Has the Time Come for Republicans to Marginalize God?

church_state1OK, I know that this is upsetting some of you already. You read that headline and the hackles on your back went up. Let me say first of all that I am not saying that the answer to this question is yes. I am also not saying it is no. I am saying I want to have a discussion with all of you smart folks about this. We have been discussing a way forward for the Republican party. I believe the answer may lie in changing the party’s stance in order to re-create the party as one more for the moderate voters in America. And I believe that this question has to be asked as we discuss this subject. It plays into a bunch of platform issues, and the reality is that the vast majority of Americans do not fall into the extreme right or extreme left.

Now before I get too far into this, a request from me to keep the focus. I am going to discuss abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research below. This is not the forum to debate those subjects in detail. I will provide the opportunity to do so in upcoming posts. Please keep the discussion below to the topic of whether the Republican party should reduce the influence of the religious right on the party platform. That is the topic at hand. 

So again, let me say up front that I am not anti-Christian in any way. I think highly of the church in many ways. The sense of community that comes from the church is sorely needed in in America. The charity and good will that comes from the church is the foundation for what makes this a great country. And for the most part I think those from the religious right are well intentioned people who have good moral standards and, although sometimes misguided, theirs is an attempt at becoming a better country filled with better people. For the remainder of this article I am going to take the position that they should muzzle the religious right, just for the sake of argument.

elephants-cuttingBut I wonder if perhaps it is time to consider that the influence of the religious right in the Republican party has begun to do more damage than good. The issues that are at the forefront of the religious right’s agenda are the very issues that alienate so many potential voters from moving towards the Republican party. There is no way to dance around that fact. I know tons of folks who agree with the premise of fiscal conservatism. And they would vote for the candidate that does. But those other issues from the religious right forbid them from supporting the Republicans. I submit to you that Obama might have lost this election if the Republican party didn’t have the abortion and gay rights stances on the forefront the way they do. Ponder that for a moment before you flatly disagree. 

For those of you who consider yourself a part of the religious right, let me spell it out for you. My beliefs: I despise abortion. I would not do it. I don’t know if it is murder, but I don’t think it is, at least not during the first half of the pregnancy. I absolutely do not, however, believe that I have the right to impose whatever it is that I believe on someone else. I am not the judge of my fellow man, and neither is the religious right. Their almighty is that judge, and if abortion is murder, they will answer for it when they face the one who does have the right to judge them.

I can agree that we should take as many steps as possible to limit the number of abortions in the US, but not through the legal system. Ask yourself whether Jesus would have created a law on this issue had he had the power to. I think the answer to that is no. He would have said to teach them right and wrong, guide their journey. He would not have said to legislate it. You cannot legislate morality. You do not have the right to impose your belief system on those who believe otherwise. Doing so goes against everything that our Constitution was founded upon. It goes against the very reason that people fled to America in the first place, religious persecution. 

flag-crossI have no issue with gay marriage. I am not gay, nor have I ever been gay. But I do have plenty of gay friends. Many of them I care for deeply. This is a tough world and finding someone who will be a companion to you is a tough thing to do. Love is hard to find. If you are lucky enough to find it, I say congratulations, and I don’t care if it is the same sex or not. Who am I to dictate love or define it for someone else? I have heard the “holy matrimony” argument and the “God says it is a union between a man and a woman” argument. I simply disagree. 

Marriage has not been a holy institution for a very long time. It may have started out that way, but no longer. Marriage at this point is little more than a commitment with legal backing. More than half of marriages end in divorce. Domestic violence is at an all time high. You know where we don’t hear about domestic violence? In the gay community. And for the record, many homosexuals in America are christians. If two people want to fall in love and spend their life together happily, I am all for it. If you think that is wrong according to the bible, I am all for that too. You get the freedom to believe what you want, and so do they. You can’t legislate religious principles in this country. It goes against the very reason people fled to this country, religious persecution. 

Research and Development around stem cells is not a moral issue, regardless of how the religious right tries to paint it as one. It is a science issue. Embryonic stem cells are valuable to science and may hold the key to curing diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s. No one is advocating killing babies to get these stem cells. But the religious right’s war against stem cell research turns many an academic against the party. 

So that is what I believe. But what I believe doesn’t matter outside of the fact that I don’t feel that the religious right has the right to legislate their beliefs. If a huge influx of muslims came to America, and became the majority, how would you like it if they decided to legislate their beliefs above yours? Would that be OK with you? Of course not. So stop trying to do the same. If gays became the majority of America and made it illegal for a man and woman to be married to one another, you would not be OK with that would you? Of course not, you would feel as though your rights as a human being were under attack, and you would be correct. Now you understand how they feel. 

fallwell-and-roveHas the time come for the Republican party to tell the religious right to zip their traps? Perhaps so. Let’s look at the voting demographic. 20% of the country are hard core Liberal Left wing folks. Another 20% of the country are hard core conservative religious right wing folks. And 60% sit in the middle. Right now, that 20% hard core right are the ones setting the agenda for the Republican party. And the Republicans are getting their asses handed to them. They used to get a much larger portion of that middle group. Not any more. 

I believe that the reason that they aren’t any more is because many Americans have moved away from some of those hard core religious stances. Like myself, many devoted Republicans now have gay friends, and this allowed us to see the issue from a different perspective and it changed our position. Like myself, many devoted Republicans now see the value in freedom of choice and it changed how we view the abortion issue. In fact I think that the religious right pursues many different agenda items that I believe many Americans simply do not support. The Republican party supporting these positions possibly alienates many people who may come their way. Examples:

 

  • Assisted Suicide – There are many folks who simply don’t feel it is our right to stop someone who is suffering from ending their life on their own terms. 
  • Abstinence – The absolute failure of teaching this to teenagers is apparent. Yet the religious right feels this is the only thing that should be taught (perhaps embracing other methods might cut down on those abortions that we hate so much)
  • Anti-Science – The absolute disdain for science is evident in the severe right. The refusal to accept the facts around evolution. Opposition to genetic research and stem cell research. The belief in ideology over science.
  • Censorship – While I see the loss of moral values in today’s media and messages, censorship is embraced by very few outside the christian right.

 

flexing-crossSo I believe that the Republicans should be looking at the possibility of minimizing the influence of the extreme religious right. I think that doing so would put the party more in tune with the realities of the modern American public. I think that not doing so might doom the party to a continually dwindling base of core supporters. The power of this relatively small number of people is disproportionally flexed in the Republican party. As a result, they are alienating far too many people. 

I don’t condone the party getting away from many of the traditional Republican values. Fiscal conservatism should be at the core of the platform. Family values should be driven again as the party has gotten away from that message (perhaps because the traditional family has dwindled in numbers?). Sense of community. The party should fight harder than ever for gun owner’s rights. They should embrace true earmark reform (As opposed to the messiah who’s idea of earmark reform is lowering the percentage of ones Republicans get). They should truly become the party of smaller government and state’s rights above the federal government’s rights. They should remain solid on securing our borders while working to drastically improve immigration laws in order to make it easier for people to legally come to this country. 

Most of all the Republican party should reform itself to become the party of values again. Root out the fraud and waste. Get rid of their politicians who are crooked or morally corrupt. Values are good. Legislating religious beliefs, on the other hand, is not so good. So I think that the Republican party may be better served to get away from the issues of abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research. It would allow many people who are currently alienated to come on over and support the cause. Ron Paul did so, and look at the massive grass roots campaign he got in the Republican party. 

It will surely piss off the religious right. But what are they going to do? Vote for Democrats? I look forward to your thoughts.

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Comments

  1. G. A. Rowe says:

    Once we turn away from religion, we lose sight of where we came from. If we do not know where we are coming from, then we have no idea where we are going.

    The answer to the basic question, in my humble opinion, is simply no.

  2. “Has the Time Come for Republicans to Marginalize God?”

    Nice debate. But, sorry, I still say No.

    “Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for—because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”

    ~~Peter Marshall (1902–67) Senate chaplain, prayer offered at the opening of the session, April 18, 1947.—Prayers Offered by the Chaplain, the Rev. Peter Marshall … 1947–1948, p. 20 (1949). Senate Doc. 80–170.

  3. R. W. Boveroux says:

    Sir:

    In your post you say:

    “For those of you who consider yourself a part of the religious right, let me spell it out for you. My beliefs: I despise abortion. I would not do it. I don’t know if it is murder, but I don’t think it is, at least not during the first half of the pregnancy…..”

    First off, there was a period of time approx 140 years ago when people were holding your position regarding slavery. They stated that they did not own slaves, they would not own slaves, but they were not sure that slavery was wrong. They held to the permissive view that as long as the issue did not directly affect them, they were not going to get into the issue. This was the wrong position then and it is the wrong position now regardless of what the subject is.

    You go on to say:
    “I absolutely do not, however, believe that I have the right to impose whatever it is that I believe on someone else. I am not the judge of my fellow man, and neither is the religious right. Their almighty is that judge, and if abortion is murder, they will answer for it when they face the one who does have the right to judge them.”

    We, as a people, not just Republicans, need to take a stand on what is right. To quote Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Those who hold to a belief in the sanctity of life, the formation of the family as between a single man and a single female, abstinence before marriage, etc SHOULD NOT be judging a person who holds other views. We should be stating, in a winsome way, that the opposite positions are wrong based on a definitive definition of truth and those who go against that definitive truth are doing so at their, and society’s, detriment.

    Finally, to say that a person or persons can not be part of the Republican party because they hold to certain beliefs is downright wrong. Will we as a people say that George Soros and MoveOn.org can not be part of the Democratic Party because they hold very different views then centrist parts of that party? If the Republican party chooses to remove the planks of the party platform that refer to moral issues, then they are going to condemn themselves to a VERY long period of being out of power.

  4. USW, My stances are completely in line with yours. Line for line. It may be a generational thing to some extent. I do believe the hard line stance that the religious right takes alienates many moderates who would otherwise embrace the fiscal conservativism and respect for the military and national security that the Republicans are supposed to embody. If the Muslims had a major party here and pushed their religious agenda, people would be furiously against it, including Republicans. Religious ideology belongs in the home, in the values we teach our children, and in how we live our lives. But the government has no place in enacting laws pushing any religious agenda on me. That being said, the founders did believe that this nation was created out of divine Providence and tenets of our Consititutions are based on Judeo-Christian values. And I have no problem with references to God in national songs, The Pledge of Allegiance, on monuments and documents (like the dollar bill), because those values are interwoven into the founding of our nation from a histprical perspective. But let’s leave the nitty gritty of religious belief systems out of government.

  5. Most people prefer full bodied beer over light beer. What makes you think politics is any different? Why should someone vote for “democrat light” when they can get the real thing.

    In 1964, Goldwater had two slogans, “In your heart you know he’s right” and ” A Choice not an Echo” every conservative or libertarian should adopt the latter, in every race. We have to offer an alternative or we lose.

    I am a fairly conservative Catholic who believes in science and free will. We have the choice of doing what we want with our lives but there are consequences to our actions here and after here. Those who want abortion, euthanasia, gay marriage, had damn well better be prepared to defend their position at a later date.

    The term “stem cell research” is bandied about like “assault weapon”. What we are talking about is creating and then killing either (depending on your beliefs) human beings or potential human beings. Nobody to my knowledge is against stem cells garnered after a child has been born. All science has been able to do so far with fetal cells is create monsters. Since the president announced he was lifting the ban today, the mainstream media has had a field day announcing that Republicans and Conservatives were against stem cell research. It’s amazing how leaving out that one little word “fetal” changes the perception of what is being done. It reminds me of how convenient in the gun control debate it is to leave out the qualifier semi before the word automatic. So, us Conservatives and Republicans are for machine gunning stem cell researchers I guess, at least according to the NY Times.

  6. USW,

    As a follow-up I disagree with your premise that Repubs/Conservatives are having our asses handed to us because of the religious right. We are having our asses handed to us because of GW Bush, Tom Delay, and Donald Rumsfeld. Those clowns, masquerading as Conservatives gave us the mess we have today. The former president, in particular, missed absolutely every opportunity to go “above the media” to the people as JFK and Reagan did by using the bully pulpit.

    Those who would tear down any remaining moral standard in this country are quick to jump on the religious right as a cause. It serves their purpose. Two of my sons turned from the party because they were in the military, saw Iraq going nowhere fast and saw their friends dying. Do they have problems with the religous right? You bet. Especially when a commander says to them we are “Jesus’s Army or Air Force” or when a Christmas nativity Display takes center stage at a forward operating base but a simple menorah is actively discouraged.

    Mad Mom, as much as I love you, We, as a country have had Judeo Christian based values for most of the past 232 years. No, I do not want the government telling me I have to be a Presbyterian. If you cannot distinguish between the founders intent not to have a specific state sponsored religous sect favored, and their very plain attempt to have a country/constitution based on “Judeo Christian” values, then we as a movement are lost and the bad guys have won. Like Orwells “1984” or “Alice in Wionderland” , up has become down, right has become left and wrong has become right.

    Some ask, what would Jesus do? I ask, what would Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin and Washington do? I just can’t see them jumping on the abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, bandwagon.

    USW, no, they won’t vote for democrats but they will stay home or vote for a splinter party. It is our job to convince them to moderate their positions understanding that are lines that sometiomes just can’t be crossed.

  7. I do not think that it is ever a time for anyone to marginalize God … You can see the direction/stance I am taking 🙂

    From my limited understanding people fled to this country for religious persecution as stated by USWeapon, but I do not believe it was due to being persecuted for being a Muslim, Hindu, or any other religion. From my understanding it was due to wanting freedom for Christians.

    This country has been blessed and it appears to me the further away from our religious foundation we move the worse things get.

    mb2
    God Bless

  8. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    With my Dad being a Baptist preacher and being raised inside a church for most of my life, let me say this. I am not a judge. It is not my place, with the mote in my own eye, to be looking for the splinter in someone else’s. Having said that, all you have to do to look for God in this nations planning is look at your money. IN GOD WE TRUST. I know there are some atheists out there who want that removed because it “offends” them. The Problem is, the last survey I heard said that 87% of Americans believe in God. We should NOT let 13% tell the rest of us what to do or say. The 1st Amendment of the Constitution refers to being against the establishment of a state religion, and allows us freedom to worship any way or to whom we so choose. That means, for the wackos, that if they want to worship Mickey Mouse, then that is their right. It may be retarded to do so, but there you are. The Republican Party should NOT remove God from the Platform for the simple reason that He is the reason we are a free country now. However, the religious right also should not dominate the Party. I have read the Republican Party Platform and it is not a religious nutball statement. I consider myself a christian even if I’m not a very good one. My ONLY excuse that I will make is that I am also human with all the weaknesses and frailties that go with it. I make mistakes and do things occasionaly that I shoudn’t and when I get angry I can let loose cussing with the best sailors anywhere. That is called NOT a hippocrite, but a HUMAN. If the religious right want to have their views and their views only, then they should start their own party. Don’t get me wrong, I vote Republican because for one their view on Abortion. I am very strongly against it. To me, this is not a religious issue as much as a moral one. Abortion is MURDER. But, the main reason is because I am a Conservative and of the two parties the Republican is the most conservative. If I could find a Party that was more Con and had a chance of winning an election I would switch to it. For now, I will stick with the Republicans. If their views drive away young Americans, then I submit that they were raised wrong. After all, as John Ringo is fond of saying in his books “a conservative is just a liberal who’s been raped.

  9. Ok, I might end up pissing a few people off too, but here goes:

    Religion has no place in politics. Separation of church and state, while not specifically stated in the Constitution, was mentioned in other places such as the Federalist Papers. The Founding Fathers were wise to desire this separation. Like it or not, it goes both ways.

    The reason it must go both ways is twofold: 1) for the protection of the people from a government that wants to restrict or specify religion and 2) for the protection of a religion from being corrupted by the power of government. You cannot legislate morality and have it mean anything. Christianity is a decision of the heart, and nothing else. It is between you and God. I can understand a strong desire to push for legislation on abortion because, in the mind of the pro-life crowd, it is murder. Murder is a basic law with support from more than just religious principles. Any concept that believes in freedom and human rights will support the idea that murder is wrong and should be punished. Every other religiously motivated legislation or pressure for legislation is a direct affront to freedom and has no business being in our government.

    I will not debate the abortion argument in detail here, as USW requested, suffice it to say that even if I thought it was a justifiable stance for the religious right, it is only one thing in a thousand that needs to be considered, it has been made into a more important issue than it needs to be, to the detriment of our representative leadership. Other things, like marriage, should not be in government at all. A Christian who wishes to protect marriage should be pushing to get rid of marriage licenses altogether and support civil unions for all. Anything else is an affront to marriage. To say that marriage should have any affiliation with government is to say that God and the hearts of those married is not enough to legitimize a marriage. If God is not enough for you, and you must pursue laws to protect your covenant, then you are not acting in faith. Furthermore, before you try to attack gay marriage because it is an affront to your holy union, maybe you should clean up your own house. The divorce rate is as high among Christians as among non-Christians.

    Reach out to the minds and hearts of those around you, don’t use the government to do it. Such laziness is the same as using the government to enforce charity and redistribute wealth instead of following your heart and the guidance of God to decide who you help with your own time and wealth. Ultimately, legislation weakens a religion. It makes it easier to be lazy in your faith. Jesus did not try to change the government. In fact, when his followers wanted him to, he refused, saying his kingdom was not of this world. He knew that the real battles were fought in the heart, and that the physical world where laws matter means nothing.

    I know many Catholic people who are wonderful people. The Catholic faith has done many good things. However, the history of the catholic church holds the key to understanding why there must always be a separation of church and state. Catholicism was started by Emperor Constantine of Rome when he made Christianity the State Religion. He was the one who created the hierarchal concepts that are prevalent in that faith, and he intertwined religion and government. Much was lost in that process, much of the matters of the heart that were rediscovered by Martin Luther and other protestant leaders and founders. Along the way wars were fought killing millions, the inquisition killed more innocent people than the holocaust in the name of God, whole sections of history were rewritten in a skewed manner that is now coming to light, which further damages the credibility of the Christian faith. It is not the fault of Catholicism itself, but the result of combining church and state.

    There is much that must be protected, including the right of government officials to follow their own faith, but it must not cross into law. Laws must stand on the principles of freedom and human rights alone, not on the concepts of religion. Your faith is a matter of your heart, and it is meaningless if it is spread to others through any conduit other than their hearts. The religious right, whether they realize it or not, are harming their own faith and putting it at great risk when they try to legislate their beliefs. There is more on this here.

    So should the Republicans marginalize that group? Yes. They must, however, be careful how they do it, how they explain it, or they will simply drive away that group. The religious right are idealists, and they are many. Also, 75% of Americans still say they are Christians. Only a small portion of those are of the “religious right”, but Christianity is and will remain a major influence in our country for a long, long time. If the religious right is marginalized because of a separation of church and state and because of the urgency of other issues, then the Republicans may have a chance to regain some support.

  10. I tend to agree with Madmom and Jon Smith. While religious morals and principles are good and just, Political party’s must appeal to the majority to have a chance. Too far in either direction usually spells defeat. That is why our current POTUS presented a centrist picture of himself while running. His true colors (no pun intended) are now showing, but that discussion would be for a different time. The Republican Party can embody many of the morals and principles without taking a hard line stance on some of the more politicized issues…

  11. Mr. Smith,

    Everytime I see or hear things like “The Inquisition killed more people than the Holocaust”, I cringe. That one goes up there with the 16 million slaves who died on the slave ships in the Atlantic, which is of course why the sharks to this day follow that route. And lets not forget the famous, 12 times as many people are killed in their homes with their own guns as protect themselves from robbers, rapists, burglars etc. Remember, the holocaust took 6 million Jews and 6 million others. That’s an awfully big number for the 15th and 16th centuries.

    None of those numbers have any facts behind them. Several years ago statistics were released from the Spanish national Archive and the Vatican which showed numbers far lower than even I would have thought. Turns out that most of the body count we credit to “Christianity” actually belongs to the civil authorities for civil reasons. However even one was too many.

    Regarding Constantine and Christianity, don’t fall for the Gibbon trap. Rome was long on its way to collapsing before Constantine arrived. Christianity was also not the first state religion of Rome. Emperor worship was pretty popular as were those circus spectacles which actually eliminated entire European animal species not to mention several hundreds of thousands of people over 400 years.

    I would submit that Laws must stand on the principles of freedom and human rights also. I however believe that these principles are in no small part derived from Christianity. many years ago a good Episcopalian friend postulated to me that Christianity was the first religion that said the ordinary plebe was as valuable in the eye of God as the emperor. That, for the time was a revelation and over time has evolved to in the eye of the state as well as that of God.

  12. I don’t know if Republicans need to marginalize God or not,but I am sure they need to keep their God in their church and out of politics.There is a list of Republicans either on or coming on the national stage that I won’t vote for because of their religious leanings.That list includes Huckabee,Palin and Jindal.There are others,But any of these three running for President would cause me to vote for Obama,and that’s something I don’t want to do.

  13. Ron,

    So, let me get this straight. Rather than vote for someone whose principles have been formed by a deep and strong faith in God, you would rather vote for someone whom I would feel comfortable describing as a secular humanist with no principles at all?

    If that is the case with you, and it is common among people like you, I refer back to my original post. We have lost and the bad guys have won.

  14. SK T Sr.
    I will be cautious of throwing such numbers around in the future, and make sure I at lease cite sources. Not that I particularly trust the Vatican’s numbers either, but even if they are true, and most of the deaths were local and not authorized by the Vatican, much of it was still done and justified in the name of God, and evil rulers held their claim to rulership through some false representation of God’s will.

    I do not claim that Rome fell because of the institution of State religion, nor that Christianity was the first. My point was that making Christianity the state religion was bad for Christianity. It doesnt matter what state did it, or the condition of that state.

    You may be correct that much of our understanding of rights came from a position of faith. I know it did for most of the founding fathers. That does not, however, justify the implementation of matters of religion into law. Social mores have more than enough influence for such things.

  15. Ladies and Gentlemen: Before we go much farther I think we should start checking some of the premises presented. First, the term religious right is a gross misnomer, developed by the far left to portray evangelicals as fascist, because fascists have been referred to as being on the right. Ah but who put the fascists on the right in the first place? It was the far left, the communists and socialists, a long time ago. Left and right imply a scale. So lets look at that scale.

    We commonly put the communists and socialists on the left. So I’ll use that as a starting point. These social/political systems are more appropriately included in a group called “statist”. Those systems that place the primacy of the govt (supposedly representing society, or the people) over its citizens (represented by the individual). In short, strong centralized gov’t control. So if these are on the left, how is it that a system based on central govt control (fascism) can be placed on the right? The answer is it can’t. As you can see, fascism is just another form of statism. If you still aren’t sure let me share a comment made by communists about the fascist movement that displaced them in Italy and Germany. They said it was no big deal in the long run because “through brown to red” (brown shirts to the red of communism). So if those systems whose primacy is the govt are on the left then what is on the right? It is laissez-faire capitalism, a system whose primacy is the individual. Now we have a real scale, with statism on the left and capitalism on the right.

    Now who belongs where on the scale. Our next most favorite pejoratives are Liberal and Conservative. I for one like to stick with the more traditional meaning of words because the lefties have been undermining our language for there own devices. So, a Liberal is one who supports change from the tradition or status quo. Conservatives are those who support tradition and prefer things not change (I know this is oversimplified but bear with me). Our founders were the “Liberals” of their time. They threw off thousands of years of statist govt and created a new system based on individual liberty. The conservatives were those who still wanted a King or some other statist form of govt. By confusing the meaning of terms our modern society has becomed confused as well. Note how the modern liberal is always invoking our founders as a basis for the goodness of liberalism. Hell, they even claim Jefferson as the founder of their party. Despite the fact his party was most commonly referred to as the Democratic Republican Party, at the time.

    So if statism has been the norm for most of our more modern human history then those supporting the premise underlying our constitution, namely the right of the individual over the govt aka society, can not be conservative, they are Liberal. Now what do we do? How do we describe each others positions on the scale? Someone has to move, who will it be?

    I choose to be a Liberal, on the right. Better to be right than wrong. The concept of socialists/communists being on the left is so old I think we stand a better chance of redefining the true, aka traditional American, liberals on the right. So who among us should be on the left or at least more left of center? It is the progressive movement, Mr. Obama, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reid and their minions. This movement is rooted in fascism, tempered by modern American society and allowed power by the erosion of the very philosophy that created America in the first place. They believe in state control of our lives due to an almost religious belief in the ability of intellectuals to centrally plan everything. This was the fascism of Senior Mussolini, before that other nut case came along.

    Now where does religion fit on the scale? In my opinion it depends on which religion you are discussing. The Catholic church of old was obviously a statist organization, maintaining state control over the individual. The Protestants came along and broke the door down but generally replaced one form of statism with another, Church of England, Puritans, etc. Then came America. A country based on christian values but organized on a philosophy placing the individual in the primary position. Yes, this was a contradiction and that is the miracle of the beginning of America. But I digress, in my opinion all derivatives of christianity and Islam belong left of capitalism on the scale. The more state control desired to enforce their religious beliefs the farther it is to the left, towards fascism, socialism and communism. Remember that fascism was not an atheist society and neither were democratic socialist societies that didn’t go all the way to communism (which is atheist based). The govt of our nation was founded on secular principles, not atheism. Time to recognize the difference.

    I think this is enough for now, as I have work to do. But I implore those reading and those responding to consider checking your premise when making claims of a definitive nature. One example is “abortion is murder”. Ask yourself, why? After you have written down your reason then ask yourself, how do I know that? When you get to the point where you can’t keep asking these two questions you will have reached the primary.

    MAD MOM: Please indulge me awhile on this little journey. I share your frustration and desire for action, but it is important that we act from a strong position, one that can not be successfuly attacked by our enemies. I am suggesting we are not there yet and hope to show you why. That doesn’t mean to stop your tea party, just keep listening while you work.

    Love to All
    JAC

  16. Up front let me say that I am not a religious person. Was brought up as a Lutheran, but along the way made my choice of not believing any more. The one topic I would like to speak on is stem cell research, if the cells have been saved at a clinic, etc. for quite awhile and they are demmed too old to be used for having a baby then I think it is very ok to use them for reseach into many fields. It just seems to me if they can be of any possible way to help with any health problem they should be used instead of just destroyed!

  17. In my humble opinion we are talking about morality. Particularly when you bullet point the list of issues that Republicans have taken a stance on. What are morals? Well, from a Christian perspective they are simplified in the 10 commandments and even more simplified when Jesus said to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.” Pretty simple huh? Thankfully as Christians we have a solid, clear, understandable foundation of right and wrong. This country needs a solid, clear, understandable foundation – DESPERATELY. I say don’t be luke warm. Also, it’s not about religion, per se. It’s about God and a relationship with Him, taking His guidance and making a stand on His sovereign will of right and wrong – it doesn’t depend on how I “feel” or the circumstances. Furthermore, Religion is just as bad as politics and it’s man made. (p.s. I do attend church regularly, love it, and it’s because I have an awesome, intimate relationship with God and I love other believers – not because I think church or “religion” makes me Godly). Yes, I agree, keep religion out of politics but DO NOT compromise the values of morality. God helps us if we do.

  18. Mr. Smith,

    Unfortunately social mores seem to shift with the wind these days. the very concept of “gay marriage” thirty years ago would have brought howls of laughter. I am looking for something a little more permanent which doesn’t ebb and flow quite so much. Immutable rules are not necessarily bad. Remember Bill Buckley’s comment about conservatives. “We stand athwart history and yell stop”. You have to show me why new is better. After all, I am a child of the ’50 and know the Madison Avenue tricks about “new and improved”.

    Nanner.

    You raise a problem that I acknowlege and am torn over. My problem is that the researchers will probably say the process doesn’t work because the cells “are too old”. Let’s go harvest some new ones. One is tempted to ask why this research cannot go forward with animal cells and prove its usefulness first. That’s the way medical research used to operate. I suspect that there is an ulterior motive at play here for those who want to jump into the brave new world.

  19. SK Trynosky Sr.—–I don’t care if an individual has a deep rooted faith in his God,as long as he keeps it out of government.The three I listed have shown an affinity for getting their religion and their politic mixed together.With Mitt Romney,I’m never sure,but I’d probably add him to the list,along with others.
    The first brush I ever had with religion in what I considered an invasion of my beliefs was when I was told one day in grade school that the words,”under God”,had been added to the Pledge of Allegience.I resented that then and I still do now.My country had changed my pledge and I didn’t like it.Some religious hard case had entered my world and tried to impose his will on me.
    Jindal,Palin,and Huckabee are known supporters of Intelligent design,or Creationist teachings and I don’t lean that way at all.I think the world has slipped by those old saws.
    If you consider all people with a working brain that gets beyond religion to be the bad guys,then so be it.

  20. I largely agree with JAC about this grand experiment we have called the United States. Most of our Founding Fathers were deeply religious, but realized that religion should stay out of politics. Remember, the separation of state from church (the order of the words matters here)clause was put in to relive the fears that the federal goverenment wouldn’t try to either abolish or change the state churches already established in states like Virginia and Massachusetts. That was all that the language was for. The issue of churches supported by the state (not the federal government) was an issue for the state government to solve. Remember, Rhode Island was established because Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts for his religious views that civil authority and religious authority should be separate and bound by differing sets of laws.
    That said, my PERSONAL beliefs are in line with the “religious right”. I abhor abortion (except under very strict circumstances), gay marriage, and embryonic stem cell resarch. I belive that the religious and civil sides of marriage need to be seperate. Stem cell research is important, but the market doesn’t see the possibility of a reasonable ROI for embryonic stem cell research, so to do it, the researchers have to suck at the government teat (IIRC, adult stem cell research does get some funds from the private sector). Embryonic stem cell research was NEVER illegal, the 2 previous presidents have just said that they wouldn’t fund it. BIG differenece from what the media is reporting.
    IF the republican Party is truly the party of liberty, then the party leadership needs to make it very clear that the ywill stay out of your bedroom as well as your wallet. Stress that their religious values guide them, but do not direct their lawmaking, something that Govs. Huckabee, Palin and Jindal have made very clear. Some may hate me for this, but some members of the ‘religious right’ would almost welcome a christian version of sharia law. That is not what this country was founded on.

  21. Ron, so what if Huckabee, Palin and Jindal are supporters of Intelligent Design or Creationist Theory? Have they, or do you believe that they will try to change the law in their states to direct that those be taught, either alongside of or at the expense of the Theory (yes it is still a theory) of Evolution? If they haven’t, then so what? The same goes for any of the abortion or gay rights issues.

  22. Has the time come for republicans to marginalize God? NO. It is time they present their positions a little clearer. Look at how Ron views Huckabee. He has strong beliefs, but stated clearly that he would not use his office to promote his religious beliefs. He was Arkansas’s governor for ten years and did not push any religion. Palin is also falsely portrayed as being an extremist. She feels abortion should be decided at state level. She favors sex ed teaching to include abstinence, not Bushes idiotic abstinence only. She favors birth control. I do not know about Jindal, but I know about Obama. He supports federal funding for partial birth abortions. He supports children getting abortions without parental notice or permission. Those are much more an extremist view than anyone I know of.

    MadMom, I very much like your thinking.

    USW, I feel gay marriage must be opposed. I have no problem with civil unions or anything else it may be called, and equal rights. We need to keep religion close to where the 60% of us see it, and not let our culture erode any further.
    Ann Coulter claims 80% of our prison population comes from single mother homes.
    We need to be rebuilding family values, and look at what has worked historically.

    Worth reading, Blessings of Liberty, speech by Charlton Heston,

    SR Trynosky
    You are completely wrong sir. Most people prefer a full bodied beer…
    1.Bud Light
    2.Bud
    3.Coors Light
    4.Miller Light
    This might explain America’s march to oblivion better than any other theory.

  23. G. A. Rowe says:

    Again, look at the basic needs of Human Beings . . .

    If we do not know where we are coming from, then we have no idea where we are going.

    You need to ask yourself where you are coming from, and if you can’t answer that . . . And that is the dilemma of the atheist.

    Once conservatives abandon or diminish anything religious, they will lose sight of where they are coming from. Religion equals morality. Lose religion and you lose your moral guidelines, and without moral guidelines you have become no better than the Socialist/Communist Liberals that conservatives oppose.

    I do not know how to put it any simpler than that.

  24. Redleg: you said “Some may hate me for this, but some members of the ‘religious right’ would almost welcome a christian version of sharia law. That is not what this country was founded on”.

    That would put them on the statist side of the scale, also called the Left side.

    Help me out here, I’m trying to start a movement to resurrect our constitution. To do that we need to clearly articulate the philosophy that supports it. It is time we take back the definitions that were stolen from us by the statists.

    However, if we agree on the scale and relative position of players then I would agree to switch ends, if that were more practicle.

  25. On the stem cell thing, the issue, from what I have seen, is not whether new stem cells can be used, but whether government funds will be used in researching them. Am I incorrect on that? I, for one, have zero interest in my tax dollars going to research any stem cell lines, R & D is for private industry, not government. Science is way too important to let government mess with it. If it is not illegal for private firms to research new stem cell lines, then that is good enough for me. I don’t want the government funding new lines, or old ones for that matter…

  26. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    Hmmmm. How do I justify “Abortion is Murder”? Well let’s see. If someone kills a pregnant woman (homicide), they are charged not only with the mothers death, but also with the babys death. How can you charge them with murdering an unborn child but say it is perfectly legal to abort the same child as long as it is done by a MD? If you had ever seen pictures (like I have) of aborted fetuses, then you wouldn’t have to ask me that question again! Abortion is wrongly associated with religion. It shouldn’t be. It SHOULD be considered a moral issue if not an outright crime. One thing that pisses off is that a lot of the Abortion supporters are the same ones who were spitting at my dad and calling him a “babykiller” when he came back from Vietnam. I have heard all about how it should be a womans choice what she does with her body. Funny how folks that say that have nothing to say about that baby’s body. If you want evidence to support my claim that Abortion is Murder give me a couple of days and I can give you a ton of info to support my position. The only thing is, it’s hard to convince someone who’s mind is made up. Including MINE! Abortion is not a choice. It’s a child.

  27. Redleg—-Don’t be so disparaging toward the word “theory”.In science a theory carries a lot of weight.It’s one step from a law.I believe.A law is an absolute ,undeniable fact.Because of all the possible variables,evolution can never be a law because it is not possible to say that everything evolves.Just 99.99999%

    And yes,I believe that the three mentioned would impose Intelligent Design,Creationist teaching at the first opportunity.That they haven’t done so means they’ve not had a chance.That’s exactly what I beleive.

  28. G. A. Rowe says:

    When does life begin? I personally feel that life begins at conception. Why? The cells come from living beings, that is proof enough of life to me.

    Who will speak for the unborn?

  29. Ron,

    Don’t have so little faith in the country. Ain’t nobody, anytime soon going to impose Intelligent design on you. Should we encourage the discussion in schools. Yes absolutely that is what schools are supposed to be for.

    Sorry about the pledge, I was in second grade. Like President Reagan, I always thought that the Creator, whom I believe in, had a special place in his heart for us. Yes, I know that goes against the evolutionary theory but on a warm summer night, lying back on the grass where there is no light pollution, looking up at all that tells me it can’t be an accident.

  30. Ron & USW,

    Funny to be putting you two together. Anti-science and evolution. Evolution is a theory that needs a little closer look. Do you BELIEVE in intelligent life on other planets? Can you PROVE their existence? This relates because evolutionist still can offer no explanation as to how life first BEGAN. How it evolved, yes, began, no clue. So one “theory” is that visitors from another planet left some living organism on pre-historic earth. Another theory is lightning strikes on crystal or primordial muck. Bottom line, they are all just guesses that cannot be proven.

    Its funny that to propose teaching intelligent design is treated like blasphemy, even though evolution does not have all the answers. Is it reasonable for scientist who can’t tell us how it started, can tell us not to even ask if some outside influence could have been responsible?

    I guess it depends on whether you BELIEVE in Aliens or God. But science is supposed to set aside beliefs, and ask questions.

    Suggested viewing, Ben Stein’s Expelled.

  31. SK Trynosky Sr.—–I happen to live in one of those places where there is no light pollution.When I look up I have one thought.The stars I see are so far away and the light I’m seeing left those stars so long ago,that they may not actually exist anymore.I’m more than sure that many of them don’t.They’ve blown up and and long since disappeared.Something on theis planet will see the explosion sometime, millions of years in the future,that marked their passing.

    Is it all an acccident?It will probably be recognized that it is.I don’t know how one goes about gathering facts to support that statement ,but there are people who do,and they will do that.It will take lots of time,but it will be accepted someday.Mere chance.No grand design.No aforethought,Just one little particle banging into other little particles in just the right sequence to create a spark of life.That’s all it took.It may be unique to this planet,but I seriously doubt it.

  32. Ron, I am a student in public college and I am VERY hardpressed not to have liberally slanted classes (requirements) shoved down my throat and basically ZERO opportunity to have any kind of coservatively slanted education.

    It would seem that you are prejudice towards any political candidate who openly professes a Christian faith. So, what you’re saying if they want to be a leader in Governement they have to be dishonest about their core beliefs.

  33. Ron, I can prove Obama’s stance on abortion. Can you show a single instance where Huckabee has tried to require teaching of intelligent design, much less creationism? He was governor for ten years. Never happened.

  34. when does life begin? At conception. How do I know this? I have given birth to 2 beautiful babies who began at conception.

  35. At the moment of conception Amanda had Mommy’s green eyes, Daddy’s blonde hair and many of her own individual qualities (and a future as a toddler tyrant.) Alex had Mommy’s curly brown hair and Daddy’s blue eyes. At 7 weeks in the womb I saw Alex’s little heartbeat.

    By the way, I am anguished to say that I have also had 3 abortions and will always live with the grief that I killed 3 babies. I would rather have 5 children today than that anguish. Thankfully, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus but I embrace the grief and look forward to seeing those babies in Heaven one day. They too had a hair color, eye color and features of their own which will never be realized because of the “choice” I made for them.

  36. I can’t speak for Palin or Huckabee, even though I really like both of them. Being from and living in Louisiana I can, however, speak for Bobby Jindal. He is absolutely the best thing that has happened (politically) in this state for quite some time. He has enacted ethics laws…imagine that in Louisiana! His values are fiscal responsibility and moral behavior. I have heard absolutely no overatures of changing anything education-wise with regard to changing teaching to creationism. When I attended public school in Louisiana, both creationism and evolution was taught. This is one guy I truly believe would make a great president…this state would be worse for the loss, but it is more than worth that sacrifice.

  37. Black Flag says:

    God (depending if you accept a specific definition God) can be proven mathematically.

    If you accept the he cosmological argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe, and by extension a definition of God.

    The basic premise of all of these is that something caused the Universe to exist, and this First Cause must be God. It has been used by various theologians and philosophers over the centuries, from the ancient Greek Plato and Aristotle to the medieval St. Thomas Aquinas.

    Godel, a German mathematician, demonstrated that any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete.

    In particular, for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true,[1] but not provable in the theory.

    In essence, any set cannot contain itself (thus, incomplete) and be consistent. A set that contained itself would be complete but inconsistent.

    The incomplete, but consistent set, therefore must have an unprovable premise or axiom to create the system.

    Think of geometry – I can prove any shape – but not the point, the point exists by statement of “there exists a point”. Thus, the proofs of Geometry is incomplete – we are missing the proof of a point – but Geometry is very consistent.

    So, taking all of this, and looking at the Universe as a set of all physical things. We see the Universe is perfectly consistent. Therefore, by Godel, there exists an axiomatic beginning. Therefore, by St. Thomas’ definition, this is God.

    Sorry, I can’t prove God is anything else, though.

  38. G. A. Rowe says:

    BF

    What?

  39. Black Flag says:

    Judging one’s self from some moral center is a good thing.

    Establishing that moral center from articulated beliefs based on moral thinking over the last 2,000 years is not a bad thing.

    Forcing people to hold the same moral center is wrong.

  40. G. A. Rowe says:

    BF

    “Sorry, I can’t prove God is anything else, though.”

    If it is daylight where you are, please go outside and look around. Explain to all of us here the existence of everything.

    Since, by your own definition, you know absolutely EVERYTHING.

    I still contend that you are a legend in your own mind . . . and that is a compliment, not a put down.

  41. Black Flag says:

    G.A

    I’ll explain it for you.

    God exists.

  42. G. A. Rowe says:

    BF

    See how simple that was? You didn’t need all that gobbledygook after all!

    There is a saying that we in the “Old Corps” used to say. “Believe in the KISS principle”.

    Keep It Simple Stupid!

  43. Black Flag says:

    You know me by now, G.A.

    I’m a guy who says “Prove it” – even to myself.

  44. G. A. Rowe says:

    Who was that guy who used to build incredibly complex machines just to accomplish a simple task? I think I have found out BF’s real identity!!! 😉

  45. G. A. Rowe says:

    BF

    I know God exists, I have seen the evidence.

    Religion is called faith for just that reason . . . Some things in life you just have to accept without a tangible reason. I.E., FAITH.

    Have you ever been a father? I am. I remember our first born, I was standing at the nursery window in complete awe, and my son looked at me and waved. How did he know who I was, how did he pick me out of all the other fathers that were there? That is faith.

  46. To you all above that state that Palin,Huckabee,and Jindal have done nothing in support of Creationism and Intelligent Design,you are correct,as far as I know,they haven’t.The problem doesn’t stop there though.As president they will get to appoint federal judges that can impose either of the two doctrines on cirriculum.Likewise they get to appoint supreme court justices that have long reaching affects on American society.I don’t want them to have this power.I don’t want their religious beliefs tied up in the appointing of Judges.I want judges that interperet law as written,not judges that invent law.This applies equally to both sides of the spectrum.

  47. G. A. Rowe says:

    BF

    In the news today . . .;

    Science can’t say whether God represents a loving, vengeful or nonexistent being. But researchers have revealed for the first time how such religious beliefs trigger different parts of the brain.

    Brain scans showed that participants fell back on higher thought patterns when reacting to religious statements, whether trying to figure out God’s thoughts and emotions or thinking about metaphorical meaning behind religious teachings.

    “That suggests that religion is not a special case of a belief system, but evolved along with other belief and social cognitive abilities,” said Jordan Grafman, a cognitive neuroscientist at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland.

    ref:Fox News dot com

  48. Black Flag says:

    I put little value on faith – which is why I say “Prove it” –

    Yes, I am – and the birth of children is awe inspiring.

    I was internally studying my own instincts – the surge of protective rage surrounding anyone I deemed threatening the baby was …. interesting!

    It is instinct, G.A. – we are animals too. Just like how baby kittens know their mother too.

  49. Black Flag says:

    Yes – what the further found was the faith exposes the brain to the same flurry of cognitive pulses as does gambling – that is, attempting to figure out some predictive explanation for something that is completely unpredictable or unexplainable.

    This is why people believe there are “gambling systems” that work for Roulette, for example, or people ‘picking’ Lottery numbers by avoiding numbers that have ‘come up a lot already’.

    So, faith and gambling act the same on our brain. Take that thought away and ponder it for awhile 🙂

  50. Black Flag says:

    Oh, to be clear, don’t think spirituality and faith are the same thing.

    “Spirit” – our ‘non-material’ self. Science has discovered many non-material effects in our very physical world.

  51. Black Flag says:

    And, sorry for the distraction, my point is already made so I’ll bow out unless conversed with.

    Thx!

  52. Ron,
    So what kind of judges will Obama appoint? Those who see clearly, like him, that the 2nd Amendment is a individual right, that any state, city, town, etc., can modify as they see fit?

  53. life of Illusion,——You know what kind of judges Obama is going to appoint,just as I do.I do not support Obama in any way,shape or form.I supported John McCain in the last election.John is my kind of politician.He’s more toward the middle.Palin was granted to him to appease the religious right.That was her job and she more or less succeeded.Had George Bush been any kind of President except what he was,McCain could have won last Nov.With Bush being what he was,the Republican Party now needs a total failure from Obama to get anywhere again.

    Today’s question is whether the Republicans need to put their religion aside to win elections and the answer is yes,definitely.The religious right is a small party and cannot swing any election by themselves,but they’re large enough to keep moderates from voting for the conservatives.That is their quandry.

  54. Ron: You should spend a few weeks listening to Air America and left wing blogs/videos. I hear them connecting christianity and their churches to the progressive aka socialist/fascist movement all the time. State sponsored charity to conform with the teachings of Christ. The progressives treat their beliefs as a religion. The Greens do the same thing. If you don’t believe me just find a few Earth Firsters and listen for awhile. Yet we don’t seem to be concerned when the Dems put up left wing ideologues for Pres. I’m with Illusion in part here. What kind of Justices is Obama going to appoint.

    We have had alot of strong religious people in Presidency and Congress. Non that I know in recent times tried to force any type of changes in state run schools based entirely on religion. Hell, Orin Hatch a devout Mormon is one of the strongest supporters of appointing Justices based on their Constitutional views. He doesn’t even let abortion in the discussion. Yet every progressive has done exactly that.

    I don’t like Huckabee either, I think he’s a bit of a snake oil salesman and he did talk about putting more religion in govt. I never heard Palin say anything like that. She went to school in Idaho and is Gov of Alaska–neither state would stand for it, even though they are full of “conservatives”. Don’t know Jindal—he’s an Easterner.

  55. USWeapon says:

    OK Everyone….. TAKE A DEEP BREATH.

    Let’s clarify a few things. First, as I stated I don’t want this to turn into an argument about whether God exists, whether abortion is murder, stem cell research, or whether two people of the same sex can marry. You are completely missing the point by falling into these arguments.

    But it is a valuable lesson for everyone to go back to the first comment and work your way down again. THIS is what is wrong with our country, and why we cannot get government to serve us. We lack the ability to have a discussion on the principle of freedom without injecting our personal belief in religion into it. And we lack the ability to remain focused on the task at hand, which is saving our country, not proving our faith is correct. And while I HEARTILY APPLAUD all of you for keeping the discussion respectful, we have strayed from the intent and shown why we aren’t getting anywhere in coming to a common ground. We are not able to even talk to one another without straying to the emotional side of the arguments. FOCUS.

    The question is whether or not the Christian Right, whether they are 100% wrong or 100% right, should be the ones setting the Republican agenda. The question is NOT whether they are right or wrong. So let me clarify my position a bit….

    • USWeapon says:

      There needs to be a clarification here. I do not think that the Christian Right should be silenced. There are some comments above that point to that being what I said. I am not sayinng that anyone should give up their personal beliefs, their faith, or their values. I am not suggesting that the Republican party should shun all christian values. In fact MOST christian values and morals should be the FOUNDATION of the Republican party. But having those values and legislating them are two very different things. I will go further in clarifying when i get home from work tonight. I will adress some of your concerns individually. But the point I needed to make now is that I am not scrapping morality or values in premise here. I am asking whether the hard line Religious Right stance on abortion, gay marriage, or some other issues, get in the way of the otherwise value oriented party in America gaining support from those who disagree on just those issues. And if the answer is yes, should the party change its stance. This is a political discussion, not a religious debate.

      As I say to BF often, give me a little benefit of the doubt here that I am not a devil worshipping heathen who just wants to shun the word God in public. I have, in my own opinion, very strong moral values. Where I question is whether I have the right to force my values on those who don’t have them. Personal freedom is the question. I FULLY support the church operating at its fullest capacity to better the country through programs that build family values, teaching the word of their God, and setting a better example for society. I wonder aloud if they have the right to make their beliefs the law. That is the question.

  56. Black Flag says:

    The question is whether or not the Christian Right, whether they are 100% wrong or 100% right, should be the ones setting the Republican agenda.

    The answer is – if they don’t, another group with an agenda will. There can only be one representation of the party at a time – just like there can only be one color of paint on a wall at a time.

    What difference one group’s agenda is from another group’s agenda?

    It is based on what people believe is right/wrong – and it is subjective, just like favorite colors.

    So, it always will shake down to a discussion of emotional particulars – because subjective analysis tends to be emotional.

    • USWeapon says:

      Now BF,

      That is the kind of answer I am looking for. There is a valid argument that eliminating the christian right’s ability to set the agenda only opens the door for someone else to do so.

      I will definitely be addressing this thought further tonight when I have a moment. I actually believe that it is in the religious right’s best interests to allow someone else to dictate the agenda for awhile. Build party strength using an agenda more moderate, but know that those in a position of power within the party are not going to allow legislation to occur that opposes the religious right’s views. More later.

  57. Karl from the Hills: You missed my point all together. What is abortion? Why (why do you call it that)? How do you know this (what factual information or truths of the universe support it)? What is murder? Why? How do you know this? These questions are methods of testing a philisophical position, principle and ethic which you and others here have taken. You need to defend it based on reason and the use of logic. I take that back, you don’t need to. But if you don’t then you will be caught in the ultimate contradiciton that is causing so much despair among our citizens. You will be defending our constitution and the govt of individual liberty from a position of the altruist philosophers who placed feelings above reason, a purely statist view of the world. You will be standing on the scale I desribed above, one foot on each end and your head in the middle, lost and frozen. When man reaches that state, he eventually dies.

    I am not arguing against your position only that you and others make sure you have truly investigated your assumptions, again–based on evidence and reason as revealed by applying logic to the evidence. Not emotional feelings. We humans are a rational animal that acquires knowlege through investigation to survive. We can not function for long if we rely on our insticts, feelings or a whim.

    Do not assume that I support or oppose abortion as I have done nothing here to take a position either way. Your comment about seeing a fetus was unnecessary and served no purpose except to inflame emotion. A tactic used by those who are struggling with the objective analysis of their position. When that happens it is not uncommon for the investigator to conclude that the answer to Why is Because, and no other.

    And, the issue of aborting a human fetus (note the complete description) is not one of when does life begin, it is a question of when does human life begin. To answer this you need to explore and describe what is a human and when does it become alive. This whole debate aggravates me often because it is chocked full of emotional reasoning, which is the type of thinking that is on the verge of destroying our country, and many contradictions. Examples are:

    If it is appropriate to abort a human fetus created by rape or incest then this is murder, given the defintion provided by Karl and many others. If this is not murder then why is the abortion of a human fetus conceived another way murder?

    If we outlaw abortion then we place the rights of a human embryo, later a human unborn baby over that of the mother. This has the effect of placing the life (right) of a person that might be over over the life (righ) of the person that already is. How do we rectify this with the concept of individual liberty, and justice, where all are to be considered equal, no one person having more rights than another?

    I provide these as examples of conflicts in the right to life philosophy. I can do the same with the right to choose argument as well. The point is that until we are all willing to slow down and do some very hard thinking, using hard core reason, these types of questions will continue to create harsh divides among us. Today the two most vocal groups on this one issue argue with emotion and religion, one uses God, the other the State.

  58. GA Rowe,

    In regards to BF’s penchant for making simple things complicated, I think you are referring to Rube Goldberg. Perhaps BF’s new name could be RG. I’m all for the K.I.S.S.

    JAC, No worries. I’m tea partying away.

    As far as those politicians who support intelligent design, the whole notion is positively ridiculous and there is no scientific weight to support it’s claim whatsoever. Even the Pope has no issues with the concept of God co-existing with the theory of evolution. ID/ creationism is fine for philosophy or religious classes, but it has no basis being taught in science as an alternate theory to evolution. And it is not that difficult to imagine a state instituting rules which demand that- Kansas just went through that dogfight a few years back.

  59. G. A. Rowe says:

    USW . . . Can we PLEASE exhale now? I am turning a little blue in the face here :-0 😉

    The original question seems to be whether or not the Republican party should turn away from the religious right?

    I give all of those on here the following website; http://www.cpac.org/default.asp

    I instruct you to the left side of the page and to the words 2009 straw poll. click on that and take a good gander at the results. It is in Power Point format. Take a good look at what those polled deem the most important to them. To me, it shows that the Republican Party has lost its way. Remember my first thread on this post?

    Once you lose sight of where you came from, you lose sight of where you are going. Religion is basically a way to control your own sense of morality. Lose religion, lose morality. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are all basically still children. We need moral parameters. Without those parameters . . . . . Well look at what has happened to the Democrats without moral parameters. They have a basic disregard for the sanctity of human life, they have lost the meaning of truth, fairness, and national identity.

    Is that really what those who belong to the Republican party want to be like?

  60. Texas Tirrell says:

    Marginalize God? No

    Keep state and church seperate? Yes

    I grew up with a fire and brimstone great grandfather who was a Penticostal Preacher (commonly known now as Assembly God Church), I can still here his booming voice in my mind; his son, my grandfather, was a Baptist Preacher; my mother is Church of Christ, but we went to the Church of the Nazarene while I was a at home. I do not attend church now. My home is my church now.

    I am a spiritual person who believes in God and Jesus, but I do not consider myself to be a Christian, more a seeker looking for the truth. I am human, I am not Jesus, therefore I screw up. My beliefs are between me and God, no one else.

    I do not have the right to push what I believe on you anymore than you have the right to push it on me.

    The state does not have the right to tell anyone who, what or where they can worship; nor do the political parties.

    The religous right, in my view are just as bad as the left and in some cases worse. That is the reason I am not affilated with any political party. I have a mind and do know how to use it, to make my own choices on what I beleive to be best for me.

    Faith and spirituality in the extreme needs to be kept out of politics; however, I make judgements on what I personaly believe to be right or wrong based on my spitirtuality. Such as, treat others as you wish to be treated; He helps those who help themselves, ect.

    In my view, abortion is wrong in any circumstance. I wouldn’t do it. In my view Life begins when the cell first splits. But, I also beleive it is between the woman, her deity, her mate, and her doctor.

  61. I think that I vote with Rowe, divorce religion from culture and you get Nazi’s. Simplistic maybe but if you have been a careful observer of trends over the past 40 plus years that’s the way it comes out.

    I used to explain it to my kids by pointing out that one small change per year over two generations, so small that it’s barely noticed leaves you with a society you can’t recognize forty years later. They disagree but are fairly bright. I would bet that in thirty years they will stand over my grave and agree with me.

    Regarding the I believe abortion is wrong but, argument. I think that you have to try and convince folks that it is wrong. You can’t be silent. They have the free will to decide but as I said before, they better be able to defend their position to a much higher authority at a later date. To be a bit agnostic here, if there is a God, he will judge you for your actions in life. You had better hope that you were right and that you fully knew what you were doing and believed in it with everything you had. Otherwise, eternity is a long time.

    As a beneficiary of sixteen years of Catholic education, I was always taught that creationism and evolution can coexist. Genesis is a nice story told to an uneducated population in words they could understand. Who knows what a “day” is to God? He kinda invented them.

  62. S.K.: I have to disagree with the Nazi and religion comment. This is exactly the type of emotional response I have been railing against all day.

    The Nazi’s were in fact religious, christians to be exact. The rise of the Nazi party had nothing to do with a loss of or even a reduction in religion in Germany. It had to do with a severe economic depression, caused in large part by the US and its allies. I am not saying we created the monsters, just that we helped create the environmet that allowed them to flourish.

    The loss of religion in a culture does not necessarily mean that culture falls into some morally decrepit state. That depends on what it is replaced with. But, nobody here has suggested we divorce religion from culture, only our federal govt and the Republican party.

    I love your small changes over time story. Its dead on as that is exactly what has happened to us from a cultural standpoint. Politically it has happened in big burst followed by alot of yelling then another big burst, 3 steps forward, 1 step back (Wislons programs, then boom & bust, then FDR and New Deal, boom & bust, Johnson and Great Society, boom and bust, now Obama.

  63. Well,I waited patiently for the explanation from the leader and nothing transpired.

    • USWeapon says:

      Ron,

      You said “Well,I waited patiently for the explanation from the leader and nothing transpired.”

      Was that to mean that you were waiting for me to answer a certain question that I did not answer? Or you were waiting for Obama to explain something? I just want to make sure I am not missing something. I know I had planned on answering questions last night but ended up not writing and really only answering that one post from BF before I called it a night and forced myself to bed. 15 hour workday today so I am off to it!

  64. G. A. Rowe says:

    JAC,

    I have to disagree with you. The mainstream religion in Germany at the time of the rise of the NAZI party was and still is LUTHERAN. Luther invented Protestism and the protestant form of religion. Yes, it is based on Christianity. However, it does give a lot more leniency toward personal behavior. I do not remember ever reading about any NAZI being a Christian. Even though my name does not lend to it, I am of partial German descent and was raised for a time in a very German household. They were Lutheran, and I was dragged to the Lutheran church on Sundays for a time. I was Baptised Roman Catholic at birth and attended Catholic school for the first few years until Mom divorced that animal she married. I had been an alter boy trainee for a time – I was the guy that came out at the end of the morning service and put out the candles, and no they would not let me light them for fear that I would burn the place down. 😉

    My statement that religion is basically a morality tool to help oneself control ones morality is based on my 65+ years of life experience.

    I do not care which religion anyone belongs to, or if they do not belong to any religion at all. The moral values that are addressed within most religions are what gives a person moral guidelines with which to travel through life with. Without moral guidelines, no direction. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all would rather have someone to answer to than just ourselves. Religion provides that.

    I have known a few Atheists in my lifetime, and none of them had any solid moral guidelines that they could hold themselves to. Basically, it was an attitude that laws were made to be broken, and if you didn’t get caught – well then that was just proof of it.

    Question – If NAZI’s were Christians, and Christians believed in treating others as they would have others treat them . . . then why did they kill all the Jews?

  65. TruthSeeker says:

    The problem is that the media has allied the church’s beliefs with Republicans. The Republicans haven’t tried to refute it at all. The Republican’s do not need to refute God. But they do need to refute the fact that they use religion in their decision making.

    I am not God fearing. However, if you are, then you do know that God will judge you. I am against getting an abortion. However, I will not push my belief on another person that feels the opposite. Shouldn’t the God believers be contempt that when the people that had abortions die they will be judged? So why make it so vocal when it comes to politics? This is sinking the Republicans because Religion is heavily linked to the party. God will also judge the one that performed the proceedure. Can’t you be happy with that?

    It is obvious that the Achilies heal for Republicans is Abortion. But pushing politicans to choose the side and make it into law is crossing the line between seperation of “Church and State”. You cannot rule a country using religion without supressing the rights and beliefs of others.

    In short, Republicans can be religious all they want, but they need to make it clear that they will not vote for laws that are religion biased. Give people the Choice they want, and if there really is a personal God, they will be judged.

  66. TruthSeeker says:

    OH, and saying that if we had no religion we would be Nazi’s is an ignorant statement. The Nazi’s where very religious. Just because they killed Jews doesn’t make them Atheist.

  67. I think that strategically, as well as in principle, the Republicans need to be a little more vocal and active about the separation of church and state. That, however, is really the only marginalizing necessary. I think most people in this country could respect a candidate who held strong beliefs but didn’t let them turn into a move toward theocracy. Those who fought such a candidate because of a prejudice against his being a Christian at all are not likely to vote Republican to begin with.

    I would like to see the hot-button issues like gay marriage, abortion, stem cells, etc. be reduced in importance. There are bigger issues, or at least a great deal more issues, and so those particular issues, which can be very polarizing, should not be harped on so heavily. The question is, will the other side allow it.

    The LP has a lot of extremists and idealists. There is nothing wrong with that. However, it has caused them issues in the past. Too much talk about legalizing drugs and getting rid of public education and cutting all social programs and safety nets scares a lot of people on both sides of the current isle. Libertarian candidates are starting to wise up, they don’t harp on that stuff as much as they used to. The problem is, everyone who interviews them still does. The media, and any others who feel threatened by a third party, will harp on those hot button issues in order to make them look more extreme and keep the little silly issues in the forefront so that they don’t have to deal with the important stuff on which they are royally screwing up. An LP candidate could easily beat a Dem or Rep in a debate, if the debate only included the questions that are asked of the Dems and Reps. Only, that hasn’t happened because the LP guys get marginalized by the media when they get asked the extreme and irrelevant questions.

    I think the same has happened and will continue to happen to the Reps. The media does not want those issues to be marginalized, it is a tool they can use to make the Republican party appear to be ruled by the religious right, when in fact they are not, and even the religious with influence among them are not all one issue voters. So the question is then, CAN the Reps marginalize the religious right?

  68. Ron,
    Sorry for jumping to wrong conclusion. Last comment on Huckabee, I feel he is an OK moderate, with little to worry us about on religion. I do not like his stance on illegal immigration, so would not support him.
    I believe the republican party should shift to the center a little. Few people like extremists. I think most do not see abortion as simple anti or pro. I have a problem with late term abortions. I would also be against a total ban as advocated by the Catholic church.

  69. Jon Smith: Perhaps the question is really CAN the Repubs marginalize the Progressive Left? That would include the media.

    It is they who keep the isssue alive, it is they we need to marginalize. Remember how they used the “racist” tag this past election cycle. The R’s never killed that snake, they just kept hacking off little pieces of the tail. The D’s would yell racist and instead of screaming BS back, McCain would apologize and fire another campaign staffer.

  70. Karl from Esom Hill says:

    JAC,
    The only response I will make about abortion is the one I made earlier. I do not tie Abortion to religion. To me, Abortion is a moral and I personally believe a legal one. I told you, if you want evidence I cna give you A-Plenty of objective hard evidence. Now, US to get back on your original points, I think the Republican Party should stay with religion in moral issues, but not Political ones. Politics is not the place for religion. That may sound a bit confusing so let me clarify. Republicans should never try to legislate their religious views on their country or state. This is why our forefathers declared a searation of church and state. They did not want a state sponsored religion who passed laws according to what the church wanted or felt that was what should be done. The same way, The Supreme Court should stop legislating religion from the bench. Because their is a separation does not mean that, the majority approving, we shouldn’t have prayer at football games. A while back the courts struck down a moment of silence law in a school system because some kid was offended that the kid beside him might be praying to a God that he didn’t believe in. I bring this up because of the sheer stupidity of it. Is this the kind of nation we are becoming? You don’t even have the right to THINK about God? Where can we go from here but down? I agree that the Party needs to tone down the religious right wing rhetoric. But by no means do I think they need to abandon religion entirely. Doing so to me would doom the republicans just as surely as if they let the religious right dominate them. There must be a middle ground found and quickly. Lastly I would like to apoligize for straying off topic in my earlier post. That seems to happen a lot to me. Most things I could give a rats A__ about, but there are a few that just chap my behind.

  71. G.A.: The Lutherans and all other protestant churches are christians. They simply split from the overbearing and oppressive interpretations and dictates of the Catholic church of the time. You agree with this point then disagree that the Nazi’s were christian. I don’t understand your argument at all.

    Lets take a different approach. What happened in Germany and Russia is evidence that religion can not prevent, by itself, the ascendancy of dictators and other tyrants to power. Especially when they figure out how to use that religion to further political goals.

    I agree that religions act to create and support moral behavior. I disagree that religion is the only way to get there. I also have known many atheists and most were among the most moral people I have ever met. Some were as you described just as many “religious” folks are also.

  72. JAC,
    Agreed. The Rs and the LPs need to marginalize the media. That is where both are getting stonewalled.

  73. Ah, some stimulating conversation because of the Nazi comment.

    Christianity was obviously the main faith of Germany split between Luthernism and Catholicism. The problem was when a political movement, Nazism, supplanted ordinary religion.

    Look at the trappings of those rally’s at Nurenberg. Look at the symbolism, the Swastika and Eagle were everywhere. They supplanted the cross. Watch the “Triumph of the Will”. Obviously ordinary religion was not doing it for the Germans so they went for an extraordinary CULT of the leader religion. I love watching the SS take the blood oath holding the hem of the flag. We Catholics could never have topped that. The communists were not particularly different. They too had a cult of the leader, their own pantheon of saints. To this day, is Che anything less than a saint? I see him on more shirts than Jesus.

    The new religion preached science and logic and yes, it is logical to liquidate the retarded or physically defective. Very logical indeed, just look at how much money it saves. Look at what a poor quality of life they would have had. All this was made possible by downgrading Christianity to mumbo jumbo. Once you had accomplished that, you could and did do whatever you wanted with morality. I believe it was pastor Bonhoffer who made the famous comment that when they came for the Jews I did nothing because I wasn’t Jewish, when they came for the trade unionists I did nothing because I wasn’t a unionist……. When they came for me nobody did anything because there wasn’t anyone left. Plays nicely with Edmund Burke’s comment about evil triumphing doesn’t it?

    Are Athiests Moral? Of course they are, some of them, probably even the majority. But like modern day “liberal” judges, they see the rules as fluid, out of step with modernism, things that need to be tinkered with from time to time. If you are a religious person, rules are rules. The only caveat I have with that is how literal should you be. If the old testament says to stone the adulterer, Jesus says to forgive him/her but Jesus also says to them to go and sin no more. This quite possibly indicates a judgemental Jesus.

    Maybe I’m getting too far afield here but I’d like to point out how the modern environmental movement is taking on cult-religious trappings. Disagreeing with them is classified as heresy and if you have been paying attention disagreeing has led some of them (think the head of NASA) to want to put you in prison for re-education. You cannot question the orthodoxy. If the “science” of Global warming doesn’t fit anymore, change it to the “science” of Climate change. Scientists have become high priests, and politicians are welcome to become acolytes. I think back to a book I read some 30 years ago by D. Keith Mano called “The Bridge”. Written in the early seventies, the novel postulated a society run by people slightly to the left of PETA.

    Now, as absurd as that sounded thirty years ago, it is no longer quite so absurd. Just look at what they are teaching your kids in school. Not to ruin the ending for you, getting there is all the fun, the government in the end decides that the only way for man to not ruin the planet is to self exterminate and so orders. If Muslims can have suicide bombers, the Japanese Kamakazes,the Germans the SS, why not a future world government with the authority to order mass extermination?. All for the greater “moral” good of course.

  74. G. A. Rowe says:

    SK Trynosky Sr.

    Your post, strangely enough, makes more sense to me than most of the others here. We do face a danger of replacing a religious icon (Jesus) with a leader icon (Obama). That was what was done in Germany. Hitler became the “new” Jesus. I suppose that Stalin had the same role in Russia. It really didn’t take that long for Communism to start falling apart after Stalin died.

    I still stand by my statement that religion provides a tool for basic individual morality. Without a base standard for morality, one cannot set moral limits either high or low. Since our judicial system is set for periodical change on the whims of the judiciary, we cannot set law as a moral standard. Even among religious groups there is way too much fluidity in moral standards when one person becomes a “Jesus like” figurehead. David Koresh and Jim Jones are prime examples. I suppose what I am trying to get across is that we human beings have to have some sort of measuring device that is a constant factor in setting our moral standards, and that basic religious teachings set that standard. I hope I have made some sense here with this.

  75. Rowe,

    Right on!

    I have never seen anything wrong with the ten commandments or the beatitudes for that matter.

  76. First, God and religion are two different things. Marginalize God – NOT. Marginalize religion from politics – ABSOLUTELY YES.

    John McCain was doomed until he participated in the Rick Warren discussions. I don’t think he lost his “base” of middle of the road conservatives because of that showing but he gained a lot of support from further right.

    Sarah Palin,clearly energized the right -which is considered the Republican “base” – McCain was acutally ahead in the polls after the RNC.

    Bottom line – when I look at these above factors and the fact that John McCain DID NOT lose by that much, considering what a crummy campaign he ran and how ridiculously outspent he was; I believe the Republican base should not “marginalize God”, as you put it. BUT Religion does not need to be part of the discussion, really, and why is it? This is what we believe: right to life, marriage between a man and woman, etc. etc. As a Republican this is what we stand on. Do we or do we not stand on those things? Is that actually the question?? There are people who are not religious, as shown in these posts, that have these stances. Why does religion have to be a factor? Why do we have to justify what we are taking a stand on based on anything other than this is part of our political platform ALONG with fiscal conservative policy, free markets, etc.

    So, marginalize religion? (your title is mis-leading – to marginalize God is what is creating the emotional uproar) – why is religion a factor? Yes – marginalize religion, absolutely separate church from state for both of their sakes! Take a stand on what we believe is morally right on all fronts – whether it’s life, marriage, fiscal policy, poverty, immigration, etc. Our moral stance IS based on a faith in God, granted, but it doesn’t need to be apologized for or rationalized, justified or marginalized. If a candidate is questioned about their religious beliefs the answer should be “what does it matter”?

    • USWeapon says:

      Cynthia,

      You wrote: Why does religion have to be a factor? Why do we have to justify what we are taking a stand on based on anything other than this is part of our political platform ALONG with fiscal conservative policy, free markets, etc.

      Because the only reason that people have these views is because of religion. They offer no basis for why the view of marriage is between a man and a woman other than religion. Perhaps the party can run on a platform against gay marriage if they can produce any sane reason why it is wrong besides because a religious book says it is wrong. And many in moderate America do not believe gay marriage is wrong, just different. Hence why they do not vote Republican, because it is a hot button topic for them. So they vote for a Democrat because that topic of gay marriage matters, even though they would prefer fiscal conservatism and free markets. You lose a voter that would agree with 90% of your agenda over one item. Hence why I wrote this post in the first place.

      Yes the title is a bit misleading. Go back and see others, that is my style. A post with a radical title that draws attention followed by a sane explanation of my points. I don’t see any harm in it.

      A candidate cannot answer “what does it matter” when he or she intends to offer legislation or appoint judges that will affect legislation, and that legislation will be driven by religious belief. At that point, it does matter.

      Thanks for your comments.

  77. My rights end where your nose begins…the problem is that while tring to be “center of the road” we are infringing on other peoples rights….mainly the Christains. As our government trys to dictate to groups what they can and cannot do in the name of being politically correct they trample the rights of the group to choose who shall participate….the Boys Scouts of America for instance. If I do not believe in abortion on religious grounds then why should I be forced to pay for one or administer one. The problem is not as clear cut as it seems.
    Abortion, I believe it is wrong. DO I have the right to prevent you from having one, no. But do not ask me to pay for it or force me to administer it. It also creates another problem…if it is double murder to take the life of a pregant woman but not murder to take just the life of the child?
    Gay marriage, yes I believe it is wrong to condone that kind of life style…but do I have the right to forbid someone from living that life style if they choose? No. But as an Christain employer should I be made to acknowledge a union I believe is wrong? Should I be forced to pay for insurance or any other benefit if I do not agree with the gay union? No.
    Assisted suicide, We shoot horses don’t we? I have yet to figure out why we tried to prolong life of a sick human but a sick animal we will put down to end their suffering. Same argument is why should some one else pay for it or administer it if they do not agree with it.
    Censorship, yes freely accessed TV, internet and radio stations need to be censored…..not because of adults but because of chilren. Foul language and trash needs to be kept to channels with special access. To prevent marring young minds. What an adult does in their own home is not for me to control but young children or adults who choose not to watch or listen to trash should not be subjected to it when flipping through channels.
    Is the moral fiber of America going down hill? Yes! As Christains do we have to participate in this world? No not unless they continue to force it down our throats.
    That is the problem…..liberals want to force conservatives to adhere to their rights while trampling ours and for most of the religious right that is the problem. The liberals don’t want to be middle ground they want to be the ground, thereby forcing Christains to partcipate in things they believe to be wrong.

    • USWeapon says:

      That is the problem…..liberals want to force conservatives to adhere to their rights while trampling ours and for most of the religious right that is the problem. The liberals don’t want to be middle ground they want to be the ground, thereby forcing Christains to partcipate in things they believe to be wrong.

      I hope you are not grouping me with liberals…. because I certainly don’t want the liberal standard either. I do not believe that Christians should have the right to tell people what to do. I do not believe that the liberals should be able to tell christians what to do either. I abhor many liberal policies and am far more conservative. The question was asked because I would like to see more Christian values believed, just not legislated.

  78. Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Unless someone changed this Amendment our government does not have the right to force a Religious hospital to give abortions, or force a Doctor who on relgious grounds refuses to give abortions or assist suicide to do so….even if they take government money…ie medicare.
    Our government does not have the right to refuse a teacher or court or anyone else the right to pray when and where they choose even if they take government money….ie salaries. That does not give anyone the right to force prayer on anyone, But if it is forbidden the 1st amendment actually forbids the government judical system from sticking their nose into the free exercise thereof. Yet they have done it so many times with their rules and laws that the Christans are no longer free to exercise their rights….they have been stolen from them. The far left can not get what they want unless they step on the people from the center all the way to the far right. There is no middle with them. They want their rights and your rights to.
    No the conservatives should not tame the far right. They should continue to take the stance that they are tired of their rights being trampled into the ground. At the rate we are going the vegetarians will take my rights to own a cow because it offends them that I eat meat.

    • USWeapon says:

      Amazed1,

      Christians can stand their ground. I wouldn’t take that away from them. And they can continue to lose elections because they polarize many moderate folks in the middle. Or they can soften their stance politically (not personally) and gain power back, thus getting government representation back in their favor. They stand their ground, they lose and liberals take power and enact liberal laws. How is that working our for christians in America today?

      Or they soften their stance. Tell America the Republican party includes Christians who believe abortion is wrong, but that the Republican party also understands that many Americans disagree. Tell Americans that the Republican party will not attempt to legislate a ban on abortions, but will be against them. At that point you haven’t violated your principles, and furthermore they are within the 1st amendment as you posted it. No laws respecting establishment of religion, including abortion banning, which for most is a religious belief.

  79. No USW, I was not grouping any particular person as a liberal or far left. Sorry if I gave that impression surely was not intentional.
    Maybe it should not be a religious political stance to begin with. Moral yes. But I really do understand the fear of losing our ability to control our own moral fiber wether you use religious grounds or moral grounds. When you back people into corners they tend to come out fighting and I believe that is what has caused the far left and far right. When people get backed into corners their prospect narrows, they only see the “me” and the heck with anyone else.
    Most people are fine with finding a happy medium that makes both sides happy. Problem is in our political arena today you see very little true middle ground. And I a not sure people would actually grab a hold of it today ( too self centered). Both parties spend their time trying to undo the damage the other party already inflicted instead of finding common ground to work together.

  80. Okay then…some extremely insightful and well-thought out comments here. What an awesome audience!

    Just as a side note I would be very, very interested to see how (percentage wise) these comments lended their expertise too. From a very quick and cursory view it looks as though the majority do not agree with several of the premises brought forth in this writing.

    Several folks I believe hit the nail top dead center:

    God v. Religion; Religion v. Politics; Religion v. Marriage; Religion v. Stem cell research and so on….until we arrive at Religion v. Republicanism.

    Make no mistake whatsoever ‘marginalize’ is one perspective; ‘compromise’ is also a perspective, yet asking one to compromise their belief system is precisely what this article is trying to do. Cheers!

    Great stuff,

    jps

  81. S.K.: I have been debating with myself all day as to whether I should respond to your last response on my comments. I would be remiss if I did not, especially after telling everyone in prior comments that we need to start using solid reason to defend our positions. So here it goes.

    “Christianity was obviously the main faith of Germany split between Luthernism and Catholicism. The problem was when a political movement, Nazism, supplanted ordinary religion.” On the surface I thought you were agreeing with my comment about how the Nazi’s were able to exploit a National economic crisis to gain power and that religion did nothing to protect the Germans. Now I am not sure so let me ask; How could this happen if their religion was supposed to give them the morality needed to defend themselves against evil? How could a political movement supplant ordinary religion? It can’t, unless the basis of the religion is weaker than the basis of the political movement, or if they are based on the same argument. This last point is (in my view) how the Nazi’s happened, in part, and how we have gotten where we are. The christian religion and the progressive later fascist later Nazi movements were all based on the premise that the individual is secondary to the needs or the good of society or some other power (god, king, emperor, you name it), other than the individual themselves. Thus it is easier for one form of statism to replace another than for any such form to replace a system based on the right of individual liberty. That is why we are at such risk today. It is a small step from the kind of warm and fuzzy fascism we’ve been living under to full blown fascism with dictatorial rule, or a form of socialism with the same brutal reality.

    Now, before you and some others here completely blow a gasket I am not condeming christianity or god here. I am pointing out how the use of religion in our (world) history coincides with the same philisophical primary as other statist movements, whether they were religious or not.

    “The communists were not particularly different.” I am sorry but they were vastly different in there politics and religion. They banned religion period. Marx and Lenin wanted it eliminated from society, along with marriage by the way. Got you thinking now don’t I.

    “The new religion preached science and logic and yes, it is logical to liquidate the retarded or physically defective. Very logical indeed, just look at how much money it saves. Look at what a poor quality of life they would have had. All this was made possible by downgrading Christianity to mumbo jumbo.” First, this new religion as you call it was part of the progressive movements agenda (Eugenics) which later showed up in the fascist movement and then was used by Hitler, to justify killing people he had long despised.

    Second, the destruction of others for any reason is logical–if the underlying philisophical principle is that the individual can be sacrificed for the good of the whole, aka society. If the foundation is rotten the logic is rotten, but the rotten logic fits the rotten foundation. The extent of destruction just becomes a matter of degree, depending on who’s administering it. Hitler went all the way. If your base principle is that the individual has priority over the whole, then the extermination of living humans is not logical. Because it is counter to the existance of the individual. It is my position that this is the only valid philisophical position to take, because any that allows the sacrifice of one to the many leads to the extinction of the human race. Until the last two are standing there is always one against more than one.

    And by the way, science didn’t have anything to do with any of this. It is the study of the real world, it can be used for good or evil but it is indifferent on its own.

    Third, this was not made possible by downgrading Christianity. I hope you now see that it was made possible by a sofetning of the minds by Christianity itself to some extent (small amount OK)and a long history in Europe of statist societies. In a culture used to having the good of society or the good of the king come first it is a short leap from a supposed civilized society to one born of hell itself. The short of it is their minds hand already been softened and prepared for the day when this type of whacko would come along and exploit it.

    “Are Athiests Moral? Of course they are, some of them, probably even the majority. But like modern day “liberal” judges, they see the rules as fluid, out of step with modernism, things that need to be tinkered with from time to time.” So probably even a majority are moral but….. I know several atheists and I can tell you they are the most moral people I know, even by christian standards and some even on the abortion issue. They don’t waiver or tweek the rules to fit their immediate wishes. But your response deserves another question; Who’s morals? Are all religions included in this assumption that solid morals require religion? What happens when their morals are in conflict such as the Jihadist whose morality includes “convert or lose your head”?

    “Maybe I’m getting too far afield here but I’d like to point out how the modern environmental movement is taking on cult-religious trappings.” You may have missed it but I made this point earlier and used it as an example of the same philisophical principle. By the way did you all know that envrionmentalism was part of the early progressive movement manifesto? Remember Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and FDR–with his CCC camps in the woods. Did you know that Mussolini was a greeny and Hitler was a rabid enviro as well?

    I ask you all, if the hard core green movement was rooted in the progressive movement which led to the fascist systems of government, then why have churches in this country begun preaching about environmental protection and global warming from the pulpit?

    Now, is it only me or do some of you see the parallels here in my comments regarding the philosophy of altruim (that supports statism in all its forms) and where we have been in this country the past 150 or so years, and the spectacle we witnessed during the last election cycle?

    There is a huge contradiction between most religions and those principles espoused in our founding documents. The Founders knew it was there and constructed it anyway, for a reason. It’s there, it’s real and we need to understand why. Then we need to know how to deal with it so that we can destroy the malaise that infects this country and return to our Constitutional principles of government.

    I have gone perhaps to far tonight, but I am trying to show everyone why it is so important to use philosophic investigation to discover how the true American dream was born, how it has come to its current state, and how to help resurrect it. This is the real education that needs to occur first, on ourselves. Only then can we begin to educate others. How can you argue the efficacy of welfare with a progressive Dem or moderate Repub if you can’t explain how it is contradictory to the primacy of man as an individual.

    So for now, I hope you all have a wonderful day thursday and may God Bless you all.
    JAC

  82. MAD MOM: I hope your still reading after all that philisophical BS, hah, hah. Now you know why some of us keep pounding on the philosophy. This time we need a very clear vision of where we are going. Doing something because we are mad could lead us down the path of destruction, or at least never ending frustration. Because we will not have accurately identified the real problem. But that is also no reason to sit still why we talk these things out.

    I for one have joined the Repubs here and am now a Precinct Committeeman. I am also working with some college conservatives to start up a new political education and activist group. The progressives are so strong here they have even pushed aside the traditional democrats. I am also working to organize a national effort to raise holy hell with those idiots (and I use the term loosley)in Wash DC.

    You may recall that I claimed to be an Idealist but not a fool. Right now I view all these efforts as part of a holding strategy. We may be able to slow them or even stop them for a short time, but we can not eliminate them until we do the longer and much harder work (not a fool part). We will know we have won when we can get the constitution amended in a way that plugs all the holes left by our esteemed founders. That also means we will have 66% of the people with us (this is the idealist part). Then the hard work of guard duty will begin. I doubt I will see the victory won (not a fool), but I can damn sure set the stage so my kids can finish the job (idealist).

    Tea Party On
    JAC

  83. Black Flag says:

    I have never seen anything wrong with the ten commandments…

    Though I understand the intention of why this was written – that is, the writer has an affinity to ancient moral belief, I also see this as a very poignant statement about the issues and myths of politics.

    The 10 commandments that are most commonly published are NOT the ones in the Bible.

    Yet, the myth dominates – one would be hard pressed to find a handful of professed Christians not believe thes are the 10 Commandments – and they’ve probably read much of the Bible! And I’d bet most of these people believe they were the ones engraved on the stone tablets.

    “The Bible never explicitly says the Exodus version of the Ten Commandments above was written on stone tablets.

    The scriptures simply start out with, “And God spoke all these words.” These 17 statements were spoken verbally by God directly to the people.

    1 And God spoke all these words:

    2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

    3 “You shall have no other gods before [a] me.

    4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

    5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

    6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

    8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

    9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

    10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.

    11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

    13 “You shall not murder.

    14 “You shall not commit adultery.

    15 “You shall not steal.

    16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

    17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

    Afterwords, the people expressed great fear about having God speak directly to them, and they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” (Exodus 20:19).”

    So Moses goes back up the mountain, get two tablets engraved by God – but the tablets are destroyed before anyone reads them.

    So God asks Moses to come back with two more stone tablets, the Lord now tells Moses to do the writing (God didn’t help the first time, but the second time Moses has to do all the writing), and what he tells Moses to write on the tablets are the words of the covenant.

    Here now, quoting from the Bible, is the covenant the Lord makes with Moses:

    Exodus 34:10-26
    Then the LORD said:
    1. I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you. Obey what I command you today.

    2. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.

    3. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you.

    4. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles [That is, symbols of the goddess Asherah].

    5. Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

    6. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices.

    7. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.

    8. Do not make cast idols.

    9. Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in that month you came out of Egypt.

    10. The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock.

    11. Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck.

    12. Redeem all your firstborn sons. No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

    13. Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.

    14. Celebrate the Feast of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year [That is, in the fall].

    15. Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.

    16. I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.

    17. Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning.

    18. Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.

    19. Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

    The reading immediately concludes with Exodus 34:27-28 which I quote, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.’ Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant–the Ten Commandments.”

    According to Exodus these are the real Ten Commandments of the Bible.

    So, the “Ten Commandments” most familiar with Christians are not the real Ten – the ones Moses wrote on the tablets the word of the covenant are the 10 Commandments.

    Yet, these passages have been read and reread millions of time – and still, the myth of the 10 commandments remains steadfast.

    It becomes simple to understand why people hold on to myths and illusions – even it contradicts what is written before them and read by their own eyes.

    Try correcting people on the 10 Commandments – while using the Bible they revere in front of them!

    Imagine attempting to try to illuminate people about the deadly contradictions of the Nation State – !

  84. The so-called “religious right” are merely Christians exercising their Constitutional right to participate in government. These people are being honest with their political opinions, in that they freely admit that their religious convictions influence their political convictions. That is not wrong. That is proper. The Republican Party cannot abandon the “religious right”; the religious right is the core of the party. Besides, it was not the religious in the Republican Party that lost the White House for John McCain; nor the Senate or House. It was, IMHO, the Republicans forgetting their conservative base and striking a more liberal attitude for the past 2-4 years. After all, there has not been much difference, putting rhetoric aside, beside the Democrats and Republicans recently.

  85. TruthSeeker says:

    Thanks for your reply BF. I enjoyed reading it. That is really great information. Lately I have been studying about the origins of the earth, Man and the dark ages. All that stuff and what you post reaffirms there is no personal God. But that is a whole new debate :/

  86. Citizen,

    Hmm, this is going to take some time so, during the day, I will come back to it a piece at a time. Nazism supplanted ordinary religion the same way that any newer religion supplants an old. It was flashier and offered more, sooner. It was a political movement with religious trappings.

    Back in school, in Social Psych you studied cult movements and what they offered. You are right in that the financial chaos in Germany allowed the Nazi’s an opportunity they well may have not had otherwise. You had a chance to make everything better NOW, not wait for some pie in the sky “Happy Days are here again” some distant time in the future. We were also dealing with a mass psychosis. I still challenge anyone to watch “Triumph of the Will” and not be stirred by it. I speak not a word of German yet watching it, with all the wonderful staging, the hundreds of thousands of people joyfully, one might say orgasmically, involved you want to join in. That is some dangerous stuff even seventy years later.

    I guess I would postulate that the Christian Faith was no where near as strong or rooted as some might have thought it was. There were also churchmen who “sold out” and went along with National Socialism because it seemed a solution and of course, being a political movement, supposedly did not conflict with spirituality. Assurances were given. This, by the way, is my answer to why the churches flirt with the environmental movement. They don’t see the Earth Mother cult crap the way I see it. Needless to say I think they are wrong. For my own Catholic Church, should the Greenies ultimately win, we will no doubt soon be dealing with a Chinese style mandatory one child rule backed by abortion/sterilization. Betcha none of my Greenie Bishops have thought that far into the future yet.

    Eugenics, Lysenkoism, and now Climate change are all perversions of science for political purposes or gain. If you can pervert science, you can pervert logic. For example, why can’t you, in debate these days, get the Global climate change crowd to even talk about sunspots or past glaciacion? Answer: because it would bring their whole construct down on their heads and their “faith” would be destroyed. So, from a statist point of view, or a beehive mentality, eliminating those who cannot contribute to the beehive or weaken it is perfectly logical. Actually it’s perfectly Darwinian. Ever watch a mother cat or dog for that matter reject a defective kitten or pup? I have, it’s heart wrenching. As humans, as my old dad would say, we are supposed to have gone beyond the animal in us.

    I have an issue with putting religion, especially Christianity, on the same level as fascism in that the individual is secondary to the needs of the state/god. from an historical perspective Christianity was the most successful if not the only religion that preached the value of the individual. Both you and the King were the same in the eyes of God. Remember how, in the middle ages, various kings were made to do the sack cloth and ashes thing to get back in the good graces of the church? Not too many other religions did that.

    Historically did the churches overreach, did they become governments? Yes they did. They stepped into a power vacuum and acted. I’m of the school that says that the knowledge the churches saved during the dark ages enabled us to end them sooner than they otherwise might have ended. Yes there were excesses. There are always excesses. We human beings are given to the concept that if some is good, more is better.

    Communism vs. fascism. Yes, they did try to end religion instead of merely subverting it as the Nazi’s did. perhaps the Nazis learned from the Communists that trying to eradicate it would merely cause more battles/problems that they didn’t need. I stick by my parallels to religion though. Great spectacles, great leaders, Lenin’s tomb and a pantheon of Martyrs. Just saw a car today on the highway pass me by with a big Che bumper sticker.

    Thats it for now, got to earn the daily bread.

    Flag, Thanks for the ten commandment update. I had forgotten all that over the past 40 years. Can’t get Charlon Heston out of my mind I guess.
    \

  87. SK: There is no real need to take your time to respond at this time as we are probably not that far apart at the political end. I just ask you to keep thinking about the philisophical principles of the group vs individual as you are thinking about our govt system and those trying to undo it, from the right or left.

    I do not put fascism and God on the same level. It is the principle primary of Altruism that supports both. I should have used “religion” or “the church” in that comparison. It would have been more accurate and would be consistent with your comment about the old church overreaching.

    Yours forever a Radical Far Right Liberal
    JAC

  88. Black Flag says:

    The whole Bible was muted (theologically) by the New Testament.

    It takes one man to condense human moral theory from multiple covenants and commandments into one sentence.

    “Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you”

  89. yellowrose says:

    “Please keep the discussion below to the topic of whether the Republican party should reduce the influence of the religious right on the party platform.”

    Religious right here.

    With socialized medicine on the horizon, do you think the pro-lifers may come in handy with their beliefs on defending a person’s right to exist?

  90. Citizen,

    Thanks, I needed the break.

    Regarding Altruism. If I give from my heart it’s ok. If I give because I’m coerced it’s not. Same with sacrifice.

  91. Black Flag says:

    Yellowrose

    To answer that question, use the test:

    “Do unto others as you wish them do unto you”

    If we are to be judging policy based on moral circumstances then one should establish what moral stance one holds – then measure the question or debate against that.

  92. SK: You nailed it. The individual gives because its satisfies his pursuit of happiness, some call this selfish. Altruis gives out of guilt or harrassment (selfless).

  93. Black Flag says:

    SK

    Bingo

  94. I agree with you, for the most part. However, when it comes to issue of life, it shouldn’t be religious, it should be about our first basic right. The right to life. You said you don’t THINK abortion is murder in the first portion of pregnancy. Well, I challenge you to do some research on the subject. No, not from the crazies who hold up pictures of aborted babies. But, talk to an ob gyn and ask them what goes on during the early gestation period. Also, I say this carefully, watch the Silent Scream. This is not some religious nut propaganda designed to take away a woman’s ultimate right to choose what happens insider her body, but it is, in fact, a documentary done by a doctor who used to perform abortions. I think that we learn by looking at all sides of the coin and not averting our eyes or sticking our fingers in our ears so that we can avoid the sights and sounds of this. If what you see is nothing more than a medical procedure, than that is your decision based on what YOU saw. However, if what you see is a life being destroyed, than you will have your decision for being opposed to abortion. I would love to see abortion outlawed but that would be very dangerous! I know it’s wrong, but not everyone does and things should be done so that the least amount of people are harmed. But I say, educate yourself first and then make your choice. I think the reason the religious right is ruining the Republican party is that they don’t even know their own Bible or religion. Or that they’re so hung up on the legalistic part of religion that they forget about the personal relationship. And the personal relationship should be, well, personal. That’s not to say that we don’t share the Good News, but when it’s not wanted we leave it alone and call it Free Will. God knew what he was doing and we have to stop pretending that we can take the bible, attach it to a brick and beat the tar out of people with it. I hope that my point was made clearly. Thanks bunches

  95. I take issue with people who bandy about the term “separation of church and state” as though it means “separation of church from state.” I can understand a lot of your statements, but there is a fundamental flaw in your arguments. You say that, while Christians may believe something is right or wrong, they should not legislate accordingly because others may disagree. This is the worst possible thing that could happen! I could say we shouldn’t make a law against murder because some people don’t think it’s wrong. Obviously murder is wrong, I’m not saying it isn’t, I’m simply pointing out the error in the argument. Every country in the history of the world made laws based on what they thought was RIGHT. If Christians do not do so, then what is RIGHT to them has become irrelevant. Is that what we want? To alienate MOST of this country by saying what they think is right is inferior to what an atheist thinks?
    I agree that we need to get past the us versus them ideology. That being said, I’m afraid I’m going to have to take a side on this one because I’m responding to the other side. One of the most detrimental things in the history of the Church is taking a stance because it’s what we think is true. We thought the earth was the center of the universe and stood opposed to science. It’s not that the Bible actually says that, it was our own egoism that lead us down the wrong road. On the other hand, we must hold firm to the things we KNOW are right. How can we KNOW, you ask? Well if it is explicitly stated in the BIBLE then it is right. God’s Word is infallible. That being said, it is difficult a lot of the time to decifer God’s Word, which I believe is because He wants us to THINK.
    In summary, I believe we must not ELIMINATE church in the state, that would be embracing atheism as the religion of the state (believe me atheism is a religion, an atheist’s god is himself). The establishment clause prohibits the government from imposing restrictions on religious practices (that includes those in office). But we must also be aware that what we think is true may not be. We must use the Word, which is TRUE, and science (I am a graduate student in physics) to decifer the Word and find TRUTH. Above all, we must not let those who don’t believe dictate to us what we can or cannot believe and the false idea that we cannot vote simply because our opinions come from our religion. That is exactly the opposite of “separation of church and state.”

    • What an amazing and thoughtful post. You have said what I have thought but wasn’t able to put into words! I read your post to my husband and the section you wrote on why it’s hard to make sense of the Bible is RIGHT ON! God fully expects us to use the minds He gave. To do otherwise is in direct opposite of what His intentions were! Looking forward to more of your posts!!-Noelle

  96. ONLY PROBLEM I HAVE WITH THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT, WHICH I AM ONE OF THEM, IS MOST DON’T VOTE, THEY GET WOULD UP IN THEIR SOCIAL SERVICES AT CHURCH AND NEVER GET IN A VOTING BOOTH. BUT DON’T TRASH MY GOD, MY LORD AND SAVIOR OF THE UNIDERSE, AND AS FAR AS EVOLUTION, IT IS A FARCE AS THAT WAS ONE OF THE COMMENTS DARWIN SAID, IT IS A THEORY ONLY. I USED TO BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION, BUT STARTED READING THE BIBLE, THE BEST BOOK IN THE WORLD AND CAME TO THE CONCLUSION, IT IS ONLY A THEORY THAT CANNOT BE PROVED. GOLDIE

    • USWeapon says:

      From you Goldie… BUT STARTED READING THE BIBLE, THE BEST BOOK IN THE WORLD AND CAME TO THE CONCLUSION, IT IS ONLY A THEORY THAT CANNOT BE PROVED.

      I agree, although I don’t think you meant that the way it came out. Evolution is a theory that is based around some provable facts. There is no doubt that evolution has occurred. There is only doubt as to whether that is the source of humans. The Bible, on the other hand has absolutely no proof what-so-ever. That is not to say that it is incorrect. I wouldn’t presume to be the one to know the answer to that one. Be careful though when you use words like farce when describing the theory of evolution versus creation. There is no proof for your version at all, which would lend it to being a bigger farce. Again, I pass no judgement as I am not the one to answer that question.

      You are absolutely correct though in stating that not enough of the Christian right gets into the voting booth for them to be as powerful as they could be, but I do think enough of them vote. If they didn’t, they would have not near the power in the election cycles that they do.

      • Well, USWeapon, I think you’re a little off too. In fact, microevolution has been proven. Organisms will change in order to adapt to their environment or some stimulus. Macroevolution, on the other hand, has not been proven. There is no evidence that shows we are all derived from the same species. In fact, there is a great deal of evidence to support intelligent design, though I’m sure you will never hear that in a classroom.
        As far as proof goes for the Bible, I encourage you to think about a few things. Do you know that an atom is made up of protons and neutrons? Have you ever seen them? You know because you’ve been told by credible scientists with provable theories. In the same way, the Bible is made up of carefully selected manuscripts that can be verified to have come from the correct timeframe and are a part of the Hebrew tradition or come from the hands of those who knew Christ or spoke with His followers. Many of the manuscripts have been dated to before the birst of Christ. The fact that these scrolls hold prophesies that were fulfilled by Jesus after they had been written is a very sound proof.
        In my opinion, it is impossible for a Christian to prove to a non-Christian that God exists and the Bible is His true Word. Just as it is impossible for a non-Christian to prove to a Christian that God does not exist as the Christian has already met God in his or her soul. In the end we will have to simply agree to disagree.
        I leave you with an interesting quote from Chales Darwin:
        “[I am greated challenged by] the extreme difficulty, or rather the impossibility, of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity for looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist.”

  97. WELL WITH ALL THE COMMENTS, I DO SAY IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, MINE ONLY, EVOLUTION WAS INTERESTING AS I STUDIED AT ONE TIME, BUT NOW I DON’T BELIEVE. I READ THE BIBLE DAILY, I ONLY CAME TO BE A CHRISTIAN AFTER I FELL, OSTEOPOROSIS, AND CRUSHED A VERTEBRAE, PAIN SO BAD I DON’T EVEN GO TO ANY CHURCH, BUT I STILL PRAY A LOT, WATCH ON TV, AND TITHE, WHICH MY FAMILY DOESN’T WANT ME TO DO, I TOLD THEM, MY BUSINESS EVEN THOUGH I AM 84, VETERAN OF WW2 AND IN QUANTITIES OF PAIN. I AM A REGISTERED INDEPENDENT, I TRY TO JUDGE PERSON AS TO WHAT THEY HAVE DONE IN LIFE EXPERIENCE AND VOTE ACCORDINGLY. I DISLIKE ABORTION, GAYS AND ASSISTED SUICIDE. I THOUGHT WHEN I WAS YOUNG WOMAN THAT A BABY IN WOMB WAS SAFE, NO LONGER, BUT NOT ONLY IN THE WORLD, SOME OF OUR CHRISTIAN FEMALES ARE DOING THE ABORTION THING, I HAD MY BABY, HE IS NOW 58 AND CRITICAL OF ME, BUT LOVES ME HE SAYS. HAS A FINE WIFE, A STEPFATHER OF 3 DAUGHTERS AND MARRIED 17 YEARS. GOLDIE

  98. I HAVE ONE GOD, JESUS CHRIST MY LORD AND SAVIOR, I BELIEVE THE BIBLE UNCONDITIONALLY, IF PEOPLE WANT TO SAY I AM FOOLISH, HAVE AT IT, THIS IS HOW I LIVE AND THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE, MY CHOICE, REMEMBER WE HAVE FREE CHOICE AND I CLAIM THAT RIGHT. I NEVER CRITIZE OTHER PEOPLE’S FAITH AND I ASK THAT NOBODY CRITIZE MINE. I TOLERATE WHAT THE NATION’S AGNOSTICS AND ATHEST(SP) SAY AND I NEVER RETURN WITH INSULTS. A PERSON’S BELIEF IS PRECIOUS TO THEM AND I RESPECT THAT. AGAIN I ASK THAT YOU RESPECT MY CHOICE.

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