Leave My Lions Alone

PSU Logo 2I saw this article this afternoon. I know that many of you here peruse a lot of the national news sources, so you saw it as well. There was a brief message posted about it in yesterday’s thread. I had already decided that I wanted to have a quick discussion about it. The discussion is obviously going to start around this t-shirt controversy that is being overblown at Penn State University. However, once I discuss that I am going to discuss the general tone of the political world, or more important the general tone of society. Because the Penn State thing is a very minor blip in a war against christianity that has been building for quite some time. And I wonder just how it got where it did, and how it will end up. Why is it that it seems that so many people are offended by anything to do with Christianity? And why is it OK to go on the attack over that offense?

So the story from Penn State goes like this. When the football team, which plays in the biggest college football stadium in the country, has a big game against a ranked opponent, they have a tradition called the “White Out”. The get the entire stadium to dress in white and when all the added noise of 110,000 fans is added it creates a pretty intimidating environment for the opposing team. I have participated in a White Out at Beaver Stadium. It really is a sight to see. Each year, students at Penn State submit design ideas for what the official “white out” t-shirt will look like, and the students and fans vote on the winner. Then the university manufactures the shirts and sells them.

Penn State Cross TshirtThis year’s design was modeled after the Penn State helmet. Traditionally plain. The helmet is solid white with a single blue stripe down the center. Then the words “Penn State” were added in blue across the chest (because putting it across the belly would look stupid, something Michigan or Iowa would do). The design can be seen to the right. The university has received 6 complaints about the shirt because the design ended up looking like a cross. One of the complaints is from the Philadelphia Anti-Defamation League. The shirt was designed by Emily Sabolsky, and she says that there was no religious intent to the shirt in her design, that it was merely a mimic of the PSU helmet.

The fact that my Lions were the ones being attacked was really a secondary thing for me. It really doesn’t matter. PSU said they would not back down on the issue. Unfortunately, when I checked the PSU bookstore site, it said that this item is no longer available, which bothered me. You can find a cross just about anywhere you want if you look hard enough. One of the students in the article asked whether we would next ban lower case t’s from being written. Mrs. Weapon got a kick out of my comment that we must now work to live in a world that does not include right angles. The point is that if it were meant to depict a cross, why is it even an issue? Who gets offended by a cross? Apparently lots of people, because we see complaints like this all over the place.

PSU White Out 3So therein lies my first question. What is so offensive about a christian cross? In this case, if you don’t like the shirt, don’t buy one. Save your $15 and buy one of the hundreds of other available PSU shirts that don’t have a design that could be misconstrued as a cross. The attack on the cross as an offensive symbol is really continuing to build, and I am not sure where it may stop. Out west, a memorial in the desert had to be covered because it was a big cross in the middle of the desert. A single person complained. That was enough. A memorial for dead people that has stood for years covered up because one lone idiot was offended to see the cross. Best part of that story, the guy registering the complaint lives 4 states away, and has never been on the road that goes past the cross. He just is not going to stand for a christian symbol to be displayed in a country that is roughly 80% christian.

The fact is that the separation of church and state is not meant to somehow be interpreted as there can be no display of a religious symbol in any public place. It was meant to mean that the government was not permitted to sanction or create an official religion for the country. It was never meant to be used as a club, in order to take ten commandment statues out of courthouses, in order to keep religious students from praying in school, or anything else of the ACLU lawsuit persuasion. Yet that is what is happening day in and day out in America.

PSU White OutWe are not allowed to show anything having to do with religion in the United States. Ever.

And what is baffling is the rampant hypocrisy that goes with this christian bashing culture in America. 2 muslim families in Maryland forced a town to ban Santa Claus in the town’s Christmas parade because they were offended. Can you imagine the outrage if the rest of the families in that town said they found the traditional muslim dress offensive? How long would it take to paint that town as Islamaphobic racists?

Just think about that hypocrisy. Muslims are offended by the cross so the cross is banned in public. But the traditional dress and symbols of the one religion responsible for a major terrorist act on US soil is not only accepted, it is feverishly protected; While the christian rights are trampled. It simply doesn’t make any sense.

This country was founded by folks who were fleeing the trampling of their right to freedom of religious choice and practice. Yet now those same christians who came here for religious freedom are watching the oppression they faced in Europe 250 years ago happen right here in the US. And all the while, EVERY other religion is protected and sucked up to as proof of our “tolerance” of people’s personal religious views.

PSU White Out 2As someone who has come to grips with the idea that I am going to be offended over and over again by seeing or hearing things I don’t like, I find it personally offensive that some jackasses are offended by the christian religion. The country must learn to not be offended by things like this. I find a lot of the “black power” or “pro-black” stuff personally offensive. But I would never dream of doing something to stop someone from displaying it. Freedom is freedom, regardless of the issue. And I should be permitted to flaunt christianity to my heart’s desire if I so choose.

We, as a country, need to stand united against things like this. How are we ever going to come together as a people if we cannot even get through the day without being offended by something that we don’t personally believe in?

Nativity Church and StateDon’t get me wrong, I have a giant issue with many of the things that those on the far christian right attempts to impose on other people. The bottom line for me is that those folks are effectively neutralized at this point.

And here is where that old Black Flag standard comes back into play. The Law of Mutuality is showing us that the unintended consequences of treating someone else a certain way morally can come around and bite christians on the ass. Christians in America for decades have allowed government to persecute those who were not christians. The American people found it OK to impose their will on those around them who thought differently. They never expected that those same laws and rules would be used as an effective tool against them instead of the other guy. Americans sat idly by and allowed it to get to this point. Now that their negligence is resulting in attacks on their religion, they are shocked and outraged.

I feel like the time has come for everyone to speak out against this type of behavior from the people in this country. I can’t imagine a good argument against my position. I would imagine that even Mathius or Ray should be willing to stand up and denounce this behavior . Until Americans stop focusing on ensuring that the christian population is marginalized and held in check, we are dooming ourselves to an existence that is, quite frankly, both hypocritical and petty.

I think that we should eliminate every law that puts some form of religious persecution immediately. I think that the “restrictions” on practicing your faith are ridiculous and harmful to the country.

I look forward to your thoughts. As a bonus I have added links to some good videos that will help and get people to understand the Penn State white out games. The first link below is to the article that I was referring to. The others are short youtube clips that help those who have never experienced the white out to understand why they are doing when they white out a game. The pictures of it happening above are good. But the videos are far better at getting you fired up about Penn State football.

 

 

Cross-Like T-Shirt Design at Penn State University Sparks Controversy – Local News | News Articles | National News | US News – FOXNews.com

YouTube – Penn State Zombie Nation

YouTube – ND Band Gets drowned out by Beaver Stadium- Night @ the White House!

YouTube – Penn State White Out – Tunnel Walk

YouTube – Penn State White Out ESPN 2009

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Comments

  1. Hey, don’t forget the atheist socialist! Even I agree with your position!

    I’m not sure what’s behind it (probably petty politics) but it is absurd. You mentioned it early on in your post (those offended could always by another shirt). I feel the same about censored radio shows (or television, etc.) … you don’t like it, turn the channel.

    Go Joe Pa!

    Remember Shane Conlan? My hero (greatest linebacker in Buffalo Bills history) … could that kid hit. That pop he laid on Icky Sticky Woods back in the day … some idiot took a 15 yard personal foul on the same play and the Bengalis eventually scored, but that hit has remained in my head forever. And don’t forget his pick on Testaverde …

    Our new middle linebacker (can’t spell his name with a gun to my head) is pretty good too …if only we had Joe Pa!

  2. Mrs. Weapon says:

    WOW! I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t get the chills from the video of the players coming out of the tunnel. As someone who was almost a cheerleader at Penn State (and ended up a Buckeye), this is just AMAZING. With this, I will take the opposite stance…. I am offended that the shirts are no longer available because Weapon is now being denied a great Christmas present. I might even go so far as take Weapon back to Beaver Stadium and experience the white out together but now I can’t do this because the shirts are not available anywhere (believe me. I have looked! Does it make me Christian because I want an experience or I want the dag shirt (and if anyone can find any shirts sold, please respond on the blog. My goal every Christmas is to surprise Weapon with a present that blows his mind. Weapon has writing skills, but Mrs. Weapon has mad shopping skills (thanks to Meme Weapon…Weapon’s loved Mother in Law).

    I guess these same people who are complaining about the shirts would also not come into our house (full of right angles). All of our doors are standard doors that look like a cross at the top and a bible open at the bottom. I don’t know if anyone has ever noticed this. My grandmother told me about the symbols when I was a child and I have always believed it. But if you look at a standard door, tell me if you see a bible and a cross? As someone who went to Catholic High School and Catholic college (University of Dayton…GO FLYERS!!!), I am very aware of those who died for this symbol…helloooooo JC? As a Catholic, I tend to take these things in stride…. people are offended by symbols of the crucifixion (most people would be…dead man bleeding on a pole…gross). Any link to Christmas or the birth of Christ (which historically didn’t happen on December 25th) has been stripped from our streets because we are offending people. When will the madness stop…. and who are these people who complain about this stuff? Weapon and I take up our residence in the South where race relations are actually very good (besides what CNN tells you). We have open discussions about race and I ask my black friends if I don’t understand something. Or don’t agree with it. I don’t hide behind someone because I am offended. If people are so offended, go to another country and see what you can get away with…. but leave Penn State and Christmas ALONE!!!

    • General agreement.. but… JC didn’t really die for the symbol – he dies for his faith. In fact, if I had to guess, I’d say he probably doesn’t care much for crosses. I mean, would you if you were crucified on one?

    • Adding: I, like JC, am Jewish. I do not feel intimidated or offended by Christian imagery (which I agree permeates society). And I do not think this shirt business is an issue. But I do think that certain times it needs to be pushed back against. We all need to remember that this is not a Christian country. It’s not even a Judeo-Christian country. We have legally, officially, and morally a secular society in which religion may be freely practiced on the provision that it is not used as a weapon to intimidate, control, or discriminate against others. So, we have the tree in Rockefeller Center (huge and very pretty). We have opening prayers before the start of Congressional terms. We have the President swearing in on a bible. All OK. But public schools don’t teach the bible as the word of God. They don’t make kids pray at the start of the school day. You don’t (officially anyway) have to be Christian to hold certain public offices. Et cetera. These would not be ok, and they are rightfully prohibited.

      And that’s where I take serious issue with the yahoos who are objecting to this t-shirt. We have many good men and women who sacrificed greatly so that misuse of religion in the public sphere would be taken seriously. And along come these people who abuse the system and object to every little perceived thing. And as a result Christians feel that they are the ones being biased against. (You aren’t, let’s be honest, when was the last time you saw a statue of the Buddha in a public place?). And as a result, we become desensitized against real problems when and where they arise. Insanity. And where does it stop?

      I think these people should be taken behind the woodshed and beaten with a T-shaped piece of wood.

      • Matt:

        You said: “We all need to remember that this is not a Christian country. It’s not even a Judeo-Christian country. We have legally, officially, and morally a secular society in which religion may be freely practiced on the provision that it is not used as a weapon to intimidate, control, or discriminate against others.”

        There is historical inaccuracy in your statement that needs to be addressed.

        Fact: The constitution prohibits the establishment of a Govt sponsored/sanctioned church. That is ALL that provision was intended to do. Prevent another Catholic country or another Church of England.

        Fact: This nation was founded by christians and diests. It was at its founding a Christian or a Judeo-Christian nation in the sense that the vast majority of folks held those beliefs and values.

        Fact: There is nothing in our founding documents or laws that dictates, or otherwise morally requires a secular society. That my dear friend is a myth created by more modern court rulings and spread by politicals of the far left.

        Fact: We do not have a “legally” required secular society. Another myth.

        Fact: Our laws do not prevent or prohibit the use of religion to intimidate or discriminate. They only prevent such behavior by the Government. Yes, I am nit picking a little here but just trying to be consistant in figuring out what we are really dealing with.

        So perhaps you have identified the source of the increased tensions USW has asked about. If the secular side of our society does in fact believe that there are mandated moral and legal requirements for a “secular” society, and the rest of society, which is religious, disagrees then then we have the making of conflict.

        Hope you are well today.
        JAC

        • Fact: The constitution prohibits the establishment of a Govt sponsored/sanctioned church. That is ALL that provision was intended to do. Prevent another Catholic country or another Church of England.

          No. That provision was meant to do more. It was intended to ensure that everyone is free to worship as they see fit also. To that end, we cannot be forced to be inundated, molested, proselytized, intimidated, threatened by, or discriminated against on religious grounds by anyone. Yes, it says Congress shall not do this, but the intent was to allow everyone freedom of religion. Do you argue this? The founders would have been ok with the masses forcing a religion on others as long as it wasn’t the government doing so?

          Fact: This nation was founded by christians and diests[sic]. It was at its founding a Christian or a Judeo-Christian nation in the sense that the vast majority of folks held those beliefs and values.The vast majority of the programmers of Windows XP were Christians who held those beliefs and values – does that make Windows XP a Judeo-Christian program?

          Fact: There is nothing in our founding documents or laws that dictates, or otherwise morally requires a secular society. That my dear friend is a myth created by more modern court rulings and spread by politicals[sic] of the far left.

          I don’t know.. I would think that the rulings are based on the opinions of extremely well educated and intelligent men and women based in turn upon the laws. By the way, the government isn’t the one enforcing this t-shirt lunacy. It is the people.

          Fact: We do not have a “legally” required secular society. Another myth.

          Agree, we have a morally secular public sphere. You don’t hear many Muslims being called to prayer from minarets at sunrise, do you? We do not tolerate the intrusion of religion into the public sphere because in infringes on the rights of others. There is lunacy like getting Santa banned from the parade, but conversely, this also stops mobs from intimidating members of other religions into converting. It stops businesses from hiring based on religion. Etc.

          Fact: Our laws do not prevent or prohibit the use of religion to intimidate or discriminate. They only prevent such behavior by the Government. Yes, I am nit picking a little here but just trying to be consistant[sic] in figuring out what we are really dealing with.

          False. There are separate laws which affect this. See, for example, laws prohibiting hiring discrimination. Just as laws stopped the Klan from burning crosses in front of non-Christian homes. You have the absolute right not to be intimidated or discriminated against based on your chosen religious beliefs in the public sphere. So does everyone else in this country.

          • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…”

            How we got from this to where we are today is amazing. Seems to me the words are pretty clear. Lawyers and politicians had to do some mighty twisting of these words to get to where we are today.

      • Mathius

        I, too, disagree with your claim.

        The US is based on a Puritan theocracy, masked by the myth of a democratic process.

    • Just adding my two cents:

      Thus saith Weapon:

      “We all need to remember that this is not a Christian country.”

      In that there is NO governmentally established religion or spiritual thought. However, the whole point of freedom to excercise ones religion was what generally Christians were fleeing from and seeking a land of such freedoms. Also, America is made up of a whole lot of these horrible Christians (can you say majority?) as in roughly 80%. I know that this country having that majority is scary to a mite few “Anti-Christians”(not just athiets, but kill or be killed haters). There is so much evidence to answer the questions “Was America established by Christians (largly)?” It is a Christians desire for freedom and liberty, and if you come across some “Chrisitans” who endevour to restrict other religions in this way, then I would put in question weather or not they actually are Christians.

      Me? I aam rather a plain clothes, non-denominational type of Christian. I simply have a one on one relationship with my creator. The bible helps me through life and is not simply some “rule book”. My connection is just that…mine. Hence, you can’t take it away. I do not ever leave my brain at the door, like many religiods do.

      My questionis, what’s sp bas or demonic about basic Christianity? Especially if it truely enspouses Love, peace, and all that?

      Bar Jabba

  3. Hey there Mrs. USW,

    Ebay has a different one, maybe the replacement design?

    You might try Cafe Express online, you can design your own shirts and other stuff there, maybe copy the design if it would not be prohibited by copy right infringement and such.

    • Mrs. Weapon says:

      Thank you Dee! I may have to go up to State College and start knocking on dorm rooms! I would guess SOMEONE will put the shirt on ebay…but I have a feeling it will cost me a little more than the $15!

  4. Bottom Line says:

    Football is large sweaty men running and wrestling around in a feild over a deformed ball.

    Women’s tennis is sweaty young beautiful women running around a court making funny noises.

    I prefer women’s tennis.

  5. What do you mean “even Mathius”? I feel I have been pretty clearly against this kind of idiocy. Unless the intent by the university was to intimidate non-Christians with Christian imagery (a big stretch at best, and I don’t think anyone is making that claim), I don’t see the problem. I mean, if they added white pointy hats and masks to go along with the white shirts and the “cross-like pattern,” then I could probably get behind banning it. Otherwise, I think this goes to Mathius’ Third Law: People.Should.Shut.Up.

    I didn’t even bother finishing the article. That is how little I care about this flash-in-a-pan righteous indignation. Bah humbug.

  6. This controversy is silly but that’s where we are today. Penn State’s book store was the first to cave in to the pressure. Pitt would never give in without a fight. Penn State, like most other colleges, are liberal and politically correct. Wasn’t there some other scandal involving Penn State in the last year or so and their liberal slant?

    I interviewed by telephone once for a position at Penn State. They knew I went to Pitt and said they wouldn’t hold it against me (they lied). The interviewers asked me questions about my views toward “diversity” and how I have applied such skills in the past. Questions like, What does “diversity” mean to you? In your current role, give me some examples of how you strove for diversity? What did you do to improve diversity?

    These questions are fair to ask but I was not interviewing for Employment Manager or a position that performed hiring. I was interviewing for a Labor Relations position where I would be dealing with grievances, arbitrations, negotiations and various other Union issues. I thought it was strange to be so focused upon the diversity aspect.

    I came away with a view that Penn State’s culture, like most other colleges, is very liberal and very politically correct. I’m not surprised that the book store pulled the item. The shirt is giving them bad publicity, is not politically correct in today’s environment, and reflects poorly upon diversity.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      You should have simply said, “In my role as Labor Relations Director I would support diversity by protecting the worker against discrimination, opression, and unfair labor practices.”

      Probably would have gotten you the position on the spot!

      • prbably noT, you would also have To say someThing like you Try To hire minoriTies firsT To meeT diversiTy goals wiThouT acTually saying ThaT only imply iT.

        sorry for The PC posT. iT would be much easier if The crazies jusT wenT afTer compuTer makers To auTomaTTically make all T’s capiTal.

    • Remember Pitt was the university that banned beer and bar advertisements in its student run newspaper. So the newspaper started to advertise the daily drink specials for the bars for free. The students took them to court (not sure how high of a court it went to, State Supreme Court maybe) over it and won.

  7. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Political Correctness:

    If you are in a majority, you must agree to now be discriminated against in order to atone for your past wrongs against all minorities.

    If you think that there is any other definition of “political correctness” you are being fooled.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Oh, I forgot:

      If you do not agree to be discriminated against as part of whatever majority you are in, you are automatically branded a racist bigoted homophobic islamophobic white supremicist conservative Christian wingnut.

      • don’t forget un-american freedom-hating liberal

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          The conservative christian racist bigoted homophobic islamophobic wingnut league usually reserves that one for the people who are “politically correct”… LOL

          • How long before someone complains about it being called a “white out”?
            For the record, Im mixed breed and have been discriminated against by pretty much every nationality at some point in my life, but I’m much better now …
            I think the whole anti-cross, anti-nativity, (pick your cause), is getting very, very old …

            GO BUCKS!

            • I was wondering about that one myself.

              I’m sorry that were discriminated against. Are you older, or is it something that has happened recently? I’m sort of a mongrel myself. My mom is Peruvian and my dad is Italian. Both are immigrants. I’d never thought about my skin color until the last couple of years, only because others made it an issue. I wish I didn’t ‘look white’, as I’ve been told. Not only does the anti-white attitude displayed by some suck, being out in the sun for more than ten minutes can be pretty painful too! If I can get past that, I brown up well ehough…

              🙂

  8. Washington’s Farewell Address 1796

    Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ?

    And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.

    Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp

    Black Flag said
    October 26, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Abortion Kills More Black Americans Than the Seven Leading Causes of Death Combined, Says CDC Data

    Abortion killed at least 203,991 blacks in the 36 states and two cities (New York City and the District of Columbia) that reported abortions by race in 2005, according to the CDC. During that same year, according to the CDC, a total of 198,385 blacks nationwide died from heart disease, cancer, strokes, accidents, diabetes, homicide, and chronic lower respiratory diseases combined. These were the seven leading causes of death for black Americans that year.

    The problem with removing God from our schools is, what replaced him? “with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion” What moral guidelines replaced “One nation, under God”?

    It seems to be one where, if you have a problem, the government will take care of you. Hungry? The GOV. shall provide. Pregnant? Free abortion is your right. Need a crib? Just fill out these papers. Can’t read or write, let me do that for you dear. Are you registered to vote? No, I don’t like politics either, but there are those getting elected who want to make sure you have food on the table, and them that would kick you out on the street. Now, do you have a phone? Yes, we can get you one, what color do you like?

    • So what Washington (and you, by proxy) was saying is that without religion, we will not be moral. Not, specifically that we won’t know what is moral, but that we will not choose to be. So, from this, I infer that he (and you, by proxy) believed that people are only moral for fear of divine judgment. But that is not what God wants. He does not want you to be good because he is looking, he wants you to be good because it is right. God is like the wife who wants you to want to do the dishes. It is not sufficient that you do the dishes, she wants you to want to do them (forget it, Emilius, it’s never going to happen). God does not want you to be moral for him, he wants you to want to be moral. Being good for the wrong reason is still evil in God’s eyes.

      Consider Pascal’s Wager. He said “I doubt God exists, but I will act as though He does. If He does, I win. If He does not, I lose nothing.” This, to God, would still be evil. So if the only thing keeping us moral is religion, then we are all immoral. To be moral in God’s eyes, we must be moral on a secular basis.

      • Matt:

        I think your assessment that religion results in moral practice out of fear of divine judgment may be applicable to more modern practices but was not necessarily what Washington was getting at.

        I do think Washington was more the traditionalist but others who cited the benefits of the Christian religion, in those days, were looking at the actual teachings of Christ as a solid prescription for free people to exist in peace and prosperity. It was not the “Church” that they extold, but the teachings as presented in the Bible.

        I think Washington was also alluding to the concept that morality constantly discussed as it is in the religious venue has a greater chance of being practiced than morals simply discovered and put in a notebook for later reference. It was the “drilling” of the moral principles that religion provides, that is also part of the equation.

        Now, can such moral behavior be drilled, aka; learned and practiced, without “religion” as the mechanism when we are talking about schools and govt? I absolutely think it can because I have seen it done. But I also recognize the role religion can play in reinforcing those “values”.

      • I like your analogy! God could have made us all without any free will. He could have made us do His Will all the time. Instead he gave us the amazing chance to actually do His Will of our own will! Isn’t is so much more pleasing to you when your child (go with me here if you don’t have one) wants to do something good, not because you told them to, but because you want to!

        I think you’re missing the point on the school thing. In order to be “moral,” to have a moral conscience, we have to believe in a set of morals. Makes sense, right? So how do we decide what is right and what is wrong? For the Christian, it comes from the Bible, the Jew, the Torah, the Muslim, the Koran, etc. If we remove all that is religious from the country, what is left to guide morality? I would posit that we would turn to reason, but is it not reasonable that we could kill one person who is innocent if by doing so we save thousands of lives? Say a madman tells New York that he wants a man dead or he will blow up a hospital (get the Dark Knight reference 🙂 ), it is reasonable to give in to demands to save the most life. Killing an innocent is an easy example of something that is wrong, but reason can’t seem to get there…

        I don’t know, that’s just a thought.

        Personally, I don’t mind the lack of religion in schools. I wouldn’t want some teacher trying to tell my kid to be Muslim or Hindu or whatever. I do mind, however, when people take the “separation of church and state” to mean “removal of the church from the state.”

        • would posit that we would turn to reason, but is it not reasonable that we could kill one person who is innocent if by doing so we save thousands of lives?

          No, it is not a reasoned argument because you have not provided the premise from which you have built such an argument

          If your premise is human rights – your argument would contradict such a premise, and therefore be unreasoned and therefore evil.

          Or, your premise is “protect innocent life” – but you contradict yourself again – you cannot protect innocent life by killing innocent people.

          You must argue reason from a premise to prove your statement.

        • I would argue that it is perfectly moral to kill the one man rather than let the psycho blow up a hospital (I originally read this as a Die Hard III reference until you said otherwise.. but that was a school not a hospital). If both are innocent and the psycho cannot be stopped, reason would dictate the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (don’t even try arguing with Spock, even Black Flag wouldn’t try).

          What you miss is that, if you cannot stop the destruction of the hospital, failing to kill the innocent man is effectively killing the patients. So the question is is it more evil to kill one or a hundred. And that is an easy call.

          That said, my morals do not come from the Torah. Hell no. In the Torah, there is rape, slavery, murder, mayhem, animal sacrifice, and more. Lot is a good man for offering up his children to be raped in lieu of his visitors? Hell, I say, Hell No. And I could name a dozen other examples in the old and new testament, as well as the Koran. No, sir. My morals are derived from the light of reason and logic. Start with First Principles, and see where that takes you. God cannot be self-contradictory, thus if the first principles match, all conclusions I draw must be the Truth.

          Thus, I say: I may not cause harm, nor by my inaction allow harm to be caused. (Asimov was right on point). And all else follows. Am I perfectly moral by my definition? Nope. The bar is simply too high, and I am imperfect being. Yet I aspire to do right by and to all. I help when and where I can and however I can. This to me is far more moral than stoning a man to death for failure to keep the Sabbath or allowing the Heath Leger to destroy a hospital.

          • Matt:

            Well my young philosopher. So what are your “First Principles” that support your value of “I may not cause harm, nor by my inaction allow harm to be caused.”?

            Please explain your defense of this conclusion, using the reason and logic you desire.

            • I cannot. As Mr. Flag is so fond of pointing out, set theory precludes me from proving my premise within the bounds of logic derived from it.

              But note, I take as my premise that I may not cause harm or through inaction, allow harm to be caused, but Mr. Flag takes a different premise, and so arrives at a different conclusion. He says “I may do whatever I like so long as it does not cause harm to others (or their property) or infringe upon the free exercise of their will, unless they cause or credibly threaten harm to me (or my property)” – or something to that effect. From this, he derives the conclusion that he is not responsible for the death of the hospital patients and so has no obligation to try to stop it, but he would be responsible for killing the one innocent man, so he is morally barred from doing so.

              • Matt:

                Your error is great.

                While you may start with an ethical premise, I assure you that BF does NOT START at this point. Neither do I.

                The ethic of “non intiation of force on the innocent” is the result of prior “First Principles or Concepts”.

                You are correct in that if you build your defense from an assumed principle that has itself not been validated, that you can not defend that which sprouts from your assumed principle.

                That is NOT the application of reason that you claim to support. I think you are capable so why is it that you avoid exploring the validity of your assumption using reason and logic?

                There is a huge fallacy in your example. If someone is threatening to kill large numbers of innocent people with a bomb, gun or whatever, they ARE NOT innocent.

                And remember, the issue is not whether BF or I would act against this non-innocent but whether we are morally obligated to act. You have yet to build a Rational defense for the view that we are so morally obligated.

              • Mathius

                As Mr. Flag is so fond of pointing out, set theory precludes me from proving my premise within the bounds of logic derived from it.

                True – hence a premise.

                But note, I take as my premise that I may not cause harm or through inaction, allow harm to be caused, but Mr. Flag takes a different premise, and so arrives at a different conclusion.

                You cannot have TWO premises – because you WILL contradict yourself.
                It is the two-master contradiction; Master One says “Go Left”, Master Two says “Go Right” – which one will you obey?

                Pick one, and your world will repair a contradiction.

                He says “I may do whatever I like so long as it does not cause harm to others (or their property) or infringe upon the free exercise of their will, unless they cause or credibly threaten harm to me (or my property)” – or something to that effect.

                Not even close.

                It is “Freedom”</b.

                From this, he derives the conclusion that he is not responsible for the death of the hospital patients and so has no obligation to try to stop it, but he would be responsible for killing the one innocent man, so he is morally barred from doing so.

                Right on the ‘obligation’ – there cannot exist an obligation without a prior ACTION of mine.

                In-action, by reality, creates the same consequence as “not being there”.

                If I am there or not there, and something happens, my existence was not the cause – therefore, I am ‘cause-free’ and therefore cannot carry any obligation.

                I have the moral right to stop the killer by whatever means I so deem – including doing nothing.

                However, that does not give me the right to kill an innocent person.

                The killer is evil because he is a murderer, not because he murdered 100.

                Killing one is sufficient to call him a murderer.

                Therefore, it is sufficient for me too, if I call an innocent as well.

                So, the premise you have offered cannot be your core principle – for you have made a choice – based on a judgment that is of even a high order than what you have offered

                You have entered a contradiction – no harm by action vs no harm by inaction.

                You must have used a deeper premise to chose between your two masters

                What is THAT premise, Matt?

          • I would argue that it is perfectly moral to kill the one man rather than let the psycho blow up a hospital (I originally read this as a Die Hard III reference until you said otherwise.. but that was a school not a hospital). If both are innocent and the psycho cannot be stopped, reason would dictate the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

            *shudder*

            If a psycho murders someone, it is his fault not the fault of one who did not give in to his sick demands. Murdering an innocent person is about the most heinous act I can think of. I’m sorry that you can’t see the truth of that statement.

        • And yes, all morals derive from reason

          Religious morals, in general, derive from reason as well.

          But because reasoning is long, detailed (and for many, boring) and at times complex, most people would rather have someone in authority tell them what is right or wrong – without thinking about it for themselves.

          That is what ‘religious’ morality is all about.

          Because someone who claims to talk to God says so – it must be so!

          But religious morals against murder, theft, lying, etc. are derived from Natural laws of Mutuality – and create a foundation of sustainable social order.

          Yes, some people who wish not to think about all this stuff find it easier to believe in God.

          But God is not necessary if you want to work and figure it out for yourself.

        • JB:

          Reason will get you to a moral society. The problem isn’t the use of reason over religion. The problem is that most people can not set aside whim and wish when trying to practice reason.

          The irony is that this applies to the secular as well as religious. Most of your “left wing” seculars can not apply reason any better than your “left wing” religious zealots.

          Now a little thought for the entire audience:

          I find it strange how we want to blame the loss of God from the public place as the reason for our problems. Yet our problems are created by us. Are we so weak minded and weak willed that we need God in schools to prevent us from killing each other? Do we need to reference God in every place to know that rape, murder and theft are evil? I seriously doubt it.

          Until we embrase Reason and reality as our guide we will continue down this slide to destruction. We are the cause of the problems in this country and WE need to accept responsibility and then begin to live a moral life. If you decide that includes God or God and Church then that is your choice. If others don’t then that is fine also. One does not preclude the other, as long as reason and reality prevail.

          Those who do not adhere to reason will eventually become the victims of those who wish to direct you in a manner they choose. They will interpret the world “for your” and they “will care for you”. They will “tell you” what is right and wrong.

          May your mind always be active.
          JAC

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            JAC,

            I would totally agree that the “loss of God from public places” is not the root of the problem.

            The root of the problem is the loss of personal responsibility and the loss of consequences for our actions (both positive and negative).

            If you can blaim all of your failings on others and you are assured the same outcome regardless of your own behavior, morality in either a religious or a reasoned sense is lost.

          • Matt, JAC & all

            Lets leave Washington words to stand on their own, and I will speak for myself. The war against religion has sought to remove it and its symbols from public display. They have not tried to put anything in its place. It may be on the most basic level, such as a football game. Forbid a prayer before the game, where the SAFETY of both teams is always asked for. What words are said in their place? Can the announcer wish for a good, clean game where no one is injured?

            My thought is the liberal movement is seeking to have government take the place of religion in establishing what is moral. Remember the volunteer corps? (To be paid by the government)
            Is that not aimed at diminishing the church groups that volunteer? Do the same work, wear a brown shirt, you get paid, college credit, etc. Do it with your church members, its likely to be taxed.

  9. USW

    This is how the Big Boys play the game.

    Just could not resist. I will never forget watching that game. I must say “The Bear” was my favorite coach, but “Joe Pa” is a very very close second. BTW Alabama leads the series 8 to 5 but ya’ll will get a new chance at us in 2013 when we meet in September at Happy Valley, but beware in 2014 we will meet in T Town. Roll Tide Roll. 😉

    • I remember the game and was for Alabama. Penn State won the opening coin toss and went on defense instead of offense. I know some teams do that but I would have gone on offense and received the ball.

  10. Pascal’s Wager is a fallacy, Mathius!

    Pascal cannot believe in God, therefore can never enter heaven if God exists because by definition, God must know Pascal doesn’t believe in God and cannot be fooled by mere “pretending” to believe.

    Pascal wholly depends on the non-existence of God – God cannot be fooled by pretending to believe in Him – IF belief in God is the pre-requisite of entering Heaven.

    Further, Pascal also requires that the God must be the Christian God – which is is seriously arrogant of Pascal.

    • I don’t disagree. I said:

      Consider Pascal’s Wager. He said “I doubt God exists, but I will act as though He does. If He does, I win. If He does not, I lose nothing.” This, to God, would still be evil.

  11. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I know there are some people here that do not particularly like Glenn Beck, and see him at most as a sideshow entertainer. That may indeed be what he is, but he still manages to make some valid points. I am going to echo some of his thoughts here, but not quote him directly.

    Some of us are blessed with being old enough to have been raised with the ideas that competition is good, that hard work is the path to success, that failures often teach us how to succeed, and that sucess is to be admired and emulated.

    Too often now, our children are taught that competition is bad, because losing is bad for self-esteem. Everyone gets a trophy, regardless of whether they are on a winning or losing team. Papers are graded in purple pen because red ink is too harsh. Discipline is forbidden as child abuse. Sucess is to be mocked, ridiculed, and subjected to “windfall taxes”. Failure is attributed to “being disadvantaged”.

    Beck feels (and in this case I agree with him) that this has led to a generation or two that feel like they are entitled to the same thing that the older generations have EARNED, merely because they EXIST. They feel like the qualifications for earning not only subsistence, but a relatively high standard of living, is merely to be a human being on this planet. It seems that the work-ethic has been largely destroyed. In fact, to be intelligent and to work hard is to invite the ridicule and even hatred of your peers!

    I happen to agree with Beck when he states that this is the gateway to a socialized society. When the people are convinced that they are entitled to a high standard of living without the requirements of hard work, competition, the hardships of failure and the rewards of success, it is natural to expect the government to “redistribute wealth” and “level the playing field”.

    Those that do work hard and earn more than their peers are to be punished for making too much money. Any industry which is successful is to be punished for “excessive” profits. ALL corporations are “greedy”.

    Now, I will say that there are people and corporations that are greedy to the point that they do indeed use exploitative and coercive and even monopolistic practices to enrich themselves in immoral ways. I personally am of the opinion that the government has not only ALLOWED this to happen, but it has ENCOURAGED it to happen. Cases like that I am not for, because such cases are immoral.

    However, honest hard work, competition, failure and success are key to a free society. In fact, greed, in a free society, is not necessarily evil. The desire for “earthly” success is what drives people to produce, innovate, and succeed. It is easy to take greed too far, and that creates immorality. However, past generations have ALWAYS been motivated by the idea that they wanted to make society better, wealthier, and more prosperous for their children, and that is a noble goal.

    That goal has now been perverted. Our children are taught that they DESERVE a society that is better, wealthier, and more prosperous without having to WORK for it, and that is NOT noble, that is evil.

    It is not evil to be a “loser”. Being a “loser” can teach you to correct your mistakes, try again, and figure out how to succeed. It IS, however, evil to be a “loser” and then blame the “winners” for stacking the deck against you and demanding to have the same lifestyle that the “winners” have simply because “they are unfair and have put me at a disadvantage so I can never succeed!”

    Yes, there are examples of the “winners” stacking the deck in their favor. Take a look at Goldman Sachs for example. They have one of the largest multi-national banking and investment corporations in existence, and they also largely control the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury. Such an arrangement is monopolistic and immoral and should not happen in a “free” society.

    However, we must also recognize that by creating entire classes of people that are completely dependent on the government for their existence is ALSO immoral and should not happen in a “free” society.

    We all know that it is moral to give assitance to those in need. However, it became IMMORAL to give assistance to those in need when we ABDICATED OUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY TO HELP THE NEEDY AND TURNED OVER THAT RESPONSIBILITY TO THE GOVERNMENT.

    It is not virtuous to abdicate personal responsibility. It IS virtuous to promote and encourage personal responsibility. No matter how we try to sugar-coat it, there will always be success and failure, and there will always be winners and losers. It is a great failing to teach people that it is “ok to lose”. There is no shame in losing, provided you learn from your failure and use what you have learned in order to attempt to succeed. There is shame in losing and then saying, “well, I wouldn’t be a loser if all of these winners weren’t cheating, so I should have exactly what they have, because they cheated.”

    I am sure there are plenty of people here that will point out cases of the “winners” indeed cheating. As I already said, I am not OK with that, but go ahead and point out all the examples you want to and pretend like my post was saying I was ok with it— you know you WANT TO! LOL.

    Even on a “true” level playing field, there are going to be winners and losers, and there is no problem with that. Being alive doesn’t entitle you to being a “winner” at every challenge. We have decided somehow that winning is “unfair” and immoral, and it should be punished instead of being rewarded. Conversely, we have decided that being a “loser” is ALWAYS a product of unfairness and being “disadvantaged”, and as a result being a loser must be rewarded by “punishing” those that succeeded, because, after all, the only reason they succeeded was by putting all the “losers” in a disadvantaged position.

    We are now taught that the only way ANYONE succeeds is by stepping on and exploiting those that fail, and the only way ANYONE fails is because someone was unfair to them. I declare bullshittery.

    The road to success is still paved with hard work, dedication, occasional failure, and perserverence. Until we start teaching our kids that again, we are stuck with replacing “free” society with a “society where everything is free”.

    Here ends my excessive rant for today (for now). 🙂

    • Those who can find nothing good in what Beck expouses, do not listen to him…IMO. He has many excellent points and expresses them well…

    • I used to think that Penn State cheated. I could never prove it. I never wanted Pitt to think it was OK to lose, just to find a way to cheat themselves.

    • Lori P. in St. Paul says:

      Great rant, Peter! I totally agree. My son is a junior in high school and as a young child he played many sports always getting a participation award at the end of the season. At the time I didn’t think anything of it. I thought it was nice that every kid got an award. Now I realize that’s setting kids up to think they have to get an award just for effort. You should always put forth the effort without any expectation of reward. Just my two cents! Pretty gloomy here in Indiania, huh!

      • Lori P.

        I think this is the first time that I have seen you post here. Welcome to the site. I hope you will find your time here well spent and enjoyable.

        USW

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Hi Lori,

        It used to be that kids were taught that it was an honor just to participate (and one which did not require an “award”). The honor of the award went to the team that had the most success, and the other teams were usually there at the award presentation to honor the most successful team and congratulate them on a job well done.

        It is a bit gloomy here in Indy today, but hey, it is fall. This is the sort of weather I expect this time of year!

    • For about 10 years, I coached youth sports, mostly soccer. I always coached in leagues that were “semi-competitive”, that is, participation was to be emphasized over competition. They didn’t go so far back then (20 to 30 years ago) as to give participation awards; in fact, there was enough competition that trophies were awarded to the teams that won the regular season and the playoffs.

      Mostly, I coached 9 to 12 year old boys. They were plenty competitive with no help needed from me or anyone else in this regard. But, I felt duty-bound to try to comply with the league philosophy of emphasizing participation over competition.

      So, I constantly emphasized good play and sportsmanship and the work and learning needed to produce good play. I often told them, when asked whether we would win the next game or a trophy, or whatever, that they should concentrate on playing well, doing what we learned in practice, following the rules, etc., and that winning would take care of itself. When I yelled at them, which I did often, it was always about not doing what we learned in practice; and I yelled the same amount (constantly), whether we were winning or losing. I worked them pretty hard in practice sometimes, emphasizing playing well and learning.

      As it turned out, we won often, and we enjoyed and celebrated our success whenever we found it. At the end of each season, especially when we won trophies, I made little speeches about each player as I handed out the trophies. In these speeches, I (accurately) emphasized the strengths and contributions of each player (never shortcomings), even the ones that were inept players. The players knew who the most talented players were; but, even the most inept player contributed some. And I never had a player who refused to try to learn and do his best, so all made some progress every season and all contributed some in games.

      This approach worked well. It seemed to satisfy everyone; parents, players, and league officials. Most importantly, the players learned a few things and had fun.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I would certainly be absolutely fine with the approach which you described.

        As it is said, winning isn’t everything- how you play the game IS.

        Whether your team won or lost, you wanted them to work, practice, learn, and be good sportsmen. There is nothing wrong with ANY of that.

        Participation is important, but it isn’t the ONLY think that is important. Winning is important, but it isn’t the ONLY thing that is important.

        Learning to LEARN, learning to play the right way, learning to listen, learning to follow direction, improving yourself, trying to do your best, and behaving like a good sport regardless of whether you win or lose are all keys to success.

        Pretending that winning is the only goal leads to trying to win at all costs, which can easily lead to immorality.

        Pretending that participation is the only goal leads to failure to recognize success and failure, and failure to learn from either success or failure, which can also easily lead to immorality.

        In life (as in sports) if you are always learning a few things and having fun, you are already learning how to succeed.

        Take a look at my favorite quarterback (Peyton Manning of course): He beats himself up after every bad play and every loss, but he still treats the other team with dignity and respect. He spends hours and hours studying what works on the field and what does not work on the field, and he expects the same level of dedication from his teammates. He can get pretty angry with himself and his teammates over failures, but that is because he expects them to learn from their mistakes so as not to repeat them in the future. His goal is to win every game, but only if he wins it by playing the game the right way and to the best of his ability. He expects the same from everyone else- his own team and the opposition.

        No matter what the outcome of the game, he never fails to congratulate the other team if they are the victors.

        He makes a great role-model for kids, because he shows that hard work, dedication, and constantly working to improve your skills is the way to succeed.

        • “As it is said, winning isn’t everything- how you play the game IS.” Vince Lombardi just sat up in his grave on that one, Peter. 🙂 According to him, winning isn’t everything….it is the ONLY thing.”

          The BCS could take a lesson with you. It is in their computer model that the score is a major determining factor. Several of the BCS coaches last year said that was one thing that kept Texas from the National Championship. They picked Oklahoma even though Texas beat Oklahoma….because Teexas refuses to run up the score…Oklahoma did not refuse. Stoops knew it and ran them up. So much for the BCS teaching sportsmanship.

        • When I was very young and played football…5th, 6th and 7th grade, I had a coach that basically told us winning was everything…”Everybody loves a winner” he would tell us multiple times daily…we lost 2 games in 3 years. Oddly enough, his last name was Bryant…no relation that I know of!

          • Different leagues have different philosophies. I thought I was true to my league’s philosophy, but maybe your coach was true to his as well.

            I also found that soccer tends to attract less competitive people than football and baseball do.

          • Terry: Did you see the article about female marines in afganistan who are helping the women and children. It showed the Lt. in charge and how they were being welcomed and happy to have them there. There had been a casualty a few weeks ago, but the remaining members of the squad were staying, until maybe they get a few reinsorcements. Tell you Mom I was in 33rd Battilion, at Camp LeJeune and some time in El Toro Base, in California. God Bless all who have caring posts.
            t

  12. Morning All

    USW, the cross you are talking about is in the Mohave Desert, and in order to find it, you have to drive pretty far. For that guy who complained, for what I read was, that he said he might drive through there, and if he has to drive out of his way to see that cross, then it would offend him. I find him offensive.

    I am getting pretty upset by all these people who find the cross offensive. I am surprised they don’t have the churches remove them, after all there they are, in plain sight, might offend someone. Why is it, that for the past few years, the cross had become offensive to people. Why is it, just the few who complain about them, then they are removed or covered up? What is it about the cross that makes it offensive anyway? What about all these cemeteries that crosses, are they to be removed as well, because of those who don’t like crosses? Why must we always give in to those who complain? If you don’t like it, then don’t look at it. This is as bad as the Flag where some people don’t like to see it flying, and find it offensive. Enough already.

    So, what’s the big deal about having a cross on a T-shirt? As you stated USW, if you don’t like it, then don’t buy it. That’s like when UNR plays against UNLV, there is a sea of blue and sliver because that’s UNR’s colors, and on the opposite side of the field, there is about 200 people wearing red and white for UNLV. UNR constantly taunts the UNLV people, by wearing shirts that say, UNLV sucks, or we’re going to kick butt, so what. It’s all in good fun there. But to say that a cross on a T-shirt is offensive, come on, there are more important things to complain about, like say, the GOVERNMENT.

    Hope all will have a good day.

    Judy

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I was taught to believe that the cross stood for the willingness of one man to suffer and die to atone for the sins of all men. Obviously such a symbol is highly offensive to those that think that feel that the only thing that is just is for all men to suffer equally.

  13. Hey USW, I hope you and the other Lions here fight back. Let them know that this crap won’t be tolerated.

    Now, I’m from Badger Country here, and while our team is down this year, we’ve enjoyed some success in the past since we “let” Penn State come into our league – certainly more on the basketball court than in football. I do think we broke JoePa’s leg a few years ago though – does that count for anything?

    Our state’s big focus this week is……the return of Brett Favre to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. He had a field day with us when we went to the dome a few weeks back; certainly hoping the results will be different this week. GO PACK GO!

  14. Mathius

    I would argue that it is perfectly moral to kill the one man rather than let the psycho blow up a hospital (I originally read this as a Die Hard III reference until you said otherwise.. but that was a school not a hospital). If both are innocent and the psycho cannot be stopped, reason would dictate the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (don’t even try arguing with Spock, even Black Flag wouldn’t try).

    I argue with Spock all the time, and he always loses.

    What is your premise, Matt?

    Why is one innocent life less valuable than 100? What is your ‘number’? Would you kill 1,000 to save 1,001? How do you chose who lives and who dies? If the choice is “kill 10, to save 100” – which ten do you chose?

    What you miss is that, if you cannot stop the destruction of the hospital, failing to kill the innocent man is effectively killing the patients. So the question is is it more evil to kill one or a hundred. And that is an easy call.

    No, that is not the question at all. Your premise – that there exists no other solution – fails the test of the universe which holds that there is infinite number of solutions to every problem.

    Further, if that one person you need to kill is your wife and/or child, would you still do it?

    You would not would be my guess – and if you said you would, I’d say you’re lying.

    My morals are derived from the light of reason and logic. Start with First Principles, and see where that takes you. God cannot be self-contradictory, thus if the first principles match, all conclusions I draw must be the Truth.

    Thus, I say: I may not cause harm, nor by my inaction allow harm to be caused. (Asimov was right on point). And all else follows. Am I perfectly moral by my definition? Nope. The bar is simply too high, and I am imperfect being. Yet I aspire to do right by and to all. I help when and where I can and however I can. This to me is far more moral than stoning a man to death for failure to keep the Sabbath or allowing the Heath Leger to destroy a hospital.

    I see your problem.

    You cannot hold TWO First Principles – thus, your moral base starts immediately into a contradiction.

    It becomes no surprise that the rest of your reasoning lands you into a evil and flawed answer.

    First Principle is exclusive – one, and only one thing can exist as a starting premise. You cannot measure using two different yardsticks – one yardstick will be the measure of all things – the thing that defines the basis of your moral reason and cannot be defined by any moral reason.

    Remember Geometry – it does not start with two premises – it starts only with one – the ‘point’.

    Try again, Matt.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      People will ALWAYS fail the “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one (or the few)” test.

      This comes from exactly what BF points out. If the average person is confronted with a situation in which they can save their immediate family and perhaps a few of their friends and neighbors, versus saving 1000 people that they do not personally know, the average person is going to choose to save their family, friends and neighbors. This is perfectly natural, and there is nothing wrong with it.

      It is instinctual in a crisis that the first people we are going to try to “save” will be those that are closest to us. First of all, we feel that we have an obligation to our family to protect them at all costs. Secondly, we feel we have the obigation to protect those that we know and those that are close to us, even if we are not family. Most of us will NOT take risks that would imperil our families even if it would mean that we could potentially save 1000 strangers.

      If I save 1000 strangers, but my wife and kids die, I have failed in my duty as a father. Sure, I may have saved the fathers of lots of other wives and kids, and I may have saved many wives and kids that WERE NOT MINE, but I failed in my PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY, which is the protection of my own family.

      To say that you would save 1000 strangers over your own wife and kids SOUNDS noble, but it is a biological fallacy. We are programmed to instinctively save ourselves first, our families second, our friends and neighbors third, and total strangers fourth. This is perfectly natural.

      As Black Flag has pointed out in the past, in a crisis, your primary responsibility is to yourself and your family. You should not attempt to “save” anyone else unless you can reasonably do so without risking yourself or your family in the process.

      • I watched the newest Star Trek movie recently and looked at it in a whole new way. I saw Spock as a young man living in tyranny under an oligarchy. I viewed the federation in the same way. This is not the future that I want.

      • You cannot argue that genetic predisposition defines morality. That you are genetically predisposed to protecting your family over protecting strangers does not make it right. To accept that, you would have to agree that if you are genetically predisposed to prostate cancer, it is your moral obligation to get cancer. We are also predisposed to hoard, lie, cheat, steal – I know this because it is how children behave until society trains it out of them. You can’t argue morals from biology.

        • True – I protect my family by the same reasoning from my core principle. (Note the lack of an ‘s’ behind principle)

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Mathius,

          You can INDEED argue morals from biology. Biology is part of the natural universe. Natural Law comes from the natural universe.

          Biology and Natural Law are not in opposition to each other in any way whatsoever.

          The fact that you think that biology cannot or should not play any role in determining morals is one of the flaws in your position.

          • Peter/Flag,

            You are a machine. A complex, not-fully-understood, eating, sleeping, walking, talking machine. You require power (food), heating, cooling, and input. You generate output. You have a CPU. It is that 2lb chunk of neurons in your head. That chunk of neurons is biological. If what is biological is moral then anything done as a result of those biological neurons must, by definition, be moral. How can something be moral but act immorally? Thus humans are incapable of immoral action. I find this an unsustainable belief.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              Mathius,

              Your “un-logic” is quite fun, and really amusing to read, but just because you disguise your “un-logic” as logic does not make it so.

            • Moral and ethics are human defined.

              Human definitions are consequences of human thought.

              Man defines his own morals and ethics.

              A measure of a ‘good’ ethic is the improvement and sustainability of social order.

              A ‘bad’ ethic causes a degrading and cause instability in social order.

            • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

              You will note that your faulty premise was that I supposedly said “what is biological is moral” when in fact, I never made that statement.

              I made the statement that biology is nature, and natural law is nature and therefore you can argue morals from biology. This is not the same as me saying “all biological beings are incapable of immoral action” which is where your “un-logic” has failed you.

              Please try again.

              • Peter’s Premises:

                Biology is nature.

                Natural law is nature.

                My analysis:
                If you posit that natural law is moral law then biology is moral law by definition. If A=B, B=C, and C=D, then A=D.

                If Biology is equivalent to moral law, then biology is moral.

                If Biology is Moral, then the actions of biological mechanisms (ie, you) are all moral.

                Thus we cannot be immoral. Ever.

                Otherwise, I missed how how you are attempting to argue morality from biology.

                In biology, there is no respect for rights, property, or life. A lion will kill and eat you if he can. Hyenas will steal from cheetahs. Nature is red of tooth and claw. You would use this as the basis for your belief system of morality?

              • No, I would use it as a basis of morality of God.

                Human ethics derives from human thought and our own free will.

              • BINGO.

              • Out of thought – reason.

                Out of reason – ethics.

                Out of ethics – sustainable social order.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                Mathius, again, you misinterpret my position.

                My position is NOT that all biological organisms are inherently moral.

                I merely argue that biology is part of nature, and natural law is part of nature, so one does not in any way preclude the other.

                Biology IS indeed the basis for morality, because morality is based upon self-preservation and the preservation of our species.

                We, as humans, recognize that the best way to preserve OURSELVESand our species is to have a stable and predictable society within which to live.

                Therefore, the basis of morals is indeed biological.

                In no way does this say that because we are biological we are incapable of immorality. That would only be true if your postulate that we are machines was actually true.

    • Flag: I have work to do. I was out yesterday with what can only be the swine flu, so I have even more to do today. Rest assured, I will try to find the time to deal with you later on this. Brace yourself.

      • Finally Mathius himself appeared to taunt him, asking the Black Flag to produce evidence of his accumulated merit and wisdom.

        In answer, Black Flag simply lowered his right hand to touch the earth.

        At his touch, the earth goddess spoke in voice like thunder, saying ‘I am his witness’ and defeated at last, Mathius and his armies of demons retired.

        • Behold, says the Book of Mathius, for I am that I am I.

          I am the liberal big game hunter in these parts. I am locked and loaded for for bear, and have a pirate in my sights.

          When time permits, I shall lay your belief system to waste, and in its stead shall stand for all time a liberal flame. A shrine to the light of reason and of obligation to a society greater than yourself.

          Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

          • The Black Flag speaks to Mathius:

            There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

            • You’re going to have trouble going all the way along the path to truth with your foot in my bear trap, Mr. Flag.

              But fear not, I will help free your foot and your mind. And I will carry you upon my back as far as I must until you are able to stand on your own.

              Your moment of zen: You are not all there is, nor are you all that matters. Neither am I. To act as if that were the case presupposes that what we know to be false is true.

              • One day Mathius, the Evil One, was traveling through the villages of India with his attendants.

                He saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him.

                Mathius’ attendant asked what that was and Mathius replied, “A piece of truth.”

                “Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?” his attendant asked.

                “No,” Mathius replied. “Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it.”

              • For the beast shall blaspheme the angels and saints, and with his seven heads, shall he speak as the dragon and proclaim all that is good to be evil. And he shall lay low the nations of man and all shall be made to worship him. And he shall have upon one of his heads a fatal wound, but that shall have healed.

                Believe him not.

              • The Bandit

                The Black Flag was once threatened with death by a bandit called Mathius.

                “Then be good enough to fulfill my dying wish,” said Black Flag. “Cut off the branch of that tree.”

                One slash of the sword, and it was done! “What now?” asked the bandit.

                “Put it back again,” said Black Flag.

                The bandit laughed. “You must be crazy to think that anyone can do that.”

                “On the contrary, it is you who are crazy to think that you are mighty because you can wound and destroy. That is the task of children. The mighty know how to create and heal.”

              • For I am the bringer of light. Mine is to create knowledge of the great truths. But before the fields may be sown, the forest must be cleared.

              • A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker.

                A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.

              • Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of my prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

                You have no match when it comes to the ability to talk. I humbly submit that you are my superior in this regard. I can only show you the way, you cannot be forced to see the truth which I offer.

              • It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.

        • “forces spooling from the center of the earth, again”

          • Love that song.. I heard they’re neo-nazis but I have no evidence to back that up. Kind of spoils their music for me. Anyone know if this is fact or fiction?

            • Bottom Line says:

              Mathius – “I heard they’re neo-nazis but I have no evidence to back that up.

              “…but I have no evidence to back that up.”

              BL – My guess is that they’re not nazis.

            • Does not appear to be true, would be a downer for me as well.

              1997’s Secret Samadhi debut at number one. Deriving its name from a state of Hindu meditation, the album spawned four Modern Rock singles

      • Avoid the rush… Kill them all and let God sort them out.

    • v. Holland says:

      Contradiction=immoral?” God cannot be self-contradictory, thus if the first principles match, all conclusions I draw must be the Truth. Per Mathious” “ You cannot hold TWO First Principles – thus, your moral base starts immediately into a contradiction. Per BF”

      I find myself questioning, I guess the whole concept of contradiction-The Bible says that God will judge all individuals-so I can’t help but think this shows a responsibility beyond self-it speaks to the morality of interaction too-Bible says one shouldn’t steal but says one can walk through another man’s field and pick by hand what he needs to survive and the moral man should allow it-on the surface this sounds like a contradiction but is it really-does it not just show that true morality is not just defining meanings of words but understanding the concept involved-One shouldn’t steal but a moral man won’t allow another man to starve. So the man stealing is acting immoral but the other individual in order to be moral should help the starving man. The Bible says one shouldn’t commit murder-so if an immoral man is going to kill many if the other man doesn’t kill one innocent -if one kills the innocent he is committing murder so he is being immoral-one cannot answer an immoral act with an immoral action and say it is moral doing so even if it will save the life of many because both actions are immoral.

      It wasn’t my intention to post this-I was just trying to think things through but I decided I wanted to post it and see where you think I am right or wrong in my beginning thoughts. I also realize I am talking about morality based on the Bible -but since that is where my definitions of morality comes from-that is the direction I must come from. I’m also talking about individual morality not imposed governmental morality.

      • V. Holland

        The dilemma you place upon yourself is attempting to pierce the mind of God to know what “judge all mankind” means.

        Does not God do this already, upon all things, at all times, for all times, since the beginning of time?

        Step off a cliff – God judges you, and you fall. Drop and rock, and God judges it, and it falls.

        God cannot contradict himself. Therefore, He cannot create evil if He, by definition, is perfect Good.

        Therefore, only Man defines evil, for himself.

        We do not say the Lion is evil if he kills a man.

        We do say a Man is evil if he kills a man.

        We, us Humans are the judge of evil. Only us – never God.

        • v. Holland says:

          I’m trying to understand your reasoning but God didn’t give the Bible to the lion-he gave it to man, IMO, as a way for man to learn-it seems that we are supposed to try and pierce his mind through his book-if I simply know their is a God but don’t try to learn about him, isn’t that the same as saying he really has no relevance in my life or in this world-isn’t that delegating him to just happenstance.

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            God did not give man the Bible. Man gave man the Bible and claimed it to be the word of God.

            If you truly believe that the Bible is indeed the word of God, written by God through the hands of men, I am not going to disparage that beleif in any way.

            However, there is no mention (even in the Bible itself) of the men writing the Bible being infallable or free from sin. That being the case, even if God were speaking directly to them, can we trust their interpretation of the word of God as fallable, sinful men?

            The Bible itself is filled with contradictions. God cannot be self-contradictory, so not everything in the Bible can be literally accurate.

            • v. Holland says:

              PeterB, I do indeed believe that the Bible is from God and that he was and is more than capable of making sure that man didn’t mess it up. I will not argue whether or not the Bible is contradictory -I figure it will take my whole lifetime studying the Bible and I will still have unanswered questions, I just take it for granted that God knows more than I do. I believe because of my experiences when I accepted the Lord as my Savior, but I cannot prove this to you so it’s isn’t really relevant to our discussion. My main question still is If one believes there is a God-but doesn’t try to understand his purpose for us-what relevance does he have in your life-or is there something else that you choose to use to try and understand him.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I do not see God as an Anthropogenic Being with motivations that are explainable in human terms.

                If we go by the definition provided with BF below that God is

                1) Perfect

                and

                2) All Good

                then God is still not fully understandable in human terms, because none of us fit that description.

              • v. Holland says:

                Please explain what you mean specifically by Anthropogenic-

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                I mean that I do not see God as an old man with a white beard sitting on a throne somewhere basically 🙂

                I see God and the universe as inseperable and idivisible.

              • v. Holland says:

                Are you saying that God is just another word for universe

              • For me, yes.

              • v. Holland says:

                Your definition of God and mine are totally different so I suppose I could say you don’t actually believe in God at least by my definition. Most people who feel as you do simply say they don’t believe in God. They do not call God the Universe-so I have to admit a little confusion when talking to you about God when our definitions are not the same.

              • V. Holland,

                Precisely why the first question is “What is your definition”

                If you define blue to be green, and I green to be red – and we are arguing about what color to paint the house – we will be very confused.

                What is your definition of God?

                (In ONE sentence)

              • v. Holland says:

                He is my creator,my savior and my shepherd.

              • Infusing God with the personality, actions and thoughts as if he was ‘human’.

              • Everyday I work to understand God.

                He has laid out the universe perfectly, with immutable laws and without contradiction.

                Our task, learn the immutable laws.

                Do not attempt to enforce a contradiction.

                We rule over Nature when we obey Nature. Once we obey Nature, we can use to give us power over it.

                We rule over God when we obey God. Once we obey God, we can use God to us power over the Universe (God).

              • v. Holland says:

                So you see God through nature-I do too but I also believe he sent a guide book :)–is this power over the Universe, your way of saying being one with God.

              • V. Holland,

                Social order requires a series of very specific ethics to be sustainable.

                These have been initially borne out of human trial and error.

                Once discovered – and to avoid trial and error (which would risk destroying the newly established societal order), they became “proclamations”.

                Without the benefit of reason, the only way the proclamations ‘proven’ was by the logic of “…because I said so!”

                To renforce this “because I said so”, and to dispel the naysayers (‘yeah, and who are you to say so!’ argument) the proclaimers said “and God gave them to me (because only I have the ears to hear God), therefore, I cannot be wrong! So saith me!”

                Thus, commandments.

                But there are always some men who say “Why?” – like me.

                And men went to work to reason out why social order requires ethics.

                The work of all the great philosophers in history have lay down the foundation of why such things as murder and theft destroys social order and eventually society itself – and why prohibitions of these acts improves social order and creates a sustainable society.

                Now, one can continue to accept the commandments from those that claim they are the only ones who hear the voice of God as they continue to proclaim some of the ethics of a sustainable society (with more than occasional contradictions) or use reason and knowledge to provide a provable basis of social order.

                I strongly urge the latter – because we as a global society – with many different religions and proclamations have infused many contradictions into our ‘commandments’ which actually destroy social order and hence, risk the sustainability of society.

              • v. Holland says:

                Is it your argument that society’s don’t agree on right and wrong because of differences of religion-do you really think that if religion was gone from the world and everyone was just reasonable we would all agree. The problem isn’t religion if anything religion sets a guideline for at least some type of agreement within different societies. The problem with mankind IMHO has always been man’s ability to justify anything.

            • The Bible is full of contradictions, but only because we don’t fully understand the mind of God. If I told you I am a man and then later said I am a woman, you would say I am contradicting myself, but maybe I am transgender… Perhaps I have both male and female organs and so consider myself both a man and a woman. The contradiction only comes from your lack of knowledge.

              The Bible specifically says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and so no writer of God’s Word can be infallible. That being said, they are not interpreting the Word, merely writing it down. There is a big difference.

              • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

                How do we KNOW that those writing the Bible were merely writing down the word of God and not interpreting it?

                Why were certain books of scripture dealing with Christ included in the Bible while others were excluded?

                Who made the determination as to which were valadated words of God and which were not? How did they know the difference?

              • The Bible is full of contradictions, but only because we don’t fully understand the mind of God.

                …or it is full of contradictions.

                If I told you I am a man and then later said I am a woman, you would say I am contradicting myself, but maybe I am transgender… Perhaps I have both male and female organs and so consider myself both a man and a woman. The contradiction only comes from your lack of knowledge.

                As you exampled, it was not me defining you – you defined yourself, then redefined yourself, then redefined yourself again.

                The fallacy is not mine – but yours by bait-and-switch. You defined yourself, I accepted – then you changed your definition after I accepted the former in an attempt to show a contradiction.

                You simply abused my agreement with your definition. It is NOT a demonstration of my ignorance.

                I raise this, because this is what almost everyone who argues for government does – offer a definition of government as a ‘good’ – then after acceptance, points to the entity called ‘government’ which is evil and demands that all arguments of ‘good’ apply to it.

                The Bible specifically says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and so no writer of God’s Word can be infallible.

                I do not subscribe to the ‘original sin’ premise of Judea-Christian belief.

          • The Bible is a book written by men.

            God does not use ink.

            I urge you to avoid the Christian (and nearly every other religion, for that matter) arrogance on the monopoly of ‘knowing God’.

            God needs no religion.

            Start with the basic, V. Holland – your definitions of God.

            (1) Perfect
            (2) All Good

            Do not assume the words written by men give God permission to contradict himself

  15. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Mathius,

    One of the grave issues with your stated “first principles” is that there is harm being caused constantly in the world, and 99.99999% of the time, you are personally doing nothing whatsoever to stop it, so 99.99999% of the time, you are allowing harm to happen through your own inaction. Therefore, 99.99999% of the time, you are violating one of your own “first priciples”.

    Your “first principle” assumes omniscience and omnipresence, as well as perhaps omnipotence.

    Perhaps this is why you favor a large government? You know that you are incapable of preventing harm on your own, so you see that as the responsibility of the government? Because individuals are incapable of perceiving, much less preventing, all of the harm going on around them, a large government is necessary in order to prevent such harm from occurring?

    There is a HUGE problem with that theory. Government is not, and CANNOT BE in the job of harm prevention. Just ask any police officer. They will freely tell you that protecting you against something like a home invasion, burglary, murder, etc. is NOT THEIR JOB. Their job is to show up AFTER THE FACT and attempt to catch and punish the person or people that perpetrated the crime.

    If you do indeed subscribe to the theory that a large and powerful government is capable of PREVENTING HARM to a large population, then I can understand where you are coming from, but it is a flawed position.

    Large government would LIKE US TO THINK that it can prevent harm, prevent injustice, prevent unfairness, ensure equality, etc, etc. However, when challenged to do so, the government, no matter how large, WILL ADMIT THAT IT CANNOT DO SO. Furthermore, the government will declare that “That isn’t even our job! Our job is to punish those that commit injustices AFTER THE FACT.”

    This is the balancing act that a large government must successfully navigate in order to exist. The population must be CONVINCED that the government has the ability to PREVENT HARM while at the same time accepting the fact that the government CANNOT PREVENT HARM, but can only punish it AFTER THE FACT. Of course, in order to accomplish this, the government CLAIMS that punishment after the fact constitutes a DETERRENT against FUTURE HARM. However, most of us know this to be a false claim.

  16. apropos of ???? … The Watchdog … http://pic.gd/240112

  17. I suspect the complaints against crosses and Christians are a divide and conquer tactic of the Left. People spend time and energy fighting each other while politicians expand government, run up insane amounts of debt, pass freedom killing legislation, and import non Christian immigrant groups into the Left’s voting base. If we’re busy fignting each other, its easier to be fooled by those telling us they’re ‘on our side’while undermining our society and economy. Just my thoughts.

    • Cyndi, I agree. It would be interesting to know how many groups are out there that are actively trying to undermine our society. We all know about the ACLU, and their lawsuits against prayer in school. A few others.

      Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) was the main organization first protesting the war in Iraq. ANSWER characterizes itself as anti-imperialist, and its steering committee consists of socialists, civil rights advocates, and left-wing or progressive organizations from the Muslim, Arab, Palestinian, Filipino, Haitian, and Latin American communities. This was a front for the Worker’s World Party (supports North Korea) and the International Action Center, formed by US Attorney Ramsey Clark, who has enjoyed representing Communist North Vietnam and North Korea, and Iran under the ayatollah’s, as well as Saddam Hussein’s regime. Many of ANSWER’s leaders were members of Workers World Party at the time of ANSWER’s founding, and are current members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a public member of ANSWER’s Steering Committee.

      Not In Our Name is a front created by the Revolutionary Communist Party, which supports China. Realizing their radical position could discredit them, they sought to change their image, and adopted the name Coalition United for Peace and Justice. It had the support of the national Council of Churches and the American Communist Party. Also created were Win Without War and Code Pink. Code Pink is a wholly owned subsidery of Medea Benjamin’s Global Exchange.

      • Its been my observation that most people will not or cannot see the ‘big picture. Of anything. They get caught up arguing details that overall don’t mean squat. They get so involved in defending their little piece of ground, that they ignore the fact that they are being left with no escape. I feel like a zebra watching the lions build a trap around my herd while the herd keeps its head in the grass.

        Maybe the time has come for a campaign to encourage people to consider the big picture instead of the tiny little details. Lets examine what that tiny little detail and millions of other similar to it, have overall. People don’t see that America is being killed by a thousand small cuts as opposed to a stab through the heart.

        • Very good observation. I have tried staying out of the does God exist conversation BLACK FLAG (imagine I shouted his name in a crowded room) has been waging. How about the topic USW wanted to discuss?

          “People don’t see that America is being killed by a thousand small cuts as opposed to a stab through the heart.” They do here, and I hear about it more and more each day. Obama may end up being a good thing for the country, by showing us just how far they are willing to go to achieve their agenda. Look at Beck and what he has done by shining a spotlight on Obama’s Czar’s and ACORN.

          • Thanks LOI. I was expecting to get hammered for saying what I did, but I guess they didn’t notice ;o) I didn’t say what I said JUST because of the the conversation, but the example being presented was too much to resist.

  18. Here is the cartoon of the day.

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Let us for the moment assume that God indeed exists, and as part of God’s job description, God judges the good and evil done by everyone.

    Go back to the Genesis story of the Garden of Eden with our old pals Adam and Eve.

    God put the tree of knowledge in the Garden. This has also been called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God forbade Adam and Eve from eating of its fruit.

    This would seem to indicate that upon their creation, Adam and Eve HAD NO KNOWLEDGE of what was good and what was evil.

    Then the serpent entered the garden. In theory, God could have prevented this if God had wanted to, don’t you think? The serpent convinces Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, and she in turn convinces Adam to eat the fruit as well.

    We must ask ourselves, why would God do this? It seems rather silly, no? Why make beings who have no awareness of good or evil, provide them with the means of knowing good and evil, and forbid them this knowledge, only to allow for the opportunity for them to be convinced to violate this one rule BY SOMETHING WHICH THEY COULD NOT POSSIBLY RECOGNIZE AS EVIL, BECAUSE THEY HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF EVIL.

    Of COURSE they are going to be coerced by the serpent! They have no knowledge of evil, so they must naturally assume that the serpent is not out to deceive them, becasue they have no concept of “deception”.

    The story in reality makes no sense, because God set himself up for failure. Either God did so intentionally, which means we must attempt to analyze WHY God would set himself up for failure and what he hoped to accomplish with humans by doing so, or we must admit that the story, even as metaphor, makes no particular sense.

    • I’m not sure of the point of your post. Are you trying to say God does not exist?

      Adam and Eve could not UNDERSTAND that eating the fruit was bad, but the were certainly told not to. There is a difference between KNOWLEDGE of good and evil (something is right, something else is wrong) and UNDERSTANDING (or what this passage calls knowledge, IMO). God created humans in His image, but without the knowledge of good and evil. I don’t take this to mean that they are stupid and don’t know what “deception” is. A little kid certainly does not comprehend “evil,” but knows when they’ve done something wrong.

      I don’t know why He put the tree there.

      Just another example of not understanding the mind of God.

    • If you read the Bible, it becomes clear that there is no possible way to get to heaven by our own acts. Even Abraham was not good enough to get to heaven, but his FAITH was credited to him as RIGHTEOUSNESS. God doesn’t need to be a judge of good and evil, there is no good without Him. If you let God take the responsibility for you (which He gladly does via JC), then your evil doesn’t affect you anymore.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      JB,

      One of the things that you must realize is that you accept “your” religion as being the absolute truth.

      Other people accept “their” religion as absolute truth.

      “Their” religion and “your” religion agree on some things, but disagree on others.

      God is not capable of self-contradiction. Religions are full of both internal contradictions as well as contradictions between one religion and another. God IS. God does not NEED religion to validate the fact that God IS.

      Man “needs” religion as a crutch to attempt to understand that which is “God”; however, religion is full of contradictions, which are contrary to God, because God is not capable of self-contradiction.

      I am not saying this to wholly invalidate your religious beliefs or anyone else’s religious beliefs. However, I think it is important that we recognize that all religions are flawed human constructs rather than one or more of them being perfect interpretations of God.

    • Réfugiée says:

      Bonsoir, Pierre d’Indianapolis–

      When people act according to instinct or desire, they are obeying those instincts/desires, thus obeying or serving themselves.

      When/if people act contrary to an instinct or desire (for example, refraining from an action they want to do), the possibility exists of obedience to something or Someone besides themselves.

      If Mom and Dad leave the following instructions: “Eat and drink anything you want in the house, play video games and watch TV to your heart’s content,” how much obedience is required from the children? Can the children simply follow their instincts and “do what feels good?”

      Obedience may not always be onerous. One might obey the speed limit voluntarily on a beautiful day, with no law enforcement in sight, as one enjoys the passing scenery.

      These are imperfect examples. Our instincts lead us to good things as well (mothers nurturing babies, etc). However, when there is conflict between instincts or desires, how will you choose?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The only time there is any real conflict is when you desire to do something that would impose upon or harm someone else. Otherwise doing as you desire is generally not much of a problem.

        Certainly there are times when it is more important to do something other than what you currently desire to be doing (for example feeding and/or changing a baby rather than playing a videogame), but saying that you are not following your desires in this case is a bit deceptive.

        If you see a child as a burden, you will see caring for it and feeding it as an annoying distraction from the things you would rather be doing. If you see a child as the natural product of your desire to have offspring, you should naturally realize that caring for that child is part of that package.

        If you view caring for a child as “hard work but rewarding” rather than viewing it as an interruption of the other things you desire to do, your entire outlook changes on the subject.

    • Peter the question is not wheter Adam and Eve could recongize good or evil….the question is would they obey God unconditionally. The answer was no. He said don’t eat of the tree of knowledge they did anyway.
      God gave people free choice…we are not robots. God did not set himself up for failure.
      Example…kids do not understand electricity. But you tell them not to put things into the socket. Some do it anyway. Did you set yourself up for failure because you had a socket in your house?
      It does not matter if a person chooses to believe the Genesis account or any other part of the Bible. It is free choice.
      “God does not NEED religion to validate the fact that God IS.” You are correct it is a relationship not religion.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Amazed,

        I like your take on the story. I also agree that it is a relationship, not religion. Everyone should have a relationship with God.

      • Réfugiée says:

        Merci, Amazed.

        You explained it much better than I did.

        Bonsoir!

  20. Do you want to know how far it can go?

    Well, I am a movie guy, have always been. I feel that a good movie can be as satisfying as a good book. It can take you to places you haven’t been and open you up to ideas you haven’t thought. As a movie guy, I constantly pay attention to the small stuff. I have even had the opportunity to lease space to several TV and movie companies to shoot in real buildings, real apartments and the real streets of NY.

    Several years ago there was an inferior re-make of a movie called “Father of the Bride”. Steve Martin was the dad. The movie was all fluff until the end, the actual wedding. That’s whan I noticed that the couple were married in a church of an apparently main stream faith, without a cross on it! Not in the church, on the altar nor on the steeple! How many of those churches exist in real life? The ceremony itself was interesting too. No mention of like, you know, God. No dearly beloved we are gathered here together in the sight of God or anything like that. As I said it’s not that I’m a religious guy and looking for insults, I’m a movie guy and pick up on errors. However, I cannot for the life of me think that these things were just “oversights”. You really have to go out of your way to find oversights like that.

    I do suspect that in my lifetime, there will be a move to remove those crosses and stars of david from the American Military cemetaries. There are actually people out there today who advocate it. They just haven’t got that loud yet. The desert cross, now before the US Supreme Court was put up in the middle of the 1930’s to honor our 1st World War dead by veterans.

    US, when, where and how have Christians allowed the US government to persecute those of other religions in the United states?. I seem to have missed that. Oh, and watch that word persecute. It should not be bandied about so easily. Where my people came from it meant things like pograms.

    Matt, two things, there have been several news stories over the past few years about the call to prayer in American towns and cities where the Muslims are in a majority in certain neighborhoods. So, like church bells, there is an intrusion by them too. Regarding the Buddah in a public place, actually, where I work, there is a storefront temple and the Buddah is prominently on display for all to see. I have more of an issue over the burning incense smell than I have of the statue.

    In Catholic High School, back in the pre Vatican II days, we would beat the issue of religion and God to death in religion class. After four years I came away with a strong feeling that almost all our morality is based on religious models. We have enhanced, jiggled and adjusted it over the millenia but essentially it comes down to those last seven commandments. As a Christian, I accept the first three too. If I were a secular humanist, I would still accept the last seven but I would be honest enough to admit their source. There may be a God (which I believe) and there may not be but I posit that the guys who then invented the concept of religion did so to establish a hard and fast set of rules that people could live by. They may have felt that they had to have the issue of eternal damnation to make everybody stay on the straight and narrow. If religion just becomes a quaint custom, then the issue of morality and first principles becomes fuzzy enough to give you Soviet style Communism or National Socialism.

    There are many of my friends who are athiests or agnostics and they have told me that they have achieved their sense of morality through logic. I disagree, having grown up in a predominently Judeo/Christian culture, since their early days they have been exposed to the morality those religions espouse. I suspect this would also be true of cultures where Buddahism or Islam is the dominant culture. Even on the rare assumption that your parents were athiests, you are still surrounded and influenced by the culture. Any good psych major knows you cannot zero that out. A true test would be to have been raised in a totally athiest society which DOES NOT owe its ethics to having been a previously religious one. Whew! This stuff makes my brain ache.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      SK,

      It does indeed make the brain ache. Perhaps the following questions merit further investigation by all of us:

      1. What is the source of “morality”? Religion, reason, both?

      2. If either religion or reason were the source of morality, either way, morality should be consistent. Obviously with all of the claims of moral relativism, grey areas, and things which are “subject to interpretation”, morality is not currently consistent. What is the source of the inconsistencies, and do we recognize inconsistency and contradiction as “immoral”?

      3. If contradiction and inconsistency is indeed immoral, how and where have they crept into the “moral code”, and how do we get them back out of there?

      4. If we as a society cannot even agree on a black and white, right and wrong set of morals to guide our interactions and behaviors, is it possible for the society to actually function?

      I am sure that there are plenty more questions I could come up with, but that is good for starters 🙂

      • Some thoughts,

        1. If there is a God, His laws must match up with “natural laws” since He created nature, so they come from the same place.

        2. Inconsistencies come from people not wanting to be bad and so changing the definitions to suit themselves.

        3. Take an honest look at what we think is right and what we want to be right.

        4. No idea.

      • 4. No

      • 3. …by “proclamations” by those who claim only they can hear “God”.

        Thus, without reason.

        Since such proclamations were immune to reason and logic, any proclamation which benefited the proclaimers was introduced and any that did not benefit the proclaimers was discarded.

        Contradictions were inevitable.

      • 2. see (3)

        1. All morals and ethics must be derived from reason upon a premise.

        If such ethics is subsequently codified in a religious text for simplicity to the masses (shrug) – as long as under the scrutiny of reason it remains consistent, the simplicity is harmless.

  21. Here is the link to the story of the cross in the Mohave Desert for those who might be interested.

    Judy

    http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june032009/desert_cross_6-1-09.php

  22. Highjack, Americans for Prosperity presents:

    Veteran Journalist John Stossel Headlines Arkansas Health Care Town Hall Tour

    October 21, 2009 / Health/Welfare
    *

    Patients First Bus Tour Comes to Arkansas

    AFP Pres. Tim Phillips Discusses Card Check on Glenn Beck

    AFP President Tim Phillips joins Glenn Beck to discuss the Card Check provision being pulled from the Employee Free Choice Act. However, now Congress is replacing it with another terrible provision which calls for a Fast Track Election.

    Health Care Town Halls with John Stossel!

    Patients First is thrilled to announce new stops on our bus tour in Arkansas this month!

    We have the joy of welcoming renowned health care reporter and analyst John Stossel to three special events this following Thurs., October 29th! The details to the events are below, as well as a registration form. Register today to make sure you get a seat!

    October 29 – 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.
    Rise and Shine the Light on Health Care Forum
    Confirmed Speakers : John Stossel, Tim Phillips
    Texarkana Fair Grounds
    Fine Arts Building
    3700 E. 50th Street
    Texarkana, Arkansa

    October 29 – 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Health Care Town Hall Forum
    Confirmed Speakers: John Stossel, Tim Phillips,
    Shaun Danko (Canadian small business owner), and local talk radio host Dave Elswick as Moderator

    Statehouse Convention Center
    Lower Level
    7 Statehouse Plaza
    Near Intersection of Main & Markham)
    Little Rock, Arkansas

    October 29 – 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
    Health Care Forum
    Confirmed: John Stossel, Tim Phillips
    Statehouse Convention Center
    Hilton Garden Inn, Ballroom
    2840 South Caraway
    Jonesboro, Arkansas

    • LOI, Went to see Stossel a few months back when he came to Madison. He’s a good presenter and has some good ideas on alternatives to the fiasco we are watching now. I’d encourage you to attend.

  23. Mike M. Houston Texas says:

    This is all media driven. The media is the culprit of the brain washing of America. Rodney King. Racism is everywhere. One plane crashes. Flying is bad. As Peter stated above if you are in the majority and something happens to a minority the cameras are their rolling and you are on the nightly news.

    There is a new double standard and its creating a pressure cooker. Previous work by USW. Why are we all so rude or something to that effect. I for one am tired of turning on the news and seeing PC promoted and evangelized by the media. Almost fell into that trap myself last week. Watching the morning news. Car chase ends in arrest. Guess who is in the back seat of the police car? Robbery ring broken up. Guess the color of the 4 people in the picture. Arson suspect arrested. Guess what his color was. I was thinking something political “not correct” and told myself so. Then again I tend to see things for what they are. Facts were 3 different crimes committed and all 6 were NOT WHITE. This is a regular occurence on the news and not a single event. To all the non white people here. Do you consider me racist? I say stop showing up on the news committing crimes and I am sure my mindset will change. I am sure you noticed I am not politically correct. I am not afraid to tell it like I see it.

    Wow what a trap! Its there for all to see but “dont you damn well say it”. The tail is wagging the dog. The cart is in front of the horse.

    These are ramblings from just another a racist bigoted homophobic islamophobic white supremicist conservative Christian wingnut as Peter B so aptly pointed out. Funny the facts dont matter any more its all how we react to the facts. The humor is I never thought a person who was all those things would actually have people of all races and religions at my house as I have done.

    • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

      If PSU would have said the FACT is its not a cross “screw off” America would have cheered and the media would have been all over them. See the difference?

  24. Bottom Line says:

    “God is the biggest conspiracy ever.” – Bottom Line

    I rather like the use of Christianity in movies.

    Samuel L. Jackson ( Jules Winnfield ) – Ezekiel 25:17 – The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

  25. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    Further and less squishy discussion with V. Holland:

    Yes, you could say that my premise is that God is the Universe and the Universe is God.

    I do not see God as some all-powerful being that is somehow “Outside of the universe”. I see the universe as a place which is logical, orderly, and explainable. Thus, I also see God as logical, orderly, and explainable.

    I see the Bible as a sort of guide book, but a guide book which was written by people that could not find ways to explain the logical, orderly, and explainable.

    We still lack the understanding to explain everything in the universe. This does not mean that is is “beyond our understanding”. It simply means that we have not figured everything out yet.

    It is possible that we may NEVER figure out absolutely everything. That is ok. That does not mean that it is not perfectly logical, orderly, and explainable. It most certainly does not mean that it is “unknowable”.

    Some people like to claim that “the mind of God is unknowable”. To me, that claim is nonsensical.

    Not sure if that clears up my position or not for you, but hopefully that helps.

    • Some people like to claim that “the mind of God is unknowable”. To me, that claim is nonsensical.

      Why? Do you think you can understand God?

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I, like Black Flag, strive to understand God on a daily basis. I do not claim to know everything. However, I do believe that everything is capable of being known.

        I do not personally believe in “unexplainable mysteries”. I am of the belief that if we are confronted with an “unexplainable mystery” it is because we have not developed the proper premise and hypothesis to describe our observations.

  26. If we remove all traces of religion, have we not endorsed atheism?

    Isn’t that sorta the same thing as endorsing a religion?

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      What we seem to be doing right now is removing all traces of ONE PARTICULAR religion, without demanding the removal of all traces of ALL religions.

      I believe that that is because we are being taught to believe that one particular religion (Christianity) has been evil and opressive to all other religions because of its majority status, so now it is supposedly appropriate to trash that religion and all of its symbols while still allowing for other religions that have “minority status”.

      You see, when it comes to race, religion, class, etc. we are systematically taught that the majority ALWAYS opresses the minority, and the only way for justice to prevail is to now let the minority races, religions, and classes have their turn at oppressing the majority as a means of retaliation for past wrongs.

      This is precisely what is wrong with Socialism. Socialism teaches that the minority is always oppressed by the majority, and that the way to ensure “social justice” is to give the minority the power to oppress the majority in the name of “equality”. There are so many flaws in that particular argument that I do not even know where to begin properly dissecting it.

  27. From FOX,

    Penn State says it has received six complaints about the shirt, including one from the Anti-Defamation League’s Philadelphia branch, from people who say it connotes a Christian cross. The logo design also has become the focus of controversy in the student newspaper, “The Daily Collegian,” which has received several letters to the editor on both sides of the issue.

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is an international non-governmental organization based in the United States of America. Describing itself as “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency”, the ADL states that it “fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all” [1] while it “[advocates] for Israel […] with policymakers, the media and the public” and “defends the security of Israel and Jews worldwide”.[1][2]

    Founded in 1913 by The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith, a Jewish service organization in the United States, its original mission statement was “to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens.”[1] The ADL has 29 offices in the United States and three offices in other countries

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Defamation_League

    Seems strange the Anti-Defamation League’s would protest the image of a cross.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I am surprised that the whole “White-Out” concept has not been decried as a racist institution of the KKK.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      I guess that if the cross that says Penn State across the middle and says “White Out” right beneath had been depicted as burning it would have been more obvious… lol

  28. Now it looks like, don’t want to use the word war BUT, it’s all I can think of. War between those who find the cross offensive and those who don’t. Ridiculous.

  29. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/hp/ssi/wpc/ResignationLetter.pdf

    Matthew Hoh, a mid-level U.S. Foreign Service Officer in Afghanistan has resigned because he questions “why” the U.S. is in Afghanistan, “and to what end.”

  30. God is a word on whether you believe or don’t believe. If you believe he exists, then he does. If you don’t believe he does, then he doesn’t.

    My question is, if there is truly a God, then why does he let so many suffer? Why does he let so many bad things happen? Why does he let the bad seem to inherit good things, and let the good inherit the bad? Why does he take the lives of the innocent, but yet let the evil live?

    I do believe , but yet I don’t. I was brought up to believe in God, went to catechism, went to high school of religion, went to church every Sunday, but as I got older, there have been many times I question whether or not he really does/did exist.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Belief in God as a “being” who is capable of “allowing good and evil and suffering to happen” is a source of contradiction.

      That is why I believe that God is the universe and the universe is God, and that it is MAN who is responsible for allowing evil and suffering to happen.

      It just makes more sense to me that way.

    • Drop a rock into a lake and consider the splash.

      Does the lake believe the droplets sprayed into the air are suffering? Or does the lake rejoice that the spray and drops, if only for a moment, are freed from the lake to gaze upon it?

      One cannot gaze upon the greatness and beauty of the lake while inside the essence of the lake. Only in the “spray” can we see what we are and what we are a part of.

    • Mike M. Houston Texas says:

      someone who thinks as I do. So many contradictions in life. God is all powerful. Yet he does not use it. So many arguments lead to “he gave us free will”. Which sometimes I think means “he gave us free will and walked off”. If you are patient. A rolling stone gathers no moss. You killed him you racist. He had broken into my house and was stealing. Charity is the work of the lord. The good lord helps those that help themselves. I am sure the people in the towers did not want to feel like “spray” BF. Sometimes I do and sometimes I dont. If he was all loving and all powerful then stop the madness misery inflicted on the people.

      • Sometimes I think it’s just all a big test for us on how we handle things, bad and good. But why is there so much suffering for so many, and so many are not suffering at all? You can only do so much to help those that are suffering, you can’t do everything for them.

    • Judy said:

      “My question is, if there is truly a God, then why does he let so many suffer? Why does he let so many bad things happen? Why does he let the bad seem to inherit good things, and let the good inherit the bad? Why does he take the lives of the innocent, but yet let the evil live? “

      Judy if you look at the reason people suffer and bad things happen, it is almost always caused by man. A good friend was killed by a drunk driver last month and at his funeral someone made the statement that for some reason God took him. I had to reply that god had nothing to do with it. God did not tell the drunk to drink and drive, he (driver) made that decision and it cost a good man and father his life. If you look at most of the problems affecting the world they are manmade.

      • Hi Bama Dad

        I am very sorry to hear about your friend, and I do understand what you’re saying. I just get confused sometimes because you hear that God does this, and God does that, when I know it’s not God that does these things, that it is man. I have been through a lot lately , and I just had some questions and I wanted to put them down.

        When I put my thoughts on here, I get a lot of feed back from a lot of you and it does help me, believe it or not. Wha I asked above was some of them.

        Again Bama Dad, please accept my condolences about your friend. I know how you feel, really I do for I have been there myself.

        Take Care

        Judy

  31. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I wonder how many days USW posts something like this, reads through all of the responses, and then thinks to himself, “Now where did all of THAT come from?”

    🙂

    • Is there a GOD? Have you ever laughed? God created man, and gave us a sense of humor. Every time you laugh, you prove God’s existence, and that he has a sense of humor as well.

      • After creating heaven and earth,
        God created Adam and Eve.

        And the first thing he said was
        “DON’T ! ”

        “Don’t what? ”
        Adam replied.

        “Don’t eat the forbidden fruit.”
        God said.

        “Forbidden fruit?
        We have forbidden fruit! ?
        Hey Eve..we have forbidden fruit! ”

        “No Way! ”

        “Yes way! ”

        “Do NOT eat the fruit! ”
        said God.

        “Why ? ”

        “Because I am your Father and I said so! ”
        God replied,
        wondering why He hadn’t stopped
        creation after making the elephants.

        A few minutes later,
        God saw His children having an apple break
        and He was ticked!

        “Didn’t I tell you not to eat the fruit? ”
        God asked.

        “Uh huh,”
        Adam replied.

        “Then why did you? ”
        said the Father.

        “I don’t know,”
        said Eve.

        “She started it! ”
        Adam said.

        “Did not! ”

        “Did too! ”

        “DID NOT! ”

        Having had it with the two of them,
        God’s punishment was that Adam and Eve
        should have children of their own.

        Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.

        BUT THERE IS REASSURANCE IN THE STORY!

        If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give children wisdom and they haven’t taken it, don’t be hard on yourself.

        If God had trouble raising children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

        THINGS TO THINK ABOUT!

        1. You spend the first two years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next sixteen telling them to sit down and shut up.

        2. Grandchildren are God’s reward for not killing your own children.

        3. Mothers of teens now know why some animals eat their young.

        4. Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.

        5. The main purpose of holding children’s parties is to remind yourself that there are children more awful than your own.

        6. We childproofed our homes, but they are still getting in.

        ADVICE FOR THE DAY:

        Be nice to your kids. They will choose your nursing home one day.

        AND FINALLY:

        IF YOU HAVE A LOT OF TENSION AND YOU GET A HEADACHE,
        DO WHAT IT SAYS ON THE ASPIRIN BOTTLE:

        “TAKE TWO ASPIRIN”
        AND
        “KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN”!!!!!

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumors
        but I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor
        and when I die, I expect to find him laughing…

        Depeche Mode

    • v. Holland says:

      Many, I imagine 🙂 Gotta go get my baby girl be back.

  32. V. Holland,

    He is my creator…

    I would say “Creator of all things” so your definition would be a subset of mine.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      BF,

      I would say that God is the Creator of all things and IS all things.

      Robert A. Heinlein would say, “I am God and thou art God and all that Groks is God”, which is a pretty interesting way of putting it 🙂

    • v. Holland says:

      Okay BF, but I don’t believe I was created by the universe-I believe we were created by God who created the universe.

    • v. Holland says:

      Oh, I really meant to ask-what is your complete definition.

  33. Don’t worry, Obama is going to fix the BCS. In December when there are three undefeated teams and the BCS only picks two for the national championship game, he is going to declare a crisis, and appoint a scandal free person of high moral character to be the new sports czar, Pete Rose.

    Pete’s first order of business is to declare that there can be no lifetime bans from sports. Secondly he orders a team of Senators to hold committees and create a perfect computer program to determine the best teams in the nation.

    • REVERSE REVERSE DISCRIMINATION IN THE NBA

      I love my NBA basketball ! Some of these guys aren’t even human !

      But I had a thought. In these times of 10% + + unemployment, these guys are making way too much money. I’ve heard Chris Rock say, “Shaquille O’Neal is rich, but the white guy who signs his paycheck is WEALTHY”. This is true, but I feel we need to spread this wealth around.

      So I’m proposing a Sports Czar. He or she has the power to determine how much these folks should be allowed to get paid. Laugh at me, but do you remember the Congressional hearings about steroids in baseball? Government intrusion into the sports world is not so far-fetched.

      In addition to having power over salaries, the Sports Czar needs to make the NBA Multi-cultural to look more like America. Each NBA team has 12 players on its roster. I think it should be 6 White, 3 Black, one Hispanic, one Asian and one European player. Any other time that blacks are a “disproportionate” majority, we hear about how that is unfair and needs to be changed.

      Forget, just for a minute, that the current NBA players are the best of the best. Can you imagine the Chicago Bulls having to pass on Michael Jordan because they didn’t have enough white players? Or Cleveland without LeBron James and having to take Tony Parker (not that he isn’t great, but he’s a point guard and LeBron is a forward) ?

      Stay with me, I DO have a point to make.

      Sports teams all want the absolute best players on their teams. This sells tickets and merchandise and creates champions. If all the NBA teams had some good players and some Token players, they would be evenly matched, but also they would all suck and the fan base would be similar to the WNBA (very small). Now, let’s say that the Lakers have a slick lawyer who has found the loophole to avoid the quota. The Lakers would win the Championship every year. Boring!!

      Now let’s talk about Government agencies who have all the Diversity rules in place, so they can Look Like America. These agencies don’t have the absolute best “players” because they are full of Tokens. Subpar players are allowed to keep their lucrative positions for the sake of “equality”.

      Now, suppose the Postal Service (just picked it as an example for no particular reason) can find the same slick lawyer and get around the quota rules. It’s quite possible that they could become a winning team if they get the right people. If they were successful, other Government agencies could improve their game in the same way.

      Here’s my point (finally): Quotas very rarely work or produce winners. Why do we make a distinction between the Sports world and other occupations, but not for Government? Why the double standard? In my heart I know the answer, but don’t want to state it lest I be branded a Racist.

  34. v. Holland</b.

    Is it your argument that society’s don’t agree on right and wrong because of differences of religion

    No.

    We don’t agree because most people do not think. They accept, blindly, what they are told by false “authority”.

    -do you really think that if religion was gone from the world and everyone was just reasonable we would all agree.

    No.

    Many atheists do not think, either. They, too, accept blindly the proclamations of false “authority”.

    Religion, however, is one of the roots of the blind acceptance of false authority.

    Children are taught to obey strange men in strange clothes as some sort of unproven authority of moral behavior – without question.

    This establishes a pattern for future behavior.

    The problem isn’t religion if anything religion sets a guideline for at least some type of agreement within different societies. The problem with mankind IMHO has always been man’s ability to justify anything.

    When one betrays one’s core principle, any justification becomes reasonable.

  35. v. Holland says:

    OOPs we have bold print-didn’t mean to upset you. If I came on to strong my apologies. Be back later.

  36. You decide

    What’s the Most Important Issue Facing Obama?

    Eight more American troops were killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday, making October the deadliest month of the war. Many have criticized President Obama for delaying his decision on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, with some saying he’s too focused on health care reform legislation. What do you think is the most important issue facing Obama?

    What is the most important issue facing Obama?
    War in Afghanistan
    Health care reform
    Jobs
    The economy
    Iran
    Other

  37. Seems kind of fitting for today’s topic.

    Can Christianity Warm Up to Darwin?

    A growing movement supports the idea that we can have faith in both God and evolution.

    Exiting the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in early October, I found myself caught in a crossfire.

    Across Independence Avenue stood a handful of Christians carrying placards encouraging the museum’s visitors to forego the evolutionary leanings of Darwin. On the steps of the museum stood an increasingly vocal crowd chanting Darwin’s name over and over.

    For several minutes, the two sides traded insults and it wasn’t long before the hoots and hollers reached a frightening crescendo. At one point, two gay men stood in the middle of the street, passionately kissing to a wave of applause.

    The incident – also witnessed by my 11-year-old son – raised the following question in my mind for the umpteenth time: are Christianity and Darwinism mutually exclusive? Fortunately, as I’ve come to find out, there’s a growing movement between the two fronts that says one can have faith in both religion and science.

    I began reading up on the subject after recently writing a non-fiction book, “The Fossil Hunter” – published this month by Palgrave Macmillan – on the life of Mary Anning. Anning was a dirt-poor girl who cajoled one never-before-seen prehistoric monster after another from its Jurassic tomb in the cliffs along England’s southern coast in the early 1800s.

    Darwin and others pointed to her fossil finds — including many of the world’s first ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and pterosaurs — as proof that new ideas about Earth’s history were inevitable.

    According to most accounts, Anning remained a deeply religious woman her entire life, one who could often be found praying or reading the Bible and who almost never missed a Sunday service. Apparently she saw the beauty of God’s handiwork in the coastline she knew so intimately even while others were using her fossils to raise questions about the biblical account of scientific history.

    Anning’s close friend, Anna Maria Pinney, wrote of how the two often talked of the idea of creation and other spiritual topics. “To think that life shall never have an end quite fills the mind, but to think of God without a beginning is more than a created being can comprehend,” she wrote.

    As Anning aged, and began working alongside Britain’s clique of British male geologists — most of them Anglican clergymen — there were countless attempts to use biblical stories to explain the new knowledge about the natural world that was resulting from Anning’s fossil discoveries.

    For example, the fact that fossils sometimes were found at high altitudes was taken as proof that the global flood had been so overwhelming it had reached to the tops of the highest mountains.

    No doubt Anning would have been bowled over to learn that – some 200 years later – many are still seeking ways in which to reconcile religion with science.

    But Simon Conway-Morris, the renowned paleontologist at Cambridge University, is just one scientist who argues that religion and science are completely compatible.

    The British professor believes evolution isn’t as accidental or random as one might suspect. In his opinion, if evolution began all over again, human intelligence would develop pretty much in the same way as it has. Conway-Morris emphasizes that developments happen as a result of pre-existing conditions, such as the need for blood cells to have hemoglobin in order to transport oxygen. Evolution, therefore, works only because it plays out within a certain set of rules.

    Evolution “is after all only a mechanism, but if evolution is predictive, indeed possesses a logic, then evidently it is being governed by deeper principles,” he recently wrote. “Come to think about it so are all sciences; why should Darwinism be any exception?”

    Peter Hess, the Faith Project director at the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, Calif., also believes that scientific inquiry and religious belief are not mutually exclusive.

    “Because the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming, we must consider it to be a truth about the natural world — the world which we as people of faith believe was created by God, and the world made understandable by the reason and natural senses given to us by God,” he recently wrote. “Denying science is a profoundly unsound theological position. Science and faith are but two ways of searching for the same truths.”

    Most telling is that the proportion of Christians among the science faculty in certain departments at Oxford and Cambridge universities — such as the Earth Sciences Department in Cambridge or the Physics Department in Oxford — appears higher than the national average, says Denis Alexander, director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, an academic research enterprise based at Cambridge.

    “There are generally more Christians in the sciences than in the humanities,” he said.

    And what about the clergy? Michael Zimmerman, a biology professor at Butler University in Indianapolis, said his work with the Clergy Letter Project has led him to believe that a vast number of religious leaders of all denominations are fully comfortable with science. He argues that religious fundamentalists are the exception, and that they tend to assert themselves “more aggressively” to maintain their waning influence.

    Yet the public remains sharply divided.

    A Gallup poll released this year found that 39 percent of Americans “believe in the theory of evolution,” while a quarter said they do not believe in the theory, and another 36 percent said they don’t have an opinion either way.

    Even in Anning’s native and more secular Britain, less than half — or 48 percent — of citizens said in a 2006 survey that they adhere to the theory of evolution. And about three-fourths of British respondents to a recent survey said that science is unable to explain everything.

    Today many people would love to believe that science has all the answers. But people say there are plenty of mysteries that have yet to be explained.

    Despite centuries of astronomical observations and decades of space exploration, it is thought that more than 90 percent of the mass in the universe still hasn’t been detected.

    Scientists can’t explain a human being’s free will, which may or may not be just an illusion, and there’s still no rock-solid scientific reason as to why everyone must die.

    In the end, as in Anning’s time, there are still many who have absolute faith in the fact that species never evolve or become extinct.

    Many others believe that neither evolution nor extinction denies the hand of God.

    Still others don’t believe in God at all.

    So, in this year of Darwin anniversaries, can science and religion ever be fully reconciled? For the first time in a long time, I am hopeful. As more scientists come out in favor of faith, and more clergy accept the teachings of science, perhaps a reconciliation is inevitable.

  38. Dismantling America
    Thomas Sowell – Syndicated Columnist – 10/27/2009 10:50:00 AMBookmark and Share

    Thomas SowellJust one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official — not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate, but simply one of the many “czars” appointed by the President — could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?

    Did you think that another “czar” would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers — that is, to create a situation where some newspapers’ survival would depend on the government liking what they publish?

    Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called “experts” deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?

    Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?

    Does any of this sound like America?

    How about a federal agency giving school children material to enlist them on the side of the president? Merely being assigned to sing his praises in class is apparently not enough.

    How much of America would be left if the federal government continued on this path? President Obama has already floated the idea of a national police force, something we have done without for more than two centuries.

    We already have local police forces all across the country and military forces for national defense, as well as the FBI for federal crimes and the National Guard for local emergencies. What would be the role of a national police force created by Barack Obama, with all its leaders appointed by him? It would seem more like the brown shirts of dictators than like anything American.

    How far the President will go depends of course on how much resistance he meets. But the direction in which he is trying to go tells us more than all his rhetoric or media spin.

    Barack Obama has not only said that he is out to “change the United States of America,” the people he has been associated with for years have expressed in words and deeds their hostility to the values, the principles, and the people of this country.

    Jeremiah Wright said it with words: “God d— America!” Bill Ayers said it with bombs that he planted. Community activist goons have said it with their contempt for the rights of other people.

    Among the people appointed as czars by President Obama have been people who have praised enemy dictators like Mao, who have seen the public schools as places to promote sexual practices contrary to the values of most Americans, to a captive audience of children.

    Those who say that the Obama administration should have investigated those people more thoroughly before appointing them are missing the point completely. Why should we assume that Barack Obama didn’t know what such people were like, when he has been associating with precisely these kinds of people for decades before he reached the White House?

    Nothing is more consistent with his lifelong patterns than putting such people in government — people who reject American values, resent Americans in general and successful Americans in particular, as well as resenting America’s influence in the world.

    Any miscalculation on his part would be in not thinking that others would discover what these stealth appointees were like. Had it not been for the Fox News Channel, these stealth appointees might have remained unexposed for what they are. Fox News is now high on the administration’s enemies list.

    Nothing so epitomizes President Obama’s own contempt for American values and traditions like trying to ram two bills through Congress in his first year — each bill more than a thousand pages long — too fast for either of them to be read, much less discussed. That he succeeded only the first time says that some people are starting to wake up. Whether enough people will wake up in time to keep America from being dismantled, piece by piece, is another question — and the biggest question for this generation.

  39. v. Holland says:

    Alynski’s Rules for Radicals For Communist Takeover.

    Communist Rules for Revolution…

    This article appeared in a recent issue of the California Legionnarie Chaplains’ Corner

    I remembered a document which had fallen into my hands, a duplicate of one found by our Allied forces in May of 1919 at Dusseldorf, Germany which contained “Communist Rules for Revolution” which read as follows:

    A. Corrupt the young: get them away from religion. Get them interested in sex. Make them superficial; destroy their ruggedness.

    B. Get control of all means of publicity thereby:

    1. Get people’s minds off their government by focusing their attention on athletics, sexy books and plays and other trivialities.

    2. Divide the people into hostile groups by constantly harping on controversial matters of no importance.

    3. Destroy the people’s faith in their leaders by holding them up to contempt, ridicule and obliquity.

    4. Always preach true democracy, but, seize’ power as fast and as ruthlessly as possible.

    5. By encouraging government extravagance, destroy its credit, “produce fear of inflation with rising prices and general discontent.

    6. Foment unnecessary strikes in vital industries, encourage civil disorders and foster lenient and soft attitudes on the part of the government towards such disorders.

    7. By specious argument, cause the breakdown of the old moral virtues of honesty, sobriety, continence, faith in the pledged word.

    C. Cause the registration of all firearms on some pretext with the view of confiscating them and leaving the population helpless.

    If this was authentic in 1919 – today much of these goals have already reached far into maturity. Check each item in the with the actual situation today. My prayer is: May God wake our Americans to realize what has happened and the source of our troubles – and do something about it. Do not sit and let others continue to make decisions for you.

    We don’t have too much time left.

  40. “Bad became good…when worse came along”

    • Amazed:

      Excellant..

      And left wing Statists became moderate when the marxist/socialist/fascists came along.

      And the Sierra Club became reasonable when Earth First came along.

      Good one Amazed, good one.
      JAC

  41. As Jesus said there would be many come in my name but that will not be true, many nations at war and there will be dissention in my name. Believe them not. But many anti-christs will come. Obama is an anti-christ. If anybody wanted to destroy the Islam icons and other types, they would be causht and beheaded. But to destroy crosses, no bid deal, Christians are alway put down in many many ways and many times. Maybe we deserve this punishment God is putting upon our nation with the same-sex marriage, no ask, no tell, abortions, even God had a limit to his patience. But I just wish He woun’t destroy the greatest nation in the world. But I did read several years ago, about a presidential election where only 33% of the eligible came and actually voted, the others LAZY OR???????????????/

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