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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Press Releases and Film News  |  Michele Bachmann quits presidential race following poor showing in Iowa « previous next »
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Author Topic: Michele Bachmann quits presidential race following poor showing in Iowa  (Read 4540 times)
ulthar
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« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2012, 08:57:59 AM »

You REALLY need to be right, doncha?   Wink Twirling

 Lookingup  TeddyR

Well, since you mentioned that, I gotta say that earlier, 'in the thread' I was thinking it was cool because no one was really trying to 'convince' or persuade...it seemed to me like we were more just discussing, sharing ideas and thoughts as stuff.

So, I'm not trying to be "right" so much as I am not willing to let blatantly "wrong" stand unchallenged.  I am NOT trying to say the 'extreme' of what Flick is complaining about, that the early American political leaders were trying to design a Christian nation.

I am, however, trying to unset the notion that they were not PART OF something that was already mostly a Christian nation.

Beyond that, I love this thread (and discussing with you guys in general) because I learn a TON...if I were "always right," my mind would be closed.  Like Einstein said, once you think you "know" something, your mind closes and you cease all understanding.
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Flick James
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« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2012, 06:59:57 PM »

Quote
Your question about the Constitution is legitimate, so let me frame it this way:  one of the great Biblical principles that the Protestant Reformation - on the Lutheran side, at least - rediscovered is the idea that every single man is individually accountable before God for his actions, and for his own salvation.  The church cannot save him, his family cannot save him, and no member of the clergy can save him.  Therefore, spiritually, self-determination is what ultimately decides the day.  "God is no respecter of persons," as St. Peter declared.  SO if all men are equal in the eyes of God, and equally accountable for obeying God's laws, therefore all men should be equal before the law, and in each other's eyes.

In this case, Indy, I would say that such a Lutheran principle can be seen to have influenced thought of the day, and I can respect that. Besides, denying the influence of the Protestant Reformation has not been my position or goal. The Enlightenment was every bit as much, and some could argue more, influenced by the Renaissance started by the Italians. In addition, the changing of culture in Europe into one that sought freedom from tyranny can be seen much earlier, referencing in particular the Magna Carta, the first document forced on the English monarchy to challenge and limit his power and authority. This was in 1215, well before Luther was even born. So, while the Protestant Reformation is certainly an influence on Western thought, you give it supremacy and originality where none exists. I would argue, and legitimately I might add, that the seeds of change already in motion by the Magna Carta and the early Renaissance were an influence on the Reformation. I mean, you do realize that Da Vinci and the rest of the Italians were challenging the church and sparking the scientific revolution of the Renaissance well before the Protestant Reformation began, don't you?

I'm concerned that you use the phrase "there are no unbiased historians" to give equal credibility to whatever source you would use, including non-historians like David Barton. Barton is an amateur historian at best. While I am sure he is well respected among Christian nationalists and some politicians as an authority, many real historians have dismissed his work as cherry-picking revisionism, in some cases accusing him of outright falsehoods. I don't know from personal investigation, as I don't intend on picking up a book by Barton any time soon. There is a distinct difference between bias and agenda. While historians may have bias, Barton has an agenda. He doesn't research history, he researches any trace of Christian thought amongst the founders that he can get his hands on in an effort to further the Christian nationalist agenda. He has no historical authority. I'll be honest I've have spent some time trying to find any direct evidence that John Adams did not sign the English version of the Treaty of Tripoli, and I can't. I can see no reason to believe that he did not. Is it possible that Barton is making it up?

Quote
Jefferson was responding to the concern that church had that they were being edged out...by ANOTHER state sponsored church.  Jefferson sought to allay that concern by saying that the government cannot do that under its own Constitution.

Nowadays, Jefferson would likely have to respond, "I cannot comment on any church related matter."

I don't argue that some conjecture is necessary when debating, ulthar, but come on. I simply pointed out a verifiable quote by Jefferson and you are interpreting what you think he really meant and what he would have said under current times. Regardless of context or period of time, him referencing the Constitution directly as an example of a separation of church and state doesn't need much conjecture to understand what he was getting at, framer of said document or no.

Quote
Sorry, Flick if you disagree with this, but the social and cultural context of Jefferson's statement in 1802 is VERY, VERY different than what that statement is taken to mean today.  Telling someone that the Federal Government is NOT secretly implementing a State-Mandated Church is a far cry from telling school children that they cannot give a corporate prayer before a football game or wish each other "Merry Christmas."

As much as it may surprise you, I care little about whether or not a football team wants to pray before a game or whether or not they wish each other Merry Christmas. If they want to, more power to them. You can assume my position on a modern Christian nationalist hot-button topic is you want, but I will correct you as to my real position. I concern myself with larger matters. Christian nationalism explicitly intends for modern Christian doctrine to guide public policy. Through voices like David Barton's, they aim to revise history and shoehorn a Christian nation intent in the Constitution that isn't there. They need to do this in order to justify their agenda. They emphasize the Protestant Reformation as the spark that made the Revolution possible when in reality it was simply one of several influences, some of which began well before, and is far from being the primary one. The only reason they do not expressly endorse a national Christian religion is because the Constitution prohibits it. I strongly suspect that the Establishment Clause is the biggest thorn in the sides of the cause of Christian nationalism, and a good thing too. Why do I suspect this? Well, the unfortunate nomenclature, Christian nationalism, is my first clue.

Christian nationalism, in my opinion, is every bit as un-American as socialism, and I use the two as a corellary. Neither of them are either prohibited or supported in the Constitution, yet, there are politicians who would like to use either as a guide to their decisions on public policy. I think we can agree that this much is true. Those with a socialist agenda use their interpretation of the welfare clause of the Constitution as their justification, while the Christian nationalists use their interpretation of the 1st Amendment as theirs.

Christian nationalism and Christian socialism have much in common. The Christian socialists at least understand that the Bible has more in common with socialism than the individualist principles of Western thought since the Renaissance. Itís no small coincidence that the American Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist. The very notion of requiring a pledge of allegiance is about as un-American as you can get. Itís the type of thing that nationalist/socialist nations do. If you took the average Christian nationalist and had them read Christian socialist doctrine and removed any references to it being socialist, they would probably find themselves saying ďamen.Ē

Anyway, I am guilty of the most heinous rambling this thread has seen, but whatís done is done.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 07:26:37 PM by Flick James » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2012, 11:02:59 PM »

I have been reading this thread with increasing fascination. I have stayed out of it because I am in no way a historian, nor is my area of expertise the American Revolution period. I do not claim to have any inside knowledge of the Founders' intent. I am a Christian, and I do believe that our country was founded by and large on Christian principles, but I am not what Flick is trying to term a Christian nationalist; I believe very strongly that the government should have little say in the founding or practice (or lack of practice) of a religion. But I wanted to throw in my two cents because as I understand your concerns, Flick, I think you are slightly misunderstanding what is meant (at least in my mind) by "Christian principles." I know you have said in other posts that you used to consider yourself a Christian, while now you consider yourself a Deist. I do not recall what you used to claim as your denomination, but it seems to have been a very strict, fundamentalist sect. Anyway, when I claim that America was founded on "Christian principles," I do not mean the strict Biblical interpretation of Christian religious practices. I consider these principles to be more the philosophy of the Bible; that is, the practical, day-to-day teachings on morality, personal responsibility and interpersonal interactions. I am fully aware that these philosophical principles are not unique to Christianity, but Western Civilization has built itself on these philosophical, ethical and moral principles through the context of Christianity. Certainly there are many other influences, but I would make the claim that Christianity is the largest influence on Western thought. It is in this general context that the ideas of freedom and interpersonal responsibilities emerged as fundamental human rights. Please understand I am not claiming Christianity as the sole influence on Western philosophy, but it is among the greatest shapers (if not the single greatest shaper) of Western thought. I will say that the Magna Carta and the Renaissance occurred in the general context of Christianity (and largely in response to the misuse of the Christian religion). Even in their rejection of Christianity, Renaissance philosophers were acting within the framework of Western Civilization. That is, they were rejecting Christianity more explicitly than they were rejecting Islam or Hinduism, and their thought patterns were still very much influenced by Christian philosophy. I realize I am not stating this as effectively as I would like, but I don't want to write a book here.
 
I do not see American beginnings as the birth of a Christian nation, but it most certainly was the birth of a nation mostly of Christians. In what little reading I have done concerning the Founding Fathers, they considered Christianity to be an excellent framework to help the people govern themselves, even if those same Founding Fathers did not themselves profess Christianity. In other words, they seemed willing enough to promote Christian practices to keep the rabble in line, even if they were unwilling to put it in those blunt terms. I don't really know if I am adding anything new or truly worthwhile to this argument, but I wanted to make a point that I haven't seen made yet.
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Flick James
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« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2012, 12:49:09 AM »

Quote
I do not see American beginnings as the birth of a Christian nation, but it most certainly was the birth of a nation mostly of Christians. In what little reading I have done concerning the Founding Fathers, they considered Christianity to be an excellent framework to help the people govern themselves, even if those same Founding Fathers did not themselves profess Christianity. In other words, they seemed willing enough to promote Christian practices to keep the rabble in line, even if they were unwilling to put it in those blunt terms. I don't really know if I am adding anything new or truly worthwhile to this argument, but I wanted to make a point that I haven't seen made yet.

You certainly are contributing something worthwhile, Derf, as have been Indy and ulthar, and Rev. The discussion is getting a bit heated, but I'm confident ulthar, Indy, Rev, and you, share the same basic human respect that I have for you all. I haven't encountered anything but a mature and measured discussion, and if anyone is guilty of being inflammatory, that would certainly be me. "Birth of a nation mostly of Christians" is appropriate, and nothing any reasonable person could deny.

Yes, I'm flattered that you've paid enough attention to my occasional volumes of rambling to notice that I was once a practicing Christian. The church I attended was non-denominational, but largely Evangelical in doctrine. I also attended a merged Baptist/Pentacostal church briefly when I was flirting with returning, because, I had a spiritual need, just as humanity has demonstrated a strong need for through history.

Finding deism was like a breath of fresh air. There I found spiritual fulfillment, and a deeper awe and respect of God and His natural laws than I had ever found before. I can commune with God on the terms of His natural laws alone, and they are more than enough. I'm not saying that I did not encounter some very good people in my church experiences. I did. But I also encountered some of the most shallow, petty, and deceitful people I have ever had the misfortune of knowing. Did that affect my opinion of religion. You betcha.

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« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2012, 01:58:51 AM »

I wouldn't worry about "heated discussions." You members who have been debating have been doing so with respect that is pretty uncommon.

I will put this forward. It does not really matter what the original intent of the founders was on these matters. What matters is what is written, because it is very literally the law of the land.

I believe that the original framers of the constitution approached it from a very Judeo-Christian and very Western background. Most of the Revolutionary Generation were staunch Christians, with Jefferson as a bit of an anomaly (not too much I'm afraid). They may have meant the Establishment Clause in ways that were very specific at the time, but they wrote it in ways that continue to resonate in ways that I would argue they didn't foresee.

Forget the original intent, we should argue the laws as they exist today, which everybody does anyway.

If I'm in favor of any view, it's that the local government should represent the electorate. Celebrating something like Christmas is pretty harmless, especially if most of the populace is Christian. It's ridiculous to me that there are wars on the religious expression of Christmas, as if mentioning it was poison, when every single township in America gives December 25 as a paid holiday.

At the same time, if the majority of the populace was either Jewish of Islamic, there should be no complaint when their religious holidays become governmentally mandated. That this has never happened in America is a debate waiting to happen.

It becomes much more queasy when the religious beliefs of a few are mandated upon an entire population, and I think it's this argument that matters more to people than an esoteric argument of what the original founders thought.

That is why Bachmann's particular brand of reasoning rancors as much as it does. It has nothing to do with this fine line of debate that you have all been arguing, it's the belief that her particular view of life, which includes her religion and every opinion that comes with it should be the law of the land.

Just because some beliefs aren't unconstitutional doesn't mean they aren't demonstrably wrong.
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« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2012, 10:52:03 AM »

Great input there, Mofo.

I think the religious fights between the left and the right have become to some extent embroiled in the ever expanding federal encroachment into states' rights. If the states had the constituency-based powers that they should have, then I believe you would see less of an attempt by either to force secular or Christian principles into federal public policy. This expanding federal encroachment is, in my opinion, at the very heart of a level of polarization in America never before seen.

Never before has the "secular vs. Christian" intent of the founders been as adamant and polarized as it is today. The only thing I would alter in your post that I generally agree with, is when you said that it doesn't matter, because the Constitutional law has been established. I would that that this should be true, but unfortunately you have very large groups in America trying to affect Constitutional law to dictate more that should be governed by the states. That's why, although it shouldn't matter, it unfortunately does. The fact that the wishing of Merry Christmas or that a football team wants to say a prayer before a game shouldn't be such a hot-button topic, but it is. Ulthar seemed to believe that I would take a polarized posture on that issue that I don't have. Again, this is how polarized things have become, and it is represented in Congress. We can't get a budget resolution to resolve a deficit that cannot be sustained indefinitely because of this polarization.
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« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2012, 05:56:36 PM »

You said a mouthful there, Flick my friend.
I will say that I think sometimes goals and motivations get attributed to religious people that they don't really have.  Most of the Christians I know would be happy if their kids could pray at school and maybe discuss the Bible in class, and if marriage remained legally defined as a relationship between a man and a woman, but I don't think any of them really want to establish some kind of American theocracy, except for the nutcases like the Westboro goons.  I think that the beliefs of people like Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, and Mike Huckabee get grossly misrepresented in the media on a pretty regular basis.
  And Flick, I may, on occasion, get a bit heated in my exchanges with you, but I hope you  know you are pretty much aces in my book. I appreciate your keen mind and willingness to listen and ask probing questions.
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« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2012, 12:22:09 AM »

Flick (and others), I must say that I have absolutely no beef with you and this discussion.

My only fear in this type of thing is when it seems to be about to become circular - "I know you are, but what am I" or "did not, did too" kind of thing.  We seem to dance with that line occasionally and it makes me nervous, precisely because of the esteem I hold for all of you.

This has been a fascinating thread and a very enlightening (eh hem) discussion.  Flick, please don't make the mistake that I am not taking your comments "to heart" or not learning from them.  I am doing both.

On to a couple of points.

Quote from: FlickJames

I don't argue that some conjecture is necessary when debating, ulthar, but come on. I simply pointed out a verifiable quote by Jefferson and you are interpreting what you think he really meant and what he would have said under current times. Regardless of context or period of time, him referencing the Constitution directly as an example of a separation of church and state doesn't need much conjecture to understand what he was getting at, framer of said document or no.


I did take a liberty by conjecturing what Jefferson would say to that Danbury Baptist question in modern times.  I was merely extrapolating from what I have heard many politicians in these contemporary times say in matters concerning political threats to the First Amendment.  What I mean by that is situations where they would lose political points or even get vilified if their remarks could even remotely be taken to violate the Establishment Clause.

To say that someone would respond "I cannot comment on that because of the Separation of Church and State" is, I believe, not so very far fetched.  Where I err is that perhaps it is EXTREMELY far fetched to surmise Jefferson himself would do this.

That said, I don't think it AS far fetched to 'read into' what he actually wrote in the letter based on the concern he was responding to.  I can understand that you and I may well have a difference "tolerance" or whatever is a good word for how far to take this interpretation.  I think his choice of language should only be measured by the language of his day (ie, "wall of separation" is very poetic, not uncommon in writing at that time, whereas nowadays we take things a bit more literally), but we can disagree on this point.

One thing we agree upon is that we will never KNOW what was in his heart when he penned those words.

Quote

As much as it may surprise you, I care little about whether or not a football team wants to pray before a game or whether or not they wish each other Merry Christmas. If they want to, more power to them. You can assume my position on a modern Christian nationalist hot-button topic is you want, but I will correct you as to my real position. I concern myself with larger matters. Christian nationalism explicitly intends for modern Christian doctrine to guide public policy. Through voices like David Barton's, they aim to revise history and shoehorn a Christian nation intent in the Constitution that isn't there. They need to do this in order to justify their agenda. They emphasize the Protestant Reformation as the spark that made the Revolution possible when in reality it was simply one of several influences, some of which began well before, and is far from being the primary one. The only reason they do not expressly endorse a national Christian religion is because the Constitution prohibits it. I strongly suspect that the Establishment Clause is the biggest thorn in the sides of the cause of Christian nationalism, and a good thing too. Why do I suspect this? Well, the unfortunate nomenclature, Christian nationalism, is my first clue.

...


Okay...all fair enough.  You are responding to a very small subset of the Christian population of this country.  I admit I get a little worried when I see labels like "Christian Right" and "Christian Nationalism" because too often (and perhaps not in YOUR case, but it does occur a lot), these terms are both incorrectly used and used to paint with an overly broad brush.

May we agree that both the "Left" and the "Right" represent extremely diverse spectra of beliefs, not only philosophies but also in terms of beliefs about implementation of things like government?  If so, may we also agree that "Christian" is even becoming a too-broad label in discussions of this type?

I happen to believe that Christian ideology SHOULD guide, or be part of in some way, public policy.  Do I think it should be "law" that everyone attend a Christian Church?  Of course not, only in part because I believe what's in a man's heart is guiding.  Just because his body is in the building doesn't mean his heart followed, and thus the whole thing is likely a farce anyway.

Jesus said that loving God was the most important thing a man can and should do, and loving his neighbor as equal to himself was just as important (philosophical semantic debate on a superlative having an equal to be in another thread).  The second one is the one that is 'codified' in our Constitution as has been more eloquently described by others in the thread.

So, perhaps whether the Founders intended a Christian nation or not is immaterial...what they embraced was aligned with Christian ideals.  (I wholeheartedly disagree that this is aligned with socialism, but won't get into that at present).  What I find alarming the rejection of these ideals in our public policy, these philosophical principles that are Christian but actually transcend the religious practice of Christianity.

Man, I'm botching it.

Let me try an example.

Murder is illegal and carries severe penalties because we assume everyone in our society values human life.  But, Christianity also rejects murder.  The only part we add is that we value human life because God tells us to.  So, does making murder illegal violate the First Amendment because it COULD be argued, to a point, that opposing murder is a Christian ideal?

No, we wouldn't do that because it's too easy to accept the rejection of murder without the Christian aspect.  But, what if there's something else in a public policy debate that is fundamentally Christian in nature, benefits everyone and hurts no one...should THAT be rejected on the basis of the First Amendment (ha, I almost mistyped "Second Amendment" for some reason).

Okay, I'll stop rambling on this now.  Maybe I'll attempt a higher order of coherence later.

Quote from: FlickJames

I think the religious fights between the left and the right have become to some extent embroiled in the ever expanding federal encroachment into states' rights. If the states had the constituency-based powers that they should have, then I believe you would see less of an attempt by either to force secular or Christian principles into federal public policy. This expanding federal encroachment is, in my opinion, at the very heart of a level of polarization in America never before seen.


Man, BIG HUGE MULTI-KARMA for that.  That is right on the money.   Thumbup Thumbup Thumbup Thumbup

Quote

Finding deism was like a breath of fresh air. There I found spiritual fulfillment, and a deeper awe and respect of God and His natural laws than I had ever found before. I can commune with God on the terms of His natural laws alone, and they are more than enough. I'm not saying that I did not encounter some very good people in my church experiences. I did. But I also encountered some of the most shallow, petty, and deceitful people I have ever had the misfortune of knowing. Did that affect my opinion of religion. You betcha.


And as queasy as this sounds, I'm very happy for you.  This is wonderful!  I celebrate your spirituality WITH you.  We are probably far more 'alike' than different.

I don't doubt your last statements, there, either.  I know some folks now that give Christianity such a bad name.

At the same time, I know some wonderfully spiritual people that are so inspirational and I'm so thankful for the influence they have had on me.  I count my badmovies friends among that group.

(Sorry for the rambling post).
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« Reply #53 on: January 10, 2012, 05:06:45 AM »

Okay...all fair enough.  You are responding to a very small subset of the Christian population of this country.  I admit I get a little worried when I see labels like "Christian Right" and "Christian Nationalism" because too often (and perhaps not in YOUR case, but it does occur a lot), these terms are both incorrectly used and used to paint with an overly broad brush.

May we agree that both the "Left" and the "Right" represent extremely diverse spectra of beliefs, not only philosophies but also in terms of beliefs about implementation of things like government?  If so, may we also agree that "Christian" is even becoming a too-broad label in discussions of this type?

This is an excellent point.

I find the entrenchment of left/right, Democratic/Republican ideology much more worrying than any specific religion.

Christianity, probably more-so than many religions, covers are very broad base of beliefs. There are many, many subsets of Christianity, and while they have the same core, they don't all subscribe to the same set of beliefs. For instance, if you are Roman Catholic, surprise, you have no problem with the theory of evolution as it is understood today. There's a couple provisos in there that aren't in the scientific literature, but the Catholic Church has come out in favor of evolution as the primary driver of life on Earth. At the same time, there are many other Christian wings who oppose the idea vehemently.

Left/right ideology ignores these subtleties. The divide, at least as practiced in America, has become different batches of beliefs that don't have any bearing on each other, other than political talking points that political hopefuls can use to gain votes.

Bachmann was very against the teaching of the theory of evolution in schools. That's "fine," but it's a belief only put forward by one subset of Christianity. I can see the argument against gay marriage (one I don't agree with in the slightest) as another religious issue. However, since left/right ideologies have been packaged as block beliefs, it concerns me that a debate such as human-driven global warming has also been tied in. No matter where you stand on the issue, global warming has nothing to do with religious identity.

And still all these beliefs are packaged to us as an all-or-nothing deal. Liberal/Conservative politics have become a war of ideals that people are meant to take on faith. But that faith has none of the nuance of the capitalized Faith that religious beliefs foster. Every issue I just brought up should not be a matter of us vs. them mentality. Rather it should be a porous network of discussion and genuine seeking for the truth in matters scientific, religious, and moral.

We get none of that in the current national discourse.

In that sense, why should I care that Bachmann identified herself as Christian? Every candidate does. What worries me is that I don't get any sense that she understands reality out of party lines. Her faith isn't Faith, it strikes me as faith in the party, which has never struck very good dividends in any form of government.
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« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2012, 09:43:41 AM »

Okay...all fair enough.  You are responding to a very small subset of the Christian population of this country.  I admit I get a little worried when I see labels like "Christian Right" and "Christian Nationalism" because too often (and perhaps not in YOUR case, but it does occur a lot), these terms are both incorrectly used and used to paint with an overly broad brush.

May we agree that both the "Left" and the "Right" represent extremely diverse spectra of beliefs, not only philosophies but also in terms of beliefs about implementation of things like government?  If so, may we also agree that "Christian" is even becoming a too-broad label in discussions of this type?

This is an excellent point.

I find the entrenchment of left/right, Democratic/Republican ideology much more worrying than any specific religion.

Christianity, probably more-so than many religions, covers are very broad base of beliefs. There are many, many subsets of Christianity, and while they have the same core, they don't all subscribe to the same set of beliefs. For instance, if you are Roman Catholic, surprise, you have no problem with the theory of evolution as it is understood today. There's a couple provisos in there that aren't in the scientific literature, but the Catholic Church has come out in favor of evolution as the primary driver of life on Earth. At the same time, there are many other Christian wings who oppose the idea vehemently.

Left/right ideology ignores these subtleties. The divide, at least as practiced in America, has become different batches of beliefs that don't have any bearing on each other, other than political talking points that political hopefuls can use to gain votes.

Bachmann was very against the teaching of the theory of evolution in schools. That's "fine," but it's a belief only put forward by one subset of Christianity. I can see the argument against gay marriage (one I don't agree with in the slightest) as another religious issue. However, since left/right ideologies have been packaged as block beliefs, it concerns me that a debate such as human-driven global warming has also been tied in. No matter where you stand on the issue, global warming has nothing to do with religious identity.

And still all these beliefs are packaged to us as an all-or-nothing deal. Liberal/Conservative politics have become a war of ideals that people are meant to take on faith. But that faith has none of the nuance of the capitalized Faith that religious beliefs foster. Every issue I just brought up should not be a matter of us vs. them mentality. Rather it should be a porous network of discussion and genuine seeking for the truth in matters scientific, religious, and moral.

We get none of that in the current national discourse.

In that sense, why should I care that Bachmann identified herself as Christian? Every candidate does. What worries me is that I don't get any sense that she understands reality out of party lines. Her faith isn't Faith, it strikes me as faith in the party, which has never struck very good dividends in any form of government.

 Thumbup

This is exactly why, depending on the crowd and the issue, I have been called all kinds of contradicting names in my life. If I'm in a predominantly liberal crowd, I often get called a conservative, and vice versa. My problem is that I have no problem with confrontation and I take a stand. Because of this, and because some of my beliefs are unorthodox, what I get from most people are either labels that have little to no resemblance to my actualy beliefs, or just wierd looks. Occasionally I get somebody who gets me, whether they agree with my views or not. There's a guy I work with whom I couldn't disagree with more, especially in terms of religion. Yet, he is one of those rare people who, whenever I contribute something to a discussion, he stops and listens, because he seems to get me. These kinds of things are always refreshing to a guy who usually just gets wierd looks.

All that said, you guys, all of you, are all in my cool book, and I would say that this has been one of the single most fascinating off-the-beaten-path threads I've seen come along the ol' green board in a long time.
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« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2012, 12:27:02 PM »



This is exactly why, depending on the crowd and the issue, I have been called all kinds of contradicting names in my life. If I'm in a predominantly liberal crowd, I often get called a conservative, and vice versa.



This brought a smile to my face. Not because I am reveling in your pain, but because, well...

You dudes all know where I stand on the "political spectrum" at least 'on the surface.'  I've been called a hippy and just two days ago, was called a "tree hugger."

This particular example came about because I made the statement that I think our town has enough restaurants, enough roads and enough shopping opportunities.  I said I did not want more, and asked the question "what would more bring to the community?"

The person I was talking to, a decidedly and staunch political liberal who was arguing for Olive Garden because she "likes to eat there and wants one in town," called me a tree hugger.  She was smiling, but it was very clear it was a "dig."

It's really funny how this stuff works some times.
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« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2012, 03:00:34 PM »



This is exactly why, depending on the crowd and the issue, I have been called all kinds of contradicting names in my life. If I'm in a predominantly liberal crowd, I often get called a conservative, and vice versa.



This brought a smile to my face. Not because I am reveling in your pain, but because, well...

You dudes all know where I stand on the "political spectrum" at least 'on the surface.'  I've been called a hippy and just two days ago, was called a "tree hugger."

This particular example came about because I made the statement that I think our town has enough restaurants, enough roads and enough shopping opportunities.  I said I did not want more, and asked the question "what would more bring to the community?"

The person I was talking to, a decidedly and staunch political liberal who was arguing for Olive Garden because she "likes to eat there and wants one in town," called me a tree hugger.  She was smiling, but it was very clear it was a "dig."

It's really funny how this stuff works some times.

I hear ya. You should see what my dedicated pro-laissez faire-capitalist views do for me. They alienate me from both liberals AND conservatives. It's strange to think that pro-capitalist views would go against conservative Republican grains, but it's happened on multiple occasions.
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« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2012, 04:07:54 PM »

Quote
Most of the Christians I know would be happy if their kids could pray at school and maybe discuss the Bible in class

Well, Indy, I don't doubt that they would. However, why should that be important to them? If they are a Christian family, isn't it safe to say that their children are getting exposed to Biblical discussion through their family and church? Why would it benefit them to have more at school? Even if I were a Christian, I would not want the state discussing religious beliefs with my child. What if the school is discussing religious principles that I object to? That is not only possible, but likely, given how much denominational conflict over Biblical ideals that there is in the world. And let's not even get into religions besides Christianity. Where to they figure in in all of this? No, Indy, it's best to leave it to families and churches. Othewise, I can't reason for a moment how it would NOT be a violation of the Establishment clause.

No, wanting to mandate ANY kind of religious study, discussion, or prayer in school is not intended by the Christian right to cater to already Christian families. Those kids already have their exposure. Instead, it is intended to expose kids from non-Christian families to Christian doctrine. Remember, Indy, I am a former Christian. I am well aware that the dominionist principle is part of a Christian's obligation. This is why Christians cannot be satisfied with simply having the freedom to practice their religious beliefs without fear of persecution. This is not enough. They must reach every man, woman, and child on Earth. This is at the very heart of Christian nationalism. Whether a Christian openly aligns themselves with Christian nationalism or not, ultimately, with few exceptions, ALL Christians are dominionists.
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« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2012, 09:13:45 PM »


 What if the school is discussing religious principles that I object to?


That's what education is supposed to be...exposure ideas and thoughts and opening of minds.  As a Christian, I welcome discussion on/about other faiths, both for myself and my children.


Quote

 And let's not even get into religions besides Christianity. Where to they figure in in all of this?


Well, I went 4-12th grade in public schools (admittedly, a few decades ago now), and we DID talk/study rather extensively other religions.  This was in a VERY fundamentalist rural region of the Bible Belt, too, not a 'progressive' city.

In Fourth and Fifth grade at least, Social Studies classes were spent studying Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and even some exposure to Shintoism and Taoism.  Along in there somewhere, perhaps Grades 5 and 6, were very detailed studies of Greek, Roman, Norse and Egyptian mythologies.  I also remember huge blocks of time devoted to Confucianism (not really a religion, I guess).

Notably absent were detailed studies of Judaism and Christianity.  Nowhere was even an historical presentation of the role of Christianity in Middle Ages.  I vaguely remember hearing the Crusades being mentioned, so there probably was some of that...but it MAY have come during the study of Islam.

It's a little off the subject, but does related to my point above, that a friend of mine attended a Catholic college and by his accounts, he had some of the most stringent, detailed scholarly studies of "other" religions one can imagine.  That's a private school, though, so admittedly another kettle of fish completely.

The only reason I bring it up is that it is not fair to assume that any (and certainly not ALL) Christians who might campaign for more exposure (or at least not 'anti-exposure') to Christianity in the schools are opposed to this being a level playing field across the board.

I've NEVER personally heard even the most staunch, vocal advocate of prayer in schools that I know say that they want it only for Christians and not the free practice of any faith.  I have heard such people advocate for "free exercise of faith" in the schools, and mean free for all.
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« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2012, 11:06:57 PM »

It is very late and I just put in a 14 hour day, so I'm gonna be kind of brief.
One of the huge problems I have with the court-ordered secularization of the classroom is that the enormous influence of Christianity on Western Civilization is passed over with very little mention in many state curriculums.  Schools are so afraid of being sued by someone for stepping on the incredibly long toes of the Establishment Clause that they almost completely disregard one of the single most important spiritual, religious, intellectual, and philosophical movements in the history of the world.  This is further compounded when religious OTHER than Christianity get all kinds of coverage in the classroom.
  I teach at a private Christian school, and most of the secondary history curriculum falls in my lap.  So I talk about Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Darwinism, and many other faiths and philosophies in my class.  Our science department teaches extensively about the strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory and how the science of origins intersects with the realm of faith.
  97% of our graduates go to college - and most, I might add, to public universities, not religious ones.  It just saddens me when I see students coming into my Community College history classes that I teach at night so profoundly ignorant of both history and religion.  The court-enforced secularization of the classroom in the public schools has resulted in a much poorer grasp of our Western heritage by a huge percentage of American High School graduates.  Now, why their math scores suck so badly, I have no idea . . . . Question
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