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marylandblue

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Member since: Tue Nov 8, 2016, 02:02 PM
Number of posts: 12,124

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On religious vs. political divides

In the modern West, we tend to think of religion and politics as two different things. But this split only came about due to the decidely secular movement call the Enlightenment. That's when the idea of separation of church and state was born and enshrined in the Constitution.

But for the entire previous 4,800 years of history, church and state were one thing, even in the most tolerant of times. Egyptian Pharoahs were considered gods. Opposition to the Pharoah was to oppose the divine order of things. At the same time in Mesopotamia, with it's warring city-states and kingdoms, wars between cities were viewed as battles between the gods of each city. The victor's king had the stronger god, and the winning king was that god's appointed representative on earth.

Ancient Judiasm developed a new idea. Their god was not only more powerful than the others, their god was the only god. That idea had staying power because a defeat in battle was only a temporary punishment from the one true god, not a defeat by another god. Same idea was picked in Christianity and Islam. And in all three, opposition to the one true god was not just weak, but evil. And political.

But all through this time, even after the Enlightment, religion was never very far from politics. Political movements always had their religious versions. Religious movements had their political manifestations.

So to call religious persecutions "political" is to miss one of the key points of religion. It IS an instrument of political control, not a part that can be easily separated. That we've separated it at all and made room for a politics not entirely religious is a marvelous modern feat. But lets not forget how we got here. Why America is predominantly Christian and Iran predominantly Muslim. It was mostly due to war, persecution and politics, not the superiority of ideas or the people's spiritual feelings. And lets not look down our noses at those backward Muslim theocrats. We've got our wannabe theocrats here too. Only the ghosts of Voltaire and Madison hold them back.

F52 is the medical diagnosis code for sexual dysfunction

Could explain why he seems so stressed out and confused lately.

Washington Post: Trump already said he would talk to Mueller and it may happen soon.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mueller-indicates-he-will-likely-seek-interview-with-trump/2018/01/08/86100bb2-f473-11e7-beb6-c8d48830c54d_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_trumpinterview-241pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.f3577d01a861

The special counsel’s team could interview Trump soon on some limited portion of questions — possibly within the next several weeks, according to a person close to the president, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal conversations.

“This is moving faster than anyone really realizes,” the person said. Trump is comfortable participating in an interview and believes it would put to rest questions about whether his campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 election, the person added.

Posted by marylandblue | Tue Jan 9, 2018, 12:48 AM (5 replies)

What's not in Bannon's apology

He didn't dispute a single statement in the book. Just saying.
Posted by marylandblue | Sun Jan 7, 2018, 02:34 PM (6 replies)

Does South Korea still need the United States?

South Korea must feel like a bystander caught in a crossfire between two rival gangs. All they ever wanted was peace. And for 68 years, the United States has been the guarantor of that peace. We keep the peace by having 25,000 or so troops stationed in the demilitarized zone. The sole purpose of these troops is to die defending South Korea. Because they aren't enough to beat back a North Korean invasion, or more likely a massive artillery barage. If they die, the US would be forced into a war to defend South Korea.

But caught between two nuclear powers run by madmen, does South Korea still need or want US help? It has a powerful military of its own. It could probably beat back an invasion by itself, although with heavy civilian casualties. US help won't prevent massive casualties.

But with a nuclear equipped NK, they still might want a nuclear ally of their own. The logical choice is South Korea's biggest trading partner, China. China is already protecting SK. Last year, China told NK that they would not back a first strike against the US. This is probably a key reason NK has not attacked already. So maybe the smart move for SK is to replace American troops with Chinese. A Chinese rather than American presence will calm NK, and NK would never attack Chinese troops.

NK just said they want to have talks directly with SK. A peace treaty between the two with China as the guarantor would benefit all three countries. They will all feel safer Surely both sides have thought of this. Hell, I'd feel safer if we left the Korean Penninsula.
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