCrissieB

      great to read your knowledgeable expression of cold reason, Deo.  Thanks.

    •  Oh? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gsenski, NCrissieB

      We will make a strategic and tactical error if we simply dismiss (or bash) those people who are church-goers.

      And who exactly is "bash[ing] those people who are church-goers"?

      Because of the overwhelming religious privilege in our society, there is a constant tendency to equate challenges to religious ideas with "bashing" religious people. Those are emphatically not the same thing.

      •  Plenty of people have done it right here on DKos. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        The same way people bash the South and Southerners - something I also disagree with.  

        "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

        by Denise Oliver Velez on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 01:52:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay. (0+ / 0-)

          Show me.

          I've seen plenty of religious privilege on DKos--religious folks complaining that they have been "bashed" when what actually happened was that their ideas were challenged.

          I imagine that actual bashing has happened on this weblog, but I'd like you to point to some, because complaints over the fake kind are awfully common.

  •  I still go with insane (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, johnfire, NCrissieB, EarTo44

    the cross tabbing between birther, tbagger, Palin supporter, Beck watcher, racist and bigot is just to perfect. Believes in Jesus is just another one for the list.

    The only difference is that whereas say a birther will inevitably be a Sarah Palin supporter no such prediction can be made for a Christian, i.e. there are plenty of Christians who are non of the above.

    If I was really clever and not lazy I'd insert a venn diagram here.

    Hero-worship is strongest where there is least regard for human freedom
    -Herbert Spencer

    by stevej on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:13:08 AM PST

  •  Tea parties. (6+ / 0-)

    Of the two best-known tea parties; one in Boston, the other in Wonderland, it is clear which is the model for our new political movement. I do think Dr. Dobson makes a good Mad Hatter. You may choose for yourself who is the best dormouse and March hare. And i think Ms. Palin makes a wonderful Alice.

  •  Prosperity theology is heresy and our (12+ / 0-)

    current situation doesn't provide any very focused way to engage in and dispute heresy, unfortunately.

  •  Hey, thanks for the info (7+ / 0-)

    yeah, i had a feeling this is how thses folks think. I always was wondering "are these folks out of their minds?" Yes, because they have been brainwashed. There has been some interesting research done on the conservative mind.

    They are more susceptible to brainwashing (conditioning).
    They have a more authoritarian mindset.
    They are less rational.
    There is a "racial"/nativist component to their thinking. That's why Palin's words about "her kind of America" was such a dog whistle to me. Her kind of American is the success of white supremacy. That's why all of this birther nonsense comes from them. They cannot conceive of the notion that a Black American man could be President....just incapable of coming into their consciousness. This is why they are so delusional. Of course the GOP is stuck with these folks since they cultivated them since the 1950's. NOw it's time to reap what they've sown.

    These people are very dangerous, do not be fooled. We can make fun of them, but we need to be on guard.

    Of course, the Germans learned alot of their rotteness from us, they took it to a totally industrial level. So don't think we cannot become just like them (the Nazis).

    •  Yes, we need to understand their theology ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winterbanyan, addisnana

      ... or we can't rebut it when they make appeals to Fred's religious beliefs. Fred isn't devout, but he does identify as Christian. Unless we understand how the Tea Party GOP theology differs from Fred's other beliefs, and can explain those differences, we leave Fred very vulnerable.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  and their God is Jesus with a machine pistol (5+ / 0-)

    Not the real Jesus of course. The pasty white guy from those cornball $2 prints popular in the 1950s. Brought to life, as it were, by Jeffrey Hunter (or was it Christopher Pike) in KING OF KINGS.
    See also "muscular Christianity" and CS Lewis.

  •  Well done. "Prosperity Theology" ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Orinoco, NCrissieB

    ... next they'll be hearing that there is no afterlife either.

    And that they are personally responsible for their actions.

    If George Bush or Dick Cheney or Don Rumsfeld are guilty of the war crimes of Aggressive War or Torture, they should be hanged.

    by Yellow Canary on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:21:41 AM PST

  •  I grew up in a conservative church, (15+ / 0-)

    one of those air-tight ideological frameworks with an explanation for everything.

    How'd I ever get out?

    Well, certain conditions existed in my environment. While the church ran at least one major university, I decided to attend a secular college. I don't remember much at all made of this decision; I was free, at least, to do that.

    Of course, going away to a secular college, after life in such a conservative home, was "the beginning of the end" for me, the first step on a "slippery slope" to my rebirth as a political and social liberal.

    That's why I find the "parallel universes" fundies construct for their believers--where you interact only with doctors, therapists, teachers, and whatever--of your own religious background, so creepy.

    If the people in my church surroundings had really been zealous about controlling my contact with the outside world, I suspect I would eventually have gotten away, nevertheless. But it may have taken me many years longer.

  •  Using the Founding Fathers (6+ / 0-)

    Glen Beck and Co. cannot be allowed to pervert the Founding Fathers without turning them and their true meanings right back in their face, with repitition and gusto.

    Tom Paine, among others, is begging us to restore his good name.

    •  Wanna see Beck go Apoplectic? (5+ / 0-)

      Refer him to the fact that Thomas Paine contended in his Agrarian Justice pamphlet that all citizens should be paid 15 pounds at age 21 "as a compensation in part for the loss of his or her natural inheritance by the introduction of the system of landed property."

      "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

      by Mosquito Pilot on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:11:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quotes you won't hear (6+ / 0-)

        On Glen Beck's Fair and (un)Balanced Family Hour:

        When the toll upon carriages of luxury, upon coaches, post-chaises, &c. is made somewhat higher in proportion to their weight, than upon carriages of necessary use, such as carts, waggons, &c. the indolence and vanity of the rich is made to contribute in a very easy manner to the relief of the poor, by rendering cheaper the transportation of heavy goods to all the different parts of the country.""  Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

        ...if you "separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess...he cannot aquire personal property.  He cannot be rich.  So inseparately are the means connected with the end, in all cases,that were the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained.  All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society, and he owes every priciple of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came."  Tom Paine, Agrarian Justice

        "Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise." Thomas Jefferson

    •  To rebut that, we have to understand it. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jobu, winterbanyan, addisnana

      Arguing that they shouldn't be allowed to speak - and I know that's not what you're saying - is not going to work. We still have the First Amendment, and that protects the Tea Party GOP and their leaders as much as it does us. So we have to be ready to have these kinds of discussions.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  These m*therf***ers need to take care (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, lockewasright

    of about two dozen  orphan Haiti babies before they spew the Catholic tripe about birth control, or any other nonsense like Original Sin (listening Andrew Sullivan?).

    Believe whatever nonsense that you want, just keep it in your own damn church and stop trying to turn your nation into a Totalitarian system meant to spread and enforce your dogma.

    Nobody really knows how the markets will react; the right thing, always, is to pursue policies that look right on the substance. P.K.

    by gereiztkind on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:33:54 AM PST

    •  Yowza (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winterbanyan, NCrissieB, SoCalSal

      Dude, you make the Tea Partiers sound pretty rational.
      Let a little of that hate go and understand that the most respected and loved figure in Haiti was their Catholic Bishop, who was killed in the catastrophe.
      The Catholic Church has plenty of problems, but so do people who only believe the worst of groups with different philosophies.  

      I'll put on my glasses.... and tell you how sweet your ass is. (w/ apologies to Señor Bega)

      by mHainds on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:52:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bullshit. Rage is EXACTLY the correct response (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssgbryan

        to talibangelicals trying to take away everyone's religious liberty through a political movement.  They are as much the enemy of mine and everyone else's liberty as the redcoats ever were.

        Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

        by lockewasright on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:50:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          winterbanyan, NCrissieB

          The public looks at spittle flying from the tea-baggers lips - and recoils in horror.
          The public looks at Operation Rescue blocking abortion clinics - and votes Pro-Choice.
          Advertising your rage and bigotry may make you popular within your community, but it will cost you the election.
          Characterizing tens of millions of Americans as "Talibangelicals" is playing into the GOP's hands.  They love it when we do this.

          I'll put on my glasses.... and tell you how sweet your ass is. (w/ apologies to Señor Bega)

          by mHainds on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:56:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope. Christians who want to implement (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ssgbryan, wishingwell

            some christian form of Sharia are best described as talibagelicals. It points out that the only difference between them and the taliban is which doctrine they want to force on everyone.

            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

            by lockewasright on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:16:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  If you'd care to try the words that I used (0+ / 0-)

            instead of mischaracterizing my statement, you can whittle that 10s of millions nonsense down to the portion of them to which I was referring.

            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

            by lockewasright on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:17:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, that's exactly what happened in Mass (0+ / 0-)

            last month and in the majority of presidential elections since 1980:

            The public looks at spittle flying from the tea-baggers lips - and recoils in horror.
            The public looks at Operation Rescue blocking abortion clinics - and votes Pro-Choice

            Have you got any reality based arguments?

            Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

            by lockewasright on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:23:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I won't distract you further (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              winterbanyan

              You have the "reality based arguments" locked up.  
              It's a little hard to carry on a conversation when someone comes in from that angle.
              But thanks for asking.

              I'll put on my glasses.... and tell you how sweet your ass is. (w/ apologies to Señor Bega)

              by mHainds on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:30:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Did the teabaggers not win in Mass? (0+ / 0-)

                Have the majority of elected (and appointed) presidents in the last 30 years not run on as anti-choice?  

                I'm sorry if reality pisses you off.  Try religion.  It may be more to your liking.

                Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

                by lockewasright on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:34:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  I understand your anger, however ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winterbanyan, mHainds

      ... I don't think rage is all that useful.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  On O'Reilly and Karl Rove (6+ / 0-)

    I find the fact that they were trying to trash this poll is very telling.

    Regardless of their arguments about the poll in general, what they are pretty much saying is, 'republicans are not actually that extreme.'  

    That's right.. Bill O'Reilly and Karl Rove think that these ideas are extreme!  I really like the framing of this, because anyone who will argue on that end for the republican party should be told that they are wrong by Bill O'Reilly.. This includes Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin.

    "He knows when to use his lightsaber," David Plouffe on The Daily Show speaking of Obama's Jedi skills.

    by Ralpheelou on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:34:01 AM PST

  •  My experience (27+ / 0-)

    I was raised Mormon, so have a extremely religious background. After independent research of the LDS Church I had an epiphany recently that much of what I was taught is based on shaky evidence. I'm agnostic or a humanist now, but do appreciate that religion does help many people.

    My mother and siblings are still very religious and have found the tea party a convenient entity to "cling" (How true were Obama's comments about rural Pa now?), so I think much of diary above is correct. They keep bringing up the big gov taking away freedoms argument, but have yet to name a single freedom that is in jeopardy, just a "faith" that Obama is doing bad stuff. The strange part of this story is that we were on welfare during the early 80's recession. We have 12 kids in our family, so my parents paid very little taxes. Three of my brothers and sisters were adopted and my parents got nice money from the state for that support. Half my family members have 3-4 kids and make 30-50 K a year, so they pay very little in taxes yet most of them bring up the redistribution of wealth. My father, several sisters and brothers worked for State Gov. My parents are on medicare and my sisters family (her and 3 kids) is on medicaid. My whole childhood healthcare was funded by the gov because my Dad was a school teacher making between 20-30K a year. The gov help really did allow our family yet all I hear is how the gov is bad. My brother who supports 4 kids and makes around 30K now is adamantly against this healthcare bill and the Fed gov in general. A few years ago he made probably less than 20K a year and had premature twins (3 months early) that required months and months in intensive care. I'm sure that healthcare bill was well over 100 K probably closer to 500K; I'm happy my taxes paid for that. He found a decent 30K job recently and has a healthcare plan now. He argued the other day that he did not want a healthcare bill where he'd have to pay for some crack head or Juan's insurance. You can kind of see what is going through is mind from the use of crackhead and Juan.

    •  This is why fundamentalism (11+ / 0-)

      is dangerous.  Once you open the door to unblinking faith that unprovable things are true, it opens the door to other things like, "Barack Obama is evil" or "Sarah Palin is smart."  

      Religion doesn't really seem like the opiate of the masses at all - it increases the amount of delusion.  Pretty much the opposite of an opiate.  

      •  Opiates and other drugs (4+ / 0-)

        tend to numb people or otherwise narrow down the breadth of their perception and processing of reality.  Long term and extensive use of drugs that do this, like marijuana beyond a certain point, has people lose a clear sense of reality.  When that happens, and the world not being nice a lot of the time, people who heavily use these drugs tend to get increasingly paranoid.

        Religion that requires high reality distortion and commitment likewise tends to lead to Believers who are paranoid in various ways and acting in ways that eventually infringes on the laws in ways reasonable people can no longer ignore.  The Government is out to get them becomes an operative belief.  Persecution fantasies are very selfcongratulatory myths and become very popular in such groups.

        Getting out of certain religions likewise has a lot of resemblence process-wise to getting off addictive drugs.  Often religion that contorts reality in ways the user can accept is a replacement for certain kinds of drugs- the churches are full of reformed alcoholics.

    •  Thank you for sharing this wonderful story! :) (4+ / 0-)

      I hope someone will nominate this for Top Comments. (I would but I'm still trying to get to the bottom of the thread.) Stories like these are ones we all need to hear - and listen to - so we can discuss how to talk with Fred about appeals to his religious beliefs.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    •  Highly-structured religious groups arrest develop (4+ / 0-)

      development, is how one person expressed it to me.

      When someone lives in a situation where so many decisions are being made for them, and everyone around them is urged to conform, there is little chance to learn to think independently. Where there are tons of rules, rules, and rigid hierarchy... the same for independent thinking. There really are, I think, some fundamentals to learning to think for oneself, that are discouraged in the more controlled religious settings.

      I should know, I have a relative who joined a type of Christian cult. From that day forward, many aspects of that person have not changed. After a couple decades, the person is relatively the same, which is shocking to witness. All however many hundred of their group in the USA (possibly sub-500?) are convinced they're the only ones who have the only "right" take on god. They're surrounded by people with a specialized jargon, and again, 6 jillion rules for life.

      Trees bend in the wind, rabbits hop through fields without pre-ordained routes, no markers laid out to chart their path. Birds soar in the sky, even insects sometimes make noise, sometimes do not. I personally believe that a bit of self-determination is or should be part of life, as it's part of what makes it possible for our hearts to sing, our beings to feel at peace and alive.

      I wish you the best of success as you try out a few random hops across the field, a few moments considering the vastness of the different points of view on our planet, all of which seem to well suit different people on their journeys through life. I imagine (from reading ex-Mormon blogs) that there's a lot of cognitive dissonance now. Hope that smooths out over time, and you find many positives and much peace on your new path.

      This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

      by AllisonInSeattle on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 10:07:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Split-mind and other fundie conditions? (10+ / 0-)

    I also grew up in a fundie christian house.  Perhaps more loony than most, they believed in an imminent 'Armageddon'.

    Sociologists studying the movement described a 'split-mind' attitude. Within the movement, you believe.  You push out of your mind the contradictions in your belief system, you act as if it's all real.  But when you're out and about in 'the world', where not everyone is batshit crazy, you work with the other half of your brain.  So it is possible to completely believe in an Armageddon in which God is going to kill 99.9% of humanity any day now (certainly within a couple of years), people will be throwing their money in the streets and begging the very rocks to fall on them and hide them, and at the same time build up long-term business plans and save up for your retirement.  You compartmentalize the two conflicting sides, they're never allowed into your head at the same moment in time.  It's an elaborate defense against cognitive dissonance.

    What I thought of, when reading those questions in light of my own upbringing, is that Tea Partiers know what answer they're supposed to give, in the context of their belief system.  Call them up and poll them, you get the straight ideological response.  Same as if you walked up to them in church and asked the overtly religious questions.  That doesn't mean they're crazy, or that every aspect of their life revolves around this prosperity gospel.  It also doesn't necessarily mean they would vote for Sarah Palin; it really depends on which side of their mind gets engaged in the voting booth.

    This comment was brought to you by Goldman-Sachs: Our clients' interests always come first.

    by Kingsmeg on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:42:41 AM PST

    •  sounds a bit like my house (12+ / 0-)

      Were you told that the Rapture was coming any minute?  And that clearly the world was going to end in the year that the European Union became a reality (because that was the one-world government coming to be).  And when that didn't happen, it was the year 2000 that was going to be the big end date.  Bill Clinton was the antichrist.  But then it wasn't him, so it must clearly be Obama (because he is POPULAR just like the anti-christ is foretold to be!)  And so it goes...

    •  The second coming (7+ / 0-)

      My father in particular talks about that every time I visit. The recent wars in the middle east and Al Queda are sure signs that within the next few years Armageddon will be a reality, but they have been saying things like that since I remember. It is very much this faith-based thinking that drives many to ignore things like Climate Change. Why worry about Climate Change in 50 or 100 years when Armageddon will start in the immediate future? Why worry much about the environment or pollution when bigger things are on the horizon?

      •  A follow-on... (5+ / 0-)

        This extends to other areas as well. My sister is becoming a health nut in terms of exercise and eating. I just started reading the omnivore's dilemma and after just reading the introduction, I thought, this would be a great read for my sister and others in the family. I quickly caught myself though and figure they will quickly discount the book because the intro talks about how human omnivore habits, searching for diverse food types based on what is available, recognizing good quality food versus the ones that harm the body, etc is in part why our brains evolved the way they did.

    •  Another VERY insightful comment! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kingsmeg, winterbanyan

      Thank you so much for raising that point. It's one we'll return to tomorrow and (perhaps) Saturday as this series continues, and that's why I said we need to recognize the challenge revealed by this poll ... but not overreact to it.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  Thank you so much! (6+ / 0-)

    You have, I believe, explained the situation perfectly.
    I have made a similar argument to the DailyKos community, and perhaps I was not as tactful as you were.  Your message appears to be connecting with the audience.

    I'll put on my glasses.... and tell you how sweet your ass is. (w/ apologies to Señor Bega)

    by mHainds on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:44:41 AM PST

    •  Thank you for the kind words. :) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winterbanyan, mHainds

      It's a difficult topic to discuss. Fortunately here at Morning Feature our regular readers - and I hope you will become one! - are used to discussing difficult topics without letting the discussion turn into a flame war.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  Question about this (5+ / 0-)

    I'm sure they think Lady Gaga or Jenna Jameson are sinful, but they're richer than God.  I know the answer - our society is corrupt so it favors sinful people.

    So when it's a financial favor on a pious person it's God's doing.  But when it's a financial favor on a sinful person, it's society's fault.  That how it works?

    •  Basically, yes. (5+ / 0-)

      In pretty much the same way that I was taught if I did anything well it was God's doing but if I did anything wrong it was my own fault. Does that "make sense?" No. But I was taught to believe it anyway, and it took some therapy to get over believing I was only responsible for the bad things that happened in my life.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  A "fanatical" religious movement (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NCrissieB, DruidQueen, sjterrid
  •  This was a most insightful analysis (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NCrissieB, addisnana, CoExistNow

    It shows the danger of these people.  American Taliban, indeed.

    -9.00, -5.85
    If only stupidity were painful...

    by Wintermute on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:53:54 AM PST

  •  What I find odd about "prosperity theology" (7+ / 0-)

    is it's origins and it's promulgation via television.  Wasn't Kenneth Copeland (thanks again Texas) one of the original proponents?  I know there are many now that follow this theology... Hinn, Duplantis, et al, and they all seem not only highly charismatic, but also have a high visibility via television.

    It would be interesting to study just how much television has enabled the expansion of this theology and how it fueled today's teabaggers.

    Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

    by EdgedInBlue on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 06:55:16 AM PST

    •  It's much older than America. (4+ / 0-)

      You can find expressions of prosperity theology in 16th century Switzerland, and rebuttals of it in both the Old and New Testaments, so it dates back to at least Biblical times.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  We have seen biblical references to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dunvegan, NCrissieB, EdgedInBlue

        the gospel of prosperity; which we can only be reminded in the NT of the bible again and again... so I can imagine how this has been part and parcel of religion since there was religion in human existence.  What I find most alarming is the use of mass media and what has been learned in psychology to take advantage of this aspect of religion.  

        •  Indeed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NCrissieB

          The PTL phenomenon has become a stock in the trade.  

          I do know that throughout history, this has been used as a medium by which the wealthy remained rich and the poor downtrodden. What interests me is the speed with which mass media accommodates the proliferation of the ideal.  

          Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

          by EdgedInBlue on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 10:59:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  That poll is making me less of a lurker on this.. (12+ / 0-)

    site, because I'm starting to realize what an important task we have in front of us.

    Great diary, thank you for writing it.

  •  thank you (10+ / 0-)

    i too grew up in an evangelical christian community. I have written a few diaries along the lines of what you have written, only not as well.

    Thank you for bringing to light the real gem in this new poll data. What I don't think liberal, progressive and rational minded people realize, is exactly how powerful the religious right is, not to mention how powerful the mysterious quantity that is religious belief is. There is no greater trump card than religion in American politics, and its power is increasing.

    The danger of course is fascism. That's corporate power allied with ultra-right-wing nationalism and militarism, and legitimized by religion. I know I must sound like Cassandra here, but this is a real danger. If you don't think that Sarah Palin, and even Dick Cheney and Reagan to some extent represent the real emergence of corporate religious fascism, then you aren't paying attention, Kossacks.

    Climate Change? Try Overpopulation.

    by Green Bean on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:03:39 AM PST

    •  And to add to that, (4+ / 0-)

      If you ever get a chance to read a lot of 11th grade social studies essays, you will find that an alarming number of them seem to be getting informed by right wing talk radio, rather than the classroom.

      These people will be voters soon.  Year by year, the numbers add up and to these voters, Sarah Palin might seem like a very smart person.  

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:11:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i was hearing about how the school boards (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        in Texas and California essentially wield inordinate mounds of power in deciding what goes in school textbooks - they are the largest buyers by far. Previously California's liberal lean balanced the right wing in Texas, but since CA is so badly hurt by the recession, voila, the infamous Texas school board gets it their way for a few.

        Thank crap for the Internet, which will finally do away with those nightmarish textbooks anyway.

        Climate Change? Try Overpopulation.

        by Green Bean on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:02:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for the kind words. :) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanF, winterbanyan

      I prefer to think of "challenges" rather than "dangers," because I think that frame leads to more useful and progressive responses. That's not to say I disagree with your analysis - I don't - but simply that I personally try to keep hopeful and focused on positive, progressive ways we can meet challenges ... rather than overcome dangers/threats.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  Always nice to read a thoughtul diary (10+ / 0-)

    Your points about prosperity theology are well taken.  I was mildly opposed to Obama speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast.  Your diary puts it in context.

    It is important to reach across this minority to other Christian conservatives and Christian independents.  The more we get out of policy conferences and into people's daily lives the more relevant our ideas become to them.

    "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

    by Mosquito Pilot on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:03:53 AM PST

    •  Great comment, Mosquito Pilot. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanF, NCrissieB

      It is important to reach across this minority to other Christian conservatives and Christian independents.  The more we get out of policy conferences and into people's daily lives the more relevant our ideas become to them.

      This can't be hammered home enough.  The Tea Party is a dangerous group, but there are plenty of middle-of-the-road people out there we can't afford to turn off by turning on their basically held religious beliefs.  And we need to do this face-to-face, person-by-person.

      Hugggs and good morning!

      "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

      by winterbanyan on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:15:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you, and yes, we can't cede ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JanF, winterbanyan

      ... the whole of Christianity - 80% of Americans - over to the Tea Party GOP. Most Americans don't buy into their perverse theology ... if we offer them a reasoned alternative.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  ABSOLUTELY they're a religious movement. (15+ / 0-)

    Sometimes I think part of the reason the Republicans are so het-up about not paying taxes is because all the other religions have tax-exempt status.

    Living in the South I can vouch that the conclusion you've come to is absolutely on the mark.  It's a big conception that racism drives the South to vote Republican.  While there are certainly still plenty of racists down here (and everywhere else in the country, unfortunately), I can assure you that's not the main motivator.  I know plenty of Republicans who are not racists.  I don't know of any who aren't religious, however, and most of them are extremely religious.   And they've been led to believe that the GOP is the "God" party and that's why they'll never vote for Democrats.  

    Many of these people vote based on only three issues (because, honestly, most of them don't really understand things like economics, health care, etc.), and those three issues are:

    1. abortion
    1. gay rights
    1. creationism being taught in schools.

    And that's it.  The GOP panders to their views on these things and wants to cram them down the public's throats, while the Democrats want to give people the freedom to make their own decisions.  So, the Democrats are the "enemy," because they're standing in the way of the RepubliChristians weilding Taliban-like control over this country.  They think they're right, and they think they know what's best for the rest of us, and so they'd have no hesitancy to turn this country into a theocracy.  After all, they're certain they're doing the will of "God," and they'll support whatever party gives them the most power over the rest of us.

    This is why I work so hard for Democrats and have so little patience for people who want to sit out 2010 because their pet agenda's not being catered to enough.   I don't support Democrats because I think they're so great; I support them because I have a clear understanding of what the alternative is.  I live among these right-wing Christians, I know them, I know what they want to do, and there is no way in hell that I won't fight against it with every fiber of my being.  Theocracy has ruined every country that's practiced it; I won't have it in the country I love.

    And I have no problem believing the accuracy of the Kos poll because it's very consistent with what I've personally seen.  In fact, I was surprised the numbers in the poll weren't even higher.  My mom said that if they'd polled the Republican friends she has on Facebook some of that wacky stuff would have come close to 100%.  I know Republicans are desperate to backpedal away from data that makes them look koo-koo, but, unfortunately, it's the truth.  Like most truths about them, they don't want to face it.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:13:09 AM PST

    •  Thank you for the wonderful reply. :) (3+ / 0-)

      I agree, those are the three Big Issues for the Tea Party GOP, and within their worldview solving those issues will fix our economy, climate, and all of our other issues. We can dismiss that as "insane" or we can recognize their holding that belief - not the belief itself - as a fact that progressive Democrats must be ready to answer.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    •  Thank You (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCrissieB, gulfgal98

      For helping to focus my mind.

      I agree that would be theocrats are a real and present danger to our democracy.

      The Dem party might not be too wonderful, but the alternative is, to me, death.

      Pretty clear what to do.

      "More and better..."

      It's time for the pitchforks and torches! Guillotines are way too complicated.

      by No one gets out alive on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 12:11:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Disagree with how you made deductions from the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hoipolloi, NCrissieB

    poll question about heaven.

    I don't disagree with the major point about how some religions are rotting our democracy.

    But, the actual question about Christians and heaven is poorly phrased.

    Folks, the vast majority of mainstream Christian religions believe that only Christians go to heaven. That's the whole point of Jesus Christ. He died for your sins, and he is the passage to heaven. If you don't believe in what he did, how can you get to heaven?

    IMO, the question is poorly phrased because its redundant. You're essentially asking Christians to renounce their religion by thinking they should answer otherwise.

    The question is much simpler: Are you Christian?

    If you don't believe that the only way to heaven is Jesus Christ, then you're not a Christian.

    Is there any Christian sect that believes Jesus is not God? Maybe a couple, but then are they Christian?

    There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

    by upstate NY on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:21:29 AM PST

    •  The Catholic Church teaches (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder, mHainds, NCrissieB, sjterrid

      that there's more than one path to heaven, and that Christianity is not the only path.

      "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

      by winterbanyan on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:20:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where are you getting that from? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        In fact, for a Catholic, you even have to be baptized and take communion (the body and blood of Christ) and also no commit sins, and confession, for you to get to heaven.

        Pope Pius X put this question plainly. If you are totally ignorant of the Catholic  Church, then you may go to heaven. If only, however, you have received baptism (here he is referring to fallen Catholics) AND lived your life ignorantly but still according to Catholic precepts. At the very least, you have to desire Catholic baptism if you haven't been baptized.

        I have been through this one a number of times before an am convinced that the true teaching says the only way is through Christ, because the pronouncements of those Popes were so long ago in a totally Christian milieu. It beggars belief that a non-Christian--say a Buddhist--would have a desire for Christian baptism. Moreover, if you have heard of Christ, heard that Catholics consider him the savior and one with God, and you rejected that idea, then you automatically do no qualify. You are no longer ignorant.

        Heck, Catholics used to send non-baptized babies to limbo, so why give a free pass for others to heaven?

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:48:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We don't disagree, actually. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winterbanyan

      Yes, the question in the R2K/DK poll basically asked this:

      Are you Christian?

      That along with the response about teaching Genesis as the origin of the universe specified what remains of the Tea Party GOP, and thus my analysis.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  I think the Genesis question is different (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        only because Catholics and Orthodox and many mainline Protestants do accept evolution. Other passages to heaven? No.

        There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

        by upstate NY on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:37:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  But Genesis does explain how God created... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winterbanyan, NCrissieB, DruidQueen

    But Genesis does explain how God created the world:

    QUESTION: Should public school students be taught that the book of Genesis in the Bible explains how God created the world? YES 77%; NO 15%; NOT SURE 8%.

    This question seems ineptly phrased to me.

    Is it trying to ferret out creationist beliefs? Then it should ask whether public school science classes should teach Genesis along side or in place of scientific cosmology.

    The way the question is phrased muddies the water among at least three questions:

    1. Should public school students be taught the bible?
    1. Should students, being taught the Bible, be taught that Genesis explains cosmogony?
    1. Should students be taught in science classes that Genesis explains how the world was created?

    Clearly, number 3 should be rejected. #1 seems debatable, but given #1, #2 seems true.

    Obama is a tool; and I mean that in the nicest way.

    by hoipolloi on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:22:06 AM PST

    •  You may be splitting nonexistent hairs here. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hoipolloi, winterbanyan

      I think the poll question was fair, and shows that 77% of the Tea Party GOP believe Genesis should be taught in public schools as the origin of the universe.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  That's clearly the standard interpretation... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        That's clearly the standard interpretation for non wing-nuts. And I suppose that's fine as far as it goes.

        The hair I think worth splitting or at least being aware of is how this question parses to the run-of-the- mill bible-believing christian who would like the bible to be included in the public school curriculum. Specifically, if such a person does NOT believe the bible should be part of the science curriculum will they be able to answer no to the question as phrased. If not, then the question is not drawing the distinction that the standard interpretation thinks it is.

        Maybe the segment of GOP-identified bible-believers who don't believe Jesus is Einstein is so vanishingly small that it doesn't matter.

        Thanks for the hug...:)

        Obama is a tool; and I mean that in the nicest way.

        by hoipolloi on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 09:52:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The disconnect for me (8+ / 0-)

    is that the central issue for the teabaggers seems to be taxation. Didn't Jesus say "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's?" Didn't he also preach about "loving thy neighbor" and caring for "the least of us?"

    So although they claim to be Christians, they aren't very true to his teachings.

    "It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it." - Steven Wright

    by frsbdg on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:23:02 AM PST

    •  I think they believe in the punishing (5+ / 0-)

      and you deserve to be poor and downtrodden because you are lazy, stupid and "immoral". That justifies alot for an oppressor to keep oppressing whether the oppressor uses religion as a tool or not. It is more than additive since then you can rationalize your oppression using "scripture" as your basis.
      IMO

    •  A common theme here ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe

      ... in Morning Feature has been: "Given any sufficiently large and messy data set, one can parse the data to support almost any argument."

      The Bible is certainly "a sufficiently large and messy data set."

      I agree with you, but please understand that just as you've chosen that verse to support your argument, the Tea Party GOP choose different verses for their arguments. Some religious leaders call it "proof-texting." I call it "cherry-picking."

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  Thanks for this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanF, winterbanyan, NCrissieB, addisnana

    It's very different from the world I grew up in and have always had a fascination, albeit a morbid one, about understanding.

    Our real adversaries are not each other

    by Vita Brevis on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:23:35 AM PST

  •  This Explains love of Palin (9+ / 0-)

    My brother joined a fundamentalist church in college and everything NChrissieB says is true. They tout the seamlessness of their narrative as a plus (nevermind that real life, and the Bible, are far more convoluted and contradictory.)

    These people get marching orders from a few sources--church, Christian broadcasting radio and TV networks, websites like Crosswalk.com, and Focus on the Family publications, and they march in lockstep. There are, however, chinks in the armor. For example, the massive FAIL of a Disney boycott over providing partner benefits to Disney employees. The boycott was quietly withdrawn after Christian families ignored it en masse and continued to visit the parks, watch the films and buy the merch.

    If you live on the left coast like I do, you may rarely or never run into this juggernaut, but it is huge. These are the people who love Sarah Palin. Why do they love her? Because she is using coded buzzwords that tell them "she is one of us."

    •  That's right and when ur listening (7+ / 0-)

      u hear it. My parents taught me a long time ago. Being a black person in the country has to make me more aware of what is "really" going on. I didn't say much because it helps me id people who are like this.
      "code words" have been used for years.
      Like "radical"
      "extreme and extremist"
      "terrorist"
      "liberal"
      "Moslem"
      "Islamist"
      You can also substitute
      Black, Brown, "injun", "jap", or any other pejorative for the word "terrorist" and it starts looking like the United States of white supremacy .
      "For us or against us"
      "My way or the highway"
      "America love it or leave it"
      All designed to paint many folks as other and that the oppressor is the oppressed victimized majority.

      all nice and black and white except there is way more grey that this binary thinking indicates.

    •  Yes, and within that theology ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dunvegan, Caractacus, sjterrid

      ... "one of us" is extremely important. You can get away with almost anything if you're "one of us."

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  Yes, the GOP is representative of Christianity. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FutureNow, No one gets out alive

    I am getting really tired of Christians shouting "we're not all like that" when the preponderance of evidence shows that Christianity has been the primary unifying force of American imperialism and fascism, with some opportunistic neoconservatives along for the ride, for the past 40 years.

    Furthermore, this is merely the modern-day manifestation of an extremely virulent poison that has been in the Christian narrative for thousands of years. See Holy Roman Catholic Church, among zillions of other examples.

    Eventually we have to ask, when hundreds of millions of "followers of Christ" do everything they can to not follow the teachings of their stated Deity throughout history, when are Christians going to clean their own damn house?

    Clean up your own house, and then you can come tell other people how to manage their house.

    We are the briefest, tiniest presence yet we are wholly connected with everything that was, is, and shall be.

    by MarkTrueblood on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:31:05 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this comment: (12+ / 0-)

    We'll talk more tomorrow about how we Democrats should respond, but one thing we should not do is dismiss religious people generally and Christians in particular as "insane" or "nuts." First, the Tea Party GOP are not representative of all American Christians. Second and more important, almost 80% of Americans identify as "Christian." If they feel excluded from the Democratic Party we'll only swell the numbers of the Tea Party GOP.

    I'm a Matthew 25 sort of Christian. We are very into the Democratic Party values of taking care of one another.

    In the regular workaday world, I'm a secular humanist, no prayer in schools, live and let live type of person.  And that is informed by my faith, not in opposition to it.

    When the DailyKos anti-religious people scream at religious people here, it does make us "feel excluded from the Democratic Party."  Keep that in mind; most religious people here on DKos would identify with a social gospel like Matthew 25:31-46, and not with a "all religion is insane and delusional" message as some folks here have said.

    To say that my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

    by Dar Nirron on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:34:13 AM PST

  •  reverend Ike returns!!! (0+ / 0-)

    roll out the rolls royces!!!

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:36:40 AM PST

  •  Let them secede, already (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, FutureNow, NCrissieB

    Here we are, facing the 21st century with the most enormous issues to solve in the recent history of mankind, and yet before we can even begin to begin on them, we've got to get through this massive, irrational, uncommunicative roadblock of tea party republicans.

    Solving the problems is nearly an impossible job in of itself.  How will we ever accomplish this with these lunatics in the way?

    They've given us a lever with which to move them.  I don't see why we don't use it.  The alternative is to spend the next 20 years trying to talk these people down from the ledge, making tiny incremental gains if we're lucky, and striving to pull the overton window just hard enough to keep the whole mess from sliding into a fascist abyss.

    Think of the gains we could have without them.

    •  Secession is not a clean or easy solution. (4+ / 0-)

      Ideological secession, if successful, tends to elicit ethnic/ideological cleansing. If not successful, it fails because of a lost civil war. Color me not on board for either of those alternatives.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  Thank you I agree nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB
      •  Can you be more specific please? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        Ideological secession, if successful, tends to elicit ethnic/ideological cleansing.

        What do you mean when you say this?  That the portion of the country that's left (pun intended) will conduct ethnic cleansing?  Or do you mean to say that the portion of the country that secedes will do that?

        •  Assuming there were no civil war ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... and there likely would be, the idea that there are "red states" and "blue states" is a myth. Here in my neighborhood, the split was about 2035 to 1982 for President Obama in 2008. The county as a whole went for Senator McCain by 51%-47%. Statewide, Florida went for President Obama by a few points, but our state government remains overwhelmingly GOP. So if the Florida legislature decided to secede, or to stay with the U.S. while other states seceded ...

          ... who gets to stay, and where will they be safe?

          Good afternoon! ::hugggggs::

          •  I suppose I was imagining (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NCrissieB

            a different scenario.

            Why would there need to be a war if 20% of the population really does wish to secede, and 60 % wishes they would do so?  What if there were some agreement that those who wished to go establish a Christian theocracy could have X chunk of land and go do so, and the people who inhabit X currently would be resettled comparably elsewhere?

            Then, anyone who submits themselves to theocratic rule would do so out of choice, and the issue of ethnic/ideological cleansing becomes moot.

            The issue exists today in many subtle and not so subtle ways anyway.  If you are a liberal, or gay, or non-white in the heart of bible belt fundamentalist country, you are shunned socially, and shut out of any networks that give you access to business opportunities.  In some cases you are under threat of physical violence as well.  I think secession might actually solve some of this.

  •  What?! Humanity's worst invention is having a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gsenski, NCrissieB

    negative impact?!  Who'd have ever thunk it?  Belief in the non-empirical, impossible, and mystical has a negative impact on beleiver's preceptions and decision making?!  No way!!

    /snark

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:45:19 AM PST

  •  I hope the Teabagger start their own... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martydd, NCrissieB, tardis10

    ...third party.

    Divide and conquer.

    National Socialism is to Socialism, as counter clockwise is to clockwise

    by Carbon on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:45:24 AM PST

    •  That isn't likely. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dunvegan, halful

      A lot of progressives and Democrats are hoping for them to making that mistake, but in my experience hoping your challengers will make an obvious mistake is a poor substitute for planning. They may fracture, but I doubt it and we shouldn't plan on it.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  This Post Reinforces Lakoff (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim W, Stuart Heady, NCrissieB, addisnana

    Democrats, Liberals and Progressives don't listen to the good professor at your own peril.  

    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

    by phastphil40 on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:55:17 AM PST

  •  This goes beyond religion (7+ / 0-)

    to something more fundamental than that.

    For the bulk of the 200,000 years since Cro Magnon man first emerged as a species, survival has been a raw challenge.  Make mistakes, you die.  Very simple.  

    When society began to organize, this was a prime reason.  We live together by disciplined codes, we live.  We fail to do that, we die.  

    What has become more complex, in the last few hundred years is that science and large scale societal functioning has made it possible to alter the simple logic of live vs die.  

    The fundamentalist instinct encoded in religion really is very ancient.  It is a fear than any change, any way that people might allow themselves to be more flexible and creative in approaching the problems of life, will cause all to die.

    In the 21st century, we will probably see this contrast drawn more sharply as billions of people may be at risk from our larger resource usage, population, and climate/environment crises.  

    On the one hand, we have the attempt to use analytical and creative thinking, and on the other, a fear that this use of our collective mind will upset the whole applecart and we are at risk because of it.

    It would not be wise for progressives to fail to properly understand the true dynamics of what is going on.  

    It isn't that people are insane or stupid.  Progressives have failed to articulate a narrative that helps deal with the instinctively understood challenges we face.  

    The narrative construction that the Republicans are insane just fuels the perception that liberalism is just condescension.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:55:37 AM PST

    •  thanks for explaining that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NCrissieB

      the use of religion is to enforce this "fundamentalism" except if you don't change you go extinct.

      •  Actually, that is the real evolution experience (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssgbryan, winterbanyan, NCrissieB, halful

        From what science has been able to put together, there were several variations of the human species populating Africa.  

        But then, there was a catastrophic period, produced by a massive drought that killed off most of the human species.  It is possible that as few as 600 individuals survived to propagate the modern population.  

        The reason they survived was that they learned to adapt.  Instead of the old ways of following game, which was no longer available, some learned to go to the seashore in Southern Africa and gather seafood.  

        This, if you don't change you go extinct, versus if you change you die is a very ancient duality within the human ethos.  

        Progressives learned to go after clams, while fundamentalists preached that following the old ways and praying harder was the way.  

        It could happen again!

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:17:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree to the extent that ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... I agree religion is an expression of basic impulses of Homo sapiens sapiens as  storytelling, social species. But that's a separate topic. It's a good and very interesting topic, but not quite the same as my topic today.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  Actually, it is the same. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NCrissieB

        The problem that we have in analyzing our political situation, especially in looking at the dynamics religious culture brings into the mix, is that we fail to understand the real history of it.

        I grew up in Waco, Texas which is extremely evangelical culturally.  So, as I grew up I felt a need to comprehend where this was coming from.  It wasn't really very easy to come by the information.  Most people are ignorant of how all the dots connect.

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:45:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you! Painting all Christians with a broad (8+ / 0-)

    GOP/Hypocri-Tea Party brush is not only unfair, but counterproductive.  This is so important:

    one thing we should not do is dismiss religious people generally and Christians in particular as "insane" or "nuts." First, the Tea Party GOP are not representative of all American Christians. Second and more important, almost 80% of Americans identify as "Christian." If they feel excluded from the Democratic Party we'll only swell the numbers of the Tea Party GOP.

    Highlighting the disconnect between the values and behavior of Jesus and the values and behavior of the RW is helpful. Name-calling and making people defensive are not effective at changing their minds.

    I am looking forward to tomorrow's diary~

    I still believe in President Obama.

    by Integrity is fundamental on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 07:59:10 AM PST

    •  One could, however, wish that more Christians (4+ / 0-)

      would have the strength of character to engage in public debate about the true nature of Christ's vision and how the fundamentalist sects are distorting the message for political purposes that have more in common with Old Europe.  

      We don't see much of that.  Indeed, it would seem that people who feel that way don't want to confront this publicly.  

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:03:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree. (9+ / 0-)

      I'm an atheist but I respect Jesus in the context of humanitarianism. They have such a disconnect from Jesus, I wonder if they ever read their bible. They treat Christianity like some exclusive country club for white, straight people and Jesus was not an elitist from what I've read.

      •  If you look at the history of Christianity (8+ / 0-)

        and especially at the medieval period and the way it informed the culture prevalent at the time many people who founded America in the 1600s, there are a lot of antecedents that explain our current situation.

        The creation of the modern economy actually begins in the innovation to use religion as a tool of social engineering.  People are still unable to see it.

        First, the indigenous population of Europe had to be turned into slaves that were  the property of wealthy landowners.  Their principle purpose was to be soldiers, who supported the development of large scale economic interests.  

        Indigenous Europeans, like their American counterparts, were independent and oriented around loyalty to their families and local communities, not to a state or to a subdivision of the state.  

        This could only be broken through the power of religion.  This is why there were enforcements that took such savage forms as burning women at the stake and devising the tortures of the Inquisition.  It was all about creating state power.

        At some point, this had succeeded in creating villages where people lived in loyalty to an estate in the Feudal system.  They paid for a place to live by being soldiers when necessary.  

        At some point, the landed aristocracy decided that they could make more money if they got rid of large numbers of peasants.

        So, they created laws that created new definitions of debt and made penalties severe - hanging or transportation.  This cleared the land.  Religion was used to make this happen.  

        No wonder we inherit such messed up thinking.  

        Consider how this way of looking at events leading up to the founding of America is not likely to be taught in high school civics.

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:26:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget the role played by climate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NCrissieB

          and deforestation of Europe in all of this.  The things that happened weren't always conscious decisions.  Depopulation occurred because of famine and disease brought on by the Mini Ice Age.  Deforestation occurred because all the powers that be wanted castles and churches.

          The population boomed for a while during a benevolent climatic period where there was plenty to eat.  Then the soil began to wear out, and ice age moved in and life got tough indeed.  Hence the move toward expansion at the first opportunity.

          "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

          by winterbanyan on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:35:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  deforestation was partly calculated (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            winterbanyan, NCrissieB

            Maybe a miscalculation.

            Indigenous people of Europe, especially in France, Germany and England, were attached to their forests culturally, spiritually and economically.  It made them hard to coerce.  

            Just in the way the US Government decided that killing off the buffalo would bring indigenous Americans to heel, the powers of the time that were trying to create nation states, cut down the forests to separate the people from the land and force them into a relationship with the culture, spirituality and economy of the state.  

            This was a calculated strategy between the religious people who wanted more power, the aristocracy that wanted political power, and those who sought to create greater wealth for themselves.  

            We are dealing with the very same dynamics today.  

            hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

            by Stuart Heady on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:41:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susanw, gsenski

        I would challenge you to actually read the Gospels. There are some passages that do make Jesus look like "not an elitist," and you can count on liberal Christians to quote those ad nauseam.

        But there's a whole lot of the Gospels that liberal fans constantly ignore--stuff like this:

        But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

        - Jesus, in Luke 19:27


        I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

        - Jesus, in John 15:6


        But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

        - Jesus, in Matthew 8:10-12


        The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

        - Jesus, in Matthew 13:41-42


        Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. ... And these shall go away into everlasting punishment.

        - Jesus, in Matthew 25:41, 46


        And that servant [slave], which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

        - Jesus, in Luke 12:47


        And from thence [Jesus] arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

        But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

        And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.

        And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

        - Mark 7:24-30 (italics added)


        And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as [Jesus] sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

        And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

        And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

        - Mark 14:3-7 (italics added)

        Is the genocide Jesus promises in the first quoted passage above "humanitarian"? Is the "me me me me me" sneer in the final one "not elitist"? Don't you just love the drooling (and elitist) racism--poor, suffering Greeks are "dogs," y'see--in Mark 7:27? And does the support for eternal damnation in Hell, or for slavery, in the remaining passages strike you as the kind of thing liberals should support?


        It is overwhelmingly common in forums like this one, but I don't see how it makes any sense for a liberal to get on his/her high horse about right-wing Christians not "read[ing] their [B]ible." There is a lot more ugliness in that book--including in the words of Jesus--than liberals are generally willing to admit. Some of that ugliness is congruent with conservative Christianity; some of it is even more right-wing than modern fundamentalists are. (Jefferson Davis and his cohorts continually pointed out that Jesus was no abolitionist, but even the right wing of modern Christianity has decided to ignore that part of the Bible today. Is it a good thing that Pat Robertson and James Dobson are to Jesus' left on that issue?)

        To a third party who has studied these matters, liberal Christianity does not deserve the pose of arrogant superiority it constantly takes up with regard to conservative Christianity. The Bible is not a liberal tome.


        Now here is a curious thing. It is believed by everybody that while [God] was in heaven he was stern, hard, resentful, jealous, and cruel; but that when he came down to earth and assumed the name Jesus Christ, he became the opposite of what he was before: that is to say, he became sweet, and gentle, merciful, forgiving, and all harshness disappeared from his nature and a deep and yearning love for his poor human children took its place. Whereas it was as Jesus Christ that he devised hell and proclaimed it!

        Which is to say, that as the meek and gentle Savior he was a thousand billion times crueler than ever he was in the Old Testament -- oh, incomparably more atrocious than ever he was when he was at the very worst in those old days!

        Meek and gentle? By and by we will examine this popular sarcasm by the light of the hell which he invented.

        - Mark Twain

        •  Spam (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          djtyg

          You have posted the same spam twice in a single diary, the same spam you posted here in MF before Christmas.

          That is the sum and substance of your knowledge, I take it, since you plaster the same quotes at every opportunity.

          And you are guilty of the same selectivity of which you accuse others.

          "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

          by winterbanyan on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 10:54:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Spam"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gsenski

            What I have posted is evidence that is centrally relevant to the points being discussed. Yes, I've posted this material with some frequency, because the privileged "Jesus was obviously a swell guy; right-wing Christians obviously don't read their Bibles" notion comes up all the time on this weblog. (Very often from commenters who aren't even themselves Christians.) The folks posting it obviously aren't aware that the material I'm quoting exists--and sometimes they're thankful for the heads-up from me.


            That is the sum and substance of your knowledge, I take it, since you plaster the same quotes at every opportunity.

            What a silly inference. Those just happen to be the most self-evidently ugly statements from Jesus in the Gospels. There's plenty more where those came from, if that's what you're looking for.


            And you are guilty of the same selectivity of which you accuse others.

            Oh, I'm slain: you declare me "guilty" of a crime that you have, I'm confident, never objected to from anyone complimenting or promoting a "nice" Jesus or a liberal Christianity.

            I am happy to state that there are passages in the Gospels in which Jesus says things that are relatively benign. I said as much in the comment you declared "spam": "There are some passages that do make Jesus look like 'not an elitist.'"

            Point me to a single concession from those "others" that the Gospels' Jesus had awful things to say as well as nice ones.

            My account of the Gospels' Jesus is that he is a disturbingly uneven character, saying worthwhile things in some passages and then screeching hellfire and brimstone in many, many others. It's all in there; there's no need for "selectivity."

            Now find me a defender of that character who overtly recognizes that unevenness, and mentions it all the time.


            Unfortunately, it seems extremely likely that Kossacks will continue posting comments expressing that Jesus was obviously a swell, liberal guy. And declaring that right-wing Christians are self-evidently not Christians at all... because Jesus was obviously a swell, liberal guy. When I see that happen, I'm going to post comments like the one above again. Because it matters, and because liberal Christianity does not deserve (as I said) the pose of arrogant superiority it constantly takes up with regard to conservative Christianity.

            If you wish, you can continue declaring "spam" ideas that make you uncomfortable. It's a free country.

          •  It's kind of his thing. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            winterbanyan

            He likes being a bully and then cry persecution when you call him out on it.

            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

            by djtyg on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 12:10:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly how (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gsenski

              is posting directly relevant evidence "being a bully"?

              GenXangster posted his/her ideas about Jesus "as a humanitarian" and so forth. Those ideas are notably debatable, and I debated them. With explicit citations to evidence.

              Exactly what is morally blameworthy about that?


              And "calling me out on it"? On what? winterbanyan accused me of "spamming," which is bullshit. I defended myself--and you claim that's unacceptable as well?


              Against your absurd privilege, critics of religion can't possibly win. By your standards, the only acceptable critic is a silent critic.

              In a word, no. Stating, and supporting, ideas that you don't like is not "bullying."

              •  Thanks for proving my point. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                winterbanyan

                Let the crying game begin.

                There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                by djtyg on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 03:06:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I see. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gsenski

                  You are unable or unwilling to explain what element of my presentation of evidence was "being a bully." You are unwilling or unable to explain how my defense of my engaging in a debate was unacceptable. Instead, you smear and run.

                  One of us is acting like a mindless, insulting asshole, and it isn't me.

                  •  Please keep whining. (0+ / 0-)
                    It just proves my point.

                    There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                    by djtyg on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 05:31:13 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

                      it doesn't. You just think your bigotry has some kind of salience outside your own head.

                      The fact that you find skeptical dissent so detestable doesn't mean anyone else should. Or, often, does.

                      •  And that's what I'm talking about. (0+ / 0-)

                        Scream persecution.  It just proves my point.

                        Nobody cares that you're an Atheist.  This could easily be about you going around and telling people about your superiority of The White Sox.  You're just a rude jerk who starts arguments with people who don't want to have one and then calls it a debate.  You could just leave your own comment on the board and leave it at that, but no, that doesn't work for you because then people might not respond to that.  You won't stop until you have your little flame war.  And then once started, you won't stop until you get the last word.  Which makes this all the more fun for me because I'm continuing to respond just to get a rise out of you.  And then when you're called out for being an overbearing, antagonistic asshole, you claim you're being persecuted, having the nerve to compare an online disagreement to what white people did to black people for hundreds of years.  No, Rieux, it's not religious privilege.  It's just you being an asshole.  And I don't know what race you actually are, but comparing an online discussion to the real persecution that blacks went through for 400 years is just fucked.  Even if you are black, that's just fucked.  You're no worse than the Christians who think because a nativity scene in town hall is being torn down that Christians are being fed to lions.  No one's being fed to the lions, Mr. Fundamentalist, you just have a persecution complex.

                        And then when you respond, you make it a point to put every quote from the other guy in blockquotes and put it in bold just to be extra annoying.  Which I guess you think makes you look smart but only makes you look annoying as hell.  And given that you take so much time on every quote, and the fact that you just won't rest until you have the absolute last word only makes the other people realize "Wow!  He must have no life at all!"

                        Your entire comment history is filled with nothing but flame wars you're having with people that you started.  And won't stop.  Because you're soooooo determined to get that last word in so that you, Rieux, can prove to the world that you have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BETTER to do than to spend every waking moment of your life arguing with strangers.  No outside friends, no life, nothing.  Just you and an internet connection.

                        There's plenty of Atheists here who don't have a persecution complex.  They also don't spend all their days actively working to get in flame wars.  You work so hard to get the attention of everyone else because the simple truth is, you have no friends.

                        I know now that you're thinking that I'm just persecuting you for being an Atheist.  No, I'm cursing you out for being an asshole.  Don't believe that?  Go ahead and change the topic the next time you want a flame war.  Go into a pootie diary and reply to everyone who posts a cat pic and mention how ugly the cat is and how dogs are superior.  And then when you're called out for being an asshole, whine about how the world has some sort of cat privilege.  Hell, try it for ANY TOPIC WHATSOEVER.  The next time someone talks about wanting the Colts to win the Super Bowl, respond and tell them that the Colts are morally inferior and that anyone who likes them is an idiot.  Hell, try it in real life!  The next time you're at a restaurant, feel free to tell people about the moral objections you have to whatever the hell they just ordered (of course you won't do this because you don't have the guts to talk to people in the real world how you talk to them here).  The point isn't that you're an Atheist.  It's that you just can't rest until you start a flame war with people who just didn't want one.

                        You're nothing but an overgrown child with a persecution complex.  A brat who feels like anyone who doesn't agree with them must be dealt with.  And then when the other person argues back, you call them the bully and say it's because they don't like what you believe.  No, Rieux, I promise you, it's got nothing to do with that.  You're simply an asshole and it doesn't take an Atheist to be an asshole.  Nobody cares that you're an Atheist, and that's what bothers you the most.  If people really were persecuting you, you'd be overjoyed about it because then you'd actually get the attention that you're so desperately seeking.

                        Of course you're not going to take my advice.  You're going to pick through all of this and respond to every one of the points as though I actually could be convinced of what you have to say.

                        And for the record, when you finally do get that last word, it's not because anyone decided you were right and they were wrong.  It's because they have a life and don't want to spend it all arguing with you.  It's funny that you don't feel the same way about others.

                        There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                        by djtyg on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 04:40:58 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

                          You respond to my 34 words by posting 875 words' worth of personal insult, invective, and generally nutso obsessive raving. I don't think I've written 875 words in a DKos comment in several months at least. (Maybe I'll get there in this one; we'll see.) I really must get your goat, huh?

                          After all that, it's a little sociologically interesting that you think you're coming off better in this exchange than I am. That really shows something about the cultural backdrop you think we're operating with here.


                          Scream persecution.

                          You really need to try to read more carefully. What I accused you of ("scream" is an interesting clue about your own perception issues, but we'll leave that aside) was bigotry, not "persecution." Those aren't actually the same thing. You don't have the power to persecute me. But I admit that this paragraph assumes we're engaging in a careful examination and discussion of ideas, and you have made it extremely clear how distasteful you find that:

                          You're just a rude jerk who starts arguments with people who don't want to have one and then calls it a debate.  You could just leave your own comment on the board and leave it at that, but no, that doesn't work for you because then people might not respond to that.

                          I've run into plenty of Kossacks pushing plenty of religious privilege before, but you are the first (and not just on this thread, of course) who has come out as specifically, openly opposed to debating ideas. You are seriously asserting that "start[ing] arguments with people who don't want to have one and then call[ing] it a debate"--on a political blog--is morally blameworthy. (Last time, you complained that "If someone here has made a differing opinion that [I] didn't agree with, [I] saw fit to argue." Oh, the humanity!)

                          Sorry, but that's just insane. It is the whole point of political blogs to discuss and debate ideas. If some other Kossack sees that I've responded to his/her comment and "do[es]n't want to have" a debate, he/she is perfectly welcome to not respond, and no one leaves any the worse for wear. What in the world is your problem?

                          Then, of course I want people to "respond to" the points I'm making. I post comments about religion because I think the cultural discourse about religion and irreligion--on DKos, or in the U.S. more generally--would be markedly improved if certain things (the consensus definition of "atheism," the ugly things Jesus says in the Gospels, and so on) were more widely understood. And so I point them out. And discuss them. There's nothing actually offensive about that.

                          But the reality about said discourse, as you've seen me point out repeatedly, is that it's riven with religious privilege. And so one sees folks who ordinarily have no problem with no-holds-barred debate about ideas (y'know, they have .sig lines like "There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice") suddenly go batshit crazy when the ideas somebody dares to challenge are religious ones.

                          It's a tendency that plenty of people have noticed:

                          Now, the invention of the scientific method and science is, I'm sure we'll all agree, the most powerful intellectual idea, the most powerful framework for thinking and investigating and understanding and challenging the world around us that there is, and that it rests on the premise that any idea is there to be attacked and if it withstands the attack then it lives to fight another day and if it doesn't withstand the attack then down it goes. Religion doesn't seem to work like that; it has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. That's an idea we're so familiar with, whether we subscribe to it or not, that it's kind of odd to think what it actually means, because really what it means is 'Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not? - because you're not!' If somebody votes for a party that you don't agree with, you're free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it, but on the other hand if somebody says 'I mustn't move a light switch on a Saturday', you say, 'Fine, I respect that'. The odd thing is, even as I am saying that I am thinking 'Is there an Orthodox Jew here who is going to be offended by the fact that I just said that?' but I wouldn't have thought 'Maybe there's somebody from the left wing or somebody from the right wing or somebody who subscribes to this view or the other in economics' when I was making the other points. I just think 'Fine, we have different opinions'. But, the moment I say something that has something to do with somebody's (I'm going to stick my neck out here and say irrational) beliefs, then we all become terribly protective and terribly defensive and say 'No, we don't attack that; that's an irrational belief but no, we respect it'.

                          It's rather like, if you think back in terms of animal evolution, an animal that's grown an incredible carapace around it, such as a tortoise - that's a great survival strategy because nothing can get through it; or maybe like a poisonous fish that nothing will come close to, which therefore thrives by keeping away any challenges to what it is. In the case of an idea, if we think 'Here is an idea that is protected by holiness or sanctity', what does it mean? Why should it be that it's perfectly legitimate to support the Labour party or the Conservative party, Republicans or Democrats, this model of economics versus that, Macintosh instead of Windows, but to have an opinion about how the Universe began, about who created the Universe, no, that's holy? What does that mean? Why do we ring-fence that for any other reason other than that we've just got used to doing so? There's no other reason at all, it's just one of those things that crept into being and once that loop gets going it's very, very powerful. So, we are used to not challenging religious ideas but it's very interesting how much of a furore Richard [Dawkins] creates when he does it! Everybody gets absolutely frantic about it because you're not allowed to say these things. Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn't be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn't be.

                          - Douglas Adams, "Is there an Artificial God?"

                          Some of us call the phenomenon Adams described a common species of religious privilege. And some other folks go a little nutty in the head when you hear us say that.


                          And I don't know what race you actually are, but comparing an online discussion to the real persecution that blacks went through for 400 years is just fucked.

                          You're delusional. I have never "compar[ed] an online discussion to the real persecution that blacks went through for 400 years." Your garbled misunderstanding of ordinary conceptions of majority privilege is not my actual position.


                          And then when you respond, you make it a point to put every quote from the other guy in blockquotes and put it in bold just to be extra annoying.

                          Wow--you find my typefaces blameworthy. I just can't win, can I? It's a good thing you're not being insanely unreasonable.

                          Look, changing typefaces makes it easier for a reader to tell one speaker apart from another. (Do you notice how different your text in this comment looks from, say, Adams' text? Can you imagine that that clarity might be something other than "annoying" to a reader, or to a writer who's trying hard to be clear?) Exactly why do you think your .sig line is in a different typeface than the rest of your comment? Or are you pathologically "annoying," too?

                          And I post frequent quotes from my interlocutors' comments because I am doing what I can to respond honestly to their arguments. I anchor my replies in what my interlocutors have actually written, rather than in garbled strawmen. It's just another part of a commitment to actual, forthright debate about ideas. But I guess we're clear: you find that offensive. (Or at least you do when it's about religion.)


                          And given that you take so much time on every quote, and the fact that you just won't rest until you have the absolute last word only makes the other people realize "Wow!  He must have no life at all!"

                          It's that kind of, er, interesting projection that makes your posts here so psychologically thought-provoking. You really think that that's how our exchange comes off to the gallery--and you think that, after insults like that, I'm the one being the asshole?

                          Hey, to each his own, I guess. I prefer to discuss ideas; you want to wank over what you decide is going on in my head. Again, it's a free country.


                          Your entire comment history is filled with nothing but flame wars you're having with people that you started.

                          Bullshit. I routinely engage in discussion of religious ideas with believers who are capable of acting like mature adults in such contexts. (Once in a while even you can be talked into... talking about religious ideas in a relatively intelligent fashion!) Those discussions are often productive and edifying.

                          Other times, however, believers curl into a ball upon having their ideas questioned and start launching nonsensical accusations and miscellaneous abuse. That's not exactly surprising--when a staunch feminist sticks her nose into a male-privilege-laden forum, one can confidently predict that conflict will arise. Same thing with GLBT-rights advocates and straight privilege, Civil Rights and white privilege, and so forth. When you hold an unshakable belief that (as Adams put it) "Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not? - because you're not!", no extended discussion of that "idea or notion" with you is going to go well.

                          I don't introduce "flame" to these discussions. I merely return it when it's directed at me. Because of the ubiquity of religious privilege, here and elsewhere, that experience is unhappily common. But there's no way to avoid it without falling silent and allowing privilege and its protected notions to triumph. As any activist will tell you, that's simply not acceptable.


                          There's plenty of Atheists here who don't have a persecution complex.

                          Yeah, like me. Your bizarre notion that I claim to have been "persecuted" on DKos is based on nothing but your own ignorance.

                          And of course there are atheists who are acceptable in your eyes. They're the silent ones. The ones who obey your demand that religious ideas never be challenged, discussed, debated, critiqued. The ones who knuckle under and let your arrogant privilege strangle them.

                          For many of us, that day has passed. We're not going to shut up just because we make you uncomfortable. (And cause you to gin up crazy flights of fancy about us.) These issues are too important.


                          Of course you're not going to take my advice.  You're going to pick through all of this and respond to every one of the points as though I actually could be convinced of what you have to say.

                          How prescient!

                          I do indeed have this weird tendency to continually attempt reasoned discussion. I know, I know, you're on record (repeatedly!) declaring your bitter opposition to the whole approach; you evidently prefer brutal insults and bizarre psychological projection. But your disinterest in actual discussion is not going to stop me from trying.

                          As for my intent, I'm much less interested in convincing you (that would be nice, but I agree with you that it's almost certainly a lost cause) than in communicating to readers--and, more than that, conducting discussions in ways that are themselves intrinsically worthy. You throw horseshit at me; I reply with explicit examination of your errors in logic and reasoning. Even if, in the long run, it's all meaningless cries into the ether, it's expression that's worthy of the time and the issues. Life is important, ideas are important, people are important--without any need for either divine sanction or your gracious concession to my arguments. Intrinsic value is real value, and that's one of the most important realities of life as an atheist. We do things because they're worthwhile things to do.

                          •  Thanks for proving my point again. (0+ / 0-)

                            You really want that last word, dontcha?

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 09:15:28 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Is irony dead? (0+ / 0-)

                            After your previous 875-word screed and my point-by-point rebuttal, you post a slim 13 ignoring every single word I wrote and accusing me of "wanting the last word"?

                            Does "projection" really mean nothing to you?

                          •  I already told you. (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't care what you have to say.

                            I didn't even read your long scroll.  Looks like it took a chunk out of your day, though:).

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Fri Feb 05, 2010 at 06:43:33 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Heh. (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't care what you have to say.

                            Yes, you've made abundantly clear that you have no interest in anything anyone says who doesn't flatter your absurd privilege and its concomitant shibboleths.


                            I didn't even read your long scroll.  Looks like it took a chunk out of your day, though:).

                            Of course you didn't read it; you've decided you are fundamentally opposed to conducting an ordinary debate about the very things you decree. But as for the time involved, you (for reasons already addressed) missed the passage in which I spoke to that precise issue:

                            [Y]our disinterest in actual discussion is not going to stop me from trying.

                            As for my intent, I'm much less interested in convincing you (that would be nice, but I agree with you that it's almost certainly a lost cause) than in communicating to readers--and, more than that, conducting discussions in ways that are themselves intrinsically worthy. You throw horseshit at me; I reply with explicit examination of your errors in logic and reasoning. Even if, in the long run, it's all meaningless cries into the ether, it's expression that's worthy of the time and the issues. Life is important, ideas are important, people are important--without any need for either divine sanction or your gracious concession to my arguments. Intrinsic value is real value, and that's one of the most important realities of life as an atheist. We do things because they're worthwhile things to do.


                            I don't expect you to drop your pathetic trollery long enough to read this, either, but the point (yet another one) you're missing is that dancing on the graves of your mistakes, fallacies, and psychological dysfunctions has intrinsic value. Dividing truth from error is an important part of the human experience. So, by all means, keep it up. (Especially if it's hilarious projection like "You really want that last word, dontcha?") Playing the Harlem Globetrotters to your dogged Washington Generals isn't a bad hobby.

                          •  And you keep proving my point. (0+ / 0-)

                            Keep whining and hope you get the last word.`

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 02:08:16 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If irony isn't dead, (0+ / 0-)

                            your continuing "hope you get the last word" comments... attempting to get you the last word... are doing their best to bludgeon it into the grave.

                            You lost the argument days ago. Do you really need to heighten the ignominy with ever more pathetic projection, as well?

                          •  You are a puppet. (0+ / 0-)

                            I am your puppet master.

                            DANCE, PUPPET!  DANCE!

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Sun Feb 07, 2010 at 07:54:30 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, (0+ / 0-)

                            As has already been established, you are a delusional, bigoted troll. Which you are evidently trying very hard to prove here.

                          •  Woo-hoo! (0+ / 0-)

                            DANCE, PUPPET!  DANCE!

                            Keep tossing out the ad-hominem attacks!  You might get the last word yet!

                            Respond again!  I command you!

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 08:00:51 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  See? (0+ / 0-)

                            This is why this is worthwhile:

                            Keep tossing out the ad-hominem attacks!

                            Evidently you don't know what "ad hominem" means. You can educate yourself here. (Not that I suspect that you will.)

                            Calling you a delusional, bigoted troll is not an ad hominem. What's more, it happens to be true.

                            As I said:

                            I don't expect you to drop your pathetic trollery long enough to read this, either, but the point (yet another one) you're missing is that dancing on the graves of your mistakes, fallacies, and psychological dysfunctions has intrinsic value. Dividing truth from error is an important part of the human experience. So, by all means, keep it up. .... Playing the Harlem Globetrotters to your dogged Washington Generals isn't a bad hobby.


                            Hey, though, there's another encouraging angle: your accusation that I'd launched an ad hominem was ignorant and stupid--but it shows that you are reading my comments! We might be able to get some reality into that head of yours yet.

                          •  Dance, puppet dance! (0+ / 0-)

                            I command you to post another comment!

                            I'm controlling you and loving every second of it.

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 10:25:46 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And so (0+ / 0-)

                            you're back to the "delusional" (and away, for now, from the "rant" and "ignorant fallacy") mode.


                            I write and argue for a living. Responding to your emissions is a bit like taking rounds of practice against a tennis ball machine. You post logical fallacies; I return the serve. You post bizarre, endless rants, chock full of crazy insults; I return the serve. You post rampant psychological projection; I return the serve. You post pathetic trollery; I return the serve. The nice thing about a tennis ball machine is that it's mindless and doesn't care how long you use it.

                            I wonder if I can get CLE credit for this.

                          •  No... (0+ / 0-)

                            what it is is you surrender control to me.

                            I make you respond because you want the last word so badly that all I have to do to get you to write a comment is write a reply saying ANYTHING.

                            If only I could make you clean my house doing this.

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:49:26 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, come now. (0+ / 0-)

                            A tennis ball machine does not "control" the player training with it. Delusions of grandeur are not becoming.

                            Just as the machine can go from backspin to topspin, I see you're still in the delusional mode, but have resumed the crazy projection. Only one of us has blathered--Rain Man-style, over and over again--about "want[ing] the last word so badly": you. Accusing others of one's own psychological conniptions is just silly.

                            Me, I'm just returning serve.


                            I'm heartened that you're clearly reading my comments, though--despite your earlier claims (now shown to be lies) that you "don't care what [I] have to say." Now that I've got your attention, maybe we can talk about the several ways in which your January 14 diary was hypocritical and dishonest?


                            Anyway: serve returned.

                          •  OMG! (0+ / 0-)

                            I even told you that I'm responding simply to get you to do it and you KEEP DOING IT!

                            You think this is a debate, when all it is is me controlling you!

                            I was saddened earlier when I thought that you had quit, that maybe you realized that the only way you're going to win is to walk away, and did.

                            I'm glad that's not the case.

                            I've spelled it out for you, and you still give me control.

                            This isn't a debate.  This is about you allowing me to manipulate your emotions.

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:41:12 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  More delusions. (0+ / 0-)

                            You think you're "manipulat[ing] my emotions"? Sure--just as much as a tennis ball machine "manipulate[s the] emotions" of a tennis player.

                            CLEs routinely cost hundreds of dollars; you're giving me lobs that just beg for easy overhead debate smack-downs... for free. This is fun!


                            I was saddened earlier when I thought that you had quit, that maybe you realized that the only way you're going to win is to walk away....

                            Precisely: as you've explained repeatedly, you're fervently intent on getting the last word in this discussion--a need that has turned you into an autonomic tennis-ball machine of rhetoric.

                            As for "win"ning--tennis ball machines generally lose pretty much every point. Which is another parallel with our exchange.


                            This isn't a debate.

                            Hilarious!

                            You have asserted numerous points (including "[t]his isn't a debate"--ha!) that I have directly and conclusively refuted. Which makes it a debate, regardless of your self-serving nonsense.


                            Serve returned....

                          •  Your debate is invalid. (0+ / 0-)

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 04:11:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Misfire. (0+ / 0-)

                            That tennis ball ended up dribbling into the net.

                            As you have now accepted by continuing the debate debate, we are debating. Simply repeating a falsehood doesn't make it true.


                            Serve (weak and half-hearted as it is) returned....

                          •  Fried chicken. (0+ / 0-)

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:59:07 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So (0+ / 0-)

                            we've got a new category: following "delusion" (sometimes with "psychological projection" spin), "rant," and "ignorant fallacy," we now have "half-assed non sequitur," posted merely so that you don't lose the argument in your own eyes.

                            Somehow this reminds me more and more of Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason in The Hustler, but I'm happy to keep smashing your mindless lobs.


                            Serve returned....

                          •  Fried chicken. (0+ / 0-)

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:05:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, yes. (0+ / 0-)

                            We've established that you can post half-assed non sequiturs that do nothing but ensure that you don't lose the argument in your own eyes. Are you capable of demonstrating that you have any more intellect than the tennis ball machine your behavior so closely resembles?


                            Serve returned....

                          •  Fried chicken (0+ / 0-)

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:12:29 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All right. (0+ / 0-)

                            You really are willing to continue posting mindless non-sequiturs, just so that you have a chance at getting the last (empty-headed) word.

                            If that's all you can manage, then we can make this into a forum for responses to actual comments. Not everyone is as disinterested in thought and discussion as you are.


                            There is, however, a religious test.

                            In direct contravention of the First Amendment, several states, including SC, forbid atheists to hold public office. It is written into the state constitution there.

                            How this has escaped a SCOTUS challenge is a mystery to me.

                            Er...

                            It hasn't.

                            In Torcaso v. Watkins, 367 U.S. 488 (1961), the U.S. Supreme Court specifically held that state laws (including state constitutional provisions) barring atheists from holding office violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. One wonders if the current Supreme Court would reach the same conclusion, given the proclivities of five assholes named Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Kennedy. One can hope....

                            It seems to me, though, that the bigger question isn't whether this stuff is constitutional--of course it isn't, as Torcaso makes clear--but why in the world these provisions are still on the books.

                            A very large number of states used to have laws barring interracial marriage (a.k.a. "anti-miscegenation laws"). All such laws were invalidated by the Supreme Court (a much less craven Supreme Court than the current one) in 1967's Loving v. Virginia, but the laws remained on the books of several states even after that. Slowly, states got around to deleting their anti-miscegenation provisions; and finally, in 2000, Mississippi became the last state to take that particular vestige of Jim Crow racism out of their laws.

                            As you've noted, there are still six states whose laws include bans on atheists holding public office. Those laws are still just as invalid (presuming we can trust the Five Assholes) as anti-miscegenation laws were in 2000--and yet few people, even here, seem to be noticing the incredible obscenity it is that the laws have not been removed. Valid or not, the North Carolina Constitution still says that Cecil Bothwell can't hold office.

                            Never mind whether the law can actually be enforced. Isn't it disgusting--and worthy of corrective action--that that law remains in the state constitution at all?

                          •  Fried chicken. (0+ / 0-)

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 11:21:21 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All right. (0+ / 0-)

                            You really are willing to continue posting mindless non-sequiturs, just so that you have a chance at getting the last (empty-headed) word.

                            If that's all you can manage, then we can make this into a forum for responses to actual comments. Not everyone is as disinterested in thought and discussion as you are.


                            Taking Nyquil makes God mad

                            Swindling billions from ordinary Americans to enrich the wealthy he's ok with?

                            no wonder I'm a atheist.

                            Sure.

                            Ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

                            - Jesus, in Mark 14:7

                            "Me me me me me me." Republican economics, straight from the Gospels.

                          •  Fried chicken (0+ / 0-)

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:53:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All right. (0+ / 0-)

                            You really are willing to continue posting mindless non-sequiturs, just so that you have a chance at getting the last (empty-headed) word.

                            If that's all you can manage, then we can make this into a forum for responses to actual comments. Not everyone is as disinterested in thought and discussion as you currently are.

                            Huh?

                            I certainly agree with you that Pat Robertson gives every indication of being a horrible person and a liar, but I don't see the contradiction here:

                            But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle, on the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island.

                            Robertson is making the claim that being poor means that you are out of favor with God, and hence, being rich means that you are in God's favor.

                            Huh? I don't see him making that blanket claim at all. He clearly believes, for specific (if dishonest) historical reasons, that Haitians have been cursed--but he certainly never said all (or even many) poor people share that status.

                            So I don't see the contradiction.


                            Meanwhile, Jesus himself wasn't always so fabulous to poor folks, either:

                            And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as [Jesus] sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

                            And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

                            And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

                            - Mark 14:3-7

                            "[Y]e have the poor with you always, ... but me ye have not always" may not be the same as "the poor are poor because they're cursed," but it's pretty damn callous.

                          •  Fried chicken (0+ / 0-)

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 09:27:40 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All right. (0+ / 0-)

                            You really are willing to continue posting mindless non-sequiturs, just so that you have a chance at getting the last (empty-headed) word.

                            If that's all you can manage, then we can make this into a forum for responses to actual comments. Not everyone is as disinterested in thought and discussion as you currently are.

                            It's not?

                            Well, then, perhaps you could let lakehillsliberal know that his/her comment was out of place. The gracious news that we sorry infidels will have a relatively easy time getting into heaven is not something I introduced to this thread.

                            If you expect that responses to your ideas are going to be limited to notions that you personally find congenial, I suggest that Daily Kos is a bad place to post them.


                            Stop taking a perfectly good attack on the right-wing and destroying it....

                            Ha ha! "Perfectly good," if you do say so yourself, huh?

                            Sorry, but this is not a "perfectly good attack on the right-wing." It's an attempt to distance Christianity and the Gospels' Jesus from Pat Robertson--and that's a far more dubious proposition than you'd like to admit. There is ample reason to believe that Christianity doesn't deserve the distance.


                            ...by complaining about religious differences amongst liberals.

                            Who's complaining about religious differences between liberals? I'm certainly not.

                            I have no problem with liberals having religious differences. I do, however, have problems with bad arguments, and with religious privilege. It's hard to miss the fact that religion is the only kind of idea that carries such a severe presumption that we will all avoid challenging it. But that privilege is unjust and wrong, and DKos happens to be a place where the privilege is (relatively!) weak. Which means that people who disagree with you won't be silenced here. So sorry.

                          •  You're pathetic. (0+ / 0-)

                            If there was any topic of debate, it was that I was calling you a pathetic asshole and a bully and you responded with "no I'm not" in such elaborate and useless words.

                            You've proven that you're a pathetic asshole by responding repeatedly to a man who not only said he wasn't debating at all, but admitted he was only responding to get you to respond.  The same person who told you that the only way to win was walk away.  You're so pathetic that you attempted to debate a man who said nothing more than "fried chicken".

                            So far we've established that yes, you're a bully, yes you're pathetic, and yes, you're so desperate for human contact that you will attempt to debate someone who says nothing more than "fried chicken".

                            Like I said, the one who wins is the one who walks away.  So go ahead and get the last word and enjoy your defeat, loser.

                            Of course you know I won't read it, and neither will anyone else as this diary was long gone by the wayside.  And yet you're so pathetic that it you will still spend your last comment talking to yourself.

                            loser Pictures, Images and Photos

                            There's a voice in my head that says to not be so mean to the conservatives. I work very hard to ignore that voice.

                            by djtyg on Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 06:41:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Fried chicken. (0+ / 0-)

                            Bwahaha!

                          •  But seriously, folks.... (0+ / 0-)

                            If there was any topic of debate, it was that I was calling you a pathetic asshole and a bully and you responded with "no I'm not" in such elaborate and useless words.

                            Oh, you want to relive that brutal beat-down as well? Okay, if you insist...

                            Exactly how

                            is posting directly relevant evidence "being a bully"?

                            GenXangster posted his/her ideas about Jesus "as a humanitarian" and so forth. Those ideas are notably debatable, and I debated them. With explicit citations to evidence.

                            Exactly what is morally blameworthy about that?


                            And "calling me out on it"? On what? winterbanyan accused me of "spamming," which is bullshit. I defended myself--and you claim that's unacceptable as well?


                            Against your absurd privilege, critics of religion can't possibly win. By your standards, the only acceptable critic is a silent critic.

                            In a word, no. Stating, and supporting, ideas that you don't like is not "bullying."

                            As has so often been the case, your nutty insults were wall-to-wall bullshit, and I showed that, in spades.

                            But that was just the beginning. What has happened in this thread is that I have beaten you. Conclusively, abjectly, repeatedly. I have shredded your illogic, exposed your misrepresentations, called out your hilarious projection, and generally smashed every one of your mindless lobs down the middle of the court. And not just on this thread, but ever since we made our acquaintance on your self-serving, hypocritical whine of a diary about how superior a Christian you are to Pat Robertson.


                            So far we've established that yes, you're a bully, yes you're pathetic, and yes, you're so desperate for human contact that you will attempt to debate someone who says nothing more than "fried chicken".

                            You're very funny. "We" have in fact established that your "bully," et al. accusations are baseless idiocy. And if you think this exchange has constituted "human contact," you think an awful lot of your mindless shibboleths. This has been training in responding to absurd arguments--something that's rather valuable to a working litigator.


                            Then, your coup de grâce in your long tradition of projection is calling me a "loser." Sorry, bud, but you have lost--constantly--in this exchange. Not because I'm (supposedly) getting that "last word" that you've made clear is so important to you; that's meaningless nonsense. (As I made clear repeatedly, I kept responding to your dry heaves because it was fun.) No, your loss has been utterly substantive: your every allegation has been thoroughly examined and shown to be nonsense.


                            As I've mentioned, as someone who writes and argues for a living, this has been an enjoyable and instructional diversion. It's not too often that someone volunteers to set up easy rhetorical lobs fit for thrashing--for free. CLEs are much more expensive.


                            So until we meet again--even if that's fifteen minutes from now, if and when you decide to re-start the Mindless Machine--I hope things are swell with you. And here's hoping that the Twins find the Tigers as easy to go through this season as your arguments have been.

                            (It's really too bad you're retiring the chicken, if that is in fact the case. I even worked up a spiffy AppleScript that, at the touch of a button, posts one of our Greatest Hits as a reply to your latest comment on this thread. I only got to use it three times! Curses....)

    •  Thank you for the kind words. :) (3+ / 0-)

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

  •  I'm black but I was raised by a few (8+ / 0-)

    people with that fundamentalist mentality. They reinforced my natural tendency toward atheism because their claims were so outrageous, the 7 year old that I used to be could not longer abide it. I felt that if they were lying about Santa Claus and sex, they might be lying about everything. I spent the next two decades searching for God and it brought me right back around to atheism.

    So, if anyone is responsible for atheism and secular humanity, its THEM, the fundies that spew such outrageous shit that kids with access to any other kind of information will reject it. I went to school, got infatuated with science and they lost me forever. Maybe they never "had" me in the first place.

    Thank goodness for something as simple as elementary school. That's why crazy fundie people are against education. What they say doesn't hold water with an educated and reasonable person. Education and facts are liberal plots. "Bolshevic" plots, if you will.

    •  Gandhi said something very similar: (4+ / 0-)

      I can't find the exact quote right now, but it was something like: "I have no problem with Christ; it's Christians that drive me away from your religion."

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  (((NChrissieB))) (4+ / 0-)

        Hugs back! Good morning to ya. :-)

        To illustrate your point, I love Jesus. It could be the residual dogma left over from my in the closet atheist years but one good thing came out of it and that was Jesus.

        And Ghandi, Jesus and MLK Jr are my heroes. Three religious men. Go figure. :-)

      •  Not a tough Google search. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gsenski

        I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

        - Mohandas Gandhi

        Unfortunately, Gandhi (like so many modern liberals) doesn't seem to have noticed that "your Christ" actually had a whole lot of ugly, violent, and miscellaneously crazy things to say in the Gospels:

        But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

        - Jesus, in Luke 19:27


        I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

        - Jesus, in John 15:6


        But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

        - Jesus, in Matthew 8:10-12


        The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

        - Jesus, in Matthew 13:41-42


        Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. ... And these shall go away into everlasting punishment.

        - Jesus, in Matthew 25:41, 46


        And that servant [slave], which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

        - Jesus, in Luke 12:47


        And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as [Jesus] sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.

        And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.

        And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

        - Mark 14:3-7 (italics added)


        So I guess I agree with Gandhi, too--"Christians are so unlike Christ"; I just recognize that that's a compliment to Christians. Unlike the Gospels' Jesus, none of the Christians I know support slavery, eternal damnation, or genocide.

        •  You don't like Christianity. I get it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          djtyg, winterbanyan

          So let's make "We don't like Christianity" a plank of the Democratic Party platform ... and hope the 20% of Americans who aren't Christians vote more often than the 80% who are.

          Sounds like a brilliant political strategy to me.

          Good afternoon! ::hugggggs::

          •  What? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gsenski

            So let's make "We don't like Christianity" a plank of the Democratic Party platform....

            Who said anything about platform planks? You raised the issue of how swell Christ was. I discussed that issue.

            How can it be acceptable that only one perspective on that idea is allowed in these parts?


            Sounds like a brilliant political strategy to me.

            I suggest we'd be better off fighting religious privilege--the notion that religious folks have an unchallengeable right to demand that no one ever breathe the slightest word of dissent from their religious notions. Why a Democrat saying "I don't think the Gospels' Jesus is a good person" justifies anyone abandoning the Democratic Party escapes me.

            As political strategies go, silencing atheists is not terribly effective, either.

        •  This is spam (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          djtyg, NCrissieB

          You have come in here before simply to post this, disregarding other very important parts of the document you seek to diminish with these quotes.

          That makes you better than them how?  This is simply "Gotcha."

          "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

          by winterbanyan on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 10:33:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it's not. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gsenski

            It is a centrally relevant response to the comment I was responding to. The ideas I responded to are very common on this weblog, and as a result the response is as well.


            disregarding other very important parts of the document you seek to diminish with these quotes.

            Says you. The horrific aggression displayed in those passages doesn't go away just because you think there are "very important parts" of the Gospels that allow you to dismiss these.


            That makes you better than them how?

            "Them" who? I'm discussing a book, and the ideas in it. What does "them" have to do with anything?


            This is simply "Gotcha."

            No, it's a discussion. Is the Jesus character in the Gospels worthy of esteem, or not? NCrissieB, citing Gandhi, argued in favor. I, citing the Bible, argued against. That's not "Gotcha" just because you don't like the contra case.

  •  Their politics informs their religion as much or- (11+ / 0-)

    .
    . . . more than religion informs their politics.

    That is, Christianity in and of itself does not obsess on abortion, on taxes (except by Jesus and in the Epistles where admonishes followers of Christ to pay taxes and not really give a damn about such things), on waging "kick-ass" wars against everybody, on being close-minded and judgmental, on jigoism.

    No, that's the Political Right that obsesses on such things and people inclined (mentally/emotionally hobbled) that way wish to find, construct, warp a religious platform which they can use to justify or intertwine with such a warped societal zeitgeist.  Thus their weird little religious cult is informed and infected by such political beliefs.

    .

    "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

    by BenGoshi on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:11:45 AM PST

    •  I say Amen to this, BenGoshi. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, Dunvegan, NCrissieB, addisnana

      But it is religious fervor driving them, however misguided. <sigh>

      Maybe we should just sit down with them and read the Book to them all over again....

      "No man is my enemy, my own hands imprison me, love rescue me." -- Love Rescue Me/U2

      by winterbanyan on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:30:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, no doubt that they've become co-mingled (4+ / 0-)

        .
         ... and that their politics have become an "Onward Christian Soldiers" crusade.  I'm just saying that they started with ignorance and bigotry and paranoia and greed and wound-up fashioning a ghastly, warped version of "Christianity" as their religion.

         But I agree with you.

        .

        "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

        by BenGoshi on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:40:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's very true, and we'll discuss that more ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenGoshi, winterbanyan, sjterrid

      ... tomorrow and (perhaps) Saturday as the series continues. The Tea Party GOP version of Christianity is a religion customized to fit the specific needs of a political party. Knowing that, and being able to talk it, is how we progressive Democrats can buffer Fred from appeals to 'his' religious beliefs. Because they aren't really his religious beliefs at all.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

    •  Clarification. (5+ / 0-)

      .
      Jesus, in Matthew's (Mark's and Luke's) Gospel, says the famous, "Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar's." (don't be all freakin' obsessive about money or taxes).

      Then Paul, in Romans:  "Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." (NIV).

      Now I'm not the biggest fan of Paul, I'm just saying that if the Right Wing Fundagellicals are going to act all "literalist" about the New Testament, then they ought to be consistent.  That's a pipe dream, of course.

      .

      "I have to go now. I feel . . . sticky." Anthony Bourdain

      by BenGoshi on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:59:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  they have faith that they are correct, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orinoco, NCrissieB

    despite all evidence to the contrary.  They are the core of the GOP.

  •  Totally agree with your premise, Chrissie. (5+ / 0-)

    Fox news has been my in-laws religion for the past several years. It has that same importance and influence in their lives that belonging to a church has-they feel like they are part of a club with a higher purpose...They believe everything that is said on Fox like it is the gospel truth, and you can present them with conflicting evidence, but they don't see it.

    They have been thoroughly brainwashed,

    •  I don't like terms like "brainwashed" ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winterbanyan

      ... even if it may arguably be accurate. I agree with what you're saying, but I've tried to choose my terms carefully today and avoid words and phrases that tend to evoke immediate, unbending resistance.

      I think it's better to say they've been taught and are steadily reinforced in believing a comprehensive, self-contained worldview. Someone who has flirted with or even joined their movement would likely with that description. The other person will almost surely not agree that he/she has been "brainwashed." I think it's better to start from points of agreement than from points of disagreement.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      •  I think your words are more hopeful.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        winterbanyan, NCrissieB, sjterrid

        in discussions about the Tea Party members and are probably correct.

        I was talking about my in-laws-but brainwashed is too strong a word.  It implies forced coercion, and they willingly sit lapping this garbage up.

        Maybe addicted would be a better word. I think a lot of the elderly are immobile and watch tv all day, soaking in all the crap on Fox. If Fox wasn't there, it would be the weather channel, or soap operas in the past.  

  •  cue the torchlight vigilantes singing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanF, NCrissieB

    "give me that old time religion." ala inherit the wind.

    Everybody takes me too seriously. Nobody believes anything I say. - Philip Whalen, The Madness of Saul

    by rasbobbo on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 08:43:29 AM PST

  •  I agree about engaging one on one (24+ / 0-)

    My family moved in with my mother in law while remodeling. We were forced by the length of the stay to remain courteous with each other. This was during the 2004 campaign. I was able to convince my very Catholic MIL that abortion - as troubling as it was to her - was a red herring to obscure many of the other un-Christian positions the GOP was advocating.
    I reminded her about Jesus' concern for the poor, the requirement that we care for the least of us, how the move to curtail/eliminate Social Security and Medicare was contrary to "honor your mother and father". How the Good Samaritan went to extreme lengths to take care of a stranger and how that related to healthcare and immigration issues.
    Really on and on over the course of weeks and  months. And on abortion, which I believe needs to remain a legal choice, I reminded her that while she feels that it was the most important bellwether issue, the GOP was not known for support of the mother and child once the child was born. Nor were the GOP in favor of effective sex education that would prevent the unwanted pregnancy in the first place.
    By remaining calm, but passionate, and perservering over months, I was able to turn a knee-jerk Republican voter into a Progressive Democrat.  IT CAN BE DONE.

  •  You... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zerelda, Dunvegan, JanF, NCrissieB, gulfgal98

    ...left out a biggie:

    America used to be great. We had prayer in public schools, nativity scenes on public property, the Ten Commandments on class and courtroom walls, and we taught God's creation rather than godless evolution. Abortion and homosexuality were crimes, no one cursed on TV or in movies ... and our nation enjoyed God's blessing: social order and prosperity. Moreover, our society was segregated, which presented structure to our lives. Segregation was the enemy of ambiguity.

    Since I was also raised a Southern Baptist, I know where you are coming from.  

    Plus I also know the poll revealed a strong undercurrent of racial bigotry.  Meaning these people really do pine for the days of segregation.

    "[Chris Matthews] is one Bourbon away from being Ron Burgundy." - Jon Stewart

    by wyvern on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 09:03:12 AM PST

  •  they think obama wasn't born here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan, Orinoco, NCrissieB

    so there's no proof of that, so what just have faith?

    The Bush Administration already made a mistake with Bernanke, and the Obama Administration appears desperate to follow suit. -kos

    by vintage clothes on Thu Feb 04, 2010 at 09:08:36 AM PST

  •  I would like to know how the Tea Party Christians (3+ / 0-)

    explain how so many of them are hurting financially, even though they are Christian?

    The problem isn't rich people; a handful are crooks but most are rich because they enjoy God's favor

    I mean, what is their reason for not being in God's favor financially?

    And this is only one among many questions I have.  

    I do not believe that 80% of Americans identify as Christian.  I'd like to see something besides Wiki.

    •  Identifired religious affilliations (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF, winterbanyan, NCrissieB

      Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life - Doing the  math I'm coming up with over 75%

      http://religions.pewforum.org/...

      •  I can't open the pdf, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dunvegan, NCrissieB

        I do wonder where the question about religious affiliations were asked.  If you asked in the bible belt, then I would suspect the stats are right.  

        Doesn't matter, or does it?  The idea that this country is overwhelmingly Christian is questionable in my mind.  I have never had anyone ask me... and it would seem to give the voters in this country who are Christian to continually insist that this is a "Christian Nation".  Just sayin'.....

        •  Survey methodolgy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KayCeSF, NCrissieB

          The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey completed telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 35,556 adults living in continental United States telephone households. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI). Interviews were done in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source, LLC (PDS), and Schulman, Ronca and Bucuvalas, Inc. (SRBI), from May 8 to Aug. 13, 2007. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies.

          http://religions.pewforum.org/...

          I'm afraid this is a situation of what you would prefer to believe, as opposed to the actual facts. Pew is pretty highly regarded for their research efforts.

          •  Thanks for this. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, NCrissieB

            What I care to believe?  I don't care at all.  I think that's my point.  Why should any of us care?  Unfortunately, that seems not the case with Christian voters and politicians in this country.  

            And no one here should assume what my personal choice in the poll would be.  I  won't wear a banner.... because it should not matter.

            •  I didn't mean your religious beliefs (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KayCeSF, NCrissieB

              I meant your (dis)beliefs about the high percentage of self-identified Christians in our nation.

              •  No, it's okay. I understood what you meant. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NCrissieB

                I just don't believe 35,000+ Americans asked represents a clear perspective/poll.  But then I don't like polls about anything.  I think polls are a problem and set a mind-think about many things.  i.e. Markos'  Kos poll about what the Tea Bagger poll believes about our President.  But for these polls taken with specific questions to incite an opinion one way or another, there would be less significance given to the tea baggers.  The MSM wouldn't have reason to talk about it.  We would maybe get on with living our own lives without polls influencing the discussions.  But I know I'm an oddball when it comes to polls.  I think they have become a pox on all of us.

    •  Because ordinary Americans ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... are being punished for our nation's moral decay. It's the same logic that says God destroyed an entire city - including a lot of Christians - to punish the LGBTs in San Francisco (the earthquake) or New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina).

      The god they imagine is to divine punishment as Vice President Cheney is to hunting: don't be standing nearby when he starts shooting.

      Good morning! ::hugggggs::

      by NCrissieB on