Theocracy: Imposing Faith into Politics in the US and Abroad

Jesus_facepalm

Look out! The Theocratic Christians are on the move. The warm-fuzzy theocratic megachurch phenomenon starring Rick Warren has its roots in C. Peter Wagner’s Dominionist theology.  Wagner, the founder of Global Harvest Ministries, is the Convening Apostle in the New Apostolic Reformation and recently recruited the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council into his fold. Wagner is also chancellor of the Wagner Leadership Institute which

equips men and women for leadership positions in churches and translocal ministries. It is designed especially, but not exclusively, to meet the needs of leaders who have become a part of the New Apostolic reformation.

Wagner recently enlisted Sammy Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Council into the International Coalition of Apostles . Rodriguez,  nicknamed the Hispanic Karl Rove, claims to represent over 15 million US Hispanics in the Protestant evangelical and five million Charismatic Catholic sects. That’s significant electoral heft. And he’s preached:

We have radical Muslims. Radical homosexuals. Radical abortionists. We need radical, born again, spirit filled Christians to arise ! Do you follow me ? We don’t need any sissy Christians, Oprah Winfrey Christians. We need prophetic, devil stomping, demon rebuking, blood washed, Bible believing, free-from-sin Christians.

Rodriguez also played a part in crafting the Third Way’s Come Let Us Reason Together mission. The Third Way calls counts as co-chairs eleven members of the US Congress from the Democratic Party: six House members and five Senators. Their mission is

finding common ground between centrist evangelicals and progressives on the most divisive cultural issues of our times

which sounds pretty reasonable and moderate until you read between the lines regarding abortion and LGBT marriage rights.

  • Reducing abortions (reducing abortion through reducing unintended pregnancies, supporting pregnant women, and increasing support for adoption)
  • Supporting employment protections for gay and lesbian people (protecting the rights of gay and lesbian people to earn a living, while protecting the freedom of religious organizations to follow their own beliefs)

No abortion, and I wonder if “reducing unintended pregnancies” means birth control or abstinence.  LGBT workplace protection, but not marriage equality? A vast number of religious organizations are opposed to marriage equality, and have fought hard against it, feeling their rights would be compromised by civil marriage equality.

Rodriguez

prayed together with Barack Obama, in a special private ceremony prior to the new president’s inauguration.

Rick Warren wrote his 1993 dissertation, New Churches For a New Generation: Church planting to reach Baby Boomers for his Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminar under Wagner’s supervision. Sarah Palin has been linked to Wagner through Thomas Muthee who cast out witches while blessing her at Wasilla Assemblies of God Church and Mary Glazier, one of the Prophets of Wagner’s inner circle of leadership, the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders.

Warren has a plan, P.E.A.C.E . (Promote reconciliation, Equip servant leaders, Assist the poor, Care for the sick and Educate the next generation) which TIME Magazine describes as

an attempt to radically re-engineer Evangelicalism’s huge missionary culture, connecting individual churches in the U.S. to congregations in target countries rather than funneling aid and evangelism through agencies that send trained professionals into the field.

C. Peter Wagner has a slightly different view of P.E.A.C.E., as religion writer Bruce Wilson explains on Talk2Action:

In his 2008 book “Dominion”, C. Peter Wagner describes the process through which this brand of Christianity can take dominion over government and society, and Wagner claims that this can be done within a democratic framework. Wagner clearly states that Rick Warren’s global P.E.A.C.E. Plan is an example of “stage one”:

“I think the P.E.A.C.E. plan fits most comfortably into Phase One, the ‘social action’ phase of strategies for obeying God’s cultural mandate. The Phase Two emphases on strategic-level spiritual warfare and associated activities have not been placed front and center. And crucial to Phase Three, as I am defining it, are such things as apostolic/prophetic government of the Church, the Church (including apostles) in the workplace, the great transfer of wealth, dominion theology and the 7-M mandate.” [page 174, Dominion! How Kingdom Action Can Change the World, by C. Peter Wagner, published in 2008 by Chosen Books]

Rick Warren very close pals with Martin Ssempa who has appeared on stage at Saddleback Church, has burned condoms in the name of Jesus, called on newspapers to publish the names of known homosexuals and urged the imprisonment of gays.

A bill currently before Uganda’s Parliament would impose a life sentence as

minimum punishment for anyone convicted of having gay sex…If the accused person is HIV positive or a serial offender, or a “person of authority” over the other partner, or if the “victim” is under 18, a conviction will result in the death penalty.  Members of the public are obliged to report any homosexual activity to police with 24 hours or risk up to three years in jail…

[W]ithin Uganda [is] deeply-rooted homophobia, aided by a US-linked evangelical campaign alleging that gay men are trying to “recruit” schoolchildren, and that homosexuality is a habit that can be “cured”…

Warren told Newsweek:

In 2007 we completely severed contact with Mr. Ssempa when we learned that his views and actions were in serious conflict with our own. Our role, and the role of the PEACE Plan, whether in Uganda or any other country, is always pastoral and never political. We vigorously oppose anything that hinders the goals of the PEACE Plan: Promoting reconciliation, Equipping ethical leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation. (emphasis added)

Yet Warren inserted himself in the political process during Prop 8, by hosting presidential debate at Saddleback Church, and told the Orange County Register:

I believe in separation of church and state, but I don’t believe in separation of faith and politics.

74 Responses to "Theocracy: Imposing Faith into Politics in the US and Abroad"
AZ Matt | Saturday December 5, 2009 07:25 pm 1

Warren wants his own version of the Holy Roman Empire. A new inquistion is what we will see.


Elliott | Sunday December 6, 2009 07:51 am 2

This is a huge scandal that is not getting enough attention.

Yet Warren inserted himself in the political process during Prop 8, by hosting presidential debate at Saddleback Church, and told the Orange County Register:

I believe in separation of church and state, but I don’t believe in separation of faith and politics.


Ruth Calvo | Sunday December 6, 2009 07:59 am 3

The Biblification of the constitution will be coming out shortly, proving that the forefathers were edited by Ben Franklin when he Frenchified, taking out the important references to giving an automatic override to the Holy See, now represented by … one R. Warren


demi | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:00 am 4

‘Morning, Lisa and Dogs
The think they’re looking for free from sin Christians? Good luck with that one. And, does that include one who ” has burned condoms in the name of Jesus, called on newspapers to publish the names of known homosexuals and urged the imprisonment of gays.” Sounds kind of judgemental to me. Might not be the best way to get closer to God.
Jesus is still weeping.
I’m not a fan of Rick Warren’s. At all.


TalkingStick | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:00 am 5
In response to AZ Matt @ 1

Warren wants his own version of the Holy Roman Empire. A new inquistion is what we will see.

True. True. But the resident Holy Roman Empire also has aspirations toward the U.S.government. They’re coming from all sides.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:01 am 6

Rick Warren has its roots in C. Peter Wagner’s Dominionist theology. Wagner, the founder of Global Harvest Ministries, is the Convening Apostle in the New Apostolic Reformation and recently recruited the President of the Nation Hispanic Christian Leadership Council into his fold.

Great the upcoming Mexican Civil war between the have nots and the haves getting rich on NAFTA will have a religious stink.
I wonder how Rahm will spin sending troops in to cull Christian Fundies?


demi | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:09 am 7

This might be a presumptious question, but does anyone else wonder if these guys are over compensating? For a lack of understanding of Jesus’ simple, but difficult, transitorial message about the Kingdom of God.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:11 am 8

Evangelical Christians in Chiapas have borne the brunt of much of the lawlessness there. They are
frequently expelled from their homes and villages because they refuse to drink alcohol or to participate in
local syncretistic festivities where large amounts of alcohol are consumed. The powerful local leaders, or
caciques, who control the alcohol industry fear a considerable decrease of their earnings and see these
Christians as threat to their power. The village authorities often expel the Protestants or threaten them
with arrest or other abuse. Catholic Christians or authorities who speak out against the expulsions have
also been driven away.

“The general repression in Chiapas hits also many Catholic Christians. The main cause for this re-
pression lies in the fact that power is held mainly by the caciques and the big landowners and the local
wine and alcohol dealers. The persecution of the Protestant Christians can also be brought in connection
with this fact: For religious reasons they refuse to drink alcohol. The liquor dealers are afraid of a loss of
sales of their goods. Therefore they arrange the expulsion of the Christians.”
As described by Mr. B. Ruiz

The expelled villagers, mostly subsistence farmers, have to leave behind their entire harvest and all their
breeding cattle in their villages. Under threat of death, they are hindered from returning to their homes –
not even to gather their harvests. Guards are often posted in front of their former houses to prevent their
return. From that point on the expelled families are often forced to earn their living as street vendors.
Many of the village authorities still refuse to admit that there have been expulsions. Even a leading
representative of the regional parliament declared that, “If such expulsions had taken place they would
not have to be considered as crimes anyways.” The government’s approach may change now that an
evangelical Christian, Pablo Salazar, has been elected governor of Chiapas.

Overall human rights situation

The constitutional protection of religious liberty is generally respected in the north, central and urban
areas of Mexico, however, in the rural areas, the caciques have enormous influence on the application
of laws. Amnesty International reports that the situation has deteriorated significantly and arbitrary
detentions, torture, extra-judicial killings and disappearances have become widespread. The govern-
ment in many cases seems unwilling or unable to enforce the rule of law. Indeed, human rights monitors
are under constant threat of death and peaceful peasant demonstrations in support of much-needed land
reform are often broken up by force. Mexican police and security forces frequently target their political
opponents, as well as human rights activists, for arbitrary arrest, torture and execution.

http://www.cswusa.com/Countries/Mexico.htm

We have a potential Iran situation here when Democracy fails people go religious in a big way.
Tell Rahm I told you so!


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:14 am 9
In response to demi @ 7

Yes I wonder if they are over compensating or if they are just Evil.


maryyooch | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:14 am 10
In response to Elliott @ 2

What is the difference?

” Do you follow me ? We don’t need any sissy Christians, Oprah Winfrey Christians. We need prophetic, devil stomping, demon rebuking, blood washed, Bible believing, free-from-sin Christians.”

I don’t think the Jesus of the Bible would agree with this.
Isn’t that what Archangels are for? Spiritual warfare?


Knoxville | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:18 am 11

Sammy Rodriguez, President of the Nation Hispanic Christian Leadership Council into the International Coalition of Apostles, said:

We have radical Muslims. Radical homosexuals. Radical abortionists.

When did being Muslim become “radical”? When did advocating for the rights of citizens or defending citizens’ established and constitutionally protected rights become “radical”?

If these megachurch manipulators – especially the ones who say they’re Apostles and call for a New Apostolic reformation – believed the shit they’re shoveling, they’d be focused on the Eschaton than on shaping policy for history yet to come.

Frankly, they’re abusing the beliefs of Christianity to advance a radical political agenda.

They’re using people’s faith to manipulate Americans and shape their political views into something that is at odds with everything that the United States claims to stand for.


COProgressive | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:20 am 12

“We need prophetic, devil stomping, demon rebuking, blood washed, Bible believing, free-from-sin Christians.”

“I believe in separation of church and state, but I don’t believe in separation of faith and politics.”

Free-from-sin Christians? Don’t believe in saperation of faith and politics? These people are nuts that verge on the same mentality of Jim Jones and his desire to contol his flock of Kool-aid drinking “People’s Temple” followers.

There are people in the world who have a burning desire to control others. Whether it be for evil or “good” it makes no difference. It is control, nothing more. But “morality and the Lords work” is the best way of leading people by the nose and the easiest to be able to cast guilt and lothing on others that reject being controled or who are somehow different.

Disgusting!

“The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” – Robert A. Heinlein


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:23 am 13

he Abejas are a civil association of honey gatherers and coffee growers who had been forced from their home villages in the months previous to the murders – the massacre took place at the height of the coffee harvest – by armed bands affiliated with the long-ruling PRI party and its surrogates in the “Cardenas Front.” Unlike the Abejas who were devout Catholics, the PRIistas lined up with the evangelical National Presbyterian Church that first established itself in Los Altos back in the 1930s. Since spring, they had been burning the Bees’ homes and stealing their coffee and their cattle. Abeja families from Quextic had been particularly persecuted and the Zapatista community of Acteal offered them sanctuary on the hillside where they would later be murdered.

All of the dead Abejas and those who killed them were Tzotzil Mayan Indians.

http://www.counterpunch.org/ross08242009.html

I am not saying the Mexican Government does not need to be replaced. I am not saying they are not evil but do we want the fundies to take over?


masanf | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:28 am 14

How dare the religious try to influence the debate in a democracy? How dare they?

The worst part of the post though is your response to the position on gay rights that is stated by one of the organizations you discuss:

“LGBT workplace protection, but not marriage equality? A vast number of religious organizations are opposed to marriage equality, and have fought hard against it, feeling their rights would be compromised by civil marriage equality”

Aside from not really addressing what is actually said by the organization, it seems that you actually believe religious organizations should be compelled by the power of the state to recognize gay marriage. So when religious individuals throw their weight around via the ballot box, as is their right, it is a sign of pending theocracy(never mind the fact it doesn’t require religious belief to oppose abortion) and it must be stopped. But when it comes to compelling religious institutions to recognize gay marriage, why that is no big deal, right? Because that is certainly what it seems you are advocating in the sentences I quoted above. Evidently you believe the establishment clause is a one-way street.

It is a shame Rick Warren isn’t linked to Jeremiah Wright instead of these other people mentioned because then Wagner’s long associations would be deemed irrelevant by the people here.


billybugs | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:29 am 15

” free-from-sin Christians.”

WTF….. these people really are full of themselves !


masanf | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:30 am 16
In response to Elliott @ 2

Religious individuals and organizations have just as much right as you to try and influence the democratic process through the ballot box. Claiming it is some sort of scandal is absolutely asinine.


billybugs | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:31 am 17
In response to billybugs @ 15

” free-from-sin Christians.”

my comment should have contained this quote ,it was there when I hit the submit button


SanderO | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:31 am 18

I shuddered when the left and the dems thought it wise to try to appeal to religious people in their pitch for better government.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:33 am 19
In response to Knoxville @ 11

Muslims ruled Spain for 400 years Jews and Christians thrived then the Muslims got kicked out by the Christians and the Jews had to convert or die. then the Spanish came to my land and almost killed us all…
I’m thinking this preacher is a son of Torquemada

, first Inquisitor General of Spain, and confessor to Isabella I of Castile. He was famously described by the Spanish chronicler Sebastián de Olmedo as “The hammer of heretics, the light of Spain, the saviour of his country, the honour of his order”. He is known for his zealous campaign against the crypto-Jews and crypto-Muslims of Spain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomás_de_Torquemada

I am not happy to hear this.


SanderO | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:33 am 20
In response to masanf @ 16

Religion should confine itself to matters of people’s souls and for those who believe in such matters.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:36 am 21
In response to masanf @ 14

Either we all have the right to Life, Liberty and Happiness or none of us do. Religions can play within those rules keeping people from those rights…well we already fought one civil war.


Spotts1701 | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:37 am 22
In response to SanderO @ 18

Why?

There are just as many religious people on the left as there are on the right. The difference is the ones on the left don’t wave it in your face.


masanf | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:38 am 23
In response to AZ Matt @ 1

It is hard to determine which quote is stupider. This one:
“Warren wants his own version of the Holy Roman Empire. A new inquistion is what we will see.”

This one:
“When did being Muslim become ‘radical’”
If you actually believe that the guy is claiming the mere act of being Muslim is radical, you need to learn some reading comprehension. Either that or turn down your “Hey Look at Me and My Politically-Correct Outrage” Meter.

Or this one:

“These people are nuts that verge on the same mentality of Jim Jones and his desire to contol his flock of Kool-aid drinking “People’s Temple” followers.”

You obviously know nothing about Jim Jones.

Trying to pick who should win the award for “Most ridiculous use of hyperbole” when there are so many contestants on this site, day after day, is like trying to split an atom in your garage.


Minnesotachuck | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:42 am 24

The group blog talk2action is a good place to keep on top of this crap.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:45 am 25
In response to masanf @ 23

Disprove any of these statements first before you dismiss them or some might think your stupid and engaging in the

Most ridiculous use of hyperbole”


masanf | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:48 am 26

“There are people in the world who have a burning desire to control others. Whether it be for evil or “good” it makes no difference. It is control, nothing more.”

That someone who calls himself “progressive” (the most ridiculous term for people who propose policies that were old seven decades ago) could write such a thing is either the most hilarious example of lack of awareness I have ever seen or the most galling example of hypocrisy I have read in a long, long time. The whole “progressive” philosophy in the United States seems to be about the use of government power to compel individuals to do what the state has deemed “good”. The health care debate is the perfect example with “progressives” even going so far as to advocate throwing people in jail who don’t buy health insurance.
Not a day goes by where I don’t hear someone claim that it is “immoral” to not pay trillions of dollars to make sure those without health insurance will have it. The arguments for a progressive tax code almost always involve an invocation of morality as well, as does any discussion of “progressive” policies.

The only difference between Evangelicals and progressives is who they worship. Evangelicals worship Jesus Christ and progressives worship the State and all its power.


billybugs | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:48 am 27

What is a mega-church other than a massive money making machine ?
Are they holier than though because they worship in a multimillion dollar “Cathedral ” ?


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:51 am 28

“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ [that Jesus is the Messiah]; and shall deceive many.”

http://www.thercg.org/books/ews-n.html

I think some Mega Churches are full of people speaking in JC’s name.


masanf | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:54 am 29

“Disprove any of these statements first before you dismiss them…”

Disprove that Rick Warren wants to start a Holy Roman Empire and lead an inquisition? Disprove that he is the same as a man who murdered 900 people? The last one is really easy to disprove as I don’t see Warren taking people to a foreign country and forcing them to drink cyanide-laced drinks. .

The first accusation is beyond ridiculous. Nothing Warren has ever said even remotely would indicate he wants to start murdering heretics and non-believers through an inquistion. Your reponse would be like me stating “Barack Obama wants to murder all non-Democrats in the United States” and then when someone asks for proof, I answer with “disprove it”.

That is not how it works jackass. The burden of proof is on the one making the accusation, particularly when it is such a hilariously stupid accusation concerning how Warren wants to start murdering thousands of people.


mesamick | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:54 am 30

The evangelical Christian Religious Right and their subset of vigilante proselytizing groups lust to exert power, control and influence over the US Constitution, our legal system, our public education institutions, women’s bodies, foreign policy and the overall social fabric of America.

They will stop at nothing – lying, fear mongering, voting extortion, social coercion, political and legal intimidation, even killing their opponents while they attend church – to affect what they assert is their God-given divine right to absolute authority over the world as the believers in the one and only true God.

Given their stated mission and subsequent actions, they should be re-branded as “Talibangelicals”, “Talibangilists” or even “Fundamentalist Christian terrorists”.

Politically active evangelicals and fundamentalist are the two-bit christianist grifters of the GOP. At the vanguard of this political evangelical and rotted brain “culture wars” movement in the US are militant religious political action organizations focused on legal, legislative and judicial means and methods for implementing their version of a “Christian nation”.

This so-called 5th column of religious political insanity includes Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, Pat Robertson’s Regent University and the grand daddy of them all James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. You can now add Rick Warren and his gay-bashing anti-womens rights “church” to the list of seditious subversives whose stated goal is replace the US Constitution with the bible.

I’ll bet if Jefferson and Madison were alive today they would bwe shitting their pants to see how “free speech” is being used to undermine the core principal of the US – Seperation of Church and State…


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:54 am 31
In response to masanf @ 26

Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”



http://www.biblegateway.com/pa…..chapter=25
Government paying for the poor’s healthcare is control that JC would disaprove of?


billybugs | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:54 am 32
In response to masanf @ 26

As far as being open minded.

You’re not doing yourself any justice


PJEvans | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:54 am 33
In response to masanf @ 14

You clearly are misinformed about a lot of things. Try reading instead of telling everyone else what to think.


PJEvans | Sunday December 6, 2009 08:59 am 34
In response to masanf @ 26

Evangelicals worship Jesus Christ and progressives worship the State and all its power.

Oh man.
What a load of crap.

Every time you make a comment, your biases show: conservative, evangelical, thought-free.
Anti-women, anti-minority, anti-GLBT, anti-liberal/progressive.
And probably against public schools and actual voting, too.


SanderO | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:00 am 35

I don’t care if people are believers… it simply should not be a force in politics.

Religious groups can engage in charitable work, but stay out of government. Thanks.


knowbuddhau | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:01 am 36

Wow! An entire post concerning the power of myths to jack nations to hell and back. This is exactly what I’m on about. I love it, thanks a million.

The language of myth is metaphor. These people aren’t stupid, they aren’t crazy, but I do believe they are badly deluded about the very nature of reality itself.

I bow deeply at the waste in your virtual direction.

Earlier, I posted this to the Ackerman post, Circular Justifications.

Myths, I might add, aren’t the same as lies. They’re very comforting ways of looking at and being in the world. The power of the myth of American Exceptionalism is our ultimate WMD. It creates the hellish cosmos in which war is the way the world was made to work in our favor in perpetuity.

So petitioning our public servants has been inverted into questioning the throne of heaven itself, infecting civil discourse with the zealotry of holy war fanatics (culture war, anyone?). Even the slightest disagreement, if they don’t reprove it quickly enough (as in Uganda lately), threatens their idea of their eternal soul, so they rush to send us to hell first.

IMO, that’s why, to pick one example, Mount McCain occasionally erupts. He’s confused himself with an almighty master of the universe (MOTU).

SEN. ROBERT BYRD: My hands tremble, but my heart still throbs. I read this quote: “Naturally, the common people don’t want war. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.” Hermann Goering, president of Reichstag, Nazi Parliament, 1934. Democracy Now! March 25, 2008

I think it obvious: as Gore Vidal suggests, we imported Goering’s method of jacking nations, and have been busily updating and upgrading it ever since. As in the Pentagon’s infamous Message Force Multipliers.

But for these carefully crafted myths, dividing us, the indivisible; perverting public opinion; creating false histories and realities; etc., would the wars be possible?

And this effort, what we’re doing here and now: busting their myths even as they deploy them; gives me great hope for the future.

If this is true:

In truth whoever is able to make you believe in absurdities will also be able to make you commit atrocities.–Voltaire, 1765

then whoever can help you see through absurdities can prevent you from committing atrocities, right? IMO, that’s the power of the people being expressed through the power of truth.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:02 am 37

Disprove that Rick Warren wants to start a Holy Roman Empire and lead an inquisition?

Against gays yes we think so thats whats Lisa and I am worried about.

Disprove that he is the same as a man who murdered 900 people?

Do not his words and the like minded words of others encourage hate crimes against Gays that result in death? I will leave the number of total dead so far open.

The burden of proof is on the one making the accusation, particularly when it is such a hilariously stupid accusation concerning how Warren wants to start murdering thousands of people.

First it starts by treating others as less than equal in small ways and then once people accept that the less than equal treating grows. We all have the same rights granted us by God or none of us do.

And by the way didn’t Jesus ride a Jackass into town before he died? A symbol of Pales the trickster god:)


BruceWebb | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:07 am 38

Not that it matters much but the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ was not a theocracy, in fact for most of its history it was kind of the opposite as its leaders asserted to power of the State in the person of the Emperor OVER the Church in the person of the Pope.

I get the point that commenters are trying to make and mostly agree, it just bugs me that people mistake historical labels for historical reality. For example in 1527 Imperial troops of the Holy Roman Empire sacked Rome, massacred the Popes famed Swiss Guards and took the Pope into captivity. There was nothing particularly ‘Holy’ or ‘Roman’ about that action.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Rome_(1527)
__________________

Oh and the dualism of the ’400 years of tolerant Arab rule of Spain’/'Spanish Inquisition’ could use some nuance as well. The Arabs who spread Islam in the centuries after Mohammed could be plenty intolerant of non Abrahamic religions, particularly any that could be considered idol and/or devil worshipers. An intoleration equally matched by their Christian brothers who evangelized Northern Europe in some of those same centuries. That Islam and Christianity at times and places were able to establish a more or less peaceful co-existence shouldn’t mask the fact that each were not essentially tolerant of other faiths as a general rule. Historically where they had the political/military/demographic power to enforce orthodoxy and theocracy they did and do. Hence the topic of this post.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:07 am 39

Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”



http://www.biblegateway.com/pa…..chapter=25

More Government taking care of the poor oh wait goverment taking control:)


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:10 am 40

Isaiah 58:7 “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Ezekiel 18:7 if a man does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing,
Ezekiel 18:16 or oppress anyone, or retain a pledge, or commit robbery, but he gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with clothing,
2 Timothy 1:16 The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains;
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
James 2:15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
James 2:16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

http://bible.cc/matthew/25-36.htm

More Government control has Rick ever read the bible I don’t recall much about abortion or gays but lots about helping those in need.


realdemocrat | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:10 am 41
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 39

So you believe in eternal punishment?


realdemocrat | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:12 am 42
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 39

Who are the righteous? Please explain…


realdemocrat | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:14 am 43

Hey, let’s talk about The taliban. Hillary wants to negotiate with………The Taliban. Now that’s pretty cool.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:16 am 44
In response to realdemocrat @ 41

I know life can be worse than death. I believe that if we do live forever and never owe up to our mistakes that would be eternal punishment. Memory mistakes and not learning admitting you are wrong are all necessary for eternal punishment to happen.
But yes given those three things I believe the theory of eternal punishment would work. I do not know however for sure.
Or to put it another way. By not helping others how can anyone expect another to want to save them?


joeyess | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:20 am 45

Unspooled.

that is all…..


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:21 am 46
In response to realdemocrat @ 42

I am not a theologian but my view is those who try to put others well being equal to their own in bad times. Crisis is the true test of morality its easy to be good when it costs you nothing.
Bush after 9/11 was no Job but then again to be honest I fail myself at being Righteous there is always more I could do.
Please ask the theologians here for a better answer my answer is personal and probably wrong.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:22 am 47
In response to realdemocrat @ 43

Snark tag needed? s


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:23 am 48
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 47

/s sorry thats the snark tag edit isn’t working for me now.


joeyess | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:26 am 49
In response to masanf @ 29

I won’t even bother to reply to anything you’ve said in this thread. Your belief is self-delusional tripe and this thinking afflicts millions.

Bound in dungeons by your belief in a small god and extraordinary myths.

Your arguments are not worthy of serious discussion because your belief is…….. what’s the word…….. um……. hooey.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:31 am 50

Real good thread Lisa I have lots to think about I’m saving the entire thread on my bible file.


nahant | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:36 am 51

I believe in separation of church and state, but I don’t believe in separation of faith and politics.

Yeah that and a Three Dollar Bill will get you into heaven…/S
Rickey boy isn’t in this for his belief but for money!! Just look at his Church.. Just another Religious jerk using the system/tax free satus to fill his own pockets! I wonder what Jesus would think of his Church??


COProgressive | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:41 am 52
In response to masanf @ 26

“The whole “progressive” philosophy in the United States seems to be about the use of government power to compel individuals to do what the state has deemed “good”. The health care debate is the perfect example with “progressives” even going so far as to advocate throwing people in jail who don’t buy health insurance.”

Speaking of hypobole….. First, I am against the healthcare “mandate” as it’s a Golden Egg for S&I Insurance companies. So, that as a “progressive” I also don’t support “throwing people in jail who don’t buy health insurance”.

On the subject of control, I would say, and I’m sure you would agree, that devout church-going Christians have to live by more rules and doctrines and coventants than those of us who are not members of a faithbased group. I live by what I believe to be right and just without some Priest or Minister’s “Fear of God” admonitions blinding my thoughts. What’s right and just is right and just whether it comes from within or at the demands of a church. But by the same token, what’s wrong, is wrong whether it comes from within or comes out of the mouth of a Priest or Minister, as a voice of piety, directed to their flock.

Your attempt to tie progressives with control is a lame attempt to devert the guilt you have of your wish to support to contol. Too bad for you.

Benjamin Franklin- signer of Declaration of Independence, signer of Constitution
“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”
[Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1758]


knowbuddhau | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:43 am 53

I think a lot of the confusion and resultant arguments in this field come from confusion regarding the terms “religion” and “myth” more than others.

What’s a myth, anyway? What’s a religion? Are they the same?

The answer is no, they are not. A myth is a metaphorical image of the composition and functioning of the world in which we believe ourselves to be acting; a way of looking at, experiencing, and being human in the world.

Joseph Campbell Audio Colleciton Volume 4 Man and Myth Disc 1 Man and Myth

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Now in that mythology of the cosmic order [the original mythos of earth], the whole sphere of the universe is the womb of the goddess mother whose children we are. She is the primary divinity. She is the one that is represented: the Great Goddess World, and the deities by whom she is fecundated are represented usually in animal form. They are secondary to Her. And the early deities were Her consorts.

But with these warrior people, you have a masculine god as the dominant figure, not one who prays to the Goddess to bring forth the fruits of the earth, but one who comes in and takes them, the Thunder Hurler, whether his name is Zeus or Yahvay (ph) or Indra, they are all of the same order. And they despise the other people.

So you now have a very interesting conflict between a culturally inferior but physically more powerful people of patriarchal orientation coming into an area of much higher sophistication and assimilating their mythologies.

One of the most interesting things about the Bible that turns up throughout the researches of the 19th century is that all the Old Testament themes come right from the Sumero-Babylonian complex and can be equated there and shown to be there.

And now look what happens as a result: the myths that originally pointed to the Goddess as the source of All point to the God. This is a curious transformation. And it’s one of the baffling things in our tradition.

Symbols talk spontaneously to the psyche. You know what they’re saying down here. But the person who presents the myth to you [he chuckles] talks a different language. He says, ‘It’s Daddy,’ and your psyche says, ‘No, it’s Mother.’ So then we go to the psychiatrist. [Laughter]

All of our symbols are speaking a doubletalk.

There’s a related problem, which arises from mistaking the metaphorical language of myths (as in poetry, art, etc.) for prose.

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: A perfectly good definition of mythology is: other people’s religions. [Laughter] The definition of religion isn’t much more difficult; it is: misunderstood mythology. [Laughter] This misunderstanding consists, typically, in interpreting mythological symbols as if they were historical facts. And this is a particularly crucial problem in our tradition, in the West, where the whole emphasis has been on historicity of the events on which our churches are founded.

The um fact that one finds the basic mythological themes in all the great religions of the world, and one way or another, also, in practically all of the more primitive religions, would lead one to conclude, I should think, that the primary referent of these symbols, such a symbolic image as the Virgin Birth, cannot possibly have been to an historical event. The historical event, if it was an event, would have significance spiritually because it was an historitization of a symbol that had some kind of sense of its own, before the historical event.

The “code” in which evangelicals speak is metaphor. Taking their arguments apart on face value is exactly like staking out the freakin’ Easter Bunny or going to the North Pole to bust Santa.

Barney Frank asked the perfect question of our day: “On what planet do you spend most of your time?” Our camps believe in totally different realities.

Theirs is a feudal world of atomized bits who are governed by the force and fiat of a cosmic tyrant, most often imaged as a white male war god. So Newtonian, so last millennium!

Ours is a seamless field of energy, self-filling and self-emptying from countless vortices we call “things.” As in, you know, indivisible.

Their trick is to get us to implode our psyches into quantum singularities of egocentric pain, cellf-imprisoning our selves in cellves of our own mistaken making.

An ego is a nice place to visit, just don’t get attached. That’s what generates the experience of terror for your so-called “eternal soul.” Pray tell, how do we divide souls, one from the other? Where’s the boundary, the self – other divide? Of what is it made? How does it function?

These questions are meant to show the absurdity of prosaically questioning metaphors.

Our souls are seamless, or not at all. Your fate is my fate is our fate. One function of a religion is to distinguish the in-group, the nominally saved, from the out-group, the nominally damned.

I am he
As you are me
And we are all together
Googoogajoob!
–John Lennon

The worst part of our Western religions is the false feeling of separateness that comes from imploding your psyche into a black hole of pain, your “imperiled eternal soul,” and then the terror that comes from trying to get it into heaven before the gates close for good.

The Gnostic gospels say the same thing as the Buddha’s dharma: apart from sentient beings, where could we possibly find bliss/heaven/nirvana? Heaven and hell are right here and now, they are what we make of experience, not things apart from our experience.

(Whew! What a rush! Thanks again for the great post.)


demi | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:47 am 54
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 44

I love this comment. Why I like you, Things!
Have a happy day. With affection, Demi.


ThingsComeUndone | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:48 am 55
In response to knowbuddhau @ 53

A perfectly good definition of mythology is: other people’s religions. [Laughter] The definition of religion isn’t much more difficult; it is: misunderstood mythology. [Laughter] This misunderstanding consists, typically, in interpreting mythological symbols as if they were historical facts. And this is a particularly crucial problem in our tradition, in the West, where the whole emphasis has been on historicity of the events on which our churches are founded.

Money Quote


demi | Sunday December 6, 2009 09:54 am 56
In response to knowbuddhau @ 53

I like your comment very much as well. Love the Moyers/Campbell series on The Power of Myth. Didn’t you just love it when they both were reading the Genesis/Beginning of Things?
There’s so much thinking and feeling that’s been documented.
Why it was a bit rough for me when I saw a post here recently saying Yoda Had It Wrong.
Not offensive, but. Some things should be considered sacred.


planetspinz | Sunday December 6, 2009 10:06 am 57
In response to masanf @ 14

Religious leaders have the right to decide what their religions do, but because Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment or religion, they cannot impose their religion’s laws on government policy. Yet that is exactly what they do by collecting enough signatures to put bigot ballots up for a vote by tyrannical theocRATs getting just enough people to decide the fate of millions.

Since the First Amendment also protects religions from government intervention, no religious institution will ever be forced to perform wedding ceremonies for anyone.

Marriage equality is not about religion. It is about more than 1300 federal and state laws for married couples and their children. Not one of those laws has anything at all to do with religions. The only way two people who wed have those rights and privileges is by getting a state-issued marriage license, signing it and submitting it to their state governments.

Everytime marriage equality fails, theocRATS get stronger, and the fabric of America’s freedom tears apart. Constitutional rights must be unconditional and never dependent upon the agreement, acceptance, approval, respect or tolerance of tyrannical theocRATS in state legislatures, Congress, courts or the White House, and certainly not from the pulpit.


gamd521 | Sunday December 6, 2009 10:41 am 58
In response to masanf @ 26

In your attempts to show yourself as someone ruled by what is only fair and reasonable you end up up showing yourself as a true simpleton. Able to limit options as either one or another.

Religion has no role in determining whether people’s chosen behaviour is legal. That is because laws are meant to deal with the verifiable consequences of actions not with their motives.

If for instance it were true, as some of the most fanatic opponents to gay marriage claim, that gay marriage leads to polygamy or incest or bestiality or corruption of the youth, then these sort of consequences could serve as the basis for legal prohibition. Because they can be shown to be dangereous and undesirable.

But the fact that gay marriage violates religious beliefs of any sort, is not a consequence that can be a basis for legal prohibition. This sort of consequence has no demonstrable ill effects, nor could it ever be shown to have those ill effects. Because here we are dealing with beliefs and not actual verifiable consequences.

How could you ever show that gay marriage should be prohibited because it went against your beliefs, and that consequence was harmful or dangerous. Who cares what you believe, no one. For instance I couldn’t care less.

The law only deals with acts whose consequences are verifiable. And if they veriafiably undesirable or dangerous the act can be legally prohibited with justification. As far as the law is concerned religious beliefs are completely irrelevant.


DonQuisadorme | Sunday December 6, 2009 11:22 am 59

Why, exactly, are we supposed to respect weird delusional beliefs?

Certainly one is free to ritually cannibalize god’s zombified offspring in an attempt to escape the consequences of a mud-man’s rib-wife being tricked with magic fruit by a talking snake — knock yourself out.

But I can’t see why we’re supposed to craft national policy to avoid offending believers of nonsense.


onitgoes | Sunday December 6, 2009 11:32 am 60
In response to knowbuddhau @ 53

Thank you. Wonderfully written and expressed. Exactly: the divisiveness of the current-day Chirsto-facist “churches” has created a “reality” for their followers that seems (to me) to be quite separate and apart from the “reality” that us alleged “progressives” (or what have you) seem to experience. It is hard to have coherent discussions with most so-called “true believers” because our experience of “reality” is so different – which if you think about it, is really what manipulators at the heads of these churches intended all along. They are good at it, I have to give them that.

Beyond all that is what I see (and seems that many others do)as the cynical, for-profit motivations of the so-called “Christian” right. I wouldn’t be as concerned about what these people do in their own time, except now they want to force their way of life on the rest of us based on the notion that their way is the “only correct” way to be/do/think/act, etc. And they base this on the notion that their “god” has told them this and/or approves of this or whatever other “godly” justifications they come up with.

Not only is that b.s., but we can see the man behind the curtain, and that man (no god, he) is only in it for the money. Perhaps some of these Rick Warren types started out with sincere intentions based on some genuine spiritual/religious belief system.

However, I feel the comparison to Jim Jones is quite apt. I was living out of the country when the Jim Jones phenomenon occurred, but more recently have watched a number of documentaries and read various reports about the whole church/commune, how it grew and changed, etc. It’s fascinating, but it appears as if Jim Jones was intially perhaps a “good” person genuinely seeking a better way of life for himself, his family and his community.

The rest is history, of course, but it’s instructive to watch how he changed over time and became the manifestation of “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It is possible that Rick Warren and his ilk are quite similar.

A prior post here posits that it’s all about control, which it appears that is what became the raison d’etre for Jim Jones and others like him: finally killing off himself and his flock so that no one else could control them. Another powerful control-desire that takes over is controlling money – my rally cry.

Most of the Christo-facists these days, as evidenced by the C Street Family who are deeply embedded in all levels of our government, are only about grabbing as much money for themselves as possible. They brainwash their flocks into believing that they are “doing good,” such as mission work overseas to convert the “heathens,” so that said heathens can “go to heaven.” Yet when you investigate more closely, you find all kinds of venality and corruption happening, which is being underwritten by unsuspecting church goers.

and so on. Not all corruption leads to the ultimate end of a Jim Jones Kool Aid massacre, but much of the corruption leads to ripping us all off in smaller and larger ways, along with, as you say, “jacking our nation.”


Lisa Derrick | Sunday December 6, 2009 11:43 am 61
In response to ThingsComeUndone @ 28

you took the quote right out of my brain!


aardvark | Sunday December 6, 2009 12:08 pm 62

Let’s see. Lot’s daughters got him drunk and seduced him into incest and getting each pregnant. And the lines of the Ammonites and the Moabites were established. Ruth, a Moabitess, was the grandmother of David, and it was prophesized that the Messiah would be born of the house and lineage of David. Ergo, no incest, no Jesus. There you go, the Bible not only justifies incest, but requires it. Guess I would like Mr. Warren and the C street gang to explain that one.


AngelsAwake | Sunday December 6, 2009 12:35 pm 63

This battle will be lost by liberals because, God bless us, we are all idiots.

The most recurring problem with the fight against theocratic government is that the theocrats can very often turn an attack on theocracy into one on their religion. This moves the fight from the attack on the right of theocrats to control the rest of us, an easy argument, to one on the right of the religion to exist, an impossible argument.

But time and time again, liberals- the only people consistently fighting it- fall for the argument, and we get crap like this.

I see it right here. Aardvark, hold still for a minute, I’m going to use you as an example (don’t feel bad, I see this theme recurring all the time in liberals).

Your comment that Jesus requires incest to exist. How is that relevant to keeping theocracy out of government? It’s an attack on Christianity itself, rather than against theocracy. All it does is play into the hands of theocrats, who rely on the fact that their opponents will not attack them, but rather, attack the religion itself, to gain support. The people of their church- liberal, moderate, and conservative- flock to them in droves when their religion itself comes under attack. Somebody is trying to tear their house down and so they’ll head to the biggest guy who looks like he can stop them from doing it.

The problem with theocracy is not the individual religion that spawns the current theocracy. All theocracies are remarkably alike when you seriously examine them, regardless of parent religion they supposedly support.

Theocracy is a bad thing not because of religion, but because someone who thinks he’s got a divine mandate from Heaven is somebody who will do anything, and justify anything, to keep power. It’s dangerous and insane. It doesn’t matter what his religion is- an atheist theocrat would be just as big of a problem (if, albeit, a really weird one), because like I said, all theocracies blend in together. Modern-day Iran looks like Inquisition-era Spain.

So I guess the point of this long-winded post is to get liberals to not fall into the trap. Don’t start attacking the religion. Leave it be. Attack the right of the theocrats to rule. Point out hypocrisies, flaws, in their supposed right to rule- that God explicitly condemns kingship and rule among his people, that we are all brothers in Christ and we are not supposed to lead the damn government.

Because when you do attack it, all you do is anger the followers of that religion and make them ponder joining the theocrats. After all, if people hate the religion so much, and I’m part of it, why not just toss it all in with the theocrats? I’m a liberal and I’ve sometimes debated the idea.


aardvark | Sunday December 6, 2009 12:46 pm 64
In response to AngelsAwake @ 63

Because it is such good fun to needle them in this way:). Sort of like pointing out to them that any star or galaxy more than 6,000 light years away–which is most of them–could not possibly exist with a Fundamentalist 6,000 year-old earth. I learned about the big bang theory in Sunday school in 1959 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio. In 1974, in a lecture to a college intro psych class, I made the statement that the biggest threat to freedom in America was the growing coalition between Fundamentalism and the Roman Catholic church. So, this issue is something I have taken quite seriously for some time, and I understand your point, but, still, it is good fun to needle them.


DonQuisadorme | Sunday December 6, 2009 02:04 pm 65
In response to AngelsAwake @ 63

Theocracy is a bad thing for a simpler reason: it doesn’t work. It fails, compared to other methods, as a government that satisfies the goal laid out in the preamble to the Constitution.

And it fails for the same reason that faith healing is inferior to scientific medicine; that a geocentric universe loses out to the heliocentric solar system; that Aristotelian physics has been supplanted by Newton and Einstein. When you use it, you get wrong answers.

The best argument against having godtards in power in the US is the Bush regime’s utter incompetent failure to govern effectively.

And this is why I don’t worry so much about theocracies — they might suck for their subjects, and can be dangerous to their neighbors, but they can’t last indefinitely in competition to better ideas.


onitgoes | Sunday December 6, 2009 02:46 pm 66
In response to DonQuisadorme @ 65

Hope you’re right. Agree with your thesis, but the way things are presently playing out in the USA gives me cause for concern.

I grew up in a nutty fundie family, but I never thought things could get as bad as they have. I have stated on FDL before that I come from a well educated, well traveled family, who are culturally astute (mostly) and have all spent some significant amounts of time in other countries. In other words, these are not your usual dumb rednecks; they are smart, but they are brainwashed. Their reality has almost nothing to do with my reality, and no amount of quoting of facts and figures will change their minds. And they LIKE their reality just fine, thanks very much (even though they are struggling financially, but of course, that is all & only BHO’s fault and has nothing to do with Bush).

If BHO & Rahm Emanuel don’t do something to turn around the economy & improve jobs, I fear that we will end up with something much worse than the Bush Admin.

Hope I’m wrong. I shudder to consider what could be worse.


aardvark | Sunday December 6, 2009 04:39 pm 67
In response to onitgoes @ 66

And that is the profound existentialist threat. There are a lot of very bright, educated people who buy into this crap. For a great many of them, I suspect it assuages the guilt of having inherited their money rather than having earned it, and for others, it justifies the ruthlessness of the tactics they have used to accumulate wealth.

For more than a dozen and a half years I have taught one class per semester in human sexuality; I always spend an hour on basic logic, which most of my students have not been exposed to. Obviously, understanding basic logic is fundamental to critical thinking skills. At the same time, I have three children in the local school district (overwhelmingly Republican), and I have no complaint as to how the district, at all levels, teaches critical thinking skills, beginning in kindergarten. Go figure.


aardvark | Sunday December 6, 2009 04:40 pm 68
In response to aardvark @ 67

left out “at the local community college.”


Jo Fish | Sunday December 6, 2009 05:41 pm 69

God is a moral force.
Nature is an amoral force.

I would much rather be ruled by the amorality of Nature, than the morality of God.

Apologies and thanks to Julia Sweeney for that thought.


AngelsAwake | Sunday December 6, 2009 06:07 pm 70

@ Aardvark: But the fun you are having in needling them comes at the expense of a lot of our ability to stop the theocrats. We’re all better off, in the long run, with not needling their religions needlessly- it’s fun, sure, but it’s also ultimately counter-productive, as the theocrats rely on people being needled, being pissed off, to gather their power.

@ Don Quis: Don’t count on that. Things persist despite better options. Never assume people take the better option. It’s not a law of nature that man will do what is best for man.


healthynutz | Sunday December 6, 2009 07:32 pm 71
In response to masanf @ 16

Then they should have to pay taxes!!

And I also think that its funny that morons like yourself would approve of the religious institutions to have a constitutional right to be apart of the legislative process, when said institutions has been responsible for killing detractors and non-believers throughout history in attempts to control governments.

If you can impose the Word of your invisible friend then I should have the same right too.

“The world is a mental institution and I have been admitted against my will.”


healthynutz | Sunday December 6, 2009 07:57 pm 72
In response to AngelsAwake @ 63

Atheist theocrat? Can you define that for me?


healthynutz | Sunday December 6, 2009 07:59 pm 73
In response to healthynutz @ 72

God is a moral force? Is this a provable point? I would love to see the empirical data that shows “God is a moral force”?


DonQuisadorme | Monday December 7, 2009 06:44 am 74
In response to AngelsAwake @ 70

I’m not assuming that people will choose better options. Instead, I’m pointing out that when they don’t, they’ll get left behind as groups that make more workable choices pass them by.

Some behavior is its own punishment. Religion is a great example.


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